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The more things change . . . – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season 4 Premiere “Growing Pains”

[Worry not, Fangbangers!  Your TVD-cap for Episode 2, “Memorial,” will be up in under 24 hours. Feel free to suck on some hot vampire’s hand, while you’re waiting . . .]

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Don’t feel bad, Elena.  I get grouchy during my “time of month” too . . .

Welcome back, Fangbangers!  I’ve missed you . . .

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After an interminably long hiatus, it’s finally time to sharpen those fangs, and head on back to Mystic Falls .  . . a town where nobody gives two craps what your name is (unless it’s Elena Gilbert, of course), but everybody knows your blood type.

I can’t believe this show is already entering its fourth season!  It seems like only yesterday that Stefan Salvatore compelled his way into Elena Gilbert’s high school history class, and nobody noticed that he looked about 27 . . .

So much has happened since that fateful day.  Practically everyone from the original cast has died .  . . and come back . . . multiple times.

Elena dated Stefan . . .

. . . and then broke up with Stefan . . .

. . . and then dated Stefan again . . .

. . . and then broke up with Stefan again.

There were Big Bads . . . and vampire sexcapades . . . and supposedly unbreakable curses that were magically broken by a woman who suffers from severe nosebleeds . . .

And yet, through it all, Stefan remained freaking hungry . . .

Damon stayed snarky (and continued to love taking showers) . . .

Tyler still hated wearing shirts . . .

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Elena judged everyone (but only because she cared) . . .

Caroline kept getting kidnapped . . .

And we still could never figure out what Bonnie was mumbling, during all those ridiculous spells . . .

In a way, “Growing Pains,” is the start of a brand new chapter in TVD-verse.  Elena, who has always been Mystic Falls most vulnerable damsel in distress, has finally become a supernatural creature capable of kicking some serious ass . . .

And yet, when you really stop to think about it, nothing has changed at all . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

To Feed or Not to Feed . . .

The episode begins with Elena waking up in her bedroom, where her two vampire love slaves are hovering over her, looking for signs of life . . . or lack thereof.  Understandably, given the whole “drowning in a car” thing, our leading lady is a bit disoriented and distressed.

Since Elena clearly never watched last season’s TVD finale (nor did she read any of the spoilers for this episode), she has no clue what has happened to her.  This means it’s up to Salvatore Squared to give her the bad news.  In short, Elena has until the end of the day to either feed on human blood, and turn into vampire, or DIE . . . again . . . but for good, this time.

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The fact that Elena is in this situation, because Stefan saved her ex-beau / buddy Matt from the drowning car first, thereby allowing Elena to die with Damon’s vampire blood in her system, is, more or less, brushed over, for the time being.  But we’ll get back to that later.  For now, Elena’s just seriously bummed about the whole, “destined to have pointy teeth, and a sometimes veiny face” thing . . .

But WAIT . . . there may be A CURE!!!  And I bet you’ll NEVER guess who’s going to provide this cure . . .

I’ll give you a hint.  It’s not Dr. Fell . . .

. . . or Sheriff Forbes . . .

. . . it’s not even the happy woodland creatures Stefan consumes on a daily basis.

Nope, the Finder of the Cure is . . . drumroll please . . .

BONNIE BENNETT!

No wonder today’s Mystic Falls weather forecast called for nosebleeds, with a chance of dramatic fainting . . .  It all makes sense now.

There’s a new sheriff in town and he looks a lot like the Evil Priest in every single movie you’ve ever seen containing Evil Priests . . .

Who knew what a proverbial can of worms Bad!Alaric would open up, when he outed all of the town vampires to the supposedly, but not-so-much Vampire Killing Town Council?  Now, this random guy named Pastor Young, who we have never ever heard of, or seen before and will probably never see again . . .

This douche . . .

 . . . is suddenly all over, like a bad rash, firing vampire-friendly locals from their jobs (Sorry Dr. Fell and Sheriff Forbes!), including the MAYOR (?!), and kidnapping pretty much every vampire, who’s name is featured in the opening credits.

Wow . . . this town must be REALLY religious!  Where I come from, the Pastors can barely get their congregations to fill the collection plates, let alone beat-up high school students!

Sigh!  Poor Caroline!  Girlfriend gets kidnapped and tortured on this show, more than she gets laid . . . well . . . on second thought . . .

Also on the kidnapping chopping block is Saint Stefan, and Rebekah-the-Original-Perpetually-Left-Behind . . .

In fact, the only vampires who escaped Pastor Young and Company’s wrath were Damon (well, of course he did!) and Klausi-Tyler.  More on him, in a bit . . .

Newbie Almost-Vamp Elena, the second-most kidnapped person on this show, manages to escape Pastor Young’s wrath, at first.  But it isn’t long before her true fangy colors start to show, i.e. she looks like she’s suffering from the Worst Hangover EVER!   She also hates LAMPS!  I mean, like, REALLY HATES THEM!

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Wouldn’t it have been easier just to hit the light switch?

Elena tries to escape the wrath of Pastor Young, but ultimately gets decked by one of his (kind of hot) henchmen.  Not cool, Hot Henchman . . . not cool at all . . .

But wait!  I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Before Elena’s newfound vampiness led to her undoing, it helped her accomplish the most AWESOME THING EVER . . .

Thanks for the Memories . . .

Ahhh, yes!  It’s the moment us Delena fans have all been waiting for . . . the moment when Elena, eternally free from vampire compulsion, finally gets to watch one of my favorite scenes in the history of TVD.  No, I mean, literally, she gets to watch it . . . as in, they replay the entire scene, right in front of Elena . . . in 3D.  It just doesn’t get much better than that folks.

We’ll talk later about how Elena responds to the realization that Damon met her first, and sacrificed her love to Saint Stefan, long before Elena even became consciously aware of his feelings for her.  (Hint: FRUSTRATINGLY!)  But, for now, let’s just bask in the glory that is “The Very First True Declaration of Delena Love” . . .

Speaking of love interrupted . . .

In which Klausi-tyler cockblocks himself . . .

Now, I know a lot of folks out there put-off / disgusted by the concept of Klaus inhabiting Tyler’s body.  But I, for one, was kind of excited about it.  Basically, I was just interested in seeing whether Michael Trevino could pull it off . . .

When we first meet Klausi-Tyler, he’s harassing Bonnie to put him back inside his own body.  This actually surprised, and disappointed, me a little bit.  One would think that a devious villain-type like Klaus could think of all sorts of ways to put Hybrid-Boy’s Buff Body to naughty use.  After all, we all remember how much fun Klaus had being Alaric, back in the day . . .

By comparison, what Klaus ended up doing with Tyler’s body was actually pretty tame. Though, I must admit, I giggled at Klausi-Tyler’s typical teenage reaction to having a mother who actually liked him . . . you know as opposed to his own mother, who tried to wipe his entire race from the face of the Earth . .  .

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When Klausi-Tyler finds out from his mother that Caroline’s been kidnapped, he ambushes the car carrying her and his sister, and stages a dramatic rescue . . . Let me rephrase that . . . he stages a dramatic rescue of Caroline.  It looks like Poor Rebekah is going to have to tough it out with the crazy vampire hating cult for just a bit longer . . .

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Caroline didn’t seem to notice though.  To say the young blonde was appreciative of the man she thought was dead for springing her from the pokey is the understatement of the century . . .

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That’s right, Forwood / Karoline fans, our favorite little Vampire Barbie rode that sexy body snatcher harder than a jockey at the Kentucky Derby . . .

Now, I know what most of you are thinking.  This has gotta be Klausi-Tyler’s dream come true, right?  I mean, hasn’t Klaus been trying to get his “stake” inside Caroline, ever since that fateful day when he made Tyler almost kill her, so that he could save her life?  I mean, we’re not honestly supposed to believe that Klaus drew those pictures of Caroline with the pony just because he’s a “nice guy,” are we?

And yet, moments into the scene Klausi-tyler STOPS Caroline from screwing him, by complaining that he’s using the “wrong equipment,” and by calling her Klaus’ telltale nickname, “Love.”

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I’m confused.  “Wrong equipment?”  What exactly does Klaus think Tyler has between his legs . . . a baseball bat . . . a vajayjay? Seriously!

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I don’t know.  I just find it hard to believe that Klaus, the same guy who’s killed his parents and siblings multiple times over was simply too “honorable” to pork Caroline under false pretenses . . .

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And Caroline . . . since when has she become so perceptive, that she could ferret out a body snatcher through the use of a single word?  In the finale, Klausi-tyler made an entire cheesy speech about how glorious life is, that Tyler wouldn’t be caught dead uttering.  And Caroline didn’t suspect a thing!

Meanwhile, back in the “witch” portion of our program . . .

Mumble, mumble, nosebleed, mumble . . .

Blah, de blah, dark magic, blah . . . Bonnie is busy trying to kill herself, so that she could bring Elena’s human soul back from the great beyond.  Jeremy, who’s soul purpose lately, has been to hold Bonnie’s hands, and look mildly concerned, while she does this, is dubious.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, JerBear HATES vampires, and certainly doesn’t want his sister to become one.

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But all those bloody noses!  Gross!  Surely, there must be another way . . . right?

Meanwhile, back at the cattle farm, where Crazy Vampire Cult is storing our main characters . . . no I’m not joking about this . . . they really used a cattle farm . . .

Stefan and Elena are declaring their undying love for one another through jail bars, while Elena death rattles dramatically, having not fed on blood for nearly a day now.  In a nearby cell Rebekah watches the lovebirds, alternating between nauseated annoyance, and jealousy that nobody seems willing to tell Rebekah how awesome SHE is, even when she’s looking like total crap . . .

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Suddenly, DarkMagic!Bonnie appears in the cell, and grabs Elena’s hand, ready to save the day, once again.  Until her grandma randomly pops up (remember her?), and tells her dark magic is WRONG!

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So, Bonnie just leaves . . .

Damn!  You mean to tell me, I had to watch all those disgusting nosebleeds for nothing?  I’m pissed . . .

Back in her hole and under duress, Bonnie calls upon dark magic again to put Klaus and Tyler back in their own bodies . . . even though we were led to believe that the only reason Klaus was in Tyler’s body, in the first place, was that his was burned to a crisp, in the season finale.

Of course, grandma is pissed again . . .

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“Sorry Grams!  It’s been two whole seasons since I accidentally killed you, while servicing vampires.  Time to pay the piper . . .”

But then the dark magic takes her soul, so we don’t have to listen to her lectures anymore.  Sorry Bonnie!  It looks like you’re going to be eternally cursed, DESPITE having doomed Elena to a life of either death or vampirism . . . Oh well!  Can’t win em all . . .

But hey, at least the British guy is back in his own body.  I was really missing that delicious accent . . .

Blood . . . it’s finger-licking good . . .

Back at Vampire Alcatraz, Damon is storming the gates outside, using Whipping Boy Matt as bait.

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You see, Damon’s been playing a bit of the blame game with Matt for the whole “surviving” when Elena didn’t thing . . . which, I guess is a sort of reversal on the whole concept of “survivor’s guilt.”

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Inside the jail, Hot Henchman has his hands full with Stefan and Rebekah, who have decided to join forces and go on the attack.  Sorry, Hot Henchman, it looks like your destined to become Elena Food.  Not a bad idea, Stefan and Rebekah . . . but couldn’t you have killed Hot Henchman closer to Elena’s cell?  Poor dying girlfriend, had to practically pry the bars open with her hands, just to get a taste off of the dirty cattle poop floor.  (FIVE SECOND RULE!)

But taste she did . . .

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Mmmm . . . tastes like a dead guest star . . .

It was a scene that was both beautifully shot, and painful to watch at the same time.  And, while I understand how ultimately Elena’s vampire instincts kicked in, and played a role in her choice, I would have liked to see her struggle just a bit more with her ultimate decision, especially considering how dead-set against becoming a vampire she’s been, since day 1 . . . so much so, that she’s, multiple times, chosen death over sprouting fangs . . .

In the very next scene, Damon, who has disposed of his own “Hot Henchman,” is about to kill a rather pathetic looking Matt for having the audacity to be saved first, when this happens . . .

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“Great.  Now it’s official.  All of my ex-girlfriends can kick my ass.”

Don’t ask me how Elena got out of her cell . . . just go with it OK.

It looks like Mystic Falls has a new damsel in distress, and it’s not Elena.

But back to Elena, she and Damon have a bit of a heart-to-heart about those precious compulsion memories we saw her regaining earlier on in the hour.  She now knows she met him first . . . that he sacrificed his love for her . . . that he’d always put her life before anyone elses . . . especially Matt and Bonnie . . . that if Damon had been on that bridge on that fateful night, she wouldn’t have ever had to make the choice to become a vampire . . .

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And she doesn’t give a sh*t . . .

Wait . . . that’s a bit harsh . . . For the record, I do think Elena was touched by the memories she regained about Damon.  And I do think that they’ve changed the way she views him, and feels about him.  But, for now, too much in her life has changed, for her to suddenly swap Salvatore Brothers too.

So, for now, Elena commits herself to Stefan . . . the guy who always respects her choices . . . no matter how stupid they might be . . .

Sibling Stakery . . .

Back at Klaus house, Rebekah is mad hurt at her brother for  leaving her to rot in cow jail with the World’s Most Nauseatingly Sweet Couple.  When she tells him that, through the centuries, she has truly been the only one to support him through thick and thin, she has a point.

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And I think her words really do touch Klaus’ heart, in a way he wasn’t quite expecting . . .

But then she uses Klaus’ last vials of Elena’s hybrid making blood as spray cans, and all bets are off . . .

He stakes her ass . . . well . . . actually he stakes her back . . . but, you know what I mean . . .

So much for brotherly love . . .

Now, that I wasn’t expecting . . .

Elsewhere, in Cult-Hate-a-Vampire, Pastor Young declares a “new beginning” to his followers quest to end vampirism, seconds before he blows up himself and all his minions, with a lit match and some gas . . .

“Oooh, fire pretty . . .”

Wait, WHAT?

Welcome to the world of underwhelming “Big Bads,” who die, after just one episode, Pastor Young . . .

And they all live bloodily ever after . . .

Back on the rooftop, Elena and Stefan are having a “moment,” that’s highly reminiscent of all those sweetly sappy scenes they shared together, in early Season 1 . . . you know, back before the series got really good.   They just WUV eachother so much . . . and Elena is suddenly thrilled with the idea of spending an eternity with Stefan, even if she has to eat people, in order to do it.

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Yes, Elena has chosen Stefan.  Klaus has chosen himself.  Caroline has chosen Tyler.  Bonnie has chosen to bloody her nose.  And Damon, well he’s understandably pissed off about the whole thing . . .

The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .

Next week on TVD, Elena learns about the joys of vampire sex, cannibalism, and making out with Damon Salvatore’s hand . . .

Something tells me I’m going to like next week’s episode way more than I liked this one . . .

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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High, Horny, Hot, Headless, and Hungry (HOORAY!) – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season 3 Premiere “The Birthday”

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I get a bit over-excited when images of Naked Damon appear on my television screen.  For example, this evening, I was just minding my own business, watching the TVD Season Premiere, when the above picture popped up before me.  Then THIS happened . . .

Dammit!  It is REALLY inconvenient to have your head fall off, when you are trying to watch a show!   You know, if Stefan hadn’t come by to “put me back together,” I would never have been able to write this recap!

Well, hello Fangbangers!  It has been WAY too long, since I’ve had the opportunity to spend an evening with you!  I mean, I can’t believe how long it has been, since I used this picture in a recap . . .

Actually, I’m pretty sure, I just used this a couple of days ago  . . .

Fortunately, tonight’s TVD Season Premiere MORE than made up for the criminally lengthy summer hiatus, by giving us fangbanging fangirls (and fanboys) everything we could POSSIBLY want in a new TVD episode.

I mean, think about it,  there was a kickass keg party, Delena, obligatory nudity, Delena, SUPER HOT Forwood sex, Delena, homoeroticism galore, Delena, bloody bites and kills, Klaus antics, Ripper Stefan, Delena, people getting REALLY REALLY high and wasted on prime time TV, Delena, Team Bad Ass, Delena cool special guest stars, Delena, a massive cliffhanger, and did I mention Delena?

So lather up, My Lovelies, and break out your dancing shoes . . . because SOMEONE in Mystic Falls is about to turn LEGAL!

And it’s NOT Katherine . . . because she turned legal about 485 years ago . . . 

(By the way, special thanks to my good pal Andre, who has created all the fabulous screencaps you see here.  It’s a tough job poring over all those sexy scantily-clad bodies, for hours on end . . . But SOMEBODY has to do it . . .)

Always End Your Life Evening, With a “Little Southern Hospitality” . . .

“Why are you doing this to me?  Haven’t you read my blog?  I’m TEAM KLAUS!” 

Word to the wise, ladies . . . if a stranger shows up in your backyard, and feels the need to tell you that he’s “not a serial killer,” there’s a really good chance he wears women’s lingerie for fun, and has enough dead bodies in his closet to put on a stage production of “A Chorus Line.”

“Hey, I resemble that remark.” 

What better way to kickstart a season than with a gruesome double homicide?  I mean, come on . . . even if we HADN’T seen this Random Anonymous Girl’s head tumble off her bloody body in the trailers, we’d know she was a goner, the minute she stepped outside to retrieve her absentee dog, for one simple reason: WE’VE NEVER SEEN HER BEFORE!

Though, I must say, to Random Anonymous Girl’s credit (hereinafter “RAG #1”), she was a heck of a lot smarter than the First Kills in most horror films.  Consider this . . . Despite the fact that Klaus was ridiculously charming, with his faux Southern accent, and his lame, but oddly adorable, story about how his car broke down up the road, RAG#1 was not about to voluntarily let this stranger into her house.  NO SIR!

“Aren’t you even the least bit curious what a True Hybrid’s Weiner looks like?” 

Though RAG #1 is polite enough to let Klausipoo use her cell phone to call for a tow truck, since his phone is conveniently “out of juice,” she insists on bringing it outside to him, rather than letting him “come and get it,” himself.  Klaus complains that this is not what he considers “Southern Hospitality.” (The house in question is located in Tennessee.)  But RAG #1 isn’t Southern.  She’s from FLORIDA . . . land of Oranges . . . Mickey Mouse . .  . and people who don’t invite psychos into their homes, for no good reason.

“Suck it, Were Vamp!”

But, you see, here’s the problem with the whole “Vampires can’t enter homes unless invited” rule . . . Unless you are wearing your Trusty Vervain Necklace, a good vampire can MAKE YOU DO ANYTHING HE WANTS, including INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HOUSE.  So, you’re pretty much screwed either way, as RAG#1 quickly learns . . .

Inside the house, we meet RAG#2, who’s just as sassy as  RAG#1, and just as unwilling to be hospitable to the Poor Unfortunate Klaus . . .

“I’m not Southern either.  I’m from the Bronx, B*TCH!” 

 But it turns out, there’s a method to Klaus’ madness.   After all, he happens to know that RAG #1 and RAG#2 have a third roommate . . . a WEREWOLF ROOMMATE . .  . one who comes home once a month to “go through his changes” in the basement.   At first, RAG#2 tries to cover for her wolfy friend.  However, as soon as it becomes apparent that Klausipoo won’t take no for an answer, she eventually gives up the goods.

And that’s when Stefan comes in . . .

Mind if I borrow a cup of sugar?”

You see, the Original Were Vamp, is just too Big and Powerful to be bothered with such petty insignificant tasks as MURDERING PEOPLE, so he has his new boyfriend do the dirty work for him.  But Klaus isn’t completely heartless.  He rewards RAG#1’s “kindness,” by instructing Stefan to give her a faster, less painful, death than RAG#2.  (How sweet?)  Then, he gleefully skips off to his car (which, is in total working order, by the way), while Mini Me finishes the job .  . .

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HOTTEST . . . DEATH . . . SCENE . . . EVER!

Uh oh!  It looks like SOMEONE needs a bib . . .

Always Start Your Morning, By Washing Your “Baby Elephant” .  . .

“My, how you have grown, Little Brother . . . (and I’m not talking about your height).”

From Tennessee, we head back to Mystic Falls, where Mopey Sad Emo Music is playing, while Mopey Sad Elena stares out the window, longing for her long lost Hungry Hungry Hippo of a Boyfriend . . .

*sigh* “I’m so sad and lonely.  I haven’t had sex, since Damon screwed my brains out, two nights ago ALL SUMMER.  I wonder if it’s possible for one’s hymen to grow back, from lack of use  . . .”

 But don’t feel too bad for Elena.  There is hope for her, yet!  After all, she is wearing her Trusty Ponytail.  And whenever Ponytail Elena comes to town, fun times are never far behind . . .

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It becomes apparent that, in Useless Aunt Jenna’s absence, Elena has assumed the “motherly” role in the Gilbert household.  Immediately upon waking, Elena heads to a Holy-Crap-When-Did-He-Get-So-Buff, Almost-Death-Definitely-Becomes-Him Jeremy’s bedroom to wake him up for his new job at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls .  . .

“Dreaming about Vicki Anna my Bon Bon has given me a Bone Bone . . .”

Elena then heads downstairs to help Couch Surfing Chunky Monkey Alchy-ric make some coffee, as she chats on the phone with an overly perky Caroline, who, despite it obviously still being very early in the morning, is already laden down with shopping bags.   (Because, even though Mystic Falls only has one bar / social establishment, it is somehow awash in shopping malls.)

“Is this where you pour the vodka?” 

Since Caroline is meeting Future Sex Toy Tyler for Lunch, she doesn’t have much time to talk to the birthday girl.  So, she simply reminds her about the evenings party plans, and instructs her to call Lizard Forbes, who, apparently has a new tip for her about Stefan’s possible whereabouts.

So, of course, Ponytail Elena has to head directly to DAMON’S BEDROOM to tell him all about it, right? (hint, hint, wink, wink)  Unfortunately, for her, though, Damon isn’t there alone . . . He’s got a LADY FRIEND with him . .  . one that might look a bit familiar to some of you.  ME!  IT”S ME!  No it’s not.  😦  But, I wish it was . . .

“I’m BAAAACK!  (For another twenty minutes, anyway.)” 

So, remember how last season, Damon compelled Andie to go away, and never come back, when he got too overwhelmed with his feelings for Elena to continue the Crazy Compulsion Charade, he had going on with a certain local newscaster?  Yeah, well, so much for that.  Now, she’s back to wandering around La Casa de Rich and Awesome, like she owns the place, and commenting about Damon’s Bad Champagne Breakfast Habits, while he bathes in his Teeny Tiny Tub.  (Champagne Breakfast?  What happened to the Bourbon Breakfast?)

Chicks dig champagne. Bourbon is for the bros, yo!

Then again, the fact that Andie is able to sass Damon the way that she does in this scene — even going as far as to say that she is “not his slave” (Oh, if only she knew!) — illustrates that our Bad Boy may finally be growing up . . . orrrr . . . maybe not . . .

Immediately, upon hearing Elena enter his bedroom, Damon struts toward her, in all his naked glory, not so subtly giving her a peek at the Baby Elephant (with the massively LONG trunk) responsible for blowing bubbles all over his unmentionables . . .

“Here’s looking at YOU, Ponytail Elena.”

Elena tries to carry on a conversation with Damon about Stefan’s possible whereabouts, but, honestly, she seems a bit distracted .  . . And how could she not be when that Baby Elephant keeps waving his trunk at her, begging her to come and play . . .

“Not now, Little Elephant . . . I’m busy . . .” 

“Damon, we really have to find . . .you’re weiner  . .  . sooo big . .  . must . . . touch . .  . ummm . . . wait . . .What was I saying?” 

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“Hey Elena, my eyes are up here!”

Damon initially blows off Elena’s Hot Tip from Lizard Forbes About Stefan’s Whereabouts, claiming that it will probably be another stale lead, just like all the rest.  And yet, after she leaves, we see him put the piece of paper containing the tip on a BIG ASS STALKER BOARD in his closet, which is completely FILLED with similar “Where in the World is Stefan Salvatore?” clues.  Apparently, he, Andie, and Alaric have been on the case, all summer, without Elena’s knowledge.  And you just KNOW Ponytail Elena is not going to like that ONE BIT, when she finds out . . .

Meanwhile, over at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls . . .

Come to The Mystic Grill: Where the Food’s So Good, Even the Dead Can’t Stay Away . . .

“Oh crap!  I’m starting to itch.  I think Ghost Vicki just gave me Ghost Crabs.” 

“I’m sorry about that.  I think I got them from this guy named Casper.  They don’t call him the ‘Friendly Ghost’ for nothing.”

Newly Buff Jeremy is hanging out in the kitchen at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, chatting on the phone with his BonBon . . .

She apparently, spent the summer somewhere elsewhere (Hogwarts, perhaps?), though I’m honestly not sure where she would go, considering her grandma is already dead, and I’ve come to the conclusion that she doesn’t actually have parents.

Speaking of BonBon and JerBear, have you ever noticed that HALF of their relationship takes place on technological devices, like Skype and the iPhone?  How NERDY is that?  Even if Jeremy WASN’T hanging out with his dead ex-girlfriends all the time, I would take this as a BAD SIGN for the future of their relationship.  I mean, cyber sex is fun and all.  But it doesn’t exactly keep you warm at night, if you catch my drift . . .

“I’m magically sending you a blow job sex vibes through the phone, JerBear . . .” 

Jeremy apparently, hasn’t gotten around to telling Bonnie about his Ghosts of Girlfriends’ Past, probably because (1) it’s pretty much HER FAULT that he’s seeing them in the first place  (That’s what happens when you piss off Dead Witches, by asking them for help every five minutes); and (2) he doesn’t want her to feel guilty . . . or jealous.

Enter Matt the Grouch, who’s insisting that Jeremy take over his section, because he doesn’t want to serve soon-to-be lovebirds his former best friend Tyler, or his former girlfriend, Caroline, who are eyef*cking eachother so intensely at their table, that baby werevamps may very well be inches away from popping out of Caroline’s vampire uterus . . .

“Harder . . . harder Tyler, yes!”

“Was it as good for you, as it was for me?”

 Blatant eyesex aside, Caroline just CAN’T, for the life of her, understand why Tyler’s MOTHER would possibly think the two of them are DATING?  I mean, what on EARTH would give her THAT idea . . .

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“We’re practically f*&king together all the time, Caroline.  It’s not much of a leap,” explains Tyler with smirk, mixed with naughty thoughts, adoration, and longing.

As seems to be the norm on this show, we once again have a male character who’s caught on to the extent of his romantic feelings, more quickly than his female counterpart.  And the fact that a formerly, Wham Bam, Thank You Random Slut guy like Tyler loves Caroline enough, that he’s willing to spend the entire summer in the Supposed Friend Zone, just for the opportunity to be close to her, says an awful lot about how far he’s come since Season 1 . . .

Mommy LIKE! 

Speaking of a couple who  are trying to deny that they have the hots for one another, let’s check back in on Klaus and Stefan, shall we?

“Come with me, Stefan .  . . on a magical journey into my pants.” 

We’re Not in Seventh Heaven Anymore . . .

“Hey there, Stefan.  Can I just tell you, I’m a huge fan.  And I’m so honored to get to be a guest star on this wonderful show.  Wait. .  . you want me to WHAT?   STAND STILL, AND HAVE DARTS THROWN REPEATEDLY AT MY HEAD AND OTHER UNMENTIONABLE PARTS OF MY BODY?  That’s not cool!  Can’t I be the guy who has sex with Caroline, instead?”

So, apparently, that werewolf who Klaus and Stefan have been looking for all summer has a name, and that name is Ray.  Unfortunately, for “Ray,” I’m just going to call him Seventh Heaven Guy, because that’s who he will forever be to me . . .

Seriously, don’t you want to just pinch his cute little face right off?  (I know Stefan does . . .)

Apparently, Klaus has been having a REALLY difficult time finding werewolves to join his Little Werevamp Club, considering Stefan and Co. killed most of them, last season.  Seventh Heaven Guy seems like his only viable option.  So, Klaus would really like the hairy blonde to take him to his pack leader.

“Hey, don’t I know you from that TV show with the guy from Teen Wolf, and the girl who dated Justin Timberlake?”

Watching Klaus and Stefan attempt to “negotiate” with Seventh Heaven Guy, you really start to get a sense of their “team dynamic.”  Sure, Stefan is technically “working” for Klaus, but there’s also a little bit of a Mutual Admiration Society going on here.  While Klaus acts as the Brains and the Mouthpiece of the Operation, Stefan stands beside him as the Silent Enforcer, patiently waiting to strike the pair’s next unwitting victim.  In some sense, this makes Stefan more frightening than Klaus, because you never really know what’s going on behind those cold, hungry eyes of his . . .

Another interesting thing about this NEW incarnation of Stefan, he KICKS ASS at compulsion.  Back in the first two seasons of the show, we almost NEVER saw Stefan compel anybody.  That was always more Damon’s bag.  There were a couple of reasons for this.  The first, was that, while on his bunny diet, Stefan didn’t have the strength to be particularly successful at compulsion.

He MAY have compelled the bunnies, though . . . 

The second was that Stefan was always “the good brother.”  And “good brothers” don’t mind control . . .

And yet, here, we learn that Ripper Stefan has compelled an ENTIRE BAR not to help Seventh Heaven Guy, while he is being tortured!  Now, that’s impressive  .  . .

Almost as impressive as a Double De-Hearting.  (We miss you, Elijah!) 

Speaking of compulsion, Seventh Heaven Guy claims he can’t be compelled, which is interesting, to say the least.  Is Seventh Heaven Guy on vervain, or is there something about werewolves (like Tyler) that makes them immune to compulsion?  Klaus was able to compel the girls in the first scene, but it is uncertain whether those two were ACTUALLY werewolves, or just friends with one.  (I’m assuming the latter, since Klaus would have probably wanted them as part of his army TOO, if they were the former.)

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Anywhoo . . . Stefan decides to elicit the whereabouts of his pack from Seventh Heaven Guy, by playing a little game called Truth or Wolfsbane.  However, he ends up just randomly throwing darts at his head . . .  which shouldn’t be funny, but TOTALLY IS!

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I wonder how much harder you have to throw a dart to get it to stick in someone’s brain, like that.  Surely, that should be worth extra points, don’t you think?

Reverend Camden would NOT approve . . . 

 While he’s retrieving his darts from Seventh Heaven Guy’s face, we see a little glimpse of Stefan’s old humanity, when he overhears Klaus talking to a random bar wench about how Damon is following him, and must be stopped.  Though Stefan promises to “take care” of his brother, you can tell, based on the expression on his face, that he also wants to protect him from falling into Klaus’ clutches.  Klaus, slyly accepts Stefan’s offer, and turns his attention back to Seventh Heaven Guy, who has finally given him the information he needs.

Klaus then lays Seventh Heaven Guy, Jesus-Style, on a dirty bar table . . .

Inappropriate?

 Once he’s got him in this precarious position, Klaus proceeds to indoctrinate Seventh Heaven Guy into his Big Happy Werevamp family, by feeding him his blood . . .

It sure beats Breast Feeding! 

 . .  . and KILLING HIM!

So, basically, after the first Were Vamp is formed, via sacrifice, subsequent were vamps can be formed pretty much in the same way regular vampires are, except they have to drink a HYBRID’S blood, instead of just a regular vampires.  Of course, this begs the question about the OTHER two individuals who drank Klaus’ blood (Damon and Katherine), who were ALREADY undead when they drank.  Could THEY turn into were-vamps too?

Hmmm . .  . I wonder . .  . 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Tennessee (because, apparently, it’s like really close to Mystic Falls, Virginia .  . . or something) . . .

Have Blood, Will Travel . . . 

Stefan Salvatore: Turning Girls into Mr. Potato Head, One Dismembered Body Part at a Time .  . .

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“Hey Alaric, up for a game of soccer?”

Alaric and Damon arrive at RAG #1 and RAG #2’s house to find the two girls just chilling on the couch, waiting for Team Badass to arrive.  Then one of them gets so excited at the prospect of seeing Damon, that she loses her head.   (Wouldn’t you?)  Having spent eternity with his brother, Damon immediately recognizes this as Stefan’s Signature Kill.  Apparently, Ripper Stefan gets so hungry while he’s eating that he blacks out, and forgets what he’s doing . . .

Then, he wakes up, and feels guilty.   So, he decides to reassemble  all the body parts he previously ripped / ate off.  How chivalrous of him . . . but also kind of dull.  I mean, why just reattach the SAME head, to the SAME body, when you could MIX AND MATCH?

Psychopath Cannibal FAIL! 

Being the dutiful big bro, Damon kindly torches the house, to protect Stefan’s . . . umm . . . reputation or something?  (Then again, perhaps, he just knew RAG #1 and RAG#2 had a solid fire insurance policy?)

“It really is a shame to put this good head to waste.” 

Speaking of getting and giving head . .  .

“I hope you get lucky, tonight!”

You STOLE my balls, Care!  Give them back (or else, I’ll come over there and take them, by force)” 

Oh my goodness!  How WHIPPED is Tyler, that he actually allowed himself to get roped in to HELPING Caroline and Elena set up for the party?  (Caroline is officially my HERO!)  Elena mentions to her friends that she doesn’t think Damon is trying hard enough to find Stefan, at which point, Tyler can’t help but add his own two cents.  “Maybe he doesn’t WANT to find him?  I mean . . . he’s into you, right?  And you kissed him?  You probably messed with his head!”

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Now, I gotta say, as misplaced and inappropriate as that comment was (and we’ll get to that, in just a bit), Tyler has a point here!  Elena’s declaration that her smooch with Damon was a “goodbye kiss, without the “goodbye,” seems more than a little convenient, in light of recent events.  OF COURSE, it’s going to have an impact on Damon’s psyche that the woman he loves FINALLY made out with him, dying or not . . .  Then again, Damon IS, unbeknownst to Elena, searching for his brother, anyway  . . . so, perhaps, he’s just a bit more “evolved” than Tyler, who, as an only child (LIKE ME!) might not be able to quite grasp the notion of Brotherly Love . . .

Speaking of LOVE, Caroline is NOT TOO PLEASED with Tyler’s little gossipy comment  . . .

And I have to say, while I think it’s adorable that Caroline and Tyler have become close enough “girlfriends,” that Caroline feels free to gossip with him about stuff like this, if I was Elena, I’d be none too pleased with my best friend for sharing my PRIVATE SECRETS with her soon-to-be boyfriend.  Elena doesn’t seem too upset by it, though . . . which is oddly, un-Elena-like of her, don’t you think?  (Perhaps, the PONYTAIL has something to do with that?)

“My ponytail doesn’t care about secrets.  It just wants to f*ck Damon senseless PARTY!”

Speaking of boundaries, Caroline and Tyler, not only don’t seem to have them with Elena, they clearly don’t have any with ONE ANOTHER either.  Observe the candid nature of the pair’s conversation about Tyler’s decision to bring, “Slutty Sophie” (as Caroline calls her) to Elena’s party.  After all, Tyler explains, he’s pretty much been in a DRY SPELL, ALL SUMMER, because he’s spent most it painting Caroline’s toenails and braiding her hair, rather than getting himself laid  . . .

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Tyler’s not the only one who’s sexually frustrated.  Caroline’s crazed for weiner, as well!  And though the pair both chalk their newfound sexual urges up to “supernatural emotions,” I’d venture to guess it has much more with their both being victim to “normal teenage hormones” . . . not to mention the fact that they are . . . “both secretly in love with one another.” 😉

BAM . . . look who just got impregnated. 

Elsewhere, on the OVERWHELMING SEXUAL TENSION front . . .

“It’s Your Party, and You’ll Almost Kiss Damon Cry if You Want To.”

DAMON: “I’m going to pretend that I’m having trouble putting on your necklace, so that I can continue to blow on your neck, and sexily massage your shoulders.”

ELENA:  “And I’m going to lean backwards exaggeratedly, thereby making it much easier for you to ‘accidentally’ fondle my breasts.”

Elena is in Stefan’s room, for a change, getting ready for her party, when she sees Damon watching her through the mirror.  Though the Petrova Doppelganger is clearly, teary and emotional, she ruefully promises not to cry before they cut the cake.  “Hey, it’s your party, you can cry if you want to,” Damon jokes, with just the right amount of concern, sympathy, and lightheartedness . . .

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Damon notices a picture of Stefan and Elena on the dresser, immediately understands the effect it being their must have on Elena (Remember he TOO, is no stranger to pining for potentially lost causes.), and gently gripes about what a pack rat Stefan has become.  (This of course, is another difference between the brothers, since, aside from that MASSIVE SOAP DISH, Damon’s bedroom / bathroom suite is comparatively minimalist.)

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“Oh for Heaven sake!  Will you STOP bringing up the Soap Dish?”

The fact that Damon chose to “re-gift” to Elena the vervain necklace she had first received from Stefan to protect herself from DAMON, of all people, was incredibly sweet and meaninful.  Not only did it illustrate Damon’s understanding of Elena’s feelings for Stefan, it also called to mind the evolution of the DELENA  RELATIONSHIP.  After all, these two have a quite extensive history with that necklace . . .  For starters, there was the time back in Season 1, where Elena willingly took off the vervain necklace, to show Damon that he could trust her (and that she had come to trust him).

And, of course, who could forget the time Damon returned Elena’s necklace to her, in Season 2, only AFTER telling her that he loved her, for the first time, and compelling her to forget it . . .

I love how Elena ASKED Damon to put the necklace on for her, as opposed to the other way around.  I also love the way they stood in the mirror, after he did it, silently observing one another, with tension and longing . . .

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And I DEFINITELY love the way they CLEARLY almost kissed, when Damon first gave her the necklace, and how they bravely walked to the party, arm-in-arm together,  after the gift exchange . . .

ELENA: “My, what big lips you have, Damon!” 

DAMON: “The better to suck your face with, Elena.”

Geez! Do you think I used the word LOVE enough in this section? 😉

Speaking of love, there’s yet another new bromance in town . . .  (Am I noticing a pattern here?)

High Times with Matt and Jeremy (Drunk Times with Alaric and Damon)

First off, I want to say how INCREDIBLY lame it is that Elena’s so-called Bestie, Bonnie, couldn’t even be bothered to make it to her 18th birthday.  FRIEND FAIL!

Oh, WIPE YOUR NOSE! 

Beyond that, Elena’s birthday party was AWESOME!  They don’t have NEARLY enough ragers, in Mystic Falls, in my opinion.  I mean, sure, we’ve seen dances, and movie nights, memorials, and fundraisers.  But these kids are in HIGH SCHOOL for crying out loud.  And what’s high school, without a good old fashioned KEGGAR!  It was really cool to see these uptight supes let loose, for once.

I mean, we get to see Damon and Alaric drink ALL THE TIME!

But watching Elena grab Damon’s cup of bourbon, right out of his hand and chug it down . . .

 .  . . when he wouldn’t let ANYONE ELSE touch his stash . . .

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 . . . watching Caroline chug wine straight from a bottle (more on her, later), and watching an unusually laidback Matt bond with Jeremy over some quality reefer, was just SUPER SATISFYING on so-many levels.  I mean, you can’t battle evil ALL THE TIME, right?

But, since we ARE on the subject of evil . . .

Dead Times with Sex Toy Andie

We knew Stefan was going to have to find a way to “take care” of Damon, in order to prevent Klaus from taking matters into his own hands.  But I don’t think many of us save those who figured it out from the trailers figured his manner of “taking care” of his brother would be this drastic . . .

We randomly find ourselves in the Mystic Falls news room, where Sex Toy Andie is working late, once again.  Suddenly, a light shines in her face, and Stefan materialized before her.  What’s kind of sad is how HAPPY she is to see Stefan, since, she of course, remembers him as the GOOD BROTHER . . .  Then he gets all veiny on her, and she’s probably considering suggesting some Botox options . . .

Enter Damon, who’s clad in blue, while Stefan is clad in his older brother’s trademark black . . .

He’s just received a phone call from Elena, who, after having been told by Caroline that she’s “letting her life pass her by,” finally FOUND his Stefan Stalker Stash.  And she is NOT PLEASED AT ALL!

“Wow, Damon has kind of girly handwriting.”

“Gotta go break up beer bong!” Damon snarks, in an exaggeratedly high pitched voice, that is one step above doing that thing where you blow into the phone and pretend there’s a bad connection, when you don’t want to talk to someone.  (Not that I’ve ever done that, of course.)

Anywhoo, BLACK-CLAD BADASS Stefan approaches Damon, with the words, “Hello Brother,” a nice throwback to Damon’s first words in the pilot . . .

The pair chat amiably for a bit about Stefan’s binge-eating, and Mr. Potato Head creation tendencies.  But Stefan is cold, stiff, and immobile, kind of like a dead guy . . . or undead guy, rather.  He’s not even moved by the mention of Elena, when, usually the mere utterance of her name is enough to spiral the “Good Brother” into hysterics .  . .

And that’s when EVVVVILL Stefan reveals his Big Take Care of Damon magic trick.  With a flourish of his hands, Stefan shows Damon a crying compelled Andie, who is shaking and crying, high above the two brothers on the rafters . . .

A surprisingly frantic Damon, tells her not to move.  Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on your feelings about the Sex Toy), Stefan has the compelled the news reporter to do just that.  And so Andie bungee jumps without a chord from the rafters, as Stefan pushes his brother up against a wall, so that he can’t catch her . . .

Sure, the scene was sad.  But, you must admit, that Damon’s face in this picture is HILARIOUS! 

I had always suspected that Damon had come to respect and care about Andie as more than a sex toy / slave.  But it really became apparent, when he leaned dejectedly over her broken and dead body, unable to do anything but say goodbye .  .  . both to his sort-of girlfriend, and his brother’s humanity . . .

 R.I.P. Andie!  Here’s a small tribute to your memory . . .

OK . . . so that was more of a tribute to Damon.  But HEY, it’s the thought that counts, right?

On a MUCH, MUCH lighter note . . .

Speaking of Sex Toys . . .

Bland-But-Slightly -More-Tolerable-When-He’s-Stoned Matt tries to flirt with Caroline, and is abruptly SHOT DOWN!

(Try not to take it personally, Matt.  Jer Bear still loves you!) 

As it turns out, Caroline’s WAY to busy being jealous of Slutty Sophie’s humping of Tyler on the dance floor to give two craps about her ex-beau . . .

Wow, who knew Tyler was so good at Dance Floor Humpage?  VERY impressive! 

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(Clearly, Caroline agrees with me.)

Tyler and Caroline get into a heated argument, after Caroline jealously compels Slutty Sophie to leave the party, therby MAJORLY cockblocking Tyler . . . then again, maybe not.  “If I shouldn’t be dating, all you have to do is say something . . . because I’m not about to get shot down again,” argues Tyler.

And so, just like with their epic first kiss, their second one, begins with an argument about “feelings,” turns into a wall slam, and then, BAM: mouth-f*&king!

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Horny as hell, and not-yet-quite adventurous enough to start having sex right on the floor of La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Caroline and Tyler escape back to Tyler’s bedroom, which, in hindsight, might have been their first big mistake of the evening.  Not that it matters, at the moment, though.  Because right now, Caroline and Tyler are having sex . . . supernatural .  . . super speedy . . . sexy .  . . grunty .  . . groany . .  . moany . . . rough sex.  And life is VERY GOOD!

 

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Life is significantly LESS good for Damon, who is having a VERY bad day . . .

Foreplay Tough Love for Damon and Elena . . .

“You’ve got some ‘splaining to do, Mister!  (Like why the heck didn’t you put all this crap on a computer?  What is this  . . . 1864?)”

Still raw from his run-in with his brother, and the loss of Sex Toy Andie, a not-drunk-enough Damon hobbles back into his room to find Elena (SURPRISE!) dangerously close to his bed. 😉

She’s FURIOUS with Damon for keeping his search for Stefan from her, and understandably so.  But, really, your heart has to go out to Damon in this moment.  Because Damon was always the guy who got to be blase about Elena’s feelings, because he was the one KEEPING HER ALIVE.

Up until now, Damon got to leave all the “emotional stuff” to STEFAN, like, for example, that time when he let Elena think Bonnie had died, so that KLAUS would believe it too.  Damon was OK with being the “Bad Guy,” because he knew he was doing the right thing, and that Stefan would be there to “comfort” Elena, where he couldn’t.  But now, Damon is stuck playing both Elena’s CONFIDANTE and PROTECTOR, and it’s weighing heavily on his conscience.  He DOESN’T want to ruin Elena’s memories of Stefan, no matter how much that might help him in the “getting laid” department . . .

And while the OLD Damon would have rejoiced in telling Elena that Saint Stefan, wasn’t so saintly anymore, the NEW protective Damon is wracked with guilt for the part he feels he’s played in Stefan’s return to the darkside, and how much he knows it will hurt Elena to know what her first love has become.  But still, she needs to know.  And so, he tells her . . .

“Those are not Klaus’ victims, they’re Stefan’s.  He’s left a trail of bodies, up and down the Eastern Seabord.  He’s flipped the switch, Elena.  So, stop looking for him . . . Stop waiting for him.  He’s NOT coming back . . . not in your lifetime.”

Once again, after delivering a speech like this, the OLD Damon would have just stormed out of the room, without a second thought, because THAT would be all that was required to “keep Elena alive.”  But we see Damon hesitate here, as Elena’s eyes begin to tear up.  He stops and reaches out, as if to hug Elena, but ultimately, things better of it and leaves . . .

And it’s an awful moment for the two of them, who are both missing Stefan, for their own reasons, and can’t quite bring themselves to reach out to one another, when they need eachother most . . .

So, of course, Damon responds to these newfound emotions by angrily trashing Stefan’s over-furnished bedroom.  (Now, THAT’S the dark, self-destructive Damon we know and love! ;))

Meanwhile, outside the party (if you could still call it that . . .) . . .

Chunky Monkey?  (Nahh . . . It’s Just Stoned Matt.)

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So, I’ve decided I wouldn’t have despised Matt nearly as much last season, if he was HIGH more often.  High Matt is HILARIOUS!  And I loved the Stoner Comedy Bromance of High Jeremy trying to drive High Matt home, and HIGH Matt inadvertently sitting on Ghost Vicki’s head, when he did so . . .

“I think my brother just farted on me.” 

And yes, yes, I know it was supposed to be all “creepy” and “scary” how Vicki ominously begged for Jeremy to HELP HER, and Anna stared stonily at him from outside his car.

But honestly, I found this storyline to be more comic relief, than anything else.  Particularly, when Matt came back to Jeremy’s house, after the party, to eat all of Alaric’s Chunky Monkey . . .

“You know, Useless Aunt Jenna always used to eat Alaric’s Chunky Monkey too . . . he didn’t seem to mind.”

CHUNKY MONKEY!!!!!!

 . . . and Jeremy tried to confide in Matt about the whole, “I see dead people” thing, . . .

 . . . and Matt pretty much chalked Jeremy’s visions up to loneliness and BAD WEED.  But, honestly, wouldn’t you, if you lived ANYWHERE ELSE BESIDES MYSTIC FALLS?

MATT:  “Don’t YOU wanna get WITH this?  Have I mentioned, I’m single?”

JEREMY:  “Yes, about 18 times.  And in the car, on the way home, you SANG it.”

A Plain Old Walk of Shame is Looking Pretty Good Right Now, Isn’t it Caroline?

Sometimes, karma can be a b*tch.  Like when you plan to sneak off on your new Boy Toy, while he’s still asleep, in order to avoid a “potentially awkward conversation.”

And your new Boy Toy’s mom comes in, and randomly shoots you with what looks like a Toy Gun from the movie Star Wars . . .

“Ummm . . . Tyler . . . I hate to break it to you considering we just f*&ked and all but I think your Mom is secretly Darth Vader.”

*breathes heavily* “Ty-ler . . . I am your Mo-ther.”

“You have a Collect Call from Ripper Stefan.  Do You Accept the Charges?  (Because if you don’t, he’ll eat you.)”

Some happy birthday, Elena has had!  After the party, she comes back to her kitchen to find Alaric bailing.  Because, you know, sitting around completely wasted at a party while underage kids drink and have sex, either makes you the WORST or the COOLEST chaperone ever, I can’t decide which.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, Alchy-ric!  I mean, hey, you were a WAY better guardian than Useless Aunt Jenna!  At least you never let evil supernatural creatures who wanted to kill me into the house!  That’s a definite plus next to your name!” 

Alaric tells Elena that she can do a better job raising herself, and Jeremy, without him.  And while that might be true, I still think it was kind of lame of him to ditch her on her birthday, especially in light of all that had happened, during this episode . . .

But don’t worry, Ric, I’m sure I’ll love you again tomorrow . . . and the day after that .  . . and the day after that .  . .

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(I’m not sure I’m entirely digging your new, “I’m Depressed” Hairdo though . . . You might want to get that checked out by a stylist . . .)

“I’m way too engrossed in my “Man Pain,” to engage in normal hygiene procedures, like showering, shaving and stuff . . .Maybe, I’ll consider doing those things, if I ever get another non-vampire girlfriend again . . .”

In the final moments of the episode, Elena heads upstairs to find a hand-drawn artistic card from Jeremy (Nice touch remembering he has Mad Art Skillz, Writers!), right next to Elena’s trademark stuffed teddy bear . . .

I’d sleep with them BOTH! 

Then, she ALMOST misses a call from Stefan the Mouth Breather, but manages to pick it up . . .

 

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For the past two seasons, TVD fans have been forever searching for signs of Damon’s humanity.  And, I suspect, this season will be about watching for the signs of the RETURN of Stefan’s.  The fact that Elena’s reminder to him that she still LOVES HIM, brings him to tears, tells us that he hasnt TOTALLY given in to his vampiric impulses  . . . yet . . .

Of course, on the other hand, if Stefan’s love for his brother, and his reassurance of Elena’s love for HIM are all that’s keeping him from going FULL RIPPER, what would happen if BOTH of those individuals ended up betraying his love .  . . together?

Ripper Stefan is at a precipice right now.  He could really go either way.  And Klaus’ prediction that, with each kill, Stefan will find it easier and easier to let go of his humanity, might very soon prove to be prophetic . . .

And there you have it folks . . . the Season 3 Premiere of TVD in a VERY LARGE nutshell . . . SOOOOO .  . . tell me . . . what did you think? 😉

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Sookie in Wonderland – A Recap of True Blood’s Season 4 Premiere “She’s Not There”

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You’re not dreaming, my fellow Fangbangers!  True Blood is back on your television, and it’s weirder, wackier, more bizarre, and — if that final scene was any indication — SEXIER than ever!

Season 4’s premiere episode definitely had a different feel than the three seasons premieres preceding it.  Unlike the last two season openers, which began almost immediately, after the prior seasons ended, “She’s Not There” took a page out of the Sookie Stackhouse Book Series, in that it takes place ONE WHOLE YEAR after the Season 3 finale.  This gives the viewer, who ALSO hasn’t been to Bon Temp in about a year, the feeling that he or she watching the episode take place in “real time,” so to speak.

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“If we drive fast enough (and don’t stop for gas . . . ahem), we can make it home in time for the season premiere.”

Another “page” Alan Ball took out of the books this time around, was its narrative perspective.  One of the main differences between the Sookie Stackhouse BOOKS and True Blood is that, while the former is written in Sookie’s voice (shrill, as it may sometimes be) . . .  the latter is told from a third-person omniscient standpoint, allowing the viewer to see and know plenty of things that Sookie doesn’t.  Here, however, because both Sookie AND the viewer have been gone for a year, we’ve ALL been left in the dark, as to what’s been happening in Bon Temps, while we’ve been away.  As a result, throughout the first episode, we are learning all the CRAZY, SOMETIMES RIDICULOUSLY OUT OF CHARACTER, changes Sookie’s friends have undergone this past year, right along with Sookie, herself.  And most of the time, it leaves us just as confused as she is . . .

Given all these aforementioned book / television similarities, it might surprise you to know that, based on the premiere episode, Season 4 of True Blood might end up being the season that takes the BIGGEST departure from the book series yet.  And the best example of that is probably the COMPLETELY wackadoodle manner in which the episode begins . . .

“I see Queen Mab hath been with you, Sookeh!”

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“Why do I feel like I just walked into a commercial for feminine products?”

Coming into the episode, most of us Fangbangers had already seen the extremely controversial first eight minutes of this episode, as HBO had (unwisely?) released it to fans a few weeks before the series premiere.  I’ll come right out of the gate, and tell you I wasn’t particularly thrilled with it.  While I understand the writers might have seen this as the best way to keep Sookie out of commission for a year, while drawing on an element of the True Blood mythology we haven’t learned much about yet, I just found the scene itself strange, oddly derivative (the Lotus Eaters and Romeo and Juliet references were eyeroll inducing) . . .

 . . .  and sorely lacking the fun, humor, creativity, sexuality, and camp, we have come to expect from True Blood.

*takes deep breath*  OK . . . now that I got that off my chest, let’s frolic a bit in Fairyland, shall we?

When we last left Sookie, she was running in the forest, when Fairy Girl Claudine beamed her up into Fairy World . . .

You can fly.  You can fly.  You can FLYYYYYYYY!

As I mentioned earlier, at first blush, Fairyland looks like a cross between Ancient Greece and a Tampon Commerical.   Sookie and Claudine arrive there in a flash of light, and everybody applauds.  (They probably think Vampire Eric or Jason will follow behind them.  Unfortunately, they don’t . . .I don’t know about the fairies, but if I was there, I’d probably feel majorly ripped off.)

 Claudine then informs Sookie that she is her Fairy Godmother.  Of course, Sookie, being Sookie, is not shy about telling her “new friend” how much she sucks at her job.  Given all the crap Sookie has been through during the past three seasons, fans are inclined to agree with her assessment.

Next time, try hiding her in a pumpkin.”

While in Fairyland, Sookie runs into good ole’ Barry the Bellhop.  Remember him?  The dweeby fellow mindreader she met in Dallas during Season 2?  Apparently, he’s part fairy too.  But honestly, I was so mesmerized by the hot piece of man meat who functions as HIS fairy godmotherfather? that I wasn’t paying attention to poor Barry at all .  . .

Apparently, Sookie was in the bathroom, during the Fairy Godmother selection process . . .

Barry starts blabbing to Sookie about how TOTALLY RAD Fairyland is, as its the only place that doesn’t make him feel like a “Total Freak.”  (Umm . . . hate to break it to you, Barry.  Your best friend is a Fairy Godmother, who wears a loin cloth and a sparkly gold vest.  You’re kind of a Total Freak, anyway.)  When Sookie asks Barry how long he’s been in Fairyland, he says he “just got there,” a statement we will come to question in just a few more minutes . . .

As the two are talking, Sookie notices that all the fairies are handing out these strange glowing lotus flowers fruits called Lumineres(?), and all the humans are mindlessly gorging themselves on them.  This sends off warning bells in Skeptical Sookie’s head, and she holds on to hers, without taking a bite.  Meanwhile, Sookie encounters another familiar face Gary Cole Grandaddy Earl, and, by golly, he hasn’t aged a bit since Sookie last saw him. (Gasp!  Maybe he’s a VAMPIRE!)

He did manage to get rid of those pesky squiggly lines around his head though . . .

Granddaddy Earl is SUPER surprised to see Sookie looking all grown-up and sporting boobies, considering he was just at her seventh birthday party.  “That was twenty years ago, Grandaddy!”  Sookie exclaims.

“HUH!” Grandaddy Earl says.  “But I JUST GOT HERE!”  (See what I mean?  Who KNOWS how long Barry the Bellhop has been hanging out with Conan the Hot-barian?)

Now, if you thought THAT conversation was awkward, wait until you see what Sookie has to tell Grandaddy next . . .

“I’m sorry Granddaddy, but that ugly shirt you’re wearing wasn’t even in style, 20 years ago.”

Granddaddy wants to know if his wife, Adele, had a “PEACEFUL” death  . . .

 

Ummm . . .

“She died peaceful,” replies Sookie.  (No sense reopening old bludgeonings, right?)

Considering that Granddaddy Earl, like Sookie, is seemingly capable of mind reading (guess, in the TV series, at least, he is part-fairy too), you would think he might have pulled the above gory image out of Sookie’s brain.  But, fortunately, for him, he didn’t.  Sookie is able to use their mutual mind-reading powers to tell him that Fairyland is a trap, and that they have to leave.  The problem?  ALL FAIRIES HEAR WHAT SHE IS THINKING!

Enter the Big Bad Fairy Queen . .  .

Her name is Queen Mab . . . like in Shakespeare?  (Lame . . . I know.)  Anyway, apparently, she’s a little pissed at Sookie for that time when Vampire BEEEL accidentally got stuck in Fairyland, after chasing Sookie there, last season.

Now, she wants to close off the portal between Fairyland and Humanland, so her fairies will finally stop f*&king humans, and making fairy / human hybirds, like Barry, Sookie, and Granddaddy Earl.  Oh yeah . . . she’s also keeping the hybrid humans in Fairyland so she can .  . . HARVEST THEM?

Well, Sookie, for one, is not down with this harvesting sh*t!  And she doesn’t want to eat any stupid lotus flowers glowing fruit, either.  So,  she tosses the fruit on the floor.  And somehow, this action, causes the TRUE Fairyland to emerge from the Tampon Commercial Version.

 

When did I stop watching True Blood, and start watching The Walking Dead?

So, fairies are apparently SUPER ugly in real life.  And Queen Mab is THE UGLIEST OF ALL!

Coincidentally, this is sort of what I look like in the morning, before I put on my makeup . . .

Sookie shoots her magic glow fingers at Queen Mab, which, oddly enough, considering you would think ALL the fairies had glow fingers, seems to work.  Then her and Grandaddy Earl start running away from Fairyland, as the rest of the fairies throw bolts of light in their direction.  As they are running they meet Claudine’s brother, Claude, who claims to genuinely want to help them, escape, and keep the portal between HumanLand and Fairyland open.  In the books, Claude is described as breathtakingly gorgeous.


Ahhhh . . . did I miss something here?

“Hot” Claude, Granddaddy and Sookie continue to run together until they reach a metaphoric fork in the road  . . .

OK . . .  maybe it’s not so metaphorical.

Claude tells Sookie that Queen Mab is closing off the portal (possibly for good).  So, if Sookie wants out, she’s going to have to jump.  And because, ONLY SHE, and NOT Granddaddy Earl refrained from eating the lotus flower Luminere (?) fruit, she’s going to have to jump alone.  Sookie hesitates initially, because . . . well . . . that doesn’t look so safe.  But, fortunately, Granddaddy Earl pushes her down the “Rabbit Hole,” ignoring Claude’s warnings, by going along for the ride . . .

As the pair “land” back in the cemetery, both Bill and Eric awaken simultaneously, upon sensing Sookie’s presence on Earth, once again .  . .

Wake up, Eric!  Your future F*&k Buddy has arrived!  (And, no, unfortunately, I’m not talking about myself.)

Sadly for Granddaddy Earl, his decision to leave Fairyland has resulted in his imminent death, but not before he gives Sookie his pocket watch, as a gift for Jason.  Earl disappears from Sookie’s life, literally.  And she is forced to mourn his passing yet again.  It all makes for an odd, strange, and sad first ten minutes of the episode.

But fear not Fangbangers, things are about to get better . . .

Cuff Me, Police Officer Jason!  (Preferably to a bed . . . and YOU.)

“You are under arrest.  Up against the wall and SPREAD EM!”

Sookie arrives home to find her house all fixed up and fancy.  Apparently, it’s undergoing renovations, and the contractor performing them, refuses to believe she LIVES THERE.  In fact, he’s so sure she doesn’t that he CALLS THE COPS ON HER ASS.  Thinking absolutely nothing of the fact that her HOUSE HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED, Sookie sits down at her kitchen table, reads the inscription from Adele on her grandpa’s pocket watch, and cries, in a manner highly reminiscent of her Season 1 breakdown, after Adele’s funeral.

Then the cops come . . . or should I say the SUPER HOT COP comes . . .

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OK . . . now I know that last season, Jason was riding around in cop cars, following Andy around, and genuinely wanting to be a police officer.  He even took the cop exam, for crying out loud!  But forgive me for thinking that the only time we would ever actually see Jason in a cop uniform would be as a stripper at a bachelorette party . . .

So, color me surprised to find out that Jason (and his SUPER TIGHT POLICE PANTS) has been called to Sookie’s house, while  on duty, to investigate a trespassing call.  Sookie is pretty shocked too, and even more shocked to learn that Jason PUT HER HOUSE UP FOR SALE, because she’s been gone for TWELVE MONTHS!

Time flies when you’re hanging out with the flipping fairies, I guess!  At first, Jason doesn’t exactly believe Sookie’s explanation as to where she’s been all this time.  (He’d always kind of been convinced that Bill killed her.)  However, Jason eventually comes around when Sookie gives him the pocketwatch from Granddaddy.   And suddenly, this show has gone from Tampon Commercial, to The Walking Dead, to Alice in Wonderland, to a Hallmark Commercial, and we aren’t even past the 15-minute mark yet . . .

“This is exhausting!  I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through the rest of this episode.  You know what would help though?  SEX WITH ERIC!”

Speaking of the  Beautiful Viking Vampire (and that Other One) .  . .

“I Never Gave Up Hope (that we would some day get to reenact the shower scene from Book 4)

“Beat it, Beeeeel!  This is MY season!”

Sookie’s and Jason’s kind of maudlin, would be way more interesting if Jason was shirtless during it touching heart-to-heart is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Vampire Bill (a.k.a. Beeeeeeeeel) on her doorstep . . .

Beel is all needy and apologetic.  “Oh, how I’ve missed you.  I haven’t felt your presence in a year.  I’ve been empty without you.  Now, people can finally stop saying I killed you.  I’m so sorry I hurt you, blah, blah, blah . . .”

You are putting everybody to sleep, BEEL!

Fortunately, Eric arrives on Sookie’s porch to spice things up . . . 

Not yet . . . BUT SOON!

Unlike BEEL, Eric never doubted that Sookie would one day return to his bed Bon Temps.  “I never gave up hope,” he says.  “Understand this . . . everyone who claims to love you: your friends, your brother, even Bill Compton, gave up on you.  I never did.”

It’s an AWESOME opening speech for Mr. Northman.  And Bill can’t help but look guilty as he says it, knowing full well that what he’s saying is true.   Even Sookie, though she tries to hide it, seems affected by the speech.  Then again, maybe she is just remembering ANOTHER sexually intense encounter she had with Eric on this very same porch, just last year . . .

Enter Andy Bellefleur . . .

He’s EXTREMELY ANGRY at Sookie for wasting Bon Temp’s finest’s time searching for her, while she was presumed dead.  Vampire Bill, who’s in the doghouse enough as it is, tries to cover for Sookie, claiming she was away on “Vampire Business” . . .

.  . . which only seems to make things worse for both of them.  After everybody leaves the porch, Sookie tells Bill that, even though a year has passed in Humanland, little time has passed in Sookiehead.  Therefore, the wounds of learning that Bill MANIPULATED SOOKIE INTO FALLING IN LOVE WITH HIM, IN ORDER TO GET HER TO DO QUEEN SOPHIE ANNE’S BIDDING are still quite fresh.  Sorry Beel!  No more graveyard sex, for you . . .

Also in this scene, we learn that (1) Andy and Jason are now partners; (2) Andy has been taking V for “medicinal” purposes to help heal his broken arm; and (3) he’s apparently developed a nasty addiction to the stuff.  After so many seasons of seeing Andy “father” the often naive and immature Jason, it was intriguing to see the tables turned, for a change.

After all, if ANYBODY knows what it’s like to be addicted to V, it’s Jason Stackhouse . . .

Remember the Unfortunate Priapism Incident of Season 1?


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Jason does!

Speaking of bromance . . .

Where Old Air Fresheners Go to Die . . .

There’s been somewhat of a mixed response on the message boards, regarding Lafayette’s NEW ‘DO.  Some think it’s “super sexy.”  I think it makes him look like Mr. T . . .

I pity the fool, who tries to rock this look.”

A year may have passed.  However, Lafayette (or, as I like to call him, My Laffy Taffy . . . or Laffy, for short) and Jesus are still going strong.  But trouble for the couple is looming on the horizon, as Jesus becomes increasingly insistent on Laffy “embracing his witchy roots” and joining Jesus’s coven.  Lafayette reluctantly agrees to go . . . but only for five minutes.  “Ten, if they got drinks,” he adds.  (I KNEW I LIKED THIS GUY, FOR A REASON!)

The coven meeting place reminds me of one of those stores in the mall, where they sell bongs, and peace signs t-shirts.  It’s dank, and dark, and looks like it smells of incense, mildew, and body odor.  The stench of the place emmanates from your television screen.  No wonder Lafayette remarks that this is a place where air fresheners go to die . . .

There are hugs all around, as Jesus introduces Lafayette to the rest of the Motley witch crew.  One of the coven members, is Holly, who you may remember from last season as the Witchy Waitress who tried to perform a spell to kill Arlene’s unborn Devil Baby.  And we all know how well THAT worked out . . .

I sure hope you are better at serving burgers than doing this . . .

The “head” of this coven is a frumpy, doubty, scatterbrained, 50ish coot, named Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter “Marnie.”

Definitely a Deatheater!

Marnie starts moaning, mumbling, chanting, and pretty much looking like your run-of-the-mill Faux Psychic Carnival Kook.  However, things take a turn for the weird / unusual / mildly confusing, when she starts calling out for our Laffy, claiming to be Vampire Eddie from Season 1.  She offers Mohawk Man a rose, and pretty much just shamelessly hits on him, in a way that only Vampire Eddie could . . .

Remember me?

Lafayette is understandably freaked out by the whole “Eddie” thing, but still fairly skeptical of Marnie’s Magical Powers.  In fact, he’s pretty much convinced that Jesus set up the whole thing.  The problem, of course, is that Jesus didn’t know anything about Vampire Eddie. 

I don’t guys, if I were you, I’d stick to the Ouiji Board . . .

Speaking of Dangerous Games . . .

Decapitating Barbies, Mutilating Animals, and Other Signs Your Kid Might Be Evil

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Arlene comes home from work to find Baby Mikey sitting on the floor amidst a whole boatload of headless Barbie dolls.  (How creative?)  This only seems to confirm for Arlene that her Baby is Serial Killer Rene Reincarnated.

Terry, who was in the bathroom, while his infant son was busy murdering the entire Mattel family, doesn’t think there is anything wrong with his son’s new hobby.  “When I was a kid I used to put squirrel heads on lizards,” he remarks helpfully.

Ummm . . . yeah . . . that’s kind of /sort of A LOT WORSE than pulling the heads off Barbie dolls, isn’t it? 

It’s always the quiet ones you have to worry about.  (Then again, maybe it’s just the quiet ones, who come with Warning Labels.)

I must admit, I laughed uproariously when Terry told Arlene that her baby HAD to be good, if it had part of HER DNA in it.  Really, Terry?  Because, last I checked, Arlene was a pretty darn awful person . . . racist, self-absorbed, narrow-minded, obnoxious, a kind of lousy mom .  . . Do I need to continue?  At least, Rene was SMART.  (I mean he faked that really cool accent for an entire season, didn’t he?)

Speaking of taking heads off ladies . . .

Tara Thornton Kicks Ass, Takes Names . . . Changes Teams?

After having been beaten down by her own mother, possessed by a maenad, emotionally destroyed by the death of her first love, and abused by Crazy Train Vampire Franklin . . .

. . . Tara kind of went off the rails a bit, at the end of Season 3.  The last time we saw her, she had chopped off all her hair, and was heading out of Bon Temps to Parts Unknown.  When we see Tara again, she is fighting in a cage match, and beating the stuffing out of some chick named Naomi. 

Apparently, all this beating is a HUGE turn on for Tara (yeah, because THAT’S not unhealthy at all), because, in the next scene, we see her making out hard core with SAME girl she was beating senseless before . . .

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While the pair are making out, some drunk pervy creeper in a long trench coat, propositions them for sex.  Naomi wants to immediately kick his ass, but TARA STOPS HER, and calmly tells the guy off. 

For me, the fact that Tara is able to calmly talk to ANYBODY is WAY more shocking than her newfound interest in the ladies.  In a later sex scene between the two toned chicas, we learn that Tara has lied to Naomi about her past.  She now goes by the androgynous name of “Toni,” and claims to hail from Atlanta.  After Lafayette texts her to let her know that Sookie is back in town, she fibs to Naomi that her grandmother just died.  Then, when Naomi tells her she should go “home” to be with her family, Tara refuses, arguing that she is better off where she is now.  She then returns to the task of fondling Naomi’s large (but miraculously still perky) boobs .  . .

How to Make an Omelete – Vampire Style

The Honeymoon Period is clearly over for lovebirds, Hoyt and Jess.  She seems bored and listless.  He’d rather hug creepy bald dolls in front of the television after work, than have sex with his hot vampire girlfriend.  Hoyt complains to Jessica that there is never any food in the house, because she never cooks for him.  As someone who’s idea of “cooking,” is poking a hole in the plastic wrap on my Lean Cuisine, before popping it in the microwave, I’m TOTALLY on Team Jess for this one. 

It is seriously not fair, how flawless she looks.  It makes the rest of us females look like . . . Queen Mab.

Jess reminds Hoyt that, as a vampire, she finds food gross, and, oddly enough, dead.  To her, going to the Piggly Wiggly is like going to the morgue.  (I’d probably feel that way too, if my local grocery store was actually called the Piggly Wiggly.)  Hoyt responds with, what I think, is an unnecessarily low blow, by telling her that he thinks her biting him and sucking his blood is equally gross, but he deals with it.

OK Hoyt . . . just so we’re clear . . . getting love bites from your supermodel girlfriend is SEXY AS HELL, and don’t you forget it!

Nonetheless, Jessica responds by agreeing to make Hoyt some scrambled eggs.  And by “make some scrambled eggs,” I mean she angrily breaks an entire carton of eggs over a frying pan (making sure to leave in all the shells), stirs it furiously, and plops it on a plate in front of her honey.  Now, I’ve been mad at Hoyt for the past few minutes.  But he earns major points for me by ACTUALLY EATING THE SLOP off his plate!

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The brazen stunt must have won points with Jess too, because, before you know it, the two are laughing uproariously over the broken eggs.

“Am I the only one who finds that personally offensive?”

In other Diplomacy News . . .

“We always look forward to serving humans . . . and I don’t mean for dinner.”

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Apparently, Russell Edgington has gone and given Southern vampires a bad name.  Gee, I wonder why . . .

Head of the Vampire council, Nan Flanaghan, is determined to do some damage control, and that means requiring prominent vampires in the community to reassure humans that they will not punch their fists through their back, and rip out their hearts, just because THEY CAN. 

Nan puts Pam on camera first.  However, since the latter isn’t exactly Miss Congeniality, the PSA comes off as a bit stale and phony.  (By the way, anyone notice a bit of love/hate sexual tension between Pam and Nan?  I’m sensing a hookup later this season!)  Fortunately, Nan has other ideas, regarding how to put a better “face” on vampirism.  “He’s who I want,” remarks Nan, pointing at Eric.  (Don’t we all, Nan.  Don’t we all!)

With a boatload of confidence and a sexy swagger to boot, Eric playfully removes Pam’s microphone from her neck, flicks her hair, and takes her place on the hot seat . . .

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Eric expertly plays to the masses, calling himself a taxpaying small business owner (not a politician), who understands humans, because he used to be one.  He then promises to continue to serve humans at Fangtasia . . . but not for dinner.  It’s a great speech, and Eric’s sexy smile at the end, seals the deal.  How ANYBODY could hate vampires, after spending three minutes staring at Eric Northman’s face is beyond me.  (I couldn’t even remember my name, by the time he was done.)

Meanwhile, Vampire Bill was making a similar stump speech for the older, more conservative crowd, in Bon Temps.  His speech, appealed to their sense of history, their fear of change, and their desire to stick to the status quo.  It was Southern Gentleman Bill at his most boring best.  One not-so-old person who seemed to genuinely enjoy Vampire Bill’s speech was Portia Bellefleur.  Andy’s sister just so happens to be a local attorney, and head of the chamber of commerce.  Throughout the entire speech, she was eye f*&king Vampire Bill so hard, I thought she would give birth to vampire babies right there in the audience.

Oooh . . . tell me more about the Civil War, Vampire Bill!  It is SO SEXY!”

Our suspicions about a possible romantic involvement between Portia and Bill are confirmed, when Portia meets with Sookie later to help her get her house back from the company that has been prepping it for sale.  During the conversation, Sookie reads Portia’s thoughts, and they are basically one continuous string of “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL.”

To each her own, I guess . . .

Speaking of men, who may have temporarily moved on from trying to get into Sookie Stackhouse’s panties . . .

Sam Merlotte – Mad Like a Bull, Hung Like a Horse

Over at Merlotte’s everyone is thrilled about Sookie’s return . . .  except Sam.  He’s just PISSED.  We find him griping at Poor Sookie, about how selfish she was for, you know, almost dying and stuff.  (Granted, Bill’s dumb as dogsh*t “Vampire Business” excuse hasn’t put Sookie in the best light.  But STILL . . .  Girlfriend’s been gone for a year.  Pull your thong out of your ass, Sam!)  “A lot has changed around here, since you’ve been gone,” whines Sam.

“Yeah, you’ve gotten a lot more prickly,” replies Sookie.

As it turns out, a lot HAS changed in Sam’s life since he SHOT HIS HALF BROTHER in a drunken rage, last season . . .

Tommy Boy is now permanently disabled . . . has a TERRIBLE Elvis Presley Haircut . . . and currently lives with . . . MAXINE FORTENBERRY?

A lot of people thought the union of Maxine and Tommy was weird, and kind of creepy.  It ABSOLUTELY IS!  However, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. 

Maxine is a woman who doesn’t feel whole, if she doesn’t have a boy in her life to baby and boss around.  Now that her son Hoyt has up and left her for Jessica, Maxine is in desperate need of a surrogate son.  Enter Tommy, an illiterate disabled kid, from a broken home, who can’t read, and can’t take care of himself.  He’s Maxine’s dream come true!    From Tommy’s perspective, all he’s ever really wanted in life was acceptance and shelter, anyway.  It’s why he stuck by his trailer trash parents for as long as he did, and why he put up with all Sam’s emotionally abusive B.S.

Sure, Maxine Fortenberry is an overbearing, narrow-minded, prejudiced biatch, with no qualms about talking about Tushy Cushions in a public area, but she’s all Tommy has, right now . . . Of course, the minute Maxine finds out Tommy is a shapeshifter, in love with a vampire, she will probably kick him to the curb.  But for now, they are just one big happy family.

And yet, seeing Tommy with Maxine only serves to piss off Sam (who, more or less, created this situation) even more.  This is part of the reason Sam attends “anger management” with a group of people who all just so happen to be shapeshifters.  They meet up once a week, drink, talk about their problems, and . . . TURN INTO STALLIONS?

One of the members of this “group” just so happens to be school teacher, Luna, who Sam was eyeballing and smirking at the ENTIRE scene . . . Yep, we all know where THIS is going . . .

Witchcraft is for the Birds . . .

Lafayette is having a bad day.  A V-ed up Andy Bellefleur just physically accosted him, looking for vampire blood on “official police business,” not realizing that Laffy doesn’t deal anymore.  Fortunately, Jason was there to rescue our boy from getting his ass kicked.  But the loyal police partner insisted that Lafayette not breathe a word of Bellefleur’s obvious drug addiction to ANYONE.

So, our hero decides to chill out with a nice fun-filled evening of hokey witchcraft.  This week, Marnie’s bird, Minerva (McGonagal?) has died . . .

She wants the witchy crew to help send Minerva’s spirit to heaven (or whatever version of the Great Beyond thte Wiccans believe in).  She starts off chanting a very PC- funeral-esque type prayer for Minerva.  But then, something comes over her, and the words of the prayer change.  Now, she no longer wants to send the bird’s soul into the great beyond.  She now aims to BRING IT BACK TO LIFE!

The witches in the circle all look a bit confused, and freaked out.   Nevertheless, they comply with their “leader’s” wishes . . . all except Lafayette, who would much rather be home dancing . . .

When she notices that he is not participating, Marnie screams at Lafayette to join in.  Eventually, he does . . .

Then, it happens.  The bird comes BACK TO LIFE . . . for about 6 seconds . . . and  . . . it dies again. (Kind of like Granddaddy Earl.)

“I’m sorry that after all that trouble you went to, your bird is still dead,” Lafayette offers politely.

“It doesn’t matter,” says Marnie callously.

Yeah, real nice, MARNIE!  You’ll be sorry!  I’ll get you, my witchy . . . and your Little Laffy Taffy TOO!”

After the witchy meeting, one of the witches, heads to a newly renovated Vampire Bill’s house to report on what has been happening at the coven meetings.  (Ooh .  . . an undercover witch . . . I like it).  She’s all sweet and super polite to him, referring to him as “Majesty.”  At first, I thought it was just a term of endearment. 

“Your Majesty is the name I like to call my weiner.”

But based on next week’s previews, it’s much more than that. You see,  BILL COMPTON IS APPARENTLY THE KING OF LOUISIANA!

Does that mean Queen Sophie Anne DIED in her battle with Bill at the end of last season?

Anti-climactic much?

Tune in next week to find out . . .

Speaking of mutiny . . .

What Every Woman Wants for Christmas:  Jason Stackhouse in a Box

I thought martyrs got to be shirtless . . .

That’s better!

When we last left the inbred, meth head, werepanther, community of hotshot, the police force had just shot their leader Calvin Norris.  Crystal begged her new beau Jason to save these dirty uneducated freaks, so he decided to become their leader. 

Oh, Jason, you can do SO much better!

Except, eventually some time during the course of the year, the “leader” became more of an “absentee landlord,” dropping by every so often to give the community food, and the bare necessities of life.  While making one of his weekly dropoffs, Jason learns that the ONE COOLER in the entire community is broken.  But when he goes to investigate, one of the older Hotshot Kids bashes Jason over the head with a tire iron, and LOCKS HIM IN THE COOLER!

NOT COOL INBRED KID!  No one puts my Jason on ice, without taking his clothing off first answering to ME!

Meanwhile, over at Fangtasia . . .

Pam and Jessica – Bathroom Buddies For Life

After the Great Egg Fight of 2011, Jess and Hoyt decide to cut loose at the local vampire bar.  Admittedly, Jess is a bit better at “cutting loose” than Hoyt . . .

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Remind you of anyone?

While Hoyt is at the bar getting Jess a drink, a VERY SEXY ADMIRER approaches, and hits on Jess the way ONLY men who KNOW they are super attractive can . . .

HELLO RANDY WAYNE!

Super Cute Fangbanger offers Jess his body and his blood, in no uncertain terms.  Jess loyally turns the guy down, telling him that she has a boyfriend, but you can tell she’s a bit reluctant about doing so.  Super Cute Fangbanger can tell too, which is why he continues to eye f*&k Jess, while she dances with Hoyt.

The eyef*&king gets Jess SO hot and bothered that she has to escape to the bathroom to keep from jumping at Super Cute Fangbangers neck.  Ever the pot-stirrer, Pam follows Jess to the bathroom, under the pretense of concern for her well being.  “We were worried about you . . . not really,” she snarks.

Pam then proceeds to call Jessica out on the part SHE has been playing in the eye-f*&king with Super Cute Fangbanger.  In a decidedly ANTI-PAPA BILL moment, Pam encourages Jessica to escape from “married life” with Hoyt, and start to embrace her vampire hunter instincts, before she explodes.  Jessica responds by basically telling Pam she’s jealous that Jess has found love and she hasn’t, before storming out of the bathroom.  This is Pam’s response . . .

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LOVE HER!

And finally . . .

“YOU ARE MINE!”

What follows of course, is my FAVORITE scene in the entire premiere episode, for a few reasons:

(1) it involves Sookie and Eric (duh);

(2) it is EXTREMELY EROTIC;

(3) it involves Eric outsmarting Sookie (always a treat); and

(4) it reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from ANOTHER well-known vampire show . . .

Basically, what I’m saying is that I like when hot guys sneak into my bedroom late at night, and dangle long objects in front of me . . . and all that statement implies.

We see Sookie in her bedroom, fresh out of the shower, and clad in her bathrobe.  She turns, sighs, and lets it fall from her body . . .

Well, that’s one way to keep your room clean.  Ladies and gentleman, Eric Northman has entered the building!

I think my FAVORITE part of the scene (even better than the key-dangling part, which I will get to in a bit), is the growl / groan of arousal Eric makes upon seeing Sookie’s naked form for the first time.  He remarks on what a strange, yet satisfying, sensation it is to know that his nightly dreams of her body measure up to the reality. 

Gulp!

Though she would clearly like to be, Sookie is clearly not immune to Eric’s charms.  Anna Paquin portrays Sookie perfectly here, as a woman who is simultaneously, aroused, repulsed, confused, and frightened by the Viking Vampire in her home . . . but IS IT HER HOME?

Sookie, at first, wonders whether she is dreaming, but realizes that she can’t be, as, after a year, Eric’s blood is no longer in her system (which, doesn’t exactly explain, how BOTH Bill and Eric were able to use their blood bond with Sookie to pinpoint the exact time of her return to Earth).  The obvious next question, of course, is how Eric managed to enter Sookie’s house, considering the last time he was there she had rescinded his invitation. 

“You don’t own this house, anymore . . . I own it . .  . which means I also own YOU,” Eric explains, detailing how his certainty that Sookie would one day return to Bon Temps influenced him to make this purchase.

Eric is IMPRESSED.

I mentioned Anna Paquin’s acting skills in this scene, but Alexander Skarsgard’s are notable here too.  The way he looks at Sookie with complete desire, intermingled with smugness over finally having the upper hand in their relationship, and confidence in the disarming effect he is having over her, is Pure Panty-Dropping Perfection.  Add to that the surprising vulnerability of the words he utters next, “You don’t have power over me, anymore,” (which, implies, of course, that she HAD power over him, to begin with, and undoubtedly still does) . . . and  . . . well . .  . I think I just became pregnant.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t end this story, by cluing you in to Eric’s FINAL words to Sookie, the ones we have been waiting to hear him say to her for an entire year . . . the words that Vampire Bill says ALL THE TIME, but somehow they are SO MUCH SEXIER when Eric says them . . .

Wait for it . . .

*faints*

And there you have it, my fellow Fangbangers, the very first True Blood episode of the fourth season.  So .  . . don’t leave me hanging . . . TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Text Messages of the Damned – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ Season 2 Premiere “It’s Alive”

Welcome back, my Pretties!  Oh, how I’ve missed you.  Heck, I’ve missed THIS SHOW!  With its Text Messages from the Great Beyond . . . its Creepy Characters, Who Always Pop Up at Precisely the WRONG Moment . . . its Villain “A,” who seems to gain increasingly ridiculous superpowers, with every episode . . . its suprisingly steamy romance scenes . . . its RAMPANT MALE SHIRTLESSNESS.  Did I mention the shirtlessness?

Well, HELLO Fitzy!  Welcome to the NAKED CLUB!

Though it got off to an admittedly slow start, this week’s season premiere of Pretty Little Liars definitely succeeded in giving us the best this show has to offer, with, not one, but TWO “I love you” declarations, multiple couple-y exchanges, a whole lot of Grade “A” craziness, and the return of two VERY frightening monsters . . . one with Furry Caterpillars Where His Eyebrows Should Be . . .

 . . . the other, a BONAFIDE ZOMBIE!

Man, this show is getting SCARIER than TVD!

Let’s review, shall we?

(Oh, and before I begin, a very special thanks to THIS spectacular website, for providing the Most Comprehensive Collection of Pretty Little Liars Screencaps on the planet!  Unless, it’s a GIF, if you see a picture in this recap that you like, it’s probably from THERE.)

People Not to Be Trusted #1 – Police Boy Garrett

Reason:  Because we KNOW where THAT tongue has been!

The season premiere begins EXACTLY where the Season 1 finale left off.   Our fabulous foursome have just left the church, where Purple-Faced Creepy Pedo Ian, who was last seen hanging from the rafters of the Church, has seemingly vanished into thin air, making our protagonists (who actually called the police, for a change) look like, for lack of a better term, “Pretty Little Liars.”

Outside the church, the girls talk nervously to one another, trying to convince themselves that what they saw was real . . . and that Creepy Pedo Ian is REALLY no more.  But the doubts are already starting to creep into their brains.  Did they really see what they THOUGHT they saw?  Or has “A” been playing tricks on them again?

 Meanwhile, seemingly the ENTIRE town of Rosewood has come out for this fun-filled local event.  After all, it’s not every day you get to see the dead body of a neighbor of yours, hung from the church ceiling, like a Christmas Tree ornament!

YAY!  Hangings are FUN!

 Unfortunately, for the people of Rosewood, Dead Body Watch is simply not in the cards for them.  This corpse has gone on vacation (probably with the dude from that old movie, Weekend at Bernies!).

Suddenly, the PLL girls are the MOST HATED KIDS IN TOWN!  How DARE they get their neighbors all excited about the opportunity to see their FIRST Dead Body (well . . . second, if you count Alison’s), and then NOT deliver!  FOR SHAME!  Fortunately, Police Boy Garrett swoops in to rescue them, before the tomatos and smelly shoes start being thrown. 

“Come with me,” says Police Boy gallantly.

Like Aria, I began to question Police Boy’s motives, the minute he refused to allow the teens to tell their parents they were heading down to the police station.  Granted, Police Boy’s superiors probably TOLD him to do this, in order to prevent the girls’ parents from immediately instructing them to ask for attorney representation, thereby stopping the investigation in its tracks.  But still . . . how many horror movies have YOU seen, where the innocent teens enter a cop car they think is safe, only to find out that the “Mild-Mannered Police Boy” in the front seat is really an INSANE PSYCHO KILLER?

My suspicions GREW, along with those of the rest of the girls, when Police Boy DID NOT, as promised, take the girls to the police station, but rather DROVE THEM TO A DESERTED STREET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, AND FORCED THEM OUT OF THE COP CAR!

Well girls . . . it was nice knowing ya!

Fortunately, for the PLLs, Police Boy actually seems LESS interested in ripping out their throats, and eating their faces for late night snack, and more concerned with COVERING HIS OWN ASS.  Remember, Police Boy Garrett has A LOT to hide from his superiors.  For starters, he’s in a relationship with the decidedly underage Creepy Blind Jenna (though the PLL girls don’t know this, yet).  He had also orchestrated the girls’ botched attempt to blackmail Creepy Pedo Ian into confessing to Alison’s murder, using the disturbing Snuff Porn-like video “A” sent to them (along with 10 Gs) as bait . . .

The girls promptly agree to keep their mouths shut about the video.  After all, none of the cops seem to believe anything they say, anyway. 

Oh, and I bet you will never guess who was conveniently lurking in the shadows, watching hearing this ENTIRE exchange take place, almost as though she had ORCHESTRATED THE WHOLE THING HERSELF?

So, much for finding a DESERTED PLACE WHERE NO ONE CAN OVERHEAR YOU TALKING ABOUT OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE, Police Boy!  If Blind Jenna could hear you, chances are other people could have too!

People Not to Trust #2 – PLL PARENTS!

Allow me to introduce you to the Swell Parents of PLL, from left to right:  Mama “I Hit on My Students’ Teachers” Montgomery, Papa “Sleeps With Students” Montgomery, Papa “Win at All Costs” Hastings, Mama “Favors Her Older Daughter” Hastings, Mama “Slutty Thief” Marin (where’s Hannah’s absentee dad?), and Mama “Homophobe” Fields.

After suffering through hours of police investigation, the PLL girls head to Spencer’s house for a slumber party, except not much slumbering is occuring.  And when they head downstairs to get some coffee and refreshments, ALL their parents are there.  And they have some BAD NEWS.

Remember how last season, the cops thought Spencer was a TOTAL wackadoo liar, who might have actually been responsible for Alison’s death?  Well, now, apparently, in the wake of the Ian Thing, the blame has spread to all FOUR of the girls.  Now, the cops suddenly think the PLLs are OBSESSED with Creepy Pedo Ian, and are blaming Alison’s death on him, to cover up for their own wrongdoing. 

However, instead of working on getting the girls FOUR SEPARATE attorneys, like normal parents would do in this situation, the PLL Sucky Parent Club decide that the key to solving their kids’ problems is to have them ALL SEE THE SAME SHRINK TOGETHER!  Their rationale for this?  Apparently, the PLL Sucky Parent Club believes that the mere act of seeking professional help will make the kids look more LIKEABLE in the eyes of the cops and the press.

Never mind that these kids are actually WANTED FOR MURDER.  Don’t worry about the fact that they have all been TRAUMATIZED BY THEIR FRIEND’S DEATH, and may actually NEED psychological counseling on an INDIVIDUAL basis to cope with this.  All that’s important to THESE parents is that their kids LOOK sympathetic to the cops.  Parenting FAIL!

By the way, since when did the mere act of going to a shrink make a person more likeable?  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely NO SHAME in seeking professional help for personal issues.  I just don’t see the relationship between getting help, and looking “less guilty” during a police investigation.  Just sayin’.

Speaking of “awesome” parenting, did I mention that Abs Toby came to visit Spencer that morning, and her loving dad SLAMMED THE DOOR IN THE POOR GUY’S FACE?

That’s right, Pops!  This is EXACTLY what you should do when you are worried that your daughter might be having a nervous breakdown, SYSTEMATICALLY ISOLATE HER from all her friends / sole support system.  Great idea!

With parents like THESE, is it any wonder I am always making this face?

People Not to Trust #3 – Blind Jenna (but we already knew that)

In the subsequent scene, we see Blind Jenna and Police Boy Garrett cuddled together in Police Boy’s cop car for a little Makeout / Stakeout Session outside “Dead” Ali’s house, where they are inappropriately leering at Ali’s older brother, hot shirtless Jason, as he conveniently undresses in front of an open window.  Remember JASON, ladies?  Because, I sure do . . .

YUMMY!

For reasons, I simply cannot understand, Police Boy and Blind Jenna are not NEARLY as excited about Jason’s return to Rosewood as I am.  In fact, Jason makes them nervous . . . very nervous.   This, apparently, has something to do with a “Jason Thing” they don’t want anybody to find out about.  Wait a minute . . . a JASON THING?  So, let me get this straight.  The PLL girls had a Blind Jenna Thing.  And Blind Jenna and Police Boy Garrett have a JASON THING!  That’s a whole lotta “things”!

People Not to Trust #4 – Bushy Eyebrows Noel

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At school, Aria is excited to learn that her mom is moving back home to try and patch things up with her dad.  And blah, blah, blah.  I think I fell asleep during that scene. 

Even THEY look bored.

But things get interesting again, when we get to English class, and Aria is forced to confront Fitzy for the first time since the “Ex Girlfriend Jackie Incident.” 

AWK-WARD!

Now, I know Fitzy is supposed to be this “cool” teacher and all.  And he probably didn’t want to stir up any more speculation regarding his relationship with Aria than probably already existed, particularly considering he was LEAVING HIS JOB SO HE COULD DATE HER.  

But I still think Aria’s main man should have said SOMETHING about the extremely cruel Hangman Chalk Drawing on the board, with the word “liars” more or less spelled out beneath it, in obvious reference to the PLL girls’ statements regarding Creepy Pedo Ian.  I mean, that was just an inappropriate thing for a student to do.  (Though, even I’ve got to admit, it was pretty damn funny!)

What can I say?  I couldn’t resist!

English class goes from bad to worse for our female heroines, when Bushy Eyebrows Noel returns from his suspension, seemingly primed for revenge against Aria and Fitzy.  The twin caterpillars on his forehead nearly do a little Dance of Joy, when he turns toward Aria, and leeringly asks her, “Miss me?”  I literally got chills . . .

People Not to Trust #5 – Mona Your Fellow Classmates

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In the hallways, the PLL girls find themselves the subject of some pretty harsh ridicule, as a result of the publicity they garnered from the Ian Thing.  And when Hanna’s so-called pal Mona overhears the gossiping, I half expected her to join right along.  (Remember when Mona told the whole school that Hannah had liposuction?  Good times!)  But Mona surprises me, by sticking up for her friend publicly in front of her detractors.  “I don’t know what’s more pathetic,” begins Mona.  “People who gossip, or people who LISTEN to gossip.”  (And MONA would know!)

After the girls leave, Mona then tries to cheer up her downtrodden pal, by remarking on one of the “gossipers’ Flat Asses, and how bad they look in skinny jeans.  And I must admit, the exchange made me like Mona just a little bit more.  So, we all know she’s going to have to screw it up soon, right?

People Not To Trust #6 – FITZY(?)

Meanwhile, in the same hallway, Spencer and Aria are marveling over how popular Bushy Eyebrows Noel has suddenly become.   (Perhaps, the caterpillars on his forehead possess some weird mind control powers over the masses?)

Fitzy interrupts the exchange, calling Aria back into his classroom to have wild and crazy sex on top of his desk “talk about her English paper.”  Aria seems skeptical of the request, but ultimately complies.

Like Mona before him, Fitzy wins some points with me, by not immediately jumping into his “you have to forgive me” for lying about my ex-girlfriend routine.  Fitzy’s no dumby.  He’s heard the gossip about the Ian Thing, and can see how Aria and her friends are being treated at school.  He offers Aria comfort and support, and wants her to know she doesn’t have to go through this alone. 

But Aria is still really hurt about the Jackie Thing, and feels as though it has irrevocably changed things between her and Fitzy.  Fitzy insists to Aria that NOTHING has changed, and that he still loves her.  (Easy for HIM to say.  HE wasn’t the one who had the run-in with the dreaded Ex.)  When Aria doesn’t respond to his statement in kind, Fitzy wonders out loud whether they are over.  Aria says that she doesn’t know. Then she dashes from the room. 

No sex in the English class room for Fitzy!  Thanks for playing!  Better luck next time!

People Not to Trust #7 – Abs Toby’s Family (and Spencer’s)

Hanna and Aria aren’t the only ones having lousy days.  Spencer is having one too.  First, she goes to sneak a visit to Toby’s and is told by Blind Jenna that Toby’s parents have forbade him to see her.  Of course, it is uncertain whether this is the TRUTH, or if Blind Jenna is just saying this so her little rape victim can’t get laid away from home.  “Whatever little ‘thing’ you had with him is over,” seethes Blind Jenna, before slamming the door in Spencer’s face.

At the Hastings’ house, Police Boy Garrett is questioning an annoyingly inconsolate Melissa about Creepy Pedo Ian’s disappearance.  Spencer arrives home, and Melissa starts screaming at her, telling her that as soon as Creepy Pedo Ian returns FROM HELL! the two of them are leaving town.  Because Melissa DOES NOT want her Satan Spawn baby consorting with the likes of Spencer.  NO SIR! 

Rather than trying to convince their older daughter that their younger one isn’t EVIL, Spencer’s parents just stare dumbly at the wall in front of them.  This prompts Spencer to (correctly) note that, even though the Hastings have TWO daughters, they are only protecting one.  YEAH, SPENCER!  You tell that Crazy Nanny Carrie from One Tree Hill and her two middle-aged minions what’s what!

People Not to Trust #8 – Emily’s Mom (and the Creepy Realtor)

Emily is sitting in her bedroom watching internet porn . . . er .  . . I mean the creepy tape showing Blind Jenna raping Toby.  A realtor comes by.  He’s helping Emily’s mom to sell and/or rent out the house, so that the Fields’ family can go and be with their dad on the army base in Texas.  The realtor seems creepily interested in Emily’s personal memorabilia, like her childhood pictures, and her Wall Height Chart.  And yet, he tells her that she will have to remove all personal affects from her home in order to help it sell better.  Emily scowls . . . eager to return to her Rape DVD.

People We Can TOTALLY Trust #1 – ADORABLE LUCAS!

I smell bromance!

My SECOND favorite scene in this week’s season premiere just so happened to be one of the shortest.  In it, Adorable Lucas drives a Lovestruck Caleb back into town, and drops him off at a nearby hotel.  As Caleb is exiting the car, Lucas leaves him with these parting words, “Listen, I don’t know what you did to Hanna . . . but don’t do it again.”

We now return to our regularly scheduling programing of UNTRUSTWORTHY characters . . .

People Not to Trust # 9 – Shrink Anne Sullivan

I have to say, I don’t blame Hannah the least bit, for preferring Retail Therapy to THIS Grief Counseling B.S., and trying to skip out on the session.  For one thing, why on Earth would the parents agree to let their kids attend grief counseling TOGETHER.  How can a teenager POSSIBLY feel comfortable letting out their deepest darkest feelings, while the three people who’s opinions of them matter most are listening?

Beyond that, I didn’t trust THIS shrink, AT ALL, from the minute she appeared on screen!  And, as the episode progressed further, I grew to trust her less and less.  (Way to give a warm fuzzy message to the kiddies about seeking professional help for mental issues, ABC FAMILY!)

I don’t think it is any accident at all that this counselor’s name is “Anne Sullivan,” as in the noted teacher of blind and deaf heroine and phenomenon, Hellen Keller.  Just out of curiosity, who ELSE do we know that’s BLIND on this show?

Just sayin’!

Anywhoo . . . not much happens during this first therapy session.  The girls just awkwardly rehash how they grew apart, following Alison’s initial disappearance, and reunited, after her body was found.  Ms. Sullivan notes that, under psychiatrist / patient privilege everything the girls say in the counselor’s room is private.  The girls seem tempted to divulge their deepest darkest secrets.  But, ultimately, they don’t. 

And . . . judging by what happens later in the episode, that’s probably a GOOD THING!

Outside the therapist’s office, the girls find a local paper, featuring the four of them on the front page.  To their chagrin, the article suggests that Ian skipped town on Melissa, and the foursome knew about it / attempted to cover it up.  Apparently, Ian’s car was found in the woods, abandoned, with $10,000 stowed away in the backseat . . . i.e the blackmail money the girls attempted to offer Ian during the finale.

SURPRISE!  It’s time for another text from “A.”  This one says, “I spy a liar.”  OK, I’m sorry, A, but that was just lame, particularly for a FIRST post hiatus text message.

The only thing that makes SPENCER feel better about this moment is that Toby seems to be there waiting for her. 

Except, as it turns out, he’s NOT waiting for Spencer . . . he’s waiting to pick up Blind Jenna from some appointment he had to attend. 

(You know, this ENTIRE episode seemed to point to Jenna and Police Boy Garrett working together as “A.”  Of course, knowing this show, this probably means that neither of them are “A.”  Still, this devilish duo DOES seem to always be around when “A” is doing her nastiest deeds.)

People Not to Trust #10 Caleb(?) and Mona (I knew she’d somehow wind up back on this list.)

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 Hannah comes home from an afternoon of shopping and head shrinking to find Caleb waiting for her in her kitchen.  After making sure her daughter is OK, Mama Marin rises to leave the two lovebirds alone.  Poor Hanna is CLEARLY affected by her Virginity Removers unexpected return to Rosewood.  But she stays strong, and tries to remain stoic.  “You not allowed to . . . look at me like that,” scolds Hannah, as the Caleb Puppy Dog Eyes begin to work their magic on her recently iced over heart . . .

FINALLY, Caleb gets to tell Hanna about the Goodbye Letter he gave to Mona to deliver to her.  FINALLY, he gets to tell her how he feels, and how truly sorry he is for SPYING ON HER for Batsh*t Crazy Blind Jenna!  (It SURE took him long enough!)  “Most of my life, I have felt alone . . . even when I was with people . . . until I met you . . .  If you let me, I will make it up to you .  . . I love you,” Caleb explains, his eyes welling up with big hearty man-tears, as he speaks.

Oh, hormones!  How you wreck me!

Though moved by Caleb’s words, Hanna stays strong, unable to get past the VERY personal way in which Caleb betrayed her.  For those of you who have forgotten . . .

*whistles*

Caleb is crushed by Hanna’s refusal to forgive him, and her seemingly cold response to his love declaration.  But he understands why Hanna feels the way she does, and accepts it . . . for now.  “Goodbye, Hannah,” he tells her sadly before exiting the house, for what he probably believes will be the last time. 

It is not until after Caleb leaves that Hanna finally allows those long suffering tears to escape her eyes.

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I’ve gotta be honest.  The whole thing is pretty darn depressing.  And yet, things are about to get worse for poor Hanna!

Our heroine heads immediately to the local coffee shop to confront Mona for failing to give Hanna Caleb’s letter.  I must admit, when Mona first threw away Caleb’s Goodbye Love Letter to Hanna, I was the first one to accuse her of doing it out of petty jealousy.  And yet, upon being confronted, Mona’s assertion that she did it to protect Hannah’s heart from being broken again seemed surprisingly genuine.  (I can’t BELIEVE I’m actually saying something nice about Mona today.  What’s wrong with me?)

That being said, those MASSIVE Eiffel Tower earrings and that CLOWN lipstick HAVE TO GO!

Hanna wasn’t about to forgive Caleb, and she’s CERTAINLY not going to forgive her best friend for HER betrayal.  For a split second, I actually found myself feeling bad for Mona, who, let’s face it, really doesn’t have any other friends to fall back on, after this.  But then THIS happened, and ALL that good will, I had just built up for Mona went flying RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW!

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HOLY MOTHER OF UGLY CATERPILLAR EYEBROWS!  Mona is swapping spit with Bushy Eyebrows Noel!  Hell has obviously frozen over . . .

People Not to Trust #11 – Crazy Nanny Carrie Spencer’s Sister, Melissa

Remember back when the PLL girls orchestrated a date night for Emily and Maya, when their parents wouldn’t let them see one another? 

Well, as it turns out, Emily is ready to return the favor, by orchestrating a little secret date time at HER house for Spencer and Abs Toby.  Spencer prepares for her Big Night Out by stepping into something a bit sluttier more comfortable . . .

So, of course, Cockblock Melissa has to come in and RUIN EVERYTHING!

GRRRR!

Apparently, Melissa suffers from some kind of Multiple Personality Disorder.  Just a few hours ago, she was AFRAID TO LET SPENCER NEAR HER BABY, afraid that the mere proximity would cause her precious child to contact Pretty Little Cooties.  But now, suddenly, Melissa is the PERFECT Big Sis, promising not to rat Spencer out for going on her secret date, and telling Spencer that she “believes her” about Ian.  “I know he would NEVER leave me to bang more underage chicks, like Ali, and you, and Blind Jenna,” coos Melissa nauseatingly.

She then lets Spencer in on a little secret, the name of her future child.  It’s “Taylor.”  Damn it!  That was going to be the name of MY future child, if I ever decided to have kids.  Well, SCRAP THAT!  (By the way, remember this little tidbit of info, because it’s going to become important later.)

Suddenly, Melissa wants to know EVERYTHING about Spencer’s adventures with “A.”  (How convenient!)  Not able to say no to her SHREW of a sister, who so rarely acts like a human being, that Spencer really must take advantage of the rare moments when this occurs, the younger Hastings sister reluctantly texts Emily to cancel her date with the Tobster.

Back at Emily’s house, Toby does carpentry work for Emily (OK, when did the character formerly known as Creepy Toby suddenly become the PERFECT SPECIMEN of man). 

And though he is clearly disappointed about being ditched by his girlfriend, the Tobster still manages to share a sweet moment with Emily, promising her that all is forgiven between them, and that the two will still be friends, even after she leaves for Texas.  (Repeat after me:  AWWW!)

People Not to Trust #12 – YOURSELF (around a Shirtless Fitzy)

SQUEE!  It does SQUATS TOO!

So, remember when I told you that the Adorable Lucas scene was my SECOND favorite one in the hour.  Well, THIS one was my favorite.  This, of course, had nothing at all to do with the dialogue between Aria and Ezra, and EVERYTHING to do with THIS . . .

OK ladies!  For those of you out there who have EVER tried to make the argument that Fitzy and Aria have NOT done the deed yet, this episode should absolutely, positively prove you WRONG!  Because here’s the thing, had Aria not ALREADY made herself EXTREMELY familiar with Fitzy’s “goods” there is NO WAY IN HELL that she would have been able to carry on a semi-intelligent conversation with him for three minutes, while he was looking LIKE THAT!  It’s scientifically impossible!

Holy heck!  Who knew THAT was underneath all those geeky sweatervests and button down shirts Fitzy always wears.  If I was a guy and looked like him, I’d never wear clothing AT ALL!

But I guess I should at least somewhat mention the conversation that took place in this scene.  Fitzy thanks Aria for coming to see her.  He encourages her to talk about all the crap that’s going on in her life.  He promises her that she is not alone, because she has him, basically saying all the right things to get back into his girlfriend’s panties good graces.

Then Fitzy allows Aria to play Twenty Questions with him.  She starts peppering him with questions about his relationship with Jackie.  Was he on the rebound, when he met her?  He says he wasn’t.  And yet, he WAS technically still in love with Jackie, on that fateful day when Aria and Fitzy banged in the bathroom . . .

Hmmm . . . interesting.

Fitzy realizes he probably screwed up by saying that, so he uses his poetry skills to try and dig himself out of the massive hole into which he just dug himself.  “There is not one moment when we were together when I was ever thinking about ANYBODY other than you,” he offers.  “You know what I love about Saturdays?”  He adds.  “It’s looking up and realizing we have the WHOLE DAY to be together.”

Well played, Fitzy.  But, unfortunately it wasn’t enough.  When everyone’s favorite Naked English teacher asks Aria to spend the day with him, she declines.  She doesn’t even agree to CALL him the next day.  OUCH!   Maybe the sex isn’t that good?

 As Aria is leaving Fitzy’s place, she gets  a text from “A.” 

It’s a photograph of Fitzy’s home office.  Apparently, “A” has removed the spare key from under his mat, and took the liberty of letting him or herself inside.  I vaguely recall Police Boy Garrett snatching that key last season.  Intriguing . . .

People Not to Trust #13  – THE WORLD!

Together once again, the PLL’s make a joint decision to spill their guts to Shrinky Dink Anne Sullivan.  They even plan to show her the Rape DVD of Blind Jenna (wonder how Abs Toby would feel about that), and the Snuff Porn Ali and Ian film, both of which are currently stored on Emily’s computer.  (Note: Important.)  The foursome schedule an appointment with Shrinky.  However, just when they are about to show her the video, Hannah notices an interesting diploma on the wall.  It’s Fitzy’s.

I have to admit, when I first noticed the diploma, I didn’t make the right connection.  My first thought was that Anne Sullivan was Fitzy’s MOM!  (Though now I see, the age difference is a bit too small for that.)  After a few moments, however, I realized what the PLL’s did.  That “A” had clearly stolen Fitzy’s diploma, and put it in Anne Sullivan’s office, as a warning to them against spilling the beans to her about what they knew.

The question is, who else, aside from the PLL’s would realistically make an appointment with a grief counselor, in order to have access to her office.  Once again, all signs point to Blind Jenna . . .

“It always comes back to me, doesn’t it?”

Suitably freaked out, the girls rush out of Shrinky Dink’s office, making sure to take Fitzy’s diploma with them.  This pisses off La Shrinka ROYALLY, and she responds by telling all the PLL’s parents that they shouldn’t hang out together anymore.  WOW, that’s pretty much the WORST ADVICE a grief counselor could give a group of girls who are EXPERIENCING LOSS, DON’T TRUST ANYONE, and ASIDE FROM ONE ANOTHER FEEL COMPLETELY ALONE.  And yet, all the PLL parents think this is a FABULOUS idea.

No wonder teens don’t listen to their parents!  The adults on EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY teen-oriented show I watch SUCK SERIOUS ASS!

I am REALLY hating this Shrink Lady.  So, much so, that when she was getting stalked as she left her office, I was kind of hoping “A” would kill her.  Except “A” would never do that, because Shrink Lady is CLEARLY in cahoots with “A.”  Because, think about it WHO ELSE would want to separate the PLL girls, so that she or he can work on them separately and make their lives miserable.  It wouldn’t be the first time “A” tried to break up the PLL crew!

Be afraid, PLLs!  Be very afraid!

Speaking of afraid, Spencer is home alone, and hears a noise in her kitchen.  For a few dreamy seconds there, I was kind of hoping it was the same person who made the NOISE in her kitchen LAST TIME this happened!

Come back, Dr. Wren!  I MISS YOU!

But Spencer’s had kind of a bad day.  So, she doesn’t think her intruder is Drunk Wren, at all.  Rather, she’s convinced it is SOMEONE TRYING TO MURDER HER.  And so she takes a page out of the Scream handbook, and does THIS . . .

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Except the Psycho Killer actually ends up being ABS TOBY!

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(Hey, Spencer got to make use out of that slutty top, after all!)

“I had to see you,” Toby whispers in Spencer’s ear sweetly, as the two rush into one another’s arms for a tearful embrace. 

I really do heart these two.  I especially loved when Toby left the house after sex with Spencer their date, and protectively told Spencer to “lock the door.”  Spencer’s response, “yes sir,” was so flirtatiously cute, and so “un-Spencer,” it totally gave you an idea of how smitten these two individuals are over one another.

Alas, things in the Hasting’s household can never stay sweet for long!  Spencer soon finds a new text message on her sister’s cell phone (Why did that asshat leave it home, after she JUST got it back?).  It’s from a blocked number.  The text says something about the person not being able to tell Melisssa his or her whereabouts, because it is “not safe yet.”

A freaked out Spencer, immediately texts all the PLL’s with an SOS.  The foursome sneak out of their houses and meet up in a random greenhouse.  (Who the heck has a random greenhouse, in Rosewood?  Just sayin’.)  The girls immediately wonder whether IAN is alive and well, and texting Melissa.  To test this theory, they ask him a question they ASSUME only Ian would know, the name of his future child.  The texter responds correctly, “Taylor.”

It’s ALLLLLIIIIIIIIVE!

Except, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure that text WAS from Ian.  After all, considering how much “A” knows about all the girls that nobody else does, who’s to say she couldn’t have picked up that specific piece of information about the name of Melissa’s future baby.  Regardless, the PLL girls are understandably pissing in their pants now.

But the real kicker comes at the end of the episode when GLOVED HAND reappears.  This time he or she has made an appointment with the Fields’ realtor to see their house.  While there, the person ERASES EMILY’S ENTIRE HARDDRIVE, including all the incriminating DVD’s thereon. 

OK, I’m sorry, but Emily must be a friggin moron.  Why the HELL would you leave your VERY VALUABLE laptop out in the open when LOTS OF RANDOM people would be stopping by to SEE YOUR HOUSE?  Didn’t what happened to Spencer’s laptop at the dance last season teach you anything? 

More interesting than Emily’s stupidity though, is the fact that Gloved Hand HAS to be an adult.  After all, a Realtor wouldn’t in good faith show a home for sale to a TEEN, like Jenna, Mona or Noel, would they?  This little clue would serve to point a finger to some of the OLDER suspects on the show, like, for example, Police Boy Garrett, Ali’s brother, Jason, Anne Sullivan, or even Fitzy.  Then again, “A” could still be a teen who merely HIRED someone to do this for him or her.

“OK . . . now, I’m totally confused!”

And, there you have it:  our first Season 2 PLL episode, in a VERY LARGE nutshell.  Did it live up to your expectations?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Vampires, and Werewolves, and Ghosts, OH MY! – A Recap of Being Human’s Pilot Episode “There Goes The Neighborhood”

OK . . . so let me get this straight .  . . It’s a show about vampires . . . and werewolves . . . and ghosts . . . where almost the ENTIRE cast is in their twenties . . . AND there was male frontal nudity in the first TWO MINUTES of the pilot episode?  You had me at HELLO!

A few nights back, the Syfy channel debuted it’s U.S. incarnation of the hit British supernatural horror comedy series Being Human. (Well, more accurately, it’s a Canadian incarnation.  Though the show is meant to take place in Boston, it is obviously filmed in a place where people are more likely to say “oot and aboot” than “pahk your cahr in a Hah-vahd yahd.”)  As a lover of all things supernatural, who had never watched the British version of this series, I was excited to get a fresh and unfettered glimpse at the show, when I finally got around to watching it this evening.  (For better or worse, Monday is a crowded night for me in TV Land.)

Though comparisons between this series and its U.K. incarnation, as well as other television shows of supernatural bent (most notably, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood) are inevitable, and not always favorable, I, for one, enjoyed this pilot.  In fact, once the producers iron out a few of the “freshman kinks,” I think this has the makings of a pretty awesome series — one that has the potential to stick around for a long time. 

Freshman Kink #1 – Is that supposed to be a werewolf, or a leprechaun wearing cheap dentures?

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s bite into that pilot episode!

I’m really “torn” about this screenshot.  (No pun intended.)  On one hand, I’m loving the Dirty Naked Dude!  But the Butchered Bambi’s Mother?  Not so much . . . Next time?  Let’s stick to Bloody Humans, and leave the Furry Woodland Creatures ALONE, shall we?

Meet Josh.  He’s a lonely twenty something, who’s desperately in need of a female influence in his life . . .

Worst . . . Walk of Shame . . . EVER!

For the most part, Josh leads a normal, if slightly dull and unfulfilling life.  But once a month, he really “lets his hair down.” When that happens, his Freak Flag flies at full mast.  You see, two years ago, Josh was bitten by a werewolf.  This event caused him to leave all his family and friends behind, and seek shelter in the vast city of Boston.  Now, he spends his nights alone in a forest, and his days rightfully feeling pretty sorry for himself . . .

This is Aidan.  And, no, he doesn’t always look like an extra from the Maenad-induced Orgies on Season 2 of True Blood.  (True Blood fans know EXACTLY what I’m talking about here.)

There . . . that’s better.  Aidan is a REALLY OLD vampire.  And, unlike his friend, Josh, he is not exactly unlucky with the ladies.  In fact, he gets lucky with one in his very first scene . . . a bit TOO lucky, some might say.

Don’t let this image fool you.  Aidan is not a BAD vamp.  In fact, he’s trying to go “straight,” by cutting living human blood out of his diet, entirely.  He just has a bit of an . . . “addiction problem,” one that has been fueled by many years of unadulterated feeding.  Sound familiar, TVD fans?

Unfortunately for Aidan, dead humans aren’t quite as readily accepted by the human population as Dead Bambi’s Mother.  And so, Aidan is forced to call upon one of his former vampire “friends” to clean up his mess for him, while he heads off to work.  On the way there, he picks up Josh.  The latter is still clad in that ridiculous dress (which fits him perfectly, by the way) that he pulled off some old lady’s clothes line to cover up his nakedness.  (Really?  Has anybody actually used a clothes line, since 1952?)

I read that, in the British version, Aidan (a.k.a. “John”) and Josh (a.k.a. “George”) are “hospital cleaners” by trade.  But here, in the American version, they seem as though they might be low-level orderlies, of some sort.  The job is convenient for Vampire Aidan, obviously, because it gives him ready access to a non-living blood supply.  Josh’s rationale for taking the job is a bit more murky.  However, we suspect it has something to do with him having been “pre-med,” during his “pre-werewolf” days.  It’s also a fairly anonymous job — one where he likely won’t have to work through too many full moons.

Throughout the day, Aidan keeps trying to convince Josh that they should shack up together.  By doing so, they can help one another satisfy their sexual urges “be more normal.”  (Honestly, I’m not really sure how sharing an apartment with another “freak” makes one less “freaky,” but I guess, there wouldn’t be a show, without it, right?)

Let the Bromance BEGIN!

Though initially skeptical, Josh ultimately agrees to live with Aidan.  (And why not?  After all, we never got a chance to see where either guy was living to begin with.  So, for all we know, they may both have been homeless.) 

“I don’t cook (or eat).  I don’t clean.  And my credit sucks,” explains Aidan, before the pair head off apartment hunting.

(Best ROOMMATE ADVERTISEMENT, EVER!)

Inevitably, the first day of apartment hunting, Josh falls in love with a little duplex fixer-upper apartment, close to where the guys work.  It’s current owner is a young skittish-looking guy, who seems VERY eager to rent out the place.  “You can keep all the furniture, and move in today.  And, honestly, I don’t need a credit check,” says the landlord nervously.

As it turns out, this guy has good reason to want to be rid of the apartment.  You see, his fiance DIED there. (Insert Dramatic Music Here).

But, as we know, Dead Stuff doesn’t phase these two in the LEAST.  So, into the apartment they go!   There’s just one problem.  They aren’t alone . . .

“BOO!  Haha, scared ya, didn’t I?  Get it?  Because I’m a GHOST . . . yeah . . . never mind.”

Remember how the landlord said his fiance died in the apartment.  Well . . . she’s still there!  Except, now she’s in “ghost form,” and can only be seen and heard by . . . wait for it . . . supernatural creatures.  Ghost Girl (her name is Sally, by the way) is just THRILLED about the prospect of finally having a two-sided conversation.  So, she just starts talking the boys’ ears off.  Aidan doesn’t seem too phased by the idea of bunking with a ghost AND a werewolf.  But Josh is PISSED!  He wants to have sex with Aidan alone time, DAMMIT!

The problem, of course, is that Ghost Girl Sally CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE.  You see, she still has “unfinished business” on Earth (as most ghosts do).  Specifically, Ghost Girl Sally isn’t quite sure how she died.  And, until she figures that out, Aidan and Josh are stuck with her . . .

Friggin Ghostly Cock Block!

But our boys have more problems than just coping with a third-wheel Casper of a roommate.  As for Aidan, there’s that little problem of the coworker he killed . . .

The police have been milling about the hospital where he works, asking questions.  And everybody seems to know that Aidan and “Rebecca” were kind of an item.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Aidan’s call to a “vampire friend” to “clean up his mess” resulted in him being tracked down by THIS GUY . . .

That’s Marcus.  He’s a Vampire Henchman of some guy named Bishop, who you will meet, in just a bit.  He keeps talking to Aidan about “coming back.”  Apparently, like in True Blood world, the vampires in Being Human are, at least somewhat, organized.  They have a leader.  They have a social structure.  And Blood Bank Sipper Aidan . . . well . . . I guess that makes him a bit of a deserter.

During lunch, Aidan gets cornered by a policeman, who seems to know WAY TOO MUCH about Aidan’s relationship with Rebecca. In fact, he all but accuses Aidan of murdering the girl.  And, just when I’m starting to yell at the TV screen, “YOU’RE A VAMPIRE!  USE MIND CONTROL ON HIM ALREADY, YOU MORON,” the cop sitting next to him does exactly that.

That’s right, boys and girls!  Big Bad Vampire Bishop is Jacob from Lost.  How’s that for a coincidence?  Now, don’t get me wrong, casting a Metaphor for God Character from a successful series, to play your show’s main (religiously named) villain is not a bad idea, all things considered.  And yet, if Stunt Casting was, in fact, the ultimate goal, there are a few other actors I think might have served this purpose even more effectively:

A girl can dream, can’t she? 

Anyway, Jacob Bishop mind controls  . . . or compels . . . or glamours (whatever you want to call it) Mr. Policeman to think Aidan is innocent, and leave the premises.  But he doesn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart.  He wants Aidan “back.”  (Here we go again, with that “come back” stuff, which sounds a bit sexual, if you ask me.) 

From flashbacks, we learn that Aidan used to be quite the naughty beast — crashing weddings with his pal, Bishop . . .

 . . . and proceeding to EAT the entire bridal party . . .

 Mmmmm, that Vince Vaughn is TASTY!

. . . well . . . except for THIS GIRL . . .

 .  . who we just KNOW is going to be important later, don’t we?

As for Josh, he’s having his own problems.  For starters, he’s getting all tongue-tied around the Cute Quirky Future Love Interest New Girl at the Hospital . . .

“Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.  My name is Poor Man’s Claire Danes.  Nice to meet you!”

He’s also been spotted by his baby sister, who was visiting her girlfriend there, because she conveniently had a broken bone, or something,  (Yep, Little Sis is gay!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  Now, Emily (that’s her name, by the way) insists on knowing where Josh has been for two years, and why he ran away in the first place . . .

Of course, Josh ultimately decides NOT to come clean to his sister, a decision he will soon come to regret.  That night, Josh heads back to the hospital, to seek out the new conveniently located dungeon therein, where Aidan suggested that Josh could “safely change.”

Sounds good, right?  Well, it would be . . . . except, unbeknownst to Josh, his sister has followed him down to the dungeon.  And now, she is LOCKED IN THERE WITH HIM.  (Again, sound familiar TVD fans?)

When Josh finds out what happened, he starts FREAKING OUT, understandably.  His poor sister, who mistakenly thinks he’s sick, keeps trying to comfort him, only to finally get shoved violently out of the way.  Josh uses his cell phone to contact to Aidan, who has the key to the dungeon, and has promised to help out in situations like this. 

Unfortunately for Josh, Aidan has been swept up in a little intrigue of his own, having been practically kidnapped by Jacob Bishop and brought to some sort of Vampire Brothel . . .

(Unfortunately, it is not named Fangtasia . . .)

Once there, Aidan is taken into some seedy back room, where a slutty-looking girl slits her wrist, causing Aidan to become totally aroused, vampire-style . . .

(Something tells me, he won’t be answering his werewolf friend’s text messages any time soon.)  Josh also calls Ghost Girl Sally.

Unlike Aidan, Sally really WANTS to help her new roommate!  Unfortunately, her ghostly hand keeps going through the phone.  So, she can’t pick it up.  (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

The episode ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with Aidan voyaging “back” toward the Dark Side, and Josh beginning his wolfy transformation, as his defenseless little sister looks on in horror . . .

SOMEONE needs a manicure!

And that was the Pilot Episode of Being Human in a nutshell.  Did YOU watch?  If so, what did you think?  Was it good enough to find a place on your permanent TV roster?  Or was it just a One Night Stand? 

 

Yes, I do recognize that using this picture again (especially in this context) was in poor taste.  It didn’t stop me from doing it, though!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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You did WHAT???!!!- A Recap of the Grey’s Anatomy Season Premiere “With You I’m Born Again”

Can you believe that Grey’s Anatomy kicked off its SEVENTH SEASON this week?  That means the show is almost SIX YEARS OLD?  That’s not a Baby Show anymore.  It’s a BIG KID Show.  It’s a friggin FIRST GRADER!  And as for those of you who, like me, have watched Grey’s since its inception . . . seriously . . . how OLD are you feeling right NOW?

“I remember back when this show started, I still had all my REAL teeth!”

A lot can change in six years.  And, as fans of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s highly likely that WE have personally experienced many changes, ourselves, both in our personal and professional lifes, since the show began.  But while gradual change is commonplace, throughout the course of a human lifetime, nothing brings about quick, groundbreaking, whirlwind change, like the experience of personal trauma.  And nothing says “personal trauma” like the mass murder of your friends and colleagues by a GUN-TOTING, CRAZED, LUNATIC!

So, without further adieu, let’s take a quick look at the ways in which our favorite Seattle Grace pals have changed, since we last saw them . . .

 GO SPEED RACER! GO!

It seems that the experience of getting stalked by a Wackjob, having been the indirect cause of 18 deaths, and being shot and nearly killed, himself, has given Seattle Grace’s McDreamiest surgeon a NEED FOR SPEED . . .

(Just not Speed, like in the Keanu Reeves movie . . . because I sincerely doubt Seattle’s “greatest surgeon” would ever deign to ride a BUS.)

When the episode first opens, Meredith has to go bail Derek out of the Pokey, following his recent tango with the law.  The crime?  Reckless Endangerment — a criminal charge that almost was, but wasn’t, filed, because the Seattle Cops “worship” McDreamy (a.k.a. have big juicy Man Crushes on him).

Who DOESN’T?

All, I’ve gotta say, is that it is a darn good thing Post-It Wifey, Meredith, bails Derek out when she does.  Because, from the looks of it, our favorite surgeon was looking like a pretty strong contender for a rousing prison game of “Who dropped the soap?”

It’s a contact sport.

Still smelling of “Jailhouse Rock,” Derek, who is scheduled to return to work as Chief of Staff that day, heads directly to his favorite speech-giving location (The Stairwell of Power), and . . .

. . . QUITS HIS JOB AS CHIEF . . .

. . .  thereby passing the “Chief-ly” baton back to THIS GUY . . .

 . . . Old / New Chief Webber, who responded to the news by  .  . . going into his new office, and reenacting scenes from the film, Boogie Nights.

I know some fans took McDreamy’s decision to relinquish his chiefly duties as a sign of this “Toxic Impulsivity” he’s contracted since the shooting.  However, for the most part, I think his decision was a sound one.  As a surgeon, Derek is AWESOME!  As a chief .  . . not so much.  

While acting as Chief last season, Derek seemed much less like the McDreamy we had grown to love for five years, and much more like . . . McPoopyhead.

Besides, Derek simply didn’t have TIME to be Chief, not with his upcoming Crazy Insano Surgery of the Week — a surgery that I will lovingly refer to as the “Face Off.”

Yes, boys and girls!  Under the guise of removing a massive inoperable brain tumor  (Aren’t they ALWAYS massive and inoperable when Derek is involved?  Has this guy EVER operated on something “operable?”), Derek, along with his stalwart crew, literally REMOVES SOME TEENAGER’S FACE, by CUTTING IT STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE.  And it is gross . . .  Fortunately, we don’t have to sit through too much of it, however. 

Because, after six seasons, I think our Grey’s writers have FINALLY learned what us fans have known since Season 1.  Namely, if we wanted to watch medical mysteries, we’d turn on House.  But we don’t.  We watch Grey’s for the hot men, the funny one-liners, and the juicy sex scenes.  And though it was, admittedly, a bit light on the “sex” for my taste, what we wanted was, more or less, what we got, in this Season Premiere.

Speaking of sex, after successfully performing the “Face Off,”  Derek, still reeking of blood and guts, was suddenly SUPER HORNY.  And so, he accosted Post-It Wife Meredith in the on-call room, and prepared to “Do the Deed.”  “Let’s make babies like the one you miscarried last season, but forgot to tell me about, ” whispered Derek in Meredith’s ear, as he feverishly removed his scrubs, and proceeded on to Grope Fest 2010.

Then his beeper went off . . .

“Seriously, BEEPER!  Are you effing kidding me?”

Apparently, Face Off Boy was in pain . . . Because, having your face sawed in half?  Kind of painful.  No . . . scratch that.  VERY PAINFUL.  And yet, after a few kind words from Derek, Face Off Boy is just fine . . .

 

That’s OK, Monkey.  I didn’t buy it either.   Apparently, Derek has become some kind of Super Hero, since last season.

After stopping Face Off Boy’s Excruciating Pain in under a minute, off dashes our Super Hero to save a woman from a burning building drive 125 mph in a 50 mph zone, en route to a wedding where he is supposed to be Best Man (more on that later).  Except, this time, when Derek gets arrested for Reckless Endangerment, Meredith LEAVES HIS ASS IN JAIL, and goes to the wedding, BY HERSELF!

It looks like Derek’s new prison friends are going to get a chance to play “Who dropped the soap?” with him after all!

Just a little going away present for our favorite Doctor, locked away in the Big Dog House.  You never know when such things might come in handy . . .

Still Dark and Twisty, after ALL THESE YEARS . . .

While Derek was busy speeding the streets, quitting his job, cutting peoples’ faces off, being a Super Hero, and hiding the soap, Meredith was  . . . well . . . she wasn’t doing much of anything actually, because Dr. Andrew Perkins . . .

a.k.a. McSexyShrinko

 . . . had not yet cleared her to perform surgery.  McSexyShrinko felt that Meredith had still not properly owned up to her inner demons, following The Shooting.  And one of those demons (though McSexyShrinko couldn’t have possibly known this, because she didn’t tell him), was the pregancy and subsequent miscarriage Meredith endured, during the traumatic event.

An “awkward position” to be in.

Believing that Derek has been through too much in recent months to cope with the loss of a baby as well, Meredith has borne the pain and burden of this secret, on her own skinny shoulders.  And, though she would never admit to it, it is obviously eating her up inside.

Yet, with all she is going through, Meredith finds it in her heart, to be there for her best friend, Christina, during the latter’s time of need.  Despite her initial misgivings about their relationship, and her belief that the pair was jumping into marriage so soon after The Shooting, Meredith ultimately gives Christina away at her wedding to Owen.  And when Christina nervously asks her best friend, if Owen is OK, prior to the wedding, Our Plucky Protagonist sweetly replies, “He’s perfect.  He is just perfect.”

And if a statement like that coming from an Avowed Cynic, like Meredith, doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will!

Speaking of Christina . . .

Here Comes the Bride .  . . All Dressed in  . . . RED?

Aside from the fact that she is getting married to the guy we just saw her BREAK UP WITH at the end of last season, because she believed him to be “just not that into [her],” and more into SOMEONE ELSE . . .

. . . the main differences we notice in Christina, during the Season Premiere, are that she (1) doesn’t seem to care AT ALL that she, like Meredith, hasn’t yet been cleared for surgery; and (2) spends almost the entire episode READING BRIDAL MAGAZINES.

Later, in a groundbreaking session with Dr. Perkins, we learn that Christina is focusing on these magazines, in an effort to force herself into the proverbial box in her head that she has labeled: “The Simple Girl.” 

“I went to school with women like this,” notes Christina, “Women who only wanted to marry the guy, and wear the pretty dress.  I used to pity them.  But I’ve realized that, in life, you can either be a Simple Girl, or you can be  . . . Me.  But Simple Girls are never forced to perform surgeries with guns to their heads.”

We are instantly flashed back to an evening a few months’ prior, when Owen arrives at Christina’s home, to find her frantic, panic-stricken, and unusually vulnerable.  “You’re late,” she insists.

 “I don’t want to be alone anymore,” says Christina tearfully, as Owen scoots next to her on the couch, and tries in vain to comfort her.

“You don’t have to be alone ever again.  Let me stay,” offers Owen.

And then he does this . . .

It’s a simple and sweet moment.  One that truly reflects these two characters and the often silent connection they have with one another.  Sure, “not wanting to be alone” isn’t the healthiest reason to marry someone.  But I’ve certainly heard worse .  . .

And the wedding?  Well, it was pretty awesome.  From the adoring way, Owen looked at Christina . . .

“Please lord, don’t let me end up like that Dr. Burke guy.  It’s HARD to get a job in Hollywood as a redhead!”

“Be afraid Ginger Boy!  Be VERY afraid!”

 . . .to Christina’s red dress (because white dresses are “offensive and vaguely racist,” according to Christina)

 . . . to how touched the couple’s colleagues were by the moment . . .

 . . . everything was, as Meredith said, perfect.

Sure, it’s a long shot.  It’s ALWAYS a long shot.  But, who’s to say these two Crazy Kids won’t be able to stick it out for the long haul?

Oh . . . and just in case you were concerned?  Owen and Teddy are TOTALLY DUNZO.  And Teddy has (rather conveniently, I might add) found a NEW MAN.  Actually, I think you might know him . . .

It’s Dr. McSexyShrinko!

Speaking of couples that are TOTALLY DUNZO . . .

The Opposite of Bad Ass

Lexie’s and Alex’s coupledom started going down hill when Alex called out Izzie’s name during sex bleeding to death, from a  bullet wound.  Considering that Izzie has already been MIA for half a season now, and LEXIE was the one saving Alex’s life at the time, I would say this was a pretty classic case of The Boy Who Doesn’t Know Where His Bread is Buttered . . .

Warning:  The loaf of bread has NOT BEEN BUTTERED BY IZZIE!  Jackass!

Things went from bad to worse, when Alex decided to keep his bullet from The Shooting lodged in his stomach, so he could use it to pick up chicks.

Yes, we CAN blame Alex for being a tool.  But can we REALLY blame all those chicks for banging him, when he looks like THIS? 

So, apparently, we can now expect many more episodes, during which a Shirtless Alex walks around the hospital, letting random slutty nurses rub his belly, and finger his scars.

But the final nail in the coffin was when Lexie had a PTSD freak-out in the hospital, and Wimpy Alex just WALKED AWAY, like a b*tch!  “I’ve had enough crazy for one lifetime,” Alex tells McSexyShrinko, when questioned about the incident.

Well, considering that Alex’s first girlfriend gave him an STD . . .

 . . . his second one ended up being a TOTAL Nutbag . . .

and his third girlfriend cheated on him with a DEAD GUY . . .

I guess I’d be inclined to agree!

And yet, I couldn’t help but cheer, when Alex tried to hit on Lexie at Owen’s and Christina’s wedding and she COMPLETELY TOLD HIM OFF!

“You may think that you are Bad Ass, because you lived.  But I’m the reason you lived.  And while you were sitting on that operating table DYING, you were calling out the name of your ex-wife who left you.  I’d say, that’s the opposite of Bad Ass.”

I think Alex just pooped his pants.

Did I mention that, unlike Alex, Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan has TOTALLY been looking out for / trying to take care of Lexie this ENTIRE TIME . . .

 . . . or that Jackson Avery is approximately her age, single, and, is now a Series Regular?

Oh, Alex!  You are SO YESTERDAY’S SCREW!

In other news . . .

Good Times Ahead for “Calzona”

After an entire episode during which Arizona worried that Callie would either propose marriage, or start bugging her about “making babies” again, Doctor Blondie was TOTALLY relieved, when Callie finally revealed was that she simply wanted Arizona to live with her on a more permanent basis.   

“I want you to move in with me. I love you, and you have a drawer . . . and a toothbrush . . . and I want you to have a whole dresser and a whole . . .blow-dryer. Or something.. more romantic than that or .  . .something,” mumbles Callie adorably.”

And, just in case some of you out there, missed it, the exchange looked something like this:

and, when Arizona happily accepted Callie’s Proposal of Cohabitation, it looked like THIS . . .

“Blow Dryer” GIF and Calzona PicSpam provided courtesy of: http://fuckyeahcallieandarizona.tumblr.com/

It’s SO HARD to SAY GOODBYE .  . . to  the Gas Man

Oh, Ben!  Dear, Sweet, Miranda Bailey-loving, anesthesiologist, Ben!  We hardly knew ye!  But, already, we loved ye!  We loved the way you made Bailey happy, giddy, and smiley. 

We loved the way you got her to blissfully sing in the elevator, after the two of you FINALLY did the deed.  In short, you were a godsend for our favorite Nazi!

Sure, we always knew that, eventually, you would have to leave.  Really, we did.  But that didn’t make it any easier to watch Miranda dump you.

Yes, you just so happened to be golfing while a young man died in Miranda’s arms.  But that wasn’t your fault!  And yes, Miranda now feels that she is “busy with the tape and the glue”  that are holding her fragile life together.  So, Sweet, Perfect, Ben seems like “too much for her right now.” 

 But, does it REALLY need to be SO HARD?  Does the breakup need to feel so permanent?  After all, glue dries.  Tape peels.  And relationships .  . . well . . . sometimes . . . they heal just not when one of the involved parties has already signed on to work on yet another Shondra Rhimes Medical Drama.

Gas Man, you will certainly be missed.  And maybe, just maybe, we will find it in our hearts to check you out on that OTHER show, which shall remain nameless.  But, for right now, at least, I can’t do that.  Call me, Dark and Twisty if you want, but I’m still a little bitter . . . 

I guess my glue just hasn’t dried yet.

Well, there you have it folks — Grey’s Anatomy Season 7 is officially upon us.  Are you as psyched as I am?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Fresh Faces, Altered Alliances, Same Sue! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Premiere “Audition”

Your pals at New Directions would like to wish you a Big Ole’ “WELCOME BACK!”

Tonight’s season premiere of Glee offered us a number of things we thought would NEVER happen at McKinley High!  Artie, a Football Jock?  Finn, a Cheerleader?  Will and Sue, best buddies / Partners in Crime?  Rachel, dethroned as Queen Diva of New Directions?  WHAT THE GLEEK?

“What is the world coming to?  Oh, the HUMANITY!”

Perhaps, now would be a good time to backtrack and explain  . . .

Glee’s Big Gay Summer

According to Jacob Ben Israel’s video blog, a lot has happened to our favorite Glee kids during those warm hot summer months.  Finn and Rachel became a couple . . .

 . . . despite the fact that Finn still thinks Rachel is “control-ist.”

Tina dumped Artie . . .

. . .  because he and her just don’t share the same interests, anymore.  For example, lately, Tina has become very interested in Mike Chang’s abs .  . .

 . . . which are AWESOME, by the way!  Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but I smell another Love Triangle in our future . . .

(Speaking of abs, check out these new pics of Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester on Glee.)

Holy, PECTORALS, Batman!

Also, Puck . . .

 . . . got a VASECTOMY??????

Presumably, this means that, never again, will another unsuspecting teen be forced to carry a Little Puckerman in their belly for nine months . . .

 He can still give them crabs, though . . .

Perhaps, most importantly, whatever “esteemed status” our Glee kids may have gained last year (read: no status at all), was lost the moment New Directions failed to place at Sectionals, last year.

Without a trophy on the mantel to justify their existence as a school club, New Directions’ ever tenuous funding is now on shakier footing than ever.  It certainly doesn’t help that Principal Figgins has hired a new football coach, Ms. Beist (played by Dot Jones).

The result of this “new hire” is that the Glee Club’s already anorexic budget has been cut by an additional ten percent.  But, here’s the kicker . . . so has the budget for SUE SYLVESTER’S CHEERIOS!

Understandably, this does not make Sue a Happy Camper . . .

Sue and Will: BFF?

With the Beist breathing down their necks, and snagging a big chunk of each of their club’s cash, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  They are both  .  . . ON THE SAME SIDE!

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