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L’eggo My Eggo (I’m Preggo!) – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Beauty and the Feast”

BLAIR: “Pull my finger.”

DOROTA: “Just because you are ‘with child,’ doesn’t mean you have to act like one, Miss Blair.”

BLAIR: *pouts*

Greetings, Upper East Siders!  I don’t know about you, but I learned A LOT from this week’s episode of Gossip Girl . . . Let’s see, I learned about a  “disease” called “conversion disorder,” which apparently makes you jump from rooftops, crash motorcycles, and pay guys to beat you up.

In other words, it turns you into Bella Swan, circa New Moon 

I learned that there are actually people who are more than willing to beat you up for cash (it’s a recession economy, after all).  And I learned the difference between bulimic puking and pregnancy puking.  And you just never know when these things are going to come in handy!

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Thanks Gossip Girl!

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

Friends don’t let friends . . . have tender boobs.

“Is this going to involve us getting into stirrups?  Because my Brazilian Wax isn’t until next week. . .” 

Your first gynecological pregnancy check-up . . . it’s a Right of Passage . . . or at least, that’s what I’m told.  As such, many women prefer not to experience it alone.  Some drag their husbands along, others their friends, still others, their mothers.  Dorota brings her boss, which is probably why she felt obligated to wear her uniform to the checkup, complete with that weird doily thing she always wears on her head.

“Is that my sanitary napkin on your head?” 

(Seriously, what IS that?  And what sort of function does it have in the complex world of housekeeping?  I mean, it’s not large enough to be a hairnet, and not circular enough to be a scrunchie.  So, what does it DO for Dorota, aside from make her look ridiculous cute.  Inquiring minds want to know . . .)

“Have you reviewed this doctor’s credentials, Dorota?  Because I’m pretty sure I saw him recently on an episode of Law and Order, SVU.” 

When the doctor arrives, Blair peppers the poor schlub with TONS of icky personal questions about “Dorota’s” pregnancy symptoms, including, but not limited to, her breast tenderness (gag), her morning sickness (double gag), her sensitivity to smells (ick), and her fatigue . . . (Well, OK, I can live with that).  Of course, it’s not until Blair inquires about how long “Dorota” must wait to be able to determine the father of her baby, that both the housekeeper and the doctor, become suspicious.

“Actually, I am not suspicious.  This is just my usual facial expression.” 

The doctor got so suspicious in fact, that he LEFT, instructing Dorota to come back another time, ALONE.  (Really, Doctor?  You got scared off by someone asking you a couple of sensitive questions?  Talk about a lack of bedside manner!   Perhaps, you received your medical degree online?)

Since the happily married Dorota is damn near certain about the paternity of her baby (Then again, you never know with those saucy Russian Maids Perpetually Dressed in French Maid Halloween Costumes), she puts two and two together, and figures out that her little Blair-ipoo is, in fact, with child.

Yeah . . . I just really love this GIF. 

Dorota is THRILLED by the prospect of being able to share the “wonders of pregnancy” with her boss / friend / surrogate daughter.  “We are like sisters now,” she exclaims, downgrading that to cousins, upon noticing Blair’s horrified response.

“Right . . . sisters . . . like I would really be related to someone who willingly wears toilet paper on her head.” 

Unfortunately, Blair is not exactly ready to share Dorota’s excitement about her upcoming Baby Bass bundle of joy.  For one thing, she’s neither married, nor out of college yet . . . for another . . . duh .  . . she DOESN”T KNOW WHO THE DADDY IS!  CHUCK!  CHUCK!  IT HAS TO BE CHUCK’S!

“No one must know,” Blair warns Dorota, as she makes the first of her trademark I’m Going to Hurl Faces, of which we get different variations throughout the episode.

You can practically FEEL the chunks rising.  Now THAT’s good acting! 

You know what else I loved about this scene?  The fact that the song “Pumped Up Kicks” was playing during it . . . a song that sounds all sweet and innocent, but when you listen to the lyrics is actually about a psycho kid on a killing spree.  How VERY appropriate for this “sweet” gyneological moment between a girl and her maid . . .

Elsewhere, on the Upper East Side . . .

Slutty Cougars are Better than Viagra (AND they can get you a job!)

“And if you are a really good lay, Ill take your for a Happy Meal at McDonald’s, when we’re finished.”

Ahhh  . . . Nate.  For a guy who’s had more Random Guest Star Girlfriends than any male character on the entire CW network, he SURE does fall hard and fast for the floozies, doesn’t he?  All it takes is a couple of LA sex romps with the mysterious “Diana,” and suddenly Nate can’t get it up for ANY OTHER ANONYMOUS FLOOZIES!  (Oh the horror!)

You know what they say, once you go OLD, you never go back . . . (OLD-ER!  I meant old-er, I swear!) 

This becomes immediately apparent when ONE of these random floozies dashes out of Nate’s bed, complaining about “guys on anti-depressants.”  And you know what “anti-depressants” tend to do to Mr. Happy, don’t you, boys and girls?

That’s right!

I have to say, I think Chuck had a point when he said that Nate’s apparent Mommy Issues, tend to manifest themselves in him becoming obsessed with sexual partners who are old enough to be his mother.  (Well, when you put it THAT way, it just sounds gross..)  I’m not necessarily sure this explains his tendency to date scheming stalkerish psychopaths, however.

Any thoughts?

Nate spends a good portion of this episode (as in about four-and-a-half minutes of his total eight minutes of screentime) trying to find out any information he can about his mysterious Mrs. Robinson-type.  But then, (SURPRISE!) she finds him.  No . . . really . . . I mean she stalks him all the way from LA to right in front of his mother’s doorstep, in the Upper East Side.

NATE: “Where have you been all my life?”

DIANA: “Well, around the time you were born, I was probably getting felt up behind the bar at a frat party.  After that, it’s all pretty much one big blur.”

Apparently, “Diana” has some business agenda.  She manages The Spectator,  an LA-based tabloid newspaper that she wishes to bring to the East Coast, and, for reasons I couldn’t quite comprehend, needs Nate’s mother’s approval, in order to do it.  Maybe I would have gotten more out of this particular storyline, if I wasn’t so distracted by Nate and “Diana” randomly HAVING SEX UP AGAINST THE ARCHIBALD’S OUTDOOR SECURITY GATE!!!! Way to stay classy, Professional Businesswoman Person!

This is one of those times when I kind of wish Gossip Girl was on HBO.  Because I bet Chace Crawford’s ASS (among other things) is OUTSTANDING! 

Nevertheless, Nate somehow manages to secure “Diana” his mother’s backing, by telling her what a great lay she is, perhaps.  And “Diana” returns the favor, by offering Nate an internship at her crappy tabloid professional newspaper, as opposed to the plum, GUARANTEED CAREER- MAKING internships with Goldman Sachs, etc., that were originally offered to Nate.

“I major in Cougar Studies, with a minor in Pot Brownie Baking.” 

It must be nice to think with your weiner all the time be so friggin wealthy that little things like one’s future career path mean nothing in comparison to sexual opportunities with women almost over child-bearing age.  (Because, hey, at least pregnancy isn’t as substantial a possibility? Right?  Chuck Bass, take note! ;))

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” 

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast . . . .

“Call Me Serena, “Ivy/Charlie = The WORST Waitress, Girlfriend, Cousin, and Roommate EVER  (But at least she’s consistent!)

“I also dress like that chick from the show Blossom.”

So, here’s the thing.  I’m a little worried about Serena.  (What else is new, right?)  But wait . . .  it’s not necessarily for the reason you would expect.  On one hand, I LIKE New, Perky, Optimistic, Non-Boy Obsessed, Job-Oriented Serena.

“Holding important looking folders is a tough job, but somebody has to do it.” 

In fact, I probably like her more than I’ve liked ANY incarnation of Serena since Season 1.  It’s just that . . . I think she might suffer from a brain disorder . . .  specifically, whatever Drew Barrymore had in 50 First Dates .  .  .

Serena HAS to be suffering from some kind of selective amnesia!  How else could she exist on this show for FIVE SEASONS, and not have learned by now that you can NEVER, EVER trust the pretty Guest Star!  Heck, this isn’t even a NEW Guest Star!  “Call Me Serena” Ivy Charlie was a big ole wackadoo the FIRST TIME SHE WAS ON THE SHOW!

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 I mean, sure, chalk it up to the “lack of anti-psychotic medication.”  Tell me that she was “just playing a part for some cash.”  I DON’T CARE!  B*TCH IS OBVIOUSLY CRAZY!  She also wears weird pants.  (And not in a cute, charming or adorable way, either.  More like in a Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Octo-Mom kind of way.)  RUN SERENA!  RUN FAR AND FAST!

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Let’s start at Ivy continuing to pretend to be Serena’s cousin, while the pair, frolic around LA.  Nevermind the fact that Ivy’s adorable live-in, wanna-be chef boyfriend just followed her to LA, so she could pursue her “acting dreams,” and has no idea what a scheming little wench he is dating .  . . Nevermind the fact that Ivy left her new JOB as a waitress to play the part of the Trust Fund baby, and will now have no way of paying rent.  Just .  . . well . . . nevermind.

“You and your creepy cotton candy pants, don’t deserve me and my adorableness.” 

Things are going great for “Call Me Serena” Ivy / Charlie until Serena drops the REAL bomb on her.   She’s staying in LA . . . AND looking for an apartment  . . . AND she wants “Charlie” to live with her.

Wait . . . I’m sorry . . . but WHAT THE F*&K?  I get that she’s your relative, Serena.  And I know you feel a bit bad for her, because she didn’t grow up filthy rich like you, and has “mental problems,” but do you not remember that this is the same girl who tried to dress up like you, asked your ex-boyfriend to call her BY YOUR NAME, when he had sex with her, and pretty much went all SINGLE WHITE FEMALE ON YOUR ASS?  This is who you want to live with?  You don’t know anything about this girl, and everything that you know is BAD.

“Oh . . . well, when you put it THAT way.” 

WHAT . . . IS . . . WRONG . . . WITH . . . YOU!

Now faux-Charlie (See, I can’t even decide what I’m supposed to call this girl!) REALLY has to tap dance to get out of living with Serena, because Golly GEE she ISN’T really her cousin, doesn’t really have access to the Van Der Woodsen Trust Fund, and is already living with her adorable boyfriend who, as I mentioned, knows NOTHING about this con.   So, faux-Charlie tries her best to find polite reasons why she can’t live with Serena.  But girlfriend simply REFUSES to take no for an answer.

And they think CHUCK has a Death Wish . . . 

Of course, rather than coming clean about NOT being Charlie, faux-Charlie ends up getting dragged into going apartment hunting with Serena.  What’s worse, so as not to hurt Serena’s feelings, and make her think she doesn’t want to be her roommate, faux-Charlie ends up giving the realtor one of “Charlie’s” checks to help cover the downpayment.  (Who knew con-artists were so sensitive to other’s fragile egos?)

Now thoroughly freaked out, faux-Charlie quickly calls the realtor to get back the check, only to learn that it was bad (SURPRISE), and that it was returned to Serena.  (Yeah, because that’s what realtors do when you write bad checks, give them to YOUR FRIENDS, instead of YOU!)

Logical explanations aside, faux-Charlie is SO busted!  At least, that’s what she thinks, which is why she runs to her poor sweet schlub of a boyfriend (his name is Max, by the way), and tells him she is SO done chasing after HER dreams (after two weeks).  It’s high time they started chasing after HIS dreams for a change . . . FAR AWAY in Portland.

“Wait . . . this means I don’t get any more screentime, doesn’t it?  YOU B*TCH!” 

“Max” seems confused by faux-Charlie’s sudden change of heart, but readily agrees to move to Portland, probably because he is SO whipped you can practically see the rope marks on his body through his clothing.  Max then promptly quits his new restaurant job, so that he can start packing.  (You’ve really gotta love the tremendous work ethic these two have!)

Now, faux-Charlie is relieved because she’s actually dumb enough to think that she can run away, without the girl she just screwed over for cash on an apartment, will not realize that she left.  (Then again, given Serena’s obvious amnesia issues, this is actually a distinct possibility.)  But alas, Serena now KNOWS where she lives.  And worse, she is waiting outside her apartment to utter the oh so cliched, pre-commercial break line, “I know what’s going on here.”  (Or something like that . . .)

*insert dramatic music here*  (By the way, is Serena wearing SHOULDER PADS?) 

Of course, us veteran TV watchers know this as code for, “I am COMPLETELY off base as to what is actually going on here.  But I want to make you worry about what I know, throughout the commercial break . . .

Back from commerical break, we finally find out what Serena thinks she knows.  And believe it or not, it’s actually a lot more plausible than the REAL reason faux-Charlie’s check bounced.  Serena thinks her “Charlie’s” mom cut her off from her trust fund for moving to LA.  And so she promises to get faux-Charlie cut back ON.  (Is that a real phrase?  NO?  Well, you get what I mean . . .)  Then, she reiterates her NEED for faux-Charlie to become her roommate.  (Clingy much, S?)

“Can you blame me?  I haven’t had a boyfriend in TWO WHOLE EPISODES?  This is TORTURE!” 

But this was the part that really dusted my doileys!  Faux-Charlie DUMPED her REAL boyfriend to STAY with SERENA, and continue to be her FAKE cousin.  She told him she didn’t love him any more, and sent him packing to Portland ALONE.  I’m pretty sure there is a special place in hell for people like that . . .

Oh, and get this, after all that, Serena decided SHE’S NOT STAYING IN LA.  Her production assistant job is being moved . . . you guessed it . . . back to New York!   (SURPRISE!)  And now she wants faux-Charlie to come with her?  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t faux-Charlie claim to be leaving New York because the Upper East Side was what made her fall off her meds in the first place?  (See what I mean, about Serena and her amnesia?)

And, really, how needy are you, that you ask somebody you barely know to travel across the coast to LIVE WITH YOU?  But, of course, faux-Charlie says yes.  Because . . . you know . . . this is Gossip Girl, where everybody does strange and inexplicable things sometimes lives for the moment, and flies by the seat of their pants.  So, faux-Charlie hops in the limo with Serena, and they ride off toward good ole Manhattan, where they will undoubtedly live happily ever after . . . at least until next week’s episode.

Speaking of phony relatives . . . Louis-Bot has a relative who’s a BIG phony.  And (SURPRISE!) she has it in for Blair .  . .

An Entire Plotline Focused on Blair’s VOMIT?  Well, this is NEW!

“If I don’t watch my step, I’ll be forever remembered by the Good People of Monaco as Princess Pukey.” 

You know what I really liked about this storyline?  How real it was .  . .

Of course, I’m not talking about the moving of the Assumption Feast, or the whole prince thing, or really anything about this plotline except for Blair’s morning sickness.  It is so rare that we actually get to see our Non Judging Breakfast Club members (at least the female contingent) of them, when they are not at their best (well .   . . we see them drunk sometimes, but, other than that).

Personally, I thought it was refreshing that Blair looked a bit tired and disheveled throughout the episode.  I like that she made puke faces, any time anybody or anything smelly got anywhere near her.  Because, from what I’ve been told, that’s what women in the early stage of their pregnancy are like!  And as prim, proper, and often perfect Blair may appear, she is, after all, only human (as evidenced by the fact that she’s not entirely certain of the paternity of her baby).

This story begins with Louis-Bot informing Blair that she gets to meet yet another one of his oh-so-charming royal relatives.   This one’s name is Beatrice.  And though she looks about the right age to be Louis-Bot’s sister, she’s actually his aunt.  *cough Change of Life Baby cough*  At first, Beatrice seems nice enough.  She’s way more laid back than the stodgy Princess Sophie, and she has a much wider range of voice inflections than Louis Bot.  Her worst offense seems to be that she wears too much perfume, which, like everything else in the episode, makes Blair want to hurl.

Would you please get that weiner-looking thing out of my face.  THAT’S what got me into this mess in the first place!” 

As nice as she seems, Blair is VERY eager to get rid of Beatrice, and ship her and Louis Bot off to the Feast of Assumption by plane, so that she can get some much needed Pregnant Lady R&R.  But Beatrice insists on spending the day with Blair, during which she regales her with how AWFUL being reigning princess will be for Blair, because she will have to wear lame, non-skin showing outfits.  Beatrice of course, though second in line for the throne, has no interest in doing such things, no SIR . . .

But the “kindly” Beatrice begins to become suspicious of Blair when she repeatedly gags at the food Beatrice shoves in her face every five seconds. And, despite being in the middle of NYC, where it is almost impossible to find a place that will let you use the bathroom without buying something first, Blair makes roughly twenty trips to the potty in a single afternoon!

Just like Serena, Beatrice comes to the immediate WRONG conclusion about Blair’s bizarre behavior.  She confronts Dorota and basically accuses Blair of being on drugs.  Dorota denies this, but, of course, doesn’t want to tell Beatrice what is actually wrong with Blair.  (A good maid never reveals her boss’ secrets, after all).  And so, when Beatrice suggests bulimia, Dorota sort-of agrees, since, it seems the lesser of two evils, and is not entirely untrue.  After all, Blair WAS bulimic . . . back in Season 1.

“How did you know?  Are you bulimic too?  Perhaps, we can throw some Big Bulimia Party!  No?” 

Upon hearing this news  scheming wench concerned sister Beatrice calls Louis-Bot for an impromptu meeting.  She tells her nephew that Bulimic Blair just isn’t ready for the pressures of being princess.   But Loyal Louis-Boy will not believe it.   So, Beatrice decides to prove it to him, by miraculously moving the Feast of Assumption to NYC (Get it?  Miraculously), and spending the entire feast .  . . you guessed it . . . trying to make Blair vomit again . . .

What is our Blair-Bear to do?  She decides to pray to the Virgin Mary.

“Can I ask you something?  Where did you get your outfit?  Because it’s really cute!”

And, hallelujah, her prayers are answered . . . well . . . sort of . . .

Dan’s Got a Plan, Blair’s Got a Secret, and Chuck’s . . . Joined a Fight Club?

Back in non-royal ville, Dan the Donut (who I will refrain from calling The Donut this week, because he did some nice things for both Blair and Chuck . . . things that I suspect, will start them on the path toward their inevitable reunion) is STILL trying to figure out what publishing company That Annoying Wench Who Shall Not Be Named Manessa got to publish his book.

“Actually, I’m just pretending to figure out who published my book.   I’m really just surfing the net for porn.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell Gossip Girl anybody!” 

He decides that the best way to do this is to trace the check said wench sent him as an advance.  But Dan the Donut has NO skills in the art of computer hacking or bank breaking, he decides to turn to the one person with the ability to do ALL OF THOSE THINGS . . . the man . . . the myth . . . the legend . . . CHUCK BASS!

Dan uses Gossip Girl to track Chuck’s head (no literally, Gossip Girl uses a picture of a Giant Chuck Bass Head to signify his whereabouts).  But when Dan finds him, these two hooligans are KICKING LOVERBOY’S ASS.

*insert homoerotic joke here* 

So, Dan rushes to Chuck’s rescue, and .  . . is completely unsuccessful in helping.  In fact, he gets PUNCHED IN THE FACE!  The two men rush off, and Chuck DOES NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

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But Dan, while ogling Chuck’s awesome abs notices that nasty gash Chuck got on his stomach from his motorcycle wipeout . . .

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*whistles appreciatively*

 . . .  and  insists he see a doctor.   Chuck boredly complies with this request.  As for the doctor, he says Chuck’s wounds are “bordering on serious.”  He’s more concerned with the fact that Chuck claimed not to physically FEEL anything when the wound was touched.

“Hey, look!  It’s Doctor House . . . calls.” 

So,  now everyone assumes that Chuck is numbed out on drugs . . . just like Beatrice thought about Blair.  Coincidence?  I think not . . .

Dan, being the good After School Special Star that he is, confronts Chuck AGAIN in his bedroom, to tell him to “Just say no to drugs.”

“Unlike Serena, when I rejected you, I meant it,” replies Chuck smugly.  (Ooh, look at Chuck with all these slamming Darena zingers!)

Dan figures out, quite correctly that Blair is the cause of Chuck’s rash behavior.  In fact, he pretty much accuses Chuck of being Bella Swan in New Moon, a.k.a. trying to get himself killed so that Blair will return to his side.  Ouch!  Then, to add insult to injury, Shrink Dan decides to REALLY send Chuck off the deep end, by telling the poor guy that HE, Dan Humpty Dumpty Humphrey (See, I’m trying, I really am!) kissed Blair last, pre-Louis-Bot.

Now, I know this was supposedly just some well-intentioned tough love on Dan’s part.  But, honestly, did anybody else think that Dan was using this as an opportunity to stick his tongue out and go “Nah-nah, nah-nah boo, boo” in the emotionally-damaged Chuck’s face.

Fortunately, Chuck had the comeback to END ALL COMEBACKS to this remark.  “The last person she was with was me.  And I’m talking full carnal knowledge.  Did that hurt?  I wish I could feel it.”

Ooohh!  BUUUURN!  I love it!

It’s time for Dan to stalk Blair now.  But since he’s coming to tell her to help out Chuck, I can’t fault him too much for his decision.  What I can fault him for is his outfit.  SERIOUSLY?  A t-shirt and jeans to the Feast of Assumption?  You couldn’t at least put on a pair of khaki’s or something . . .

Religious Festival Attendance FAIL! 

Anywhoo, Dan arrives at the perfect moment to rescue Blair from the puke-making Beatrice.  She drags Dan into the Little Girls Room,  (I will not make the obvious joke . . . I will not make the obvious joke . . .  I will not make the . . .) where he feels right at home.  (DOH!  I  guess I made the obvious joke.).  Blair seems to have forgiven Dan fairly quickly for his most recent transgression of plotting to get her to escape her upcoming not going to last anyway nuptials, and f*&k him in the Hamptons.  Then again, maybe she’s just too nauseous to push him away.

Dan successfully manages to plant the seed in Blair’s head that Chuck is going TOTALLY BATTY without her, and needs her help, before she rushes into the nearest stall and starts blowing chunks.  While Dan doesn’t get the full credit he would have received for holding Blair’s hair back Chuck definitely seems like a holding hair back kind of guy, don’t you think? while she prayed to the porcelain god (Man, my euphemisms for vomiting sure are in full force this week, aren’t they?), he does get partial credit, for running the water in the faucet to drown out those pesky retching noises, and for not crinkling his nose to much at the inevitable foul smell.

“I can sing too, if you’d like?” 

Enter that b*tch Beatrice.  Dan tells her that Blair is sick, and she offers to go “fetch” Louis.  But, instead, of course, she stays to overhear Dan accuse Blair of being bulimic again, and demand that she gets help.  To this, Blair replies in frustration, “I’m not bulimic, I’m pregnant.”

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Of course, Beatrice heard THAT too.  And just when we THINK she’s going to tell Louis, she surprisingly DOESN’T.  What she does do, is claim that Blair had this “great idea” to dine with smelly homeless people at the Feast of Assumption, as a way of giving back to the community.  Man, that Beatrice, she is REALLY good at inducing vomiting.  She’s like the human version of Ipecac!

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!” 

Cue the blast from Gossip Girl that Chuck is getting his butt beat again.  And cue Super Man Dan’s exit to make another rescue!  (Hes a busy little bee, this week, isn’t he?)

“Ta-da!”

When Dan arrives to see Chuck getting beaten by the SAME guys who beat him last time, he finally figures out that Chuck PAID them to do this.  Backed into a corner, both literally and figuratively, Chuck explains the real reason behind this one-sided fight club.  Ever since he lost Blair, he has found himself frighteningly unable to feel.  So, basically, the reason he keeps putting himself in dangerous situations is that he hopes to experience pain.  “Is being dead that much worse than being nothing?”  Chuck asks, morosely.

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How about you try to feel good things?”  Dan suggests.  “I could tickle you!”

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(WOW .  . . just wow . . . and the gay porno version of Gossip Girl would start right there.)

Most of us, had kind of assumed that Chuck wasn’t as well-adjusted and coping with Blair’s loss, as he might have seemed last week.  But hearing Chuck admit this is still extremely sad.  Back at his bachelor pad, Chuck graciously asks the REAL reason Dan has been stalking him all episode.  Dan admits that his book contains some SCATHING commentary on all his “friends,” including Chuck.  And, if it’s published, a lot of people will get their feelings hurt.

“Oops,  I should really learn to keep a lock on my diary.”

According to shrink Dan, Chuck is suffering from conversion disorder, a psycho somatic illness that removes the feeling from limbs, as a result of the experience of a traumatic event . . . an event like the VERY TEMPORARY loss of a soulmate . . .  ( What’s the cure, you ask?  LOTS OF SEX WITH SAID SOULMATE, Dr. TV Recappers says . . .)

“Ahhh, Charlie Trout returns,” Chuck replies, cleverly recalling Dan’s OTHER scathing essay, about Chuck and his dad, which Dan used to impress a teacher, at Chuck’s expense.

You know, it just occurred to me that Dan is forever exploiting satirizing his pals to further his writing career.  Think about it . . . his story that was published in the New Yorker was about Serena.  He’s already written about Chuck.  And THIS story is about the ENTIRE Non Judging Breakfast Club.  Given Dan’s obvious penchant for gossip about rich kids, and “based on true events” stories, wouldn’t it just be HILARIOUS if Dan ended up being Gossip Girl?

I know he isn’t.  But I still think it would be funny .  . .

Ultimately, Chuck agrees to help Dan with his little scheme to get back that EVIL book.  And, like that, the Chan Bromance is reborn . . .

Meanwhile, Beatrice is in a limo with the PRIEST from the Feast of Assumption.  To him she reveals her desire to usurp the throne from Louis, by bringing down Blair.  Is this confession?  You might be asking yourself.  NO, believe it or not, it’s actually SEX . . .

That is so wrong on so many levels.

The episode ends with Blair finding her way back to Brooklyn, and the comfort of an old friend.  She tells Dan everything she’s been keeping locked up inside herself for such a long time now . . . like how she had sex with Chuck once, but Louis-Bot many times.  Apparently, according to Blair, he’s “surprisingly virile.”  I didn’t know robots could copulate?   Who knew?

You totally paid the writers to put that part about you being virile in the script, didn’t you?

And even though Blair is not yet certain who the father of her child is, she knows that it was conceived out of love, and therefore wants to keep it.

Ahhh, memories! 

  Honestly, I’m still skeptical as to whether Blair loves Louis-Bot, especially considerng she went back to him, more or less, as a consulation prize, after Chuck gave her up for the greater good.

But for now, I will give her the benefit of the doubt.  (OK . . . maybe I won’t.)  Of course, Blair’s life will be much easier if the baby is Louis-Bots, as it will leave her with much less explaining to do.   And yet, she is conflicted, scared, and petrified of losing everything.

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You’ve really gotta hand it to Dan.  And this is coming from someone who isn’t usually his biggest fan.  Given how clearly head over heels he is in love with her, it couldn’t have been easy for him to endure her graphic description of Louis’ virility, or of her sex with Chuck, or of her love for both men, and not him .  . . not in that way, at least.  And yet, the used-to-be extremely judgy Dan takes the fragile Blair in his arms, and convinces her to find out the baby’s paternity.

“What if I lose everything?” She asks tearfully.

“You’ll still have me,” he replies, as the episode draws to a close.

Well . .  now, that’s nice . . . sweet even.  (See?  I can behave!)  🙂

Until next time, XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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“I’ve come to bury Nucky, not to praise him.” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Ourselves Alone”

“All by my selllllllf.  Don’t wanna be, all by my selllllllf, anymorrrrre!” 

Poor Nucky!  I never thought I would ever begin a recap with those two words.   After all, wasn’t the entire theme of season one how blessed Nucky was in every way except in the looks department, of course, and how much power he wielded in his pants Atlantic City?

My, have the tables turned quickly . . . well, actually not so quickly, considering Season 1 aired a year ago!  Now, everyone’s out to screw Nucky over.  And District Attorney’s are touching his personal items in ways that Eddie finds personally offensive!

“I’m so upset over what is going on here that I am going to eat this phone.”

You know who else started out as a guy, who had it all, and ended up with crap?  THIS GUY . . .

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. . . well, him too.  But I was thinking more along the lines of THIS GUY . . .

The obvious comparisons between Nucky’s current situation and Julius Caesar’s are so striking, that I can’t imagine they weren’t intended by the writers of this show.  I mean, think about it, we’ve got the young up-and-comer, who used to be part of Nucky’s ranks, being groomed to usurp his throne.

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We’ve got the not-so-whispered words of mutiny amongst the senators alderman.  And, perhaps, most importantly, we have Nucky experiencing the ultimate betrayal at the hands of the person he trusted most . . . his own brother . . . his Brutus.

(Take that High School English Teacher that only gave me a B+ on my Julius Caesar paper!  You know who you are.)

And yet, while it would seem as though this episode revolved around the Downfall of Nucky Thompson, arguably, the real stars of “Ourselves Alone” were his supporting cast . . . the surprisingly sly, and cunning courage of Margaret Schroeder . . . the quiet, yet extremely dangerous, ferocity of Chalky White . . . the stone cold ambition of Jimmy Darmody . . . the bat-sh*t craziness of Nelson Van Alden . . .

Well, actually, he wasn’t in this episode.  But I think you catch my drift . . .

So, settle down with a good book, pop open a new can of shoe polish, or take a dip in the Temperance Fountain, because it’s time for another Boardwalk recap . . .

(By the way, special thanks to ladymanson.com, for the kickass screencaps you see here!)

“Nucky’s in the Slammer.  Who wants pancakes?”

“Do you think they are whispering about me, because I’m not wearing any underwear?”

The episode begins with Margaret tiptoeing down the mansion steps in her nightie, to the sight of her apprehensive all-female staff, regarding her, as one would regard a terminally ill cancer patient.

“I can’t believe NONE of us were cast in the movie The Help.  It’s NOT FAIR!” 

Too bad Margaret doesn’t live in Modern Times.  Otherwise @randomnewsreporter could have totally tweeted her the news that her not-so-hubby was very much arrested the night before.

Doh!

Instead, the new Woman of the Thompson Household is forced to learn of her lover’s arrest in the local paper.

Margaret, who has obviously adapted rather quickly to the unspoken responsibilities of being an expensive sex toy the wife of a powerful public figure, is remarkably stoic, in the face of this obviously surprising and disturbing news.  Rather than bursting into hysterics, or rushing out the door to the nearest jail like a mad woman, as the old Margaret might have done, Nu-Margaret merely takes a deep breath, and returns to her regularly scheduled  tasks, i.e. bossing around of the staff.

It is not until a bit, later, when we see Margaret on the phone with Nucky’s driver, Eddie, that cracks in her marble facade begin to show.

“So, what exactly ARE conjugal visits?  I don’t think we had those back in Ireland.” 

“I’d be more than happy to SHOW you.”

Poor Margie can barely keep herself from crying, when Eddie tells her that he can’t pick her up and drive her to the jail.  (As it turns out, the District Attorney and his cronies have been inappropriately fondling the items in Nucky’s office.  And Eddie is afraid to leave them alone.)

When the house maid is found lurking near the doorway, Margaret asks her what kind of coat she owns?

Huh?

Well, THAT’S a strange thing to ask.  Is Margie hoping the maid will drive her to the jail to see Nucky?  Is she worried about her favorite housekeeper catching pneumonia during those cold A.C. winters?  Is she secretly writing an expose on the dressing habits of maids for the local paper?  Or is something more sinister afoot?  (Well, obviously, you already know the answer.  But let’s pretend everythings all scary and intriguing, for a little while longer, OK?)

Meanwhile, down at the Pokey . . .

“Gee, sorry I had you arrested, and am now sharing a jail cell with you . . . AWKWARD!”

“I never really believed all those silly rumors about ‘dropping the soap,’ did you?” 

How convenient odd is it that a large, purportedly crime-infested, place like Atlantic City, only seems to have two cells in its town jail?  Now, if that’s not a good reason NOT to screw over your friends, I don’t know what is.

Just last week, Nucky had his liquor and political compadre Chalky White arrested “for his own safety,” after a “nice, friendly” meeting with some SHEET HEADS KKK members went horribly awry.

SHEET!

Now, Nucky finds himself trapped ALONE in a jail cell with Nucky.

(Apparently, Chalky’s political clout has gained him enough social standing to earn a spot in the “more elite” jail cell, apart from the rest of the assorted riff-raff.  Umm . . . yay?)

Silly, Nucky!  He was apparently having sex sleeping during his Jail Cell Etiquette Class.  Rule #1 of Surviving Prison:  Don’t accuse your cell mate, who YOU are responsible of throwing in jail, of betraying YOU.  And yet, that’s exactly what Nucky does, by asking Chalky a few VERY pointed questions about whether his “people” had anything to do with the “anonymous witnesses” whose testimony got Nucky thrown in jail for election fraud.

“Vote on THIS, b*tch!” 

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  Were it not for Chalky, there is a good chance that Nucky’s cronie, Anthony Bader, would have NEVER been elected Mayor.    Not to mention the fact that Nucky is DEFINITELY no longer in the position to be choosy about who he gets to call his “friend.”

Things get even MORE awkward between Nucky and Chalky (I’m sorry, but are those not the WEIRDEST NAMES EVER? My fingers get twisted on my keyboard everytime I have to type them both together), when Nucky’s lawyer comes to post his bail, while Chalky is made to rot in the slammer.  Oops!

“See ya, Sucka . . . er . . . I mean . . . sorry, Big Guy!” 

So, Nucky exits the jail a Free Man (for now), and successfully engages in a battle of wits with the local journalists, looking to prove he’s a criminal to the “Good People of AC.”

(He calls them all alcoholics.  BURN!  What a NOVEL insult about journalists!  You have to wake up pretty early in the morning or whatever time Jimmy, the Commodore, and Eli wake up to pull one over on Nucky Thompson.  What a FIRE CRACKER!)

Meanwhile, Chalky is forced to deal with insults of a much more personal nature . . .

David Copperfield (err  . . . I mean “Tom Sawyer”) must be a REALLY GOOD BOOK!

“I have flipped through a 100 pages of this book, and I haven’t seen a single BOOB.  And they call this a classic!” 

It starts off innocent, enough. Chalky’s wife has come to visit him in jail.  They have a fairly banal conversation, during which Chalky’s wife tells Chalky that his son wanted to come visit him, but she thought it would be best if he stayed home.  Remember Chalky’s son?  The adorable prepster piano player from last week?  Yeah, not exactly someone you picture in a jail cell.

“I may look sweet and innocent, but  .  . . yeah, I’m sweet and innocent.” 

Mini-Chalky sent a gift to his dad, in his absence, however.  It’s a book, David Copperfield, to be exact.  (Was I the only one hoping there would be some sort of file, key, or weapon hidden in that book, that would help Chalky to plan his escape?  Well, there wasn’t . . . It was just a book.  Crime Boss’ son FAIL!)

Hidden mechanism for escape or not, Chalky seems touched by his son’s gift.  “That’s a good one,” he says, with a proud smile, as he takes the book from his wife’s hands.  As Mrs. Chalky leaves one of the Chalky’s “cell-mates” from across the way makes some comments that a man should NEVER make about another man’s wife.

“What’s that you say?  That I’m going to be dead in five minutes?  You’re LYIN’!” 

Chalky accepts the passive aggressive taunting of his cell mate, which is thinly disguised as good natured banter, with a surprising amount of dignity and grace, though its obvious he REALLY wants to put a cap in this guy’s ass.  The guy’s name is Dunn Purnsley, which is a really stupid name, if you ask me.    (No offense to all you Dunn Purnsley’s out there.)  And the fact that Chalky currently has a “fancy” cell to himself REALLY seems to dust Dunn’s doileys, as does the fact that Chalky dresses expensively, and has an attractive, comparatively light-skinned, wife.

You’ve got to admit, they do make a cute couple.

When another white prisoner is brought into the jail, Chalky is switched into the cell with Dunn, and the rest of the prisoners (all African American).  According to the guard, this is to prevent the mixing of races, which is strange considering that Nucky and Chalky shared a cell just hours earlier.  Weird .  . .

You would think that Chalky’s relocation into Dunn’s cell would placate the latter’s ire.  Unfortunately, it only seems to rile him up more.  Now Dunn is making increasingly inciteful and offensive comments about the color of Chalky’s skin, and referring to him in derrogatory terms, that, I suspect were generally reserved for the pre-Civil War era.

(OK, now I’m REALLY hoping Chalky kicks this Dunn guy’s butt!  He’s TOTALLY asking for it now.  If he doesn’t do it.  I may just jump into the television screen and do it for him.)

What follows are what are, in my opinion two of the most intriguing scenes in the entire episode.  The first arises when Dunn asks Chalky – who has been silently “reading” David Copperfield this whole time, what he is reading.  When Chalky first announced the book as Tom Sawyer, I thought he might just be messing with the guy.  After all, Mark Twain was an author who was pretty well known for having some fairly strong opinions about race relations, as evidenced in his follow-up book to Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn.

“Once upon a time, there was a man named Dunn, who’s life was almost finished.  Get it . . . done . . . finished?  Oh well, I guess you had to be there.” 

But then, when Dunn asks Chalky to describe what he is reading, he does so by making up a story about a picture that happens to appear in the center of the David Copperfield book.  Fans will undoubtedly recall that this is the method most of us used as children to PRETEND we knew how to read, before we had learned to do so.  The fact that Chalky probably does not know how to read, and has obviously hidden this fact from his wife, and Harvard-bound son, is both shocking and a little bit sad.

But now is not the time for sad stories.   Now is the time for ASS KICKING!  That’s right, boys and girls, Dunn is stupid enough to put up his fists and threaten Chalky.  He even has the audacity to RIP David Copperfield out of his hand, tearing out the picture Chalky used to describe what was happening in the book.

SERIOUSLY!  THE NERVE OF THIS GUY!

This next part is pretty cool.  Chalky doesn’t lift a FINGER!  Instead, he quietly addresses each of the men with whom he is sharing a cell.   He knows them all by name, and ALL of them, owe him SOME sort of debt.  It becomes apparent in this scene, that Chalky is the Nucky of the African American community in Atlantic City.  The only difference is that, unlike his political counterpart, Chalky’s power is still in full force.

Dunn rises to throw the first punch.  BAD MOVE!  Now, all of Chalky’s cell mates have been given their unspoken instructions.  They BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM . . . LITERALLY, as in . . . HE DIES!  Then, one of them casually gives Chalky back his book.

“And they all lived happily ever after . . . well . . . almost everyone.” 

So, Chalky decides its a great time for a bedtime story.   (Why not?)  He asks the group, which of them know their letters, reaffirming the fact that he, himself, cannot read.  One of the cell mates obliges, and begins to read the remaining living cell mates David Copperfield proper, as the victorious, but not, necessarily triumphant Chalky, stares blankly at the torn out page of the book.  The fact that its incredibly depressing words are meaningless to him do not mean that they don’t hold meaning for him .  . .

When Season 2 Margaret Meets Season 1 Margaret . . . (How META!)

“So that’s me from the future .  . . I was kind of hoping my boobs would get bigger.”

So, earlier in this recap, I teased at Margaret’s inquiry to her maid about what kind of coat she wore.  In this scene, we get to see what exactly she did with that lovely coat.  In a scene that ironically mimics that of the poor, beaten, and pregnant, Margaret Schroeder’s first fateful visit to Nucky Thompson, Margaret arrives at Nucky’s office to see it being swarmed by lawyers and investigators.

Having had a lot of experience playing this particular part, Margaret is flawless (if a bit exaggerated)  in the role of her old pre-f*&king Nucky self.  She feigns ignorance to Nucky’s arrest, claims to have wanted to see him in order to get some cash, and asks to be shown to the nearest rest room.  Feeling pity on this helpless biddy, the District Attorney personally directs her to the toilet, and then, most likely forgets her existence.  This, of course, gives her free reign around the rest of Nucky’s office.

We’ll find out what she does with that “free reign” at the end of the episode . . .

Elsewhere, specifically,  at La Casa de Commodore . . .

The Oldest Man Ever to Suffer from a Mid-life Crisis . . .

“This is my very subtle way of telling you I have a large weiner.” 

For the Triumverate of Evil — Commodore, Eli, and Jimmy’s winky (Don’t worry, Jimmy, I still love you, even though you’ve turned to the dark side.  You are just too hot to hate.), getting all of Nucky’s cronies, specifically, the aldermans of each of the five wards over which Nucky is city treasurer, was surprisingly easy.  All they had to do, was convince these greedy poopyheads that Nucky’s ship had sailed.  And if they wanted to continue fattening their pockets, and living in the manner to which they had grown accustomed, they had to support the “New Guard.”

Having already got these doofuses under their thumb, except one (more on him later), Commodore invites them all to his Dead Animal Zoo study to talk “business.”  Concerned that the aldermans will discount him due to his age, Commodore decides to dress up as a fat Charlie Chaplin, and amaze them with his remarkable ability to lift elephant tusks in the air.  (Because you KNOW that’s going to come in handy on the road to World Domination!)

“When you come face-to-face with destiny, do you want to be the bear, or do you want to be the one holding the shotgun?”  Commodore asks his ambivalent admiring associates.

Actually, I’d prefer to be Dick Cheney.  But that’s neither here nor there, is it?

Meanwhile, Nucky is also trying to rally the troops for his cause . . .

When the guy who’s house you burned down is your only ally, you know you have problems . . .

Exhiled from his swanky Ritz Carlton office, Nucky is forced to (gasp) actually work in the dingy work space provided for him by the government.  It comes complete with a secretary, who has probably spent the past, lord knows how many years, sitting on her fanny from 9 to 5, reading magazines and painting her nails.  (Now THAT’s a living.)

“You REALLY want me to work today?  But my radio soap opera is on in five minutes?”

Nucky has his not-so-new assistant call all of the aldermans, the mayor, and his brother for an impromptu meeting.

Only two of them actually show, both RIDICULOUSLY LATE.  The first is the Mayor, because . . . well, duh . . . Nucky’s election fraud GOT him his job.  And if Nucky goes down, so does HE.

“Honestly, I was just looking for a little more screen time . . .” 

The second “loyalist” is alderman Damian Fleming.

Remember him?  Nucky offered him his father’s home.  And then he BURNED IT DOWN!

This takes the term “working fireplace” to a whole new level .  . . 

But he gave him another one.  So . . . let bygones be bygones.  I guess . . .  Except, Damian isn’t really coming to Nucky to tell him he’s on his side.  He’s coming to tell him that he’s SORRY that he can’t be, and to warn him that everyone is against him now . . . everyone, including . . . nu-Fredo his brother . . .

It’s pretty darn heartbreaking to see Nucky, with tears in his eyes, alone in a rundown office, taking a call from his brother, who, at this point, he KNOWS has betrayed him.  And yet Nucky is STILL offering him a chance to return to the fold.  It’s all very “Et tu Brute?”

“That’s really too bad, Eli.  Because I was planning to celebrate your coming back to my team, by getting you a hooker?”

“If you want to get out of this, I can help you?”  Nucky offers.  “I’m prepared to hear your side.   Because in a minute it’s going to be too late.”

But Eli isn’t interested in second chances.  He’s interested in Power . . . and wearing Big Boy Pants . . . and sitting at the grown-ups table.  And so he gives Nucky a speech that I’m sure he practiced in front of his mirror for three hours, even though he always knew he was going to deliver it over the phone.  “How does it feel .  . . sitting by yourself?”  He asks cruelly, before continuing his Pee on Nucky Parade.  “Nobody takes power. Someone has to give it to them . . . What have YOU got?”

“What a poopy head!” 

Then he hangs up on Nucky, and I find myself in the rare situation of wanting to reach through the television screen and give Steve Buscemi a hug.  What are you DOING to me, Boardwalk Empire?

While Nucky is busy learning the One truly IS the Loneliest Number, Jimmy is across town, trying to get SOMEONE to give HIM some power . . .

Oh, Arnie, how we missed you! (And your milk!)

“Milk . . . it does a gangster GOOD!” 

Jimmy pays a visit to Arnold Rothstein (and his “pet” Lucky ;)).  He wishes to present him with a proposition . . . one that involves screwing over Nucky (SURPRISE!), and entering into the liquor business together.  Arnold seems a mixture of amused, impressed, and curious.  Arnold is no dummy.  He knows Jimmy used to be Nucky’s fair-haired boy.  He also knows that Nucky was recently arrested.

As he listens to the young up-and-comer kiss his butt and beg for his business, you can see he wheels turning in his head, regarding the possibilities this might present, and the inevitable risks.  Is this kid for real?  Arnold isn’t quite sure.  And so he politely bids Jimmy adieu, without offering an answer one way or the other.

“Well, if you are not going to go into business with me, could you at least take a drink.  I’ve always wanted to see the biggest crime boss on the East Coast with a Milk Mustache . . .” .

So, remember when Lucky f*&ked Jimmy’s winky kissing mom?

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Well, bygones, because now he wants to do business with him.  “You know that thing you asked for?  I would have said yes to that,” Lucky offers cheerily.

“Yes, but I asked Arnold.  Not the guy who carries his water.”  (Ummm . . . it was MILK, Jimmy!  MILK!  Get it right!)

Ohhh, yeah and . . .

Apparently, Arnold’s other pet, Meyer, he of the baby face and Cheshire Cat smile, instructed Lucky to invite Jimmy to their weekly poker night so the three could “talk.”

Oooh, I smell a Next Generation Rebellion!  Yay Twenty-somethings!

Meyer Lansky says, “Say YES to heroin.  (And NO to Temperance Fountain.)”

“So, before I got this part, I was cast in my college production of Batman . . .  I was the Joker.  I hope that explains the smile.” 

At their meeting Meyer tells Jimmy he has BIG PLANS for the two of them and Lucky.  “We’ve learned a great deal [from Nucky and Arnold],” he begins.  “But no one wants to be in school forever.”

Except all these people . . . 

Then, Lucky and Jimmy start exchanging Yo Mama jokes (well, actually, it’s just Jimmy’s mama), and beating the crap out of eachother.  So, Meyer has to stop them, so that he can tell them his BIG PLAN.

“Calm down.  You’re both pretty.” 

It involves Meyer and Lucky buying liquor from Jimmy, if Jimmy and HIS people buy HEROIN from them.

Ummm . . . HOORAY for HEROIN . . . I guess .  . .

(Something tells me school teachers Arnie and Nucky would most certainly NOT approve.)

At the poker game, Jimmy wipes the floor with some of Meyer’s friends, while Meyer has an uncomfortable meeting with two goons who apparently represent the “Lower East Side.”  Later that night, Jimmy is walking home from the poker game, when those same two goons try to steal his lunch money poker winnings.

“I know you really want to ask me out on a date, but this is a bit too agressive, don’t you think?  There is something to be said for playing a little hard to get.” 

So, Jimmy . . .. ummm KILLS THEM, and leaves them lying in the ironically named Temperance Fountain with their mouths gaping grotesquely, and their necks spurting out blood.

I’m not going to lie.  It’s kind of awesome.

Speaking of awesome  . . .

Hi, New Cute Irish Guy!  (Yeah, that’s basically all I got from this plotline.)

“SOMEONE has to make sure Steve Buscemi doesn’t get all the chicks.” 

While Margaret waits for Nucky to come home, she’s got her OWN problems to cope with.  Nucky is apparently having a very stuffy Irish gentleman to visit.  He wants guns . . . or something.  He also doesn’t eat anything that walks on clove or hoof, and HATES AMERICANS.  Sounds like a real Life of the Party Type, right?

PARTY ANIMAL! 

He does have one thing going for him though, his help is HOT.  His name is Owen Sleater.  He has a cute Irish accent, can helps straighten rugs, and puts his foot in his mouth, like it’s his JOB.  He arrives to try and get into Margie’s pantsmake sure the Thompson house is SAFE for his boss.  Within minutes, he proceeds to mistake Margaret for he MAID, and the MAID for Margaret’s DAUGHTER, despite the fact that the two look to be only about five years apart at most.

“I’m deeply offended, and furious with you.  Yet, I have this strange urge to bone you, right here on this floor.”

Yet, there’s something charming about him.   He has a bit of sexual chemistry going on with Margaret (and the maid).   And, most importantly, he’s STICKING AROUND!

Woohoo!  Look out Jimmy Darmody and Al Capone.  It seems you have some competition for my heart  . . .

Speaking of hearts . . .

Margaret Schroeder = A Modern Day (Likeable) Lady Macbeth (Who knew?)

“Just don’t start talking about ‘damn spots,’ or I am SOOOO out of here.” 

We’ve been waiting for it all week, and it finally happens at the end of the episode.  Margaret confronts Nucky about his arrest, and everything that has been going on with him, these past two episodes.  Calmly and firmly, she gets her lover to admit everything to her, including, most painfully, his brother’s betrayal.  “I keep people satisfied.  It’s what I do,” says Nucky dejectedly, unable to comprehend how far he has fallen.

“They will never satisfied.  You know that already,” she replies, not entirely unkindly.  (Now, we know who the REAL brains of this operation is!)

Then Nucky tells Margaret, what he has TRULY been avoiding telling her all along.  The District Attorney has evidence against him, hard evidence.  It appears the officers searching his office have taken his ridiculously crime ridden business ledger, as well as $20,000 in cash.  Or HAVE they?

Like a BOSS, Margaret, skips to the other side of the room, and pulls BOTH incriminating items out of a nearby drawer.  Ahhhh!  So, that’s what she was doing at the Ritz in the Poor Girl Costume!  It all makes sense now!

Margaret decisively tosses the ledger in the fire, making Nucky promise to commit his shady dealings to memory from NOW ON!  You tell  him sister!

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with a female television character as I am with Margaret Schroeder right now.  Margaret, I take back every mean and snarky thing I ever said about you in season 1 and at the beginning of this rccap.

In the final moments of the episode, Margaret kisses and emotionally and physically exhausted Nucky on the forehead, and tells him to come to bed, where there will certainly be some EPIC lovemaking . . . I’d prefer not to picture it, though . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Boardwalk Empire

Lost (and FOUND), Wet (and WILD) – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Hybrid”

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ELENA: *I will not think about the last time I saw Damon’s wet willy.  I will not think about Damon’s wet willy.  I will not think about . . .*

DAMON: “Elena?”

ELENA:  “Yeah, Damon.”

DAMON: “You do realize you are speaking out loud, right?”

Woo!  Welcome back, Fangbangers!  I don’t know about you guys, but I am still riding on the SPECTACULAR HIGH that was watching this episode.  I mean, talk about an hour of television that had something to offer everyone!  Well, unless you’re a Bonnie fan . . .

You like Team Ripper?

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We got some of that!

You’re a fan of Salvatore Brother Bonding?

Yeah . . . we got that too.

Homoerotic Times with Jeremy and Matt?

CHECK!

Team Badass?

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BINGO!

Dysfunctional makeshift families, with weird, yet oddly hot sexual tension?

ON IT!

Tyler defending Caroline’s honor, like a BAMF?

DONE!

Cliffhangers?

SURE!

Stelena hopefulness?

Umm . . . yeah . . . I guess.

AMAZING DELENA MOMENTS THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU CRY TEARS OF JOY, AND SEXY ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR PANTIES FALL OFF?

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OH HELL YESSSS!

OK . . . as usual, we have a TON to cover. So, chug down your vervain coffee, pack up all your nifty vampire slayer weapons, and don’t forget your beer, bong, or bathing suit. Because, it’s time to go for a little hike with our favorite Mystic Falls’ supes . . .

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(As always, special thanks to Andre for the GLORIOUS screencaps you see here.  Also, I must give a shout out to the BRILLIANT insolent gilbert tumblr.  Whoever you are, you somehow READ MY MIND, this week, by seeming to capture NEARLY EVERY GIF I wanted!  And I love you (in a completely platonic way, of course. I’m saving myself for Damon Salvatore.)

“I’m Really Sorry Your Girlfriend’s Dead, But . . . No, I’m Really Not. Can We Please Talk About Stefan Some More?”

“Hey!  Why are taking down your Stefan Stalker Board?  I was hoping we could play a rousing game of Pin the Tail on the Murder Victim!” 

Ahhh . . . what a difference a day makes.  Around this time, a couple of days ago, the CW released this first scene of the episode as a webclip.  And as a result, Elena and I were kind of in a fight.

“WTF, Recapper?  I thought we were friends?”

I know, I know.  Elena was all MOVED, by her BIG EMOTIONAL PHONECALL with Stefan  . . .

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“Can you hear me now?  GOOD!”

And she REALLY, REALLY wanted to tell her man, Damon all about it, so that they could sit in bed together, and analyze the meaning of it all . . .

ELENA: “So, do you really think he likes me?  Should I ask him to prom?”

DAMON:  “Hmm . .  . I don’t know . . . let’s sleep together on it.”

But, really, I mean, the guy’s girlfriend just DIED, like YESTERDAY, in TVD time!  Soooo . . . a little sympathy might have been in order here.  You know, maybe Damon could have used a big bear hug, like Elena gave him when man-stealer Rose died . . .

Or at the very least, she could have offered up a “Golly gee, I’m sorry for your loss.  It really sucks that my significant other KILLED yours.”  (In her defense, I don’t think she realizes yet that Stefan was actually the one who killed Andie.  Maybe she actually thinks “it’s just a coincidence.”)

At first blush, this first scene looked, more or less, like a carbon copy of the scene that took place toward the middle of “The Birthday,” (which, coincidentally, was also released by the CW as a webclip).  In both scenes, Elena barges into Damon’s bedroom, like a nagging girlfriend (He’s right!  She really CAN’T stay away!)

 . . . and demands that Damon help her save Stefan.  Also, in both scenes, Damon INSISTS that there is no longer a “good” Stefan to save.  In fact, in this scene, Damon takes HIS argument, one step further, by actually BURNING the remnants of his previous search for his brother.

Cute butt alert! 

However, after watching “The Hybrid,” I can now recognize that this scene HAD to kick off the episode, in order to further illuminate the state of mind changes both Elena and Damon underwent throughout the course of the hour . . . Damon, regarding his feelings about whether his brother is actually lost to him forever, and Elena regarding her recognition of her feelings toward Damon.

Needless to say, in light of how the episode ENDED, all is forgiven between Big E and me! 😉

(Of course, I am sure she will sleep much better at night knowing this . . .)

Knock, Knock. (Who’s There?) Girl with the CRAZY Scheme that’s Probably Going to Get Us All Killed . . .

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ALARIC: “You just couldn’t get enough of my Chunky Monkey, could you?”

ELENA: “Wow! Is EVERY male character on this show going to show me his weiner this season?” (All fingers crossed.)

Alaric — is home in bed, a bottle of bourbon at his bedside — sleeping off his morning drunk, when he is awakened by a RUDE, and extremely insistent, knock at the door.

“Last night is still a little foggy.  But I vaguely remember getting an ‘I Heart Useless Aunt Jenna’ Tattoo on my ass . . .” 

Alaric immediately assumes its Damon.  I suspect this is because Damon, like Elena, is known for being a particularly loud “knocker.”  Of course, the homoeroticism seeker in me, can’t help but wonder whether this is because Damon has started to make morning visits to Alaric’s Chunky Monkey a secret habit of sorts . . . 😉

Anywhoo . . . since Damon has declined to play with her, Elena sincerely hopes that Alaric will be her Plus One in this week’s Save Stefan Games.  After all, Alaric has been Damon’s plus one in the Save Stefan Games, since day one.  And together the two have drank A LOT of bourbon learned some valuable information about Stefan’s and Klaus’ whereabouts . .  . like, for example the fact that they are currently tracking werewolves somewhere in Tennessee  . . .

Well, Elena.  I must admit that wasn’t the sort of ‘game’ I had in mind to play with you.  But I guess I’m willing to compromise.”

Initially, Alaric doesn’t seem all that enthused, because he generally doesn’t like to do things without his boy, Damon.   Part of Alaric, might also not believe that Elena’s actually going to go through with it.

“Well, don’t bother getting dressed, on my account, I have walked in on you having sex with my now-dead aunt on numerous occasions.  I’ve seen it all before.”

But then, after Elena leaves Alaric’s place, she meets up with Tyler, who gives her SPECIFIC information about where exactly Tennessee werewolves are likely to SPEND the upcoming Full Moon.

This was a small scene, but one that I hold dear to my heart for a number of reasons. (1) It further illustrates the Elena / Tyler friendship, which I love.   (2) It hints toward the fact that on Tyler’s hiatus from the show month away from Mystic Falls, he may very well have been at werewolf camp, considering his seemingly extensive knowledge of where various packs hang out.

And (3) this is the first time we’ve actually heard Tyler express remorse over accidentally almost-killing Damon with his toxic werewolf teeth, an action which ultimately resulted in the development of Team Ripper, in the first place.   (Sure, Caroline guilted him into this realization.  But it’s certainly a start.)

YAY!  Character growth!

So, now Elena RETURNS to Alaric (who’s now by the bar, of course).  However, this time, she has with a slightly more specific plan and Stefan Hunting Location.  Now, suddenly, Alaric is ALL IN!  “I thought you said I could handle things on my own now?”  Elena teased.

“I meant like frozen dinners, and SAT’s” Alaric clarified.  (Hey Alaric, since we’re on the subject of SAT’S, how about you give me a synonym for the term “negligent.”)

“Let me get back to you on that one . . .”

And so, off head Elena and Papa Alchy-ric on a journey to the Big Ole Tennessee Mountains, where Klaus and Stefan are engaging in a little hiking trip of their own . . .

Hybrid Nation? More Like ZOMBIE Nation . . .

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“Hi-ho, Hi-ho! It’s off to hump eachother make an army we go!”

Mass murder and almost-letting-Stefan-succumb-to-a-nasty-case-of-were-rabies-aside, this was definitely the week that we got to see a softer, more paternalistic side of Klaus.  I mean, sure, part of the Original Were-Vamp was probably just tired of Stefan’s “suffocating broodiness,” and sought to lighten the mood a bit.  But I’d like to think that there was also a part of Klaus that was slightly concerned that carrying an Unconscious Seventh Heaven Guy for miles and miles up the Big Ole Tennessee Mountains was giving the “Rippah” a bad back . . .

Fortunately for Stefan, Team Ripper locates the werewolf pack in relatively short order.  Once there, it is Stefan who garners the groups attention first, by tossing Seventh Heaven Guy’s body on the floor in front of them, a gesture that is immediately read as a mixture of “threat” and “peace offering.”  “Who are you?”  One of the female werewolves, who may or may not be Seventh Heaven Guy’s girlfriend asks.

I love that Klaus’ natural egoism / bratty unloved bastard childness, comes out here, as he poutily demands that the werewolves be asking who HE is, instead.  Honestly, when Klaus uttered the iconic line, “The more important question is ‘Who Am I?,”  I half expected Kristen Bell’s voice to appear in voice over and say, “That’s a secret I’ll never tell.  XOXO.  Gossip Girl!”

Grandiose entrances aside, as it turns out, no introductions were needed, since the same girl who inquired as to Stefan’s identity actually already seemed to know exactly who Klaus was.  “You’re the only hybrid,” she says nervously.

WOW!  I couldn’t help but wonder how this random Tennessee Werewolf knew this.  I mean, is there like some Werewolf Tumblr or Twitter page to which these guys all subscribe to get news updates, as to the new supernatural being in town.  After all, Klaus has only been “the only hybrid,” for a couple of months.  News really must travel fast in Were World.

Tweet me, @BigBadWolf10!

Needless to say,  Klaus is positively THRILLED that he has come to a place, much like the bar Cheers, where EVERYBODY knows his name  .  . . or, if not his name, at least his genus and species.

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It’s time for Seventh Heaven Guy to wake up.  The problem, of course, is that he’s looking a little worse for wear, what with his pale  face, shivering body, and those pesky bloody tears streaming down his face.  (Awwww, buck up, baby!  You’re a special guest star!  This is supposed to be FUN!)

Us TVD fans have become experts in the art of vampire conversion.  So, we know that Seventh Heaven Guy must feed on human blood, in order to complete his transition into full-on hybrid,  or else he will croak.  Fortunately, that female werewolf, who I initially thought was Seventh Heaven Guy’s girlfriend, actually has a human boyfriend, who ends up with the unwelcome job of being BLOOD BANK for the entire soon-to-be-hybridized werewolf pack.

Seventh Heaven Guy — who’s father’s a Man of the Cloth, as many of you know — is initially hesitant to chow down on his human buddy.  But Stefan ultimately convinces the preacher’s son to chow down.  Otherwise, the Ripper warns, he will EAT THE WHOLE DAMN THING, himself (PIG!)

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So, Seventh Heaven Guy gnaws on his friend, thinking he has just done him a solid, by saving him from Ripper Stefan’s Deadly Over-Eating Disorder.  Little does he know that the Poor Pesky Human is about to become a One-Man Werewolf Country Buffet, and, therefore, won’t even survive the next commercial break.  (It’s a real shame too.  Because he was kind of hot.)

Though the werewolves honestly don’t seem all that eager to join Klaus’ Big Bad Hybrid Army (which, so far, seems to have no good reason for existing, other than the fact that Klaus  thinks it’s cool), he eventually converts them all.  And now there’s an ENTIRE FOREST full of shaky pale new baby werevamps with eyes filled with bloody,  leaky tears.

Ahhh  . . . but, therein lies the problem.  You see, once the new were-vamps have fed on human blood, they are supposed to be BETTER, great even!  But these hybrids must have come from the discount store, because they are clearly defective, lumbering around mindlessly, groaning, and more or less, DYING right before Klaus’ and Stefan’s eyes . .  .

“Some Master Race,” scoffs Stefan.

But it turns out that at least ONE of the were vamps isn’t quite as defective as he once appeared.  He quickly takes Stefan by surprise, by suddenly fiercely tackling the just-vampire, and biting him on the arm, in the exact same place where Tyler bit Damon last year.

Kinda looks like a BIG raspberry!

Having seen his brother suffer from were rabies, Stefan knows this isn’t exactly going to be a picnic.  Fortunately, he’s hanging out with an Original Werevamp, the only known carrier of the were-rabies cure, right?

WRONG!  After all, Klaus as we know, is the kind of guy who murders his entire family, and carts their coffins everywhere he goes.  He’s not exactly warm and cuddly.  Quite the contrary, actually.  This is one SERIOUSLY SICK BASTARD.  And this Sick Bastard refuses his supposed partner-in-crime the were rabies cure, UNLESS Stefan can successfully reclaim Seventh Heaven Guy, who has since ran away to parts unknown.

He might not look it in this picture, but I assure you, Hybrid!Seventh Heaven Guy is FAST!

Stefan pouts a bit, but eventually trudges off to find the Lost Camden Brother . . .

“Don’t Trust Vicki. (No Matter How Good of a Dancer She is . . .)

With his sister in Tennessee playing Save Stefan Games with Alaric, and his girlfriend off at Wicked Witch of the West Camp, Jeremy’s a bit bored.  So, he decides to barge in on a half-naked Matt, while the latter is getting ready for work.  (A bit convenient, don’t you think?)

Someone’s been working out since last season . . .

And I’m not the only one who’s noticed . . .

Matt teases Jeremy for being “one of those losers who comes to work on his day off to bang shirtless boys in the backroom.”  But Jeremy has more important things to worry about than whether his new pothead friend thinks he’s a loser.  He wants to play Seance.  And he wants Matt to play with him in more ways than one.

Jeremy explains to a dubious Matt, how, during one of his trademark internet searches, he discovered that ghosts are most likely to make contact with the living when faced with members of their family and their personal affects.  (This reminds me . . . remember, back in Season 1, when Jeremy was just searching for “vampire porn” on the internet, a la Bella Swan?  Good times.)

“Jacob Bella  is HOT!”

Though, initially dubious, Matt reconizes that Jeremy knew a part of Vicki that Matt didn’t necessarily know the slutty sexy part, and decides to direct his new pal to some boxes containing Vicki’s belongings.   Unfortunately, the act of sorting through these belongings ends up depressing Matt so much, that he ends up kicking Jeremy out of the house, right when he’s managed to make directed contact with Matt’s dead sister.

Matt has undoubtedly begun to think that Jeremy is TOTALLY cracked, until “Vicki” knocks over a picture frame containing a picture of the siblings, right in front of Matt.  And, suddenly, he’s a believer.

“IT’S A MIRACLE!”

Cut to later that evening, when Matt comes to Jeremy’s house bearing liquor (hint, hint, wink, wink), and a satchel filled with sex toys Vicki’s belongings.   Before Jeremy even has enough time to utter the words, “Let’s play Strip Ouiji Board,” Vicki appears to him.

And this time, she’s a bit more verbose than she has been in the past, possibly because Jeremy has ACTUALLY decided to ASK her what the f*&k she wants.

“I really just want to dance in my underwear to a Depeche Mode cover band again . . .”

Vicki tells Jeremy that she can be returned to the land of the living, but that she needs Jeremy to help her to do that.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about vampire Vicki), the undead-but-now-dead vampire disappears, before Jeremy can get in as much as a word edgewise.  *sigh* Typical ex-girlfriend!

Then BOTH Jeremy AND Matt are startled by the sound of the window breaking.  They assume it’s Vicki again.  But this time it’s Anna.  And she looks PISSED (though, admittedly, that might just be what her perma-ghost face happens to look like).  “Don’t trust Vicki,” Anna warns her former lover.

Watch that brow, Anna . . . There’s no botox in heaven.

Of course, this begs the question of .  . . WHY NOT aside from the fact that she was always kind of a self-absorbed slut, who, in her vampire phase, definitely did try to eat Jeremy for Halloween dinner.?

“So, Basically, I’m a Werewolf. And My Girlfriend’s a Baby Vamp. Does This Mean I’m Grounded?”

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“Honey?   Have you eaten?   Should I get you a dog biscuit, or something?”

Like everyone else in Mystic Falls, Mama Lockwood lately begins every day, with a hard liquor breakfast, laced with vervain, of course.   Tyler heads down the stairs in his bright red, “I just had sex with a vampire” t-shirt, and senses that something is amiss in Lockwood Manor.  “Rough night?”  He asks his mother, nodding his head toward her Drunk Cup.

Why yes, son, I just shot up your girlfriend with a toy Star Trek gun, and locked her in our cellar.  And because I was doing that, I missed my hair appointment.  DAMN THAT B*TCH!”   I’ve just been a bit tired lately,” she says, or something lame like that.

Then, to add insult to injury,  Mama Lockwood has to go and insinuate that Caroline is a PROSTITUTE because she snuck out of the house in the morning, right before being shot without saying goodbye.

To Tyler’s credit, though he’s obviously a bit perturbed by Caroline’s sudden Walk of Shame Escape.  (After all, it IS the Full Moon, and that has become a sort of “ritual” date night for them), he still manages to hold on to his poker face, as he insists to his darling dearest mother, that, NO, his girlfriend is NOT a streetwalker . . .just a bloodsucker.

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Awww!  Now, that’s a glowing compliment, if I ever heard one!

Then, Tyler notes that his Mom’s coffee tastes like sh*t, before heading off to the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, where he can hopefully meet up with his Not-So-Much-Streetwalker of a Girlfriend.  (After all, where else could she possibly go?)

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up . . . wait .  . . sorry.  That was my line from last season.”

Once Tyler leaves, Mama Lockwood contacts the Mysterious “Bill” (who’s name continuously makes me think of the Southern vampire on True Blood) to help her with her “vampire situation.”  I love how Mama L refers to Caroline’s entrapment in her basement, as if the poor girl is a roach problem, or bed  bugs, requiring nothing more than an exterminator, and some light fumigation for treatment. . .

Not surprisingly, when “Bill” arrives at the house, he sort of talks like an exterminator (and or a Johnny Cash impersonator, take your pick), coldly promising Mama Lockwood that he will dispose of her “vampire situation,” quickly, so that she does not have to personally dirty her hand with the blood of a Vampire Barbie . . .

Tyler arrives at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls.  And is clearly disappointed to find that his girlfriend has “bailed” on him.  Of course, as WE lready know, Caroline is a bit  . .  . um . . . indisposed, at the moment, and couldn’t make it.

However, Tyler DOES run into Matt, who, surprise of surprises, is surprisingly KIND and HELPFUL.  For one thing, he actually offers to help Tyler go through his “monthly” change, if Caroline ends up not making it to their date, (which, given all his recent sexual tension with Jeremy, kind of made me wonder . .  .)

Oh, Mattykins!  This could be YOU!

He also, informs Tyler — who notes that the coffee at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls tastes just as bad as his mom’s — that the town sometimes spikes the coffee with vervain as a protective measure.  Suddenly, a lightbulb goes off in Tyler’s head, and he rushes home to confront his mother, who may or may not have just, kind of sort of TRIED TO KILL HIM!

“You’ve got some ‘splaining to DO!”

Now, I have to say, as someone who is typically bored by parent/child scenes on television, I found the confrontation between Mama Lockwood and Tyler to be intensely fun to watch, and exceptionally well acted on both sides.  Never having been one to beat around the bush, Tyler comes right out and asks his mother, why she had the audacity to vervain his coffee.  “Let’s skip the part where you pretend you don’t know about vampires,” he scoffs, when his mother starts doing a little tap dance, in response.

“This is my MAD face . . .”

Having assured herself — as a result of his non-reation to the vervain — that her son is NOT a member of the undead, Mama Lockwood can now fire back about Caroline with full confidence.  “Let’s skip the part where you pretend she’s not one of them,” Mama retorts.  “You can’t be with her.  She’s a MONSTER!”  Tyler’s mom exclaims.

At which point, it FINALLY dawns on Tyler:  Holy crap!  My mom is a total moron! His mother has ABSOLUTELY know clue about the whole Werewolf Curse thing.  (So, tell me something, WHY exactly did she think there was a DUNGEON underneath her house?   For slaves?  I don’t think so!  Someone would have to be either REALLY stupid, or genuinely in denial, not to notice something was amiss here.)

Hey, I resemble that remark. 

Conveniently enough, Tyler has chosen to confront his mother about his werewolfism on, International Werewolf Coming Out Day, otherwise known as “The Full Moon.”  And so, he takes her down to the dungeon, where he promptly begins to shift in front of her TOTALLY horrified ass.

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“See, Mom, this is all your fault, for never taking me to the dentist or the eye doctor, as a child.”

Though we don’t bare witness to the ENTIRE shift, as we have in the past two installments, it seems pretty obvious that Tyler’s body is adjusting to his new form.

And THERE are those awesome nipples again (among other things)! *whistles*

To US, his werewolf transformation appears quicker, more efficient, and less excruciating for our Teen Wolf.  (Of course, I’m not sure Tyler’s mom would agree.)

Speaking of Tyler’s mom, she moved up a few notches in my book for (1) immediately accepting her son’s monstruous condition, without question, despite her obvious predisposition to SHOOT supernaturals first, and ask questions later.  (It kind of makes me wonder how Mama Lockwood would have reacted if her son HAD been turned into a vampire, by Caroline.); and (2) promising Tyler that she will make sure that nothing happens to Caroline.

I’d say it’s a bit too late for that, wouldn’t you, Sweet Cheeks?

That being said, I’m honestly not 100% sure how observing Tyler’s transformation caused Mama Lockwood to be more sympathetic toward VAMPIRES.  Who knows, maybe she figures her son’s Monster Mash life is going to be SO HORRIBLY HAIRY (get it?) that he deserves at least some happiness, in the form of getting laid regularly, even if it is with a bloodsucking blonde baby vamp, who sneaks out of his mansion in the morning . . .

Whatever her actual reasoning might be, Mama Lockwood, true to her word, does promptly call of the dogs (or rather, the DOG), right after she parts ways with her werewolf son.  Unfortunately, for Mama L (and, more importantly, CAROLINE!), Bill the Vampire Slayer has a CLEAR CUT “no backsies,”policy when it comes to making house calls . .  .

“Sorry, I’ve already put the bill for my services in your mailbox, Rich Neighbor . . .”

I mean . . . who the heck does this guy think he IS, anyway?  We are about to find out . . .

Elena Meet Water . . . Water This is Elena.

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ELENA: “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

(A little sloppy on the landing, but a nice-sized splash.  Plus, extra points for entering the water in a partial split.  THAT had to be painful.  All in all, I give it about an 8.2.)

Considering their out werewolf / Ripper Stefan hunting, and are in a SERIOUS time crunch  (They have to get back home, before the full moon, before Elena turns into a pumpkin and/or a werewolf eats her like one.), Alaric and Elena sure seem to be having a grand old time on their little Tennessee hiking trip!  We catch a few snippets of their conversation, which seems to include some mildly flirtatious banter regarding Alaric’s Boy Scout Skills, Rampant Alcholism, and Massive Travel Size Vampire Slaying Arsenal.  (I mean, talk about a jack of all trades!  If only drunken vampire slaying was an Olympic Sport, Alaric would be FAMOUS!)

“Will you marry me and have my babies, Alaric?   I don’t know many human men anymore . . . “

Coming upon a clearing, Alaric and Elena stop hiking long enough for her to offer Alaric the trusty Ring of Immortality, Uncle / Father John left to her in his not-so-much will.  Alaric initially balks at the offering, since it wasn’t really meant for him.  So, Elena pipes in, and reminds him (and us) that the ring won’t work on Elena, because she’s a supernatural being herself . . . (Remember?  She’s a Petrova Doppelganger, a supernatural creature with magical powers that include, being really, really, ridiculously goodlooking, looking just like Katherine, and DYING in weird vampire rituals.)

I must say, as far as super powers go, this one is pretty lame . . .

Alaric responds that Elena should save the ring for future generations of relentlessly stubborn Baby Gilberts.  (AWWW!  Now, I can’t stop picturing what Ian’s and Nina’s Damon’s and Elena’s Elena’s and Some Human Who’s a Doppelganger for Damon’s babies will look like.  Thanks a lot, Alaric!)  While Elena doesn’t necessarily refute the notion that she will one day have Mini Gilberts (She is staunchly against becoming a vampire, after all), she DOES insist that Alaric wear the ring as a “loaner.”

“I’d feel bad if you got killed by something supernatural before Happy Hour,” jokes Elena.  (WOAH!  Who knew Elena Gilbert had a sense of humor?  You go girl!)

Speaking of going, SOMEONE has just pushed Elena into the LAKE!

Yes, I realize I have just used this GIF.  And yes, I want to use it again, because it is just THAT HILARIOUS! 

HAHA!  So, Alaric invited Damon on his little “camping trip,” after all!

“Thanks for the tip, BROTHER,” Damon announces, punching his fellow Team Bad Ass member affectionately on the shoulder.  But Damon doesn’t have time to truly experience a Bromantic Reunion with Alaric (who he probably hasn’t seen, since the last night they spent in bed together — JUST KIDDING!), he has an unruly Miss Gilbert to flirt shamelessly with scold.  Because that little sassypants is NOT getting out of the water, NO SIREE!

So, of course, Damon has to go into the water WITH HER, so that they can be “wet together,” invade one another’s personal space, and eyesex some more, all while pretending to fight about their respective strategies in the Save Stefan Games . . .

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“Hey, can we do the lift, like they do in that Dirty Dancing Movie?  Because THAT would be hot!”

On dry land, Alaric watches with amusement, as this soon-to-be-couple continue to bicker and moon over one another,  as if they aren’t in GRAVE DANGER.  (You know, because TRUE LOVE can make you oblivious to those sorts of things.)

 . . . F*&K Me, right here in the water

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Elena insists that they cannot go home yet, as this is the closest she has come to finding Stefan.  Damon reluctantly agrees to stay, provided they leave by nightfall, otherwise, Damon will undoubtedly increase his odds of getting bitten by a werewolf again, which will undoubtedly mean that Elena will have to crawl into bed and KISS him again, a prospect that both parties pretend to be annoyed by, but secretly, they both find appealing . . .

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(Actually, Damon.  I’d VERY MUCH like to re-live that whole Death Bed Kissy Thing.  But I prefer to do it in the comfort of my own home, if you don’t mind.)

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And so, the twosome climb out of the water, sexually satisfied . . . FOR NOW.  They then reunite with now-clear-third-wheel Alaric on their little Stefan hunt.  And while they don’t find Stefan . . . yet . . . they DO come across dying zombie, were-vamp Seventh Heaven Guy, who’s all hungry, and trying to eat at Damon’s face.  So, of course, us viewers are getting a MAJOR sense of deja vu, and wondering how the HELL our Scooby Gang is going to get themselves out of THIS mess . . .

Now, as much as I often tease my girl, Elena for PERPETUALLY getting her lover boys into trouble, while bringing NOTHING to the table, in terms of actually, I don’t know, KILLING STUFF, she TOTALLY had this one in the bag.  When other various weapons proved ineffective on the Hybrid, she immediately pulled a wolfsbane BOMB out of Alaric’s bag, and tossed it to Damon, just seconds before Seventh Heaven Guy’s teeth made contact with his neck.

Considering all that happened in this hour, it’s amazing when you consider how much FUNNY was packed into it.  We got yet another laugh, when Elena cleverly doused chains with vervain, and asked Alaric to take them, in order to tie the now unconscious Seventh Heaven Guy to a nearby tree.  Damon, of course, being the MACHO MAN that he is, was APPALLED (and probably a little jealous too) at the notion that the HUMAN Alaric could do something that he couldn’t.  And so, without thinking, he grabs the chains from Elena, nearly burning his hand in the process . . .

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But just when we thought it was safe to laugh at Damon and his smarting hand, Seventh Heaven Guy starts to SHIFT.  And now Damon (and the rest of them) are TOTALLY screwed!  Elena (who is undoubtedly having Damon Death Bed Flashbacks for the TWENTIETH time this episode — I know I am) is now tugging on Damon’s shirt, begging him to run with her and Alaric.

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It just occurred to me, that Elena REALLY likes to say Damon’s name . . .  ALOT.  Practice for SHOUTING it in bed, perhaps?

Eventually he does . . . run . . . I mean . . .

But WAIT . . . seemingly seconds later ELENA finds HERSELF face-to-face with a now fully formed werewolf.  (THE ACTION NEVER ENDS!)

“You’re such a GOOD BOY!  Yes, you are!  Yes you are!  (Coincidentally, this is also how I talk to all my boyfriends.)”

So, Damon, once again, being the Big Manly Type that he is, gives chase to the werewolf, to lead him away from his lady love.  He does this, of course, despite knowing that of the three of them (remember, Alaric is wearing that Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality), he has the most to lose.  *sigh, swoon, drool*

Elena is starting to feel a little guilty for being the cause of all these near-death experiences.   (And, quite honestly, SHE SHOULD!)  Nonetheless, Alaric manages to drag her back to the car, while the pair wait for Damon to outrun his wolfy friend and (hopefully) return unscathed  . . .

Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?

 

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It’s a dark and creepy night, the moon has fully risen, and Damon is alone and seems lost.  Once again, things look bleak . . . or, at least, they would look bleak, if he wasn’t one of the THREE MAIN CHARACTERS of this show.  SURPRISE!  Seventh Heaven Guy pops out of not-necessarily-nowhere, and, once again tries to eat Damon’s face (which, I suspect, must be really, really tasty . . . perhaps,  we’ll have to ask Elena about this, sometime).

But then, STEFAN ARRIVES TO SAVE THE DAY!  HUZZAHHH!  He rips out Seventh Heaven Guy’s heart like it’s his job.

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STEFAN: “My apologies, Seventh Heaven Guy.   But NOBODY picks on my Big Brother, and lives to talk about it.  Not on MY watch.  And besides, you, of all people, should know better, didn’t you get a new sibling every week, on YOUR old show?”

Reverend Camden does not . . .

The Salvatore Brother exchange that followed was FULL of win.  In fact, I preferred it greatly to the one we were treated to, back in “The Birthday,” because this one was REAL.   There was no more posturing, or sniping at one another.  The brothers weren’t trying to scare one another, or prove how bad ass they were.  This was just Damon and Stefan, alone in a forest (unless you count the corpse, which I don’t), caring deeply about eachother, and wanting to fix the situation, but not quite knowing how . . .

“What part of don’t follow me, don’t you understand?” Stefan inquires, echoing his words from their last meeting.

I liked how Damon called Stefan out a bit here, for CLAIMING that he wanted Elena to move on, and get over him, so that he could finish what he started with Klaus, but then, totally going AGAINST that notion, by calling Elena, and, thereby giving her hope.  Though Stefan denied making this call, the sheepish look on his face, told Damon that this was EXACTLY what he had done.

“I’m never coming back . . . Bring Elena back home.  And try to keep her there, this time I can think of a few CREATIVE Damon could do this.   Can’t you?,” Stefan retorts, giving Damon an EQUALLY hard time for putting Elena in danger, like he has.

After all, the threesome came VERY close to being spotted by Klaus.  And if Klaus finds out that Elena is alive . . . well, more on that later . . .

 Of course, what further heightens the intensity of this conversation, is that Stefan truly believes that it will be his last, not because he plans to spend eternity with his new boyfriend Klaus, but because he has a werewolf bite on his arm.  And just like Damon, during HIS brotherly exchange, back in “The Sun Also Rises,” Stefan truly believes that Klaus will refuse to save him, and that death is imminent . . .

Originals Have Feelings Too.  (Who Knew?)

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This must be the day for INTENSE conversations, because Stefan gets to have another one, when he returns back to Klaus’ camp, which is now littered with DEAD hybrids, carrying YET ANOTHER Dead Hybrid.  Stefan has his tail between his legs, because he knows that Klaus wanted Seventh Heaven Guy brought back alive.  And the Ripper has not fully delivered on his promise.

But Klaus has much bigger fish to fry.  His plan to create a were-vamp army is failing and he doesn’t quite know why.  In fact, he probably assumes that Seventh Heaven Guy died like the rest of this werewolf pack did, by bleeding out.  “I don’t understand.  I did everything they told me . . . I killed a werewolf . . . a vampire . . . a Doppelganger . . .”

Sh*t . . .

GULP!  Oh dear!  Just when we thought it was safe to be Elena Gilbert again.  Apparently, Elijah was mistaken in his conjecture that, as long as Elena was TECHNICALLY dead during the Sacrifice Ritual, all would go according to plan.  I mean, in some sense it did, since Klaus has become a true hybrid.  However, there is SOMETHING about Elena’s being alive that prevents Klaus from successfully turning anybody else.

“I knew THAT!  Haha!  Jokes on you, Brother!”

This makes Stefan more certain than ever that he cannot return home for as long as Elena lives, out of risk of losing her life again.  And it makes Klaus . . . LONELY?  Yeah, I was surprised too, especially considering this guy came from a big family, and could have had loads of people to hang with (HELLO! ELIJAH?), as long as he didn’t . . . you know . . . KILL THEM and stuff.

Then again, perhaps that’s the point.  Klaus was never accepted by his family, because they were full vampires, and he was sort-of part werewolf, born to a different father than the rest of his kin.  And maybe that’s what all this ARMY building is all about, creating a family where he actually fits in.  It’s strange, but it’s definitely plausible.

“I failed you.  I’m sorry.  Do what you have to do,” says Stefan, bracing himself for death.

But then Klaus does something surprising . . . for him . . . anyway.  He bites his hand, allows his blood to drip into a bottle of bear, and gives that bottle to Stefan.  He has offered him the cure.  “It appears you are the only comrade I have left,” mopes Klaus, and for about a nanosecond, I actually feel sorry for this lonely little mass murderer, who really just seems, in this moment, like a guy in search of a playmate.

That being said, WHY DIDN’T THE WRITERS LET STEFAN DRINK FROM KLAUS’ ARM?  I mean how much HOTTER and MORE SYMBOLIC would that be?  Just sayin . . .

After the anti-climactic beer drinking takes place, a newly cured Stefan walks off into the moonlight with Klaus, headed toward parts unknown . . .

Meanwhile, in the not-so-parking lot . . .

Oh, Alaric, Not YOU Too!

Now, it’s Elena and Alaric’s turn to have a heart-to-heart.  She wants to run out and save Damon because she looooooooooves him. But Alaric wants her to remain in the car.  “Let the vampires fight it out, out there, I’ll keep the humans safe,” says Alaric, who’s starting to sound an awful lot like his former hero self.

Elena calls him on his sudden change of tune.  And Alaric in turn calls HER out, on being a SUCKER for Lost Causes, which, of course, she totally is . . .Good Old Elena . . . the Classic Fixer Upper of Bad Boys, Drunks, Druggies, Murderers and Cannibals the world over . . .

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But Elena corrects Alaric, and actually says something rather insightful.  She tells him that he is not a Lost Cause.  He is simply LOST, much like perpetual orphans Jeremy and Elena.  None of them have a family.  So, why not make a family of their own?  It sounds like a swimming idea to Alaric, who, let’s face it, is probably a little in love with Elena too . . . just like everyone else on this show, and so he decides to keep the Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality as a show of solidarity toward the Gilbert clan . . . and  . . . you know . . . to prove that the recent deaths of all his girlfriends may have turned him into an alcoholic, but it hasn’t made him suicidal.

I would love it if Elena and Alaric shared a hug in this moment.  But what I got instead was MUCH better.  Damon comes barrelling toward the car, wanting immediately to get the HELL out of the mountains, before Elena catches a glimpse of Stefan, or, worse, Klaus catches a glimpse of her!  Of course, Elena has just had an INTENSE conversation with Alaric, and she’s in a sappy mood.

“Can you just give me a minute to appreciate that you are not DEAD!”  Elena exclaims, touching Damon on his deliciously bite-free shoulders, as Alaric looks on with amusement and sympathy, at his poor lovesick friend, being put through the relationship ringer AGAIN.

But Damon doesn’t give her a moment.  He doesn’t even give her the ten seconds he promised, instead he bodily HAULS her ass into the car.  “Damon stop being such a caveman,” she grumbles, but we all know that she secretly thinks cavemen are super sexy . . .

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Ahhh . . . foreplay . . .

As the threesome drive away, we see Stefan staring moonily at the car, as it’s leaving.  Elena seems to sense his presence, but by the time she takes a closer look, he’s already disappeared into the shadows . . .

And now for my FAVORITE scene of the evening.  (As if any of you are surprised . . .)

Me . . . Caveman Damon . . . You . . . Elena . . . We . . . Should REALLY Seriously Consider Having Sex in Your Bedroom (Alaric Can Watch.)

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So, I’ve often mentioned the INSANE number of times Damon and Elena have had serious exchanges in HIS bedroom.  But so far, only TWO key Delena moments have taken place in HERS, and only one of those two does Elena actually remember.  (Actually, Damon was also in Elena’s room during Season 1’s “Under Control,” a.k.a. The Teddy Bear Incident, but that was less iconic, and more adorable.  So, I will refrain from mentioning it again, for ease of reference)

What was so great about this scene, aside from the OBVIOUS, was the insane number of parallels the writers managed to pack in, referencing BOTH earlier iconic bedroom scenes.

First, Elena enters her bedroom, wearing the trademark “cute PJs” she wore, when Damon popped by her bedroom to first profess his love to her in “Rose.”  She sees Damon standing by the window, and wonders out loud, if he is drunk, like the FIRST time he entered her room in “The Return,” a.k.a. The Loathsome to All Delena Fans Jeremy Neck Snap Incident.”

But Damon is NOT drunk this time.  He is stone cold sober, and he has a serious message to deliver to Elena.  The message is that he was wrong.  (GASP!)  I don’t recall Damon ever admitting he was wrong.  This is clearly a first!  It also harkens back to the “Rose” scene, once again, in which Damon tells Elena he doesn’t deserve her, and the music in the background suddenly gets REALLY loud, so that you can hear the singer tell him just how WRONG he is . . .

What was Damon wrong about, this time?  You ask . . . well, remember how I mentioned that, the opening scene was important to the LAST scene, in terms of reflecting both Damon’s and Elena’s changed states of mind, after the episode.   Well, here we are!

Damon has come to the conclusion, much as Elena had earlier, that his brother ISN’T totally gone to the darkside yet, and CAN be saved.  He realized this when Stefan risked everything to save his own brother’s life.  It’s actually pretty cute, when Damon refers to his baby bro as a martyr who deserves to have his ass kicked, because it’s SUCH a Big Bro thing to say . . . So, Damon agrees to help Elena SAVE Stefan.

But that’s not all, in a scene, highly reminiscent of “The Return,” in which Damon tried to get Elena to admit that he loved her, AND, oddly enough, Caroline’s and Tyler’s “I care about you, OK!  I care about you!” First Kiss Moment, Damon forces Elena to admit that when faced with losing Damon’s life, she gave up the search for Stefan in the woods, earlier than was necessary.

“I didn’t want to see you get hurt.   I was worried about you,” Elena admits to a LEANING in Damon, who smiles knowingly before walking away.

Interestingly enough, it’s ELENA, who calls him back . . . much like Caroline did in HER parallel scene.  She has more to say.  And she’s going to make Damon hear it.  “Yes, I worry about you,” she says with obvious emotion and frustration in her voice.  “Why do you even have to hear me say it?”

Then Damon pulls her close to him.   Tugging on her hair affectionately, and cupping her delicate face in his hands appreciatively.  After all, she has given him so much more in those words than he could have hoped for.  After all, the question wasn’t really about HIS needing reassurance that Elena cared about him . . . he got that, back in the Season 2 Finale.  This was about ELENA finally realizing it for herself.

They look one another, right in the eyes, intensely, their faces just inches apart, feeling eachother’s breath on their faces.  And then Damon says, very softly, the most beautiful words imaginable, because they are sweet, heartfelt, self-sacrificing, and SO much in line with this New Reluctant Hero Damon, who is tasked not only with keeping Elena alive, but also with keeping her happy.

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“Because, when I drag my brother back from the edge and deliver him back to you. I want you to remember the things you felt when he was gone.”

And then Damon full of class, exits Elena’s room, leaving her alone to her undoubtedly dirty thoughts, and the judgy eyes of a suitcase toting Alaric, who witnessed the entire exchange (The door was open, after all!), while in the process of moving himself back into the Gilbert home.)

“Do you know what you’re doing there?” Alaric inquires, it’s a benign enough question, but the concerned and knowing look on Alaric’s face lets Elena know exactly to what he’s referring.

“I don’t know,” Elena replies honestly, and more than a bit guiltily . . .

You may not know what your going to do with Damon, yet, Elena . . .But rest assured, you will SOON! 😉

Oh, and since I LOVED this scene, so VERY, VERY MUCH, I’ve decided to include it for your viewing pleasure, here.  Just click on the internal link, and watch, and rewatch to your hearts content . . .

In completely UNRELATED, and NON-ROMANTIC NEWS, Caroline’s IN SOME SERIOUS DEEP SH*T right now.  And that sh*t’s got a name . . .

Who’s Your DADDY?  (a.k.a. Parents Just DON’T Understand . . .)

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And the award for TVD Character with the WORST PARENTS EVER goes to . . . BABY VAMP FORBES!  (Tell her what she’s won, Bob!)

So, of course, as most of you already know, this week’s TVD episode ended on the massive cliffhanger that Vampire Slayer BILL is actually Caroline’s Big Gay Dad.

Look . . . it’s an Evil Elvis Impersonator Caroline’s Dad!

The look she gives the creepy guy from Heroes her seemingly cold, unfeeling father, while CHAINED UP in a dungeon for what seems like the 500th time, in her short life as a baby vamp, is extra special heartbreaking, because you just KNOW that a part of her still believes he’s actually there to SAVE her.  Seriously, is it any wonder Girlfriend has TRUST issues?

But the good news, Caroline, is that you’ve WON the AWARD for Sh*ttiest Parents in Mystic Falls.   I mean, that has to count for something, right.   After all, the Bad Parents Competition is MIGHTY STEEP in this town.  Let’s see, we’ve got Damon and Stefan, who’s dad SHOT them, rather then have them live as fangbangers.  (But Stefan ate him, so I feel like we’ve gotta cut the guy a little slack.)  Then there’s Matt’s Mom, who left Matt and his slutty sister to fend for themselves (Didn’t work out so well for Vicki?  Did it?), while she MACKED WITH MATT’S BEST FRIEND up against a WALL at a party!

(By the way, it just occurred to me that Tyler generally seems to prefer vertical sex . . . interesting . . . perhaps it’s a Wolf Thing.)

Tyler’s Dad slapped him around a lot.  But oddly enough, the fact that he NEVER ACTUALLY TRIED TO KILL HIM, actually puts him near the top of the parenting list in this effed-up town.

Same goes for Tyler’s Mom, who SHOT AND KIDNAPPED HIS GIRLFRIEND, but again, never tried to kill Tyler.  So, YAY for her . . . I guess.

Only ONE of Elena’s bio parents (Isobel) tried to kill HER, by turning her over to Klaus for the Sacrifice, but she was under compulsion at the time so . . . there’s that.

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“I can fly higher than a vampire bat, but you are the wind beneath my wings.”

(Let’s not forget the whole Committing Suicide in Front of her Daughter Thing.)

And her bio dad, Uncle/Father John pretty much tried to kill THE ENTIRE TOWN EXCEPT Elena, which, oddly makes him a comparatively “good” parent as well.

Rounding out the list are Jeremy’s definitely DEAD parents, and Bonnie’s invisible parents, who are probably hanging out in Hogwarts somewhere.  (Definitely Deatheaters!)

Mr. Voldemort Bennett

This, of course, brings me back to LIZARD FORBES, and Vampire HUNTER BILL, BOTH of whom have now taken measures to MURDER Caroline . . . oh, I’m sorry.   I meant “cure” her.

“Hey, Recapper!  I’ve been helping the sister of the kid I, more or less, KILLED find her Vampire Boyfriend!  So, I’m ‘good’ now.  Didn’t you get the memo?” 

So, yeah, that’s pretty much where we are now.  Stefan and Klaus are still out frolicking.  Jeremy and Matt are getting it on chilling with the ghost girls.  Alaric has moved his Chunky Monkey back into his dead girlfriend’s bed.  Damon and Elena are DEEPLY IN LOOOOOOOOVE continuing to take turns barging into eachother’s bedrooms, for daily, and nightly eye-sex/personal space invastion / Will they? Won’t they? makeout sessions.  And Caroline is sitting pretty in Evil Daddy’s dungeon, while he decides whether he’s down with her “alternative lifestyle.”  (See what I did there?)

Tune in next week, when Klaus takes Stefan on a fantastic voyage back to Boardwalk Empire . . . er . . . I mean the 1920’s, Poor Caroline gets her ass kicked some more (SAVE HER, TYLER!  SAVE HER!), and Damon and Elena prepare to set off on their next rescue mission together.  You can check out the promo for the episode, here:

And that’s more or less, all she wrote, for NOW anyway.  Now, it’s YOUR turn.  Did you LOVE this episode as much as I did?  Were you digging all the ho-yay between Stefan and Klaus / Matt and Jeremy?  Are you counting down the episodes before the SECOND inevitable Delena makeout sesh?  What about Caroline?  Has our kickass Vampire Barbie eclipsed Jeremy as the resident TVD punching bag?  Please sound off in the comment section below.

Until then, Hasta La Vista, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

The Body Snatchers – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Goodbye Look”

EMILY:  “Wow!  You know, for cafeteria food, this stuff doesn’t actually look half bad.”

HANNA: “True, but don’t forget what show this is.  With our luck, ‘A’ probably miraculously poisoned all those fruit plates before we arrived, without anyone seeing her or him do it.”

SPENCER: “Yeah, and as soon as one of us eats one, and falls down dead dead, she’ll text the rest of us with something SUPER cheesy, like ‘Beware of lunch ladies bearing poison apple slices – A.”’

ARIA: [Falls to the floor, unconscious.]

HANNA: “See what I mean?”

SPENCER, HANNA and EMILY: [Sigh and wait for their cell phones to ring.]

Welcome back, my Pretties!  This week’s Pretty Little installment was all about that oh-so-frightening prospect we all must face, at some point in our lives . . .  The Future. 

Therefore, it was fitting that, during the course of the episiode, each character made a choice that would undoubtedly affect their own future on the show.  Admittedly, “The Goodbye Look” wasn’t exactly what you would consider an “action-packed” PLL episode.  For starters, unlike last week’s groundbreaking Fitzy’s Bod Extravaganza, it contained NO shirtlessness, whatsoever.

While we are on the subject of what wasn’t in the episode, there was also no adorable Lucas, mysterious Caleb, or British studmuffin, Wren . . .

He’s coming back NEXT week, though!  *does dance of joy!*

But hey!  That doesn’t mean the episode was a TOTAL loss.  After all, it did introduce to me a mystery that I will undoubtedly ponder between now and the end of time.  Namely, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO JASON DILAURENTIS’ FACE?

“The world may never know!”

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

(Once again, the Awesome Screenshots from this Recap were provided by THIS KICKASS WEBSITE.  Thanks guys!)

Zombies Don’t Text (But, apparently, they can take out the trash just fine!).

This week’s PLL installment continued last week’s tradition of starting precisely where the previous episode left off.  The girls have just learned that Spencer’s sister, Melissa, may or may not be in cell phone contact with Creepy Pedo Zombie Ian, and they are PRETTY F*&KING FREAKED OUT ABOUT IT . . .

Can you blame them?

Hanna tries to analyze the situation from a “rational” perspective, something that doesn’t often go over particularly well on this show.  “Zombies DON’T text,” she explains.

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Another PLL’er (though I can’t recall who) suggests going to the cops with this new information.  “Yes, because that has gone so well for us, so far,” snarks Spencer.  And SHE would know.  She’s had the worst luck with policemen of ALL the PLL girls.  Then again, NO ONE has had as bad luck for the cops as her boyfriend,  Abs Toby.

“Hmm . . .  I wonder if my body would look this good if it was stuffed in an orange prison jumpsuit.”

Ultimately, the girls decide to stay away from the cops.  Rather, Spencer will use her super sleuthing skills, and Trademark Investigation Face . . .

 . . . to ascertain precisely how much Melissa REALLY knows about Ian’s whereabouts and mortality situation.

The girls’ discussion is quickly interrupted, when they start hearing strange noises coming from the roof of the greenhouse.

Well, OF COURSE, ‘A’ is hanging out on the ceiling watching them.  I mean, why not?  What else could she possibly be doing in the middle of the night?  Note to A:  There are WAY better ways to cure insomnia than stalking teenage girls.  Might I suggest Tent Sex, for example . . .

 . . . or dancing . . .

Our PLL’s quickly bolt from the scene.  On the way home, they find Facelift Jason skulking around Maya’s house, which, of course, used to be HIS and Ali’s house, back when the two were growing up.  As we learned last week from Blind Jenna and Police Boy Garrett, Ali’s older brother has somehow managed to convince Maya’s family to let him stay at the house, while Maya, herself, is away at De-Gaying Camp.  And what’s his first order of business in the home, you ask?  Well, to toss out all Dead Ali’s CRAP, of course!

“Thanks for the Box of Clues, Facelift Jason!  Now, I finally know who ‘A” is!”

Now, I know that the PLL girls, and, I suspect, some viewers, found Jason’s action of haphazardly tossing his sister’s things out with the morning trash insensitive and suspicious.  And yet, I find it more maudlin that Maya’s family would choose to hang on to that stuff, in the first place.  I mean, it’s bad enough to move into a home not too far away from where its previous inhabitant suffered a violent end.  But to KEEP the Dead Girl’s stuff, because you “can’t bear to throw it away?”  That’s just bizarre.

 Parents Just Don’t Understand

Hanna seems to be gaining a bit of ground with her Mom, regarding the whole “My therapist said I can’t have friends” thing.  After all, as Hanna says, if Mom doesn’t believe in therapy, why should SHE?  Where Hanna is making less progress is on the issue of her “darling Dad,” who seems to only make reappearances in her life, when she is in trouble with the law . . . like now.  Other than that, Dad’s idea of showing fatherly concern seems to consists of sending Hanna and her mom plants . . . that DIE.  But Mom’s a bit lonely now that Deputy Douchey has left town.  Remember him . . .

. . . so she’s willing to overlook Hanna’s remarried dad’s flaws, provided there exists an opportunity that papa might wind his way back into Mama Marin’s pink pantalones. 

Poor Hanna!  She’d have more luck being parented by a PLANT, than she would by these two.

Over at the Fields’ household, Emily’s homophobic mom thinks the therapist’s idea of separating Emily from all her friends is a FABULOUS one.  (Why?   Does she think this will somehow make her straight?)  She decides that Emily should leave her cell phone on the kitchen table, and make all her phone calls THERE, where Mom can overhear every word. 

Speaking of “great news” (she said, sarcastically), Emily’s mom also informs Emily that their house has been rented.  It’s moving time!

Emily storms upstairs and learns that, SURPRISE, her entire laptop has been erased, because she was an A$$HAT, and left it on in her room, for all potential “renters” of her home, and “A” to see.  Remember THIS little scene from last week, during which Gloved Hand person worked his evil magic on Emily’s deepest darkest snuff born videos, and Ian-related secrets?

Ahhh memories!

Emily calls Spencer to fill her in on the bad news.  Spencer would probably very much like to tell Emily that she is dumber than dog sh*t.  However, since Spencer made a SIMILAR mistake with HER laptop last season, she acts sympathetic.  Besides, Spencer has her own problems. 

Melissa has just arrived home from her sonogram appointment, and plans to spend the next few days on the couch doing nothing, which, if you think about it, has more or less been what she’s done since about the fourth episode on this show.  The problem now is that Spencer wants to snoop through Melisssa’s stuff to figure out whether she knows more about Ian’s whereabouts than she lets on.  And if Melissa’s lazy ass is on the couch all day, sniffing through her personal belogings will be VERY difficult!

“Damn you, Lazy Pregnant Lady!  Damn YOU!”

Aria Gets a New Nickname.  Fitzy Stays in the Dog House . . . for now

Back at school, Fitzy makes a lame excuse to pull Aria into his classroom alone AGAIN.  It’s a good thing Fitzy is leaving Rosewood Prep  Because he is getting SO MUCH worse worse at keeping his private Sex with a Student Business a secret.  Then again, maybe he’s just the kind of teacher who LOVES to give extra credit assignments to his most promising students. 😉

And Aria is simply more “promising’ than all the rest.

Fitzy takes this “extra credit” opportunity to not-so-subtly remind Aria that Friday is his last day as her teacher.  In other words, Aria, the Fitzy Love Train is leaving the station!  Better get aboard, or its going to pass you by, directly en route to Jackie Town!

Aria understands the insinuation her (ex?) is making, and doesn’t appreciate it.  “Thanks for the warning,” she says in a voice tinged with sarcasm, and a smidgeon of hidden longing.

“Why do I feel like you are picking apart everything I say with a pair of tweezers?”  Fitzy inquires, hurt.

Fitzy and Aria are suddenly starting to sound a heck of a lot like an old married couple.  The question is:  is that a good sign or a bad one.  Aria wants to know where the couple stands in their relationship.  And though Fitzy feels he has already made his love for Aria clear, he is willing to meet with her the following evening to have “The Talk.” 

My advice to Fitzy:  Already trying to figure out what to wear to ensure this “Talk” with Aria will go as well as humanly possible?  Here’s a hint:  Leave the sweater vest in the drawer!

Just sayin’!

Outside the classroom Annoying Mona traps Aria, in a rather grating conversation, as the recent absense of Hanna in her life, has apparently left her with no one to worship.  (Where’s Bushy Eyebrow Noel, when you need him, right?)  Though on the surface, this conversation seemed fairly meaningless and mundane, those in the “Mona is A” camp undoubtedly found a lot to chew on in this particular exchange.

“Hey, Big A!” Mona calls after Aria, ignoring the MASSIVE eyeroll Aria gives her, when she reaches her side.

Huh?  Big A?  Who’s Little A?  I mean, usually calling someone Big A, implies a smaller or younger A, in existence, right?  And who out there is smaller than Aria?  That girl is TEENY!  Not to mention . . . um . . . Mona?  I hate to break it to you, but there is NO girl in the world who enjoys being called “Big.”  Shallow Attempt at Friendship? FAIL!

As it turns out, Mona’s reason for accosting Aria is two-fold.  First, she would like Aria to help pick out a Going Away Gift for Fitzy, since the the two of them are so . . . close . . .

Of course, Mona is referring to the fact that they have had a lot of hot monkey sex together the two of them worked together on the school play!  Right?  Maybe . . . then again . . . maybe not.  After all, A is certainly familiar with Ezria’s sexploits, and if Mona is A, then . . .

The second favor that Mona asks of Aria is that she put in a good word for Mona with her now-on-the-outs former bestie, Hanna.  Last week, if you recall, Hanna gave Mona the big ole boot, when she found out that the latter had made Caleb’s love letter to Hanna DISAPPEAR in the Lamest Magic Trick Ever.

RIIIIPPPP!

 When Aria remarks that SHE hasn’t been talking to Hanna either, as a result of the whole “Our Shrink Doesn’t Think We Should Hang Out Anymore, Because Everyone Assumes We Lied About Finding Ian’s Dead Body” thing, Mona acts like she DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT AT ALL!

Whatchu talkin’ about, Mona?”

At this point in the show, my Bullsh*t Meter is on high alert.  I don’t believe, for a second, that the Biggest Gossip in the School had NO CLUE that her so-called best friend was involved in a scandal / possible criminal activity coverup of EPIC proportions.

Nevertheless, Mona puts on her best, “I’m sorry the Shrink took all your friends away” face, and bids Aria adieu.

“A Strikes Again”

On the lunch line, the girls (who are not supposed to be hanging out with one another, even though it should be SO OBVIOUS to anyone watching them that they still are) are whispering about the whole Ian Situation and wanting “closure.”  Correction . . . everyone wants closure except Hanna, who HATES closure, with the passion of a girl, who gave up her virginity to a boy, who was paid to seduce her and extract information from her, and then found out that he had fallen in love with her, somewhere along the way.

As if by instinct, all four of our heroines immediately head to the same lunch table . . . that is, until it hits them that they should probably NOT BE SEEN TOGETHER IN PUBLIC. 

Oops!

It is unbelievably sad, seeing these four supposedly super popular individuals each sitting at a table ALL BY THEMSELVES.  (Couldn’t Emily have sat with any of her swim team friends?  She is CAPTAIN, after all.)  I also had to wonder how SMALL this school is, that there were enough empty tables for EACH of these girls (and Mona) to do this.

Speaking of Mona, I know it makes me a terrible person, but I had to laugh a little bit at her expense, when she motioned for Hanna to come sit next to HER, and was DENIED. 

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Queen B Hanna would, apparently, rather sit BY HERSELF, than with the likes of the Future Miss Bushy Eyebrows.

So, of course, the minute the girls are all seated by their lonesome, A sends one of her trademark text messages to all four of them at the same time.  It says:  “Look at you.  All alone in a crowd.  I win!”

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Oh, COME ON, A!  You couldn’t think of anything more creative than the texting equivalent of sticking your tongue out and blowing a raspberry?  Clearly, you are losing your touch.

Toby Gets a Job . . . Then Loses It

Speaking of loners, after a VERY long absence, Abs Toby is back at Rosewood Prep, filling out papers. Spencer sees her beau, and is, of course, thrilled, rushing to give him a celebratory hug.  She thinks he is returning to school (and that she won’t have to suffer the humiliation of eating lunch alone again)

But alas, Spencer is wrong , (which is becoming an increasingly common occurrence).  Toby is simply collecting the papers necessary to complete his home schooling so that he can earn his GED and leave Rosewood . . . possibly, for good.

Spencer, NO LIKEY!

Toby and Spencer both flirt with the idea of Toby sticking around Rosewood to be with Spencer.  There are a lot of knowing smiles and eye f*&king, but nothing is really established.  Oh, and remember last week, when Toby suddenly became all Mr. Fix It, with Emily’s wall height chart? 

It turns out that was actually PART OF THE PLOT!  (Who knew?)  This week, we find out that our little enterprising Abs Toby has gone and scored himself a construction job in town.  Someone is REALLY itching to get some cash, and get away from Blind Jenna, isn’t he?  And honestly, can you blame him?

You know, if there was ever a contest for Luckiest Dude in Rosewood, Toby would probably come in dead last.  So, of course, it is no surprise, that the very same day Toby begins his career as a construction worker, the client who’s house he is “constructing” gets the poor kid fired, because he didn’t want Abs Toby near his daughter . . . him still being a Murder Suspect, and all.

Poor Toby!  Sometimes the Adult World is just as bad as high school.  At least he has Spencer to lean on, when times get rough, which, let’s face it, is basically ALL THE TIME, on this show 

In a really sweet scene, later on in the episode, the uber cute couple meet up in a forest, of all places,  and talk about how genuinely sh*tty the town they live in and the people who live in it with them are.  Spencer, who’s wearing a business suit, for no apparent reason WHATSOEVER, even goes as far as to offer to tell the cops what she knows about Ian, so that Toby can FINALLY be completely exonerated for any wrongdoing.  Toby then reminds Spencer that the cops in Rosewood are pretty much useless, and don’t believe a darn thing EITHER Toby or Spencer say.  So, what’s the point? 

They put their heads together and cuddle with one another under the stars.  And suddenly the Unluckiest Boy in Rosewood isn’t feeling so unlucky anymore.

Just Keep Swimming . . . Just Keep Swimming

Over at the pool, Emily is busy (SURPRISE) winning a swim meet again.  How convenient, right? 

Glug, Glug . . .

By the way, anybody seen Paige and her Sad Little Orphan Bitchy haircut? 

I know her and Emily sort of/ kind of broke up, but,  does that mean she automaticallly gets tossed into the PLL Vortex of Lost Former Significant Others?  Just curious . . .

Anywhoo . . . Emily is walking with Samara (Remember her, from the Carnival, and that blind date sort of meeting she was supposed to have with Paige, before Paige bailed?), who is NOT Emily’s girlfriend yet, but, I guess is close enough to her to attend her swim meets.  Samara asks Emily out to a movie, and Awkard Emily treats the poor girl like she PROPOSED MARRIAGE.  “But I’m moving . . . and I just got out of  a relationship. . . and I don’t want to start anything serious . . .blah, blah, blah” she yammers on. 

To her credit, Samara handles Emily’s weirdness pretty well, reminding Emily that going to a movie theater is not the same thing as picking out China patterns. 

“Oh, get over yourself, girlfriend!  Have you seen what I look like?  I can get WAY sluttier girls than you to go out with me.”

So, Emily agrees to keep things “casual” with Samara.  But not so fast!  As we all know by now, NO relationship on PLL can truly be a “casual relationship.”  Every first date must seem like Love Everlasting at least, for two episodes, or until the next love interest comes along, whichever is sooner.

 Worry not, Semily Fans!  The PLL writers have a solution for this conundrum which, also, could coincidentally end up allowing Emily to stick around for Season 3 of the show.  Some recruiter from Dartmouth Darby starts talking to her about swimming scholarships, conveniently noting that, if she moves out of Rosewood before the year is up, she probably will miss her chances of getting one. 

Emily is thrilled.  Now, she finally has ammunition to take to her mother that could genuinely prevent her from having to move to a dreaded “Red State,” if you catch my drift.

At the movies, Samara and Emily talk about the “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (real ones, not the ones from that LAME Matthew McConaughey Movie). 

Emily recalls that her first date with her FIRST girlfriend Maya, was also a Movie Date.  (Good job, Emily!  Because THAT’S what all new significant others like to hear on a first date Tales of the Ex.  Man, Emily really does SUCK at this whole dating thing, doesn’t she?)  Paige, of course, is not mentioned at all. 

EMILY:  “Umm . . . Samara.  Have you noticed that no one else is in this movie theater aside from us?”

SAMARA:  “Oh, did I forget to mention that I was taking you to see porn?  Sorry about that.”

In and of itself, the scene is pretty useless.  Samara and Emily don’t even hold hands or touch, let alone kiss.  I suspect the only reason for the existence of the scene, was to show that Emily was BACK IN THE DATING world, and to foreshadow Maya’s inevitalble return in a later episode. 

*insert evil laugh here*

Don’t get me wrong, I like Samara.  She’s fun and drama free, which is exactly what Emily needs in a girlfriend right now.  But seriously?  This storyline? Zzzzzzzzz.

Back at home, Emily’s mom is surprisingly open to the idea of Emily staying in Rosewood and finishing out her high school career there, if it means her getting a swimming scholarship to Dartmouth Danby.  She just wants a letter from the recruiter GUARANTEEING  the scholarship, before she brings the idea to Emily’s father.  Ummm, Emily’s Mom?  That’s actually not how college recruitment works . . . AT ALL!

Maternal Advice FAIL

Now, don’t forget that Emily was the Dumb Bunny who left her EVIDENCE OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY filled computer open and on in her bedroom, while her house was being shown for rental, so ANY NUMBER OF STRANGERS HAD EASY ACCESS TO ALL HER FILES. 

Is she pretty?  Absolutely.  Is she a spectacular athlete?  It would seem so.  Is she smart?  Not so much. 

So, of course, Emily assumes that her New Recruiter Friend will have absolutely NO TROUBLE giving her a PROMISE OF SCHOLARSHIP letter.  As you would expect, New Recruiter Friend pretty much LAUGHS IN HER FACE.  And yet, he does promise to give her a “We are definitely, maybe, considering, giving you a scholarship to our school . . . I think” letter. Emily looks crestfallen. 

That being said, since we all know she’s SOMEHOW going to manage to stay in Rosewood, assuming PLL gets picked up for another season, it’s hard, as a viewer, to really be worried for her.

Also during this scene, we learn that, in addition to erasing the harddrive of Emily’s laptop, SOMEONE stole camping gear from her garage.  Apparently, similar random break-ins have been occuring throughout Rosewood.  This handy-dandy piece of information may seem useless now, but it will come in handy later.

Hanna’s Dad Comes Back to Town (Nobody really cares.)

“I was so bored of my own story line, this week that I left in the middle of the episode to go watch The Voice.”

Of all the PLL girls, Hanna probably got the shortest end of the stick this week, in terms of plot advancing storylines.  (And that’s saying a lot, if you consider how LAME Emily’s storyline ended up being.  See above.)  When you think about it, all that really happened to Hanna this week was that her dad came back to town.  In the kitchen, the father/ daughter duo had their own little private therapy session about how Daddy-o only seemed to come around when Hanna was in trouble, and how he pretty much ABANDONED his own daughter for his better-behaved step-family. 

After Hanna stomps upstairs, Mama Marin and Papa Marin have a “reunion” of sorts, in which Daddy Dearest agrees to move back home for a while, until all this “Hanna as Murder Suspect Sh*t” blows over.  I can’t imagine things are going too well with Mr. Marin’s OTHER family, if he is so willing to up and leave them like this.  Then Hanna’s parents decide to do what any “rational” parents would do in this situation, they break out the booze.

I am SO getting you drunk, so I can get laid tonight.”

“You SURE ARE!”

You know, I don’t think it sends such a good message to teens that Aria’s and Hanna’s “Trouble with the Law” ended up being what brought BOTH of their parents back together.  It teaches kids that if their parents are having marital troubles, all they have to do is “act out” or misbehave in some way, and they will get back together.  Just sayin’

Oh, and I almost forgot, toward the end of the episode, Hanna randomly decides to forgive Mona for the Caleb Thing.  Mona claims excited, because “nobody has ever forgiven [her] before.”  (Umm . . . really, Mona?  Because I seem to remember HANNA forgiving you, last season, for starting a rumor that she had lipsuction, and for disinviting her to your Big Ass Birthday Party.  How quickly we forget?)

Hanna and Mona further cement their truce, by promising not to talk about their current love interests Caleb and Bushy Eyebrows Noel with one another.  That’s good, because I REALLY don’t want to learn anymore about Mona and Bushy Eyebrows making out.  I had to rinse my eyes out with alcohol from the last time that image was seared into my brain . . .

Parking Lot Sex . . . Well, that’s one way to Go Public with your “Secret Relationship”

So, remember how Fitzy promised to meet Aria at his apartment to talk about the “status” of their relationship.  Well, as it turns out, Fitzy got caught up in a little orientation meeting with college faculty, and his soon-to-be boss, and was late to the date  .  . . HOURS late.  (Apologetic Boyfriend FAIL!)  At first, Aria doesn’t seem to mind too much, as we know from earlier episodes how much she LOVES snooping around Fitzy’s apartment, while he’s not home. 

“So, it’s already been a few days, and Fitzy still hasn’t realized ‘A’ stole his diploma.  Do you think he’d notice if I took some of his underwear home for ‘safe keeping?’

First, she returns to Fitzy the diploma that “A” stole from his apartment to freak out the girls, then she starts reminiscing about their relationship, by looking through all sorts of little mementos Fitzy saved along the way, like, for example, the paper bags they wore over their heads, to note the secret status of their relationship. 

I can’t decide whether this is really romantic, or really creepy . . . I’m leaning toward creepy.

As Aria tends to do, while snooping around Fitzy’s alone, she calls Spencer to ask for advice about how long she should wait at the apartment, before she starts looking like a Total Desperate Hobag.  “You are the master of time,” Aria says to Spencer, kissing her ass, as hard as she can.

This true, technically,  when it comes to macking with the boys, Spencer is an EXPERT with time.  It’s the timing of everything ELSE in her life that seems to suck so royally.  Anywho, Spencer ditches Aria to go hang out with Toby.  So, after hours, of waiting for Fitzy to show up, Aria finally decides to leave. 

Cleverly (or callously, depending on how you view it), Aria leaves her Dear John note for Fitzy, in his old-fashioned type writer.  (Maybe she was hoping he wouldn’t find it?  I mean, really, just because he OWNS a typewriter, doesn’t mean he uses it.  Fitzy may be OLDER, but he’s not OLD!  He knows how to use a computer, for crying out loud!)

Nevertheless, the typewriter is where Aria ends up placing her letter, which goes a little something like this:  “I’m sorry we couldn’t work things out with our relationship. -Aria”  (OUCH!)

If any of you out there were MAD at Aria for the particular way in which she decided to dump Fitzy (Hey, at least she didn’t do it by text message or Post-It Note), worry not, karma got to her BIG TIME, when she wandered into Spencer’s house, after being stood up on her “talking date.”  Upon entering Spencer’s house, Aria steps on broken glass, immediately signifying to her that SOMEONE has broken in.  (No wonder Spencer carries that knife around everywhere.  That house sees more action than Paris Hilton!)  However, before Aria can react to this new information, she is tackled to the ground by an unseen home invader, as he dashes from the home.

Source

When Spencer comes home, her and Aria discuss the possibility that “A” has been sneaking into homes in the area, and collecting things . . . that “A” may be Ian . . . and that he may be out to get Spencer.

The next day at school, is Fitzy’s last day, he seems SUPER sad to be leaving “his students,” and by “his students” I basically mean, only Aria. 

“I don’t even know who half of you people are . . . I spent the entire year staring at Aria’s rack.”

“No wonder I got an ‘A-cup’ in English this semester.”

In fact, Fitzy’s entire goodbye speech seems to be solely directed toward her.  (I guess he uses that typewriter, after all!)  In typical Geeky, but Endearing, Fitzy fashion, he uses a quote to embody his feelings for Aria the class.  “Joseph Campbell once said, ‘You must give up the life you planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for you.’  I didn’t understand what that meant, until I met you.”

(Well, you better explain it to ME, Fitzy!  Because it doesn’t sound all that inspiring from where I’m standing.)

Nevertheless, Fitzy’s speech must have had an impact on Aria, because, after HOURS of sitting by herself on school grounds (weren’t her parents looking for her), she rushes into Fitzy’s classroom, looking for him, only to find that he has already left.

Source

But fear not, Ezria fans!  Because when Aria runs out to the parking lot, she finds Fitzy packing the last of his personal belongings into his car, and, in perfect Romantic Comedy Fashion, rushes into his arms for one of those LOOOOONG KISSES, that they use the 360 degree camera to film.

Source

It was heart-warming, triumphant, and super sweet . . . but it also made me really dizzy.  Just sayin’.

 Jason 2.0 apparently has both Multiple Personality, and Multiple Face Disorder

As I mentioned earlier, Super Sleuth Spencer has taken it upon herself, to find out exactly what happened to Ian.  First, she tries getting information from her sister Mopey Melissa, but girlfriend is not cracking.  So, she gets some store bought cookies, puts them in a plate to make them look baked, and carries them over to Maya’s house, where Jason is currently staying.

Though they showed Jason a bit, in the first scene, where he was throwing out all of Alison’s stuff, Spencer’s second meeting with Jason marked the first time I REALIZED that he was a different person.  And BOY was I confused! 

Luckily, I had my laptop in front of me, and was able to locate the article I linked above for you, which explained the Great Jason DiLaurentis Body Snatch.  Apparently, the old Jason was recast for someone a bit younger looking, as this was more consistent with the “direction” in which the writers wanted the character to go, in the show’s second season.

Considering that they chose a younger-looking actor, and considering that, EVERY MALE on this show ends up somehow involved with one of the PLL’s, I suspect that the main reason for this little switcheroo was to set up a future romance between Jason, and one of our girls (Using process of elimination, I would suspect it would be Aria Hanna, since both Spencer and Hanna already have love triangles with which to grapple, and Aria is currently a one-man lady.) 

And yet, while the actor who plays Nu-Jason is definitely cute, I can’t help but feel like the way his character is being introduced, is too similar to the way the writers introduced Toby in Season One, i.e.  The Sort of Creepy, Potential Suspect, Guy, who ends up being Sweet and Misunderstood.

I hope I’m wrong.  Because, as far as I’m concerned, there can only be one Toby.

Word!”

But I am getting ahead of myself here.  So, Spencer arrives at the house, and a grouchy Jason, makes me sort of hate him, by throwing rocks at a poor defenseless little dog, to get him out of the back yard.  He’s pretty defensive and rude to Spencer, and yet somehow gets her talking about what happened at the church.  At least initially, Jason seems to believe Spencer’s story about what Ian did, and what might have happened to him. 

You’ve really gotta hand it to Jason 2.0.   He’s smart.  Here was Super Sleuth Spencer coming to his home for information, and SHE ended up giving all the information she had to HIM, while he pretty much revealed nothing.  Talk about a Wanna Be Veronica Mars, FAIL, Spencer!

This scene is followed by a completely random, and not all that useful, flashback, in which Ali taunts her older brother Jason 2.0, by hiding his crap from him.  She makes some very Ali-like comment about how, when she hides things, they stay hidden.  I suspect it was supposed to be a “mysterious” scene.  And yet, I was so distracted by the appearance of Jason 2.0, I found myself unable to really concentrate on it all that much, to be honest.

(Didn’t they say last season that he used to be a goth, back when Ali was alive?  He looks more like the Captain of the Soccer Team here.)

Spencer’s sleuthing abilities are redeemed somewhat, when she comes home to her lazy ass sister, sitting right on the couch, where she seems to have been for two days straight. 

“I’m on to you Crazy Nanny Carrie from One Tree Hill . . . er . . . I mean, Melissa.”

Though Melissa claims to have been there the whole time, Spencer notices that Melissa’s raincoat and boots are wet, and in her pocket is the sonogram picture that she showed Spencer earlier.  Also, though Melissa clearly left the house that day, her car seems not to have moved.  Now, Spencer is wondering whether Melissa has been “entertaining” someone in the barn where Ali was pretty much last seen alive . . . possibly Ian.

But this section isn’t about Melissa or Ian, right?   It’s about Jason. 

Toward the end of the episode, the girls find him outside building a fence, either to keep intruders out, or to keep someone IN. 

He’s building in the middle of the night, in a rainstorm, and seems to have a TON of camping gear around him, similar to the camping gear that was stolen from Emily’s house. 

That cute little dog is there again, and it seems to be sniffing inside one of the sleeping bags, on the ground near Jason.  Something long and tall, is in that bag . . . something that could be but probably isn’t a dead body.

In the final scene of the episode, we see the Infamous Gloved Hand fondling the cute dog’s head.  For a second, we worry that Evil Gloved Hand Person might do something TRULY AWFUL, like break the dog’s neck. 

But, instead, it just lovingly pets the dog, who seems to recognize Gloved Hand instantly.  If this is, in fact, the DiLaurentis Family dog than Gloved Hand person, must be someone who is familiar with the family . . . like, for example, Ian . . .or one of Ali’s parents . . . maybe even Ali, herself.

And there you have it:  “The Goodbye Look” in a nutshell.  Be sure to tune in next week, when, if my sources are correct, MY HONEY BUNNY Doctor Wren / Julian Morris returns to Rosewood!  SQUEE!  (It’s about DAMN time!)

You can check out the SUPER INTENSE Much Music promo for the third episode, entitled “My Name is Trouble” here:

See you next week, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever]

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It’s Not Easy Being Lavender – A Recap of (U.S.) Skin’s “Tea”

I have a confession to make.  Something happened to me, in between the airing of the pilot episode of (U.S.) Skins and the episode I plan to recap today . . . I discovered (U.K.) Skins and I watched it . . . all of it . . . well, at least the first two seasons.  And, at some point, during those hours (and HOURS, and HOURS) spent watching the series, I fell in love . . . with Tony (the other Tony) . . .

 . . . and Stanley and Cadie Sid and Cassie . . .

. . . and the rest of that crew of crazy, loveable Brits — all of whom I would TOTALLY party with, if I was remotely cool enough to hang out with them (which, I suspect, I’m not).

While my newfound love affair with (U.K) Skins didn’t dampen my appreciation of THIS version, it DID make it a lot more difficult for me NOT to make endless comparisons between the two.  So, I’m just going to put that out there as a warning.  I will try my VERY hardest, not to bring up (U.K.) Skins in my (U.S.) Skins recaps.  (But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about U.K. Skins in the Comments Section!  Because I TOTALLY PLAN ON DOING SO! )

However, there is ONE scene from this week’s episode, where I think a comparison to the U.K. version will prove SUPER HOT! extremely enlightening  . . . from a sociocultural perspective.  So, I will break my promise just a bit, during this recap, to discuss that scene.  But not to worry U.K. Skins virgins, I fully plan to provide you with a YouTube video, for easy reference, when that time comes. 

You’re welcome!

Well, that’s enough of THAT.  Don’t you think?  On with the recap . . .

Who says you can’t learn about musical history from watching Skins?

(Now, I know the Parent Teacher Council has their panties all in a bunch over some of the content of this show.  But I wonder whether they’d think more kindly about it, if they knew that kids could actually learn something from it!  Personally, I learned TWO things from watching “Tea,” the first of which I will get to in just a bit . . .) 

So, when the episode begins, our titular character Tea is seen taking an exam of some sort.  Of course, I use the term “taking” loosely, because she seems WAY more interested in eye f*&king the curly-haired chick, seated a few rows in front of her, than doing any sort of test-taking.

This curly-haired chick’s name is Betty.  But I will be referring to her as Betty Boop, because she dresses like, and somewhat resembles, a cartoon character, throughout most of the episode.

After most likely flunking her exam, Tea rushes from class at the final bell, but not before leaving Betty Boop a little love note . . .

Thing I Learned from Skins #1:  When I first saw this note, I assumed that it referred to the Lesbian Underground Dance Club where Tea and Betty (and eventually Tea and Tony) met up, during the episode.  And I think I was correct in that assumption.  But from later research, I ALSO learned that Northern Soul refers to an ENTIRE DANCE MOVEMENT — one that gained grounded in the U.K. back in the 1960s.  In fact, many of the songs played during this episode — most notably Tony Clarke’s amazing Landslide (which got downloaded onto my iPod, moments after I finished watching the show) and Wade in the Water (which I WILL download, once I find the right version) — are examples of music that can be classified as Northern Soul.  Who knew?

After school, Tea rushes home, flies past various members of her loud and boisterous family, and heads immediately to her room, where she casts aside her”binding” school clothes, and exchanges them for some Hoochie Girl Party Gear.  (I mean no disrespect in saying this, of course.  Hoochie Girl Party Gear is a must have in EVERY gal’s wardrobe!)  Tea then heads immediately to an underground club filled with close-dancing females, that I can only assume is Northern Soul.

Once there, Tea really lets out her inner rock star — dancing alone, confidently, and un-self-consciously.  You can tell immediately that the moments when Tea is dancing, are the ones when she feels the most free . . . the most “normal.”  You can contrast Tea’s dancing, to the showy grindage, Tony and Michelle engaged in, during the pilot episode . . .

While Tony and Michelle dance to raise eyebrows, and be admired, Tea dances because she clearly loves it.

Within a few moments, Betty Boop has located Tea on the dance floor.  But they don’t get to do much “dancing” together (or talking, or thinking . . . for that matter) . . .

Before you can say “Northern Soul,” Tea and Betty are up against the wall, making out like it’s going out of styl.  Then they go back to Tea’s house, and it’s Screw Time!

We are then treated to a few censor-approved “tasteful” shots of the girls doing the horizontal mambo on the bed.  And before you can say, “Parent Teacher Council,” it’s morning time in Skins World. 

“There was a lotta lickin!”

Tea and Betty rush downstairs, but not before they are ambushed by Tea’s dad, who seems like a kinder, gentler, more blue-collar, version of Tony Soprano.  So, of course, I love him ALREADY!

Awkward moments are a-plenty, as Tea’s dad and Tea start rattling off one sexual pun, after another — carelessly chatting about “chewing things over” and “screwing around,” as if they are discussing the day’s weather.  Betty Boop is clearly not pleased to be there.

Things get even MORE awkward when Tea’s dad introduces Betty Boop to Tea’s massive family. 

By far, the most interesting of this gaggle of relatives is Tea’s zany Nana, who rattles off hilarious lines about past presidents like “No more Tricky Dicky for a LONG TIME!”  (They must hear this kind of stuff EVERY morning, because no one in the room laughs, or even seems to be listening, for that matter.)

Things get THREE times as awkward, when Tea’s straight girlfriend Daisy comes by, and the family refers to her as “The Gay One.”  (Tea’s family clearly does not know that she’s a lesbian.)  Daisy shows off her rack to the two lovers, and wonders out loud whether she has the tatas of a lesbian.  This causes me to wonder what Lesbian Tatas look like, exactly.  (Maybe they are rainbow-colored?)

Honestly, I couldn’t tell whether Betty Boop was all in a snit, because another woman was there, or because now all of Italy probably knows she spent the night getting naked with a female.  Whatever it is, Betty starts acting like a major biatch, threatening Tea that she “better not tell anyone,” and sending Daisy death ray stares, every time the poor girl speaks.  Daisy smugly notes that Betty has hickeys all over neck, which causes the enraged chica to Boop Boop Be Doop her way toward the Exit Stage Left.  “How did it go?”  Daisy asks, referring to the departed Betty.

“There was a lotta lickin'” Tea replies.  (You’ll be pleased to know that this has just become my new favorite catchphrase)

Tea’s dad interrupts the love fest to tell Tea that he’s decided to pimp her out to some connected mob guy’s son, probably so that The Family can make the kids’ father “an offer he can’t refuse.”  (Man, I LOVE Mob Stuff!)  The two mafia-born kids will go “bowling” together the following evening. The good news is that Tea will be paid well for going on this date, and she doesn’t have to “do any funny stuff” with him, if she doesn’t want to do so. 

On the bus on the way to school, Tea’s friend Abbud remarks on how funny it is that Tea has to go on a Mob Date.  He also does a pretty good Brando impression (or maybe that was supposed to be Deniro . . . or Pacino . . . maybe it wasn’t such a good impression after all)  “I come to you, to ask you this favor,” he rasps.

Abbud then spends the rest of the bus ride staring Tea’s boobs, which, I guess, have become kind of unofficial cast members, themselves, for all the time everyone spends staring at them, and talking about them . . .

Making Monkey and Getting Le Donged

It’s lunchtime now.  And Tony has a proposition for Crazy Pill Popping Cadie, who seems way more mellow, ever since her meds have been adjusted . . .

Tony wants Cadie to pretend that she has been “making monkey” with his best bud Stanley.  He claims that this would be a “sweet” thing to do, since it would save Stanley from the “embarrassment” of teen virginity.  Cadie glances over at Stanley, who is currently looking pretty darn pathetic, with his sauce covered face, and sad puppy dog eyes . . .

“Well . . . he could look happier, now that we’re banging eachother,” notes Cadie perceptively.

“I’ll work on that,” promises Tony.

Oh, I bet you will, Tony. 

“OK . . . I’ll do it . . . because it’s sweet, and I like that,” concludes Cadie, making me like HER a bit more than I did last week.

Tony’s happy too . . .

But his happiness seems to have less to do with “being sweet” to Stanley, and more to do with Tea’s Tatas.  (See what I mean, about them being their own character.)  When Tea arrives at the cafeteria, Tony reminds her of her promise to have a Wardrobe Malfunction a la Janet Jackson at the homecoming game, during half time, if Stanley got laid.   And he DIDN’T.  But Tony says he did .  . . and if Tony says it, it must be true.

This love fest between Tony and Tea’s Tatas is interrupted by some school assembly, where some dorky looking teacher lectures the kids on how drugs, sex and partying are “bad stuff.”  I suspect the scene was supposed to be “funny.”  But it wasn’t.  What was kind of funny, was when one of the “Guest Speakers” turned out to be Stanley’s drug dealer from the pilot, who bears the unfortunate last name of Le Dong. 

Since last week, someone in the makeup department has obviously ramped up the Scare Factor on Le Dong’s mug, as he has clearly gone from Mildly Intimidating Old Dude to Zombie Crypt Keeper, in a matter of days.  (Bad Trip, perhaps?)  This guy needs to meet up with the Jersey Shore kids from some Gym, Tanning, Laundry STAT!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a face that color! 

Anyway, Le Dong uses his guest speaking opportunity to make some thinly veiled threats to Stanley, who still owes him 900 smackers for the drugs he “bought on credit,” which are now probably being smoked by Little Nemo and his friends beneath the sea . . .

Hours and HOURS of making monkey aren’t going to lift Stanley’s spirits NOW!  And his friends aren’t exactly much help, leaving the poor kid to rot in the unisex bathroom, while they rush off to class.

Not Measuring Up

As for Tea, she has her own problems, like the fact that she spotted her closeted new girlfriend hanging all over her fake boyfriend during lunch.  And yet, strangely, Betty Boop, who earlier was telling Tea that she “better not tell anyone” about the fact that they banged, suddenly, seems ASTOUNDED by the notion that Tea doesn’t want to be in a relationship with her.  “Nobody measures up to me,” remarks Tea confidently, when Betty asks her why she’s not interested in romantic relationships. 

(Well, I don’t necessarily think that’s true, Tea.  But Betty Boop certainly doesn’t seem to measure up.  You can do better, Girlfriend!)

At dinner, Tea tries to come out to her family, but they are all carrying on so loudly, that nobody seems to notice.   Then Tea’s sister’s water breaks, and everybody leaves . . . except for Tea’s poor Nana, of course.

Later that night, Tea has nobody to talk to, so she decides to chat up Audrey Hepburn . . . or, at least her poster . . .

Since, clearly none of the girls in her school “measure up” to Audrey Hepburn, Tea decides to “hook up” with the person she loves most . . . herself.

And then this happens . . .

The Awkward Moment when you are “entertaining yourself” under the covers, and your grandma climbs into bed with you . . .

 Wade in the Water (and in Tony’s pants)

The next afternoon, Tea’s dad drops Tea off at her prostitution gig date.  And, wouldn’t you know it, her suitor is TONY!  Tony remarks on how cool it is that both of them are working for the mob, how relieved he is that Tea isn’t a “dog,” and how his girlfriend Michelle wont’ care about what they’re doing, because it’s a “Paid Gig.”  (Just keep telling yourself that, Romeo!)  

Tony then offers to take Tea out for a drink.  Of course, by “drink” he means ” a cheap bottle of vodka they can share,” and by “out” he means “to the local playground Sit ‘n Spin.” (As if Tea didn’t feel like enough of a hooker, already!)

The next scene takes place ENTIRELY on the Sit N’ Spin.  So, the revolving camera gave me bad flashbacks to watching The Blair Witch Project, and gave me that distinct flavor of nausea that one only can get from watching more than 2 minutes of “Shaky Cam.” 

Despite the fact that Tea, as Tony says, “worships the coochie shrine,” it is obvious that these two have a connection.  They are both confident, to the point of being cocky, smart, to the point of being disaffected, blase about what life has to offer them, and most importantly, HIGHLY SEXUAL beings.

As for Tony, though, I think the real moment he falls in love with Tea, is when she pukes right in front of him, and still keeps drinking and flirting, as if it never happened.  (Ahhhh . . . the wonders of Vomit Love!)  “You don’t give a sh*t, do you?”  Tony remarks, awestruck.

“No, I really don’t,” replies Tea.

Yoda Tony wisely notes that what makes Tea interesting is not that she’s a lesbian, but that she holds back, and doesn’t let anybody in.  Tea doesn’t necessarily disagree with this assessment.   And adds that she might have a “screw loose,” because she can’t fathom the concept of falling in love.

“Maybe it just needs tightening,” Tony jokes lasciviously.  “I can match you.  You’ve met your match,” he concludes, reminding us of Tea’s earlier words to Betty Boop, about nobody “measuring up.”

The now-completely sh*tfaced Tea and Tony head to the currently abandoned Northern Soul club.  There, Tea puts on the song, Wade in the Water, and the two begin to dance.  Again, Tea looks confident, carefree, and unself-conscious.  The clearly smitten Tony, however, seems a bit less confident than he did during his sexualized boogie with Michelle, during the week prior. 

Now, there’s no audience.  Its just him, and Tea, and the music.  And that makes things more difficult for him.He gets into it eventually, however.  And the pair develop a rather nice rhythm to this blues-y song.

Then the dancing slows down, and things get a bit more sexually intense.  Meaningful looks are exchanged (well, as meaningful as looks can be, after you’ve drank an entire bottle of vodka).  Suddenly, the pair are making out, hardcore . . .

Tea pulls back, shocked at what she has just done.  And Tony stumbles away for a moment, to prepare himself for what he knows that he is ABOUT TO DO . . .

And then .  . . it happens, the sex.  It is awkward, and drunken, and fumbling, yet oddly sexy, in its honesty.  Because THIS is what drunk (sort of ) inexperienced teens look like, when they are experimenting sexually with one another.  This is REAL.  Most of the well-choreographed stuff you see on TV is just smoke and mirrors.  It’s so real in fact, that Tea starts cracking up, when it’s all over (which is in less than a minute).  Needless to say, it’s not QUITE the response that Tony was looking for.

“That was terrible,” giggles Tea

“Normal girls like it,” responds Tony, with a cute pout.

“They must be REALLY stupid,” Tea replies.

We feel your pain, Tony!

But despite his bruised ego, and broken heart, Tony is a good sport about the whole thing, which made me like him A LOT (even though he TOTALLY cheated on his girlfriend Michelle, with her best friend).  After all, can’t all of us relate to wanting something we can’t have, PRECISELY because we can’t have it?

Now, I positively LOVED this scene!  It was sexy, and complex, and extremely well-acted by both of it’s participants.  And yet, knowing that, in the U.K. version, Tea was actually a homosexual boy named Maxxie, I couldn’t help but compare THIS sex scene gone awry to its British counterpart.  Since, I can’t embed the video (click on it, you won’t be disappointed!), let’s post that sexy picture again, shall we?

It’s interesting how in BOTH scenes, Tony is the sexual aggressor –a confident guy who’s certain that he can seduce ANYONE, regardless of their sexual orientation.  And, in both scenes, Tony FAILS in the Art of Seduction.  And yet, in the British version, the sexual power, at least initially, belongs to Tony, because HE is straight, and therefore, not necessarily attracted to Maxxie, who’s obviously gay.  Presumably, as far as Tony’s concerned, this sex act is merely an instance of sexual experimentation

Meanwhile, in the U.S. scene, the sexual power resides with Tea.   SHE is the one who technically shouldn’t be attracted to Tony (whether she actually IS attracted to him is the subject of much debate on the message boards for this show).  SHE is the one experimenting, thereby leaving Tony, who is obviously attracted to HER, in the more vulnerable position of the two.  Talk about GIRL POWER!

Which brings me to . . .

The Lavendar Scare

Back at home, we learn that Drug Dealer Le Dong has been following Tea.  He manhandles her, calls her a dyke, and threatens to do bad things to her, if she doesn’t give up her Poor Friend Stanley, who owes him money.  Of course, Papa Tony Soprano 2.0 is watching.  (Seriously, Drug Dealer Le Dong!  Out of all Stanley’s friends, you chose to mess with the Mob Boss’ Daughter?  MORON!)

Le Dong skulks away, and a highly distraught Tea runs into the house, and into her Nana’s bed.  “Did you get scared?”  Nana asks with concern.

“Yes . . . Nana, I did,” remarks Tea honestly.

It is during this sweet and powerful scene, that we learn that Tea’s nana is ALSO a lesbian.  Apparently, she was forced to give up her lover, get married, and live a lie, in order to avoid persecution at the hands of Joseph McCarthy and The Lavender Scare (an event which is The Second Thing I Learned About From Watching Skins this Week).  The two gay women hold hands and cry together in bed, and,  in doing so, bridge the Generation Gap.  And regardless of what your own sexual orientation may be, it’s impossible not to be moved by this scene.

“I Put My Truth on You”

The next day at lunch, Michelle is sitting with Tea, and asking about the details of her “date.”  Tea is demure, and doesn’t rat out Tony.  She does, however, admit that her “date” “tried something” with her before she “explained” her sexual orientation.

Michelle notes wistfully that it must be nice to “be jumped like that,” as Tony hasn’t exactly been a really “winner” in the loving department lately.  This isn’t exactly a surprise given the longing looks Tony is throwing in Tea’s general direction, while the two friends are engaging in this conversation.  This Eye F**k Fest is interrupted by Betty Boop, who plants a hot juicy kiss on Tea’s lips in front of the ENTIRE CAFETERIA, including Poor Tony, and Betty’s fake boyfriend, Bobby.  (Betty Boop’s boyfriend’s name was Bobby.  Now THAT’S Funny!)

“I put my truth on you,” says Betty slyly, before strutting out of the cafeteria.  (PRETTY SMOOTH, Miss Boop!)

After school Tea’s dad picks her up, in a very crowded car that includes a bunch of his mob goons, and . . . get this . . . Le Dong . . . the drug dealer . . .

Tea’s dad wants Le Dong to swim with the fishes (and Stanley’s weed) because he THINKS that Le Dong called Tea, not what he ACTUALLY called her (dyke) but something that RHYMES with what he called her, and is a derogatory term for people of the Jewish faith.  Tea tries to correct her father, but he won’t hear it.  So, Tea simply tells her dad not to MURDER Le Dong.  Tea’s dad nods, tells Tea that she is a “good person,” and then drives away . . .

Personally, I hope he killed him.  Does that make me a Bad Person?

At the end of the episode, Tea gets a phone call from the clearly lovesick Tony, who tells her, “I matched you.  I matched you good.”

OK . . . officially loving him, now.  But who’s room is he in?  Hopefully not Michelle’s!

At the same time, Tea also gets a phone call, from Betty Boop.  But she ignores them both, and instead begins to dance to Wade in the Water, in a bedroom adorned with . . . you guessed it . . . lavender!

That’s it for this week’s episode.  Based on the previews, next week’s Skin’s installment, “Chris,” looks like an almost shot-for-shot remake of the U.K. episode of the same name, which just so happens to be the first FULL episode of U.K. Skins that I watched.  It will be interesting to see how this one translates . . .

See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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