Tag Archives: 21

Heart of Glass – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Before Sunset”

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Hey Fangbangers!  So, we’re just a week away from the Season Finale of TVD.  And characters are dropping like flies, here in Mystic Falls.  You know, for supernatural beings, these folks sure DIE a lot (die . . . un-die  . . . re-die . . . faux-die . . . tie dye . . . die again).

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Sometimes it gets quite difficult to keep track of who’s dead, and who’s . . . well . . . undead.  (But hey, that’s what recaps are for, right?)

So grab your morning paper, and your balls . . . er . . . I mean soccer balls . . . and head on over the Wickory Bridge to Mystic Falls . . . a Vampire Town with a Drinking Problem.  We’re dying for you to join us . . . for a little TVD-cap.

Caroline: “Let’s play ‘Never Have I Ever!'”

Tyler: “Oooh . . . I got one!  Never have I ever died on this show.”

Elena: “Umm . . . yeah you did!”

Tyler: “I know . . . but so did all of you!  Everyone drink up!”

(As always, special thanks to my screencapper extraordinaire, for all the pretty pictures you see here.  If I were Klaus, I’d draw him a pony for all his hard work and dedication . . .)

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Nothing says loving, like a pony pic!

The Clean-up Crew

The episode begins with some creepy, and seemingly completely random Civil War photographs.

Awww . . . now THERE’S a nice, happy inspirational picture to hang up in your classroom!

Oh no!  Not another flashback episode.  I always hate those.  Oh wait . .  . I see what you did there, writers . . . Alaric’s a history teacher.  Sometimes I forget he actually has an occupation aside from drinking and playing with his Chunky Monkey.  And now he’s about to try to murder his own friends.

Is it just me, or does the toy on the horse look like he’s giving the other toys the finger?

Just like our ancestors murdered one another, back during that epic bloody battle.

This toy kind of looks like Klaus does at the end of the episode . . . 

Man, I love when TVD gets all “deep” on us.  It makes me feel “smart and sophisticated.”  Now, I don’t have to watch PBS or the History Channel ever again.

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Hey, did you ever notice how Alaric only seems to actually attend classes when he’s “not himself?”  If you recall, Alarklaus taught history classes, back in Season 2.  He even chaperoned the school dance!

Now, Nouveau Ric is hanging out at the high school as well, and on a weekend, no less!  If only the Administration knew how mich being possessed improved Alaric’s work ethic, they probably would have done it themselves, a long time ago.

“I don’t even really like teaching.  But the benefits are unmatched.  And now that I have fangs, I could really use a good dental plan.”

Speaking of the academically inclined, 1,000-year old Rebekah is another character who seems to attend high school more than anyone else on the show.  I mean, seriously, who volunteers to be on the 8 a.m. clean-up crew for a dance for which they spent the entire time lying dead in a coffin with a stake through their heart?  Now, that’s dedication!

“Popularity is super important to me.  After all, if I didn’t have friends?  Who would I eat?”

But Rebekah’s not alone.  Caroline’s on the clean-up crew too.  Two blonde vampires picking up trash together . . . it’s a commercial for Garbage Woman Barbie!

I’m sorry.  That was politically incorrect.  Of course, I meant “Sanitation Worker Barbie.”

Typically at odds with one another in a “b*tch stole my look and my social life” sort of way, Caroline and Rebekah actually seem to be on their best behavior this morning.  With their respective claws retracted, the two Alpha females even go as far as to exchange banal pleasantries with one another . .  . like, for example, “Golly gee!  I was so sorry to hear that your mother tried to murder you, stole your body, and is now definitely dead . . . again.”

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And, “Oh yeah, same goes for that dead history teacher of yours.  I know you really liked him.  It’s a real shame that he decided to die just like your DAD rather than become an undead bloodsucker, like the two of us.”

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You know, the usual sort of chitchat . . .

Speaking of America’s favorite vampire slaying history teacher, Rebekah runs into Alaric . . . or, perhaps I should say, Nouveau Ric by the lockers.  And suddenly, I’m having flashbacks of “The Reckoning.”  (Remember that one . . . back when Klaus was still the Biggest Baddest Vampy in town, and Stefan still occasionally ate Elena . . . in more ways than one?)

Only this time, Rebekah is playing the role of the Damsel in Distress, for a change.

“Phew, your breath is rank, Nouveau Ric!  What do you use to brush your teeth? Codfish?”

Fun times and Phallic Hijinks ensue, as the pair wrestle with the big shiny weiner-like object that is the Invisible Originals-Killing Stake.  Vampire Barbie Caroline hears the commotion, and rushes to join Klaus Barbie in the fight.  This is actually kind of erotic . . .

Caroline: “You know, this is the closest I’ve ever come to being in a threesome.”

Rebekah: *whistles uncomfortably*

Rebekah: “Hey!  No fair!  You can’t just pull it out like that?  What do you think this is,  the rhythm method?”

Of course, Caroline’s no dummy . .  . at least, not in this episode.  She knows when a fight is hers to lose.  And this one has Death Trap written all over it.  So, the littlest Forbes quite wisely makes a run for it.  (It looks like the gym will have to be cleaned some other time.  Hope no one was planning on  using it for. . .  like . . . actual physical education and stuff.)

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to get to your car (because some psycho killer wants to shove a big stake up your ass), and your door won’t open?  Poor Caroline!  It seems that, while you can indeed run from Vampire the Vampire Slayer, driving away from him is not an option, especially when you can’t get into your car.  I hope the company that made Caroline’s car didn’t pay for THAT product placement. 

Caroline: *sigh* “If only I had ONSTAR to help me to open my car door, in desperate situations like these.” *winks at camera*

Alaric knocks out Caroline with frightening ease, before dragging her temporarily unconscious, and always lifeless, body across the concrete, wheelbarrow-style.  Ouch!  She’s probably going to feel that in the morning.  While all this is going down, we see Rebekah, in the distance, observing the situation with a mixture of horror and smugness.  Undoubtedly, in this moment she is thinking, “Now, I’m the fairest of them all, B*tch!  The Prom Queen title is MINE!”

“I’d help her out . . . but I don’t want to ruin my manicure.”

Oh, did I forget to mention that Alaric’s face is falling off?

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Why do I suddenly feel like I’m watching the Thriller video?

Oh Esther, you silly little, pursed lips, completely lacking of facial expression, witchypoo, you!  You would think that as the MOTHER OF ORIGINAL VAMPIRES, she would have at least remembered to give her little Frankenvampire creation a Sunscreen Ring, so that he could play with his fellow fangy friends in the daylight.  (“But MOMMY, all the other vampires have them.  NO FAIR!” I could picture Alaric whining, upon learning of this unfortunate turn of events.

“Snookie and the Situation lied.  Gym, tanning and laundry are definitely overrated.”

But noooo Esther . . . you had to make him suffer unnecessarily, in furtherance of your stupid-totally-doomed-to-fail, because the Scoobies always win or there’d be no show brilliant Vampire Extinction Plan.  Super Villain FAIL!

Then again, I guess you had your reasons . . . like the fact that the episode needed a title . . . and a Cinderella “They all turn back into pumpkins at midnight” type timeline to “heighten the intensity.”

“Mystic Falls, we have a problem . . . another one.”

Back at the Gilbert House of Death, Misery, and Hideous Floral Décor, siblings, Jeremy and Elena, are innocently painting not-so-dead Alaric’s bedroom a lovely shade of toothpaste green.  (That will teach you not to DIE LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO, Alchy Ric!  Now your bedroom vaguely resembles snot.  I hope you are proud of yourself.)

If Alaric had a grave, he’d be rolling over in it . . . Then again, considering this is a guy who willingly decorates his classroom with pictures of dead people, and the Civil War equivalent of GI Joes,  he’s not exactly an Arbiter of Taste, either.

Stefan arrives on the scene to offer his trademark Sad Smile (also, presumably to kill some time, since “Murder and Mayhem” don’t appear on his calendar today, until about noon.  To say that Petulant Pouty Jeremy (Oh, how I missed your misery Jer Bear!  Unhappiness is SO hot.) is less than thrilled to see one of his sister’s multiple undead suitors on the scene is the understatement of the century.

“I challenge you to a wet t-shirt contest.”

(Then again, it’s possible that Mini Gilbert is simply jealous of Elena’s popularity with members of the opposite sex . . . human or not.  After all, his own ghost girlfriends seemed to have stopped calling him entirely.  I mean things have to be REALLY bad in the relationship department, when women who lack corporeal bodies aren’t willing to bone you.  I’ll bone you, Jer Bear!)

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Let’s face it Jer, when she stops haunting you, while you’re on the toilet . . . she’s just not that into you.

“All I want is one day without vampires,” Jeremy gripes.

(And hey, considering we are one week away from the season finale of the show, Jeremy might get an ENTIRE summer without vampires .  . . unless he watches True Blood.)

Though he tries to play it “cool,” Stefan seems a bit hurt by Jeremy’s statements.  (It’s time to grow a thicker skin, Stefan!  You would think that having been alive for nearly two centuries, you would have at least one or two insults lodged at you that were harsher than the equivalent of:  “Vampires suck.  I wish they’d stop trying to bone my sister.”)

“I know . . . it’s just .  . I just finished watching The Notebook again.  And I’m in a really vulnerable place, right now.”

This, obviously, puts Elena in an awkward position, as she tries to broker a fragile peace between all the men in her life.  Fortunately she doesn’t have to broker for very long, before there is a knock at her door.  Surprise!  It’s the other man in her life . . .  some would say the Best Man (I know I would!)

Still in her flapper costume, nearly 24 hours later.  This takes Walk of Shame to a whole new level.

Of course, I’m referring to Damon, who’s currently hanging out on Elena’s doorstep with a Bloody Bonnie by his side  . . . a bloody Bonnie, who he has undoubtedly scraped off the floor and fed his own blood, after a zombified version of herself gave him a migraine and let then-almost vampire Ric give her a massive hickey on her neck.

And they say Damon isn’t the forgiving type . . .

So now the Scooby Gang knows that Ric-ipoo is not-so-much-dead.  The next challenge is for Bonnie to come up with the Witch Ex Machina to make him definitely dead.  Oh Bonnie, you are sooo the Velma of your Scooby Gang  . . . always stuck with your head in boring spell books, while everyone else is breaking sh*t, beating people up, and getting laid.

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Meanwhile, over at La Casa de Richer and Awesomer, But Not as Well Furnished, it’s Rebekah’s turn to want to kiss Mystic Falls goodbye.  Next week, it will be Klaus’ again .  . . oh . . . wait .  . . nevermind. But Klaus isn’t about to skip town without his prized bloodbag Elena.  How else would he be able to create an unlimited array of hybrids who would be eternally gay for him (even the female ones)?  Rebekah pleads for him to reconsider.  After all, wasn’t the whole Hybrid Thing really just a convoluted end-run around being alone?

And hey, Klaus doesn’t NEED to be alone anymore.  He has his family now . . . you know, the folks he carried around in coffins for hundreds of years, just for fun . . . well . . . except for his mother (dead), his father (deader), and Finn (deadest) . . . but Klaus never really liked them anyway, right?

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Ahhh . . . but here’s the rub.  Klaus’ family isn’t quite as gay for him as the hybrids are.  They misbehave, have opinions of their own, occasionally fight back.  Unacceptable!

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Sorry Rebekah!  Hybrids, for the win.  It looks like you will be leaving this sorry ass, one-bar, town alone . . .

Klaus Mikaelson . . . Worst . . . Paperboy . . . EVER!

Oh Klaus . . . sketcher of smiley ponies . . .

.  . . painter of poop . . .

It has been quite some time, since we got to see you kick some genuine ass.  And no, I’m not just talking about your threatening to “kill everyone [insert name here] loves; or getting your hybrids to kick asses for you . . . I’m talking about honest-to-goodness acts of impressive villainy.  “Before Sunset” finally allowed us to see some of that . . .

 . . . annnnnd then Klaus died.

Shortly after he learned the truth about Nouveau Ric, Klaus paid a little visit to the Gilbert house to retrieve Princess Elena.  The problem, of course, is that, unbeknownst to Klaus (and everyone else in the house, for that matter), Elena is out rescuing Caroline, whos’s been held hostage by Nouveau Ric at the school.  To be honest, I don’t know if “rescuing” is ever a good word to describe for what Elena does for other people .  . . since it always ends up with Elena in danger, and people coming to rescue her.  Maybe what Elena does should become it’s own adjective: “Elena-ing.”

“Hmm . . . who’s number is this in my cell phone?  TV Recapper?  DELETE!”

Either way, neither the Salvatore Brothers, nor Mini Gilbert, have any intention of letting Klaus in the house.  This, of course, pisses Klaus off royally.  And so, he responds by doing what Klaus does best . . .  He throws a temper tantrum.

Have you ever played that old video game, where you’re the Paperboy, and the object of the game is to get all the papers on your “route” to land on the stoop, as opposed to  . . . hitting the neighbor’s dog, or breaking windows?  Yeah . . . well, let’s just say Klaus has other strategies in mind.

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Suddenly, the Original Hybrid is chucking newspapers, soccer balls, pieces of white picket fence . . . anything he can get his hands on  . . .

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 . . . at the not-entirely-unsuspecting Salvatore Brothers, who are expertly ducking them all.  It’s like one big crazy game of dodgeball!

I don’t know about what Klaus is doing. It sure seems like an awful lot of work to me just to get into a house.  As another, much more talented recapper (Entertainment Weekly’s Mandi Bierly) than I pointed out, Klaus’ brother Elijah accomplished the exact same thing, with nothing more than the loose change in his pocket.

Also, not to point out the obvious, but what the heck are the Gilbert’s neighbors going to think about all this?  Then again, given all the CRAZY INSANE-O things we’ve seen go on at the Gilbert house, these past three seasons, the fact that the neighbors NEVER ever thought to call the cops . . . or better yet move . . . probably means that they are all dead anyway.  (Maybe Klaus ate them?)

Or Stefan . . .

Once the gang finally figures out where Elena actually is (thanks to a helpful call from Nouveau Ric, himself), it should come as no surprise to anyone that Saint Stefan is the one that encourages Klaus to join Team Scooby in it’s weekly installment of the “Save Elena” games.   After all, they all want the same girl, right?  They might as well work together to get her back.

“B*tch PLEASE!”

Never one to look a gift pony in the mouth (especially one he’s drawn), you can’t exactly blame Klaus for being a bit skeptical of the offer.  In no uncertain terms, Klaus reminds Stefan that, if they defeat Nouveau Ric, Klaus WILL be leaving Mystic Falls with lover girl as his bloodbag.  “Then I’ll go with you,” Stefan says, unfazed.

“And that’s why you’re the better option [for Elena],” Klaus remarks generously . . . thus proving that he will say whatever it takes to get back into the jock strap of his unrequited vampire love.

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Long story short, Klaus isn’t about to give up the opportunity to have his blood bag, and eat Stefan’s weiner too.  He’s SO in!

The question is, of course, if no stake on Earth can kill Ric, how are Bonnie and her Scooby Gang plus Klaus going to manage it?  More on that, in a little bit . . .

Teacher’s Pet

That Nouveau Ric!  He’s such a sweetie.  Here he is giving up a fun weekend of binge drinking and blacking out to offer some private tutoring to his favorite students Caroline and Elena.  The lesson of the day: Why Murdering Vampires Isn’t as Morally Reprehensible as You Might Think 101.  Since this is an “interactive lesson” it involves Caroline being stabbed in the hand with a pencil, and gagged with vervain.

Oh, Alaric.  You really haven’t thought this one through.  How is she supposed to take notes?

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Disturbing as this scene was, I liked the way it fleshed out (no pun intended) Alaric’s alter ego a bit more.  In earlier episodes, the guy came off as nothing more than a raging lunatic.  But this scene reminded us that Nouveau Ric, evil as he might be, still possesses all of Alaric’s old memories.  He even . . . in his own twisted way . . . still cares about Elena . . . sort of. And when he tells the young woman that he came thisclose to formally adopting in his “other life,” that his vampire distrusting parents would be disappointed in some of Elena’s recent “life choices,” you can tell that he really believes it.

In a way, Nouveau Ric is kind of like a religious extremist or terrorist . . . so firm and single-minded in his beliefs, that he is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish them . . . even if it doing it makes him a monster.  Klaus tries to coax Elena into staking Caroline, under the theory, that her death will be more painful if Alaric himself carries it out.

“For the last time, I will NOT touch your stick, Ric!  So, stop whipping it out, and waving it in my face!”

But surprisingly enough, the teenager outsmarts the dude with the Master’s degree, by pretending to try and stake him, while she douses his face with scalding-to-vampires vervain.

Now, Nouveau Ric is angry . . . and you wouldn’t like him, when he’s angry. . .

The Three Vamp-keteers . . . the Witch . . . and the Whipping Boy

Surprise!  At the eleventh hour, Bonnie Ex Machina has discovered the key to temporarily killing . . . at least until the non-vampire Scooby Gang reaches their 30’s the seemingly unkillable Nouveau Ric.  Specifically, Bonnie wants to use on Alaric the dessication spell, her absentee bio mom once used on the now definitely dead Mikael.

The catch is that she needs her lame-ass, cut-and-run, pays more attention to her pseudo-son/boyfriend than her, mother Abby, in order to accomplish the deed.

Now, I can’t STAND the useless, wimpy, cowardly character of Abby.  And I would have much rather her stayed GONE.  That said, I kind of love how the writers used her to express us recapper’s long standing complaint that the Salvatore’s house .  . . which was specifically deeded over to the very human Elena back in Season 2 . . . now seems open to any and all vampires.  Of course, most of the characters on the show consistently ignored this annoying anomaly until Abby.

Speaking in the voice of the writers, Damon explains that, when Elena “died” (for about two seconds) back in episode 221, the house reverted back to the Salvatores, at least in the spiritual sense (legally, it OBVIOUSLY still belongs to Elena).  And so, since La Casa de Rich and Awesome is once again vampire owned, it is pretty much an Open House for every soon-to-be-dead guest star vampire around . . .you know . . .  like Abby.

Anywhoo . . . Abby’s all “Nooo . . . dear daughter, who I abandoned, seemingly uncaring as to whether you lived or died .  . . PLEASSSEEEE don’t do the Dessication spell!   It involves BLACK MAGIC, and . . . temporarily killing a human by stopping their heart and .  . . having vampires drink your blood again . . . and making your face look prematurely veiny.   In other words, this is a big time Bad News Spell, child.  It can f*&k you up, something fierce!”

Fortunately, Damon pipes in to say.  “Hey, she’s Bonnie ex Machina.  It’s her JOB to perform dangerous spells in the last ten minutes of every episode to save our asses.

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Not that we pay her, or anything . . . because we don’t.  But hey!  If she didn’t do it, she might as well be another show . . . like The Secret Circle . . . or something.

It’s settled them!  Black magic and veiny face be damned.  Klaus, Stefan and Damon are going to temporarily incapacitate Nouveau Ric, and drink Bonnie’s blood . . . so that Bonnie can mumble in faux Latin . . . and do whatever it is she does on this show that constitutes “spell casting.”

Jeremy: “Umm . . . Bonnie . . . not to question your witchy ways or anything, but what exactly does grabbing my crotch repeatedly have to do with killing Nouveau Ric.”

Bonnie: *whistles awkwardly*

But here’s a question:  what moronic human is idiotic enough to let Bonnie stop his heart, even temporarily,  for the love of one teenage girl.  Do you even have to ask?  It’s Mini Gilbert of course.  (Poor guy, even he performs acts of tremendous bravery, they always seem to involve him lying on his back, and having the crap kicked out of him by women.  Life just isn’t fair.)

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Oh, and did I mention that Bonnie “found” Caroline and Elena at the school, using her trusty iPhone GPS.  Obligatory and Obnoxious Product Placement Alert!

Trying to determine whether your history teacher is an alien?  There’s an app for that!

In which Elena gets an IDEA . . .

Though the Three Vamp-keteers put on a good show, of trying to tackle Nouveau Ric together at school (The diversion even enables Klaus to free, and subsequently make some serious sex eyes, at Caroline.) . . .

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 . . . their efforts to stake Nouveau Ric, while Bonnie fondles Jeremy’s chest, and attempts to stop his heart, are ultimately ineffective, and end with both Salvatore Brother down for the count.

Thus proving you can never be too old for nap time.

But worry not, because hope is not yet lost.  Nouveau Ric’s staunch refusal to kill vampire lover Elena makes the doppelganger extremely suspicious . . . so, suspicious, in fact, that she takes a risk, and tries to slice open her own neck for sh*ts and giggles.

It’s a Do-It-Yourself Hickey . . .

The seemingly suicidal action causes Nouveau Ric to go batsh*t insane, thereby confirming Elena’s surprisingly clever hypothesis.

Apparently Nouveau Ric’s life is tied to Elena’s in the same way each other vampire’s life is tied to an Originals.  So, if and when Elena dies, Nouveau Ric will die too.  In other words, Alchy Ric isn’t actually a threat to Elena, even at his most vampire hater killingest.  Problem solved  . . .Elena has been saved . . .  again . . . crisis averted, right?

WRONG!

Alert the media, Elena’s in danger again!

We come back from commercial to find out that sh*t has really hit the fan now.  Somehow, Klaus managed to get away from Alaric, and took Elena with him.  So, remember the Good Old Days, when Klaus used to want Elena to live, because he needed her blood bagging talents to make more hybrids?  Apparently, not so much, anymore!  All it took was one look at how powerful Nouveau Ric was, and Klaus completely flip-flopped on his Elena policy.

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But you know Klaus . . . he’s all about the Evil Villain Monologue.  So, instead of bleeding Elena dry as fast as possible, he decides to gossip with her, about which Salvatore Brother she loves more.  DAMON!  DAMON!  IT’S GOTTA BE DAMON!

Of course, Elena doesn’t give an answer because it’s not the season finale yet.  Actually she does answer Klaus’s question.  Just not necessarily in the way we would have hoped . . .

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Now, he’s draining her blood, in hopes of escaping with his own life in tact.  Sure, it will mean that the amount of new hybrids Klaus can make are limited.  But that’s a small price to pay for eternal life, right?  And eternal life is exactly what Klaus will get once Elena and Alaric are dead? True?

Maybe not . . . you see . . . Klaus’ main henchman during the Elena Draining is none other than Tyler . . . Elena’s friend . . . Caroline’s boyfriend . . . and a self-de-sired hybrid, who, in his own words is “SO NOT [KLAUS’] b*tch anymore.  So, much for hybrids being an Original Vampire’s best friend!  Tyler is clearly, gay for Klaus, no more.

“Now, I’m gay for Damon!  Sorry!”

 And what’s worse, he’s called in the Scooby Gang to perform on Klaus the exact same “desiccation” spell originally meant for Nouveau Ric.

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In the words of werewolves . . . and cartoon dogs named Astro . . . Ruh Roh, Klausipoo!

Your cheating heart . . . (will make you dried out and veiny)

Back in the Forest Where Everyone in Mystic Falls Has Died at Least Once, Bonnie is, once again, chanting and mumbling over a sleepy . . . soon to be dead-y Jeremy.   This time, though, she succeeds in stopping her ex-boyfriend’s heart, at the exact same moment the Salvatore Bros have staked Klaus.

“Need   . . . Botox . . . now.”

Oh, this is soooo time for a nose bleed, right?  Apparently not.  Nope . . . no nose bleeds for Black Magic Bonnie, who seems to be having wayyy to much fun stopping Jer Bear’s heart if you ask me.  I mean, girlfriend’s making an “O” face, while she’s killing her boy toy, which is just beyond inappropriate if you ask me . . .

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Temporarily Murdering Jeremy > vibrator

Also . . . her face is getting all black and veiny, for no apparent reason whatsoever.  EW!  I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose one, I’d go nosebleeds over Vein Faced spellgasms any day (and twice on Sunday).

Back at the Klaus House, Big Bad Original is starting to look all pale, sad, creepy, lifeless zombie like . . . you know, kind of like his siblings looked, back when he staked all of them.  Knowing that life as he knows it is now coming to an end, Klausipoo takes these last few moments to share one final eye-f*&k with the secret love of his life, Stefan.  It was both sad, and sexy at the same time.  And Stefan’s eyes are undoubtedly pregnant right now from the effort.

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Still . . .  eye-screw or no-screw, Klaus is DEAD-DEAD . . . at least until the next Sweeps period.

Mini Gilbert lived to tell the tale though!

“Oh Bonnie.  I had the most awful dream.  You were murdering me with your hands, while making sex noises.”

But only after a maudlin Bonnie cried hysterically for about three seconds over his unconscious body.  (Oh honey,  we saw your O-face.  Don’t act all high and mighty now, and pretend you didn’t enjoy it.)

When all is said and done, the Salvatore Brother’s toss Klaus’ lifeless body into the trunk of their car where Stefan gives it the goodbye screw of it’s life, and escort the favor, slightly de-blooded, Elena back home.

The Doppelganger and Not-Secret Service Crew

At the doorstep, she stops to thank them for being so patient with her.  But she really needs some more time to choose which one of them she wants to dry hump on a regular basis, if that’s OK with them.  DAMON!  DAMON! DAMON!

They both say, “Sure ! No problem” (though neither of them really means it), and head for the hills.

In the car, on the way to dump Klaus’ body off the Wickory Bridge, Stefan and Damon have a heartfelt conversation about Elena.  I probably would have paid a lot more attention to it, if, the whole time, I wasn’t waiting for Klaus to pop up in between them, say, “HAHA FOOLED YA, SUCKAS!  I AIN’T EVEN DEAD YET,” and start making out with Stefan.

It never happened.  And I can’t decide whether or not I’m disappointed about that.

Anywhoo, Damon and Stefan mutually agree with one another, about how totally hot and perfect Elena was.

Then, Saint Stefan offers to “gallantly” leave town if Elena ends up choosing Damon as her “lovah!”

At first, Damon’s response seems to be “F*&k that, if she picks you, I’m sticking around for the Hot Revenge Sex I’m going to get, each time you two fight.”

But eventually, Damon VERY RELUCTANTLY agrees to do the same thing for his brother’s sake.  “And hey,” Damon adds.  “In sixty or so years, after Elena croaks, we might even be able to be brothers again.”

Good old Damon.  Always the optimist . . . well . . . except for the fact that he’s only letting Elena live until her mid seventies.  That’s kind of cold, don’t you think?

It’s a CELEBRATION!

It’s rare to get truly happy moments on TVD.  But we got one at the end of this episode, when Jer Bear, Bonnie, Tyler (who, since the founder of his bloodline is only “all dried up” and not “actually dead, got to live to see the end of this episode), Token Human Matt, Caroline and Elena herself all got to get wasted on tequila, and celebrate the death of Season 2 and 3’s Big Bad.

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Just happy not to have a vervain soaked rag in her mouth, a slightly tipsy Caroline echoed her not-so-much boyfriend Klaus, in trying to get Elena to voice her Salvatore Brother Choice.  But Elena wasn’t about to let a little thing like the fact that polygamy isn’t legal in Virgina, rain on her Dead Klaus Parade!  No sir!

And it’s a good thing too . . . because all that happiness only lasts for about two seconds . . .

Elsewhere in Mystic Falls,  Nouveau Ric crashes a council meeting to out Caroline’s and Tyler’s respective mommies as “vampire sympathizes’ and “harborers of supernatural creatures.”  Now, it’ just a hunch.   But I’m thinking this is going to hurt their chances at mayor and sheriff re-election, BIG TIME!  (Might I suggest throwing a little compulsion in with those campaign buttons  . . .)

In more bad news . . .

So, THAT’S where Bonnie’s nosebleeds went . . .

In the final moments of the episode, we see Elena returning to Alaric’s room to finish painting his snot green walls.  A searing pain hits her neck, and she passes out, blood dumping from her nose, like Bonnie on a Spell Bender.  Well, this can’t be good . . .

“Don’t call it a nosebleed.  Call it a Blood Mustache.”

That said, for all two of you that actually thought Elena actually croaked, you can rest easy.  The doppelganger LIVES!

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And I have proof!

Here  . . .

Here . . .

And here . . .

Until next time, my fellow Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Breaking the Code”

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Caleb must have accidentally slipped a video from his personal porn collection into the “A” attachment . . .

The Truth hurts sometimes, My Pretties!  And for a group of characters, who have become rather accustomed to spending their lives tiptoeing from one lie to the next, sometimes the pain of facing real, honest-to-goodness, truth can be just about unbearable.  In “Breaking the Code,” all of our PLL girls were forced to confront some pretty ugly truths, both about themselves, and about the people they loved.  How they react to this knowledge will undoubtedly shape the events of these crucial upcoming weeks, as we get closer and closer to finally figuring out the identity of “A”!

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So head on over to your favorite abandoned law firm, drink some tequila shots with the hottest doctor in town, and plan a tea party with your mom and boyfriend, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

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“Did I catch you in the middle of a nap?”

That Mona!  For a girl who supposedly became Queen B, around the time Princess Ali kicked the bucket, she sure does get the short end of the Friend Stick, where Hanna is concerned.

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Between her endless “A” investigations, dramatic family issues, and regular interludes of sex on Spencer’s Nana’s couch with Caleb, it seems as though Hanna constantly has better things to do, than to go shopliftping with Mona.  This, of course, makes Mona’s receipt of text messages from “A” seem more than a bit convenient, don’t you think?

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Now, suddenly, Mona has something else to talk to Hanna about, aside from whether she should wear pure silk or a poly blend to some party.  And it’s a good thing too, because life sure seems to be distracting Hanna from the “important things,” lately.  “Did I catch you in the middle of a nap?”  Mona inquires, when Hanna isn’t giving Mona’s new clothing “purchases” the attention the latter feels they deserve.

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You know what DOES get Hanna’s attention though  . . . Mona’s admission that “A” has been feeding her intel about Hanna’s mom and Deputy Douchey, that’s what!  You know, like, for example pictures of the two of them making sweet, sweet love IN FRONT OF AN OPEN BEDROOM WINDOW  (Because that’s precisely the place you take all your secret lovers, right?) . . . and police reports about Hanna shoplifting that were expunged, after Mama Marin and Deputy Douchey made sweet, sweet love IN FRONT OF AN OPEN BEDROOM WINDOW.

“Are you looking at my bum?   You dirty bum-looker!” 

This is some pretty damaging stuff!  (Not as damaging as the fact that Mama Marin stole money a dead lady, mind you, but pretty damaging nonetheless.)  Now, suddenly, Hanna is very, very interested in what Mona has to say, indeed . . .

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Of course, this is PLL, not Gossip Girl.  So, when “A” shares information with you, it’s not just as an FYI.  Usually there’s a catch involved to knowing certain things, even if you weren’t interested in knowing them in the first place.  Now, “A” is threatening Mona to rat out Mama Marin, or SHE will be the one put under fire for her own pretty little shoplifting habit!

“Moi?”

What’s Mona going to do?  Sell out her bestie, in order to ensure her own safety?  It’s not really Hanna’s place to say.   But Mona’s confession does put her in a really awkward position with her friend . . . not to mention, make her feel EXTREMELY guilty.

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Fortunately for Hanna, Mona ends up being loyal, and turning herself in for shoplifting instead  . . .

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I don’t believe it either, Hanna.

. . . an act of valor which results in her getting to do some PLL-themed community service, like all the other characters in our story.

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(Poor Mona!  And she would have been such a good crisis center call responder too . . . such sensitivity to those less fortunate than herself!)

It also earns Mona a spot at the PLL girl’s lunch table . . . an honor she’s been denied, multiple times in the past.  The invitation in question, comes after Mona gets yet another threat from “A,” this time on an apple, of all things.

If I were “A”, I would have probably just written “bite me.”  But I guess this works too . . .  

Hmmm . . . on one hand, I’m happy to see Mona finally getting treated right by Hanna, and accepted into the fold, by the other girls.  She really has come a long way from that girl who ripped up, poured soda on, and tossed out, Caleb’s first declaration of love for Hanna.

And yet, if Mona DID end up being “A,” wouldn’t her sudden receipt of text messages, and act of valor involving Hanna be the PERFECT ALIBI, not to mention a great way to get in close with her victims, and mine them for additional information.  (“Keep your friends close . . . and all that.)

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I hope I’m wrong.  But it’s all starting to look mighty suspicious to me.  Speaking of suspicious . . .

“I’m The MONEY!”

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I just love when Spencer goes into Law and Order mode!  Her tough-girl rendition of, “I’m the money,” when that creepy Jonah dude met with her and Aria to give them tracer information on the cell phone from whom Ali was getting calls, nearly had me in hysterics.  Too bad they spent $2,000 of Jason’s money, and only got themselves one stinky address.  (I could of told them, the call was from a prepaid cell phone!)

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Though the girls initially plan to seek out the address in question immediately, they can’t because Police Boy Garrett is watching them .  . . Correction:  he’s ALWAYS watching them!  And we wonder why so many bad things happen in Rosewood to the teenage population!  It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that all the cops in town are too busy stalking their underage ex girlfriend’s enemies, or diddling the parents of crime suspects, now could it?

Eventually though, the girls manage to give Police Boy the slip long enough to stake out the address.  And it ends up belonging to an old abandoned law firm, and the CREEPIEST LOOKING OLD GUY EVER!  Seriously, I’m talking Freddy Krueger levels of frightening.

“That’s not A!”  Captain Obvious Emily remarks, as the pair dash away from this oldster, and escape the abandoned, but not entirely forgotten, premises.

But wouldn’t it be hilarious, if that was “A”.  Just the idea of this guy sending Mean Girl text messages to Emily, and scrawling threatening letters to Mona on an apple is enough to make me giggle . . .

As much as Jonah’s Ice Cold Tip might have seemed like a red herring at first, the law firm in question actually ends up being linked to not one, but two, characters on the show .  . . one of whom is pretty close to the top of the “A” suspect list.  For starters, it’s the law firm that represented Mama Marin in her divorce from Papa Marin.

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 Second, it’s where MELISSA HASTINGS interned, back when she was a student.

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But the bigger question for me is, why the hell did the firm shut down, in the first place?  Most law firms don’t just close up shop over night, and sell their real estate to creepy, Freddy Krueger-looking old guys.  Something pretty bad must have gone down at that firm, in order for this to occur . . . just sayin . . .

“The first time I saw you, I just thought, ‘Damn!'”

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Ahhh, now for my absolute FAVORITE part of this episode.  While continuing to decode A’s cell phone, Caleb unearths another piece of the same video taken from Ali’s room, that we’ve been viewing part and parcel, for weeks now.  Up until this point, we’ve always assumed that the NAT club was sent scattering from the room, because Ali herself was returning there.  But, as it turns out, the person from whom the NAT club was running wasn’t Ali at all .  . . it was . . .  wait for it . . . a TOTALLY PSYCHO-looking Melissa.  Seriously, girlfriend looked full scale Crazy Nanny Carrie in those video shots!

(I know I keep using them, but I just love these pll-ichats.  They are hilarious!)

No wonder the PLL girls were screaming so loud!  Crazy Face Melissa could give Freddy Krueger looking old guy a real run for his money, in the evil entrances department.  The rest of the girls, of course, want to turn the video over to the police right away . . .Now, this seems a bit moronic, if you ask me.  After all, how many times are these girls going to give up the goods to the police department, before they realize that the Rosewood PD is (a) completely useless, (b) always ends up using the information against the girls, and (c) is probably working for “A.”

Aside from that, stomping into someone’s bedroom angrily, far from makes you a killer.  Then again, she does look pretty f*&king crazy in that picture.  Anyone could see that . . . well, except for maybe Blind Jenna.

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Inappropriate?

Not wanting to turn in her pregnant sister to the cops, so soon after (1) her husband died / killed himself / was murdered; (2) she got into a car accident and almost lost the baby; and (3) she just found out that her parents have an illegitimate child she used to enjoy making out with, Spencer begs the rest of the girls for another 24 hours, to talk to Melissa, and get HER side of the story, before they turn her in.

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Here’s the thing about Melissa.  I kind of think her being “A” is too obvious, especially since she was painted pretty firmly in the suspect corner this week.  And, remember, we still have at least two episodes left in the season, before we learn A’s true identity.  What I do think about Melissa though, is that she might have been the one Ali was blackmailing with information about Jason’s paternity.  There was just something about the way Melissa acted early on in the episode when that information was revealed, just didn’t strike me as that genuine.

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The blackmail option would also explain Melissa’s angry presence in Ali’s room, on the night she died . . .

As for Spencer, the possible guilt of her sister isn’t the only harsh truth she has to face, in this week’s episode.   She also learns that Aria’s been lying to her about not seeing Fitzy, when, in actuality,  the two were sucking face on a weekly basis, the whole time Spencer was whining to her about the loss of Toby.

Then, to make matters worse, when Spencer goes to meet Melissa at a local bar, to discuss her appearance on the tape (Yes, because a bar is an absolutely GREAT place for an underage girl and a pregnant woman to meet!) . . .

. . . Melissa BLATANTLY ditches her for Police Boy Garrett, of all people.  Worse yet, Spencer WATCHES her do it, and lie about it, from the window of the bar!

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(Rumor has it, these two have been spending A LOT of time together.  It was even implied, during the episode, that Melissa’s current spawn, might actually belong to the Policeboy.  Crazy Eyes sure does get around, doesn’t she?)

Just kidding . . . please don’t kill me.

Is it any wonder that, by the end of the night, an emotionally exhausted Spencer is ready to get totally snockered on tequila with Dr. McSexypants himself, Wren?

I know I’d do it, if I were her!  After engaging in some innocent bar flirting, Wren ends up taking Spencer back to his place, where she drinks even more, and starts drunkenly seducing the older man, like it’s her job!

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“The first time I saw you, I thought, DAMNNNNN,” coos Spencer in Wren’s ear, as she shimmy shakes around him like a dancer in a burlesque show.

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(That’s funny.  This is exactly how I reacted, the first time Wren was on MY TV screen.  Go figure!)

It’s rather impressive, actually.   Then the pair share a pretty adorable conversation about which one of them is more screwed up / comes from a more screwed up family.  (Hint: Wren don’t even bother, Spencer’s got it in the bag!)  During the conversation, Spencer admits to being a competitive perfectionist (duh!), even when it comes to yoga.  As for Wren, apparently he’s so OCD about organizing his books alphabetically, that when Spencer teasted him about having an Aristotle book out of place (What kind of twenty-something actually owns a book by Aristotle?  Oh Wren, it’s a good thing you’re so hot!), he actually stopped macking with Spencer to stare at his bookshelf.  Silly boy!

Skewed priorities aside, the chemistry between Wren and Seduction Mode Spencer (it’s always the straight-laced ones that end up being the craziest drunks) was white hot!  And what was even white hotter, was the fact that Wren, despite clearly be tempted, ultimately played the part of a gentleman, by not taking advantage of Spencer, in her vulnerable situation.

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He did, however, let her sleep on his couch, and offer her an invitation to return, whenever she likes.  They tongue kissed to seal the deal, of course.

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Wren might not want to take advantage of Spencer.  But something tells me Spencer will be taking advantage of that body of Wren’s very, VERY soon.  Can you blame her?

In other news, Melissa finally decided to show up and talk to Spencer.  But she insisted on taking her to a remote place to do it, and just seemed really squirrely throughout the entire conversation.  What’s worse, the usually smart Spencer, decided to go off with Crazy Eyes, herself, WITHOUT TAKING HER CELL PHONE.

Clearly, all those hot Wren kisses, must have gone to her head . . .

Speaking of face sucking . . .

When the going gets tough, (the tough eat your face) . . .

Maya may actually have made good on her threat to run off to San Francisco, rather than return to True North to conquer her “doobie problem.”

All Emily knows is that she hasn’t been returning any of her calls.  But as is usually the case with Emily, the very minute she seems like she might be single again, a buzzer goes off in the heads of every lesbian in Rosewood.  And suddenly, they are all in hot pursuit.

“Ooh . . . ooh . . . pick me . . . pick me . . . my turn!”

This time, Emily’s aggressor is Paige, a.k.a. as Little Orphan Butchie, (though now that she has a better haircut, the title is admittedly no longer appropriate).

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When we first see Paige, she’s all zen and thrilled about having finally come out to her parents.  And it’s not long, before she’s making flirty and suggestive comments to Emily, about the possibility of a rehash of their earlier, tumultuous relationship.

*clears throat*

Paige may be more out and proud than she was when we first met her, but when it comes to reading relationship cues, she still has a heck of a lot to learn.  Case in point, when a crying Emily admits to Paige that Maya and her had a fight, after which the former went missing, Paige decides this is a great opportunity to RAPE EMILY’S FACE.  Oops.

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Emily literally runs away, horrified.

And as much as I was never Paige’s biggest fan, I can’t help but feel bad for her and her utter cluelessness.  Then again, she did try to DROWN Emily, once before, which undermines my sympathy for the character, just a smidge  . . .

At the end of the episode, the police come to Emily’s doorstep to talk about Maya.

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Golly gee, I hope she didn’t burn down that law office, while sparking a big ole’ doobie . . . Seriously, though, I hopes she’s OK . . . unless she ends up being “A,” in which case, GOOD RIDDENS . . .

Speaking of good riddens .  . .

It’s an Ezria Tea Party! (a.k.a.  Now A’s messing with the Moms!)

Ladies, what the heck was the deal with Fitzy, this week?

And why was Aria wearing that bizarre early 90’s ensemble?  She looked like an extra from Saved by the Bell . . .  Was it just me, or was he SUPER CALLOUS in that car scene,  with Aria, in which he contemplated dumping her, and running off to New Orleans, for his new boyfriend Byron?

Yes . . . Fitzy . . . you were a dick . . . yes, you were.

On one hand, this isn’t the first time, Fitzy has been scared away by Aria’s parents, and frightened into giving up on the couple’s May/December romance.  But the way he treated her, while he was doing it, just seemed uncharacteristically cold to me . . . particularly when he left her alone crying in the car, and then proceeded to WATCH HER CRY, STONEFACED, from his car, for about five minutes, before driving away.

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It was just an odd scene, all around, in my opinion.  Though on a positive note, Lucy Hale definitely does give good cry.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I got a little teary .  . .

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Make that A LOT teary . . .

Speaking of odd, Aria’s mom is suddenly all up in A’s grill, because of that note Papa Montgomery got last week, cluing him in to the location of Aria’s ultimately canceled date with Fitzy.  Now, she’s decided to find out, for herself, who A is.  That can only lead to BAD THINGS, me thinks . . .

*insert hissing noise here*

But the hunt for A isn’t the only aspect of Aria’s life that Mama Montgomery has started to dip into.  She’s also decided to reevaluate her stance on the whole Ezria issue, after receiving a tearful tongue lashing from Aria regarding Papa Montgomery’s plans to ship Fitzy down to the bayou (probably in hopes that he would be eaten by alligators).  Honestly, ladies, it doesn’t get much more awkward than your mother plopping down on the couch at your boyfriend’s couch, and staring at you, while you all pretend to drink tea.

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That said, I do give Mommy Dearest some props for her willingness to hear her daughter out . . .

Speaking of self-sacrificing mom’s, Mama Montgomery might not be the only PLL Mommy hot on A’s trail.  When Mama Marin finds the police report A threatened Mona with, her first thought is that Deputy Douchey sent it, in hopes of forcing Mama Marin to have more sex with him.  But when she confronts the latter with the offending document, he seems just as freaked out by it, as she is!  And with good reason!  Last I checked, accepting sexual favors in return for sentencing clemency, was generally frowned upon, in law enforcement . . . no matter how good one might look, dressed in nothing but a towel . . .

In the final moments of the episode, we see “A” using the gun she stole from Spencer Hasting’s desk to do some pretty on-point target practice.

Be afraid, PLL girls.   Be very afraid!

And that was “Breaking the Code” in a nutshell, my Pretties.  Next week on PLL, we get a father/daughter dance, a missing persons poster, Toby on a motor cycle, and Spencer’s dad repeatedly saying things, like “pump up the jam.”  (Hey Mr. Hastings, 1992 called.  It wants that phrase back.)  You can check out the promo for the episode, here . . .

Until next time, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Say Hello to My Little Winky! – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s Season 2 Premiere “21”

(NOTE:  For those of you who might be poking around for a certain Gossip Girl recap, I PROMISE it’s coming.  I’m just a day behind in my recapping schedule.  😦  Check back here around this time tomorrow, 9/28, and you’ll most definitely find it . . . Thanks for being patient!  )

“The new season of Boardwalk Empire starts this week.  Gotta look HOT!  You just know all the ladies love Buscemi!” 

Greetings fellow Boardwalkers!  Welcome back!  Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve talked to you!  I can’t believe it’s been an ENTIRE year since I last used THIS animated GIF . . .

For the record, I plan to use it AT LEAST two more times in this recap  . . . 

 Did you watch the Season Premiere?  If you didn’t, you missed a good show!  Let’s see .  . . people got blown to pieces, and had their necks slashed . . . there was some very awkward sex in a hotel room . . . we got to hear an interesting discussion about Jimmy Darmody’s winky .  . . that tubby old guy with the glasses did hilarious-looking exercises in his living room.  (By the way, if anybody has a picture of this, please send it my way, and I will be forever indebted to you!)

All in all, it was a fitting end to an interminable hiatus.  And I’m very eager to discuss it with you.

Maybe a little too eager . . . 

So, pop that cork, and load that gun, because we are about to have some fun . . .

The rhyming .  . . it was too much, right? 

“When you get what you want, you don’t want what you get.”

“I’m not wearing any underwear!  WOOHOO!”

Boardwalk Empire is nothing if not cinematic.  And why wouldn’t it be?  It’s produced by FRIGGIN MARTIN SCORCESE!  They don’t get much more cinematic than that . . .

“Are you talkin’ to me?”

The opening sequence of the episode, along with the song that accompanies it, pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the hour.  Four months have passed since we last spent time with our Boardwalk Empire crew.  And though many of them seem to have achieved what they “wanted” last season, few of them appear to be genuinely happy with the results.

New address . . . nicer clothes . . . better hair . . . same perma-b*tchface.

The year is 1921.  Prohibition is technically still in effect.  Except, it’s about as well-enforced as the “No Underage Drinking,” regulations at a present-day frat party, or the “No Pot” laws at a Dave Matthews Band concert.  A new shipment of booze has just come to shore.  And a bored-looking, recently-married, Jimmy Darmody, along with his trusty facially-challenged sidekick Richard Harrow, direct the cargo off the boats and into cars, where it will be shipped to Chalky White’s distillery.

YAY, Capitalism! 

There, it will be watered-down significantly, and rebottled, so that restaurants and bars around town can pay twice what it’s actually worth to serve it.  And Average Joe American can pay double THAT price to drink it.

Meanwhile, the no-longer arsenic-poisoned Commodore is doing what appears to be Tae Bo in his stuffed animal-infested living room.  Also in this sequence, we get to see a very sad Margaret Schroeder (Isn’t she ALWAYS very sad?) waking up alone in Nucky’s big empty bed, while he canoodles with a new trampy-looking lady, at yet another high class Atlantic City Orgy “business meeting.” (Well, that certainly didn’t take long!)

“What can I say?  I’m irresistible!”

Lest you think this entire episode is going to be all broody and contemplative about the “meaning of life” and “true happiness” and such, we are about to get to the GOOD STUFF . . .

Those Pesky Sheet-heads are at it again!

SHEEETTTT!

OK . . . this next part . . . I’m not going to lie . . . It’s kind of awesome.  And this is coming from someone who doesn’t condone violence at allWho am I kidding?  Fake violence RULES! So, Chalky is at his warehouse, overseeing the delivery of his alcohol shipment . . .

First of all, loving the outfit.  That hat? The red jacket with the fur collar?  The solid gold tie?  This guy is a TOTAL PIMP!

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 . . . when suddenly there’s a knock at the door.  It’s THIS GUY . . .

“Knock, Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Dead.”

“Dead who?”

“Dead YOU (and me).” 

Yep . . . so much for a security guard.  Those sheet heads from the KKK have come to crash this Jamaican Rum Party.  (Perhaps, the Rum Runners should have had a little CAPTAIN in them?)

“It’s just a Halloween costume.  I don’t know why you guys are getting so upset.”

 The Sheet Heads are shooting down the doors.  People are DYING!  One of the guys even has the NERVE to hold a gun to my darling Chalky’s beautiful head . . .

Fortunately, like all bigots, Sheet Head is a TOTAL MORON.  And instead of, you know, actually DOING WHAT HE CAME TO DO, he starts making the classic cartoon villain mistake of MONOLOGUING about the murder he’s about to commit.  This gives the Bad Ass Chica in the background the opportunity to fire a round right into Chalky’s would-be murderer’s shoulder, and TAKE THAT RACIST ASSHAT OUT!

Talk about standing by your man (or . . . someone else’s man . .  . whatever)!  I haven’t seen this much self-sacrificing bravery since Rupert Murdoch’s wife dove into that PIE, during the congressional hearing . . .

Unfortunately, she got blown up about two seconds later . .  .

R.I.P. Little Miss Awesomesauce . . . I’ll still remember you as the best thing about this episode. 🙂 

And then those damn Sheetheads got away!  But not before a thankfully ALIVE Chalky got one more parting shot at them . . .

 

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I may or may not have cheered, and raised a fist in triumph, when this happened.  Does that make me a bad person?

“Let’s SCHOOL these crackers!”

Learn, dammit! 

Nucky arrives home from a long HARD night of getting wasted and banging whores  planning Atlantic City’s future, when he gets news about the shooting.  Since the KKK are a fairly influential group in Atlantic City at this time, and Chalky is an important ally of Nucky’s both in the illegal liquor business, and in his ability to secure for the politician the much-prized African American vote, Nucky finds himself between a rock and a hard racist place.  And so he decides to visit Chalky at his home, along with his turncoat soon-to-be dead, just like Fredo brother, Eli.

All in all, it’s a rather uncomfortable meeting, that begins with an uncomfortably long piano solo by Chalky’s suprisingly preppy son, and continues with an uncomfortably awkward meal.  Nucky is frustrated with Chalky for shooting at white people, without consulting him first, because that makes HIM look bad.

Seriously, Chalky, had you texted me, when all this was happening, I would have totally told you to hold your fire.  Wait . . . sorry . .  wrong decade. 

(Ummm . . . yeah . . . it’s called self-defense, Nucky . . . learn it . . . live it . . . love it.)

 Chalky wonders why this happened in the first place, especially considering that a big part of the reason he allied with Nucky in the first place,  was to get protection from gun-toting wackadoodles like this.  Chalky’s plan is to crash a Klan meeting, guns blazing, and “SCHOOL THE CRACKERS.” And this is just such a cool phrase, I’d totally have it printed on a t-shirt, if I didn’t think that would probably get me beaten up in the city . . .

I was just kidding about the t-shirt, Chalky.  I swear! 

Nucky promises to do a less sucky job protecting Chalky in the future.  However, he cautions him to hold off on the “Cracker Schooling,” lest he accidentally get himself killed.  Nucky also agrees to refrain from arresting Chalky until further notice.  All in all, it seems like a pretty level-headed compromise on BOTH sides . . .

But things become even more complicated when, during one of Nucky’s community forums, one of the KKK members barges in to announce that a member of clan has died, due to wounds he sustained during the shoot out.  Coincidentally, this is the same guy that ALMOST killed Chalky, but was taken out by Little Miss Awesomesauce (R.I.P.).

“I should be in a brothelhome having sex with a random slut my wife, right now.”

Nucky, who had begun his speech, diplomatically condemning BOTH the African American Rum Runners and the KKK for their actions, finds himself forced to secretly arrest Chalky .  . . “for his own good.”  Something tells me Chalky isn’t going to like that very much . . .

Why PETA HATES the Commodore . . .

So, you like to shoot animals, and stuff them, huh, Old Man?  Well, STUFF THIS!

Back at La Casa de Commodore, Jimmy’s heretofore absentee dad is hard at work Lady Macbeth-ing his ambivalent son to usurp Nucky’s control over Atlantic City.  (It’s pretty strongly implied that Commodore and Co., were behind the KKK raid of Chalky’s warehouse, and his attempted assassination.)  Some of Commy’s advice makes sense.  For example, he tells Jimmy to start forging his own business connections in the liquor trade (a good idea), and to start developing a more positive public presence in the community, by shaking hands, kissing babies, and such (another good idea).  Then he starts point out all these creepy dead animals hanging around his house, and talking about how he killed them . . .

I don’t get it . . . and I don’t LIKE IT! 

He starts telling one story in particular about shooting a bear in the stomach, while looking him straight in the eye, when he was 10.  And I think it was supposed to be “metaphoric” about how you should, confront your enemies, and show no fear, and other such bullsh*t.  But, honestly, I was so disturbed by that poor teddy bears horrified visage, that I wasn’t really paying attention . . .

In my defense, I don’t think Jimmy was either . . . 

Oh, the Commodore did have one thought-provoking line in his otherwise interminable animal-slaughtering monologue.  And this was it: “You will be judged by what you succeed at, not by what you attempt.”

Depressing . . . but true.

In other Bad Parenting News . . .

Things you shouldn’t do to your kids #1 – KISS THEIR WINKYS!

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So, Jimmy finally decided to make an honest woman out of his lesbian wife, and move her and his kid into a nice big house, thanks to the raise he got from Nucky.  Also crashing in this rather sizeable pad, is Jimmy’s pretty, but promiscuous, Mommy, and his loyal sidekick, Richard (more on him later).

“Did you just say, ‘Grandma’s hot?” 

The odd little dynamic of this extended family, becomes immediately apparent in this breakfast scene.  Mrs. Darmody is clearly the third wheel in her own marriage.  First Mama Darmody insists on making Jimmy’s eggs, since SHE is the only one who knows how he likes them.  Then, when Jimmy suggests taking his son bird hunting, just as Nucky took him, back when he was young (important later), and Angela protests, Mama Darmody jumps right in, and sides with her son.

Mommy dearest? 

I have to say, as much as I found the character of Angela Darmody to be a HUGE bore, back in Season 1, I was pretty proud of her, this week.  In most shows where the Mother-in-Law babies her son, and passive-aggressively lashes out at her daughter-in-law, it can takes WEEKS before the wife has the (for lack of a better term) balls to actually say something about it.  Angela confronts Mama Darmody immediately (as soon as Jimmy leaves, of course) about undercutting her authority.  To this, Mama Darmody casually replies that when Jimmy was a baby, she used to kiss his winky.

Now, for a while, a lot of fans have speculated as to the nature of Jimmy’s relationship with his mother . . .  specifically, how Oedipal it might be.  Some have even gone as far as to suggest that their relationship is a sexual one.  Maybe I’m just being naive here.  But, while I think that Gillian and Jimmy DEFINITELY have an inappropriate relationship — one borne out of her having given birth to him at the tender age of 13, and her constant need to be found desirable by ALL men, even her son — I don’t think it quite rises to that level of gross misconduct.

You know how dogs mark their territory, to silently inform other dogs that they should back off?

Yeah.  I think it’s safe to say that Gillian was metaphorically peeing on Jimmy here, to send Angela a message , which coincidentally, is probably exactly what Baby Jimmy would do to Gillian, if she ever got NEAR his winky to do anything other than change a diaper.

Things you shouldn’t do to your kids #2 – Give them wads of cash for trying to SET THEIR SCHOOL ON FIRE

“You just keep lighting those matches, Kiddies.  Mama needs a new pair of shoes!” 

So, remember back in Season 1, when Nucky used to get all weepy, while looking at thost baby incubators . .  . and he boo hoo hooed, about wanting to start a family, and got all upset when Margaret tried to Lysol herself in to contraception?  Yeah, those days are clearly over.  Nucky’s cool about being a dad, when it comes to reminiscing about the “good old days,” of going duck hunting with Little Jimmy.  But when it comes to Margaret’s kids, he pretty much can’t be bothered . . .

This leaves Margaret to cope with the unsightly bruises popping up all over her son, Teddy’s hands, and the fact that he’d rather hide under the kitchen table all day than go to school.  As it turns out, Teddy’s been whacked by his nun . . .

Bad NUN!

Teddy insists that he did nothing to deserve such treatment.  So, Margaret, who seems to be a fairly adept, if slightly cold and Betty Draper-esque mother herself, heads to the school to confront the Slugger Nun.  As it turns out, Slugger Nun hit Teddy because he was playing with matches in the school closet, seems obsessed with fire (FORESHADOWING!), and would have likely been expelled, were it not for Nucky’s high holy connections within the school.  Margie is a bit humiliated now, but relieved .  . . apparently, being a “play toy” for a powerful man has its perks . . .

 

But as kept a woman as she has become, Margaret Schroeder is no dummy.  And so the next time she hears Nucky moaning and carrying on about how Jimmy won’t call him Daddy anymore, she cleverly suggests that he start fathering HER son.  He can start by telling him to STOP TRYING TO BURN THINGS.

Only YOU can prevent Boardwalk Empire Fires . . .

I was saddened, and a bit disturbed, by the fact that, the minute Nucky entered Teddy’s room, he immediately started stripping down to his boxers.  For one thing, it reminded me that Margaret’s first husband was abusive to her, and likely was abusive to her kids as well.  It also reminded me of Gillian’s winky comment .  . . which gave me the shivers . . . if you catch where I’m going with this . . .

But Nucky didn’t want to hit Teddy . . . which was good.  Unfortunately, he didn’t want to PARENT him either . .  . which was bad.  After boredly and awkwardly telling the kids that he should . . . you know . . . not burn stuff anymore, Nucky actually digs into his wallet, and hands Teddy a sizeable bill.  (I think it may have even been a TWENTY  . . . which was SOOO much money back then.)  “Run along to the candy shop,” says Nucky to a surprised looking Mini Schroeder.

Hey Nucky, if by chance you are still alive when this comes out, I have a great movie recommendation for you . . .

(Hey, I just remembered something, didn’t Little Teddy watch Nucky burn down his father’s house, last season?  Uh oh . . .)

Meanwhile, at the complete opposite end of the “warmth” spectrum . . .

Why Richard Harrow needs a HUG . . .

Poor Richard Harrow!  Talk about a serial killer with a heart of gold!  My heart started to go out to the guy, the minute I saw him, sadly pushing his food around his plate, so as not to burden the Darmody family with his inability to hide his disfigurement while eating.  To Jimmy’s credit, he immediately senses his friend’s discomfort, and tells him not to worry about his appearance.  And when that doesn’t work, he kindly offers Richard the option of taking some biscuits back to his bedroom.  An offer Richard accepts gratefully .  . .

Richard’s inquiry to Jimmy about what it feels like to have everything, is an equally sad moment for both characters.  After all, what Jimmy has that Harrow wants is so minimal . . . a family who loves him, a home of his own, and a full-face.  And though Jimmy has all of these things, we know that he isn’t happy.  He wants more for himself, but isn’t quite sure what that entails.  His mother and father are pushing him to usurp Nucky’s position of power.  However, he seems ambivalent about such a future, and slightly troubled by the personal betrayals he will inevitably have to exact, in order to obtain it . . .

“I’m just a boy . . . with a knife . . . and a lot of guns . . . waiting for somebody to love me.”

Later we find Richard upstairs reading . . . Oh, wait  . . . he’s not reading, he’s cutting pictures of families and happy couples out of magazines and pasting them in a book.  OMG!  It’s a DREAM BOOK!  Richard Harrow READS THE SECRET!

Did I just undermine this sweet, and incredibly poignant moment, with a lame joke about a self-help book?   Yeah, I think I did.  Moving on . . . 

Why people who repeatedly refer to themselves in the third person don’t deserve to LIVE . . .

“Yeah, there are these words called ‘I’ and ‘me.’ Learn to use them, or ‘I’ will shoot off your face.” 

In case, I haven’t mentioned it before (and I know I haven’t), AL CAPONE’S BACK!

LOVE HIM! 

Having said that, the one scene we got to see him in, was actually pretty random.  It featured this annoying guy who insisted on talking about himself in the third-person, like the dude “Jimmy” from that one Seinfeld episode they always play on TBS.  Al Capone didn’t like him, and neither did I.  But apparently, this Third-Person Talker guy used to work for Torrio.  Now he has his own business in Cincinatti, which is apparently, a hot spot for liquor.  Torrio and Capone decide to STOP getting their liquor from Nucky, and START getting from this guy, which I guess is just another nail in Nucky’s already VERY HOLEY coffin.

Never . .  . gets . .  . old. 

More importantly, my man Capone is responsible for breaking the bad news to Nucky.  So, we will  DEFINITELY get to see more of him next week . . .

Can I get a HELL YEAH? 

Wasted Tablecloths and Misguided Wedding Gifts

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I’d say Jimmy’s line about the Sheet-Heads was my favorite of the evening.  How about you?

So, remember when I said that the Commodore told Jimmy he should start schmoozing more?   Well, apparently, that meant attending that Almost-Nucky-Murdering Bastard’s funeral.  Nucky, who is schmoozing king, was, of course, also in attendance.  That’s one of the things I love about all these mob shows and movies, they always view funerals as marketing opportunities . . .

JIMMY:  “Hey Nucky, doens’t Chalky have that exact same outfit in red?”

NUCKY: “Yeah, it also comes in purple, green and hot pink.  Would you like one, I have a coupon in my pocket?”

After Jimmy and Nucky pay there respective respects, they engage in an uncomfortable, but meaningful conversation about the fact that Jimmy has pretty much cut Nucky out of his life, apart from the most rudimentary of business transactions.  Nucky is clearly hurt by Jimmy’s recent chilliness, particularly his decision not to consult Nucky about, or even invite him to attend, his recent nuptials.  However, he’s also a bit paranoid (and rightfully so) that Jimmy might be plotting against him with the Commodore.  “He’s a very duplicitous man,” Nucky warns Jimmy, before heading back to the funeral.  “[Now] you’ve been told.”

Later that evening, Jimmy arrives home to find a “wedding present” from Nucky.  But instead of buying him plates, or His and Hers robes, Nucky buys him a rather ugly looking statue, featuring a father and son type hunting.   The significance of the statue is not lost on Jimmy, who clearly has fond memories of his childhood outings with his former surrogate dad, who he is now trying to majorly screw over.

And yet, Jimmy’s facial expression upon receiving the gift is fairly inscrutable.  Does he feel guilty about what he is about to do?   Or is he annoyed at Nucky for trying to manipulate him this way?  Either way, Jimmy literally and metaphorically casts aside his surrogate daddy, by hiding the statue away on the top shelf a closet .  . .

Speaking of things best kept hidden . . .

Hot Times in Atlantic City with Mr. and Mrs. Creepy Van Slappy

Name:  Mrs. Van Alden; Turn-ons: Jesus, churches, warm milk, long walks on the beach, alcohol raids .  . .

After an entire season of being tucked safely away in the suburbs, Mrs. Van Alden has FINALLY come to visit her Creepy, Crazy, Back-Slapping Murderous Husband.  First he takes her to his office at the Bureau, where he finds two of his men, homoerotically wrestling eachother on the floor . . . and act he pretends to be annoyed by, but actually finds quite titillating.

Hey, try not to be so hard on yourself, Psycho.  Your secret is safe with us.

(By the way, have you ever noticed that Nelson Van Alden looks perpetually constipated?)

Hoping to win back the points he just lost from his boss, one of the wrestlers, knowing how religious the Van Aldens claim to be, hands Mrs. V a pamphlet entitled “If Jesus came to Atlantic City.”

The problem of course, is that, while purporting to be a religious guide to the city,  the pamphlet is actually a listing of every WHOREHOUSE and NUDEY BAR in town!  Careful, Wrestler Cop, remember what happened to the LAST GUY who tried to “help” Van Alden with his “religous desires?”

R.I.P. Agent Sebso! 

While reading about whores, Mrs. Van Alden remarks that perhaps it is a good thing she can’t have children, since a world where people have sex for fun, is CLEARLY not a place to raise a godfearing kid . . .

At a swank restaurant, Mrs. Van Alden finds herself once again APPALLED when a sweet and efete-sounding waiter fairly blatantly offers the couple ALCOHOL!

Creepy Van Alden initially doesn’t seem to surprised or upset by this inquiry.  He simply orders himself some warm milk, and is ready to call it a day.  But one look at his wife’s judgy eyes tells him that he must do something about this MORTAL SIN the waiter is committing.  And so he calls his cronies at the Bureau, and stages a loud and over-dramatic raid on the restaurant . . . one that includes punching the poor waiter in the face, as well as raiding the restaurants massive liquor stash, and filled coffers . . .

Now, THAT looks like my kind of party!

Van Alden then takes a totally-aroused Mrs. Van A back to a seedy hotel  (He can’t take her back to his boarding house .  . . we’ll learn why in a bit.), and proceeds to have the unsexiest sex EVER with her.

The next day, Van Alden drops his wife off at the bus station and returns home, with the cash he stole from the restaurant during the raid.   He is not alone.  SOMEONE IS SLEEPING IN HIS BED . . .

Apparently, Van Alden has been boarding that evil slut Lucy (who is now VERY pregnant with his creepy spawn), and paying for her living expenses / doctors bills with money acquired from illegal raids.  Jesus would most certainly NOT approve, Nelson!

“Doh!”

Uh oh . . . I hope you can get a refund on that extra movie ticket, Margie!

The episode ends with a doleful Margaret watching Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid,” with her children, and staring at an empty seat next to her.  It appears her loyal and loving .  . . whatever it is these two are to eachother now . . . Nucky has stood her up.  In Nucky’s defense, he actually has a pretty good excuse.  You see, he’s recently been ARRESTED FOR ELECTION FRAUD!

And that was the Season 2 Premiere of Boardwalk Empire, in a nutshell?  So, tell me, what did you think of the episode?  Was it Jackpot . . . or a disappointing Bust?  Sound of in the comment section below . . .

Until next week . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Deconstructing Delena – My Picks for the Top Ten Damon and Elena Moments from the SECOND HALF of The Vampire Diaries’ Second Season

It’s been a good year for us Delena fans on TVD, hasn’t it?  (And, judging by where things left off, next year promises to be EVEN BETTER!  YIPPEE!) 

After an admittedly shaky start (Jeremy Neck Snap Incident, anyone?), us stalwart D&E fans fans were eventually rewarded for our patience, with a Season 2 Smorgasbord of Tasty Delena goodness.  Within just the first 10 episodes of the Season, we were treated to multiple phallic encounters . . .

 . . . passionate exchanges . . .

 .  . . near kisses . . .

 . . . and, of course, one VERY SPECIAL (but equally frustrating) declaration of love . . .

Having experienced the joy of all that, who would have thought that the scenes I just described would ultimately end up being just a precursor to all the FABULOUS Delena Decadence that was to come?

And it is for this reason that, while I had already crafted a list of the Top Ten Delena Moments of Season 1 . . . and followed that up with a SECOND list, featuring the Top Ten Moments of the FIRST half of Season 2 . . . I simply couldn’t resist writing a THIRD article, focusing on the Top Ten Delena Moments of the SECOND half of Season 2.   After all, far be it for me to deny my fellow Delena fans, the opportunity to relive the ecstasy of THE FIRST KISS . . .

 

What follows are my favorite Damon and Elena scenes from the last eleven episodes of TVD’s second Season, starting from “The Descent,” and ending with “As I Lay Dying.”   So, without further adieu, let Sweet, Sexy, and Swoon-worthy Nostalgia BEGIN!

10. “Be the Better Man, Damon.”

Episode: “Daddy Issues” – 2 X 13

Setting the Scene:

Team Save Elena (a.k.a. The Scooby Gang) has been making some questionable decisions lately.  And it’s been trying Damon’s already-limited patience, BIG TIME.  First, Stefan comes up with the “brilliant idea” of inviting Known Vampire Hater Uncle/Father John, and Elena’s Evil Bio Mom Vampire Isobel back to town, so that they could “join the team.”  Damon and Elena don’t trust either of these two sorry excuses for parents, as far as they can throw them.  However, both recognize that John might have information the two could use to defeat Klaus.  “Be the better man,” Elena cautions Damon for the first time that evening, before Damon meets John at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls to exchange a few words.


Damon DOES, somehow, manage to hold his tongue, when speaking to John (just barely).  Not long after, however, Elena gets a call from Stefan, informing her that the werewolves (Jules and Wereoaf Brady) are holding Vampire Caroline hostage.  As a condition of Caroline’s safe release, the werewolves wish to “strike up a deal.” They will return Caroline, in exchange for resident werewolf, Tyler Lockwood. 

Upon hearing this, Damon, (who, up to this point, had been completely kept out of the loop, regarding the whole “Tyler is a werewolf” thing) is FURIOUS about this recent turn of events.  And he is not at all shy about sharing these feelings with Elena . .

Potent Quotables:

Damon: (about Tyler) “He’s a werewolf.  He needs to die.  I’m willing to kill.  It’s win/win!”

And later . . .

Damon: “You need to stop doing that . . . assuming I’ll play the good guy, because it’s YOU who’s asking.”

Elena: “Be the Better Man, Damon.”

And still later . . .

Damon:  (to Uncle/Father John) “First Dad Duty?  Ground your daughter . . . keep her here.”

Elena: “I’m coming with you!”

Why it made the list:

“Daddy Issues” was an important episode in the Delena canon, because it, in effectively introduced us to a completely different character, one who we hadn’t seen up to this point.  Ladies and gentleman, meet Ponytail Elena.  (She will appear again in “The Last Dance,” home to TWO MORE of our Top Ten Delena Moments.  Coincidence?  I think not!) 

While Hair Down Elena might not be sure, at this point in the game, of her feelings for Damon, Ponytail Elena already has a pretty good idea she wants him BAD!  (Remember that look of jealously flashing across Ponytail Elena’s eyes, when Andie hit on Damon for the first time?  Or the look of triumph on Ponytail Elena’s face, when Damon initially rejected her?)  Not unlike Katherine, Ponytail Elena knows EXACTLY what she needs to do to get her way . . .

It was interesting seeing THIS scene back -to-back with the earlier one in the episode, in which Elena instructs Damon to be “kinder and gentler” in his discussion with Uncle/Father John.  In both scenes: (1) Elena pleads with Damon to be “good.”  (2) He balks.  (3) She asks him to be the “Better Man.”  (4) He balks AGAIN, but reluctantly agrees. (5) She demands to follow him whereever he is going.

However, the DIFFERENCE between these two scenes is why this one made the list, and the previous one didn’t.  Unlike in the first scene, this time, Ponytail Elena is more brazen with her manipulation of Damon.  Observe how the Petrova Doppelganger gently places both of her hands on Damon’s arms affectionately, and looks up at him with her puppy dog eyes, when she asks him not to kill Tyler. 

Also different from the first scene, is Damon’s reaction.  All Damon has to do is take one look at Elena’s hand positioning, and he knows EXACTLY what she’s trying to do.  “You need to stop doing that,” he demands, eyes blazing.

I love how Elena, naively, acts as if she isn’t aware of her manipulation of Damon “Doing what?”  She asks innocently.

However, the minute he makes mention of it, Elena guiltily removes her hands from his arms.  She’s no dummy, that Ponytail Elena!  Damon’s response to Elena “(Assuming I’ll play the Good Guy, because it’s YOU who’s asking”) is the closest we’ve come to seeing Damon admit his feelings for Elena directly to her, ever since he told her he loved her, and compelled her to forget it, during “Rose,” back in episode 8.

And yet, the fact that Elena is behaving this way, to begin with, illustrates that she probably already has a pretty good idea of Damon’s feelings for her.  When affection doesn’t work, Elena falls back on her catchphrase, “Be the Better Man, Damon,” she tells him, for the second time that evening.  The phrase almost acts as a hypnotic trigger for Damon, working on him instantly.  Damon will always obey this command of Elena’s, no matter how much he may hate doing so.

And why not?  After all, it’s Damon’s incorrect belief that Stefan is a “Better Man” than he is, that keeps him from more actively pursuing Elena, in the first place!  At this point in the series, Damon still believes he doesn’t DESERVE Elena.  We see this at the end of the episode when the “Better Man” line makes it’s third appearance.  “I’m in love with a woman I can’t have,” Damon tells Andie, during the pseudo-couple’s infamous Bathtub Scene.  “I have to stay together (read “in control of my emotions”) to protect her, which means, I can’t be who I AM!”

As the series draws to a close, Damon will gradually come to learn how wrong he is in this assessment.  But, for now, the elder Salvatore Brother will just have to rejoice in the mini victory of having let Ponytail Elena know that he has her number. 

And, hey, she DID want to “come with him” to rescue Tyler, didn’t she?  Only this time, Damon said “NO!”

“Nice try, Sweet Cheeks!  It’s called ‘playing hard to get.’  Get used to it!”

So, you might be wondering why I included this scene at the top of my list, especially since it seems to show more of a manipulation of Damon on Elena’s part, than actual affection.  Well . . . I don’t think that’s ALL it shows. 

In “Daddy Issues,” more than any episode we had seen in Season 2 (at least up to THIS point in the season), Damon and Elena are relating to one another in that same super-close, married couple, type way, we witnessed during KEY Season 1 Delena episodes, like “Bloodlines,” and “Blood Brothers.”  And, don’t forget, this is POST Jeremy Neck Snap Incident!  So, that’s saying a lot!

Yes, they are bickering . . . and arguing . . . and Elena seems to be getting on Damon’s nerves a bit.  But beneath all that, are two people who are on the same page.  They understand how eachother think.   And they subconsciously take comfort in eachother’s company.  Why else would Elena keep following Damon around for the ENTIRE first half of the episode?  Where was STEFAN during all that time?  HMM?

9. Damon asks for Elena’s forgiveness

Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22

Setting the Scene:

Having been bitten by Teen Wolf Tyler, during his werewolf transformation, Damon believes himself to be doomed to die a painful and ugly death by were-rabies.  If Rose’s rapid disease progression is any indication, Damon has a few days to live at most, and just hours, before he begins showing signs of dementia.  Despite all this, Damon has made the selfless, but tragic, decision not to inform Elena of his impending death.  “The last thing [Elena] needs is another grave to mourn,” Damon tells Stefan, when his younger brother first learns of the fatal bite.

And yet Damon has one dying wish: that Elena forgive him for going against her wishes, and force-feeding her his blood, prior to The Sacrifice.  (He did this, so that if Klaus, in fact, killed her, she would at least return as a vampire.) 

Thanks to Uncle/Father John sacrificing his soul . . . and his life, for Elena’s, Elena was revived following the Sacrifice, and was able to retain her humanity.  And yet, Elena has still not verbally forgiven Damon for his actions.  In this scene, Damon arrives at Elena’s house, the morning after John’s and Jenna’s funeral, in hopes of obtaining the absolution he so desperately needs from the woman he loves more than life itself.

Potent Quotables:

Damon: “I want to apologize . . . please  . . .  Elena feeding you my blood, I was wrong.  And I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I need it.”

Elena: “And I need some time . . . maybe a lot of time.”

Damon: “Sure . . . of course . . . take all the time you need.”

Why it made the list:

This short simple scene is important, in that it functions as the first step in the journey Damon and Elena take toward mutual forgiveness, acceptance, and possibly much more, during the final episode of the series.  The tragedy of this scene, as mentioned above, is that Elena doesn’t know that Damon is dying.  Yet, he refuses to tell her. 

Damon “needs” Elena’s forgiveness, so that he can die in peace.  And yet, he doesn’t want that forgiveness to come from a place of PITY (Take THAT, Pity Kiss THEORISTS!), or guilt.  In the epic words Damon himself used last season, in explaining the reason he didn’t compel Elena during the pair’s trip to Georgia, “I wanted it to be real.” 

The OLD Damon might have become frustrated with Elena’s stubborness, and refusal to forgive him.  (I mean, it’s not like she actually turned into a VAMPIRE, or anything!)  Remember how quickly Damon started to pout and complain, when Elena refused to forgive him for the Jeremy Neck Snap Incident, earlier on in the season?  But this is a different Damon from the one we knew back then.  This Damon truly is “a Better Man.”

Notice how, throughout the scene, even though Damon is obviously going through a TON of personal sh*t, his focus is always on Elena.  Watching her linger over Aunt Jenna’s room in the morning, Damon IMMEDIATELY knows the anguish Elena is feeling, upon seeing that bed empty.  “It will get easier,” he tells her comfortingly.   “Then again, you already knew that.”

And even when Elena refuses to forgive Damon, and he realizes that there is a good chance he will die without receiving that forgiveness, Damon still considers Elena’s feelings to be of the utmost importance.  He even manages to smile at her, and say, “Take all the time you need,” when deep down, he knows that his own time is slowly running out . . .

The fact that Damon and Elena started the episode in THIS sad place, however, makes where they end up, by the end of the episode, all the more miraculous . . .

8. Elena rescues Damon . . . from himself!

Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22

Setting the Scene:

Damon’s time is running out.  His were-rabies has now set in at full force.  He’s feeling weak, is in an incredible amount of pain, and is beginning to have difficulty distinguishing his flashback hallucinations (featuring Katherine) from reality.  That’s the BAD news. 

The good news is that Damon’s hallucinations have been oddly therapeutic for him.  He finally sees that he was personally responsible for his decision to turn vampire, back in 1864.  Neither Stefan, nor Katherine forced him to do it.  He has to find Elena, and tell her this (as well as FINALLY confess his true feelings for her), before it’s too late.

Elena needs to find Damon too.  She found out about his werewolf bite from Stefan, and feels terrible about the way she treated him earlier that day. (See scene above.)  Elena wants to let Damon know that she forgives him for feeding her his blood prior to the Sacrifice.  She also knows that Caroline’s AWFUL mother Lizard Forbes wants Damon dead.  And Elena wants badly to rescue Dying Damon from that b*tch.

Eventually, Damon and Elena do find one another.  But Damon just so happens to be in the throes of one of his most vivid hallucination, when the reunion occurs . . .

Potent Quotables:

Elena:  “Damon . . . come on . . . come on . . . We need to get you out of here.  We have to hide you.”

Katherine: (in flashback, after puncturing her neck, and allowing blood to drip from it) “If you want it, take it.  It is your choice to make.”

And later . . .

Elena:  (as Damon bites Katherine / Elena) “Damon, you don’t have to do this.”

Why it made the list:

This scene works on two levels.  On one, we have Damon, just hours away from death, finally coming to the realization that he is personally responsible for his decision to become a vampire.  On another, we have Elena, who, after two seasons of being rescued repeatedly by Damon, finally has the opportunity to put her own life and safety on the line, to rescue him right back. 

On some level, Damon and Elena have been searching for one another, the entire episode.  It was Damon’s instinctive knowledge that Elena was looking for him outside, that prompted Damon to send Alaric for blood, knock out Lizard Forbes, and escape his makeshift cage in the basement of La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  Likewise, it was Elena’s need to find Damon, and comfort him, during his final moments, that prompted her to break through the glass of the police station with that chair.  (I wonder who’s going to end up having to pay for THAT!)

Of course, once Damon finds Elena, he shifts right back into hallucination mode, and can only see Katherine.  In the hallucination, Katherine’s words to Damon are direct.  She tells him that the decision to become a vampire is his choice to make.  And by biting down on Katherine’s neck, and taking her blood, he makes that choice.  Yet, in the present day, Damon is biting on Elena’s neck.   Her words to him are symbolic too.  She tells him, “You don’t have to do this.”

And though she’s referring to BITING HER, Elena’s words also apply to biting KATHERINE back in 1864.  Damon didn’t HAVE to do that.  He didn’t have to become a vampire.  And he WOULDN”T have become one, if he hadn’t made that choice.  The anguish on Damon’s face, upon waking from his reverie, and realizing that he has bitten and hurt the woman he loves, is truly heartbreaking. 

But what is sweet about the scene is Elena’s reaction.  Yes, Elena is in pain.  Yes, Damon hurt her.  But Elena isn’t angry at Damon for what he did, or worried for her own safety. 

Like Damon’s actions at the beginning of the episode, Elena’s actions here are completely selfless.  All she cares about is protecting Damon, and getting him to safety.  The way Elena holds and comforts Damon in this scene, you can tell just how much she truly cares about him.  And this show of affection is only a precursor of what’s to come later on in the episode . . .

7. Elena Comforts Damon after Rose’s Death

Episode: “The Descent” – 2 X 12

Setting the Scene:

Damon earned the ire of Big Bad Wolf Jules, when she began to (correctly) suspect that he had killed her werewolf buddy, Mason Lockwood, a.k.a. Tyler Lockwood’s Hot Uncle. 

 The elder Salvatore brother moved even further up Wolf Girl’s Poopy List, when he and Alaric cornered her in the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, and (under the guise of hitting on her) were-rufied her drink with Wolfsbane. 

Fast-forward to the next Full Moon.  Jules, in werewolf form, barges into La Casa de Rich and Awesome, intent on chopping on some Salvatore skin.  (Can you blame her?  YUMMY!) 

However, instead of sinking her teeth into Damon, Jules’ pointy choppers land smack dab on the backside of Damon’s most recent Screw Buddy, Vampire Rose. 

As a result of the bite, Vampire Rose contracts some bizarre form of were rabies. (Then again, isn’t all were rabies, by definition bizarre?).  Shortly thereafte, Rose, pretty much, starts going apesh*t.  (She looks pretty hideous too.)  Rose uses her Sick Time, constructively, by chasing Elena around La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and trying to eat her.  (Personally, I prefer to spend MY sick time watching bad daytime television.  But, that’s just me . . .)

When that fails, a wacked-out Rose breaks free from La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and starts chowing down on innocent Mystic Falls residents.  Damon eventually finds Rose, and brings her back to the house.  However, Rabies Rose’s days of eating the Good People of Mystic Falls are numbered.  And Damon knows it. 

Using his vampiric powers of dream walking, Damon sits Rose down in her lap, like the unruly baby she has become.  Being the Generous Mercy Killer he is, Damon creates for Rose a warm fuzzy (read “extremely cheesy”) dream, in which she and he are frolicking through the meadow. 

When Rabies Rose is feeling sufficiently blissed out, he stakes her, but not before shedding a few tears, on her behalf.

In THIS sweet and poignant Delena scene, Elena, having learned of Rose’s death, arrives at La Casa de Rich and Awesome to check up on Her Future Lover . . .

Potent Quotables:

Elena:  “I came back to make sure you are OK.”

And later . . .

Elena: “Damon I’m your friend.”

Damon:  “I’m well aware of that.”

Elena: “And a friend usually knows when their friend is hurting.”

Damon: “What do you want to hear?  That I cared about Rose?  That I’m upset?  Well, I didn’t.  And I’m not.”

Elena:  “There you go, pretending to turn it off, pretending not to feel.  Damon, you’re so close.  Don’t give up.”

Damon:  “I feel, Elena, OK?  And it sucks!  What sucks even more is that it was supposed to be me.  Jules was coming after ME.”

Elena:  “You feel guilty.”

Damon:  “That would be human of me, Elena, and I’m NOT HUMAN!  You’re one to talk about giving up.   That’s all you’ve done is give up!  Go home!  There’s been enough doom, gloom, and personal growth for one night.”

Why it made the list:

You’ll notice that in this scene, unlike the ones that preceded it, I transcribed practically the ENTIRE conversation between Damon and Elena in the “potent quotables” section.  That’s because every line of this scene is heavily laden with meaning.  In fact, with the exception of the final scenes of “As I Lay Dying,” Damon’s and Elena’s exchange during “The Descent” is probably the most honest exchange they have with one another the entire season. 

Just as, in the earlier scene I posted from the finale, where Damon instinctively knows what Elena is going through, when she stares at Jenna’s empty room, Elena, having experienced Rose’s demise along with him, knows exactly how hard it was for Damon to ultimately end her life. 

We’ve seen many scenes in which Elena has pushed Damon away, for one reason or another.  However, this time, it is Damon trying to do the pushing, and Elena vying for closeness. 

Ahem?

But Elena makes a mistake, when she calls Damon “her friend.”  Of course, she’s trying to be helpful.  However, reminding Damon of their “just friends” status, during this difficult time in Damon’s life, is like rubbing salt in the wound. 

(Then again, perhaps, this is a case of thou doth protest too much?  Maybe Elena is already starting to feel a closeness to Damon beyond friendship, and needs to reiterate the “just friends” nature of their relationship to convince herself that this is the case?  Wishful thinking on my part?  Maybe . . . but maybe not. ;))

When Damon denies having any feeling about Rose’s death, however, Elena goes for the “Better Man,” card again.  Though she doesn’t use those exact words, by telling Damon that he is “so close” to humanity, that is, in effect, what she is saying.  And Elena is right.  Rose’s death did cause a sort of emotional breakthrough of sorts in Damon. 

But these emotions scare Damon, because, as he admits to Andie, in the following episode, they make him feel out of control.  They also cause him to remember how much he misses being human.  “That would be human of me, Elena.  And I’m NOT human,” he argues.  (Talk about a case of “Thou doth protest too much!”)

But even though Damon commands Elena to leave for a third time, during the scene, Elena refuses to go, without giving Damon the comfort she so desperately knows he needs.  She hesitates as she turns to leave, looking at him intently for a few beats before pulling him in for a deep Full Body Hug.  Elena’s show of affection surprises Damon, and, eventually moves him to tears. 

But Damon isn’t the only one who needed to feel closeness in that moment.  While Elena may have decided to hug Damon, in a friendly and comforting way, the look she gives him, when she pulls back from the hug, hints that she might have felt something deeper during it, than she initially expected.

For a few moments before she leaves, we see Elena stare pointedly at Damon’s eyes and lips.  She does this so intently, that, the first time I watched this scene, I really did think that she might kiss him.  But, alas, our first Delena kiss was still quite a few episodes away . . .

6. “I’ve got moves you’ve never seen!”

Episode: “The Last Dance” – 2 X 18

Setting the Scene:

Though he has not yet shown his “true face” to the Scooby Gang, Klaus has not been shy about expressing his desire to “capture” Elena, and use her in his Wacky Sacrifice Ritual.  By compelling one of her classmates, Klaus delivers a creepy message to Elena that she should expect to “meet” him at the sixties-themed dance being held at the high school.  Rather than avoid the dance (which, to be honest, would have made a heck of a lot more sense), the entire Scooby Gang, Elena included, decides to attend.  Their plan is to draw Klaus out, and then kill him . . . somehow. 

Needless to say, tensions are high.  And no one is more tense than Elena.  That is, until . . .

Potent Quotables:

Why it made the list:

Damon: “How you doin?”

Elena: “Umm . . . freaking out a bit.  You?”

Damon: “Cool as a cucumber.  Come on . . . remember the last Decade Dance.  The vampires were all ‘Arrrghhhh’ and you were all ‘Ahhhhh!”

Elena:  “Right . . . and . . . we won.”

Damon: “Yes, we did.”

Elena:  “You’re good at this.”

Damon: “I’ve got moves, you’ve never seen.”

You know what I actually just noticed about this scene?  (And it’s something that I had never picked up on, in the 20 or so times I watched it before hand.)  There’s this little moment, before Stefan leaves to go talk to Caroline, that he gives Damon a bit of a head nod, actually ENCOURAGING him to dance with Elena! 

Dear old Selfless Stefan . . . you have no idea what you are getting your “girlfriend’ into!  Doesn’t Baby Salvatore know that no girl can resist a Dancing Damon?

Least of all . . . Elena . . .

Still, you might be wondering why this scene ranks so high on my list, when the ones preceeding it are so much more “emotionally intense.”  But, actually, the fact that this scene WAS SO LIGHTHEARTED AND SIMPLE is precisely why it earned such a high ranking. 

The Delena Dance of Season 2, much like the one in Season 1 that preceded it, allowed us a glimpse into what Damon and Elena will be like as an ACTUAL COUPLE.  In just a few short seconds of grooving together, Damon and Elena, illustrate all the fun, sex appeal, wit, good humor, and understanding that is going to make Delena such a force to be reckoned with in season 3.

I love the look of shock and arousal that crosses Elena’s face, when Damon first whirls her into his chest.  As we’ve seen often with Elena, when she comes in close contact with Damon, she often seems mesmerized, by his mouth in particular. 

And, though Damon is trying to play it, “cool as a cucumber” (his words, not mine), we can see that he isn’t exactly immune to Elena’s charms either.  There’s a brief second where Damon loses himself in the movement of the dance, and forgets all about Klaus, the Sacrifice, and all his schemes.  In that moment, these are just two beautiful people who are insanely hot for one another.

That being said, when Elena openly admits to Damon that she is “freaking out a bit,” Damon immediately becomes refocused on the task at hand:  Operation Cheer Up Elena!  And Cheer Elena up he does, through a combination of fun, un-self-conscious goofiness . . .

 . . . good humor, and logical reasoning.  Damon immediately is able to set Elena at ease, and make her smile, in a way, few members of the Scooby Gang are able to do.  But in addition to being really funny, Damon’s “The vampires were like Arrrgh, and you were like Ahhh,” was also a wise and reassuring statement.  In other words, “We beat the bad guys before, and we will beat them again.”

Of course, once Damon has sufficiently calmed Elena down, and converted her from Brooding Damsel in Distress to Giddy High Schooler Dancing with Hot Boy, Damon ramps up the charm, dipping her, pulling her close to his body and face, and whispering seductively in her ear, “I’ve got moves you’ve never seen.”

“You’re good at this,” Elena admits breathlessly, looking very much like she wants to makeout with him right there on the dance floor.

Well, isn’t that the Understatement of the Year . . .

5. “I can’t lose you.”

Episode: “The Last Day” – 2 X 20

Setting the Scene:

Not willing to accept that Bonnie’s death (through the exhaustion of all her witch powers) is the ONLY way to kill Klaus, Elena defies the wishes of the ENTIRE Scooby Gang, by de-staking Elijah, and bringing him back to life. 

Elijah claims to have a plan to save Elena’s life, while still allowing Klaus to proceed with the Sacrifice Ritual.  Then, once Klaus is in the throes of a werewolf transformation, and is in a weakened state, ELIJAH will stake KLAUS with the same dagger Elena used to stake HIM in “Crying Wolf.”

The problem is that Elijah’s Big Plan to “save” Elena seems . . .what’s the right word . . . oh yeah . . . LAME!  It involves some sort of Romeo and Juliet-esque elixir he cooked up, that would make Elena APPEAR to be dead, throughout the Sacrifice Ritual, when, in fact, she is really alive.  Having never used the elixir before, Elijah can’t guarantee that it will work. 

 The idea of taking such a gamble with Elena’s life sickens Damon.  So, he stalks off to his room to sulk.  Elena (who LOVES Damon’s bedroom, more than any other room in La Casa de Rich and Awesome, including, apparently, Stefan’s room) immediately follows Damon there, so that the two can screw like bunny rabbits “talk.”

Potent Quotables:

Elena: “You disappeared.”

Damon: “I don’t want to hear anymore.”

Elena:  “I need you to understand why I’m doing this.”

Damon: “Why?   It clearly doesn’t matter what I think.”

Elena: “I’ll be FINE, Damon.  I’ll drink the elixir.  Bonnie will kill Klaus, and all of this will finally be over.”

And later . . .

Damon: “You think it will work . . . You WANT it to work . . . Why am I the only one who’s convinced it WON’T.  There has to be another way.”

Elena:  “There isn’t.”

Damon:  “You are going to die, Elena.”

Elena: “And then, I’ll come back to life.”

Damon:  “That is not a risk I am willing to take.”

Elena: “But I am . . . it’s my life, Damon.  My choice.”

Damon: “I can’t lose you.”

Elena: “You won’t.”

Why it made the list:

I’m just full of controversial picks today, aren’t I?  Here’s the scene where Damon FORCE FEEDS Elena his blood, and stakes Stefan, and I’ve got it as number 5 on my Delena list.  But, hopefully, after you rewatch the scene, you will see why.  You see, I feel like there’s a real parallel between this scene, and the scene that takes place between Damon and Elena at the end of “The Last Dance,” right before Elena decides to stake Klaus.  (See #3 below.) 

 Both scenes, begin with Elena entering Damon’s room.  Both scenes involve a discussion between Damon and Elena, regarding the best way to go about saving her life, during the Sacrifice. 

In “The Last Dance,” Elena REFUSES to put Bonnie’s life on the line to save her own.  Here, Damon refuses to put Elena’s life on the line for Elijah’s harebrained scheme.  “There HAS to be another way,” each party says to the other, more or less.  Both scenes climax (see what I did there?), during a moment of intense intimacy between the couple.  And, just when it seems like the two are finally in agreement with one another, there’s a moment, where you see one of them making the decision to do something they know the other person will HATE.

As I mentioned earlier, Elena LOVES Damon’s room, and adores his bed.  And whenever he is upset, she loves to go and find him there, so that she can “reach out and touch him.”  There’s an interesting dichotomy in the scene between how close Damon and Elena come to one another, and how far away their ideas as to the best course of action remain.  Throughout the scene, though Damon and Elena, both take physical steps toward one another, psychologically, they remain more far apart than ever.

Using her “Be the Better Man” trick, Elena attempts physical contact with Damon, to bring him back from the brink, when he is at his most heated.  Damon is angrily and accusatorily pointing a finger at Elena, when Elena affectionately grabs his hand in both her own, bringing it closer to her face, and massaging it, as she speaks.  

There’s a moment where Damon looks down at his and Elena’s now clasped hands.  He knows EXACTLY what Elena is trying to do.  And yet, he loves her so much, that he can’t resist her.  His pointed finger relaxes into Elena’s embrace.  His body posture softens, as he appeals to Elena’s obvious care and concern for his well being, “I can’t lose you,” he tells her, in all honesty.

“You won’t,” she assures him, eyes widened and dilated. 

Elena really believes at this point that she has reached Damon . .. and that he will go along with whatever she says, just like he has so many times in the past.  Except, sometime between Elena’s grasping of his hand, and her final promise to him, Damon comes to his decision to force-feed Elena his blood.  But even as he is making this decision, a part of him knows he will live to regret it.

“Oh crap!  I’m really about to f*ck up now, aren’t I?”

4. Damon revives Elena

Episode: “The Sun Also Rises” – 2 X 21

Setting the Scene:

As far as Klaus is concerned, the Sacrifice Ritual was a success. Aunt Jenna and Jules each gave up their lives as the vampire and werewolf sacrifices, respectively.  As the Petrova Doppelganger, Elena also gave her “life” to Klaus, when he bit into her neck, and drained her of a significant portion of her blood. 

After snapping the neck of the witch performing the ritual, Damon picks up an unconscious Elena and carries her to Stefan.  But Stefan does not wish to take Elena home just yet.  He wants to stay and make sure that Bonnie and Elijah defeat Klaus, once and for all. 

So, Damon carries Elena back to La Casa de Rich and Awesome in his arms.  At this point, her fate is still unknown.  Is she dead?  Will she come back a vampire, and spend eternity hating Damon for the role he played in her transformation?  Or has the Scooby Gang somehow managed to find some way for Elena to return to life as a human?  Damon is about to find out . . .

Potent Quotables:

Damon:  “Come back as a vampire, and I’ll stake you myself.  So, DON’T.  Because I can’t stand the idea of you hating me forever.”

Why it made the list:

It’s hard not to see this scene as blatant foreshadowing for a future Damon and Elena union, in the truest sense of the word.   I mean, who can ignore the symbolism, of Stefan asking Damon to take Elena home, himself, so that HE can stay and make sure Klaus is dead.  (Shades of Stefan’s choice in the season finale, much?) 

And then, watching Damon literally carry Elena through the darkness and the fire, to the safety of the home SHE owns, which is also his.  Then, of course, Damon CARRIES ELENA ACROSS THE THRESHOLD of the mansion.  It doesn’t get much better than that, folks!

The look of love and affection on Damon’s face, as he hovers over Elena’s unconscious body, gently running his hand across her face, and through her hair — unable to take his eyes off her for even one second — is as beautiful, as it is heartbreaking.  Who WOULDN’T want a guy to look at them like that?  And though the words Damon says to Elena, as he awaits her fate, might seem callous on the surface, they are actually the most romantic words he’s uttered throughout the entire episode.

Contrast these words to Damon’s “I can’t lose you,” in the earlier scene.  Damon force fed Elena his blood, because HE couldn’t bear the idea of living without her.  That gesture, and the thought process behind it, while romantic, is also somewhat selfish. 

Here, Damon’s thoughts are ONLY for Elena.  He now knows that SHE would rather die than be a vampire.  And even though it would literally KILL Damon to live on Earth for even a moment without Elena, he would be willing to stake her himself, if he knew that was what she truly wanted.

Of course, there’s another aspect to Damon not wanting Elena to become a vampire.  He “can’t stand the idea of [her] hating him forever.”  This is also a departure from the Damon we’ve grown to know and love for two seasons.  In “The Last Dance,” Damon was heard telling Stefan, that he didn’t care whether Elena hated him, as long as he was able to keep her safe. 

Now, we see that this isn’t the case at all.  Elena’s thoughts and feelings matter to Damon.  And from now on, he will fight just as hard to protect them, as he will to protect her life.

The other part of this scene that I loved was the intimate and powerful expression on Elena’s face when she awakens from “death” to find Damon hovering over her.  A commenter on my recap of this episode wisely noted that Elena died staring at Stefan, during The Sacrifice, and awakened staring at Damon.  There is certainly something poetic about that. 

Additionally, there lies within the meaninful look Elena gives Damon the possibility that she remembers his confession of love for her during the “Rose” episode.  After all, were it not for John’s sacrifice, which, as you can see, happens AFTER Elena awakens, not before, Elena, having died with Damon’s blood in her system, would have reawakened a vampire.  And VAMPIRES remember all instances of compulsion from their lives, as Caroline taught us, following HER vampiric reawakening . . .

So, does Elena remember Damon’s compulsion of her to forget that she loves him?  It’s indeed possible.  In fact, that very knowledge is hinted at, during the finale, and in my NUMBER 1 Delena moment of the Second Half of Season 2. 

3. “I will always choose you.”

Episode: “The Last Dance” – 2 X 18

Setting the Scene:

Damon may have saved Elena’s life the night of the sixties dance, but he did it by breaking her heart . . . albeit temporarily.  When Damon and the rest of the Scooby Gang learned that Klaus was possessing Alaric’s body, they determined, to their chagrin, that they had unwittingly provided him with information on their secret Klaus-Killing Weapon: Bonnie and Her Awesome Witchiness.  Now AlarKlaus was after Bonnie.  He wanted her out of the picture, to ensure himself a “Stress Free Sacrifice.”  And he wasn’t going to let up, until she was dead . . .

So, Bonnie and Damon came up with a devious plan.  Bonnie would pretend to exhaust her witchy powers, during a faux attempt at defeating Klaus at the dance.  Then she would play dead . . . kind of like a dog.  But the scheme had a complication: in order for KLAUS to believe that Bonnie was dead, Elena had to believe it too.  And in order for ELENA to believe that Bonnie was dead, Gossip Boy Stefan couldn’t be let in on Bonnie’s and Damon’s plan either. 

When Elena found Bonnie’s “dead” body in the school snack room, she was inconsolable.  And when Damon arrived back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, seeming not the least bit upset about Bonnie’s so called “loss of life,” an enraged Elena slapped him across the mouth . . . HARD.  It wasn’t until after Elena almost took off his BEAUTIFUL face that Damon finally decided to come clean to the woman he would do literally ANYTHING to protect. 

Damon admitted that Bonnie wasn’t really dead.  She was just hanging out in a tomb with Elena’s brother “resting her eyes.”  This made Elena feel like a bit of an idiot.  It also gave her a good excuse to enter Damon’s room AGAIN, under the guise of “apologizing” . . .

Potent Quotables:

Elena: “I understand why you did what you did.  I mean, Klaus was fooled and . . . Bonnie’s alive.”

Damon: “Here’s to duplicity.”

Elena:  “Let’s get one thing straight, Damon.  Bonnie will not die for me.  I will not let that happen . . . We’ll find another way [to kill Klaus].”

Damon: “I hope so.”

Elena:  “Look, I shouldn’t have hit you.”

Damon: “Apology accepted.”

Damon: “Let me be clear about something, if it comes down to you and the witch again, then I will gladly let Bonnie die.  I will always choose you.”

Why it made the list:

Earlier, I showed you the scene in which Damon made the decision to force feed Elena his blood to save her from certain death.  In my analysis of that scene I told you that it directly paralleled the scene from “The Last Dance,” in which Elena, after having an equally emotional and honest conversation with Damon, made the (as it turns out, not so hot) decision to de-stake Elijah.  Like the first scene, this one worked on two levels.  On one hand, it was yet another romantic bedroom scene for Damon and Elena, in which the pair let one another understand just how well they understood one another, and how much they cared for eachother.  On the other, it was a deceptive scene, because, at the very moment when it seemed like the couple had come to an understanding, one of its members was plotting to do something very stupid.

It was interesting watching Damon’s and Elena’s reactions to one another throughout the scene.  For instance, when Elena comes into Damon’s room, he clearly expects her to lecture him on not telling her his plans regarding Bonnie’s fake death.  Aim when Elena admits that she understands exactly why he did what he did, Damon is a bit taken aback.  But he is also clearly impressed by the object of his affections foresight, and understanding that sometimes the ends DO justify the means.

“Here’s to duplicity,” Damon says.  (As in, “YAY, I don’t have to apologize anymore, for doing something that I don’t think was wrong at all, and would do again in a second.”)

Elena again uses her trusted tactic of initiating physical closeness with Damon to make her point about not wanting Bonnie to die.  And though Damon does seem to bend a little, to Elena’s wishes (“I hope so,” he offers doubtfully, when Elena assures him that they will find another way to kill Klaus), we know that Damon’s position on the subject remains essentially the same. 

Now comes the time for Elena to apologize for the Face Slap Heard Round the World . . .  Elena clearly feels terrible about doing that to Damon, and wants him to know this.  When just moments ago, Elena was stalwart and strong in ensuring Bonnie’s continued livelihood, suddenly she seems shy, contrite, and a smidge coquettish.  As Elena apologizes, she dips her head downward, and self-consciously runs her hand through her hair. 

Of course, this works.  Damon can never stay mad at Elena for long.  And he accepts her apology almost immediately.  But then he makes the statement, that, while incredibly romantic, seals both of their fates, “I will always choose you.”

Upon hearing this, we see Elena go through a wide range of emotions in a very short amount of time.  There is awe at the grandness of Damon’s remark, flattery, at the extent of his feelings for her, a deep affection for the man willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.  It’s a powerful experience for Elena.  But then . . . she SIGHS . . .

For me, the above-illustrated facial expression of Elena’s mimics the one Damon made, when he realized that he was going to force feed Elena his blood, and, in doing so, jeopardize his relationship with her.  Likewise, Elena realizes that there is no way she will ever be able to convincce Damon to save Bonnie’s life over her own.  And so, in this moment, she decides to de-stake Elijah. 

Three times, before Elena leaves Damon’s room, we see her hesitate and turn back toward him, wanting to admit what she is about to do.  There’s a big part of Elena that knows that de-staking Elijah could end up being a huge mistake.  And that part of Elena wants to confess her plans to Damon, so that he can talk her out of them.  But, ultimately, Elena’s desire to protect her friends . . . well . . .  at least to protect Bonnie . . . wins out.  And so, she leaves Damon’s room with a firm sense of purpose.

Examining this scene, side by side with the scene from “The Last Day,” even the casual viewer can see how truly alike Damon and Elena are in their way of thinging, their fierce protectiveness of others, and their courage in the face of all opposition.  One thing is for sure, as a couple, these two will be unstoppable!

2. The Cuddle

Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22

Setting the Scene:

Having finally found a were-wolf bitten Damon, just hours away from death, Elena rushes him to the comfort of La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  Huddled together in Damon’s bed, Damon and Elena silently vow to make every last minute between them count.  Now is not the time for secrets. 

No words can be left unsaid.  No apologies can be left unspoken.  No emotions can be left unburdened.  But will these two intimately linked individuals — who have shared so much together, during the short time they have known one another — be able to confess their true feelings for one another, before it is too late?

Potent Quotables:

Elena:  “It’s OK, Damon.  I’m right here.”

Damon: “Elena, get out of here.  I can hurt you.”

Elena:  “No, you won’t.  I’m here until the very end.  I’m NOT leaving you . . . It’s OK . . . It’s OK”

Damon:  “It’s NOT OK.  All those years, I blamed Stefan.  And no one forced me to love her.  It was my own choice.  I made the wrong choice . . . Tell Stefan I’m sorry, OK?”

Elena: “I will.”

Why it made the list:

As you might have noticed, Damon and Elena have been dancing around true displays of affection for one another, all season.  There have been forehead kisses, hugs, hand and shoulder grabs, and even a little grinding on the dance floor.  But it took Damon being moments from Death, for Elena to really give herself to him completely. 

It is no accident that again, in the final moments of the Season 2 finale, Damon and Elena are huddled together in Damon’s bed.  Watch as Elena lovingly holds Damon in her arms, cradling his body close to her with one arm, as she delicately blots the sweat from his brow with another. 

Elena saw what Rose went through in her final hours.  She recognizes the possibility that Damon, in this sickened state, could be a real danger to her.  But Elena cares for Damon so much, that she is willing to put his needs before her own.  And despite Damon’s pleas that she go, for her own good, Elena refuses to leave Damon’s side, even for a moment. 

For Damon’s part, we can see in his eyes, how much he NEEDS Elena to be near him.  And the fact that he asks her to leave, shows just as much selflessness on his part, as Elena’s staying does on hers.  Because Damon has a lot to say to Elena.  He has come to the realization that he is to blame for his own situation, and he needs Elena to know this before he dies.  He also needs Stefan to know this. 

Such is their honest relationship with one another that Elena never lies to Damon, and tells him that he’s going to survive this.  She doesn’t sugar coat things for him.  When Damon asks her to apologize to Stefan, she doesn’t tell him, “You can do it yourself, because you are going to live.”  Rather, she just pulls him closer to her, and tells him that she will.

It’s tragic that it took a lethal illness to bring Damon and Elena to this place.  Yet, it is somehow fitting.  After all, Damon’s and Elena’s relationship has always been one built on intense emotions and extreme situations.  And, sometimes it takes the threat of losing something to finally force you to realize that you can’t live without it.

1. THE KISS!

Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22

Setting the Scene:

[See description for #2 above.  THIS spectacular scene takes place just one “commercial break” after THAT one. ;)]

Potent Quotables:

Damon: “This is even more pitiful than I thought.”

Elena: “There is still hope.”

Damon: “I’ve made a lot of choices that have gotten me here.  I deserve this.  I deserve to die.”

Elena:  “No, you don’t”

Damon: “I do, Elena.  And it’s OK.   Because if I would have chosen differently, I wouldn’t have met you.  I’m so sorry.  I did so many things to hurt you.”

Elena:  “It’s OK.   I forgive you.”

Damon: “I know you love Stefan.  And that it will always be Stefan.  But I love you.  You should know that.”

Elena: “I do.”

Damon:  “You should have met me in 1864.  You would have liked me.”

Elena:  “I like you now.  Just the way you are.”

Damon:  “Thank you.”

Elena: “You’re welcome.”

Why it made the list:

I don’t think it was a surprise to any of you, that this ended up being my number one scene.  I mean, really, could Delena fans have asked for anything more.  I mean, I couldn’t have been happier, if Damon and Elena stripped naked and had their way with one another, as the final credits were rolling (which is totally how Season 3 is going to end, by the way). 

Season 1 ended with Damon kissing Elena . . . except it ended up NOT being Elena, but Katherine.  So, it was extremely fitting that Season 2 would end with a REAL Delena kiss.  The kiss itself was beautiful.  The way that Elena snuggled up close to Damon, looked lovingly at his face, and leaned over to give him a quick kiss on the lips.  While it was happening, Damon awoke from unconsciousness, a real life Sleeping Beauty, with a small but beautific smile on his face.  His eyes fluttered, and his mouth opened into a slight “O” shape.  He wasn’t expecting this.  And then, he THANKED HER, for giving him the greatest gift she could ever give him.

And yet, for many fans, there was just as much of a gift in the words that preceded the kiss, as in the kiss itself.  Damon has never been much for apologies.  And yet, he is able to apologize twice to Elena in this episode, once at its beginning for the force-feeding, and here, for ALL of his wrong doing throughout the two seasons.  So, when Elena FINALLY gives Damon the forgiveness he has been waiting for, it is a total and complete forgiveness.  Completely gone are the grudges of seasons past.  Elena and Damon are finally, once again, on an even playing field.

And it is because Damon and Elena are in this open and honest place, that Damon can FINALLY admit to Elena that he loves her, and allow her to REMEMBER it, thereby completing the circle started in Rose.

Back then, Damon made Elena forget his love, because he deemed his confession, “The most selfish thing he ever did.”  But Damon’s new confession of love is not in the least bit selfish, because he doesn’t expect Elena to love him in return.  Heck, he doesn’t even expect to live out the hour!  Damon repeats Elena’s words to him from the Season Premiere.  “I know you love Stefan . . . it will always be Stefan,” but he says them with no bitterness or ire.  He’s made peace with his little brother, and Elena’s love for him.  He simply believes that Elena has a right to know that he loves her more than life itself.  Because that kind of love is a gift to be cherished, even if it cannot be returned.

Except . . . maybe it can, because Elena’s cycle of always pushing Damon to be the “Better Man” is closed in this scene too.  That ends with Elena’s declaration that she likes him now, just the way he is, troubled, headstrong, impulsive, and deeply worthy of someone’s love.  The threat of losing Damon has caused Elena to realize just how much she needs him in her life.  And though Damon IS in fact a Better Man than the one we met in the pilot, he is still a flawed character.  

But it are these flaws that bond Damon and Elena, and will undoubtedly continue to bond them throughout Season 3, as they cope with the guilt of their growing bond with one another, in Stefan’s absence, and struggle to ascertain what they mean to one another.  In many ways, “As I Lay Dying,” was an end.  An end of the Season, an end of the Sacrifice, and end of a very important period of personal growth for Damon.  But in many other ways, it is a turning point.

And when Damon sits up in his bed at the end of the episode, and looks at Elena with new and healthy eyes, some would say his new life is just beginning . . . and so is hers.

So, there you have it, folks: my picks for the Top Ten Moments from the final 11 episodes of Season 2 of TVD.  Which ones were YOUR favorites? 

P.S.  Has the TVD hiatus left you hungry for more SHIPPER-friendly Top Ten Lists?  If so, be sure to check out my super talented, and often hilarious, blogger pal Cherie’s analysis of the Top Ten FORWOOD moments from Season 2.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!  The post is made of awesome. 🙂

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Damon and Elena, Damon Salvatore, Delena, Elena Gilbert, Television Super Couples, The Vampire Diaries, Top Ten Lists

Judge Not, Lest GLEE be Judged! – A Recap of Glee’s “The Funeral”

WILL:  “Just so you know, I’m not wearing any pants under here . . .”

Nothing says “glee-ful,” like a funeral, right?  This week, Fox’s most peppy prime time program, took a turn for the teary, when it focused on the untimely death of the most beloved relative of McKinley High’s LEAST beloved coach . . .

Oops!  I don’t think she liked that remark.

And yet, the episode wasn’t an ENTIRE cryfest.  We also got to experience, a few tour de force musical numbers, a sentimental tribute to Will Schuester’s impressive sweater vest collection . . .

Hopefully, now that he’s given all of his clothing away, we’ll get to see more of THIS Mr. Schue . . .

 . . . and, perhaps, most importantly, we got to watch Jesse St. James metaphorically make breakfast on the heads of all the Glee club members that AREN’T Rachel Berry . . .

“I already got MINE, guys!  Now it’s your turn!”

So, wipe that egg off your face, and keep some Kleenex on hand for a good cry, because it’s time for your weekly Gleecap!

New Directions, New Villains and Zombies Who Like to Poop . . .

Any guesses as to how many innocent bottles of hairstyling gel were harmed in the making of this photo still?

It’s almost time for Nationals, Gleeks!  And you know what that means!  It’s time for the Glee kids to fight with one another over who gets a solo!  (YAY!) 

For reasons that completely defy the imagination, Will decides to use his perpetually miniscule budget to hire a “show choir consultant” to help New Directions succeed in its upcoming competition.  And who better for the job, then the college dropout, who broke Rachel’s heart, and completely screwed over the club last year, by pretending to be one of its members, and ditching them at the very last minute, to sing for the enemy?

How could you not trust THIS face?

That’s right, boys and girls!  It’s Jesse St. Jack Ass, reporting for duty!  And if he wasn’t so friggin hot, I’m sure I’d have lots more bad stuff to say about him . . .

Jesse informs Will and Will mindlessly agrees, because he apparently packed his brain and soul in the same box as his sweater vests that the ONLY way for New Directions to win Nationals, is if they focus their entire performance around the club’s “best” singer.  In Jesse’s defense, this DOES seem to be the strategy most commonly employed by McKinley High’s most formidable opponents.  Take, for example, Vocal Adrenaline . . .

. . . and, of course, who could forget, The Warblers . . .

Of course, Finn, the humble soul that he is, suggests that he and Rachel lead the club in a duet.  At which point Quinn (who would rather give birth to another illegitamate child, than see Rachel and her boyfriend eye f*&king eachother on stage) “kindly” reminds her “honey” that this was precisely the strategy that lost New Directions the Regional competition to Vocal Adrenaline last year.

“Don’t make me go all Lucy Caboosey on your ass!”

Adding insult to injury is St. Jackass, who tells Finn that the latter is not particularly talented at singing OR dancing.  Oh, also, according to Jesse, when Finn performs, he looks like a “zombie who likes to poop.”  This, of course, begs the question of what, exactly, a “Pooping Zombie” looks like . . .  I’m going to guess that it looks something like this . . .

 

 . . . combined with THIS .  . .

 . . . and mixed with a little of THIS . . .

(Mean or not . . . you’ve got to admit, the Jackass has a point) . . .

So, Will decides to hold “auditions” for his Glee kids to determine which of them gets to be the New Directions’ equivalent of Blaine Warbler . . .

So . . . pretty . . . cannot . . . look . . . away.

Try a Lack of Tenderness . . .

“The competition is ON, like Donkey Kong!”

Under normal circumstances, I suspect that the ENTIRE Glee club would have auditioned for the solo role at Nationals.  However, since Finn was busy perfecting his Defecating Dead Guy Face . . .

 . . . and since half of the episode was spent on Sue’s storyline the rest of the cast was . . . ummmm . . . washing their hair that day, the only ones who actually auditioned for the spot were Rachel (SURPRISE!), Kurt (SHOCKER!), Santana, and Mercedes . . .

  First up was Santana, who sang Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”

Her performance was pretty darn awesome.  And the fact that she did it stone cold SOBER unlike the REAL Amy Winehouse was majorly impressive.  She was also wearing an adorable outfit during her performance, which certainly doesn’t hurt (See above – I WANT THIS!).  Though, I must say, given Santana’s usual “take no prisoners” personality, I was a bit disappointed that when singing the line, “He kept his _______ wet,” she replaced the word “dick” with the, significantly less naughty (and, therefore, much less fun), “lips.”

What exactly do you have against ‘dicks’, Santana?” 😉

You can check out Santana’s entire performance, by clicking the internal link below . . .

Though Will thought this performance was “fabulous,” Jesse was underwhelmed, claiming that Santana missed the “emotion of the song.”  Personally, I think Jesse was just offended by the lack of “dick” in the number.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Then explain this to me:  Why did Jesse draw a picture of a puss . . . er . . . I mean . . . a cat, in his notepad, while Santana was singing? 

What’s new, Pussy Cat? 

Let that be a lesson to you, Santana:  Censorship is BAD!

Next up was Kurt.  He sang “Some People” from the Broadway Play Gypsy.  And it was. . . well . . . very . . . KURT-y.  That’s probably the best way to describe it . . .

I think part of the problem with the performance for me, was that my mind kept wandering during it.  I kept getting distracted by those bizarre skull and crossbone flare pants Kurt wore on stage, coupled with hisweird “tied in the back like a paint smock” vest.  Seriously, who DRESSES this kid?  Edward Scissorhands?

One thing that can be said for Kurt though, he is VERY FLEXIBLE!  Check out this move he managed to do, at the end of the musical number . . .

Blaine APPROVES!

But you know who DOESN’T approve of Kurt?  Jesse!  He wonders if Kurt is aware that “Some People” is a “Girl Song.”  “I make my living singing “Girl Songs” Kurt explains.  Point well taken, Kurt.  But that still doesn’t explain those ridiculous pants . . .

You can check out Kurt’s performance by clicking on the link below:

Third up was Mercedes.  She sang Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” which, if you are an afficionado of cheesy 80’s movies like me, you will remember as the song Jon Cryer’s Duckie absolutely KILLED (in a good way), during the film, Pretty in Pink . . .

If Santana’s and Kurt’s performances were good, Mercedes was AMAZING!  (Though, admittedly, her dancing abilities are nowhere near up to par with those of the Duckster!)  Even Jesse St. Jackass let out a “WOW,” when Mercedes belted out the song’s extremely challenging refrain.

This one is going on my ipod, FOR SURE!  You can check the performance out, for yourself, below . . .

And yet, despite being obviously impressed by Mercedes vocal range, Saint Jackass still had little nice to say about McKinley High’s most unapologetic diva.  He even went as far as to call the poor girl, of all things . . . LAZY!

Source

After Mercedes kindly offered to allow Jesse to “taste her fist,” Rachel took the stage with, you guessed it, her 85,000th Barbra Streisand song.

Now, I know . . . “Babs” is supposed to be Rachel’s “idol” and all . . . but COME ON!  Enough is enough!  There ARE other singers on this planet besides Barbra, that sing ballads, you know!

Anyway, Rachel sang a song called “My Man.”  Believe it or not, I had actually never heard the song, before the episode aired.  And I don’t particularly want to hear it again. 

Performance-wise, Rachel, as usual, did a fine job . . . well . . . except for two things: (1) she kept picturing Finn throughout the number, which was . . . nauseating annoying, to say the least; and (2) she made these weird, sort of constipated, facial expressions throughout the number.  Perhaps, Rachel’s Great Love for Finn is starting to make her emote like he does . . .

If you are a Rachel fan, and/or a Barbra Streisand fan, you will definitely want to check out the link below . .  .

You know who’s a HUGE Rachel fan?  Jesse St. Jackass!

OK . . . so, he might not have been such a big fan, back then.  But he’s definitely one now!  And because he really wants to touch Rachel’s Berries admires her work, St. Jackass has absolutely nothing bad at all to say about his ex girlfriend’s performance.  In fact, he thinks the Glee club’s Nationals’ performance should revolve around her . . . again.

Despite Jesse’s endorsement, however, Will ultimately decides that, rather than award ANY ONE GLEE KID a solo, the ENTIRE Glee club will sing original songs TOGETHER at Nationals . . . thereby making this entire audition process a whole load of poo.

“Haha!  Jokes on YOU, Gleeks!”

The audition process wasn’t a TOTAL loss, however.  It DID help Saint Jackass move one step closer to popping Rachel Berry’s cherries!

“Stop staring at my boobs, ya perv!”

Source

In other news . . .

A Farewell to Arms Sweater Vests

Will Schuester, this is your ‘What Not to Wear’ Fasion Intervention.”

So, remember a few weeks back, when April invited Will to be in her lame ass Broadway show with her?  Well, it turns out he’s going!  In doing so, he’s leaving EVERYONE and EVERYTHING behind him, including the Glee kids, Emma, and those HIDEOUS sweater vests.  Of course, Will hasn’t told his students this yet, because we need some sort of cliffhanger in the season finale he doesn’t want to distract them from winning Nationals. 

While at Will’s house helping him pack, Emma tells Will that she remembers the sweater vest he wore when they first met.  I can’t decide whether I think that is really sweet, or incredibly disturbing.  So, the next day, Emma shows up at school WEARING THAT VEST . .  .

Source

(OK .  . . I’ve made my decision, now . . . I’m going to go with “incredibly disturbing.”  Thank you very much.)

Hmmm . . . let’s see, what else happened this week? . . . Oh yeah . . . the funeral.

Pure Imagination

It started like any other episode, with Sue and Terri trying to foil the Glee club’s plans to fly to New York, by rerouting their plane to Libya.  (Libya?  Really?)  But then we learned that Sue had kicked Becky off of the Cheerios.  And things got pretty maudlin, pretty fast . . .

When Will finds out about this, he confronts Sue about her incredible lack of sensitivity.  Sue surprises Will by explaining that she kicked Becky off the Cheerios, because Becky reminds her too much of her older sister, Jean, who died of pneumonia in her sleep the night before.  As is often the case in these type of situations, Sue blames herself for not being there for Jean, during her final moments.

Will informs the Glee kids of Sue’s loss.  And, despite their extremely contentious relationship with the cheerleading coach, the kids arrive at her office, flowers and stuffed animals in hand, to pay their respects . . .

Finn and Kurt, both of whom know personally what it is like to lose a close family member, are particularly sympathetic to Sue, when she explains that she is too emotionally overwrought to sort through Jean’s personal items at the nursing home, or plan her funeral.  So, the pair (who have already planned a FABULOUS wedding for their parents – remember?) commandeer the Glee club to help out an Enemy in Need. 

Upon learning that Jean loved the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Glee kids decorate the funeral home, with the film in mind, adorning Jean’s coffin with extra large lollipops, gumdrops, candycanes, and, of course, Everlasting Gobstoppers. 

Now, no offense to Jean (may she rest in peace), but, am I the only one who finds the Willy Wonka movie POSITIVELY TERRIFYING?  I mean, think about it, this is a story about kids that, as a result of some pretty minor infractions, turned blue and obese, drowned in chocolate, got shrunk to ant size, were attacked by squirrels, and got dropped down loooong trash chutes. 

Just sayin’

Poorly-selected theme aside, the funeral was a truly beautiful one.  It featured, among other things, Sue’s heart-tugging speech about her sister (which Will kindly read for the typically-stone cold educator, when she became too choked up to continue), uplifting videos of the deceased, during happier times . . .

. . . and the Glee kids tear-jerking performance of the song “Pure Imagination,” which was featured in the original film. 

Oddly enough, the event inspired Finn to break up with Quinn, in the parking lot outside the funeral home.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Quinn fan, at all!  And I never particularly cared for Finn and Quinn as a couple.  But SERIOUSLY?  Talk about BAD TIMING!  I mean, how insensitive can you get?

“Are you friggin kidding me, Poopy Zombie?”

Of course, any sympathy I may have had for Quinn was lost, the moment she told Finn that she didn’t mind if he continued to have feelings for Rachel, provided he dated Quinn through next year, so that the pair had another shot of winning Prom King and Queen.

Obviously, a girl who makes THIS kind of request of the boyfriend, who is clearly trying to dump her for SOMEONE ELSE, is either extremely shallow, or has pitifully low self esteem.  (Maybe a little bit of both?)  That being said, Quinn’s emotional exit from the car following the Big Dump, illustrated that the Wanna-Be Prom Queen’s feelings for Finn may, in fact, be deeper than she would like the casual onlooker to believe . . . 

Oh, and she also threatened to do something naughty to Finn at Nationals.  Hmmm . . . I wonder what she’s planning . . .

Hide your bunnies and your balls, Finn!

The question is: now, that Finn has FINALLY made up his mind until he inevitably changes it again, can he win back Rachel, before she falls headfirst into the ass of Jesse St. Jackass?  Do we really care? 

Only time will tell . . .

In other potential Character Redemption News, by way of saying “Thanks for the funeral,”  Sue has decided that she no longer wants to send the Glee kids to their certain deaths in Libya.  (PROGRESS!) She’d much rather . . . run for a seat in the House of Representatives?

You’ve really gotta love a Random Plot Point, like this one!

Oh, and she let Becky back into the Cheerios, even going as far as to offer the loveable teen the position of Captain, for the following year. 

When the tightly-knit pair hugged one another, toward the end of the episode, I must admit, I got a little misty-eyed .  . .

Did I mention that Will’s ridiculously annoying ex Terri (she of the fake pregnancies, and such) is moving to Miami to become manager of the Bed, Bath and Beyond Sheetz n’ Things store, down there? 

Sayonara Sucka!

Or that this SAME woman randomly decided to get the ENTIRE GLEE CLUB first class tickets to New York for Nationals?  (The “Sheetz” in Lima must pay REALLY WELL!)  Yeah . . . I thought it was totally random too. 

But, instead of talking about side characters, who I DON’T care about very much, let’s talk about ones that I actually LIKE . . . who were totally missing from this episode . . .

Where’s the Beiste?

And the Sunshine?

And why the F*&K didn’t PUCK have any lines or shirtless scenes this week?

Next week, is Glee season finale!  (Can you believe this show has been on  for two full seasons already?) In honor of the Big Event, the entire cast will be heading to New York City for the National competition! 

You can check out the promo for this Sure-to-Be-Epic episode HERE:

So, my fellow Gleeks, the time has come for you to make your predictions:  Will New Directions  beat out Sunshine Corazon and her Vocal Adrenaline teammates, this year?  Or are they destined for yet another crushing defeat?  You’ll have to tune in next week, in order to find out.  See ya then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Two Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Shattered Bass”

“Remember when I got really wasted . . . and punched a glass window . . . and  glass shattered .  . . and some of it hit Blair in the face?   NO?  That’s good, because I don’t really remember it either.  Ah, the wonders of Drunken Binges and Rage Blackouts not to mention schizophrenic, often ridiculous, but still oddly entertaining, episode writing.”

So, I think after last week’s episode, a lot of us thought (hoped?) that this episode would focus on Chuck’s  immense guilt over how he behaved during “The Princesses and the Frog,” and his quest to right the wrongs in his life, while winning back the woman of his dreams . . .

Source

Well, as it turns out . . . not so much.  Instead, the episode focused on two Evil Looney Tunes . . .

Wrong Evil Looney Tunes!

Those are the ones!

 . . . and two very important lessons:  (1) NEVER forget to take your anti-psychotic meds, or you may just end up in the principal’s office, begging the guy you’re crushing on to call you another person’s name during sex . . .

CHARLIE:  “Call me, Serena!”

DAN:  “But . . . I thought your name was, Charlie.”

CHARLIE: *whistles awkwardly*

DAN:  “Oh I get it!  This is your polite way of telling me that you are a F&*KING NUTBALL, and of reminding me that the guy who played my role in Single White Female ended up being hacked to death by a stiletto heel . . .

CHARLIE:  “Pretty much . . .”

 . . . and (2) DON’T, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, tell Nate Archibald ANYTHING, unless you want the Whole World to know . . .

“Tell me your troubles, and I will sing them from mountaintops.  I’m like a low-tech Gossip Girl, in that way.”

Now, from a “Character Development” perspective, this was VERY bad form, on the part of Gossip Girl.  After all, by this point, I think it’s pretty obvious to most fans that Chuck and Blair are intended by the writers to be one another’s “endgame” . . .

Chemistry like this doesn’t come in a bottle . . . and can overcome even the shoddiest of plot devices.

So, as a writer, if you plan to tear down one of the character’s in your Endgame SHIP in the eyes of fans, in order to promote drama, angst, and a ratings bump, the least you could do is attempt to redeem him, by illustrating some remorse on his part for what he has done.  Aside from a few throwaway lines from Chuck, we didn’t really get that this week, which was somewhat disappointing.  On the other hand, Gossip Girl is a show written predominately for entertainment.  And “Shattered Bass” was nothing, if not entertaining . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

A Dream is a Wish Your Chuck Makes  . . .

Those “Classic Movie” Dream Sequences Blair often has at the beginning of an episode are really weird, aren’t they?  I know they are often meant to illustrate what’s going through Blair’s mind, in a “cute and quirky” way.  But, honestly, we didn’t need a dream sequence to tell us that Blair was having difficulty choosing between Prince Louis and Chuck, did we?  I mean, how dense do these writers think we are? 

I don’t even know what movie this was supposed to be!  (Someone on Tumblr said it was Roman Holiday.  Must have missed that one on my Netflix Queue.)  Oh . . . and I didn’t like Blair’s hair in the dream either. You would think Sleeping Blair would have better taste than that . . . 

Anywho .  . .

We cut to the Empire Hotel, where Chuck doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by the brand new GAPING HOLE in his window.  (What if the birds fly in and crap, on his expensive furniture?)  He also doesn’t seem to understand at all why Nate is mad at him, which is a bit disconcerting.  (Though, in Chuck’s defense, Nate probably should have spent less time, judgmentally staring at Drunk Chuck, as the latter took his anger out on that Mean Ole Window, and more time TRYING TO STOP CHUCK FROM ACCIDENTALLY HURTING HIMSELF AND BLAIR.)

“It’s a good thing I’m so pretty.  Because I tend to suck ROYALLY, most of the time.”

(By the way, I’ve been trying to figure out how much time has passed in between last week’s episode and this one?  Based solely on Chuck and Nate’s conversation, I assumed it was just the next morning.  But then things happened later in the episode  — like Blair’s parents’ impromptu planning of herengagement party — that made me think at least a few days had past.  Perhaps, the timeline was left intentionally ambiguous, due to the way the writers had opted to ignore treat Chuck’s storyline, from last week.)

So, Nate announces to Chuck that he is going to be staying over at Raina’s for a few days.  And Chuck basically responds by saying, “Suit yourself, Lame-o!  Get out and stay out!  I own this ENTIRE HOTEL!”

CHUCK:  “I bet RAINA’S apartment doesn’t have a Wii Entertainment System, or a lifetime supply of POT.”

NATE:  “I am so screwed . . .”

Charlie’s Angels (are probably on vacation)

“This one time . . . at band camp . . . I murdered my boyfriend in his sleep . . .  by shoving so many candies down his throat that he choked on them.  Would you like a Gummi Bear?”

Those of you (like me) who were INSANELY excited that Manessa was “studying abroad,” and, therefore, would be out of our hair for good . . .

 .  . . were probably a tad disappointed to see her again toward the beginning of this episode . . .

As it turns out, Manessa (having just been burned by Charlie, while trying to screw SERENA and BLAIR).  Now, all the sudden, is back to wanting to “help” Serena defeat Charlie . . .

“Please talk to me.  Otherwise, I won’t have any lines in this episode, and they won’t pay me.”

Initially, at least, Serena tells Manessa to F*&k OFF!

Cut to Dan Humphrey Dumpty’s House, where Charlie is telling Dan that her favorite book is Flowers in the Attic, which, among other things, is about a brother and sister, who occasionally like to DO IT with one another . . .

This really should have been Dan’s first sign that all was not kosher in Charlie-land . .  .

But as we know, all too well, Oh Danny Boy, is SUPER NAIVE, not to mention, a real Sucker for the Psychos.  And so he invites Charlie to the Charity Ball taking place that night Blair’s and Serena’s old high school.  Charlie then, not so subtly, brings up Dan’s and Serena’s high school relationship, which Dan seems almost too eager to discuss with her.  This is something that people in the BIZ like to call . . . FORESHADOWING . . .

CHARLIE:  “Mmmm . . .  mind if I pretend you’re my brother?”

The Return of Cyrus Rose (and Blair’s Deliciously Nasty Sense of Humor)

“Drink Vitamin Water . . . or Blair Waldorf will NOT be your friend.”

After some ridiculously blatant, and completeley obnoxious, product placement / advertising for a company that shall remain nameless SEE ABOVE.  Blair’s Ma and Step-Pa discuss with their daughter plans for her upcoming engagement party.  Specifically, they talk about how they plan to use said party to win over Princess Sophie, and convince her that Blair is, in fact, Princess Material.  When Serena enters the room, Eleanor (who undoubtedly didn’t watch last week’s episode of Gossip Girl.  FOR SHAME, Eleanor!) politely inquires whether Serena will be attending the party in Blair’s honor . . .

“Well, I would love to go.  Unfortunately, I already have plans to have sex with a Guest Star during that time . . .”

Before Serena even has time to formulate an answer, Blair’s got HER response, ready and waiting.  “YOU are not invited.  I’d like to actually be engaged when it’s over.”

Serena can’t, for the life of her, understand why Blair hasn’t forgiven her for attempting multiple times to EMBARASS HER IN FRONT OF A ROYAL FAMILY and TOTALLY RUIN HER LAST CHANCE HAPPINESS.  Talk about holding on to a grudge!  After all it’s been . . .a whole TWO DAYS (maybe?), since this happened!  I mean, come on BLAIR!  What gives?

Of course, Blair’s response to Serena’s whiny / half-assed “I’m sorry” is PURE PERFECTION!  “Like everything else in your life, your apology was underwhelming,” she replies snidely.

Sometimes, I wish I could put Blair Waldorf in my pocket, and keep her there, as I go about my day.  I mean, seriously, how handy would it be to ALWAYS have the perfect nasty remark for EVERY SITUATION?

Speaking of nasty . . .

HEY!  JACK BASS is BACK!

“Hey Raina, do you think there’s any chance your dad would be interested in trading your body for a hotel?”

If you recall, at the end of last week’s episode, Raina called Jack Ass.  It turns out that she wants his help in bringing down Chuck, in order to avenge her mother’s death.  In return for his help, Raina promises Jack Ass the “run of Bass Industries.”  (Now, I’m not entirely sure how SHE can give him this, considering she has NO OWNERSHIP INTEREST WHATSOEVER in the company.  But, no matter!)  Jack Ass, at least initially, seems intrigued by Raina’s offer, but even more intrigued with the notion of breaking into the Thorpe pantalones.  Nate Archibald is not amused .  . .

Always a PRO at being extremely creepy, and Dirty Old Man-esque, but still oddly sexy playing both sides, Jack schedules a meeting with Papa Thorpe, and cuts a deal with HIM too.  Jack Ass promises to personally bring down Chuck Bass, in exchange for a boatload of money.  He also plans to give Russell the one piece of furniture he wishes to “inherit’ from Bart Bass, a key to the dead guy’s old lockbox, which, as we know, is currently located in Chuck’s hotel apartment.

JACK:  “Hey Russell, would you be interested in having sex with me, in exchange for a hotel?”

RUSSELL:  “You don’t OWN any hotels.”

JACK:  “Can’t blame a guy for trying, right?”

A Word of Warning (a LOOK of Eye-Fucking)

CHUCK:  “I’m truly sorry for what I did to you, Blair.  It was awful.  And there are no excuses for it.”

BLAIR:  “It’s OK, Chuck.  I get it.  You aren’t a Bad Guy.  You are just written that way, sometimes . . .”

While taking a leisurely city stroll with Louis, and a slightly less acerbic than usual Princess Sophie, Blair spies Jack Ass in the distance.   Knowing trouble when she sees it, the Queen B makes some lame excuse to leave the Royals, so that she can f*&k warn Chuck . . .

“Princess Sophie, there is something I’ve always wanted to ask you.  Are you genuinely this miserable all the time, or do your daily Botox injections simply prevent you from smiling?”

Surprisingly more astute than her own son, on matters concerning his fiance, Princess Sophie (who clearly watches Gossip Girl regularly) informs Louis that he should follow Blair, to make sure that she isn’t lying to him, and secretly meeting Chuck behind Louis’ back . . . which . . . of course, she TOTALLY IS!

Since Chuck and Blair will ALWAYS be connected in some way, even when they are not technically together, Blair instantly knows that she will be able to find Chuck on the rooftop of his hotel . . .

Please!  Don’t jump!  The Raccoon Zombie has been fired from Gossip Girl.  She will never eat our trash again!”

“You finally came to your senses,” says Chuck. 

And though Chuck’s eyes lit up in such a beautiful way, upon seeing the woman he loves, that, under any other circumstances, this moment would have melted my heart, the fact that Chuck said THIS made me want to throw my sneakers at the television screen!  Came to HER SENSES?  Because, just two(?) days after your earning of a Gold Medal in Olympic Wall Punching / Glass Breaking, she’s “finally” willing to talk to you?

Come on, Chuck!  Even NATE thinks that was a douchbag thing to say.  And he’s a total moron!

It’s almost as if Chuck and Serena both coordinated their outfits for the episode, so that they could both be wearing Matching Cloaks of Selfish Entitlement, the first time each spoke with Blair.  “You have no idea what I’ve been going through, since that night,” Chuck explains.    (What YOU’VE been going through, Chuck?   Oh honey!  Someone needs a “How Not to F*&k Up” lesson in Blair wooing STAT!)

In terms of their actual conversation, Blair simply warns Chuck that his Evil Uncle is back in town, and then leaves . . .

But, thanks largely to Ed Westwick’s and Leighton Meester’s superb acting skills, fans can see there is so much more to this reunion than “meets the ear.’  Both Chuck and Blair look at one another with longing, sadness, hope, and the fear of losing their one true love forever.  It’s a simple scene, but one that is both quietly moving, and packs an emotional wallop, as well.

Not surprisingly, Blair is seen leaving the Empire Hotel, by the ONE person who shouldn’t be seeing such things . . .

 

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“Every move you make . . . every vow you break . . . every smile you fake . . . every claim you stake .  . . I’ll be WATCHING YOU!”

Speaking of people who need to be watched . . .

Charlie and the Choco-NUTS Factory

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You’ve really gotta hand it to Rufus Humphrey!  He does the “bewildered and frightened because my son might be screwing a homicidal maniac” look like NOBODY’s BUSINESS . . .

GG fans were blessed with Rufus’ hilarious facial expressions TWICE this episode.   The first time was when he noticed an EMPTY bottle of Charlie’s Don’t-Be-So-Crazy pills, and figured out that she had stopped refilling them.  The second time was after Charlie DID have the pills refilled, but he found them dumped out in the trash can, along with the once-again empty Don’t-Be-So-Crazy pill bottle.

Meanwhile, Charlie has no clue what to wear to the Charity Ball.  And Serena (who TOTALLY freaked out at the notion of Blair kissing Dan once, but, oddly enough, seems not the least bit threatened by Charlie’s “puppy dog” rabid pitbull crush on the guy) suggests that Charlie demand access to, and raid, her personal trust fund, in order to purchase a suitable dress . . .  Gotta love the priorities on this show!

“Ahhh . . . the joys of coming from a filthy rich family, and, never, ever having to work, or have any ambition, whatsoever.”

Charlie follows Serena’s suggestion, and comes back with a suitably expensive dress.  Unfortunately, we never get to see it.  Charlie takes ONE look at a picture of Serena necking with Dan Humpty Dumpty, in the Special Gold Dress that Serena wore during her cotillion, and suddenly, all the circuits short in her brain . . .

Charlie arrives at  Blair’s engagement party looking EXACTLY like Serena van der Woodsen, circa 2007!  And when Serena calls her out on it, part of me is REALLY hoping for a TOTAL Catfight . . .

But alas, Doofus Dan TOTALLY sticks up for Charlie, and takes her to Constance Billard Academy for the Charity Event.  It is there, in the Headmistress’ office, behind closed doors, that THIS happens . . .

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There’s nothing like learning that your new Psycho Girlfriend wants to SWITCH IDENTITIES with your old (Also Kind of Psycho, but in a more normal way) Girlfriend to RUIN THE MOOD!  I guess Serena and Manessa, were right about this one, after all, huh Dan?  (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.)

Meanwhile . . .

Show me all your PARTS, Blair!  (Especially the dirty ones.)

So, when I found out we were going to be dating, I rented the first three seasons of Gossip Girl.  It looks like you enjoy having kinky sex in strange places.  What are your thoughts about having not-particularly-kinky sex in a castle?  If you want, Princess Sophie can WATCH!”

Upon hearing the good news that Princess Sophie has conveniently deemed Blair an acceptable princess for Louis.  (She and Cyrus Rose apparently bonded over a love of birds (?)) . . .

Louis confronts Blair about her little Rooftop Rendezvous with Chuck.  Matching the small scar on Blair’s face with the bandage on Chuck’s hand, Louis puts two and two together, and figures out that Blair Waldorf has some SERIOUSLY dirty little secrets in her closet.  Louis insists that Blair confess her sins secrets to him.  (Why doesn’t he just look them up on Gossip Girl, like his MOM did?)  “If you want us to work, you need to show me everything,” Louis pleads.  “All of your parts .  . . even the ones you are ashamed of.”

Louis and Blair then proceed to makeout . . .

.  . . but not before he gives her an ultimatum.  “Show up at [the Constance Billard Charity Ball], only if you are willing to share your life with me.”

“Geez, dude!  I don’t have time to tell you ALL that!  Just read the books, and be done with it!”

Of course, Blair recognizes that there is only ONE person who loves her for all her Dark and Twisty Parts, as well as her Light and Fluffy ONES.  After all, HE is JUST as dark and twisty as she is . . .

Blair worries that Louis won’t love her anymore, when he learns how much she enjoys sex games, limo sex, and weird black and white movie dreams.  And, of course, the person to whom she chooses to confess all this to is . . . wait for it . . . Cyrus Rose!

“If you would excuse me, for a moment, Blair.  I have . . . ah .  . . a hotdog that needs squeezing.”

Despite being, perhaps, inappropriately turned on by his stepdaughter’s words, Cyrus sweetly convinces Blair to come clean to Louis about her DARKSIDE.  The problem, of course, is that Blair might not make it to the party in time . . .

Russell Gets Burned . . . So he BURNS Someone Else . . .

Who would have thought these three would end up forming the PERFECT Bromantic Trio?

As he had earlier promised to Russell Thorpe, Jack Ass (along with Nate?) confronts a seemingly inebriated Chuck Bass, claiming him to be insane, for what he did to Blair (among other things), and wanting to ship him off to rehab .  . .

Chuck puts on a jolly good show, screaming like a loon, and beating up on both Jack Ass and Nate . . .

CATHARSIS!

“After everything you’ve done to me, I’d be insane NOT to want to beat YOU,” Chuck exclaims.  (And he’s kind of got a point there . . .)

Eventually, Jack Ass’s goons cart Chuck away . . . (or do they?)  Jack Ass then tosses Russell the key to the lockbox he had requested. 

But when Russell returns to the Empire Hotel to search the box, Chuck, Nate, Jack Ass, and some cops are right outside waiting for Russell.  And it is . . . AWESOME!

It’s genuinely nice to know that Jack Ass doesn’t TOTALLY live up to his name.  And that, while he may be willing to buy his nephew’s girlfriend, in exchange for a hotel .  . .

 . . . he’s not quite willing to sell out his own flesh and blood for Russell Thorpoop.  Low and behold, Chuck Bass now magically has footage of Russell locking up the burned down hotel, and leaving his OWN wife in there to DIE . . . all because she wanted to dump him for Bart Bass . . .

“I know . . . I’m such a stud.”

Apparently, BART was the one Russell meant to be killed in the fire, not Avery.  And yet, BART agreed to keep things quiet about the murder, because HE felt partly responsible.  (OK . . .  so basically BART BASS saved YOUR ASS, RUSSELL THORPOOP, and yet, you STILL wanted revenge on his son!  What an Asshat, you are!)

BUSTED!

Seriously Thorpoop!  When BART BASS comes out looking like the Good Guy in a situation, you’ve gotta know you are Pretty F*&king AWFUL human being! 

But, lest things start getting too maudlin, you can always count on Jack Ass to provide some comic relief . . .

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You’ve really gotta love characters who (1) know that what’s going on around them is just completely ridiculous; and (2) seem to understand, instinctively that they are on a TV show, and that none of this really matters.  Jack Bass is CLEARLY one of these characters.  Other, Fabulous Jack Ass gems uncovered, during this episode, include: 

 “Can we call the cops already, so that we can leave.  I’m hungry and all you appear to have in your fridge are olives and hallucinogenic mushrooms.”

AND

“I can’t choose my entre with Hallmark Hall of Fame playing in the background.  I’m calling the cops.”

DUDE!  I’m keeping this guy in my pocket too!  (But not in the same pocket I’m keeping Blair in.  I don’t want ANY funny stuff, going on in my pants!)

Mommy wants herself some Jack Ass! 

Being the benevolent soul he is, Chuck refuses to take Russell’s company from him, even though it is offered to him, by the desperate loser, who seems more worried that his daughter will find out that he’s a Sadistic Psycho Liller than anything else.  Chuck promises not to tell Raina that her dad killed her mom, provided Russell leave town and never come back. 

With Thorpoop out of the picture, Chuck bids a fond farewell to his Fun Uncle . . .

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All together now:  “Awwwwwww!”

 . . . and heads off to Constance Billard to, in his words, “make sure the nice guy doesn’t win.”  You’ve really gotta hand it to Chuck, I mean here’s a guy who makes no bones about who he is, or what he wants.  And what he wants is THIS . . .

That being said, it really is a shame that Prince Louis ended up being SUCH A NICE GUY .  . . because I suspect even the staunchest of Chair fans are going to feel a bit bad for him, when he inevitably loses the girl . . .

Wrong place, wrong SHIP, buddy!

Two people who will certainly NOT be feeling bad for Louis, however, are Mini Blair and Serena.  (Remember them?)  When Chuck arrives at Constance Billard, these two girls have some words of encouragement for their Male Idol . . .

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“I knew he wouldn’t give up on her.”

As for Blair, she’s on her way to Constance Billard too.  The question is, will she get there in time?

The Part Where Nate Opens his Big Fat Trap and RUINS Everything (Then again, maybe not .  . .)

NATE:  “So, it’s been less an a full episode, since you and I made Chuck’s life miserable. What can we do?”

RAINA:  “Let’s send my father off the deep end, and try to get Blair Waldorf killed.”

NATE:  “Great idea!  Why didn’t I think of that?”

RAINA:  “You tend not to think of anything at all, except for sex and reefers.”

NATE:  “You know me so well . . .”

So, remember when Russell made Chuck promise not to tell Raina that he was O.J. Simpson’s Doppelganger?  It turns out he should have extended the request to EVERYBODY in the room.  Because, of course, Nate just CAN’T WAIT to tell Raina that her father killed her mother. . .  just like he couldn’t wait to tell Raina that CHUCK’S DAD killed her mother, LAST WEEK. 

 In the limo, on the way to Constance Billard, a blubbering Raina confronts her father, and cuts him out of her life for the SECOND time in about two weeks.  (You would think he would be used to this by now.)

“Please Lord, let this interminable storyline be over!”

“Ha ha, that’s what YOU think!”

His reputation tarnished, his daughter having abandoned him again even though I don’t think she ever UN abandoned him, from the first time, Russell feels he has absolutely nothing to lose.  And for the second time this hour, a character’s brain short circuits .  . .

Russell calls Blair, pretending that Chuck wants to jump off the roof of his Hotel, and is asking for her.  Thanks to Russell, Blair rushes immediately to Chuck’s aid.  In doing so, of course, she neglects to visit Louis at Constance Billard, so that they can have their all-important “talk.” 

It’s official.  Crazy Russell is Team Chair!  The problem is, he also seems to want Blair DEAD, as a way of getting vengeance on Chuck for ruining his life.  (Because, remember, as Jack Ass said earlier in the episode, “Nothing sends Chuck Bass off the deep end faster than losing Blair Waldorf.”) 

So, basically, the episode ends with Blair alone on the roof with that Wackadoo Russell Thorpoop . . .

And if you think that Blair is actually going to DIE, than I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn for $2.00.   Still, it’s a pretty cool cliffhanger right?  You can check out the promo for next week’s installment of Gossip Girl here . . .

Until then . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Four Funerals and a Naked Cuddle? – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Sun Also Rises”

“Oh NO!  Don’t cry!  Please don’t cry!  Let’s try to focus on the Happy Things, like the fact that Michael Trevino spent this entire episode naked . . .”

“I have the most awesome nipples on the planet.”

*Takes Deep Breath*  Hey, Fangbangers!  How are you doing?  Are you holding up, OK?  As you well know, this was probably one of the most intense, and heart-wrenching, episodes of TVD history.  And no one will hold it against you, if, while you watched it, you engaged in a little Soulful Crying . . .

You may have ventured over into the territory of the Ugly Cry Face . . .

And that’s ALL RIGHT!  There is no shame in that! 

You know, I was trying to figure out what tone I should be taking with this recap.  I mean, on one hand, I usually like to keep things light.  But making fun of an episode featuring FOUR DEAD PEOPLE, seems a tad inappropriate, even for ME! (Well . . . two of them at least.  When it comes to the demise of a certain VERY Unlikeable Wolfgirl, and an EXTREMELY B*tchy Witch, all bets are off!). 

Hours and hours of painful faux-wolf transformations, followed by some time spent rolling in the dirt, plus getting her HEART RIPPED OUT OF YOUR CHEST, and this one still looks like she just stepped out of a salon.  Talk about UNFAIR!

There’s also a lot of great acting and plotting in the “The Sun Also Rises” that deserves to be given its do.  So, while this recap may be a bit more “somber” than most, I’ll try my best to cover everything that happened, while hopefully, still entertaining you a bit along the way . . .

See?  Already you are entertained!

Sound good?  Let’s get started .  . .

(By the way, did you notice that I always called her Useless Aunt Jenna, but now that she’s gone, doing that makes me feel like a TOTAL asshat Aunt Jenna voiced this week’s “Previously on the Vampire Diaries?”  Kind of fitting right?)

So, let me get this straight, you want me to open the show?  But Stefan always opens the show.  Why do I get to do it this week?  Oh, wait a second here .  . . you aren’t trying to give my character a ‘Poignant Sendoff’ are you?  ARE YOU?”

Let Sleeping Werewolves Lie . . .

“Shoot me in the face, I’ll bite you in the balls.  Just sayin’  . . . MATT”

“Ahhh .  . . see that’s what YOU think!  I gave up my balls on this show, a LOOOONNNNG time ago.”

You know you are in a maudlin TVD episode, when the storyline revolving around SHOOTING wolves, painful werewolf transformations, homicidal moms, and a brutal breakup functions as the COMIC RELIEF!  The episode begins with Caroline trying to secure Were-Tyler behind a locked gate, while Matt proceeds to go Rambo on the animal’s ass.  (PETA must have LOVED this one!)

It’s interesting how this scene pretty much telegraphs the Matt / Caroline breakup that occurs at the end of the episode, and the main reasons behind it.  (Then again, considering that Matt has spend the past few episodes plotting AGAINST Caroline with the EEEVVVIL Lizard Forbes, one could argue that this relationship has really been dead in the water, ever since Matt found out that Caroline was a vampire, back in “The House Guest.”)

“Whatchu talkin about, Recapper?”

First, obviously, Matt shoots Were-Tyler.  (By the way, since when did MATT become this GREAT SHOT?  Who the heck ever took this orphan out hunting?  Vampire Vicki?) 

The fact that a gunshot wound CAN’T actually kill this supernatural creature, doesn’t mean that Matt didn’t INTEND to shoot to kill.  Some have disagreed with me on this point.  But I took his actions here as a sure sign that Matt has extreme difficulty seeing the HUMAN BEING, behind the supernatural creature.  Admittedly, he does come around a bit on this point, toward the end of the episode . . . but just not ENOUGH.

As luck would have it, however, the bullet wound  incapacitates Tyler, preventing him from breaking through the wrought iron gates.  This ultimately allows Caroline and Matt to (1) pass through those gates, (2) step over the “sleeping Tyler,” (3) lock said gates from the INSIDE, and (4) return to the safety of Caroline’s house.

That may end the problems with Were-Tyler.   But the problems between Matt and Caroline are just beginning.  Matt offers to help Caroline with the situation, and she REFUSES, probably because (1) as the kickass Vampire Barbie she is, Caroline is about ten times strong than Matt’s wimpy ass; and (2) she doesn’t entirely trust that Matt won’t try to kill Tyler again.  “I’VE GOT IT,” Caroline says snippily.

“Oh . . . my sweet manhood.  Oh, how I miss you.”

In return, when Caroline asks Matt to hold her hand (adding FURTHER insult to injury on the “I’m stronger than you” front), so that the two can navigate around an anesthetized Tyler, Matt hesitates for a LONG TIME.  I’m not even sure if he ultimately DID IT.  Granted, this may just be Matt’s Male Ego trying to show Caroline who’s not so much boss, and not wanting to be mothered by his own girlfriend.  But, mainly, I think it illustrates the notion that Matt STILL doesn’t entirely trust Caroline in her vampire form. 

Ultimately, it is THESE issues (along with some other ones) . . .

“Matt who?”

 . . . that completely tear apart the flimsy fabric of this more-or-less already broken relationship . . .

Back at Alchy Alaric’s Crib . . .

Damon Penetrates Katherine’s Emotional Fortress of Solitude (and Then Pulls Out)

See what I did there? 😉

KATHERINE:  “So, I know you’re like ‘dying’ and all, but would it be too much to ask for a rousing Goodbye F*&k?”

Back when the promo for this episode first aired, many of you noted the genuine look of concern in Katherine’s eyes, as she surveyed the increasingly gnarly werewolf bite on Damon’s arm.

OK . . . that is SO not a hickey!  (Great arm definition though.  That vamp works out!)

And while I DO think that Katherine loves Damon to the extent that she CAN, her love is a selfish and possessive one.  Katherine’s concern over Damon’s dying seems more related to her OWN loss of a GREAT Sex Partner feelings of abandonment and neglect, as well as her fear that there will be one less person on the planet pining over her.

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That being said, it was VERY satisfying to see Damon, who had spent centuries mooning and moping over Katherine, FINALLY coming to terms with the MANY deficiencies of Katherine’s character.  Of course, the exchange wasn’t NEARLY as satisfying as THIS one . . .

Damon immediately calls Kat out on the part she played in Jenna’s demise.  After all, it was KATHERINE who led Jenna into the trap that resulted in her being Klaus’ vampiric sacrifice.  And Katherine did this, even THOUGH she had already consumed the vervain Damon himself had given her, and clearly, had a choice in the matter.  “Somehow you are always the only one who wins, Katherine.  How did that happen?”  Damon asks.

“Because I didn’t let love get in the way,” Katherine replies.

This, of course, calls to mind the much-discussed concept of vampires “turning off their feelings,” which will be touched upon again, later in this episode.  One could argue that Katherine acts the way she does because she simply “never turned her feelings back ON.”  However, I think that’s an overly simplistic analysis of the situation.  Because unlike OTHER vampires who have “turned off” their feelings in the past, like the stoic, verging on sociopathic, Isobel . . .

 . . . and the Bloodaholic Stefan of Old  . . .

 . . . Katherine seems VERY in touch with her emotions.  She often manages to experience JOY in her life . . .

. . . and shows obvious signs of fear, when her existence is being threatened, right before her self-preservation instincts set in.

No, Katherine is just a manipulative biatch.  And, for the most part, she’s probably been that way for her entire life.  The difference now, is that Damon Salvatore has her number. “Enjoy your life alone,” he says icily, as he walks out of her life.   For good?  Somehow, I doubt it . . .

For Damon’s part, the fact that he was willing to sacrifice HIMSELF, not just for Elena, but for JENNA (The werewolf bite ultimately prevented him from doing this.), shows tremendous growth in his character.  Remember THIS line?

(My apologies to the owner of THIS awesome tumblr, who’s site I neglected to properly link in my last recap.)

Well, of course, us Delena fans’ hearts just melted over this, viewing it as the ULTIMATE in romantic statements you can make to the person you love more than life itself.  And yet, it also resulted in Elena de-staking ELIJAH, which, ulimately, may not have been the best decision.  (More on that later.) 

On the otherhand, the “I will always choose you,” line exemplified the ways in which  Damon’s unparalleled love for Elena sometimes prevented him from seeing the Big Picture.  And the Big Picture, is THIS:  Sometimes “saving” someone, isn’t just about preserving their life; it’s also about preserving their heart, by protecting the people that mean something to that person.  Damon’s willingness to save JENNA, in this episode, shows that he understands that Big Picture now.  This understanding, undoubtedly makes him an EVEN STRONGER candidate for Elena’s love . . .

Just sayin’ . . .

Unfortunately, saving Jenna was not in the cards for Damon, this week.  “I’m sorry Damon, but Jenna is dead, and there is nothing you can do about it,” notes Katherine, prophetically. 

“Oh, my GOD!  He killed me! (WTF?)”

“Got any aspirin?  I feel like Death!”

Still Useless, but I can’t call her that anymore Aunt Jenna wakes up with what I imagine is the WORST HANGOVER EVER!  Being forced to drink gallons of Old Fart Vampire Blood, then being MURDERED, then being tossed into a Burning Ring of Fire, will do that to a girl.  What’s worse, she seems to have blocked the entire event out of her consciousness, forcing Poor Elena to have explain it to her ALL OVER AGAIN. 

“Do I REALLY have to be the PARENT in this situation?  AGAIN!  Seriously Aunt Jenna, if there was ever a time I needed to be mothered it is RIGHT NOW!”

It’s important to note here, that the minute that Jenna awakens, she says that she feels different and strange.  After all, it is JENNA’S accounting of what it feels like to be a newly turned vampire in transition, that helps Elena to determine whether she has, in fact, made that transition herself, by the end of the episode.  Unfortunately, Elena BARELY has enough time to tell Jenna’s she DEAD, and give her the crash course on Intro to Vampirism 101, before that EVIL Wanker HOBAG Greta comes out to play . . .

Man, I know she didn’t stick around all that long, but I REALLY hated this b*tch!  Seeing her smug, puckery, self-satisfied face on my screen had the odd effect of actually making me MISS Luka!

Remember him?

“Oh my god!  He killed me.  I’m a vampire,” remarks Jenna, a line that would be bizarrely hilarious on ANY show other than this one and, maybe, True Blood.

“And I bet you’re hungry,” coos Greta Hobag.

Elena, who knows what’s coming next, starts Freaking the F*&k OUT!  So, Greta decides to give her some impromptu flying lessons . . .

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

It turns out that living conditions in Burning Ring of Fire Number One, were getting kind of cramped.  So, Greta treats Elena to an “upgrade” by sending her to Burning Ring of Fire Number Two, which is much roomier, and comes with a better view of the park . . .

Greta then slits her own wrist.  Oh, DIE!  Please DIE!  I think to myself.  But alas, this is no Suicide Attempt on Greta’s part.  This is merely a FEEDING.  And Jenna, possibly mistaking Greta’s arm for some Chunky Monkey . . .

Just trying to lighten the mood here, folks!

. . . starts gnawing at Greta’s bloody skin, like it’s an Ear of Corn. 

*nom-nom, nom-nom*  “Tastes like CHICKEN!”

Then THIS happens . . .

Coolest trick ever!  The most interesting thing I can do with MY eyes is cross them.

By feeding on HUMAN blood, shortly after death, Jenna has officially completed her vampire transformation, thus making her a “ripe” candidate for Klaus’ Sacrifice ritual.  From across their respective burning circles, Jenna and Elena view one another, as only two family members who are no longer the same SPECIES can.  Once again, Elena takes on the MOTHERING role for her Useless until the end terrified Aunt and Guardian.  “Jenna, look at me.  It’s going to be OK,” Elena lies through her teeth.

“It’s OK Elena?  It’s going to be OK?  I just DIED, and ate some girl’s arm!  Now I’m in a circle of FIRE, out in the middle of nowhere, being babysat by two chanting psychopaths.  How does this satisfy your definition of OK?”

Meanwhile, back in the underground tomb, Bonnie and Jeremy are spending a leisurely romantic evening reading by candlelight . . .

“So, if our ancestors used to date eachother, does that mean there’s a chance we might be related?”

JEREMY:  “Hey Bonnie, did you know that there are 365 diferent sexual positions?  One for each day of the year?”

BONNIE:  “You had to look in a BOOK to find THAT?  So, what formerly EMO, but now incredibly hot, guys, don’t believe in internet porn?”

The purpose of Bonnie’s and Mini Gilbert’s underground research session is to  allow Jeremy the screentime he’s been sorely lacking these past couple of episodes find a spell that can somehow keep Elena from GOING VAMP, after Klaus kills her.  Truthfully, Jeremy’s and Bonnie’s search for this spell seems kind of half-assed. In fact, both parties seem more interested in eye f*&king, shoulder nuzzling, and making sexually suggestive historical references than rescuing their friend from the Ignominy of the Undead.  “I think [my ancestor, Emily] had a thing for [your ancestor, John Gilbert] remarks Bonnie, with a seductive wink.

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And just in case you actually BELIEVED Bonnie’s lamely flirtatious statement, please allow me to show you something.  THIS was Emily Gilbert . . .

She’s kind of hot, right?  OK . . . now THIS is John Gilbert, on whom Emily supposedly had this HUGE CRUSH . . .

Did I mention, the dude was batsh*t insane, and seemingly spent his entire life writing down his every thought in about 85,000 DIARIES?  Yeah, Emily Gilbert!  This one sounds like a Real Keeper!  You gotta give props to Bonnie for trying, though . .  .

Unfortunately, this little slightly nauseating moment is interrupted by Cock Block Alaric, who, ever since his delivery of the “message” that the Sacrifice begins tonight, has seemingly had no other purpose than to be the Bearer of Bad News . . .

“Dammit!  I miss being Klaus.  Now THERE was a guy who knew how to have a good time!”

“Jeremy, something’s happened to Jenna . . .” he begins morosely.

“Seriously?  Again?  You’re kidding me with this, right?”

The Man with the Plan . . .

Back above ground, Damon and Stefan engage in one of their little Brotherly Telephone Gossip Sessions that are quickly becoming a regular occurrence on this show . . .

” OMG!  Katherine actually SAID that to you?  She is SUCH a b*tch.  Did you f*&k her?   Because I totally would have f*&ked her.”

During the phone conversation, Damon informs Stefan that his girlfriend’s aunt is now vampire bait, and Stefan responds by getting weepy . . . again.  Stefan also makes a decision.  It’s the same one Damon made EARLIER in the episode, but couldn’t carry out, due to his Were-Rabies.  Namely, Stefan will offer to sacrifice himself in place of Jenna . . .

 “So, all these hot guys are willing to sacrifice themselves for ME, now!  This is SO COOL!  It also means I’m pretty much dead already, doesn’t it?”

After hanging up on Damon, Stefan turns his attention to Elijah . . .

I’m sorry. I just think this picture of Elijah is really funny!

Elijah helpfully restates the Save Elena gameplan for the audience.  “Bonnie will stay hidden until the moon reaches its final phase.  [This way, Klaus will continue to think she’s dead until the last possible moment.]  Then, she will deliver Klaus to the brink of death, and I will finish him off,” explains the Original Vamp of Haircare Excellence, stoically . . .

Shut UP, Elijah!  I’m mad at you.  We’re in a fight, now!

Though it’s undoubtedly TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, Stefan FINALLY wakes up to the fact that Elijah’s insistence on killing his own brother, in order to help out folks who he (1) barely knows; and (2) tried to kill him . . . TWICE, seems . . . ODD . . . to say the least.  When Elijah tells Stefan that he is a “very honorable man,” Stefan pointedly asks whether ELIJAH, himself, is honorable.  (You know, this might have been a good question to ask BEFORE you hung all your hopes on THIS guy’s purported “honorability.”)

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“You can’t see it, but I’m actually crossing my fingers behind my back, right now.”

Klaus FINALLY explains why he seems so intent on killing his own brother, the Original Douchebag.  Turns out, this dude is SO CUCKOO BANANAS that he murdered his ENTIRE family (except, conveniently, Elijah . . . I guess he thought that hair was too pretty to go to waste), and buried all their corpses AT SEA, so that no one could come an “revive” them. 

Stefan, who knows a thing or two about wanting to kill your brother, while still being tormented by feelings of LOVE for that sibling, can relate . . .

Last I checked, they didn’t allow vampires on Dancing with the Stars . . .

“Sometimes, there is honor in revenge,” says Elijah, sounding like he’s quoting Shakespeare. (And he may be, for all I know.  Heck, he probably knew the guy, personally . . . and possibly even ATE him.)  “I will not let you down,” concludes the Original, as his nose grows to epic proportions . . . kind of like Pinocchio.

“Trust me.  It gets worse.”

“Dear sweet Wall!  You are the only one who truly understands my pain.”

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Uncle / Father John barges into Damon’s house, wondering why Elena hasn’t returned any of his phone calls . . .

“Looks like you are a day late, and a daughter short,” snarks Damon.  (LOVE HIM!)

Once, Damon gives Uncle /Father John the Cliff Notes version of the past few episodes of TVD, during which he was doing LORD KNOWS WHAT, U.F.J. decides this would be the PERFECT opportunity to call Damon out on his failure to properly parent / protect his daughter.  Riiiiight, because dads should ALWAYS hire out Sexy but Morally Ambiguous Vampires to take care of those pesky parental duties!

Now, THAT’S what I call a Father Figure!

“All you had to do was keep her safe,” whines John, when he learns that Damon prevented Elena’s certain death by feeding her his own vampire blood.  “You destroyed her life, you know.  You’ve turned her into what I’ve spent my whole life ineffectually protecting her from.”

“Now, is REALLY not the time for lectures, Daddio!”

That’s when Damon introduces Uncle /Father John to his good pal Wall Face (which was awesome, by the way).  “Yeah, yeah . . . I took her choice away.  And I ruined her life, I get it,” remarks Damon, in the voice of a bored teenager.  (Clearly, Damon Salvatore reads blogs.)  “But, trust me, it gets worse . . .”

“Oh no!  Well, let’s not talk about such dark things.  After all, you and I will have plenty of time to have this discussion next season . . . Won’t we?  Won’t we?

But get worse, IT DOES!  Perpetual Bearer of Bad News Alaric chooses THIS particular time to drop a bombshell on Damon, that STEFAN will be sacrificing himself in Jenna’s place.   Damon’s Man-Cry and Sexy Wall Punch, upon hearing about his Little Brother’s most recent attempt at Martyrdom SLAYED ME with their gut-wrenching intensity  . . .

I also couldn’t help but be reminded of ANOTHER time when Damon took his inconsolate sadness and anger out on Innocent Pieces of Furniture . . .