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Kick off 2011 right, with these 10 Sexy Chuck & Blair Moments from Gossip Girl’s Fourth Season!

Happy New Year, Gossip Girl fans (and, perhaps, more importantly, Chair fans)! 2011 is a brand new year for us fangirls and television lovers!  And just because our favorite shows are still in Hibernation Mode, doesn’t mean we have to be!  So, rather than nursing our hangovers, and moping about how another year has gone by, I thought it might be nice to spend the first day of the new year with our favorite pair of Upper East Siders . . .

That’s right, boys and girls!  It’s Chuck and Blair day, here at TV Recappers Anonymous.  And have I got some smoking hot Chair Moments for YOU!

What follows are my picks for the Top Ten Chuck and Blair moments from the first half of Gossip Girl’s Fourth Season . . .

(Note:  As always, many of these video clips have not been properly embedded, due to CW copyright restrictions.  But you can view them ALL, in their Sexy CB Glory, by simply clicking on the internal links. ;))

10. Chuck sniffs Blair’s “Pie”

 Episode: 4 x 05 – “Goodbye, Columbia”

Setting the Scene:   Chuck has just declared war on Blair, once again.  This time, the breach of peace is Much Ado about Eva, Chuck’s Hooker in Peasant’s Clothing, Ex-Girlfriend.  Blair sent her snoozy temporary replacement packing, with the help of a few carefully placed rumors, and an unmatched ability to plant seeds of doubt in Chuck’s head, as to his Sweet Tart’s supposed “virtue.”  Since Chuck and academics are like oil and water, Blair mistakenly believes that she will be able to protect herself from battle, by hiding out on campus at Columbia University, where she is currently matriculating.  But Chuck has other ideas . . .

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK:  “Mmmmm . . . I almost forgot how much I used to enjoy your pie.”

GOSSIP GIRL:  “Better batten down the hatches, B.  It looks like your Island in the Storm was just hit by a Bass 5 Hurricane.”

Why it Made the List:  Nothing turns Chuck and Blair on more than a good-old fashioned War of Wits.  And this most recent war between Chuck and Blair was no exception.  Observe the way Chuck’s and Blair’s breathing quickens, when they come within a few feet of one another, how their eyes dilate, and the way they repeatedly look at each others’ lips, as they banter with one another.  These are textbook signs of sexual attraction. 

Let’s not forget the extremely lewd and naughty way, Chuck “sniffs” Blair’s pie.  It doesn’t take Freud to figure out what part of the female anatomy that pie represents, or what it means for Chuck’s nose to be in it!  In addition to being a sexually significant food in general, pie is a highly symbolic dessert to Chuck’s and Blair’s relationship, in particular. 

For Blair, food is an indulgence, one that is directly tied to sexual attraction.  Later on in the season, we see Blair attempting to combat her romantic feelings for Chuck, by compulsively scarfing down macaroons.  Even later in the season, Blair sends Chuck a pie, to symbolize their continued “friendship” with one another, in spite of a recent breakup. 

But food also plays a darker role in Blair’s life.  A long-time sufferer of bulimia, pie represents Blair’s struggles with her body image, and sense of self.  For Blair, Chuck is like pie.  He is seductive, delicious, and makes her hungry for more.   But he is also dangerous, and potentially hazardous to her health.  And just like with that decadent dessert, once Blair starts induling in Chuck, she often can’t stop . . .

9.  The Peace Treaty

 Episode: 4 x 07 – “War at the Roses”

Setting the Scene:   A few surprisingly eloquent words of warning from Raccoon Zombie Jenny, in the previous episode, caused Chuck and Blair to rethink the mutually destructive nature of the war they had waged against one another.  As a result, at the end of that episode, Chuck and Blair informally agreed to a “truce,” via a late night handshake (more on that later).  But Chuck’s and Blair’s friends, Nate and Serena, know that a mere handshake is not enough to put out the wildfires perpetually raging between these two soulmates.  And so, Nate and Serena stage an intervention of sorts, and attempt to broker a formalized peace treaty between the warring factions.

Potent Quotables:

NATE:  “Sooner or later, one of you is going to press the other’s button.  And we are going to end up with nothing but cockroaches.”

CHUCK:  “I have no objection to order in the kingdom.   Let the negotiations begin.”

And much, much later . . .

BLAIR:  “Actually, there is one more point I want to negotiate . . . in private.  Attorneys are dismissed.”

Why it Made the List:  For what was supposed to be a “serious” negotation of a formalized legal agreement, this meeting between Chuck and Blair was pretty darn funny.  Kudos to all parties involved, for not breaking into hysterical laughter, or even smirking, as Chuck and Blair discussed which of them was entitled to attend fashion week in Paris, who had access to which strip clubs, and whether Chuck was allowed bed the hostesses at local restaurants that Blair frequented.

All kidding aside, however, this peace treaty showcased some SERIOUSLY sexually tense moments between Chuck and Blair!  Observe Chuck’s body language, throughout the negotiations.  His fists and jaw are clenched.  His nostrils are flared.  His lips are pursed.  He’s uncharacteristically figety.  Chuck Bass is like a BULL IN HEAT!  And as for the slow and seductive way that Blair pours and drinks that water from her wine class, while licking her lips — her eyes closed in exaggerated ecstasy?  Well, it doesn’t get much more sexual than THAT!

8. Reunited in Paris

 Episode: 4 x 02 – “Double Identity”

Setting the Scene:   After engaging in bestiality with a Raccoon Zombie, and breaking the heart of the love of his life, Chuck escaped to Prague, where he was shot.  To add insult to nearly mortal injury, the engagement ring he had initially purchased for Blair, stolen right out from under his bleeding body.  Chuck was then “rescued,” by some blonde chick named Snoozy Eva. 

So, filled with Self Hatred was Chuck at the time, that he allowed the world to believe he was dead, and began gallivanting around Europe with Snoozy, under the alias, Henry Prince.  Blair, who was vacationing in Paris at the time, learned of his whereabouts from Serena.  The Queen B then tracked the Bass-tard down at a Paris train station, in order to deliver to him an important message . . .

Potent Quotables:

BLAIR:  “Changing your name doesn’t change who you are.”

CHUCK:  “It’s a start . . . a chance to live simply, earn people’s respect, maybe become a person someone could love.”

BLAIR:  “Someone did love you . . . And you owe it to her — and everyone else you are leaving behind –not to run away, which is what you are doing  . . .”

CHUCK:  “Your world would be easier, if I didn’t come back.”

BLAIR:  “That’s true.  But it wouldn’t be my world, without you in it.”

Why it Made the List:  After spending an entire summer wondering whether Chuck Bass was dead or alive, and then suffering through nearly TWO full episodes, without a single moment of interaction between my favorite GG pair, this sweet and quietly heartbreaking scene between Chuck and Blair went a long way toward alleviating my painful symptoms of CB withdrawal.  The fact that Blair would be willing to rescue Chuck from his own demons, and convince him to come back to New York City, and reclaim his identity, despite all the pain he had caused her, said volumes about Blair’s strength of character.  It also provided me with an ounce of hope for the pair’s future together . . .

And the longing, tear-filled, looks Chuck and Blair exchanged with one another, when she returned to him the engagement ring he thought was gone for ever?  Priceless (not to mention, highly symbolic)!

7. The Truce

 Episode:  4 x 06 – “Easy J”

Setting the Scene:  Earlier on in this post, I made reference to a scene in which Chuck visits Blair late at night, at her home.  Chuck arrives, waving the proverbial white flag of peace, after the war between them had escalated to such a point, that both of their lives were at stake.  Blair is hestitant to trust Chuck’s offer at first.  After all, he has lied to her, and hurt her, so many times in the past.  And yet, as Chuck continues to plead his case, the cast iron shell that has formed around Blair’s heart, since the whole Raccoon Zombie Incident, begins to show signs of breaking . . .

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK:  “Look, we can keep blaming each other for what happened that night.  Or we can admit a harder truth.  It was no one’s fault.  It was fate — a tragedy . . .  Ware holding on to the pain, because it’s all we have left.  We don’t have to, we have a choice.”

BLAIR:  “Truce . . . you can see yourself out.”

CHUCK:  “I know the way . . .”

Why it Made the List:  Sure, at times, Chuck and Blair can act like children, with their tendency toward name-calling, silly games, and petty fights.  But, when it comes right down to it, these are two old souls, both of whom are wise beyond their years, in so many ways.  I loved the maturity with which Chuck and Blair were able to evaluate their past relationship in this intimate moment.  It wasn’t about who was right or wrong, or who was to blame for what happened to them.  Things simply didn’t work out between them last season.  So, why rehash the painful memories?

In this scene, Chuck and Blair took their first tentative steps toward overcoming their past, and building a future together.  They came to a mutual understanding that who they were yesterday, doesn’t necessarily have to be who they are tomorrow. 

And yet, how much had really changed between them?  The obvious electrical current of sexual energy that spread through Chuck’s and Blair’s bodies, as they shook their hands in “truce,” belied their promises to one another that they would never again give in to their mutual romantic desires . . .

 

6. The Threesome

 Episode:  4 x 08 – “Juliet Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

Setting the Scene:  After an intense session of mindblowingly Hot Hate Sex at the end of the previous episode (more on that later), Blair awakens to a VERY happy ending in her bedroom.  Count on Cockblock Serena to come barging into the bedroom and spoil the moment, just so that she can babble on (and on and on) about the not particularly interesting “relationship” problems she is currently having with Professor Hot Bod . . .

Potent Quotables:

GOSSIP GIRL:   “Morning, Upper East Siders.  I hope you had a Good Night Sleep, or at least a Good Night’s Play!”

BLAIR: (while trying to hide her obvious arousal, and Chuck’s “head,” from Serena) “I hate it when the duvet pops up like that.”

CHUCK:  “This comforter blocks out so much noise, they could sell it at Bose.”

Why it Made the List:  Simply put:  watching Blair try to give solid “friendly relationship” advice, while, at the same time, fending off Chuck’s amorous advances, beneath the sheets (which were obviously giving her a tremendous amount of pleasure!) was just good naughty fun!  All of us felt Blair’s pain!  We ALL wanted Serena to get the heck out of that bedroom FAST, so that Chuck and Blair could finish whatever it was they were doing, before she entered . . .

And NOTHING is hotter than Ed Westwick, when he’s sporting Post Sex Bedhead, while discussing the sound quality of comforters . . .

5.  The Breakup

 Episode:  4 x 09 – “The Witches of Bushwick”

Setting the Scene: Chuck and Blair have just been publicly outed as a couple at the Saints and Sinners Ball, after weeks of keeping their affair a secret.  The outing had the unintended effect of bolstering Chuck’s public image as a naughtily decadent Bad Boy Entrepreneur with a soft spot for a delicate debutant.  Apparently, when it comes to hotel moguls, contradictions are sexy!  The outing was decidedly less lucky for Blair, who lost the opportunity to be spokesperson for a feminist-based foundation, Girls Inc., as a result of it. 

Chuck sees what happened as evidence that the couple can overcome any obstacle, as long as they are together.  But Blair is not so sure . . .

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK:  “I love you.”

BLAIR:  “I love you too . . . I don’t expect you to wait.”

CHUCK:  “If two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

BLAIR:  “Do you really believe that?”

CHUCK:  “I do.”

BLAIR:  “So do I.”

Why it Made the List:  Sure, it was maddening, and incredibly frustrating, that after three episodes of build up, intense conversations, and incredibly hot sex (all of which seemed to support the notion that these are two people who are MEANT to be TOGETHER), Chuck and Blair broke up, over something as seemingly insignficant as Blair not getting a dumb internship.  And yet, in this very special moment, Blair and Chuck BOTH admitted that they were in love with one another.  Beyond that, Chuck’s words to Blair about people who are meant to be with one another, eventually finding their way back into one another’s arms, seemed incredibly prophetic of an eventual PERMANENT union for this couple.  Don’t you think?

4. Hate Sex

 Episode: 4 x 07 – “War at the Roses”

Setting the Scene: The short-term ceasefire in the war between Chuck and Blair came to an unexpected end, after a highly embarrassing video, featuring Blair drunkenly singing at a karaoke bar, was exposed to all of New York high society on her twentieth birthday.  An enraged Blair immediately accused Chuck of leaking the video, since he was (she believed) the only person aware of its existence.  After all, permanent disavowal of this video was an important part of the peace treaty between Chuck and Blair.

Chuck — who would never even think of releasing such a video to the publi — was highly offended that Blair would believe he would do so.  (As it turns out, the video was discovered and subsequently publicized by Dopey Dan).  After the party, Chuck confronts Blair in private, to let her know, in no uncertain terms, that the war between them is back on . . .

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK:  “I’ve realized we are not friends.  Friends have to like each other.  And after what happened tonight, I could never like you.”

BLAIR:  “Every nerve ending in my body is electrified by hatred.”

CHUCK:  “There is a fiery pit of hate burning inside me, ready to explode.”

BLAIR:  “So, it’s settled then.”

CHUCK:  “We’re settled.”

 Why it Made the List:  OMG!  This scene was HOT with a capital “H!”  When you really thing about it, feelings of hatred, and those of intense and passionate love are not all that far removed from one another, are they?  Both have the ability to cloud your mind, and keep you from thinking rationally.  Both have a tendency to get you hot under the collar.   Both light a fire in your heart, that threatens to explode your insides.  And, perhaps most importantly, both can drive you completely insane!

The moment Chuck and Blair move toward one another, and begin to describe their mutual feelings of hatred, we all know the sex is inevitable.  Like Chuck and Blair, our bodies fill with the heat of anticipation.  As for the animalistic manner in which Chuck and Blair angrily have their way with one another on top of that piano — ripping eachother’s clothing off, as they teeter on the brink between insanity and intense pleasure — well . . . it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen on television before!

 

3. Chuck and Blair Exposed

 Episode:  4 x 09 – “The Witches of Bushwick”

Setting the Scene:  When Chuck’s publicist informs him that his new do-gooder image is bad for business, Blair suggests that he throw a Saints and Sinners Ball, to show the world what a bad boy he really is.   Mistakenly believing that their coupledom would undermine Chuck’s womanizing mystique, Chuck and Blair decide to keep their budding relationship a secret. 

And yet, when Chuck utters a certain phrase to Blair during sex (more on that later), Blair finds herself unable to think about anything else.  (Did he mean it?  Is it true?)  So, Blair shows up at the party, risking everything to ascertain Chuck’s feelings for her once and for all . . .  Little do Chuck and Blair, know that both of their secrets are just moments away from being exposed . . .

Potent Quotables:

BLAIR:  “I heard what you said . . . three one syllable words that, under the circumstances, you may or may not have meant.”

CHUCK:  “Do you want me to have meant them?”

BLAIR:  “If they were true, I would want to know.”

CHUCK:  “I meant it Blair, with all my heart . . . Are you going to say something?”

BLAIR:  “I will . . . I mean . . . I do.”

CHUCK:  “I understand the consequences, but I am willing to pay them . . . I say, we go up in flames together?”

Why it Made the List:  This very special scene is all about risks.  When Chuck and Blair meet one another on that balcony at the Saints and Sinners Ball, they are putting everything on the line for one another:  their lives, their livelihoods, their reputations, their pride, their self-respect, and their hearts.  The fact that the conversation between them takes place high above the ground, only heightens the dangerousness of this moment. 

Blair risks her future as a public feminist figure, by coming to see Chuck at the Saints and Sinners Ball.  And then, she risks her pride by asking him if he meant it, when he told her that he loved her during sex.  In turn, Chuck puts his own heart on the metaphoric table between them, when he admits to Blair that he DOES, in fact, love her — not knowing for sure whether she returns those feelings.  When Blair does respond affirmatively to Chuck’s claims of love, she does so, by saying those two special words, “I do,” almost as if she is completing wedding vows.  (How’s THAT for foreshadowing?)

Moments later, when Blair’s and Chuck’s relationship is exposed to the party — rather than shunning one another, to protect their respective reputations — both Blair and Chuck decide to embrace public scrutiny, and “go down in flames together.”  By doing this, Chuck and Blair take the ultimate leap of faith for one another, and prove that, when it comes to the many things in both of their lives that are important, their relationship comes first.

2. “Friendly” Sex

 Episode: 4 x 08 – “Juliet Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

Setting the Scene:  Chuck and Blair have just reached the end of a VERY GOOD DAY!   Not only have they each gotten laid MULTIPLE times by one another, they’ve also protected a mutual friend, and ensured the takedown of a mutual enemy.  As Chuck and Blair sit quietly in her living room, sharing a drink together, they are feeling tired, but happy, and oddly invigorated.  Chuck and Blair have just been reminded of what a great team they make, when they are able to put aside their differences, and work toward a common goal.  In this triumphant moment, anything seems possible . . . even friendship.

Potent Quotables:

BLAIR:  “Sometimes, I think a takedown is better than sex . . . Well, it’s an endorphin rush.  Plus it makes me think of old times.  I really appreciate you stepping up tonight.”

CHUCK:  “Maybe that’s because that’s what we are,  friends.”

BLAIR:  “Who knew it would take a public takedown and tons of hate sex for us to get here?”

CHUCK:  “Well . . . I should get going.  Good night, Waldorf.”

BLAIR:  “Same to you, Bass.”

Why it Made the List:  As Chuck and Blair are reminded of what a good team they are, we are reminded as well.  Though on the surface, they seem very different, Chuck and Blair are really so much alike!  Both can be sly, manipulative, and mean-spirited.  But they are also loyal friends, who are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that one of their own doesn’t get hurt. 

Can Chuck and Blair ever really be just friends?  The beginning of the scene suggests that they can!  Observe the easy and effortless way in which they relate to one another — shifting easily between joking banter, and sweet compliments.  Remember that Chuck and Blair started out as friends, and partners-in-crime, back during Season 1 of Gossip Girl.  These are two individuals know what makes each another tick.  They are comfortable with one another.

And yet, when Chuck and Blair move close to one another, and share a gentle hug, all thoughts of friendship go out the window.  The sexual chemistry between them is undeniable.  Observe the way Blair gently places her hand on Chuck’s cheek, the intense looks that are exchanged, and the depth of feeling behind each movement.  Behold the power of that kiss!

Granted, Chuck and Blair have been having sex throughout this ENTIRE episode.  So, what makes this time different?  You see, this is the first time, in the course of the hour, that Chuck and Blair make LOVE!  All the romantic elements are there: the gentle way the room is lit, the soft crackle of the fireplace before them, the soft femininity of Blair’s floral dress, the way Chuck CARRIES BLAIR ACROSS THE THRESHOLD into her bedroom, like the pair of newlyweds they are destined to someday be.    When it comes to television love scenes, they don’t get much better than this!

1. Chuck Says “I Love You” During Sex

 Episode:  4 x 09 – “The Witches of Bushwick”

Setting the Scene:  Chuck has just learned that he needs to reaffirm his Bad Boy image, in order to reclaim his hotel mogul status.  According to his publicist, this means dropping all ties to Good Girl Debutant Blair.  Likewise, Blair is informed by the head of the feminist foundation Girls, Inc. that she is in the running to become the organization’s spokesperson, but only if she disassociates from the rebellious Chuck.  Chuck and Blair meet in her bedroom, in order to plot a plan certain to save both of their careers.  But it’s hard to talk business, when both parties are feeling so very hot and bothered . . .

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK:  “There is something alluring about an angel drawn to the darkside.”

BLAIR:  “Or a devil redeemed.”

CHUCK:  “An impeccable plan.”

BLAIR:  “This really is a beautiful friendship.”

CHUCK:  “I love poplin.”

BLAIR:  “I love condemnation.”

CHUCK:  “I love you.”

Why it Made the List:  This scene was just pure perfection, on so many levels!  Porn stars have NOTHING on Chuck and Blair, in terms of sheer sexuality.  I adored the way, Chuck and Blair were able to help one another with their respective business problems, without letting all the dull talk get in the way of their sexual activity, even for a single second! 

The breathless way the Chuck and Blair talked to one another, their barely muted moans, as they undressed eachother and fell into bed together, the way Blair’s eyes rolled back in her head, when Chuck kissed her neck . . . it was enough to drive a Chair fan CRAZY!

When Chuck finally got caught up in the throes of passion, and told Blair he loved her, I literally squealed with JOY!  Blair may have doubted the veracity of Chuck’s claim — because he said it while in the throes of passion — but us Chair fans never did!  Like Blair, Chuck is the kind of person who keeps his feelings closely guarded, no matter what he’s doing at the time. 

The Chuck we know would never let himself get carried away during sex.  He would never say those three words, unless he absolutely meant them.  This is why it took Chuck being completely blissed out, and in the moment, for him to reveal the feelings for Blair that he had heretofore kept hidden.  This is the image of a man in deep and serious love.  And, as far as I’m concerned, nothing can be sexier . . .

Well, there you have it.  Ten Slyly Seductive and Super Sexual Scenes between Gossip Girl‘s “It Couple,” Chuck and Blair.  Which one was YOUR favorite?

New episodes of Gossip Girl will begin airing on Janury 24, 2011.  Until then, XOXO!

P.S. Be sure to check out my pals at Chuck and Blair the Perfect Pair blog, if you haven’t done so already.  The site’s late-breaking Chair news, gorgeous photography, and captivating content are sure to provide you with everything you need to satisfy your Chair fix, during this interminably long GG hiatus.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Chuck and Blair, Gossip Girl, Television Super Couples, Top Ten Lists

Unleash Your Inner “Beiste” – A Recap of Glee’s “Never Been Kissed”

That’s right, Sue Sylvester.  Nobody said “Releasing the Beiste” would be easy!  For example, sometimes it involves seeing things you don’t necessarily want to see . .  .

“Sam Finds His ‘Mailman’ . . . Quinn Gets Revenge!”

Because it wouldn’t be a Season 2 Glee episode, if it didn’t have at least ONE shot of Chord Overstreet in his birthday suit, the episode begins with Finn and Sam in the personal training room, taking baths together . . .

OK . . . that’s not exactly true.  Finn was in a hot bath, and Sam was in an ice cold one.  According to Sam, this was because he wasn’t getting any “somethin-somethin” from his girlfriend, Quinn. 

Correction:  Sam was getting “something,” just not “somethin-somethin,” if you catch my drift .  . .

Therefore, Sam needed the cold bath, in order to “chill out.”

Fortunately for Sam, Finn (who is also getting “something,” but not “somethin-somethin” from Rachel) . . .

 . . . has a slightly less painful method of “chilling out” that he’d like to share with Sam.

Rather than sitting an ice bath, Finn “chills out,” while hooking up with Rachel, by imagining himself mowing down a mailman with his car.

(It’s important to note that when I said it would be “less painful” I meant for Sam, NOT for the Poor Imaginary Mailman .  . .)

Unlike Finn, Sam’s not down with the senseless assault of Imaginary Civil Servants.  He is, however, down for this . . .

Yeah, I didn’t get it either . . .

So, the next time him and Quinn are going at it, Sam starts picturing his football coach, Shannon Beiste, wearing the ONLY outfit his girlfriend has worn, more or less ALL SEASON (except when she’s in a Glee-themed costume).

Seriously!  When are those girls going to take off their uniforms?  Do you know how bad they must smell, by now?

Suddenly, Sam can makeout with his girlfriend for HOURS, without even thinking about sex.  (And that’s pretty darn impressive for a teenage boy!)

The only problem is that, now, Sam has fallen into the habit of calling out the Beiste’s name during Hookup Time with Quinn. 

“Oooooh SAM!  You are in TROUBLE!”

So Quinn — rather than logically assuming that Sam is (1) calling her a “Beast Beneath the Sheets,” or (2) “beast,” as in a synonym for “awesome” — immediately determines that Sam is crushing on his coach.  And so, she turns to Sue Sylvester for help . . .

After getting over the initial shock of imagining a high school boy crushing on her nemesis, Sue comes up with an “ingenious” (and by “ingenious,” I mean, “bizarre and kind of evil”) plan to get rid of Beiste, once in for all.  This plan will “send that Macauley Culkin stunt double back into your waiting arms,” Sue promises Quinn.

Now that you mention it, Sue . . . I do kind of see a resemblance.

They’ve even got that “Shower Thing” in common . . . scary.

Sue’s “Evil Master Plan” is for Quinn to somehow start a rumor that Beiste and Sam are “doing it” . . .

. . . so that Beiste will get fired.

Meanwhile, Tina has been using the “Beiste Technique,” as well, to “cool down,” during her lunch hour Sexy Times with Mike, and his INSANE abs.

You know what?  Just LOOKING at this picture makes me need to cool down . . .

I’m better now . . .

Now, suddenly, Quinn is calling out Beiste in the middle of the hallway for having an affair with her boyfriend, while Mike Chang is telling Beiste to stay away from his girlfriend.  “You crap on my leg, I will cut it off,” retorts the Beiste to her angry detractors!

Huh?

Schue Screws Up Again  (Surprise!)

“Man, I really need to get laid!”

When Mr. Schuester finds out that his kids have been using R-rated mental images of Coach Beiste to cure these . . .

. . . he is appalled!  After all, picturing your teacher in “compromising positions” is just WRONG!

If Beiste found out, her feelings could be REALLY HURT!  Besides, when these kids need “cooling off,” they should do what Will does . . . spank the monkey.

And yet, despite Will’s BIG TALK about how Beiste CAN’T find out about this whole “picturing her during foreplay” thing, because it will “hurt her feelings too much,” what does Will do, the first chance he gets?  He tells Beiste EVERYTHING!

“Oooh, apparently, my Monkey is not the only part of me that’s in serious need of a SPANKING!”

Being an insensitive MORON, Will tries to make everything “all better” for his colleague, by telling her to “not take it personally.”  (Really, Will?  Really?  Because I kind of think it doesn’t get much more personal than THIS.)

WILL:  “Awww, Beiste!  You seem REALLY upset about this!  You need to cool off.  Might I suggest picturing yourself wearing a tutu . . .”

Later, Will learns from a VERY celebratory Sue that Coach Beiste quit McKinley High . . .

“I am Queen of the World School, once again!  Huzzah!”

So, what does Will do?  Well, he blames HIS STUDENTS, of course!

“Well, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle an a**hole!”

Initially, Will demands that his students find away to convince Beiste to come back to McKinley.  However, he then pulls his head out of his ass, and realizes that he is completely partly to blame for her departure.  And so, Will goes to visit Beiste, while she is packing up her things . . .

Beiste Gets Her First Kiss . . .  and her First Serenade . . .

Will begs Beiste not to leave McKinley, because the students “like and respect her.”  Beiste calmly explains to Will that his “compliment,” is the equivalent of telling a girl — who just asked you, if you she think she is pretty — that she has a “really nice personality.”  Beiste further reveals the extent to which she was often teased by her classmates, when she was in highschool.

“All of us are scarred by high school,” insists Will.  “We’re just the only ones stupid enough to come back here.”

Actually “Will,” if this picture is any indication, you were probably pretty popular in high school.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that the only thing that could have “scarred” you there, was, possibly, an excess use of hair gel . . .

On second thought . . .

However, when Beiste admits that she is 40-years old, and has never been kissed, Will COMPLETELY redeems himself, in my eyes, at least, by telling Beiste that she is “beautiful both inside and out.”  He then plants a chaste wet one on her lips.  “And now you’ve been kissed,” he whispers sweetly.

The pair share a heart-warming hug, and then head back to the choir room, where the guys have a special performance prepared for Miss Beiste — one that they hope will convince her to stay at McKinley.  Introducing the performance is Puck . . .

And if THAT doesn’t make you want to stay in school, I don’t know WHAT WILL!

Puck tells Beiste that she is like a Nougat . . .

 .  . . hard and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and sweet on the inside.  In honor of the Beiste, the guys choose to perform a mash-up which possesses those same qualities.  “And we hope that it makes you smile.  Because when you smile, you look so pretty, and it lights up the room,” explains Puck.

Welcome back, Puck!  BOY, have we missed YOU!

The boys belt out a mash-up of the sappy sweet and very old school Stop in the Name of Love, by the Supremes, with the edgier and slightly less old school Free Your Mind, by En Vogue.  The combination of two songs, (which, on the surface, seemed completely mismatched) was actually pretty cool.  And the guys’ performed the hell out of them!  (Even The Beiste seemed touched by the gesture.)

My only minor complaint was with their costume choice.  I might have gone with something a bit more “rock-and-roll,” than the “Jersey Boys Chic” look they ultimately chose.

That’s not “Nougat,” that’s Fluffer Nutter!

The girls’ offered up a rousing mash-up this week too!  Their’s was a combination of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, and The Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up.  The result was a performance that was everything an Ode to the 80’s Rock Anthem should be . . . complete with big hair, leather, lots of dark eye makeup, and even a REAL Fog Machine . . .

While the guys’ offering this week, may have won out in the “heart” department, the girls totally had them beat, in terms of soul . . .

Speaking of Soul . . .

 . . . a re-Mohawked Puck returned to Glee this week.

McKinley High’s Favorite Bad Boy wasted no time reclaiming his rebel status, through his awe-inspiring tales of weightlifting, ass-kicking and food reclaiming.  (“I told him, ‘Leggo, My Eggo . . . So, he did!”)  He also found a new companion in Artie, who he planned to “help be cool” in order to “fulfill his community service requirement.”

Puck’s master plan begins with him and Artie performing a GORGEOUS rendition of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” outside during lunch.  The performance earns Puck and Artie $300 of cold hard cash, which their fellow students generously “donated” to Puck’s guitar case. 

(OK . . . I’m sorry . . . but I have to call B.S. here.  In my four years of high school, the ONLY time I ever gave cash to a fellow student was to buy a candy bar.  NO BROKE HIGH SCHOOL kid parts with their money that easily!  Then again . . . NO ONE in my high school looked like this . . .)

I stand corrected.  Here, Puck, take my credit cards too .. .

The next item of “Community Service” for Puck, involved him helping Artie get back together with Tina Brittany.

Oh yeah . . . did I mention that Artie is in love with Brittany now?  A night of meaningless sex will do that to a guy . . .

Puck and Artie win Santana’s and Brittany’s hearts by taking them to Olive Garden Breadsticks, and basically treating them like dirt.  (I’d love to say that doesn’t actually work.  But I’m afraid it does, particularly with shallow high school girls, like Brittany and Santana.)  Then Puck convinces Santana and Brittany to “dine-and-dash” with him, leaving Poor Artie with the check . . .

“It’s times like these when I wish my wheelchair had a faster motor.  I’d run those b*tches down SO FAST. . .”

Eventually, however, Puck’s probation officer discovers his lack of “real community service.”  Suddenly, our resident Bad Boy is threatened with the prospect of “highway trash pickup” or a “return to juvie.” The poor guy flips out!  As it turns out, Puck wasn’t quite the Big Cheese in juvie that he would have his classmates believe him to be.  “They kept taking my waffles,” pouts Puck adorably.

Leggo Puck’s Eggo, or I’ll CUT YOU! 

(Awesome little photo brought to you by frothygirlz.com )

But, just when a very frightened Puck is about to skip town AGAIN, Artie comes to his rescue.  The little guy offers to return Puck’s kind gesture of “community service” by (1) accompanying him, while he cleans up trash on the highway; and (2) tutoring him in Geometry.  A very grateful Puck takes Artie up on his offer. 

And they all live HAPPILY EVER AFTER . . . especially those folks who happen to be driving along the public roads, while Puck is “picking up trash” . . .

Community service, INDEED!

Kurt Vistis Hogwarts The Dalton School / Gets Face Raped

“Some of these guys look like they have pretty big  . . . wands.”

 When the episode begins, Kurt is having pretty much the WORST DAY EVER!  For starters, that Mean Ole Bully, Karofsky, keeps pushing him into his locker.

“I didn’t mean to do it.  It’s just that I tend to have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time.”

Then, Kurt is not allowed to perform with the girls, like he usually does, in the weekly Glee Club competition.  The truth of the matter is, Kurt is just plain tired of the way rampant homophobia and bullying are accepted at his school.  As the only openly gay male at McKinley, Kurt feels ostracized, and unappreciated.  So, when his classmates suggest he scope out New Directions’ competition for Sectionals (an all-boy singing group called The Warblers, from the all-boy school, Dalton) Kurt jumps at the chance.

(By the way, if anyone caught Mr. Schue’s lame but plot convenient explanation as to why this year’s Sectional competitors are different from last year’s, please pass that information along to me, because I totally missed it.  I mean, don’t “Sections” always stay the same, for competitions like these?)

When Kurt arrives at Dalton he realizes, to his chagrin, that all the students are in uniform, making it particularly difficult for him to “blend in” and “spy” on his enemies.  Fortunately, however, Kurt dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween this past year.   And, apparently, he has kept his costume in his book bag since that time.  So, all hope was not lost . . .

After being led by the hand into the school auditorium by a very sexy Blaine (played by Darren Criss), Kurt witnesses the Wizards Warblers perform a SUPER FABULOUS and HIGHLY HOMOEROTIC rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

Coincidentally, this is EXACTLY what happened in Kurt’s Teenage Wet Dream, just this morning!

After the performance, the Warblers take pity on Kurt for his obviously hand-me down Gryffindor robes, and take him out for coffee.  Never one to beat around the bush, Kurt immediately asks the group whether they are ALL GAY?  Most of them are not, but Sexy Beast Blaine sure is!

Not that it matters, really.  Because this private school is completely accepting of people of all-sexual preferences.  “Hogwarts has always been TOTALLY cool with the gays.  Just ask Dumbledore!”  Later, when Kurt confides in Blaine that he has been the victim of bullying in school, Blaine instructs him to confront his enemy.  “I ran away [from public school bullying and homophobia], but you don’t have to,” Blaine concludes.

(WOAH!  This just in . . . I just found out that Darren Criss actually played Harry Potter in the fanmade “A Very Potter Musical.”  So all those thinly veiled Potter references the Glee writers made in the above-described scene?   TOTALLY INTENTIONAL!  Check him out . . .)

Anyway, throughout the rest of the day, like a good Gryffindor Wizard friend, Blaine keeps texting Kurt the word “courage.”  And it is this word that finally helps Kurt to confront the Evil Karofsky.   He REALLY lets this bully have it! 

Kurt tells Karofsky that he never has to worry about Kurt making a pass at him, because he is not Kurt’s type.  He further explains why.  “You are ugly, and sweaty, and will probably be bald by the time you are thirty.”

“Don’t push me.  You can’t push the gay out of me . . . You are just a scared little boy, who can’t face how ordinary you really are,” Kurt concludes.

And then this happens . . .

It was actually much less like a kiss, and more like Face Rape — particularly since Poor Kurt was a Boy-Kissing Virgin, at the time.  You’ve really got to hand it to Karofsky though, almost out of high school, and he’s still managed to maintain that First-Graders Philosophy on Dating, namely, “When a Boy teases or insults, you, it’s only because he likes you.”

And if that’s the case, than Karofsky must REALLY like Kurt, because he keeps beating on him, even AFTER the Face Rape occurs.  The dude even goes so far as to beat up on Blaine, when Blaine tries to confront Karofsky, regarding his sexuality, on Kurt’s behalf.  “Well, he’s not coming out of the closet anytime soon!”  Blaine snarks.

(By the way, kudos to Max Adler, the actor who plays Karofsky, for doing such a brilliant job with these super intense scenes!  You can check out his performance here . . .)

At the end of the episode, we see a newer, more confident Kurt peeking inside his locker for “courage.”  And, honestly, who wouldn’t be more “courageous,” after looking at THIS GUY’S FACE?

You’re welcome.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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“What’s up, Doc?” – A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “These Arms of Mine”

“This soup tastes funny . . .”

This week on Grey’s, Meredith’s Voiceover had her trachea accidentally eaten by a Person Who Shall Not Be Named. *cough Alex cough*  And so, while Meredith’s Voiceover’s  new trachea was incubating, our Grey’s writers had to come up with another Artificial Story-Framing Device to use during the episode.  Their solution?  This . . .

As we all know (and have been told TIME and TIME AGAIN), Seattle Grace and the doctors and nurses who work there, have all suffered, as a result of The Shooting.

As with all major tragedies, The Shooting left scars on everyone who experienced it.  Some of those scars are easily seen  . . .

 . . . while others are more hidden.

Yet, ever the businessman, Chief Webber would like to gloss over all of those scars with a swift coat of cheery yellow paint, and put a “fresh face” on Seattle Grace — one that is shiny and new.

“Get those ugly extras in the white lab coats OUT OF MY SHOT!  What do you think this is . . . a HOSPITAL?”

And so, Chief Webber invites a documentary film crew inside his hospital, to show the world what a “warm and sunshiney” place Seattle Grace can be!

“You can stand under my umbrella . . . ella . . . ella . . . hey . . . hey . . . hey . . . under my umbrella . . .”

(Speaking of “sunny”  . . . you know . . . this show has been on the air for seven seasons, and, during that time, I don’t recall ONCE seeing it rain!  Did I mention the show takes place in Seattle?  You know, the “Rainy City?”  Where it rains, on average, 158 days per year?)

One of the few times I someone got wet watching on Grey’s Anatomy . . .

Good weather notwithstanding, it is tough to paint a “happy face” on a place, where phrases like the one below are so often included in daily conversation . . .

But that doesn’t mean that Chief Webber isn’t going to try . . .

So, scrub in Grey’s fans!  It’s time to take a little walk on the “Road to Recovery.”

Alex Karev’s Greatest Hits

By far, my favorite storyline of the episode went to Alex Karev.  His patient-of-the-week was a nine-year old girl named Lily, who had a large tumor obstructing her trachea. 

She also had an obsession with Camp Rock 2, and a terrible case of Bieber Fever . . .

It is important to note that Justin Chambers (the actor who plays Alex) has five kids, ranging in age from 8 to 17, four of whom are girls.  So, when Lily couldn’t take her iPOD into the MRI machine with her, and Alex started singing Camp Rock 2’s “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” to the her, so she wouldn’t be nervous during the procedure, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the actor had done this before . . .

Lily’s MRI results show that her tumor has grown so large that she will die, if her trachea isn’t removed.  Unfortunately, the removal of the trachea is, in itself, an often-fatal procedure.

Fortunately, as per usual, Alex and the Seattle Graceans have come up with a Groundbreaking Medical Procedure that could save Lily’s life.  The procedure involves growing a new healthy trachea, using Lily’s own cells. 

Just heat those little buggers up in a microwave and, voila!  You’ve got yourself a BRAND NEW Chia Trachea!

Tra-tra-tra TRACHEA!

For a guy who can be a REAL douche when it comes to dealing with adults, our Alex sure is a softy when it comes to working with kids!

And, although Alex says he’s only sleeping at the hospital to water Lily’s Chia Trachea, it seems pretty obvious that the real reason he’s there, is so that the little girl won’t feel so alone.

All I know, is if I was in fourth grade right now, I would TOTALLY bring that Adorable Doc in for Show-and-Tell, just like Lily did . . .

I’d probably have him wear less clothes, though . . .

Lexie Grey – Renegade Outlaw

While Alex is spending all of his time in the hospital, Lexie is spending most of hers right outside of it.  You see, ever since The Shooting, Chief Webber has significantly “enhanced” the security at Seattle Grace.  One of these new “enhanced” security procedures requires all staff and vistors entering the hospital to submit to a full body scan and metal detector check.  As for the doctors and nurses, they must also show the security guards their Picture ID Badges, upon entering the hospital.

The problem is that Lexie’s ID picture looks like this . . .

 . . . and she now looks like this . . .

So, rather than do the logical thing, and ask the Chief to have a new ID picture taken, Lexie spends most of the episode fighting with the security guards –trying desperately to convince them that she’s the same person as the blonde in the picture.

Eventually, Lexie  gets fed up with arguing, and runs past the guards into the hospital.  Lexie’s breach of protocol causes the ENTIRE hospital to go into lockdown.  This “innocent” rebellion results in major problems for one of Lexie’s colleagues Dr. Hotness Jackson Avery.

Jackson’s Emotional Breakdown

Jackson is rolling a patient with respiratory problems into surgery, when the automatic procedures associated with the lockdown result in his being trapped in a small glass vestibule, without any medical equipment.  Undoubtedly, having his own PTSD-fueled flashback to the day of The Shooting, Jackson begins to scream, pound ferociously on the glass doors, and doggedly  administer CPR to his patient, who is now frantically gasping for air.

The event frightens Jackson so much, that even when the doors reopen, and other doctors are allowed into the room, Jackson, now hysterically crying continues pounding uselessly on his patient’s chest.

On camera, an embarrassed and grief-stricken Jackson admits just how hard on him The Shooting, specifically, his loss of two friends and colleagues during it has been . . .

Finally, at the end of the episode, The Chief takes his head out of his ass long enough to order the removal of Seattle Grace’s short-lived and utterly ridiculous security system from the premises.  Goodbye and GOOD RIDDENS, I say!

Hello to Arms

I had literally a TON of ideas for jokes to put in the caption underneath this picture, all of which would make me look like a total douche, and none of which were the least bit appropriate.  Therefore, feel free to insert your own Inappropriate Joke About People With No Arms here . . .[ ]

I’m a totally terrible person, aren’t I?

Remember that picture at the top of this recap, featuring the caption about someone’s brains being on the floor?  Yeah . . . that was THIS GUY . . .

The bad news is . . . he’s dead obviously.   The good news is, he’s an organ donor with pretty arms.  That second part makes our Attendings pretty darn happy, because it will provide them with the opportunity to perform . . .you guessed it . . . a NEW Groundbreaking Medical Procedure. 

(That’s TWO Groundbreaking Medical Procedures in one episode, for those of you keeping score . . .)

“Hey, remember when No Arm Guy’s wife stole a baby from the stomach of that chick on Private Practice?  That was AWESOME!”

So, the trio of Super Docs (actually, it ends up being Callie, who does most of the work), plan to extract Dead Guy’s arms, and put them on No Arms Guy.  (Dead Guy isn’t really using them, anyway. . .).  There’s just one slight problem . . .

“Nicole” is not No Arms Guy’s Wife’s name . . . AWKWARD!

Honestly?  I wasn’t as surprised by the couple being so cool with taking the arms, despite the tattoo, as I was by the fact that all the doctors thought that they wouldn’t be.  After all, in the “What Would Rather” game, I’m pretty sure “Have a Random Tattoo” would win out over “Have No Arms” EVERY TIME . . .

Now, usually the actual “surgery” parts of Grey’s episodes bore the stuffing out of me.  But I have to say, this arm surgery was pretty darn cool to watch.  The way they literally sawed off Dead Guy’s arms, and wheeled them down the hospital corridor — the disembodied fingers wiggling, as the gurney lurched and bumped its way toward the OR — was like something out of a horror movie!

And then, the way the arms turned, pink, once they were reconnected to the Patient Formerly Known as No Arms Guy’s body, was so VERY Frankenstein . . .

 . . . or, it would be, if the original Frankenstein movie wasn’t in black-and-white . . .

I also liked the little epilogue part, where we learned that the Patient Formerly Known As No Arms Guy tattooed the word “Thank you” next to Nicole’s name.  That was sweet.  It was nice of Crazy Lady from Private Practice and the Patient Formerly Known As No Arms Guy to remember that, even though the arms belonged to Dead Guy, originally, it was his wife, Nicole, who actually agreed to donate them — thereby, making this whole thing possible . . .

LOOOOOOOONG Distance Relationship

Ummmm . . . what’s up with the Fugly Hat?  You’re going to Africa, not the Easter Parade.”

Sometimes, spending time fixing Tiny Humans really pays off.  Arizona learned this, when she won the prestigious Carter Madison grant.   Said grant would allow her to go to Africa, and facilitate the process of ensuring that the children there receive top-quality medical treatment. 

While some of Arizona’s colleagues were pleased to hear about the honor she received  .  . .

(The increasingly opportunistic Chief Webber treated Arizona like she was his prize poodle, who had just won Best in Show at the Purina Dog C0mpetition.  I kept waiting for him to pat her on the head, and give her a biscuit . . .)

 . . . others were less than enthused . . .

Callie, for one, couldn’t understand why ANYONE would possibly give up Earth-shattering sex with her (YAY!), in exchange for something as mundane as The Opportunity of a Lifetime (Snooze!).

Fortunately for Arizona, Callie decided, at the last minute to come to Africa with Arizona. 

See?  Sometimes you CAN have your pound cake, and eat it out too!

Miranda Bailey can’t win . . .

You know, everytime I see Miranda Bailey on my screen lately, I want to reach out and give her a hug.  Let’s review, shall we?  Her husband left her, her boyfriend ditched her for a spinoff .  . .

. . . Dr. Percy died in her arms . . . and now . . . our girl is FINALLY ready to go out and have a drink with her buds . . .

 . . . when she finds out that SHE KILLED MANDY MOORE!

It all started when Mary, the girl attached to the colostomy bag, who braved The Shooting with Bailey, returned to Seattle Grace, with her husband in tow.

 Mary plans to have Dr. Bailey complete a medical procedure, which she had never gotten to perform during Mary’s first visit to the hospital, for obvious reasons.  The procedure is a routine colostomy reversal, one that should have Mary in and out of the OR in about an hour.  Dr. Bailey, having grown attached to Mary, during The Shooting, is eager to finish the procedure.  She hopes that it will provide them both with some much needed closure on a difficult chapter in their lives.

While Bailey preps Mary for surgery, the two chat like old girlfriends.  We learn that Mary and her husband, realizing that life is short, blew through their entire savings, and traveled the world, in the months following the shooting.

 

We also hear Mary tell the documentary film crew that she hopes to “have lots of babies.”

The procedure itself goes off without a hitch.  We see Dr. Bailey give Mary’s adorable husband (played by Ryan Devlin) the good news.  Dr. Bailey, still on a high from her friend’s successful surgery, tells the documentary crew that she is plans to treat herself to a drink after work — something, which, surely she has earned.

Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be Grey’s Anatomy if there wasn’t at least one maudlin moment in the episode.  And this moment belonged to poor Mary, who, we later learn, never woke up from surgery.

After watching his wife spend months in a coma, Mary’s husband is ultimately forced to terminate her life support.   In a heart-wrenching scene toward the end of the episode, we see Bailey break down and cry over Mary’s death, in an empty hospital room . . .

Well THAT was completely unnecessary, Grey’s!

“Being a Hero Has Its Price.”

Although Meredith and Cristina didn’t have their own “medical” storyline this week  (Cristina, after all, is still on her way too long “I don’t do surgery” PTSD/depression kick.), we did get to see a lot of them both, during the “interview” portion of the episode.  Meredith remarks to the interviewer about how close her and Cristina are — a fact which Derek readily confirms.  “Dr. Yang and my wife sometimes have sleepovers . . . in my bed  . . . with me in it.”

That’s HOT!

But when Meredith calls Cristina “her hero” for saving Derek’s life, during The Shooting, Cristina breaks down, and has to stop the interview.  She later returns to complete the interview, after she has composed herself.  “What did you take away from all of this?”  The interviewer asks Cristina.

“Being a hero has its price,” replies Cristina sadly.

Indeed . . .

But, that’s kind of a depressing way to end a recap.  And I always like to end my recaps on a HAPPY note.  So, let’s try this ending on for size . . .

Ahhhh . . . much better!

See you next week!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Nightmare on Blair’s Street – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Easy J”

Forget Paranormal Activity 2, THIS is the scariest sight I’ve seen ALL WEEK . . .

 .  . . and, apparently, I’m not the only one who thought so!

So, this is Halloween Week.  This tends to be the week when television shows try to add a little something “special” and “Halloweeny” to their episodes.  They do this, in a shallow attempt to SCARE THE BEJEEZUS OUT OF US!

Glee has the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The Vampire Diaries has a Masquerade Ball and a Murderous Kat.  Gossip Girl has an Evil Raccoon Zombie with bad hair extensions . . .

But you want to know the SCARIEST THING about this episode?  During it, I actually .  . . gulp . . . didn’t mind . . . Jenny Humphrey!

OH THE HORROR!

Let’s get on to the recap, OK?

Wait Until Dark . . . Then Freak Out in the Morning

Yes, boys and girls.  Only Blair Waldorf wakes up in the morning with perfect makeup, flawless skin, and not a single hair out of place . . . B*TCH!

In anticipation of this upcoming episode, many of you might have had nightmares about Jenny Humphrey’s impending return to Gossip Girl.  Apparently, so did Blair.  When the episode opens, our Queen B is, once again, dreaming herself into an Audrey Hepburn movie.  Only, this time, it is not the Happy “Holly Go Lightly” Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It’s . . . Wait Until Dark.

 LOVE THE HAIR . . . Blair!

In the dream sequence, a blind Blair (Wait . . . She was blind?  How did she SEE ANY OF THIS?) hears an intruder in her house, and becomes immediately convinced that it is Chuck Bass.  But, when the intruder attacks her from behind, Blair, in an attempt to defend herself, grabs a hold of something .  . . HAIR . . . long . . . grimy . . . stringy . . . despicable . . . HAIR.  My goodness!  Who could it possibly be?

Good guess . . . but I’m pretty sure it was Jenny Humphrey . . .

Meanwhile, across town, Serena is in bed with that Slutty Hot Guy who kept stealing her cab last week. 

Mommy Like!

Except . . . they are wearing clothes . . . A LOT OF CLOTHES.  You know what?  I don’t these two slept together . . .

Man, this episode is terrifying.  Clearly, this is a WORLD GONE MAD!

Anyway, Slutty (but not TODAY!) Serena sneaks out of Cab Guy’s apartment, because she doesn’t want to be like “all those other girls” she sees entering cabs from there, on “the morning after.”  (Yes, Serena.  Because Walks of Shame are SO much classier, than Cab Rides of Shame.  Good call, Girlfriend!)

“I am SMART!  S-M-R-T!”

But then, in a twist that shocked positively NO ONE, when Serena arrives at her “class,” which is Psychology of Business, or something . . .

(Wait . . . another business class?  What’s the matter?  Don’t any of you Gossip Girls like Science?  Or Math?  Or Underwater Basket Weaving?)

 . . . who is her new professor but, lo and behold, Cab Guy!

(I’m sure Columbia University is SO HAPPY to know that their prestigious faculty is being represented on this show as He Sluts and B*tchy Ladies who quit teaching because their  prospective Teaching Assistants fight over them . . .)

The Day Pass and the Dropped Class

Never one to disregard her Audrey Hepburn Dreams, Blair rushes to La Casa de Humphrey / van der Woodsen, and finds to no one’s surprise that Jenny Humphrey is there!

Queen B is just APPALLED that Evil Raccoon Zombie would have the GALL to disregard her Decree of Banishment, and show her mascara-stained face in Upper Manhattan.

“Off with her head!”

And yet, The Queen is feeling quite generous today.  Upon hearing that Jenny has an interview with Tim Gunn, for admittance into Parsons School of Design . . .

“Oooh Jenny!  That hair!  That MAKEUP!  This concerns me.  I’m very troubled . . .”

 . . . Blair offers Jenny a “Day Pass” from Queen B-sized torture.  The terms of said Day Pass are that (1) Jenny stays home all day; and (2) she ONLY leaves the house to attend her interview.

Now, is that not the sweetest thing you ever heard?  No?  Well, clearly you don’t understand the sheer magnificence that is Relative Kindness to Evil Raccoon Zombies!

“I’m so happy I could eat out of a garbage can!  Oh, wait . . . I always do that!”

Not that it matters, anyway.  We all know it isn’t going to last . . .

Meanwhile, Serena confronts Professor Cab Guy, and tells him that they should just be friends teacher / student, or whatever.  But then Professor Cab Guy starts laying it on really thick!  He’s all . . . “I CARE about you!  I think we could really HAVE something together.  You’re so smart and witty!  I have so many new and unusual STDs to give you.  But I can’t give you them, if we never screw!

“I’m concerned.  This troubles me.  He’s just so full of sh*t!”

Ummm . . . yeah . . . the minute Professor Cab Guy (His name is “Colin” by the way.  I just like Professor Cab Guy, better . . .) started alluding to the fact that he was attracted to Serena, because she’s “smart” and has a “great personality,” we all should have IMMEDIATELY known something was up . . .

But, alas, Serena is actually deluded enough to think she is smart, and actually has a great personality!  And so, she falls for all this hook-line-and-sinker.  She agrees to to hold off on taking Psychology of Business, or whatever, until next semester.  She also agrees to be Professor Cab Guy’s date to the Eligible Bachelor Award Party at the Boom Boom Room. 

OK . . . so let me get this straight.  They give out awards to guys for being single, at a place called the “Boom Boom Room?”  Does that sound strange to anybody else?

Crimes of Fashion

After running into Chuck, and reminding him that she “banished” Jenny for “both [their] sakes” . . .

“Honestly, Chuck, do you REALLY want people to know you slept with Little J?  Let’s put aside, for a moment, the fact that she’s underaged, and you two are kind-of/sort-of related.  Have you seen that HAIR?”

. . . Blair contacts her Army of Minions (which now, apparently, includes Penelope again – Oh how the mighty, hath fallen!).  She then instructs them to stake out Little J’s casa, to make sure Spaghetti Head abides by the terms of her Day Pass.

OK . . . now, I only noticed this, because I screencap the episodes.  But do any of you find it odd that Blair’s two non-Penelope minions always wear orange and yellow? 

 

What’s up with that?

The non-Penelope minions agree to the task without question.  However, Penelope has become a bit rusty in the art of Minionship, during her year off the show away from Queen B.  She actually QUESTIONS BLAIR’S AUTHORITY!

While Penelope agrees that nothing can be more entertaining than a little “Bottle Blonde Recon,” she can’t, for the life of her, understand what Loser J could have possibly done to make her worth all this trouble . . .

“Yours is not to wonder why, yours is just to DO or DIE!”  Blair SEETHES.  (That RHYMES!)

 “I do not like Jenny in my Town.  I do not like her.  She makes me frown.  And so you’ll stalk her, yes you will.  You better stalk her, or I’ll kill!”

Back at La Casa de Humphrey / van der Woodsen, Jenny is putting the finishing touches on the LAMEST FASHION COLLECTION EVER!  Seriously?  Stick figures?  All black?  All dresses?  This . . . from the “most talented young fashion designer of the Upper East Side?” 

“Your verk, is uneenspired, and borink.  You have nooo talent.  And your hair is a DISASTER!  Jenny Humphrey, you are Out!  Auf wiedersehen!”

And then . . . just when we thought we would be subjected to yet another lame scene, where Jenny and Dan talk about how oh-so-mean Blair is, a Special Guest arrives at the house . . .

Well hello,  Special Guest!

Special Guest Chuck (who we all know was the whole reason Jenny and her hideous fashion sense even GOT an interview with Parsons) arrives supposedly to “apologize” for deflowering her, and ruining her hair (Oh. . . wait, she did that by herself.) . . . I mean ruining her LIFE  (Yeah, that works.)

But Dorky Dan won’t let Chuck see Jenny.

“Now that Lame-o Vanessa is out of the picture, I have NO STORYLINE.  In fact, I have pretty much nothing to do this week, except follow my sister around and be “brotherly.”  You are SO not stealing another scene from me!  So there!”

*sticks out tongue*

Chuck agrees to leave so quickly, we just know he’s up to something dastardly.  And we figure out precisely what he’s up to, when we see him depart with a stack of papers.  And even though the top pages say “Bass Industries,” we can be pretty sure that the ones conveniently hidden below them say, “Jenny’s Crappy Excuse for a Fashion Line.”

Our suspicions are confirmed, when Chuck calls Jenny at home, to let her know he purposefully accidentally stole took her “Crappy Excuse for a Fashion Line” Papers.  Therefore, he will leave the at the front desk of his hotel, so that she can retrieve them.

“I’m Chuck Bass.  I make weird faces, when talking on the telephone.”

Having no choice in the matter, Jenny dashes outside, ugly goth dresses under her arm, and hails a cab toward the Empire Hotel.

The Stalking Minions, of course, follow Jenny into Chuck’s Pants the Empire, and immediately report their findings back to Blair.

And she is PISSED!  Blair hightales it to Tim Gunn’s studio.  There, she plots a revenge that is SO awful, that it actually had me . . . gulp . . . FEELING BAD FOR LITTLE J!

I don’t even know who I AM, anymore!

Toward the end of Jenny’s interview with Tim Gunn (which, admittedly, she ALREADY screwed up, by having LAME designs, and babbling on WAY TOO MUCH about her trashy personal life), she brings out the models wearing her designs.  It is at that moment that Jenny learns that Blair has somehow labeled each of them, so that they spell out the word”Whore,” in giant red letters.

(Then again . . .  it DID put some color on that bland palette of hers . . .)

Tim Gunn is APPALLED!

“I’m APPALLED!”

And so, he has no choice but to very politely ask Little J to leave  . . .

Don’t Drop the Soap!

You know what’s REALLY awkward?  When you are at prison, visiting your Psycho Sadistic Stalker Brother, who wants you to ruin the lives of your Boyfriend’s Friends — and you run into your Boyfriend, who is visiting his White-Collar Criminal / Drug Addict Dad.  I really hate it when that happens . . .

So, the above situation happens to Nate and Juliet.  Nate, for his part, is pretty cool with it — coming completely clean to Juliet about his Bad News Dad.  He also tells Juliet that he doesn’t care at all that her brother is an obvious Derelict / Threat to Society.

But then Juliet LIES ABOUT IT (even though she already basically told Nate about her brother’s “problems,” which sort of didn’t make sense).  Rather then telling the truth, Juliet makes up some lame excuse about being at the prison to teach some “literacy program” to inmates.  And then, Poor Dumb Nate offers to COME WITH HER to the class!

Awww Nate!  It’s a good thing you’re so pretty . . . Because you are going to make a GREAT Trophy Husband, some day . . .

Knowing she’s not about to teach some “Fake Literacy Class” at the prison, Juliet dashes off, nervously.  Back at prison (They must have some PRETTY LENIENT policies, regarding Visiting Hours and Use of Cellphones there!), Juliet tells her Derelict Big Bro that she trusts Nate, and wants to come clean to him, about EVERYTHING.

Her brother says, “That’s cool . . . whatever.”  (And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.)

Surprise, surprise!  Just when Juliet is about to confront Nate about “EVERYTHING,” he gets a call that his father has been gang banged “jumped” at prison.  Moments later, Big Bad Ben uses his Unlimited Prison Texting Plan to text Juliet with the unoriginal, “Did you get the message?”

(Maybe that “Prison Literacy Class” wouldn’t be such a bad idea, after all!)

Reverse Psychology for Dummies

Because it’s Monday, Serena is TOTALLY in love with Professor Cab Guy (just like she was TOTALLY in love with Nate .  . . and Dan . . . and Tripp . . . and Carter . . . and Aaron Rose . . . and the entire male population of Paris . . .)  But when her Mommy, Lily (she of the 18,000 marriages). . .

 . . . sees her daughter reading Professor Cab Guy’s business book, she is shocked to learn that her daughter can actually read thrilled that Serena is finally taking an interest in academics.  Serena, of course, doesn’t have the heart to tell her mother the truth — that her and her mom are EXACTLY alike — namely, Rich and Pretty but Dumb as Dog Poopy.

And so, the younger Miss van der Woodsen goes along with the ruse.  At least until this happens . . .

OOPS!

Lily, of course, is upset that her daughter is back to her Majorly Slutty ways, and can clearly give two figs about getting an education.  But . . . all hope is not lost!  Because Lily has an IDEA!

You see, she’s been looking at the pictures in reading Professor Cab Guy’s book, specifically the chapter on “Reverse Psychology,” and, doggonit, she’s going to use that on Serena!

(Riiiiiiiight, because this 40-something woman, educated at Brown, head of Bass Industries, married to millions of people dollars, has NEVER heard of or used reverse psychology before . . .)

Anyway, Lily starts telling Serena all this mean stuff, which, quite honestly is TOTALLY TRUE!  She tells Serena that Professor Cab Guy will make her rich, so she should go for it.  Plus, she’s too pretty to have to worry about “hard” mundane things like “getting an education.”  So, why bother?  Besides, Trophy Wives are AWESOME!

Serena, of course, being the Mental Midget she is, totally falls for this, and escapes the party, during Professor Cab Guy’s SUPER cheesy, “I’d give up bachelorhood for the right woman,” speech. 

Unable to resist, however, Serena visits Professor Cab Guy at his office to screw him talk.  Together, they agree that she should take Psychology of Business or Whatever, with him as teacher.  Then, when that’s all over and done with, she can finally become the Hot Trophy Wife he so desperately desires!

Love the Way You Lie . . .

When Chuck hears what happened at Jenny’s interview with Tim Gunn (which he TOTALLY orchestrated, by the way), he offers to “help” Jenny, by arranging another run in with Tim at the “Boom Boom Room,” where Blair and Co. just so happen to be.  Jenny agrees to attend. 

However, when Jenny DOES get to speak to Tim Gunn, he let’s it slip that Chuck got her the interview . . .

Infuriated that she has managed to get herself in the middle of Chuck’s and Blair’s foreplay, ONCE AGAIN, Little J fights back, by calling BOTH of their bluffs. 

“I’m BAAAACK!”

Moments later, out shoots a new Gossip Girl blast detailing just WHO exactly popped Little J’s cherry.  Chuck and Blair are, understandably, both humiliated.  (After all, who the heck would want people to know you slept with / were cheated on with an Evil Raccoon Zombie?) 

And, I have to say, it was nice to see Chuck and Blair together, on the same side, sharing the same emotion — even if it was Little J who caused it.  But then, Dan pops Little J’s Black Cloud of Joy, by informing her that just a single day on the Upper East Side has made her EVIL again.  (Not to mention, it further damaged her already miserable reputation.)

And so, Jenny decides the Upper East Side might not be the best place for her.

And yet, just when I’m ready to LITERALLY throw the book at Jenny, she has to go and say something to Chuck and Blair that (almost) changes my opinion about her in . . . gulp . . . positive way. 

“You two used to be in love.  Together, you were invincible.  Now, it is just a matter of time before your mutual destruction,” remarks a Newly Sage Jenny.

Jenny’s surprisingly wise words, strike a chord with Chuck, who visits Blair at her house that very night. 

“If we keep going like this, we are both going to end up dead,” Chuck begins.  “What happened between us . . . it was no one’s fault . . . it was fate . . . it could have been different.  We are holding on to the pain, because it’s all we have left.  But . . . we don’t have to.  Truce?”

Chuck extends his hand to Blair.  Tentatively, she takes it.   The moment their hands touch a current of lust and electricity, rushes through both their bodies.  They hold hands for just a moment too long, staring intently at one another.   Then, they abruptly pull away . . .

The door to Blair’s apartment closes, as Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” plays in the background.  A more perfect song for this scene could not have been chosen . . .

Before I move on to the final portion of this recap, I just have two words (one a contraction) that I’d like to share with my fellow Chair fans: We’re BAAACK! 🙂

In Other News . . .

Jenny left town! 8) (for now . . .)

A tearful Juliet broke up with Nate to “save him” from the wrath of Big Bad Ben.  However, Nate wrongly assumed that Juliet dumped him, due to her embarrassment over dating a “Dude Who’s Dad’s in Prison.”  So, Nate kind of told her off.  (Not that she didn’t deserve to be told off, mind you — just . . . not for that reason.)

Oh, and THIS GUY?

He’s TOTALLY the “Big Brain” behind Juliet’s and Psycho Ben’s Stalker Games! (See, I knew nobody could REALLY like Serena for her “personality!”)

That’s all I’ve got, folks.  As for next week?  I have three words for you all: HOT . . . HATE . . . SEX!  😉

XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Gossip Girl

“Who’s Hunting Whom?” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Family Limitation”

Is that a knife in your table, or are you just happy to see me?

During the Prohibition Era, business, politics, and love, were all Blood Sports.  Sometimes you were the Hunter, and sometimes you were hunted.  Your survival depended entirely on how well you played the Game . . .

“Hey . . . nobody said anything about “hunting.”  I thought the 1920’s were just about Booze and Sex . . .”

Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Nucky Gets Scratched and Screwed

When the episode opens, one of Nucky’s goons is collecting “taxes” from some local businesses on Nucky’s behalf.  Then, the Big Doughy Dude gets his ass kicked, and his money stolen, by a little kid and a skinny guy, who were obviously working as a Tag Team.  Now, if you ask me, this was Nucky’s first mistake.  You don’t hire someone who looks like this . . .

 . . . to collect your money for you.  You hire someone who looks like this . . .

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

You know what Nucky’s second mistake was?  Sleeping with her!

Now, I’m sure Paz de la Huerta (the actress who plays Mistress Lucy) is a lovely lady.  But I want this character to “get whacked” so badly, that I actually make fake machine gun noises (complete with accompanying hand gestures) every time she appears on screen. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good villain as much as the next girl.  (My favorite characters on this show are Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, if that’s any indication.)  But here’s the thing about good villains — they tend to be either fun, or fun-ny (being hot helps too) and Lucy is none of the above!  In fact, she’s more like . . .boobs meat with eyes . . .

So, anyway, Nucky is lounging in bed with Annoying Ass Lucy.  Noticing how clearly BORED he is with her (and, honestly, who wouldn’t be?), Lucy decides to engage in a little “role playing.”  And that role playing involves pretending to be a “tiger” and scratching Nucky, until he bleeds.

Now, aside from the fact that unnecessary close-ups of Steve Buscemi’s abdominal muscles (or lack thereof) should be avoided at all costs, this had to be the LEAST sexy showing of rough foreplay I have EVER seen in my entire life! Come on, HBO!  I know you can do better.  In fact, I’ve SEEN you do better . . .

I rest my case . . .

After warning Lucy not to get carried away by his UNBELIEVABLE HOTNESS . . .

Ummmm . .  . OK?

 . . . Nucky escapes to the bathroom, and our eyes are finally given a rest.

Professor McGonagall Knows her Birth Control . . .

In the next scene, an embarrassed Margaret heads to the Temperance League to seek advice from her favorite mentor, Professor McGonagall.

It is common knowledge that those who can turn into cats, know a thing or two about pussy love.

Margaret tells Professor McGonagall, that she has received an offer from a Powerful Wizard, who is willing to care for her and her family, provided she cleans his wand every once in a while.  Who is this Wizard you may ask?  Well, Margaret Dare Not Speak his Name . . .

But I will!  I’s . . .  Nucky!  (Why?  Who did you think I was talking about?)

Anyway, McGonagall, who’s been around the block a few times (Dumbledore?  Snape?  She totally hit those!), admits that she does, in fact, think Margaret is a whore.  And yet, she’s surprisingly cool about the whole thing!  “You gotta do, who what you gotta do,” McGonagall tells Margaret, more or less.

However, before Margaret leaves, McGonagall gives her a book entitled “Family Limitations,” written by Margaret Sanger.  Now, because I didn’t know anything about this book, or why McGonagall gave it to Margaret, or what the heck it had to do Lysol, I took the liberty of doing a little research.  Apparently “Family Limitations” was a controversial pamphlet  about birth control, which made it’s way around town during the 1920’s.  As for what the reference to “Lysol” was doing in there? 

Well, I think you can probably figure it out . . .

Speaking of Someone in Need of Lysol . . .

How’s this for an awkward moment.  You are getting it on with your rival’s mother (by the way, I don’t believe for a second that Gretchen Mol, who is in her late 30’s, looks old enough to play Mommy to Michael Pitts, who’s in his late 20’s). 

Then, your boss calls . . .

And he tells you that, not only does he KNOW that you have been getting it on with your rival’s mother, he also knows that the two of you are doing it RIGHT NOW!

All I have to say is, thank goodness they didn’t have web cams back then.  Because, if they did, we all KNOW Rothstein would be checking that stuff out on YouTube . . .

Later, Nucky, who suspects Lucky of being behind the “tax” heist, calls him into his office.  He then, basically, has little brother beat the crap out of the guy. 

Interestingly enough, the beating had NOTHING to do with the “tax theft” and everything to do with Frank talking disrespectfully about Jimmy’s mother.  (Wait . . . NUCKY knew those two were screwing too?  Maybe they did have YouTube back then . . .)

“Everything you see here is mine . . . if you steal from my men, or boink the mother of my illegitimate child you steal from me,” warns Nucky.

“Thank you for showing me how it’s done here,” seethes Lucky, as he exits the office.

Oh, I have a feeling this is FAR FROM OVER . . .

“We’ll Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse”

Tensions began to boil beneath the surface for “new friends” Al Capone and Jimmy Darmody, when Al’s lack of knowledge about how to play “Five Finger Filet” (Come on, Al!  I used to play ALL THE TIME in elementary school!  Granted . . .  I used a dull Number 2 pencil instead of a knife.  But still!) leads Jimmy to publicly question Al about his “time as a soldier.”

“Hey!  I was too in a war!  Ever heard of a little thing called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre?  Oh . . . wait . . . that didn’t happen yet . . .”

Later, Johnny Torrio calls Jimmy and Al over to discuss a rival “Family’s” hostile takeover of Torrio’s territory in Greektown, as well as their hostile invasion of Torrio’s brothel (an event, which, as we know, ultimately brought about Jimmy’s girlfriend, Pearl’s suicide).  When Capone tells Torrio to start a war with the rival Family, Torrio scoffs at the idea, and tells the young gangster to “go wash [his] Buick.”

“Are you smart?” Torrio inquires of Jimmy, as a cowed Capone exits the building.

Jimmy suggests that Torrio go to the rival Family and come to an understanding with them.  He agrees with Torrio that out-and-out-war is the wrong way to go.  “But retreating?  How would that look?”  Jimmy asks pointedly.

“What is your obsession with this Schroeder person?”

We’ve all known that Detective Van Alden has had a hard on for Margaret, ever since he started sniffing her stolen hair ribbon, a few weeks back.  But we didn’t know just how far his obsession has gone, until this week.  When Van Alden got a surprise visit from his boss, over at the FBI, he had pretty much nothing to show him that would result in any sort of criminal charges against Nucky Thompson.  He did, however, have a whole lot of intel on Margaret Schroeder, including her personal file . . . a file that is about to be put to some pretty interesting use within the hour . . . (and by “pretty interesting,” I mean “really CREEPY”).

“And then, what am I?”

Back at the mansion, Nucky and Margaret are getting mighty close, when Margaret notices the Lucy-sized scratches on Nucky’s stomach.  (AGAIN with the Buscemi abdominal shot?  SERIOUSLY, HBO!)  “What happened here?”   Margaret asks suspiciously.

“Hunting accident,” Nucky replies.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet.  I’m hunting Ho Bags!”

But Margaret’s no dummy.  She knows Nucky can’t hunt.   She watched The Sopranos.   “Who’s hunting whom?”  She asks smartly.

When Margaret announces she has to leave for work, Nucky, who’s idea of “working” involves screwing slutty girls, drinking, and threatening people, is understandably confused.  “No you don’t,” he pouts, obviously alluding to the “proposition” he made to her, sometime between last episode and this one.

“And then, what am I?”  She inquires skeptically. 

(Well . . . that would make you a Ho Bag, Margaret . . . but a very nice and likeable one . . . kind of like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.)

“Maybe Your C**ny, Isn’t Quite the Draw You Think it Is.”

We are back at the dress shop where Margaret works, when who should stop in, but the Annoying Ass Lucy, who apparently is this shop’s ONLY CUSTOMER.  Lucy is interested in trying on some underwear with a Big Fat Hole in Crotch.  (That’s funny . . . because when my underwear gets a Big Fat Hole in the Crotch, you know what I do with it . . . I THROW IT AWAY!)

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Lucy wants MARGARET to try on the underwear FOR HER!

So, into the dressing room goes Margaret.  And, before you know it, girlfriend is STARK NAKED.

OK . . . so let me get this straight.  She’s trying on underwear.  She’s wearing a dress, with nothing underneath.  So, she takes off her top to put something on her bottom?  Why?  Apparently, HBO stands for “Have Boobs Often” . . .

Anyway, there’s Margaret in her birthday suit.  And Annoying Ass Lucy starts making all these nasty comments are her body.  I basically tuned the b*tch out, so I couldn’t tell you all of what she said.  I do recall, however, that Margaret admitted that she doesn’t wear a bra.

Am I the only one who thought an uptight, shy girl like Margaret would, not only wear a bra, she would NEVER TAKE IT OFF (not even in the shower)?

“I find them uncomfortable,” replies Margaret.

(Ummmm . . . really?  Because you know what I find “uncomfortable”?  NOT WEARING A BRA . . . particularly when doing things like . . . you know . . . walking.)

When Margaret notes that Nucky has no complaints about her body (or lack of a bra), Lucy chooses that moment to go all Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.  Suddenly, her legs are wide open, and, just like every box of cheap kid’s cereal, there is a prize inside . . .

Except, it didn’t look nearly that cute . . .

Margaret lapses into a story about a singing rooster that once fascinated people, but eventually bored them, because it only knew how to do ONE THING.

Lucy, being a total MORON, doesn’t get it . . .

“Maybe your c&*ny isn’t quite the draw you think it is,” explains Margaret.

With that, Girlfriend quits her job at the dress shop, and calls Nucky to accept her new position as Ho Bag – a job that comes with a brand new Barbie Dream House, complete with a built in babysitter, for nights out on the town.

Ho Bag . . . that’s more or less how Margaret’s former neighbor described Margaret, when Van Alden came to her old home looking for her.

“Interesting . . . so that’s why her ribbons smelled like that!  Oh well, nothing a little Lysol can’t cure . . .”

Friends versus Accomplices

While having dinner at Al Capone’s house, Jimmy learns that Al’s son, Sonny, is deaf (a fact that is more or less historically accurate – The real Sonny Capone lost partial hearing as a result of an illness he contracted at age 7.).  Later, Jimmy finds an old love note from the “dearly departed Pearl,” which inspires him to take Torrio’s Greektown negotiation in a different direction . . .

The initial negotiations go quite well, actually.  Sure, there was a little snafu, when Jimmy’s favorite Five Finger Filet Knife and the “skull crusher” attached to it ended up in Jimmy’s throat.  But, other than that, it was fairly uneventful.  At least . . . until Jimmy, Al and Johnny shot the stuffing out of the rival gang, leaving them all dead with a capital D . . .

Oops . . . that might set back “negotiations” a little bit . . .

Later, Torrio holds a celebration at the brothel, in honor of his re-acquisition of Greektown.  At the celebration, he praises Jimmy for his smarts, business acumen, and his amazing ability to look insanely hot while murdering people.  Feeling a bit left out, a jealous Al starts making some not-so-funny jokes to the crowd, about Jimmy cleaning toilets and pooping in his pants.

So, Jimmy retaliates, by making some not-so-funny jokes about Al not really ever being in the army.  AWKWARD!

That night, Al comes to Jimmy’s room with a weapon in his pocket . . .

Oh, don’t worry!  It’s just a STEAK!

Al wants to play nice, and make amends.  He’s really sorry for getting drunk and telling tales about Jimmy’s poopy pants.  But all that “fake soldier” stuff, Jimmy said about him?  That was just “not cool.”  “It makes me look bad,” explains Captain Obvious.  “That’s not how you treat a buddy.”

“Is that what we are?”  Jimmy asks skeptically.

“Yeah, what did you think?”  Al asks.

“Accomplices,” Jimmy replies.

“Same thing,” Al asserts.

With accomplices like these, who needs enemies . . .

Ironic implications aside, the little powwow between Baby Al and Baby Jimmy ends on a relatively high note, with a tearful Al admitting to his son’s deafness, and how guilty it makes him feel.  “I hate to think he’s being punished for the things I’ve done, or the things I’m about to do.”

Well, what do you know?  There is a heart in there!  Not that we’re surprised.  After all, Capone always had a thing for Valentine’s Day . . .

Love Hurts . . . and SCARS.

Alls well that didn’t end so hot for Poor Margaret, who was supposed to go out on a date with Nucky to see Houdini’s Brother perform, but got stood up at the last minute.  So, while Nucky got a little Weiner Appreciation from some naked floozy with a mandolin . . .

 . . . Margaret stayed home with the babysitter and some of the other “Concubine’s Children.” 

Meanwhile, Super Creep Van Alden ogled an underage picture of Margaret from her file.  Then, after learning about her earlier miscarriage, Super Creep got so turned on, that he put her kiddie picture on his night stand, and proceeded to SLAP HIMSELF IN THE BACK WITH A BELT, FOR THREE WHOLE MINUTES, while we all were forced to watch in horror.

You gotta love a little self-flagellation with your Sunday night television!  Honestly, I don’t know who was hurt more by watching this scene, Van Alden or US!  Mike Shannon (who plays Van Alden) does have a pretty sexy back though . . . So, at least there was that . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Never Cry Werewolf – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Plan B”

Believe it or not, this is a REAL movie poster, from an ACTUAL MOVIE, starring Nina Dobrev  . . . and . . . one very non- Taylor Kinney looking werewolf, who is in SERIOUS need of dental insurance.  The internet is a strange and wonderful place . . .

Holy crap!  Let me say that again . . . HOLY CRAP!  Could this show get ANY MORE INSANE?  I mean, I don’t think I’ve gasped or OMG’ed more in a single hour since . . . well . . . since the Season 1 Finale of The Vampire Diaries!  And to think, this episode was supposed to be the “tame one,” leading up to the TOTAL BLOODBATH that will be next week’s “Masquerade!”

But, before we begin our weekly recap, I would like everyone to please take a moment of silence for Mason’s Family Jewels.

After all, our “Big Scary Werewolf” ended up being nothing more than a “Poor Little Lovesick Puppy,” didn’t he?

We’ll miss you, Mason Lockwood . . . you Little Weiner, YOU!

So Much Hot Sex, So Little Time . . .

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, TVD writers, for giving me TWO sex scenes for the price of ONE . . . and all within the first five minutes of this episode.  Talk about EFFICIENCY!

Granted, NEITHER of these sex scenes were the “Damon and Elena” sex scene I’ve been hoping and praying for, every Thursday night, for 1.25 seasons now . . .

 . . . but they were still PRETTY DARN SPICY!

The episode opens with Elena “gazing” not “staring” at Stefan, in a state of post-coital / pre-coital bliss. (Vampires . . . they’ve got STAMINA!).  Still tingly from all the hot fangy loving, Elena still can’t help but worry a bit over whether Katherine will find out their Big Ole Fight, was a Big Ole Fake. 

Meanwhile, Katherine is whispering sweet nothings into a naked Mason’s Big Dog Ears.

“Give me you’re Big Jewels!  I want to grab and squeeze Jewels!  Let me fondle your Wolfy Jewels!”

Yes, boys and girls!  Our girl Katherine has a bit of a one-track mind, it seems.  But Mason, to his credit, doesn’t fall for Katherine’s Little Vampire Games . . . at least, not entirely. 

Despite Katherine’s promises to the contrary, Mason isn’t quite certain that he and the Evil One will live “Happily Ever After,” once he turns over the Moonstone.  In fact, Mason seems a bit concerned that, once he turns over his Fancy Family Jewels, Sexy Times with Katherine will be OVER, with a capital O . . .

 . . . and that would make him one SAD PUPPY.  (Not to mention, give him a WICKED case of these . . .)

As us wily TVD fan’s know, Mason’s right to be skeptical of Katherine’s true intentions.  After all,  she was the one that orchestrated the activation of Mason’s “werewolf curse” to begin with.  You know . . . by compelling that Carrot Top-looking guy to go all Crazy Insane-o on Mason’s ass . . .

SCARY!

So, rather than turn over his Family Jewels right away, Mason decides to . . . hide them in a tight cavernous hole, where the Sun Don’t Shine . . .

Ummm . . . I meant that vervain and snake-filled WELL . . . on the Lockwood Property.  You dirty-minded creatures, you!

And the Newest Recruit to the Salvatore Detective Agency is . . .

 . . . MINI GILBERT!  YAY!

Those of you (like me) who felt it was HIGH TIME that The Littlest Gilbert stopped mourning his Dead Vampire Girlfriends / getting the stuffing beaten out of him, and joined his sister’s Scooby Gang, got their wish this week.  The very brave (or incredibly stupid, depending on how you look at it) boy had precisely NO QUALMS about dropping by La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and paying a visit to the VERY SAME PERSON who actually killed him, during the Season 2 premiere . . .

Yes, go ahead.  By all means, complain that the above picture is inaccurate, because Damon was actually wearing a shirt, during this scene . . . I DARE YOU! 🙂

Using the knowledge he learned last week, during Sexy Times with Tyler, as leverage to gain acceptance into the Salvatore Detective Agency  . . .

 . . . Jeremy shares with Damon valuable information about both the “werewolf curse” and the Lockwood Family Jewels.  But Damon, being Damon, is much more interested in Elena.

Specifically, Damon wants to know if Elena thinks he’s sexy whether Elena knows what Jeremy is currently doing here at La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  When Jeremy admits that Elena would NOT want her little brother playing with the likes of Naughty Bad Influence Damon, the Sexy Vampire snarks, “You’re a Gilbert.  You can’t help yourself . . . especially when it comes to ME.

Damon then allows Jeremy entrance into La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and, by extension the Scooby Gang.  (Just call him Scrappy Doo!)

“Mini Gilbert, reporting for duty, SIR!”

The Worst Kept Secret EVER reveals itself . . . TWICE

Over at the Lockwood Mansion, where seemingly EVERY snooty town-related event is held (What . . . no Mystic Falls Convention Center?), approximately half the TVD cast is prepping for next week’s MAJOR game-changing episode entitled “Masquerade the town’s annual Masquerade Ball.  There, Useless Aunt Jenna . . .

 . . . (who was surprisingly significantly less USELESS this week, and actually functioned as a MAJOR plot point) . . .

I know, crazy, right?

 . . . approaches Stefan about coming to the Gilbert house that evening for another rousing game of Pictionary Family Dinner.  In keeping up with his Fake Fight Story, Stefan tells Jenna, that he’d prefer not to come, because he and Elena are taking a “pause.”

PAUSE!

Useless Aunt Jenna then informs Stefan that . . . “That’s not what it sounded like last night.”

OK . . . am I the only one who would find the concept of my aunt / guardian telling my boyfriend how INSANELY LOUD he and I are when we screw, REALLY CREEPY?

“At least now I know what to buy Aunt Jenna for her birthday . . . earplugs . . . REALLY BIG earplugs.”

Oh, and while we are on the subject . . . Elena  . . .

YOU GO, GIRL!

Meanwhile, Bonnie  . . .

 . . . confronts Elena about the cold shoulder she has received from her former bud, ever since the Little Witch started being a BIG b*tch her whole “Vampire Hatred” kick . . . a habit that even extended to the Witch’s former Bestie, Caroline.

“You don’t want to talk to me anymore, Bonnie?  FINE!  But I am SO not letting you borrow my new lipstick!”

When Elena tells Bonnie that her fight with Stefan is a fake one, Bonnie admits that she had NO IDEA the two were even fighting.  *cough* bad friend *cough*  Although Bonnie is not quite ready to Re-Friend Caroline yet, she does seem amenable to making a go at things with Elena again . . . And, all I have to say, is it’s ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Vampy Mama Drama

 Speaking of Caroline, she’s been busy babysitting her vampire-despising Mommy, while the mother/daughter pair wait for the vervain to leave the latter’s system.   This way,  Mama Dearest can be brainwashed into forgetting how her vampire daughter “Did not Shoot the Sheriff, but definitely ATE the Deputy . . .”

At first, Mama Forbes wants nothing to do with her Undead Daughter.  However, as Caroline explains to her mother her new way of life, i.e. drinking blood bags, filched from hospitals, and sucking on the occasional bunny . . .

 . . . Mama Forbes begins to recognize what US fans have already known for about three episodes now . . . Namely, that Vampire Caroline is WAY COOLER, and MUCH LESS ANNOYING than human Caroline ever was!

It’s Time for Yet Another Pow Wow of Sexiness and Plot Explanation . . .

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Damon’s Bromantic Buddy, Alaric . . .

. . .  has arrived bearing a very nerdy box filled with snoozy information about werewolf lore.  Apparently, according to some lame Aztec Ritual, when it comes to Moonstones, only he (or she) who “made the curse, can break the curse.” 

 Wait . . . isn’t that kind of like, “Who smelt it, dealt it?”

 Ultimately, the Salvatore Detective Agency concludes that, if they want to get to Mason, they have to get his Family Jewels first.  This sounds like a job for . . . Tyler’s hot little lover MINI GILBERT.

When Elena and Stefan find out about Jeremy’s involvement in Damon’s grand plan, they are both majorly pissed.  Elena tells Jeremy not to trust Damon.  Stefan, for his part, gives Damon a Big Ole Bitch Slap . . .

 But these protestations are to no avail.  Scrappy Doo is already on the case!  And there’s nothing anybody can do about it!  (SO THERE!)

After talking to Tyler, Jeremy learns that the almost-wolf has already given Mason back his balls Family Jewels.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  So, the Salvatore Detective Agency decides to put in a pinch hitter, or should I say .  . .  a “witch hitter.”

Bonnie watches the porno in Mason’s Mind . . . and likes it!

When Little Witch Bonnie bumps into Mason, she is nearly bowled over by an exceedingly graphic image of the Wolf doing the horizontal mambo with, what appears to be, her best friend, Elena.

How’d YOU like to watch your best friend “do it?”

So, to show her Bestie just how “loyal” she is, Bonnie gets the brilliant (and by “brilliant” I mean “random and bizarre”) idea to rat Elena out to Stefan, who’s guts Bonnie just so happens to hate.

Fortunately, for Elena, Stefan immediately realizes that the vision Bonnie viewed in Mason’s head was NOT of Elena boinking the wolf, but of Katherine . . .

“You mean my EVIL GENIUS plan to break you two lovebirds up didn’t work?  Dammit!”

After a brief powwow, the Salvatore Detective Agency approach Bonnie and ask for her help.

Specifically, they want Bonnie to give Mason one of her trademark MASSIVE HEADACHES, in order to convince him to give up information about the Moonstone’s location.  Though initially skeptical of the plan, Bonnie ultimately agrees to help.  So, while Mason is incapacitated by a massive migraine, Salvatore Squared use the opportunity to knock him unsconscious, shove him their car, and drive him to La Casa de Rich and Awesome for an intense session of torture interrogation.

At “La Casa,” Bonnie does one of her Jedi Mind Tricks on an unconscious Mason, and finds out that he hid the Moonstone in that Aforementioned Very Special Place. 

Again, I mean . . .THE WELL!  (Will you stop it!)

Bonnie then texts that information to Stefan, who double times it there with Elena. 

After an awkward exchange, “former friends” Bonnie and Caroline decide to head to the well too, “just in case” Elena and Stefan need help . . .

“Hey, Judgy,” Damon calls after Bonnie, as she leaves the house.  “Thank you!”

(And that was the moment that all Bamon shippers simultaneously cheered the fact that Damon FINALLY has a pet name for Bonnie, which doesn’t include the word “witch” or anything that rhymes with it . . .)

All’s Well that Ends . . . Kinda Bloody and Gross

As Elena looks on nervously, Stefan lowers himself into the well.  He’s down there for all of a minute, when the vamp starts screaming like a little girl.  It turns out, Mason distrusted his “lover” Katherine, with his balls Family Jewels SO MUCH, that he filled the whole darn well with vervain!

Not a moment too soon, Bonnie and Caroline come to Elena’s rescue . . .

Quickly, the girls attach Elena to the well’s pulley system, and lower her into the well.  There she finds a VERY GORY looking Stefan, and sends him back up to land via pulley.  Now alone in the well, Elena finds a box containing Mason’s Family Jewels . . .

. . .  too bad it is covered in SNAKES!

All three girls scream like . . . well . . . like girls . .  . as they lift Elena to the surface, just seconds before she is turned into snake food.  Then, as a blood thirsty Caroline turns her head, and Bonnie looks on in horror, Elena cures Stefan’s ailments, once again, by feeding her his blood.

Farewell to Wolfy

While Stefan is busy slurping some Tasty Elena Soup, Damon and Jeremy are at La Casa playing Good Cop / Bad Cop (Bet you can’t guess, who’s who?) with a now conscious, but still chained-to-a-chair Mason.

That’s one HOT BAD Cop!

So, Damon starts poking Mason with his HUGE HARD, and VERY WARM stick, while peppering him with questions about Katherine and her true motives behind wanting the Moonstone.  Unfortunately, all that prodding only turns Mason on . . .

“Hit me Baby.  One more Time!”

 It doesn’t actually convince him to talk.  Fortunately, Scrappy Doo Jeremy has brought along wolfsbane, which is, apparently, the werewolf equivalent of vervain.  (Who said The Vampire Diaries isn’t educational?) 

So, Damon shoves the stuff down the poor dog’s throat.

“STOP!  You are ruining my DIET!  Wolfsbane is SO FATTENING!  What will become of my girlish figure?”

Ultimately, it is not the Big STICK, but the BIG PLANT that finally gets Mason to talk.  The problem is, for all his bluster, the Dude actually has VERY LITTLE to say.  He genuinely loves Katherine!  And he only wanted the Moonstone because SHE told him, it would free him of the werewolf curse. 

“Now, I get it!  You’re just STUPID!”  Damon exclaims.

DING!  DING!  DING!  That’s right, Damon!  Vanna, tell him what he’s won . .

“What can I say?  I’m a fool for love!  (I also have really nice abs . . .)”

Having finally convinced himself, that he had gotten all the information he could get out of Mason, Damon “benevolently” tells Jeremy that the little guy’s work for the Salvatore  Detective  Agency has been completed.   He can go home now

.  But Jeremy doesn’t want to go home.  He wants to stay and make sure Damon doesn’t convert “Stupid Mason” into doggie kibble.

Damon’s not too keen on insubordination amongst his employees.  And so, he gently reminds Jeremy what is expected of him . . .

“SERIOUSLY?  I can’t have ONE single episode, where I don’t get my ass kicked?  Just ONE!  That’s all I ask  . .”

“Suck it up or LEAVE!” Damon tells Jeremy, in no uncertain terms.

And . . . since Mini Gilbert has never been much of a SUCKER . . . he chooses the latter . . .

With Mini Gilbert gone, Damon turns his attention back to a now very frightened Mason.  “I look at you, and I see myself . . . only less dashing, and less intelligent,” Damon explains cordially.

Truer words were never spoken . . .

“I love her,” Mason wimpers pathetically. 

Damon’s face softens.  For a single moment, he looks at his captive, with pity and understanding.  “I’ve been where you are.  Katherine will rip your heart out.”

“Let me do it for her,” he concludes.

And then . . . Damon STABS MASON IN THE HEART, KILLING HIM, before wrapping him in a fancy Oriental Rug, like a Pig-in-a-Blanket . . . or, rather . . . a BIG FAT HOT DOG.

Who said romance was dead?

Thrilled with the rush of his kill, and high on vengeance, Damon then makes a decision he will literally regret forever.  (You see, that’s one of the downsides of immortality.  A complete inability to EVER escape from yourself.) 

After texting Tyler’s Mom from Mason’s phone, to explain Mason’s upcoming ETERNAL absence, Damon can’t resist calling up Katherine to gloat about her now-dead boyfriend.  As can be expected, Katherine does NOT take losing well . . .

“Awwww MAN!  Why didn’t I get to kill Old Yeller Mason ?  No FAIR!”

Yet, despite her OBVIOUS ire, Katherine manages to keep her cool on the phone.  “Do you honestly think I don’t have a Plan B?”  She inquires cooly.  “Send my love to Stefan,”  Katherine concludes, before hanging up the phone.

“We are SO screwed . . .”

While Damon and Stefan are fretting over Katherine’s cryptic words, Caroline is back in the dungeon, excitedly recounting for her mother, her recent adventures in “Well Rescue.”  To Caroline’s complete surprise, her mother TOTALLY shares in her excitement, fanginess and all.

“You’ve become such a strong and confident person,” says Liz Forbes, paying her daughter the first compliment the two have exchanged, since the series began.  “You don’t have to take my memories away.  Just tell them you compelled me . . . You can trust me.”

“I know I can trust you,” says Caroline tearfully.  “But you will never be able to trust them [Stefan and Damon],” she concludes.

Realizing that the vervain has now completely left her mother’s system, Caroline begins to compel her mother to forget the past few days, and believe, instead, that she has spent them home with the flu.  “And then everything went back to normal.  And I started to ignore you again,” finishes Caroline, thereby erasing ALL of the progress these two had made in their relationship throughout this ordeal.

Kind of sucks, right?

On a positive note, Caroline’s complete loyalty to Stefan and Damon show’s a good deal of growth and self-sacrifice, on her part.  Additionally, Caroline’s ability to bond with her mother, even for just a short while, demonstrates a maturity in Caroline we haven’t seen up to this point.  She’s going to be OK, that Baby Vamp!

Vampire Katherine’s Revenge

“I’ll get you my pretty, and you’re Useless Aunt Jenna TOO!”

Elena returns home to find Alaric and Useless Aunt Jenna still preparing dinner.  Elena relays her busy day to Alaric, while Jenna chats to SOMEONE on the phone.  Jenna then absentmindedly hands Elena the telephone, and walks away.

In that special sing-song voice utilized by all Super Villains when they are monologuing about their dastardly deeds, Katherine begins to explain to Elena how she KNOWS about her “fake breakup” with Stefan.  (And, honestly, who did those two think they were fooling?  They couldn’t even trick moronic Aunt Jenna into thinking they were broken up, for crying out loud!)

Speaking of Useless Aunt Jenna . . .  I’m about to feel momentarily guilty about ranking on her during all these episodes .  . .but . . .only momentarily  . .. of course.  I suspect I’ll be over it, by next week .  . . maybe earlier

You see, not only did Katherine realize what Elena was doing with Stefan, she also figured out that Elena was protecting her Aunt, by putting vervain in her perfume and her tea.  So Katherine, posing as Elena, convinced Aunt Jenna not to use all that “protection stuff,” thus making the woman her unwitting slave.

Sure enough, Elena twirls around to find Aunt Jenna stabbing herself in the chest with a carving knife.

Breakdowns and Breakups

I know this is probably an inappropriate time to bring this up, but  . . . Is it just me, or is Mini Gilbert looking ALL KINDS of hot, lately?

At the hospital, Jeremy comforts an inconsolate Elena, who feels completely responsible for what happened to Aunt Jenna.  (Auntie’s fine by the way . . . At least, for now.)  “It’s going to be OK,” Jeremy whispers in his Big Sister’s ear sweetly. 

“No . . . It’s not,” she says dejectedly.

“I don’t know how, but she is going to pay,” responds Mini Gilbert, with determination.

GO GET HER, SCRAPPY DOO!

Upon leaving the hospital, a still tearful Elena heads directly to La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  There, she finds Stefan, shaking and quietly crying by the fireplace. 

(By the way, kudos to both Nina and Paul for a remarkable job, on what was undoubtedly an extremely difficult scene.)

 

“Stefan, I’m so sorry,” whispers Elena, her face red and raw from crying.  “We were stupid sneaking around.  We did this.  Jenna is in the hospital.  Jeremy can be next.  This is because we didn’t listen to her.”

Stefan is full-on crying now.  “I know what you’re going to say,” he says softly.  “Please, don’t say it.”

“I’ve been so selfish, because I love you so much.  It’s over.  It has to be,” concludes Elena, before running from the room.

A distraught Damon stops Elena at the door. 

 Of course, Damon loves Elena.  Of course, he wants to be with her.  But, like many of us staunch Damon and Elena fans watching at home, Damon didn’t want this.   For things to end between Stefan and Elena, in this way, seems crueler somehow, than if they betrayed one another, or simply fell out of love.  Because this is the type of heartbreak you don’t move on from.  

And Damon . . . well . . . he feels partly responsible for what happened to his brother, and the woman of his dreams.

“When I rang Katherine up . . . I didn’t think that,” he fumbles, uncertain of how to continue.

“Damon, she won.  Katherine won,” replies Elena sadly, before closing the door.

Katherine’s Plan B

In a shocking final twist, we learn that Katherine needs a werewolf to make use of the Moonstone in the way she sees fit.  And so, without Mason as her pawn, Katherine is required to find another prospective werewolf to help complete her plan.  And that werewolf will be THIS GUY . . .

You guessed it . . . it’s Tyler.  But in order for Tyler to become a werewolf, he’s gotta commit murder.  And if Katherine has her way, he will kill . . . Big Ole Blue Eyes himself, Matt.

In the final moments of the episode, we see Katherine compelling a glazey eyed Matt (just as Damon compelled that now-dead Connor guy, and Katherine,  compelled that Carrot Top guy, before him) to pick a fight with Tyler, and not to back down until Tyler kills him.

First Aunt Jenna, now Matt . . . Oh my!

In most places, being clueless is a liability.   But, apparently, in Mystic Falls, it can be DEADLY . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Detox: The Cure for the Common Don? – A Recap of Mad Men’s “Waldorf Stories”

I’m Dick Whitman Don Draper.  And who the hell are YOU . . . Girl I Just Screwed?”

Remember the good ole’ days, when Don Draper was suave, debonair, good at his job . . . and knew how to hold his liquor?

Well, this season, it seems as though that idealized version of Don is making significantly less appearances, and his alter ego, Drunk and Damaged Don, is coming out to play much more often . . .

And yet, up until this point in the series, Don’s excessive “lubrication,” poor choices, and numerous sexual partners, never really impacted his ability to run his business.  Sure, he may have lost a secretary here and there . . .

 . . . but his clients were always well served.   And, when push came to shove, he got the job done.  That all changed this week.  Suddenly, the adjective accompanying the phrase “functioning alcoholic” no longer seems to apply to our favorite Ad Man. 

It all started with an ultra uncomfortable job interview (well . . . maybe TWO interviews, but we will get to the second one a little later) . . .

Nepotism:  The Cure for the Common Unemployment

“I’m a 24-year old kid, who really wants to break into the advertising business,” insists Desperate Danny, as he tries to tap dance his way into the hearts of a blank-faced Don, and puckery lemon-faced, Peggy.

(OK, Dude, first  of all, NO 24-year olds think of themselves as “kids.”  In fact, only 56-year olds think of 24-year olds that way.)

“I think I just pooped my pants.”

Oh, Danny Boy then whips out his “portfolio,” which consists of about 10 different iterations of the same lame catchphrase “A Cure for the Common [insert noun].”  As if that wasn’t bad enough, he also includes advertisements he had absolutely nothing to do with creating, but that he finds “inspiring.”  Don and Peggy are just about to slap Danny Boy down, with the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” line, when he throws out the “Family Card.”  Apparently, Danny is the cousin of Roger Sterling’s new wife, the Not-So-Sweet Baby Jane.

“Oh Jane!  You rarely appear in episodes, anymore.  And yet you still effectively manage to ruin things for everybody.”

After Danny Boy leaves, Don and Peggy can’t help but have a little fun at his expense.  “I don’t mean to jump on his grave or anything, but that guy is NOT 24.  I’m 25,” Peggy proclaims triumphantly, while sticking her tongue out and blowing a raspberry at the recently departed fibber.  (Pssst . . . the actor who plays Danny Boy is 36.)

Don later confronts Roger about Danny Boy’s incompetency.  The latter eagerly joins in the “Danny-bashing” fun.  “I told him to be himself.  I guess that was kind of mean of me,” scoffs Roger, snickering like a school boy who just put a “Kick Me” sign on the school nerd’s back.

And yet, Roger still insists that Don hire Danny, if only so that Roger’s wife won’t chop Roger’s balls off (not that this hasn’t happened already.)

Roger’s balls

Fortunately for Don and Roger, the question of Danny Boy’s future employment status at SCDP is going to have to wait to be answered.  It’s Clio Awards time in Mad Men land!  And the firm’s controversial Glo Coat commercial has been nominated for an award.

Liquor and Joan Holloway Harris: Cures for the Common Male Insecurity

The Clio Awards are just getting underway at the Waldorf Astoria, and all the key players are there (except for Peggy, who we will get to later.)  After trading barbs with a few rivals (including that dimwitted loser, Chaough, from last week’s episode), and knocking back MORE than a few drinks, the SCDP-ians settle in for the ceremonies.  Right from the start, they are treated to the cringe-worthy slurred rant of a not-so-newly Off-the-Wagon Drunk Duck . . .

Sorry, wrong picture . . . I meant THIS Drunk Duck . . .

As the Duckman is carted off to the drunk tank, an already two sheets to the wind (on his way to three), Roger chuckles, “I really miss working with that guy.”

“I can’t believe that ‘sleeping with an alchy reject’ is what I was doing, when Kennedy was assassinated.  What the heck am I going to tell my children when they ask me that question?”

“I always knew that guy was bad news.  Glad I got out when I could!”

Officiating the event, was the actor, John Aniston . . .

 . . . who you might remember as ANOTHER Famous Aniston’s father . . .

 . . . or, for those of you who have ever watched Soap Operas like Days of Our Lives, as the nefarious Victor Kiriakis.

When it comes time to announce the award in the category of “cleaning products, waxes, and floor polish,” both Don and Roger instinctively grab Joan’s hand from under the table, and squeeze it tightly.  The moment is a very sweet one, and, at the same time, extremely telling, regarding the ever-evolving relationships between these three characters.  (Personally, I think it would have been really funny, if, when searching for Joan’s hand beneath the table, Roger’s fingers accidentally found Don’s  . . . but that’s just me.)

The winner is announced, and . . . SURPRISE . . . it’s SCDP!

An uncharacteristically jubilant Don practically leaps up from the table, and plants a big wet smooch on Joan’s lips.  (Bet no one saw that coming!)

The kiss had the potential to be steamy.  And it probably would have been, if Don wasn’t already so inebriated, and Joan wasn’t so completely taken aback by it.  Don then rushes the stage, to retrieve his award from Papa Aniston.  Suddenly, it’s as though no one else in the firm played any part at all in his win —  not Peggy, not Roger, not Pete, and not Lane.  Suddenly, it’s all Don, all the time  . . .

“I feel pretty!  Oh so, pretty!  I feel, pretty, and witty, and GAY!”

But Don’s One Man Party is interrupted, when SCDP’s receptionist, Megan, arrives to tell the group that their client, Life Cereal, has arrived at the office, and is ready to hear their pitch.  Talk about bad timing!

Yet, Don, fresh off HIS win, and high on “life” (among other things), feels more than prepared to give his pitch.  So, off the crew heads, back to the SCDP offices, with the stink of liquor and cigars trailing after them like a pair of obedient puppies . . .

Inebriation:  The Cure for The Common Self-Awareness

Once the crew has taken a ridiculous “Victory Lap” around the conference table, which reminded me of a poorly conceived game of “Duck, Duck, Goose . . .” (I think Don was actually skipping during it.), Don heads to the podium, and begins his pitch.  Considering, how drunk we all know Don to  be at this point, things actually don’t start off half bad.  Sure, Don almost pukes a few times, while delivering his pitch . . .

It wouldn’t be the first time, someone from that office blew chunks in public at work . . .

. . . but the idea itself is well conceived, and Don gets the desired point across. 

The concept is “Eat Life By the Bowlful.”  The artwork appeals to kids, who like to consume large adult-sized portions, and the phrasing appeals to mothers’ nostalgia for their lost youth.  If only the client bought into it, Don would have been in the clear.  But the client thinks the concept is too “smart” for his target audience, and wants the message dumbed down a bit.  That is when things start to go VERY badly, very fast .  . .

To Don’s credit, he DOESEN’T scream at the clients for not digging his idea, as he had with those prude swimsuit designers earlier in the season.  He’s in WAY too good a mood for that.  Instead, he starts belligerently spouting out one bad catch phrase after another, despite his colleagues repeated suggestions that he hold off until he is “feeling better.”  The scene is very hard to watch.  In it, the usually Dapper Don quickly starts reminding you of that senile grandparent, who keeps relaying the same dull and incoherent story about his dentures, over and over again, at family functions.

“I thought they were ice cubes!  Can you believe it?”

The rest of the SCDP-ians nod politely at Doddering Don,  hoping, that if they say nothing, maybe he will tire out and shut up soon (or, maybe, take a nap).  So, you can imagine everyone’s surprise when the client actually LIKES one of Don’s terrible ideas.  And the “winning” catchphrase is . . . you guessed it, “Life:  The Cure for the Common Breakfast.”

“WOO HOO!  Barely out of Depends diapers, and I am already an ADVERTISING GENIUS!”

After the meeting, Peggy tries to warn Don that he’s just infringed on Oh, Danny Boy’s copyright, but Don blows her off.  He has MORE DRINKING TO DO!

Faye (A.K.A Annoying Marketing Research Lady):  The Cure for the Common Over-Inflated Male Ego

If you’ve read my Mad Men recaps before, you know that I haven’t exactly been the biggest fan of “Faye.”  On the contrary, I have always found her to be cold, conniving, phony, and, frankly, uninteresting.  But, I have to say, she really won me over this week, by putting Drunken Don in his place, and not falling for his crap. 

At the Clio Awards After Party, Don stumbles over to Faye, while she’s talking to another man.  He interrupts the two, by telling Faye, “Mother is calling.” 

(Really, Don?  Mother?  Is that supposed to be a turn on for a woman?  You pretending to be her BROTHER?  THAT’S what’s going to get them to jump into bed with you — Incest Fantasies?   Boy, are you off your game tonight, Honey!)

Faye politely congratulates Don on his win.  He (unconvincingly) downplays it, arguing that his work is of the same caliber, whether he wins or not.  Yet, judging by Don’s behavior since Season 1, we know this is not at all true.  Here is a man who is ALWAYS desperate to win, at all costs.  Ever the shrink, Faye attempts to psychoanalyze the enebriated Don, by cajoling him into a “Who’s Don Draper?”  Q and A session.

Don has no clue who the heck he is.  All he knows is that Faye “smells good.”  He starts nuzzling her hair with his Alcoholic’s Red Nose.  And while, a weaker woman would have succumbed instantly, rationalizing that a Drunk Don is better than No Don AT ALL, Faye is not that woman.  “I think you are confusing a lot of things right now.   I am very happy for you, Don,” she says, before walking away.

Sorry, Don!  It looks like Roger isn’t the only one wearing these today . . .

Fortunately, for Don, he doesn’t have to wear “Something Blue” for very long.  An enterprising young ad girl swoops in for the kill, just moments after Faye leaves Don in the lurch.  Almost instantly, the two are back in Don’s apartment, on his VERY lived in sheets (For these women’s sake, I hope he washes them DAILY . . . yet, somehow, I doubt it).  Ad Girl attempts to seduce Don by humming the Star Spangled Banner while . . . licking his “lollipop.”  Patriotic Sex as a seduction tool?  That’s almost as bad as brother / sister sex.  These two are perfect for one another . . .

Drunken Blackouts:  The Cure for the Common Humiliation Over All the Dumb Things You Did Last Night . . .

In the next scene, Don wakes up to an angry call from his ex-wife.  Betty claims he is two hours late in picking up his children.  “But I thought that was Sunday?”  The Hungover Don mutters, glancing nervously to his right, to see a woman in his bed who is decidedly NOT the patriotic lollipop licker, from the prior scene.

“It IS SUNDAY!”  Betty seethes, unwittingly showing Don, (who WE last saw on Friday), that he has precisely NO memory of the last 24-hours of his life.

Now THAT is a SERIOUS BLACKOUT!

Don hustles Betty off the phone, and, more or less kicks to the curb his new bedtime companion — a waitress named “Doris” who keeps referrring to him as “Dick” (as in Whitman?), and mentions his “sister” coming to visit him at the diner where the pair met . . .

Uh Oh!  What did Don say to his fake sis THIS time?

After a much needed quick shower, Don settles in on his couch for some more sleep, when Peggy comes barging into his apartment, authoritatively telling him to “fix” his Danny Boy-sized blunder regarding the Life Cereal campaign. 

Don is forced to spend the next day cleaning up after himself.  It turns out, in all the drunken sexual excitement of the last few days, Don has actually misplaced his Clio award.  He instructs his ridiculous secretary, Miss Blankenship, to locate it for him . . .

“I’m sorry, I use the office phone exclusively to call the Psychic Friends Network.  No Clio for you!”

“What’s the award for?”  Miss Blankenship asks, dumbfounded.

“Best Actress,” remarks Don.

As it turns out, ROGER has the award . . . which I don’t think was an accident (more on that later.)  In order to get the award back, Roger wants Don to  say that he couldn’t have won it without Roger.  Don manages to not quite say that, but get the award back anyway.  Well played, Don.  If only you were this wily during the REST of this episode . . .

Due to his snafu regarding the Life campaign, Don also finds himself forced to hire the most likely completely incompetent Danny Boy to work for SCDP.  Peggy finds out, and is less than pleased . . .

“Well, he may not be the AGE of a kid, but he sure is the SIZE of one . . .”

Nudity: The Cure for the Common Chauvinist Pig

Speaking of Peggy, she is having some work problems of her own, this week.  Not only is she experiencing some MAJOR sour grapes, over Don’s pretty much ignoring the part she played in the Glo Coat campaign, she is also being forced to spend a weekend creating an advertising campaign for Vicks cough drops with loathsome new art director, Stan Rizzo, a man who never met an ass he wouldn’t grab, or an intelligent female he didn’t despise.

Is it just me, or does this guy kind of look like a meatier version of Nathan Fillion?

Seriously, SCDP?  THIS is the guy you got to replace Sal!  Not only was Sal extremely talented, he also got along swimmingly with Peggy . . .

 . . . and he LOVED women!

OK . . . maybe he didn’t LOVE women, but he certainly respected them, and enjoyed their company.

Anyway, Don tells Peggy she has to work with Chauvenist Piggy Rizzo.  He even drunkenly suggests the two work out their differences together over the weekend in a hotel room . . . charged to the client, of course.  Piggy Rizzo is so clearly intimidated by Peggy’s intelligence and career success   . . .

(All women should be at home, barefoot and pregnant, with your babies, right Stan?)

Baby Chauvenist Rizzos

 .  . . that he can’t get any work done at all.  So, instead, he spends his time throwing pencils at the wall, reading Playboy magazine (for inspiration) and hurling insults left and right at Peggy for her appearance, lifestyle, and personality.  Tired of Rizzo’s constant references to nudity and “liberation,” Peggy calls his bluff, by stripping naked in front of him, and challenging him to do the same.  “You’re lazy and have no ideas,” Peggy explains matter-of-factly.  “I can work like this.  Let’s get liberated.”

Within moments, Peggy and Rizzo are both nude and sitting at the hotel table (Ick, I bet Room Service NEVER washes those chair cushions!)  Smirking, Peggy plugs Rizzo for ideas regarding cough drops.  The problem is that Rizzo can’t stop ogling Peggy’s breasts.  “Ummm . . . I’m thinking,” he snaps.

“Really?  About what?”  Peggy inquires, peeking under the table, at the happy little puppy that has just come out to play . . .

“Maybe I should dip that THING in some ink and write with it,” offers Peggy  . . .

Hey boys!  Does Peggy strike you as one of those girls who chews on her pens?

Ultimately, an unhappy Stan Rizzo, and his happy hot dog, both have to admit defeat, and get dressed again.  He bestows upon Peggy the award for being the “smuggest b*tch in the world.”  Coming from such a PIG, I’d take THAT as a compliment . . .

Marking Your Territory:  The Cure for the Common Ken

“I’m baaack!”

Peggy wasn’t the only SCDP-ian coping with personnel issues this week, Pete Campbell was also bearing the brunt of unwelcome hires.  After his last appearance on the show, and his public admission that he was “unhappy” at his current advertising firm, it should have surprised precisely no one that Ken Cosgrove wanted to return “home” so to speak — and by “home” I mean SCDP.

I, for one, am thrilled.  I have always LOVED the not-so-friendly rivalry between Ken and Pete, and the way they act as perfect foils for one another, both in terms of their business tactics and in their personal relationships.  Unfortunately, Pete doesn’t feel the same way I do . . .

“I’ll take him out during a fluke shooting accident.  Nobody will suspect a thing.  Just like they never found out that I rigged that lawnmower, last season . .”

Pete’s first move is to whine to Lane about not being consulted about Ken’s hiring, and to complain that Lane must “hate him,” if he could even THINK to do this.  But Lane doesn’t budge.  Instead, he argues that Ken will bring a lot of accounts and cash to the firm.  He also strokes Pete’s ego, by telling him that Roger Sterling is “a child” and that Pete should have competent help in running SCDP, which he now does (at least according to Lane) virtually, by himself.  Lane concludes by praising Pete on his pragmatism, and saying, “I’ve always been very fond of you.  And it pains me to hear you think differently.” 

Well played, Lane!

“Come here, Petey Petey!  I’ve got a nice juicy steak for you!”

Won over, Pete reluctantly agrees to meet with Ken and “allow” him to join SCDP. 

But that doesn’t mean he’s going down without a fight — at least, not without marking his territory, first.

Pete puts the clearly less-innocent-than-he-seems Ken in his place, by telling him, in no uncertain terms, that things have changed.  No longer are the two men equals.  Now PETE is in charge, and Ken works for HIM!  Be afraid, Cosgrove.  Be VERY afraid . . .

Flashbacks:  The Cure for the Common Writer’s Block

And finally, we are back to Roger, who is “busy” writing his personal memoirs, regarding his life as an Ad Man, which so far seem to include important “business” tidbits, such as why Roger prefers chocolate ice cream to vanilla, and whether or not he approves of the comedic stylings of Laurel and Hardy.  This massive case of writer’s block, coupled with Don’s recent success, cause Roger to morosely question his self worth.  “They don’t give awards for what I do,” complains Roger.

“And what is that?”  Joan inquires slyly, always quick to call Roger out on his sh*t.

“Finding guys like him,” Roger replies, pointing at Don.

Suddenly, we are flashed back about five years prior.  Don is working at a fur coat store, and Roger is buying a mink for a VERY special mistress. 

While Don waits on Roger, Roger spies an interesting fur advertisement on the wall, starring an even more interesting model . . .

It’s a good thing Betty has that fur coat.  I hear her people are Nordic.

Roger inquires after the advertisement, and Don proudly admits that he created it himself.  In just these few short statements, we can see how different Don was back then — surprisingly chipper, eager to please, and desperately hungry for success.  In essence, he was the male version of Season 1’s Peggy Olson, only a bit more worldly,  and socially graceful.

Roger hands Don his business card, ostensibly to provide Don with mailing information for the mink.  But Don immediately jumps on this as a business opportunity, slipping his advertising portfolio in the mink box, and doggedly pursuing Roger in the lobby of the offices of Sterling & Cooper each day, until Roger FINALLY agrees to let Don take him out for drinks.  At the bar, Don gets Roger so wasted, that he needs to be helped into a cab. 

The next day, Don meets Roger at the elevator again.  “What are you doing here?”  Roger asks, still nursing a hangover.

“You hired me.  Last night.  You said, ‘welcome aboard.'”

Grudgingly, Roger allows Don into the elevator with him, just as Don would allow Danny Boy into the offices of SCDP just five years later, both as the result of a drunken mistake.  Then again, with Don, who knows?  It’s possible that Roger never hired him at all.  After all, Don made up an entire new identity for himself, couldn’t he have faked a hiring too?

So, does Roger really have a “talent” for finding “talent,” or does “talent,” like Don Draper, simply keep on finding him?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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