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The Baby Squirreling of Ezra Fitz – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “That Girl is Poison”

 

[Hey folks!  My Teen Wolf recap for “Raving” has been a bit delayed.  (Real life has intruded :(.)  But not to worry!  I will definitely try to have it up within the next 24 hours.]

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Hey there, my Pretties!  I know it’s been a while .  . .

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But coming to the party late, is better than not showing up at all, right?

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Anyway, this week’s episode of PLL was all about Fitzy’s nuts, Paige’s cupcakes, Police Boy Garrett’s flowers, and Lucas’ little blue pills.  (And we all know what little blue pills are REALLY for, don’t we?)

It all sounds a little dirty, when you put it that way, doesn’t it?  So put on your favorite black hoodie, take a big gulp from that skeevy old flask you’ve been hiding in your closet, and write a nice letter to that lady in the coma, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Fitzy finds his nuts, again!

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Poor, little Fitzy!  It sure is hard out their for unemployed teacher . . . forced by circumstances (sort of?) beyond his control to eat furry limes out of his fridge, and mooch off of his underage girlfriend.  And while Aria tries her best to be supportive . . .

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(Once again, a completely harmless sentence that sounds totally kinky, when taken out of context.)

Fitzy is still feeling a wee bit low.  And he will NOT, I repeat NOT eat that tasty sandwich Aria bought for him.  The man has PRIDE, after all . . .  and hairy limes.

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Aria doesn’t get it.  So, she wants to feed her man, every once in a while.  What’s the big deal?  But clever Spencer knows better.  She’s dated “The Poor” before.  Remember Alex?

(If not, that’s OK.  The writers don’t seem to remember him, either.)

Spencer accuses Aria of “baby squirreling” Fitzy, and consequently taking away his nuts . . .

Now, being baby squirreled is something that Aria can understand.  She didn’t like it very much when Fitzy did it to her . . .

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  So, how does she respond?  By, making Fitzy take her to her enemy Not-Blind-Anymore Jenna’s birthday party, of course!  You know, because nothing says “I feel like a grown man,” like attending a high school birthday party, where everyone is dressed up like characters from Alice in Wonderland!

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So, you can’t really blame Fitzy for overcompensating a bit, by forking over some serious cash he doesn’t have, on a massively expensive old school camera for Aria, who has suddenly become a real photography aficionado.  (First it’s writing, then pottery, now photography.  What’s next Aria, underwater basket weaving?)  Though, you can blame him for bad gift wrapping.  Come on, Fitzy!  A brown paper bag?  That’s what you use to “gift” the cheap malt liquor your 18-year old cousin with the mustache, bought with his fake ID . . . not an antique item that would have easily cost two months of your old teaching salary.  No wonder, Aria thought the darn camera fell off the back of some truck!

Aria tells Fitzy he doesn’t need to buy her fancy things, just to prove to her what big nuts he has.  She likes him just the way he is, unemployed and poor, but good enough looking that he may just get hired at the strip club, where Magic Mike was filmed . . .

That’s when Fitzy gives Aria the good news.  He’s a WORKING MAN, now . . . but not at the strip club, unfortunately for us . . .

That’s right, My Pretties, our main man Fitz is a real live “journalist.”  It makes sense.  I mean, someone has to cover all those murders that seem to happen around his girlfriend on a daily basis!  It might as well be Fitzy . . .

Everyone’s favorite former teacher wants to celebrate his re-entrance into the world of having health insurance with a nice romantic dinner.  (Ease up on the spending, buddy!  Journalists don’t get paid that much!)  But Aria has a better idea.  Why not leave Fitzy at the kiddie party, while she breaks into the photography studio, where the newly “EVIL” Lucas is hiding his not-so-secret cemetery porn pics, and blue roofies?

Oh girlfriend, you’re lucky that you’re pretty . . . that’s all I’ve gotta say . . .

But since we’re on the subject of Lucas . . .

Creepy!Lucas is creepy . . .

 Awww man!  Down the shame spiral my once second favorite male character on this show (second only to WREEENNNNNN!) continues to go.  Not only is he involved in shady online gambling activities, sneaking into people’s grandma’s houses uninvited, luring people out in shady-looking boats in the middle of the night, skulking around town in the middle of the night like a serial killer, and setting fires in school . . .

 .  . . now, he’s prospectively taking creepy pictures of the Pretty Little Liars, getting fired from photography studios for stealing, trying to break into said photography studios in the middle of the night (good thing Aria got there first!), and storing massive horse pill roofies that cause “temporary amnesia” in his backpack.  At this rate, in a few weeks, they are going to blame Lucas for the start of World Wars I and II.  Who cares if he wasn’t alive back then?

So, is Lucas as eeeevvvill as the writers seem dead set on making him out to be?  I’m going to take a wild guess and say, “No.”  Because really, at this point, having Lucas be the “new A” would be about as surprising as having Mona be the old one . . .

Oops!  Did I write that out loud?

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OK, so now we’ve covered Ezria and Lucas.  So, I guess we should talk about good ole’ Hanna Marin.

Sad!Hanna is sad . . .

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So, what happens this week with Hanna?  Not much . . . to be honest.  She’s been dumped, and she’s bummed . . .

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We’ve all been there.  And it sucks.  So, we can totally understand Hanna wanting to skip school, stay home, chow down on some Chubby Hubby Ice Cream, and listen to sad songs.  But the whole “not able to work a zipper” thing?  That’s something she really should get checked out.  It could be a medical condition . . .

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My lingering concerns about Hanna’s motor skills notwithstanding, I was annoyed at the rest of the characters (particularly her own mother) for repeatedly giving Hanna grief about her choice of outfit . .  .

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For the record, I thought she looked awesome!  It was one of my favorite outfits she’s worn on the show, actually.  (My own fashion tendencies, have always veered more toward Preppy!Spencer, and ComfyCasual! Emily, than their more fashion-forward counterparts, Aria and Hanna.)

Sorry, Hanna!

Anywhoo, when Mama Marin finds out that Hanna’s been skipping school, she forces her to work at some lame church clothes drive thingy . . .

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As bored as Hanna felt, being there, is how I felt watching it.  So, Hanna thumbed through, and made faces at some old clothes?  So, Mama Marin met some random dude who flirted with her?  BOOO-RRRRING . . .

Then again, from the looks of next week’s promo, it seems like the whole “church” thing is going to become increasingly important to the whole “A Team” story line, in the weeks to come.  So, maybe the writers will make me eat my words . . .

In slightly more relevant news . .  .

Police Boy Garrett has sloppy handwriting / bad taste in flowers . . .

Of all the various storylines this week, Spencer’s was he one that interested me the most . . . probably because it seems the most pertinent to the current mystery.  After seeing the Big Bad Hoodie lurking around Police Boy Garrett’s house, at the same time the latter’s mother was being pulled out in a stretcher . . .

the liars, well . . . really more Spencer, than anyone else . . . begin to suspect that the “A” team somehow orchestrated the Police Boy’s mommy’s COMA just to get him out of jail on temporary leave.

 I don’t know . . . that sounds a bit too awful to be believable to me . . . even for “A.”

Nevertheless, Super Sleuth Spencer heads to the hospital to check out what exactly the Police Boy actually does during his so-called “sympathy leave” from jail.  While there, Spencer has a run-in with Deputy Douchey . . .

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 . . . and makes snarky comments about the Police Boy’s choice in floral arrangements for the coma lady . . .

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You know what they say, Spencer.  If you make fun of someone’s flowers, you take away their nuts . . .just saying!

Spencer’s suspicion is instantly piqued when she sees Police Boy slip a card into the carnations for the coma lady.  I mean, that just seems like an insensitive thing to do, right?  That would be like writing a letter to Blind Jenna . . . oh wait . . . nevermind.

When uber-Shady Nate (more on him later) throws a little temper tantrum at the sight of Police Boy Garrett out of jail, Spencer sees an opportunity to get into Police Boy’s mom’s hospital room, and takes it.  Smart Girl!

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But when Spencer gets around to reading the card in the flowers, it actually contains a really sweet and poignant statement (though, I know toddlers with better handwriting than That Guy) . . . something about never giving up on his mother, because SHE never gave up on him, despite his possibly being a mass murderer of teenage girls.  Now, Spencer feels like crap, for doubting the mama’s boy, that is until she finds the piece of paper in Coma Lady’s hand . . .

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Yes, who is this mysterious “April Rose” who supposedly has proof of Police Boy Garrett’s innocence in the murders of Ali, and possibly Maya too?  And who wrote the note, because it sure as heck wasn’t Garrett’s mom!  Many have speculated on “April Rose” actually being some kind of code name for Aria . . . partly because of this . . .

April

Rose

Is

A

And partly because, as we learned in a previous episode “Rose” is Ella Montgomery’s maiden name.  However, I’m still not sure the writers of the show have the guts to make “A” one of the core four.  We all saw what happened last season, right?  So, as much as I’d love to see PLL veer off on this kind of original path, away from the books on which it was originally based.  I’m not getting my hopes up . . .

On the other hand, Maya’s death . . . now, that’s completely uncharted territory . . .

Roofied!Paige likes cupcakes, and why Nate sucks / might be a secret psycho killer . . .

Blah, blah, blah, Jenna’s Sight Birthday Party Blah!  What I wanted was another creepy party, where A tortures the girls.  What I got was a lot of really ugly hats, and Alice in Wonderland . . .

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You can’t use “blind” as an excuse anymore, Jenna!

Heck, half the PLL girls didn’t even attend the party.  And the other half, left long before it was over.  So, why was the party important?  Well, it basically comprised Emily’s storyline for the episode . . . a storyline that involved her attempting to rekindle relations with Paige through ridiculously obvious product placement the Katy Perry movie . . .

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 . . . and ended with Emily having to bail on Paige to work the event, and serve cupcakes.  We got to learn a little more about Paige, this week.   As it turns out, she’s not just the once-closeted gay girl, who tried to drown her crush.  She’s also the once-closeted gay girl, who drinks from old dirty flasks that secretly contain roofies, gorges on cupcakes at parties . . .

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Apparently, she also eats old pennies . . .

. .  . gets jealous when gay girls talk to straight boys, makes an ass of herself in public, and ends up in a hospital with alcohol poisoning.  But hey, at least her hair looks better now!

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Actually, I think the whole point of this storyline had much less to do with Paige and Emily as a couple, and more to do with the fact that SOMEONE had obviously roofied Emily’s flask, the night she wound up at the cemetery, moments after Ali’s corpse had just been dug up.  After all, Paige had (stupidly) drunk from the same flask, and look what happened to her?

In other news, I think Nate isn’t really Maya’s cousin.  In fact, I think he killed her.  Just sayin . . .

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Just hear me out here.  I get that Nate claims to be Maya’s “cousin” who “loved her” and is all “righteously indignant” about the fact that  Garrett got out of jail to see his mom, while Maya is (supposedly) dead?  But something just doesn’t ring true about him . . . like, for example, the way he didn’t know Maya’s parents’ address, something a COUSIN would surely know, particularly following the death of a family member.  For another, his whole story about Maya hanging out in the water with the rest of the “guys” sounds a lot less like a “family story” and a lot more like a “camp story.”  You know, as in “True North” camp?  The camp where Maya was STALKED by a guy, and chose to leave town rather than return?

He also talks about Maya as if she’s a lover, as opposed to a cousin.  And the way he was oozing about how “captivating” Jenna was?  This guy just screams stalker / psycho killer.  I’d like to be wrong.  But somehow, I don’t think I am.  I have one word of advice for you, Emily.  Take your roofied flask, and RUN from this guy . . . far and fast . . .

Until next time, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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The Unforgiven – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s Season 2 Finale, “To the Lost”

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Television show writers always walk a fine line when drafting a game-changing season finale for a series they know will be returning in the fall.  On one hand, there’s a lot of pressure to “go out with a bang,” and “shock people.”  And modern TV viewers are notoriously jaded, and hard to shock . . . because, basically, we’ve seen it all before.  So, if you really want to get people talking about your show over a long hiatus period, you can’t pull any punches.

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On the other hand, if you go too far, or change things up too much, you risk alienating the very audience you worked so hard to keep.  After all, your fans have certain expectations regarding shows they love.  And they need to know that the show to which they are returning is the same one they fell in love with, in the first place.

Undoubtedly, this is the quandary Terence Winter and Co. found themselves mired in, when drafting “To the Lost.” It was, by all accounts a spectacular season finale, one that will undoubtedly have fans talking about it long after the final credits have rolled.  But now that things have changed so dramatically, will fans have a reason to return?

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Let’s review, shall we?

“Welcome back, fellas!”

Jimmy Darmody spent this episode much like Queen Latifah’s character did in “Last Holiday,”  (only without the fancy dresses   . . . and all the food  . . . and certainly without Cuba Gooding Jr.)

What I mean, of course, is that Jimmy spent the entire episode behaving as a man who knew he was marked for death.  He tidied up his affairs.  He righted wrongs.   He gave people important pieces of advice.  Jimmy assured himself that when he left this world, he would do so with as few regrets possible, given the life he lived.

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“I’m no one’s idea of a hero, least of all mine,” Jimmy said to the masses, during his impromptu speech on Veterans Day.

But Jimmy sure seemed like a hero, this week, which is how we all pretty much knew he was a goner.  Let this be a lesson to you actors, out there.  If you ever get a script, where your typically flawed, or under-used character, suddenly starts looking like the Messiah, chances are you aren’t making it out of the our alive .  . .

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I just realized he’s still wearing his wedding band .  . .

Anyway, the episode begins with Jimmy and Harrow fulfilling their promise to Chalky White, by hand-delivering to him and his men, the three KKK members responsible for shooting him, and his family.

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“We gonna SCHOOL THESE CRACKERS SHEET-HEADS!”

 In addition to these fine specimen, Jimmy also offered additional money to the families of the people the KKK had murdered during their raid.  In return, Chalky agreed to end the labor strike,  and broker a meeting between Jimmy and Nucky.  Now, I’m not usually one who condones violence, but I have to say, I got a bit of thrill watching Chalky and his former-foe-turned-bestie,  Purnsley, gleefully kicking the crap out of these racist bastards.  Those sheet-heads had it coming . . .

 

They sure are dapper and perky, psycho killers,  aren’t they? 

As Harrow and Jimmy drive away from the fray, Harrow turns to Jimmy and tries to offer him some sage advice / tough love.  “You know, no matter what you do, he’ll never forgive you for everything you did,” he says, clearly referring to Nucky, and Jimmy’s newfound, almost compulsive need to make things right with him.

And how does Jimmy respond to his most loyal comrades eerily prophetic words?  “Let’s get some steak,” he says.

“I wouldn’t, if I were you!” 

It sure is good to see that Jimmy has his priorities straight.  I mean, you can’t eat when you’re dead, right?

Meanwhile, Nucky is meeting with that poopface, Angela-killer, Manny Horvitz, who is seeking the opportunity to kill his bitter rival, Waxy Gordon, in exchange for allowing Nucky to kill Jimmy.  Nucky doesn’t seem particularly interested.  At least . . . not at first . . .

“Might I instead interest you in a fresh cut of man meat?” 

After his meeting with Poopface, Nucky arrives home to find Dangerous Maid Katie, and Anonymous Maid helping Emily walk with her new braces.  He asks where Margaret has gone.  Dangerous Maid and Anonymous Maid don’t know.

But we do . . .

“Set yourself free.”

One thing I definitely won’t miss about Boardwalk Empire is that ugly ass hat Margaret’s been wearing, ever since she got enough money to afford it.  I HATE that hat!  You know what else is kind of annoying?  That self-assured, independent Margaret suddenly needs to consult her priest about every single decision she makes.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he also accompanies her to the bathroom . . .

“Fa-ther, should I wipe myself with my right hand, or my left?” 

So, Margaret ended up paying the federal prosecutor a visit, after all.  And she did so, with her trusty priest at her side.  That said, I found it a bit suspicious that the priest, of all people, seemed to be the one trying to convince Margaret not to speak.  This makes me wonder if Nucky has this guy in his back pocket too.  (Nucky’s back pocket is a crowded place, indeed.)

It was interesting seeing Margaret face off against Assistant D.A. Esther Randolph.  After all, in many ways these two women are alike: intelligent, strong, judgmental to a fault, and somewhat cold and aloof.  But they have vastly different value systems.  As a result, the strategies these two women use to succeed in the male-oriented world in which they live are diametrically opposed to one another . . .

Margaret attempts to engage Esther in conversation by asking her whether it was difficult to become a lawyer.  “Not if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve it,” replies Esther staunchly.

And yet, later she admits that it was, in fact, difficult for her to achieve.  Margaret has little trouble admitting to Esther that her first husband was a drunkard, who beat her and her children.  However, she becomes noticeably uncomfortable, when Esther notes how much better Margaret is doing for herself, now that her first husband is out of the way.  “He’s never been cruel to me,” Margaret says of Nucky, clearly already having doubts about the decision she’s made.

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“Though, admittedly, the sex leaves a bit to be desired . . .”

“But he’s been cruel to so many others,” Esther retorts.

“I’ve never seen it,” Margaret replies.

“But you know it to be true!”

The conversation really reaches its breaking point, when Esther suggests its wrong for Margaret to not testify against Nucky, because this would be better for her children.  “You would put their well being above all others?”  Esther asks.

Obviously for Margaret, as I suspect, for most mothers, the answer to that question is “yes.”  And this is where Esther loses Margaret.  Because of all the “sins” for which the latter feels guilty, protecting her children is definitely not one of them.  (At least, she’s not . . . you know . . . kissing their winkies  . . .or anything like that)

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 “Set yourself free,” Esther says, in a last ditch effort to convince Margaret to testify against her funny-looking gangster lover.  “You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.”

And Margaret does end up “setting herself free,” by the end of the hour . . . just not in the way either Nucky Thompson or Esther Randolph would have expected . . .

Elsewhere, Nucky is meeting with his lawyer, who is instructing him that he needs to “take care” of the Margaret situation, before she ruins everything for him.  But could Nucky really murder his Margiepoo. . .

 . . . or does he have a more peaceful solution in mind?

“Let me make things right.”

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Jimmy Darmody is smoking by the window, and looking decidedly broken, beaten and bereft but still hot.   When Nucky’s car pulls up in his driveway, his first instinct is to grab a gun.  (It’s a good instinct.)  But Nucky’s new driver / Number 1 Henchman, Owen, a.k.a. Jimmy 2.0, also has a gun, and this prompts Jimmy to put his down.  (Though, if it were me, I would probably have the opposite response in this situation.

“You can wait outside.  It’s OK, I used to do your job,” says Jimmy, a statement that is equal parts friendly and patronizing.

You’re the reason I’m doing it now,” retorts Owen, as he reluctantly leaves the house.

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Touche, Sexypants!

Solemn and respectful, Jimmy pours his former father figure a drink, and proceeds to tell him about all his dearly departed family members, and who is responsible for each of their deaths, “To the Lost,” he toasts, holding his tumblr aloft.  (I smell an episode title!)

The conversation quickly turns to Jimmy’s father, and murder victim, the Commodore.  “I should have killed him the moment he suggested betraying you,” Jimmy admits “And I did kill him . . . it just happened to be a few episodes too late.”

Poor Jimmy . . . sexually molested by his mother .  . . this was clearly a man in need of a healthy parent-child relationship.  And you can’t help but feel bad for him, when he confides in Nucky that he was nearly brought to tears when the then-ailing Commodore once told him, “You’re a good son.”

“He was your father.  Nothing trumps family,” Nucky says, echoing Margaret’s sentiments from earlier in the episode.

In hindsight, this statement was a hefty little piece of foreshadowing.  But more on that, in a bit . . .  “What can I do?”  Jimmy pleads, seeking forgiveness from Nucky, as if the latter is his personal priest.

“Tell the truth,” Nucky exclaims.

“I was angry,” is all Jimmy can say in response.

He does manage to tell Nucky that the shooting was all Eli’s idea, which, of course, we know it was.  But whether Nucky truly believes this of his own personal Fredo, will surely be a topic of discussion, over the next few weeks  . . .

“Let’s make things right  .  . . as right as they can be,” Jimmy insists, finally.  “Tell me how to help you.”

I know how I can help you, Jimmy.  Here’s a little piece of advice:

“If there really is a god, would he have given me this mug?”

As big of a crock of sh*t as Nucky’s tail-between-his-legs, “I need you to marry me, so you can’t testify against me, due to spousal privilege . . . so I’m basically going to blow all this religious smoke up your ass that I don’t really give two craps about . . . but, hey, at least I’m not going to MURDER you . . . YAY!” speech to Margaret ended up being, it gave me a lot of respect for Steve Buscemi.  I mean, clearly, someone wrote that script with the actor in mind.  Especially since, from what I’ve heard, the real Enoch Johnson was quite the looker, back in the day . . .

My favorite people in the world are the ones who can laugh at themselves.  Obviously, Steve Buscemi is one of these people . . .

While Ugly Mug Nucky is trying to “make things right,” on his end, Jimmy is busy preparing for his future, or rather, his lack of one.  When the Late Commodore’s lawyer, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, tells Jimmy that the bastard left all his wealth to the maid that may or may not have tried to poison him, Jimmy proceeds to RIP UP THE WILL, while Uncle Junior watches, secretly impressed.

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“I’m strangely aroused.”

Jimmy’s morbid inquiry as to whether his son will inherit the Commodore’s money when he dies, does give that baby f*&ker Gillian some pause.  But the big dollar signs in her eyes prevent her from giving the matter the attention that it deserves . . .

After disposing of the Commodore’s will, Jimmy meets with the alderman who will be testifying against Nucky, and politely asks them to recant their statements.  An offer they all, at least, initially refuse, though one of them, might end up being sorrier about that decision than the others . . .

Meanwhile, Margaret awakens to see Nucky helping Emily walk with her leg braces.  She’s so touched by the gesture that she ultimately agrees to marry Nucky, provided she can make a full confession to her good pal, the Priest first . . .  (See what I mean, about her consulting that guy about EVERYTHING!)

“Fa-ther, does marrying Nucky mean I can’t have delicious sex with Owen, anymore?” 

“Nahhhhh!” 

“I’ll take the ducks” 

The opening statement / wedding / murder montage was probably my favorite part of the entire episode, because it reminded me so much of the last twenty minutes of all three Godfather movies (even that super sh*tty third one), as well as some of my favorite Sopranos episodes.  The montage begins with a nervous, but fiercely determined, Esther Randolph practicing her opening statement against Nucky Thompson, in front of her bedroom mirror.

While she rehearses, her case slowly unravels, right before our eyes.  First we see Margaret give her confession, and marry Nucky, with Owen and Katie, of all people, as witnesses (AWK-WARD!)

As for Esther’s former star witness, Van Asshole, he’s taken his sweet little foreign nanny, and baby Abigail to Cicero, Illinois, where they will live as husband, wife and child, under the name “Mueller.”  (Wow!  I wonder what he told that Nanny to get her to agree to that?   Surely, the explanation didn’t involve the BAPTISM FROM HELL!)

Meanwhile, Jimmy and Harrow storm into the courthouse, like the bad asses they are, promptly securing seven recantments from all of the Alderman’s set to testify against Nucky . . . well make that six recantments, and one . . . SUICIDE NOTE.

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Should have said, “Yes,” the first time he asked you to recant, Neery!

At trial, Esther is both furious and humiliated by this recent turn of events.  The judge gives her two options, proceed with her now-joke of a trial against Nucky, or come back later, once she has her ducks in a row. “I’ll take the ducks,” replies Esther.

Good choice! 

Speaking of lame ducks, it’s not easy being a Friend of Fredo!  While Eli was released from jail, immediately after the trial, it was the beaten-up and extremely pathetic-looking Deputy Halloran, who ended up taking the fall for him.  (And I mean that, literally.  The guy could barely stand up straight.)

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 Deputy, something tells me you will be “sitting there” for a looooooong time.

“Et tu, Eli?”

Oh, Eli!  You’re so lucky to have a brother like Nucky.  Not only does he let you get off, more or less, scot-free for TRYING TO HAVE HIM KILLED, he also provides you with valuable lessons on classical literature . . .

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A true expert at trying to save his own ass, the fact that Eli tells Nucky that he wasn’t the one behind Eli’s attempted murder is not surprising.  What is surprising is that Nucky actually believes him.  Or does he?  You recall that earlier in the episode, Nucky told Jimmy that there is nothing more important than the bonds of family . . . that blood is thicker than water.  So, perhaps, it was ultimately that rationale, which prompted Nucky to choose his blood bag brother, Eli, over his watery-eyed erstwhile protege, Jimmy.

In the scene that follows this one, Nucky calls Arnold Rothstein, while the latter is discussing heroine with Meyer and Lucky.  He asks Rothstein, though not in so many words, whether he would care if Nucky wacked Manny Horvitz.  In response, Lucky and Meyer snicker, which, is more or less what these two massively underused characters have been doing all season . . . snickering . . . at everything.

(They’re still kind of sexy though.)

Rothstein pragmatically replies that he has no opinion, one way or the other.  But he does offer Nucky some sage advice, “Flip a coin, when it’s in the air, you’ll know which side you’re hoping for.”

On it’s surface, it seems as though the statement is referring to whether or not Nucky should kill Manny.  But in hindsight, it seems more like Nucky is trying to decide whether to kill his own brother, or Jimmy.  After all, Rothstein’s statement sounds surprisingly similar to the one Jimmy uttered to Nucky, right before the latter was shot.  “It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, as long as you make a decision.”

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Nucky might know that it’s wrong to trust Eli over Jimmy.  But, rest assured, when that coin is up in the air, he’s hoping his brother’s side comes out on top . . .

Speaking of Jimmy . . .

“It’s time for you to come home.”

There’s a definite wistul nostalgia surrounding Jimmy, when he takes his son out for a pony ride, and regales him with stories from some of the brighter moments of his childhood.   Jimmy probably never expected to be a father as soon as he was, and he wasn’t a perfect one, by any means.  But it was always clear that he loved little Tommy deeply, and raised him the best way he knew how . . .

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When Jimmy gives Tommy his dog tags, it certainly feels like he’s saying goodbye to his son, forever.  And when Tommy immediately selects the solider hat, over the cowboy hat to wear while riding the pony,  Jimmy is both proud of him, and afraid for him, at the same time.  Though, if I was Jimmy, I’d be much more afraid of leaving him with that wackadoo mother of his, than about his possibly dressing up like an army man for Halloween.

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Back at home, Jimmy and Harrow are drunkenly reminiscing about their days as soldiers in the war, an experience that broke them both beyond repair, and yet, at the same time, bonded them for life.  Harrow admits that being at war was the only time that Harrow truly felt like he belonged, and that sometimes he feels like he’s still at war . . .

To this, Jimmy responds, by giving himself a sage piece of advice that, had he himself, been able to follow it, his life might have been very different, indeed . . .

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Giving Richard permission to “come home from war,” is Jimmy’s first parting gift to Richard.  His second may very well be the gift of life.  When Nucky calls the house, instructing Jimmy to meet him in a remote area, at night, in the rain, Harrow offers to go in his place, or, at least, accompany him.   But Jimmy refuses the offer, telling Richard that, “This is something I’ve gotta do myself.”

When Jimmy leaves out the back door, so as to prevent his mother and child from knowing where he is going, Richard knows for certain that he’s never coming back.  In a way, he knew it the minute he told Jimmy that Nucky would never forgive him for the crimes the former perpetrated against him . . .

 

And when Gillian finds the dog tags around her grandson’s neck, she knows it too.  “You’re going to be an important man, some day . . . just like your father,” Gillian says to Little Tommy.  (For Tommy’s sake, I sure hope not . . .)

“I’m not seeking forgiveness.”

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Jimmy arrives at the meeting spot, unarmed, and ready to die.  He is not the least bit surprised to Eli, Nucky, Owen, Manny, and a couple of random goons with guns lying in wait for him.   “I died back in the trenches,” Jimmy admits.

He no longer fears death.  In fact, he may even welcome it, or feel like he deserves it.  And when Jimmy learns that Nucky will be the one to kill him, he seems almost proud of that fact, as if taking the final bullet from anyone else would be an insult.  It sort of reminds me of how Tony killed his cousin (also played by Buscemi) in cold blood, because he didn’t want anyone else to get the chance.  In an odd way, Jimmy himself predicted this, when he made this bold statement to Nucky toward the end of the first season . .  .

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If it wasn’t so slit-your-wrist depressing, it would be almost comedic how Jimmy seems to be coaching Nucky in the art of murdering him.  “Just breathe, Nucky.  You’ll get through this,” he says.  “The only person left to judge you as you.”

But Nucky doesn’t seem to find this advice helpful at all.  In fact, it only makes him madder . . .

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For a second there, when Jimmy started gurgling, and coughing up blood, still clearly alive, having not been shot in the head, but, rather, in the mouth  (He DID tell you to breathe, Nucky!  Maybe, if you did, you would have been more efficient.), I actually got all excited, thinking my guy might just make it through this, after all.

But . . . then he shot him in the head . . . and that was the end of that.

“He’s reenlisting.”

As awful as it was to see Jimmy ripped from this world, and this show, the fact that Nucky was so smug about it the next morning, at the breakfast table with Margaret made it ten times worse.  Talk about embracing your gangster side!  But when Nucky announces that the reason he was out in the rain in the middle of the night was because, “Jimmy decided to reenlist,” Margaret finally figures out that all the religious bullcrap he laid on her to get her to marry him, was just a bunch of lies . . .

But it seems Margaret might be the one having the last laugh.  Remember when Nucky signed all his property, including that massive land mass on which he wanted to build a major money making road to Atlantic City?  Well, Margaret just signed away her rights to it . . . and deeded them over to . . . wait for it . . . THE CHURCH!

It looks like this kitty just got claws . . . make that a machine gun.

Somewhere in Heaven(?) Jimmy Darmody just gave Margaret Schroeder a big ole’ high five . . .

And that was season 2 of Boardwalk Empire in a nutshell.  But here’s my question: where do we go from here?  After all, Jimmy Darmody was just as much an anchor to this show for two seasons as Nucky Thompson.  Is Steve Buscemi strong enough, or likeable enough to carry this show on his own?  Do any of the pre-existing characters have the charisma or the fan support necessary to take Jimmy’s place?

For the show’s head writer, Terence Winter’s take on this, feel free to check out this interesting, if a bit frustrating, interview from Entertainment WeeklyAlso, check out this “scandalous” article on TVline.com, which not-so-subtly alludes to a possible less-than-kosher reason why the writers might have decided to axe the Darmody character.   As for me, I’m going to hold my tongue, and save my most opinionated rhetoric for the comment section (should anyone decide to comment ;)).  For now, I leave you with an absolutely hilarious musical number from that dude that used to play Agent Sebso on the show.  Seriously, he’s AWESOME!

Hey, Erik Weiner, if you’re reading this, CALL ME! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Hey Ian! How’s it Hanging? – A Recap of the Pretty Little Liars’ Season Finale “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

 

When a television show ends with someone being shot, or blown up, recappers typically describe it as “ending with a bang.”  Well . . . this episode of PLL ended with a hang . . .

Ummm . . . nice scarf?

Wildly inappropriate corpse jokes aside, Pretty Little Liars’ season one finale definitely did not disappoint, this week.  In fact, the entire hour was jam-packed with twists and turns, unusual (and, sometimes,  downright icky) alliances, oodles of OMG moments, and, of course, plenty of “A.”  (Though, admittedly, all these supposedly “SCAAAAARY” text messages are getting a bit . . . how do I put this kindly . . . LAME!)

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OK . . .  maybe that was putting it less than kindly.

So, what are we waiting for, my Pretties?  Let’s get that bell tolling!

Video Killed the Blind Incestuous Porn Star

Hanna:  “Wait to go, Tobster!  Look who’s rocking the ABDOMINALS!”

Spencer:  “Shut up!  He’s mine!  You already have three love interests!”

Hanna:  “Come on!  I only have TWO!  Everyone knows that Weiner head Sean doesn’t count!”

The finale episode begins precisely where we left off last week.  The PLL girls are huddled together in bed (kinky!) watching the disturbing videos captured on the flash drive that Dead Ali stored away in her Tweety Bird lunchbox, before she died.  In addition to some SUPER CREEPY images of the PLL girls, as tweens, unknowingly dancing in front of the camera in their underwear, the flash drive also includes some EVEN CREEPIER footage of a not-yet-blind Jenna seducing a not particularly willing (though not as entirely unwilling as I would have liked) Abs Toby .  . .

And YES, he was shirtless in the video . . . (Can I get a HELL YEAH!)

In the video, Jenna is heard blatantly threatening Toby that if he doesn’t let her . . . “play with his flute” . . . she will tell their parents that he “forced himself on her.” 

“Wow!  I’ve never seen such a big . . . flute.”

By the way, if you were Jenna, and you were trying to SECRETLY SCREW YOUR BROTHER, would you REALLY do it in front of a WINDOW, so that anyone who happened to be wandering by with a VIDEO CAMERA could SEE? —  Incestuous Sociopath FAIL! 

*sings*  “I once was lost, but now I’m found.  I was blind, but now I . . . nope . . . still blind.”

(Interestingly enough, the video appeared to have been taken through a window, and yet the sound quality was PERFECT.  So, I’m guessing the house was bugged?)

Disgusted by the sight of her new boyfriend macking it with his nasty ass sister, Spencer insists that the girls stop watching the videos.  In hindsight, this was probably a mistake.  After all, based on later scenes in the episode, it appears that more Rosewood Residents may have been featured in these videos, aside from the PLL girls, Ali, Toby and Jenna.  Like, this GUY, perhaps?

“Oh no!  If they watch the rest of the videos on the drive, they might find out I was in that Hillary Duff movie!”

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As far as the PLL girls are concerned, Ian “I Like to Make Out with Girls Who Still Wear Training Bras” Thomas seems to be the most likely videographer of this Kiddie Porn DuJour.  And, since Blind Jenna obviously knew about the flash drive and its contents (After all, she hired Man Whore Caleb to steal it for her.), they figure that Little Miss Brother F*&ker might be willing to share information with them that will incriminate Ian in Ali’s death. 

But what if Blind Jenna is “A”?  Are the girls walking into a trap? 

Fitzy spells trouble J-A-C-K-I-E

This week, the role of Ezria Cock Block will be played by Jackie Molina . . .

Things actually seem to be going pretty well for Aria when the episode begins aside from her being stalked by a sadistic stalker psycho killer.  Admittedly, we were all a bit worried for Aria and Fitzy, when Police Boy Garrett knocked on the English teacher’s door last week, asking questions about “one of his students.”  And we became even MORE concerned, when SOMEONE stole the VERY POORLY HIDDEN hide-a-key from underneath Fitzy’s Welcome Mat, and broke into his home. 

Yet, when Fitzy meets Aria at the school, to tell her what went down, we learn that Police Boy Garrett didn’t ask any incriminating or even vaguely interesting questions at all!  (Gotta love Rosewood’s Finest, and their top notch investigating skills!) 

But WAIT!  There’s more!  Fitzy, apparently, just got a job working at the local college . . . which means that he’s NOT going to teach at Aria’s high school anymore . . . which means that Aria and Ezra can feel free to date in public, without fear of persecution (except for, you know, the whole STATUTORY RAPE thing).!

What’s more?  Aria’s dad, who also works at the local college, and REALLY wants to get into Fitzy’s pants is holding a Faculty Mixer at the Montgomery Household that evening as an excuse to get into Fitzy’s pants.  So, since Fitzy is now officially FACULTY at the local college, he gets to go to Aria’s house and .  . . visit her bedroom.

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And we all KNOW what happens when boys get into girls’ bedrooms!  (Right, Abs Toby?)

But then, things go south at the Faculty Mixer, when SHE shows up there . . .

Uh Oh!

It turns out that Jackie, the long-ago ex-fiance from far, far away, is not-so “long-ago,” nor is she so “far away.”  In fact, she TEACHES at the college too! 

To make matters worse, Fitzy has been with Jackie as recently as last year, back when she was a T.A. at the same college where the pair will now both be teaching. 

(I hope you are wearing a bulletproof vest, Fitzy!  Because you are NOT exactly Aria’s favorite person right now . . .)

But, hey!  At least you got inside her bedroom!  That’s gotta count for something, right?

In other BAD news . . .

None of my Exes Live in Texas .  . .

Emily’s mom wants her and Emily to move to Texas, where Emily’s father will be stationed for a year.  Poor Emily!  What will happen to her 85,000 girlfriends in Rosewood?

And what exactly is the Gay Scene like in Texas?  Will Emily have to change her “look,” in order to fit in there?

 

Tune in next season when we will, of course, learn that she is not actually moving, as she is one of the four MAIN characters of the show to find out!

In other news . . .

Marry me, Lucas!

LUCAS IS BACK!

And he’s wasting no time reminding us why we fell in love with him in the first place.  When we first see Lucas, after a WAY TOO LONG HIATUS, he’s still giving Hanna the cold shoulder, as a result of her highly UNFORTUNATE rejection of him at the “I Didn’t Have to Get My Spleen Removed, Even Though I Was Ran Over by a Car” Party that Mona threw for her a few episodes back  .  . .

Yes, Lucas looks like a beaver died on his head, in this picture.  But we are going to forgive him for that, since he is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.

Even though Lucas was deeply hurt by Hanna, he CLEARLY is still watching out for her.  After overhearing Annoying Ass Mona lie through her teeth about the letter she was SUPPOSED to give to Hanna from Caleb, in which the Hot Man Whore professed his love for her  . . .

Do, a little dumpster diving, Hanna!  You might still be able to find it!

 . . . Lucas THEN overhears Mona using Hanna’s PHONE to talk to Caleb.  Mona actually has the GALL to tell the Poor Slutty Bastard that HANNA ripped up his love letter to her, when we all know that it was MONA who did the not particularly effective ripping.  When Lucas confronts Mona about this, she offers to help Lucas win Hanna’s heart, if he agrees to keep quiet about what he knows.

Well, THIS turn of events was kind of a head-scratcher for me.  After last week, I was under the assumption that Mona didn’t want Hanna coupled with Caleb, because she wanted Hanna to stay single, like her.  So, why, suddenly, would Mona prefer that Hanna date LUCAS, as opposed to Caleb?  After all,  just a few weeks back, Mona seemed determined that Hanna DITCH Lucas, in favor of Boring Ass Sean?

HUH?

I’ve actually got three possible theories regarding the above conundrum:  (1)  Mona is a WAY better friend than us PLL fans give her credit for.  And, as a GOOD friend, Mona recognizes that Lucas will be a better boyfriend to Hanna than Caleb. (2) Self-absorbed Mona wants to be Queen Bee at Rosewood, and she figures she will have a WAY better chance of doing so, if her biggest competition ,is dating a so-called”loser” than if he is dating the schoolest Hottest Homeless Bad Boy.  And finally (3) Mona doesn’t have any intention of helping Lucas win Hanna’s heart.  She just wants to keep Lucas’ mouth shut, and will say whatever she has to say, in order to accomplish this.

“I’m glad she only came up with three possibilities.  Because I can’t count any higher than that.”

Whatever Mona’s intentions are, Lucas doesn’t give a RATS ASS about her shady offer to play matchmaker between him and Hanna.  He proves this by tracking down Caleb (in Arizona?) and bringing him back to Rosewood.

“Why are you doing this for me?”  Caleb asks incredulously, as the two men, who are both CLEARLY in love with the same woman, ride back to town with absolutely NOTHING interesting to say to one another.

“Because I am about twenty times more awesome than you will ever be.”  “Because Hanna deserves to be happy,” Lucas replies solemnly.

(*Sigh!*  Please put this recap on pause, while I retrieve my panties from the floor . . .)

OK . . . I’m back!  Little do these newfound bromantic buddies know that, at the same time they are both gearing up for a Caleb / Hanna reunion . . .

. . .  Hanna is deleting the Man Whore’s number from her cell phone.  Oops!

You know, it might be a good thing, that most of our PLL girls have (at least temporarily) left their respective love interests in the dust this week.  After all, they’ve got ENOUGH to worry about, without having to cope with Boy Drama . . .

The Flute Player Gets Played (In more ways than ONE!)

Creepy Kiddie Porn Flash Drive in hand, the PLL girls confront Jenna at school, about how the latter made her bedroom into her very own City of Brotherly Love.  The PLL girls want answers from Jenna.  They think they are  entitled to them.  They want the TRUTH!

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As Little Miss Brother F*&ker shares what she knows with the PLL’s, we are treated to a Blind Jenna Flashback for the first time EVER, since the beginning of the series . . .

(Did anyone else think it was weird that Jenna was already wearing her “Blind Person Glasses,” back when she was first put in the hospital, following her Little Firecracker Accident?  Wouldn’t her eyes be bandaged?  Her face burned and bruised?  I mean, those are DESIGNER GLASSES she’s wearing!  Please, tell me what hospital gives THOSE out for free.  Because I’m getting admittted!)

So, Ali comes to visit Blind Jenna at the hospital, following her trip to “Georgia.”  She then promptly presents the Freaky Flute Player with the same video we saw  earlier, of Jenna threatening, and subsequently making monkey with, Abs Toby.  “The guy I like likes to make movies.  I thought they were just about me.  As it turns out, the Boy Next Door, likes watching ALL the Girls Next Door,”  Ali monologues unnaturally, as if she is villain in a Batman Comic Book (The Riddler, perhaps?).

 Now, of course, Jenna can’t SEE the video.  But I’m assuming, she figures out what was going on in it based on the extremely poorly written dialogue what is being said. 

“Really Jenna?  You ACTUALLY said, ‘It will be so easy to make my parents think you forced yourself on me?’   Ever hear of a little thing called subtlety?  I mean, seriously, I know comic book villains that have a better way with words than you do, and I am one of them.”

Caught between a rock and an incestuous place, Jenna is forced to make a deal with Ali.  Ali will make sure the incriminating flash drive never sees the light of day.  And, in return, Jenna will leave Rosewood FOREVER!  (Aha!  So, now we know why Jenna RETURNED to Rosewood for Ali’s funeral! Little did Ali know that their little agreement had an, easy out, Death Clause . . .)

After her confrontation with the PLL’s, Blind Jenna makes two phone calls . . .

“Can you hear me now?  GOOD!”

The first call is to Creepy Pedo Ian.  Upon hearing that the girls found the flash drive (which presumably includes videos he took), Creepy Pedo promises to “take care of it.”

“Hey, by the way, do you happen to have any 13-year old friends who are single?  I’m looking to mingle!”

But it’s Jenna’s SECOND call that’s the MOST disturbing.  Remember when I mentioned earlier that SOMEONE ELSE may have also been featured in Ian’s “home movies?”  Well, that UNSEEN porn star, arrives at Jenna’s house.  Jenna complains to him that this video is going to ruin all of their lives.  But HE promises her that he won’t let that happen.  Then HE takes off her glasses, and THIS happens . . .

Oh no, Police Boy GARRETT!  Not YOU TOO!  Man, are their ANY boys on this show who actually like girls their own age?

I stand corrected!

Nice Knowing Ya, Ian!  (But, not really . . .)

“Now that I’m dead, I wonder if I can get a better deal on a cell phone plan . . .”

So, Melissa and Ian are planning to have their yet-to-be-born baby baptized at the local church.  But Spencer is concerned that this might be a bit premature, since the baby might not be  . . . entirely human.

Awww!  He looks just like his dad!

Meanwhile, Spencer and the gang attempt to procure a confession from Ian about making the videos contained on the flash drive.  They do this, by sending Ian a text from a blocked cell phone number (They stupidly used Spencer’s phone for this.)  In the text, they instruct Creepy Pedo to bring $10,000 to a nearby park, in exchange for the flashdrive. 

Hanna:  “Hey, aren’t those the bears from the Charmin commercials? What are THEY doing here?”

Aria:  “What do you THINK?”

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Taking things one step further, the girls call upon Garrett the Police Boy to help them with the sting operation.  Of course, as we know from watching him clean Blind Jenna’s teeth with his tongue, earlier in the hour, Police Boy’s intentions are not necessarily pure.  Fortunately, Hanna, who knows a thing or two about shady police officers with ulterior motives  .  . .

. . . has the foresight to lie, and tell Police Boy that her mother knows where they are.  (In other words, “don’t try any funny stuff, Officer Kid Groper!”)

Tensions are high, when a car pulls up, and a man emerges, carrying a bag filled with $10 grand in Cold Hard Cash . . .

Hey there, Sexy?  Who are YOU?  And why aren’t you a REAL cast member on this show?

Unfortunately, as you probably noticed already, that guy is NOT Ian.  He’s WAY HOTTER!  Rather, it’s some dude that Ian paid to drop off the cash, and retrieve the flash drive on his behalf. 

Woah . . . wait up . . . you’re telling me that Ian . . . a twenty-something high school hockey coach . . . has ten grand in cash, lying around his house AND has MORE money than that left over to pay hot guest stars?  Ummm . . . I don’t think so!

Then again, Ian coaches at the SAME school where a youngish English teacher can afford to rent a limosine to (1) drive him all the way to Philadelphia; and (2) WAIT around for him for an entire evening, while he makes out with his underage girlfriend . . . so . . .  yeah.  (I’m SO getting a job teaching at Rosewood!)

Meanwhile, Spencer is cuddling with Abs Toby, falling asleep in his arms, and letting him adoringly play with her hair (AWWW!) . . .

This lovefest is interrupted, when Spencer gets a text from Melissa, stating that Ian never picked her from the church, following the Baptism . . .  . interview(?). 

(Wait . . .  if Melissa walked to the church, why couldn’t she have walked HOME from there too?  Lazy pregnant biatch!)

Fortunately, for us, Spencer doesn’t leave to pick up her good-for-nothing sister, right away.  Instead, she spends some time sweetly telling Abs Toby that he is her “safe place to land.”  In return, Toby tells Spencer that he will ALWAYS be there for her, whenever she is ever in need.  (Something tells me she is going to be taking you up on that promise REAL soon, Tobster!)

Then, of course, the two makeout .  . . again . . .

Never .  . . gets . . . old.

Eventually, Spencer finally manages to pick up her bratty ass sister, who’s Pregnancy Brain made her leave her cell phone in church. 

“Wahhhh, MY PHONE!  Waaahhhh My Creepy Pedo Husband!  Wahhhhh you’re mean to me!  Wahhhh I’m one of the most unlikeable characters on a show that is FILLED with unlikeable characters!  Wahhhhhhh I miss WREN!

Spencer stops the car, to return to church, when WHAM, her car gets broadsided by another car (on purpose?).  Next thing you know, Spencer is in the hospital, without a scratch on her.   But Melissa seems pretty banged up, and is at risk of losing herbaby.  So, being the caring sister Spencer is, she decides to go back to the church and retrieve Melissa’s phone.  (Because, cell phones are way more important than stupid babies, anyway!  Yeah, way to have your priorities straight, Spencer!)

“Oh, please!  The baby is going to be EVIL, anyway!  At least the cell phone comes with cool ring tones!”

So, Spencer heads back to the church.  And there . . . SURPRISE . . . is Creepy Pedo IAN!

You know how, up to this point, it was kind of hard to figure this guy out.  Because, as creepy as Ian was, he sometimes did NICE things, like rescue Spencer from the Fun House that he may have trapped her in, in the first place?  Well, all that is GONE in this scene.  Creepy Pedo Ian is in full on EVIL mode! 

“Melissa would want me to take care of this,” Ian says menacingly.

Creepy Pedo then admits that he KNOWS his wife was in the hospital, having just been HIT BY A CAR, but chooses to accost Spencer in the church, rather than tending to the mother of his child.  (It is almost as if he KNEW they would be in an accident.  Interesting . . .)

So, I’m convinced that the reason the producers chose to show a full moon in this shot, is to imply that Creepy Pedo Ian is actually a werewolf . . . Yes . . . I DO watch too much Vampire Diaries and True Blood.

“You were planning to’ take care of this,’ like you took care of Alison,” Spencer sneers. 

Spencer then shows Ian the incriminating  flashdrive (makes some fairly lame “home movie” jokes, while she displays it). Thinking fast, the “Smartest PLL”  tosses the flash drive at Ian, before dashing up to the Church’s bell tower.

Wait . . . WHAT?  You THREW AWAY the evidence . . . AGAIN, Spencer!  I’m hoping you were smart enough to make a copy this time, Little Miss Supposed Over Achiever!

Oops!

Now, Spencer may have been silly, when it came to her flash drive evidence, but she WAS smart enough to call Emily on her cell phone, as Ian chased her around the church . . .

ARIA:  “Crap!  I forgot to DVR Pretty Little Liars, tonight!”

EMILY:  “Don’t worry!  It’s playing on my iPhone RIGHT NOW!”

This enables all the PLL’s to hear all the SUPER INCRIMINATING things Ian is saying while he TRIES TO MURDER Spencer.  (I hope you recorded that, Emily!) 

Admittedly, I had to watch this chase scene twice, to figure out what Ian was saying.  And I STILL don’t think I got it all down.  Mostly, Ian was talking about how he was planning to kill Spencer in the church, and make it look like a suicide.  He planned to leave a note on Spencer’s computer, after she was dead, saying that she couldn’t deal with the pain of Ali’s death, and, therefore, offed herself . . . in a church.

There are two interesting things about Ian’s monologue: 

(1)  He inadvertently cites the WRONG cause of Ali’s death.  While Ali ACTUALLY died of strangulation, he cites, in Spencer’s fake suicide note, that she “fell to her death.”  This comment would seem to go AGAINST the commonly held notion that Ian killed Ali.  

 (2) Ian notes, once AGAIN, that he is killing Spencer, FOR Melissa.  Is it possible then that MELISSA killed Ali (or at least that Ian THINKS she did)?  Has Ian’s creepy behavior merely been a result of his trying to cover for his wife, because he feels GUILTY about cheating on her with Ali and about being a disgusting pedophile, who videotapes half-naked tweens?

It wouldn’t be the first time this actress played a psycho killer!

The answers to these questions, apparently, are not ones we will get first hand.  Because, moments later, Ian is dangling Spencer from the church bell tower.  In a strange twist of fate, she is grabbing on to her would-be killer’s arm for dear life.  Then, she pulls herself up onto the scaffolding.  What happens next is pretty shocking.  (As if all this WASN”T SHOCKING!)  A black cloaked figure comes out of the darkness, and pushes Ian off the scaffolding.  And yet, Ian doesn’t FALL to his death.   Instead, he gets tied up in the ropes and is hung. 

Of course, the rest of the PLL’s arrive, after the hooded figure (A?) has left the building.  They reach the top of the church tower, to find the disturbing image of Dead Ian swaying back and forth, like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, as Spencer watches on silently traumatized . . .

Yet, by the time the police arrive on the scene . . . IAN’S BODY IS GONE!

But, look who’s back from the PLL Lost Boy Vortex?

It’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel!

In the final moments of the episode, the girls, OF COURSE, get, yet another text message from “A” . . .

And here’s what it says: “It’s not over until I say it is.  Sleep tight, while you still can b*tches!” – A

Oh boy!  Something tells me, many of us PLL fans will be having some trouble sleeping, between now and when the show returns in June for it’s second season!  Fortunately, that gives us plenty of time to piece together all the clues we’ve gathered so far during Season 1.  So, I now turn things over to you, My Pretties!  Start sleuthing!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Lost: A Show About Science or A Show About Faith? – Thoughts on the END of Lost’s Series Finale “The End”

Last night, I wrote a blog entry, in which I discussed some of the lighter aspects of Lost‘s generally feel-good Series Finale, “The End.”  In it, I, more or less, completely refrained from discussing the show’s controversial ending, and promised to tackle that issue exclusively in another post.  Well, I’M BAAACK . . .

One Man of Science.  One Man of Faith.  The Island wasn’t big enough for both of them . . .  or was it?

In the last season of Lost, there was much talk and broohaha about this image, and all the ideas it represents . . .

Light versus Dark.  Black versus White.  Good versus Evil.  Heaven versus Hell.  And while that dichotomy was certainly central to the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black . . .

 . . . our Losties, for the most part, resided somewhere in between.  Much like the rest of us non-television characters, their morality was covered in shades of grey.   For them (and for us), the REAL battle for control of Lost island was one that was a lot less clear cut, making it a lot less certain who we should root for.  And, ultimately,  it was this battle, that took center stage during the final half of the Season finale. (After they, you know, got rid of that pesky Black Smoke thing  . . .)

Jack v. Locke – The Man of Science versus The Man of Faith

Although Lost undoubtedly featured many characters and their respective stories of redemption, at its core were the journeys of two men.  When we first meet Jack Shepard, he is the quintessential Man of Science.  He’s a surgeon, and about as left-brained as a person can get.  There is not a creative or artistic bone in this man’s body.  So, understandably, when it comes to matters of faith or destiny, he’s a complete Doubting Thomas.  For him, if an explanation doesn’t appear in a medical reference book, it just plain doesn’t exist.

John Locke, on the other hand, is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, Man of Faith, guy.  He’s Mister “Nobody tells me what I can and can’t do.”  A guy who sees absolutely nothing wrong with signing up for a “walkabout,” despite being completely incapable of “walking about.”  Upon crashing on the island, he suddenly regains use of his legs, and, thereafter, becomes convinced that the Island is his Destiny.  He is absolutely certain that some higher power has brought him to the Island; and that he is, therefore, meant to remain and do great things there . . .

For the first Four Seasons of Lost, pretty much up until Locke’s “death,” we watched these two men battle it out with one another, arguing for the righteousness of their respective ideologies.  Neither man would budge an inch with respect to his position.  However, upon REAL Locke’s death, at the end of Season 4, things change for Jack Shepard.  During the last two seasons of the show,  Jack slowly evolved from a Man of Science into a Man of Faith. 

First, after escaping the Island as part of the Oceanic Six, he returns to it, believing he is meant to rescue the others who remained thereon.  In Season 6, when the Losties are once again ready to escape the island, this time on a boat, Jack jumps ship, convinced that the island “isn’t done with [him] yet.  Then, in the penultimate episode of the show, Jack LITERALLY drinks Jacob’s Kool Aid, and agrees to remain on the island, throwing away his promising surgical career in order to “protect” what, for all intents and purposes, was a Giant Lightbulb . . .

Scientific Answers versus Mystical Answers  – The SHOW About Science versus The SHOW About Faith

When it really came down to it, I think Lost‘s journey as a show, was similar to Jack’s journey, as a character.  Lost started out as a Show About Science (Science Fiction, perhaps, but, science, nonetheless).  In the show’s early seasons, many of the Island’s mysteries were explained through quasi-scientific means.  Flight 815 was initially thought to have been brought down, as a result of the Island’s unique electromagnetic properties, which were inherent to the Island’s location, but were also exacerbated by a Hydrogen Bomb buried beneath its surface . . .  These electromagnetic qualities also allowed the Island itself, and its inhabitants, to move freely through the time/space barrier and . . .  basically . . . time travel.

Those all important numbers, which Hurley chose in order to win the lottery, and which Desmond was forced to repeatedly punch into a computer screen to prevent the Island’s destruction . . .

Were part of the Valenzetti Equation, derived by members of the Dharma Initiative, to determine the exact point in time at which all human life would cease to exist.  The Dharma initiative itself was, more or less, a scientific research group, which took advanage of the island’s unique electromagnetic properties in order to experiment with various facets of human life, from a woman’s ability to give birth . . .

 . . . to psychology, subliminal messaging, and mind control . . .

Then, Season 6 came around, and like Jack Shepard, Lost had to go and get all “Faith-y” on us.  Island mysteries, like “why the plane crashed,” which had once been explained by science, were now explained as being part of the “Master Plan,” in a battle between the God-like Jacob . . .

 . . . and the Devil-like Man in Black . . .

 . . . for control of the Island, and, by extension, the souls of its inhabitants . . .

Supernatural, and biblical-type reasoning was now used to explain Island mysteries such as why MIB couldn’t escape the Island, why Richard Alpert wouldn’t age . . .

 . . . why Jacob and MIB couldn’t kill one another, how Locke became Flocke . . .

 . . . and who Adam and Eve were . . .

The Last Ten Minutes of the Finale Episode of Lost – Flash Sideways of Science (Time Travel) versus Flash Sideways of Faith (Purgatory)

So, I guess, it shouldn’t really have surprised me (but it DID!), that the final Lost mystery, the reason behind the Flash Sideways, ended up being a faith-based reason (preparation for the afterlife / purgatory) . . .

 . . . as opposed to a science-based reason (an alternate universe created as a result of Juliet’s detonation of the hydrogen bomb at the end of Season 5).

And, I have to say, that the fact that this promo picture, released just before Season 6 began, didn’t give the religious implications of the finale away to me, makes me more than a bit mad at myself . . .

I guess, when it really comes down to it, how you felt about Lost’s final moments (MULTITUDE of unanswered questions notwithstanding), really comes down to which side of the Man of Science / Man of Faith debate YOU fall under.  Me, personally?  I’m a bit more of a “science” girl.  So, I was a little disappointed that the Flash Sideways World did not, in fact, end up being the hydrogen bomb-created alternate universe I had initially envisioned. 

Plus, Flash Sideways World just seemed so PERFECT!   And because I’d truly grown to love these characters, having spent six years with them, I really wanted this world to exist FOR THEM!  Because, without it . . .

Ji Yeon would REALLY be an orphan . . .

David Shepard would COMPLETELY cease to exist . . . Oh, and most of the Losties would already be DEAD!

 . . . including THIS GUY!

But, putting my personal feelings aside, the fact that the Flash Sideways World ended up being purgatory makes sense, BECAUSE everything was so perfect there.  In essence, Flash Sideways World gave our main Losties the oppportunity to redeem themselves from wrongs they felt they had committed during their actual lifetimes .  . .

Jack Shepard had a bad relationship with his father, who degraded his worth constantly, and always chose his work over him, so in Flash Sideways World Purgatory he was a supportive and understanding father to his son . . .

During his lifetime, Sawyer was a con artist, who shunned justice.  So, in purgatory, he was a detective, who fought hard to protect it.

Sorry! I know technically I should have found a “cop uniform” pic of Sawyer, but I just couldn’t help myself . . .

On the island, Kate unknowingly abandoned Claire, and ended up raising her child, Aaron.  But in Purgatory, she guides Claire through the birthing process, and allows her to raise her own baby . . . And, as for Claire, she gets to keep her kid, and not become a skanky haired wackadoo.  YAY!

In the real world, Sayid’s murderous lifestyle resulted in the death of the love of his life, Nadia.

In Purgatory, he lets his brother marry Nadia instead, and, in doing so, probably spares her life.

In the real world, Desmond loved Penny Widmore, but her father’s disapproval of him kept the two of them apart.  In Purgatory, Desmond works for Charles Widmore, and has gained his utmost trust and respect . . .

In Purgatory, Hurley isn’t a loveable loser who won the lottery and STILL can’t accomplish anything.  He’s a loveable WINNER, who get’s the girl and is rich enough to employ the ENTIRE CAST OF LOST!

Purgatory Ben is a kindly history teacher who saves Alex’s future, by sacrificing his own personal success to ensure her entrance into an Ivy League college, instead of . . . you know . . . GETTING HER KILLED!  And Purgatory Locke is a pretty nice guy too, and Ben’s BFF to boot!

And, as I mentioned before, Jin and Sun, actually get to raise their kid Purgatory World.  Plus, they successfully ditch Sun’s Asshat Dad.

Matthew Fox probably explained the whole “purgatory thing”  best, in his post-finale interview with Jimmy Kimmel, when he said something to the effect of: “There’s a school of thought that, after you die, you go to a sort of ‘waiting place’ in which you encounter everyone who was important in your life.  Once you have reunited with, and reconciled with, these people, you can truly accept your own mortality and . . . move on.”  (And you just KNOW Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse fed him those words, because Matthew Fox may be smart, but not THAT smart!)

I’ll have to admit that when Christian Shepard (and if THAT’S not a “Man of Faith” name, I don’t know what is) . . .

 . . . . appeared in that Non-Denominational (or, rather, ALL Denominational) Church / Temple, OUTSIDE of his own coffin, and replied to Jack’s question of “How did you get here?  Aren’t you dead?” with . . .

 “How did YOU get here?”  . . .

I screamed at the television . . .

“YOU PROMISED THEY WEREN’T DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME, J.J. ABRAMS!  YOU LIAR!  I JUST WASTED SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE FOR YOU!”

But then, when Christian explained that, “Everything that happened on the Island was real . . . Everyone dies eventually . . . Some of these people died before you, some long after you .  . .” I calmed down a bit . . .

And in the penultimate scene of the show, when Jack stumbles out from the cave, lays down on the ground next to doggie Vincent, watches his fellow Losties successfully escape the Island on a plane, and, subsequently, CLOSES his eyes in death, just as he had opened them so many times during the LIFE of the show, I thought to myself, “What an appropriate ending . . .”

But then they HAD to show me this . . .

While the producers didn’t go as far as I feared they would, by showing me a heap of dead bodies lying amongst the wreckage, they showed me enough to make me wonder if I was being f**ked with.  And I couldn’t help but be reminded of ANOTHER intriguing, but unnerving, Open-Ended Series Finale that left me with more questions than answers . . .

(Special thanks to njean666 for this fabulous clip)

They never make it easy for us, do they?

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