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Don’t Eat the Prom Queen! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Pictures of You”

dont eat the prom queen love-isover

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OMG, Fangbangers!  It’s Senior PROM TIME!  Can you believe it?  It seems like a really, really LOOONNNNG time ago only yesterday, that our scrappy Mystic Fall-ians were just innocent sophomores trying to make it through history class, without getting eaten by the broody new kid . . .

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. . . or his hot older brother . . .

rawr damon

 

. . . or those 50 or so random people that all seemed to move into the town at the same time, even though no one had ever seen them before.  (Where were they living, all this time?  In an underground tomb?)

tomb vamp

TV Prom episodes  are a lot prom itself, in the sense that people tend to have REALLY high expectations for them.  They are meant to encapsulate the series’ high school experience in a way that is nostalgic, romantic . . . EPIC . . .

epic

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seth and summer prom

pacey-joey prom

prom puck funny dancing

“Pictures of You” wasn’t really that type of TV prom.  I mean, sure . . . the broad strokes were there . . . the pretty dresses . . .

Pictures of You

. . . the cast mate who got crowned prom queen . . .

Pictures of You

. . . a few sexually charged slow dances. . .

Damon and Elena Mating Dance

 

They had those past pictures of the cast appear on screen throughout the hour, which seemed designed to evoke nostalgia in the most literal sense possible . . .

2 18 jonnie dance

jer len

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Yet, I wouldn’t really describe this as a typical High School Prom Episode.  And I think that has something to do with the fact that TVD isn’t actually a high school show.

3 12 confused damon

Yes, yes, I recognize that it is technically a high school show, in the sense that the characters are supposedly of high school age.  But Mystic Falls High isn’t really a character on TVD, in the way that Capeside High, Degrassi, Constance Prep, or Neptune High were characters in their respective shows.  I suspect this has something to do with the fact that the students of Mystic Falls High never actually attend school, apart from the occasional decade dance, football game, or random gymnasium Klaus-mauling . . .

The Reckoning

And this made it difficult for me, as a viewer, to care which lucky female won the title of Prom Queen Caroline was totally robbed, by the way. , which couple shared its last romantic slow dance together, and which heretofore virginal young couple would be checking in to the hotel upstairs, for a little cherry popping action.

sex girl boy

In essence, I experienced the Mystic Falls High Prom much as Evilena did . . . which is to say, more or less, emotion-free, apart from a strong inexplicable desire to murder Bonnie Bennett . . .

bonnie kol

Now, don’t get me wrong, Fangbangers.  This is not to say that I thought “Pictures of You” was a bad episode of TVD.  It just wasn’t . . . you know . . . EPIC.

stefan shrug

Let’s review, shall we?

Burning Up for Your Love

burning bonnie

“I thought these sorts of dreams were supposed to be wet.”

In the episode’s cold open, Bonnie travels to the cemetery, inexplicably dressed in an intensely ugly Bill Cosby sweater . . .

bill cosby

cosbysweater

WHY, WARDROBE DEPARTMENT, WHY????

At this point in the series, Elena Gilbert has so many dead family members and friends, that the town has thoughtfully gone and dedicated an entire cemetery just to them . .  .

gilbert plot

2 17 shocked jenna drawthequeen

“I’m trying to Rest in Peace, but that loud sweater keeps waking me up!”

Usually it takes about a year to get a headstone on your grave.  But Jer Bear got his in about two weeks! Niiiiiiice!

badass jer

Bonnie is tearfully paying her respects, when, who should pop up, but the Man, the Myth, the Legend . . . Mini Gilbert himself!

surprised-face

mini g back from dead

OK, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what Jeremy was wearing  when he died . . . 

dead jer 2

Now, the hoodie I vaguely remember.  But where did he get that  jacket, Dead Guys R’ Us?

Strange Fact about Dead Jer . . . he has an accent now?  Is that, like, something that happens to you in Heaven . . . you suddenly become British?  Now, I get that this isn’t really Jeremy, but, rather, Silas’ incarnation of the dead teen.  But no one else who Silas impersonated had an accent before.  So, I’m kind of confused.   Is Steven R. McQueen preparing for an upcoming role in Season 4 of Downton Abbey that I didn’t know about?

jer 1

The Grantham Estate sure could use another wood chopper . . .

Anywhoo . . . JerBear tells Bonnie to “wake up.”  At first, she assumes he’s being metaphorical.  But it turns out the request is literal, as she opens her eyes to find her couch on fire.   Stop smoking in bed, Bonnie!

3 18 bon

Trust me, you don’t want to die on this show.  You’re not a Gilbert, so you probably won’t get your own gravesite.  They’ll likely end up just shoving your ashes in some old shoebox, like poor Grams . . .

VDGranny

Dress You Up in My Love

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It’s PROM DAY!  And everybody is getting ready.  Actually, just Caroline and Bonnie are getting ready.  Stefan and Damon are playing with their balls, while bitching about Evilena . . .

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Lost Girls

i like balls stoner kol

And Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah are having a family meeting . . .

family meeting

“Hey, do you think they will let us take this house set with us to our Spinoff Series?”

As we all know from last week, Elijah now has The Cure.  So, being the Good and Honorable Original Vamp he is, the Most Gentlemanly Mikaelson allows Rebekah and Klaus an opportunity to explain why each deserves it over the other.  This makes Elijah kind of like King Solomon .  . . you know, apart from the whole “cut the baby in half” thing . . .

Elijah ate

“I once ate a baby.  Does that count?”

BabyScared

Though both Originals make strong cases, ultimately Rebekah wins!

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So Klaus, who has never been known for being a particularly gracious winner, tells Beks that when she dies, he will watch her suffer, and then compel her to forget him.  How precious!  I think I read that on a Hallmark card once . . .

klaus beks

I know this shouldn’t be hot, because they are related and all . . . but it kind of is . . .

However, Elijah’s offer of The Cure to Rebekah is not without strings.  In a plot conceit that reminded me a bit of the kind of thing Rumpelstiltskin would do to his bevy of gullible Disney Princesses on Once Upon a Time  . . .

rump

 . . . Elijah tells Beks that, in order to win The Cure, she has to prove that she can survive her entire Prom, without the use of any sort of vampire magic, whatsoever.  You know, kind of like the rest of us saps had to endure our proms .  . .

prom britt no date just dancin cannibalsuxx

Fortunately for Beks, her new roommate and erstwhile Fairy Godmother Evilena is there to make sure she doesn’t f*&k things up, and lose her opportunity at humanity.  Because, as we’ve all been told about 80 times this season, a human Rebekah means NO chance for a human Elena.   And that’s precisely what Evilena wants . . .

elena beks

dancing elena

There ain’t no party like a Humanity-Free Vampire Party!

In Prom Episodes, there’s always that awkward moment where Frenemies run into one another, while dress shopping.  And “Pictures of You” is no exception . . .

pretty dress

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Trying to eat your best friend will inevitably put a damper on any relationship . . .

turn on

It’s becoming a bit of a running joke on this show, that, whenever Evilena covets an item of clothing of someone else’s, she will inevitably end up wearing that item of clothing . . .

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It happened with that random cheerleader’s ugly blue hair ribbon, and Katherine’s heels.  So, now, of course,  it’s going to happen with Caroline’s much beloved red prom dress . . .

stole prom dress

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oh hell to the no

Even if that means the writers have to conveniently remove the vervain from the town water supply, in order to make it happen . . .  (Someone care to explain that one to me?  Was it Silas?)

Of course, Caroline’s loss ends up being Klaus’ gain, because it forces Vampire Barbie to come to him, seeking fashion expertise . . .

not funny

i know

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Of course, Klaus always finds Caroline’s anger adorable, during the rare moments, when it’s not directed at him. And though it is a bit disturbing that Klaus seems to have a closet filled with women’s wear, cultivated solely for the purpose of lavishing a high schooler with gifts . . .

3 11 klaroline gift from klaus 1 loveablesins

prom to plan

I couldn’t help but be touched by the fact that the Big Bad Original Vamp was willing to take time out from his busy day of World Domination and Silas Screwing to help Caroline cope with her Fashion Crisis.  Also, that dress? SUPER HOT . . .

the dress

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As another recapper mentioned, had this been a Typical Prom Episode, we would likely have been treated to a montage, during which Caroline tried on dresses for a bemused Klaus, possibly to the tune of Pretty Woman . . .

Instead, we got a sort-of montage of Silas trying on the faces of the entire cast.  But more on that in just a bit . . .

Love the way you lie . . .

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I don’t know about your prom, but mine was characterized  by a lot of false niceness.  People who had hated one another for four years, suddenly hugged and told one another they looked fabulous.  Everybody smiled for the camera, and took pictures with people they would never have spoken to, let alone touched, otherwise.

mean girls really pretty

 Conversely, the Mystic Falls prom was pretty much characterized by everyone being an A$$HOLE . . .

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April told Rebekah she didn’t get any votes for Prom Queen . . . NOT ONE!

loved through all beks

Matt and Elena both told Rebekah she was a terrible person, who never did anything nice, and, therefore, would make a hideous human . . .

3 9 ele beks stake the-chosen

Elena told Damon she never really loved him . . .

sexy delena 2

damon pull stake lylyord tumblr

She then admitted to Stefan that she felt nothing, while dancing with him, because she lacked any sort of heart capable of such feelings . . .

stefan-and-elena-dancing-at-prom

beating up stefan

Elena told Matt he should have turned his emotions off, back when Vicki died . . .

matt car breakdown

She told Bonnie that she was just a Brainwashed Crazy Person, who couldn’t bring Jeremy back, and was pretty much a reminder of everything bad that ever happened to Elena . . .

2 22 bloody nose bonnie

(OK, that part was kind of true.)

Back at the Klaus House, Klaus told Elijah that — even though Elijah gave Klaus the one stake that could kill him, thereby ensuring he would NEVER DIE at least not while his spinoff remained on the air and even though he is  now his Only Living Brother . . .

original respect

 . . . Klaus would still kill Elijah’s lover Katherine, pretty much just to be a dick . . .

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brother to brother elijah kill mariephantomlive

In return, Elijah basically told Klaus he was a pathetic being with no life . . .

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Personally, I think honesty is overrated.  If  any of you out there are about to hurt my feelings, because you feel that I “have a right to know the truth,” know that I’d prefer Sweet Little Lies, any day, and twice on Saturday.  Thank you very much . . .

Speaking of blissful ignorance . . .

I’m Just a Killer for Your Love . . .

madly in love

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While Damon is drinking away the sorrows of (temporarily) lost love . . .

underage

drink

And Stefan and Caroline are reassuring one another that they will learn to love again, Bonnie is outside dancing with Faux Dead Jeremy, Who Now Inexplicably Has a British Accent . . .

need help

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By the way, what’s the deal with Silas always rubbing up on Bonnie?  He did it as Shane.  He’s doing it as Jeremy.  He even talks about doing it, when he’s Stefan  . . .

witch mine

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I get that Silas needs Bonnie to do his Apocalypse Spell or whatever (which, for the record, I thought was already done, after they killed those twelve witches).  But this kind of seems like more than that.  This seems like Evil Villain Puppy Love.

4 12 not puppy

I thought Silas was all about that other chick . . . you know . . . the one he’s apparently trying to die for.  But something tells me, that, when this is all over, Silas and Bonnie will have become the new Caroline and Klaus . . . just in time for Klaus to get his own show.  Just my prediction . . .

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

Anywhoo, Bonnie gets all pissed at JerBearSilas for tricking her for the umpteenth time, and starts making all the car alarms go off in the parking lot.  This, I suspect, was supposed to make her appear “dangerous,” but actually seemed like a rather helpful trick.   I HATE when I’m in a large parking lot, and I can’t find my car, because I’m too far away from it to use that clicker thingy.  With Bonnie around, that wouldn’t be a problem . . .

team bonnie its delena love

In other Lost-Lovers-Sort-of-But-Not-Really United News, Klaus gave Tyler a ten-minute reprieve from his Eternity on the Run to share a single slow dance with Caroline on Prom Night . . .

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OK, OK . . . now, I don’t want to sound like an old stick in the mud.  I’m first and foremost a Forwood Fan. So, of course, I think Caroline’s and  Tyler’s Slow Dance Reunion in her living room was lovely.  All I’m saying is that, if I only had ten minutes to spend with the Love of My Life, before he went back to an Eternity on the Run, I wouldn’t spend it wearing so many layers of clothes, if you catch my drift . . .

3 4 forwood txgirl0302

forwood wrong place 1

Am I wrong?  Speaking of wrong . . .

Love Hurts . . .

After Rebekah’s adorable dance with Matt . . .

Pictures of You

mebekah

 . . . during which she tells the male bar wench that he’s “beautifully human” (which is sweet, in a sort of backhanded way, like being told you’re “refreshingly normal” or “not bad looking”)

ordinary

 . . . her chance to be human starts to gradually slip from her fingers.  It all starts when Matt and Bonnie get crowned Prom King and Queen . . .

matt and bonnie

OK.  Let me pause for a moment.  Matt and Bonnie?  What the WHAT?

dont understand

OK, Matt as Prom King, I get.  Everybody likes Matt.  That appears to be his sole defining characteristic on this show, apart from his talent for cleaning tables, and asking people if they want fries with that .  . .

2 16 matt wtf face

But Bonnie?  Since when did Bonnie become the most popular girl in school?  Now, I’m not saying she was unpopular, per say.  It just always seemed like Caroline was the girl involved in student council, Miss Mystic Falls, cheerleading, dance committee, and all other school activities . . .

3 3 caroline petrovadiaries

 . . . while Bonnie sat home and . . . lit candles with her mind.

new girl makes me hate things

When Bonnie was standing up there on that platform, part of me was expecting the pigs blood to fall down on her head, a la Stephen King’s Carrie . . .

carrie-movie-02

But, instead Bonnie just almost got eaten by Elena, and proceeded to Mind Rape her . . .

bonnie shane 2

Things start to get interesting, when Bonnie, after fighting with Elena, actually does start to do a little Stephen King Carrie homage, by making STRONG WINDS (flatulence?) blow around the dance hall.  Unfortunately, she leaves, before she can do any real damage . . .

smash

soap dish smash

My favorite part of the episode happens next . . .

make bek prom queen

should have listened

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Evilena may have no soul.  But no one can say she’s not loyal.  Think about it.  How many friends of yours would be willing to eat a chick, just because she let you down . . .

Also,  let’s face it.  Annoying April had it coming . . . and not just because she didn’t let Rebekah be Prom Queen, despite the fact that girlfriend has been waiting 1,000 YEARS to go to a prom!

april 1

April just sucks . . . plain and simple.  And she deserved to be Elena’s snack, because of it . . .

So, of course, Rebekah has to be all “good” and save her. even if it means breaking her Human for a Day pact with Elijah . . .  just because Matt told her it was the “right thing to do”. . .

Damon eye roll

vampire emergency

Things start to get a little crazy at this point.  This is because for pretty much the last ten minutes of the episode, the writers decide to have SILAS PLAY EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER ON THE SHOW . . . It’s like a one-man production of Hamlet . . . if Hamlet was evil . . . and had magical powers.

Silas is Damon . . .

damon eternal stud

 . . . leading Stefan into the woods, before promptly staking his ass.

Silas is Stefan . . . taunting Damon about the veracity of Elena’s feelings for him, before staking his ass . . .

get to you

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Silas is Jeremy, for the 87th time this episode  (Jeremy seems to have more lines as a dead fake British guy, than he did when he was alive), telling Bonnie to “control her anger, and “dangerous” tendency to make wind and  set off car alarms.

But most importantly, Silas is Rebekah, when he tells Elijah she “passed his test,” and promptly steals the cure from his hot little hands . . .

you cannot beat

Oh Elijah . . . you really aren’t the smart brother, are you?

bad kol

“That’s me!  That’s me!”

Out in the parking lot, Elena tries to kill Bonnie again.  And this time, Bonnie gets REALLY pissed off about it . . . as opposed to the slightly pissed off she was, the first time . . .

fear of death

Elena (naturally) calls to Damon for help . . .

damon help me

Once the pain threatening to blow apart her skull finally stops, Elena looks at her erstwhile lover. And there’s a brief moment between them that alludes to genuine feeling between them, not just on Damon’s side, but on Elena’s as well . . .

lookingat damon

Upon seeing this, Damon and Stefan decide that the true route toward recapturing Elena’s humanity lies not in bombarding her with love, but in sex with DAMON!!! cultivating her fear of death.  I smell some hot torture scenes in our future . . .

tortured-stefan

3 3 sun torture

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We all know how much TVD enjoys those . . .

In the final scenes of the episode, Klaus obtains a cryptic message from Katherine, which sends him to his spinoff New Orleans . . .

katherine ing

 . . . while Bonnie encounters the REAL face of Silas, which is apparently disfigured, but probably only in that Sexy Ugly Way CW Stars are “disfigured.”

beast

Next week on TVD, the much-awaited backdoor pilot of The Original makes its TV debut . . .

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Are you psyched or skeptical, my dear Fangbangers?

3 14 happy screwed elijah

See you next time!

waves

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

“And I will try to fix youuuuuu.” – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “My Brother’s Keeper”

delena sex big

really happening

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Oh yeah, Caroline . . . it’s happening, all right!

Oh, my dear sweet Fangbangers!  How I’ve missed you, during this one week interminable hiatus.  And what an episode to come back to!  Let’s see, there was another Miss Mystic Falls Pageant, Mini Gilbert hopped a ride on the Crazy Train, Klaus got all mushy gushy over a teeny tiny bird with a big nose, and . . . wait . . . I know I’m forgetting something.  Hmmm . . . what could it be?

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

Was it about Nosebleed Bonnie?

2 22 bloody nose bonnie

Nahh . . . she wasn’t even in this episode.  Good riddens!

How about that dead hybrid from last week?  Did he return as zombie to exact revenge on our Scooby Gang?

finn zombie

Nope . . . not him either.

Oh, I remember now! DAMON AND ELENA HAD SEX . . . WITH EACH OTHER.

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THEY BONED.  THEY WERE NAKED.  SHIRTS WERE RIPPED.  BODICES WERE TORN.

lively elena

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DAMON ROAD THAT NEWBIE VAMP ALL THE WAY TO POUND TOWN . . .

elena watch 2

stayed for the show

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I’ve really gotta lay off on the capital letters . . . and the caffeine.

not sure how to stop

Anywhoo . . . let’s rewind a little bit, so we can see how it all went down.  [By the way, welcome back, Andre! Many thanks for the rockin’ screencaps . . .]

Stefan and Caroline: Gossip Girls

sad stef

“She dumped me, Bro!  And now I have this strange urge to write bad poetry, and cheesy diary entries, while showing off my muscular physique to no one in particular.”

gossip girl

“Wait . . . don’t you do that every week?”

Everybody needs a good girlfriend.  And I’m not speaking in a romantic context either.  We all need someone we can call, after a bad day, who will listen to us, while we bitch and moan about our mean teachers, our awful bosses, and our inconsiderate significant others . . . someone who will say to us, “Hey Girl!  You are SO right.  That guy of yours is total toolbox.  You can do so much better than him” . . . even if it isn’t exactly . . . like . . . true and stuff.

that betch

“That bitch!  I’m going to totally kick her ass.  How dare she dump one bloodthirsty vampire for another one?  I’m going to really give her a piece of my mind . . . once I get back from my hot date with the evilest, most bloodthirsty vampire on the planet.”

Damon used to have that with Alaric . . .

team bad ass

. . . you know, before Alaric went psycho and started trying to murder Damon on a regular basis.  Stefan sort of had that with his boy toy Klaus.

klefan

“You can be my bodyguard.  And I can be your long lost pal.  I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me, you can CALLL MEEEE KLAUUUUSSSS, call me Klaus.”

But, let’s be honest, their relationship was always more homoerotic than it was mutually supportive.  So, as much as I was annoyed by Caroline’s and Stefan’s “Mean Girls” act this week, seeing Stefan bitch and complain about being dumped by Elena to Caroline was probably the most “human” thing I’ve seen the guy do in about three seasons.

iron pump

Make that the second most Human Thing.  Looking goood, Steffy!

For once, Stefan wasn’t busy being either “good and honorable” or “ravenous and psychotic.”  He was just the girl who didn’t get asked to the prom by the high school quarterback.  So, instead, he stayed home crying to his girlfriends (who also didn’t have dates), while shoving Ben & Jerry’s ice cream down his throat.

stefan crying gif

Well, except for the fact that given how ripped Saint Stefan is, it’s pretty clear to me that Paul Wesley has never met Ben or Jerry, in his entire life.

stefan shrug

But hey . . . it’s a start right?

Speaking of Mean Girls, whoa Caroline!  When exactly did your Season 1 self come back to literally bite you in the ass?  For someone who spent the entire episode bitching about how much Elena had changed, since she went full on vamp, Caroline sure was acting like someone other than the Perky Little Vampire Barbie we had all come to know and love.  Perhaps, Bonnie’s absence left an opening in the show’s obligatory “Judgy Girl / Cockblock Quota.”

2 16 caroline j baker

Whatever the reason, Caroline was 100% Regina Georging Elena for most of the episode, disregarding her choice of men, her choice of clothes (more on that later), and even her personality.  Honestly, I kept waiting for Elena to show up at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant wearing sweat pants, so that Caroline could banish her from the lunch table.

mean girls really pretty

Oh wait . .  . I forgot, these kids only actually attend school once every two months.  So, lunch tables are not an option . . .  In other romance news . . .

Klaus whispers sweet nothings in Stefan’s ear, causing sexual frustration  in our “hero”

hugs

That Klaus sure is one kinky vamp, isn’t he?  Here we have Stefan, in his tight bodice-busting wife beater tee, just brooding, and minding his own business.  Then, out comes Klaus to put his big manly arms around Stefan, place his lips near his neck, and whisper in his ear, all the naughty things he will do to him, if Stefan doesn’t obey the elder vampire’s desires (i.e. make Jeremy a mass murderer so the Etch-a-Sketch on his arm produces more of those pretty pictures Klaus adores so much . . . but no ponies, unfortunately).

klefan 2 katerinawesley

Talk about tough love!  A ridiculously small part of me really did believe that these two were going to hump, right there in the woods like the sexy savage beasts they are.  But instead, Klaus leaves Stefan with a massive case of these . . .

blue balls

Dumped by his girlfriend, denied by his gay lover, can you really blame Stefan for being a little snippy with his brother, back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome?

pissy face

DAMON:  “You’re bitchy today!  Who crawled up your ass and died?”

STEFAN: “Not Klaus or Elena, that’s for sure.”

DAMON: “Bummer, you should see if Matt Donovan is free . . .”

My how the tables have turned!  This time around it’s Stefan, offering up the half-cocked, impulsive plan that’s going to put everyone’s lives in jeopardy, while Damon is being the more conservative one, opting in favor of protecting Jeremy’s life and his sanity, over the quick fix of using his hunter mark to rescue Elena, no matter how many people get hurt in the process.

damon face

“I know, it kind of surprised me too.”

And while for three seasons, Damon has bore the brunt of his Elena-sized rejection with quiet broodiness, and pleasant self-deprecation, Stefan is just one big ole’ sour grape about the whole thing.  “Don’t pretend like this isn’t the best day of your entire life,” Stefan remarks snidely, when Damon expresses sympathy toward his brother over the breakup.

douchebag jar misomeru

In Stefan’s defense, while Damon might look calm and collected on the outside, upon hearing this news, on the inside, I suspect he’s doing this . . .

dance-with-vicki-damon-salvatore-9071188-437-246

 . . . and this . . .

ian-dance-4_o_GIFSoup.com

. . . and maybe even a little of this . . .

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Meanwhile, back at the pageant . . .

This is your brain on Professor Boo Radley (and these are your muscles on Vampire Hunter Steroids) . . .

more big muscles

“GRRRRR!”

big muscles

“Rawrrrrrrrr”

hey ladies

Matty LIKE!

Apparently, having a new nifty new tattoo has turned Jeremy into the frat party version of a super hero.  He LIFTS HEAVY KEGS with a single orgasmic grunt.  Matt pretends to be concerned about Jeremy’s “mental health” and stuff.  But you know that deep down he’s impressed, kind of jealous, and a little bit turned on . . .

Meanwhile, even feuding femme fatales, Caroline and Elena, agree that Professor Boo Radley is mega creepy, and always seems to be putting his annoyingly curly head of hair where it isn’t wanted.  Therefore, it’s a kind of a good thing Damon wants to kill him, right?

annoying shane

He even has serial killer eyebrows . . .

Speaking of making a killing . . .

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, MURDER!

Stefan’s scouring the hospital for humans with a very specific set of medical conditions.  At first, I assume that this little hunting trip was brought on by breakup-induced stress eating . . .

freaking hungry

But nope. Stefan’s looking for “bad people” to turn, just like Elena was looking for “bad frat brothers” to much on, during her campus excursion with Damon, a few weeks back.  After all, everyone knows that Bad People taste better (much more flavor!).

eat him for sport

Stefan finds what he’s looking for in a hospitalized killer who completely lacks remorse for his misdeeds.  You know, kind of like Stefan and the rest of the Scooby Gang, when they killed Poor Hybrid Chris to cure Elena of Night Terrors.  Stefan promptly turns Killer Guy, into a vamp, in hopes that he can later force Jeremy kill him.

force feed

“You will MAKE OUT WITH MY ARM, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT, BITCH!  In case you haven’t heard, my girlfriend dumped me, and I haven’t had sex in two weeks.  I’ll take what I can get.”

And hey, if doing that just so happens to transform Jer Bear into a raging lunatic, so be it.  Because . . . let’s all say it together now . . . WE’RE DOING IT TO SAVE ELENA!

happy elena

Except, here’s a new wrinkle in that plan . . . This time, Elena doesn’t really need saving, you know, being IMMORTAL, and stuff . . .

Because unlike CRAZY!DERANGED! Elena, Caroline doesn’t have a thing for Bad Boys at all . . . does she?

Oh Sweet Caroline!  You aren’t fooling anyone with your “Go away I’m busy,” “Don’t buy me dresses,” act with Klaus.  Everybody knows you want to hit that hybrid booty, and hit it HARD.

hard to get

“Do you think he’s looking at me?  He’s TOTALLY looking at me.  Play it cool, Caroline.  Maybe he won’t notice that you’re reading your clipboard upside down . . .”

And hey, none of us blame you for looking.  That smirk of Klaus’ could melt the polar ice caps.

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But you know what they say.  Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t pick on Elena for lusting after a bad boy, when you are lusting after a worse one.

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Wait. . .  that’s now how it goes . . .  Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t . . . be hypocrites?  No, that’s not it either.  Ooh nevermind.

But my poor analogies have purpose!  They actually bring me to two rather interesting, and oddly parallel, scenes in our story: one featuring Lady Elena, and the other starring none other than Caroline Forbes herself . . .

The Tale of the Tell Tale Dress and the Phallic-Looking Bird

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“Hey Caroline.  We’re supposed to be helping April pick out a dress.  Stop staring at my boobs.”

April Young is running for Miss Mystic Falls, like Elena and Caroline before her. I suspect we are supposed to like care or something.  But I’m still having difficulty getting invested in April.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I keep waiting for her to get brutally murdered.

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Also, I want Matt to be with Rebekah.  There, I said it.  Matt is just such a “nice guy,” and April is such a “nice girl.” And as “nice” as it would be if they were a couple, it would probably  . . . no, definitely  . . . put me to sleep watching them on my screen.

rebekah heart

But I’m not here to talk about Matt and April, or even Matt and Rebekah, for that matter.  I’m here to talk about Elena, and her reaction to April’s choice of dress.  At first, she agrees with Caroline, and is all about the blue.  Then Damon swoops in, and suddenly she’s agreeing with him, and she’s all about the red.

red dress

“Because Red is the color of Blood.  And if you look like Blood, everyone in this town will want to eat you.  And, in case you haven’t noticed, we all equate eating with sexual attraction around here . . .”

want sandwiches and sex nickmillerfixed it

Now, of course Caroline is morally aghast by the whole situation.  Later on, she’ll use it as evidence that Elena is “sired” to Damon.

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I don’t know, I just see it as evidence, that Elena doesn’t have many strong opinions about fashion.  I mean, Caroline certainly didn’t accuse Elena of being sired to her, when she agreed to her choice of dress, did she?  Beyond that, I’d just say that Elena was acting like a girl who’s recently discovered she has a crush.  We’ve all been in those first stages of puppy love, before, haven’t we?  Suddenly, everything this person does is friggin adorable, and every word out of their mouth is pure gold.

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There’s nothing supernatural about it.  Sometimes a dress is just a dress . . . Now, a hummingbird . . . that’s another story . . .

Remember that time when Klaus told a dying Caroline this beautiful, inspirational, story about the perks of being a vampire, and that same story inspired her to LIVE?

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3 11 klaroline allyouhavetodois ask faeryinwonderland

Well, this hummingbird story wasn’t that.  So, wait, let me get this straight.  Big bad Klaus decided he envied humanity, all because some bird with a big schnoz looked at him cockeyed?

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Shake that ass, humming bird!  Klaus loves you!

Really?  That’s funny, because, last I checked HUMANS AREN’T BIRDS!

And yet, as Klaus’ date to the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, Caroline just ate that stupid hummingbird story up, like it was delicious blood-covered chocolate brownie.  And why?  Because puppy love can make you approve of some very stupid things . . .

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“That bird story is the stupidest crap I ever heard.”

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“But you’re so yummy.  Wait . . . tell me that amazing story about the bird again.”

Think about THAT the next time you are Judgy McJudgersoning Elena, CareBear . . .

Speaking of puppy love . . .

Elena confesses!  Damon swoons!  Professor Boo Radley cockblocks!

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Yes, yes, yes.  It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, since we saw it in last week’s promos.  Elena calls out to Damon from the top of that romantic spiral staircase.  She meets him at the bottom, and finally confesses to him the words that this vampire has arguably been waiting to hear for about 150 years, from the girl who looks like Nina Dobrev, and whose name is alternately Katherine and Elena.  She has FEELINGS FOR HIM!

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She dumped STEFAN for him!

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She may even . . . wait for it . . . LOVE HIM!  And just in time for the holidays too . . .

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I just loved seeing Damon’s expression, upon hearing this.  I love how he didn’t even really try to play it cool, and casual,  like he usually does.  Damon was overcome with emotion.  He was ecstatic.  He was . . . just like every Delena fan watching at home . . . minus the girly screams, and the screechy choruses of “OH MY GAWWWWWWWWD!”

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And then that bastard Boo Radley had to come and frack it all up.  KILL HIM ALREADY, WILL YOU WRITERS!  I don’t care if he’s Silas!

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“Look, Damon and Elena are having a Moment.  This looks like a job for COCKBLOCK OF THE WEEK, MWAH-HA HA!”

Damon leaves to have a little conversation with Mr. Creeper Man.  And it’s a pretty typical scene, where the pair shower one another with innuendo, and thinly-veiled threats.  YAWN!  Professor Boo Radley bores me.  More Delena please . . .

In, more exciting, non-Boo Radley, related news . . .

Mini Gilbert pops his vampire killing cherry . . . again.

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“Why can’t I just have wet dreams, like normal teenage boys?”

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“In my dreams, this was much bigger . . . just like my weiner.”

Poor JerBear . . . he’s having dreams about murdering his sister.  I wonder, maybe if the Scooby Gang kills a hybrid, they can cure him of these night terrors.  Oh wait . . . we only do that for Elena.  When it comes to Mini Gilbert, we do things to make him MORE crazy, not less.  To his credit,  Jeremy definitely seems morally aghast by his own unfulfilled desires.  But then his “bro” Stefan texts him.  And he ditches out on the Miss Mystic Falls pageant to go see him about killing a newbie vamp.

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“Remind me to delete this asshole from my contacts list.  He’s always getting me into trouble.

Stefan was a real jerk, in this scene, wasn’t he?  The way he manipulated Jeremy into making the kill, knowing full well that there was a major possibility that doing it would turn our mild mannered former emo kid into, as Damon cleverly put it, “Connor 2.0?”

Was I the only one who was cheering just a little bit, when Jeremy, not only didn’t show Stefan his pretty new tattoo, but immediately turned on the vampire, and staked his ass?   Come on, admit it, dude had it coming . . .

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I find the way the writers dealt with Jeremy’s Vampire Hunter transformation interesting.  It was as if, the minute he killed vampire number 2, the guy became a completely different person . . . like he was a man possessed . . . like he had an alter ego . . . like his former self lacked free will over him . . . like he was Evil!Alaric . . .

And it kind of makes me wonder what kind of guy Connor was, before he became a vampire hunter . . .

big connor

While Jeremy’s Presto Chango Personality Transformation made for good television drama, part of me wished for a little more subtlety, and gradual metamorphosis, on the character’s part.  I find this is a frequent complaint I have with the show.  I recall having made similar comments about Stefan’s “ripperness” and Alaric’s “psycho-ness,” not long before.  And here is my general feeling.  When you give a character an “alter ego,” you enable him or her to disclaim complete responsibility for all acts committed while in that state.  And that gives your characters a sort of moral “easy out” clause, that I don’t necessarily think they deserve.

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Part of me would much prefer to see Jeremy gradually struggle with his feelings about vampires, and the ways they conflict with the love he has for his family and friends.  But that’s just me . . .

And the winner is . . . zzzzz

red dress april

Meh . . . I would have gone with the blue dress.

April won.  Jeremy bailed at the last minute, because he was out being “naughty,” just like Stefan was, back in Season 1.  Matt then stepped into Damon’s Season 1’s shoes, by acting as April’s last-minute Knight in Shining Kmart suit.  Plotwise, it did little to advance the main story.  But it was a kind of clever way to send up, one of the most popular episode’s in the show’s first season.

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Not to mention, those looks that Damon and Elena were giving one another, as they recalled their days of Unrequited Passion / Mating Dance past?  PRICELESS . . .

Breaking Bones and Taking Numbers

bored now

“Hurry up and break your sire bond, already.  I want to watch Honey Boo Boo!”

I like Hayley.  I really do.  I know I’ve bitched about not warming to April.  But I started enjoying Phoebe Tonkin’s part in this series, almost as soon as she appeared.  Maybe it’s because I liked her in The Secret Circle.  Maybe it’s because she’s just a good actress.  Or maybe I like her tension with Tyler and Caroline, and feel like she’s the type of “tough girl” we don’t see enough on this show.  Whatever the reason, I thought the scenes where she boredly “coached” that hybrid chick through breaking her sire bond were pretty darn hilarious.

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Not for this chick though, I imagine . . .

And I was disappointed at the end of the episode, when I learned that she was in CAHOOTS (love that cheesy word), with the detestable BOO RADLEY.  And no, the fact that she begged for “Tyler not to get hurt,” did little to endear her in my eyes.  You know what they say, you lie down with creepers, you start giving people the creeps.

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So, I hope they redeem this chick soon . . . and not just by making her die a dramatic death, as they tend to do on this show.

Speaking of Boo . . .

Shane, Shane, we know your name “It’s Silas Professor Boo Radley.”

funny face shane

Evil eyebrows at work again . . .

So, now we have a reason to keep Boo Radley alive . . . umm yay?

So, basically his whole connection to this thing is that he can make Bonnie Bennett regain her witchy powers, so that she can help find the “cure” to vampirism .  . . because apparently the Map Tattoo and pretty stake aren’t enough.

steven tattoos

Wait a minute . . . is THAT A HUMMINGBIRD ON HIS SHOULDER?

Ugh!  So, in other words, we’ve yoked a character I don’t like to another character I don’t like.  And had that same first yucky character (Boo) taint a character I actually DO like (Hayley).

GO AWAY SHANE!

So, much for that whole “not murdering your sister” thing, huh, Jer Bear?

Things get pretty tense when Elena finds her brother at the Salvatore mansion, all bloody and stuff, from killing That Guy.  Long story short, she vamps out, he stabs her neck .  . . (perhaps as payback for the time when she killed him last week).   Matt comes to save the day, which was nice of him, I guess, since Elena’s saved him quite a few times.

damon and matt

All kidding aside, I thought the scene was pretty nicely done, in the sense that it was TRULY shocking to see Jeremy revert to a character this depraved, almost on the drop of a dime.

At the end of the episode, Jeremy plans to leave town, so he won’t, you know, kill his sister and stuff.  But Savior Matt convinces him to stay, and promises to “watch out for him.”  Personally, I think that’s a terrible idea.  Matt Donovan couldn’t “watch out” for a half-empty beer keg, and he’s supposed to prevent Jeremy from murdering all the undead in Mystic Falls?

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It will make for a good story though, I guess . . .

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for (if you are a Delena fan, at least)

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So, with Jeremy staying at La Casa Gilbert, Brush-with-Death Elena finds herself without a home.  And though she could probably just check into a hotel, or stay with Bonnie or Caroline, she decides to make an already awkward situation that much more awkward, by moving into the Salvatore House, with the guy she dumped, and the guy she wants to bone, both under the same roof.

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It’s like that old 70s show Three’s Company, only with lots of biting, and less Suzanne Somers . . .

But then Stefan decides to move out, thereby giving Elena and Damon about 20 free rooms, not to mention a ton of bathrooms, in which to screw at their leisure.  I LOVE IT!

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Damon and Elena sit by the fire, where they’ve had many an intense conversation in the past.  She makes a really good point, when she notes how all her so-called friends have been judging her, telling her she’s not as good of a person, as a vampire, and trying to cure her of the person she’s become.

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welcome club 2

But it seems like, finally, whereas Elena spent the first few weeks of her vampirism mired in self-loathing, she’s now coming to terms with who she’s become, and is OK with it.  It’s like she said to Stefan in an earlier scene.  “You don’t have to love me like this,” because, at least it’s implied “I love myself.”

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Who would have thought it would take vampirism to convert Elena into a role model for positive teen self esteem?  I think that’s what Damon means, when he tells her that he’s never seen her more alive.  Things get romantic and sticky sweet, when the pair decide to relive their EPIC Mystic Falls dance.  Only whereas last time, the pair weren’t allowed to touch one another, this time, the dance ends with a dip and a passionate kiss.

lively elena

And then they pretty much bone one another’s brains out . . .

In short, it was F*&KING AMAZING, after 3 years to finally watch these two F*&K.  LONGEST FOREPLAY EVER.  And while certain “other things,” happened during the scene to taint it’s “purity.”  I choose to view it the way the person who made this video did . . .

surprised-face

HALLELUJAH!

Yes, yes, I know, the REAL SEX SCENE was inter cut by a high strung Caroline and smug Stefan chalking Elena’s newfound vampire urges up to a “sire bond,” but I’m trying not to let that get to me.

plotting

Blah, blah, blah, interrupting my Delena sex blah . . .

To me, chalking up Elena’s inability to drink blood from a bag to her supernatural connection with Damon, as opposed to her status as a vampire, is simply replacing one far-fetched mythology for another.  It doesn’t change things for me.  Many vampire tales, the TVD book series included, have posited the “blood bond,” as a reason for closeness between vampires and their mates.  And this supernatural anomaly hasn’t managed to foil the genuine closeness of the couple, in those situations.  And I hope the writers won’t cop out, and allow it to do so here.

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3 3 delena favvvvvvv

Aside from which, this so-called sire bond between Damon and Elena, is clearly very different from the one Klaus has with his hybrids, as Hayley explains, earlier in the episode.  Tyler and company yoked to Klaus, not because they wanted to get into his pants (though some of them might have), but because they “appreciated,” his freeing them from the pain of monthly transformation. And yet, they must not have “appreciated” him all that much, because if they did, they wouldn’t be so intent to break the sire bond, in the first place.

tyler points

“HAHA!  Gotcha writers . . .”

Elena “appreciates” Damon too.  But she does so because he’s been accepting of her new self, when no one else she cares about has.  She appreciates how he loves her, unconditionally, whether she’s human or vampire, pristine or monstrous.  And she also appreciates him because well . . . he’s hot and sexy.  Let’s be honest.

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So, if Stefan wants to make himself feel better about the breakup, by chalking it up to a once-in-a-lifetime siring, good for him.

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But I for one, hope that Elena and Damon see this through to the end, sire bond, or no sire bond.  And that, if such a bond does exist, that Elena finds a way to break it, so that she can prove to herself that her love for Damon is pure, just as Book Elena and Sookie Stackhouse have done before her . . .

But hey, enough about all this mythology crap, Delena fans.  Let’s just bask in the glory of the fact that our SHIP FINALLY HAD SEX.  HOORAY!  Next time on TVD .   . .

Until then  . . .

waves

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

You Better Knock on Wood! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Murder of One”

“Hey Rebekah, would you mind if we finish reenacting your favorite scene from Fifty Shades of Grey, later?  I kind of have to pee.” 

Greetings, Fangbangers!  Our favorite vampire show has become quite the merciless tease, hasn’t it?

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The promos promised us Open Season on Originals . . . a veritable Vampire Bloodbath . . . our heros, armed with more stakes than they had targets. “The odds ever in their favor.”

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What we got was one lowly kill, of a character who’s claim to fame was literally being a Creepy Mama’s Boy.  Also, dude couldn’t fight worth a sh*t.  (Let’s face it, my grandma would have put up more of a fight than Finn did.)  Then again, in his defense, if you had spent the last 900 years napping, you’d probably be a bit off your game too.

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Additionally, the promos promised us intensely erotic Delena kisses.

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What we got was a Dream Sequence . . .

. . . oldest trick in the book . . . And yet, I manage to fall for it Every Single Time.

Shame on me.

Petty frustrations aside, there WAS definitely some fun to be had during “The Murder of One.”  For starters, we were treated to a rather clever twist on the concept of “Vampire Family.”  (So, which Original do you think sired Rose?)

Mommy? 

In related news, our Scooby Gang reached new levels of stupidity, when it willing ARMED the serial killer . . . again.  (They really would have been better off hiding the stake in the soapdish . . .)

So, stroke . . . er . . . I mean sharpen your woody . . . and chain up your half-naked pet vampire.  Because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

(As always, special thanks to my expert screencapper, Andre for the filled with awesomesauce screencaps you see here.)

“Shhh . . . be very, very quiet.  We’re hunting Originals.”

“Elena, please stop hounding me for sex.  You are starting to sound a little desperate.” 

Truth be told, Damon is acting a little cagey, when Elena pops by the site of Alaric’s “house arrest,” to drop off the latter’s Breakfast of Psycho Killer Champions.  The dark-haired vampire seems unusually eager for the love of his life to leave.  In fact, he pretty blatantly rebuffs her attempts to cross the threshhold into the apartment.

(And we all know how much Damon and Elena generally enjoy their bedroom rendezvous.)

Something is definitely UP, but what could it be?

Perhaps, Bad!Alaric has gone on a rampage, and destroyed the house?  Or, maybe the two bromantic buddies are having a dance-off.  Maybe, Damon and Alaric are watching a Lifetime movie together.  And they have just reached the part where Tori Spelling finally escapes her wife beating-shrew of a husband, and finds her way into the waiting arms of the mildly attractive B-list actor, who loved her all along . . .

“Funny . . . I always thought the most dangerous weapon in the world was in my pants . . .” 

It isn’t until after Damon closes the door in Elena’s face, that we find out what he’s really hiding . . . It’s his morning wood . . .-en stakes, that is.  That’s right, boys and girls!  It turns out that Psycho Killer Alaric Saltzman is a whiz with a buzz saw!  (Take that, crazy family from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.) 

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And Damon?  Well, he can whittle like nobody’s business!  Their Herculean efforts (combined with Stefan’s griping and complaining about his wood not being sufficiently erect) turn an old lame wooden bridge sign, into no less than TWELVE lean, mean, Originals- killing machines . . .  (Though part of me thinks they could have had more, if they made them a little smaller.  Silly men – always so preoccupied with the size of their sticks . . .)

Then, because five whole minutes have passed in the episode without anyone having done anything stupid, Damon and Stefan convince Psycho!Alaric to not only NOT turn himself in to the cops, but also to wear his “Jamaican Me Crazy” ring, for sh*ts and giggles.  Then . . . they actually GIVE this lunatic a stake!!!  Can you believe it?

Speaking of Psycho!Alaric, Elena tells Caroline that she should TOTALLY forgive him for murdering her father.  After all, it’s not his fault that he has REALLY bad taste in jewelry!

“It could be worse, he could have a Jamaican Me Crazy Nipple Ring . . .” 

Just like it’s not Caroline’s fault that she used to sometimes drink her favorite B Positive Blood from peoples’ necks, instead of using a straw, like the rest of us . . .

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After all, everybody knows that if Elena chose to turn her back on her friends and lovers JUST because they were serial killers, she wouldn’t have any friends at all!  (Plus, she’d pretty much never, ever get laid.)

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Caroline is super impressed by Elena’s Mother Theresa-esque attitude toward supernatural murderers.  So, she vows to be more tolerant of her father’s stake-wielding, cold blooded killer, in the future.  All  together now: Awwwww!

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As it turns out, Elena and Caroline aren’t just frolicking in the woods for their health.  They have a date with destiny!  Stefan has gathered the entire Scooby Gang . . . and Matt . . . in order to indoctrinate them into Team Kill Originals.

“No, Damon!  Everytime you make us play shirts versus skins, Vampire Killers, you always make us be skins.  It’s not fair!” 

“I can take off my pants, if that helps.  (I’m not wearing any underwear.)” 

And why shouldn’t everyone get to play?  There are plenty of stakes to go around!  Plus, since Mommy Original Witch’s spell has succesfully linked the family’s lives together, all the group needs to do is manage to kill ONE Original, and the rest of them will die shortly thereafter.

Now, surely, this stalwart crew of monsters, murderers and  . . Matt . . . can manage to kill one measley vampire, right?

Well . . .

On one hand, I adored the lighthearted nature of this “training” scene.  I smirked when Elena got to “roleplay” Klaus.  And I smiled again, when Caroline, (a.k.a. Klaus Bait) got to roleplay Rebekah.  My only gripe with this scene was that I thought there should have been a whole lot less planning, and a whole lot more .  . . STABBING of things.  Just sayin.’

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Finn Mikaelson . . . you are The Weakest Link.

Little does the Scooby Gang know that an Originals-Killing opportunity is closer at hand, than they think.  As it turns out, The World’s Most Self-Loathing Vampire (though, it could be argued that his vampire-eating, father hated himself more), did not actually leave town, as initially suspected.  In fact, he’s wandering around the Mystic Falls’ town square, RIGHT NOW.  It is here, where brother and sister dearest, Klaus and Rebekah corner him, and drag him back to their family lair.

“Check out those pects!  Have you been working out?” 

But Klaus and Rebekah are no dummies.  They know, full well, that they can catch more flies with honey, than with Finn-egar.   (See what I did there?)  Knowing that Finn will not guard his  life, to save his own siblings, they opt to offer him another reason to live  .  . . a.k.a. his lover girl, Sage . . . the boxing mind raper.  (Well, we all know who wore the pants in THAT relationship.)

Personally, my impression of Finn has always been that the only woman he’s ever dreamed about being horizontal with, is the one who breast fed him.  But hey, at least cares enough about Sage to put off whacking himself, long enough to accompany her to the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls for some bottom shelf tequila.  Ahhh, true love!

“He always shouted out, ‘Mommy,’ whenever we had sex.  I thought it was a cute pet name . . . until that time, when his mother tried to climb into bed with us  . . .”

Well, hello, there, Bondage Damon!

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Damon and Alaric (Wait . . . they are letting the Psycho Killer out of the house now?  What happened to house arrest?)  . . .

Then again, maybe some fresh air wouldn’t hurt . . .

 . . . are busy hiding their Originals-killing stakes.  When Damon decides to hide his in the fire kindling, Alaric hilariously reminds him of the “Moonstone in the Soapdish” incident.  Crazy Train is right, Damon.

Hiding valuable objects in plain sight might not be the best idea, in this instance.  . .

Unfortunately, Damon is about to have bigger problems than merely choosing a poor hiding place for his surrogate weiner.  Suddenly, Alaric has been knocked out cold, by an unseen force.

Alaric: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Alaric’s alter ego: “Suck it up, loser!  We’ve got people to kill!” 

Next thing you know, Damon is being staked in the gut, to the point of unconsciousness.  “Hello, lover,” coos Rebekah, as she drags her “ex boyfriend” out of the house.  Well, that’s one way to let a guy know you are interested . . .

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This is another . . . 

Sometime during the commercial break, Rebekah, the sadist – who was none too happy to learn that Damon had used her body for sex, and then mind-raped her too boot (I don’t know, sounds like a pretty great time to me) has taken the opportunity to chain Damon to her ceiling.

Now, that’s a lot of heavy hardware to have just “lying around” your new mansion.  In fact, it made me wonder where one goes to purchase such a contraption.  (Something tells me an S&M sex shop wouldn’t do particularly good business in an old-fashioned town, like Mystic Falls.  Then again, considering about ¾ of the people we’ve met who live there are bloodthirsty vampires, witches, and werewolves, perhaps some intrepid entrepreneur capitalized on what he saw as a good business opportunity.)

Question, fangbangers:  Does the fact that I was turned on by the sight of an open-shirted Damon chained to the ceiling make me a bad person?  I strongly suspect that it does.  Then again, unless this is the first recap of mine that you are reading, you probably already knew I was a bad person, anyway, and have decided to withhold judgment against me for it.  So, thank you for that.

You know what’s nifty about the Salvatores?   (Yes, I just used the word “nifty.”  1954 has been calling me ever since I typed it, asking that I return the word to its proper decade.)  They even bleed pretty.  Back in “As I Lay Dying” the makeup department did a pretty awesome job  of making the gorgeous Ian Somerhalder genuinely look like a sickly vampire, mere moments away from suffering the True Death.

But this time, Bondage Damon just looked like a gogo dancer at an S&M themed strip joint . . . one who’d been splattered with red body paint to accentuate his perfectly muscled abs.

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Klaus must have noticed this too.  Upon seeing Damon Salvatore, The Extra Large Christmas Tree Ornament Version, he suggested that Rebekah HANG HIM UPSIDE DOWN.  Now, that is something I would have liked to have seen!  (I suspect Ian and his agents would likely have disagreed to that though.)  The implied method to Klaus’ awesomeness madness is that an upside down Damon can be bled for vervain much faster than one that is right side up, which would make him a quicker candidate for compulsion.

Rebekah balked at the idea . . . not necessarily because it was a bad one . . . but, more so because it was Klaus’ idea.  And Rebekah can torture her ex boyfriends just fine, without his help, thank you very much.  Also, I suspect, based that Rebekah was much more interested in torturing Damon and making him bleed, than actually .  . . oh, I don’t know . . . making him do something useful for the Original’s cause.  Such motivation (or lack thereof) is kind of consistent with who Rebekah is as a character, I think.  She’s never really been one to concern herself with mundane things like “goals, plans, and  . . . logic.”

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In other words, it’s all “id” all the time, for this chick . . .

Mystic Falls, we have a problem . . .

Unlike Bonnie, who never seems to pick up her cell phone, or return anyone’s calls (It looks like someone got a bad cell phone plan at Witchmart), Damon is usually rather chatty.

So, when Alaric has no clue where Damon has gone, and the latter is not answering his phone, Stefan knows that something is drastically wrong.  He tells Elena to hold off on staking Finn in the town square, because the Team is in trouble.

Upon hearing about that Damon might have been captured by the enemy, Elena immediately campaigns for a rescue mission.  “Please Stefan,” she says “Rescue your brother, because I strongly suspect he is half naked, and, back when you were chained to a ceiling half-naked by older vampires, he dropped everything to go out in the rain and rescue you.   Also, I’m in love with the guy, and would very much like to bone him” Elena says (more or less).

Stefan replies, “Meh, maybe later.  Killing Originals is wayyyy more important than my brother’s life. He’ll understand” (failing to realize, of course, that because Damon has been captured BY AN ORIGINAL, this would be an excellent opportunity to kill two birds with one stake.)”

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*clears throat*

Elena pouts in frustration.  But will she defy her exes instrustions to rescue his brother?  Only time will tell . . .

Damn you, promo makers.  DAMN YOU!

Rebekah may not be her brother’s equal, when it comes to Concocting Plans of World Domination / Vampire vervain draining, but she can definitely hold her own, when it comes to psychological torture.  Later on in the episode, we see a fully drained and rather pale Damon, still chained alone in the grand hall area, when a “mysterious female figure” approaches him.  It’s “Elena.”  “Elena” looks at Damon with obvious concern, as he weakly motions for her to free him from his chains.

“If you wanted to be kinky, Damon, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs would have been much cheaper.”

Damon’s body collapses into Elena’s, as the two stumble dramatically toward the exit, calling to mind a similar situation that occurred back in “As I Laying Dying.”  But Damon is too weak from loss of blood, and he falls to the floor, zapped of strength.  “I’m not leaving you,” Elena says heroically, cupping her lover’s face in her hands, as she offers him her wrist.  “Drink, she says.”

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And drink he does.  It’s so sweet and erotic, that you really can’t blame the pair for wanting to make out, afterwards, despite the fact that they are minutes away from being discovered and killed by ORIGINAL VAMPIRES.  (What can you do?  The tongue wants what it wants.)

Then, Damon awakens to a triumphant looking Rebekah, who clearly planned the entire hallucination.

Well . . . that BITES! I throw my shoe at the television, in disgust . . .

 Between a Rock and a Klaus Place

Damon may not be having the best day, but it might give him comfort to know he isn’t the only Team Scooby, who’s stuck being an Original’s b*tch, this week.  Klaus has Bonnie, who he has been holding under duress to perform the spell that will unlink the Original siblings lives.  When Bonnie claims not to know any such spell, Klaus threatens Jeremy’s life (via Kol, who’s secretly watching the future serial killer), and the life of her errant mother.

This recap has been brought to you by Apple iPhone . . . 

Suddenly, Bonnie’s memory returns to her.  (It’s a miracle!)  She mumbles a bit over the blood of the Originals, and it starts to escape in separate directions.  And, just like that, the spell has been completed.  Well, that was easy . . .

How many friggin candles does this chick have?  Seriously, she must light about 30 in every episode.  And they are always these boring white ones too.  A little color wouldn’t hurt, ya know?

On the way out of Klaus House, Bonnie catches sight of Bondage Damon, and opts to leave him there rotting, when Klaus reminds her of what he did to her sorry excuse for a mother.

Clearly, someone hasn’t been attending the Elena Gilbert School of Supernatural Forgiveness.   Once Bonnie is outside the house, she calls Elena to let her know that Klaus still has her lover boy.

After that, the stresses of the day overtake Bonnie, and she cries until snot pours out of her nose . . . literally.  I guess this means that snot and tears are the new nosebleed.  Look on the bright side Bonnie, it will save you a lot of money on dry cleaning.  And hey, life could be worse: SOMEONE COULD HAVE LEFT YOU CHAINED TO THE CEILING, HALF NAKED, AND ON THE VERGE OF DEATH!

The Wild and Wacky World of Vampire Genetics

It’s too bad the Scooby Gang doesn’t watch The Vampire Diaries.  If they did, they would have known about the whole separation spell having already been completed.  It would have saved them a stake . . .

Over at The Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, lovebirds, Sage and Finn, are enjoying shots of tequila.  Apparently, the 1,000ish year old Finn was a “tequila virgin,” up until this point.  (Yikes.  What a way to live!  No wonder he was always wanting to die!)

“The more of these I drink, the more you look like my mother.” 

A few shots later, Finn has decided to save his own life . .  . which, of course, means he’s about to get shanked . . .  That’s just how this show works. But before Finn can be killed, we have to endure a discussion between Finn and Sage about how many people they’ve each turned.  Finn seems to suggest he turned ONLY Sage, and did so out of loooooooove.

Sage, on the other hand, was a vampire-turning slut, converting humans left and right, whenever the mood hit her.  She even recently turned some dude in the bar, on the way to the bathroom . . .

With the help of Plot Device Matt, Stefan slips some vervain into Sage’s and Finn’s tequila.  When they go outside to investigate.  Stefan stakes Finn, and he goes kablooey.  Sage cries, and snots, like Bonnie did earlier.

“Listen honey, I know you’re hot for me, but this is just ridiculous.” 

And Stefan leaves, triumphant, thinking he’s just killed Klaus.  Sucks to be him . . . But hey, it could be worse, he could be CHAINED TO THE CEILING HALF NAKED . . . or . . . even worse than that . . . he could be Finn . . .

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila . . . floor.” 

Who will save YOUR soul?

When Stefan learns from Elena, via Bonnie, that Klaus is not-so-much-dead, he’s furious, and finally ready to retrieve his brother, so that he can personally kill Klaus.  (Well, it’s about damn time!)  Shortly thereafter, Sage arrives to avenge her loverboy Finn’s death, along with that random vampire she turned in the bar.  Fortunately, for Stefan, the pair start coughing up blood, and die,  before they can do any real damage.

This looks like the before picture in a Botox commercial. 

Maybe she died of a broken heart, mused Caroline “B Positive” Forbes, who was there for moral support.  Nahh, if vampires could die of a broken heart, all the vampires on this show would have been dead a long time ago . . .

Eventually, Elena and Caroline figure out the “loophole” to their little plan.  Apparently, when an Original dies, he takes his entire bloodline along with him.  Well, hello BIG TWIST!

Of course, this means that ONE of the Original’s holds the key to the Salvatore Brothers’ and Caroline’s mortality.  After all, these three vampires come from the same “bloodline.”  Damon’s blood turned Caroline.  Katherine’s blood turned Stefan and Damon.  And Rose’s blood turned Katherine.

The question is . . . which Original turned Rose?   Because that’s the one our Scooby Gang can’t kill.  Personally, my money’s on Elijah, the Original, who’s continued existence for all eternity is the least likely to have a negative impact on the Salvatore Brother’s lives.  (If you recall, both Rose and Trevor were working for Elijah, during their first appearance on the show.)  This also gives Daniel Gillies, a “get back on the show” free card for the rest of the program’s run, which makes me very happy.

In other news, Tyler clearly comes from Klaus’ bloodline, which kinda sucks for Caroline, who’s pretty much destined to lose two love interests in a single episode.  But hey, at least she’s not CHAINED TO A CEILING, HALF NAKED. 🙂  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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Meanwhile, over at Klaus House, Stefan comes to rescue Damon.  “This went much differently in my head,” the Elder Salvatore brother jokes.

It went differently in my head too . . .

Stefan admits to killing Finn, and offers to make a deal with the Devil.  Eight Original Killing Stakes in exchange for Damon.  (Sounds like a good deal to me!)

But Klaus is smarter than I am, and knows there must be more than eight stakes left over.  So, he evilly compels Damon to try to break free from his chains, causing the poor guy excruciating pain . . . scratch that  . . . MORE excruciating pain.

Someone needs a nap . . . 

It really has not been a good episode for Damon.  Has it?  He then compels Damon to tell him the actual number of stakes remaining, which, as we know, is eleven (since the stake in Finn is gone, gone, gone).

Interestingly enough, it’s actually scorned lady Rebekah, who ultimately shows Damon mercy, offering up Damon’s freedom as a sign of good faith, while Stefan retrieves the remaining stakes, and brings them back to Klaus.  Drats, foiled again, Scooby Gang.  But hey, look on the bright side, Klaus might end up being your “daddy,” and then you’ll be glad you didn’t kill him / commit suicide.

Heart-to-Bloody Heart

In the aftermath of this twist of fate in Kill Klaus games, Rebekah balks at Klaus’ complete inability to mourn his brother’s passing.  Klaus calls Finn pathetic, and better off dead.  (Well, we certainly won’t be having HIM speak at the funeral.)  Rebekah notes sadly that, for all their manipulations the Salvatore brothers are willing to  risk their lives for one another, whereas the Mikaelsons only seem to give two craps about one another, when they are magically linked.

Klaus pouts,  promising Rebekah that he will make his own family, who are magically inclined to love him, no matter how many people he kills, or cheesy horse pictures he draws.  That’s the spirit Klaus!  Everyone knows there’s no better friend than a love slave . . .

Speaking of love slaves, Stefan’s kind of bummed that he can no longer focus all his life energy on killing Klaus, anymore.  This means, he’ll have to finally cope with what a douchenozzle he’s been to everybody this season.  That makes Stefan sad.

Stefan is also finally going to have to cope with the consequences of his recent actions . . . and one consequence in particular . . . the fact that his departure paved the way for Elena to fall in love with Damon.

“Look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t feel something for him,” says Stefan solemnly to his lady love.

Elena claims she doesn’t know what she feels.  But everyone else in Mystic Falls does . . .

Bad!Alaric strikes again.

Earlier on in the episode, Caroline had an awkward, “It’s OK that you killed my dad,” conversation with Alaric, who was supposedly “cured” from being a serial killer by some of Bonnie’s magic “Serial Killer Be Gone” soup.

“It’s OK, Alaric.  My father will always live on in my memories.  We shared so many good times together.” 

During that conversation she talked about the folks that she killed, back when she first turned vamp . . . like that random high school kid Connor, and her mom’s police boy partner . . . “We all have blood on our hands,” Caroline mused. sympathetically.

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

But Alaric’s got bigger problems now than “blood on his hands.”  He’s also still got psychopath on the BRAIN.  (Bonnie Soup = FAIL!)  Alaric comes to THIS painful realization, when Damon comes to collect his Originals killing stake, and Alaric learns that he’s stolen it . . . from himself.  (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

Maybe it’s hidden in your Chunky Monkey. 

Two weeks from now, on TVD, Elena will finally admit her feelings for Damon on a Vampire Road Trup.  Then, the two will share a bed together, and have “finger sex.”  *sigh*

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(This better not be another dream sequence, or someone’s going to get a stake up their ass, courtesy of one very angry TV Recapper.)

Dead Rose will also appear, thanks to Ghost Whisperer/ Future Psycho Killer Jeremy.  In other news, Tyler’s back.  And he’s wasted no time reuniting his tongue with Caroline’s.

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But is he still Gay for Klaus?  Only time will tell . . .You can check out the trailer for that episode here:

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Managing Expect-A-tions – A Review of Pretty Little Liar’s Season 2 Finale “UnmAsked”

[Brief note: This post is simply a “review of” and “reaction to” “UnmAsked.”  A full recap will follow . . . eventually. :)]

Strait jackets .  . . all the cool psychopaths are wearing them . . . 

Greetings, my Pretties!  This week, PLL wrapped up its sophomore season with a season finale that was arguably as polarizing as “A” herself.  Thousands of frustrated fans flooded the message boards, Twitter, and YouTube to express their discontent with the way the season concluded.

Meanwhile, others rushed to defend the controversial choices made by the writers and producers.

The source of this controversy, of course, was the identity of “A” . . . the technologically savvy, ridiculously snarky, and seemingly omniscient super villain, who had been torturing the titular Pretty Little Liars, since the pilot episode.

And while I suspect a large number of fans were surprised by the reveal, it wasn’t necessarily for the reasons the writers intended . . .

Truth be told, this was far from the first time a television series that had been based on a book series chose to remain faithful to some of those novels’ main plot points.  Many television shows have successfully done this, without provoking the inevitable ire of the fandom.  Back in 2008, True Blood was applauded for its faithfulness to the murder mystery storyline that comprised the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse book series (serial killer included).

A season later, they were applauded again for creatively diverting from those same books, in order to save the life of a beloved character, who notoriously met his demise on the first few pages of the series’ second novel.

More recently, in 2011, the producers of Game of Thrones received critical acclaim for their almost slavish loyalty to the book series on which it was based.  Critics particularly appreciated the show’s courageous decapitation of the show’s main character, a moral and mostly likeable protagonist, who also happened to be played by a rather well-known and popular actor.

So what made PLL the high school outcast of this group?

The difference in this situation, I think, was that the producers, writers, and cast of PLL failed to properly manage expectations regarding what viewers could expect to see in the season’s final episode.  In what was undoubtedly an attempt at last-minute damage control, Pretty Little Liars showrunner, Marlene King, assured fans that she had never explicitly told fans that the identity of “A” would be different from who it was in the books.  And yet, when countless articles, and press releases, like THIS ONE, and THIS ONE posited this very theory as stemming directly from King, herself, she never exactly disabused fans of this notion, either.

So, when Mona van der Waal acted so RIDICULOUSLY guilty, throughout the show’s second season, that she all but wore a neon sign on her back that said, “I AM A,” recappers and reviewers, like myself, pointedly avoided listing her as our main suspect, simply because we took for granted the fact that the writers weren’t going to go there.

 

So, when they did, in fact, go there, we couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed and betrayed.

And that’s a shame, because it undermined the integrity of what was, by many other respects, a pretty solid finale episode.

Truth be told, of all the possible “A” suspects — with the exception of, perhaps, Not-so-Blind Jenna, and maybe Lucas — Mona had the best motive to be “A.”  After all, she had been shamelessly tortured by Ali throughout most of high school, while the rest of the PLL girls stood idly by, and let it happen.

To make matters worse, Hanna, Mona’s self-proclaimed “one true friend,” has been noticeably distant from Mona, throughout the series, consistently ditching her to engage in “A-Sleuthing” with the rest of the liars . . . (of course, it could be argued that Hanna’s recent absence from her life was actually MONA’S fault).

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And yet, I would have liked to see the producers push the boundaries a bit, by not necessarily going with the most obvious choice for “A.”

We’ve seen the writers take chances like this, earlier in the series, in a number of ways: by introducing new characters, who weren’t in the books, choosing not to kill characters who died in the books, and, in one particular instance, killing a character who DID survive the series.  So, why not do it again, in this instance, by changing the identity of “A” to someone unexpected . . . someone who seemed a bit less . . . for lack of a better term . . . shady?

Or, conversely, I would have liked for the writers to simply be honest about the direction in which the story was headed, by saying something like this: “There are some aspects of the television series that pay homage to the books.  But even faithful book readers will find some surprises in store for them in the season finale.”

This, at least, is a true, and non-misleading, statement.  After all, the finale DID have some surprises contained within it, even for fans of the book series . . .

Unlike a lot of other series’ season finales, which tend to be slow-moving and uneventful, until the last ten minutes of the episode, “UnmAsked” definitely FELT like a season finale.  The episode moved a long at a brisk pace, throughout the hour.

And the genuinely creepy locales where the drama unfolded . . .  for example, the Psycho-inspired motel (complete with its very own Norman Bates, lookalike) and accompanying Shower Scene . . .

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 . . .  the Masquerade Ball filled with strangers and unsavory looking characters . . .

. . .  the abandoned road on a dark and stormy night, A’s “Lair” which looked like it would have been right at home in the first hour of any episode of Law and Order, SVU . . .

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 . . . only added to the building excitement, and unshakeable feeling of impending doom.

I was also really impressed with the acting in this episode.  As the unhinged Mona, Janel Parrish was just the right mix of campy crazy, unintentionally hilarious, and genuinely terrifying.

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Hanna’s shock and sadness at learning her so-called bestie was a total wackadoodle, who HIT HER WITH A CAR, felt real to me.

Shay Mitchell’s Emily literally had me in tears, during the episodes heartbreaking final moments . . . And this is coming from someone who was never a Maya fan.

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(I also adored the parallel between the pilot episode’s Body Discovery, and this one.  That background song they played during both, will haunt me for the rest of my days . . .)

And who could forget the unbeatable Team Sparia, who provided the episode’s only evidence of comic relief . . . not to mention a nice nod to a certain segment of the fandom?

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Speaking of ships,  fans of Ezria . . .

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Spoby . . .

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  . . . and Haleb . . .

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 . . .  all had something to cheer about, when the aforementioned couples each received their respective Happily Ever Afters Nows, this week.

Of course, I still wanted my Wren to make an appearance . . . (Damn you, writers!  DAMN YOU!)

And while the episode did answer some of the major questions plaguing fans throughout the series, it also presented us with plenty of new ones to get us excited for the upcoming third season (which is set to premiere this summer).  Here are just some of the questions that were swimming around my head, after “UnmAsked” concluded:

(1) Who exactly is on the A Team?

Was Mona REALLY it’s leader?

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 (And why didn’t Spencer “join it,” when she was given the chance?  I mean, wouldn’t that have been the perfect way to keep your ENEMIES CLOSER?)

(2) Which mysterious female dressed as The Black Swan at the Masquerade Ball?

(3) Who was Not-so-Blind Jenna talking to in the park, and what mysterious item did she give her (because it looked much too small to be the Black Swan costume)?  And WHEN DID SHE GET HER DRIVER’S LICENSE?

(4) What the F is the deal between Abs Toby and Dr. Sullivan (a.k.a. as the lame shrink who got scared out of town by an eighty pound high schooler?  Is he her son, or what?  How much did they know about what was going on?  And why was it necessary for Toby to “pretend he didn’t love Spencer?”

(5) Who exactly was the creepy chick with the red dess and gold mask at the Masquerade Ball?

And was she the same creepy chick who visited Mona in the loony bin, at the end of the episode?

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(6) Does Mona’s have Supernatural Powers, which enabled her to BEAT UP Spencer and Emily, on separate occasions, and CARRY SPENCER INTO A CAR?  (Oh and how lame was Dr. Sullivan’s explanation of her PSYCHOSIS?  How exactly does being a psychopath, make you seem omniscient to OTHER PEOPLE?  Where exactly did this b*tch go to shrink school anyway, Dunkin Donuts?)

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(7) Did the flashback featuring Mona and “Ali” dressed as Vivian Darkbloom actually happen?  Did “Ali” really not pick up the phone, when Mona called her, like Mona said?  Or was being “A” the price Mona paid for her so-called popularity?

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(8)Who killed Maya (assuming Maya is actually dead) and why?

(9) And, perhaps, most importantly, “WHERE’S MY WREN?”

So, tell me, my Pretties, what were your thoughts on the Season 2 finale?  Were you disappointed that Mona was “A?”  What are your expectations for next season, in light of some of the cliffhangers / new mysteries introduced here?  Feel free to vent to your heart’s content, in the comment section below.  I’ll see you there!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

“Follow me . . . End up like me.” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “If These Dolls Could Talk.”

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Thank you, PLL, for reawakening my childhood fear of being murdered in my sleep by my neighbor’s Ugly Doll Collection . . .

Greetings, my Pretties!  This week’s installment of PLL was definitely not for the faint of heart.  It featured ghosts . . . things that go bump in the night . . . ugly evil demon dolls . . . ugly evil demon kids . . . old ladies that talk like the witch from The Wizard of Oz . . . one VERY dead fly, the sister from hell, and worst of all, MONA KISSING CALEB!

 But those of you who watched the episode hidden behind pillows, or with your hands covering your eyes, did so at your peril.  After all, next week’s episode features A’s big reveal.  And that means this one was chock full of clues as to his or her true identity.  So, be brave, my Pretties.  And follow me toward another Pretty Little Recap . .  .

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Better ease up on those pain meds, Spencer . . .

Oh, dear, sweet, sexy accented Dr. Wren!  Not only are you insanely easy on the eyes, you also dole out the GOOD pain meds to your girlfriends . . . even though the only injury they’ve suffered recently is getting a few sprigs of glass in their palms.

“Your love is my drug, Doctor . . .” 

We begin this episode with the usually-uber-alert Spencer, passed out and drooling, on the Hastings’ living room couch.  Suddenly, there is a loud crash in the living room, followed by the sound of someone noisily thumbing through Spencer’s purse.  As it turns out, that someone just so happens to be Dead Ali (who we would expect to be a lot more stealthy, given all we know about her).

Not to mention the fact that . . . oh, I don’t know . . . she’s DEAD!

This is actually the third time we’ve seen Ali appear to one of the girls, while they are in a “less than sober” state.  The first time we experienced this was with Hanna, when she was in the hospital, after having been hit by A’s car.

The second time, it was Emily’s turn, when “A” locked her in a garage, and she asphixiated on the fumes.  (Don’t be surprised if Aria ends up with a concussion, next week, after some rough sex with Fitzy goes south, so that she can see Ali too . . .)

What’s intriguing about all these Beyond the Grave exchanges is that, as the viewer, you are never 100% sure they are the hallucination they claim to be.  After all, following these sequences, Ali always seems to leave the “sleeper” in question, with some sort of souvenir of her presence.  And yet, since the Liar in question believes herself to be dreaming, she never gets the opportunity to ask “Ali” the questions she would likely ask her, had she encountered her in a more lucid state.

Take for example Spencer, our resident super sleuth.  She is so frustratingly dense, during this exchange with Ali, I nearly threw my shoe at the television.

And because she failed to ask “Ali” a single pertinent question, throughout the entire exchange, it was up to Ali, herself, to offer the cryptic comments and clues we will inevitably be analyzing, this week.  Proponents of the “Melissa is A” theory, will undoubtedly harp on Ali’s comment that Spencer “deserves a good sister,” thereby not-so-subtly implying that Melissa is NOT one.  Well, I could have told you that . . .

Best  . . . sister . . .  EVER! 

And yet, merely being a horrible person, with a terrible personality, and few redeeming qualities, doesn’t necessarily make you a murderer . . . nor does it make you a relentless stalker of your little sister and her friends.  Does it?

More intriguing, to me, anyway, was THIS comment  . . .

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 I thought Ali’s choice of the word “parked” was a rather unusual one. It’s just not the type of phrasing you would expect a teen like Ali to use . . . It’s kind of old-fashioned, and, for lack of a better term, “nerdy.”  Given that, I can’t help put think that Ali used the word “parked” specifically to make reference to a certain car . . .

The most obvious car reference would seem to point to Police Boy Garrett, who’s car was most recently spotted in front of Not-so-Blind Jenna’s house, and has literally seemed to follow Spencer everywhere she goes this season.  But it also could be referring to the car Spence purchased for Toby.  If you recall, Toby returned this car to Spencer’s driveway, when he left town.  And, as far as we know, he hasn’t retrieved it yet.

Another car that played a major role in the series was the one that hit Hanna at Mona’s party, back in Season 1.  And of course, we can’t forget Fitzy’s car, site for many a passionate make out session, throughout the course of the show . . .

Ali’s parting words to Spencer were that she was “getting warmer,” which I guess, after two season of seemingly endless wrong turns, on Spencer’s part, regarding this mystery, must be nice to hear.

I mentioned earlier that Ali always seems to leave something behind following these “dream sequences,” that causes the Little Liar, as well as the viewer to question whether the scene actually occurred in real life.  This time, however, it wasn’t what Ali LEFT BEHIND that was important, but, rather, what she took.  Presumably, Spencer’s pain medications were in her purse when she fell asleep.  And yet, when she wakes up, not only are they on the counter in front of her, they also seem to be a couple of pills short.  Oh Ali . . . don’t you know abusing drugs could kill you?  Er . . . nevermind . . . pill pop away, Pretty Little Corpse .  . .

In which Emily, Hanna, and Aria’s parents all get BUSTED . . .

It’s a bad day for being sneaky, this week, on PLL . . . a lesson Emily, Hanna and Aria’s parents all learn the hard way, when they try unsuccessfully to hide pertinent information from their friends and lovers.  First up is Emily, who receives an angry, “How could you rat me out to my parents?” type text from the still-missing Maya.

OK . . . now I’m positive something is fishy about her disappearance.  First of all, how would Maya know that Emily had contacted her parents, if said parents had no way of reaching her, since even Emily couldn’t pinpoint her exact location?  Second of all, why is Maya texting Emily from her own cell phone?  Isn’t she the least bit concerned that Emily will trace the call, and tell her parents exactly where she’s hiding?  It just seems odd that Maya felt the need to send an e-mail from an “Undisclosed Sender,” and yet seems more than willing to use her actual phone to send a text.

My theory?  “A” has Maya’s cell phone, and she’s been the one sending messages to Emily.  But, if that’s true, where’s Maya?

Speaking of cell phones, Hanna gets busted for disobeying her mother’s implied “no cell phone” rule, when she stupidly fails to keep the darn thing on vibrate, while hanging out in the Marin kitchen . . . with her mother.

Hey, nobody ever said Hanna was the sharpest tool in the shed, right?  I have to say, for a character who’s supposedly “good at lying,” Hanna really botched this one.  It would have been easy for her to simply say she had been holding on to a friend’s phone, and forgot to return it.  But instead, her excuse is, “Mona needs to keep in touch with me?”

Well . . . I guess that one’s actually kind of true . . . particularly, if Mona ends up being “A,” which I really hope she isn’t, because BOOOO-RRRING.

And yet, as annoyed as Mama Marin might be with her daughter’s deception, she can’t quite justify confiscating a phone for which she (1) didn’t pay for; and (2) isn’t footing the monthly bill.  So, instead, Mama Marin simply rolls her eyes, mutters under her breath, and sends her daughter off to school.

In other parental unit news, Aria inadvertently learns her parents want to ship her off to a Fitzy-free boarding school in Vermont, upon finding a telltale application on her mother’s desk, at school.  Understandably, the littlest liar is livid.

You could feel the tension in the Montgomery home, as Aria clomps around in her wedge shoes, passive aggressively avoiding her mother’s attempts at casual conversation.

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Now, while Aria might be the best liar of the foursome, she’s definitely not the most adept at hiding her feelings.  So, of course, it isn’t long before the pint-sized brunette is letting Mommy Dearest know exactly what she thinks about the whole “let’s ship Aria off to boarding school” plan.  It’s a terrible idea.  And I think, deep down both of Aria’s parents know it.  Even if we take at face value Mama Montgomery’s statement that the decision was not based solely on Aria’s determination to continue dating Fitzy, applying for a school a thousand miles away, isn’t exactly the kind of thing you do for a sixteen year old, without broaching the matter with her first.

While I think most PLL fans agreed wholeheartedly with Aria that her parents were in the wrong, in terms of how they addressed this situation, I was surprised by how divided the fanbase was, regarding how Aria ultimately responded.  In a move that would have made Expert Blackmailer “A” proud, Aria venomously threatened to expose her father’s erstwhile affair with a student, should the Montgomerys decide to actually ship her off to boarding school.

Having perused the message boards a bit, following the episode, I noticed that while a good number of you applauded Aria for standing up to her parents, and blatantly exposing their hypocrisy (particularly her father’s).

There was also an equal number of you who thought Aria took things much too far.  You were shocked by her seeming willingness to put her boyfriend before her father’s career, and her family’s financial stability.

In Aria’s defense, I don’t think Aria had any intention of actually ratting out her father . . . just as I don’t think Aria’s parents would have ever gone through with their plans to ship her off to boarding school, without first discussing the matter with her.  Rather, I think Aria made her threat predominately out of anger, and also as a way of making herself be heard, by two people (again more-so her father than her mother) who have made a habit out of not listening to her point of view.

*insert hissing noise* 

Regardless of Aria’s true intentions, the Montgomery’s were clearly crushed by what they viewed as their daughter’s betrayal.  Mama Montgomery even went so far as to say she was ASHAMED of Aria, which, as any one who has a parent can tell you, is about the most hurtful thing a parent can say to his or her kid.

Throughout these past two seasons, the Montgomery family’s relationships with one another have continuously disintegrated.  What we have now is a family in crisis . . .

But hey, at least we’re getting laid, right? 😉

To catch a predator (by making out with your best friend’s boyfriend) . . .

Oh Mona!  If you are going to go through the trouble of sending yourself fake text messages from “A” (which most of us assume is what she’s doing, whether or not it’s because she’s actually “A” herself, or simply out of desperation to be the unofficial fifth liar), the least you could do is make them seem moderately realistic.

Why would “A” suddenly decide to use MONA to break up Hanna and Caleb?  It just doesn’t seem to be A’s style, especially when it would be much more mentally devastating to blackmail one of the other girls to do it, or, better yet, force Hanna to do it herself, as “A” had previously done with Spencer and Toby.

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I also find it increasingly odd that, despite Mona’s increasingly erratic behavior, not one of the girls has ever suspected her of being “A.”  This is particularly strange, when you consider how practically everybody else in Rosewood has earned a slot on the suspect list, at least once, including family members and significant others of most, if not, all of the liars.  I would have at least expected Spencer to consider the possibility.  She usually suspects EVERYBODY!  Those pain medications must really be dulling her senses . . .

I blame the evil horse sweater . . .

Perhaps the reason the girls are all missing the neon pink flashing, “I’m a Suspect!” sign over Mona’s head is because Spencer’s sister, Crazy Nanny Carrie has been acting SOOOO frigging guilty.  When Spencer finally confronts her with that video of her storming around Ali’s room, just hours before the dead girl’s demise, Melissa really has nothing to say in her own defense, aside from, (1)”Well, EVERYONE wanted Ali dead so . . .,” and (2) I’ve got dirty videos of you b*tches too, so F-U.”

It’s not exactly a rousing defense.  So, when Mona conveniently suggests that she make out with Caleb in front of Melissa, to see if she takes the bait, and text the info to Hanna, the rest of the girls blindly go along with it .  . . even though poor Caleb looks like he’d rather make out with the old lady from that denture commercial.  “We are doing this for Hanna,” says Mona solemnly, before aggressively raping Caleb’s face with her tongue.

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Poor Caleb!  He was so horrified by the experience, he literally bolted from the car, and walked home alone.  This, of course, gave Mona . . . er .  . . I’m sorry, I mean “A” . . . the perfect opportunity to text Hanna the “bad news.”  (Don’t you think the real “A” would have at least sent a picture as proof?)

Moments later, Mona’s back at Hanna’s house, supposedly wanting to shower the so-called “ickiness” of Caleb off of her body.  Sure you do, Mona . . . sure you do . . .

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He sees dead people.  (How original!)

Upon learning that Ali communicated with “A” via the classifieds, and may or may not have met her in front of that Creepy Doll Hospital, before she died, the girls decide to take a little field trip there.  When they arrive there’s a creepy kid staring at that from the window, who must have been cast in this role, because he is the perfect mixture of (1) the kid from The Sixth Sense; (2) the kid from The Shining; and (3) a Chucky doll come to life.

As for the owner of the hospital, she’s just some old lady.  (Old ladies are scary too!)

When the girls question the Old Lady about the voodoo doll in the window (the same one “A” sent Ali), she claims not to sell them.

She’s also rather cagey regarding whether or not she keeps records of prior doll purchases.  And while Old Lady doesn’t seem to be particularly forthcoming with information, Creepy Kid Seth is just a fountain of knowledge.  Claiming to have some sort of “Sixth Sense” about people, Creepy Kid Seth reports meeting with Ali prior to her death.  He even knows exactly how she died, despite the fact that the cause of her death was not recorded in the papers.

But the most intriguing piece of information of all that Creepy Kid Seth offers the PLL girls is that a “dark-haired couple” was out to hurt Ali.  Now, of course, a “dark haired couple” could refer to any number of pairings on this show.  (And I’ll list them all, in just a bit.)  But Creepy Kid Seth eliminates one pair from the suspect list right away (Blind? Jenna and Policeboy Garrett) by assuring the PLL girls that “the girl is not blind.”  (Or DOES he?)

Other couples that fit Creepy Kid Seth’s description, and, might have been out to hurt Ali include:

Melissa and Dead Pedo Ian (Creepy Kid Seth specifically noted that the female had hair like Spencer’s.)

Melissa and Policeboy Garrett

Mona and Bushy Eyebrows Noel

Mona and Lucas

Jenna and Toby (though Toby’s hair seems more reddish than dark)

Maya and Noel

Fitzy and Jackie

Fitzy and Aria (Don’t kill me.  I’m just mentioning all the possibilities here . . .)

“Vivian Darkbloom” (i.e. Ali’s twin) and . . . Dead Pedo Ian or Duncan Donuts?

Well, now that narrows things down, doesn’t it?

To see, or not to see . . .

I mentioned earlier that Creepy Kid Seth’s assertion that the female in the couple wanting to hurt Ali was not blind, may or may not exclude Blind Jenna from the list of suspects.  I say this because Jenna’s blindness has been a subject of debate among PLL fans, ever since that time when she used a mirror to put on her lipstick.  And yet, faking eye surgery would be a pretty tough feat to pull off.

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Jenna’s blindness gets called into question again, when she takes off the bandages from her post-surgical eye, this week, and immediately erupts into tears.  Toby, of course, assumes the worst, and moves to comfort his step sister.  But we never get to hear Jenna’s response.

At school, the following day, Hanna, never one to beat around the bush, asks Jenna right up front whether or not she can see.

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This time,  she pretty explicitly states that the operation was a failure.  Yet, according to Jenna, the mental  clarity she gained from this experience has convinced her to “forgive the girls” their Jenna thing, in hopes that the former enemies can move past their grudges and hatred for one another.  Do we believe her when she says this?  Perhaps, more importantly, do we believe her when she says this?

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I don’t know about you, but I was definitely fearing Jenna, toward the end of the episode,  when she shocked everyone, by aggressively killing a fly on her window, wiped it off with a tissues, and winked at the camera . . . her sight clearly restored.

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The question is, how long has Not-so-Blind Jenna been able to see.  Has she been playing us all along, as many suspected?  Was she actually blind, but regained her sight, as a result of the operation?  (And if so, why is she lying to the girls, and possibly Toby?)  Another possibility is that Not-so-Blind Jenna wasn’t lying at all to the girls.  She merely hadn’t fully regained her sight until the end of the episode.

I suspect we’ll learn the answer to this question, next week.  But, of course, I’d be eager to hear your theories on the subject . . .

Another intriguing thing Jenna does this week is turn the infamous Page 5 of the Autopsy report in to the police.  She plays dumb as to its contents, when broaching the matter with Toby.  But, by the end of the episode, it’s pretty clear she knows exactly what’s on them, and WHO they will incriminate in Ali’s murder . . .

To screw, or not to screw . . .

Throughout most of the episode, Aria and Fitzy still find themselves walking on egg shells around one another, as Fitzy nervously awaits the fallout from his decision not to take the Associate Dean position in Louisianna.  He expects the worst, and gets it, when the class he teaches is mysteriously ripped from the college curriculum.  (I thought he just taught Freshman English?  How does a college take Freshman English off its curriculum?)

Fitzy and Aria are certain that this is Evil Papa Montgomery’s doing.  But I’m not sure how realistic that is . . .  I mean, it’s one thing for a popular professor to have enough influence on the university to help someone get a job; it’s quite another for that same popular professor to have enough influence to COMPLETELY CHANGE THE COURSES THAT THE COLLEGE OFFERS.

Anyway, long story short, Fitzy and Aria finally bang one another, on that darn couch Fitzy loves so much . . . a little detail that I found surprisingly fitting.

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Their “Sex Song” was a really awesome cover of Wicked Games . . . the epitome of sex songs, in my humble opinion.  It’s white hot!  (I also really liked the lace tank top Aria was wearing pre-bone.  Does anyone know where I could get me one of those?)  But is it really goodbye sex?  Only time will tell . . .

Welcome to the Dollhouse . . .

While Aria is cashing in that much-abused V-card, the rest of the PLL girls are heading back to the Creepy Doll Hospital to show “I See Dead People” Seth a video of Melissa, in hopes that he could possibly ID her as the dark-haired woman who “wants to hurt Ali.”  Unfortunately, when they arrive at the “Hospital,” no one is there . . . or are they.  Not two seconds after the girls enter the place, a doll starts eerily chanting “Follow me . . . end up like me,” over and over again.  (I’m not going to lie, I almost peed my pants.)

As the girls move through the dark corridors of the place, we see a pair of eyes follow them, from beneath one of the dolls . . . or is it a mask?

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The voice they hear is coming from a closed cabinet.  And when they open it . . . ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE . . .

As if the dead Ali doll recreation wasn’t frightening enough, the whole place literally starts falling down around them, as the girls run screaming from the exit.  Can you blame them?

Arrested Development

Now, I don’t know about you.  But if I had just got home from that Doll House of Horrors, the absolute last thing I would want to do is go searching through some creepy dead girl’s bag in the home of her possible killer, Crazy Nanny Carrie.  (They’ve decided to turn it over to the police, after all.)  And yet, that’s exactly what the girls are doing, when they hear Melissa, herself, and Policeboy Garrett enter the home from the kitchen.  Did I mention they are tonguing one another?  (Crazy Melissa SURE DOES get around! Oh, and Policeboy Garrett seems to have recovered from being dumped by Jenna pretty quickly.)

Then again, he got a very early start . . . 

In just one of the many shocking twists of the evening, both the Gross Makeout Couple, and the girls are interrupted from their machinations, by a knock on the door.  It’s the police . . . they’ve come to arrest Policeboy Garrett . . . the question is why?  My first thought,  was that they were going to bring him in for questioning regarding the fire at Jenna’s house, or Maya’s disappearance.  After all, it did appear to be his police badge that “A” planted right outside, Facelift Vampire Jason’s recently exploded house.

And yet, Policeboy Garrett actually ends up being arrested for Ali’s murder . . . which likely means that something on Page 5 of the autopsy report Jenna turned into the police, coupled with additional evidence, served to incriminate him . . .

EXCEPT, WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE DARN THING SAID!!!

In the final moments of the episode, “A” is seeing paying off both the Old Lady and Creepy Kid Seth for their “work” at the Doll Hospital, thereby calling into question everything they said earlier on in the episode, including the whole “Dark-haired couple” comment . . . which basically leaves us back at square one, in terms of suspects.  Brilliant . . .

Next week on PLL, the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives . . .

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Feel free to check out (and massively over analyze) the trailers for the episode, below . . .

Last chance, my Pretties.  Choose your villain wisely . . .

Tune in next week to find out of you’re right.   I know, I will!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Liar . . . – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Eye of the Beholder”

Greeting, my Pretties!  This week on PLL, we got a deeper glimpse into “Vivian Darkbloom’s” past.  In other news, Blind Jenna got a wicked eye patch, Fitzy got a bit testy with the parental units, and Facelift Vampire Jason’s home underwent some “explosive” renovations.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on Spencer and all the awesome eye sex she got to have this week.  It’s a good thing retinas can’t get pregnant . . .

They can’t . . . I promise! 

So, hop into that rickety plane with a complete stranger, and hold on to your music box, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

(Screencaps provided by prettylittleliarsfans.com)

Well, THAT was awk-ward . . .

So, remember that cute little cupcake shop, where “A” COMPLETELY BRUTALIZED Hanna, by forcing her to eat a vomit-inducing amount of little piggy-shaped cupcakes, in front of a crowd of judgmental jocks?  Well, apparently, Hanna was not quite as traumatized by that moment as I would be.

(Let’s not forget, this is a girl who’s already been HIT BY A CAR, ARRESTED AS A SUSPECT IN HER “BEST” FRIEND’S MURDER, and almost DROWNED IN A LAKE.  It’s entirely understandable that our ideas regarding what’s considered “traumatizing” would differ.)  After all, the episode opens with Hanna enjoying a CUPCAKE (not pig-shaped) with her fellow little liars at that very same sweets shop.

As the girls pretend to eat cupcakes, and chat, we learn a bit more about the Anonymous Hot Guy who mistook Aria for “Vivian Darkbloom” at the end of last week’s episode.  It turns out, his name is “Duncan.”  He has a last name, but since I wasn’t paying attention when it was referenced, I’m just going to call him Duncan Donuts, OK?

“You can trust me, because I dress like I’m 75.”

So, apparently, Duncan Donuts and Vivian Darkbloom were REALLY close . . . as in close enough to go on numerous secret dates in a town nearby . . . and close enough for him to buy her a not particularly cheap red jacket . . . but not close enough for him to CALL HER ON THE PHONE, AFTER NOT HAVING HEARD FROM HER FOR OVER A YEAR . . . and certainly not close enough for him to READ THE LOCAL PAPERS, SEE HER PICTURE ON THE FRONT PAGE, AND FIND OUT SHE’S A CORPSE.

Aria thinks she should give Duncan Donuts a call, basically because her contract requires her to have a boyfriend-type figure in every episode.  And Fitzy and Holden won’t be sharing scenes with her, this week . . .  From experience, every PLL girl already knows that meeting Strange Men — who may or may not have had sexual relations with Dead Ali in the past — while alone, is a bad idea.

However, they wholeheartedly support Aria in her stupidity.  That’s what friends are for, right?

Oh, hey, look who’s back in town?  It’s Abs Toby and Blind Jenna . . . correction, it’s Abs Toby and Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna.  That’s right, my Pretties!  As we’ve long been promised, Jenna finally had her groundbreaking,” blind-no-more” surgery . . . in one eye . . . which hasn’t healed yet.  Yep, they are really going to drag this plotline out for as long as possible. aren’t they?

“At least I will save money on my pirate costume, this Halloween!”

Truthfully though, we are less concerned with the return of Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna, than we are of the return of Spencer’s ex-boyfriend with the HOT haircut, and the ice COLD chip on his shoulder.  Cue the Spencer Face . . . the longing looks (on Spencer’s part), and the glares (on Toby’s part) to the tune of . . .  Intense Mood Music, and Slo-Mo Walking.

Also, notice how Abs Toby is no longer treating Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna like the brother-raping, police boy banging, little-liar framing, ninety pounds of pure evil she actually is!  He actually seems to NOT MIND hanging out with her, as evidenced by the way he keeps . . . you know . . . touching her and stuff.  Did they give you a lobotomy with that haircut, Tobster?

Spencer runs into Abs Toby again later at school.  And she’s all, “What’s the deal with your Creepy Sister and her fugly eyepatch?”

So, Toby’s all, “She finally had the operation.  What’s it to you, you Maneating B*tch?  I miss you!  I love you.  Why did you start humping that hot British doctor, when I would have let you be part of my Abs Toby Sandwich?

So Spencer says, “Let’s get back together.  Mm-kay?  Because Emily was totally kidding about me banging the British guy.  I didn’t do that until we were ‘on a break.’  ‘A’ still might end up murdering in your sleep, because you’re dating me.  But that’s just the price of True Love, right?”

But Toby’s all, “Ya snooze ya, lose, Ho!  I LOVE YOU SPENCER!  KISS ME, YOU FUNNY-FACING MAKING BUNDLE OF LOVE!

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Then Half-Blind Jenna emerges from the Principal’s office, and creepily tells Spencer, she KNEW she was standing in front of her, despite Spencer not having uttered a word, since Half-Blind Jenna’s appearance.  This means Half-Blind Blind Jenna knows her Pretty Little Liars so well, that she can smell them, when they are close by.  Yeah . . . because that’s not creepy, at all . . .

“Stop sniffing my ex-girlfriend.  That’s MY job!”

Missed Calls and Mixed Messages . . .

Back at the Marin household, Hanna and her mom are in a fight.  It turns out that Mama Marin won’t buy Hanna a new phone to replace the one she DROPPED IN THE SOAPY SINK, last week, in order to prevent Mama Marin from confiscating it.

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As much as I adore my Hanna, you have to admit, this was a pretty ballsy request on Hanna’s part . . . I mean, sure, we all know that Hanna only destroyed the phone to prevent her mother from discovering A’s identity, thereby, putting herself in danger.  But she has to see that, from her mom’s perspective, the whole “phone drowning” thing, came off as a very deliberate and highly personal “F-U Mommy.”

Besides, Mama Marin worked hard to steal that money from the Old Dying Lady!  She can’t be going off spending it, wily nily, on electronics, every time Hanna decides to drown them, or throw them in a blender!

Part of me thinks it would have been REALLY funny, if Hanna got one of those prepaid phones mailed to her by “A,” with a message like, “Try not to get this one wet, or make it into a smoothie.”

However, considering it was Mona, who ended up providing Hanna with a replacement phone, and many people think SHE’S “A,” perhaps my scenario is precisely what happened.  More and more, we are seeing Mona get involved in the PLL girls’ dealings with “A” in ways that help the mysterious evildoer complete her master plan.  In this case, obviously “A” wants Hanna to have a phone, so that she can continue to taunt her with text messages . . . like the one the girls received later on in the episode: “Where there’s smoke, there’s payback.”

But here’s a question for you?  Assuming the cell phone Hanna received from Mona was on Mona’s account (which Mona explains to us that it is), how did “A” manage to snag Hanna’s new number, if not from Mona herself?  (Assuming Mona and “A” are two different people, of course.)  Unless, Mona somehow transferred Hanna’s old number to Mona’s account, in which case, I take back everything I just said  . . .

Speaking of anonymous, and not-so-anonymous communications, “Maya” has been secretly contacting Emily, with text messages saying she is “OK,” and sweet, exceptionally well-written e-mails, about their great times together and “perfect goodbyes.”  Emily is touched that Maya is reaching out to her, but torn as to whether she should clue Maya’s parents in to her possible whereabouts.  In the end, she decides to confront the St. Germaines with the information she has received.

The question is . . . did Emily jump the gun?  After all, Maya’s messages (particularly the e-mail) certainly SOUNDED like they were from Maya. But what if they weren’t?  After all, both messages were sent from an “undisclosed sender.”  Is it possible that “A” has been sending these messages, on Maya’s behalf, to keep her off the trail of a girlfriend in danger?  Only time will tell . . .

Come Crash Fly with Me!

Duncan Donut has two dates meetings with Aria, in this episode.  The first one is normal.   The second one is ridiculous.  First Duncan Donut meets Aria in the school courtyard, where he admits that he knows that Vivian Darkbloom was just an alias for Ali.  (No mention as to whether he believed that big ole black wig was actually her real hair.)

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He also seems to know a heck of a lot about Ali / Vivian’s friends, including Aria . . . “the writer . . . who keeps journals.”  Interesting . . . because the only time I’ve ever heard Aria even talk about writing was in the pilot episode . . . right before she humped Fitzy in the bathroom.  I thought the whole “writing thing” was just a pickup line.  Go figure!

Talk about being the bearer of bad news!  Aria then has to tell Duncan Donuts that Vivian/Ali is . . . you know . . . not-so-much alive,  anymore.  Check out Duncan Donut’s face in this scene.  He’s clearly shocked . . . and totally crushed by the news . . . either that, or he’s a really great actor.  P.S. He claims to have been with Ali / Vivian the weekend she supposedly disappeared . . .

Having had so much fun on her first date with Duncan Donut, Aria decides to set up a second one with him, this time in a totally secluded area in a town called Brookhaven.  Be careful Aria.  Your best frenemy hung out with this guy, and then DIED.  Does that make him a killer?  Not necessarily.  Does that make him REALLY bad luck? Absolutely . . .

So, you know those comedy sketches that take place in front of green screens, where it’s supposed to look like the television character is doing something CRAZY, like water skiing on Niagara Falls, or climbing the alps, or hanging off the top of Mount Rushmore.  But actually, they are basically just standing in front of a piece of paper with a picture on it.  Well, those all look WAY more realistic than the image of Aria and Duncan Donut flying a plane together on their date / mutual interrogation session.

Why does Aria get into a plane with this Admittedly-Hot, but not particularly stable-seeming loon, you ask?  It beats the hell out of me.  Supposedly, this was something Ali/ Vivian just loooooooved to do.  According to Duncan, flying with him (he has a license, she didn’t), made her feel free from all the little people on the ground, who were trying to kill her.  You know, because death-by-plane crash is much more pleasant than death-by-shovel-repeatedly-bashed-into-brain.  (So much for that dream!)

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Throughout the entire experience, Aria basically looks like she is about to pee in her pants.  So, of course, this gives Duncan Donut the brilliant idea to FORCE her to takeover the controls, despite her complete lack of experience flying planes, under the ridiculous rationalization that this will help her “understand” Ali.  (If you mean because they will both be dead, by the time they have finished with you, then, yes, this is a brilliant idea, Duncan Donuts.)

It certainly doesn’t help matters that Duncan is sporting a serious case of the Crazy Eyes throughout the entire scene.  I’ll be honest, this made me miss a lot of what the pair were talking about, because I was so busy screaming at my television, “Don’t kill Aria, before she gets to have that sex scene.  Ezria fans will FREAK!”

Nonetheless, here’s what I got out of this lovely near-death-by-green-screen conversation:

(1) Duncan Donut would have loved to have intimately explored Vivian’s “dark bloom” (if you catch my drift), before she died.  However, he suspected that there were other men out there, who were beating him to the punch.

(2) Aria admits to Duncan Donut that she thinks the police and the newspapers are wrong regarding Ali’s murder.   Creepy Pedo Ian didn’t kill Ali.  He was either framed, or willingly took the fall for someone else, before he died.

(3) Duncan Donut notes that on the weekend prior to Ali’s disappearence, he flew her to Philadelphia from Brookhaven, which means she had been back in town for hours, by the time she met up with the girls.  (What was she doing in Rosewood, during all those missing hours?)

(4) Duncan observed that Ali seemed “different” the last time he saw her.  He assumed this was because she had “just figured something out.”  However, the proponents of the “Ali has a twin” theory, could easily surmise that “Ali” seemed different, because she was actually a different person, than the one with whom Duncan had developed a relationship.

Oh yeah, and he and Aria didn’t end up dying in a plane crash.  So, yay for hot people surviving the danger of their own idiocy . . .

Speaking of men who want to put their hands all over Aria’s “controls” . . .

Fitzy Must REALLY Like that Couch . . .

Fitzy, you little lazy scamp, you . . . why do you always seem to be laying on that couch of yours?  Aren’t you afraid of falling asleep and missing your classes?  Do you actually teach any classes?  Or do they just pay you to sit on that couch and pretend to grade papers?

After “Who’s A?” and “Who killed Ali?” this is the third biggest mystery of PLL.  Fitzy is an enigma wrapped in plaid, wrapped in a nerdy sweater vest, wrapped in Aria’s arms . . .  He also seemed to grow a pair this week, when he was visited by not one, but BOTH elder Montgomery’s.

How did he grow a pair, you ask?  Well, he basically told them both where to stick it, in terms of their attempts to control his career / relationship with their daughter.  (Well, on second thought, he was a bit more polite to one than the other . . . bet you can’t guess which one . . .)

Oh, one more thing about Fitzy, before I recap the conversations he had with Aria’s parents . . . he can be a little . . . how do I put this kindly . . . intense .  . . when he’s feeling disrespected.  We saw this for the first time, during his “don’t wake a sleepwalker” speech to that scheming harlot, Jackie.

We saw it again tonight.  Now I’m not SAYING Fitzy is “A.”  (For one thing, he lacks a comprehensive motive . . . so far.)  However, I will say that those of you who subscribe to that theory, got a lot of juice out of his scenes in this episode . . .

First up was Mama Montgomery, who also, seems to rarely teach, as she just decided to hop on over to Hollis college smack in the middle of the day to give Fitzy a piece of her mind.  “I’m not an ally,” insists Mama Montgomery to the Perpetual Couch Dweller.  “I don’t have an opinion on [the job offer my husband is using to manipulate you to leave town].”  She adds.

“It matters what you think of me,” Fitzy replies stoically.  (Well, that was a nice thing to say, under the circumstances . . . I guess.)

And yet, lest you think this conversation is a total waste of time (which I’ll admit I did, initially), before leaving, Mama Montgomery lays her cards on the table, regarding why she REALLY made this long journey to Fitzy’s office in the middle of the day.  I’ll give you a hint: it starts with the letter “A.”

Apparently, Mama Montgomery is still very much hot on the trail of the “A” who (1) initially informed her about her husband’s affair; (2) clued in Byron to the continuing nature of the Ezria relationship; and (3) may or may not be torturing Aria and her friends on a fairly consistent basis.  So, she turns to Fitzy for clues, hoping that, perhaps, one of Aria’s Deep Dark Secrets will help yield another.

Fitzy’s words are brilliantly filled with alternative meanings, and double entendres, depending on whether you view him as an “A” suspect or not.  For those of you who view Fitzy as 100% innocent in the torture of Aria and her friends, his statements, “I would never intentionally hurt Aria,” and, “there was someone who would want to hurt [me], but not any more” seem perfectly honest and straightforward.  The first statement, simply refers to his complete and unabiding love for Aria, and the second refers to Jackie, the one person, aside from “A,” Aria’s parents, and, of course, Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who ever sought to ruin the Ezria relationship.

And yet, those who think Fitzy might be “A” see the statements in an entirely different light.  Assuming for a second that Fitzy was “A,” his statement regarding how he would never “intentionally hurt Aria,” seems to dovetail directly with fans “concerns” regarding the fact that, of all the liars, “A” goes the absolute easiest on Aria.  As for Fitzy’s statement about someone wanting to hurt him and Aria, but “not anymore,” well,  one might surmise that he was referring to Ali, herself . . .

Just a suggestion . . .

While Fitzy’s meeting with Mama Montgomery was all mixed meanings, and double entendres, his conversation with Papa Montgomery gives off a much clearer message.  And that message is: ‘I hate your guts . . . BASTARD.”

*insert growling noise*

Whatever your feelings are regarding Ezria, you have to admit that this scene was just incredibly fun to watch.  Initially, the two grown men are icy, yet cordial, to one another.  Fitzy informs Byron he’s not going to take the job in New Orleans, and Byron says he’s “sorry to hear that.”  But that’s when the gloves really come off.

Fitzy tells Byron that the reason he’s not taking the job in Mardi Gras town is that he doesn’t want Papa Montgomery to have that kind of “power” over him.  There was also some smack talk flying back and forth about which man had the bigger “ego.”

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 In other words, Classic Male Pissing Contest.  It was awesome.  Fitzy’s been running scared from the Montgomery’s for such a long time now.  It’s nice to see him finally taking charge of his own life even if he does end up being “A.”  Oh, and, after it was all over, he called Aria, and told her he loved her, thus proving that Classic Male Pissing Contests are exceptionally good for the libido  .  . .

“I wanna whack her like a pinata!”

Oh, Mona!  I used to find you insanely annoying.  But now I kind of adore your smart mouth, and warped sense of loyalty.  You are like the female version of the comedically- inclined hitman character on one of those mob shows.  (So, I really hope you don’t end up being “A.” like you were in the books.)

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Anywhoo, the PLL girls have plenty of good reasons why they want Abs Toby to stay away from Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna.  For one thing, that’s SPENCER’S man, dammit though, I still prefer Wren.  For another, Half-Blind is a fairly awful human being, who never really forgave the girls for their part in her blinding, and has more than once framed them for some Very Bad Things.  For a third, she’s just CREEPY.  And has been known to do things like rub Toby’s leg, while saying that she “wants to surround herself with things she love, and you [MY BROTHER WHO I LIKE TO SCREW] will be there too.

Get your paws off me, pirate!’ 

(By the way, where the heck are Half-Blind Jenna’s and Toby’s parents, during all this?  Did Half-Blind Jenna eat them?)

To be honest, I’m not quite sure why MONA hates Half-Blind Jenna (assuming she’s not “A,” of course).  But whatever the reason, she’s REALLY quick to offer a helping hand in getting Hanna some alone time with the Tobster, for anti-Jenna reasons.  (She’s also really quick to offer to basically BEAT HER TO DEATH, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“If you show me your abs, I’ll give you this car.”

Mona get Toby alone by offering a threesome with her and Half-Blind Jenna claiming to have some random “car question” for him.  But once she’s got him cornered, she’s out like a tubby girl in dogeball, and in comes Hanna.  Now, in Abs Toby’s defense, Hanna comes on just a LITTLE bit strong, with her whole, “How dare you hang out with your sister, when she’s so mean to your ex girlfriend,” logic.  That said, Abs Toby, is more than a bit douchey in response, by playing the whole “YOU BLINDED HER” CARD, and then storming off, like it’s his job.

Speaking of doucheyness, Abs Toby has an extra special dose of it lined up for Dr British Hotpants Wren, when he happens by Half-Blind Jenna in the hospital, on the day she is supposed to have her bandages taken off.  If looks could kill Hotpants would be one very sexy puddle on the floor.  That said, I have to give the Line of the Day Award to Half-Blind Jenna, who refers to Dr Hotpants as “Spencer’s personal physician,” and insists that “even a lie would sound good in that accent.”

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Truer words have never been spoken . . .

 Ali DiLaurentis – Closet Hoarder?

It’s odd, isnt’ it, that mere days after Maya goes missing, Facelift Vampire Jason pops by to claim that she ”just happened” to drop some of Ali’s stuff by the house, in a big fat duffelbag?  The PLL girls are thrilled, assuming that they will find something in the bag that leads to discovering who either “A” or Ali’s killer is.  Unfortunately, most of the stuff in there is just a bunch of childhood junk (though I did notice the Voodoo doll from the Halloween special in there. YAY, continuity!) . . . or is it?

While searching through the crap, the girls realize that the newspaper in which it is wrapped, is actually from prior to Ali’s disappearance, and contains within it, some sort of a code.  (Thank you Hanna for your insanely accurate memory of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe).  It seems that Ali and “A” were communicating with one another through personal and classified ads prior to Ali’s death.  (How very low tech!  I’m disappointed in you, A.)

In fact, on the weekend of Ali’s demise, she met “A” at .  . . wait for it . . . the Creepy Doll Hospital.

(Oh, Ali also has a creepy music box.  I’m not entirely sure why that’s relevant, but the producers seemed to focus on it a lot, so I figured I would throw it in there.)

Burning Up for Your Love

Upon realizing that the bag might contain even more clues than originally suspected, the girls rush to retrieve it from Facelift Vampire Jason’s porch, where they had dutifully returned it, earlier that day.  Hanna gets to do the honors.  So, you can imagine her suprise when HALF-BLIND JENNA’S FACE POPS OUT OF NO WHERE, and THE ENTIRE FIRST FLOOR BURSTS INTO FLAMES.

It’s Hanna and Spencer (when did she get here?) to the rescue, as they pull Half-Blind Jenna from the wreckage, just seconds before the flames . .  . excuse the expression, whack her like a pinata.

Off to the hospital we go to assess the damages.  Surprisingly, Hanna is absolutely fine, aside from her hair smelling like smoke (which, of course, brings back memories of Emily’s “I have glass in my hair,” moment.)  But Spencer has glass in her HANDS.  YAY!  Wait . . . why am I saying, yay, to Spencer’s injury?

THAT’S WHY!

Wren is “cleaning and mending Spencer’s hands” very carefully (which I wish was a euphemism for something, but isn’t).  He’s also talking to her in this super sweet and soft voice of his, and telling her that she has a very complicated life.  (See, Wren is smart!)   He then eye sexes her up, so hard, she pops out about ten eye babies.   Upon eye baby delivery, he asks her if she would like to pretend certain things between them (like massive makeout, eyesex, half-nude massages, and drunken sleepovers) never happened.

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Spencer responds, “HELL TO THE NO!”  (As most of us would.  Because, seriously, who would want to forget  any time spent with Dr Hotpants . . . I mean, really.)

In other news, Spencer’s mom is apparently not on Team Facelift Vampire Jason, for obvious reasons.  Spencer takes issue with this because . . . well . . . he’s her half-brother, a.k.a. family.  (Makes sense.)   In fact, judging by the way things are turning out for the Hastings brood,  he might very well be the most SANE hastings of the bunch . . .

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But for not so obvious reasons, Mama Hastings claims that SHE, and not her husband, was the one who spent $15,000 for the private investigator to find Ali.   Hmmm . . .  Why do I feel like we are still missing a big chunk of this story?  Toward the end of the episode, Facelift Vampire Jason and Mama Hastings seem to share some not entirely antagonistic words at the hospital.  So . . . um . . . progress!

Controlling the world . . . one Rosewood Resident at a time . . . 

Oh, I guess you’re interested in finding out how Half-Blind Jenna is, right?  Well, she’s fine . . . if you ignore the fact that she is still half-blind . . . hysterical crying . . . and of couse, an evil brother-f*&king shrew.  As it turns out, Half-Blind Jenna was in Facelift Vampire’s house based on a message she supposedly received from Jason . . . a message he claims he never sent.  In other words, “A” basically tried to have Half-Blind Jenna killed, but Hanna saved her life (with Spencer’s help).  “Where there’s smoke, there’s payback,” right?

Again, where the F*&k are Half-Blind Jenna’s parents?  HELLO!  YOUR KID ALMOST DIED!  Time to return from the mall, or wherever the heck it is you’ve been for 2.5 seasons

There is an interesting, and suprisingly divisive, scene toward the end of the episode, in which a tearful Half-Blind Jenna asks Hanna why she would possibly save her, given the awful history the two have with one another.  (The Slap Heard Round the World Comes immediately to mind here.)  To this, Hanna responds with a rather icy, “You’re welcome,” before exiting stage left.

Having perused the message boards, I notice that a lot of you felt this was rude of Hanna, considering Half-Blind Jenna’s emotional state.  However, I kind of think, under the circumstances, Hanna handled the situation quite well.

After all, Hanna and Half-Blind Jenna are NOT friends, in fact they are nearly enemies.  So Hanna certainly didn’t save the girl out of any fondness or loyalty she felt toward her.  Rather, she simply did it, because it was the RIGHT thing to do . . .  She probably would have done it for ANYONE . . . possibly even a complete stranger (like Duncan Donuts).  While this is a perfectly good reason to save someone’s life, it’s not a particularly nice thing to say to someone.:  “I saved you because I was SUPPOSED TO DO IT.”

And like Mommy always says, when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all . . . which was exactly what Hanna did . . . at least in my opinion.  (That said, giving Jenna a little smile when she said it, certainly wouldn’t have hurt . . .)

In the final moments of the episode, Gloved Hand leaves Police Boy Garrett’s badge on the floor near Facelift Vampire Jason’s house, thereby implicating him in the fire.  In hindsight, he’d make for a good suspect, considering we’ve seen him arguing with Half-Blind Jenna, and angrily fleeing her home many times in the past.

Ahhh, the plot thickens.  Next week on PLL, more Creepy Dolls, Creepy Old Ladies, and an Ezria sex scene?  You can check out the promos here . . .

So, who do YOU think is A?  Until next time, my Pretties . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Why You Should Always Be Kind to the Elderly . . . – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Princess Dowry”

It looks like no one bothered to tell Cece Rhodes that Wakes aren’t typically the kind of “party” for which one sends out invitations . . .

Character development . . . it’s what savvy TV viewers expect from their favorite long-running shows.  If a viewer has been watching the same television show for four or more years, there’s a good chance that she’s grown and changed quite a bit, since the pilot episode aired.  Therefore, she naturally expects her favorite television characters to have evolved during that time as well.

The way I see it, there are four essential elements to solid character development in a television series: (1) believability; (2) subtlety; (3) consistency; (4) and maintenance of the essential characteristics that helped viewers fall in love with the characters, in the first place.

Clearly, there’s a significant portion of the GG fanbase (myself included) who have been frustrated with the show of late.  Those who are satisfied with the show, in its current incarnation, will tend to blame OUR dissatisfaction on the fact that we are Chair fans, and our ship currently isn’t on “top”, storyline-wise.  That’s true.  🙂

However,  I also think such a summation over-simplifies the issue a bit.  I would argue that, as GG fans generally, and Chair fans specifically, our main gripe with the show has less to do with the fact that Chuck and Blair are “broken up” right now  (We are used to that. :)), and more to do with issues related to “character development.”

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On a more positive note, I will say that, as a whole, I found “The Princess Dowry”  though admittedly a bit predictable in some of its so-called “plot twists” to be markedly more enjoyable than the two episodes that preceded it.  Interestingly enough, much of the credit to that goes to a character that spent the entire episode in a mahogany box.  That Grandma Cece!  She sure knows how to throw one hell of a wake (no pun intended). . .

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Let’s review, shall we?

Where there’s a will, there’s a wake . . .

We begin our story at the office of an anonymous funeral director.  Lily thanks him for seeing her on such short notice.  So, Funeral Director Guy jokes that in his business, there tends to be little in the way of “advance notice.”  (Ahhhh . .. nothing like a little DEAD PEOPLE humor to put you in the mood for a GG episode . . .)

Interestingly enough, Funeral Director Guy’s not particularly funny joke actually doesn’t apply to Cece.  As a matter of fact, Grandma has known of her inevitable demise long enough to plan a funeral with as much flare and gusto as most women put into their weddings!  She even scheduled her own wake . . . to occur at Lily’s house . . . the morning immediately following her death . . . which is . . . wait for it . . . RIGHT NOW.

Talk about getting the last laugh!  Grandma Cece really is the best Master Manipulator on this show.  Please GG writers, have her haunt the characters from beyond the grave, this season.  I can think of a few characters in particular that could use a good haunting . . .

Meanwhile, over at the Empire Hotel, Lola and Nate are engaged in a post-coital morning cuddle.  (Well