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The Killer Party – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Raving”

 

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Greetings, Werebangers!  This week’s episode of Teen Wolf was all about motive.  After all, even the most self-righteous of characters can be lured to the proverbial darkside, if given a good enough reason to do so . . .

Of all the episodes of Teen Wolf that have aired so far this season, “Raving” was probably the most chock full of information.  We learned a lot this week about the relationship between the kanaima, and its Master.  We also got to take a closer look at the kanaima’s victims .  . . what ties them together .  . . and what they might have done to merit such horrible demises.

 

 

And yet, despite all that, the writers STILL somehow managed to give us a genuinely action-packed hour, complete with stellar acting, amazing character moments, and of course, a WHOLE LOTTA STILES!

Color me impressed . . .

So, slip into your party clothes, grab a handful of fairy dust, and try to avoid taking hits off the wolfsbane pipe,  because it’s time for another Teen Wolf recap . . .

[As always, special thanks to Andre for all the awesomesauce screencaps you see here.  Also, this week’s screencaps all come from two fabulous tumblr sites:  teenwolfgifs and allteenwolf.  So, feel free to show their owners some love, as well.]

In ‘Da Club

 

Go Wolf Twins!  It’s your birthday!  We’re gonna party, like it’s your birthday.  We’re going to huff some wolfsbane, like it’s your birthday . . .

Go shorty, it’s your birthday!  (But hopefully, not your 24th.)  Apparently, there’s some Big Hip Rave in Beacon Hills.  And everybody who’s ANYBODY under the age of 25 (and a few people OVER it . . . here’s looking at YOU Grandpa . . . and Creepy Pedo Chemistry Teacher) . . .

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 .  . . is going to be there.  This is true, even though admission costs a whopping 75 bucks!

Seriously?  Where I come from, all the “good” raves (at least, if you’re into that sort of thing) take place in abandoned warehouses.  And the only things you pay for are the glow sticks, cheesy pacifiers, and the bruises you get on your legs, while running away from the cops who just broke up the party . . .

But that’s neither here nor there.  What matters here is that it’s been a while since we’ve had a Big Party that literally brings all of our main characters together in one room (remember prom?).  And that makes the expectations for this party rather heightened.  Did I mention that the kanaima will be in attendance to snuff out yet another unlucky victim?

“Hi!  Welcome to my funeral!  Admission is $75 . . .”

The victims . . . Stiles and the Sheriff finally manage to draw a few parallels between them.  For example, with the exception of the Dawson’s Creek daddy, they are all the same age (24), and all attended Beacon Hills High together in 2006.

Kudos to us TW fans, who picked up on this trend a few weeks ago,  back when Hot Black Argent, Sassy Mechanic, and Derek had been the only kanaima targets, aside from Isaac’s dad.  (Honestly, I thought the “young married couple” looked a bit “long in the tooth” for 24.  But hey . . . life in a trailer park can be tough, I guess.)

“It is was a hard knock life for us.”

Stiles had also deduced that these folks had been in Mr. Harris’ chemistry class together, which confirmed the latter as a chief suspect for Master . . . at least until that last victim bit it, who wasn’t in his class.

The Sheriff thought her death blew his theory to shreds.  However, thanks to a little fancy camera work, WE know that SHE was, in fact, still part of the Class of 2006.

Of course, this begs the obvious question: which member of that Class died in 2006, and HOW?

“I got it!  I know who the Kanaima’s Master is!  It’s KAISER SOZE!”

We already know from the mythology that the kanaima thrives on vengeance, and will only kill killers (hence, it’s decision to delay the murder of the pregnant woman, until AFTER she gave birth).  But how did all of these seemingly unrelated 24-year olds have their hand in the exact same death?

Confused yet?  There’s more!

The Puppet Master

OK, I have no clue what that “Are you listening?” poster behind the guys heads has to do with vaccinations.  All I know is that I really want one for my bedroom . . .

While Stiles and the Sheriff were focusing in on the kanaima’s victims, Scott, Derek, Isaac and the Vet were more interested in the kanaima himself, and why he might be afraid of water, given that Jackson is Captain of the Swim Team (Of course, he is!  Jackson is “Captain of Everything”).

The Vet notes that this has to do with some “merger” of the kanaima’s personality with that of his Master.  They can feel eachother’s thoughts and feelings.  So, what hurts one, hurts the other.  (He even shows us some gnarly bling to illustrate this premise.)

“Hey kids!  Check out the earring I’m going to wear with my pirate costume, this Halloween!”

In other words, we’re talking about a two-for-one special on killing Big Bads!  Talk about a bargain.  (It’s a way better bargain than $75 for a rave ticket.  That’s for sure!)

Speaking of the Rave to End All Raves . . .

Isaac gets a two-fist discount.  

Finally, Isaac does something RIGHT in this episode of Teen Wolf.  Up until now, I’ve felt like pretty much every week, the writers have spent at least some time illustrating how Isaac and Erica are “special needs” wolves.  They can’t fight Scott.  They can’t fight Derek.  They’re outsmarted, and out-maneuvered by Allison.  And they are scared sh*tless of Jackson.  (Remember, one is an incident, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern.  Four  =  these two are pathetic.)

But they are excellent at sleeping!

And yet the n’er do well Isaac does seem to possess one particular talent: picking on the weak and completely unsuspecting.  When Scott and Stiles need a ticket for the “Big Rave” in order for their “Catch Jackson’s Master” plan to work out, Isaac knows exactly to get them what they need, and for a really great price too.  FREE!

Two wolfy ass kickings later, Scott and Stiles have their tickets, and Isaac has a goofy grin on his face.  Then again, now that you mention it, we never actually got to see Isaac kick those lacrosse players ticket-holding bums.  Perhaps, he did something a bit less G-rated to get those tickets, hmm?

The World may never know . . .

In which Allison’s loyalties are divided (for real, this time) . . .

In other news, Allison’s parents might finally be winning the battle for their daughter’s soul . . .

For the longest time on this show, we’ve been told that Allison was “Torn Between Her Hunter Family and Her Wolf” lover.  “Who will she choose?”  The over dramatic, deep-voiced promo narrator would often ask.

Except, to be honest, most of the time, it never seemed like all that difficult of a choice for Allison.

For one thing, and I know this sounds awful, but Allison never really seemed all that jazzed about her family.  I mean, we all know Stiles loves his dad . . .

And Scott loves his mom .  . .

But Allison?  With the exception of “cool” (Read “CRAZY”)  Aunt Kate, the littlest Argent seemed, at best, to tolerate her wacky “fam,” and, at worst, to be just as frightened of them, as the rest of the fandom seems to be.  (Though, I have to say, her dad is actually pretty hot!)  I never really bought Allison as being particularly “torn” between two loves.  It was all Scott, Scott, and . . . wait for it . . . more Scott.

However, that all changed this week.  It started when Papa Argent used a little coroner’s office “bonding session” . . .

“Hey Allison!  You used to like playing with Barbie’s right?  Well, these are life size!  I’ll be the wife, you be the husband!”

 . . . to coerce Little Argent into (1) fingering Jackson as the Kanaima; and (2) revealing his upcoming attendance at the “Big Rave,” despite the fact that Scott and his new wolf pack had already made their own plans to intercept Jackson there.

“I think I liked Daddy / Daughter bonding time better, when you just tied me to chairs, and threatened my life . .  .”

And then came the whole “let’s see other people” talk Allison had with Scott a bit later in the episode . . .

“It’s not you.  It’s me.  It’s just that I know you’re Team Edward in Twilight.  And I really can’t date anyone who isn’t Team Jacob.”

Now, in Scott’s defense,  he and Allison had been so sloppy about their “secret relationship” that even a deaf, dumb, and blind guy could probably figure out that they were dating.

And to prove it, Scott had been beaten up by pretty much every single member of the Argent family, ever since his and Allison’s “breakup.”

That said, in terms of Allison’s state of mind, Scott probably picked the absolute WORST time in the world to tell her that he’d be “totally cool” with her “dating” and “making out” with Matt the Creepy Camera Guy.  For one thing, it probably made her feel like she was a prostitute and he was her wolfy pimp.  For another, Scott’s sudden seeming indifference to Allison’s feelings, had to make her wonder whether her consistent betrayal of her family values for his sake was worth it.

“Silly Scott!  And you’re supposed to be the smart one.  Oh wait, no your not.  Nevermind then.”

Now, if Mama Argent new that THIS was the conversation her daughter was having with a sworn enemy, she probably would have been doing this . . .

Unfortunately, Mama Argent couldn’t HEAR what these two crazy kids were saying to one another, when she spied them talking  heatedly in an empty classroom.  All she was . . . well . .  “the heat.”  And so, instead, she looked like this . . .

That’s right, werebangers, Mama Argent is one Scary B*tch!  And boy did she prove it, in this week’s episode!

In much kinder and gentler news . . .

Stiles gets a tearjerker and a Dead(?) Tinkerbell moment in the same episode . . .

Good ole, Stiles.  Not only is he a fan favorite, because of his tendency to bring the comedy, and awesome one-liners to the series . . . .

 . .  . he’s also the heart of this whole damn show!

And boy did he show that this week, when the poor guy learned that his father had lost his job as Sheriff, as a result of Stiles’ “bad behavior,” i.e. the “kidnapping of Jackson.”

If only Sheriff Stilinski knew about the whole “lizard thing,” maybe he wouldn’t have to feel so sad . . .

Then again, he’d still probably be out of a job so . . .

But as guilty as Stiles obvious feels about his father’s job loss, he also knows that he has to keep all this supernatural craziness, a secret from his father, in order to protect him . . . or, at least, keep him from looking like a total wackjob in front of his cop buddies . . .

Lest you think that Stiles’ story in “Raving” was all angst and puppy dog tears, he also got to experience some serious Dead Tinkerbell Triumph.

You have no idea what I’m talking about, right?

Allow me to explain . . .

Remember that part in Peter Pan, where everyone thinks Tinkerbell is dead . . . so Peter Pan turns to everyone in the audience as says that “if you clap your hands, and believe in fairies, you can save her.”  So, a couple of idiots actually clap (the rest of the audience just stares at the screen, dumbfounded), and,  SURPRISE, Tinkerbell is alive again!

Well, that’s kind of what happened to Stiles, this week . . .

You see, thanks to our good friend The Vet, our wolf pack had a seemingly foolproof plan to trap Jackson / the kanaima / and his Mystery master all in the same confined space, using a bit of intravenous drugs, and some Magic Fairy Dust . . . I’m sorry . . . I meant “mountain ash.”

“Oh this?  This is just body glitter . . . for the rave!”

However, in order for the plan to work, Jackson needed to be trapped inside the Rave.  And, in order for Jackson to be trapped in the Rave, someone HUMAN had to lay out the Magic Fairy Du mountain ash barrier that would keep him there.

And we all know who our resident Team Human member is, right?

So, while all his buddies, get to go inside the Super Cool Rave, dance, stab lizards with drugs, and kick some Argent ass, poor Stiles is stuck outside sprinkling dirt around the parking lot.  Real nice!

“Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to trap Douchey Jackson, I go . . .”

Given that, you can imagine how frustrated Stiles is, when he finds himself ridiculously low on Kanaima Keep Away Dust, way before he’s completed his Magic Circle.  But does Stiles get discouraged.  Heck no!  Instead, he takes the Vet’s advice, and BELIEVES he has enough fairy dust to finish the circle.  And, just like that, HE DOES!  It’s magical . . .

 . . . which, is why I’ve decided to BELIEVE that my laptop will turn into a million dollars, immediately upon my completing this recap.

I’ll let you know how that goes . . .

In which Derek, Boyd, and the Argents reenact a Jets/ Sharks scene from West Side Story . . .

Despite Papa Argent assuring Allison that his family’s plan to catch the Kanaima will have “no collateral damage” Grandpa Bad Ass tells his men, in no uncertain terms that this is a Seek and Destroy Mission.  “Something wicked this way comes,” Gerard says.

You know, because he’s old . . . so, of course,  he’s going to quote Shakespeare prior to heading out on a murder mission!  (Speaking of Old Grandpa Argent, any guesses as to what those pills are, that he always seems to be popping like candy?  Because something tells me they aren’t your typical “old guy” pills, i.e. heart and cholesterol medication, and/or stuff for his arthritis . . .)

But if the Argents want inside the party, they are going to have to get past the wolves first.  Derek and Boyd are ready and waiting for them.  It’s time to do battle!

At this point, I’d like to mention how happy I am that Boyd is back.  You know, last week I bitched that Boyd might be the “forgotten werewolf.”  Now, I know the truth.  Boyd isn’t the “redheaded step child” of his wolfpack.  On the contrary,  he’s Alpha’s Pet!  This is why he’s not sent off each week into the land of Failure and Humiliation like Derek and Erica are.  Instead,  he gets to be on the front lines with the Pack Master . . . getting sh*t done!

Except this time, when the Argents kinda kicked Derek’s and Boyd’s asses, using their  . . . weapons and stuff.

“Don’t brink claws to a gunfight.”  Consider that a lesson learned.  Hey, you can’t win em all!

Speaking of Failure and Humiliation . . .

It’s Bump and Grind Time!

It’s the scene you’ve all been waiting for, folks.  Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumb Boobs have a mission, should they choose to accept it.  That mission is to stab Jackson with a syringe, the contents of which will,  if I’m not mistaken, both temporarily stave off the kanaima transformation, and unify the Puppet and Puppet Master of this team, so that our wolf pack can theoretically control them both . . .

Easier said than done . . .

I mean sure, Isaac and Erica are ACES when it comes to entrapping Un-Lizard Zombie Jackson into a Wolf-Kanaima sandwich.

And I’ll be damned if the possessed kanaima doesn’t look more than a bit hot and bothered by the notion of slapping his salami against the blonde bombshell, and the curly-hair with the pretty eyes.  Though, it’s kind of a toss-up as to who turns the lizard on more, thus calling into question the sexuality of both Jackson (which has long been a subject of debate), and the person controlling him . . .

Things get a bit more dicey when it comes to syringing the beast.  It turns out, for all his wolfy moxie, Isaac just can’t seem to get his stick in Jackson. (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

It takes a few tries, and a bit of a struggle.  But eventually, the Leather Twins are able to drag a napping Jackson into an abandoned room.  But Poor Pathetic Isaac.  Here we have a SLEEPING Jackson, and the werewolf STILL can’t successfully slap him around.

“Don’t you dare interrupt my Evil Naptime!

In fact, I’m starting to think that Isaac’s getting his arm broken in every episode is going to start to become a running joke of the show, much like Stiles’ seeming inability to ever be seen on camera without his shirt on . . .

But hey, the plan isn’t a total bust!  The Leather Twins (with Stiles’ help) eventually get the Kanaima to SPEAK through Jackson.  As it turns out, the wolf pack might not just be dealing with a Jackson Jekyll and Hyde, and a HUMAN master, there also might very well be a spirit involved.

In a weird disembodied voice that kind of sort of sounds like the Possessed Person in Every Horror Movie Ever, “Jackson” tells the Scooby Gang that he’s not really here to kill them (Could have fooled us!), because he’s got bigger fish to fry, namely, the people that killed HIM.

“Jackson’s” words seem to confirm the theory that the spirit that embodies Jackson, when he’s the kanaima, is some high school student, who died in 2006, at some school event.  Furthermore, quite a few other students seem to have witnessed the event in question, and either, did nothing to stop it, or helped it to happen.

This, of course, begs the question, how did “the kanaima” die.  My theory?  Drowning!

It would explain why Jackson was seen coming out of the water shortly after he was bitten by Derek, as well as the kanaima’s seeming fear of water . . .

Unfortunately, we don’t get much time to ponder this theory, because, in a flash the “medicine” wears off, and, just like that, Jackson is Lizard Man again (well, more like half and half), and he is on the loose . . .

It’s like one of those moisturizer commercials, where the model only puts the cream on half his face to show you how great the stuff works . . .

Stiles rushes out to tell his boyfriend, Derek, the news.

 Isaac and Erica would probably like to rush out too, but . . . you know . . . fairy dust . . .

Meanwhile, the kanaima has found it’s next victim.  Nice knowing ya, Ticket Taker at a Rave Chick . . .

“Go, BYE BYE!”

Hey, look on the bright side.  Now, you will never have to worry about suffering from one of those pesky quarter-life crises!

How Mama Argent destroyed Scott’s chances of ever becoming a pothead . . . (And, boy, did she pay for that!)

“I was going to kill the kanaima, but I got high . . . I was going to have sex with my girl, but I got high . . . now this scary lady is out to get me, and I know why . . . cause I got high, cause I got high, cause I got high . . .”

Meanwhile, Scott’s a bit less than pleased with not-girlfriend Allison, because her Stupid Family is interfering with the Wolf Pack’s fun-filled game of “Catch the Kanaima.”  This makes Allison sad, which nimrod Creepy Camera Guy Matt takes as a sign that, “Gee!  Now, seems like a totally great time to stick my tongue down her throat.”

Real smooth, Matty-poo!

Scott rushes outside for some “air” only to be hit by Mama Argent’s car . . .  “He came out of nowhere!  It was just an accident.”

Right?

WRONG!  As it turns out, this is all part of Mama Argent’s master plan to kidnap her daughter’s “ex” boyfriend, and asphyxiate him with a wolfsbane bong / vaporizer, of sorts (thus confirming my suspicions that Mama and Papa Argent were both TOTAL potheads, back in the day . . .)  And it seems like this EEEVVVIIILLL plan just might work too, until Scott gives out a howl to his new pack mate, Derek, who rushes to his dawg’s rescue (after Stiles’ sweeps up the fairy dust, of course, so he can pass).

What happens next is a little shocking . . .

I mean, sure, we all figured that Scott was going to get out of this alive.  What we didn’t plan on was Derek giving a big ole’ F-U to the Argent’s and their so-called “Code of Honor,” by giving Mama Argent the bite, thereby prospectively turning her into the thing she hates more than anything in this world . . .

In the final scene of the episode, we see Mama Argent rushing to Papa Argent’s arms, bloody and tainted, as Papa Argent looks on in dismay, undoubtedly wondering if it might be time for a little mercy killing.  Are any of you fellow werebangers nerdy enough to have supernatural pacts with your friends.  I am!  All my best friends know that I’d be totally cool with becoming a vampire, or a werewolf (provided I’m financially stable enough to afford regular waxing treatments . .  hairiness . . .ick), but if I ever become a zombie, they are totally within their rights to chop my head off.

Somehow, I suspect that the Argent’s have a similar pact at the ready, should any of them become werewolves.  Papa Argent hinted as much in his “lesson” to Allison early on in the season.  “One bite can change everything.”

This, of course, begs the question, how will Allison respond to the idea that her boyfriend’s pack mate effectively signed her own mother’s death warrant.  I’m thinking the answer is going to be “not particularly well,” no matter how creepy and unloveable Mama Argent might be . . .

In other news, while The Vet is once again saving the life of a wolfsbane poisoned Scott . . .

“Why do all you werewolves always seem to end up on your backs?”

 . . . that sucks-at-Latin guidance counselor randomly appears to make eerie comments to him about how “these kids don’t know about all the bad crap that’s going to happen to them really, really soon.”  But what’s she doing in there in the middle of the night, anyway.  Is she a relative?  Does she know more about the kanaima than she’s letting on?  Is she . . . TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD?

Unfortunately, I guess we’ll just have to wait until next week to find out the answer to these questions.  Until next time, Werebangers!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever – Now featuring Team Stiles and Team Derek tees!]

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Swimming with Sharks – A Recap of Mad Men’s “The Summer Man”

Anyone out there who thinks that the writers of Mad Men don’t care about their fans, clearly hasn’t watched the show’s last two episodes.  Last week, Matt Weiner & Co., showed their love, by offering up one of the best-written, most hilarious, and most poignant hours on television of all time.  This week, that same group of writers chose, as a framing device for their episode, the image of a half-naked Jon Hamm, swimming laps in a crystal clear pool.

It just doesn’t get much better than that, Folks! 

Tonight’s installment of Mad Men was, more or less, split into three distinct storylines: (1) Don Draper’s first brave steps in the Wonderful World of Relative Sobriety, and his attempts to “tame” the three blondes in his life;

(2) Betty’s temper tantrum, as a result of seeing Don out with another woman, who is basically her doppelganger (minus a few years);

(3) and Joan’s struggles with her her husband leaving for Vietnam, and with office bullying.

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Often-Unappreciated Art of Navel Gazing

Dear Diary,

Sometimes, I find it a curse to be so damn attractive.  For example, this morning I was two whole hours late for work — all because  I couldn’t stop staring at myself in the bathroom mirror.  And all those WOMEN!  And all that SEX!  A guy can only have so much sex!  You know, I’m not in my twenties anymore.  I often have nightmares that, one day, the darn thing will just shrivel up and fall off . . .

“When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him,” Don writes in the opening moments of the episode.

As he ruminates on the meaning of life, we are treated to alternating shots of our Sexy Scribe: alone in his apartment; swimming laps at the local pool (yay!); and taking a few moments to bask in the summer sun, on his way to work.

Given the vast amount of guffaws and snorts he and Peggy had at Roger’s expense last week, I would hate to think Don is hypocritcally self-indulgent enough to draft his own memoir.  (Although, admittedly, THAT would probably be a pretty juicy read.) 

No.  I actually think Don’s daily journal writings serve much the same purpose as his daily visits to the pool.  They are meant to re-instill in his life a certain amount of discipline, and to help him organize his recently liquor-clouded thoughts. 

 “They say, as soon as you have to cut down on your drinking, you have a drinking problem,” Don posits, via voiceover.

Admitting THAT to himself, must have been a real punch in the face . . .

Through Don’s narrative, we not only learn how flowery his writing can be, when he’s not pitching advertisements, we also learn that he never graduated high school.  While it is obvious that this is a source of embarrassment for Don, and yet another skeleton in his closet, upon learning this, I couldn’t help but once again be impressed by how far Don came in life, despite such vastly humble beginnings.  “Drinking Problem” or not, you can’t take that away from him.

But, alas, it is tough to be sober in an office full of drunks  — particularly when you have an enabling secretary, like Miss. Blankenship.

Since she has started working as Don’s secretary, regularly refreshing the Executive’s booze supply, is probably the ONLY task she HASN’T screwed up . . . unfortunately.

“I’m set!”  Don growls, as Miss Blankenship offers him what looks like the entire top shelf of the local sports bar, thereby threatening to erase ALL the progress Don exhibited during the aforementioned earlier scenes.

“You are . . . and then you’re NOT,” retorts Dame Edna, fresh off a cataract surgery, which, if it is at all possible, seems to have left her even blinder than before, despite her claims to the contrary.

“Bring that stuff back to the store, and get me some cigarettes,” demands Don.

Ahhh, spoken like a true AA member . . .

And yet, unlike the members of that organization, Don has NOT quick drinking cold turkey.  To do so at a place like SCDP would, at best raise eyebrows, and, at worst, isolate Don from his colleagues.  (Speaking of Outcasted Sober Dudes, where has Freddy Rumsen been lately?)

Singing karaoke at the local cabaret, perhaps?

Don’s daily battles against the All-Mighty Bottle were perhaps best exhibited in a scene where he, Peggy, Ken and Stan were ironing out a new pitch idea for Mountain Dew.  The world literally went silent for Don, as he stared at Peggy’s pouty lips.  In all my naivety, I initially wondered whether the Dapper Don had recently fallen for our Peppy Peggy, as a result of their intense bonding session last week . . .

 . . . but then, when he started eying Ken’s and Stan’s lips too (as well as the ice clinking against the inner rims of their scotch glasses), I knew I had been mistaken.

Meanwhile, Don learns that Baby Gene (Toddler Gene?)’s Second Birthday Party is the upcoming Sunday, and Papa D is not invited.  In fact, he has been explicitly dis-invited,  both by Betty . . .

My people are Nordic.

 and Betty’s new husband, the increasingly dour, Henry Francis.

My people are A**holes.

To Don’s credit, rather than stewing over this, he spends his evenings dating people who look suspiciously like Betty . . .

“Every time I go out with you, it feels like we are on a first date.”

“Which one are you again?”

To help refresh Don’s memory as to who she is, Bethany does something to Don in the backseat of the cab that I can’t really tell you about here.  This is a Family Blog, after all.  I CAN show you, however.

Just substitute the bottle for an overused part of Don’s anatomy . . .

“To be continued,” coos Bethany lasciviously, as she crawls over Don to get out of the cab.  (Good lord!  I hope she didn’t leave any “unfinished business” behind!)

Sexually satisfied, but clearly unimpressed, Don writes in his diary, “I bet she spent all night coming up with that line.”

Then, just to show he’s a “true gentleman” with “no ill intentions” he finishes off the entry with a wishful thinking passage about Bethany’s bunkmates at the Barbizon hotel “touching themselves to sleep.”

Yeah . . . you stay classy, Don Draper!

Also touching herself to sleep, while dreaming of Don is THIS LADY . . .

. . . who I’ve referred to only as “Marketing Research Lady” since this season began; because, honestly, she never seemed all that important.  However, now that she has officially become Don’s Next Conquest, the character will hereinafter be referred to by her REAL name, Faye.  Don and Faye are working on something together in the office (But I don’t know what, because I’m still not 100% clear as to what exactly it is this woman DOES), when he suggests they relocate to a restaurant somewhere nearby.

Having struck out quite a few times with Faye in the past, Don knew he had the Green Light this time, because he overheard Faye breaking up with her boyfriend because . .  . she doesn’t cook.

(Hey Don!  I don’t cook either.  Would you like to go out with ME? :))

“Just so we’re clear here.  You are asking me out to dinner?”  Faye inquires, in a thick New Jersey Mob Princess accent that would make Carmela Soprano proud.

“Oh Donny!  This one’s a REAL KEEP-AH!”

Don admits that, yes, he is asking her out on a date.   So, Faye suggests something a bit more formal, and non-work related.  That night, the pair go out someplace fancy.  And I’ve gotta say, if Don’s and Bethany’s dates always seem like first, Don’s and Faye’s first date seemed much more like a THIRD, if you know what I mean. 😉  The two engaged in genuinely intelligent conversation, both revealing bits of their personal lives to one another.  Don even discussed his guilt over not being able to attend Baby Gene’s birthday.

In the taxi on the way home,  like Bethany, Faye also started getting VERY friendly with our Don Juan Draper.

Well . .  . maybe not THAT friendly.

Unlike Bethany, however, Faye doesn’t seem to be the “To Be Continued” type.  Instead, she immediately asks Don where his apartment is . . .

And he DENIES HER!

Remember, this is a man who, last week, probably wouldn’t have denied sex to a Friendly Armadillo . . .

Don tells Faye that he’s going to just walk her to her door.  “Because that’s all I can do right now.  I’m not ready to say Good Night, yet.”

Awwww!  Look who’s being a Real Gentleman for a change!  YOU GO DON!

These actually belong to Faye . . .

In yet another mature moment for the episode, Don cathartically tosses away the items he had in storage in Betty’s garage . . .

 . . . and attends Baby Gene’s Birthday Party!

That’s a WHOLE LOTTA self improvement, for a guy who, just last week, was puking on himself, and losing fist fights to Duck Phillips!

Baby Betty Needs a Bottle

“But Dad HENRRRRYYYYY!  You said we could go to the CANDY STORE after dinner.  I WANT CANNNNNNDDDDY!”

The Honeymoon Period is SO over, at the Francis / Draper residence!  This fact becomes more than evident, when Henry takes Betty to a business dinner with an important political consultant, and the group has a run-in with Don and Bethany . . .

AWKWARD!

Betty basically flips out.  She’s uncommonly icy (even for HER) to Henry’s important dinner guest, drinks gimlets like a fish throughout the meal, and then rushes off to hide in a bathroom stall, until the meal is over.  In the car on the way home, Henry spanks Betty and sends her to Time Out accuses her of being a child, a wino, and a drunk, who is not over her first marriage.  (Awww, how sweet!) 

The next morning, a very hungover and bleary-eyed Betty apologizes profusely for her bad behavior.  Henry accepts the gesture, but still seems kind of pissed.

And yet, Daddy Hubby looks on with pride, as Betty gallantly hands Baby Gene over to Don at the tot’s birthday party, a moderately believable plastic smile pasted on her face the whole time.  When Henry asks her if she is OK with Don’s presence, she replies in the affirmative.  “We have EVERYTHING!”

But do they, REALLY?

The VERY Brief Rise and Fall of Joey Baird

It looks like we’ll have to wait until they put you on another TV show, before I get to see you shirtless again.  Dammit,  Matt Long!  Why did your character have to be such a DOUCHE!

*Winks and waves at Shirtless Joey*  “CALL ME!”

*Squeals with joy at the news that SCDP now has a vacancy in its Art Department*

When the episode opens, Ken, Stan, Joey, and this random no-named new guy, who seems to have magically appeared during this episode, and yet everybody on the show acts like he’s been there the whole time . . .

“Who the heck are you?”

 . . . are loudly bucking the office vending machine, which somehow ate Joey’s watch.  “I feel like I’m Margaret Mead,” jokes Peggy, as she observes the male species in its natural habitat, hunting for a Rolex.

Then Joan, who I normally adore, but, in this episode, at least, was somewhat of a, to use her own words, “humorless b*tch” (not that she didn’t deserve to be, under the circumstances), storms outside to yell at the boys to keep it down.

“Yes, MOM!”  Joey yells out after her.

Enraged at the part-timer’s sheer disrespect, Joan calls Joey into her office to let him know that she “has a problem with him now.”

“What do you do all day, besides walking aroun this office, like you’re trying to get raped?”  Joey inquires.

Oh, he did NOT just say that!  WHO says stuff like that?  What were you, raised in a BARN?

When Don asks Joan to switch Joey over to full time so that he can put in some extra hours on an important account, Joan bristles at the thought of seeing that goat chew cud around the office Monday through Friday.  So, she stretches the truth a little bit.  “I’m not sure he’s the right fit.  I’ve been hearing complaints.”

“From who?”  Peggy inquires, having at least started the season being fairly tight with Joey Goat.  (Remember the whole John / Marsha bit, from Episode 1?)

“OK.  Let’s hear one dirty story,” suggests Don, gamely.

But Joan refuses to reveal a “dirty story” about Joey Goat, and Peggy becomes suspicious.  Later, she pulls Joey away from a Casting Couch session with Harry . . .

“Oh Joey!  You’re so handsome.  Do exactly as I say, and I can make you the next Jed Clampett . . . *points to autographed picture on his desk*

“He can play my pet goat!”

 . . . and warns him to lay off Joan, who clearly has it in for him now. 

“Listen, every office has a Joan.  My MOTHER was a Joan.  She even even wore a pen around her neck, so everyone would stare at her tits,” Joey retorts

(WOAHHH, Nelly!  Oedipal Complex much, kiddo?  The only time you should be staring so intently at your mother’s rack is when your breast-feeding.  After that, it’s just icky!)

But office Bully Goats are the least of Joan’s problems.  At home, she is faced with the lingering threat of her husband dying in the Vietnam war.  In a feeble attempt to be helpful, Dr. Greg suggests that Joan won’t even miss him while he’s gone, because she will be so busy hanging out with “all her friends at work.”

(No wonder you were such a bad surgeon, Dr. Greg.  Your timing SUCKS!)

Joan, of course, bawls at this comment, thus closing off any chance Dr. Greg ever had of getting laid that night.

Lots of these going around tonight . . .

The next day, Joey Goat and his Goat Posse . . .

. . . are targeting Joan once again.  But this time, they use artwork . . .

. . . specifically, “artwork” which suggests that Joan is doing THIS  . . .

 . . . to Lane . . .

“Oh my!  Who knew my Beefsteak Belt Buckle would be put to use again so soon!”

Peggy is in Joan’s office, when the picture is discovered.  So, she is understandably horrified, on Joan’s behalf.

But Joan just calmly walks outside and tells the artists, more or less, that she doesn’t like them, and hopes they all die in Vietnam.

“So . . . in other words . . . you DON’T wanna sleep with us?”

Peggy, in a rare attempt at sisterly solidarity, approaches Don about Joey’s bad behavior toward Joan.  While Don agrees the cartoon is reprehensible, he encourages Peggy to handle the matter on her own, so as to gain the respect of her peers.  Peggy pulls Joey Goat aside and insists that he apologize to Joan.  “That’s what I hate about working with women.  They have no sense of humor,” remarks the Tool.

Unable to reason with the bastard, Peggy fires his ass.  Off walks Joey Goat into the sunset, teeny tiny tail between his legs.  “Party’s over, boys,” he brays to his entourage, fielding one last invite for “drinks etc.” from Harry, before shutting the door on SCDP for good.

“That was Baaaaaaaaaaad!”

In the elevator on the way out of work, Peggy encounters Joans, and eagerly gives her the good news, about how she single-handedly sent Joey Goat to the Glue Factory.

But Joan is unimpressed.

“I defended you,” Peggy pouts.

Joan claims she was handling the matter in her own way, by meeting with the client at issue, and quietly having Joey taken off the account.  “It’s the same result,” Peggy mumbles. 

“All you’ve done is prove to them that I’m a meaningless secretary, and you are just another humorless bitch.  Have a nice weekend, Peggy.”

That couldn’t have felt good . . .

While Joan’s prophecy is quite possibly true, her nastiness to the woman who could have one day become the lonely office manager’s ONE female friend in the office seemed unnecessarily harsh.  It couldn’t have been easy for Peggy, who has always wanted desperately to be “one of the boys” to fire a former friend, and risk being ostracized by her co-workers, as a result. 

This elevator exchange further delineates the different paths these two women chose, in creating their futures: Joan representing the more traditional early 1960’s woman, both cunning and overtly feminine; and Peggy representing the New Feminist, independent and career-oriented.

So, what did you think of “The Summer Man?”  Do you believe Don will stick to his strict regimen of swimming, writing and drinking in moderation?  Is Faye a Keep-ah?  How long do you give Betty before she’s embroiled in a second divorce?  Can Joan and Peggy ever truly become friends, despite their differences?  Would you ever watch a television show produced by Harry Crane and starring Joey Goat? 

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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Anatomy of a Trailer: Eclipse – Twilight Saga, Part 3 (Now includes NEW second trailer . . .)

I tried not to blog about this.  Really.  But it simply refused to be ignored.  So, here I am . . .

I can’t believe they are already releasing another one of these movies!  I feel as though I literally just saw the last one in theaters.  New Moon (based on Book 2 of the Twilight series) was, in my opinion, one of the most unintentionally hilarious films of all time.  

The cheesy 360-degree rotating camera shots to represent Bella’s months of “depression;”

the cartoonish CGI Wolfman graphics;

 the obligatory topless shots of those male strippers  Jacob and his wolfpack; and

the way Edward’s disembodied head would appear in the clouds, every time Bella was about to do something “bad.”

“Don’t do it, Bella!”

All of these gems made me, and the rest of the people in my theater, laugh out loud, multiple times, throughout the film.  In short, I enjoyed New Moon, but probably not for the reasons that I was supposed to enjoy it . . .

So, when I heard that Summit Entertainment had released a new trailer for Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight Saga, curiosity (and my odd sense of humor) got the best of me.  I simply had to watch it. 

Well, color me impressed.  It’s a pretty good trailer, actually.  Granted, there wasn’t a lot of action in it.  However, I think the producers did a nice job of establishing in a relatively short amount of time (90 seconds) the immensity and increasing urgency of Bella’s choice, and the impact it will have on the people she loves. 

Let’s take a look . . .

 :13 – Say what you will about the Twilight movies, but the location shots in them are absolutely breathtaking.  The book and movie are both supposed to take place in the fictional town of Forks, Washington.  However, the film was shot mostly in and around Portland, Oregon.  Who knew Oregon was so gorgeous?

 :20 – I never officially came down one way or the other on the Team Edward versus Team Jacob debate.  However, I will say that Edward and Bella have an ideal height differential on their side.  In case you were curious (because I was):  Both Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are in the mid to upper range of 5 feet, while Robert Pattinson is a lean 6’1”.  So, if Bella ever wants to wear heels, Edward is definitely her guy . . . 

(Then again, in the book, Wolf Jacob is supposed to be about 7 feet tall.  So, who knows?)

 :27 – I’m not quite sold on Dakota Fanning as Jane yet.  Based on my interpretation of the books, the Jane character has “pretty, but creepy looking” child star written all over her (Actors that fall into this category include: Haley Joe Osment in The Sixth Sense, that girl from The Ring movies, and those twin girls in The Shining. )

“Come play with us.”

At 16, Dakota has aged out of “pretty, but creepy looking,” I’m afraid.  She looks like a real teenager now! 

 

Perhaps Movie Jane would be scarier, if she didn’t talk so darn much!  Dakota sounds like she has a bit of a cold, in this scene . . .

:34 – Is it just me, or does Robert Pattinson look a tad constipated, here?

:37 thru :39 – I like that they included Bella’s parents in this trailer.  By choosing to become a vampire, Bella isn’t just giving up a boy, she’s giving up her whole human life.  The books often give this part of her decision short shrift.

:43 – Jacob: “You don’t have to change for me, Bella.”  (A solid argument for Team Jacob.)

1:10 – Here is our first look at Bryce Dallas Howard as the new Vampire Victoria.  As many of you know, Howard replaced the original Victoria, Rachel Lefevre, in the series, as a result of “scheduling conflicts.”   It sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. 

Personally, I think Summit probably wanted to cash in on the movie’s success and bring in a bigger name.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Bryce Dallas Howard.  I think she’s a talented actress.  I’m just not sure she’s right for this role.  She just looks too nice  and sane to play this menacing, woman-on-a-rampage, character.  Her hair even looks tamer than the original Victoria’s!

1:14 – Edward: “I will protect you, no matter what.” 

Feminists beware.  Twilight is not exactly a “girl power” series.  Until the final book, Bella mostly inhabits a damsel-in-distress type role.  Throught the book, the films, and this trailer, there is tons of talk about protecting Bella.  This is fine, I guess.  However,  it would be nice, if  our heroine fought back on her own, every once in a while.

1:19 – Obligatory Taylor Lautner Shirtless shot . . .

(He still looks pretty good, but slightly less buff in this trailer than in the last film.  No?)

1:22 – Jacob:  “I will fight for you, until your heart stops beating.” 

Based on the YouTube comments for this video, the aforementioned line was a big hit with Team Jacob fans.  I’ll admit that in the context of the film, and given Bella’s impending choice, the line is a moderately romantic one. 

However, as a stand alone, it’s more than a little disturbing.  For a second there, I thought I was watching one of those Lifetime movies.  Specifically, the ones where the wife-beater / lunatic guy chases some B-list actress (Tori Spelling?)  around the house with a knife and says, “If I can’t have you,  NO ONE CAN!”

Eclipse hits theaters June 30, 2010.  Will YOU see it?

P.S.  For all you Twilight fans out there, it looks like Summit Entertainment has recently released a new trailer for Eclipse.  Unlike the sort of lovey-dovey first one, this trailer focuses more on the action / horror elements of the upcoming film.  Let me just say, I think it is TEN TIMES better than the first trailer!   Parts of it are downright scary, and the special effects and CGI graphics seem much improved from the first and second installments of the series.   And I’m not exactly a “Twihard” girl, so when I say it, I mean it. 

Rather than make this post any longer than it already is, I’ll simply let the new trailer speak for itself . . .

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Filed under Eclipse, Movie Trailer Recaplets, Twilight Book Series