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Apocalypse Eventually? – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Because the Night”

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Greetings, Fangbangers!  And welcome to the End of the World!

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The Heroes have failed.  The Bad Guys have won.  And the Apocalypse is imminent.

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Now, there’s nothing left to do, but wait until the Gates to the Other Side open, and Evil swallows us whole . . .

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Still waiting .  . .

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Any minute now .  . .

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It’s coming .  . .really . . . I promise . . .

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*whistles uncomfortably*

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Did I say the Apocalypse was NOW?  I meant NEXT WEEK!

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This week on The Vampire Diaries, Silas WINS . . .

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Elena gets a haircut. . .

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And an ill timed commercial break deprives us of Rooftop Sex . . .

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Let’s review, shall we?

[This weeks screencaps are brought to you by screencapped.net.]

Bloody Big Apple

1977

It’s 1977 in New York City.  Disco isn’t dead yet.  Bell bottoms are still cool.  And there’s a Dead Guy lying in the street.

dead damon

victims

Or is there?

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*slurp, slurp . . .*

That’s right, boys and girls.  Different decade.  Same old vampire tricks . . .

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And yet, with generous amounts of guyliner, and a couple clever pop culture references (Son of Giusseppe, anyone?), Damon Salvatore manages to make what could have been a tired scene seem somehow fresh . . . not to mention way funnier than a double homicide has any right to be.  Because, he’s just cool like that.

damon eternal stud

Also, kudos to the music department for getting the rights to Talking Heads “Psycho Killer.”  When it comes to matching a song to a scene, it really doesn’t get much more perfect than this . . .

Of course, my favorite TVD Musical Moment will ALWAYS remain Damon’s dance with Vicki in Season 1 to Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”

But this one came a close second.  What’s YOUR favorite TVD Musical Moment?

A Silas Hunting We Will Go

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When Stefan finds out Silas has been skulking around Mystic Falls, and draining the hospital blood supply, he immediately calls his ex-boyfriend Klaus for help.

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This, of course, totally pisses off Stefan’s New Girl Friday, Caroline.

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Did I say pisses her off, I mean secretly thrills her in a Sexual Way . . .

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Such is the curse of the Good Girl, who longs for the Bad Boy, but hates herself for it . . .

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And when it comes to Bad Boys, Klaus pretty much takes the cake, in Caroline’s life.  After all, this IS the guy who killed her boyfriend’s mother and her best friend’s Useless Aunt, banished her boyfriend to the Great Beyond, and was responsible for almost poisoning Caroline, herself, to death with werewolf venom . . . twice.

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bite

But he draws her ponies, and triangles on a map.  And he buys her expensive things.  (DREAMY!)

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Did I mention he has an accent?

That’s right, Klaroline fans.  Though, when it comes to snagging Caroline, up to this point, Klaus has had about as much game, as Charlie Brown on a football field .  . .

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. . . he definitely made some headway into her heart, this week . .  .

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from the group geometry lesson .  . . to the Walk in the Woods . . .

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. . . to the come hither stares the pair were giving one another throughout the episode .  . .

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Something is definitely brewing here, Sports Fans.  And then Klaus did the one thing that is sure to send Caroline zooming right into his Dr. Evil Underoos . .  .

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He REJECTED HER!

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“As IF!”

But I’m getting ahead of myself, here.  For now, all you need to know is that our Blonde Vampire Trio has located Silas Bushyhead, by finding on a map, the two places where he is most likely to perform his next massacre . . .

The plot . . . it’s thickening . . .

A New York Sh*tty Flashback

This one time .  . . at Band Camp . . . I turned off my humanity, and started eating everyone in New York . . .

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So begins, Damon’s Bedtime Story to Elena.

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And of course, every Bedtime Story has to have a Fairy Godmother . . .

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Good ole, Lexie!  Talk about a Girl with Bad Boy Complex.  This reoccurring vampiress never met a Humanity Free Salvatore she didn’t want to fix.

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But while “therapy” for Stefan involved tying him to a chair for months on end, and draining him dry, her methods of curing Damon were a bit more . . . unorthodox.

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Honestly, who could blame Damon for not wanting to restart that pesky humanity switch?  From the sexy neck shares, to the long nights spent drinking and dancing, this flashback read more like The Perks of Being a Vampire II: Electric Boogaloo than any sort of cautionary tale against bad vamp behavior!

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And when Damon started fixing those Puppy Dog Eye Things in Lexie’s direction, and stroking her ego (among other lady parts), by claiming his love for her CURED HIM OF EVIL, I knew instantly he was full of crap.  (Even the most casual TVD fan knows that Damon Salvatore was a one-woman vamp for about 145 years, and that woman was sure as hell NOT LEXIE.)

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But still, like the Most Gullible Vampire Ever, I found myself eagerly awaiting the start of some good, old fashioned humanity free Damon Sex .  . .

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And then those bastards cut to commercial!

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Oh the humanity!

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Seriously, since when did the CW become PBS!  They skipped over the night, and went straight to MORNING?!  COME ON!  Even ABC Family gives us Naked Foreplay!

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Anywhoo, I guess it isn’t supposed to matter, because the whole Seduction Thing was all just a scheme on Damon’s part to get Lexie locked up on the roof, without her sunscreen ring, so he could ditch her self-righteous ass.

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But still . . . a little skin would have been nice . . . just sayin’

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Feeding Family Style

Back in the present day, Damon’s gabbing on the phone with Stefan, who’s back in Mystic Falls, while Elena is busy getting the FASTEST Hair Color / Cut EVER.  (Maybe the hairdresser is a vampire too?)

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STEFAN: “Previously, on The Vampire Diaries . . .”

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DAMON: “Seriously, isn’t this supposed to be Elena’s job?  I don’t want to have to listen to this.  What, just because she has her humanity turned off, she gets a free pass on in-script recapping?  I’m contacting SAG!”

I like Elena’s new look . . . I do.  And in general, I enjoyed Nina Dobrev’s new take on humanity-free Elena this week.  She just seemed less robotic, and more mischievous . . . She seemed like she was actually having a good time being bad, for a change.

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My one gripe?  This Elena seems a lot less like Humanity Free Elena, and more like . . . Regular Katherine, even down to the bigger hair, and more stylish clothes.  I have a feeling that this is going to make next week, when the two start sharing the screen again VERY CONFUSING.

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But I digress, it turns out that Damon has some ulterior motives for his little Humanity Vacation Road Trip.  You guys remember Will from last week?

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Well, apparently, he was well known in New York City vampire circles as a Fake ID maker . . . or rather, a Real ID taker, who gave dead people’s ID’s to vampires on the run . . . And I bet you will never guess who Will’s favorite client was . . .

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Katherine Petrova, that’s right!

the kat thank me brought cure

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So, Damon’s Master Plan is to hunt down Katherine, swipe The Cure from her fingertips, and shove it down Elena’s throat, along with her morning Blood Breakfast.  Sounds easy, right?

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The only problem is that Elena’s on to his little scheme, and has some plans of her own for The Cure .  . . plans that involve it being given to her Brand New Bestie, instead . . . Rebekah.

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Woah!  Who ever thought that these two sworn enemies would end up partying together, and drinking from the same neck . . . literally?

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Apparently, Damon’s little pep talk to Rebekah, last week, about humans being boring, failed to convince the Original She-Vamp that her future shouldn’t be paved with mortality, and a bevy of Klaus Barbie Babies . . .

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Now, I know this makes me a total traitor, but I kind of like the idea of a Human Rebekah.  She wants it more than anyone else.  Why shouldn’t she get it?

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And while I’m still quite positive that this storyline is going to end with the cure inadvertently being shoved down Damon’s throat, I have to admit that I’m with Team Elenbekah on this one . . .

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So, to review, Damon is playing Elena.  Elena is playing Damon.  And Rebekah is definitely NOT playing with This Guy . . .

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Now, that we know the Teams, we can start keeping score!

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Damon, thanks to Stefan’s uncanny ability to remember all his ex-girlfriend’s birthdays, finds a paper in Will’s apartment, listing all of Katherine’s known addresses.  (Score 1 for Damon).

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Then, Elena seductively brings him on the roof, for what Damon thinks will be some Lexie-inspired nookie, but is actually a game of Back-Pocket snatch and grab (Score 1 for Elena, Score -25 for Delena fans hoping for a little rooftop action from their favorite lovebirds).

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But Damon catches on to Elena’s scheme, and pries the paper back from her greedy little hands.  (Score 2 for Damon, 1 for Elena).

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Then, Rebekah pops up, seemingly out of nowhere, and breaks Damon’s neck!!  (Score 69 for Rebekah, Score 2 for Elena, and Score -25 for the temporarily dead Damon).

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In the final round, Rebekah, and Elena head off in Damon’s car, with his precious address list, while Damon naps off his death on the rooftop of that seedy New York bar.

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(Score 169 for Rebekah and Elena, Score -125 for Snoozing Damon, and Score 1,025 for Lexie, who, somewhere up in Vampire Purgatory, just got the best Poetic Justice of her unnaturally long life . . .)

Talk about Vampire Girl Power!

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Binge and Purge – Wiccan Style

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“Hey, I just met you.  And now you’re crazy . . .”

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“So I’ll call all my witch friends .  . .”

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“And kill you, maybe?”

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Silas Bushyhead is still Svengali-ing Bonnie into murdering 12 people, who P.S., just so happen to have to be witches.

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Way to not support the Sisterhood of the Traveling Nosebleeds, BonBon!

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exist to me

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Silas Bushyhead’s plan really sets into motion, when Bonnie goes all Stephen King’s Carrie on the windows in her dad’s house.

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So dad does what any rational father would do in this situation . . . sends his daughter off in the woods to meet with his vampire ex-wife’s crazy witch friend, and her 11 teen minions?

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Is Ridiculously Bad Parenting contagious?  Because it definitely seems like an epidemic in Mystic Falls.

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As much as I abhor me some Bonnie, even I have to admit the Witch Exorcism scene was pretty nifty, with Bonnie adding white eyeballs to her usual repertoire of Bleeding from the Nose and Whining . . .

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beautiful eyes haha

Then, Stefan . . . bless his heart, pops on the scene, and says, “WAIT!  Stop the exorcism, Bonnie’s working for SILAS!”

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To which, The Witch, replies . . . “Eh, no biggie!  We’ll just kill Bonnie.  We were half way there, anyway . . .”

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(Sounds like a plan to me!)

Of course, Stefan’s lame attempt at rescue ended up playing right into Bushyhead’s plans.  Because, minutes later, Caroline KILLS the head witch . . .

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.  .  . and all the others immediately fall dead, domino-style (which was also pretty unintentionally hilarious to watch).

And so, the Apocalypse has finally come to Mystic Falls . . .maybe.

Klaus, who earlier in the day gave Caroline a geometry lesson about equilateral Expression Triangles, now gives her another one, about how killing TWELVE witches, and OPENING THE GATES OF HELL, to save one REALLY annoying one, isn’t exactly a fair trade in the scheme of Good versus Evil.

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Caroline is SAD.  Caroline is VULNERABLE.  Caroline wants comfort.  In other words, Klaus is SO IN . . .

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. . . which is probably why he rejects her ass . . .

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Congratulations Charlie Brown Klaus.  It looks like you finally got that football, away from Lucy, after all!

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P.S. It turns out Bonnie has amnesia about her entire Bring It On: Apocalypse Mini Series.

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This means, she has to learn about JerBear’s death ALL OVER AGAIN.  Might I suggest waiting until Season 4 of TVD comes out on Blue Ray . . .

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Bushwack . . . ing off?

Then Bushyhead Silas has to come and totally harsh Klaus’ buzz, by rubbing it in about the whole Apocalypse Thing, and staking his ass . . .

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BASTARD!

Next week on TVD . . . did I hear someone say, Doppelganger Hijinx?

Oh, and what the heck is up with Dog-on-a-Leash Klaus, and . . . is that Silas!Caroline?

Color me intrigued . . . until next time, Fangbangers!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Bite into that BIG Apple! It’s Time for Nationals! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Finale “New York”

“Man, it is really hard to find a bathroom in this city!  Every place you try to go, they say you have to buy something first.  No wonder there is so much public urination in the Big Apple!’

Greetings Gleeks!  After weeks of speculation, the moment we’ve been waiting for all season, has finally come and gone.  The Glee kids came, saw, and conquered New York City . . . or at least a squeaky clean, sparkly, neutered version of it.  Speaking of neutered . . .

“Where the heck did my balls go?  I know I had them earlier in the season, back when I was in JUVIE.  Is it possible that when I was taking a shower in the communal . . . ?  Uh oh!”

Times Square:  The One Place Where You Can Still Buy Tickets to See Cats

“These tickets all say ‘SUCKER’ on them.  Ooh, maybe that’s one of the Cats’ Names!”

The episode begins with the Glee kids arriving in the usually bustling (and sometimes pretty scary) Times Square.  Although Times Square is typically, by far, the busiest part of Manhattan, the Glee kids find the area eerily void of humanity (AND DIRT!).  Seeing this reminded me of the opening dream sequence of that Really Bad Tom Cruise Movie (well . . . at least I thought it was really bad).  You know  . . . the one where he goes to Times Square, and learns that he’s the Only Man Left on Earth.  Talk about a HORROR FILM!

“L. Ron Hubbard predicted this would happen.”

Anyway, the Glee kids all start belting out “New York, New York,” on the steps near the TKTS Broadway ticket booth.  And I cringe inwardly, waiting for one of them to get mugged.  Then Rachel actually DOES . . . well, sort of.  Standing in front of the rest of the Glee Club, Little Miss Barbra Streisand 2.0 excitedly informs her pals that she got them all tickets to see “Broadway’s Longest Running Show . . . Cats.”  It is then up to Quinn, of all people, to break it to Rachel that the show has actually been off Broadway for ELEVEN YEARS!

 

“Oh, Febray!  Say it ain’t so!”

(By the way, was anybody else bugged by the fact that RACHEL, the Human Broadway Show Encyclopedia — who usually spends at least 5 minutes per episode spouting out useless facts about the Great White Way — DIDN’T know Cats was dunzo, but QUINN did?)

Anyway, the kids quickly head to the hotel, where Cheapskate Mr. Schue only manages to secure them TWO ROOMS (which has GOT to make the Bathroom Situation an absolute NIGHTMARE!).   Oh, and I’m pretty sure the “self-sacrificing teacher” somehow managed to get a room all to himself. (Real nice, right?)

“Well, if I roomed with the kids, I couldn’t watch 8 hours of hotel porn, now could I?”

I have to giggle a little bit when Puck and Zizes try to get served at the hotel bar (They order a Manhattan, har de har har.), and the bartender actually QUESTIONS whether these two are of drinking age.  This, of course, is despite the fact that both Puck and Lauren each look about 35-years old, and, by Glee’s timeline, have probably been chugging back shots of tequilla, since they were twelve . . .

PUCK:  “Hey Sweet Cheeks, what time are you getting off from work?  I’m sharing a hotel room (and two double beds) with five other guys.   We can show you a REAL good time . . . and my girlfriend can watch.”

As if Mr. Schue hasn’t already proved himself to be the Worst Chaperone EVER, he then decides to lock the Glee kids in a SINGLE hotel room, so that THEY can pen the songs they SHOULD have come up with weeks ago for the National Competition, which is less than 24 hours away.  Meanwhile, HE goes off to promote Matthew Morrison’s upcoming album pursue his Broadway Dreams . . .

“On stage, we call this an ‘Inspired Performance.’  In the potty, we call this a Bad Bout of Constipation.”

 A Stagehand happens to catch Will Schuester performing “Matthew Morrison’s Hit Single ‘We’ve Got Tonight'”  on an empty stage, in the theater where April Rhodes’ CrossRhodes (not to be confused with the terrible Britney Spears film of the same name) is set to debut.  Stagehand is quick to compliment Will on his “obvious talent.”  He then tries to sell Schue some leftover tickets to Cats . . .

“They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  When’s your birthday?”

Nothing Says Loving Like a Street-side Serenade Outside Sardi’s

ARTIE:  “Just think, at this time last night, real, honest to goodness, hookers could have been occupying this very spot.”

SAM:  “Hey Puck!  Put down the friggin accordion!  You’re TOTALLY destroying our game!”

PUCK:  “What?  I want the ladies to know I’m good with my fingers!”

Cooped up in the hotel room, Artie and Brittany offer up THEIR suggestion for an Original Song the Glee kids can sing at Nationals.  It’s called “My Cup.” 

I can’t be the only viewer who found this song a little dirty, right?  I mean, come on . . . “In the middle of the night, I’m in bed alone.  Don’t care if you’re paper, glass, or Styrofoam” ????

Santana TOTALLY gets it!

You can listen to this masterpiece (emphasis on the “master”) in its entirety, HERE:

Though Britney and Artie are the first ones to suggest an actual song, it’s QUINN  . . .

(She of the “Last week, I said I was going to do something evil to Finn, and ruin Nationals for the Glee kids, when all I actually did was cut my hair short and scowl a lot.”)

 . . . who comes up with the most INSPIRED performance idea.  Bad Apple Quinn easily convinces the Glee kids to disobey Will’s wishes and spend the night running rampant around the city, instead of working on their Original Songs.  “We don’t have to write Original Songs,” says Quinn.  “New York City will write them for us.” 

(You know, I hate to break this to you, Quinn, but I’ve been trying to get New York City to write my next novel, for about a year now.  The City is just too damn lazy!)

Reality Checks notwithstanding, the Glee kids frolic around Central Park, while rocking out to an inspired “I Love New York / New York, New York” Mashup.

(Just out of curiosity, does anybody else agree with me that THIS mashup, along with Kurt’s and Rachel’s later duet from Wicked, would have, ultimately, been better choices, as Nationals performance numbers, than the songs the Glee kids actually ended up singing?)

Back in the boys’ hotel room, Finn, once again, suggests that Rachel and him singing a duet together would be a great strategy for getting in Rachel’s panties winning Nationals.  The rest of the boys agree, and egg Finn on to invite Rachel out on a romantic New York Date .  “You know, like the ones in those romantic comedies, that make men grow a vagina, if they watch them all the way through,” Puck adds.

Did Puck just really say “vagina” on Fox?  (And did I just type it . . . twice.)

 (Taking this statement into consideration, one can’t help but wonder whether this is what happened to Puck, after he went on his first date with Lauren Zizes to see “Something Borrowed,” starring Kate Hudson.) 

Speaking of girly movies, when Finn texts Rachel to ask her out on their Romantic Date, she looks like she’s trapped in the “Girl Bonding Montage” of a Chick Flick, herself . . .

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RACHEL: “If one of you ends up getting a Makeover to Increase Your Self Esteem, I’m SO jumping off the Empire State Building . . . Oh, wait . . . Quinn actually DOES that, in the next scene?  Just kidding!”

Finn takes Rachel out to explore the sights of New York.

“I guess going skinny dipping is out of the question, huh?”

The pair end up at Sardi’s for dinner, causing me to wonder what kind of High Class Paper Route Finn runs at home, because that place is NOT CHEAP!

“I hope you like washing dishes.  Because that’s how I’ve arranged to pay for this meal.”

“Seriously?  Now, instead of having Jazz Hands on stage tomorrow, I’m going to have Dish Pan Ones!”

At Sardi’s, Rachel encounters her idol, Barbra Streisand Patti Lupone (I guess Barbra was busy?).  Lo and behold, Patti has some Sage Advice for Rachel.  She tells her to . . . wait for it . . . “Follow [Her] Dreams.”

Oh my goodness!  I have never heard such inspiring words before.  My life will never be the same again.  Thank you, Glee!

Outside Sardi’s, Rachel tells Finn that the only thing that would make this night more perfect, would be if the pair were serenaded.  So, of course, Finn’s posse magically appears, and starts singing “Bella Notte” to the Happy Couple . . .

 You can LISTEN to the song, in its entirety, here:

Personally, I would have liked the scene much better, if the Boys started singing the Lady and the Tramp Song, back at Sardi’s, while Rachel and Finn were playing meatball hockey with their noses, and accidentally making out with one another, thanks to one Very Mischevious Strand of Spaghetti . . .

 Speaking of making out, while the Boys are still singing, Finn tries to plant a wet one on Rachel.  But, alas, Finn’s Love Interest of the Week runs away, because she ate some bad Chicken Carbonara has to go “Follow Her Dreams” . . . or something.  And because they have NO TACT WHATSOEVER, Finn’s boys actually continue to serenade him, even after he’s been FLAT OUT REJECTED . . .

AW-KWARD!

(Needless to say, at the exact same moment when this is happening, about 200 men, forced to watch Glee at home with their girlfriends, spontaneously sprout vaginas . . .)

 A Stagehand Saves the Day: Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

“We’re not in Lima, anymore, Toto . . . er . . . I mean, Rachel.”

Kurt wakes Rachel up the following morning, so that the pair can have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (or, perhaps, more accurately, breakfast OUTSIDE of Tiffany’s).  The aforementioned exchange made me wonder if Mr. Schue had followed the concierge’s advice, and assigned rooms based on “sexual orientation,” after all . . .

(Then again, had he done that, Santana would have been sleeping with the guys . . .)

Anyway, Rachel confesses to Kurt that she and Finn love eachother.  However, she knows she’s destined to go to school in NYC and be on Broadway, and blah, blah, blah, Boyfriend Emergency, blah. 

So, Kurt comes up with the “inspired idea” of breaking into the theater where the pair’s favorite Broadway Show, Wicked (Remember when they sang the duet to “Defying Gravity” together?  Ah, memories!), is performed.  This way, Rachel can see what she might end up missing in the long run, if she starts dating the Finn-ster  and actually ends up dating him for longer than a two-week period, this time . . . 

“But we’ll get in trouble,” Rachel squeaks.

Have no fear, Little Berry, SUPER STAGEHAND is here to let you Live Out Your Broadway Dreams (provided your dreams only last fifteen minutes) . . .

“Ta-da!”

With Super Stagehand’s permission, Kurt and Rachel perform a GORGEOUS duet to Wicked’s “For Good,” with the set of the play, flanking them on all sides . . .

“Woah, Kurt, how much hair product did you use this morning?  I’m worried your Snookie Poof will set this set on fire!”

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

You can watch Kurt’s and Rachel’s impromptu performance, here:

At the end of the duet, Rachel seems to have made her  “Sophie’s Choice” . . .

 Meanwhile  . . .

Quinn Cuts Her Hair, Will Cuts the Chord . . . on his Dreams

Back in the hotel room, Quinn has a mini freakout, because her, Santana and Brittany “don’t have a chance at true love.”  Umm  . . . Quinn?  You’ve been single for LESS ONE EPISODE.  You are act like a heinous bitch, about 95% of the time  Please allow me to serenade you, with my tiny violin, regarding your Tragic Lack of True Love . . .

 As for Brittany and Santana “not having love,” well, the former just dumped her boyfriend for calling her “stupid.”  And the latter is faux-dating her fellow beard, Karofsky . . .

So, take that QUINN! 

My personal annoyance with Quinn, notwithstanding, Brittany and Santana are surprisingly sensitive to their erstwhile-pal.  They even attempt to bolster her foul mood, by treating her to a ridiculously overpriced New York haircut.  And, as much as I dislike Quinn, I have to say, girlfriend looks quite fierce in her new do’ . . .

 

Downstairs at the hotel bar, Mr. Schue meets up with Vocal Adrenaline coach, Dustin Ghoulsby . . .

. . . (who, unfortunately, is wearing a bit more clothes in the scene, than he is in the above picture).  Dustin has conveniently heard through the grapevine that Schue plans to leave teaching to pursue his Broadway Dreams.  Dustin thinks that’s a fab idea, remarking how much HE would love to stop teaching Show Choir, considering how much he DESPISES his students.  “But I love my students,” Will remarks, as I throw up a bit in my mouth.

Insert shallow attempt at humor here  (I’ve got nothing.)

Will’s undying love for his underage students notwithstanding (See how I just made something Sickeningly Sweet and Innocent sound Disgustingly Inappropriate?), Dustin immediately rushes to go rat out Will to his students. 

However, when Will arrives at the hotel room to collect the Glee kids for the Nationals competition, rather than bitch him out for NOT GIVING TWO CRAPS ABOUT THEM, THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE NEW YORK TRIP, they actually encourage Will to give Broadway a try.  And yet, Will (who has clearly never met Patti Lupone) is not about to give up his  love of teens for something as insignificant as a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity at Fame and Fortune.  Andhe  tells his kids as much. 

(So, much for leaving us with a Cliffhanger, Glee writers!)

Happy to have their Steadfast Mr. Schue for at least one more season, the Glee kids join their teacher in a Big Fat Group Hug.  Puck enters the embrace first . . . because he has a vagina.  (Ummm . . . yeah, I’ve used this word WAY too many times in this recap.  It’s starting to make me feel uncomfortable, to be honest.)

Anywhoo enough about vaginas (DAMN!  I did it again.), it’s NATIONALS TIME!

The Big Kiss . . . and The Even Bigger Kiss Off . . .

RACHEL:  “Finn, is that GUM, in your mouth?  How many times have I told you not to chew GUM on stage?  It’s unprofessional.”

FINN: *blows bubble in Rachel’s mouth*

 At the Nationals Competition, Some Random Girls’ Choir, wearing short slutty dresses, performs Usher’s 2004 hit, “Yeah.”  And while their singing is “OK,” the dancing is ridiculous, and reminds me a bit of the Glee kids’ bizarre lunchroom dance to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It,” back in Season 1 . . .

You can listen to the song, here:

In the bathroom at Lincoln Center, Rachel and Sunshine Corazon come full circle from their Season 2, Episode 1, Potty Sing Off . . .

.  . . when Rachel, upon hearing Sunshine RALPH in the toilet, finally apologizes for sending her to a crackhouse for Glee club auditions. When Rachel learns that Sunshine HATES Vocal Adrenaline, and is petrified of performing in front of the crowd(Can I smell a transfer BACK to New Directions for Sunshine in Season 3), the newly reformed diva even goes so far as to offer to give Sunshine the “thumbs up sign” when she’s on stage, so the youngun won’t be nervous.   “But don’t you want to win?”  Sunshine inquires, without the snarky edge she COULD have used with that line . . .

“How was the old crackhouse, by the way?  I’ve been meaning to get back there for a refill, but I’ve been so busy not preparing for Nationals, that I haven’t really had the chance.”

“Guys like us have to stick together,” Rachel replies, pulling Sunshine in for a hug.  (All together now, “AWWWWW!”)

Sunshine performs an original song entitled “As Long as You’re There.”  And, while her voice is amazing, I must admit, I was mighty underwhelmed by herVocal Adrenaline backup dancers, who basically did the same dance to this WILDLY DIFFERENT number, as they did last year to “Bohemian Rhapsody during Regionals. 

But don’t take my word for it.  Watch the performance here, and judge for yourself . . .

During New Direction’s performance, a Smouldering Jesse St. Douchey-But -Still-Hot-James arrives, sneaking into a conveniently empty seat next to Schue to watch the show. 

“I’m here to collect my payment for hitting on Rachel, and not helping you prepare for Nationals at all.”

Though Jesse claims to be only interested in the performance, it’s pretty obvious he’s there, because he’s still in love with Rachel.  And Schue glibly calls him on that fact. 

(So, am I the only one that’s still kind of rooting for Jesse?  What can I say?  I have a thing for Raging Asshats!)

Asshat Lovin’ = Good Lovin’

The first New Directions Number is an Original Song written by Finn, called “Pretending.”  Not surprisingly, it’s a Finchel Duet. 

“Pretending” sounds and looks pretty much like every other Finchel Duet we’ve seen since Season 1, from the “Walking Slowly Toward One Another from Opposite Sides of the Room” Bit to the “Staring Intently Into One Another’s Eyes While Holding Hands, and Making Teary Constipated Facial Expressions at Eachother” Bit.  The only difference HERE is the ending, in which Finn (despite Rachel having reiterated her “I’ve got to follow my dreams” dumping of him, prior to the start of the performance) abruptly shoves his tongue down Rachel’s throat.

The audience is stunned into silence. (probably because they skipped last week’s episode, and thought Finn was still dating Quinn).  After a few moments of uncomfortable awkwardness, Schue offers the couple a tepid Slow Clap off the stage.  Poor Jesse looks heartbroken.  But hey, that’s what you get for making breakfast on your girlfriend’s head in Season 1 . . .

Watch “Pretending” and the Controversial Kiss that Ended it All here:

“Pretending” was followed up by another Original Song.  This one was entitled “Light Up The World.”  And, while it was peppier, and definitely more fun to watch, than “Pretending,” I didn’t find the song itself particularly memorable, or the dancing that accompanied the song all that different from what we saw at Regionals with “Loser Like Me.” 

You can check out “Light Up The World,” here:

The Big Shock of the Evening (though, considering the meh performances, it actually didn’t seem all that shocking) is that New Directions doesn’t end up placing in the Top Ten at Nationals.  (It comes in twelfth.) 

Oh, the humanity!

Though everyone is pretty bummed about the loss, no one takes it harder than Santana.  The former Cheerio has a little Lima Heights Adjacent Style Freakout in the dressing room.

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Once she is back home from New York, Santana even goes as far as to create a Yellow Cardigan- wearing-Rachel Voodoo Doll to torture.  (Many of the Glee kids, Santana included, blame the loss on how mediocre they performed the inappropriateness of the on-stage Finchel Kiss.)

So, of course, it is up to Brittany to cheer Santana up.  During a very sweet little locker scene, Brittany tells Santana how much she loves her (but just as a friend .  . . for now, at least), and how lucky the two of them are to have found “family” in their fellow Glee clubbers.  Brittany’s surprisingly wise words do wonders for Santana’s spirits.  And Santana tells Brittany as much . . .

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I, for one, adore these two togther, and very much look forward to the mature progression of their relationship in Season 3. 

Speaking of couples I adore, Kurt and Blaine finally exchanged “I LOVE YOU’S,” this week!

As dramatic as the multiple Finchel Moments were in this episode, I loved the quiet sweetness of this single Klaine moment.  No over-acted overtures, extravagant gestures, or big speeches were necessary.  This was just another day for Kurt and Blaine. 

The couple was just having coffee together, sharing stories, and enjoying one another’s company.  And then, seemingly out of no where, Blaine said it . . . the three words that Kurt undoubtedly has been wanting to hear, since he first met the guy, earlier this season. 

It was perfect!  Kudos to Darren Criss and Chris Colfer for the understated elegance of this memorable moment.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, Finn and Rachel got back together.  (SUPRISE!)  After all that hemming and hawing about “following her dreams,” it turns out Rachel has an ENTIRE YEAR LEFT OF HIGH SCHOOL, before she even has to think of applying to NYU.  Talk about an hour’s worth of unnecessary drama! 

That being said, the couple’s second kiss on the floor of the library was way more adorable and genuine, than their overblown stage one, at least, in my opinion . . .

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Speaking of couples, you know who else is secretly dating in Glee Club World because heaven forbid any of these folks date someone who isn’t remotely involved in the show choir ? SAMCEDES!

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Hmmm . . .  it could work! 🙂 

And, there you have it folks!  Two seasons of Glee down, and hopefully, at least a few more to go.  So . . . how did you like the finale?  Did you think the Glee kids deserved to win Nationals?  Are you down with Samcedes?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section below . . . 

Have a great summer, my Gleekies!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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For those who have balls . . . – A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “Something’s Gotta Give”

Karev stares wistfully at what’s left of his balls, after Avery beat the crap out of him, at Cristina’s House Warming Party . . .

 The way I see it, there are two types of people in this world: (1) those who have balls .  . .

(2) and those who don’t.

Although seemingly simplistic, the above statement is actually much more complex than it looks.  After all, I could talking about balls, in the literal sense . . .

 .  . .  balls, in the anatomic sense . . .

. . . or balls, in the metaphoric sense, as something representative of courage or “guts.”

During this week’s installment of Grey’s Anatomy, many of our favorite Seattle Grace-ys got the opportunity to show us their BALLS . . .

 . . . while others just . . . sat around eating frozen yogurt.

It’s never too late to gain the Freshman 15 . . .

 So, without further adieu, what do you say we get these balls rolling, and commence with the recap?

This fun little GIF has been brought to you by the f*ckyeahgreysmcnatomy tumblr.

The New-New Cristina

When the episode opens, we learn that Cristina hasn’t exactly been using her “Surgery Hiatus” time wisely.  In fact, despite having ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to decorate, following her and Owen’s move into the Old Firehouse, Cristina hasn’t unpacked a SINGLE BOX.  The result of this massive oversight, on Cristina’s part is that her and Owen’s new crib now looks like something out of A&E’s Hoarders. 

(In Cristina’s defense, moving SUCKS!  And I would know, because I’ve done my fair share of it  .  . .)

Speaking of Cristina’s “Surgery Hiatus,” those of you who, like me, were worried that we would have to suffer through yet another episode of “”The Mopey Depressed PTSD Cristina Show,” got a bit of a reprieve this week . . .

“This week on Grey’s Anatomy, the part of Mopey Depressed PTSD Cristina will be played by Crazy, Bad Dancing, I Don’t Give a F*ck Cristina.”

Now . . . before you all start giving me the Stink Eye . . . I KNOW that letting her “id” run wild, compulsively spending money on frivolous things, and impulsively throwing parties and chopping off her friend’s hair, is not a “healthy” way for Cristina to cope with the emotional trauma she suffered, as a result of The Shooting.  But you have to admit that this week’s Cristina was WAY MORE FUN to watch than last week’s, right?

Speaking of People-I-Thought-Would-Be-Annoyingly-Mopey-This-Week-But-Weren’t .  . .

Callie Get’s a New Look . . .

“This week on Grey’s Anatomy, the part of Callie Torres will be played by Minnie Mouse . . .”

Cristina isn’t the only Seattle Grace Doc on “Surgery Hiatus,” this week.  As it turns out, Callie too has decided to take some time off, following her girlfriend Arizona’s decision to go on maternity leave from the show leave Callie’s ass for Africa.  When Callie hears the news from Mark that Cristina has quit the residency program, she rushes to her former roommate’s new casa to talk some sense into her.  Instead, she ends up . . . getting a haircut?

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I have to admit that Cristina’s maniacal cackling, as she dangled a chunk of Poor Callie’s hair in her face, all the while screaming, “LET’S MAKE LEMONADE,” frightened me a little bit.  However, my initial fear quickly vanished, when a now Hat-Wearing Callie and Crazy, Bad Dancing, I Don’t Give a F*ck Cristina decided to GO TO THE MALL!   

After all, who doesn’t like malls?  Malls are AWESOME!

Cristina and Callie Become Mallrats . . .

The scenes featuring Cristina and Callie at the mall on Grey’s this week, kind of reminded me of that old movie Mallrats . . . or rather, what that movie would be like, if those two poor slacker guys in it were actually female surgeons with LOTS of money to burn . . .

Ostensibly, the duo was at the mall, so that Callie could get her hair fixed, since Cristina had gone all Edwards Scissorhands on it, earlier . . .

However, Cristina uses the time to bask in the very special joys that only unemployment (while married to a rich surgeon) can provide.  During her Mallpisode, Cristina eats highly processed and chemical-laden food, prepared by teenagers.  She also marvels at the “Mall People,” who wander about the premises slowly, and aimlessly, with no particular time schedule to keep, but the ones in their own brains.  Cristina also buys an ENTIRE LIVING ROOM DISPLAY at the Furniture Store!

This just in . . . the Recession is OVER!  Our economy’s troubles have single-handedly been resolved, through the frivolous purchases of one woman.  And that woman is: Cristina Yang – Mall Person!

Did I mention that NuCristina has also decided to throw herself a house party, and invite all her surgeon friends, but NOT tell her new husband?  Cristina Yang – Mall Person has officially become MY IDOL!

Meanwhile, back at Seattle Grace, where people actually have to work for a living . . .

Everybody Hates Teddy . . .

Poor Doctor Altman!  Ever since her Blink-and-You’ll-Miss-It dalliance with that Shrink Guy has ended, she hasn’t had a single storyline that didn’t involve her yelling at someone, or being yelled at by someone.  Teddy kicks off this week, by getting more than her share of the latter. 

It all starts, when Teddy holds a little “information session” at the hospital, regarding her “Miraculous Lung Transplant Patient.”  Unfortuntely, no one gives two darns about that Poor Roy Henley Guy, who, lets face it, is SO LAST WEEK!

“Hey!  Now that’s not very nice!  What’s a guy gotta do to get some sympathy around here.  DIE?”

“Worked for ME!”

Instead, the doctors pepper Teddy with questions about Dr. Yang’s absence, and why she chose to quit the Residency Program.  Leading the Inquisition is Derek, or, as I like to call him, Dr. McJudgy . . .

 

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

McJudgy goes as far as to suggest that it is Teddy’s fault that Cristina quit her Residency, because Teddy inadvertently obligated Cristina to care for Roy, who was a very high risk patient, with a rather complex case history.  As if her presumed involvement in Cristina’s quitting didn’t make Teddy unpopular enough, shortly after the information session, the “Cardio God” finds herself having to cater to a VERY IMPORTANT patient, who no one else is allowed to KNOW is even in the hospital . . .

Inexplicably, most of the doctors at the hospital assume that Teddy’s Super Secret Patient is Bono . . .

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up being anyone nearly as exciting.  It’s just some random Middle Eastern Leader Dude, who’s trying to bring peace to the entire Free World.  Bo-rinnnnggg!

Teddy, who is no Politico, by ANY means, does her best to save Middle Eastern Leader Dude’s life, while catering to the increasingly strange demands and inquiries of his harem colleagues and staff.  While, at first, Teddy butts heads with the Head of Middle Eastern Leader Dude’s Secret Service, the latter ultimately comes to respect Desert Storm Barbie, for her ability to work so well under pressure . . .

There was actually some pretty spicy sexual tension between these two!  And if this was a different show, and /or Teddy was a more well-liked character, we all KNOW that Teddy and the Secret Service Guy would have totally hit the on-call room for some Horizontal Mambo.  But its Grey’s Anatomy, and its Teddy Altman, so they didn’t . . .

Things got a bit more complicated, when Middle Eastern Leader Dude’s Chief Advisor, admitted that Middle Eastern Leader Dude did not just have heart trouble, as previously thought, he had also recently suffered from a brain aneurysm.

“Well, hello there!  My name is Ridiculous Plot Twist.  It is very nice to meet you.”

Now, suddenly, Teddy is forced to call upon her nemesis, Brain Doctor Derek.  The pair must perform surgery on Middle Eastern Leader Dude simultaneously.  How’s THAT for awkward?  Fortunately, this is DEREK we’re talking about, here.  So, of course, everything goes perfectly.  Shortly thereafter, Middle Eastern Leader Dude is free to go back to his country, and Save the World.

(And if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn for $2.  If interested, inquire in the comment section, below . . .)

The Balls are in YOUR Court . . .

Remember a few weeks back, when April was totally and completely in LOVE with Derek Shepherd?  Remember how she would follow him around all the time, like a puppy in heat; and would squeal annoyingly everytime the Married Man did so much as take a dump, unaided? 

Come on, April.  You KNOW its true . . .

Well, those days are gone now.  Because, ever since Alex gave April the Hug Heard Round the World, last week . . .

 . . . it’s been ALL KAREV, ALL THE TIME, as far as this girl is concerned . . .

So, you can imagine how excited April was, upon finding out that both she and Karev were on New Pediatric Doctor Stark’s service together . . .

While spending the day taking care of babies, April can’t help but imagine what it would be like for her and Alex to have a Bundle of Joy of their own . . . one produced by Divine Conception, of course.

Although April and Alex care for many Tiny Humans under Stark’s watch, their main Patient of the Week is a baby in need of a liver transplant . . .

“How many times do I have to tell you?  It’s LISA!  The baby’s name is LISA!  LISA! LISA!  LISA!  Like that chick from The Simpsons . . .”

Aside from REPEATEDLY demanding that the doctors refer to her by name, Lisa’s parents have lots of questions about the manner in which Dr. Stark will chose to conduct the transplant.  However, Dr. Stark can really give two craps about answering these questions.   He’s WAY TOO BUSY bossing getting Karev and April to do his job for him, to do a thing like that. 

To make matters worse, when it comes time to do the transplant, Dr. Stark finds that the liver is TOO BIG for the baby’s body.  And so, he makes the bizarre decision to LEAVE THE BABY OPEN for a few day, while the swelling goes down.  

Stark HOPES that the liver will “fit” inside the body . . . eventually.  (Now, how’s that for a ringing endorsement .  . .)

Of course, Dr. Stark doesn’t tell ANY of this to Lisa’s parents, who assume their little girl is doing just fine.  April and Alex don’t like the situation one bit.  Fortunately, during lunch, the “Brilliant” A**hole Alex comes up with a plan involving his balls . . . or rather, A BALL that Lexie shot at his chest earlier.

Never . . . gets . . . old.

Upon recognizing that Lisa’s liver can be wrapped around this small celluloid ball, without complication — thereby, enabling Dr. Stark to complete the surgery, and close the body cavity, Karev rushes show Dr. Stark what solid BALLS he really has . . .

Unfortunately, for Alex, Stark COMPLETELY blows off the idea . . . at least initially.  Later, while Alex is making his rounds, April learns that Stark has decided to use the “ball” in surgery, after all.  He has also opted to take FULL CREDIT for Alex’s idea!!

Arizona would NEVER do a Mean Ole Thing like that, now, would she, Grey’s fans?

April Gets SCREWED (But Only Metaphorically . . .)

Later that evening, April finds Alex resting in a cot in the on-call room.  Plopping down on the bed next to him, she sweetly tells him how brilliant he was for finding a solution to Lisa’s case, and what a good person she thinks he is.  Of course, this gives the perpetually Self-Destructive Alex the perfect opportunity to prove her wrong . . .

“How DARE you call me a Good Person!  Walk the plank, B*tch!”

Things start off well enough, I guess.  Alex, overcome with emotion that SOMEONE would be willing to show him such kindness after the AWFUL weekend he had (more on that later), pulls April toward him for a deep sweet kiss . . .

Then there is some heavy-petting, and scrubs-removal, and heavy-breathing, and laying down on the bed . . .

Uh OH!  The warning bells are starting to go off here . . .

April did NOT maintain her virginity for 28-years, only to lose it on some dirty cot in the on-call room, during a five-minute break between rounds.  Now, April definitely WANTS to do it with Alex . . . don’t get her wrong.   She’d just like a few moments of quiet kissing to ponder the occasion. 

After all, before she knows it, her virginity will be gone forever.  And she will be waddling (sore, slightly bloody, and feeling a bit used) to the OR, to perform yet another surgery.  So, April politely inquires whether Alex can slow down just a smidge with his Olympic Speed Boning . . .

Well, CLEARLY Alex is a guy who is NOT capable of “keeping it up” for very long, if you catch my drift.  Because the mere suggestion of slowing down, causes Quick Draw McWilly to go TOTALLY Apesh*t on Poor April’s ass! 

“What do you need from me?  You wanna screw, let’s screw.  You don’t, then get out.  I’m not gonna hold your Virgin Hand, and walk you through it, Dammit!  You’re not a child.  I can’t take care of you.  I can’t take care of everybody in this frickin’ place!”

Well, if it were ME laying in that cot, I would have told Alex to take that HAND of his, and shove it up his ASS . . . so, that he could slap the NASTY FACE attached to his HEAD, which was, obviously, already up there . . .

“Hey, something smells funny, up here . . .”

But April is a much nicer person than I am.  So, she just lays on the cot, crying, as the Grade A – A**hole storms out to go kick tiny puppies, or whatever it is that Grade A – Asshole’s do in their spare time . . .

Jackson Avery to the RESCUE!

“I may not be the BEST doctor in this hospital.  But I am certainly the best-LOOKING.  And today, I might have proved myself to be the best FRIEND.”

April is still crying hysterically, by the time she gets to Cristina’s House Warming Party . . .

*sobbing uncontrollably*  “How the hell do two you afford this place?  I work at the exact same job that you do, and yet, I share a BATHROOM with 85,000 castmembers roommates, one of whom just totally ripped me a new one in the on-call room!  It’s not fair, dammit!”

Jackson hasn’t exactly had the best day himself.  Not only has he become the “red-headed stepchild” of the residency program, having screwed up surgery after surgery, since The Shooting.  He also suffered the loss of one of the patients, he was caring for on Bailey’s behalf (through no fault of his own).  So, Jackson sees his best friend April in need.  And hers is a problem he can fix . . . (just not in the way you think ;)). 

OK . . . I know he’s supposed to LOVE Lexie and all, but does anyone else think these two would be pretty darn adorable together?

And “fix it,” Jackson does . . .

Picspam provided by the cahboom tumblr

“OK .  . . I get that I should be all ‘Morally Outraged’ by the sight of two incredibly HOT grown men beating the sh*t out of eachother for ME  . . . but I’m secretly loving ALL OF IT.”

That was AWESOME!  Just like with Cristina, while I logically recognize that Jackson’s uncharacteristically aggressive behavior is sort of a Cry for Help, it’s still CRAZY FUN TO WATCH!  (And let’s face it, Alex the A**hole TOTALLY had it coming . . . )

Speaking of Alex, he later admits to Meredith that he spent the weekend caring for his brother Aaron . . .

 . . . who has just been diagnosed as schizophrenic, after trying to KILL his teenage sister.  Unable to cope with all the family drama, Alex flees, after just a day or two.  And I guess the guilt of not being able to care for his family, caused him to lash out at April. 

*sings*  “Nobody knows . . . the trouble I’ve seen .  . .  nobody knows, the SORROW!”

Yeah . . . OK . . . I’ll admit it . . . your Family Situation really SUCKS, Alex.  But its no excuse to be a DICK to a Nice Virgin.  Just sayin . . .

But Where’s Cristina?

Throughout the episode, Cristina’s friends and colleagues have plotted to confront her at her House Warming Party, and stage an “intervention,” of sorts . . .  The only person who seems to be against that idea is Derek, who himself, is no stranger to “quitting his jobduring Sweeps Week.  Nonetheless, McJudgy is out-ranked and out-numbered.  And so, the Intervention is set to occur.  The only problem is that no one find Cristina . . .

Why?  You ask?  Because Derek has kidnapped her . . . and taken her up to the roof of the apartment, where he can ply her with wine, and discuss . . .  home furnishings?

Yeah . . . I didn’t get it either.

Oh, and I almost forgot about Callie . . .

For those of you who haven’t seen the episode, and are curious about Callie’s Big Change Haircut, here it is . . .

Based on the comments I’ve read on various message boards, I’ve come to the conclusion that most of you LIKE the ‘do.  And, while I don’t necesarily disagree, I do have a question or two for you Grey’s fans out there. 

Here goes . . .  (1) At what age do you become TOO OLD to wear rainbow-colored streaks in your hair?  (2) And if there exists such an age, has Callie passed it?

Did I mention that Callie and Mark are moving in together, because “it’s easier to be single together, than alone?”  I smell ANOTHER Friends with Benefits storyline . . . . don’t you? 

Seriously, Grey’s?  I know they’re cute together and all, but HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GOING TO GO THERE?

Speaking of “Going There,” the trailer for next week’s installment of Grey’s looks so intriguingly bizarre, that I can’t help, but share it with you . . . So, enjoy!

See you next week!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Why the heck weren’t MY high school dances this exciting? – A Recap of Pretty Little Liar’s “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”

Breaking and entering, destruction of chemistry labs, freaky gang-type tattoos, allusions to incest, creepo fortune tellers, and, quite possibly, a MURDER, all in a single hour?  I’ve got three words for you: Best.  Dance.  Ever.

Last week, I griped about the disappearance of one of my favorite characters on Pretty Little Liars.  Namely, THIS GUY . . .

Yep  . . . unfortunately, that adorable, drunky Brit, Wren, was missing YET AGAIN this week!  However, unlike last week, where I spent a good portion of the lackluster episode pining for his return, this episode pretty much rocked, IN SPITE of his absence.  Shocking, yet true . . .

(Which is not to say that I don’t want him back, ABC Family!  You BETTER bring him back!)

So, in the words of the inimitable Hanna, who, by the way, was my TOTAL hero and main source of comic relief, this week  . . .

(Who knew Queen Bee Former Fatties could be so funny . . . and likeable?) . . .

 “Let’s get this PARTY started!”

Confuscius say, “Who hijacked MY Fortune Cookie?”

In the darkest corners of human nature, there now lurks a NEW evil . . . and it is shaped like this . . .

When the episode opens, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna are in Aria’s bedroom staging an intervention.  We know that Aria is seriously depressed, because she is wearing a  . . . PONYTAIL!

She is also sporting . . . NON-NAME BRAND SWEAT PANTS . . . from LAST SEASON!

Clearly, this is an emergency of EPIC proportions.  To rescue their friend from the dark fathomless abyss of “dressing for comfort,” the girls arrive, armed with trashy gossip magazines and Chinese food.  What more could a girl possibly want?

Without too much effort on their part, the girls eventually manage to snap Aria out of her Mr. Fitz-shaped depression, and convince her to attend the upcoming Homecoming Dance.  With their “mission accomplished,” the girls quickly breakout the takeout and start to chow down.  Before even touching her food, Hanna heads for dessert (girl after my own heart). 

She eagerly rips open her fortune cookie, yanking out that familiarly tiny piece of paper that, to this day, is my FAVORITE part of eating Chinese food.  Unfortunately, Hanna’s cookie-sized “prediction for the future” isn’t anything positive like:  You will come upon great and unexpected riches.  Nor is it something funny like:  You will eat another fortune cookie.  Rather, it says THIS . . .

Lions and tigers and bitches, oh my!  There is no place like homecoming.  See you there, A!

A’s unexpected use of a Wizard of Oz reference in crafting this taunt, can only mean ONE thing.  SOMEONE in the writers’ room has clearly been reading my recaps, in which I generally enjoy comparing “Dead Ali” to the Wicked Witch of the West.

Then again . . . maybe not.

The rest of the girls quickly open their own fortune cookies.  Sure enough, each one bears the SAME cryptic message.  This development obviously begs the very important question of, “How did A get her message into cookies?”

Does she work at the Chinese Restaurant where the girls got their takeout food?  Did she simply order the Fortune Cookies premade online, and slip them into the girls’ takeout bag, at the last minute?  If the latter is true, how did A know that the girls would be ordering at the exact time they did?

I’m with you, Mr. Monkey!  I don’t get it, either.

Hanna Gets Sexercised

The next day, in what was, hands down, the episode’s funniest scene, Hanna attends an abstinence group meeting with her boyfriend, Sean.  During it, she is asked to participate in a “role-playing” exercise, in which she propositions a boy for sex, and he turns her down for Jesus.  The boy doing the rejecting in the skit is a new guy named Lucas.

 I liked Lucas instantly, if only because his nerdiness, and smart-mouthed defensive sarcasm, reminded me so much of the ever-awesome Seth Cohen from that show The O.C.  And you all know how I LOVE me some Seth Cohen!

Socially awkward and snarky, but loveable, high school nerds?  Meet your king!

“Come back to my bedroom,” monotones Hanna, looking bored as ever.

“I can’t do this,” replies Lucas.

“But you’re so hot,” deadpans Hanna.  (Her delivery of this line, in particular, WAS hysterical!  I only wish I had it on MP3, so that I can play it for myself, whenever I’m feeling down.)

“No, what I mean, is I can’t do this with YOU!” Lucas clarifies.

In a very sweet, and unusually honest moment for the show, Lucas explains how a guy of his social status could never even THINK of having the opportunity to have sex with a woman of Hanna’s caliber.  (Clearly, Lucas has never watched The O.C.)  “I have the physical strength of Screech . . .  keeping my virginity is pretty much a done deal for me,” he concluded.

I had to laugh when I heard the random “Screech” reference . . .

After all, the Lucas character is undoubtedly WAY too young to have watched Saved by the Bell, the sitcom that first featured the character (as are, I would imagine, a good percentage of Pretty Little Liars fans).  Heck, I was a little kid when the show first aired, and I am quite a ways away from high school.  Perhaps Lucas remembers Screech, or rather Dustin Diamond, the actor who played him, from Celebrity Fit Club.  

Or, maybe he found that awful sex tape starring the actor, online, while his parents were asleep in the next room.  Seeing THAT would be enought to make any kid want to stay abstinant FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!  Then again, later on in the same episode, Lucas also made a Hans Solo reference . . .

. . . leading me to conclude that the character is actually a 40-year old, stuck in a 17-year old body. 

(BTW, the next time Hanna propositioned him for sex during role play, Lucas enthusiastically said, “Yes.”  Atta boy, Lucas!  Don’t let nasty sex tapes starring has-been 90’s stars get you down.)

Speaking of a character on this show who looks and acts too old to be in high school . . .

 . . . Hanna was so inspired by her sexercise, that she decided to play matchmaker for her dear friend Emily.  Having recently learned from A, via instant message, that Emily and middle-aged Maya occasionally enjoyed swapping spit with one another, Hanna more or less invites Maya to the dance on Emily’s behalf.  The problem, of course, is that Emily is already going with someone else .  . . Creepy Toby.

I love high school dances.  They always remind me of that old movie, Carrie.

More on Creepy Toby in a bit . . .

Spencer should really stick to what she does best (Hint:  It’s not dating.)

Having unceremoniously tossed aside, and completely forgotten, about the adorable Wren, as if the hottie was yesterday’s dirty underwear, Spencer is totally ready to head off to the Big Dance with Ball Boy Alex, when the episode begins.  The two share a surprisingly sexy scene together pre-dance, when Alex visits Spencer at school, so that the two could color coordinate their outfits.  (Color coordinate, huh?  OK.  Alex is clearly gay.)

When Alex offers to pay for the dance tickets, Spencer awkwardly explains that she has it taken care of.  “It’s just that you . . . work so hard for your money . . . I’d hate to see you waste it on something stupid like this.”

To Alex’s credit, rather than be offended by the obvious implications of that statement, he simply pulls Spencer into a steamy embrace.  “But I WANT to,” he insists.

He then deftly sticks a wad of cash in the pocket of Spencer’s jeans, like she’s a Vegas showgirl, who just gave him a lap dance.  (Way to stay classy, Ball Boy!)

That night, at the dance, Spencer is surprised (and by “surprised” I mean completely miserable) to see that her sister Melissa also in attendance.

Glory Days . . . They’ll pass you by, Glory Days .  . .

Apparently, it is customary for former Homecoming Queens to pass off the  crown to the next Queen Bee.  And this year, they conveniently chose the Homecoming Queen from the class of 2000, Melissa.  This is probably because she was the only former queen lame enough to show up. 

Wait a second . . . Class of 2000?  Did I mishear that? 

Wouldn’t that make Melissa (and Wren) like 12 or 13 years older than Spencer?  And what about that AP History paper Spencer stole off her sister’s laptop?  I could have sworn the date on it was 2004. 

Even if we give Melissa the benefit of the doubt, and say she WAS part of the Class of 2000, that would mean she wrote the AP History paper that Spencer stole, over a decade ago.  And yet, Melissa still remembers it well enough to recognize it as hers on the website where information regarding Spencer’s award is posted.  I seriously doubt I could recognize a paper I wrote my last year in college, let alone high school, especially ten years after the fact. 

Melissa must have superhuman memory.  A nice skill to have.  Too bad she’s such a raging bitch. 

“I heart the Russian Revolution.  I always really identified with that Stalin guy.”

When Spencer becomes too occupied with the mystery of A’s identity to truly show her date, Alex, a good time, Melissa uses it as an opportunity to plant the seeds of destruction in Alex’s mind about the genuine nature of Spencer’s romantic attraction to him.  “She’s just using your poor ass to make our parents mad,” Melissa explains, more or less.

The statement festers in Alex’s brain all evening, and eventually causes Alex to ditch Spencer’s ass at the dance, without even saying goodbye.  When Spencer confronts Melissa about her misdeeds, the latter explains matter-of-factly.  “I didn’t have to do much.  You screwed that one up all on your own.”

“Who, moi?”

And while I HATE to EVER agree with Evil Melissa, I have to admit she DOES have a point here . . .

But BEFORE all that happened, Spencer and Alex went to visit a fortune teller, who had a penchant for tarot card reading.  (Yeah, we didn’t have THOSE at my dances either.)  At first, it seemed like a typical reading.  The fortune teller droned on and on about a bad relationship, and not trusting people and blah, blah, blah.  The whole thing would have sucked if A didn’t swoop in to make it exciting.  “Say Bye, Bye to Your BFF,” she somehow managed to scrawl on one of the cards. 

Woah!  How did A do that?  Clearly A is a superhero with magical powers!

 . . . or should I say  . . . supervillain.

Awkward much?

As soon as Aria was assigned to help out at the “bean bag toss” table at the dance (which, apparently, had some sort of “carney theme” or whatever), you just knew she would somehow wind up working it with Ezra Fitz and his new uber dweeby haircut.

“I wanted something to match my pasty white legs.”

The two bicker a bit about whether Aria knows “A” and whether she told “A” about her relationship with Fitzy.  Eventually Aria gets frustrated and storms off.  Later, a jealous, Fitzy spies Aria dancing with Hanna’s beau, Sean.  Fitz looks PISSED!

Glory Days . . . They’ll pass you by, Glory Days . . .

To Fitzy’s credit,  when Aria confronted him in the hallway later that night, I really thought, Fitzy was going to say something d-baggy about her “moving on” so quickly.  Instead, he breaks into an honestly heartwarming (even to a TOTAL cynic like me) speech about how he wishes that he could give Aria a good time in the same way boys Aria’s own age could: taking her to movies, introducing her to friends, attending dances together, banging her in the gym locker room, etc.  Fitzy then admits to Aria he got his haircut to impress her, and my heart melted a bit. 

But I STILL hate that awful haircut . . .

Creepy Toby ALWAYS gets the girl (even if she is, technically, a relative)

No one much approved of Emily’s taking Creepy Toby to the Homecoming Dance.  In fact, the couple’s mere entrance into the auditorium causes the entire room to literally turn blue with fear.  (Seriously, what was with the weird lightning in this episode?   Half the dance scenes were lit like a live actions Smurfs movie!)

Which begs a very important question: which Pretty Little Liar would get to be Smurfette?

One of the reasons for the Pretty Little Liars being so “blue” about Emily dating Toby, was that they kind of /sort of thought he killed Ali / was “A.”  You see, apparently, Dweeby Toby found time out of his busy “being a psycho” schedule to get a really gnarly tattoo on his stomach (I thought you had to be 18 to do that.) 

The tattoo said “901 free at last.”  Apparently, the number is not his zip code, but rather the day that  .  . . wait for it . . . Ali disappeared.

To further complicate matters,  Hanna breaks into Jenna’s shrinks office.  (Oh yeah, she totally did that — because shop lifting, car theft/ destruction, and breaking and entering weren’t enough to quench future gangleader Hanna’s taste for crime.  She missed being crowned Homecoming Queen to do it too.)

I may look sweet and innocent, but I’m a totally bad ass MO FO!

Once there, she learns that Toby’s been sexing his stepsister, Blind Jenna . . .

. . . and was in town when Ali disappeared!

Back at the dance, Toby invites Emily to the chemistry lab “to talk.”  Things start out innocently enough, with Emily admitting to Toby that she may very well be a Big Ole Lessie.  But then they take a turn for the frightening, when Toby utters that one line EVERY heretofore mild-mannered serial killer says in movies, before he turns on you and literally eats your face off . . .

“We all have secrets, Emily!”

As if that wasn’t enough of a warning, Emily receives a text message at that moment from Hanna saying, “You’re with A’s killer now.”

Emily freaks out and backs away from Creepy Toby.  He lunges toward her.  Thinking fast, Emily knocks him into a glass cabinet in the chem lab, causing glass to shatter all around him.  Clearly Toby has the same superpowers as A (or IS actually A), because he recovers from the massive fall into glass in mere seconds, and chases Emily down the hallway.  She trips over something and falls . . .

But the final scene just MADE the episode for me.  In it, we see a sign that says, “Rosewood Population 3,488” (or something . . . I can’t really remember the exact number.   I just know it was pretty darn small).  Then, suddenly, a black jacketed hand sprays white spray paint over the final “8,” and uses black spray paint to change it to a “7.” 

The question is . . . who died?  And how does the vandal KNOW about it?

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