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Hold on to your heart! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Killer”

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“With all the stress of My First Murder, I forgot to clean my bathroom, this week.  Do you think anyone will notice?”

Greetings Fangbangers!  This week’s installment of TVD was all about the things we do for love!

For example, Connor Jordan loved his Presto Chango / Invisible Ink tattoo so much, he spent all his spare time feeding it with dead vampires . . . even though doing that meant he had to live in a lame trailer, have no friends, and never ever get laid, despite being massively sexy, in a psychotic sort of way.

Klaus Mikaelson loves his hybrids so much that he is willing to send them all to certain death, in order to protect Elena (his hybrid-making machine) Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

Damon loves Stefan so much, that he is willing to actually stick his hand inside his brother’s chest, just so that he can hold on to the latter’s heart, while the two are engaged in casual conversation . . .

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“I don’t know, Stefan . . . I kind of thought it would be . . . bigger.”

So hold on to your heart strings, watch out for trip wires, and try not to let your imaginary friend bloody up your bathroom, because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

Fun with Hypnosis . . .

Here’s something new!  Meet Professor Boo Radley Shane.  He is a freak of nature in Mystic Falls, because, unlike any other male character on this show, he actually gives more craps about keeping Bonnie alive than Elena.  So WEIRD, right?

*text messages writers, and orders them to kill off Professor Shane in three episodes*

Last week, TVD fans were shocked to learn that Professor Boo Radley and the hot-yet-destined-to-die-in-four-episodes Connor McVampire Killer were in COHOOTS with one another!

Oh no!  Not COHOOTS, anything but COHOOTS!

Actually, we weren’t all that shocked, because we could generally care less about Professor Boo Radley and his snoozy classes at Fakey McFake University.  But that’s neither here nor there . . .

Anywhoo . . . this week, Professor Boo Radley and Muscles Van Trailer Park chat cryptically about their plans for our Scooby Gang.  Muscles’ plan involves basically murdering them all, so he can finish his Magic Body Maze, and learn his character’s own back story.

“It would be a shame to die without ever knowing why God made me look so good naked  . . .”

Professor Boo Radley’s plans are a bit more hazy.  In fact, we still have no clue what they are, beyond the fact that, in order for them to work, Bonnie has to be not-dead.

To be honest, nothing much happens in this part of the story.  Basically, Professor Boo Radley uses Jedi mind tricks, boring speeches about “not fearing your witchy powers,” and his complete lack of personality to  lull our resident witch into a comatose stupor for seven hours.  This way, she’ll forget to be the plot device that rescues all the more important characters on the show!

No need to be embarrassed, Bonnie.  Most of the audience fell asleep during this part too.

And guess what?  His EvilGenius! Plan works!  P.S. Bonnie also lit some candles with her MIND, which is SUPER COOL . . .

Yeah, because THAT’S not a fire hazard at all . . .

. . . or, at least it was super cool . . . You know, before we discovered electricity, and stuff  . . .

Speaking of mental manipulation . . .

Sorry, April Young!  It looks like we are going to have to erase your brain again, this week!

It’s characters like April Young that make me wonder about the cumulative effects of vampire compulsion on the human psyche.  Have you ever pressed so hard, while using an eraser, that you poked a hole in the paper?  That’s what I fear is starting to happen to April Young’s brain.

*crickets*

I mean, think about it.  Girlfriend has been compelled at least once in every single solitary episode in which she’s appeared.  She’s already lost at least five days of her life.   Possibly more.  How much longer, before her brain just gets tired of being erased, and starts staying empty, as a form of self defense?

It wouldn’t be the first time . . .

When we first see April, this week, she’s paying a visit to the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls to inquire after her good buddy, Rebekah.  You guys remember, Rebekah, right?  Cute . . . blonde . . .  met the pointy side of the Nap Time for Originals Dagger, last week .  . .

Matt doesn’t have a clue where Klaus Barbie is hiding.   And he doesn’t care, thank you very much!  In fact, Matt’s much more concerned with the whereabouts of a certain Mini Gilbert, who is (gasp) 30 minutes late for work . . .

This is bad . . . especially when you consider the fact that Matt and Jeremy seem to be the only two people who actually work at this bar.  Seriously, I’ve never seen a manager, another waiter, or bartender . . . not even a dishwasher.  Nobody ever seems to lift a plate in this place, aside from CinderMatt.  If anyone is in need of a Fairy Godmother, it’s this guy!

Sorry Matt, it turned back into a pumpkin at midnight . . .

Little does Matt know that JerBear is currently being held at gunpoint by Baldy Vin Sexyvillain.

The latter then promptly takes Matt and April hostage too, right there in the bar.  Now, that’s just inconsiderate!  What the heck are the town’s resident alcoholics going to do, when they see the sign outside the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls that says : Closed Due to Hostage Crisis.  Come Back Later?

Alaric Saltzman must be rolling over in his grave!

I hope, for their sakes, that the Only Liquor Store in Mystic Falls opens early . . .

Connor then sends out a text message to Klaus, Stefan, Damon and Tyler, warning them that if they don’t retrieve their pet humans by sundown, HEADS WILL ROLL . . .

“Yippee!  I can add them to my collection!”

Hmmm . . . I’m just curious how Connor managed to get all these guys’ cell phone numbers.  Do they come free with the tattoo?

Back home, it’s time for another Pow Wow of Sexiness and Plot Development, courtesy of our Scooby Gang.  We haven’t had one of those in a while, have we?  True to form, both Damon and Tyler are all, “Let’s kill this Hunky Bastard!  Villains on this show, who aren’t Klaus, are only supposed to live three episodes.  He’s already had four!  Dude is on borrowed time, Man!”

“Don’t be greedy, Connor.  It’s time to let the next bad guy move into the Villain Timeshare Trailer.”

Also true to form, Stefan is all, “Let’s not kill the Big Bad Vampire Hunter, because killing is bad . . . except, when I’m the Ripper, because then killing is awesomeP.S. My boyfriend Klaus evoked the “Save Elena” clause in our F*ck Buddy contract, rendering me puddy in his Big Burly Original Hybrid Hands.

“Oops, wrong season.  What I mean to say is . . .”

Humans are blessed creatures, even the ones who like to chop off our heads and use them as hat racks.”

Though Elena’s fierce love for her brother, and new-found vampire-y killer instincts, make her more partial to Damon’s and Tyler’s point of view, she ultimately decides to support Saint Stefan, and his lame, non-violent, approach to hostage rescue . . . at least, for now BO-RING!

Speaking of Elena, for someone who supposedly LOOOOOVES Stefan . . . only Stefan . . . always Stefan . . . she sure was quick to find an excuse to jump Damon in bed, straddle him, and taunt him with a phallic object, wasn’t she?

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Some of my favorite Damon and Elena moments, last season, featured them aggressively fondling one another, while trading grunts and moans of ecstasy “training to fight vampires.”  So, it was really nice to see that sexy, rough and tumble, aspect of their relationship revisited this week.

“For someone who doesn’t want to be like me, you sure are good at it,” Damon notes, with a mixture of admiration and apparent arousal, as Elena hovers breathlessly over him, a tantalizing prelude to something more . . .

Later on in the episode, Stefan will complain that he doesn’t “recognize” the person post-vampire Elena has become.  But, to me, Damon’s and Elena’s flirtatious fight scenes are proof that Elena’s fierceness and aggressive nature existed long before she drowned, underneath the Wickory Bridge . . .

Speaking of aggressive . . .

Tyler Lockwood . . . not quite as big of a male slut as we once thought . . .

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Caroline’s kitty claws come out, in defense of her man.  But that’s exactly what happened this week, when she came face-to-face with Hayley, i.e. the werewolf who watched Tyler get naked and sweaty repeatedly for six months, while he “broke his sire bond.”  (Now, if that doesn’t sound like a euphemism for sex, I don’t know what does!)

Now, of course,  I always am, and always will be 100% Team Caroline.  That said, I couldn’t help but grudgingly respect Hayley for refusing to engage in a girl fight with Caroline, despite being provoked to do so.  “I don’t do Girl Drama.  Talk to Ty,” she said coolly, before exiting, stage left.

Later, Caroline’s “I’m being cheated on” senses start tingling again, when she spots Tyler and Hayley embracing over the shared lost of a mutual hybrid friend.  (More on that unlucky bastard, later.)

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“Why is my boyfriend dry humping the mean witch from The Secret Circle?”

Tyler, of course, assures Caroline that he and Hayley are “just friends.”  (We’ve all heard that one before, haven’t we?)

But Tyler takes his defense one step further, explaining that he and Hayley are actually plotting a Hybrid Revolt against Klaus, whereby they will teach other hybrids to break the “I am Klaus’ B*tch” hold he has over all of them.  He claims to have allowed Klaus to believe he was cheating on Caroline with Hayley, in order to throw him off the scent of what was really going on . . .

Do we believe Tyler?  For now, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Then again, it’s possible that the fact that Tyler looks so great with his shirt off is clouding my judgement.

Mmmmmm . . . pretttttttttyyyyyy

I guess we will soon find out, either way . . .

Stefan Salvatore . . . proving once again that you don’t actually have to be a hybrid to be Klaus’ b*tch . . .

While Klaus is away playing Find the Majestic Penis Sword, his boyfriend Stefan keeps himself busy, by carrying out the former’s Super Secret Plan to extract Villain-of-the-Week Connor and his Magical Maze tattoo from the hostage den.  This way, Team Ripper can use Connor’s hot bod to Cure Elena of Icky Vampirism.

Klaus and Stefan . . . saving The World . . . one Brokeback Mountain at a time . . .

Klaus gets his hybrids.  Stefan gets his “angelic girlfriend” back.  And Elena can stop writing massively depressing diary entries, like the one she wrote at the beginning of the episode.  Everybody wins, right?

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Now, remind me why this “plan” had to be kept a Super Secret, again?  Because it seems to me that both Damon and Elena would have been a lot more amenable to following Stefan’s lead, had he actually TOLD them why he was doing things this way.  Instead, Stefan just acted shady, ignored both of their phone calls, and . . . oh yeah . . . STAKED DAMON WITH VERVAIN, AND STOLE HIS SUNSCREEN RING!

This is probably one of those situations where plot necessity gets in the way of character consistency and logic, right?

I thought so . . .

Unnecessary secrecy aside, Klaus’ and Stefan’s “Master Plan” to “save” Connor seemed kind of . . . how do I put this nicely . . . dumb?  I mean, come on, here is a guy who loves killing vampires so much that he’s WALKING AROUND WITH THE DECAPITATED HEAD OF THE ONE HE KILLED IN THE LAST EPISODE, and using it’s spit to make explosives.  (By the way, do decapitated heads really continue to produce saliva?  Creepy!)

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We’re not exactly talking garden-variety evil here.  This dude is f*&ked up with a capital “F.”  And he’s got three people you care about,  in his clutches.  (Well . . . two people you care about,  and one April.)

Now, I’m no army strategist.  But to me, when you have soldiers in danger, in a room, that is likely rigged with explosives, sending in one of your men to basically get himself, and everyone else in the place, blown up (Sorry, random hybrid with the literal gaping hole in your heart!), seems like a BAD IDEA.

Meanwhile, back in the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, Current Vampire Hunter Connor continues to flirt with his hostage Future Vampire Hunter Jeremy, in what I imagine is some form of Reverse Stockholm Syndrome.  Hunky McCrazy brags to Jeremy that he is so gung ho about killing vamps, he even killed his best friend, after she became one.  Aww, what a sweet story!

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Elsewhere, Matt, i.e. the second-to-last-person-in-Mystic-Falls-to-learn-that-vampires-exist, tries to tell April, i.e. the-only-person-in-Mystic-Falls-to-not-know-vampires-exist that this hostage situation is perfectly normal, and has absolutely nothing to do with supernatural creatures, NO SIR!  In the back of the bar, Matt manages to find the opening to some underground railroad tunnel, which, conveniently enough is the route by which our  Scooby Gang is planning its rescue.

“I mean, seriously April, how could Stefan be a vampire, when he doesn’t even sparkle like that Twilight guy?

Hovering over a still unconscious Damon, Elena sees an explosion go off at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, and becomes restless to save her baby bro.  She tells Damon that even though she is a week-old vampire, she should TOTALLY be able to take on a supernaturally-endowed Vampire Hunter who has already beaten the crap out of multiple hybrids, not to mention, Damon, himself!

Damon, who’s strong desire to get into Elena’s vampire pants, seems to have clouded his judgment a bit this week, says “Sure!  Go ahead.  Put yourself in harms way, and battle the murderous psychopath, who already almost killed you with werewolf venom, once.  No problem!”

“Doh!  Must . . . stop . . . thinking  . . . with . . . weiner . . .”

By the time Elena arrives at the Only Bar . . . etc. a hostage standoff is already in progress.  Stefan is trying to convince Connor to “turn himself in” so that he can “learn his backstory from Klaus.”  Elena overhears this, and is furious.  She enters, pleading for Jeremy’s life, and, when that fails, vamps out on the vampire hunter’s ass.

Elena gets so invested in her own fighting skills, she fails to notice that (1) Connor has shot Jeremy; and (2) Stefan took Connor out of the room five minutes ago.  Elena has been fighting with herself the whole time.  HAHA!

*texts writers, instructing them to kill off the mean, snarky, TV Recapper within three episodes”

While curing her brother with her vampire blood, Elena learns about Jeremy’s recent Nude Art Escapades with Connor, and how Stefan compelled him to forget it all.  Furious, Elena heads out in pursuit of the Guy-Who-Almost-But-Didn’t-Quite-Kill-Her-Brother-Ex-Boyfriend-and-Some-Chick-Named-April . . .

Meanwhile, Damon meets Stefan in the tunnel for a little heart-to-heart . . . and by heart-to-heart, I mean, Damon grabs a hold of Stefan’s heart inside his chest, and starts wiggling his hand around, while the two engage in conversation.  Stefan thinks to himself, “Hey, that tickles!”

He also thinks to himself, “Now would probably be a good time to tell Damon about the whole “Cure for Elena’s Vampirism” thing.

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This convinces Damon to give Stefan back his heart.  But it would have convinced me to PULL IT OUT!  I’d be so pissed off, if I were Damon.  I’d be bashing Stefan’s heart with a sledgehammer, while screaming at the top of my lungs.  “THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.  IF YOU DIDN’T DO THIS, WE COULD HAVE SKIPPED OVER NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE ENTIRELY, AND GONE STRAIGHT TO THE MISS MYSTIC FALLS ONE!  I WANT TO GET MY DANCE ON, DAMMIT!”

Oh, and I almost forgot . . . Elena killed Connor.  . .

That’s right . . . first she bit him, than she broke his neck, then she tried to bury him, with his dried blood still caked across her mouth.

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Honestly, I’ll never understand that.  What exactly do vampires have against napkins?

“Don’t worry.  This isn’t blood.  I’m just really bad at putting on lipstick.”

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Damon and Stefan find a very distraught Elena in the woods, and silently marvel at her uncanny ability to screw up all Scooby Gang plans, even the ones she isn’t aware exist.  They decide not to tell her about the whole “cure for vampirism” thing.  You know, because keeping secrets from one another has served the SO well, in the past . . .

DAMON:  “Hey Stefan, you have a little something on your shirt.”

STEFAN:  “Yeah, and whose fault is that, ASSHOLE?”

In other “secrets” news, Mini Gilbert’s got a bitchin’ new tattoo!  I guess Connor was right, when he said, once he dies someone new will take his place.  And we all know how much fun Jeremy had wacking off the noggin of that hybrid, last season, right?  He’ll complete the Magic Maze in no time!

“Why do I have this sudden urge to murder my sister?”

Oh, and Jeremy also gave April Young his vervain bracelet, to keep her brain from turning into cottage cheese, as a result of all of that compulsion.  (You might remember it as the bracelet Jeremy received from Anna back in Season 1.  This only serves to remind me of how much cooler Anna was than April.  *sigh*)

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Apparently, hunters who descend from The Five are immune to compulsion anyway, so he won’t be needing it anymore.  Still, it’s a pretty significant sacrifice to make for a guest star, who will probably be dead in three episodes, anyway.  Then again, I guess, once she dies, you can take back the bracelet, Jer Bear.

In which Damon Salvatore loves Elena Gilbert just the way she is . . . even though she forgets to wipe her mouth, after she eats

In what was probably my second favorite scene in the episode (the first, obviously being the Delena Straddle Sex one), Damon agrees to help Stefan continue to search for the cure for Elena’s vampirism.  During their conversation, Stefan admits to being not all that crazy about the fanger Elena is becoming.

To which, Damon gallantly responds . . .

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Who would have thought the nefarious Damon we met back in early Season 1 would end up being the Salvatore brother more capable of unconditional love?

As I mentioned earlier, I find it hard to believe, and a bit disconcerting, that Elena has been a vampire for only about a week, and already Stefan is complaining that he “doesn’t recognize her.”  Really?  Because, aside from the occasional vamp out, she doesn’t seem all that different to me.  In fact, I kind of wish the writers would be bold enough to explore her darkside more, not less . . .

If there was ever any doubt in my mind that Stefan idealized and put Human Elena on a pedestal, it’s gone now . . .

Speaking of gone, it appears that Elena’s mind is taking a little detour.  In the final scene of the episode, she envisions her bathroom bathed in blood, and the word “Killer” etched on her bathroom mirror.

Is this merely a psychological manifestation of the guilt Elena feels over her first kill?  Has she accidentally stepped into a straight-to-video version of the I Know What you did Last Summer film franchise?

Or, is something more sinister afoot.

Tune in next week to find out.  Until then, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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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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Step Inside The Secret Circle – A Look at one of the CW’s Most Promising New Fall Series

“Hi!  We are a group of extremely attractive, well-dressed, early twenty-somethings, pretending to be teens.  One of our favorite hobbies is to stare at the camera, in a vaguely angry (but, not too threatening) way.”

I’ll start off by saying that I don’t have the best luck writing these types of posts.  The last new “fall premiere program,” I previewed on my blog, before the pilot aired, was a show called My Generation.  Don’t remember it?  Maybe, that’s because it got CANCELLED AFTER TWO EPISODES!

And yet, given that THIS new program is (1)  is based on popular book series, written by the same author who penned The Vampire Diaries; (2) is being produced by Kevin Williamson, the Big Kahuna behind The Vampire Diaries; (3)  will air on the CW, Thursday nights, directly AFTER The Vampire Diaries, I feel fairly confident that this show will last AT LEAST half a season, if not longer . . .

I am so insanely beautiful and talented, that merely by standing in close proximity to me, YOU will also appear to be more beautiful and talented.”

So, now that I’ve (hopefully) proven that reading this blog post will not be a TOTAL waste of your time maybe just a partial waste? let’s delve into The Secret Circle, shall we?

The Source

As I mentioned earlier, this upcoming CW series (like the successful Vampire Diaries franchise before it) will be based on a collection of L.J. Smith novels bearing the same name.  The Secret Circle book series was a trilogy comprised of the following novels: (1) The Initiation, (2) The Captive, and (3) The Power.  Both the television and the book series revolve around a girl named Cassie,  who learns that she is a powerful teenage witch, who just so happens to belong to an elite “circle” of OTHER powerful teenage witches.  And yet, if The Secret Circle television series is anything like The Vampire Diaries television series, that’s about where the similarities between the books and the TV show will end . . .

One main difference between the books and television series that already has fans buzzing is the size of the titular Circle, itself.  The book calls for a coven of twelve teens to complete the circle, whereas the show only seems to require six.  Granted, in terms of consistent character development, a twelve-member regular cast can seem a bit overwhelming to some writers . . .

On the other hand, a number of fans question the showrunner’s decision to excise so many potential HOT MALE WARLOCk roles, on a show geared predominately toward young FEMALES.  In terms of teenage male leads, The Secret Circle only has two, for now.  Will a choice between just two dudes be enough to please fangirls, in the long term?  That remains to be seen . . .

The Cast of Characters

Leading lady, Cassie Blake, who undoubtedly will eventually become romantically involved with BOTH male leads (Sound familiar?) . . .

 . . . will be played by Brittany Robertson.   Some of you might remember Brittany as Lux from the recently canceled CW series, Life Unexpected. You also might recognize her as one of the many dead girls in Scream 4.  (Sorry to spoil the movie for you guys!).

Thomas Dekker plays the brooding and soulful, Adam Conant, boyfriend of “Good Witch” Diana Meade, and main love interest of Cassie Blake.  You might remember Thomas as John Connor from the recently canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, or as, one of the many dead guys in The Nightmare on Elm Street remake.  (Am I the only one who is starting to notice a pattern, here?)

Phoebe Tonkin plays the bitchy, power-hungry, Mean Girl / potential “Bad Witch,” Faye Chamberlain.  Aussies might recognize Phoebe as Cleo from the the television series H20: Just Add Water.  She also played Fiona in the film Tomorrow, When the War Began.

Speaking of Aussies, Louis Hunter, who plays the flirtatious and slightly arrogant (but still sexy) Nick Armstrong, is, perhaps, best known for his role as Kyle in the Australian series, Out of the Blue.

Kind-hearted head witch, Diana Meade will be played by Shelley Hennig, who soap opera fans might remember as Stephanie Johnson on Days of Our Lives.

Rounding out the titular Secret Circle as Faye’s Mean Girl Sidekick witch, Melissa Glaser, is Jessica Parker Kennedy, who fans of the CW’s Smallville might remember as comic book villain, Plastique.

Arguably the shows most recognizable cast member, Gale Horold, plays the murderous Thomas Meade.  Television credits for Gale Harold include Hellcats, Queer as Folk, and Desperate Housewives.

And finally . . .

While perhaps best known as a freaky man-killing alien from the movie, Species, Natasha Henstridge, who plays the not quite trustworthy Principal Chamberlain, also had starring roles in television programs, including, Eli Stone and She Spies.

Analyzing the Extended Promo

Now, that you’ve met the cast, it’s time to take a look at the Extended Promo, which I plan to discuss in more detail below.  So, watch and learn, Witches and Warlocks! 

(Note: Due to some SUPER ANNOYING copyright restrictions, it looks like they’ve removed the extended promo for this show from EVERYWHERE it was posted, except for the CW Website, itself.  Nevertheless, if you still want to “watch with ME,” feel free to click on this link, either before, or while, you are viewing the analysis below.)

:00 – “My sweet Cassie, I did not want you to have this life.  But Destiny is not easy to run from.”

“Grrrrrrrr!  ROAD RAGE!”

Poor Cassie!  Apparently, “Destiny” is not easy to drive from, either.  We aren’t 30 seconds into the trailer, and already, Cassie has been driven off the road by some Asshat Driver, got a flat tire, and is about to lose cell phone reception, while stranded in Middle of Nowhere U.S.A..  Of course, judging by what happens to her next, this is probably the BEST part of her night . . .

:30 – “I know how to change a TIRE, MOM!”

Here’s a hint:  Don’t get too attached to Mommy, kids.  Because THIS ONE isn’t going to make it out of the promo alive.  I actually think this might be the first time I’ve ever seen a cast member DIE in the PREVIEW for a pilot episode.  Talk about a SPOILER ALERT!  I mean, that’s gotta be a first, right?  And we all know how much Kevin Williamson likes his BIG BODY COUNTS! 

I’m just wondering why (since Cassie’s mom is supposed to be this Big Powerful Witch) couldn’t she, I don’t know,  cast a spell to prevent her from . . . BEING BURNED ALIVE IN HER OWN HOME?  Weird . . .

:45 – [Insert sound of burning flesh here.]

We are just under the one-minute mark, when we get our first look at the EEEVIIL Thomas Meade, as he bakes Cassie’s mom for dinner.  I found the whole scene pretty shocking, the first time I saw it.  On a Non-Dead Mom note, notice how the Four Elements come into play in this scene.  Witch shows always tend to be big on the whole Four Elements thing, “earth, air, fire, water” and all that.  Notice how, the Evil One drops a bottle of water on the floor to trigger the burst pipe in Cassie’s kitchen, and lights the matches to trigger the fatal gas leak. 

Also, Dude’s got some SERIOUSLY FREAKY EYES!  Are we sure he’s not a vampire?

*sniffs*  “Do you smell something burning?”

1:04 – “Cassie.”

“I think I may have left the oven light on.”

Cassie’s mom .  . . DEAD .  . . in under two minutes.  Impressive.  You know what else I found impressive?  The fact that this good-hearted Mommy’s final thoughts were of her daughter’s soon-to-be orphan status.  (No word on “Daddy” yet.   I’m thinking there’s some sort of Big Backstory there.)  That sure was nice of Mommy to think so selflessly of her kid, while her body was getting barbecued. 

Because you know what MY final thought would have been, if I was in her position?  I suspect it would be something like, “Hmmm . . .  I wonder how painful it is to be burned alive in your own home.  I’m going to guess excruciatingly painful.  Time to test out this theory.” 

Then again, perhaps, it would be something a bit less eloquent, like, for example, “F*&K, I’M GOING TO DIE! AHHHHHHHHHH!”

1:15 – “Welcome to Chance Harbor.”

I noticed that, in the books, the town where the story takes place is called New Salem.  I’m kind of glad they changed it.   Because that would be a bit TOO MUCH Cheesy Witch Symbolism, don’t you think?  And yet, I can’t help but notice all the OBVIOUS parallels between THIS sleepy town, and TVD’s Mystic Falls. 

I mean, think about it, you’ve got the whole Small Town Hiding a Big Supernatural Secret thing . . . the Founding Families thing . .  . even the whole Old Diaries and Letters from the Past Inform the Present thing.  Plus, I’m willing to bet there’s only One Bar / Social Establishment HERE too!

“Been there, drunk that.”

1:25 – “Cassie!  I’m really glad you’re here.”  But I’m not glad that my kid died of some Weird Witchcraft Accident . . . because that would be, you know, inappropriate.”

 “This is the part where my eyes glow bright red, and I snap your neck.  Oh . . . wait . . . wrong show.  Sorry!”

Hmmm . . . Grandma looks pretty young to have a grandchild in her late teens, doesn’t she?  Come to think of it, most of the “parents” on this show, appear to be a bit young looking.  Maybe being a witch comes with anti-aging powers, or something?

I have to say, I’m already worried about Grandma’s fate on this show.  After all, we all know full well that the statistics regarding Grandmas surviving supernatural dramas are not exactly in her favor.  Just ask Sookie’s Granny on True Blood . . .

 . . . or Bonnie’s grandma on The Vampire Diaries .

Oh wait, you can’t ask them . . . because they are both DEAD!

1:35 – “And she will soon discover that her arrival will bring the Town’s Dark Secret to light.”

“If I see anything I haven’t seen before, I’ll throw a dollar at it.”

I love how when the voiceover teased that the Town had “Dark Secrets,” they chose to show us an image of Open-Shirted Nick, of all things . . .

Hot?  Yes.  Damon Salvatore-caliber hot?  No.

So, is that supposed to be the town’s Big Dark Secret, that hot guys hang out in windows with their shirts open?  Still, the fact that this six-minute preview featured BOTH a death, and a half-naked hot man, I find VERY promising . . .

1:37 –

And . . . here we are at Chance Harbor High.  So, do you think Cassie will actually GO TO SCHOOL on this show, or will she be a TOTAL derelict, like Elena Gilbert?

“Hey!  I resent that remark.  I am a VERY good student.  I attend EVERY school dance!”

1:40 – “We are happy to have you here, Cassie.  I’m Principal Chamberlain.  Your mother was  . . . very special to me.  And by “special” I mean I wanted to use my magical powers to turn her into a slug.

I once saw the woman pictured above in a movie, where she enticed a man to have sex with her, seconds before MORPHING INTO A SERIOUSLY UGLY ALIEN LIFEFORM, AND IMPALING HIS HEAD WITH HER SNAKE-LIKE TONGUE!  So, yeah, I don’t care how pretty Principal Chamberlain is, or how nice of a smile she has . . . I don’t trust her!

1:46 – “Have you seen her yet?”

“Did I SEE her?  I did a little striptease for her in front of my bedroom window.  She is now pregnant with my children.  Magical Powers ROCK!”

Well, HELLO LOVE TRIANGLE!  The romantic aspects of this tale COULD prove to be particularly interesting, considering that both of Cassie’s suitors are, at this time, technically “taken” by other members of the Secret Circle.  I’m eager to see how this plays out in the show’s first season.  However, beyond that, I already feel like, if this show wants to last, it’s going to need MORE hot male blood infused in it, and FAST!

1:53 – “She’s meeting a new Circle of Friends.”

Was it just me?  Or did this scene IMMEDIATELY make you think of the movie Mean Girls?  Phoebe Tonkin was ABSOLUTELY channeling Regina George, when she pulled that little locker trick.  Is it any wonder that her sidekick, Melissa, played Plastique in Smallville?  Get it . . . Plastique?  As in . . . The Plastics?

2:02 – “I saw you in school today.  How was your first day?”

*brood, smoulder, smirk, brood, smoulder, smirk*

Adam, i.e. Love Interest Number 1, is clearly angling for the “Dark yet Sensitive Type.”  How original!  It could work though.  So, far, I’m kind of seeing him as a cross between Stefan Salvatore and Jeremy Gilbert.  Anybody else getting those vibes from him?

2:20 – “With her here, we have REAL POWER now!”

 

And so the power to control the Circle begins between the “Good Witch” and the “Bad Witch.”  For the sake of the show, I’m hoping things are a bit more complicated than that.  Otherwise, the dichotomy will get real old, real fast.  I’m definitely liking Faye, as the edgy, yet vulnerable, villainess on the show, however.  She shows real promise . . .

2:33 – “How did the fire go out?”

Only YOU can prevent witchcraft-induced car fires . . .

It’s interesting that Faye, in trying to make Cassie recognize her supernatural abilities, chose, of all things, a Car Fire, especially considering that a Witchy Fire just so happened to be what killed the poor girl’s MOTHER.  And just like I wondered why Cassie’s mom, who KNEW she was a witch, didn’t use her powers to put out the fire, Faye seems to be wondering the same thing about Cassie.

As for the whole Rescue Thing . . .

. . .  did the writers REALLY expect us not to think about Twilight, here.  I know, I know, the book series on which this show is based came out LONG before Twilight did.  But those books also came out before a lot of the future fans of this show were BORN!

For better or worse, Twilight is what we remember NOW.  So, how could the creators of this show not see the quiet brooding supernatural creature, putting out the fire with his “powers,” and rescuing the damsel in distress from the flames, and not immediately think of Edward and Bella?  Just sayin’.

Oh, and Cassie TOTALLY screams like a girl! 🙂

3:09 – “Cassie, wait!  I think I can help.”

Umm . . . yeah, because THAT place isn’t creepy, AT ALL!  It kind of looks like the house at the end of the Blair Witch Project.  *shudders*

We are now half-way through the trailer.  And FINALLY, Cassie gets introduced to the titular “Secret Circle.”  It’s about damn time!

3:32 – “Oh, for god sakes, SPIT IT OUT!  You’re a witch.  You are a full-blooded, 100% witch.  We ALL ARE.”

Haha!  Well, thank you, FAYE!  I always hate when books and television shows take about 35 minutes to come clean about something you already figured out from reading the book jacket or watching the trailer.  At least ONE of the characters on this show has enough sense to call the REST of the characters out on their B.S.  3.5 minutes in, and Faye is already, by far, my favorite character on this show.

3:45 – “Each family has a book.  A book that lays out each family line.”

Ahh, yes the Obligatory Ancient Book wherein you can find the Convenient Cure Alls for all your Plot Problems!  You can’t have a  supernatural series without one!  Speaking of TVD-parallels, as I mentioned earlier, I also found the “six families” concept, to be very “Founding Families-esque. 

Oh, and for those of you who have ever seen the film The Craft, Melissa’s speech, about the Circle only being able to do “lame” spells, until Cassie came along, ABSOLUTELY reminds me of a similar comment made in that film.

 

4:03 – “We can’t let it happen AGAIN.”

Oh, Silly Naive Granny!  Don’t ask the Evil Alien Lady questions like that!  Have I mentioned yet how worried I already am about the fate of this character?

4:17 – “It was covered up.  Something went wrong.  People got hurt.   So, they abolished witchcraft.”

The way they ordered the images in this particular 10-second sequence definitely made it seem as though Thomas Meade killed Cassie’s mom, so that she would be forced to return to Chance Harbor, and complete the “Circle.”  The question is “Why?”  What sort of spell does he want them to cast?

4:28 – “With Cassie here, our powers are magnified ten times over.”

Uh oh!  SOMEONE made it rain, but didn’t remember to bring her umbrella.  Not too swift.

The next sequence features a few images of Faye being “bad ass” with her “rain-making” powers.   I don’t know why they always do crap with the weather in these witch shows.  If I had witchy powers, I’d make myself a millionaire, who looked like a model, and force all hot male celebrities to fall instantly in love with me.  It’s called “creativity” witches.  It’s time you got some .  .  . And I mean that in more ways than one . . . 

We also see that Cassie’s Return has spurred an already restless Faye to more vigorously challenge Diana’s position of power within the Circle.  The problem is, with only six members, being the “leader” of the Circle doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal.  This is definitely a situation where having more “coven” members would have bolstered the plot.

4:45 – “My dear, sweet Cassie.  You finding this means I am gone, and for that I am so sorry.”

Speaking of cliches in supernatural stories . . . here comes the Mandatory, Mildly Touching, Plot Explanation Letter from an Important Dead Person in the Protagonist’s Life  . . . YAY!

4:57 – “It’s incredible.”

Oh, Hell to the NO!  Not another, Romantic Use of Magic Moment!  Where have I seen THIS before?

Oh, that’s right . . . EVERYWHERE!  And, then we have the Almost Kiss . . .

Now, THAT is what I call an appropriate use of your powers, Adam . . . the power to get into your not-girlfriend’s panties.  Well played, Stud . . . at least, until she LEFT YOUR ASS in the forest!

5:15 – “Bad things happen, when you mess with fate.”

And even WORSE things happen, when you mess with Evil-Eyed Thomas Meade, Random Guy!

5:29 – “I was a good friend of your mother’s (and by ‘good friend’ I mean ‘murderer’).”

I LOVE the twist that Evil Thomas Meade is actually GOOD WITCH Diana Meade’s DAD!  I genuinely didn’t see that one coming.  Except, I REALLY don’t think this guy is old enough to have an 17 or 18 year old daughter, do you?  Like I said . . . Witch Fountain of Youth. 

5:37 – “You did the right thing bringing her here.  She has the gift.”

A-HA!  I knew the Alien Principal and Evil-Eyed Meade were in CAHOOTS!  (Just so you know, “cahoots” is my new favorite word.  Except to see it a lot on this blog in the future . . . )

5:40 –

Awww, Nick is writing Cassie grammatically incorrect love letters from his window!  Next thing you know, he will be connecting two soup cans together, with pipe cleaners, and trying to use it as a cell phone.  Speaking of cell phones, doesn’t NICK have one?  I mean, he can’t CALL Cassie, and ASK her if she’s OK?  Talk about LAZY!

5:47 – “I don’t have to do a thing.  The Circle will take care of that without even knowing it.”

[Insert Evil Laugh Here]

OK.  So, how manyof you were actually fooled into thinking that Principal Chamberlain was a “nice lady?”  Yeah, I didn’t think so . . .

5:56 –  “Believe in the power of the Circle . . . You have incredible Power.  People will come for it.  They will come for YOU.”

“Make it stop.”  (My sentiments exactly, Cassie.  This trailer needs to STOP, before you spoil the entire first season . . . or, at least, the first episode.)

And so, we come to the point in our script, where Cassie finally embraces who she is, and uses her powers to stop that Freak Rainstorm that Faye made, earlier in the trailer.  Should we be happy, that Cassie is doing what Fate has seemingly intended for her to do?  Or do we fear that she is playing right into the hands of the Evil Adults? 

I guess you will have to WATCH this Fall to find out . . .

And there you have it, an extended preview of this falls new “hot” supernatural drama, The Secret Circle . . .

So, what did you think?  Will you stay tuned to the CW after TVD, and try this one out, for a “spell?”  Or do you plan to vanquish this series from your memory, forever?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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10 Things I Learned from Watching Lost’s “Across the Sea” that Might Help Me Later in Life . . .

[This is a snarky Lost post.  One that contains subtle (if, perhaps, ineffective) attempts at using humor, to discuss certain aspects of this week’s episode.  If you are a “serious” Lost fan who ONLY enjoys “serious” Lost episode analysis, this might not be the best place for you to hang out . . .]

Seeing as Lost is supposed to be a “smart show” . . .

“Sawyer is DREAMY!”

. . . and I subscribe to the school of thought that television can be educational, whenever I watch Lost, I am always on the lookout for whatever tidbits of knowledge I can glean from Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and Co.  Since I learned quite a few things from this week’s Jacob and MIB-centric Lost episode, I figured, why not share that knowledge with my readers?  So, without further adieu, here is my list of the Ten Things I Learned from Lost’s “Across the Sea” that Might Help Me Later in Life:

1) If you are about to give birth on a seemingly deserted island, and you run into C.J. Cregg from The West Wing, except she’s looking a bit worse for wear, and rocking some SERIOUSLY bad hair extensions . . . RUN . . . AWAY . . . FAST!

2)  When expecting a child, always have a few spare names handy.  You never know, when you might unexpectedly give birth to twins. 

Because, if your second child doesn’t have a name, people may very well start referring to him or her, by using the title of a popular comic book or movie franchise. 

No child wants that . . .

3)  You know how it’s considered rude to exclude people from your conversation, by whispering to others in front of them, or speaking in a different language that you know they won’t understand?  Well, the same goes for dead people and haunting. 

“Oops!”

Haunt ALL of your kids or NONE of your kids!  To do otherwise, is just plain mean . . .

4) Speaking of MEAN hauntings, if you plan on reaching out to your child in the afterlife, and instructing him or her to GO somewhere (like say “off the island”), it might be nice, if you told your child HOW TO GET THERE . . .  (Not everyone who sees dead people, can also read their minds).

“You got THAT right!”

5) Not the favorite child in your family?  That’s OK.  All you have to do to remedy this is NEVER LEAVE HOME . . . EVER.  That way, when the “favorite” child eventually leaves (and he or she definitely will), your “parents” will be stuck with you, and you ALONE.  So they’re going have to pretend to like you better.

Still breastfed, after all these years . . .

6) A little color can spice up anyone’s wardrobe!  Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

The Man in Black / Man in White Look?  SO LAST SEASON!

And, if, by chance, you CHOSE a particular colored wardrobe, because you are supposed to represent some sort of metaphor, like say “Good” or “Evil,” worry not.  There are plenty of other ways to establish the true nature of your soul, through fashion.  For example, if you are supposed to be the “bad guy,”  you can wear a skull and crossbones tattoo;

 or a handlebar mustache (That just screams evil!);or the Ghostface mask from Scream (See?  Evil can wear WHITE too!).

7) If you have the magical ability to put “spells” on your kids to prevent them from killing one another, you might want to include YOURSELF in those spells . . . Just saying.

Tying up your potentially murderous children would be another option . . .

8 ) Speaking of spells, if you have the power to prevent yourself from getting old, and/or the unique opportunity to look the same age for all eternity, why choose middle-aged, when you can skew younger . . .  like the vampires and werewolves do?

Heidi Montag, take note . . .

9) When hanging out by a deep, rock-filled, body of water with your brother, who wants you dead, prepare for the inevitable.  Always keep handy the following: a life jacket,

 a life saver, 

and some swimmies. 

Heck, even a kickboard might work, in a jam . . .

And, finally . . .

10) If you happen to end up dead and buried on a seemingly deserted island, and people find you a LONG TIME later, in the future, they are ALWAYS going to call you “Adam and/or Eve. ”

To prevent this from happening, might I suggest wearing a nametag.  Here’s one I particularly like .  . .

So, there you have it, my list of the ten things I learned from Lost’s “Across the Sea” that might help me (or you) later in life.  Who said television wasn’t educational?

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At First Bite: An Excerpt from Hollywood Warlock – A Novel by Julie Kushner

Chapter 1

At First Bite

The mood on the set of At First Bite, the much anticipated prequel to the critically acclaimed The Vampire Chronicles, was undoubtedly one of anticipation.  After all, filming was to start in just a few short minutes on what cast and crew knew would be a surefire blockbuster.  Heck, with the world economy in the crapper, and people’s lives going down the toilet right along with it, who wasn’t in need of a little supernatural escapist fantasy?  And what better way to escape than into the arms of a dangerous undead blood sucker?  The marketing department often joked that the tagline for the film should be “Recessions Bite, and So Does He.”

            Frenetic energy reverberated around the set, as everyone prepared for the film’s pivotal first scene, in which Vampire Lestrange encounters the naïve yet strong-willed heroine, Rebecca.  The prop department was busy strategically splattering “blood” (an odorous mixture of tomato paste, chocolate syrup, and lord knows what else) on the walls and floor, while white lab-coat wearing makeup specialists fussed over a highly realistic dismembered plastic corpse.  As a cumulative result of these activities, the sound stage bore greater resemblance to an Emergency Room surgery gone horribly awry than the filming locale for a high-budget action/horror flick set during the Victorian era. 

The rendezvous between the film’s two leads was to occur just moments after Lestrange, unbeknownst to Rebecca, had turned her sister Mary into a vampire.  The only problem was that film’s star, Justin Warlock, was still in his trailer, and no one seemed capable or willing to get him onto the set.

            “He’s doing what?  You’re kidding right?  Oh, I don’t get paid enough for this shit.”

            Kate McElwain paced back and forth in front of the craft services cart, barely able to contain her rage, as her agent tried in vain to prevent her from bodily removing her costar from his trailer.  Given her mood, he quickly decided honesty of the non-sugar coated variety would be the best approach.

            “Sweetie, you know Justin Warlock has always had a reputation for being a bit . . . How do I say it kindly?  Promiscuous.  But the boy brings box office, so we just have to bite our tongues.”

            “You bite your tongue.  I’m going to bite his balls off with those fake vampire fangs!” 

            Although touted by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “Top Ten New Faces to Watch in Hollywood This Year,” Kate McElwain, at 22, was already somewhat of an industry veteran.  Daughter of long-time soap opera starlet, Marlene McElwain, Kate practically grew up on film and television sets.  In fact, her career began when she was just eight months old, and was chosen, along with another baby who looked remarkably similar to her, to play the newborn daughter of her mother’s character on Days of Our Lives.

            As Kate got older, she had little trouble landing modeling gigs and commercials, due to her uncanny resemblance to her mother.  “It’s almost as if we created a time machine, went back about 25 years, retrieved Marlene from the past and brought her back here to repeat her career,” Marlene’s manager proclaimed about Kate.  With her petite frame, strawberry blond hair, pouty pink lips, and deep piercing blue eyes, Kate was the picture of naivety and innocence. 

As such, even though Kate was hardly a teenager, she was often cast to play “damsel in distress” types much younger than herself.  In fact, her role in At First Bite was no different.  Given Kate’s penchant for innocent roles, those who met her in her personal life were often surprised and amused to learn that she had the mouth of a truck driver and a temper to match.

“I mean, seriously, we haven’t even started filming yet, and already he’s missing call times because he’s diddling extras in his trailer?” Kate griped.  “Why doesn’t anyone just go get him, for Christ sake?”

“From what I’ve heard, no one interrupts Justin Warlock while he is ‘otherwise engaged,” the agent replied coyly.

Kate had never actually met Justin in person; although, she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t familiar with his career and reputation.  First discovered by his agent at a shopping mall at the age of 16, 25-year old Justin Warlock made a career out of playing the leading man in romantic comedies and Nicholas Sparks-esque dramas.  In addition to being a consistent fixture on People Magazine’s Sexiest Male List, Warlock was also a notorious playboy.  In fact, since starring in his first feature film at 18-years old, Justin has been romantically linked with every single one of his costars.  However, none of these romantic relationships had been rumored to last long after the movie premiere.

“Screw that!” Kate exclaimed, “Justin Warlock’s no supernatural being.  He’s just a dick who can’t keep it in his pants long enough to get to work on time.  I don’t see what everyone’s so fucking afraid of!”  And with that, she stalked off, leaving her agent to shake his head at his client’s tempestuousness.

Typically, by the time filming commenced, lead actors had already met one another at least a half a dozen times to conduct script read-throughs and navigate press junkets.  However, At First Bite’s Director expressly prohibited his on-screen duo from meeting prior to filming the first scene.  Rather, he desired their initial reactions to one another to be “fresh and unfettered.”  According to the Director, an actor’s and actress’s meeting on the first day of filming should be like a virgin bride’s first encounter with her husband on her wedding night, charged with anxiety and anticipation.  Kate thought that idea was a bunch of crap.  She was no virgin, and she was quite certain Justin wasn’t one either.  But far be it for her to mess with the Director’s “vision.”

Right now, vision or no vision, Kate was ready to have a little chat with El Director about her MIA costar.  When Kate approached “the man in charge,” he was hard at work on the Friday edition of the New York Times Crossword puzzle.  His tongue cradled his upper lip in concentration, as he struggled over one of the tougher clues.  The 40ish gentleman, whose salt and pepper hair, olive complexion and finely muscled physique gave him a George Clooney-type appeal, did not seem at all perturbed that his film was not running on schedule.  In fact, he seemed the picture of relaxation.

“Umm . . . Leo?”

The Director looked up from his puzzle and offered Kate a winning smile.  “Miss McElwain.  You look troubled.  Please, have a seat,” he said, patting a chair next to his own.  “How can I ease your spirits?”

Kate sat gingerly in the chair next to her Director.  Although it was going to take all of the inner strength she could muster, the young actress desperately wanted to appear diplomatic, knowing it was far too early in the game to piss off her boss by appearing too pushy.

“Well,” she started, “I am very eager to begin shooting our first scene.”

The Director laughed, a hearty Santa Claus “Ho, Ho, Ho,” which seemed incongruous with his lean-muscled frame.  “Ahhh, me too, me too,” chortled the Director, “It’s high time we popped that cherry.”

Ughh, more creepy virgin bride references.  Please, just kill me now.  Kate thought, but forced herself to remain courteous.  “Right . . . so the thing is, I was kind of wondering if you knew whether our ‘star’ would be making an appearance on set any time soon?”

“You think I should go get him, right?”  The Director responded, looking at Kate slyly.  “Yeah, I guess I should get him,” he rose from his seat and offered Kate his hand to help her out of the chair, “Come with me?”

Kate had no desire to go anywhere near that trailer, but again she recognized she had to be polite.  “Sure,” she said and followed the Director toward the trailers.  At least something was finally getting done. 

As they approached Justin’s trailer, Kate and the Director could hear the distinct sounds of sex coming from inside the doorway.  Kate was disgusted, but the Director simply appeared amused.  He glanced back at Kate.  “On second thought, why don’t you wait outside,” he said, before quickly climbing the steps and rapping on the door.  There was a brief pause, a few nervous shrieks and a hustle of activity, before the door opened a crack and the Director escaped inside, abruptly shutting the door behind him.

Kate was seething, as she waited outside the trailer alone, her foot tapping incessantly up and down, her arms wrapped tightly across her chest.  After a few moments, the door to the trailer opened.  Four women, all rather cheap-looking in Kate’s estimation, climbed out into the daylight, in various states of undress, each with the same lovesick grins on their faces, and dopey looks in their eyes.  If Kate hadn’t been too nervous about shooting to eat breakfast that morning, she probably would have puked right then and there.

Then the Director re-emerged, but this time with the man of the hour himself, Justin Warlock.  The two seemed to be having an uproariously good time, just yucking it up, which only served to make Kate madder.  Simultaneously, they both noticed her glaring at them and, like insolent school boys, guiltily wiped the shit-eating grins from their mugs.  “I’ll meet you both back on set,” called the Director.  He winked at Kate before briskly walking away, leaving the pair all by themselves.  So much for the “wedding night.”

Justin Warlock approached Kate, not with the confident swagger of a guy who just got laid by four women, but rather with the childlike exuberance of an eight-year old chasing after an ice cream truck.  With his tussled sun-kissed sandy brown hair, uncommonly long eyelashes, and obnoxiously adorable nose, the actor appeared to be nothing like the nymphomaniacal Adonis Kate had read about in the tabloids.  And yet, to the actress’s deep discomfort, Justin’s youthful pretty- boy body definitively smelled of sex.  Annoyed, Kate stared at the floor, desperately trying to avoid her costar’s good mood, which was being broadcast like radio waves from his dimpled smile and impossibly straight Crest advertisement white teeth.

“Wow . . . Kate McElwain!  I’ve been dying to meet you, since, like, forever,” announced Justin in the slightly-raspy voice Kate had heard so many times in movies.  He bowed slightly and held his hand out for Kate to shake.  Kate stared at the abhorrent hand as if it was infested with the intermingled juices of cheaply-perfumed floosies (which it probably was), and took a step back.  She would not be won over so easily.

The ingénue looked up at her nemesis, hands clenched, ready for battle.  Her vitriolic words spilled out of her like bullets shot from a tommy gun.  “OK.  Let’s get something straight, right off the bat.  I get that you’re Mister Sexiest Man Alive, and that you have scripts being thrown at you every day from here to Scandinavia, but some of us actually need this job.  So, in the future, if you need to get your cock sucked by one of the members of your bimbo harem, I’d really appreciate it if you did it on your own time.”

Wow, it felt really good to get that off her chest.  Kate took a deep breath.  Then, she looked up at Justin to gauge his reaction to her outburst.  For a moment, he didn’t appear to react at all.  Then, shock registered on his face.  Clearly, he had never been spoken to like that by anyone before, particularly not a woman.  Kate even worried for a second or two that he might hit her.  Instead, he did something even more unexpected.

Gently, Justin clasped Kate’s hand, looking deep into her blue eyes with his rounded blinking emerald green ones, which seemed as though they should belong to a boy much younger than the actor himself.  “Kate, you are absolutely 100% right . . . about everything.  What I did was completely selfish, unreasonably inconsiderate, and just plain stupid.  You deserve better, and I promise to be better from now on.  I am really . . . truly sorry.”

Unprepared for this type of response, Kate was utterly at a loss for words, and could do nothing but stare back into Justin’s eyes.  Even as Justin delivered his “heartfelt” apology, Kate knew that she was being played.  This guy was totally bullshitting her.  He didn’t mean a word of it.  And yet, while her mind was saying “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit,” on autopilot, her body was responding in another way entirely. 

The warmth from Justin’s hand sent tingles up her spine and throughout her body.  Immediately, her mouth became dry and her knees nearly buckled.  Try as she might, she could not pull herself away from Justin’s entrancing stare and her eyes watered at the unblinking effort.  Suddenly, she had this intense impulse to rip off his shirt and run her hands over his muscled abdominals.  She imagined herself kissing his thin lips as he nibbled on her neck. 

Kate longed to touch the firm bulge in Justin’s designer khakis.  Just moments ago, she hated this man, who seemed to stand in the way of her career and was against everything she stood for.  Now, she couldn’t bear to let go of his hand, which, to her embarrassment, she was gripping tightly with her recently manicured nails.

            And yet, as excited as she was by these feelings, they also frightened her to her very core.  After all, Kate wasn’t the type of girl to go gaga over a man as seemingly shallow as Justin Warlock.  In fact, Kate wasn’t the type of girl to go gaga over any man at all.  You see, Kate McElwain was a lesbian.

_______________________________________________________________

Thirsty for more?  Click this link to find out how you can purchase your own copy of Hollywood Warlock. 

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/hollywood-warlock/6227611?showPreview

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