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ONCE UPON A TIME: Ridiculously Bad Life Choices (S4:E20 – Insert obligatory weed reference here)

sees her

Regrets. We all have them. Sometimes they are little, like the time you drank too much and said those things you weren’t supposed to say. Sometimes they are big, like the time you ruined a friendship or broke the heart of someone you loved.

Sometimes they are friggin’ huge, like the time you kidnapped a baby, turned it into the biggest asshole ever, and dumped it through a time portal . . .

ouat 4.2 snow baby

Oh, so you are saying you never did that last one? Maybe that’s just Snow and Charming . . .

This week’s installment of Once was all about the balance between taking responsibility for our own crappy mistakes and understanding that there are some things in life that simply cannot be changed . . . well . . . unless you happen to know an Author who can conveniently erase your mistakes for you, thereby allowing you to f*ck up to your heart’s content.

Also this week on Once, Swan Queen road trips, car chases, kids who change nationalities when they become adults, a heart that gets tossed around like a hot potato, and a baby conceived under the creepiest circumstances ever, and I’m not even talking about the one that hatched out of an egg . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Black Smoke Monster Cometh!

Bet you didn’t know the Black Smoke Monster from Lost is also the Sorcerer on Once Upon a Time. That sure is one busy time traveling fart . . .

text smoke

As the episode begins, Old Hairy Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse is pleading with the Black Smoke Monster Sorcerer. “Please don’t vacuum me up into fart oblivion like you did to the drug runner on Lost. I really didn’t mean to play a part in sucking all of Emma’s assholeness out of her and putting it into Lily. It just sort of happened.”

Sorcerers_Apprentice

“Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. I don’t know what I expected, hiring a dumb unkempt hobo to be my apprentice. I blame that Author, which is why I locked him in a book forever, where he will never be found, until those meddling kids release him 30 years or so from now. . .”

Thirty years later . . .

Cruella’s Dead. It’s Vacation Time!

Our gang mourns Dead Socio Cruella for the required three minutes and twenty seconds (I wonder whose job it was to scoop up her squished body from the bottom of that cliff?), before heading back to Granny’s to get wasted. “I’m going to kill Rumpel for making me kill Cruella,” Emma says, her eyes filled with Asshole.

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“Whatchu talkin bout, Dark!Emma?”

“Hey, ease up on the killing talk, Killer,” offers Snow. “That’s just the Asshole in you talking.”

“Shut up, I still hate you and your hideous haircut,” replies Emma.

“This has been fun and all, but I have to go rescue my boyfriend from his wife . . . the fake one, obviously,” Regina explains.

Enter Maleficent. “Hey guys. I’ve decided I want to change teams.”

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“You’re going to become a lesbian?” Emma asks.

“No, silly. I was always a lesbian,” explains Maleficent. “Think about it, I asexually reproduced my daughter in an egg. I’m talking about joining Team Good Guys. I think you can help me find my daughter, Lily, somewhere in Massachusetts. You might remember her from back when she was a Latina girl in that flashback. She’s no longer Latina, since her face turned into another actress. But I’m sure you can find her anyway.”

lily and emma together

“Well, this is awkward,” says Emma, when she sees the 30-year old birth announcement Maleficent found of Lily. (How did she know it was the same Lily, especially considering the girl changes nationalities every few years? Did the birth announcement mention she cracked out of an egg?)

baby dragon

“I was kind of an asshole to that little asshole, back in the day,” Emma admits.

“Aint’ fate a bitch,” offers Regina sympathetically. “Hey, I’ve got an idea, Emma. You and me can road trip to Massachusetts to pick up Lily, then New York to pick up Robin Hood, then Disney World to ride the scary Snow White ride, where you and I can both get out all of our aggression against your awful mother and her ridiculous hair.”

fate a bitch
“I’m sitting right here,” Snow White chimes in.

“Nobody cares,” Regina and Emma say in unison.

Regina and Emma quickly make arrangements for their road trip. Regina hires Maleficent to guard Belle’s heart from Rumpel. And Emma grudgingly hires her parents to watch Henry. She also sexts Captain Hook some naughty pics of her to keep him warm while she’s away. Just kidding, but they do share some serious PDA as she’s leaving and admit that they are part of one another’s happy endings . . .

pda

It’s all very sweet. Captain Hook is going to be a brilliant housewife someday . . .

You can check out the rest of this recap HERE!

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

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stefan shrug

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

kind of dead

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 . . .

wait here

Still waiting .  . .

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

Any minute now .  . .

dont feel anything

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

3 3 bored honour in

*whistles uncomfortably*

awkward 2

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

worst apocalypse ever

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?

swak

*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

silas big fat problem

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defans jeremy hulk

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.

caroline carter

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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no allure 2 no allure 3

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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.

calories

bite

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

3 11 klaroline gift from klaus 1 loveablesins

my little pony

ride the pony

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 .  . .

football

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

klaus cheers

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 . .  .

santa klaus

He REJECTED HER!

angry caroline

“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 . . .

rawr damon

So begins, Damon’s Bedtime Story to Elena.

bed elena

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

lexi shortcake

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.

lexie damon

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!

suck face

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.)

the kat eating apple petrova gifs

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!

kids cry

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!

spoby sex

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.

thirsty damon 2

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?)

phone 1

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

phone 2

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.

3 12 confused damon

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?

its will dying

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

cure one more time

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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?

shakes head

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.

crushing beks moonlight-dream

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 . . .

BabyScared

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?

3 18 beks nice life salvatore falls

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!

stefan salvatore fist pump best

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).

ian says awesome

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).

got to be kidding

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!

bitch mode activated

Binge and Purge – Wiccan Style

just met

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

bonnie shane 2

call witch

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

kill maybe

“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.

creepy dead

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

pissed craft

exist to me

dark willow

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

windows

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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?

stupid bitch chasing the ghost

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

nodding oh yeah

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 . . .

white eyes

beautiful eyes haha

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

draco malfoy facepalm

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.

killed 12

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!

waves

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Elena the Cheerleader Slayer – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Bring it On”

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Welcome back, Fangbangers!   This week on TVD, we got a chance to meet BAAAAAD Elena.  For those who are confused, BAAAAD Elena is actually not all that different from Good Elena.  She just wears less clothes, and eats more people!  (After all, perpetual nudity does cause one to work up an appetite . . . or so I’ve heard.)

freaking hungry

Also, in this episode, Klaus, the thousand-year old vampire drawer of ponies, ugly snowflakes, and random shapeless mounds of what look like poop “artist” extraordinaire, FINALLY GOT LAID, thus making him a hero for geriatrics everywhere!

klaus cheers

funny face grandpa

OK, so, it may not have been the most eventful TVD episode ever (or the second most, or even the eighth most).  But I guess after the doom and gloom of “Stand by Me,” the writers thought we were in need of something a little lighter . . . like a cheerleading competition!

spirit fingers

So, tighten up that high ponytail, puff up your pom-poms, and, for heaven sakes, leave that blue hair ribbon at home, because it’s time to “BRING IT ON!”

[As always, special thanks to Andre for the kickass screencaps.  This may be the first time, in a long time that he’s liked an episode more than I did.  Go figure!]

Drive-Thru Fast Food

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She may be emotion free, and have terrible manners.

dont feel anything

kind of dead

But our Bad Elena is an incredible little student.  Look how effortlessly she perfected the Katherine and Damon method of Roadside Dine n’ Dash!

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One small problem, of course.  For an undead girl, Bad Elena makes for a very unconvincing corpse.  At least Katherine and Damon bloodied their faces and went easy on the guyliner, for their “Monthly Street Lie-In.”  Not only was Bad Elena’s makeup flawless, her outfit unwrinkled, and her hair un-mussed, on her Roadkill Debut, but, for whatever reason, girlfriend decided to lay in the road, SPREAD EAGLED?

spread eagle

It kind of makes you wonder what Bad Elena was supposedly doing, before she was “hit by a car,” to make her “land” in such a precarious position.  Cheerleading, perhaps?  Or, maybe, something even more “athletic” . . .

delena sex real

ian says awesome

Anywhoo, our nameless, identity-free, unsuspecting, driver stops to help Roadkill Elena (as all nameless, identity-free, unsuspecting, drivers inevitably do), and ends up with a neck-full-of gore for her trouble.

friday yet

“Is it Friday yet?”

Have no fear, Nameless, Identity-free, Unsuspecting Driver!  Damon Salvatore has arrived to rescue you!

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“Elena, darling.  Save some room for dessert!”

 I mean, sure, you are still probably going to be spending the next month of your life, sporting the ugliest neck hickey in the History of Neck Hickeys.  But hey, look on the bright side, at least you still have a neck!

happy elena

Damon tells Elena to “practice some restraint.” It’s worthwhile noting that this comment that would have been a lot funnier, had it been said by Season 1 Damon . . .

rawr damon

. . . than by Season 4 Damon, who — much to Delena fans’ chagrin — has somehow managed to only have sex with Elena ONE TIME, since this whole Sire Bond storyline crapped on graced our screens.

is this real

Season 4 Damon is the Granddaddy of Restraint, at least when it comes to his superhuman ability to nurse these . . .

blue balls

Coed Naked Elena

Damon drags a bloody faced, perpetually bored looking, but decidedly less hungry, Elena back home.  Shortly thereafter, at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Daddy Damon has a “family meeting” with Mommy Stefan, and Judgmental-Older Sister Caroline about how to handle their new unruly vampire baby.

listen

“Are they talking about me?  They are totally talking about me, aren’t they?”

Sidenote:  I did find myself briefly amused by the fact that, of ALL the houses in Mystic Falls, the SALVATORE water supply, just so happens to be the only one not laced with vervain.  Not only is that ridiculously convenient plot wise — how else would we get to see five glorious minutes of Damon singing in the shower, every other episode? — it’s also SUCH a major failure on the part of the Mayor.   I mean, Mystic Falls doesn’t seem like that BIG of a town, right?  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that at least 15% of the town’s vampire population currently lives, has lived at, or WILL live at La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  And THAT’S the house they miss vervaining?

surrounded by idiots

Then again, this guy is related to Bonnie.  So, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised . . .

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Sorry, to all you Bonnie lovers out there.  I’m not sorry.

(Speaking of everyone’s favorite Witch Who Joined the Cult of Silas, girlfriend was notably absent from this week’s cheer festivities, thus proving that Shane/Silas ruins EVERYTHING . . . even extracurricular activities.)

fanboy 2

But back to this All-Important Family Meeting, Elena walks in on it, as unruly vampire babies are wont to do.  But, here’s the kicker, she’s TOTALLY NAKED . . . which would be a lot more surprising, if we hadn’t seen it in the promos.

naked elena

naked torrence

Still, it was fun to see the various characters’ reactions, to Elena in her birthday suit.  They were embarrassed (Stefan), amused (Damon), and aghast (Caroline) respectively.

soapy damon

see naked

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By the way, did you notice how Elena’s “It’s not like you haven’t all seen it before” statement included Caroline?  Now, THAT would make for a great fanfiction  . . .

There Goes the Neighborhood

Before Elena heads off for her first day back to school in about eight episodes since her “dehumanizing,” she and Damon play a quick game of Sire Says.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Sire Says, is a lot the Simon Says game you used to play as kids, except the commands take a lot longer to carry out than your typical, “jump on one leg,” “pat your head, while rubbing your tummy” sort of instructions.  Plus, rather than saying the typical “Sire Says,” prior to giving a command, Damon is forced to say something like, “If you really loved me you’d . . .”

want you to do

(Where have we heard that one before, ladies?)

But here’s the rub.  BAAAAAAD Elena doesn’t love anybody anymore, which kind of puts the kibosh on the whole “Sire Bond” thing.

soap dish smash

The good news about that, is that Damon can finally sex with Elena, without worrying about it being . . . you know . . . Sire Bond Sex.

damon-s-dance-o

The bad news is that, without the Sire Bond to force her to switch her emotions back on, BAAAAD Elena could very well end up being BAAAAD Elena FOREVER . . . or at least until the next Sweeps period . . .

damon soulful crying

The Quick and the Undead

In non-Elena related news (Who am I kidding?  Everything on this show somehow ties back to Elena.) , Hayley (Remember her?) is wandering around some random gas station when some hot, soon-to-be-dead, vampire comes thisclose to making her into a tasty werewolf burger.

going to eat

meat with eyes

And you are never going to guess who saves her?

nite bite

Wait, yeah you are, because you already saw the episode. It’s Klaus.  You see, Katherine wants Hayley dead, because Hayley was a party to Katherine’s plans to steal the cure, and, therefore, might know her whereabouts.  And Klaus wants Hayley alive, for the exact same reason.  Comprende?

nodding oh yeah

Now, Klaus has two people to mine for information about Katherine’s whereabouts: (1) Hayley, obviously; and (2) the now-dying-of-werewolf bite guy who just tried to kill Hayley on Katherine’s behalf.  So, he makes things easier for himself, by sending Damon and Rebekah after the one he doesn’t want to f*&k.  Convenient, right?

fantastic

How’s this for a small world?  When Damon finds Hayley’s would-be killer / Katherine’s minion, it turns out that he knows the guy!  It’s some hot vamp named “Will” from New York.  So, Damon decides to do what any self-respecting vampire would do, when he meets up with an old dying friend from New York . .  . he rips his heart out.  Nice knowing ya, Hot Will!  See ya in next week’s flashbacks!

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“Damon, don’t leave me here to die.  You’re breaking my heart!”

heart tug

smirky damon

“Problem solved!”

Also, in not-related-to-Elena news, it turns out that the mystery person whose been gorging on the local hospital blood supply is . . . wait for it . . . SILAS.  Be afraid, Scooby Gang!  Be very afraid!

surprised-face

Speaking of scary . . .

Cheerleading is a bloodsport . . .

With this odd expression on her face that makes her look like a Stepford Wife controlled by Dr. Evil . . .

blue ribbon

dr-evil

. . . Bad Elena politely requests that Cheer Captain Caroline let her back on the cheerleading squad.  Cheer Captain Caroline (who, come to think of it, bares a striking resemblance to Cheer Captain Torrence, from the first Bring it on Movie)

cheerleader again

dunst make out

. . . thinks this is an AWESOME idea . . . possibly because, in addition to spiking the town’s water supply with Vervain, the Mayor has also spiked it with Stupid.

Damon eye roll

I mean, seriously, how did Vampire Barbie not realize that this was going to end badly.  Hasn’t she ever seen Jennifer’s Body?

Caroline’s questionable judgment aside, Elena is immediately allowed back on the Cheerleading Squad.  And, then, literally the next minute, she’s at a cheer competition.  Now, that’s impressive.  I wonder what poor freshman got [eaten] kicked off the travel squad bus, so that Elena could compete.  Perhaps, it was this one .  . .

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. . . Haven’t seen the generally useless and ridiculously annoying perky April Young lately, have we?  Wouldn’t it be great if, she somehow ended up being Silas?  Just saying . . .

As someone who has attended regional sports competitions in high school, I can tell you, it’s never a good idea to leave your crap on the bus.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take your crap off the bus, OK?  For one thing, those meets are looooooong. You are typically there for hours, and are usually only competing for maybe 7 minutes of that time, if you are lucky.  So, you are definitely going to want to have your crap with you while you wait.

left my crap on bus

“I left my crap on the bus.”

“Haha, moron!”

Also, I’m sure, by now, you’ve noticed that all school buses look alike.  So, the chance of you actually locating yours, when your bus driver isn’t smoking in the front seat, are about as likely as TVD hooking up Matt with Klaus, this season.  And even if you do find it, there’s about a 95% chance it’s locked up tight, which means you’re not getting in there, until that meet is OVER!

Another reason not to leave your crap on the bus? Elena Gilbert might come there, EAT YOU, and take away your ugly blue ponytail ribbon.

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When Caroline finds Elena with a TOTALLY NOT MATCHING WITH HER RED UNIFORM blue ponytail ribbon, she is SUPER PISSED .  . . though I’m not sure whether she’s more angry about the whole “eating the competition” thing, or the fact that Elena’s blue ribbon is like totally clashing with the team uniform . . .  Whatever, the reason, she gives Elena a piece of her mind.

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This, in turn, prompts Elena to let Caroline fall on her ass during Cheer Pyramid time.

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“Last time Elena got me on my back, I was having a lot more fun . . .”

Bring it On Torrence would NEVER have stood for that!  It’s time for revenge, Caroline.  Shove that Spirit Stick right up Elena’s ass . . .

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Or, maybe, just have Stefan do that for you.  Outside Cheer Town, Stefan responds to Elena’s boredly hitting on him, by vervaining her ass and dragging her back home.

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“I think this is the most play I’ve gotten from Elena all season.”

Meanwhile, back at Klaus House  . . .

The “Art” of Seduction

Haley is not so much admiring, as, insulting Klaus’ artwork, while Klaus attempts, with only limited success, to extract from Tyler’s former Girl Friday information about Katherine’s whereabouts.  Klaus admits that he uses art as a way to exert control over the world around him.  Funny, because that’s exactly how Haley uses sex!

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Klaus wants Caroline, and information about Katherine (which Hayley might have).  Hayley wants Tyler, and information about her long lost family (which Klaus might know, based on his remark about her birthmark).  They agree to form an unholy alliance to help one another get what they want.  Instead of shaking hands on the deal, like normal humans, Klaus and Hayley decide to screw on it, which, I guess, is like shaking private parts.

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All right, now I know a lot of fans have been bitching about the whole Klaus / Haley sexual interlude thing.  They say the two actors have no chemistry with one another.  They say the whole scene seemed less designed to drive the plot, and more designed to promote the spinoff, The Originals, in which both characters have already been awarded starring roles.  They have a point . . .

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But, here’s the thing . . . I’m GLAD Klaus finally got laid on camera.  For one thing, the audience has gone way too long, without seeing Joseph Morgan shirtless, weird Sesame Street-esque triangle back tattoo, notwithstanding.  Are Klaus and Haley a great love match?  Absolutely not.  But it was starting to stretch the realms of believeability that a hormonally-charged, perpetual 20-something, would remain entirely celibate for two-plus years, all because he “fell in love” with a high school girl.  No matter how much Damon loved Elena, he was constantly getting laid, throughout the first three seasons of the series.  And if TVD had any sense of realistic character development, that’s exactly what Klaus should have been doing this whole time .  . . you know, when he wasn’t plotting World Domination and /or staking his siblings, and/or shamelessly hitting on Stefan . . .

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House Party Munchies

Over at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Elena tells Stefan that she remembers him being good in bed . . .

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. . . but only in a clinical way . . . not in a way that makes her want to marry him, and have his vampire babies .. . because that’s not what BAAAAD Elena is about.

What is BAAAAD Elena about, you ask?  PARTIES!

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That’s right!  Our impressively efficient Evil Elena somehow manages to invite the ENTIRE SCHOOL to Stefan’s house all within her five minute conversation with him.  Talk about speed text messaging!  She must have learned that from THIS GUY . . .

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Damon and Beks arrive at the party, just in time for Damon to tell Klaus Barbie that she shouldn’t really want the cure, because humans are boring . . . well, except for Human Elena, of course . . .

Break on Through

Having survived her brush with Cheer Death, Caroline arrives at the party, SUPER PISSED at her gal pal, Elena.  Her and Stefan are very worried about the state of their friend’s soul, indeed.  But not worried enough to keep them from DANCING . . . HOLLA!

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Despite Stefan having only recently finished sexing up Rebekah, and Caroline only recently having “split” with Tyler (more on that in a bit), these two have been flirting with one another, something fierce lately.   Do I smell a future hookup?  Elena sure seems to . . .

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“Why do I look so jealous?   I’m not supposed to have emotions, this week.”

Man, is this group getting incestuous. . .

We interrupt this dating game to bring you Elena trying to EAT CAROLINE’S MOM!

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“I knew becoming a cop was a mistake.  I should have become a pirate, like I wanted to back when I was a kid.”

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oh hell to the no

Watch it, Elena!  You almost killed the only parental figure left alive in Mystic Falls.  You’re going to pay . . .

It’s girl fight time!  BRING IT ON!

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And, once again, the Salvatore brothers must come to the rescue . . .

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This used to be my boyfriend’s house (Now it’s my ex-boyfriend’s house)

Poor Caroline!  Now, I’ve heard of guys breaking up with girls by voicemail, text message, post-it note, even Facebook / Twitter status update.  But I’ve never heard of a guy breaking up with a girl by deeding his house to her ex-boyfriend!  Ouch!

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And us fans thought JerBear got a bad send off, when his stinky corpse got burnt to a crisp, along with the Gilbert house.  Tyler got two minute voice over, in the same episode where Caroline very much looked like she’d already started moving on with Stefan.  Now, that’s gotta hurt!

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“Dammit!  Now, I’ll have to choose from one of the other eight boys on this show currently hitting on me.”

In lighter news, Matt Donovan, Teenage Mansion Owner, just became the RICHEST poor guy, ever!

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“I’ll buy a limousine, instead!”

Maybe now, he can finally stop working at the Only Bar / Social  Establishment in Mystic Falls, and start trying to find himself a REAL storyline . . .

A girl can dream, right?

On the Road Again . . .

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Pop Quiz:  Where’s the best place to take your now- humanity-free girlfriend on a road trip?

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Personally, I’d go with Vegas.  I mean, they call it Sin City for a reason, right.  Damon, however, opts to bring Elena to New York City, former home of the now literally heartless Will.

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This could be promising . . .

Until next time, Fangbangers!

waves

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

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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Filed under Glee

Kissing Cousins – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Kids Stay in the Picture”

“OK, men of Gossip Girl!  The race to my bed (and into my panties) begins RIGHT NOW!  On your mark . . . get set . . .GO!”

Welcome back, Upper East Siders!  Congratulations on surviving yet another interminable GG hiatus!  To reward your patience, Blair, Chuck, Serena, Dan and the rest of the gang (which, obviously, does NOT include Vanessa, because Vanessa sucks Monkey Butt)  wish to share with you five BRAND NEW hours of makeouts, makeups, breakups, betrayals, conspicuous consumption, fights, schemes gone horribly awry, and, hopefully, at least one or two SUPER HOT SEX SCENES . . .

And while this week’s episode of Gossip Girl, wasn’t exactly the most action-packed I’ve seen, it did set the stage for what looks like it will be a riveting final third of the season. 

So, slip into that ugly gold unitard, and smile for the camera . . . because this recap is about to begin!

Bed-ridden, Befuddled, and Bound for the Slammer . . .

“Have you really been in BED for the entire hiatus, Blair?  How have you NOT flunked out of college yet?”

The episode begins with the media camped outside the van der Woodsen’s home, as a result of Lily having FINALLY turned herself into the police, for forging her daughter’s signature on a legal document stating that Boring Ben statutorily raped her, back in the day.  Thank the LORD that storyline is FINALLY over!

SAYONARA, SUCKA!

Dorota, who knows how much Blair enjoys hearing about people who’s lives are worse than hers, traipses into Blair’s bedroom clutching the live news footage.  But Blair wants NO part of Serena’s Family Shame.  She is DEPRESSED, and, apparently, hasn’t left her bed for THREE WEEKS.  Of course, Mama Eleanor and Step Papa Cyrus haven’t noticed, because that would require a level of parenting simply unheard of on this show.

“We have a daughter?  So, THAT’S who’s been using the guest room all this time!”

Interestingly enough, Blair’s depression seems to have been triggered by the Saliva Swapping she engaged in with Dan Humphrey, about a month back . . .

That’s funny.  This image caused widespread depression among most Chair fans too!  Go figure!

Dorota, who assumes that Blair has “taken to her bed,” because she was fired from / quit her ridiculously unrealistic job as editorial assistant at W Magazine, gently reminds Blair that “Carmela Soprano” i.e. Edie Falco, didn’t become truly successful until age 40 . . .

The things you learn from watching Gossip Girl . . .

AGE FORTY?!  That’s like 92, in GOSSIP GIRL YEARS!  Fortunately, for Blair, she’s not going to have to wait that long.  As if, on cue, the phone rings.  It’s Epperley!   Remember THAT useless plot device of a character?

“Cheers!”

Back from her Epic Quest for Love in Bali, and ready to work once more, Epperley is now working on a photo book entitled “Modern Royalty,” which will feature photgraphs’ of Manhattan’s most elite families.  Now you would think that Blair, being a Waldorf, and the daughter of a famous fashion designer, would be the perfect person to be featured in that book.  But, conveniently, NO!  Epperley instead wants Blair to WORK at the shoot. 

“You have GOT to be kidding me?”

It’s a real testament to how much Blair Waldorf has grown over the seasons, that, not only is the Queen B, NOT upset over her family not being featured in the book, she is also TOTALLY willing to help Epperley with the event.  Soon after this phone conversation takes place, we learn that “hiring” Blair was not Epperley’s idea at all, but CHUCK’S!

“Game on, BITCHES!”

That’s right, boy and girls!  After having had his head lodged firmly up his ass, for the past five episodes, during that whole Raina Thorpe / Bass Industries nonsense, Chuck Bass has FINALLY remembered what (or, perhaps, I should say WHO) is important in his life.  And, now, he will stop at NOTHING to get what he wants . . .

“Someone told me something that made me want my own legacy, not my father’s. I can’t convince Blair of her place in it, until she’s feeling powerful again,” Chuck tells Epperley over the phone.

Chuck spends most of the early part of the episode calling various cast members to inquire after Blair.  “What has she been up to, while I was chasing a poorly written storyline Raina?  Has she been seeing anyone?”  He wonders. 

Watching these first scenes, I, of course, was THRILLED that Chuck was, once again, making a much-needed play for Blair’s heart (It’s about DAMN TIME!). 

Yet, already, I feared Chuck wasn’t going about things the right way.  Note to all you prospective suitors out there:  If you want to know what the girl of your dreams has been doing while you were “away,” and whether or not she still feelings for you, ASK HER!   Otherwise, there’s a good chance you won’t get the whole story.  Unfortunately, Chuck’s inability to get the “whole story” was what ultimately foiled his chances at long-lasting romance, this week.

“DOH!”

Meanwhile, over in Brooklyn, Dan and Mini van der Woodsen are wearing matching Farmer Flannel Shirts . . .

Weird . . .

With Nate over at the Bass Penthouse boning Raina, Poor Lonely Boy is lacking a dumping ground for his Girl Problems.  The sensitive (and currently storyline free) Mini VDW seems like a solid choice for the job of Dan’s Shrink of the Week.  “I kissed Blair,” Dan confesses, causing Eric (an obvious Chair fan) to double over in hysterical laughter.

Though Dan claims the kiss meant nothing, he does seem more than a bit curious as to how Blair felt about it, since she supposedly said NOT ONE WORD, after it occurred.  (Not a good sign Dan . . . NOT a good sign.)  Eric of course, sees right through his stepbrother’s false bravado.  “Omigod,” he exclaims, “You are ASS BACKWARDS crushing on Blair!”

Well, duh!  Isn’t EVERYBODY on this show?”

Meanwhile, back at Lily’s place . . .

 You Stay Classy, van der Woodsens!

Meet Lily van der Woodsen, and two of her FIVE husbands.  Eat your heart out, Big Love!

While, the Waldorfs may not be “”sophisticated” enough to be included in the “Modern Royalty” book, Soon-to-be Convict Lily and Slutty Serena sure ARE!  However, since it is technically the “Rhodes” family, and not the van der Woodsens’ who will be featured in the book, this gives Lily’s Evil Mother Cece an excuse to invite Lily’s estranged older sister, Carol, to be included in the picture.  Though Carol seemingly wants NOTHING to do with Lily’s hoity toity Manhattan lifestyle, she, apparently, isn’t disgusted enough by it, to give up the opportunity to have her picture featured in a book celebrating the most Most Obnoxiously Wealthy Families in America.

“What do you say we have a Botox Party to celebrate?  For old time’s sake?”

Blatant hypocrisy aside, Sister Carol won me over immediately, due largely to her unparalleled ability to rip Lily’s upper crust lifestyle to shreds, in a manner that was both extremely effective and undoubtedly hilarious.  Ways in which Carol verbally slayed Lily included: (1) referring to Dr. VDW and Rugus as husbands numbered 1 and 5, respectively; (2) talking to Serena about her mother’s Brazilian wax jobs; (3) coming up with increasingly creative ways to “subtly” make reference to Lily’s impending jail time; and (4) suggesting that the theme for the family picture be Chicago, a broadway show, which also stars a hardened female criminal.

So, why would the “Modern Royalty” book want a dysfunctional family like Lily’s featured within its pages?  Actually .  . . they don’t.  The book publishers call to cancel the photo shoot, shortly after Carol enters the building.  Feeling sympathetic to a heartbroken Lily, Dr. VDW promises her that he will “work on it.”

Good Luck, Charlie!

Oh, look!  Another seemingly innocent blonde, who’s about to become corrupted by the UES lifestyle, and will eventually go batsh*t crazy, and try to ruin Serena’s life, as a result.  Because we’ve never seen THAT before, right?

Downstairs, in the lobby of the high rise where she lives, Serena is accosted by a young woman who looks SO much like her, they could be related.  “My family is not talking to the press,” asserts Serena haughtily, who’s self-absorbed arrogance convinces her that everyone in the world is a reporter, who’s life’s purpose is to interview HER.

As it turns out, “Charlie” is NOT a reporter!  And she IS related to Serena.  In fact, she’s Carol Rhodes’ daughter, which makes her Serena’s cousin.  Curious about the EEEEVVVIL branch of her family that her mother never allowed her to meet, Charlie decided to secretly follow her mother to New York City, and find out about the van der Woodsen’s for herself.  So, Serena decides to bond with her long-lost relative the only way she knows how having sex with her: They go SHOPPING!

Though not as deliciously nasty as Carol, the socially awkward Charlie also endeared herself to me, with HER characterization of the van der Woodsen family!  When asked by Serena, why her mother thought the VDW’s were “toxic,” Charlie replied, “Both you and your brother spent time in a mental institution.  Your dad gave your mom Fake Cancer.  And your mom sent some teacher to prison, just so you could get into a fance boarding school.”

You forgot the part where my mother and I slept our way through every eligible (and some not-so-eligible) bachelors in the tri-state area!”

Meanwhile, Lily and Carol are, back at the house, strolling down memory lane as they flip through pictures of the failed pilot episode starring these two as teens them, from when they were growing up together, back in the 80’s.

This segways into a random discussion about a childhood dance routine (which Lily and Carol actually PERFORM for the camera . . . and it looks a little something like this) . . .

 . . . and .  . . get this . . . the Gold Unitards they wore during it.  Suddenly, Lily and Carol are ready to Spend Obscene Amounts of Money on Things They Don’t Need too . . . like Gold Unitards, which NO ONE over the age of FIVE should wear . . . trust me!  Of course, while shopping, Lily and Carol run into Serena and Charlie . . .

AWK-WARD!

Carol immediately begins scolding Charlie, in public, rambling on about how she doesn’t want HER daughter tainted by this Terrible Horrible Filthy Rich lifestyle to which the rest of the “Rhodes” family is already accustomed.  She then forces Charlie to return all the FABULOUS clothes she purchased (not to mention the priceless “family heirloom” Serena gave her) and head back to their spaceship HOUSE BOAT in Miami, ASAP.

But just when it seems like all hope of a family reunion is lost, Serena overhears CeCe remind her daughter Carol that SHE too has been receiving checks from Grandma Cruella Deville. for YEARS!  Serena tells Charlie this, which quickly prompts the young woman’s rebellion / decision to stay on the Upper East Side for a little while to cause more trouble for the Gossip Girl cast, like all recurring guest stars inevitably do“get to know her family.”

“Toto, I don’t think we are on the House Boat, anymore!”

Experiencing guilt over being such a hypocritical BIATCH to  her own baby sister, Carol ultimately agrees to let Charlie stay with the VDW’s.  (She even promises to visit Lily, while she’s in jail and smuggle her in pot brownies.   I KNEW I liked this chick, for a reason!) 

Of course, this is not before Carol ominously refers to some “event” that resulted in Charlie having to leave college, and warns her sister, Lily, to “watch out for [Charlie].”  Later, we see Carol leering at Charlie, as she flirts with Dan Humphrey, for the first time.  UH OH!  I think we all know where THIS is going . . .

“I REFUSE to be ignored, Lonely Boy!”

Oh, and just in case you actually cared, the van der Woodsen / Rhodes ultimately got to take their picture for the Modern Royalty book.  Dan was in the photograph, but Raccoon Zombie Jenny wasn’t, or Chuck, for that matter.  How RUDE! 

Hey!  Where are the Gold Unitards I was promised?

Speaking of family affairs you don’t really give two craps about, Nate Archibald is going to help Raina go on a mission to find her long lost mother, who, as we know, is (unbeknownst to Raina) burnt to a crisp, and dead as a doornail. 

 I hope they bring a shovel!

Finally, in the story you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Chuck wins back Blair . . . and loses her . . . again . . . in a matter of minutes

DAN:  “Are you here to fight for Blair’s honor?”

CHUCK:  “Nah, I just need to use your bathroom.  I have to piss like a racehorse!”

No one’s secrets are safe on Gossip Girl.  And when Blair admits to Epperley that she has experienced a “kiss that profoundly changed her,” Epperley immediately texts that information to Chuck.  So, of course, Chuck heads out, to find out who owns the “life changing lips” in question.  He visits Humphrey first.  And, within, minutes, the latter is just rambling on and on (and on . . . and on) about how WONDERFUL Blair is.  Chuck puts two and two together, and figures out that Dan Humphrey’s lips are the “Evil Culprits.”

“Yes, he can kiss you.   But the question is, can he give you HOT LIMO SEX?”

Determined to show up the competition, Chuck gets Epperley to invite Dan to the “Modern Royalty” photo shoot, under the guise of his being featured in the “up-and-comer” section.  Poor Misguided Humpty Dumpty immediately assumes that it was Blair that got him included in the book.  So, of course, he is thrilled at the prospect of her returning his affections. 

“She likes me!  She REALLY likes me!”

However, upon arriving at the shoot, Humphrey learns from Blair, herself, that this is NOT the case.

“DOH!”

In fact . . . get this . .  . Dan’s kiss was ONLY life-changing, in the sense that it made Blair realize that she NEVER WANTED TO DO IT AGAIN!  (Ouch!)  In fact, the only man she EVER wants to swap saliva with, for the rest of eternity, is . . . wait for it . . . CHUCK BASS!

But then, OF COURSE, Chuck, being CHUCK, has to go SCREW EVERYTHING UP, by confronting Blair with his extremely snobbish, and arrogant, scheme to show her that “Humdrum Humphrey” is not part of “their world.”   

(Dammit CHUCK!  You were SO CLOSE!  Why did you have to go and a be a . . . word that rhymes with your name, and starts with “F?” )

“Dan Humphrey may not be royalty, but at least he’s not a child,” argues Blair, before stomping off.

In an attempt to right his wrongs, Chuck later brings Blair into his dressing room and screws her brains out, like only he can shows her the original Princess Diana dress he bought for her (sweet . . . yet . . . at the same time . . . slightly morbid?).  You see, Chuck wants Blair to be in his photo for the “Modern Royalty” shoot, because SHE is his family . . .

All together now . . . “Awwwwwww!”

“We can build our futures together,” says Chuck.

“That’s funny.  Because, this morning, I came to same conclusion.  I was ready to be with you.  I thought you changed, but I can see you are not ready,” says Blair sadly.

She then exits stage left, leaving Chuck and his beautiful dress, all by themselves, thereby forcing the Big Bass to pose solo for the loneliest family portrait EVER!

Man, these characters can be SO frustrating sometimes!

Later, Blair confronts Dan, to apologize for the dirty trick Chuck played on him, and for telling Chuck that their kiss meant absolutely nothing, RIGHT IN FRONT OF DAN!  TO Dan’s credit, he takes rejection REALLY well. (I mean, given his history on this show, he’s GOTTA be used to this by now . . .) 

Heck, Dan was just happy Blair compared kissing him to kissing a DOG instead of a TOAD . . . (Talk about setting low standards for yourself!)

“Woof!”

But wait!  SOMEONE was listening in on Blair’s and Dan’s private conversation!  Golly gee, I wonder who it could BE?

SURPRISE!  It’s MAN-NESSA, the Psycho Stalker who Lives to Snoop, and who just so happened to be present at the photo shoot, as part of her NefariousPlan to Continually Cock Block Every Male on this Show! internship.

GG fans, I’m seriously thinking of starting a campaign to get this character hit by a BUS?  Anybody with me?

But it’s not bad enough that Man-nessa eavesdrops on Dan’s and Blair’s conversation.  SHE then decides, despite the fact that both members of the lip-locking party explicitly tell eachother that the kiss they shared meant nothing, to CALL SERENA and rat them out to HER!!!!

I’m serious about the whole Hit by a Bus Thing, by the way .  . . Or, maybe Chuck can throw her off the Empire State Building!  That would be pretty cool, right? 

The inability of Man-nessa to stay out of my favorite characters’ lives for any extended period of time, even though NOBODY LIKES HER ON THE SHOW, is doing something strange to me . . . it’s actually making me MISS THE RACCOON ZOMBIE!

Oh, the horror!

At the end of the episode, Dorota tucks a very distraught Blair back into bed.  “Why does love have to be so hard, Dorota?”  Blair whines.  “All I ever wanted was a simple fairytale. Kate Middleton has it!  And I have much shinier hair than she does! Although, she does have a better assortment of hats . . .”

True . . . on all counts.

To this, the wise Dorota replies, “Destiny is full of surprises.”

And then, in a not-so-big-surprise at least if you read the spoilers, like I do, Prince Louis emerges from his limosine, outside Blair’s home, carrying the shoe she left him in Paris, in true Cinderella fashion . . .

It looks like the race for Blair Waldorf’s heart, just gained another runner!  Better lace up those sneakers, Bass and Humphrey, because it looks like this one’s going to be a MARATHON.  XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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It’s Getting Hot in Here . . . – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Home”

Let me start by saying how much I’ve been enjoying Boardwalk Empire this season.  The characters are interesting.  The scripts are smart and witty.  The plot twists are unexpected.  However, I do have one small suggestion that would considerably improve my own personal appreciation of the show.  Nametags. 

I can’t tell you how many times, while watching this show, I’ve had to stop and check my notes, to ascertain WHO a particular person was, and HOW he or she related to the main characters of this story.  With a Nametag, all of that information would be right on your television screen!  Allow me to illustrate with some simple examples:

This is Chalky White:

(Nice jacket!)

And this is his Nametag:

This is Al Capone:

And this is his Nametag:

Finally, this is Lucy Danziger:

And this is her Nametag:

Can’t you see how something like this would be VERY helpful to viewers of Boardwalk Empire like you and me?

But enough about that.  Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

Old Dirty Bastard

Hide your cats, kids!  Daddy’s home!

Boy, Nucky’s Dad sure ended up being an evil demented wackadoo, didn’t he?  But you know bothered me most about him?  It wasn’t that he told his own son, “You may think you’re king, but you aren’t worth a damn!”   

And it wasn’t that he scalded Nucky’s hand with a hot poker, for grabbing at a loaf of bread, when he was a boy.  It wasn’t even that he landed Nucky in the hospital for 11 days, by forcing him to pick a fight with boys four years older than he.  No . . . I hate Papa Thompson because he’s MEAN TO CATS!

“Only one of us has nine lives, Old Man.  And it’s DEFINITELY not you!”

When we first see him in this episode, Papa Thompson poking the poor felines residing in his home with sticks, and calling them nasty names.  At first, I thought the Old Coot was just talking to himself (as the interminably aged tend to do).  But when I found out he was berating the Purrrfect Ones, he got a big fat X in my book!  Can you really blame those cute little kitties for peeing all over his house?

I’m not going to lie, when the cats tripped Papa Thompson’s ass and he kerplunked on the floor, I cheered!

Remember that old commercial with the elderly lady and her walker?

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

This scene was kind of like that.  Except, the old lady in that commercial, to my knowledge, was never mean to cats.  So, I actually felt bad for laughing at her.

Anyway, Nucky takes time out of his busy schedule of screwing, and screwing people over, to collect his fallen Daddy from the floor of his childhood home.  With Nucky, is his loveable, but not too swift, younger brother, Eli.

The brothers agree that their father can no longer live alone in the house.  Nucky immediately suggests putting his father in an old age home, but Eli won’t hear of it.  “He can stay with me,” Eli offers gallantly.

Later, Nucky meets with an adorably sweet employee of his, who has a wife and tons of kids.  Nucky learns that the employee is saving up to buy a home for his family, but is not able to afford it.  In a rare moment of decency — one that doesn’t involve his own trying to get rich or get laid for change — Nucky generously offers to give his employee the home for free, provided the Family Man can repair it, and remove the cat piss smell from its walls.

The Family Man is overjoyed!

He quickly fixes up the house, using all of his family’s savings on repairs.  When Nucky comes to visit the place, it looks as good as new!  So, Nucky, after a few choice words from his dad, decides to burn it to the ground.

When the Poor Family Man arrives on site to find his Dream Home overtaken by flames, Nucky boredly hands him a large wad of bills.  “Here.  Find a nicer place to live,” he says, before getting in his car, and driving away.

Ouch!  It looks like the apple might not fall too far from the cat-abusing tree . . .

A Few Screws Loose

Over in Chicago, Jimmy’s war injury has been acting up.  So, he heads to a doctor that specializes in treating veterans.  Aside from making some lame jokes about Jimmy having a few “screws loose” in his leg, the doctor provides our antihero with little help.  However, he does suggest that Jimmy submit to some psychological testing for war veterans.

I was actually really surprised that Jimmy agreed to go to the testing center in the first place, because it seemed so out of character for him to willingly do something like that.

“This is what I do to people who ask me to talk about my feelings.”

However, had Jimmy not gone to the test center, he would not have met Richard Harrow, a fellow war veteran, and an expert sniper, with a penchant for shooting guys in the face.  Speaking of faces, did I mention that Richard only has half of one?  The other half must have blown off during the war.  So, Richard has to wear a cool Phantom of the Opera-type mask, which makes him closely resemble a character in a Dick Tracy comic.

As if all this didn’t make Richard awesome enough, he also has this deep raspy voice, like a Budweiser Frog . . .

 . . . and a complete lack of affect, which makes his line delivery sound like something out of the movie RainMan.

“Six minutes to Wapner.  Kmart Sucks.”

Jimmy, who is fast becoming the manager of Team Kickass Gangster, knows a good future hoodlum when he sees one.  So, he quickly strikes up a friendship with the Masked One.  The two play hooky together from Psychological Testing, and head off to Jimmy’s favorite Hangout, Johnny Torrio’s Brothel.  Having concluded that the Masked One has never “been with a woman,” Jimmy nips that problem in the bud, lickety split.  Now THAT’S a good friend!

Later, thanks to a tip from Al Capone (who I WISH was in this episode more), Jimmy arrives at a bar on Chicago’s northside, and confronts Liam — the guy who cut up Pearl’s face a few episodes back, and, ultimately brought about her suicide.

With an eerie nonchalance that would make Michael Corleone proud, Jimmy lulls Liam into a false sense of security, by recounting an old war tale of a German soldier who got caught amidst a tangle of barbed wire, and yet still retained the will to live.  “Sometimes living is far worse than dying,” Jimmy concludes.  “I don’t ever want to see you here again.”

As Jimmy leaves, we hear Liam take a loud sigh of relief.  Then, a pitcher of water across the room from him shatters.  The patrons of the bar look around in confusion.  Then they see it — a small bullet-sized hole in the window.  A hole that matches the one on Liam’s face, right below his eye. 

We cut to an apartment a few floors above the bar, where the Super Cool Richard Barrow is calmly packing his gun back inside a brief case.  It was BY FAR the best scene in this episode!  And the fact that it was accompanied by music from the Phantom of the Opera, and followed by a pivotal scene from the film, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (“It was at this moment, that Dr. Jekyll was awakened to the baser sense of his nature.”), just made the whole thing ten times better!

Watching the Jekyll and Hyde film in question, is an increasingly agitated Lucy Dumb Slut, who is not taking her replacement by Margaret as Nucky’s favorite Sex Toy, particularly well.

Be afraid Margaret.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Van Alden’s Big Break

Back at the station, Nelsan Van Alden . . .

 . . . may not be any closer to convicting Nucky for any wrong doing.  However, he sure does seem to be developing a compelling case against Jimmy Darmody!  When one of Jimmy’s accomplices in that liquor raid featured in the pilot episode, is fingered on a bunch of unrelated charges, the Rat quickly drops a dime on Jimmy, in exchange for clemency.

(Ummmm .  . . you can stop hitting yourself now, Mr. Van Alden.  This is very good news for you . . .)

Girls who like Girls . . .

Speaking of Jimmy, remember when we all thought that his wife was banging that photographer, while he was away at war?  Well, it turns out, she wasn’t.  She was banging his wife.  Apparently, Angela is an artist of some sort, and her lover is trying to get her work shown in some swank New York gallery. 

During this scene, we also learn that Jimmy has been wisely putting Nucky’s name on the envelopes containing the money he sends his family monthly, so his rivals will not be able to locate him.  It sure makes him look like a prick to his family, though . . .

Speaking of Pricks . . .

. . . Margaret acts like a bit of one to Nucky, when he tries to tell her about his effed up relationship with his Dad.  “I’m no stranger to a man’s cruelty,” she says, dismissively.  “Sometimes it’s best to leave the past where it is.”

It seems Margaret has been getting some bad advice lately.  The first piece of it came last week from a pamphlet entitled “Family Limitation,” and involved a bottle of Lysol.

This week, one of her new whore friends instructs her not to allow Nucky to talk too much about his personal problems, because it will make him feel “weak.”  Margaret ultimately apologizes to Nucky for her insensitive behavior.  Nucky, to his credit, appears to take her faux pas in stride, eventually coming clean to Margaret about his father’s uncommon cruelty. 

To show there are no hard feelings, Nucky allows Margaret’s kids to call him “Daddy” “Uncle,” and even lets one of them come watch him burn his Dad’s house down. 

Awwwww . . . family bonding!  How sweet!

Meet Michael Lewis Meyer Lansky

While Nucky is huffing, and puffing, and blowing his Dad’s house down, Arnold Rothstein is trying to do the same thing to Nucky’s illegal liquor business.  When Chalky White is visited by a man who calls himself “Michael Lewis,” Nucky’s No-Nonsense Bootlegger becomes instantly suspicious.

“You may stay where the f*ck you standing,” he tells the young man, when the later politely requests admittance into Chalky’s “office.”

“Michael,” as it turns out, has a business proposition for Chalky.  It involves Chalky delivering liquor directly to Michael for $10,000 and cutting out Nucky as the Middle Man.  Though initially intrigued by the idea, Chalky smells a Rat.

“Tell Nucky it’s going to take more than 10 grand for me to f*ck him over,” scoffs Chalky.

“You can’t blame a guy for trying,” concedes “Michael,” as he exits stage left.

Later, we learn that “Michael” (who’s real name is Meyer Lansky) wasn’t working for Nucky at all.  Rather, he works for Arnold Rothstein.

You see, Arnold, Meyer, and Lucky Luciano are trying to get a foothold in the New Jersey liquor business.  But they need capital to do it.  And so, they contact the Philadelphia crime family, which is led by a guy named Mickey Doyle, and that dude from The Sopranos and Doogie Howser, M.D.

(Apparently, it was this Philly gang, and not Rothstein’s gang, who robbed Nucky’s “tax collector” at the beginning of last week’s episode.  See what I mean . . . about them all needing name tags!)

With the help of Lucky’s bravado . . .

“I’m a Captain in bed of Industry!”

 . . . and Meyer’s fast-talking salesmanship, the gangs of New York and Philly quickly form an EVVVVVILLL Alliance against Nucky Thompson.  Together, the two gangs plan to rob one of Nucky’s Atlantic City casinos, and use that cash to finance their own illegal liquor enterprise. 

(Don’t get me wrong, it’s a clever idea  .  . . but I think I liked it better when it was called Ocean’s Eleven . . .)

Arnold Rothstein is cute and all . . . but he’s NO George Clooney.

So, there you have it.  Though it was far from my favorite episode of the series (last week’s “Family Limitations probably still owns the crown on that title), “Home” did provide us with some illuminating insight into Nucky’s psyche.  It also introduced us to a couple of intriguing new characters: the enigmatic Richard Harrow and real-life criminal mastermind, Meyer Lansky.

Did I mention, there were cats in the episode?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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