Tag Archives: rape

The Unforgiven – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s Season 2 Finale, “To the Lost”

Source

Television show writers always walk a fine line when drafting a game-changing season finale for a series they know will be returning in the fall.  On one hand, there’s a lot of pressure to “go out with a bang,” and “shock people.”  And modern TV viewers are notoriously jaded, and hard to shock . . . because, basically, we’ve seen it all before.  So, if you really want to get people talking about your show over a long hiatus period, you can’t pull any punches.

Source 

On the other hand, if you go too far, or change things up too much, you risk alienating the very audience you worked so hard to keep.  After all, your fans have certain expectations regarding shows they love.  And they need to know that the show to which they are returning is the same one they fell in love with, in the first place.

Undoubtedly, this is the quandary Terence Winter and Co. found themselves mired in, when drafting “To the Lost.” It was, by all accounts a spectacular season finale, one that will undoubtedly have fans talking about it long after the final credits have rolled.  But now that things have changed so dramatically, will fans have a reason to return?

Source 

Let’s review, shall we?

“Welcome back, fellas!”

Jimmy Darmody spent this episode much like Queen Latifah’s character did in “Last Holiday,”  (only without the fancy dresses   . . . and all the food  . . . and certainly without Cuba Gooding Jr.)

What I mean, of course, is that Jimmy spent the entire episode behaving as a man who knew he was marked for death.  He tidied up his affairs.  He righted wrongs.   He gave people important pieces of advice.  Jimmy assured himself that when he left this world, he would do so with as few regrets possible, given the life he lived.

Source 

“I’m no one’s idea of a hero, least of all mine,” Jimmy said to the masses, during his impromptu speech on Veterans Day.

But Jimmy sure seemed like a hero, this week, which is how we all pretty much knew he was a goner.  Let this be a lesson to you actors, out there.  If you ever get a script, where your typically flawed, or under-used character, suddenly starts looking like the Messiah, chances are you aren’t making it out of the our alive .  . .

Source 

I just realized he’s still wearing his wedding band .  . .

Anyway, the episode begins with Jimmy and Harrow fulfilling their promise to Chalky White, by hand-delivering to him and his men, the three KKK members responsible for shooting him, and his family.

Source 

“We gonna SCHOOL THESE CRACKERS SHEET-HEADS!”

 In addition to these fine specimen, Jimmy also offered additional money to the families of the people the KKK had murdered during their raid.  In return, Chalky agreed to end the labor strike,  and broker a meeting between Jimmy and Nucky.  Now, I’m not usually one who condones violence, but I have to say, I got a bit of thrill watching Chalky and his former-foe-turned-bestie,  Purnsley, gleefully kicking the crap out of these racist bastards.  Those sheet-heads had it coming . . .

 

They sure are dapper and perky, psycho killers,  aren’t they? 

As Harrow and Jimmy drive away from the fray, Harrow turns to Jimmy and tries to offer him some sage advice / tough love.  “You know, no matter what you do, he’ll never forgive you for everything you did,” he says, clearly referring to Nucky, and Jimmy’s newfound, almost compulsive need to make things right with him.

And how does Jimmy respond to his most loyal comrades eerily prophetic words?  “Let’s get some steak,” he says.

“I wouldn’t, if I were you!” 

It sure is good to see that Jimmy has his priorities straight.  I mean, you can’t eat when you’re dead, right?

Meanwhile, Nucky is meeting with that poopface, Angela-killer, Manny Horvitz, who is seeking the opportunity to kill his bitter rival, Waxy Gordon, in exchange for allowing Nucky to kill Jimmy.  Nucky doesn’t seem particularly interested.  At least . . . not at first . . .

“Might I instead interest you in a fresh cut of man meat?” 

After his meeting with Poopface, Nucky arrives home to find Dangerous Maid Katie, and Anonymous Maid helping Emily walk with her new braces.  He asks where Margaret has gone.  Dangerous Maid and Anonymous Maid don’t know.

But we do . . .

“Set yourself free.”

One thing I definitely won’t miss about Boardwalk Empire is that ugly ass hat Margaret’s been wearing, ever since she got enough money to afford it.  I HATE that hat!  You know what else is kind of annoying?  That self-assured, independent Margaret suddenly needs to consult her priest about every single decision she makes.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he also accompanies her to the bathroom . . .

“Fa-ther, should I wipe myself with my right hand, or my left?” 

So, Margaret ended up paying the federal prosecutor a visit, after all.  And she did so, with her trusty priest at her side.  That said, I found it a bit suspicious that the priest, of all people, seemed to be the one trying to convince Margaret not to speak.  This makes me wonder if Nucky has this guy in his back pocket too.  (Nucky’s back pocket is a crowded place, indeed.)

It was interesting seeing Margaret face off against Assistant D.A. Esther Randolph.  After all, in many ways these two women are alike: intelligent, strong, judgmental to a fault, and somewhat cold and aloof.  But they have vastly different value systems.  As a result, the strategies these two women use to succeed in the male-oriented world in which they live are diametrically opposed to one another . . .

Margaret attempts to engage Esther in conversation by asking her whether it was difficult to become a lawyer.  “Not if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve it,” replies Esther staunchly.

And yet, later she admits that it was, in fact, difficult for her to achieve.  Margaret has little trouble admitting to Esther that her first husband was a drunkard, who beat her and her children.  However, she becomes noticeably uncomfortable, when Esther notes how much better Margaret is doing for herself, now that her first husband is out of the way.  “He’s never been cruel to me,” Margaret says of Nucky, clearly already having doubts about the decision she’s made.

Source 

“Though, admittedly, the sex leaves a bit to be desired . . .”

“But he’s been cruel to so many others,” Esther retorts.

“I’ve never seen it,” Margaret replies.

“But you know it to be true!”

The conversation really reaches its breaking point, when Esther suggests its wrong for Margaret to not testify against Nucky, because this would be better for her children.  “You would put their well being above all others?”  Esther asks.

Obviously for Margaret, as I suspect, for most mothers, the answer to that question is “yes.”  And this is where Esther loses Margaret.  Because of all the “sins” for which the latter feels guilty, protecting her children is definitely not one of them.  (At least, she’s not . . . you know . . . kissing their winkies  . . .or anything like that)

Source

 “Set yourself free,” Esther says, in a last ditch effort to convince Margaret to testify against her funny-looking gangster lover.  “You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.”

And Margaret does end up “setting herself free,” by the end of the hour . . . just not in the way either Nucky Thompson or Esther Randolph would have expected . . .

Elsewhere, Nucky is meeting with his lawyer, who is instructing him that he needs to “take care” of the Margaret situation, before she ruins everything for him.  But could Nucky really murder his Margiepoo. . .

 . . . or does he have a more peaceful solution in mind?

“Let me make things right.”

Source 

Jimmy Darmody is smoking by the window, and looking decidedly broken, beaten and bereft but still hot.   When Nucky’s car pulls up in his driveway, his first instinct is to grab a gun.  (It’s a good instinct.)  But Nucky’s new driver / Number 1 Henchman, Owen, a.k.a. Jimmy 2.0, also has a gun, and this prompts Jimmy to put his down.  (Though, if it were me, I would probably have the opposite response in this situation.

“You can wait outside.  It’s OK, I used to do your job,” says Jimmy, a statement that is equal parts friendly and patronizing.

You’re the reason I’m doing it now,” retorts Owen, as he reluctantly leaves the house.

Source 

Touche, Sexypants!

Solemn and respectful, Jimmy pours his former father figure a drink, and proceeds to tell him about all his dearly departed family members, and who is responsible for each of their deaths, “To the Lost,” he toasts, holding his tumblr aloft.  (I smell an episode title!)

The conversation quickly turns to Jimmy’s father, and murder victim, the Commodore.  “I should have killed him the moment he suggested betraying you,” Jimmy admits “And I did kill him . . . it just happened to be a few episodes too late.”

Poor Jimmy . . . sexually molested by his mother .  . . this was clearly a man in need of a healthy parent-child relationship.  And you can’t help but feel bad for him, when he confides in Nucky that he was nearly brought to tears when the then-ailing Commodore once told him, “You’re a good son.”

“He was your father.  Nothing trumps family,” Nucky says, echoing Margaret’s sentiments from earlier in the episode.

In hindsight, this statement was a hefty little piece of foreshadowing.  But more on that, in a bit . . .  “What can I do?”  Jimmy pleads, seeking forgiveness from Nucky, as if the latter is his personal priest.

“Tell the truth,” Nucky exclaims.

“I was angry,” is all Jimmy can say in response.

He does manage to tell Nucky that the shooting was all Eli’s idea, which, of course, we know it was.  But whether Nucky truly believes this of his own personal Fredo, will surely be a topic of discussion, over the next few weeks  . . .

“Let’s make things right  .  . . as right as they can be,” Jimmy insists, finally.  “Tell me how to help you.”

I know how I can help you, Jimmy.  Here’s a little piece of advice:

“If there really is a god, would he have given me this mug?”

As big of a crock of sh*t as Nucky’s tail-between-his-legs, “I need you to marry me, so you can’t testify against me, due to spousal privilege . . . so I’m basically going to blow all this religious smoke up your ass that I don’t really give two craps about . . . but, hey, at least I’m not going to MURDER you . . . YAY!” speech to Margaret ended up being, it gave me a lot of respect for Steve Buscemi.  I mean, clearly, someone wrote that script with the actor in mind.  Especially since, from what I’ve heard, the real Enoch Johnson was quite the looker, back in the day . . .

My favorite people in the world are the ones who can laugh at themselves.  Obviously, Steve Buscemi is one of these people . . .

While Ugly Mug Nucky is trying to “make things right,” on his end, Jimmy is busy preparing for his future, or rather, his lack of one.  When the Late Commodore’s lawyer, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, tells Jimmy that the bastard left all his wealth to the maid that may or may not have tried to poison him, Jimmy proceeds to RIP UP THE WILL, while Uncle Junior watches, secretly impressed.

Source
“I’m strangely aroused.”

Jimmy’s morbid inquiry as to whether his son will inherit the Commodore’s money when he dies, does give that baby f*&ker Gillian some pause.  But the big dollar signs in her eyes prevent her from giving the matter the attention that it deserves . . .

After disposing of the Commodore’s will, Jimmy meets with the alderman who will be testifying against Nucky, and politely asks them to recant their statements.  An offer they all, at least, initially refuse, though one of them, might end up being sorrier about that decision than the others . . .

Meanwhile, Margaret awakens to see Nucky helping Emily walk with her leg braces.  She’s so touched by the gesture that she ultimately agrees to marry Nucky, provided she can make a full confession to her good pal, the Priest first . . .  (See what I mean, about her consulting that guy about EVERYTHING!)

“Fa-ther, does marrying Nucky mean I can’t have delicious sex with Owen, anymore?” 

“Nahhhhh!” 

“I’ll take the ducks” 

The opening statement / wedding / murder montage was probably my favorite part of the entire episode, because it reminded me so much of the last twenty minutes of all three Godfather movies (even that super sh*tty third one), as well as some of my favorite Sopranos episodes.  The montage begins with a nervous, but fiercely determined, Esther Randolph practicing her opening statement against Nucky Thompson, in front of her bedroom mirror.

While she rehearses, her case slowly unravels, right before our eyes.  First we see Margaret give her confession, and marry Nucky, with Owen and Katie, of all people, as witnesses (AWK-WARD!)

As for Esther’s former star witness, Van Asshole, he’s taken his sweet little foreign nanny, and baby Abigail to Cicero, Illinois, where they will live as husband, wife and child, under the name “Mueller.”  (Wow!  I wonder what he told that Nanny to get her to agree to that?   Surely, the explanation didn’t involve the BAPTISM FROM HELL!)

Meanwhile, Jimmy and Harrow storm into the courthouse, like the bad asses they are, promptly securing seven recantments from all of the Alderman’s set to testify against Nucky . . . well make that six recantments, and one . . . SUICIDE NOTE.

Source 

Should have said, “Yes,” the first time he asked you to recant, Neery!

At trial, Esther is both furious and humiliated by this recent turn of events.  The judge gives her two options, proceed with her now-joke of a trial against Nucky, or come back later, once she has her ducks in a row. “I’ll take the ducks,” replies Esther.

Good choice! 

Speaking of lame ducks, it’s not easy being a Friend of Fredo!  While Eli was released from jail, immediately after the trial, it was the beaten-up and extremely pathetic-looking Deputy Halloran, who ended up taking the fall for him.  (And I mean that, literally.  The guy could barely stand up straight.)

Source 

 Deputy, something tells me you will be “sitting there” for a looooooong time.

“Et tu, Eli?”

Oh, Eli!  You’re so lucky to have a brother like Nucky.  Not only does he let you get off, more or less, scot-free for TRYING TO HAVE HIM KILLED, he also provides you with valuable lessons on classical literature . . .

Source 

A true expert at trying to save his own ass, the fact that Eli tells Nucky that he wasn’t the one behind Eli’s attempted murder is not surprising.  What is surprising is that Nucky actually believes him.  Or does he?  You recall that earlier in the episode, Nucky told Jimmy that there is nothing more important than the bonds of family . . . that blood is thicker than water.  So, perhaps, it was ultimately that rationale, which prompted Nucky to choose his blood bag brother, Eli, over his watery-eyed erstwhile protege, Jimmy.

In the scene that follows this one, Nucky calls Arnold Rothstein, while the latter is discussing heroine with Meyer and Lucky.  He asks Rothstein, though not in so many words, whether he would care if Nucky wacked Manny Horvitz.  In response, Lucky and Meyer snicker, which, is more or less what these two massively underused characters have been doing all season . . . snickering . . . at everything.

(They’re still kind of sexy though.)

Rothstein pragmatically replies that he has no opinion, one way or the other.  But he does offer Nucky some sage advice, “Flip a coin, when it’s in the air, you’ll know which side you’re hoping for.”

On it’s surface, it seems as though the statement is referring to whether or not Nucky should kill Manny.  But in hindsight, it seems more like Nucky is trying to decide whether to kill his own brother, or Jimmy.  After all, Rothstein’s statement sounds surprisingly similar to the one Jimmy uttered to Nucky, right before the latter was shot.  “It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, as long as you make a decision.”

 Source

Nucky might know that it’s wrong to trust Eli over Jimmy.  But, rest assured, when that coin is up in the air, he’s hoping his brother’s side comes out on top . . .

Speaking of Jimmy . . .

“It’s time for you to come home.”

There’s a definite wistul nostalgia surrounding Jimmy, when he takes his son out for a pony ride, and regales him with stories from some of the brighter moments of his childhood.   Jimmy probably never expected to be a father as soon as he was, and he wasn’t a perfect one, by any means.  But it was always clear that he loved little Tommy deeply, and raised him the best way he knew how . . .

Source 

When Jimmy gives Tommy his dog tags, it certainly feels like he’s saying goodbye to his son, forever.  And when Tommy immediately selects the solider hat, over the cowboy hat to wear while riding the pony,  Jimmy is both proud of him, and afraid for him, at the same time.  Though, if I was Jimmy, I’d be much more afraid of leaving him with that wackadoo mother of his, than about his possibly dressing up like an army man for Halloween.

Source

Back at home, Jimmy and Harrow are drunkenly reminiscing about their days as soldiers in the war, an experience that broke them both beyond repair, and yet, at the same time, bonded them for life.  Harrow admits that being at war was the only time that Harrow truly felt like he belonged, and that sometimes he feels like he’s still at war . . .

To this, Jimmy responds, by giving himself a sage piece of advice that, had he himself, been able to follow it, his life might have been very different, indeed . . .

Source 

Giving Richard permission to “come home from war,” is Jimmy’s first parting gift to Richard.  His second may very well be the gift of life.  When Nucky calls the house, instructing Jimmy to meet him in a remote area, at night, in the rain, Harrow offers to go in his place, or, at least, accompany him.   But Jimmy refuses the offer, telling Richard that, “This is something I’ve gotta do myself.”

When Jimmy leaves out the back door, so as to prevent his mother and child from knowing where he is going, Richard knows for certain that he’s never coming back.  In a way, he knew it the minute he told Jimmy that Nucky would never forgive him for the crimes the former perpetrated against him . . .

 

And when Gillian finds the dog tags around her grandson’s neck, she knows it too.  “You’re going to be an important man, some day . . . just like your father,” Gillian says to Little Tommy.  (For Tommy’s sake, I sure hope not . . .)

“I’m not seeking forgiveness.”

Source 

Jimmy arrives at the meeting spot, unarmed, and ready to die.  He is not the least bit surprised to Eli, Nucky, Owen, Manny, and a couple of random goons with guns lying in wait for him.   “I died back in the trenches,” Jimmy admits.

He no longer fears death.  In fact, he may even welcome it, or feel like he deserves it.  And when Jimmy learns that Nucky will be the one to kill him, he seems almost proud of that fact, as if taking the final bullet from anyone else would be an insult.  It sort of reminds me of how Tony killed his cousin (also played by Buscemi) in cold blood, because he didn’t want anyone else to get the chance.  In an odd way, Jimmy himself predicted this, when he made this bold statement to Nucky toward the end of the first season . .  .

Source 

If it wasn’t so slit-your-wrist depressing, it would be almost comedic how Jimmy seems to be coaching Nucky in the art of murdering him.  “Just breathe, Nucky.  You’ll get through this,” he says.  “The only person left to judge you as you.”

But Nucky doesn’t seem to find this advice helpful at all.  In fact, it only makes him madder . . .

Source 

For a second there, when Jimmy started gurgling, and coughing up blood, still clearly alive, having not been shot in the head, but, rather, in the mouth  (He DID tell you to breathe, Nucky!  Maybe, if you did, you would have been more efficient.), I actually got all excited, thinking my guy might just make it through this, after all.

But . . . then he shot him in the head . . . and that was the end of that.

“He’s reenlisting.”

As awful as it was to see Jimmy ripped from this world, and this show, the fact that Nucky was so smug about it the next morning, at the breakfast table with Margaret made it ten times worse.  Talk about embracing your gangster side!  But when Nucky announces that the reason he was out in the rain in the middle of the night was because, “Jimmy decided to reenlist,” Margaret finally figures out that all the religious bullcrap he laid on her to get her to marry him, was just a bunch of lies . . .

But it seems Margaret might be the one having the last laugh.  Remember when Nucky signed all his property, including that massive land mass on which he wanted to build a major money making road to Atlantic City?  Well, Margaret just signed away her rights to it . . . and deeded them over to . . . wait for it . . . THE CHURCH!

It looks like this kitty just got claws . . . make that a machine gun.

Somewhere in Heaven(?) Jimmy Darmody just gave Margaret Schroeder a big ole’ high five . . .

And that was season 2 of Boardwalk Empire in a nutshell.  But here’s my question: where do we go from here?  After all, Jimmy Darmody was just as much an anchor to this show for two seasons as Nucky Thompson.  Is Steve Buscemi strong enough, or likeable enough to carry this show on his own?  Do any of the pre-existing characters have the charisma or the fan support necessary to take Jimmy’s place?

For the show’s head writer, Terence Winter’s take on this, feel free to check out this interesting, if a bit frustrating, interview from Entertainment WeeklyAlso, check out this “scandalous” article on TVline.com, which not-so-subtly alludes to a possible less-than-kosher reason why the writers might have decided to axe the Darmody character.   As for me, I’m going to hold my tongue, and save my most opinionated rhetoric for the comment section (should anyone decide to comment ;)).  For now, I leave you with an absolutely hilarious musical number from that dude that used to play Agent Sebso on the show.  Seriously, he’s AWESOME!

Hey, Erik Weiner, if you’re reading this, CALL ME! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

10 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

BAD MOMMY! – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Under God’s Power She Flourishes”

[Hey Gossip Girl fans, be sure to check back here, tomorrow evening (December 6th) for a recap of the mid-season finale episode, “Riding in Town Cars with Boys.”  Thanks for your patience!]

OK, Michael Pitt . . . the good news is that you get to have sex with the beautiful Gretchen Mol on cable television  (you know, where they can actually show all the dirty stuff) The bad news is, she plays YOUR MOTHER . . .

Source 

Want to know who’s probably not getting a Mother’s Day card, this year?  THIS LADY . . .

 Happy Motherf*&ker’s Day?

We’ve all that suspected something more than a bit un-kosher was going on between Gillian Darmody and her son, Jimmy.  But man . . . there was just something about seeing it up close and personal that really did a number on my retinas, you know?

Personally, I think the fact that the characters are played by two extremely attractive actors, who, in real life, aren’t all that far apart in age, made the whole thing so much worse.  Because, in any other situation, that scene would have actually been kind of hot . . .

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here.  Though it’s quite hard to believe, there were actually other things that went on in this episode.  Let’s talk about them briefly, before we get to the main event.  Shall we?

Run, Van Alden, RUN!

So, it turns out, Van Alden’s parents were part of one of those creepy religious cults that make you sell all your worldly belongings, in preparation for The Armageddon . . .

 (Holy crap!  Until I uploaded this poster, I had no clue that Steve Buscemi was actually in Armageddon.  Is it A SIGN?)

So, Van Alden was actually spawned by religious nutbars.  It’s a wonder he turned out so normal, right?

So, remember back in Season 1, when Van A$$hat was all in luuuuuuuuve with Margaret Schroeder . . . so much in love, in fact, that he wanted nothing more — after a long hard day of busting up liquor joints — than to look at a picture of her at age 16, and . . . um. . . WHACK OFF?  (See image above.)  Well, Van Alden is going to hope you forget that little tidbit of info.  Because, when asked by the Federal Prosecutor about his “opinion” of Ms. Schroeder, he claims to have formed none, one way or the other.  Poor Margaret!  I guess Van Asshole is “just not that into you” anymore . . .

Source 

I know, you’re all torn up about it.  But try to stay strong . . .

Van Alden may be becoming more discerning about the people with whom he wants to slap himself silly spend his spare time.  However, plenty of folks want a piece of him, this week.  We’ve got his baby nanny telling him that he’s a “good person,” in one scene. And that Human Punching Bag with the Woody Woodpecker voice, Mickey, trying to  strike a clandestine deal with him in another.

“Just another day at the office, HEHEHEHEHEE, OWWWW!” 

Speaking of Mickey, his cuts and bruises from the past two weeks, seem to have healed rather quickly.  Unfortunately, it’s done nothing to earn him any respect among his hoodlum peers.  Thrown off a balcony by Jimmy, strangled by Manny, and virtually cut out of liquor deal by Capone, Luciano and Lansky, Mickey seems willing to do anything to get back whatever little manhood he has left . . . even if that means ratting out the rest of his crew to Van Alden, in exchange for both men partaking in a $150,000 a piece.

Van Alden ultimately turns down the deal.  But something tells me, by the end of the episode, he’s going to wish he took it.  After all, $150,000 can buy you and your bastard child a WHOLE LOTTA LEMONS . . . especially when you’re ON THE LAM.

But Van Alden’s creepy crush on Margaret, and sticky fingers’ tendency to steal cash while on the job, aren’t the only secrets that come back to haunt him, this week.  Remember the BAPTISM FROM HELL?

THIS GUY does . .  .

Or, at least, he would, if VAN ALDEN HADN’T DROWNED HIM, IN FRONT OF A WHOLE CHURCH’S WORTH OF PEOPLE.  Coincidentally, one of the people who watched this take place, just so happens to be one of Nucky’s employees.  And this employee is more than happy to turn this information over to Nucky, to show him gratitude for keeping him employed during the strike.

At least HE won’t be getting whacked for Christmas . . . 

Nucky’s newer, younger, smarter attorney is quick to pounce on this information.  He gleefully turns it over to the Feds, even going so far as to dig Sebso’s clothing out of the water.  (Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!)

In an oddly hilarious turn of events, Van Alden arrives at work, only to be confronted with his crime, and arrested on the spot (just about a year too late).  When cornered, the doofus shoots the Assistant Prosecutor in the tummy, and dashes off awkwardly, like a tubby kid being pelted by dodgeballs.

I knew I should have began an exercise regimen . . .

Somewhere in heaven, Agent Sebso is pumping his fist in triumph, not to mention laughing his ass off . . .

“Who have you cheated on?”

Don’t mess with CRAZY EYES!

In what was probably the most annoying storyline of the evening except for that scene with OWEN, TV Recapper likes Owen . . . A LOT!, Margaret continued her lame attempts to “save” Nucky, by helping him find religion, just as she found it, two episodes ago.  (Maybe Margaret has more in common with Van Alden and his parents than we thought.)

If the ugly hat fits . . . 

Call me a sap, but I actually really liked the Priest’s story about the people in Heaven who all fed eachother with their abnormally large spoons.  I thought it was adorable.  And yet, Nucky’s inquiry as to why the people in Hell couldn’t just hold the spoons differently, so they could feed themselves, also made a lot of good sense to me.  (Actually, I would say they all should just eat with their fingers.  Spoons are overrated, anyway.)

Nucky Thompson personally invites you to take your abnormally large spoon, and shove it up your . . . lobster.

Speaking of spoons, Margaret might be wishing she thought twice before spooning with Sexy Owen, especially, now that Dangerous Maid Katie seems wise to their “one-time” indiscretion.

 “So, tell me Margie, was he as good for you, as he was for me?”

It all started when Owen offered Margaret a helping hand with little Emily’s polio braces.  (As Owen knows full well, when trying to get back into a woman’s panties, it’s always helpful to remind her how “handy” you are.)

“Do you think about me?  Because I think about you,” Owen admits, in a confession that is equal parts oddly romantic, and shamelessly flirtatious.

“I have a big gun, and I’m not afraid to use it.”

When Margaret patronizes her former sex buddy, by telling him she will “pray he gains the strength not to think about her.”  The cocky, confident Owen is unfazed, cheekily responding that, if she prays for him, she WILL be thinking about him.  Katie overhears this, and stalks off, undoubtedly to write in her diary about two-timing poopyhead scoundrels who’s names start with “O” and end with “wen.”

“Can I, perhaps, interest either of you in a threesome?’ 

Later that night, Margaret is drinking hard liquor, all in a snit, because she’s been subpoenaed by the Feds on account of that whole “Nucky had her drunk abusive husband killed” thing.  She starts rambling on to Nucky about how the two of them are living their lives in sin, and blah, blah, blah.  But things start to get messy, when Margaret decides to use Nucky as an impromptu Priest, randomly confessing to him that she has stolen, deceived, and cheated.

Nucky’s no dummy.  So, he inquires as to the specific circumstances behind each of the aforementioned sins.  Interestingly enough, Nucky barely reacts to the realization that Margaret has stolen money from him.  (Why not?  Everybody else does.)  He also fails to react to Margaret’s silly non-confession that she has “deceived anyone who has ever thought of her as a good person.”

But things get interesting, when Nucky asks Margaret who she cheated on.  There have been a few instances, throughout this season, where Nucky seemed to somehow know of Margaret’s X-rated rendezvous with Owen.  And this was just one more telltale scene to add to the pile.  “Just say it,” Nucky challenges, as if already anticipating her response.

How could you possibly want more than THIS? 

However, Margaret has conveniently decided she’s done confessing her sins today.  Instead, she turns the tables on Nucky, blatantly accusing him of having her husband killed, and basically threatening to testify against Nucky in court.  Mind you, this is AFTER Nucky pretty much told Margaret that if he ever went to jail, he’d make sure she got all of his assets, to be spent on her and her two children, one of whom HAS POLIO.  I mean, being ungrateful and self-righteous is one thing, but being stupid is quite another.

“I gave you everything,” exclaims Nucky, before stalking out of the room, seeming more hurt than angry, at his lover’s surprise betrayal.

Hey Margaret, Nucky’s feeding you with his BIG SPOON.  You’d be wise to fill your mouth with food and keep quiet . . .

And now, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . . TV Recappers Anonymous proudly presents to you, Oedipus Darmody: Atlantic City Edition . . .

“One day soon, he won’t be a little boy, anymore.”

When we last left our antihero, Jimmy he was headed to his alma mater, Princeton, the school whose motto is the title for this episode.  Jimmy had big plans for Princeton . .  . plans that involved unloading a carload of heroine and some quality booze on a bunch of wealthy Ivy Leaguers.  (That Jimmy . . . always giving back.)  Then, those plans got shot to Heaven . . . literally, when his wife and her lover both met the business end of Manny Horvitz’s gun, all on account of Jimmy’s unpaid debt.

Source 

Now, all that lovely white powder is up Jimmy’s nose, instead of in some smart kid’s pocket..  Now, he’s hallucinating / remembering those good ole days .  . . you know, back when he was in Princeton, the place where he met his wife-to-be, and, f*&ked his mother for this first time.  Ahhh memories . . .

Things started out pretty well for Princeton Jimmy, actually.  He had a cute waitress girlfriend, who drew pictures of him while he slept, and even liked his floppy hair.

He was also the teacher’s pet in his Dead Poet’s Society-esque English class, which was taught by a teacher who was significantly less hairy than Robin Williams.  Some of his pals from that class were enlisting in the army, because they had brothers who died on the Lusitania.  But not Jimmy.  Jimmy could care less about sticking it to the Kaiser.  After all, he’s from the A.C., and soldiering is just not how they roll down there . . .

Source 

Then, we find out that Angela’s pregnant.  And we think . . . uh oh . . . here comes the CRAZY JIMMY we know and love.  But actually . . . he’s TOTALLY COOL WITH IT.  She’s a nice girl.  He figures they’ll get married, move back to A.C. together, pop out a few puppies, and most certainly NOT involve themselves with sapphic adulterous relationships, or organized crime.  NO SIR, not these two good kids.

But then . . . MOM COMES TO VISIT!  *insert horror movie scream*

She begins her reign of terror, by liquoring our boy Jimmy up, even though he has a PAPER TO WRITE!

Source 

Then, she patronizes his girlfriend!

Then, she goes to his school mixer and hits on all his friends, and his DEAD POET’S SOCIETY TEACHER!

“Hey, Professor.  Look how high I can lift my leg.  Do I get an A?” 

Next, she gets fondled / possibly raped by that same Dead Poet’s Society Teacher.  (Robin Williams wouldn’t do that!)  This causes a weirdly jealous Jimmy to kick the sh*t out of not-Robin Williams, thereby facing possible expulsion from Princeton.

Oh, but it gets worse.  Mama Darmody proceeds to get herself wasted.  So, she stumbles back to Jimmy’s dorm room, requests his help undressing, falls into bed with him and . . . HAS SEX WITH HIM, while the train passes by.

 

(And based on the sound that train made, you could tell it was just as disgusted as we were!)

“There’s nothing wrong with this,” says Mommy Dearest, as she bumps and grinds with Sonny Boy, as if she was doing nothing more taboo, than having a glass of wine with lunch.

The next morning, Jimmy wakes up hungover, wanting to bleach himself out of existence.  Instead, he enlists in the army . . . claiming he has no living relatives, and a brother who died in the Lusitania.  Basically, he’s claiming to be somebody else, because, he desperately wants to be anyone but himself.  (Can you blame him?)

And that’s how Jimmy ended up in World War I.  The rest is Boardwalk Empire history . . .

Eventually, Jimmy returns home, drugged out, and highly emotional.  His creepy sicko mom should have seen the signs that this guy was a bomb waiting to explode.  But no.  Instead, she sits calmly, working on her needlepoint.  She then carelessly assures Jimmy that, in one month, Little Tommy won’t even remember Angela, anymore, and will likely come to view Gillian-Winkie-Toucher as his real mom.

Well . . . that does it.  Next thing you know, Jimmy’s got his hands around Gillian’s neck, and is screaming repeatedly.  “But I’ll remember.”

Deja-vu? 

For a few seconds there, it looks like he might actually kill her.  But then, in comes the Commodore to Gillian’s rescue.  Because, if anyone could relate to a fellow pedophile, it’s him.  You’ve got to admit, for a stroke victim / old tubby guy, that Commodore’s got some real “get up and go.”

Size does matter. 

He stabs Jimmy with a poker, and is about to complete the job, when Jimmy STABS HIM in the gut . . .

“Anyone up for a nice game of checkers?” 

There are few seconds there, after Jimmy has pulled out the knife, where the Big Happy Family all stare at one another in shock . . . possibly considering hugging it out, and having a big laugh over all of this.  (Just another great story to tell at Christmas dinner, right?)  But then, Gillian tells Jimmy to “finish it,” like she’s the announcer in some random father/ son wrestling match, or the computerized voiceover at the end of that game, Mortal Kombat.

And Jimmy actually does it . . . he finishes it, stabbing Commodore again . . . in the heart, this time.  You can’t undo that . . .

Time passes, and a dazed Jimmy awakens to find Richard, once again cleaning up his bloody mess.  (In an earlier, truly poignant scene, we see poor Richard — who has genuinely become the heart of this show — falls to his knees in anguish, upon touching the blood of Angela Darmody, the only woman, since his sister, who really seemed to care for, and understand him.)

In the chilling final moments of the episode, we see Tommy calling for his mommy, and Gillian answering the call.  She promptly picks up the small child,  as she undoubtedly did many times with Jimmy, during his youth.  “One day soon, he won’t be a little boy anymore,” says Gillian cheerfully, though, coming from her, it sounds like a threat.

Source 

As grandma and kid climb the staircase, Jimmy watches, broken, beaten, and clearly terrified.

But you know who I’m most terrified for  . . . Tommy Boy.  Kid, if you know what’s best for you, you will run as fast as those little legs will carry you.  (And while you’re at it, you should really consider picking up Baby Abigail Van Alden.)

“HEEEEEEEELLLLLP!!!!” 

And that’s all she wrote on the penultimate episode of Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire.  Next stop, the finale . . . See ya then!

Source 

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

7 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

When Life Gives You Lemons . . . – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “The Age of Reason”

Source

I continue to learn a lot from Boardwalk Empire.  For example, this week, I learned that the Age of Reason is seven-years old (which sucks, because I was really hoping I hadn’t gotten there yet).  I also learned that you should always brush your hair, before giving birth to a baby by yourself in your bedroom.  (You never know who might be stopping by.)

Source

“Her hair . . . it was just so . . . UNKEMPT!”

Additionally, I learned some very interesting things about kosher meat preparation.   Also, did you know that it is possible to seduce someone, just by offering to sweep up their cornflakes?

Source

Because it is!  (Owen, you sneaky STUD, you!)

Finally, I learned that, if you make out with your mom in public, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos will TOTALLY judge you!

You should be ashamed of yourself, you Mother Pucker! 

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

“I’ll Keep You, My Dirty Little Secret.”

Pyromaniac Teddy has to make his First Confession this week.  So, why is Margaret the one who’s panties are all in a bunch?  Could it be because SHE has been doing a little sinning of her own?

Source

“I am not having sexual thoughts right now.  I am simply stroking this broom up and down repeatedly, because the friction helps me to clean better.  Yes . . . that’s it.”

After spending some quality time with the priest, Margaret arrives home to enjoy what has become her favorite past time over the past few weeks: namely, The Passive Aggressive Verbal Assault of Maid Katie.  Truth be told, Margaret seems to have had it out for this Dangerous Maid, ever since the latter learned the truth about her “secret” identity, and the family she left behind.  This week’s jabs are directed at the highly spirited naked aerobics noises Margaret heard coming Katie’s room, in the last episode.

MARGARET: “I just want to let you know that I think your loud sex moans are totally fake and unnecessary.  This is HBO, not Skinemax.” 

KATIE: For your information, my moans are totally real.  Perhaps, you’ve just never had a partner that was good enough to make you scream like that.”

“HEY!  I heard that!”

“Your behavior . . . there are children in this house, as you are well aware,” snorts Queen Mother Margaret, as she stalks out of the room.

Cut to the next scene, where Nucky is riding Margaret, like she’s one of those coin-operated horses you see outside supermarkets.

Aside from showing Margaret’s apparent hypocrisy .  . . as far as sex scenes go, this one is pretty darn ugly . . .  with Nucky flopping all over the place, like a fish out of water, and Margaret, lying there, more or less immobile, with a look on her face, like she just smelled something skanky.  Then it ends, and Studly Nucky lights up a cigarette, while patting himself on the back  for a job well done . . .

Source

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

MARGARET: “I plea the Fifth.”

Though Nucky would probably like nothing better than to roll over like a dog and go to sleep, after his 30-second exertion, he notices that Margaret looks upset.   (Isn’t she always?)   So, he decides to ask her what’s wrong?  Just like the insecure school girl, Katie seems to turn her into, Margaret begins awkwardly fishing for compliments from her current lover.  “Do you not find me attractive?” Margaret asks poutily.  Um . . . Margaret, perhaps, the better question is, “Do you actually find Nucky attractive?”

George Clooney, he ain’t!

“We just made love,” Nucky offers soothingly.  (That’s right, Nucky, because no man has EVER screwed a woman he DIDN’T find attractive.)

“Sometimes it feels like you are elsewhere,” Margaret admits.

Margaret then reveals to Nucky the true source of her stress.  It involves the Confession she is expected to give to the priest prior to Teddy’s First Confession, so that she can “set a good example” for her probably already a sociopath / future serial killer son.  Nucky tells his “lover,” in no uncertain terms, that she should NOT reveal anything to the priest about his and Margaret’s “shared history,” which could be described as “morally ambiguous” to say the least.  “How Catholic are you, really?”  He asks casually.

“Catholic enough to shove this halo up your ass . . .” 

However, the accusation and paranoia creeping into Nucky’s voice when he says this, is not lost on Margaret, who retorts, “If you are feeling guilty, perhaps you should take that up with the priest yourself,” she replies.

Game . . . Set . . . Match.  Margaret: 1, Nucky: 0 (actually negative 1, for being bad in bed).

Later, Owen pays a visit to Margaret to defend the honor of his Lady Love, Katie.  After taking FULL responsibility for the Dangerous Maid’s EXTRA LOUD moans of erotic passion, this Pimp Daddy proceeds to cleverly fondle Margaret’s hands and arms, under the guise of “helping her sweep up the Corn Flakes.”  (So, that’s what the cool kids are calling it, nowadays!)  Poor Margaret is total puddy in this guy’s hands, and immediately starts swooning, like a school girl, whose nursing a major crush on the star quarterback.

Owen also makes sure to purposefully accidentally refer to Miss Schroeder as Miss Thompson to REMIND her that she is NOT a married woman, and, therefore, has no LEGAL obligation to continue having bad sex with Nucky, when she can be having GREAT sex with this tall glass of Irish Whisky.  Message sent and received . . .

At confession, Margaret speaks NOT of all the criminal activities she’s gotten up to with Nucky, but rather  of the erotic feelings she’s been having for a “very bad man,” who provides her with “nothing.”  Though she doesn’t mention that man’s name, I think it’s pretty safe to guess that it probably rhymes with Mowin’ Cheater.  Sorry, Nucky!  It looks like this honeymoon is OVER!

“Anyone know how you spell Margaret’s last name?  How about Owen’s?”

Meanwhile, in Creepy Crazy Van Alden Land . . .

“I Know Who What You Did, Nine Months Ago”

“Peekaboo!”

Lucy is SUPER tired of being preggers, and is seriously craving some lemons.  Van Alden, being the real sweetheart he is,  promises to get her some, after work.  Today, “work” for Van Alden involves visiting that employee of his that got burnt to a crisp at a liquor distillery, while trying to expose Van Alden for being a total fraud and secret boozehound.  Van Alden stands guiltily over the latter’s now charred and grotesque form, blubbering on about how the man’s fate is now the Lord’s hands, and what-not.

But then, the Human Bacon Lookalike starts chanting ominously, “I see you.  I know what you did!”

This freaks Van Alden out, BIG TIME.  So, he rushes outside in the hallway, where he is met with (GASP!) a flickering lamp. Oh no!  It MUST be a sign from the Lord that the hospital needs to hire better maintenance people Van Alden is about to be punished for his EVIL WAYS!

Frantic, Van Alden calls his wife, whining that he is a BAD MAN, who doesn’t deserve her, and isn’t fit for his job.  (Tell, us something we DON’T know, Van A$$hole!)  Mrs. Van Al-turd is understandably disturbed by her husband’s uncharacteristic demonstration that he might actually have a soul.

There’s something fishy going on.” 

“I’ll say!”

Meanwhile, Lucy’s water has broken.  And no one is around to get her to a hospital.  She tries to get the neighbor kid to do it.  But he takes one look at Lucy, and hides behind a curtain.  (Honestly, can you blame him?)  For most of the episode, we are “treated” to extremely uncomfortable interludes of Lucy, doing nothing but squatting awkwardly on various pieces of furniture, and moaning . . . (and I’m not talking about the GOOD Katie and Owen moaning, either).

“Please, make it stop.” 

Then, she brushes her hair out in the mirror, and proceeds to give birth to her baby, all by her lonesome.  (But, who cut the umbilical chord?)

“Dr. Jimmy, at your service!” 

Back at the hospital, Van Creepo is completely unaware of the fact that he has just become a daddy.  However, he has received some other good news.  As it turns out, The Human Bacon isn’t REALLY the voice of the LORD.  Rather, he is just some delirious, close to dying, DUDE, who spout out random crap at completely inopportune moments.  We see that, when he tells the NURSE that . . . wait for it . . .”He sees [her].  And knows what she did.”

But wait . . . it gets better.  Here’s what he says next: “You ate all the pie!  I’m going to tell MA!”

Suddenly, Van Douchebag’s conscience is clear!  (HOORAY!)  He comes home lighthearted (with his bag of lemons, of course!) to find broken glass all over the floor.  But before he can beat Lucy to a pulp, for being such a pig, he finds her in bed, nuzzling their newborn evil spawn.  “I did it all myself,” says Lucy.  “It’s a girl.”

Since Van Wackadoo is incapable of showing any genuine emotions, aside from anger, and discomfort, the Agent awkwardly excuses himself to get a doctor.   When he returns, he is shocked to find the lemons he bought, placed neatly in a bowl . . .

Source

The broken glass has also been cleaned up, and Lucy’s bloody nightgown soaking in the sink.  (Really?   Because, I would throw that sh*t out, SO FAST!  Can you imagine wearing that again?)

Van Doofus is SHOCKED.  “Wow,” he thinks to himself.  “That Lucy is pretty amazing.  She just gave birth, without a doctor, and still manages to find the energy to clean the house!  What a saint!”

But, then, he goes back into Lucy’s room and finds .  . . HIS WIFE, THERE.

DOH!

Van Cheater is in BIG TROUBLE.  “This child is FOR YOU!” He offers, pleadingly, as the two wrestle against the wall.  Then, Rose BITES HIM ON THE WRIST, vampire style, before storming out of the boarding house.

Source

Whoops!  So, much for a family reunion.   I hope you’ve saved up for a good babysitter, Mr. Van Newly Single.  Because, something tells me that you, and Lucy Can’t Close Her Legs are going to need one . . .

Speaking of plans gone awry . . .

Green Shoes and Legal Blues

Nucky’s Evil Genius Plan to get his Election Fraud case moved to federal court, where (he thought) it would promptly be dismissed, gets off to a good start, when Ugly Green Toad Shoes, Esquire succeeds in getting the case removed from state court.  But then, Nucky’s BIG BAD ENEMIES, Senator Hedge and Mr. Cincinatti / I Only Talk About Myself in the Third Person, Remus . . .

Source

 . .   band together to blackmail Nucky’s allies into hiring a more vigorous prosecutor to throw the book at Nucky.

This means Nucky might actually have to defend himself in court against a REAL lawyer.  He’s SUPER PISSED .  . . so pissed, in fact, that he tosses Ugly Green Toad Shoes, Esquire right out of the Ritz Carlton, without even waiting for him to finish screwing the whores he hired at Nucky’s behest.  Now . . . that’s just bad manners . . .

Finally, let’s check in on Jimmy D . . .

“Not Every Insult Requires a Response”

Simon says, stick out your arm.  Simon says, hold up your gun.  Now, SHOOT . . . (MANNY!  I didn’t say “Simon Says!”  You’re out!)

Jimmy, Gillian, and a still not particularly communicative Commodore, are meeting in the Commodore’s living room with Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, who doesn’t seem nearly as torn up as you would think he would be about his friend’s unfortunate scalping, last week.  In fact, he seems much more disturbed by the big wet one Mommy Dearest leaves on Jimmy’s lips, as she exits the room.

Source

Source

JIMMY: “If he’s that grossed out by this, what would he say, if he knew she used to kiss my winkie, when I was a baby and still does.”

Though highly socially aware in most circumstances, this really does seem to be the first time Jimmy sees what his bizarro relationship with his mother, must look like to other people.  “She just does that sometimes,” he tells Uncle Junior, with an embarrassed look on his face.

“I’m confused.  Doesn’t everybody’s mother try to make out with them, every once in a while?”

Fortunately, for Jimmy, Uncle Junior isn’t here to talk about incest.  He’s here to discuss Jimmy’s leadership techniques, and how they could stand some improvement.  “Not every insult requires a response,” notes Uncle Junior cleverly.

In other words, it is not necessary to scalp every old man who tells you that you lack respect for your elders, and proceeds to hit you on the head with a cane . . .

Source

Source

Overreact, much?

By way of example, Uncle Junior notes how Commodore was a big blow hard as a County Treasurer, while Nucky was more prudent, ambitious, and not afraid to grease a few wheels to get what he wanted.  This , he explains, is why Nucky was more successful than Commodore in his position.

“Oh yeah?  Well, I bet HE can’t hold a big fat phallic elephant tusk over his head!  Oh wait . . . I can’t do that anymore, either.” 

Jimmy gets a chance to use what he learned from Uncle Junior, soon enough.  It begins, when he’s walking on the boardwalk, and sees Nucky walking with known mobster, Waxy Gordon (enemy to JIMMY’s new ally Manny Horovitz) and Manny’s associate Traitor Herman.

To ensure he hasn’t been seen, Jimmy plants a big sloppy tongue kiss on his lesbian wife, in order to hide his face.

Smooth move, Romeo!  (Just don’t tell your Mom, or she’ll get jealous.)

Later, Jimmy rats out Traitor Herman to Manny, who responds by stringing the poor guy upside down in a meat locker.

After getting Traitor Herman to admit that he was conspiring with Waxy to help Nucky secure a liquor shipment, Manny asks Jimmy to slit his friend’s throat, because, as a kosher butcher, he isn’t permitted to kill an already wounded animal.

“This Bud’s for you!” 

It’s a power play, for sure.  But Jimmy only shows the slightest hint of hesitation, before slitting Herman’s throat, in a killing that wasn’t quite as grotesque as the two we saw last week, but still made me hide under my pillow for a few moments, while watching . . .

Later, when Manny, Jimmy and Richard come to intercept the liquor shipment (in a scene echoing the one from the pilot, in which Jimmy and Al Capone did the same thing), they are shocked to find Lucky and Meyer are the ones doing the shipping!  The shock is so great for the usually UBER polite Richard, that it causes him to swear, for what is likely the first time.  This, of course, is oddly adorable, as is most everything Richard Harrow does except , when he scalps people, of course . . .

Source

Manny wants to kill EVERYBODY, but Jimmy holds him off.  “Not every insult requires a response,” insists Jimmy, echoing the very same words Uncle Junior uttered to him, earlier in the episode.

Tony Soprano approves (even though he hates Uncle Junior) 

That is when Meyer, ever the diplomat and expert negotiator, suggests a plan.  If Waxy and Jimmy team up with Lucky and Meyer in the heroine business, everybody wins.  “Our predecessors’ time has passed,” he remarks prophetically.

Source

Jimmy and Manny then agree to let Lucky and Meyer complete the liquor delivery, so as not to alert Nucky and his minions about agreement that has just been made.  Then, Manny shoots some 13-year old kid, for sh*ts and giggles, and everybody goes home . . .

It’s just another day on the Boardwalk, folks . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

4 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

Let’s Not Lose Our Heads Over This – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Gimcrack and Bunkum”

[Note:  For those of you looking for a Gossip Girl Recap for “The Fasting and The Furious,” check back around this time tomorrow (October 26th) and it should be up by then.  Sorry for the delay! :)]

NUCKY:  “Mirror, mirror on the wall.  Who’s the most badass of them all?  I am, because I beat the crap out of my own brother in the Garden Room.”

JIMMY: “I scalped some old dude in his house, while forcing him to eat a Native American Breach Cloth.”

NUCKY: “DOH!”

Let’s be honest.  Many of us watch gangster dramas for the WHACKINGS. . .

Not THAT kind of whacking . . . 

Sure, we might pretend to be all “evolved and mature” about these shows.  We might even talk a good game about how impressed we are with the “adult things,” like the “cinematography,” and the “symbolism,” and the “character development.”  Yet, in reality, most of us are just secretly waiting for the moment when the character we always knew was a goner anyway, gets murdered in a highly creative and equally disturbing way . . .

And a good gangster drama doesn’t just whack people, wily nily.  There’s got be a build up to the murders . . . some anticipation . . . and longing. So, when the killing actually arrives, you, the viewer, feel rewarded . . . like you’ve earned it.  In short, gangster dramas treat whackings, like teen dramas treat kisses between soulmates.  Technically speaking, both should happen ALL THE TIME, in EVERY episode.  But because they don’t . . . and because you are taunted and teased with the prospect of them, each week, when they DO happen, it is a true Thing of Beauty.

Source

That’s what “Gimcrack and Bunkum” was to me . .  . a true Thing of Beauty.  Sure, it had good “cinematography,” “character development,” and Richard Harrow being lifted out of an existential crisis by a dog, who tried to eat his “face” off.  But more importantly than all of that, it had two truly spectacular whackings . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Public Speaking 101

“I’m picturing all of you naked, right now . . . especially you, Jimmy *winks*”

It’s Memorial Day in Atlantic City.  What better day to publicly humiliate a World War I veteran, right?  Apparently, this is what Nucky thinks, when, after saying a few words about the brave men, who fought for his country, Nucky decides to call Mr. Man of Few Words, Jimmy, to the stage for an impromptu speech, and the reading of the names of some dearly departed soldiers.

Jimmy is clearly neither that confortable, nor that experienced with public speaking.  And this, undoubtedly, is precisely what Nucky was counting on, when he made this tactical political and psychological maneuver.  Nucky’s silent message to his former protege turned nemesis is clear: If you can’t even make a simple speech in public, how can you possibly run an entire city?  At first, Nucky’s plan seems to have paid off.  And we watch for a few uncomfortable moments, as Jimmy shakes, sweats, and blinks silently at the waiting crowd.

“I will not puke on the podium . . . I will not puke on the podium . . . I will not puke on the podium, and if I do, I’ll be sure to puke on Nucky.”

But then something happens to Jimmy, as he stands on that stage.  In those few seconds, he transforms from the runty kid, whose father didn’t care about him, and who’s mother used to inappropriately make out with his winky, into a soldier.

Source 

And though Jimmy’s words, may be just as politically motivated, as those of his predecessor, they ring true, in a way that Nucky’s did not, simply because he IS a veteran.  So, when Jimmy talks about fighting for his family and for America . . . and when he pauses in the reading of the names to remark on a fallen soldier he knew personally, we believe him, and find ourselves eating out of the palm of his hand, just like the rest of the watching crowd.

Source

Match point.  Jimmy: 1, Nucky: 0

Poor Richard (Poorer Squirrel)

Source

Meanwhile, Poor Richard is looking through his damn “Families are Awesome.  My Life is Sad” scrapbook again.

He then packs himself an apple for lunch, and heads out in the woods to eat bullets from his gun.

Source

I probably would have eaten the apple, instead.

I’ll never understand why people choose “blowing brains out,” as their preferred method of suicide.  I understand that it’s more error proof than taking pills, or drowning, or shooting yourself in the heart.  But really, I can’t think of a more awful and grotesque way to send one’s self out of the world.  Can you?

So, already, I’m watching this scene through my fingers, hoping we won’t have to see the actual Brain Explosion.  (They never show it on TV.  But that doesn’t ever stop me from fearing that, one day, they will.  This is HBO, after all.)  Fortunately, for us, and Richard, some adorable, but slightly mangy looking dog, interrupts the suicide attempt to play fetch with the Poor Guy’s face mask.

Source

If you look closely at the dog, he sort of looks like he’s got a mask on one side of his face, similar to Richard’s.  YAY for parallels (and for adorable mask-eating, suicide preventing dogs)!

Now, realistically speaking, you would think that the guy who was about to explode his FACE with gun powder, would no longer have much use for a face mask.  But Richard decides to put off offing himself, to chase the dog, anyway . . .

Richard eventually loses the dog.  But all that running, and NOT killing himself, has made him tired.  So, he chills out by a tree for a bit.  It is there he is discovered by a creepy, but ultimately well-meaning, hunting dude, and another guy who may be his dad, or just  an elderly friend of his.

Just a bunch of guys . . . chilling out . .  . chewing off the heads of rodents . . . 

These two dudes invite Richard to their little bonfire to drink booze and feast on squirrels.  I’ve never seen a roasted squirrel before.  And it surprises me how much they look like pink versions of the Geico Gecko, when de-furred.

“Please don’t eat me.  I give good rates on car insurance.”

It’s gross . . . and sad.  But not as gross and sad, as a headless Richard.  So . . . yay for that . . . I guess.

Oh, and the dog’s there too . . . with Richard’s mask, which now looks a bit more like a doggy chew toy, than half a face.  If I were him, I would have rinsed it off with the alcohol, before putting it back on.  Because, really, who knows where that dog’s mouth has been?  Anyway, apparently, the dog does not belong to either of the two men.  Rather, he is a SOLDIER *cough symbolism / foreshadowing cough*, and a fighter, who survives, by living every day, as if he is at war.

Richard Harrow’s new mascot. 

One of the guys who found Richard might just be a little psychic, since he somehow seems to know instinctively that Richard came to the forest to kill himself.  He lectures the younger man, about how these woods are FOR LIVING .  . . Yeah, dude . . . tell that to the roasting naked squirrels . . .

Judging YOU . . . 

All sarcasm aside, I’m glad Richard decided not to blow his brains out, and that he has found a new purpose for his life . . . More on that, in a bit.

Meanwhile, back at Vegetable Commodore’s house . . .

Never Mess with Old People Carrying Canes

One of these two men will be minus one scalp by the end of the episode.  Bet you can’t guess which one! 

Jimmy and Eli are meeting with those Old Dudes, led by Uncle Junior from the Sopranos . . .

When did Uncle Junior turn into Santa Claus? 

 . .  who are none too pleased with them, about their 70,000 having recently been eaten up by that fire Owen Sleater set last week, at Mickey’s distillery.  Jimmy tries to reassure the men, that the money will be forthcoming.  But with the Commodore no where in sight, the men are becoming restless, and suspicious about the safety of their investments.  When one particularly ornery old man in a wheelchair publicly suggests that the Commodore is either dead or dying, Jimmy mouths off at him, causing the dude to whack him in the face, with his cane.

It was kind of funny.  I’m not going to lie.  Like most Old Dudes, this one thinks that Young People, like Jimmy, need to learn to respect their elders.  And he is going to beat that respect into every last youngster,  if it is the last thing he does.

Silently seething, Jimmy storms out (probably so his mother can kiss his winkie and make it better).  Eli follows after him, to yell at him for not keeping his cool, and to warn him that, without the Commodore, the two of them are pretty much screwed.  Jimmy doesn’t really think he needs advice from Boardwalk Empire’s version of Fredo, and tells Eli as much.

Later, while Jimmy’s Mommy is cleaning his wound,  she not-so-subtly tells Jimmy he shouldn’t take this being caned, lying down.  “We will not be respected . . . Do what needs to be done,” she scolds him.

Of course, as we learned from last week, when Gillian Darmody tells you to do something, you DO IT.  Because she has a really nasty right hook . . .

Just ask THIS GUY . . . 

Speaking of women (and men) not to be trifled with . . .

“Hey Bro, sorry about the whole Betrayal Thing . . . wanna wrestle?”

Nucky comes home from a strenuous morning of kissing some lawyers’ asses to find, much to his dismay, that Margaret has let his brother into the Garden Room.   Eli’s totally working this Fredo angle, hardcore.  He’s crying and blubbering, and begging Nucky for forgiveness.  His nose is so far up his brother’s butt, that it’s practically popping out of the older man’s mouth.

After making a few cracks about how the lord distributes his gifts unequally (Yes, Nucky, clearly, you got the looks in the family.) . . .

. . .  and hearing Eli admit, both that he knows the names of the men testifying against Nucky, and that the Commodore has had a stroke . . .

. . . it really does seem that Nucky is going to take pity on his brother, and let him back into his inner circle.  And  . . . then he doesn’t.  Nucky boldly asks his brother to get on his KNEES AND KISS HIS FEET.  Eli seems genuinely shocked.  I suspect he really thought this was going to work out.

“But . . . you have really smelly feet!” 

Next thing you know, the two middle-aged men are wrestling on the floor . . . and, suddenly, I’m having flashbacks to that episode of The Sopranos, where Tony and Bobby Baccala started beating the crap out of eachother at the Lake House.

Ahhh, brotherly love . . . 

It’s kind of awesome, and unintentionally hilarious at the same time.  But then the men start grabbing for concealed weapons, and I’m genuinely beginning to get worried about their safety.

But wait .  . . SOMEONE has just put a rifle to Eli’s head, and it’s not Nucky.  It’s . . . wait for it . . . MARGARET!

Source

My hero!  Holy crap!  This woman has done it again.  She leads a shocked Eli out the door, with a simple and calm expression of a single word.  “Enough.”  And I’m pretty sure Eli just crapped his pants.

Once he’s gone, Nucky has the NERVE to tell the woman who just SAVED his ass, that she should have LOADED the gun, before she shoved it in Eli’s face.  HELLO, by the time she LOADED the gun, you’d probably have brains seaping out of your ears, ASSHAT!  A simple “thank you,” would have sufficed.  Just sayin . . .

Those are some BUSY prostitutes .  . .

Later that day, the Attorney General, Nucky’s lawyer, and that Senator Guy we keep seeing, pop by to explain, once again, how those election fraud charges SHOULD eventually be dropped against Nucky, once the case is removed to federal court, on account of the federal prostitution charges that are ALSO cleverly being lodged against Nucky.  And yet,  we’ve spent so MUCH time on the rather technical legal nuances of this storyline, that I can’t help but wonder whether all of this is going to end up blowing up in Nucky’s face.

Nevertheless, the same whores who initially got him out of State court, are back to bone the Attorney General and his pals in Nucky’s by-now-surely-disease infested “study.”  Part of me thinks, the only reason they keep showing these ladies is so that Boardwalk Empire meets it’s weekly Boobie Quotient . . .

Speaking of Boobies . . .

Dangerous Maid Gets Dangerously Laid

O face . . . 

Margaret awakens in the middle of the night, to the sound of a scream.  She runs into Maid Katie in the hallway, who claims she hasn’t heard a thing.  Later, of course, we learn that the scream came from Katie, who has been boning Owen, down the hall .  . . Way to go, Katie!  Now, Margaret’s not the only lady with a little Irish in her, if you catch my drift . . .

Source

Meanwhile, at Fredo-Eli’s house . . .

By George, he’s got it!  (And by IT, I mean a wrench in the face)

“May I have this dance?” 

Eli is hanging out with one of his 85,000 kids, when Alderman George comes by, asking some surprisingly on-point questions about the Commodore’s health.  In fact, the Alderman wants to go down to the Commodore’s house, to make sure he’s not a vegetable, or something.  Eli assures George that the Commodore is fine.  But George isn’t buying it, and threatens to go back to Nucky, if Eli isn’t honest with him.

So, Eli freaks out, and crushes George’s windpipe with his monkey wrench.

Well, that’s not good!   Now, George is definitely going to go to Nucky . . . if he’s ever able to speak again.  Eli can’t have that, so he hits him with the monkey wrench in the face . . . again . . . and again . . . and again.

Batter up . . . 

Remember earlier, when I was talking about how I never wanted to see what someone’s head looks like, after it’s been blown off.  Well, now, I know what someone’s head looks like, when it’s been smashed to bits by a monkey wrench.  And, let me tell you, it’s not pretty.  For those of you who have never seen something like this, I’ll attempt to provide you with the necessary visual.  Imagine drop-kicking a watermelon . . .

I’m just glad, Eli sent his kid away, before he did this.  Talk about being traumatized for life.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong.  But wasn’t George supposed to be one of the alderman meant to testify against Nucky for Election Fraud.  Well, that should make things interesting  .  . .

Anywhoo, Eli gets his second in command, to help him carry George’s body to his car.  And then Eli buries the poor schlub on the beach.  Oh Fredo-Eli . . . you are SO getting whacked on a fishing boat, sometime soon . . .

Scalp and a Haircut . . .

Back at the Darmody house, Jimmy shares a sweet moment with his wife . . .

Source 

JIMMY: “Just pretend you are making out with that woman you were cheating on me with, last season.”

ANGELA:  “Cool, and you can pretend you are making out with that woman you were cheating on ME with, last season.”

JIMMY: “Which one?  My mom?”

ANGELA: “THE OTHER ONE!”

 . . .  before having an even sweeter one, with Richard.   (As awful as Jimmy can be sometimes, you’ve got to admit, his bromance with Richard is just adorable.)  When Richard comes home late, Jimmy instinctively seems to know that something SERIOUS has gone down.  “I should have gone with you,” Jimmy tells Richard, when the latter claims to have “gone for a walk.”

Jimmy then asks Richard to go on job with him, because even Veterans, apparently, don’t get the full day off on Memorial Day.  “Would you fight for me?”  Richard asks, looking to his companion, much like a son seeking approval from his dad.

“Right down to the last bullet,” Jimmy assures his friend, rubbing his head, in a rather paternal way, much as we suspect Nucky used to do to HIM, back when he was a child.

Source

With a renewed sense of purpose, Richard rises, with a look of determination on his face.  “Then, let’s go to work.”

Source

“Scalp, Richard, scalp . . . GOOD BOY!”

Now, we’re at that Old Dude’s House . . . you know, the one who clocked Jimmy.  He’s looking at some Native American Breach Cloth, and making some not-very-PC comments about Native Americans to his butler, specifically, referring to their penchant for public nudity, and belief in magic.  Once Old Dude is alone, Jimmy and Harrow appear, in front of him.  Jimmy straps the soon-to-be-dead guy down to show him, that he is “not to be disrespected.”  “I’m going to teach you something, now” he says maniacally.

Then Harrow appears from behind.  “And who the hell are you?”  Old Dude asks.

“I’m a soldier just like that adorable dog that tried to eat my face,” says Harrow triumphantly, as he grotesquely scalps the Old Dude, and, in doing so, brings meaning back to his life.

Source

See, don’t you just love a happy ending?  🙂

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

7 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

“We are going to EAT YOU!” – A Recap of True Blood’s “Everything is Broken”

OK.  So what’s the deal with Vampires and their Dead People Souvenirs?  I mean, think about it.  We’ve got Russell and his Talbot-filled urn . . .

“I look like a delicious Blood Gelato!”

Eric and his daddy’s crown . . .

and Lorena and her Rib Cage Hat  . . .

You would think that creatures who have been around for hundreds of years would have learned a thing or two about CLOSURE, by now.  Apparently not . . .

The Softer Side of Eric Northman

Yes, I know that Eric and Sookie had NO SCENES together AGAIN this week.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t have scenes together on my blog, dammit!

After watching Eric behave particularly ruthlessly last week (He both hoodwinked the King, AND killed his lover.), it was interesting to see him vulnerable and very much on the defensive, this week.  When the episode begins, Eric Northman is on the run from Russell, with sexy bits of Talbot still hanging off his open-shirted body . . .

In fact, Eric probably could have really used one of THESE, today!   (More wishful thinking on my part.)

By the way, even though I was mourning the noticeable absence of Eric’s Blue Panty Dropper Sweater, this week . . .

Clearly, SOOKIE liked it too!

 . . . the sight of an Open-Shirted Eric on my television screen went a long way in providing ME with closure.  (Not to mention, more dropped panties in the TV Recapper Household.)

But I digress . . . So, Eric rushes into Fangtasia and instructs Vampire Pam that the two of them will need a place to hide, until all of this blows over. 

“They’ll never recognize us in THESE!”

Vampire Pam immediately suggests the duo hide out at Sookie’s house.

But Eric nixes the idea immediately, because that would be the first place Russell would look.

So, Vampire Pam suggests Dumb Waitress Ginger’s house, as a backup plan.

“Ooh, golly!  I just LOVE slumber parties!  I just wish they didn’t always end with me getting an STD . . .”

Unfortunately, before Vampire Pam can glamour Ginger into letting her and Eric stay at her place, the police arrive  . . . The VAMPIRE POLICE, a.k.a. The American Vampire League.

“The clothing may seem like a bit much.  But we just came from eating the cast of The Matrix.  All that tight leather just seemed too good to waste!”

For reasons that escape my understanding, Vampire Nan Flanagan immediately orders one of her crew of extras from Terminator 4 to “silver” Eric, which, I guess, is the vampire equivalent to tasering.

“I’m so friggin constipated!  I KNEW I shouldn’t have eaten Taco Bill for dinner, last night.”

“It’s called Compton-zuma’s Revenge,  b*tch!”

When the “silvering” happens, Ginger starts randomly screaming her head off . . .

I would have HATED to be on set the day they auditioned people for this character.  Can you imagine?  Hours and hours, of women screaming at the top of their lungs.

Yes, Vampire Eric (a.k.a. Mr. Stamina), we know YOU can imagine it very well.

As it turns out, Nan and her Robo Cops aren’t interested in Eric’s role in Talbot’s death at all.  Instead, they are concerned about the death of the Magister.

It’s OK.  I forgot about him too.  With all these pretty dead characters, the average-looking ones often get short shrift.

If you recall, it was Russell, not Eric,  over whom the Magister  . . . um . . . “lost his head” a few weeks back.  Eric tells Vampire Nan and her cronies as much, during his “webcam testimony.”  With a stoic expression that thinly veils his anguish, Eric (in a performance worthy of an Emmy nomination) completely exposes himself to the American Vampire League.  Fighting back bloody tears, Eric tells of his family’s demise by Russell’s army of V- addicted (leaving out, of course, the whole, “I only survived, because I was schtupping the milkmaid” part.) 

He also tells the Vampire League of Russell’s current dealings with werewolves, and his desire to overthrow the Vampire League, thus allowing vampires to walk the world freely, eating whoever they want, whenever they want them.”

“Check me out, on my high horse.”

Eric concludes with a request that he be allowed kill Russell, himself.

Nan agrees to take Eric’s testimony back to the American Vampire League for its review.  However, during that time, Eric and Pam are kept on lockdown at Fangtasia pending a verdict.  Fearing that the League will use Eric as a scapegoat for the Magister’s death, rather then prosecute the powerful King Russell, Eric mentally prepares himself to be put to “final death.”

In yet another emotional scene, Vampire Eric tells Vampire Pam that if he doesn’t make it out of this “trial” alive, Pam should create a new vampire.  “It is time for you to be a Maker,” says Eric, tearfully.

“My future Grandpa is SO HOT!”

It’s interesting that, while Vampire Bill considers his vampiric nature a curse, and was anguished over having to make Vampire Jessica, Vampire Eric clearly has pride in his species, and, apparently, feels some obligation to extend his “familial line” within it.

The next day Nan Flanagan returns to give Vampire Eric the good news.  Not only will he NOT be put to death for killing the Magister (which he didn’t do) or for killing Talbot (which he did), he will also be given free reign by the Vampire League to kill King Russell, provided he does so without the help or outward approval of the League.

“I know what you are . . . (but I plan to drag out telling you for as many episodes as possible).”

“I know something YOU don’t!  I know something YOU don’t!  Nah Nah Nah Nah, Nah, Nahhhh!”

OK.  They’ve officially strung along this “What is Sookie?” mystery for WAY TOO LONG!  With all of this buildup, people are just bound to be disappointed, when they find out the truth.  Anyway, most of Sookie’s storyline this week involved her trying to figure out what exactly she is, and why her gifts seem to be, at least, partially, genetic.  (Jason has yet to exhibit glow fingers, to our knowledge.)

Perhaps, he reserves his glowing for OTHER parts of his anatomy, if you catch my drift . . .

When we first see Sookie, she is taking a bloody shower with Vampire Bill .  . .

Watching this particular “bloody shower” scene reminded me of two things . . . well, images, actually.  Wanna see them?  Sure you do!  Here’s image one . . .

 . . . and here’s (the much nicer) image two . . .

Unfortunately, this was NEITHER of those shower scenes.  In this one, Bill and Sookie exchange quite a bit of blood.  A portion of this is accomplished by Vampire Bill fervently jabbing his bloody finger into Sookie’s gaping wounds.   (Ummm . . . Owww?)  Believe it or not, this kinky sex act is actually crucial to the plot of this episode . . . And, no, I’m not just saying that sarcastically.

When Sookie emerges from her Shower of Pain, she stumbles upon a dead naked dude in her living room.  Now, while the Sookie of previous seasons would likely have reacted to the sight, by doing this . . .

“Beeeeeeeeeeaaaaal!”

 . . . new and improved Sookie just looked kind of bored.

“Dammit!  I ORDERED a TALL naked corpse.  This one is 5’8”, tops!”

When a contrite Vampire Bill tries to explain to Sookie his whole “dead werewolf sob story,” Sookie cuts him off, completely uninterested in any excuse he may have.  “There’s an old tarp outside.  We can use it to cover him,” she suggests helpfully.

While the on-again, off-again couple are dragging the dead body outside to be buried, they bicker like an old married couple about love, trust and relationship expectations.  I found this scene, in particular, a bit bothersome, as, during it, Sookie is basically reitering to Bill her “dumping” speech from the week prior.  Since then, precisely NOTHING has changed, of course.  All of the problems that existed in the relationship between Sookie and Bill previously (Sookie’s non-immortality, perpetual danger, a lack of love and trust) are still there.  And yet, Sookie took Vampire Bill back in less than an hour’ s time.  That vamp must be SUPER in the sack, that’s all I’M saying . . .

But, not as good as Mr. Stamina, I bet!

Once the body has been buried, Sookie begins to interrogate Bill about that dossier he seems to have on her.  “I don’t know how things were back in the 1800’s, but today, when your boyfriend keeps a file of personal information on you, that’s just plain creepy!”  Sookie gripes.

“It’s not just creepy, Sookie.  It’s Rib Cage Hat, creepy!”

Bill claims he collected the dossier to find out why Eric Northman was so interested in Sookie, so that he could “protect her” from Eric.

Why is everyone blaming Eric Northman for their problems, today?  We all KNOW from watching previous episodes that BILL and Queen Sophie Anne knew about Sookie’s “special  talents,” long before Eric Northman had any clue.   And in terms of Eric’s “interest” in Sookie, up until last week, IT has been almost entirely of a sexual nature . . .

Later, Sookie sits alone in her living room examining Vampire Bill’s “file” on her, which, truth be told, makes a WAY better scrapbook than the empty and super lame “Sookie and Bill” one, that Sookie cried over last week.

It figures that Vampire Bill would be good at this sort of thing.  Right?

In Sookie’s defense, Vampire Bill has had 100’s of years to practice the art of scrapbooking, while Sookie has had only about 26.

In the “scrapbook,” Sookie comes across an article about her father’s public claim that he possessed a “sixth sense” about certain things.  This caused Sookie to wonder whether other members of her family were telepaths too.  And THAT was where young Hunter came in . . .

“If  my son ends up being anything like YOU, I’ll kill myself.  No offense.”

While Sookie is examining Bill’s “pretty” scrapbook, she receives a call from her Counsin Hadley, who has somehow escaped the Vampire King’s mansion and wants to see her cousin before she leaves.  Sookie meets Hadley at a bus station.  There, Hadley apologizes to Sookie for blabbing the origins of her “super secret powers” to the ENTIRE vampire community.

Apparently,  Hadley had become deeply enmeshed in that comunity, lately, due to her having become Queen Sophie Anne’s favorite sex toy . . . . 

This is Hadley.

Of course, even though she has already told most of the Vampire World, Hadley NEVER tells Sookie, herself, what she is, because that would just be too easy . . . (She’s saving it for sweeps week, perhaps?)  Of course, Hadley has not only come to Sookie to apologize, she has also come to “test” her son. Hadley fears that if Hunter is “like Sookie,” that he will be in danger of being tracked down by the vampires too.  So, Sookie sits down next to Hunter and tries to speak to him with her mind.  Lo and behold, HUNTER is a telepath too!

When Hadley finds this out, she grabs her child and escapes the bus terminal,  faster than you can say, “Beeeeeeeeeaaaaal!”

Ummmm . . . yeah . . . because THAT’S not insulting at all!

“Was it something I mind read?”

Dream a Little Dream . . . of Electroshock Therapy.

That day, due to his ingestion of massive quantities of Sookie’s blood, Vampire Bill finds himself in the same cheeseball dream sequence Sookie inhabited just a few weeks earlier.  You know, the one with all the flowers and the spaced out dancers?

When Claudine .  . .

 . . . notices that Bill’s in her little “Hippy Dippy, Age of Aquarius” forest, she becomes immediately convinced that Bill has killed Sookie.  She then zaps his face with her glow fingers, causing him to crumble onto the grass.

Once, he has recovered, Bill tries to glean information about Sookie from Claudine.  Truth be told, Bill gets very little direct intel.  Rather, for most of the visit, Claudine continually (and annoyingly) babbles about how Vampire Bill is “stealing Sookie’s light” and blah, blah, blah. 

Claudine does, however, reveal to Bill that it is her purpose in life to protect Sookie.  “Wow, you must be doing a really sh*tty job, then.  Because that b*tch gets her ass kicked in almost every episode,” retorts Vampire Bill, echoing the thoughts of the entire True Blood fanbase.

And yet, sh*tty security detail or no, Vampire Bill leaves the dream sequence knowing EXACTLY what Sookie Stackhouse is.  “I know what you are,” brags Vampire Bill, when he reunites with her the next evening.

And .  . . then the scene ends.  You know what that makes YOU, True Blood?

Jason Stackhouse leads the War Against Inbreeding

“Take that procreators of two-headed babies!”

Speaking of cockteases, you know who else is one?  THIS GIRL!

Once again, Jason barges into Crystal’s trailer, and once again she is there with her betrothed (and probably brother) Felton.  As if that isn’t bad enough, Crystal tells that loony hick Felton that Jason RAPED HER!

Felton, who has always prided himself on being the ONLY one who can rape Crystal, charges at Jason, knocking his gun from his hand.  Then, Crystal, undoubtedly realizing that all of this is her fault, knocks Felton unconscious by pistol whipping him from behind. 

“Will you stop making me a rapist?”  Jason whines, as the two try to determine how to move the unsconscious Felton’s limp body.  The pair ultimately decide to tie him to a nearby tree in the forest, using rope (because handcuffs don’t work on him, according to Crystal).

Once that is done, Jason, doing an awesomely bad impersonation of a female for no reason whatsoever, alerts the authorities to Felton’s whereabouts. 

“While I have you on the phone, I was wondering .  . . can I borrow some tampons?”

In a surprisingly astute, though highly unethical move, Jason also plants a plastic bag filled with vampire blood in Felton’s pocket, before fleeing the scene with Crystal.

The next day, Jason and Crystal head to the police station, and are alarmed to learn that Kevin, the police officer who visited Felton on account of Jason’s call, was beaten to a bloody pulp by all the other inbreds living in the trailer park.  Now completely determined to get vengeance upon these Deliverance movie extras, Jason approaches Andy with a surprisingly devious and well- thought out plan as to how the Bon Temps PD can infiltrate and arrest the entire trailer park.  The plan is to use the (planted) bag of vampire blood found on Felton as  probable cause to search the trailer park’s premises for crystal meth.  The fact that JASON came up with this idea, and Andy didn’t leads to only one logical conclusion.

 . . . these two have temporarily swapped brains.

But Jason and Andy weren’t the only ones not acting like themselves this week.  You know who else wasn’t?  THIS GUY  . . .

When Calvin Norris, Leader of the Inbreeds, came into Merlotte’s to chew out Crystal for snitching on her own family, Sam surprised everybody, by going totally Incredible Hulk on his ass, tearing up his own bar, and knocking over Crystal in the process.

After Calvin was shipped off to the hospital, Jason triumphantly shared with Crystal his “brilliant” plan to bring down the evil members of her trailer park community.  He presumed this Great Ideea would help him get laid  . . .

 . . . again.  Instead, Crystal cried hysterically at the thought of her father/brother, cousin/ grandfather, sister / mother-in-law etc., possibly going to jail.  She then stormed out of Merlotte’s, leaving a flustered and highly unsatisfied Jason in her wake.

“So much for an early Christmas present.  Maybe there is no such thing as Santa Claus, after all . . .”

Franklin’s BACK!  Annnnnnnd . . . now, he’s gone again!

I never realized how much I truly missed using this disturbing picture in my recaps, until I couldn’t use it anymore . . .

If Jason was suffering any ill effects from his recent endeavors with Crystal . . .

. . . he sure wasn’t showing it.  In fact, when Jason saved Tara from the clutches of the Evil and Unsquashable, Franklin Mott, he seemed like he had Balls of Steel!

But, perhaps, I should backtrack a bit.  When we last saw Franklin, he looked a lot like THIS . . .

 . . . because Tara had hit him with THIS . . .

 . . . while he was sleeping.

Understandably, this was a highly traumatic experience for Tara, who spends most of the episode coping emotionally with her post-traumatic stress.  She even attends a rape support group, alongside, new Merlotte’s waitress, Holly.  Then, toward the end of the episode, Tara finds herself face to face with her living nightmare, once again . . .

“I’m Baaaack!”

Giving no explanation whatsoever as to HOW he survived Tara’s head bashing, Looney Franklin accosts Tara outside Merlotte’,s and threatens her life.  His threats are surprisingly half-hearted, as the vamp actually appears to be more HURT than angry that the “love of his life” tried to literally bash his head in with a blunt object.  In fact, when Tara informs him that she would rather die than spend another second with him, Franklin actually looks like he is about to cry.  And it is in that teary moment, that JASON COMES TO THE RESCUE!

In his THIRD smart move of the night (I’m pretty sure this is a record of some sort.), Jason somehow has the foresight to preload his gun with wooden bullets, which are the only kind that can actually KILL vampires.  (Apparently, Tara could have saved herself a lot of trouble, by simply doing some internet research at the Big Gay Mississippi Mansion where Franklin was holding her captive.) 

So, Jason fires a few rounds at Franklin, and THIS happens . . .

Talk about CLOSURE!

In Other News . . .

Arlene, convinced her new baby will be EVIL . . .

. . . because it’s REAL daddy was a serial killer . . .

 . . . talks to new waitress, Holly, about terminating her pregnancy.

Plus . . .

Hoyt and Jessica . . .

 . . . FINALLY shared a sweet moment together . . .

. . . after weeks of pining after eachother separately.   In fact, Hoyt went as far as to admit that he HATED his lame-ass, biscuit-baking, antique- scouting, doll-hugging, new girlfriend, Summer . . .

 . . . but was staying with her anyway, because he was afraid to be alone.  This admission caused the Baby Vamp to burst into tears . . .

 . . . which, of course . . . Tommy Mickens interpreted as a grand opportunity to get into her Perpetual Virgin panties . . .

Speaking of Tommy .  . .

He’s a thief, who enjoys sassing his elders, and slutting about with big boobed floosies . . .

 . . . but, for whatever, reason, I sort of like him anyway.  Weird.

Also . . .

Lafayette and Jesus seem to be having a lot really hot sex.  And Jesus looks adorable in Lafayette’s Queeny Pink Kimono.  If that’s not a sign of a long- lasting relationship, I don’t know what is. 

 (I’m not really sure where they are going with this sweet, but kind of dull, storyline.  Are you?)

And finally . . .

Russell Edgington . . .

. . . upon seeing his boyfriend reduced to what looked like the insides of a can of red Silly String . . .

 .  . . COMPLETELY SNAPPED.  So, while Nan Flanagan was busy “eating out”  (seriously, are there ANY completely straight vampires on this show?), and eagerly awaiting passage of the Vampire Rights Amendment, Russell was breaking into a local news room, and killing the anchor on live television.  “Humans, us vampires are NOT your equals,” The Old Nutbag announced to the World.  “We are superior to you in every way.  We are going to eat you, after we eat your children.  Back to the weather, Tiffany.”

Now, see, THAT is why I don’t watch local news.   It’s WAY TOO DEPRESSING!

Well, that’s all I’ve got, folks.  See you next week . . . unless Russell Edgington eats me, first!

[www.juliekushner.com]

15 Comments

Filed under True Blood

Change Your Partner, Change the Game: A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Homecoming Hangover”

To call tonight’s installment of Pretty Little Liars a “game changer” is a bit of an overstatement . . . a very cliched overstatement.  And yet, in the most literal sense of the term, that’s what “Homecoming Hangover” was.  After all, this was the episode where everything  . . . CHANGED.  Formerly “hot” romances fizzled out  . . .

I still haven’t given up hope, Wren!  COME BACK!

. . . recently broken relationships were mended, new prospective couplings blossomed, and a MAJOR suspect may very well have been taken out of commission for good.

Now that you know all of the rules have changed, what do you say we start playing the game?

“I Was Hunted Down by Creepy Toby, and All I Got Was This Lame Wrist Brace . . .”

“Thank goodness for this stylish butterfly stitch on my forehead, or you might have never known I was recently in ‘GRAVE DANGER.'”

When the episode opens, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna are still at the Homecoming Dance, searching for Emily when they find her cell phone on the ground . . . along with some broken glass . . . and BLOOD!

“I TOLD Emily she should have never chosen the theme song from The Shining as her ringtone.  That’s just asking for trouble.”

But fear not, boys and girls.  Emily is not dead . . .

 . . . She’s just out for a romantic, late night car ride . . . except, she’s all bloody . . . and unconscious . . .  and Creepy Toby is behind the wheel . . .

Now, those of you who truly believed that Toby would chop up Emily into little bite-sized pieces, and eat them with french fries, have clearly never watched an ABC Family show.  Because in the next scene, Emily is chilling in her bedroom with no injuries at all, except for what appears to be a sprained wrist, and a small, very attractive, cut on her forehead.  Then again, maybe Emily suffered some  brain internal injuries, invisible to the human eye, because she was inexplicably on bedrest for two days. 

As it turns out, Creepy Toby . . .

“That’s ME!”

 . . . merely drove Emily’s unconscious body to the hospital, dumped it near the entranceway, and skipped town on his motorcycle, faster than you could say “raving lunatic.”

The next morning, cops swarmed upon Emily’s home, inquiring as to both Toby’s whereabouts and the location of his psychological records, which seemed to have gone missing that same night (because Hanna took them). 

“Oh yeah!  I’m one Bad Ass Chica!”

At some point during the evening (not sure if it was when Toby was chasing her around the school like a mad man, or dragging her, limp unconscious body into his car), Emily decides that Toby is a “totally sweet guy . . . just misunderstood.” What a moron!  So, she comes up with the brilliant idea to lie to the cops on his behalf, by claiming that her injuries were due merely to her own clumsiness, and nothing more. 

Unfortunately for Emily (and Creepy Toby), precisely NO ONE believes her story, particularly not Emily’s mom.  In fact, Mommy Dearest sees this as a BRILLIANT opportunity to lecture the recently beat up Emily for EMBARASSING her family, by having the NERVE to go to the prom with someone SO UNCOOL!

I don’t understand, Emily.  Why can’t you just date statutory rapists in their mid twenties, like your friends do?”

While Emily is resting up in bed with her barely there injuries, she receives some visitors.  First up are Spencer and Aria, who inform Emily about Toby’s whole “Sister Sex with Blind Jenna” Thing.  Emily who has always really wanted a hot brother to screw, is not quite sure what to do with this information.  Fortunately, My New Favorite Character, Hanna, arrives next, to put things into perspective . . . . She sweetly (and wisely) tells Emily that being a Lesbian is WAY better than dating a Sister F**ker who may very well also be a Stalker / Killer, like Creepy Toby.

Third on the guest list is Blind Jenna . . .

. . . who seems to have replaced her Cane of Destruction with a Hound from Hell.  Blind Jenna’s Guide Dog was so menacing and unstable looking, that if this was a different show, I would have sworn it was Creepy Toby in werewolf form . . .

Jenna also brings cookies, which she insists that Emily eat with milk because it helps the poison in them go down easier.

Fortunately, for Emily, she has seen Snow White enough times to know that taking food from Creepy People is a Bad Idea.  So, she leaves the cookies untouched.  Upon realizing that Emily knows about Creepy Toby’s missing psych file, Blind Jenna begs her for its safe return.  Emily promises Blind Jenna that she will do everything in her power to keep the latter’s Brother F*c*ing Secret safe, by retrieving the file.  However, when Emily texts the other Pretty Little Liars regarding said promise, they have already thrown the file in the LAKE, fully in tact.  

Riiiiiight . . . because NO ONE is going to find it THERE!  Haven’t these girls ever heard of a SHREDDER?

NO!  Not THAT Shredder!  THIS Shredder . . .

Only two can keep a secret, if one of them is SHRED . . .

During this episode, Emily also wins a car . . .

and decides to make a go of it with her lady crush, Maya . . .

 . . . which I would be excited about . . . if these two weren’t the most BORING lesbian couple on the entire planet  . . .

Hanna learns the joys of YouTube . . . and Lucas

“Hey, Hanna!  I found this GREAT video where they make fun of all the girls from Pretty Little Liars.  Wanna see?”

The next day at school, Hanna has to take a makeup picture, for the yearbook, wearing her Homecoming Queen crown. Hanna’s photographer is none other than THIS GUY  . . .

 . . . no . . . actually it’s not him. 

However, OUR guy, Lucas, looks and acts JUST LIKE Seth Cohen from The O.C., which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why I like him so much.  After initially getting adorably shy and flustered around Hanna, upon seeing her once again decked out in her homecoming finest, Lucas quickly develops an easy repoire with the Queen Bee, tossing cute jokes and sarcastic quips her way, as he hones in on her with his camera lens. 

Then, unfortunately, the Boring, Quite Possibly Gay, Sean has to come and ruin everything, with his bitchy attitude and his blubbering about how Hanna ditched him at the dance.    Boo Hoo, Rich Popular Jock Boy, the world’s smallest violin is performing an entire concert in your honor . . .

Beauty and the D-Bag.

Did I mention that this A-hole couldn’t even be bothered to put on a PAIR OF PANTS, before appearing in the photo shoot?  (Then again, Sean was probably just trying to hit on Lucas, by showing him his hot dog . . .)

It’s a tough job, but SOMEONE has to be Sean’s little weiner.

 Sean ultimately throws a temper tantrum, and storms out of the room, leaving Hanna and Lucas alone to flirt with eachother.

Later, Hanna and Lucas bond over the wonderful world of YouTube, and, in particular, a video involving a Snowboarding Turkey.

Not exactly the video I would have chosen to help land ME a date.  But it seemed to work prettyh well for Lucas.  So who am I to judge?

While enjoying their YouTube, Lucas and Hanna learned that they both had something else in common: both had a bad high school nickname bestowed upon them by none other than the Now Dead Ali . . .

Lucas’ was “Herme the Hermaphodite,” because Ali didn’t like his glasses (Huh?  I don’t get it.)  Hanna was “Hefty Hanna” (Now, that one I get, at least).  Wise Lucas then asks Hanna what many Pretty Little Liars fans have undoubtedly been thinking since the start of this show.  Namely, “Why the heck did you all hang out with Ali, if she was such a b*tch?”  (Well, put Seth Cohen Lucas!)

Hanna spouts off some nonsense about Ali having a way of “making people feel special.”  However, I suspect the REAL reason for their friendship was that Ali had a way of “making people popular.”

At the end of the episode, Hanna makes up with Sean, but soon learns that HE, unlike Lucas, has NO appreciation for Snowboarding YouTube Turkeys OR Loud Music (two things which should clearly signify the death knell for ANY high school relationship).  Worry not, Sean . . . you’ll always have Jesus . . .

First Wren Leaves, Now Fitzy, What is this show coming to?

Watch with a heavy heart, as those pasty twig legs and dweeby haircut ride off into the sunset  . . . alone.

But before I get to Fitzy, there’s something else you should know about Sean.  Aside from loving Jesus, and hating Snowboarding Turkeys, he’s also a two-timing bastard.  He taught us that, when he sent a huge bouquet of flowers to his girlfriend’s best friend, Aria, in hopes that doing so would help him to get into her pantalones, pronto.  (By the way, I’m not buying Sean’s whole “abstinence thing” for a minute.   Are you?)

Say what you want about Aria, but she KNOWS bullshit when she sees it.  Suspecting that Sean is only feigning interest her to get back at Hanna for her Homecoming Dance antics, Aria calls Sean out on his behavior, extracting a heartfelt apology from him, in the process.  Aria’ is lucky that this incident blew over fast, because she REALLY doesn’t have time for any more BS in her life.  She’s already chock full.  During this episode, Aria had to deal with the trial separation of her mother and father, AND her brother’s acting out in school . . .

To further complicate matters, overnight, her lover, Ezra a.k.a. Fitzy, seemed to have went the way of Wren and Creepy Toby — having disappeared into thin air overnight (They REALLY are dropping like flies, aren’t they?  It SURE doesn’t help your employment status to have a weiner on this show!). 

Desperate for answers, Aria heads to Fitzy’s apartment, and lets herself in using the hide-a-key he has left under his welcome mat. 

REALLY, Fitzy?  A HIDE-A-KEY?  Under a WELCOME MAT?  In an APARTMENT COMPLEX?  You might has well put a sign on your door that says, “Please Rob Me!”

Anyway, soon after Aria is safely inside Fitzy’s apartment, she hears a message on his answering machine from a nearby high school.  Apparently, Fitzy is applying for a job out of town.  Aria is crushed, though I’m not exactly sure why.  If Fitzy starts teaching elsewhere, Aria and him can bone without fear of repercusion for the whole “student / teacher thing.”  Then again . . . there’s still the whole “statutory rape” thing on the table.  Fitzy can’t exactly make that one disappear, now can he?

Spencer Shish-Kabobs and Salsas into Alex’s Heart

While Aria was LOSING her OLD man (emphasis on the OLD), Spencer was digging her claws into her NEW one.  With Wren seemingly no where to be found he’s probably off shooting a pilot episode somewhere, Spencer has devoted herself wholeheartedly to getting Alex’s pants. 

 Her campaign begins in the kitchen at the country club where Spencer plays and Alex works.  Spencer barges in to apologize for her bad behavior during the Homecoming Dance.  Clearly turned on by Spencer’s persistence and agression, Alex quickly forgives her and agrees to give her another chance, provided she let HIM pick the terms of the couple’s next date.  Spencer is overjoyed.

One – Love. (Two, if you count Wren, which I STILL DO!)

Just in case you forgot what he looks like . . .

Unfortunately, on the day of the Big Date, Alex calls Spencer to cancel, claiming he has to work.  Knowing the country club is closed that day, Spencer quickly becomes convinced that she has been stood up.   So, she does what any good stalker girlfriend would do, she heads to the country club, to catch him in a lie.  Except that, the jokes on her, because, HE’S WORKING AFTER ALL!

You’ve really gotta hand it to Spencer.  Rather than leave with her tail between her legs, she insists on sticking around to help Alex skewer shish kabobs.  She even wears a HAIR NET!  Now, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is . . .

Love means never having to get your hair in the mashed potatos.

And I have to say, despite a slight tiff involving a defaced photograph of Spencer hanging in the kitchen supply closet (someone who works there is apparently not a fan), these two made a mighty cute couple.   As the pair cooked and listened to the radio, an adorably booty shaking Alex (who has a really cute butt, by the way) commandeered Spencer to participate in a surprisingly spicy salsa dance.  And while it wasn’t quite enough to make me jump ship and switch to Team Alex, it WAS fun to watch . . .

At the end of the episode, two fairly important (and spooky) things happened:

(1) Creepy Toby’s Creepy Motorbike was found mangled in the woods.   He is now believed by authorities to be dead.  This prompted the Absent- for- NEARLY – An- ENTIRE Episode, A to, text the following message to Emily:  ‘Thank you for getting Toby out of the way for me;”

(2) That weird leather jacket-wearing, black-gloved person (who must be REALLY hot wearing all those layers, by the way, seeing as it always seems to be pretty sunny in the fictional town of Rosewood) retrieved Creepy Toby’s Creepy Sister F&*king Psych Evaluation from the lake.

So, there you have it.  “Homecoming Hangover” in a nutshell.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty solid, well acted, at times, even surprising, episode.  What did you think?

 

17 Comments

Filed under Pretty Little Liars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “Let’s get this PARTY started!”

Confuscius say, “Who hijacked MY Fortune Cookie?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then again . . . maybe not.

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

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

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

Hanna Gets Sexercised

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

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

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

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

“I can’t do this,” replies Lucas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on Creepy Toby in a bit . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Who, moi?”

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

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

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

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

Awkward much?

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

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

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

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

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

But I STILL hate that awful haircut . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . and was in town when Ali disappeared!

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

“We all have secrets, Emily!”

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

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

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

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

16 Comments

Filed under Pretty Little Liars