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Once Upon a Time’s Recent Reconstructive Surgery Will Render It Nearly Unrecognizable In Season 7, But It’s Far From the First Show to Go Under the Knife

(soon to be cross-posted at Agony Booth.com)

After her memorable portrayal of the earnest and refreshingly relatable Baby Houseman in the original Dirty Dancing (not to be confused with the atrocious remake that will appear on ABC this week), actress Jennifer Grey seemed destined for a long and glorious Hollywood career. And then she went and got a nose job.

Though her talent agents undoubtedly praised her new appearance as being more in line with the American Beauty Standards of the day, Grey and her new nose no longer resembled the strong-willed teen that nobody was allowed to “put in a corner.” The surgery nearly ended her career. And though the actress does occasionally appear on TV and film (most recently as the real estate agent mother of the main character in the Amazon series Red Oaks), one can’t help but wonder what might have been had she refused Hollywood pressure to go under the knife.

Television series are a bit like Jennifer Grey’s face, I think. Over time, they are naturally going to age, and evolve as seasons pass. But if they change too much, or too quickly, from what made fans like them in the first place, those changes will undoubtedly result in the series’ demise.

This past week, in a two-hour season finale that I wasn’t able to timely recap because I was overseas, Once Upon a Time closed the storybook on its sixth season. It was an episode that could have functioned as a series finale, had the show not been picked up for a seventh season. Emma Swan, the series’ main protagonist, fulfilled the Prophecy of Saviors by sacrificing her own life to protect goodness against evil, only to have her life restored at the last minute by the ever-abused Plot Band-Aid that is “True Love’s Kiss.” Rumple, the series’ on again, off again (but mostly on again) peripheral baddie, took grand steps toward redemption by killing his own mother, the Black Fairy, who also so happened to be the Big Bad of the Season. In doing so, Rumple (1) broke the curse that his Mommy placed on the town, (2) reunited with the love of his life, the much put-upon and criminally underutilized character, Belle, and (3) got a second chance to raise his son Gideon, who was conveniently reverted from troubled 28-year old man with a perma-scowl to baby boy following the final battle.

The show even went as far as to add a series-ending-esque musical montage epilogue to the finale, which depicted each of the main characters experiencing their so-called happy ending, by returning to their respective loved ones and resuming “business as usual” in the much-abused town of Storybrooke.

Had Once Upon a Time ended with its sixth season, it would have been a respectable run for the series, by any stretch of the imagination. At 133 episodes (22 to 23 per season, which is almost unheard of in this current culture of “sexy” 9-to-10 episode truncated season runs), Once boasts 12 more episodes than the uber successful and generally beloved (except for maybe it’s series finale) Lost, another ABC series that coincidentally featured the same writing team as Once.

The series is also well over the “age limit” generally required for syndication (four seasons). This means that, after Once ends, it’s pretty much guaranteed a second life in reruns and re-airings, both in the U.S. and overseas.

Up until a few weeks ago, at least, a sixth season run seemed precisely where Once Upon a Time was headed. This seemed particularly true, in the wake of news that nearly three-quarters of the original cast (most notably, Jennifer Morrison who plays main protagonist Emma, and series stars Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin, who play Prince Charming and Snow White, respectively) would not be returning to the show for future seasons. In addition to a truncated cast, the show was also struggling HARD in the ratings department. Having garnered a respectable average of around 11 million viewers per episode in its first season, by its sixth, the show was averaging less than 3 million. To add insult to injury, ABC had recently announced plans to move the series from its six-year home on Sunday nights to the dreaded Friday night death slot.

That’s right, Emma. Drink away the pain!

And yet, despite all this, the Once Upon a Time was renewed, and its showrunners decided to continue the saga for an unlikely seventh season. With virtually none of its original cast returning, the showrunners decided to pitch the season as a reboot of sorts. The plot would now focus on Emma’s son, Henry Mills (now grown, and played, understandably, by an older, and much more attractive, actor) and his scrappy daughter.

Puberty has been REALLY kind to you, Henry!

Cast veterans Lana Parilla (who plays the Evil Queen), Collin O’Donohue (who plays Captain Hook), and Robert Carlyle (who plays Rumplestiltskin) would reportedly continue on with the series, though their role in this restructured show, at least, at this point, is uncertain.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a long running show was forced to shift gears in later seasons, as a result of cast member departures and/or flagging ratings. Medical drama ER (which lasted on air for a whopping 15 seasons), and its contemporary Hot Doc Show, Grey’s Anatomy (still going strong after an impressive 13 seasons) have both made a point of casually introducing new cast members each season by cycling through classes of medical interns. This is a clever way for a show to test out the likability of new cast members on a smaller scale, and, if they pass the ratings test, gradually increasing their roles on the series, so that they can eventually take the place of primary cast members, should they eventually decide to depart from the series. To date, only four of the original Grey’s Anatomy cast members still remain on the show.

Perhaps, no series has been more successful at cycling through cast members than the Canadian high school drama, Degrassi, which has been on air in some form since as early as 1982! Using a similar model to Greys and ER, Degrassi is known for introducing a new class of freshman students each year, and gradually shifting focus toward those students, as older characters graduate from high school, and the cast members who play them depart the show. In fact, Degrassi has been shuffling cast members for so long that some of its original cast members now play the middle-aged parents of characters who recently graduated from college, and subsequently were married to one another. And you know what that means . . . Degrassi Grandparents aren’t out of the realm of possibility in seasons to come.

Other series have been forced to make abrupt changes in their main cast lists, as a result of the sudden departures of series’ protagonists. Pitched as a family drama revolving around a father raising teenage daughters, and based on a book with the same name, 8 Simple Rules, had to switch some pretty serious gears after its first season, following the untimely death of John Ritter, who played the show’s patriarch. David Spade and James Garner were brought on for the show’s final two seasons as family members’ of the main characters.

Spin City a sitcom about the goings on in NYC local government lost its star Michael J. Fox after four seasons, as a result of the increased severity of his Parkinson’s disease. Fox was replaced by Charlie Sheen, who played a different character, naturally, for the series’ final two seasons.

Sheen went on to star alongside John Cryer on Two and a Half Men, which lasted for 12 seasons on air. Coincidentally, this time, it was Sheen’s turn to depart a successful series, as a result of his own misbehavior and issues with substance abuse, around season 8. Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, as a series co-lead. The latter’s tenure on the show lasted for four seasons, and ended only when the series was cancelled in 2015.

The aforementioned series are all shining examples of moderately to majorly successful cast member replacements. And it was these examples the showrunners’ of Once Upon a Time undoubtedly cited in the writers’ room, when they were pitching the idea of continuing their series without most of the original cast.

However, unlike all of these shows, Once has not had the opportunity to gradually introduce or test out its new leading cast members, Andrew J. West of The Walking Dead and Alison Fernandez of Jane the Virgin. (Though both characters were featured in the series finale, they had a combined screen time of less than five minutes.) And while three of the original cast members still plan to continue on with the series, in order to provide some consistency and appease loyal fans, the veterans’ chemistry with the new additions to the cast still remains a question mark, as the two new additions to the cast appeared in scenes only with one another during the finale.

Regina: “Who is the new hot guy with the little girl?” Emma: “I think that’s supposed to be our son and his kid.” Regina: “So, basically, in the last five seconds, I just learned I’m a grandparent at 40. I also inadvertently expressed attraction to my own child. So much to talk about in my next therapy session with Jiminey Cricket.”

Nonetheless, the showrunners of Once remain cautiously optimistic about the new direction in which the show is headed in its seventh season. “It’s like a new book. So, we’re starting with new stories. Although it’s going to have some of the people that we’ve loved for six years at the center of it, we are going to meet new people and new worlds,” Executive producer Adam Horowitz explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

New people. New worlds. New time slot. New cast members. In fact, the series name will be just about the only thing Once Upon a Time will retain this fall from its first six seasons. But new and different doesn’t always mean better, as Jennifer Grey’s nose will most certainly confirm. And so Once Upon a Time has headed to hiatus, leaving fans with the greatest cliffhanger of all. Will this series will be able to survive its forced reconstructive surgery, and obtain it’s long awaited Happily Ever After in Syndication Land? Only time will tell . . .

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Game of Groans – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s Season Finale “Status Asthmaticus”

good cover shotAfter watching 5 seasons of a show, the characters in it become sort of like your friends.

stydiaYou know them pretty well.

stiles and scottYou care about them . . . most of them, anyway.

more of that stuff halestilesYou want to see them succeed . . . again . . . most of them.

ep 8 stiles excited jeff bernbieYou want to shake them by their little scrawny shoulders, when they do things that are just so friggin stupid, and counterproductive to their leading long, healthy, successful lives, that you can’t fathom how they’ve survived this long in the world, without accidentally running headfirst into moving traffic, while wearing a red Superman cape, and/or drowning in a 3-foot deep kiddie pool.

no idea what im doingWhile you were watching Teen Wolf this week, you may have heard some strange sound effects in the background that you couldn’t quite place. That was me . . . groaning, grumbling, and vigorously shaking my head, at these teenagers, who, just seasons earlier, continuously stuck together, while each and every one of them took a turn at being temporarily evil, but now, for no conceivable reason, have decided to alienate, lie to, and occasionally try to murder one another, all because some good looking guy suggested it would be a good idea.

die in blinkin8In short, the Beacon Hills Scooby Gang has somehow become the kids in the slasher film, who you are supposed to be rooting for, but who make it kind of hard for you to do so, when they are constantly, walking alone into the scary basement with no lights and only one exit, when they should instead be running to the car outside, and booking it the hell away from the Cabin Where All Those People Got Murdered Last Summer.

https://youtu.be/olEbwhWDYwM

Let’s review, shall we?

[A big ole thank you to my pal Andre, who convinced me that it was worth it to recap this series this summer, if only so it would give me an opportunity to enjoy his awesome screencaps of it.]

“Suck on My Girlfriend, Please?”

dying hayWhen you are in werewolf “family,” you are guaranteed to experience some really awkward life moments. . . like when you have to beg your father figure to give the new love of your life a hickey, that will make her really hormonal and hairy, so that she won’t die a horribly painful death.

give her bite

So, THIS exchange happened on the show:

Liam: “Suck on my girlfriend now! Chew on her really good!”

Scott: “Honestly, I just had dinner, and I’m not really hungry right now? Also, she’s really sweaty. I feel like eating her will make me break out. Thirdly, if I chew on her she may get rabies and die . . . but, like, in a different way than she’s dying right now . . . a wolfy way.”

full moon scott

Liam: “All that stuff didn’t seem to bother you when you were sucking on my arm last season, like it was a chocolate Tootsie Pop!”

mad liam

Scott: “That was different. You were about to become a main character on the show. And you weren’t as gross and sweaty as she is now. You have really great skin, you know that? Like baby soft, and no pores, whatsoever. You were an absolute pleasure to suck. Your girlfriend will taste like ass.”

Liam: ????

Scott: “Also, you were hanging from a building and definitely going to die. Your girlfriend only has a 99.99% chance of dying.”

Liam: ????!!

Scott: “Look, I don’t want to get to first base with your girlfriend’s gross neck, OK? End of discussion. Now, if you’d excuse me, I have to go further emasculate myself, by sucking on this fake inhaler.”

fake inhalerThen, the crew take Dying Hayden to MIA Vet, Deaton’s office, so Melissa McCall, who is neither a doctor, nor a veterinarian, can fail miserably at saving her life. Hayden, who knows she’s a goner, having placed her life in the hands of a bunch of bozos, repeatedly makes the dying request to see her sister before she inevitably croaks. It’s a request that everyone in the room blatantly ignores, because they are total assholes.

werkinAt one point, they actually send Scott out to pretend to go fetch the sister, but he goes to visit with his friend Lydia instead. And, of course, no one thinks of calling this woman on her cell phone, or trying to contact her at the police station WHERE SHE WORKS, because she is not a main character, and, therefore, unimportant.

Meanwhile, inside Stiles’ Jeep Roscoe. . .

Bummer Man

sad stilesRemember back in Seasons 1 and 2 when Stiles was fun? He was the comic relief of the show! The one who wore adorable tee shirts with cute sayings on them, or pictures of muffins . . . the one who had a quippy comeback for every line uttered on the show . . . the one who somehow managed to find a silver lining inside the death trap that he and his friends found themselves in every season?

sarcasm defenseDon’t get me wrong, Werebangers. Dylan O’Brien is still the best. He acts rings around pretty much everybody on the show, no matter what material he is given. He even pulled off being the best villain the series has ever seen. And he’s tugged at my heartstrings more times than I can count.

But man, has this character been a Charlie Brown with a rain cloud on top of his head all season!

102711_charlie_brown_teen_wolf111028120904

raining on your parad

Somebody get this guy on Wellbutrin! Also, get him to a mechanic whose willing to fix his jeep for free. I mean the thing was literally flipped over and set on fire, and Stiles is still driving the thing. You would think his cop dad, might have a problem with that, seeing as there is absolutely no way Roscoe passes inspection, which means his son is violating about a million traffic laws, every time he gets behind the wheel.

stiles and jeepAnyway, Stiles in understandably bummed that his friend Scott is acting like such a turd, and, you know, because, he killed that Douchebag with the weird teeth. So, he throws a wrench at the window of poor, broke down Roscoe the Jeep, which is a total example of Kick The Dog Syndrome.

throw it

broken jeep

“I don’t like it when you hit me with tools, Stiles.

“When Malia picks him up (because, apparently, she’s a really great driver now), Stiles is being unusually uncommunicative, so Malia, being the good girlfriend that she is, attempts to break the ice, by telling Stiles it’s totally cool that he’s a murderer and stuff. “You killed some people, as Void Stiles. And killed Weird Teeth guy, as yourself,” Malia explains. “I thought I killed my adopted family. And now I actually want to kill my mom. We are a Killer Couple . . . like Bonnie and Clyde . . . if Bonnie was a werecoyote.”

stalia 1 stalia 2

“Um, can we talk about this after I witness my father having yet another brush with death that could have been prevented, if Scott didn’t suck so badly at being a hero?” Stiles asks hopefully.

“Sure, no problem,” replies Malia. “I’m just going to go hang out in the hidey hole where I lived and pooped for eight years, fondle a baby doll, and ogle unnecessarily naked Evil Theo, who, P.S. is part coyote, and is trying to steal me away from you, so you can go be with Lydia.”

my best friend

“Try not to look at the naked man in the hallway, baby. You are too young to see such things. Me, on the other hand . . .”

nakey the

“Sounds great. Bye soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend!” Stiles calls out over his shoulder, as he heads to the police station.

At the police station, Stiles finds out his father is out of the office. He’s actually at the school . . . with Hayden’s sister, and a large, as of yet unseen chimera, who must really hate Beacon Hills High, and, of course, those pesky not-very-good-at-speaking English Dredd Doctors . . .

broken beaconRuh-roh!

Also at the police station with Stiles, but not his dad . . .

Naked Garbage Man Finally Gets a Clue . . . Actually Lydia Gets it For Him . . . Because Thinking Makes His Brain Hurt

With bars between them, so they can no longer beat the crap out of one another as a form of foreplay, Lydia and Parrish are relegated to pretending their fingers are sex organs, and poking at one another through the bars.

fondle 1 fondle 2“Is life easier for you, now that you know you are a banshee, and can finally stop waking up dirty and naked in the woods?” Parrish inquires conversationally.

“Not really,” Lydia replies. “I mean, it would be if Jeff Davis could get a handle on what banshees actually do, but my powers and skills tend to change week to week, so I never really know what I am until I read the script.”

“Hey, I wake up dirty and naked in the woods sometimes, and seem to really have a thing for manhandling corpses,” Parrish muses. “Does that mean I’m a male banshee? It would explain why we are hot for one another, despite our obvious age difference, and the fact that I am a mental midget compared to you, so we couldn’t possibly ever have any interesting conversations with one another, that go beyond a third-grade reading level?”

more carrying“Nah. We are only attracted to one another, because we are both attractive people. And teen shows demand that all attractive people must eventually pork one another,” Lydia explains. “Also you aren’t a banshee, you’re a hellhound.”

hell hound“I thought I was a phoenix. Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense, given the hints that were thrown out about me last season?” Parrish wonders.

“It would. But then all the fans immediately pegged you as a phoenix. And that pissed Jeff Davis off. So, he decided to throw a curve ball and make you something else that he randomly found on Wikipedia,” Lydia responds.

“OK. But what exactly makes me a hellhound, as opposed to something else . . . like a phoenix?” Parrish presses.

“I don’t know. Let me go to the school library, and put myself in harms way to find out, even though I could probably just Google Hellhound on my smart phone and get the limited information we need to satisfy this plot point,” Lydia answers as she walks out of the police station, completely ignoring Stiles, who is there too.

stiles-15“I’m going to break out of here, steal some more bodies, and maybe accidentally kill some people, if you aren’t here to babysit me,” Parrish calls out after Lydia, by way of warning.

“I know and don’t care,” Lydia responds, as she closes the door behind her.

Moments later, Parrish breaks out of his jail cell, all red-eyed and dangerous looking. Stiles, who is a kid, and not a cop, tells all the cops around him not to shoot at the clearly violent Parrish. So, they don’t, and, instead just let Parrish go out into the world and potentially hurt some innocents, without going after him in their cop cars, or calling for backup.

dont shoot he leavesLaw enforcement in Beacon Hills is the best!

News Flash: Beacon Hills Officially Has a Vampire

shock and awe face

It was only a matter of time folks . . . just a matter of time.

Also, Braeden’s back, and fully confused by what happened to this show during the half-season she’s been away having 24-7 sex with Derek Hale.

what the hell was

“So, the guys in the black suits that talk funny? They are the Oni, right?” Braeden asks Malia, with whom she has never before exchanged words, but who suddenly seems like her best pal.”

“No, that was season 3. These are the Dredd Doctors,” Malia explains.

“But they kind of look and act like the Oni,” Braeden muses.

the girls“I know, right?” Malia replies.

“And Parrish . . . he’s a phoenix?” Braeden continues.

“Hellhound,” Malia corrects.

“What the heck is a hellhound?” Braeden asks.

Malia shrugs.

“What about the douchey good looking evil guy that hits on everyone in the cast, male and female? That’s Jackson?” Braeden asks.

theo“Nope,” Malia replies.

“Aiden then . . . or Ethan? I always get those two confused.”

“His name is Theo,” Malia answers.

“But he kind of looks and acts like Jackson, Aiden and Ethan . . .”

twins - Copy“I know right?” Malia replies again. “Anyway, enough about them. Come help me kill my mother, before she kills me.”

“I thought you’d never ask!” Braeden responds.

I know Malia and Braeden are both supposed to be straight and spoken for, but, honestly, wouldn’t these two be like the best lesbian couple ever?

More Violence Against Women (and Stiles) Ensues . . .

Theo finds Lydia in the library, and punches her in the face, knocking her unconscious, because he’s afraid she will clue in the Scooby Gang to the fact that she “senses death.”

going to dieBut clearly, he just punched her in the face for the fun of it, because, obviously she senses death, because like 50 teenagers died this season! So, why would that implicate Theo at all?

Theo’s basically been walking around this entire season, twirling his villain mustache, sporting his “I am Evil tee shirt,” everyday, murdering puppies, and eating babies everywhere he goes, in plain sight.  And yet, still, no one, but Stiles, ever suspected him of wrong doing . . . . probably because the entire Scooby gang has apparently spent the summer drinking Moron Juice, which prevents them from engaging in logical reasoning of any sort. So, why punch a girl in the face now, and ruin all this undeserved trust you’ve built up all season, right when your Evil Plan is finally starting to come to fruition? Because it’s the season finale, obviously . . .

real faceScott takes the bait to come find Lydia, when he should be off collecting Hayden’s sister and taking her to Hayden’s death bed. This was yet another super dumb move on Scott’s part. So, of course, evil Theo has to lock him in the library using mountain ash, and reveal himself as a villain to SCOTT TOO!

in library“P.S. Your inhaler is fake and filled with wolfsbane,” Theo explains helpfully. “P.P.S. I’m a chimera, who is going to steal your pack from you, even though I’ve been going around punching them all in the face, which would indicate that I have poor leadership skills. P.P.P.S. Liam is going to kill you and take your Alpha powers to save Hayden, and then I’m going to kill him and take those Alpha Powers from him. Now, I’d love to stay and chat, but I gotta go punch Stiles in the face, and hope that it will turn him on enough that he will have sex with me. P.P.P.P.S. I’m secretly in love with Stiles. See ya!”

void stilesTheo finds Stiles outside, and the two roll around on the ground for a little bit. It’s sexy in a Fight Club sort of way. At least Stiles is fighting back, so it doesn’t give off that domestic abuse sort of vibe we got when Theo was beating the crap out of Lydia. Then, Theo admits to Stiles that both Scott and his father should be dying by the end of the episode, and Stiles can only save one of them.

Stiles chooses his dad, because his dad is awesome, and, at least lately, Scott, is the worst.

stiles and dad saveIt’s the first good choice anyone has made all season . . .

So Many Zombies, So Little Time . . .

Liam has now arrived at the library, and he’s doing a pretty good job of beating to death Scott, the supposed “True Alpha.”

fightinWe are told that Liam is doing this because the Super Moon is making his Irritable Bowel Syndrome Act up, so he’s gassy, and really grumpy about it.

moonDid I say Liam had IBS? I meant IED. I always get those two confused . . .

Liam is so busy beating up Scott to save Hayden, that he totally misses Hayden’s ACTUAL DYING. (Also, no one ever answered Hayden’s dying request to see her sister at her death bed, so that sucks. Mason just barely stops Liam from killing Scott by informing him that Hayden, is in fact, already dead, which sort of defeats the purpose.

mad liam again

crin

Then, Theo pops by, and is really pissed at Mason for stopping Liam from killing Scott, so he . . . wait for it . . . punches Mason in the face, just so the new pack member won’t feel left out, since he’s already done it to everyone else.

mason shcokYou would think now that Theo is totally screwed, right? Because he’s alienated his would-be pack by beating them all up. Plus, he can’t take Scott’s True Alphaness from him directly, as he’s a chimera, who wasn’t bitten by Scott, and Liam didn’t do it for him.

That would be logical. But this is Teen Wolf, where logic left the building two seasons ago. So, Theo kills Scott . . . for a few minutes at least.

killing scott

chest compress wake up

And then, he suddenly has the Alpha powers he needs, to do that neck fondling thing to Lydia, where he finds out where the Nemeton is located . . . because, again, big ole trees covered in dead bodies are near impossible to find otherwise.

burin

This inexplicably renders Lydia catatonic, even though it hasn’t had that effect on anyone else who has been neck fondled on the show . . .

head fondle

Then, Theo takes the heroin mixed in cocaine and dirty water that the Dredd Doctors were using on themselves, and injects it into Hayden, Corey, Tracey, and that kid he killed on the roof a few episodes back, who liked eating electric wires. This act has the surprise effect of bringing them all instantly back to life, as mindless sycophants, who follow him, just because he’s good looking, even though he ACTUALLY MURDERED ONE OF THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE . . in other words, they act just like our Scooby Gang acted all season, only they have a slightly better excuse for doing so, because . . . ZOMBIES.

tracey is up corey up“Come with me if you want to live . . . my new pack, who are my second choice, because I punched everyone in my first pack in the face, and they no longer want to play with me,” Theo explains in his best Arnold Schwartzenager from The Terminator voice.

he walks they follow

Elsewhere, the Dredd Doctors finally reveal their true plan . . . and it involves . . . wall renovation, and really ugly artwork?

wall break

artwork

See ya next season, Werebangers!

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And They All Lived Crappily Ever After – A Recap of Galavant’s Episodes 7 and 8

buddies

It seems like only yesterday (because it more or less was) that we first met Galavant (a singing, pungent-smelling, chicken-loving hero, who looked his absolute best when naked and wet and/or wearing hoodies).

hoodie

Since then, we’ve ventured with him on a four-week journey to win back the heart of the b*tch he inexplicably loved, and rescue an obscure, sparsely populated kingdom from the clutches of an “Evil” King who was supposed to be The Worst but was actually The Best.

shoot with cross

And now here we are at the stunning conclusion of a show that will very likely not be renewed, given its fairly abysmal ratings and the fact that ABC had the genius idea to air its second episode opposite the Golden Globes . . .

lost it galavant

But hey, at least we’re guaranteed to get a happy ending right?

mad var

OK . . . well, not like a totally happy ending (they need to save some conflict for the rare chance we actually get a Season 2), but some things will surely work out for the best, won’t they?

not giving up

Like the mutually attractive Galavant and Princess Lots-of-Last-Names will get to begin their courtship in earnest ?

shakes head 2

Orrrr . . . Gareth and King Evil Dick will belatedly admit their love for one another and rule their glorious kingdom side by side?

shakes head 3

Umm . . . the odious Madalena will finally get what is coming to her?

no emotions

Galavant will get to have his long-awaited Hero Moment?

sad rump

Everybody will get to eat more chicken?

majorly dancing cook

Well . . . one out of five ain’t bad! Let’s review shall we?

You can check out the rest of this recap here.

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It’s Always Dawn-est Before the Dark – A Recap of Once Upon a Time’s “Heroes and Villains”

queens of darkness

Welcome to the mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time, a.k.a. The Episode Where We Learn How Everything That Was Fixed in the Last Episode Will Turn to Crap Just in Time for Part B of the Season. It was an episode jam packed with ooey gooey goodness, and a heaping helping of angst thrown in for good measure. Let’s see, we got a wedding . . .

clapping

. . . well . . . part of a wedding . . .

ouat 4.1 belle

. . . we got to see a bride look in the mirror before her wedding . . .

“What? She couldn’t have waited another 20 minutes, until she got home? What a b*tch! Team Regina all the way!”

Two lovers rekindled their romance . . .

say goodbye

. . . and then . . . un-kindled it.

regina tears

Rumpel had a very good day . . .

everything i desire

. . . followed by a very bad one . . .

im afraid

. . . followed by a trip to the aquarium?

Lots of people made out with one another.

reunited kiss hook

And three very fabulous Drag Queens of Darkness finally found their King.

Let’s review, shall we?

You can check out the rest of this recap here.

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Presto Chango – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s Season Finale “Smoke and Mirrors”

presto chango iii

Game of Bones . . .

Have you ever seen a children’s magic show? By design, a children’s magic show has to be different from its adult counterpart. You see, children generally don’t have the patience for the pomp and circumstance of adult magic shows . . . the “mood music,” the attractive scantily clad assistant, the table that spins in the center of the stage for no apparent reason than to make the audience dizzy.

Because of this, children’s magic shows tend to consist of a variation of the same magic trick, over and over again. “Presto chango.” This hat is empty.

“Presto chango.” Now there is a rabbit in it.

make bunny cry

“Presto chango.” We poured milk into a rolled up newspaper.

“Presto chango.” Now it’s dry.

“Presto chango.” This is a blank coloring book.

“Presto chango.” Now it’s filled with the colors the audience shouted at the magician, a moment earlier.

blue just pretty

Season 4 of Teen Wolf, in general, and the aptly titled “Smoke and Mirrors” finale, specifically, felt a bit like watching a children’s magic show . . .

“Presto chango.” There’s a deadpool.

“Presto chango.” Just kidding!

all contracts terminated

“Presto chango.” Derek’s a man werewolf. “Presto chango.” Now, he’s a kid werewolf. “Presto chango.” Now, he’s dying. “Presto chango.” Now, he’s not dying, and is an actual wolf.

thats me

“Woof.”

“Presto chango.” Scott’s a berserker. “Presto chango.” He’s better now.

ephemeral

“Presto chango.” Liam’s petrified of berserkers , and doesn’t want to be a member of the pack. “Presto chango.” “I’ll die for you, Scott McCall!”

confused liam

Back in my early season recaps of Teen Wolf, one of the aspects of the show I always complimented was the way in which its writers never felt they had to underestimate their fans intelligence, by spoon-feeding them information they could figure out on their own. But there’s a difference between providing the audience with only some of the pertinent information, and providing them with none. When you do the former, you are treating your fan like she’s smart. When you do the latter, you are treating your fan like she’s . . .well, a child.

teacup humans

Let’s review, shall we?

[As always, special thanks to Andre, who faithfully recapped this entire season of Teen Wolf, without grumble or complaint, and even indulged my Deputy Parrish fantasies and thinly veiled requests for pictures of him naked, without judgment or mocking.]

Scott McCall and the Temple of Relationship Doom

Not to be a Debbie Downer (I promise I’ll try to make the rest of this recap more upbeat.), but I was so incredibly disturbed by the scene where Berserker Scott beat the crap out of Kira that I think it may have colored my perception of the rest of the episode. My main issue with the scene is that I have this sneaking suspicion that Scott’s actions will have no repercussions in his relationship with Kira, next season. “He didn’t mean it,” she’ll say. “He wasn’t himself at the time.”

why do i suddenly feel like i fell into an after school special

“This is all starting to feel very Afterschool Special.”

In this particular instance, it may be true. But how many times have you heard an abusive boyfriend or husband use the same excuse? “I wasn’t myself . . . I was angry . . . I was drunk . . . I haven’t been sleeping.”

his eyes

“I was wearing a funny hat.”

Even Stiles, who actually wasn’t himself, back in Season 3, when he was possessed by the Nogitsune, was willing to take some responsibility for the havoc “his body” wreaked on the town. “I was there. I saw everything. And a part of me enjoyed it,” Stiles admitted to Malia earlier this season.

stiles no

If the writers were to have Scott make a similar confession to Kira, could they allow Kira to willingly continue the relationship, without sending a terrible message to fans everywhere?

that didnt take long

Ummmm . . . .

Anywhoo, back in the Temple of Relationship doom, Kate is Villain Monologuing about how this cave has magically imbued her with the power to create Berserkers, and make them 100% loyal to her, because . . . um . . . bears really like jaguars, I guess.

i dont good

“Are they still considered six-pack abs, if you have to wear them as a t-shirt?”

She tells her pet Scott to stab Kira in the chest, and he does.

pre stab

“Good Bear / Dog. You get a cookie . . . or should I say, another bone.”

Has the Mexico Department of Tourism Gotten Wind of This?

In the season premiere, the Scooby crew all took a nice little road trip to Mexico to save Derek from Kate’s clutches . . . and also to tussle with a Mexican crime syndicate. Now, in the finale, they are heading back to Mexico to “save” Scott and Kira . . .

town of mexico

Apparently, if you are looking for a place where your adult friend can get turned into a teen, and your teen friend can get turned into a mindless bear zombie, Mexico is the Vacation Destination for you!

more dancing stiles

“Cancun, baby!”

Did I mention they have Chimichangas?

Papa Stilinski is totally not cool with Stiles and his friends heading off to certain death in Mexico. “I get it. You need a vacation. But why not somewhere like Daytona Beach, Bermuda, New Orleans, Vegas . . . a Giant Maze where bug-like creatures chase you around for sh*ts and giggles . . .”

“Nope, viva la Mexico,” replies Stiles. “Also, I’d very much like some guns, please.”

noooo

ep 7 in spanish

“What’s that you say, Stiles? You would like to take your trustee bat to the Murder Church? Yes, you can take your bat,” replies the Sheriff.

“I said GUNS . . . G-U . . .”

“All right, sonny boy, now you run along and play . . .”

stiles alphabet 1 allisonargents stiles alphabet2 allisonargents

Speaking of guns . . .

All Paws on Deck

For trained bounty hunter, Braeden, murder is like playing golf. You bring every gun you own, everywhere you go, and then carefully select the best one for the circumstance at hand . . . hopefully, before someone shoots you in the face.

all the guns

“You’re going to need a really big backpack.”

. . . which, I guess, makes Derek her caddy.

i make this look good

For a hero, Derek seems surprisingly cool with his impending demise.

dont die

DEREK: “They’ve got that little guy, with the pretty boy face now. Clearly, I’m being phased out, sent off on the ice floe, like the Eskimos do to old people.”

BRAEDEN: “But if you’re dead, we can’t have sex in your poorly furnished apartment, while Lydia screams in our ear anymore.”

DEREK: “You’re over 18, (I hope. I mean, you are, aren’t you? Because, I never actually asked). Maybe they’ll send you on the ice floe too . . .”

BRAEDEN: “Hmmm . . . I’ve never had sex on a block of ice before . . .

Also packing for the trip are Stiles and Malia, the former of whom helpfully offers Malia a pair of his besties dirty underwear so that she can pick up his scent . . .

underwear

. . . which would be very helpful, if Scott was trapped under something heavy, and the only part of his body out in the open air was his crotch . . .

um no thanks

Malia rolls her eyes, and decides to sniff his pillow instead. Smart girl!

febreeze

Last week, Liam was all, “No thank you,” to the opportunity to be a series regular on a show that involved him willingly walking into the jaws of death every week. “Please keep me in mind when there’s an opening on Dawson’s Creek,” he said.

sad liam eyes

“I have soulful eyes.  I can totally be broody like Dawson, or misunderstood and charming like Pacey.”

But then that other wolf guy gave him a pep talk, and he changed his mind . . .

(Also, he Googled Dawson’s Creek, and learned it’s been off the air for over 10 years.)

let me come

“I’d very much like it if you tied me up, and strapped me to the roof of your car, so that I can come along on this Super Fun Suicide Trip with you all,” Liam offers, shrugging off the second full moon of his werewolf existence like it no big deal . . .

im in

“Hey, can I come too? I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to be good or evil in this episode Maybe I should go back into a coma, so Meredith can tell me what I’m really thinking,” chimes in Peter.

Now, THAT’S what I call a road trip. But wait . . . SOMEONE’S MISSING . . .

Not Without My Lydia . . .

snort

“Kind of smells like Scott’s crotch . . .”

really sexin

Back at school, Lydia is snorting one of Kira’s jackets, when this happens . . .

wanna study

“Hey Lydia, I was hoping I could borrow your calculus notes.  You see, I have this big exam on Monday, but Kate’s had me out late every night eviscerating innocent flesh, and I just haven’t had the chance to sit down and study.

RUH-ROH!

I get that it’s the weekend. But I love how no one noticed the GIANT BEAR BONE ZOMBIE THINGY wandering the halls in broad daylight . . .

Mason’s at the school too, because he’s human, and not friends with Scott, which means he still has to do boring things on this show like eat nasty cafeteria food, dissect frogs, and, in this particular instance, “attend Study Group.”

lyd phone hume

Also, because every cute red-headed high school teen needs a gay best friend . . .

Stiles tries to get the group to wait for Lydia.   But Peter seems to be in a very big rush to leave her behind, so he can save two teens he doesn’t like very much. Yeah, because THAT doesn’t seem suspicious at all . . .

lets ride

So, the Scooby Gang leaves without Lydia, which is pretty much what they’ve been doing all season, probably because she’s not dating Stiles or Scott . . . also, maybe, because of the Screaming Thing, which is super unpleasant . . .

scream

Mason eventually finds Lydia’s cell phone in the hallway . . .

berserker screen

“Cool screensaver, is that from an app?”

. . . and then, he finds Lydia, just not in the way he would have hoped.

in there

“Bet you never thought you’d wind up back in the closet, huh?”

“That guy, in the hallway . . . the one who beat me up. He had a really great Halloween costume. But I’m not sure if he was supposed to be Shredder from the Ninja Turtles movies, or someone from Game of Thrones. Think I should ask him?” Mason inquires.

“Not human,” Lydia remarks ominously of their burly captor . . .

Humanity is overrated . . .

As the full moon rises, all of our Scoobies appear to be becoming a bit more feral.   En route to Scott, Peter is doing a pretty good job of convincing Malia that murder is totally OK, provided it’s for a good cause, like, for example, to help out the person you occasionally bone. “Also, losing control and becoming an animal is OK, if you want to kill the Bear-Looking thing, that may or may not be Scott, so I can become Alpha, because . . . wait for it.”

always been the alpha

Meanwhile, in the other car, Derek is offering up a slowly wolfing out Liam, his very favorite cereal box toy, to help him control his animal urges.

toy

“I think it was supposed to come with a matching decoder ring, but I accidentally threw it out with my box of Lucky Charms.”

When that doesn’t work, he teaches him the Latin Alphabet.

help me

“Not impressed.”

When that doesn’t work . .. it’s all about the Buddhism, baby!  I’m thinking, The Sun, the Moon, The Truth would make for a great phrase to put on a Teen Wolf t-shirt, don’t you?

Meanwhile, back in temple, Kira is self-mutilating, because the spirit of her Mom told her it would make her feel better. And it works! She’s healed! (And the negative messages for kids, just keep on coming . . .)

i can help self mut 2 success

“Thanks for making me a cutter, Mom.  You’re the best!”

Derek gets sent on the ice floe . . .

Our gang barely manages to park outside the church, when Derek gets his intestines sliced open by a Berserker. It’s the kind of wound you see humans in movies suffer, and you just know they are about to bite it. But Derek . . . well, I guess he’s sort of kind of human now.

dying der

torn up derek 1

The Scooby Gang makes sure to put on their best sad faces for all of two seconds, before leaving Derek to die, and rushing off to rescue their REAL Hero, Scott.

To Stiles’ credit, he looks sad for at least FOUR seconds . . .

sad stiles

Braeden stays with the dying Derek, though . . . possibly because now she has no caddy to hand her guns in battle . . .

But then Kate and the Berserkers arrive, and it’s every man (and woman) for themselves . . .

here they are

And the CAVALRY IS HERE! Hello Deputy Parrish, Crazy Mexican Crime Syndicate, Chris Argent . . . We missed you! Well . . . at least I very much missed one of you!

phoenix

I love how there are thousands off bullets being shot off in every direction, and every single one of these “trained shots” is totally missing the Berserkers. I get that the bone armor is probably pretty effective in warding off bullets. But there are enough openings in the Berserker wardrobe that one would think even a novice marksman could get in a few lucky shots on. . .

THE STOMACH . . .

Berserkers tummy

THE ARMS . . .

band hand

THE EYES . . .

his eyes

Maybe not all of these shots are kill shots, but they would at least do a better job at disarming the Berserkers than, whatever the heck it is they are doing in this scene . . .

shoot at

“Pretending this is the carnival game where you have to shoot water into a clowns mouth until the balloon on his head pops . . .”

Having slightly better luck against the Berserkers on the home front. . .

Bombs Ove Beacon Hills

I’m pretty sure my favorite part of the episode was the scene where Lydia and Mason, kamikaze themselves (and their baseball bats) at the Berserker. I mean, Mason even came up with his own battle cry, which sounded like ArRRAHHIIAHIHIHI! It was awesome.

battle cry

Then, Sheriff Stilinski added to the comedy, by engaging the Berserker in a friendly game of catch . . . with IEDs of course. I very much enjoyed the Wil E. Coyote facial expression the Berserker had while he’s holding on to the bomb and knowing he’s about to go kablooey . . .

front toward enemy wil e coyote

“Front toward enemy? I don’t get it. Why would you want to play catch with your enemy? Wait a second . . . Awwwww sh*******t.”

explode

S.O.S. – Save Our Scott

Inside the temple it’s a Berserker versus Scooby showdown. Stiles finds a newly-healed Kira, who warns Stiles that (1) Scott is a Berserker; (2) Lydia was left behind on purpose, so that she couldn’t warn the others before they killed Scott.

he kind of

“My boyfriend physically abused me, which caused me to voluntarily cut myself, which, if this was another show, would make you very concerned for my well being.  But this is Teen Wolf, so SAVE SCOTT!”

Meanwhile, everyone seems to be working pretty hard to murder our newly-turned Doesn’t Care Bear . . .

carebear stareee

“STOP! It’s our fearless leader Scott, in that Shredder costume!” Stiles warns, just as “Scott” is attempting to strangle little lost Liam.

In that moment, Liam looks into the face of the thing he fears most and sees EYES . . .

hey scott what up

“Hey, I’d know those bushy unplucked verging-on-unibrow eyebrows anywhere! That’s my surrogate daddy!”

Since mantras had worked so well on Liam, he decides to use one on Scott . . . the same one Scott used on him to help control his change, earlier in the season. “Scott, you are not a monster. You are a werewolf, just like me.”

damn hat off break on through

And . . . presto chango . . . Scott has, once again accomplished the impossible, and broken the Berserker curse . . . now, if he could just wax those eyebrows . . .

Minutes after coming back to himself, Scott sees Peter and immediately figures out that HE has been behind Kate’s plans all along. (For a dumb-dumb, Scott can be pretty insightful, when its plot convenient.) And he’s PISSED! So, he runs toward Peter, and Peter runs toward him, and the two of them embrace one another in a snazzy dance move I like to call the “Flying Hug of Death.”

lets dance bitch

“Let’s dance.”

pretty funny

“Think happy thoughts .  . .  You can FLY. You can FLY.  You can FLLLLYYYY.”

Meanwhile, outside . . .

Blah, Blah, Blah, Stuff Happens, Blah, Blah, Blah . . . NAKED DEREK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, just when everything seems like it’s going to crap, Derek turns into an actual wolf, and attacks Kate with what at first seems like puppy licks, but is actually gnashing teeth . . .

running tackle hug

“Tee hee, that tickles.  Wait.  Why are you biting off my tit?”

He doesn’t kill her though, because . . . she hosts Wolf Watch . . .

Then Kate’s own brother, Chris, shoots her with a yellow-tipped bullet. Kate looks super offended, but this also doesn’t kill her . . . because . . . Wolf Watch.

im sad

“My feelings = hurt.”

THEN DEREK APPEARS NAKED, AND I START DROOLING, AND MY MIND TURNS TO MUSH . . .

howl 2345 hello baby berserker die

(I don’t think anything really important happened at that point anyway . . . except for maybe that whole, Derek kills a Berserker by smushing his face with his bare hands thing.)

Back in the Church . . .

FINISH HIIIIIIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scott and Peter fighting was like something straight out of the Mortal Kombat video game. Five minutes of, punch, punch, punch, kick, fly, punch, throw, fly, punch . . .

4 10 nod off

And I started looking at my nails and thinking, my nail polish is really chipped. I should invest in a better top coat . . .

Then Scott, had Peter on the ground FINALLY. . . and I’m like the announcer from the Mortal Kombat video game. “FINISH HIM . . . FINISH HIM . . . FINISH HIM.”

punch punch fight finish him

But he doesn’t . . . lame.

Also, lame is how Chris totally has a chance to, if not kill, at least disarm, Kate. And he willingly lets her go, only so he can leave the show head off with the Mexican Crime Syndicate to find her again . . .

emasculated

“Feeling alone and emasculated . . . wondering if I remembered to DVR My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, before I left the house.”

How it ends . . .

Stiles comes back home, and gets grounded . . . big time.

groundedstiles

Malia decides her favorite food is pizza, after all . . .

nommy

Coach tells the boys that he’s seen things in Mexico that would knock off their genitals. (I smell a prequel!!!!)

coach

Kira gets a tail . . . well . . . actually a piece of the glass she mutilated herself with, but . . . details.

tail

*sigh* Memories . . .

Lydia gives Parrish a book that looks surprisingly skinny for a bestiary (abridged version, perhaps?), and tells him she’d like to try and help him figure out that he’s a phoenix what he is. (Meanwhile, Parrish patiently waits for Lydia, to leave, so that he can check his database to confirm that she’s had her 18th birthday, before he invites her over to his place for some . . . bestiarying.)

helpin you

Peter ends up in Eichen House, and he has a roommate!

lololol

“I bet he snores and farts in his sleep too.”

(So maybe my guess about the X-Men Eichen House breakout is not so far off after all . . .)

Until next season, Werebangers!

dancing stiles moon

 

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Family Values – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “The Alpha Pact”

never the same stilinski stiles

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Every single one of us has two families.  We have the family into which we were born . . . our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles . . . with whom we share a genetic code and a legacy.

ep 8 stiles dad hug fyeah

ep 8 scott and mom

argents

And we have the family we choose . . . our friends and lovers . . . with whom we share common interests, a history, and bonds of loyalty.

bloody scott

lets die together

woah shes up

tearful lyd

stalking

To each of these families we owe certain obligations.  To the former — who have given us the gift of life, and enabled our existence — we owe a duty to fight for our survival at all costs, so that we can carry on the family name, and secure its place in history, no matter how small or insignificant that place might seem to outsiders.

fall

To the latter, we owe our devotion and support.  We vow to stand by them in times of strife.  Carry them when they are weak.  Bolster them, when they are strong.  And we hope they do the same for us.

sterek comfort

“The Alpha Pact” saw each of the members of our stalwart Scooby Gang struggling to simultaneously fulfill their obligations to each of their respective families, even though those obligations seemed to be in conflict with one another.

ready to heal

This week’s “family-friendly” installment of Teen Wolf is brought to you by the letter “S” for “suicide” (sort-of) . . .

waiting to go

“sacrifice”

kidnapped dad

“sucking face”

stydia kiss 4

teen wolf allison argent stiles

“Scott’s Dad” (Surprise!)

um sure ok

And, of course, “Stiles” . . .

mischeivous stiles

Let’s review, shall we?

nodding oh yeah

[As always, a big hearty thanks to stellar screencapper Andre, who has never once tried to drown me while I was submerged in an ice bath, no matter how many times his sage veterinarian told him to do so . . .]

Rude Awakening

huh wakeup

“My new alarm clock is very aggressive.”

We begin the episode with Stiles b*tch slapping the crap out of Derek, while straddling him in the middle of an otherwise abandoned elevator . .  . or as Sterek fans like to call it . . . “foreplay.”

straddle elevator

“Doing this isn’t going to get me pregnant, is it?”

Derek wakes up just seconds before Stiles can punch him in the face . . .

ouchi punchy

 . . . which is weird, because punching people in the face is usually what you do when you want them to pass out, not wake up.  Of course, after Stiles breaks the news to Derek that his psycho girlfriend made off with his friends’ parents, Cora’s still dying, and Scott may have just decided to join Team Evil, the D-list Alpha wolf is probably wishing he had hit the snooze alarm a few more hundred times . . .

torn up derek 2

Cheer up, Der Bear!  It’s not so bad!  At least you got to get your arm fondled by Stiles in an enclosed space . . .

sterek wakeup

Source

big sterek

Outside the hospital, the mere sight of Allison and Chris Argent, a.k.a. the folks whose aunt / sister he killed, back when he was the Big Bad Gorilla-Looking Thing, make this little Piggy, Peter Hale, cry “wee wee wee wee wee,” all the way back to Derek’s loft.

chillin in car

“Oh hey, look, it’s Allison and Chris Argent!  Yoo-hoo, Argents!  Come meet my new pal, Peter!”

given slip

“Peter? Maybe he had to pee . . .”

If the cast of Teen Wolf were ever sorted into Hogwarts houses, Peter would totally be  the Slytherin, to Scott’s, Allison’s, and Derek’s Gryffindor, Isaac’s Hufflepuff (He IS a really good “finder.”), and Stiles’ and Lydia’s Ravenclaw.  When he’s not pumped up on Epinephrine, posing as a teen in Lydia’s hallucinations, or dressed in a gorilla suit, Peter’s a total wussy.  And I love that about him.  It’s all very Draco Malfoy . . .

beat up draco

scared peter - Copy

Sometimes bravery in the face of total and complete danger is akin to stupidity.  And  say what you will about Peter Hale.  But the dude is definitely not stupid . . . which is more than we can say for some other “braver” characters on this show .  . .

ephemeral

Speaking of Scott . . .

The Bad Dad

After waking up from his little Elevator Nap, Derek rushes to retrieve Dying Cora, so he can bring her back to his loft.  In doing so, he inadvertently abandons Stiles, who, in turn, gets to hang out in the hospital waiting room, looking broodier and sexier than we’ve seen him look in quite some time . . .

better moody stiles pic

Misery looks good on you, Sweetie.

It’s there that the unofficial Alpha of Team Human runs into This Guy . . .

scotts dad 1

We find out This Guy’s true identity soon enough.  (Hint: See the title of this section.)  However, since, at this point in the story, who he is has yet to be revealed, I’m simply going to refer to him as . . . FBI Douche.

3 7 fun police oh miss nothing

As an American viewer, I am comforted to know that if my hometown sprouted a serial killer every few months,  by the 23rd or 24th death in under a year, my government would finally care enough to send its very best douche to investigate.  That’s your proud tax dollars at work, Wolfbangers!

stydia big 2

As with most federal law enforcement guys in film and television, FBI Douche seems like he has an axe to grind with our heroes, a personal vendetta that may or may not take precedence over the case that he’s trying to solve.  Case-in-point, when the Sheriff of a town with a Dead Cop Problem, mysteriously goes missing, FBI Douche’s first instinct is to badger the guy’s teenage son about his dad’s alcohol consumption habits.

stiles alphabet 1 allisonargents

stiles alphabet2 allisonargents

Source

FBI Douche isn’t totally useless, however.  He does reveal a heretofore unrecognized talent of our current lady killer . . .

evil jenny

Apparently, in addition to having a Magic Coochie, being capable of performing (and un-performing) plastic surgery on her face just by turning head from side to side . . .

mistletoed

 . . . forcing people to chant in Druid against their will, and causing them to experience intense hallucinations, Jenny the Darach is also a master graffiti artist . . .

taunting

Who knew?

Speaking of females with odd talents, let’s talk about Cora Hale, or, as I like to call her, The Girl Who Spewed Too Much . . .

The Lone(ly) Wolf

dying cora army

“I hate puking up black goo all the time, but it sure makes for a rocking shade of lipstick.”

Derek’s chilling in the loft with his girl Cora.  I mean, sure, he’s pretty much just letting her die, and ignoring the fact that she needs obvious medical attention.  But hey, at least he changed her out of that unflattering hospital gown, and dressed her in sexy army fatigues.  Because, really, who wants to die while wearing blue plastic?

ep 9 no fit gravyjones

Unfortunately for Derek, his beta boo, Isaac, doesn’t agree with me about the importance of being “fashionably dead.”  He believes Derek should do penance for his brief (and ridiculous) communion with the Evil Magic Coochie .  . .

mackin

turning on channel

“This porn is AWESOME.”

 . . . and like . . . actually try and save people and stuff . . .

isaac is mad at you

“You are way too hot to suck this bad as a half- human being.”

For me, the most interesting part of the scene is when Isaac asks Derek why he bothered to turn him, Boyd and Erika, in the first place, especially since, at least on the surface, he never seemed to have any interest at all in leading them, or even protecting them .  . .

wolf pack

wolf pack turne

It’s pretty gut wrenching when Isaac accuses Derek of turning  three innocent teens into supernatural monster killers, just because the latter wanted to have friends; and Derek doesn’t immediately disagree with his pack member’s assessment.

cowed derek thinker

the_thinker

The accusation begins to sound even worse, when you consider the fact that, had Derek not turned Boyd and Erika into werewolves, last season, they’d probably both be alive today .  . .

you are a monster

When Isaac storms off to be with his new love interests, Allison and Scott  (Can you say, “threesome”?) . . .

gotcha al

Sassy Peter magically appears to comfort his nephew.

seductive peter

“Don’t feel bad, DerBear.  Isaac isn’t abandoning you because you are a sucky leader.  He’s abandoning you because he’s bored of humping you, and wants to hump Scott and Allison.  The fact that you are a sucky leader is just an added bonus!”

Good Ole Uncle Pete . . . always managing to look on the bright side of life.

sour wolf

Peter also intimates that Derek can save Cora, by using his Alpha power to transfer her pain on to him.  But doing so could render Derek un-Alphaed, or worse dead.  Peter cleverly tries to reverse psychology his not too bright nephew into doing this, by telling him how much he shouldn’t do it, and how, by doing it, he would be playing right into Jennifer’s Darach-y hands.

peter being shady

Basically, Peter is using the old “Red Button Trick.”  You know, the one where someone tells you:  “Don’t push the red button.  It’s SOOOO COOL to push it, but totally dangerous.  So, whatever you do . . . don’t push it.  No matter how much you really, really want to . . . or that it’s the only thing you can think about right now . . . or that it seems to be your life’s mission to push that red button.  Just don’t push it.  PUSH THE RED BUTTON!    PUSH IT GOOD!  PUSH. . .  THE . . . BUTTON.  The red button is SEX.  Don’t push the red button.  Do you hear me?”

easy button

Some have speculated, based on this scene alone, that taking the Alpha status back from Derek may have been Peter’s design all along . . .the reason he’s been “hanging out” with the Scoobies, all this time.  Some have even gone as far as to suggest that it was Peter and not Jenny the Darach, who poisoned Cora, for this exact reason.  I wouldn’t put it past him . . .

big prob

In other spunky relative news . . .

Parental Guidance Suggested

Papa Argent attempts to reassure his daughter and Stiles, that he won’t end up tied to a big ole tree like some other parents on this show, because he has a big . . . “gun.”

phallic gun

Though he doesn’t want to be rude to his friend’s dad, Stiles is unimpressed and particularly comforted by this, basically because Stiles, himself, also has a big “gun” . . .

condom 2

condom 3

And if Stiles has a big “gun,” there’s a good chance Sheriff Stilinski has one as well.  I mean, he’s the Sheriff, right?  What’s a Sheriff, without his big “gun?”

big gun

And he still ended up tied to a tree by a girl  . . .

well this is awkward

As for Isaac, he KNOWS the size of his gun, is no match for the Argents or the Stilinskis.  But he’s got other assets to offer the ladies (and men).  For instance, he’s REALLY good with his hands . . .

bad manicure

While Stiles heads back to school to retrieve his Dead Body version of a Metal Detector, Lydia Martin, Isaac and Allison accompany Papa Argent to the vault, where he surprises the two kids by electrocuting them, and handcuffing them to a wall, respectively.

BabyScared

It turns out, Papa Argent isn’t planning on using his big gun on Jenny the Darach at all.  He’s planning to join the Parents-Tied-to-a-Tree-Party!

ready to be taken

“I make bad decisions.”

busted cool

“That’s OK.  I find incompetence a major turn-on.  It’s why I dated Derek for three episodes.”

To be honest, I’m not really sure how exactly Papa Argent thinks he’s going to save Beacon Hills, without the use of his “Big Gun,” or his “Dexterous Hands.”  But I’d really, really like to see him try .  . .

want to kiss you

ISAAC: “Would it be inappropriate for me to make out with you, right after you just found out your dad is probably going to die?”

ALLISON: “A little . . . yeah.”

hugsies is al

ISAAC: “Can I still fondle your boobs?”

ALLISON: “That would be nice.  Thanks.”

That’s right, Werebangers.  Strife brings people closer.  It reminds us that our time on Earth is limit.  It lowers our inhibitions, and forces us to seize the moment.  Which brings me to . . .

Leave Me Breathless

proud of neck scars

This sweet mother/daughter moment between Lydia, and the-mom-who-didn’t-seem-to-notice-that-her-daughter-had-a-different-strange-guy-in-her-bed-every-night-this-summer . . .

sex again

. . . is brought to you by Tampax Tampons . . .

tampon-med1

All kidding aside, I enjoyed this quiet, subtle scene.  Not only does it offer a nice bonding moment between two characters who we rarely get to see interact with one another.  It also illustrates just how far Lydia has come as a character since Season 1.

lydia brave tatikatelena

This once shallow, vain, girl, who hid her intelligence, because she thought it would make her less popular . . . who was ashamed by her connection to the dead . . . who would never be caught dead without makeup on, is now displaying the neck scars she received last week from Jenny the Darach proudly, because their existence makes her a Survivor.

proud of neck scars 2

You GO GIRL!

lydia smirk

So, of course, a new, wise and mature, Lydia needs a new, wise and mature boyfriend, am I right, ladies?

nodding oh yeah

Upon receiving an update on the first twenty minutes of the show from Stiles, Lydia decides that Jenny the Darach might have had some other reason for trying to murder her, apart from her being a banshee.  So, the pair inexplicably head off to school, to talk to Aiden?

now im pissed

straight one

Unfortunately, before they can do this, Stiles gets a text message from Isaac that Papa Argent is missing.  And that Jenny from the Block of Druids now has not one, not two, but THREE parents in her murder collection.

panic attack stiles

Oh, hello, Stiles’ Panic Attacks!  Long time, no see . . .

Lydia pulls the hyperventilating Stiles into the skanky boys locker room, in hopes that the stink of male teenage sweat will stop Stiles from breathing in through his nose so much . . . but to no avail . . .

stop the attack

“It smells like feet in here.  And I wanna die!”

Next Lydia tries the old “Think Happy Thoughts” cure.  After all, it worked for those kids in Peter Pan.  It made them fly!

calm down please

“Happy Thoughts?”

care-bear-funshine-umbrella

Unfortunately, for Stiles, his “Happy Thoughts” involve his good relationship with his dad . . . who is about to be killed . . . the girl who was going to get him laid . . . who is ALREADY DEAD . . . and his best friend . . . who just gave his soul to some guy called The Demon Wolf.

dead baby day 2

Fortunately for Lydia, Stiles has one happy thought left in his bank, that has yet to be marred by Jenny the Darach . . .

(Werebangers, if the Play button on the below video looks a little funny, it’s because I wore it out by pressing it 85,000 times this week . . .)

Let’s over-analyze this scene, shall we?

nodding oh yeah

Let’s start with Lydia . . . there are two possible ways to read her reaction to this moment.  The first is by taking her at her word.  She read somewhere that holding one’s breath stops a panic attack.  And so, in a moment of impulse, she covers Stiles’ mouth with hers, forcing him to involuntarily hold his breath . . .

trying to stop it

say what

lips mouth

But there’s something about the intense, dare I say, loving way that Lydia looks at Stiles, right before she pulls him in for the kiss that makes me think her explanation of her actions is less than truthful . . .

stydia kiss 1

(All the Stydia kiss pics in this section have been brought to you by This Awesome Tumblr)

A clinical “hold your breath” kiss would have involved a brusque and cursory pressing of Lydia’s mouth against Stiles.  But Lydia kisses Stiles slowly, caressing the sides of his face, and tilting his head upward, as she makes the connection.  When Stiles does begin to hold his breath, she doesn’t stop kissing him.  Instead, she deepens the kiss, pressing her lips against his even more intensely . . .

stydia kiss3 screwyapic

When Lydia finally pulls away from Stiles, she seems entranced by what just happened.  Upon coming to her senses, Lydia appears almost reluctant to break the connection that they shared.

stydia kiss 5

Oh yeah!  She was definitely into it!

stiles

When Lydia gives her explanation to Stiles of what just happened, the usually confident girl seems oddly timid and uncertain, like a girl who just realized she’s developed a crush on a boy she never really noticed in that way before.  She licks her lips, a clear cut sign of attraction . . . and also, coincidentally, a telltale sign that someone is telling a lie . . .

lips licking

Stiles reaction during and after the kiss is a bit more clear cut.  At first, he’s surprised . . . (after all, the kid did feel pretty much on the verge of death, about two seconds earlier) . . .

stydia kiss 2

Then he’s aroused.  I mean, here is the girl he’s been dreaming about kissing since kindergarten . . . the girl he recently accepted that he could never have, finally kissing him . . . REALLY kissing him.  And, what’s better, she seems to be just as into it, as he is . . .

stydia kiss3 screwyapic

After it’s all over, Stiles is in awe, of this beautiful, smart, strong woman, who pretty much just saved his life.  And maybe, just maybe, he’s a smidge disappointed that her explanation of the kiss was more clinical than his interpretation of it.  But that doesn’t make what she did for him any less awesome . . .

stydia kiss 6

But when Lydia jokes that Stiles should go get some help for his panic attacks from the school guidance counselor, Stiles gets an idea . . .

lightbulb-idea

And it’s right back to business as usual again for our resident Mulder and Scully . . . (sigh)

Seeing the Forest Through the Obsessive Compulsive Drawings of Trees

guidance counselor scene

“Hello, Teen Wolf Contest Winner, who has now gotten speaking lines in not one, not two, but THREE episodes, and is prominently featured in the MTV Teen Wolf after show!”

she doesn't

Seriously, I thought “Danielle” attended private school with the Dead Chick who almost screwed Stiles.  Why is she seeing the Beacon Hills Guidance Counselor?

Anywhoo, Special Guest Star brings the funny, when she quickly cedes her therapy session with the Missing Ms. Morrell to Stiles and Lydia, upon learning from Lydia’s files that she’s a freak of nature who obsessively draws creepy looking trees all over all her notebooks, rather than ever doing any actual school work . . .

looking at the trees

And yet she still gets straight A’s!  Now that’s impressive!

That’s when Stiles figures out that what Lydia is actually drawing is the Nemeton, i.e. the root cellar where all the TV parents are now being kept . . . i.e. the place where Derek killed Paige.

root cellar

smush

In other words, Jenny the Darach didn’t try to kill Lydia, because she’s a banshee.  She tried to kill her because she saw her drawing the one key piece of information that, if exposed, could cause all of the Darach’s plans to go up in smoke . . .

jenny

So, Stiles sends Lydia off to give Derek this important information, while he heads off to distract FBI Douche.

Awkward Encounters

That’s right, FBI Douche.  Stiles’ dad is missing.  And all his friends didn’t show up at school today.  So, you should totally let him go off with the strange gentleman, who is creepily lurking around the school, at the exact moment when this clearly fragile teenage boy needs a place to stay . . .

talking to scotts dad

ill take him

“I like emotionally fragile teenage boys!”

Well, FBI Douche.  The good news is that no one would ever accuse you of being a good guardian.  That means you are totally safe from Jenny the Darach . . .

um sure ok

“Season 3B, here I come!”

Deaton has an idea as to how the Scooby Gang might be able to save their parents.  But, surprise, surprise.  They are going to need Scott for help.

Meanwhile, downtown . . .

me

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Peter was hoping he wouldn’t run into Lydia again, until he found a Hallmark card to send her that says, “Sorry I mind controlled you into trying to kill all your friends, and then pretended to be a teenager, so you’d make out with my grimy corpse.”

As instructed, Lydia tells Derek and Peter about the root cellar.  Unfortunately, thanks to a nice little neck rub they got from Mommy Dearest, Talia, both werewolves have conveniently forgotten its location  . . .

memory removal

Hale Fail #247 . . .

Over in a forest somewhere . . .

Mountain ASSSSSHHHHHH 2: Electric Boogaloo

making mountain ash

mountain ash

If I had one gripe about this otherwise pretty flawless episode it would involve this scene . . . you know, the one where Scott has supposedly made the hugely dangerous decision to join Deucalion’s Alpha Pack, in order to save his mom . . .

standing around with scott

“I’m a bad guy now . . .”

 . . . and that Big Sacrifice seems to mainly involve standing around in a forest with the villains for a few minutes, while they fail to kill Mrs. Morell.  And then going right back to Deaton and his Scooby Gang . . .

ephemeral

You were fun, while you lasted, Random Plot Twist!

But hey, at least now Kali, and the Alphas know that Deucalion was the one who actually killed Ennis!  That ought to . . . have no impact on the plot, whatsoever . . .

dying ennis

cave painting ennis

“But I was such a good artist!”

The Circle of Life . . . and Death

There’s this old movie called My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the old grandpa believes, for some reason, that the World’s problems can be solved, by merely spraying some Windex on them . . .

put windex on it

I feel like that’s how Deaton feels about ice baths . . . Isaac lost his memory?

see me 2

Try an ice bath!  Stiles’, Scott’s, and Allison’s parents may be murdered by an Evil Darach?

cold stiles

Let’s put them all on ice!

1 19 getting colder

Now, while logically, I think the idea of surrogate sacrifices brought on by near death experiences is a TERRIBLE IDEA, I must say that it made for an incredibly poignant way to end the penultimate episode.  Let’s see . . . there was the ominous warning, that, not only will temporary death cause Allison, Stiles and Scott pretty much permanent emotional damage, it will also open up Beacon Hills as a Hell Mouth for every Big Bad in the world recently kicked out of Sunnydale, who is looking for a place to commit carnage . . .

pensive stiles

There was the ritualistic offering up of Totems to represent the deep bonds that exist between each parent and child . . .

items of value

sheriff badge

There was the part where Matchmaker Deaton outed Stiles and Lydia, and Allison and Isaac as future lovers, by pairing them together in the sacrifice, and basically left poor Scott out in the lonely cold . . . literally . . .

guess we are in love

jelly at is

And then, if that wasn’t enough, right when they are all on ice, ready to die, Stiles reveals to the audience that FBI Douche is actually Scott’s dad, who is officially back in town . . .

surprised-face

burgle

Yikes!  When the promos said that this season of Teen Wolf might hurt, they weren’t kidding!

glurg

*gurgle gurgle*

tsst

*tssssssst*

P.S. Derek just un-Alphaed himself to save Cora.  How do ya like them apples, Peter?

ready to heal

veiny

He really ought to consider doing something about those varicose veins . . .

red eye der

blue eye der

smirky peter

Next week, on the season finale of Teen Wolf . . .

See ya then, Werebangers!

stiles with wolf hat

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Bad Santa Klaus – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Mid Season Finale “O Come All Ye Faithful”

santa klaus

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“Oh, you better watch out.  You better not cry.  You better not pout.  I’m telling you why.  Santa Klaus is coming to kill your hybrids . . . and your mom . . . and your romantic relationship . . . and your favorite boots . . . which are now covered in blood . . . because you stepped on some decapitated hybrid . . . while walking through the forest . . . on the way out of town.  Anybody have a napkin I could borrow?”

It’s Christmas, Fangbangers!  Christmas is a time for time for GIVING, LOVING, and SPENDING TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT.  Unless you live in Mystic Falls.  In which case, Christmas is a time for MURDER, MAYHEM, BETRAYAL, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND SENDING THE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT AWAY IN A CAR WITH BONNIE FOR NO F*CKING LOGICAL REASON WHATSOEVER . . .

surrounded by idiots

Let’s recap, shall we?

[As always, special thanks to Andre for all the screencaps you see here.  Even though he still thinks I write too much about Delena in my recaps.  And it still makes me cry . . .]

“Wanna Come?”

more fun naked

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I concur Damon.  I suspect a lot of the problems I have with this show would cease to exist, if you and your male cast mates spent the entire hour naked . . .  Or, rather, they would still exist, but I wouldn’t remember them.  Because I’d be too busy staring at your . . .

blue balls

Yes, I went there.  I titled this section “Wanna Come?”  And I meant it to mean exactly what YOU think it means.

disgusting i know

In my defense, it’s an actual quote from the scene.  Also in my defense . . . hey . . . at least SOMEONE should be having fun, because it sure as heck isn’t Damon and Elena . . . at least not in this episode . . .

Damon eye roll

Yes, boys and girls, we open this hour, just as we opened the last one, with Damon and Elena . . . sort of SPOONING . . . in Damon’s bed.  Except, this time, they are fully dressed, and both looking pretty miserable because of it.  Let that be a lesson to you, kiddies.  Clothes are BAAAAAAAD!

spoon

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Sleeping in your jeans is really uncomfortable . . . as is sleeping that close to someone who looks like Ian Somerhalder, without jumping his bones . . . or, at least, I imagine it would be uncomfortable.  I can’t really say I know from personal experience . . . yet.

Whereas, in the previous episode,  we saw Damon wake up HAPPY . . .

im happy

Now, he’s kind of broody about the whole “not breaking the sire bond / lying to Stefan” thing.  You know what I say to that?  “BAH HUMBUG,” that’s what.  Hey Damon, do you think all those times Stefan slept with Elena, he spent all his post-coital mornings worried about how crappy it would make YOU feel?

no

Here’s an idea, Damon.  You already did the “wrong” thing, by not breaking the sire bond, when you told Stefan you would.  You already FEEL guilty.  So, why not take your own advice from a previous episode, and just own your guilt?

3 10 deviluvsmores feel guilty about this

It would be more fun for you and Elena, for sure.  It also might be more fun for us to watch.  But hey, at least we get to see you take your shirt off again . . .

the show

“Just do it,” Elena says, when Damon makes this deliciously naughty overture toward the love of his life . . .

never let you leave

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Nike would be so proud!

Unfortunately, almost immediately after, Elena  puts the kibosh on any and all possibilities of morning sex, by saying she has to go to the lake house with Bonnie, so that the two of them could help Jeremy, you know, not want to murder Elena and Stuff.

soap dish smash

“Wanna come?” Elena asks hopefully . . .

delena sex big

WE DO!  WE DO!  Except you two aren’t letting us!  Such teases!

Klaus Mikaelson . . . He’s one Special Snowflake

post modern

giant flake

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It’s nice to see that Klaus’ plans for World Domination haven’t adversely impacted his passion for Arts and Crafts.

Ponies . . . globs of goo that vaguely resemble poop .  . . a cartoonesque picture of the girl he likes . . . a snowflake.  Klaus may be over 1,000 years old, but in terms of art appreciation, he still seems to prefer painting a range of subjects that would look right at home on the wall at an Elementary School art fair . . .  Maybe that’s why Klaus so much prefers hanging out with teenagers, than with people closer to his own age.  You know, like them . . .

old-couple

Stefan pops by the Klaus House, because there is important Mythology Stuff that must be relayed to the viewers.  And the writers secretly hope that the homoerotic allure of seeing Klaus and Stefan eyef*&k one another will help us to forget that this particular part of the show sometimes feels like homework . . .

funny stefan face

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It totally works, by the way.

Blah blah blah, vampire cure . . . blah blah blah hunter’s mark on Jeremy’s arm equals map to cure . . . blah blah blah sword “owned” by Klaus equals legend for map to cure.  It’s really nothing we haven’t heard before.  But I guess we all need a little refresher course, every once in a while.  And like I said, it’s fun to watch these two flirt with one another, even though we know they’ll never really bone, because this isn’t HBO or Showtime . . .

why lie

you and me

klefan

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Klaus and Stefan – Frenemies with benefits?

Later on in the episode, Klaus and Stefan share even more warm and fuzzies with one another, as they bond over the fact that they both maintain a Murder Victim Keepsake collection.  Stefan writes his victims name on a wall, and Klaus breaks into their homes and steals their letters  . . . you know . . . if they ever actually write any . . . and forget to send them.

alphonse love letter

“Dear Lover.  If you are reading this, it means you killed me.  So, take this letter and shove it up your ass, you MURDEROUS BASTARD!”

Klaus views this as a sign of shared loneliness.

utterly alone

I view it as a sign of shared psychosis . . .  Except, unlike Saint Stefan, at least Klaus doesn’t glue people’s heads back onto their bodies, after he’s chewed off their necks . . .

klefan death katerinawesley

klefan 2 katerinawesley

Same difference I guess.  But hey, it could be worse.  Klaus could draw ponies for all of his victims.

draw you another picture

Meanwhile at Mystic Falls’ Weekly Town Event Where Everyone Dies . . .

The Tale of the Dumbass Martyr

After you’ve been dating someone for awhile,  you begin to develop little tricks to coping with his or her . . . idiosyncrasies.  Tyler has been dating Caroline long enough to realize that she has a bit of a Freak Out Problem . . .

Kill or Be Killed

“I’m not angry!  What would make you think I’m angry?”

And this is probably the reason he chooses a VERY public place (i.e. right in the middle of town square) to drop the bombshell on her, that he’s LITERALLY planning on donating his body to Operation Kill Klaus.

crAZY CAROLINE

“First you go off and live in the mountains for six months, and now this?  I’m beginning to think you’re trying to avoid me.”

woah girl chill

*whistles uncomfortably*

I don’t know.  I mean, if they were planning on dumping Tyler’s body, along with Klaus’ “essence” (whatever that means”), into a vat of concrete, anyway, why not just push Klaus into the vat and be done with it?  (It worked on True Blood with Russell Edgington. . . for a half a season, anyway.)  Why must the Scooby Gang always needlessly over complicate things?  This is why their FAILURE RATE is so high . . .

nodding oh yeah

Just saying . . .

Nonetheless, the fact that Tyler is willing to do this for the hybrids that just last week tried to kidnap and kill his girlfriend, just because he believes it’s the “right thing to do,” shows just how far he’s come as a character, since his Season 1 douchebag days.  Tyler’s plan is admirable . . . idiotic, but admirable, which is why Caroline’s nickname for her boyfriend is entirely accurate.  Yes, fangbangers.  Tyler Lockwood is a Martyr.  But he’s also a DUMBASS . . .

tyler points

Speaking of dumbasses . . .

Have wood, will thrust . . .

OK, so let me get this straight.  You have this guy Jeremy, who has basically been converted into this supernatural serial killer.

badass

You’re inviting his sister over, who he’s once tried to kill,  so you can see if you can get him to STOP trying to kill her.  While he’s waiting for his sister, he’s at this lame lakehouse, where there’s pretty much nothing to do, but sit around and count the tiles on the floor.  And he’s bored.

don't die jer

Let’s brainstorm some things you could do with Latent Serial Killer Boy to keep him occupied, while he waits for his sister.  You could . . . break out some board games . . . like Scrabble, or Jenga . . . maybe even Pictionary.

pictionary

You could play Twister, or have a dance party . . .

wall jer

“Ooh what a feeling!  When we’re dancing on the ceiling .  . .”

You could . . . I don’t know . . . have sex with him.

jer anna gif

I mean, you could really do anything.  The world is your proverbial oyster.  But, you know what I wouldn’t do?  I wouldn’t GIVE HIM A MASSIVELY LARGE AXE, AND LET HIM GO OUTSIDE ALONE TO CHOP WOOD THAT CAN BE USED TO MAKE STAKES . . .

jer 1

jer 2

wrong choice

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All logic reasoning aside . . . Jer Bear is looking gooooooood . . .

jeremy arm

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Oh hey, so remember last week, when I complained that the whole “a vampire needs to be invited into your home” rule has been totally abandoned by the show?  Well, they used it this week!  Jeremy had to invite ELENA into her own lake house . . . and then he tried to stake her . . . with the stake he made . . . while chopping the wood, with the massive axe, that Dumbos 1 and 2, i.e. Bonnie and Professor  Numb Nuts, GAVE HIM . . .

caroline laugh

Is it weird that I was kind of jealous of Elena, while she was getting almost butchered by her own brother, because having his big burly arms wrapped pressed up against her chest looked like a lot of fun?

not incest

ELENA: “Your skin is so baby soft.  What kind of lotion do you use?”

JEREMY: “Vampire Death of Olay”

jer elena

“Considering we’re siblings and all, it’s probably a little inappropriate that you’re squeezing my ass.”

Doctor Do Nothing’s plan to hypnotize Jeremy into loving Elena again seemed like a bad idea, right off the bat.  And I think I’d be saying that, even if we hadn’t been reminded about 85,000 times since he first appeared that he’s Up to No Good.  Put it this way, they say that if you lose something while you’re drunk, the best way to find it is to get drunk again, because it puts you in the same frame of mind that you were in when you lost it?

Damon and Elena drink

Well, that’s kind of how I feel about Jeremy’s hunter tendencies.  He always seems like he’s in a trance, when he’s murdering vampires.  So, putting him in a trance seems like the exact WRONG thing to do, which, I suspect, might have been Stupid Hair, Phd’s plan all along.

drinking shane

Nevertheless, I did find Jeremy’s entranced admission that he “hates” Elena, because she’s indirectly brought about the death of everyone he’s ever loved to be kind of intriguing.  After all, there’s always a sort of truth to the things you do or say in an uninhibited state like trance.  So, even though Jeremy’s murderous tendencies are about 98% due to his hunter’s mark, there seems to be at least 2% that are a result of his unresolved subconscious anger at his sister for all that she’s inadvertently cost him.  That actually adds a surprisingly complex layer to Jeremy Gilbert’s personality that I would like to see explored more deeply in the weeks to come . . .

heman

heman toy

And here is another “layer” of Jeremy’s character that I’d like explored.  Thank you very much.

Also, I hate to say it, but Zombie Jer kind of has a point.  I mean, think about it: Jeremy’s biological parents, his uncle, Aunt Jenna,  Vicki, Anna, Alaric, almost all the people he’s ever cared about have died in service to the Save Elena Games.  Not that any of these deaths are necessarily Elena’s fault.  But you can’t blame Jeremy’s subconscious for making that very real connection . . .

And now that I’ve said all these nice, warm, fuzzy things about this particular storyline, I feel like I’ve earned the right to be a little bitchy.  Because yeah, I AUDIBLY gagged when it was revealed that BONNIE was Jer Bear’s one link to sanity, because he LOOOOOOOVES her so much.

puke

Oh gross!  I’ve seen paperclips that have more chemistry together than these two . . .

there's no place like home, theres

“There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like . . . It didn’t work.  You’re still here.”

But hey!  Now, Jeremy can hug Elena, without snapping her neck.  So, progress?

hugsies

JEREMY:  *think about Bonnie . .  . think about Bonnie . . . think about Bonnie*

ELENA: “Jeremy get that stake away from my crotch.  I thought they cured you of trying to kill me!”

JEREMY:  “Ummm . . . that’s not a stake.  Maybe this thinking about the girl I want to have sex with, while hugging my sister thing, isn’t such a good idea, after all.”

But you know who ISN’T making progress?

BLOW ME . . . one last kiss.

Outside of the lake house, Elena admits to Damon that she logically knows that she was in love with Stefan, when she spent time with him this same location, last year.  But now she barely remembers it, nor relates to the feelings she supposedly felt so strongly, during that time.  That’s OK Elena, I often try to forget . . . and have difficulty relating to . . . your past relationship with Stefan too!

go team delena

Damon, of course, is still feeling guilty . . . about the existence of the sire bond . . . about lying to his brother about breaking the sire bond . . . about having the best sex of his life, while Stefan had to listen to Caroline babble for hours . . . about not telling Stefan that he had the best sex of his life . . . and, of course, about not telling Stefan that he was spending the day with Elena at the same lakehouse where Stefan may or may not have had the best sex of his life . . .

stefan shrug

That’s a whole lotta guilt for one guy!  And that guilt cup overflows, as Damon watches Elena bond with her brother over Christmas ornaments.

It’s at this moment that Damon makes the Heartbreaking Decision hinted at, by all the promos and episode synopses.  He tells Elena he’s setting her free.

ready to fight

do it

He sends her away with Boring Bonnie (talk about the punishment not fitting the crime!) in a scene that evoked memories of his compelling Jeremy to leave town a couple seasons back.

3 10 jeremy compelled keytodelena

And that’s what it feels like to me . . . compulsion.  I didn’t like it when it happened to Jeremy.  And I didn’t like it happening here.  In both situations, Damon was doing something ostensibly, for the good of the compelled.  He felt he was setting them free.  But in doing that, he was actually taking AWAY their choice, and forcing them to do something they ordinarily wouldn’t have chosen to do.  We saw it in Jeremy’s confusion, when he decided to selfishly leave his entire family in the middle of the school year, but couldn’t quite figure out why he was doing it.

2 18 i will always choose you starmoving love

We see it in Elena, as her body pulls her toward the car, but her heart seems to pull her back, causing her to lean in for one last kiss.

3 10 delena kiss

I know that Damon BELIEVES he’s doing the Right Thing.  And I respect that he loves Elena enough to be willing to give her up for the umpteenth time.  I’m just so tired of seeing this guy play the martyr, when it comes to Elena and Stefan.  And I wish the show would FINALLY let him catch a break.  He deserves it . . .

damon dont judge

Meanwhile, back home . . .

Mama Don’t Preach . . .

Now, I know Carol Lockwood croaked this week.  So, we’re supposed to be nice to her.  But I’ll admit I had to laugh a little bit, when Tyler told his mommy he was going to allow some random witch to dump his body into a vat of cement for a few decades, AFTER she enabled him to become possessed by Klaus.  And then, Mommy Dearest, more or less said, “Whatever makes you happy, dear?”

dont worry be happy

“I also totaled your Mercedes . . .”

REALLY?  Because if I ever said something like that to my mom, first she would CRY HYSTERICALLY . . . then she would take me to have my head examined . . . then she probably wouldn’t let me out of my room until I was about 55 years old.

Again . . . yes . . . this is a “Heroic Act.”  Yes, one could even say it’s the “Right Thing to Do,” but it’s also CATACLYSMICALLY STUPID!

draco malfoy facepalm

What’s worse?  Mama Lockwood then has the NERVE to tell Tyler that his FATHER would be proud of him, because, apparently, taking a two decade long nap, a la Rip Van Winkle, is a sign of GREAT LEADERSHIP.  Let’s not forget that this is also the guy who physically, mentally, and emotionally abused Tyler for years.  With parental role models like these, is it any wonder that Tyler thinks it’s a good idea to spend a significant portion of his perpetual late teens as a statue?

tylerdadtvd

“I wish Michaelangelo’s David was my son, instead of you.  At least he never gives his father any lip.”

I’m still on your side . . . except, not really.

Unlike Mama Lockwood, Caroline Forbes isn’t quite so chill about the idea of her boyfriend turning himself into a Tyler-cicle.  So, she rats him out to Papa Stefan . . . something she’s been doing A LOT, lately.  (More on that later.)

Of course, Stefan seems a lot less concerned with how the Tyler-cicle plan will impact the Forwood relationship, and more concerned with its impact on Klaus.

klaus tums

That’s right, Fangbangers.  It appears that dear old Saint Stefan has, ONCE AGAIN, found himself in the seemingly once-in-a-lifetime predicament of NEEDING TO KEEP HIS MORTAL ENEMY ALIVE.  You know . . . so he can save Elena from loving Damon A LOT MORE than she loves him vampirism.

you are perfect

In Stefan’s defense, he does at least TRY to find the cure, in a way that won’t ultimately involve his Princess Elena becoming a lifelong bloodbag / hybrid baby maker to the “Most Evil Vampire On the Planet.”  While Caroline’s flirtations at the Winter Wonderland Carnival keep Klaus occupied with Champagne Wishes and Vampire Barbie Sex Dreams . . .

fantastic

 .  . . Stefan ransacks his erstwhile boyfriend’s home, in search of the sword that is the key to the drawing on Jeremy’s arm, which is actually a map to . . . yeah, yeah, you know the rest.

Of course, Stefan can’t find it.  This I suspect, is only because he hasn’t looked in the SOAPDISH, where Klaus keeps his moonstones, or in the sock drawer, where Damon says people keep kinky stuff.  Something tells me the sword is probably in one of those two places.

So, Stefan confronts Tyler to tell him he can’t kill Klaus because . . . wait for it . . . ELENA NEEDS HIM.  And, of course, I have to laugh when Stefan gets all up in Tyler’s grill and says all menacingly, “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that to Klaus,” possibly forgetting (as the writers of this show often do) that Tyler, as a hybrid, is actually supposed to be a much stronger supernatural creature than Stefan.

sad hybrid

dying hybrid

3 11 hybrid

ear bit

Then again, maybe not . . .

Unfortunately, we never actually get to test that theory.  Because Tyler’s Hybrid Homebodys (and girls) appear on the scene, proving this to be not-at-all a fair fight.  Having won by default, Tyler turns his attention to CAROLINE THE BETRAYER, whose got this “I burped in Church” look on her face, like she knows she screwed up.

“I needed you to be on my side today,” Tyler says solemnly.

Except lately, the only person’s side who Caroline ever seems to be on is Stefan’s.  Could there possibly be something brewing between these two of which neither is yet consciously aware?  I wonder . . .

staroline

News gets slightly better when Shady Shane announces himself to Damon as someone who KNOWS where the cure is hiding, which will enable the Scooby Gang to get to it without Klaus OR the sword.  Now, that Klaus is allowed to die again, Caroline comes up with the idea to put him in his sister’s Rebekah’s body.  Tyler agrees, and everyone is happy .  . . well . . . almost everyone.

oops

Now, this is where things get confusing.  You see, I’m still not entirely sure what Professor Boobs Radley and Hayley are plotting.  On one hand, Dr. Snorefest agreed to help Damon and Co. find the cure WITHOUT Klaus, which seemed to suggest they wanted Klaus dead.  But then, the pair foiled the Scooby Gang’s plan to kill Klaus, implying that they wanted him ALIVE.  Also, Hayley seemed weirdly intent on Klaus’s “essence” possessing Tyler instead of Rebekah, which just made no sense whatsoever . . .

You re-killed Caroline!  You bastard!

I like how whenever vampires get “murdered” on this show, it’s nothing more than a “fun” opportunity to lie down for a quick cat nap.  Unfortunately, for Caroline, Hayley “murdered” her in a dirty public restroom.  RUDE!  She could have at least put down some paper towels on the floor, or something . . .

gameovertoiletBig

Clueless April Young finds Caroline that way and is clearly traumatized . . . so much so that, when Caroline un-dies, the “mere human,” almost seems a bit disappointed.  “But you were dead.  You had no pulse,” she whines. 

Maybe next time, April . . .

Oh, did I mention that Caroline tries to compel April to forget what she saw, but she can’t because the girl is wearing Jeremy’s vervain ring?  OOPS!

2 16 caroline j baker

In addition to NOT forgetting that Caroline came back from the dead, April also overheard her mention vampires, werewolves, hybrids and an UNDAGGERED REBEKAH, who, if you recall, is April Young’s only friend, who, just so happens to have spent the past few epsiodes “playing dead.”

3 9 ele beks stake the-chosen

Now, most of us, upon hearing someone babbling on like that in a public bathroom, would assume the babbler suffers from a disease common among teens known as “reading too much Twilight fanfiction.”

However, April lives in the Wackadoo Town of Mystic Falls.  And this prompts her to believe what she’s heard enough to investigate the tomb where a daggered Rebekah is supposedly buried.

wake up beks

hmmm

“This is like a life-sized version of those Stars without Makeup articles I read on the supermarket checkout aisle . . .”

As my dear friend Yoda would say, “Thickening . . . the plot is.”

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome . . .

Caroline and Stefan engage in a little heart-to-heart about what awful people they actually are, and how, they aren’t really all that different from Klaus, aside from the fact that they have “family” to keep them from becoming super villains.  (Of course, Klaus has family too. He just keeps staking them.)

horrible person 1

horrible person2

Then, Caroline proceeds to PROVE herself to be awful by not-so-subtly insinuating that Damon and Elena did the deed, even though it was 100% not her place to give out that information.

To say Stefan took it poorly is the understatement of the century.

better in bed

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But, in his defense, maybe he was just cranky, because he hadn’t eaten all day . . .

freaking hungry

Have yourself a bloody little Klausmas . . .

Back in Winter Wonderland, Hayley rats out Tyler’s plan to Klaus, and Stefan doesn’t hear her do it, despite the fact that he has vampire hearing, and is standing only about 5 feet away.  Klaus then dashes out to the forest and systematically exterminates each and every one of his so-called precious hybrids to punish them for trying to kill him.  As Christmas Carols play eerily in the background, Klaus yanks out hearts, chops off heads, twists necks, punctures carotid arteries, and slams his boots into people’s brains.

last to turn first to go

But, in his defense, he looks kind of sad while he’s doing it . . .   So, it’s totally justified.

kapow

Yes, I AM kidding.  But honestly, the choreography, special affects, and directing on this scene are pretty much as masterful as TVD gets.  It was equal parts disgusting, poignant, disturbing, sad, and yet, oddly mesmerizing.

hold heart

“Klaus Mikaelson: Wearing YOUR heart on his sleeve since B.C.”

Kung Fu Hybrid 2 .  . . coming soon to a theater near you . . .

ahhhhh

P.S. I wonder if, after he finished his dastardly mass murder, Klaus went back to hybrid headquarters and stole all those dead kids iPhones.  After all, it’s probably the closest thing we have nowadays to letters.”

Hayley comes clean to Tyler about her betrayal.  And the poor guy barely has time to process the loss of this friendship, when he finds himself ankle deep in hybrid guts, and is forced to live with the fact that, had it not been for him, all of these folks (lame as they were) would probably still be alive today.

trevino hug

Bummer . . .

Speaking of bummers . . .

Off to that Cougartown in the Sky . . .

I wonder what the average life expectancy is in Mystic Falls.  On one hand, it seems like every character over the age of 30 croaks after about three episodes.  On the other hand, the place is CRAWLING WITH VAMPIRES and other immortalesque creatures.  This means that everyone in town is either about 18-years old, or 372.  Weird . . .

too weird too fast

Anywhoo, a winsomely tipsy Mama Lockwood is lounging by the fountain, waiting to meet up with her son, when Klaus pops by to say hi.  His face is covered in hybrid blood, and he’s got this crazy “I just killed twelve people” look in his eye.  So, you could imagine Mama Lockwood is a bit  . . . concerned about the whole situation.

I’m just wondering why she didn’t run . . . like immediately.  Wouldn’t you, if someone came at you looking like this?

2 17 no

I don’t know.  Maybe she was too drunk, or something.  Whatever the reason, Mama Lockwood takes this opportunity to plead for her SON’S life.  “He’s all I have left,” she says tearfully.

As it turns out, that was EXACTLY the wrong to say, as it gives Klaus an idea . . . a way of hurting Tyler the way Tyler hurt him, by taking away his “family.”  Poor Mama Lockwood gets a nice free facial in the fountain, courtesy of Klaus, and never lives to see the results.

Drowning in a 2 foot deep pool of water . . . it’s a pretty crappy way to go.  But, of course, not quite as crappy as having your heart literally ripped out of your chest by your  “maker.”  R.I.P. Mama Lockwood.  We barely knew ye.   But hey, look on the bright side!  At least you’ll have a very clean corpse!

clean corpse

“Dammit!  I left my Gucci Swimmies at home.”

On that lovely note, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Fangbanging Night!

klausy smirk

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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