Tag Archives: sneak peek

Stiles-ception – A (Ridiculously Late) Recap of Teen Wolf’s Season 3B Premiere “Anchors”

dark tunnel

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“Is this real? Am I real?  Is this even a real door?  If I repeatedly bang my head on it, will I figure it out?  Ouch . . . ouch . . . ouch, maybe not.”

What’s up, my fellow Werebangers!  I missed you!

ep 8 i love you twg

How was your New Years?  Did you dance?

stiles dancing at gay bar melchiors

Meet any new and interesting people?

surprise bitch

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Die in a bath tub, and come back to life, only to realize you’ve somehow forgotten how to read?

cold stiles

read good

cant read good

(Don’t worry if this happens to be the case.  Most of this blog post will be pictures anyway . . . :))

Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, worry not!  Your Werebanger Family welcomes you back with open arms.

ep 8 stiles dad hug fyeah

So, lets get on with this recap, shall we?

nodding oh yeah

[As always, a big werewolfy round of applause for my good pal Andre, who in addition to being the Lean Mean Screencapping Machine who generously provided us with all the awesome pictures you see here, also happens to be a pretty kickass person, in general.]

Sleeping with Stiles . . .

sleeping stilessss

Teen Wolf . . . it’s no longer just a show you watch to see hot guys take their shirts off, flex their muscles, and get all sweaty with one another . . .

(Though that, in and of itself, is a pretty good reason to watch the show.)

ep 9 no fit gravyjones

more shirtless male review

shirtless issac

This is show is educational!  You learn stuff here!  For example, this week on Teen Wolf, I learned about the Tibetan Buddhist concept of “Bardo,”which from what I gather, is basically a cross between Purgatory, and whatever the f*&k happened on the last season of Lost  . . .

state between life and death

20100524_lostending_560x375

“So you mean to tell me all this time, we thought we were battling Baddies, Bionic Bears, and Black Smoke in a jungle, we were really just sitting around in this lame old church?”

Also, I learned from Stiles all the nifty tricks you can use to tell that your dreaming, while you are actually dreaming .  . . you know, for all those times you find yourself possibly-but-maybe-not asleep, and don’t have on hand Leonardo DiCaprio’s Magical Spinning Top from Inception . . .

spinning-top-inception

We start the episode off in bed with Stiles, which is as good a place as any to start off a series, AM I RIGHT ladies (and men)?

hi stiles

We know immediately that Stiles is dreaming, by the way he’s sweating, rapidly blinking his eyes, moaning amorously, curling his toes under his blanket, and thrusting upward, while he grabs on to his sheets for dear life .  . .

amorous sleeping stiles

Unfortunately for us fans, it ended up not being one of THOSE kind of dreams.  But we totally see where you were going with this, Jeff Davis, you naughty minx, you .  . .

gives me joy

At the start of the “Dream,” Stiles comes out of the closet . . . er . . . I mean the locker . . .

stiles comes out

“I feel so liberated!”

Then, Stiles takes a long slow glance in the mirror to remind fans how buff he’s gotten during the hiatus .  . .

buff stiles

“Someone’s been sneaking Wheaties into my Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs . .  .”

Stiles hears a sound, so he goes to investigate.  This is what he finds . . .

evil tree

“Don’t you just hate it when an Evil Tree crashes through your classroom, and then tries to eat you?”

feed me seymour

feed me

I know I do!

Then, Stiles “wakes up” only to learn that he’s slept through his entire courtship with Lydia!  Apparently, they’ve gone from “heat of the moment” first kiss partners, to bed buddies, who sleep together on school nights and massage one other’s arms after nightmares, in the span of less than two episodes . . .

lyd and sty

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“Is it Season 5, already?”

This is the moment I usually realize that I’m dreaming . .  . when things are simply too good to be true. . .

stiles

Stiles breaks the fourth wall at this point in the narrative, leading us to believe that he realizes he’s still dreaming as well . . .

stiles looks at camera

“I can’t really be this much of a pimp, yet . . . CAN I?”

And while most hot blooded teens would take advantage of their Super Awesome Dream, by say .  . .  taking this unique opportunity to do away with a certain Pesky Virginity Problem .  . .

sex me now 2

Stiles, being the tragic hero we know him to be, decides instead to go and CLOSE THE DOOR . .  .

door

3 the door 1st

This concept of THE DOOR, is one that presents itself throughout the episode.  Throughout the hour, we see Stiles and Allison, in their dreamlike states opening doors that they shouldn’t, doors that release evil spirits, funky trees, and b*tchy dead aunts into the ether.  We learned last season from Deaton, that “dying and returning to life in a bathtub” opened a seemingly figurative, but possibly literal, door in the characters’ minds, through which some pretty nasty Big Bads can pass through, if they aren’t careful.

in tub

Notice how adamant Dream Lydia was against Stiles closing the door to his room / mind.  This reminded me a bit of something Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Inception said about dream characters becoming violent toward anyone or anything that might disrupt the dream.  Perhaps, Dream Lydia didn’t want Stiles to close the door in his dream, because if he did, it would end his Bardo, thereby closing off the possibility of the evil demons connected to the Evil Tree / Nemeton breaking free into the Real World.

lyd screams

That would make Dream Lydia kind of evil.  So maybe it was a good thing Stiles didn’t have sex with her . . .

Then again, Stiles never actually closes the door.  Instead he WALKS THROUGH IT, thereby exposing himself, once again to the Nemeton, and the horrors of sleep paralysis . . . which, some might say, was a worse result than if he simply ignored the door and started humping his lady love. . .

wake uppppp

“DAMMIT, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I COULD HAVE GOTTEN LAID!”

wake uppppp stiles

We then see Stiles wake up, go to school and tell Scott all about his theories about waking dreams, and how his, in particular, might be related to the Sacrifice to the Nemeton that the three of them made last season.  Scott grunts, stares at his friend dumbfounded, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever intelligent or helpful to say, as per usual.  Everyone in the class pretends the two boys don’t exist, despite the fact that they are both rather attractive, have great bodies, and are talking very loudly about very weird sh*t .  . .  also as per usual.  Everything seems normal enough.  But Stiles still feels like something is off . . .

is this real babe

And that’s when he wakes up again . . . for real this time . . . maybe . . .

stiles and dad

In a sense, Stiles’ intense self awareness and extensive knowledge of dream states functions as both a blessing and a curse for him.  On one hand, Stiles is more likely than any other character on the show to instinctively realize he is dreaming.  Therefore, he would theoretically have the easiest time lucidly navigating his own dream world, and, when necessary, waking himself up.  On the other hand, Stiles’ innate ability to detect dreamlike things in everyday occurrences will undoubtedly cast a pall of strangeness on every aspect of his life, leaving him perpetually uncertain as to whether he is ALWAYS AWAKE or ALWAYS ASLEEP.

stiles and the new pack

This has led some to speculate that Stiles may already be dead (either from the tub, or from the car accident he experienced later that same episode), and that the entire second half of the season is taking place in his (unconscious?) (comatose?) (purgatoried?) mind . . .

ep 9 stiles hale tumblr going to die

In short, the cold open to Season 3B was about twenty times more meta than anything we’ve seen on the show, thus far.  But I liked it.  Unlike most dream sequences in teen shows, which bash you on the head with their symbolism  (Common Example 1: A precocious student is afraid of bombing her SATs.  So, she has a dream that she bombs her SATs, and ends up a homeless bum.  Common Example 2: A woman fears her Bad Boy boyfriend lacks ambition.  So she has a dream that she marries him, and ends up living in a dirty trailer park with 10 kids, married to her Bad Boy boyfriend, who is now a fat, burping, unemployed mess.), Stiles dreams were subtle, confusing, and disjointed.  They didn’t insult viewers’ intelligence, by tying everything up in a nice pretty Bardo Bow.  And that made them seem more like . . . well . . . real dreams . . .

dream bigger

I still wanted to see Stiles get dream laid though . . .

stiles with wolf hat

My Shadow Self

As is usually the case on this show,  other characters experience Real Problems, while Scott experiences things that are mildly annoying, but also kind of fun / funny.

nails

“My Shadow Self really needs a manicure.”

manicured

“If you think it, it will come . . .”

Allison has 100% turned into Haley Joe Osment’s character from The Sixth Sense . . .

i see dead people

Complete with cold gusts of air coming out of her mouth, every time she encounters the dead . . .

cold alli

“Oooh, either it’s getting a little nippley in here . . . or I just stumbled into a commercial for breath mints.”

breath mint

She’s also hallucinating entire trips to the hospital mortuary on her walks to school, and may or may not be suffering from multiple personality disorder  . . .

two allisons

“Which one of us do you think looks better in this outfit, Me or me?”

To top that off, her hands are shaking constantly, as if she’s suffering from DTs, so she can’t shoot her bow and arrow for sh*t, and her pesky zombie dead aunt, not only can’t seem to leave her alone, but almost made her  kill her best friend, and TOTALLY cockblocked her Awesome Dream Sex with Isaac. . .

peekaboo i see

“Helllooooo?   Anybody in there?”

whassuppp

“Sup, girl?”

BabyScared

shooting

hello again its me

“Hey again.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were avoiding me, Allison?”

see me

“Was it something I said?   Is it because I have zombie breath?”

surprised-face

woah

“Woah, Allison, there are much easier ways to make sure you win prom queen than scalping the competition .  . .”

shexy

“Oh Isaac, I’ve wanted this for at least three episodes so long.”

cock block 1

“Hey girl!  Can I get in on this too?  Argent Family Threesome?”

not an orgasm

“Worst . . . orgasm . . . EVER!”

So, I’d say that’s all pretty sucky.  Stiles, as we know, can’t tell whether he’s asleep or awake . . . like ALL THE TIME.  He may, in fact, already be dead . . .  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the sole income earner in his family either just got fired from his job by his best friend’s bio dad .  . .

sheriff do not remove

more files

. . . and /or became a serious hoarder.  And to top it off, in the past couple of days, Stiles has officially become a barely functioning illiterate who can’t count to ten . . . .

cant read

weird writing

read good

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So, in what horrible way has Scott been affected by the ritual sacrifice you ask?  Well, his shadow is being sort of a pain in the ass . . .

peter pan

“My shadow has officially become more attractive than I am.  Now, I know how Peter Pan felt. . .”

take off shadow

“I am SO done competing with this douchebag.  Off he goes!”

And his best friend is crushing on his ex . . .

fly isa

weeeee

“Weeee . . .  I’m flying.  Hey Scott, is this what it feels like to have sex with Allison?

Oh, and he’s also experiencing a massive case of dry eyes / anger management issues!

red eye scott

nothing to see here

“Nothing to see here.  This is totally normal.  I treat my friend like he’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame all the time!”

pain

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m horny . . . “

smash 2

In  other words, it’s nothing a little Visine, and a pep talk from Mommy about how he’ll find love again, couldn’t cure . . .

visine

mommy dearest

“You don’t need a girlfriend to keep you from turning into a monster, Scott.  Remember what that nice man Anthony Bates said in Psycho, ‘A boy’s best friend is his mother . . .’ “

janet leigh pyscho scream

ep 8 more shower scott 2

Perhaps, that wasn’t the best example.

So, to summarize, Stiles and Allison are going through Hell.  And Scott?  Well, he’s going through puberty . . .

That’s Sign Language for “You’re totally f*&ked.”

all signing

signage

Have you ever had one of those dreams, where it’s the end of the semester, and you realize that you totally spaced and forgot to attend one of your classes.  And now,  suddenly, you have to go take a final for a class for which you’ve never even cracked open a book?

ep 8 funny stiles

Well, imagine that the class was Sign Language 101.  And you arrive to find everyone repeatedly, and angrily motioning toward you in a way that might be the Macarena dance, for all the significance it has to you.

1996_macarena

That’s what happens to poor Stiles in this episode.  Fortunately, our trusty old Coach Crackpot is there to wake our hero up from his nightmare.  The problem, of course, is that, while all this was happening, Stiles wasn’t actually sleeping.   He was . . . drawing . . .

wake up scrib

But wait . . . check out the shape of Stiles’ incessant scribble of “Wake Ups.”  Does it look like anything to you?  Because it sure as heck looks like an “anchor” to me . . . as in .  . . THE TITLE OF THIS EPISODE .  . .

anhor

ep 5 more oral fixation stiles tyler

Here’s a theory.  You know how all the werewolves require a mental “anchor” to keep themselves from wolfing out at inopportune moments.  What if to escape “Bardo,” our heroes also need an anchor to keep them “tied down” to the real living world, which is becoming increasingly hard for them to reach?

nodding oh yeah

Kind of like the “anchors” who first guided our heroes into the Ritual Ice Bath Sacrifice in the first place?  (i.e. Lydia for Stiles, Isaac for Allison, Deaton for Scott, or according to Scott’s mother, Scott for Scott).

About that whole “Bardo” Concept . . .

So, it just occurred to me that I’ve been going about this  recap kind of backwards, in the sense that I’ve been consistently referring to this Bardo Concept, without explaining how this information was actually introduced to our characters . . .

verbal keyboard smash

It all started with Lydia, who was taking way too much joy in the fact that she was no longer the token wackadoo of the group . . . i.e. the one who screamed really loudly at really inappropriate times for no reason at all, occasionally drugged her friends with wolfsbane, and had a strange tendency to wander around in the forest naked in the middle of the night .. . (Well, actually, she’s still that person.  But now all her friends are acting just as nuts.)

no longe crazy

She also really, really wanted to figure out what the heck was going on with all her friends.

(By the way, you would think that a BANSHEE would be a bit more attuned to the fact that her entire social circle is potentially half-dead.  But whatever . . .)

you crazy

“Well, you all can’t be THAT dead, because I’m not screaming my head off.  Then, again, if all of this is just a dream in Stiles’ head then . . . at least his subconscious put me in a cute outfit.”

And while Lydia was busy being totally stumped by the situation, someone else had already figured things out.  Meet Kira . . .

teehee

She’s the new girl in school.  This is her dad . . . who is a history teacher, and who is inexplicably teaching Kira’s history class, despite the fact that the school is pretty large and likely has at least two other history teachers on the faculty who weren’t murdered by evil Druids . . .

new guy

“I really don’t want to be a history teacher.  History teachers never survive supernatural teen shows.  Can’t I teach gym, or woodworking?  How about making me a nice lunch lady?  No one ever kills the lunch lady.  I’d even be willing to wear a hairnet.”

Some have speculated that Kira (or her dad) might be the foxy kitsune who gets into our Scooby Gang’s heads this half of the season, and functions as its trickstery, mental manipulating big bad.  But, for now, all we know about her is that she knows all about Tibetan Buddhism and Bardo, totally believes Scott and Co. are hallucinating and stuff because they are about to croak.  Oh, and Scott thinks she’s a total hottie.  Anywhoo, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this chick . . .

Speaking of Characters Whose Sole Purpose Seems to Be to Explain Complicated Tidbits of Mythology to the Audience. . .

oooh

He pops up just in time to tell the kiddies what we all pretty much figured out from the promos.  Basically, that whole ritual sacrifice thingy, which actually had nothing at all to do with the finale or how Darach Jenny was ultimately defeated has made them Stiles, Scott and Allison, nutzo.  And so they all need to  . . . wait for it . . . close the doors in their brains to keep them from going straight to hell and letting all the evil demons escape into the world, just like they keep threatening to do but never actually do on The Vampire Diaries  . . .

demons

helpful

Don’t worry Isaac.  At least you were more helpful than Deaton, this week!

In Seemingly Unrelated News . . .

This guy . . .

le douche

 . . . is a total douche, who is trying to take Stiles’ dad’s Sheriff job away, seemingly just because that’s the kind of thing douches do.

Stiles’ dad, of course, wants to keep his job, and randomly decides that solving a REALLY, REALLY cold case involving a missing little girl who IF she was still alive she’s totally still alive would be Stiles’ age now, is precisely the way to do it . . .

Meet, not really dead Malia Tate . . .

malia tate

Her mother and sister(?) were killed in what may or may not have been a wolf mauling, but her body was never found. Malia Tate looks a bit like a younger version of this lady, Shelly Hennig, who has signed on to be a “Super Secret Important Character on this Show.”

malia older

They even have the same side part in their hair!

For reasons that don’t quite make sense to me, Stiles’ dad decides to visit Malia’s slightly strange, and very pissed off, still grieving father, who has a strange obsession with, and seeming hatred, for coyotes  . . .

holding trap

“Coyotes are evil.  My missing daughter and/or I might be a were-coyote.

  . . . so that Scott can quite literally sniff around Malia’s room, and see if he can pick up her scent, despite her not having lived in the house for about ten years . . .

smelling stuff

She must have been a really smelly girl?

Scott can’t seem to latch on to Malia’s body odor.  But he and Stiles do have a fun little encounter with another smelly creature .. .

hanging with doggy

“Please let me join your pack.  I’m already house trained.”

cute dog

“I’m also a very good finder.”

Stiles and Scott narrowly escape the Tate home without being discovered by Creepy Papa Tate.  Later that night, the two of them head off into the night in search of Malia’s dead body.  (Riiiiiight, because this strategy of searching for dead things in the forest has served them both so well in the past . . .)

teen wolf chewed body

And while they don’t locate Malia’s corpse, the best friends do come upon one of her baby dolls, which, just so happens to have the best working batteries of any toy I’ve ever seen  . . .

hungry

What toy works that well after 10 years?  Even the Chuckie doll  from the Child’s Play series has started to show signs of slowing down, and he’s possessed by an honest-to-goodness serial killer . . .

Later that night, Scott stumbles upon a coyote or wolf (I’m not really good at differentiating between K-9’s) and is inexplicably convinced it’s Malia . . .

malia

It’s important to note that the creature .. .  whatever it is . . .  has blue eyes, which means it has killed innocents (possibly its own family members . . . possibly by accident, during a Full Moon turn).  So, who is it . . . Malia Tate?   Her father?  The Mysterious Kira?  It’s probably too soon to know for sure.

Oh, and for those of you who have been wondering where Derek and Sassy Peter have been all episode . . . the answer will shock you . . .

hostage

electroshock therapy

electrifying

Poor Derek!  He can’t even make it through one episode without having his manhood burned and denigrated in some way.  But hey, at least he still looks good shirtless . . .

ep 9 yeah shirtless derek

Some thing never change . . .

Next week on Teen Wolf . . .

And if that didn’t whet your appetite, perhaps this will . . .

http://www.mtv.com/shows/teen_wolf/ep-14-sneak-peek/991310/video/#id=1719787

Until next time, Werebangers!  Sweet dreams . . .

stydia kiss 5

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Heart of Glass – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Before Sunset”

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Hey Fangbangers!  So, we’re just a week away from the Season Finale of TVD.  And characters are dropping like flies, here in Mystic Falls.  You know, for supernatural beings, these folks sure DIE a lot (die . . . un-die  . . . re-die . . . faux-die . . . tie dye . . . die again).

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Sometimes it gets quite difficult to keep track of who’s dead, and who’s . . . well . . . undead.  (But hey, that’s what recaps are for, right?)

So grab your morning paper, and your balls . . . er . . . I mean soccer balls . . . and head on over the Wickory Bridge to Mystic Falls . . . a Vampire Town with a Drinking Problem.  We’re dying for you to join us . . . for a little TVD-cap.

Caroline: “Let’s play ‘Never Have I Ever!'”

Tyler: “Oooh . . . I got one!  Never have I ever died on this show.”

Elena: “Umm . . . yeah you did!”

Tyler: “I know . . . but so did all of you!  Everyone drink up!”

(As always, special thanks to my screencapper extraordinaire, for all the pretty pictures you see here.  If I were Klaus, I’d draw him a pony for all his hard work and dedication . . .)

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Nothing says loving, like a pony pic!

The Clean-up Crew

The episode begins with some creepy, and seemingly completely random Civil War photographs.

Awww . . . now THERE’S a nice, happy inspirational picture to hang up in your classroom!

Oh no!  Not another flashback episode.  I always hate those.  Oh wait . .  . I see what you did there, writers . . . Alaric’s a history teacher.  Sometimes I forget he actually has an occupation aside from drinking and playing with his Chunky Monkey.  And now he’s about to try to murder his own friends.

Is it just me, or does the toy on the horse look like he’s giving the other toys the finger?

Just like our ancestors murdered one another, back during that epic bloody battle.

This toy kind of looks like Klaus does at the end of the episode . . . 

Man, I love when TVD gets all “deep” on us.  It makes me feel “smart and sophisticated.”  Now, I don’t have to watch PBS or the History Channel ever again.

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Hey, did you ever notice how Alaric only seems to actually attend classes when he’s “not himself?”  If you recall, Alarklaus taught history classes, back in Season 2.  He even chaperoned the school dance!

Now, Nouveau Ric is hanging out at the high school as well, and on a weekend, no less!  If only the Administration knew how mich being possessed improved Alaric’s work ethic, they probably would have done it themselves, a long time ago.

“I don’t even really like teaching.  But the benefits are unmatched.  And now that I have fangs, I could really use a good dental plan.”

Speaking of the academically inclined, 1,000-year old Rebekah is another character who seems to attend high school more than anyone else on the show.  I mean, seriously, who volunteers to be on the 8 a.m. clean-up crew for a dance for which they spent the entire time lying dead in a coffin with a stake through their heart?  Now, that’s dedication!

“Popularity is super important to me.  After all, if I didn’t have friends?  Who would I eat?”

But Rebekah’s not alone.  Caroline’s on the clean-up crew too.  Two blonde vampires picking up trash together . . . it’s a commercial for Garbage Woman Barbie!

I’m sorry.  That was politically incorrect.  Of course, I meant “Sanitation Worker Barbie.”

Typically at odds with one another in a “b*tch stole my look and my social life” sort of way, Caroline and Rebekah actually seem to be on their best behavior this morning.  With their respective claws retracted, the two Alpha females even go as far as to exchange banal pleasantries with one another . .  . like, for example, “Golly gee!  I was so sorry to hear that your mother tried to murder you, stole your body, and is now definitely dead . . . again.”

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And, “Oh yeah, same goes for that dead history teacher of yours.  I know you really liked him.  It’s a real shame that he decided to die just like your DAD rather than become an undead bloodsucker, like the two of us.”

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You know, the usual sort of chitchat . . .

Speaking of America’s favorite vampire slaying history teacher, Rebekah runs into Alaric . . . or, perhaps I should say, Nouveau Ric by the lockers.  And suddenly, I’m having flashbacks of “The Reckoning.”  (Remember that one . . . back when Klaus was still the Biggest Baddest Vampy in town, and Stefan still occasionally ate Elena . . . in more ways than one?)

Only this time, Rebekah is playing the role of the Damsel in Distress, for a change.

“Phew, your breath is rank, Nouveau Ric!  What do you use to brush your teeth? Codfish?”

Fun times and Phallic Hijinks ensue, as the pair wrestle with the big shiny weiner-like object that is the Invisible Originals-Killing Stake.  Vampire Barbie Caroline hears the commotion, and rushes to join Klaus Barbie in the fight.  This is actually kind of erotic . . .

Caroline: “You know, this is the closest I’ve ever come to being in a threesome.”

Rebekah: *whistles uncomfortably*

Rebekah: “Hey!  No fair!  You can’t just pull it out like that?  What do you think this is,  the rhythm method?”

Of course, Caroline’s no dummy . .  . at least, not in this episode.  She knows when a fight is hers to lose.  And this one has Death Trap written all over it.  So, the littlest Forbes quite wisely makes a run for it.  (It looks like the gym will have to be cleaned some other time.  Hope no one was planning on  using it for. . .  like . . . actual physical education and stuff.)

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to get to your car (because some psycho killer wants to shove a big stake up your ass), and your door won’t open?  Poor Caroline!  It seems that, while you can indeed run from Vampire the Vampire Slayer, driving away from him is not an option, especially when you can’t get into your car.  I hope the company that made Caroline’s car didn’t pay for THAT product placement. 

Caroline: *sigh* “If only I had ONSTAR to help me to open my car door, in desperate situations like these.” *winks at camera*

Alaric knocks out Caroline with frightening ease, before dragging her temporarily unconscious, and always lifeless, body across the concrete, wheelbarrow-style.  Ouch!  She’s probably going to feel that in the morning.  While all this is going down, we see Rebekah, in the distance, observing the situation with a mixture of horror and smugness.  Undoubtedly, in this moment she is thinking, “Now, I’m the fairest of them all, B*tch!  The Prom Queen title is MINE!”

“I’d help her out . . . but I don’t want to ruin my manicure.”

Oh, did I forget to mention that Alaric’s face is falling off?

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Why do I suddenly feel like I’m watching the Thriller video?

Oh Esther, you silly little, pursed lips, completely lacking of facial expression, witchypoo, you!  You would think that as the MOTHER OF ORIGINAL VAMPIRES, she would have at least remembered to give her little Frankenvampire creation a Sunscreen Ring, so that he could play with his fellow fangy friends in the daylight.  (“But MOMMY, all the other vampires have them.  NO FAIR!” I could picture Alaric whining, upon learning of this unfortunate turn of events.

“Snookie and the Situation lied.  Gym, tanning and laundry are definitely overrated.”

But noooo Esther . . . you had to make him suffer unnecessarily, in furtherance of your stupid-totally-doomed-to-fail, because the Scoobies always win or there’d be no show brilliant Vampire Extinction Plan.  Super Villain FAIL!

Then again, I guess you had your reasons . . . like the fact that the episode needed a title . . . and a Cinderella “They all turn back into pumpkins at midnight” type timeline to “heighten the intensity.”

“Mystic Falls, we have a problem . . . another one.”

Back at the Gilbert House of Death, Misery, and Hideous Floral Décor, siblings, Jeremy and Elena, are innocently painting not-so-dead Alaric’s bedroom a lovely shade of toothpaste green.  (That will teach you not to DIE LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO, Alchy Ric!  Now your bedroom vaguely resembles snot.  I hope you are proud of yourself.)

If Alaric had a grave, he’d be rolling over in it . . . Then again, considering this is a guy who willingly decorates his classroom with pictures of dead people, and the Civil War equivalent of GI Joes,  he’s not exactly an Arbiter of Taste, either.

Stefan arrives on the scene to offer his trademark Sad Smile (also, presumably to kill some time, since “Murder and Mayhem” don’t appear on his calendar today, until about noon.  To say that Petulant Pouty Jeremy (Oh, how I missed your misery Jer Bear!  Unhappiness is SO hot.) is less than thrilled to see one of his sister’s multiple undead suitors on the scene is the understatement of the century.

“I challenge you to a wet t-shirt contest.”

(Then again, it’s possible that Mini Gilbert is simply jealous of Elena’s popularity with members of the opposite sex . . . human or not.  After all, his own ghost girlfriends seemed to have stopped calling him entirely.  I mean things have to be REALLY bad in the relationship department, when women who lack corporeal bodies aren’t willing to bone you.  I’ll bone you, Jer Bear!)

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Let’s face it Jer, when she stops haunting you, while you’re on the toilet . . . she’s just not that into you.

“All I want is one day without vampires,” Jeremy gripes.

(And hey, considering we are one week away from the season finale of the show, Jeremy might get an ENTIRE summer without vampires .  . . unless he watches True Blood.)

Though he tries to play it “cool,” Stefan seems a bit hurt by Jeremy’s statements.  (It’s time to grow a thicker skin, Stefan!  You would think that having been alive for nearly two centuries, you would have at least one or two insults lodged at you that were harsher than the equivalent of:  “Vampires suck.  I wish they’d stop trying to bone my sister.”)

“I know . . . it’s just .  . I just finished watching The Notebook again.  And I’m in a really vulnerable place, right now.”

This, obviously, puts Elena in an awkward position, as she tries to broker a fragile peace between all the men in her life.  Fortunately she doesn’t have to broker for very long, before there is a knock at her door.  Surprise!  It’s the other man in her life . . .  some would say the Best Man (I know I would!)

Still in her flapper costume, nearly 24 hours later.  This takes Walk of Shame to a whole new level.

Of course, I’m referring to Damon, who’s currently hanging out on Elena’s doorstep with a Bloody Bonnie by his side  . . . a bloody Bonnie, who he has undoubtedly scraped off the floor and fed his own blood, after a zombified version of herself gave him a migraine and let then-almost vampire Ric give her a massive hickey on her neck.

And they say Damon isn’t the forgiving type . . .

So now the Scooby Gang knows that Ric-ipoo is not-so-much-dead.  The next challenge is for Bonnie to come up with the Witch Ex Machina to make him definitely dead.  Oh Bonnie, you are sooo the Velma of your Scooby Gang  . . . always stuck with your head in boring spell books, while everyone else is breaking sh*t, beating people up, and getting laid.

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Meanwhile, over at La Casa de Richer and Awesomer, But Not as Well Furnished, it’s Rebekah’s turn to want to kiss Mystic Falls goodbye.  Next week, it will be Klaus’ again .  . . oh . . . wait .  . . nevermind. But Klaus isn’t about to skip town without his prized bloodbag Elena.  How else would he be able to create an unlimited array of hybrids who would be eternally gay for him (even the female ones)?  Rebekah pleads for him to reconsider.  After all, wasn’t the whole Hybrid Thing really just a convoluted end-run around being alone?

And hey, Klaus doesn’t NEED to be alone anymore.  He has his family now . . . you know, the folks he carried around in coffins for hundreds of years, just for fun . . . well . . . except for his mother (dead), his father (deader), and Finn (deadest) . . . but Klaus never really liked them anyway, right?

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Ahhh . . . but here’s the rub.  Klaus’ family isn’t quite as gay for him as the hybrids are.  They misbehave, have opinions of their own, occasionally fight back.  Unacceptable!

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Sorry Rebekah!  Hybrids, for the win.  It looks like you will be leaving this sorry ass, one-bar, town alone . . .

Klaus Mikaelson . . . Worst . . . Paperboy . . . EVER!

Oh Klaus . . . sketcher of smiley ponies . . .

.  . . painter of poop . . .

It has been quite some time, since we got to see you kick some genuine ass.  And no, I’m not just talking about your threatening to “kill everyone [insert name here] loves; or getting your hybrids to kick asses for you . . . I’m talking about honest-to-goodness acts of impressive villainy.  “Before Sunset” finally allowed us to see some of that . . .

 . . . annnnnd then Klaus died.

Shortly after he learned the truth about Nouveau Ric, Klaus paid a little visit to the Gilbert house to retrieve Princess Elena.  The problem, of course, is that, unbeknownst to Klaus (and everyone else in the house, for that matter), Elena is out rescuing Caroline, whos’s been held hostage by Nouveau Ric at the school.  To be honest, I don’t know if “rescuing” is ever a good word to describe for what Elena does for other people .  . . since it always ends up with Elena in danger, and people coming to rescue her.  Maybe what Elena does should become it’s own adjective: “Elena-ing.”

“Hmm . . . who’s number is this in my cell phone?  TV Recapper?  DELETE!”

Either way, neither the Salvatore Brothers, nor Mini Gilbert, have any intention of letting Klaus in the house.  This, of course, pisses Klaus off royally.  And so, he responds by doing what Klaus does best . . .  He throws a temper tantrum.

Have you ever played that old video game, where you’re the Paperboy, and the object of the game is to get all the papers on your “route” to land on the stoop, as opposed to  . . . hitting the neighbor’s dog, or breaking windows?  Yeah . . . well, let’s just say Klaus has other strategies in mind.

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Suddenly, the Original Hybrid is chucking newspapers, soccer balls, pieces of white picket fence . . . anything he can get his hands on  . . .

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 . . . at the not-entirely-unsuspecting Salvatore Brothers, who are expertly ducking them all.  It’s like one big crazy game of dodgeball!

I don’t know about what Klaus is doing. It sure seems like an awful lot of work to me just to get into a house.  As another, much more talented recapper (Entertainment Weekly’s Mandi Bierly) than I pointed out, Klaus’ brother Elijah accomplished the exact same thing, with nothing more than the loose change in his pocket.

Also, not to point out the obvious, but what the heck are the Gilbert’s neighbors going to think about all this?  Then again, given all the CRAZY INSANE-O things we’ve seen go on at the Gilbert house, these past three seasons, the fact that the neighbors NEVER ever thought to call the cops . . . or better yet move . . . probably means that they are all dead anyway.  (Maybe Klaus ate them?)

Or Stefan . . .

Once the gang finally figures out where Elena actually is (thanks to a helpful call from Nouveau Ric, himself), it should come as no surprise to anyone that Saint Stefan is the one that encourages Klaus to join Team Scooby in it’s weekly installment of the “Save Elena” games.   After all, they all want the same girl, right?  They might as well work together to get her back.

“B*tch PLEASE!”

Never one to look a gift pony in the mouth (especially one he’s drawn), you can’t exactly blame Klaus for being a bit skeptical of the offer.  In no uncertain terms, Klaus reminds Stefan that, if they defeat Nouveau Ric, Klaus WILL be leaving Mystic Falls with lover girl as his bloodbag.  “Then I’ll go with you,” Stefan says, unfazed.

“And that’s why you’re the better option [for Elena],” Klaus remarks generously . . . thus proving that he will say whatever it takes to get back into the jock strap of his unrequited vampire love.

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Long story short, Klaus isn’t about to give up the opportunity to have his blood bag, and eat Stefan’s weiner too.  He’s SO in!

The question is, of course, if no stake on Earth can kill Ric, how are Bonnie and her Scooby Gang plus Klaus going to manage it?  More on that, in a little bit . . .

Teacher’s Pet

That Nouveau Ric!  He’s such a sweetie.  Here he is giving up a fun weekend of binge drinking and blacking out to offer some private tutoring to his favorite students Caroline and Elena.  The lesson of the day: Why Murdering Vampires Isn’t as Morally Reprehensible as You Might Think 101.  Since this is an “interactive lesson” it involves Caroline being stabbed in the hand with a pencil, and gagged with vervain.

Oh, Alaric.  You really haven’t thought this one through.  How is she supposed to take notes?

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Disturbing as this scene was, I liked the way it fleshed out (no pun intended) Alaric’s alter ego a bit more.  In earlier episodes, the guy came off as nothing more than a raging lunatic.  But this scene reminded us that Nouveau Ric, evil as he might be, still possesses all of Alaric’s old memories.  He even . . . in his own twisted way . . . still cares about Elena . . . sort of. And when he tells the young woman that he came thisclose to formally adopting in his “other life,” that his vampire distrusting parents would be disappointed in some of Elena’s recent “life choices,” you can tell that he really believes it.

In a way, Nouveau Ric is kind of like a religious extremist or terrorist . . . so firm and single-minded in his beliefs, that he is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish them . . . even if it doing it makes him a monster.  Klaus tries to coax Elena into staking Caroline, under the theory, that her death will be more painful if Alaric himself carries it out.

“For the last time, I will NOT touch your stick, Ric!  So, stop whipping it out, and waving it in my face!”

But surprisingly enough, the teenager outsmarts the dude with the Master’s degree, by pretending to try and stake him, while she douses his face with scalding-to-vampires vervain.

Now, Nouveau Ric is angry . . . and you wouldn’t like him, when he’s angry. . .

The Three Vamp-keteers . . . the Witch . . . and the Whipping Boy

Surprise!  At the eleventh hour, Bonnie Ex Machina has discovered the key to temporarily killing . . . at least until the non-vampire Scooby Gang reaches their 30’s the seemingly unkillable Nouveau Ric.  Specifically, Bonnie wants to use on Alaric the dessication spell, her absentee bio mom once used on the now definitely dead Mikael.

The catch is that she needs her lame-ass, cut-and-run, pays more attention to her pseudo-son/boyfriend than her, mother Abby, in order to accomplish the deed.

Now, I can’t STAND the useless, wimpy, cowardly character of Abby.  And I would have much rather her stayed GONE.  That said, I kind of love how the writers used her to express us recapper’s long standing complaint that the Salvatore’s house .  . . which was specifically deeded over to the very human Elena back in Season 2 . . . now seems open to any and all vampires.  Of course, most of the characters on the show consistently ignored this annoying anomaly until Abby.

Speaking in the voice of the writers, Damon explains that, when Elena “died” (for about two seconds) back in episode 221, the house reverted back to the Salvatores, at least in the spiritual sense (legally, it OBVIOUSLY still belongs to Elena).  And so, since La Casa de Rich and Awesome is once again vampire owned, it is pretty much an Open House for every soon-to-be-dead guest star vampire around . . .you know . . .  like Abby.

Anywhoo . . . Abby’s all “Nooo . . . dear daughter, who I abandoned, seemingly uncaring as to whether you lived or died .  . . PLEASSSEEEE don’t do the Dessication spell!   It involves BLACK MAGIC, and . . . temporarily killing a human by stopping their heart and .  . . having vampires drink your blood again . . . and making your face look prematurely veiny.   In other words, this is a big time Bad News Spell, child.  It can f*&k you up, something fierce!”

Fortunately, Damon pipes in to say.  “Hey, she’s Bonnie ex Machina.  It’s her JOB to perform dangerous spells in the last ten minutes of every episode to save our asses.

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Not that we pay her, or anything . . . because we don’t.  But hey!  If she didn’t do it, she might as well be another show . . . like The Secret Circle . . . or something.

It’s settled them!  Black magic and veiny face be damned.  Klaus, Stefan and Damon are going to temporarily incapacitate Nouveau Ric, and drink Bonnie’s blood . . . so that Bonnie can mumble in faux Latin . . . and do whatever it is she does on this show that constitutes “spell casting.”

Jeremy: “Umm . . . Bonnie . . . not to question your witchy ways or anything, but what exactly does grabbing my crotch repeatedly have to do with killing Nouveau Ric.”

Bonnie: *whistles awkwardly*

But here’s a question:  what moronic human is idiotic enough to let Bonnie stop his heart, even temporarily,  for the love of one teenage girl.  Do you even have to ask?  It’s Mini Gilbert of course.  (Poor guy, even he performs acts of tremendous bravery, they always seem to involve him lying on his back, and having the crap kicked out of him by women.  Life just isn’t fair.)

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Oh, and did I mention that Bonnie “found” Caroline and Elena at the school, using her trusty iPhone GPS.  Obligatory and Obnoxious Product Placement Alert!

Trying to determine whether your history teacher is an alien?  There’s an app for that!

In which Elena gets an IDEA . . .

Though the Three Vamp-keteers put on a good show, of trying to tackle Nouveau Ric together at school (The diversion even enables Klaus to free, and subsequently make some serious sex eyes, at Caroline.) . . .

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 . . . their efforts to stake Nouveau Ric, while Bonnie fondles Jeremy’s chest, and attempts to stop his heart, are ultimately ineffective, and end with both Salvatore Brother down for the count.

Thus proving you can never be too old for nap time.

But worry not, because hope is not yet lost.  Nouveau Ric’s staunch refusal to kill vampire lover Elena makes the doppelganger extremely suspicious . . . so, suspicious, in fact, that she takes a risk, and tries to slice open her own neck for sh*ts and giggles.

It’s a Do-It-Yourself Hickey . . .

The seemingly suicidal action causes Nouveau Ric to go batsh*t insane, thereby confirming Elena’s surprisingly clever hypothesis.

Apparently Nouveau Ric’s life is tied to Elena’s in the same way each other vampire’s life is tied to an Originals.  So, if and when Elena dies, Nouveau Ric will die too.  In other words, Alchy Ric isn’t actually a threat to Elena, even at his most vampire hater killingest.  Problem solved  . . .Elena has been saved . . .  again . . . crisis averted, right?

WRONG!

Alert the media, Elena’s in danger again!

We come back from commercial to find out that sh*t has really hit the fan now.  Somehow, Klaus managed to get away from Alaric, and took Elena with him.  So, remember the Good Old Days, when Klaus used to want Elena to live, because he needed her blood bagging talents to make more hybrids?  Apparently, not so much, anymore!  All it took was one look at how powerful Nouveau Ric was, and Klaus completely flip-flopped on his Elena policy.

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But you know Klaus . . . he’s all about the Evil Villain Monologue.  So, instead of bleeding Elena dry as fast as possible, he decides to gossip with her, about which Salvatore Brother she loves more.  DAMON!  DAMON!  IT’S GOTTA BE DAMON!

Of course, Elena doesn’t give an answer because it’s not the season finale yet.  Actually she does answer Klaus’s question.  Just not necessarily in the way we would have hoped . . .

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Now, he’s draining her blood, in hopes of escaping with his own life in tact.  Sure, it will mean that the amount of new hybrids Klaus can make are limited.  But that’s a small price to pay for eternal life, right?  And eternal life is exactly what Klaus will get once Elena and Alaric are dead? True?

Maybe not . . . you see . . . Klaus’ main henchman during the Elena Draining is none other than Tyler . . . Elena’s friend . . . Caroline’s boyfriend . . . and a self-de-sired hybrid, who, in his own words is “SO NOT [KLAUS’] b*tch anymore.  So, much for hybrids being an Original Vampire’s best friend!  Tyler is clearly, gay for Klaus, no more.

“Now, I’m gay for Damon!  Sorry!”

 And what’s worse, he’s called in the Scooby Gang to perform on Klaus the exact same “desiccation” spell originally meant for Nouveau Ric.

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In the words of werewolves . . . and cartoon dogs named Astro . . . Ruh Roh, Klausipoo!

Your cheating heart . . . (will make you dried out and veiny)

Back in the Forest Where Everyone in Mystic Falls Has Died at Least Once, Bonnie is, once again, chanting and mumbling over a sleepy . . . soon to be dead-y Jeremy.   This time, though, she succeeds in stopping her ex-boyfriend’s heart, at the exact same moment the Salvatore Bros have staked Klaus.

“Need   . . . Botox . . . now.”

Oh, this is soooo time for a nose bleed, right?  Apparently not.  Nope . . . no nose bleeds for Black Magic Bonnie, who seems to be having wayyy to much fun stopping Jer Bear’s heart if you ask me.  I mean, girlfriend’s making an “O” face, while she’s killing her boy toy, which is just beyond inappropriate if you ask me . . .

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Temporarily Murdering Jeremy > vibrator

Also . . . her face is getting all black and veiny, for no apparent reason whatsoever.  EW!  I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose one, I’d go nosebleeds over Vein Faced spellgasms any day (and twice on Sunday).

Back at the Klaus House, Big Bad Original is starting to look all pale, sad, creepy, lifeless zombie like . . . you know, kind of like his siblings looked, back when he staked all of them.  Knowing that life as he knows it is now coming to an end, Klausipoo takes these last few moments to share one final eye-f*&k with the secret love of his life, Stefan.  It was both sad, and sexy at the same time.  And Stefan’s eyes are undoubtedly pregnant right now from the effort.

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Still . . .  eye-screw or no-screw, Klaus is DEAD-DEAD . . . at least until the next Sweeps period.

Mini Gilbert lived to tell the tale though!

“Oh Bonnie.  I had the most awful dream.  You were murdering me with your hands, while making sex noises.”

But only after a maudlin Bonnie cried hysterically for about three seconds over his unconscious body.  (Oh honey,  we saw your O-face.  Don’t act all high and mighty now, and pretend you didn’t enjoy it.)

When all is said and done, the Salvatore Brother’s toss Klaus’ lifeless body into the trunk of their car where Stefan gives it the goodbye screw of it’s life, and escort the favor, slightly de-blooded, Elena back home.

The Doppelganger and Not-Secret Service Crew

At the doorstep, she stops to thank them for being so patient with her.  But she really needs some more time to choose which one of them she wants to dry hump on a regular basis, if that’s OK with them.  DAMON!  DAMON! DAMON!

They both say, “Sure ! No problem” (though neither of them really means it), and head for the hills.

In the car, on the way to dump Klaus’ body off the Wickory Bridge, Stefan and Damon have a heartfelt conversation about Elena.  I probably would have paid a lot more attention to it, if, the whole time, I wasn’t waiting for Klaus to pop up in between them, say, “HAHA FOOLED YA, SUCKAS!  I AIN’T EVEN DEAD YET,” and start making out with Stefan.

It never happened.  And I can’t decide whether or not I’m disappointed about that.

Anywhoo, Damon and Stefan mutually agree with one another, about how totally hot and perfect Elena was.

Then, Saint Stefan offers to “gallantly” leave town if Elena ends up choosing Damon as her “lovah!”

At first, Damon’s response seems to be “F*&k that, if she picks you, I’m sticking around for the Hot Revenge Sex I’m going to get, each time you two fight.”

But eventually, Damon VERY RELUCTANTLY agrees to do the same thing for his brother’s sake.  “And hey,” Damon adds.  “In sixty or so years, after Elena croaks, we might even be able to be brothers again.”

Good old Damon.  Always the optimist . . . well . . . except for the fact that he’s only letting Elena live until her mid seventies.  That’s kind of cold, don’t you think?

It’s a CELEBRATION!

It’s rare to get truly happy moments on TVD.  But we got one at the end of this episode, when Jer Bear, Bonnie, Tyler (who, since the founder of his bloodline is only “all dried up” and not “actually dead, got to live to see the end of this episode), Token Human Matt, Caroline and Elena herself all got to get wasted on tequila, and celebrate the death of Season 2 and 3’s Big Bad.

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Just happy not to have a vervain soaked rag in her mouth, a slightly tipsy Caroline echoed her not-so-much boyfriend Klaus, in trying to get Elena to voice her Salvatore Brother Choice.  But Elena wasn’t about to let a little thing like the fact that polygamy isn’t legal in Virgina, rain on her Dead Klaus Parade!  No sir!

And it’s a good thing too . . . because all that happiness only lasts for about two seconds . . .

Elsewhere in Mystic Falls,  Nouveau Ric crashes a council meeting to out Caroline’s and Tyler’s respective mommies as “vampire sympathizes’ and “harborers of supernatural creatures.”  Now, it’ just a hunch.   But I’m thinking this is going to hurt their chances at mayor and sheriff re-election, BIG TIME!  (Might I suggest throwing a little compulsion in with those campaign buttons  . . .)

In more bad news . . .

So, THAT’S where Bonnie’s nosebleeds went . . .

In the final moments of the episode, we see Elena returning to Alaric’s room to finish painting his snot green walls.  A searing pain hits her neck, and she passes out, blood dumping from her nose, like Bonnie on a Spell Bender.  Well, this can’t be good . . .

“Don’t call it a nosebleed.  Call it a Blood Mustache.”

That said, for all two of you that actually thought Elena actually croaked, you can rest easy.  The doppelganger LIVES!

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And I have proof!

Here  . . .

Here . . .

And here . . .

Until next time, my fellow Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

What’s on TV This Week? (1/29 – 2/4) – Spoilery Sneak Peeks from Once Upon a Time, Gossip Girl, PLL, Glee, and TVD

[ Gossip Girl’s “G.G.” and PLL’s “A Kiss Before Lying” recaps are both on their way!  I wanted to take a little extra time with these. Gossip Girl just celebrated it’s 100th episode, after all.  (That just doesn’t happen every day!)  Check back for both recaps within the next 24 hours . . .]

Greetings TV fans!  One of my absolute favorite new TV Trends is the Episode Sneak Peek, i.e. the Web Clip.  More and more lately, networks are releasing key scenes from their upcoming television episodes, a week early, in hopes of generating buzz about their shows, and, possibly, increasing ratings.

The way I see it, this is a win-win situation for both the network and spoiler-loving TV viewers like myself.  From the network’s perspective, it gives the corporate suits the opportunity to control which spoilers are leaked about their upcoming episode, while still giving impatient fans something to chew on, while they wait for the actual episode to air.

From the fan’s perspective, we sort of get to feel like we’re “cheating” the system, by getting the early scoop on select parts of upcoming episodes that only the most spoiler savvy of viewers get to see . . .

“Beating the system .  . . one YouTube video at a time . . .” 

This week, was particuarly exciting for me, because I managed to find webclips for nearly EVERY show I watch!  And these aren’t just throwaway scenes, either!  Some of the sneak peeks I found offer up some genuine hints as to what these shows’ upcoming episodes have in store for us.

From a torrid fairytale affair . . . to a royal wedding that positively NO ONE wants to happen  .  . . to a heart-wrenching betrayal . . . to a Michael Jackson-inspired sing-off . . . to an out-and-out war between two sets of vampire brothers, something tells me that this week’s television fare is going to be setting the internet a-blaze with heated discussions for weeks to come . . .

So, without further adieu, I proudly bring to you, This Week’s Collection of Spoilery Sneak Peaks . . .

Once Upon a Time

“I see youuuuu!” 

Episode 11 – Fruit from the Poisonous Tree

Airs: Sunday, January, 28th, 8.p.m. EST on ABC

Though I was initially drawn to this fairytale fantasy, due to it’s uniquely original concept, and wealthy of unabashedly nerdy literary nods . . . the complex, and suprisingly dark, love story between Snow White, Prince Charming, and their respective Storybrook counterparts, is one of the main reasons I keep returning, after week.

How much of a role should amorphous concepts like fate, instinct, and chemistry play in one’s pursuit of happiness?  Is it acceptable in life to hurt and betray others, in the name of True Love?  These intriguing questions are central to Once Upon a Time, in general, and Mary Margaret’s (i.e. Snow White’s) and David’s (i.e. Prince Charming’s) story, specifically.

In this first webclip from the upcoming episode, David and Mary Margaret sneak off for a romantic forest picnic, of which their fairytale counterparts — who memorably met one another in, more or less, these same woods — would most definitely approve.  And yet the happiness of this romantic reunion is shadowed by the fact that David is married to another woman, one who has been doing everything in her power to make their ailing marriage work . . .

What’s so interesting about this couple is how many complex emotions they bring about in the viewer’s subconscious.  On one hand, everybody knows that Prince Charming and Snow White belong together.  This is something we’ve taken for granted, since we were kids.  No one else will ever be quite as right for these two individuals, as they are for one another . . .

And yet, as far Mary Margaret and David are concerned, their life is not a fairytale.  They aren’t princes and princesses, but, rather, real people, with real responsibilities . .  both of whom (while, generally, still loveable) have some genuine character flaws.  And this raises a  difficult question: Does the fact that, in alternate universe, these two individuals lived Happily Ever After, justify what they are doing in this universe?

I guess that’s really up to the viewer to decide . . .

Our second webclip introduces us to the plot that I suspect will take up the bulk of the episode.  We know him as Sidney Glass, once-editor of The Mirror (Storybrooke’s local paper), and, up until this point, one of the malevolent Mayor’s strongest allies.

But in Fairytale land, he was the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror.  And judging by the below scene, in both worlds, his tendency to portray the world exactly as he sees it, might end up leaving him shattered . . .

Anytime Once Upon a Time focuses an entire hour on one of its minor characters, it takes a risk of alienating fans who are watching the show, more or less, just for it’s leads (i.e. Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and the Mayor).  Some minor character episodes have been highly successful, at least in my humble opinion.  In fact “The Price of Gold” (which featured Cinderella’s story), and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (which featured the now-dearly departed Sheriff Graham / The Hunter) were actually among my favorites of the entire series.  And yet, other minor character episodes, like “That Still Small Voice” (about Shrink Archie Hopper, i.e. Jiminey Cricket), and “True North” (about Nicholas and Eva, i.e. Hansel and Gretel) felt a bit flat to me.

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Having always been a sucker for characters who don’t always necessarily walk on the “straight and narrow,” but who, deep down, have a good heart, I found myself intrigued by Sidney Glass, ever since we met the character, early on in the series.  Even though he’s definitely a minor character, I think his story has a lot of potential, particularly, if it’s written in a way that illustrates him as a darkly complex character and morally ambiguous, as opposed to just another schlub the Wicked Mayor managed to buy off . . .

Oh, and The Stranger . . . he’s TOTALLY one of the Brothers’ Grimm, looking to rewrite fairytale history.  It’s SO obvious!

Gossip Girl

Episode 100, “GG”

Airs: Monday, Janury 30th at 9 pm. EST on the CW

As hit or miss as Gossip Girl has been lately, there was a time, not too long ago, when it was one of the best things on television.  The clothes were eviably hipper than most of us could afford.  The couplings and sexcapades were WHITE hot . . .

The plot lines ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to jaw-droppingly, OMFG, scandalous.  And there were enough snappy, snarky quotable lines in each self-contained hour to . . . for lack of a better phrase .  . .  fill a book . . .

It’s for this reason that I am SOOOO incredibly excited about this episode’s 100th episode extravaganza.  If the rumors are true, this hour of television will be jam-packed with homages to GG’s raunchiest moments, eye-popping blot twists, and most deliciously evil schemes and insults.

In short, it will be like Season 1, all over again.  And I, for one, can’t wait to celebrate the show that taught me, once and for all, that “tights are NOT pants!”

Of course, there’s that little unavoidable matter of Blair’s sham of a wedding to that cyborg Price of Dull, Louis-bot . . .

Ahhh . . . Chuck Bass . . . the only man who can cross his legs, and still look masculine doing it.  And that voice . . . I could listen to that voice reading a Depends commercial, and still get turned on.

Don’t worry, Chuck.  Blair CANNOT go through this wedding . . .  It would be positively un-holy for her to do so . . .

That said, you may want to get that adorably toned little butt of yours, over to the church, stat!  Because it looks like she’s actually made her way down the aisle, without angry GG fans tackling her, in protest . . .

Pretty Little Liars

Episode 18 – “A Kiss Before Lying”

Airs: Monday, January 30th, 8.p.m. on ABC Family

When you are being stalked by the mysterious “A,” who literally knows your every move, and can ruin your life for the slightest infraction, lying is pretty much part of your “job description.”

Throughout two seasons, we’ve seen the Rosewood foursome lie to practically everybody they know about something . . . their parents, their significant others, their siblings, even the police.  But when it’s revealed that one of the girls might be starting to crack under the pressure, and her boyfriend just might have the key to bringing down “A,” once and for all, the Pretty Little Liars find themselves in the unique predicament of actually having to lie to eachother . . .

Honestly, as far as webclips go, these were kind of disappointing.  After all, we already knew coming in to this episode, that the rest of the PLL girls were working with Caleb to continue hacking into A’s cell phone, and that they had all controversially decided to leave Hanna out of it.

That said, the show’s Season Finale is not too far away.  And with it will come the much-awaited reveal of “A’s” identity . . . Now, that we know this story actually has an endgame, the probability that the writers will drop important clues into upcoming episodes, like this one, is increasingly high . . . .

Glee

Episode 11 – “Wanna Be Startin Somethin'”

Airs: Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m., EST on Fox

After last week’s Yes/No episode, Gleeks were talking more about whether or not Rachel would accept Finn’s proposal of marriage, and less about the musical performances that dominated the hour.

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I suspect that for this week’s episode, which will feature a homage to the works of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the opposite will be true . . .

Truth be told, in the past Glee’s artist-centric episodes haven’t been among their best received.   Both the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes were harshly panned by the critics.  And, for me, Glee’s Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Rumors” stands out as one of the worst episodes in Glee history.  Only the Lady Gaga-inspired episodes, “Theatricality” and “Born this Way,” seemed to manage to stay above the fray . . .

Well . . . almost . . . 

All negativity aside, I actually think “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”  has the opportunity to become a Glee classic.  For one thing, Michael Jackson’s soleful and diverse catalogue of music . . . combined with his flare for flamboyant costumes, and seamlessly choreographed numbers . . . seems to dovetail really well with the things that Glee does best.

Plus, whereas the Britney Spears and Madonna-themed episodes’ so-called plotlines were eye-roll inducing in their ridiculousness.  (Laughing gas induced fantasy sequences?  Seriously?), the reason why all these Glee-kids are suddenly all hopped up on MJ, despite having been infants through most of his heyday actually makes sense . . .

And it’s all explained, quite succinctly, here . . .

How I adore this clip, let me count the ways . . .  For one thing, I’m thrilled to see New Directions actually THINKING about their Regionals set list, ahead of time, for a change, as opposed to . . . oh, I don’t know, coming up with it five minutes before the episode actually airs?

I was also a big fan of Artie actually admitting that he was just a year old, when Michael Jackson moonwalked.  (In truth, he was actually not even born yet, but  I digress.)  So, many times, I’ve wondered how the Glee kids’ music taste often vastly pre-dated my own (see Fleetwood Mac episode).  In this case, at least the writers are inserting some recognition of that disconnect.

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And I hate to say it, but I’m REALLY digging Sebastian as Glee‘s new super villain.   After all, Sue Sylvester can only try to bring down Glee club so many times.  And not since Jesse St. James stint with Vocal Adrenaline has the New Directions really had a worthy adversary, who wasn’t afraid to “fight dirty” to win the competition.

Speaking of worthy adversaries, there’s something incredibly enjoyable about watching Sebastian go to head-to-head with Santana.  They say “Greed is Good.”  But I say “Mean is Better.”

And these two have that down, in spades.   Plus, dare I say it, for two gay characters, these two have an astounding amount of sexual chemistry. Don’t believe me?  Check out this musical sing-off to MJ’s iconic “Smooth Criminal” . . .

(By the way, did anybody else find the cello players oddly constipated looking facial expressions during the number a bit disturbing?)

And, of course, no Glee artist-centric episode would be complete without an ensemble number in which every cast member dresses up in one of the artist-in-question’s most memorable outfits . . .

(I think Blaine is supposed to be Michael Jackson from the beginning of the Thriller video.  Am I wrong?)

The Vampire Diaries

Episode 312 “Bringing Out the Dead”

Airs: Thursday, February 2nd,  8 p.m. EST on the CW

TVD webclips are notoriously heavy on Damon snark and Eye Thing, while frustratingly light on actual plot points . . .

I suspect this has to do with head writer Julie Plec being a bit of a spoilerphobe.  But with good reason!  After all, apart from the immensely attractive cast, and interminable shipper wars, it’s really this show’s game-changing plot twists that keep us tuning in, week after week.

This week’s webclip features a shirtless Stefan (Haven’t seen that one, in a while!) . . .

 . . .  and a rather smug “I kissed Elena, and you can’t take that away from me” Damon . . .

 . . .  doing what they do best, bickering and scheming  . . .

Just to be clear, Damon and Stefan were TOTALLY eye-f*&king in this scene, weren’t they?  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed that . . .

One of the things TVD does best . . . apart from it’s unimaginably erotic and unbelievably addictive love triangles, of course . . . is it’s parallels and role reversals. Last season, Elena un-daggered Elijah, in hopes of finding a way to eliminate Klaus as a threat, without hurting the people she loved.

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Stefan dutifully went along with her plan.  While Damon was angrily outspoken about his mistrust for the Original Vampire (with good reason, as it turns out), and ended up taking matters into his own hands, in a way that neither Elena nor Stefan approved . . .

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Now, less than a year later, Damon is the one who has un-daggered Elijah . . .  (CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?)

 . . . and is now looking to him for a possible alliance.  And Stefan is the mistrustful one, who’d prefer to take matters into his own hands . . .

But, of course, the parallels don’t end there.  There’s also the little matter of Damon locking lips with the girl Stefan always presumed was his own . . . despite the fact that his recent behavior has made a reunion between the two former lovebirds nearly impossible.

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And though, on the surface, these two brothers are fighting about vampire wars, and the efficacy of “old-fashioned” sitdowns, just beneath that surface lies a slow burn of love for the same woman, and with it, decades of jealousy, betrayal, and heartbreak . . .

That’s a whole lot of angst and complexity for one minute and 21 seconds, isn’t it?  You can imagine then, how intense the rest of the hour will be . . .

And there you have it, an entire week’s worth of juicy television, condensed down into a few short webclips.  I know I’ll definitely be tuning in . . . Will you?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Glee, Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time, Pretty Little Liars, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks, The Vampire Diaries