Friday, October 30, 2015
--Ichabod did not beam from the planet Vulcan, everyone. Just to be clear.
--"I was referring to the four of us getting along." Ichabod got the best lines of the night.
--General Zombie Howe and his zombie army were very scary. Once again, props to the CGI team behind Sleepy Hollow this season.
--The one scene with Betsy Ross was pointless, solidifying my belief that her insertion into this show is completely unnecessary.
--Jenny and Joe have a little adventure that is probably highly relevant to the overall season but thus far continues to be a "watch and see" plot line. I'm fine with that.
--Ichabod does his own sewing and embroidery. He's a crafter. Like me. We belong together.
Monday, October 26, 2015
The biggest theme of this episode was heartbreak over your first love. Henry and Violet; Regina and Daniel; Emma and Neal. Those three relationships--all of which ended badly or were somehow tainted by the machinations of others--took center stage this week as we learned that losing your first love is often the catalyst for knowing you have a heart to begin with. It is with this theme that I want to spend most of my time instead of going from past to present. Author's prerogative, I guess. I hope I don't get sucked into a book by an old Apprentice. When we first met young Violet, I was against Henry having a love story, even if it was puppy love. The fact is, our young Swan-Mills-Cassidy boy wonder is too damn young to have a girlfriend when he doesn't even have a single friend and spends most of his time either kidnapped, trying to make his various mothers stop killing people, or hanging out with his fuddy duddy grandparents. The boy is lacking in the social graces, is what I'm saying. How about we develop Henry with his peers without making it romantic? But, of course, here on OUAT, you're not really a character until you're romantically liked with someone of the opposite sex. However, I will put all of those quibbles (which still stand, by the way) aside in order to say that I found this week's version of VioletBeliever (cute ship name or really silly? I can't decide) to be heartfelt and sweet. It wasn't presented as a new epic love story; it was actually just a boy and a girl having similar interests and common backgrounds and fumbling their way around each other because they honestly don't know how to interact at this stage. But, hey, none of us knew how to interact with the objects of our affection when we were thirteen (side note: Henry is thirteen? Is that...real? Does that match anyone's timeline or am I just supposed to nod and go along with it? Right, nod and go along). What struck a chord most between Henry and Violet was that they've both lost a parent. When Violent announced that she had lost her mother some time ago, I actually rolled my eyes because of course she had. That's how OUAT tells stories: everyone loses a parent--though, that's just rather common to fairy tales. But what really mattered is that Henry can relate; Henry knows the pain Violet is in because he's in it too. There are things, he tells the young lass, that he wishes he could tell Neal, things they could talk about. I have maintained, through it all, that if ABC absolutely mandated CaptainSwan, then fine, I'd deal but Henry deserves his father and Neal deserved a chance to be a father. Taking that away, robbing OUAT of a chance to explore that father/son dynamic (while Neal was helping to heal the breach with Rumple) is powerful storytelling and should have been at the heart (correction: it was the heart of the show) of OUAT. The fact that Henry is sharing in this pain with Violet speaks to a level of self-awareness about their characters and human nature that I didn't think Adam and Eddy still possessed. Right on, boys.
We've got one more love story to tackle and it's a shorter one. Raise your hand if you're surprised that Merlin lost the only woman he's ever loved to the Darkness. If you have your hand raised, then I'm going to assume it's being done sarcastically. It is, of course, exactly how OUAT rolls (I keep saying that this week, don't I?) Let's just be open and honest here: the first Dark One was also Merlin's lost love and it's probably Nimue. There’s a reason the writers put that person in a mask. There is a big reveal to be had later on. Nimue is the First Dark One and Merlin’s lost love and he couldn’t kill her because he loved her so much, but she couldn’t kill him either, so she turned him into a tree. It would be keeping with Arthurian mythology that Merlin loved Nimue and she eventually put him in a tree for reasons that are complicated but here will likely be reduced to "darkness inside her." It's not very fresh nor innovative and while it sticks with mythology, it's rather rote and expected. However, I'm going to be very glad to get that story because, at long last, we'll have some answers about the Dark One and how he/she/it came about and more importantly why. I have no idea why Nimue is the First Dark One or how that happened. Was it a magic spell gone wrong? Was it fate? Did Merlin mean to tether the Darkness to Nimue? Was it an accident? Was he trying to tether it to himself or to the sword/dagger? Also, where is Merlin now? We haven't seen him in Storybrooke. Oh god. Did Emma kill him!? Please tell me she did not kill
--"I liked your dad because he was always himself."
--"Changing so someone likes you never works." Wise words, Emma Swan. Now if only you would follow them.
--"Only You" the song Henry played for young Violet is the same song Neal used to play for Emma because "it always works." So basically, it's a SwanFire song: "Only you can make this change in me. For it's true, you are my destiny. When you hold my hand, I understand the magic that you do. You're my dream come true. My one and only you." Yup, that's pretty SwanFire to me.
--Regina shooting down Hook trying to teach Henry how to woo a woman. Attagirl, Tiger Mom!
--Could the writers please stop using "many years ago" for Camelot. How many is many? 50? 100? 10000? 2? See, no one knows!
--The front porch conversation between Emma and Regina felt very season one, especially with Regina switching to calling Emma "Ms. Swan."
-- What is this Rumple and Merida NONSENSE. Seriously. What is this story?? It’s stupid is what it is. Since when is learning how to fight a sign of bravery? And wasn't Rumple already brave when he faced his father and sacrificed his own life for the sake of his family? Also, how does Merida know about the book?
--I want Regina's red dress. Now, please.
--Impressive CGI for freeing Merlin, with both light and dark magic. Pretty thematically heavy. Well done, OUAT.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
--This season is really hitting it out of the park. Out of the six so far, 5 have been truly spectacular with one mostly very good (but not astounding) episode.
--Could we possibly have Maisie Williams come on as a full time companion. I'm sure she can do Game of Thrones when Doctor Who isn't filming, right? Please?
--"What took you so long, Old Man?"
--"What happened to you?" "You did." This little exchange between Ashildr and the Doctor is a nice callback to last week's conversation between the Doctor and Clara in which the Doctor wonders what he's "done" to Clara.
--Very little Clara this week, obviously, but the bit she was in was quite nice but also sad as we near the end of her run.
--Love the Jack Harkness shout out. If we ever manage to get him back, I demand that he shoot some arrows, though. (Malcolm Merlyn reference for the win!)
--"I live in the world you leave behind."
--The final conversation between the Doctor and Ashildr highlights another theme of this season in which the lines between friends and enemies are blurred beyond recognition. The Doctor can save the world, but Ashildr is going to save the world from him. Friends? Enemies? Who can tell.
Friday, October 23, 2015
--"I do not need to study history. I lived it!" Ichabod and Abbie as roommates is one of my favorite things ever. It adds something even more wonderful--something more playful--to their dynamic.
--Ichabod interacting with children. My loins cannot handle that.
--Abbie is "the strongest person I [Ichabod] have ever known. In this or any other time."
--Love that Pandora met Abbie with "Hello, sleepyhead." It's the name of the fandom.
--How about some major props for the graphics department this season?
--Ichabod at the dentist was one of the best "modern things Ichabod hates" in recent memory. That was pure classic Sleepy Hollow.
--"I'm adorable!!"--a drugged up Ichabod Crane. Bless.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Turns out, King Arthur is kind of a bad guy who doesn't pay attention to his wife because he's too caught up in making his destiny come true. As a story trope, the long suffering forgotten wife who falls into the arms of another man is trite and frankly cliche, but if that's the route OUAT wanted to take, then I'd roll my eyes but not over think it. After all, trite and cliche is par for the course on this show nowadays. Remember when narratives were complex and intricate? Good times. But back to the rape of Guinevere. The first question is should I even be using that word--rape? Yes. That's the simple, straightforward answer to a very heavy and hard question. Culture as a whole tends to use rape in one--and only one--sense, sexual assault in which one person is forced to perform some sort of sexual act against their will. In that very limited definition, then technically no, Arthur did not rape Guinevere on screen. We can assume, though, that Arthur and Guinevere were having sexual intercourse after the mystical sand (drink every time I mention this weeks plot device) incident and because it was done without Guinevere's full natural consent, then yes, it is rape off screen. Guinevere does not love Obsessive! Arthur; she very clearly loves Lancelot. And, to be fair, that's keeping to Arthurian mythology, which I am all for. But the second Arthur transforms Guinevere's mind to be more pliable and more willing to stay with him, love him, sleep with him, support him, do anything that Guinevere in her non-mystical sand (drink!) mind would not willingly do, we are looking at and talking about rape. And I wish, with every fiber of my being, that I could say I was surprised by this twist in OUAT's narrative. But I'm not. This isn't the first time the show has gone down this terrible route of rape and non-consent in order to further their plot agenda without pausing to consider the ramifications of the characters actions. Zelena rapes Robin and is pregnant with his child and while in the season premiere Zelena declares that Robins was just an unwilling participant (read: rape victim) that's as close as the show will ever get to admitting to an on screen rape. Remember Graham and how Regina ordered him taken to her Enchanted Forest bedchamber and how she used him for 28 years in Storybrook for her "council meetings?" According to the showrunners and writers, the audience has no proof that they were having sex in the room so therefore the accusations of rape put to Regina are null and void. Remember in the season three finale when Hook admitted that his tactic to scoring some tail was getting women drunk and taking them back to the Jolly Roger? It's all the same thing; it's rape. It's is horrible, disgusting, offensive rape. And the show will never deal with it; they will never have those rape characters face the consequences of their actions nor will they give the victims any sort of emotional and introspective storyline in which they comes to terms with their victimhood. Graham died; the women from the Jolly Roger were faceless entities Hook simply picked up; and Robin Hood merely shrugs off what was done to him. What does this mean for Guinevere? Who knows. Only time will tell, but while I'm sure what was done to her will come up again (probably after the effects of the mystical sand--drink--are reversed by true love's kiss) it will be cast that Arthur is as much a victim as she is. After all, mean old tree Merlin told Arthur that he had a destiny and that Guinevere was part of that so gosh darn it, Arthur has to do whatever he could to keep his wife! Including taking away her free will and her choice and her sexual agency. Once Upon a Rape Culture marches on.
After five years and almost 100 episodes, do you know which episode I hate the most. Yes, you guessed it: Quiet Minds. Bet you can't guess why. Or maybe you can. Anyway, in that episode Nealfire (sob) went to a vault, opened a door, and he died after darkness came forth. In this episode, Charming, Snow, Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot went to the Vault of Eternal Goo, opened it with a key code (instead of a key), went down inside, faced the darkness and lived. There is a disconnect. Neal was trying to resurrect a life, I know, but in both scenarios the characters literally did the same thing except one ended up merging with his father and dying. Because reasons (hint: those reasons wear a lot of guyliner and never changes out of his pirate clothing). I know that Neal's death affected me a lot because he was my favorite character and thus I'm not as objective about these current scenes as I would wish, but there is something so "middle finger" to him and his fans in this episode except that, like the instances of rape and rape culture, it's not the first time and it's not the second time; it's one more instance in a long line where the elephant in the room--Neal--is ignored not only at the expense of his character and his story but the larger story. Last week it was using Hook's cutlass (side note but turns out that the show used the wrong sword and forgot to go back and watch "The Crocodile," so the sword Emma used last week shouldn't have worked at all). This week it was revisiting Neal's actual place of death without giving any thought to the rules previously established. In other breaking their own rules news, how can Rumple create a portal? There is a door in the Dark One's vault that leads to a very terrible CGI jungle where Rumple is keeping his dagger on a bench? How? What? Rumple cannot create portals--it's actually one of the biggest plot points of season one. Yet here's a door that leads to the Jungle of Nightmares. Also, Rumple was clear that he kept his dagger on him at all times. But once again this is in line with OUAT and it's spaghetti-to-the-wall style of writing where nothing sticks, everything slides off and instead of picking up the pieces, the writers just throw more of a mess at the wall every single week. There is no structure; there is no logic. There's just a mess. Now we could reasonably say that Rumple did not create this door/portal and that it was created by the Darkness or Merlin, but then they need to explain that. Like the rape sand of Avalon, the writers simply input new plot devices and never develop them, explain them, or even try to explore them.
Remember when Emma Swan was haunted by her past but was still a tower of strength? She could face bad guys, darkness, magic, dragons, and do it all by believing in her son, her family, and herself. Now she has a bad nightmare and goes to lay down, comatose, while her big strong pirate stands over her, clenching his jaw and speaking to her in dulcet tones in case the "patient" (actual word used!) gets into a state and freaks out and goes dark--even though back in the season premiere, Hook says it's Emma's choice if she goes dark or not. And Emma's solution to getting rid of the voices in her head is to go on a romantic horse ride with Hook, and then kiss him in a field of flowers, literally mimicking every single Harlequin romance ever written. There is also the issue that becoming the Dark One turned Emma sexually aggressive. In Camelot, while she's fighting the Darkness inside, Emma is dressed in virginal white and leans on Hook has her bedrock because she simply cannot fight the Darkness on her own. In Storybrook, with the Darkness having finally gained the upper hand, Emma is sexually forward, pouncing on Hook all while wearing skin tight mini dresses. We never saw this with Rumple; in fact, his interest in Belle was guarded and shy, not sexually overt. Women who fall from grace are cast as sexually promiscuous in this show; the writers did it with Regina too, from her costuming to her relationship with Sydney and Graham. OUAT has some truly twisted views on women. Guinevere's only plot line thus far is to be the object of affection for two men, one whom loves her but can't have her, and one whom has her but doesn't love her enough. Guinevere has no personality, no dreams, no desires outside of those two men. Then she was raped, thus solidifying her status as object. Regina hasn't said boo to her son in a long time but Robin's been by her side in almost every single scene (in the other ones, she's with Emma because Queer Baiting). Snow hasn't been in a one on one scene with her daughter at all, but she can sure as heck march to and fro with Charming and Lance. Belle is non existent and we should really forget all about her. Merida's story is centered around Rumple. I'm sure we'll revisit her brothers and her captured land at some point, but her main story is to turn Rumple into a hero by teaching him how to be Brave (roll credits!) Can you teach someone to be brave? Do you throw them in the lion's den and force them to sleep next to the giant beast and that instills bravery in you? I don't think that's how it works. I think you're either brave or your not. It's not really a learned trait but gosh darn it, Merida is going to be the one to do it! Because her movie is called BRAVE, you guys. So clearly she's the best one to teach Rumple how to be a hero. My point is this: the writers have a very bizarre view of women. They like to harp on writing strong women but I don't think they know what that means because their versions of strong women include rapists, mad women, sexually aggressive Dark Ones, shrill wives and overbearing mothers, and sexy librarians. It's like "strong women" is a buzzword for the writers; they don't know what it means but they like say it because it sounds really good.
--In spite of all the vitriol for this episode, I did enjoy Snowing getting the upper hand on Arthur. It's nice to see them working together.
--"The pony is smarter than the pirate."
--Emma is making dreamcatchers. I'm going to go drink.
--The timeline is a disaster and I have no idea how the flashbacks were happening 5 years ago.
--"Those two can outlive a cockroach." Yeah, okay, I LOL'd.
--Merlin has been in the tree for a long time meaning that OUAT is doing Arthurian mythology in name only. There is nothing genuine in their version that matches the established Arthurian mythos except that people with the same names appear.
--I hate to say it, but Guinevere's actress is really dull and one note. I get no sense of her at all.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
there will never come a time when we don't need a hero like the Doctor. Maybe his God actions are shoddy and maybe there are consequences, but we need him. We need him. The humans of the world--modern or Viking--need the flawed and imperfect god and madman who comes down and helps us fight our demons. That's the god we should celebrate, not the cold and unfeeling universe who looks away because of unforeseen consequences. There will never be a time when we don't need the Doctor.
--There were far too many funny one liners for me to document them all, but I'm going to spitball a few of them.
"I'm not actually the police, it's just what it says on the box..."
"That's not really Odin, right?" "Of course not. He doesn't even have a yo-yo."
--"Immortality is everyone else dying."
--The Doctor quoted Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law! My sci-fi heart bursts with joy.
--Vikings and Benny Hill. It makes total sense.
--The Doctor continues to believe that he has a duty to care and is actively becoming worried over Clara's well being. Are the writers hinting at how Clara might leave the show?
--The Doctor will run and run in case the pain ever catches up.
--One more time, because I can't resist: "I am the Doctor! And I save people. And if anyone is listening and has a problem with that...to hell with you!"
Friday, October 16, 2015
--What is up with Pandora and her rose bush? What does each rose signify?
--Okay, while I'm sure that the subplot of Jenny and Joe is going to be brought to the A plot sooner rather than later, I'm content to just let this pass under my eyes without thinking it through too much right now. I do really love Miss Jenny standing on her own, though.
--Ichabod grandstanding at the top of the episode was pretty awesome. Love when Ichabod rails against the modern American systems.
--"Ichabod Crane, American. I like the sound of that." Me too, Abbie. Me too.
--Very nice fight sequence between Ichabod and the Ripper.
--I will never say no to an Ichabbie fist bump!
Monday, October 12, 2015
--Arthur can drive a car even though he's a knight of Camelot and does not have "we are both" memories. This sort of stuff drives me nuts because I cannot suspend my disbelief when the show is being totally illogical.
--The poison of Agrabah vipers doesn't make you poof up in smoke. Go ask King Leopold.
--"We've been violated!" Emma took Happy's axe because the writers can't get past the JMo/Michael Coleman Twitter nonsense.
--Lancelot did not hold the Siege Perilous in Arthurian mythology. It's actually kind of important that he never held it, ie: never found the Grail.
--Regina looked amazing in that red dress, but her "Evil Queen" conversation with Zelena was horrible. Make up your mind, writers. Is she redeemed or not because basically threatening your sister's life = Not redeemed.
--Hook admitting that he was the villain in the Rumple scenario of long ago. First off, FINALLY. Yes you were a villain and you did a terrible thing. But last week Hook was still calling Rumple the bloody crocodile and Hook hasn’t actually done anything to prove he’s sorry for what he did to Rumple (or to those that he hurt after Rumple). It’s one thing to say it out loud, but it’s another to make amends. We’re missing the other half of the puzzle.
-- Once again some terrible morals, or at least twisted ones. Guinevere and Lancelot chose to have an affair. Arthur did not force them to have sex. OUAT has a weird habit of taking away people’s ability to chose and making it someone else’s problem.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
--Caution, Doctor Who. Don't overuse the guitar playing gag too much. It's fun, but I worry if you make it common.
--Interesting opening credits too, with the guitar playing in the background.
--Really could have done without the two love stories because the four characters in question left little impression on me. We could all tell that the deaf lady and her translator were in love, but the other two felt thrown in at the last second.
--The Doctor has done 99% of the heavy lifting in the past two episodes. It's really working, especially in contrast to season eight.
--"First proper alien, and he's an idiot."
--"I have to die." "Not with me. You die with the one who comes after me. If you love me in any way, you'll come back."
--So the Fisher King just wanted to invade Earth? But...why? There are thousands, if not millions, of planets out there.
--"Even a ghastly future is better than no future at all. You bent the rules to life and death, so I'm putting it straight." Get down with your mythic self, Doctor. You do you.