“Always Mercy.” – Doctor Who Recap

Doctor Who Series 9, Episode 2
“The Witch’s Familiar”

Posted by Kim

“Consider the Doctor…” 

From what I know of the Time Lords, they aren’t the easiest species to be around.  They are ruthless and they are power-hungry and often downright terrifying.  It’s clear that the Doctor has never felt truly at home among his own people.  That alien feeling is what drove him to cower under his bed in “Listen” as he overheard his parents talking about him becoming a soldier (“Fear is a superpower”) and perhaps it’s the very reason he stole a TARDIS and ran away to see the world.  The Doctor’s compassion has always been what’s set him apart from his people.   Of course, The Doctor IS capable of being fire and ice and rage, we all know this.  But I think that part of his nature scares him and it’s why he resists taking positions of power and it’s what lead to his identity crisis last series.  The theme of “mercy” has been an especially strong one during the Moffat Era, from “A Town Called Mercy” to “Cold War” (my recap of that was called “Honor in Mercy”) to this week’s episode, “The Witch’s Familiar”.  The Doctor’s capacity for compassion and mercy is both his greatest strength and his fatal flaw, depending on who you talk to.  The depths of the Doctor’s compassion when he comes face to face with his greatest enemy (sorry Missy) Davros…especially when he thinks that Davros is responsible for the death of the person he loves most, Clara Oswald.

Oh, yes.  Clara and Missy.  They were seemingly exterminated at the end of “The Magician’s Apprentice” but since we’ve all seen the trailers for Series 9 and we HAVEN’T seen that epic hug in the TARDIS (or the hug with Clara in the space suit SO MUCH HUGGING), they are clearly alive.  In the interim, Missy has tied Clara up by her feet, just for shits and giggles (and in case there’s nothing to hunt).  She sits and sharpens a pointy stick while she tells  Clara a story about the Doctor (“Shhh…Mummy’s speaking” WHY ARE YOU SO DELIGHTFUL MICHELLE GOMEZ?), which is really just a means of explaining how they survived the Dalek attack (and how Missy survived “Death in Heaven”).  Finding out how she survived (some jibberish about using energy to fuel a time vortex manipulator, wouldn’t it be easier to just apparate?) was really secondary to me.  What felt important about this story is the fact that Missy continually tries to lord her relationship with the Doctor over Clara (“It doesn’t matter which face he’s wearing, they’re all the Doctor to me.”).  Missy’s like a childhood friend who, when you bring home your new friends from university, tries to one-up all your friends by reminding them JUST how long they’ve known you and asking questions about you your new friends may not be able to answer.  It’s funny though…Clara Oswald is able to work out all the answers to the questions Missy throws her way.  “Why does the Doctor ALWAYS survive?” Missy asks.  “Because he always assumes he’s going to win.”  These are the two women in the world who know The Doctor the best.  Missy is his past, his Time Lord self.  Clara is his present (and his future NOT SORRY).  Like it or not, they are going to have to work together if they have any hope of saving him.  They are facing an entire nation of Daleks and the Doctor is in the center of it.  They only have a pointy stick and their wits.  How do they start? “We assume we’re going to win.”  Bless Clara Oswald’s light forever and ever.

Thus, Clara and Missy set out to save the Doctor.  And boy, is he currently in need of saving, both from the Daleks and himself.  The Doctor has been driven to a murderous rage by Clara’s apparent death (take that for what you will).  He overpowers Davros by taking his chair and leaving his legless body helpless in the infirmary.  He cruises into the heart of the base (LIKE A BOSS) wielding a Dalek gun, ready to kill everyone in his path.  “The Doctor does not use weapons,” the Daleks say.  Well, he does when you take Clara Oswald from him.  Again…take that for what you will.  “Ask me what I want,” the Doctor says through clenched teeth.  “Clara Oswald.  I want Clara Oswald, safe, alive, and returned to me immediately.” Normally, even when faced with the creatures he hates the most, the Doctor doesn’t just start killing for the hell of it.  He only kills when he has to…but take Clara away and he’s ready to obliterate everything in his path.  Unbeknownst to him, Clara can HEAR his desperation and her FACE as she hears him rage is heartbreaking.  Guys, I know *I* am not ready for Clara to leave the TARDIS, but you know who is REALLY not ready?  The Doctor.  I don’t know what her ultimate end is going to be (#ClaraDiesAnOldLadyInHerBed2015) but I DO know it’s going to do a number on the Doctor.  I DO know he’s going to have a hard time inviting another companion into the TARDIS. I DO know it’s all going to be awful and I’d like to halt time, please and thank you.

I can’t believe I am saying this, but lucky for the Doctor, he is overpowered by Sarff before he can go on a killing spree that he would ultimately regret.  It’s time for a heart to heart with Davros.  The Doctor goes on SUCH an emotional journey in these scenes, it kills me.  Davros points out a mass of cables, saying that they link him directly to the heart of every Dalek on Skaro. It’s what’s keeping him alive.  All the Doctor has to do is destroy it and he can be rid of the Daleks (again).  “Genocide in a MOMENT,” he taunts.  It’s exactly the wrong word to say to the Doctor, really.  His face completely changes.  The Doctor always remembers his past actions, even if the events of “Day of the Doctor” changed the outcome.  He’s been responsible for a genocide before, he will not be again.  Not by choice.  The Doctor steps back, his rage momentarily quelled, be it by his shame or his conscience.  A little shame never hurt anyone, especially if it prevents him from making the same choice over and over again.  “No one would know,” Davros taunts.  “Are you ready to be a God?” But the thing is…Doctor would know and that’s enough for him not to do it. He’s also HAD that offering made to him before, and like he has in the (recent) past, he chooses not to take it. “I’m just a bloke in a box telling stories,” the Doctor says, reminding himself of the man he CHOOSES to be, the man he DECIDED to be back in that graveyard in “Death in Heaven”.  He won’t fall for Davros’ manipulation of his past actions.  Not this time.  Compassion, always. It makes him who he is. Even if it kills him…at least he would die at peace with himself.  All we need to know about the Doctor is summed up in this exchange…

Davros: Compassion then?
The Doctor: Always.
Davros: It goes strong and fierce in you like a cancer. 

The Doctor: I hope so. 
Davros: It will kill you then. 
The Doctor: I wouldn’t die of anything else. 

This entire scene reminded me of the moment Frodo offered Galadriel the One Ring in The Fellowship of the Ring.  She looks at the ring and sees all the power she would have if she took it.  The power is great and terrible and it would destroy everything that she is (“All shall love me and despair.”).  That power is tempting, no doubt.  But she refuses to take it and when she does, you actually SEE the burden lift from her face.  Just because the choice is there doesn’t mean you have to take it and that’s what the Doctor realizes in this moment.  He doesn’t HAVE to be the Time Lord Victorious and you see him REALIZE that with a big exhale of relief.  He chooses to remain The Doctor and that is everything.

Meanwhile, Clara and Missy have made their way to the Dalek Sewers.  Well…they aren’t sewers, REALLY, they are more like a breeding ground for Zombie!Daleks.  To be honest, a lot of the explanation went straight over my head, but the important thing to take away is this: the underground is made up of Daleks desperate to be alive again and they will feed off of any living Dalek that crosses their path.  Clara and Missy may be on the same side for the moment, but they both know their alliance is tenuous at best.  Missy shoves Clara down a 20 foot hole.  Clara threatens to kill Missy with her own pointy stick.  Missy uses Clara as bait to lure a living Dalek to the sewer (“You can’t kill a Dalek with a brooch!” “Yes you can!”).  These two don’t trust each other in the slightest and it makes for both delightful banter and a terrific sense of impending dread.  At the Q&A before the NYC premiere, Michelle Gomez likened Missy to the scorpion in the fable of the frog and the scorpion.  You can’t expect her NOT to sting…it’s what she does.  It’s only a matter of when she does it and Clara knows this.  She also knows that Missy represents her only ally in her endgame of getting to the Doctor.  Therefore, Clara has no choice but to comply when Missy tells her to get into the casing of the Dalek…she just has to trust in Missy’s plan.

Did I say that too casually?  MISSY MAKES CLARA BECOME A DALEK.  The entire theatre lost their SHIT over this turn of events.  Clara Prime doesn’t know that one of her splinters (RIP Souffle Girl) met her end by becoming a Dalek but WE DO and to see Clara WILLINGLY become a Dalek is outright terrifying.

Even more terrifying is Missy’s gleeful reaction to Dalek!Clara.  It is in that moment that we truly see, no matter how hilariously quippy she is, that if you don’t FEAR Missy to the very core of your being, you’re an idiot.  She does nothing but laugh and dance with joy as Clara panics.  She gleefully asks Clara to say “I love you” and whoops when the response comes out as “Exterminate”.  Like I said. HORRIFYING.  What’s done is done though, and Missy uses Dalek!Clara to gain an audience with the Supreme Dalek, getting them one step closer to the Doctor. “Tell him the Bitch is back.”  INDEED.

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“I’m not a human, just a spectacle.” – Scandal Gif-Cap

Scandal Season 5, Episode 1
“Heavy is the Head”
Posted by Kim

Greetings, Gladiators!  Can you believe it’s our third season gif-capping Scandal? How time flies!  Where were we?  Oh, yes.  Papa Pope has been vanquished.  Mellie is now a senator.  Fitz has kicked her out of the house.  Cyrus has been fired and Lizzie Bear has his job.  Quinn tortured Huck.  Oh yeah…Olivia and Fitz are together for reals.  Ugh.  I keep telling myself that its Scandal and their happiness will be short-lived.  It’s a comfort.  To the gifs!!

“Lovers of liberty, good evening…” Sally Langston still has her TV show which would be the worst show I would watch EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Sally’s monologue is intercut with Fitz and Olivia doing it.  Sigh.

“It’s a story and not a very original one at that.” Sure, Sally is talking about Princess Emily of Caledonia, an American who married a prince, but she may as well be talking about Olitz too.

Liv’s dress for the State Dinner though. 

“Yes, let’s start an international incident.” “Yes let’s.” Calm yourself, Fitz.  Your wang can wait a few hours.

Eye sexing all across the room during the state dinner. UGH. 

“They can’t have a state dinner without the First Lady of the United States!” But they CAN with the First Mistress, Mellie.

“The President didn’t call you the minute he kicked Mellie out?”  Abby, bless her, is trying to engage in some girl talk and Liv isn’t giving her ANYTHING.

“One day you’re a regular person and the next you’re the most famous person on the planet.” 

Emily comes out of the stall and as awkward as the situation is, I can really only focus on her fierce eyebrow game. 

“I stopped being a real person.” 

“I’m not human, just a spectacle.” 

Later that night, Liv gets called away from Fitz’s bed because of an emergency.  She arrives at the scene of an accident. Princess Emily’s body lies uncovered, very very very dead, with her tiara in the road. Subtlety, thy name is not Scandal.  Honestly, this scene felt a little icky.

The Queen is shady AF. 

“I know you can’t save her life, Olivia, but perhaps you can save her dignity.” 

Liv tries to get all the photos by telling all the papers they are better than this. 

When all but one paper gives up the goods, Liv stages a photo-op of Richard crying over Emily’s body to give the papers something else to run. 

“She was and always will be America’s Princess.” 

It turns out that Emily’s car was sabotaged.  This is now a murder investigation. 

“There are limits to my power.”  “I’ve seen what you can do with your power, David.” 

Mellie storms into Lizzie Bear’s office.  “You will guarantee that the President shows up for his wife.”

“Why did you betray me after everything I did for you?” 

“You only do anything for your own benefit.” 

“I was your bitch.” 

“Your payment is that I got you elected.” 

“The President regrets to inform you that he is unable to attend your little swearing in.” Way harsh, Lizzie Bear.

“Are you saying we committed regicide to cover-up a flu and a life choice?” Abby has lost her patience trying to explain Mellie and Cyrus to the press.

Liv ducks and hides from Abby so she won’t see her at the White House. FRIENDSHIP.

“You can’t summon me here for lunch.” Good to know Liv still has some of her spine.

“Don’t LIV me.” 

“You owe her this.” LIV STANDING UP FOR MELLIE. Tell me again why they can’t be the power team?

Fitz DOES go to the swearing in because he’s whipped. Or afraid of Liv. I choose the latter.

“I’m glad you came around.”  Instead of being nice, all Fitz has to offer is a bitch face.

Fitz serves Mellie with divorce papers. 

“I’ll never sign.” Okay, part of me wants Mellie to sign so she can just BE FREE but the other part doesn’t want her to give Fitz the satisfaction.

“You have so many qualities I despise but I do admire your brilliance.” 

“My bucket list is done. You? Your biggest accomplishment so far is waving and smiling.”

“Until you actually fire me I’d like to be able to do my job.” Abby has no time for all this fuckery, she has a country to run.

“I thought you’d be happy. You don’t look happy.” IDK, Fitz, maybe consult Olivia before you decide to go off-book from your carefully established plan?

It turns out that the Princess was having an affair with her bodyguard. Which would naturally make SOMEONE in the Royal Family want to kill her.

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“The future’s off the rails.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap

Sleepy Hollow Season 2, Episode 18
“Tempus Fugit”

Posted by Kim

Let’s pretend my plan this WHOLE TIME was to wait to recap the Season Two finale until RIGHT BEFORE the Season Three Premiere, okay? Okay. Let’s get right to it, shall we? You’ve waited long enough.

(In all serious thank you to every single SleepyHead who would not let me off the hook regarding this recap and your need for it. You humble me.)


This episode sat firmly and completely in WHATTHEDAMNHELL land.  I thought that during my initial watch and my rewatch confirmed it.

Nothing Creepy To See Here, 0/10 Sandmen


Where were we? Oh yes. Katrina has gone ape-shit and full-on evil and in her madness decided that Ichabod needed to die.  She cast a time-travel spell to go back in time and Abbie followed her.  Upon her arrival, Abbie was mistaken for a runaway slave and put in jail.  There was a hell of a ruckus when this plot point came to light and I gotta say…I thought Sleepy Hollow handled this potential land mine beautifully.  First of all, it’s probably what WOULD have happened.  Second, it set up this episode to be a parallel to the pilot, reversing Abbie and Ichabod’s roles.  Third, Grace Abigail Mills is no victim.  While her disgust at the situation shows (Nicole Beharie once again proved how SPECTACULAR she is with her facial expressions), she is quick on her feet and shrewdly uses her knowledge of the future to get a face to face meeting with Captain Ichabod Crane.

Where is Crane, you might ask? Being a bad ass MOFO on the battlefield.  “Tempus Fugit” opens with a spectacular battle sequence as Ichabod hurtles towards his date with the Hessian Soldier.  I love seeing Ichabod in his element, he carries himself with a confidence we haven’t quite seen in the modern world.  He’s a force to be reckoned with.  He’s got swagger. He’s a bit arrogant, to be honest.  It ALL works and Abbie knows EXACTLY how to play him.  Ichabod has always been a man of logic and he can’t deny his curiosity regarding Abbie and her statements.  Plus, sass always appreciates sass, so I gotta think Abbie’s “The law is Habeus Corpus, you violated it.” quip piqued his interest.  Then there’s that whole “You cannot defeat him without me” bit.  That’s MILDLY convincing.

Meanwhile, back at the battlefield, Katrina is giving an Oscar-worthy performance as the distraught wife wandering through the hospital wing searching for her wounded husband.  Ichabod, as it were, was supposed to have met the Hessian on the battlefield, but missed the encounter thanks to meeting Abbie in the prison.  When she learns that Ichabod is not there, she does her best to arrange her features in a mask of relief but the simmering rage is visible just beneath the surface.  THEN she find out that Abbie is the one that kept him away and her face says one thing: BITCH, IT IS ON.  So she tracks down Abraham in the woods and is basically like “Hey Boo, Ichabod is the worst. Imma help you kill him, savvy?”  For good measure, she shows off her witchy powers.  Abraham is as convinced as a soulless white-eyed monster can be. It should be noted that give-no-fucks-Katrina is my FAVORITE Katrina.  Let’s try not to think about what might have been, shall we?


As she is a scholar of both Doctor Who and Back to the Future, Abbie is well-versed in the consequences of messing with the past. “The fact that you didn’t die may have screwed up history forever,” she says.  She has a point.  How else is he going to get to Abbie in 2015 if he’s not enchanted by Katrina and tied to the Horseman? TIME TRAVEL IS HARD. Ichabbie, under the pretense of Ichabod escorting her to a slave auction, make their way to Benjamin Franklin’s. (DON’T WORRY, I’m going to cover the carriage ride in the Shippy Section because I literally almost flailed off the couch when they got in each other’s faces.) Benjamin, naturally, is delighted by Abbie. “She’s everything we’re striving for here,” he gushes.  “Miss Abigail Mills…she is the American Dream.” (THAT’S RIGHT SHE IS.)  Benjamin can tell right away that Abbie is not telling Ichabod everything, so he invents a reason to get Ichabod out of the room so he can get all the information.  She confesses that Katrina is the witch pursuing them and she’s struggling with how to tell him.  “We’ve learned that it works better when we’re honest with each other,” she says but Franklin urges her to keep quiet because Ichabod is not ready for the truth.  Yes, because he handled the revelation about Katrina SO WELL in the future, Benji. No one ever handles learning that their wife is a crazy ass witch, it’s best to just rip off the band-aid.  Ben’s plan is simple: they need to reverse Katrina’s spell and send Abbie back…to the future (GOTTA GET BACK IN TIIIIIIIME).  The only one capable of reversing the spell is one Grace Dixon.  They must go to Frederick’s Manor (Ichabod: “Oh, good. You have a plan.”) post-haste.  They are interrupted by Not!Headless though.  Ben tries to stop him by lighting a bomb (as you do) but before he can do that Not!Headless FREAKING BEHEADS HIM. That’s right.  In this timeline, our founding father Benjamin Franklin is beheaded by the Horseman of Death.  Good to know.

Abbie and Ichabod manage to escape when the bomb explodes but Abbie ends up right back where she started: in prison.  Ichabod is naturally devastated by this turn of events, blaming Abbie for Ben’s death.  He leaves her to rot in jail (and face serious reprimands from Colonel Sutton)…but not before Abbie confesses about Katrina (“We’re partners? Tell me what you discussed with Franklin in private.”).  Abbie ALSO plays her trump card and tells Ichabod that Katrina is pregnant and not telling him.  You actually see something click in Ichabod’s brain, even if he fights her at first.  I gotta give Colonial!Ichabod credit: he takes the news about Katrina’s treachery WAY better than Modern!Ichabod did.  With Abbie’s pleas to check her cell phone ringing in his ears, Ichabod sets off for home.

When he arrives home unannounced, Ichabod sees all the makings for an elixir for a pregnant woman spread out on Katrina’s table and immediately suspects that Abbie’s words are true.  Katrina saunters in smoothly and they engage a little game of emotional chicken as he tries to get her to come clean.  Katrina lies, as per usual, claiming the elixir is for their neighbor.  She also conjures her knife to stab her husband in the back because she is a loving wife, you know?  Ichabod ALSO spots the grimoire, again confirming that unlike his wife, Grace Abigail Mills has never lied to him.  Thankfully, Ichabod is called away before Katrina can kill him. FOILED AGAIN, YOU WITCH.  Back at the prison, Abbie (again, no damsel in distress) manages to free a nail from a bench and uses it to try and pick her lock.  She is interrupted by Douchebag Colonel Sutton, who advances on her menacingly. (Me: No no no no no please don’t go THERE, show.) Abbie KICKS HIS ASS because she is the American Dream, dammit.  Ichabod, having unlocked her phone and realizing that everything Abbie said was true, arrives in Luke Skywalker “I’m here to rescue you” fashion, but Abbie has gone and rescued HERSELF.  (One of the best female characters on television, y’all.)  Finally on the same page, the witnesses set out for Fredrick’s Manor.  It’s time to get Abbie home.


When the time travel storyline for Abbie was introduced, the fandom was clamoring for her to be able to meet Grace Dixon. This was a moment Abbie DESERVED and damn if it didn’t pay off in spades.  Abbie’s face is a mixture of awe and gratitude and damn near relief when Grace realizes who she is.  “It’s you. The Witness.” You can tell it takes everything Abbie has to not throw herself in the arms of her ancestor and SOB.  You can tell there is SO MUCH she wants from Grace but she has precious little time.  They immediately go about concocting the potion to reverse the spell (with Ichabod adorably helping by handing them flowers when needed) and Grace gives Abbie as much information as she can.  She shows Abbie her journal, pointing out the blank pages.  These pages are the most important of all, the pages that Abbie herself will write.  She urges Abbie that this war is not over, that there will be many more battles for her to face.  “Sometimes, all it takes is to put pen to paper to make a difference,” Grace says wisely.  If I wasn’t already considering tattooing “I know my value” to my wrist, this would be a runner-up tattoo.  (Also it’s rather long for a beginner tattoo.  I digress.)  All too soon, Katrina and Not!Headless arrive and start to chip away at the defenses surrounding Frederick’s Manor.  Ichabod knows the game here and goes out to face his destiny.  When Abbie fights him on this, he replies “If you succeed, it won’t matter.”  Abbie, despite her misgivings about abandoning her partner, stays with Grace to complete the spell.  Just as Not!Headless’ axe is about to connect with Ichabod’s neck, time freezes.  Katrina screams in rage.  The spell has worked.  Time to go back to 2015.

As soon as they land right back where they started, Katrina goes after Abbie.  Modern!Ichabod doesn’t even hesitate once he sees Abbie in danger.  The time to reason with Katrina, to sweet talk her into stopping has passed.  The time for action has come…and Ichabod, who has been paralyzed with inaction ALL SEASON when it comes to his wife, finally acts.  He stabs Katrina and she dies in his arms, ashing away like Henremy did.  BYE FELICIA.  “You didn’t have a choice,” Abbie comforts him.  Ichabod, GOD BLESS HIM, steels his spine and fixes his eyes on his biblical life partner.  “Yes, I did.  We all did.” Game. Set. Match.

“Ready, Captain?” “Ready, Leftenant.”  10/10 Golems

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“When the train is pulling out of the station…” – Masters Of Sex Recap

coat coat 2
Masters of Sex Season 3, Episode 11
“Party Of Four” 

Posted by Sage

Plotting every move, anticipating every counter move…there’s a far easier way to get what you want.

Dan Logan has always had Bill Masters’ number. Virginia thinks she know Bill better than anyone, but she fails to realize that – excepting Johnny perhaps – she is the person who Bill most fears seeing his true self. Every machination – every move in the chess game – is designed to prevent her from knowing the weakness that he finds so disgusting. He masks his real weakness (his love for her, and his helplessness in the face of it) with a false one, to tug at her sympathies. Bill exerts so much energy to keep Virginia in the dark that he has none left to hold the curtain closed to everyone else. Dan gets Bill – REALLY gets him – simply because Bill isn’t trying to sleep with him.

This was a devastating episode of Masters for every single character (besides Tessa, who’s having great fun at boarding school thanks to#SendTessaToBoardingSchool2K15), and that just feels right for the eve of a dramatic finale. We catch up with Bill and Virginia after their pitch meeting with their publisher for their second book. (“To Human Sexual Inadequacy!”) And though we didn’t see Bill “hijack” the meeting like Virginia says he did, we know how this refrain goes. The last episode went black on the most desperate version of Bill that we’ve seen. He’s truly lost it now; and anyone who’s spent three seasons with Bill Masters had to know that those unanswered phone calls to Gini’s home would lead to the kind of Hail Mary play that he thinks are an even swap for years of honesty and human decency. His master plan this time is to confront Virginia with Dan’s wife at an 8-course “celebratory” dinner in New York. Lord knows what exactly Bill thought this would accomplish. Did he think she’d come running into his arms at the sight of her? Virginia knows very well that Dan has a wife, as she tells her partner after they both stop pretending that her and Dan’s affair is anything but an open secret. If any moral oppositions she had to sleeping with married men outweighed desire and connection, then she wouldn’t have been with Bill for nigh ten years. Strategy and cluelessness meet in that man; and his attempts to play dumb for all but that 2-minute stand-off with Dan at the end of the episode made me want to punch him in his smug little face. (ILU Michael Sheen!)

judy greer

Judy Greer made her Masters debut this week as Alice Logan, and sister-girl is a broken spirit. Dan told Virginia earlier this season that he and his wife have “an understanding.” That’s an overstatement; he has affairs and does not deny them. Alice has no choice but to accept having a husband that cheats on her; she drinks, a lot, and if a strong, perceptive woman like Libby Masters has trouble walking away from her distracted and philandering husband, then poor drunk Alice doesn’t have a prayer. She’s become a bit of a monster in the process of watching her husband fall out of love with her. ( “You always like the ones that need fixing. Tell me, how is this one broken?”) But it offended me that Bill tries to align himself with her at the dinner table, as if he has the same right to indignation and bad behavior as the wronged woman. (“I’d like a glass of white wine, Dan. Do you have an objection to that?”) GINI IS NOT YOUR WIFE, BILL. She doesn’t owe him anything, but the whole dinner feels like he’s come to collect.

who you know 2 who you know
Back in St. Louis, Paul and Libby are trying to dial down the shine of their honeymoon phase, at least in front of the kids. The purpose of the “Johnny hates his dad” storyline – you know, the one that we write off in a bullet point at the end of every recap – finally made itself known this week. A detective shows up the Masters home while Bill is away and Paul is fixing the pipes (ALL the pipes. Heyooooo.) and he’s not there to discuss Bill’s slip with the double agent Bible thumping surrogate. (That’s going to come down hard on him in the finale, isn’t it?) Instead, the detective wants to talk with Johnny and he forces Libby to pull her child out of bed. Turns out that one of the girls who was at the lunch table when Johnny embarrassed Dennis with lies about his “broken penis” told her parents about the outburst, and now the entire school district wants to know what Bill is telling their children about their private parts and why. The interview scene was beautifully written; the bit where Johnny mirrored his mother’s words and speech pattern after the detective warned her to keep quiet spoke to how alien and uncomfortable conversations like this are for kids, how they intuitively seek direction from adults on how to behave, and how easily a poorly chosen word or an awkward speech pattern can be interpreted as something much larger and more devious. (Also, I die at the proud look Libby bestows on her son when he gives the cop the kid-friendly answer to the “what does your father do?” question, something that was obviously discussed and practiced.)

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“Death is for other people, dear.” – Doctor Who Recap

doctor who little boy

Doctor Who Series 9, Episode 1
“The Magician’s Apprentice”

Posted by Sage

For better or for worse, Steven Moffat has never been afraid to touch the Doctor Who mythology and mold it as he likes. This is good. It’s necessary. Fans are particular and no media-maker in the English-speaking world knows better than Moffat that you can’t please everyone. But we can’t keep putting pieces of the show behind glass and swatting away any hand that dares get close. Not if it’s going to survive another 50 years.

Now that a Doctor Who series premiere is a full-fledged international event, there are certain expectations of scale. These expectations are automatically filled when there’s a new companion to introduce and certainly, a new Doctor. But for a run like Series 9 with a returning team, the stakes have to be raised through the story itself. In this case, Doctor Who doubled down on classic villains. The last time that happened, Rose Tyler got trapped in an alternate universe. Gird your loins, Whovians.

Of all the surprises in “The Magician’s Apprentice” (and holler to the preview audiences for not spoiling them!), I was most thrown to see Clara Oswald in a classroom again. (We talked about this, Whouffaldi.) After “Last Christmas” and coming to terms with Danny’s death, Clara was all in for time and space, 24/7/365. (All units of time measurement that should, ironically, be irrelevant to her now.) No more of this “every Wednesday,” companion-lite business. Wednesdays are for suckers. Need I remind you that Twelve and Clara ostensibly eloped in that episode and that Clara didn’t even pause to change out of her jim-jams before their giggly, hand-in-hand run to the TARDIS? Ohhh, I’ve given myself the “Last Christmas” feels. I need a cold compress. Lead me to my fainting couch.

That the Doctor is going through some shit was apparent in both prequels to “The Magician’s Apprentice,” but we never were told why exactly he and Clara were separated. We all agree that the first trip they took after the credits rolled on the Christmas special was to Bath to take a turn about the ballroom with Jane Austen, yes? Continued head canon: the Doctor always suspected that Jane and Clara would get on well, ever since he listened in to Miss Oswald lecturing her class about Pride & Prejudice. He just didn’t expect them to get on that well. He got lost on the way to the toilet and walked into an otherwise occupied drawing room instead. What he saw in that other room – the drafty one that the family never uses – left him a little pink, and Clara didn’t stop teasing him about it for three weeks. Mostly because she was pleased to learn that this regeneration does get embarrassed sometimes. Actual canon: Clara Oswald is bisexual.  Doctor Who is back, and Clara Oswald is bisexual. Sometimes, I can’t believe our luck.

If I don’t get my Jane episode soon, I’m writing it myself. Looking at you, Gatiss.

OH YES. This episode.  So…the planes have stopped. And presumably there’s a shortage of airline customer service professionals, because every last one of them quit.

you so fine

UNIT’s got Clara Oswald on speed dial, and the President can wait, thank you very much. This scene felt a little extraneous, to be honest. Surely Missy (who’s not dead, naturally) could have gotten Clara’s attention any old way. But the old girl loves it when all eyes are on her, and Kate’s involvement gave Missy the extra satisfaction of taking out a few of her best men in front of her. And I would like to take this moment to officially declare that no amount of Missy will ever be too much Missy for me. This statement may well be tested to its limit in the future (*shakes fist* Moffat!), but Michelle Gomez is a casting boon for this show and this Doctor. Usually when “The Master” is in a Doctor Who story, it’s “The Master” show. How tremendously brilliant to make her an honorary TARDIS team member for an episode, to explore how her friendship with the Doctor looks when she’s not in the middle of a scheme and to give Gomez free rein to smirk, play, and fondle a Dalek’s balls. I’m a sucker for “we don’t trust this person, but we need their help” stories across all genres, and this is a fun one to add to the list.

love claralove missy
Credit where it’s due: Missy may have alerted Clara to the fact that the Doctor is in need of their help, but it’s Clara who knows him well enough to track him down. It’s always been the Master’s unwillingness to acknowledge the fundamental differences between the Doctor and the rest of their race – the impact that his travels and his other “puppies” have had on him – that prevents her from being able to fully ensnare him in her web of toxic co-dependency. She’s so smug when she explains to Clara the difference between “a friendship older than your civilization” and “the reproductive frenzy of your little food chain” (and why does she assume that Clara cares about his romantic capabilities, hm?), yet it’s Clara zeroing in on another point of contrast between the Doctor and other Time Lords that lead the ladies right to his going away party. (“Do not go gentle into that good night.”) Human emotion and human company aren’t worth the pin on the back of Missy’s cameo brooch; the Doctor thinks we look like giants. They will never agree on this, and that divergence gives the companion all the power.

doctor guitar doctor guitar 2
Meanwhile, in other centuries, I don’t know why Peter Capaldi won’t just let me exist in peace. (I saw a guy today wearing a shirt that said “Long Live Death” and my reaction to this scene was the first thing I thought of.) A split-second of Twelve’s “axe fight” made it into the Series 9 trailer, and the entire fandom knows by now that our current Doctor is authentically a rock star. Still, a Time Lord guitar solo could have gone so wrong in so many ways. And it certainly wouldn’t have fit anywhere in Series 8. That tank may as well be draped in a giant “CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT” banner as it rolls into the arena for the way it heralds the Doctor’s new confidence in this version of himself. (Me: “He’s just so warm now.” Kim: “Because he finally got laid.”)

In all seriousness, this performance just gets better the more Capaldi settles into it. The way that he interacts with people now is markedly different than it was in Series 8, but it’s not jarring. The need to relate, befriend, and even to entertain come from the same place that his hesitation once did. “Who frowned me this face?” he asked that tramp back in “Deep Breath.” And Davros too makes a crack about how he’s grizzled since the last time they met. (GLASS HOUSES, DAVROS.) But over the course of the last year, the Doctor decided to show that face who’s boss. He’s not a cranky, old man who wants to be left alone to contemplate his role in the sorrows of the universe; he’s Keith Richards, and he wants to rage, rage against the dying of the light.

pretty woman

pretty woman 2

Ummmm, who’s going to tell these three actors, Steven Moffat, and Roy Orbison himself via seance if necessary all that official jazz about Whouffaldi being a “fatherly” and platonic relationship? ‘Cause I don’t think they know. At the BAFTA Wales screening and Q&A that we got to attend in New York this spring, Moffat explained once again the motivation behind all of the Doctor’s clueless remarks about Clara’s appearance. (“Clara Oswald, you’ll never look any different to me” was pay-off enough for this shipper trash, but I’ll take these additional comments too.) “It’s fun to see these early episodes and watch the Doctor pretend he doesn’t fancy Clara,” the showrunner said. “He’s very ‘You’re gross, I don’t like you, but really stop looking so good.'” In other words: “mmmMMMOHMYGOD. Stop fuckin’ lyin’.”

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“It’s like a totally important designer.” – Emmy Fashion 2015

Posted by Maggie

This time last year, Sage and I were delighted to get an email from our friend Maggie in which she broke down every single look from the 2014 Emmys.  We did not ask her for this email, she did it because she needed to talk to someone about all her fashion feels.  Thus, a beautiful blogging friendship was born. Here we are a year later and for the first time, Maggie is recapping the awards show that started it all.  We love you, Marshmallow.  Thanks for gifting us with your presence.  NOW GET TO WORK. 



Laverne Cox


Look at this COLOR. It is gorgeous on her, and the fiiiiiiiiiiiit you guys. I don’t even like a cutout but I love this. I don’t even know what else to say. I just.

Kerry Washington

I think this is my favorite look of hers ever. I flailed so hard when I saw it. Metallic game strong, hair flawless, makeup great. She looks effortless. I was surprised to see it isn’t full length, but it works for me.

Kim: I have to butt in and say that Sage’s first reaction when Kerry hit the red carpet was to shout “OH MY GOD FINALLY”.  I couldn’t agree more.

Viola Davis

LOOK AT THIS. I’m dying for the black laurel pattern on the white paired with my favorite, a red lip. It’s like she’s trying to hit all of my buttons.

Sarah Paulsen

Is it me or is this fairly unexpected for her? It’s more of a straightforward red carpet gown than she usually goes for? Anyway, it’s sleek and classy and I just want to stare at this forever. Is it black and black? Black and blue? (I know it’s not white and gold, ahahaha I’m hilarious.) Anyway, beautiful sparkles, great earrings, love the red lip.

Lady Gaga

YOU GUYS. LADY GAGA LOOKED CLASSY AS SHIT. In the words of Jimmy Fallon, she’s a glamorous gorgeous movie star from 50s.

Elisabeth Moss

Holy god do I love her in this hot pink. And that black detail at bust is love. There was a lot of pink last night and this is definitely one of my favorites.

Laura Prepon

I said out loud “oh my fucking god” when she showed up on the E! red carpet coverage. This metallic top over the most beautiful RED, I can’t. The red on its own is gorgeous but the gold top just kills me. And the earrings she chose were perfect to complement the metallic, not compete with it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really about the raven hair on her? But her updo looks amazing and I barely even miss her ginger hair and have totally forgotten how cute she is blonde.

Aubrey Plaza

Kim texted me that she would fight me if I left Aubrey out and she was totally right. This is a clear personal best for her and I love it. If you asked me to describe her personal style, I don’t know if I would have said sexy sparkles but she’s totally slaying it in them. And the hair is ADORABLE.

Kim: This dress is everything. Maggie would have been fired if she hadn’t picked this for the post. I need it in my closet.

Kristen Schaal

Ahhhhhh she looks so CUTE, you guys! I love the color and the shape of this dress and it fits her like a dream. Also, if you want a primer on how to do less formal hair on the red carpet, look no further. And the simple accessories just clinch it for me. I don’t know, she may be an unexpected choice? But I wasn’t sure what to expect from her and I LOVE this. Just a lovely surprise.

Tina Fey

I know, I’m sorry I’m such a slut for black and white, but I straight up GASPED when I saw Tina on screen. To me, the blocking reads like a black tuxedo with white shirt and I am just incredibly down for it. I’m always into a tiny sleeve and eyeglasses on stage. Hair and makeup were subtle but on point, and I really liked the earrings.


Jaimie Alexander

Oh no, Jaimie. First, I don’t get the hair. Why does she look like she just got out of the pool? Well, okay, maybe she did because everyone and their mother was talking about how hot it was in L.A. last night. But then why the long sleeve?? And I feel like I’m betraying my love of a horizontal stripe, but I just hate this pattern.

Kim: She told Seacrest (or Giuliana, I can’t remember which, they are basically the same) that the long sleeves were because she has a hard time getting all the tattoo make-up for Blindspot off, so the sleeves were covering it up. IDK maybe don’t sign up for a sure to be shitty series where you have to be tattooed then.

Maggie: Or find something that’s not so ugly.

Anna Chlumsky

Literally nothing about this works for me. We just. There must be no overlap in our tastes whatsoever, it pains me that I never like her red carpet looks because I love her.

Kathryn Hahn

Okay, but this is really the one that pains me. But I have to be honest and say I just hate this. It’s like she repurposed a carpet. Badly. And I LOVE HER. At least her hair looks amazing.

Tracee Ellis Ross

I’m so not into this. It just looks altogether phoned in to me.

Taylor Schilling

I don’t like the top and I hate the detail at the bottom and just call me Ron Swanson because I love nothing.

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Live-Blogging the 2015 Emmy Awards

Posted by Kim and Sage

Will tonight be the night that Jon Hamm FINALLY wins an Emmy? Will Modern Family‘s stranglehold on the Best Comedy Series Award FINALLY be broken?  Will Justin Timberlake join Andy Samberg for a musical number? Stay tuned to find out!!!

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