“Please, be a little proud of me.” – Doctor Who Recap “Face the Raven”

Doctor Who Series 9, Episode 10
“Face the Raven”

Posted by Kim

When Rose Tyler got stranded in Pete’s World in “Doomsday”, Russell T. Davies commented that it was a direct result of Rose and Ten’s cavalier attitude in “Tooth and Claw”.  Their dalliance with Queen Victoria resulted in the creation of Torchwood and Torchwood was responsible for the events in “Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday”.  (This is also for the longest time I refused to WATCH Torchwood because I could not forgive them.) Traveling with The Doctor through all of space and time has consequences and you never know when those consequences will come to bite you in the ass. Considering how we’ve been comparing Twelve and Clara to Rose and Ten for the past season and a half, it was only a matter of time before they too would have to face the same consequences that Rose and Ten did.  “Don’t worry, you daft old man. I’m not going anywhere.” HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Speaking of consequences, when we were at Long Island Who, we attended a panel where we discussed Series 9 so far. Our dear friend Graeme Burk was the moderator and he asked the room to describe Series 9 in one word.  The predominant reaction? CONSEQUENCES. We’ve seen The Doctor come face to face with the consequences of his actions all series, from meeting young Davros on the battlefield to his actions in the future in “Before the Flood” to giving Ashildr an immortal life to the literal “Truth or Consequences” question when he faced the Zygons.  From the get-go, “Face the Raven” sounded ominous, given the fact that we’ve been teased with the death of Clara Oswald ALL SERIES.  Like Rose Tyler before her, we knew that Clara would never leave the Doctor of her own volition.  Only death or a parallel universe would separate them. Well…we’ve done parallel universe already. So. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As much as I just want to talk about the last 15 minutes of “Face the Raven”, Clara Oswald deserves me talking about what brought her to the point of losing her life.


“Face the Raven” begins much like “The Girl Who Died” did with The Doctor and Clara stumbling into the TARDIS, giddy from their latest adventure. (Yo, Big Finish, Imma need you to have all of these stories as soon as you get the rights to Twelve and Clara, okay?) The TARDIS phone rings (The Doctor: “Who said you could give out OUR number?” #MARRIED).  It’s our old pal Rigsy from “Flatline” and he’s in a bit of a pickle.  He has no memory of the day before and he has a strange tattoo on the back of his neck.  Clara scolds him for calling, saying she gave him this number for emergencies only and ” butterfly tramp stamp” would have ranked higher on the “I need the Doctor” level over a neck tattoo.  Rigsy says this is no ordinary tattoo. The number on the back of his neck is counting down to something.  Whatever it is, it can’t be good.  That’s enough to get The Doctor and Clara intrigued.

The Doctor and Clara go to Rigsy’s new flat.  A lot has changed since we first met him…mainly the fact that he has created a new human.  Can we take a moment to appreciate how much The Doctor loves babies?  He coos over Rigsy’s baby girl even more than Clara does and I swear to God, the way Peter Capaldi’s face softens as he calls the baby “brilliant” makes me want to punch him in the face because he just won’t let me live in peace.  As much as he wants to take the new human with them, The Doctor knows it will just distract him, so they take Risgy into the TARDIS alone so they can examine the mysterious tattoo. While the Doctor runs a full body scan, Clara examines his phone.  All the data from the past 24 hours has been wiped.  The scan reveals that Rigsy has had contact with Aliens in the past 24 hours.  Why can’t he remember that? He’s been retconned. (CAPTAIN JACK, IS THIS YOUR DOING?) All of the evidence mounts to one conclusion, and it’s one that drives the Doctor to his empathy cards. “There’s no nice way to say you’re about to die,” The Doctor confesses, calling Rigsy by name.  That’s when Rigsy knows he’s in deep shit. “Don’t start using my actual name now. Call me Pudding Brain, call me Local Knowledge. Whatever. Just don’t call me Rigsy,” he pleads. You’re going to save me. You’re a doctor. That’s what you do.” (UGH) They have 526 minutes to find who did this to him before Rigsy dies.  Time to get cracking.

The Doctor and Clara surmise that Rigsy must have encountered a Trap Street, which is a street that doesn’t exist unless you KNOW where to look for it.  Basically, they have to find Diagon Alley and they are Muggles.  Super easy.  The TARDIS sails over London, with Clara dangling out the door wearing the sonic sunglasses so she can map the city.  (At LI Who, Janet Fielding revealed that one of her greatest peeves with the new series is when they have the TARDIS door open mid-flight. I can only assume this scene made her want to tear her hair out.)  Clara hoots and hollers as the TARDIS hits turbulence and she dangles out the door, essentially clinging to the door frame with her toes.  (Rigsy: She enjoyed that a little too much. The Doctor: Tell me about it. It’s an ongoing problem.) The whole sequence reminded me of an adrenaline junkie pushing themselves to the very edge of danger because they HAVE to feel that thrill of knowing that any minute things could go horribly wrong.  It’s the thrill of teetering over the edge and being able to pull yourself back just in time.  It’s scary as hell and watching it on the telly had me screaming (and Sage tweeting) “A LITTLE CAUTION PLEASE, CLARA.” because I’ve never quite forgotten that image of Victorian Clara plummeting to her death from the TARDIS.  *Shudder*

Once they retrieve the mapping from the Sonic Sunglasses, our trio takes to the ground searching for the trap street.  (Maybe it was the location or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been watching so much Torchwood or maybe it’s both, but the entire time they searched for the street, I expected Gwen Cooper to appear on the scene.) The Doctor warns Clara and Rigsy to stop looking at the world as they usually do.  The street will be hidden in plain sight. They will know they are near a trap street when the details surrounding them don’t add up because the misdirection circuit protecting it will scramble their thoughts. (Think how many trap streets could ACTUALLY be out there in the world.) They close in on an area and the Doctor tells Clara to go back to the TARDIS and get all his most annoying stuff (love).  She also grabs Rigsy’s phone, which appears to have finally downloaded data from the day before. When she gives it back to him, he drops it and flashes of his lost day appear.  Boom.  The entrance to the street appears. Why? “Something slipped through the retconned memory. Something that took over your whole mind.” They enter the alley and are greeted by two men (who flash back and forth between men and their actual alien selves) who demand to know their reason for asylum. That’s right, the street is actually an alien refugee camp.  And a very familiar face presides over it, making good on her promise to be the Patron Saint of The Doctor’s leftovers.

The Doctor doesn’t trust Ashildr, now known as Mayor Me (“I give myself a title for the same reason you do, Doctor. Something to live up to.”), any farther than he can throw her. Why should he? She surveys Clara with interest and you can just SEE there is some sort of madness lurking behind her eyes.  They banter about just how much they have been keeping tabs on each other, but there is an edge to it and the Doctor’s uneasiness is palpable.  “I got you attention,” she quips as The Doctor’s mind immediately goes to the memory of her lurking in the background of Clara’s selfie. “Yes, you did.”  He then tells the Mayor they need her help because someone in this camp is in possession of a Quantum Shade, which is what the tattoo on Rigsy’s neck is tied to.  With a smirk, The Mayor removes her scarf to reveal some new tattoos of her own.  Yep. She is the one who did this to Rigsy. She claims that he committed a crime so she had to sentence him.  She shrugs saying she gave him enough time to go home and say goodbye to his family, but it’s all a load of bullshit considering that she pumped him full of amnesia drug so he didn’t even KNOW he should be saying goodbye to his BABY DAUGHTER AND PARTNER. (Seriously, The Mayor can fuck right the fuck off.) The Mayor says the same retconning will happen to them when they leave (as it does to all intruders, in order to protect the safety of the street), so the Doctor says that she might as well fill them in on what happened to necessitate a death sentence.  He ALSO demands a personal guarantee from the Mayor that no harm will come to Clara.  She agrees that no harm will come to Clara and that her protection is absolute.  That is so so so so important and dictates most of Clara’s actions later.

All of the refugees (revealed to be a Sontaran, a Silurian, a Cyberman, and an Ood. Among others) sneer at Rigsy and call him a murderer.  The Mayor says they have very strict rules against violence on this street. If you break them, you MUST be punished. There is no room for grace.  Rigsy is accused of killing a beloved member of the street, a Janus who fled there with her son. She had been knocked to the ground and Rigsy was found over her body.  In order to protect the peace, The Mayor swiftly sentenced Rigsy.  Clara refuses to believe that he did it, which means the only option is that one of the other aliens did and set him up.  In the square, an old man and his wife approach the Mayor. He also has a neck tattoo and the countdown is nearing its end.  “I only took it to save her,” he pleads.  Much like Jean Valjean, this man stole medical supplies to save his wife, also a punishment that merits death apparently. “I can remove the chronolock,” The Mayor tells the assembled street. “But I won’t. Our rules keep us safe.”  The wife begs her husband to give it to her, but he refuses, saying he did all of this to SAVE her.  The Mayor takes a breath and closes her eyes.  The tattoos leave her neck and become smoke.  A raven in a nearby cage does the same.  This is the Quantum Shade, and once it binds itself to a victim there is no turning back. “You could flee across all of time and all of the universe, it would still find you,” The Doctor explains, disgust apparent in his voice. The old man flees, running through the street trying to escape his fate.  There is no escaping it though.  The Raven slams into the Old Man’s chest, he exhales black smoke and falls to the ground.  The tattoos return to the Mayor’s neck.  This is the fate that awaits Rigsy in forty-one minutes.  “I have no wish to harm your friend if he is innocent, Doctor. Question anyone. Examine the body. But it’s not me you need to convince of Rigsy’s innocence. It’s them.”

Clinging to that small grain of hope, The Doctor and Clara split up, playing Good Cop and Bad Cop, in order to gather as much information as possible.  (Me at the TV: STAY TOGETHER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.)  Clara stays with Rigsy and she overhears him on the phone talking to his partner Jen and their daughter, who is crying. “I’m doing my best to get home to you guys,” Rigsy says, putting on the bravest face possible. This triggers something in Clara. Rigsy has PEOPLE.  He has a family who depends on him. A daughter who could be losing her chance to know her father. It’s such a stark contrast to Clara’s life. Sure, she has the family we haven’t seen since “Dark Water”, but other than that, Clara is alone, save for the Doctor. She has nothing that ties her to this world. There is no possible way she’ll allow Rigsy to leave his family.  IMPORTANT POINT NUMBER TWO.  Clara asks The Mayor’s main assistant, Rump, what the wife meant when she begged her husband to give it to her.  It turns out there are two ways to survive a Quantum Shade: the master can remove the choronlock (which she has proven she won’t do) OR it can be given to someone else. The catch? “It has to be taken willingly. The death’s already locked in. You can pass it on, but you can’t cheat it.”  And thus, Clara hatches a plan and my heart drops into my stomach. She will take the chronolock from Rigsy. Willingly. Better her life to be at risk than a young father’s.  Plus…The Doctor will figure out a way to save her.  He always does, right?

CLARA: Weren’t you listening? I’m under the Mayor’s personal protection. And it’s absolute, apparently. Look, she controls the Raven, so I will never have to face it. This is clever.
RIGSY: But this is putting you in danger.
CLARA: No, this is us talking the opposition into their own trap. This is Doctor 101. We’re buying time. We get all of the aliens on our side in the next half an hour, and then we reveal I’ve got the chronolock, not you, and boom! We buy ourselves more time to find the real killer.
RIGSY: The Doctor would never let you do this.
CLARA: Doctor 102. Never tell anyone your actual plan. He’ll have a tantrum when he finds out. And then, when we confront Ashildr, she’ll want to take the chronolock off just to shut him up. What happens if you don’t go home tonight to Jen and Lucy, eh? If you never go home? You really want your little girl growing up without a father just because he wouldn’t take a risk? You trusted us to save you, so trust us.

Oh, Clara Clara Clara. The thing that HURTS me is that her logic is SO SOUND and her heart is in the right place. She doesn’t even THINK about the danger she is putting herself in because she and the Doctor have had SO MANY wins together. She never considers the option that it could all go wrong.  It’s stupid and brave and oh so clever all at the same time.  She touches the back of Rigsy’s neck and the chronolock transfers to her neck and I yell at the TV because now it’s CLARA’S life that is on the clock.  I understand her need for the element of surprise but the fact that she didn’t let the Doctor in on her plan made me NUTS. Why why why why why.

Meanwhile, The Doctor is questioning The Mayor’s other assistant, Kabel, who drops some very important knowledge. “Your friend, acting like he was all scared of us, calling for a doctor.”  This immediately makes The Doctor question just exactly what’s going on here. He demands to know if Rigsy was calling for A doctor or THE Doctor. “You find yourself accused of murder on a strange alien street in the middle of London. Only they’ve taken your phone, so you beg the woman in charge to call me instead. She knew you and I were friends. So why’d she lie? Unless she had something to hide.” Oh, shit.

Long story short, the whole thing was never about Rigsy.  It was all about the Mayor getting the Doctor to come to the trap street.  They realize that the Janus isn’t dead but being held in a stasis pod (and her son is actually a daughter but I’ve rambled on enough already).  There is a keyhole that can free her from the pod and the only option available is for the Doctor to use his TARDIS key, which he does, despite Clara’s protestations.  “This girl needs her mother,” he says, shoving his key into the box.  If there’s one thing the Doctor has proven he will always be a sucker for, it’s family.  (He and Clara have that in common, being rootless themselves.)  The minute The Doctor unlocks the machine, a silver bracelet clamps on to his wrist and The Mayor grins triumphantly.  WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?

Continue reading

“Welcome home, son.” – Scandal Gif-Cap “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Scandal Season 5, Episode 9
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Posted by Kim

This is it, Gladiators.  Our Winter Finale.  Normally, Scandal likes to close out its half-seasons with a massive cliffhanger. Not so with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  This put a DELIGHTFUL period on things.  Sure, it probably won’t last long, but let me revel in this for a while.  Because it’s glorious.  TO THE GIFS.

Olivia doing First Lady Christmasy things looking like she’s dying on the inside. 

Olivia stares miserably at her wardrobe, which suddenly has a whole lot of red, as she gets ready to go to another mindless function. 

Her party dress is aces though. 

“I got punch!” Susan and David still banter and she still has a crush on him and she’s still gonna get her heart crushed, isn’t she?

“I had no idea how many holiday parties were involved.” But IS there a Yankee Swap?

Olivia is asked to solve a problem at a party.  She gets excited then her face falls because the PROBLEM is getting a cookie recipe.


Mellie reads the fine print of a bill and realizes that funding for Planned Parenthood was made “discretionary” which means they could take it away at any moment.  In other words, no fucking way.

“If there’s no guarantee, then I can’t vote for it.” #MellieForPresident2016

“This deal will pass just fine without you, Mellie.” 

“I know the schedule. You don’t need to tell me, I have a brain.” Liv enjoyed this much more when she was President instead of First Lady.

Marcus brings in Christmas Decorations because OPA needs some holiday flair. 

“We don’t decorate. We work.” Okay, Grinch Quinn. Be that way.

“Sorry I didn’t get to wrap it but it was hard to do with your hands down my pants.” 

“David, there’s no need for presents.” LizzieBear is only interested in the D.

“I have the floor.” Mellie, my queen, decides she’s going to speak up for Women’s Rights.

“How about we don’t give that little ladies organization the full amount they’re asking for?” This is everything.

“As much as I would love to get home for the holidays, I refuse to do it at the expense of women’s health.” 


Mellie pulls out a giant binder and starts naming off all the programs that are deemed more essential than funding to Planned Parenthood. 

“You got the underground railroad without freedom fries? Who does that?”  Rowan finds Huck’s lunch order offensive. So would I. French Fries are my reason for living.

“I may be the bad guy but the worse guys are out there.” I mean clearly he means Satan, cause you can’t get much worse than Rowan Pope.

“You are no one’s father and I am not your son!” Huck has no time for this “son” nonsense.

Mellie has to talk for 16 hours to run out the clock on the Senate Session.  No breaks. Nothing.

“The rules state you can’t bring food onto the floor. They say NOTHING about food that is already here.” That’s my Mellie, finding a loop-hole.  Also, God bless protein bars.

Liv watches Mellie go, with a little smile on her face. 

Jake spies on Russell (remember him?), who is talking to some other spy dude about how Rowan is missing. 

“I have so many sons.” So do I, Rowan, but mine are better than yours.

“There is no gratitude in parenting. I don’t know why we do it.” Me either, which is why I don’t.

“YES THERE YOU ARE! THE SON I KNOW!” Dude, Huck is the last person I would taunt about his family tragedy. He will end you.  Which is exactly what Rowan wants.

Continue reading

“Sleep claims us in the end.” – Doctor Who Recap – Sleep No More

rasmussen doctor who

Doctor Who Series 9, Episode 9
“Sleep No More”
Posted by Sage

I’m sorry, Rasmussen, but no. “Sleep No More” won’t be added to my list of surefire Doctor Who conversion episodes. It’s not an episode to hook a pre-Whovian. It’s not even an episode in which a crazed fan like myself can find much to love. I embargoed my own opinion until after my second watch of the episode, and that viewing simply confirmed what I suspected on my first: “Sleep No More” is inelegant, toothless, and an irksome waste of our last weeks with the Doctor and Clara. It breaks my heart to feel this way about a Mark Gatiss episode when the man has given me so much. I’ll never forget “The Sign Of Three,” Mark. Not the meat dagger or the waltz lessons or the stag party. We’ll always have “clueing for looks,” you and me.

And I feel a little used, I gotta say. Because “Sleep No More” could have been great. Unfortunately, the plotting and pacing were such that I don’t feel that a traditional recap structure even makes sense. And regardless, that’s not the way that I can come at this one. Festivus is just around the corner anyway. Thus, an airing of the grievances is timely. So, I present to you, my four major complaints about “Sleep No More.” If you don’t have anything nice to say about subpar episodes of Doctor Who, come sit next to me.

1. Found Footage Can Suck A Dick

I really hate that I can see the origin of this idea in the way that it was shot. The gimmick of the episode being presented in all “found footage” was so obvious and transparent that I was immediately questioning where the rescue crew’s “helmet cam” feeds were really coming from. I’ve never seen a Paranormal Activity film, but I have seen other horror movies that tried to copycat and then twist the device. It’s happened so often in the last 10 or so years that any savvy viewer is bound to be looking for the twist: who’s filming, who’s watching, and why. There’s always an attempted rug-pull and it never has the desired impact. At least for me.

assess stress assess 2

I want to believe that Doctor Who has enough momentum in the tenth year of the reboot to ignore trendy techniques in the name of just telling the story. Especially one that’s so clearly on its last legs. Also, I’m not getting any younger and found footage makes me dizzy. I don’t want to suffer through my TV.

2. The Villain Was Weak Sauce


We haven’t had the monster romp yet this season. (The Zygons so don’t count.) And the monster romp is a perfectly welcome departure from the mythological arc of any series of Doctor Who. I can get down with the silliest ones – never forget that I am and forever will be a “Love And Monsters” defender – but the “Sleep No More” story left much more sensible ideas on the table. As the Doctor and Clara wander a dead space station orbiting Neptune in Earth’s 38th century, they happen upon a rescue squad from a moon called Triton who are there to find out why the base went dark and what happened to the operational staff. The whole group end up being pursued by giant, dull-yellow dust monsters with gaping mouths, no visible eyes and a hunger for humans. Certainly, these creatures are responsible for the disappearance of the other crew. The audience makes the connection between the Sandmen and the experimental sleep pods on the base before even the Doctor does. The only thing I should know before the Doctor does is who or what has a crush on him. Also frustrating is that the purpose of the station itself was never adequately explained. I assume that the Morpheus pods were being “tested” there, since Rasmussen was dogged in his attempts to unleash the Morpheus signal on Triton. Of course, the reveal of his plans in the final act negates the only information we have been given. Why were there multiple Morpheus pods if the pods themselves were unnecessary? If Rasmussen only needed to blast the signal into universe to spread the seed, then why did he need the rescue crew to nap inside the machines? And when did they even do it? I’m getting ahead of myself and the plot holes are piling up like my laundry. BACK TO THE MONSTERS.

Sleep is my reason for being. Sleep, chunky peanut butter, and Harry Styles. I only leave my bed in the morning because I know it will feel like actual sweet heaven to return to it at night. I agree with the Doctor: “Sleep isn’t just a function. It’s blessed.”

wipe the sleepwipe the sleep 2
I never feel less human than when I’m running on inadequate sleep. Everything falls apart. My motor skills slow; my control over my emotions disappears completely. I eat poorly, and I can kiss any thoughts of productivity goodbye until after I put a dent in the debt. Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain, depression, memory loss, and even some cancers. It played a role in the disaster at Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez spill, and countless other accidents. The danger is already there. It is built in to our bodies. Now, I liked the idea that even if the “chemical benefits” of sleep could be distilled and distributed (or “colonized,” as Chopra says) that the loss of the act of sleeping would still harm humanity. Let’s do that. Let’s talk about how maximizing productivity doesn’t make us gods. Let’s talk about how surgically removing the restorative process that keeps us alive would turn us into something different than what we are. (The Doctor: “A HYBR-” Me: “NO.”) So we’ve got this product (almost always a dirty word in Doctor Who) that strips humans of an under-appreciated but vital part of their design. Would it not follow then that the malevolent force to be reckoned with would build on the very real consequences of denying a body sleep? YOU KNOW IT WOULD. But instead: sleep gunk monsters.

sleep sleep 2
sleep 3 sleep 4
Sleep gunk is hella gross, okay. But it’s also so satisfying when you get to wipe away the build-up you get from a nice long weekend snooze – the kind where you don’t have set an alarm. Sleep gunk is evidence of a night well spent. Isn’t that a good thing? Not in this story. Any interesting points brought up by Chopra’s objections that could be neatly linked to a critique of 21st century industry and the lionization of workaholics are gone as soon as the Doctor identifies the organic matter than makes up the beasts. SLEEP GUNK MONSTERS. Could no one at the BBC put a stop to this?

Continue Reading

“Nothing beats a good blind side.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap – “The Art of War”

Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 7
“The Art of War” 

Posted by Kim

With the Fall Finale (and a subsequent hiatus until February) looming large, all of the stories are starting to converge.  Sleepy Hollow is known for having killer cliffhangers and “The Art of War” sets us up for a DOOZY of a fall finale. To the rankings!

#WHATTHEDAMNHELLHollow and #CreepyHollow

Having lost the Shard of Anubis to Joe and Jenny last week, Nevins knows he is in trouble with his employer, whoever that is. He tears through his cabinet of artifacts while Sophie observes with the dismay of a Gap Employee watching customers destroy the perfectly folded piles of sweaters they spent hours on.  She assures Nevins that she can up her “playing rough” game with Joe and Jenny and get the shard back.  “Honey, you don’t know what rough is.”  She watches as he scrawls out some passages from a Norse Mythology book, and she’s quite confused because really, if you are going to call on anyone from that canon, wouldn’t you call on Loki over Odin? C’mon, now.  (Can we get Hiddles on this show, please? Now THAT would be a ratings boost.) He rushes off but not before warning Sophie that if it is Hell they are going to pay, it will be getting off easy.  JUST WHO EXACTLY IS HE WORKING FOR?  Pandora, it seems.  Nevins goes to her cave and stands at the well, chanting incantations.  The well bubbles like a Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the box appears (“Oh…I’ll be damned.”).  Some creatures that look like a mix between Thing from Fantastic Four and the Uruk-hai from Lord of the Rings appear and Nevins gives them a whiff of the Shard.  “Go Fetch,” he says.  Someone is in DEEP SHIT.

That someone, of course, is Jenny Mills, who absorbed the shard in the last episode and who has been tormented by demonic dreams ever since.  Jenny’s round of sexy and sweaty foreplay boxing with Joey (MORE ON THAT LATER) is interrupted by her going all glowy red and white-eyed.  (Note that we see the “destroyers” tablet in Jenny’s vision.  Hmmmm.) Talk about a mood killer.  It’s time to tell Abbie and Ichabod EXACTLY what’s going on and it’s like children confessing to Mom and Dad. Abbie is furious with her children.  Danny has made a trip down to D.C. for reasons I don’t really understand (seriously, we only saw him crashing his boss’ birthday party asking for more time. Couldn’t this have been done over the phone?), so he left Abbie in charge of overseeing the Nevins case.  So learning that her sister and little Joey Corbin met with him behind her back isn’t great news. I love how Ichabod steps in here because he knows Abbie is about to lose her shit.  It’s clear who is going to be the disciplinarian in this marriage.

Honey, please deal with our children, I can’t even look at them RN.

Jenny tries to brush off the severity of her situation by quipping that she would remember suddenly developing mutant powers. Ichabod will not allow her to have such a cavalier attitude.  He deduces that the shard was actually a binding stone that transfers mystical energy upon contact (which is why Nevins used a glove when touching it). “Miss Jenny,” he says gravely. “Mortal beings are not meant to house this much mystical energy.”  Maybe it’s just because I spent the past weekend at a Doctor Who con, but my mind immediately went to both Bad Wolf Rose Tyler and Doctor!Donna Noble. SPOILER ALERT: neither of those things ended well. (#ProtectJennyMills2KAlways) Abbie does her best to not lose her cool regarding the situation because surely there is some sort of shardectomy they can do.  Joe suggests that they go back to Nevins, which is immediately shot down by Abbie, prompting a little “Who loves Jenny more?” stand-off between the two.  “I know this might cause some problems with your job, but this is JENNY we’re talking about,” Joe spits.  “You think I don’t know that?” Abbie shoots back. Joey, I know you’re new here and you’re VERY cute, but don’t get into it with Abbie regarding her sister.  Abbie’s love for Jenny is so deep and so fierce that sure, she may try to look for a way to save her that WON’T jeopardize her job, but when the shit hits the fan, she’ll do whatever it takes.

Before Joe and Abbie can wrestle for Jenny’s love, Jenny’s new Spidey sense tell them that they are about to have company. Ruh-roh, the Uruk-hai (yes, I know that’s not their name) have found them.  Abbie shoots at them because she never learns and the bullets are absorbed into their bodies, making them stronger. Jenny goes all shard-y and stabs them, slowing them down just enough for them to be able to run for the tunnels.  “Being fatally infected with the power of an ancient artifact has its pluses,” she jokes and I am really going to need her to STOP with the humor.  Abbie realizes that the Uruks didn’t give a shit about anyone but Jenny because SHE is the shard now. Jenny promptly gets faint because this show wants me to have a heart attack.


In the archives, Abbie is in action mode.  It’s typical Abbie behavior: she focuses on solutions so she doesn’t have to feel feelings. It’s clear she is filled with panic regarding her sister, but panic gets you no where.  Abbie works so hard to separate her emotions from her work (both in the FBI and as a Witness).  If there is one word I associate with Grace Abigail Mills, it’s CONTROL and she doesn’t deal well with losing it.  It’s such a lovely contrast with Jenny, who seems to have quietly accepted her possible fate.  Not that she’s happy about it, but she knows the line of work that she’s in.  Like she said, dealing with the supernatural is the only world she’s ever known, and it was bound to get her in the end. If this is how she goes, this is how she goes. But she’s not going to go on Abbie’s watch. Don’t mess with a control freak.


It should be noted that while the sisters were having their heart to heart, Joe and Ichabod talk about their feelings. I’ll talk about that more in shippy, but what does come out of their conversation is the fact that these monsters are single-minded. At last, Ichabod has a clue to finding out what they are. The creatures are Norse Berserkers, a single-minded kind of monster that will not stop until they have claimed their prey.  They feed off the energy of battle, getting stronger as you fight them. Basically, they are a undefeatable enemy. Their one vulnerability? Mistletoe. (Joey: PANIC LAUGHTER) Before they can figure out their plan further, Jenny goes all shardy again and THIS TIME whatever being that is possessing her speaks.  “Behold my glory, for I am coming,” Demon!Jenny says before collapsing again. Shit.

Abbie stays behind with her sister, because where else WOULD she be at a time like this.  The boys arm themselves with Mistletoe arrows (because those are a thing?) and set off to the Sleepy Hollow Auto Salvage yard because the Berserkers need a “metal cave” to gain their energy back after a fight.  The boys charge in with their crossbows (hot), confident that this is all they will need to take them out.  No such luck. Ichabod fires off several arrows but the Berserkers just get stronger.  “What do we do now?” Joe asks. “Run.” Ichabod replies, and run they do.  They manage to shut the garage door and escape right as the Berserkers punch through the door.  Clearly, they’ve missed the plot here.

Ichabod surmises that Nevins must have changed the incantation to summon the Berserkers and the only way to find out HOW is to break into his office. This is where Abbie has to make her choice: Witness or FBI agent? It’s not an easy one for her. Nevins’ place is under constant surveillance and if anyone from Team Witness shows up there, the FBI (well, Danny) will know that Abbie is working against them. It could blow the entire case.  Ichabod is SO GENTLE but firm with her here. He knows what it’s like to be pulled between two worlds. He doesn’t want her to sacrifice her career, but at the same time, he reminds her of her duty to both her sister and their cause as Witnesses.  “They will not stop until WE stop them,” he urges. “But please, if you know of any other course of action.”  Abbie hands him her lock-picking kit because when the chips are down, she will ALWAYS choose Team Witness.

Abbie uses her temporary power as Head Agent to briefly call off the surveillance on Nevins’ Bait Shop, allowing Ichabod to break in.  (Did anyone else get season one flashes of “Think of the delinquency we could get into together”? I DID.) He searches the office and finds the pad of paper Nevins used to write down his incantation.  Ichabod does a rubbing on the indentations from Nevins’ handwriting and BOOM! he has the solution.  He’s temporarily waylaid by Sophie as he leaves the office, but I’m going to leave that for sassy because good God that exchange was glorious.  Back at the Archives, Ichabod tells Abbie that since Nevins invoked the power of Pandora (not Odin) when he summoned the Berserkers, it changed their powers and vulnerabilities.  They have no way of knowing what will kill them now.  “When faced with an unbeatable enemy, you must make the enemy beat themselves,” Ichabod says, quoting Daniel Boone.  He recalls the Battle of Boonesborough, where Daniel Boone faced the combined armies of the British and the Hessians.  Together the armies were unbeatable, but he knew that their alliance was tenuous at best.  He set up attacks at both camps to look like they were done by the other, which made the two armies turn on each other. They must do the same to the Berserkers if they want to have any prayer of defeating them and keeping Jenny safe.  If they fail…checkmate.  (Reminder that apparently Ichabod and Abbie now play chess every morning and have jokes about it. Bye.)

Abbie and Ichabod’s plan (“one part history, one part magic, a whole lot of crazy.”) is to lure the Berserkers to the woods using Jenny’s shard-scented blood.  Team Witness lowers from the trees Mission Impossible style and covertly pours the blood on several of them, causing the Berserkers to smell like their prey.  They turn on each other like “hyenas from Hell”.  Only one Berserker survives, but since he thinks his quarry has been captured, Ichabod is able to stab him in the heart. “Give our regards to Pandora,” he says victoriously.  The Berserker ashes away Katrina and Henremy style.

The Victory Party is interrupted by a desperate Nevins and Sophie.  He wants Jenny (literally) and demands to be taken to her because his employer needs her. Who is the employer? “Someone who makes Pandora look like a homeroom teacher and he will be here soon.” (I can’t be the only one who is bummed that Pandora is working for a male, can I?) Nevins puts a gun to Joe’s head and threatens to kill him (“Screw you.” “Ah, you ARE August Corbin’s son.”).  Joe, bless him, tells Abbie not to tell him a thing. When Nevins gets to “two” in his countdown, Sophie turns her gun on him, announcing she is FBI.  WUT. Amazing.  “You traitorous bitch,” Nevins snarls, before she shoots him.  Someone’s got some ‘splaining to do as Team Witness looks on in shock.  Abbie asks if Reynolds knows about her and Sophie replies that she’s part of HIS operation.  “My role in this investigation was strictly need to know.  Only inner circle,” she explains and it becomes clear that Danny didn’t trust Abbie enough to let her in on it.  (I’m going to interpret Ichabod’s “He didn’t tell you” as only SLIGHTLY smug.) Sophie tells them to go get Jenny while she deals with getting Nevins in.

They arrive at the Masonic cell, only to find it empty, the lock broken from the inside.  All sorts of charcoal drawings are on the wall.  Jenny, in a shard trance, arrives at Pandora’s lair.  She reaches into the Hot Tub Time Machine of Doom and the water boils red.  The tree opens and Pandora, still rocking her evening wear, arrives with a hooded and bandaged man on her arm. (Voldemort, is that you?) Jenny kneels before him and takes his hand. “Behold my glory, I have arrived.”


I would have been more scared of the Berserkers if they were actually Uruk-hai.  2/10 Sandmen. 

PROTECT. JENNY. MILLS. 9/10 Golems. 

Continue reading

It Must Be Nice, It Must Be Nice To Have Olivia On Your Side – Scandal Gif-Cap – “Rasputin”

Scandal Season 5, Episode 8
Posted by Sage

I love it when Scandal makes up countries. It makes it feel even more like an AU version of our own international relationships. The AO3 tags for this episode would include “hat porn,” “closet sex,” “secret gay affair,” and of course, “bondage.” (HI ROWAN.) This is the last episode before the much touted winter finale, so let’s get to the gifs.

“Tell me it’s not true, Liv.” The episode kicks off with an obvious flash-forward: Olivia in a cold interrogation cell and Fitz hoping that her being there is all one big misunderstanding. It never is though, is it?

“A disarmament deal between the United States and the Republic of Bandar.” Fitz DOES do some running of the country between bitching and moaning sessions. His administration is about to end years of sanctions against a middle eastern nation. It would be a feather in the cap of the whole Grant team.

“The biggest push for peace since the toppling of the Berlin Wall.” Hyperbole is the BEST.

“I’m always happy for a chance to see Miss Pope.” Cyrus worries that the Bandarians(?) will shun Olivia as a whore, but they already love her because guess what, she’s handled some things for them.

“The president gets all the credit while we do all the work.” Susan’s dropping some truth bombs and it’s delicious.

“Kill me now. Do not translate that.” LizzieBear clearly thinks that working with Susan is below her.

“But I need your help…I would like to defect, can you help me?” The interpreter for the minister of energy slips in some cries for help when he’s translating for Olivia. She takes the Minister to meet the chef (also from Bandar) and the translator tells her that he will give her the location of a secret nuclear facility if she can get him asylum.

“He didn’t looked smitten, he looked scared.” Navid isn’t dazzled by the “blue jeans and the mini skirts” as Cy suggests. Fitz okays it for OPA to handle digging into Navid and his claim.

“I’m okay, Red. We’re living in a new world, Red. A world where Olivia Pope is judge, jury, and executioner.”

“If you go back on the deal, I’m going to tell Fitz what we did. What you did.” Mellie pops into the episode to threaten Liv about their misguided girl plan to free Rowan.

“Helen of Troy…hello.” Oh, TOM. Get some new jokes.

“I’m being hunted, Olivia…Ballard is the least of my concerns.” Look who’s back, with his old-school soul soundtrack.

“You should be afraid.” “Why?” “Because am afraid.” Rowan claims that if the people who’re looking to take him out succeed, Olivia loses her protection. And she’ll just be ceding control to an organization worse than B6-13.

“Oh, Olivia. I take tremendous pride in who you have become.”

Huck has never heard of Lazarus One. But he likes their mission statement: kill Rowan Pope.


“Any chance this guy’s a spy?” Huck finds “no chatter” indicating that Navid’s intentions are anything but pure.

Navid gets sick at a meeting, and ends up safe in a hospital bed. Olivia had given him a pill, like some haute couture Friar Lawrence.

“If this checks out, you’ll have your asylum.” America! Fuck yeah!

“You want me to put my foot in my mouth.” “Yes, Susan, I do.” “Well why didn’t you say so?”

“But what do I know, I’m just a woman.” The President of Bandar steps away from the negotiation, just as Grant hoped he would. Bless Susan Ross for never, ever putting her own ego over serving the country.

Continue Reading

“Keep the secrets, keep the peace.” – Doctor Who Recap

Doctor Who Series 9, Episode 8
“The Zygon Inversion” 

Posted by Kim

All I have to say is thank GOD this episode was kinder to me than the last Peter Harness penned episode I had to recap was. Everyone pour one out for not having to talk about thinly veiled abortion metaphors!

There is a beauty and a frustration (from a recapping standpoint) in the way Series 9 is being presented as six two-parters. It allows the stories to BREATHE but at the same time it’s hard to judge one half without seeing how the story resolves itself. So when the “Zygon Invasion” left me a bit cold, I told myself we were not done with this story yet.  Everything hinged on the resolution.  And boy…what a resolution we got.  These two episodes are truly meant to flow into each other and “Invasion” will benefit from a Netflix binge right into “Inversion”.  I find “Invasion” to be a bit clunky, and I probably always will.  But everything about it was set up for the gloriousness of “Inversion”, so I can forgive its flaws for the most part.  I still don’t think it needed the whole UNIT soldier confronting his Zygon Mum business.  Not when we could have been spending time with Bonnie/Zygella.  ANYWAY.  Sage recapped “Invasion” beautifully, expressing all of her qualms with it.  Now I get to recap what will be one of THE defining episodes of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as The Doctor.  Let’s get to it, shall we?

“The Zygon Inversion” rewinds a little bit, as we flash to Clara’s consciousness waking up in her Zygon pod.  This whole opening reminded me very much of “Last Christmas” (remember how that episode is real?) with Clara in a familiar environment that juuuuuuuust this side of off kilter to where she knows it isn’t real (how creepy was that black toothpaste though?).  Unlike “Last Christmas”, Clara fights against this environment immediately.  She hears the Doctor on the phone with Bonnie, as their consciousness are tied.  She turns on the TV and is able to see from Bonnie’s vantage point (I LOVED that).  She sees Bonnie aiming her bazooka at The Doctor’s plane and she manages to make Bonnie move, causing the missile to swerve off course, missing The Doctor’s big plane.  Bonnie will not be deterred though.  Despite Clara’s efforts to control her body telepathically, Bonnie’s will is stronger. She gets off a second shot and this time, the missile hits the plane. Kaboom. So long, Doctor.  Bonnie walks off triumphantly, a smirk on her flawless red lips.  She’s running things now.

Being that this is Doctor Who though, The Doctor and Osgood escape thanks to the emergency parachutes (The Doctor’s being a Union Jack one because it’s camouflage in England).  They land on a beach (thankfully NOT the location used for Bad Wolf Bay because that would be too much for me) no worse for the wear, other than Osgood’s spectacles being snapped in two.  The Doctor hands her the sonic sunglasses (because they are prescription, natch) and warns her not to look at his browser history (because he was in the middle of a particularly smutty fan fiction? Head canon accepted).  Osgood comments that Sonic Sunglasses are “a bit pointless, like a visual hearing aid” because Steven Moffat KNEW that a faction of the fandom would hate the sonic specs and he can never pass up an opportunity to bite his thumb at fanboys.



Back to the matters at hand, Osgood ponders why Zygon!Clara hesitiated when it came to killing The Doctor.  If it were her, she would have killed the Doctor immediately, not even giving him the chance to speak (“Thanks.”).  But the Zygon hesitated.  Osgood ponders that since the Zygon had Clara’s memory print, she would know not to let the Doctor speak, that he gets all heroic and dangerously convincing when he speaks.  I would argue that Bonnie having Clara’s memory print is EXACTLY why she hesitated, even without us seeing Real!Clara trying to stop her. Why? BECAUSE THE DOCTOR IS THE LAST PERSON SHE WOULD EVER KILL.  We’ve been hit on the head with that concept over and over this series, so much that I am terrified that we’re going to be faced with it in the finale.  Why else would this be a recurring theme? Ugh. I hate everything.

In last week’s recap, Sage shared her annoyance that Osgood, an ordinary girl who was a stand-in for the fans, had been turned into one of Steven Moffat’s extraordinary mysteries.  I share this annoyance becauseit’s not about The Doctor meeting extraordinary people or people he needs to solve/debunk.  It’s about ordinary people finding the strength within themselves to rise to extraordinary circumstances and it’s been a concept Moffat has missed since he took over the series.  Anyway, extraordinary girl though she may be, the one thing that hasn’t changed about Osgood is her HEART and her capacity to empathize.  “You’ve gone quiet because I’ve mentioned Clara,” she says.  “You think she might be dead.”  Osgood KNOWS what it’s like to lose half of herself, having lost her “sister” (I keep wanting to say “seestra” but wrong show!).  She knows that The Doctor sees Clara as an extension of himself, that she’s as essential to him as his limbs are, as the very air that he breathes.  “Are you okay?” she asks and I HURT because she’s so concerned about his emotional well-being.  “I’m still in the hope phase,” The Doctor replies. “How’s that going?” “Hell. Please talk about something else.” This is your obligatory reminder that THIS Doctor is going to be devastated at the loss of his companion and won’t be someone who takes a new one easily.  Sure, he often asks people like Osgood to come along with him but that’s BECAUSE he still has Clara.  Without her, I’m afraid he’s going to be way less willing to open up his hearts again.  I’d like to freeze time please and thank you.

In her Dream State, Clara analyzes the footage of the plane explosion.  Her little smirk when she sees the parachutes gives me LIFE.  She takes advantage of her connection with Bonnie to make her text The Doctor without her counterpart even realizing it.  The Doctor’s phone goes off and when he SEES that he has an incoming message from Clara, he passes the phone off to Osgood because he CANNOT BEAR that this is probably Bonnie taunting him.  BABY.  Osgood reads the message, which says “I’m awake.” The Doctor initially brushes this off as Bonnie rubbing her victory in his face, but Osgood takes it at face value.  “Never really met Clara,” she says. “Pretty strong, yeah?” “She was amazing.” NOPE.  I can’t take The Doctor without hope.  “No. Not was. IS,” Osgood urges.  She deduces that Clara is fighting back in her pod.  “She’s trying to take control, piece by piece.”  Bless her.  “How’s that hope phase now?” “Worse than ever.”

Meanwhile, Bonnie continues going about her evil plan.  She forces a human Zygon to reveal his true self against his will. Between Sleepy Hollow and this episode, it was a banner week for DISGUSTING make-up because that transition is horrifying. “I’m going to set you free,” Bonnie smirks, but what she’s really doing is trying to strike fear in humanity because she KNOWS that the first human instinct is to fight back against something or someone who is foreign and they don’t understand. So we’re still sticking to that slightly heavy-handed metaphor then. Good to know. She makes her way to the UNIT headquarters to retrieve the Osgood box.  She passes by a mirror, where she sees real Clara for the briefest of moments.  At Headquarters, she doesn’t find the box but a laptop.  She queues up a video where the Osgoods reveal that they lied about the location of the box because really…would they be so obvious.  They urge the viewer to stop looking.  “There’s a reason it’s called the Osgood Box. Haven’t you guessed?”  Bonnie throws a temper tantrum and destroys the laptop, which is my exact instinct whenever I am met with the spinning beach ball of doom.

Doctor John Disco, clinging to the glimmer of hope, facetimes Bonnie.  He tries to get a handle on her plan (“You don’t invade planets without having a plan. That’s why they’re called planets, to remind you to plan it.” BLESS HIS DAD HUMOR.) even though she claims she doesn’t have one.  He also calls her Zygella, which marks the second time this series he calls a villain by their actual name instead of the name they chose for themselves.  I find that SO interesting because of this moment from “Day of the Doctor”…

CLARA: Look at you. The three of you. The warrior, the hero, and you.
DOCTOR: And what am I?
CLARA: Have you really forgotten?
DOCTOR: Yes. Maybe, yes.
CLARA: We’ve got enough warriors. Any old idiot can be a hero.
DOCTOR: Then what do I do?
CLARA: What you’ve always done. Be a doctor. You told me the name you chose was a promise.

The Doctor knows more than anyone that we are defined by the choices we make as opposed to the circumstances we are given. So why did he refuse to call Ashildr “Me”? Why does he call Bonnie Zygella?  At first I was going to say he does this because he wants them to remember who they are but that goes against the whole philosophy of CHOICE.  And if there is one thing the Doctor believes in, it’s the power of choice. So I don’t have an answer to this.  I just think it’s interesting and something to ponder.

Using her connection to Bonnie, Clara manages to WINK at The Doctor to signal to him that he can’t give up hope on her and he realizes that she can communicate with him nonverbally.  He gets Clara to confirm where she is and then takes the chance to warn Clara not to let Bonnie into her memories.  It is a very intentional move, one that he points out to Osgood when she calls him out on that.  “The mind of Clara Oswald…she’ll never find her way out,” he says with a dazzling grin.  Can we discuss how much The Doctor loves Clara’s MIND? This is too much for me to deal with.



Bonnie does exactly what The Doctor intended her to do: she immediately goes to Clara’s pod and demands an audience with her counterpart.  Thus, Jenna Coleman gets her chance to do her best Tatiana Maslany and act opposite herself.  I love how Jenna Coleman differentiated between the two, making Bonnie’s voice clipped and her posture severe as if Bonnie can’t quite figure out how to really BE Clara.  At first, Clara is emboldened by the Doctor’s orders that she can’t let Bonnie in.  She’s cocky and self-assured and full-on Doctor!Clara as she taunts Bonnie that this connection between them works two ways.  It’s very reminiscent of “Deep Breath” where she tells Half-Face man to go ahead and kill her.  She’s not afraid of calling Bonnie’s bluff because that’s exactly what it is.  She knows she has something Bonnie needs and as long as she does, she is safe.  Also, she would rather die than betray the Doctor, so there’s that.  What Clara doesn’t count on is that, despite being a brilliant liar, her heart is linked with Bonnie’s.  “The one thing we can never do is lie to each other.” Clara visibly deflates, all her bravado gone. Now there is only fear. Clara tries to give roundabout answers to all of the questions, but that’s the problem with playing “Truth or Consequences” with yourself…Bonnie knows exactly what is going on and Clara is forced to tell the truth.  The Osgood box is in the Black Archive, and the Osgoods, The Doctor, and Clara are the only ones with access to it.  All Bonnie needs to do is just show up because the door is keyed to each of their body prints.  “You can’t give me access because I have access already.”  Clara warns Bonnie that this is a war she can’t win.  What’s worse is that Bonnie knows that she doesn’t have the right to speak for all of Zygonkind…but she’s so laser focused in regards to her own desires that she doesn’t care.  She’s appointed herself to decide what’s right for the rest of her people, damn the consequences, damn what they all claim to want.  She knows better.  “It’s time we stopped giving them a choice.”  Sounds like how political leaders decide whether or not they want to go to war, doesn’t it? (YA BURNT.) Clara warns Bonnie that when she finds the Osgood Box, she will want to speak to her again. “Why is it called an Osgood Box?”  I don’t know, show, but clearly you’re trying to tell us something.

Continue reading

“Look at me, profiling a bug.” – Sleepy Hollow Recap


Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 6
“This Red Lady From Caribee”
Posted by Sage

Fox announced their winter schedule this week and with it, a change that could really benefit Sleepy Hollow. When the network scheduled the front half of Season 3 to face off against Scandal on Thursdays at nine, we were like “????” Shonda owns Thursday nights, and may her reign be ever merciful. A move to Friday sounds like a death knell to some, but anything’s got to be better than going head-to-head with Olivia Pope. Plus, Fringe held that Friday night slot for several seasons. The X-Files was a Friday night show too, once upon a time. It’s a good-luck spot for genre television. So be chill, fandom. We’ve survived so much worse than this.

On to this week’s rankings!


red lady

Pandora is nothing if not efficient. She came to Sleepy Hollow to do a thing (six things), and six episodes in, she’s checked all the boxes on her list. Pandora needs to teach an organizational effectiveness course, and Moloch needs to take it.

This week, the mysterious lady is tending to the sixth bloom on her tree, “the flavor of fear.” We learn for certain that the blooms themselves are the weapons, or rather, the destructive emotions they represent. The creatures that Pandora conjures from her box are merely the distribution apparatus. And for this bloom, she requires “a most skilled emissary.” She recites a little rhyme and a swarm of red insects appear. They take the shape of a woman (me in my notes: “Carmen Sandiego Bug Lady”) who Pandora names as the “Red Lady From Caribee.” I don’t like bugs, you guys. Even the kind that wear couture. (That costume though.)

Ichabbie’s first brush with the Lady happens in the courthouse on the day that Crane is meant to defend himself from those pesky smuggling charges. As they get closer to the courtroom, they find people fleeing in fear, including Crane’s lawyer. The judge, a man Abbie had just been describing to Crane as calm and just, is ranting from the bench. There’s a criminal element that must be stamped out, he raves. And he lashes out angrily at anyone who suggest he maaaaybe stop hearing cases for the day and take care of those hives that are clearly consuming his body. (Another triumph for the Sleepy make-up department. Y’all are gross, and I love it.) He orders the bailiff to take out her weapon. Crane steps in front of the few people still left in the room (swoon) to speak to the judge. (“Ichabod Crane, for the defense.”) Before he can get much out of him, the man keels over and dies. Crane catches a glimpse of the swarm escaping through a vent and notes it in the ol’ photographic memory.


Back at the archive, Crane and Abbie do their Buffy research on this new threat. The judge died instantly of a brain aneurysm. And the only piece of evidence at the scene was a dead Jack Spaniel wasp, an insect that’s native to the Caribbean. As usual, a detail that just happens to match up to the past sends Crane flipping through Grace Dixon’s journal. She was once called to a military camp in Pennsylvania by Betsy Ross to help tend to a sick and paranoid General Washington. (I’m sure it wasn’t meant in this way, but I still think it’s hilarious that Grace described Betsy instead of naming her. Low-key shade.) The ladies figure that Washington had been bitten by a Soucouyant, a demon “of Trinidadian origin.” Hence the wasp. Grace tends to Washington with a tonic she prepared, but she warns Betsy that it’s not a cure. (Washington: “Dying is easy, young man, living is harder.”) The only cure is to kill the creature itself. Betsy arms up and leaves the tent. And if only these flashbacks could follow Betsy when she goes and does actual heroic things, maybe a) she wouldn’t be so insufferable, and b) Crane and Abbie would know what the sweet Jesus they’re supposed to do in any given situation instead of having to guess.

Abbie gets a call from Danny. There’s another dead body to deal with. This one is a suburban mom – the President of the PTA. She collapsed after checking hundreds of books out of the Sleepy Hollow library and building a pyre for them. Thank you, thank you, thank you, show, for characterizing book burning as a paranoid act. Bless you for this. Funny that Danny warns Abbie that if they can’t put a stop to whatever is causing this mania soon, “they’ll have a big problem” on their hands, re: public panic. This is a SMALL-ASS TOWN. You’re telling me that two healthy, well-respected people went insane and then dropped dead WITHIN THE SAME DAY and people aren’t freaking out yet? Where are the news crews? The other cops? DOES ANYONE CARE? No one outside of Abbie, Crane, and Danny are ever talking about these murders. Sleepy has a problem with scope that could be easily solved by inserting the voice of the town somewhere. May I suggest Perd Hapley as a capable news anchor? He’s got references.

I digress. Abbie pops on the phone to Crane and points out that the swarm is targeting people in positions of power. (“And look at me, profiling a bug.”) Danny returns from inside of the house and his demeanor is markedly different. He snaps at Abbie to get in the car and chastises her for letting her personal life interfere with work when she tells him it was her “roommate” on the phone. He’s driving erratically and questioning her about her motives. He rages that Crane can’t really be a historical consultant (ding ding ding) and that Abbie is obviously out to steal his FBI glory (wrong). Abbie notices a growing hive on his neck and knows immediately what’s up. Danny stops the car in the middle of the woods and drags Abbie out of the front seat, tossing away her phone. And then this happens. I call this move the “Bitch, you thought.”

tackle tackle 2
tackle 3 tackle 4
The Witnesses keep Danny restrained while they work out Grace Dixon’s stop-gap tonic recipe. (More on the Joenny shopping trip later because the herbalist ships it.) There’s a clock ticking (isn’t there always?), and Danny will perish if they’re not able to find and destroy the Lady within a few hours. To kill a wasp, Abbie reasons, you take out the hive. She pulls up a mapping program and triangulates the locations of the deaths. In the center, there’s a satellite image of a tree that matches the imprint on the back of the Sumerian tablet. A tree with six blossoms. They’ve found Pandora’s home base. Though, being that a huge, twisty, fuck-off tree grew full-size out of nowhere like something out of Into The Woods, they really ought to have been tipped off sooner.


Crane and Abbie descend into some ancient ruins that they’ve never seen before. (HOW? Again: small town. Where are these things hiding?) And I don’t know where or how Crane obtained a canister of prussic acid, but my head already aches from plot inconsistencies. I’ll let it slide. Pandora looks like she’s been waiting for the Witnesses to show up, and she’s as calm as ever. In fact, she thanks them for their service. (“Calling beasts out of the box was easy, you did all the hard work.”) She’s downright complacent watching Abbie destroy the hive and the Lady along with it. The sixth blossom is already blooming, and there’s nothing the Witnesses can do to stop it. “Bear witness,” she purrs, as her tree opens to admit her entrance. She disappears, and it seals back up. Later, Crane notes that trees are often points of entry to the underworld in literature, supporting the theory that Pandora has a boss who’s even more powerful than her. She’ll be back, the Witnesses agree. And they’ll be ready for her. Or them.

quote we can live by quote we can live by 2
I feel like The X-Files did the bug-person thing better in “Folie A Deux” and that the paranoia and mass-panic angle should have been played up a lot more. There’s a disconnect between Pandora being so content with her work and the fact that we as an audience see no evidence that the mood of the town has changed. 3/10 Sandmen for Creepiness.



The sass-factor was relatively low in this episode. Things to do, bugs to squash. If I weren’t so tired of Zoe already, I’d have more enjoyed Crane and Abbie ribbing each other about their love lives. I’m firmly in the shipper camp of “yes, but not yet,” so I’m good with some platonic relationship talks. Theoretically. But I’m afraid I checked out whenever Zoe was mentioned, because I just don’t think she and Crane are at all compatible. Think about his other WCWs: Betsy, Katrina, and Abbie. One of these things is not like the other, and it’s Zoe’s “i’m just a wittle history fangirl and you’re so smart” thing. Crane wouldn’t respond to that. Not the Crane I know. I do enjoy his consistent weakness for fruity beverages, however.


More of Danny and Abbie’s history was revealed in this episode, and god, finally. Reynolds, you poor bastard. While he’s still suffering the effects of the bite, Danny lets some personal stuff slip to his ex. Personal stuff like he’s still madly in love with her. And god love Grace Abigail Mills, because her reaction isn’t one of shock or guilt. She just hears it and processes it, and continues to do everything she can to save his life. (“Nothing I didn’t already know.”) I’ve liked getting to know Danny so far, but this line brought out some major side-eye:

do to people

Look, buddy. It’s not Abbie’s fault that she’s an actual goddess on earth and that you’re into her. You desiring her isn’t something she’s done to you. Abigail Mills does not string men along, and she does not play games. I’m assuming that she ended things with Danny, and end them she did. If he wants to moon over her forever, that’s his concern. “We’re fine,” Abbie tells Crane about “her” Agent Reynolds. “And he’s not mine.” And vice versa, you fuck.


Continue Reading

In Appreciation of Louis Tomlinson

popcorn louis

Posted by Kim and Sage

Sage: I became a Louis Tomlinson stan like you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. One minute I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about the One Direction member, and the next I was telling anyone who would listen about my tiny, musical son and how proud I am of him. Naturally, this is confusing for some, considering I have no children. And if I did, I’d still probably like Louis better than them. For one, they wouldn’t have his accent, of which I’ve watched roughly half a dozen YouTube compilations. See? I’m absolutely, 100% fine.

Kim and I decided to put this post together so that we could do something productive with our frustration over the vicious smear campaign that’s being waged against our innocent Louis right now. The band’s management transition has resulted in a lot of public mudslinging, and for some reason, he’s the one taking the brunt of it. (Fan lore says it’s because he’s secretly the most powerful, and Simon Cowell fears him. HERE FOR THAT NARRATIVE.) Though we only have but words, gifs, and our creepy passion to contribute, Louis Tomlinson won’t be reduced to the awful, tabloid caricature of himself. Not on our blog. NOT ON OUR WATCH.

Kim: It is NOTORIOUS among my group of Directioner friends that Louis Tomlinson is the one who BROKE ME.  I was coasting along in my One Direction love JUST FINE.  I had seen them in concert, I had all the records, I looked at adorable pictures of them on Tumblr, I had my “favorite” boy (Liam), I was FINE.  Then, in the course of a few days, Louis pushed me over the cliff into oblivion.  First, I woke up to a picture of Louis and Harry holding hands at a meet and greet, Harry barely suppressing a shit-eating grin and Lou looking FOND AS FUCK.  A couple of days later, some tabloids started reporting that Louis may not about to be a father after all.  Trustworthy source or not, those articles led to me tweeting over and over “MY SON MY SON MY SON BE FREEEEEEEE”.  It became abundantly clear which boy I had the most maternal feelings for…and it was Louis William Tomlinson.  (Don’t worry, Liam.  I still love you too.)

So what is it about Lou that makes me want to wrap him in a blanket and shield him from all the evil in the world?  (A favorite tumblr post of mine ponders this fan reaction to the boys being brought up in an interview as opposed to the girls saying they want to marry them. “So…this woman says you’re her son and she wants to cuddle you in a blanket?” Yes, what WOULD they say to that?) For me, it’s the fact that, no matter what fuckery is being heaped upon him by the press or by management, Louis NEVER STOPS FIGHTING BACK.  It would be very easy for him to just lie down and take it but he DOESN’T. Whether it be co-running a Twitter account for two Rainbow Teddy bears (you can’t TELL me that’s not him) or flagrantly leaving a club with a van of brunettes when his supposed blonde baby mama has been flown to London for his O2 residency, Louis ALWAYS finds a way to push back.  He cannot be tamed.  He will not be broken. My brave and clever boy.  We see what you’re doing and we love you all the more for it.

How do we love you, Louis? Let us count the ways.

1) My Aesthetic

Okay, so: We’ve already shed all dignity via sharing way too much on this site. And also, we thought we’d get the shallowness out-of-the-way first. LOOK AT HIM.

Louis Tomlinson is a perfect bundle of contradictions: hard and soft, sharp and curvy, petite and powerful. If Ben Wyatt is a sexy elf king, then Louis can be an elf prince. He’s golden everywhere, like some minor Greek god who gets all the girls and the boys on Olympus. There’s something almost fairy tale about his features, but then he hits you with soul-piercing, steely blue-eyed look like the one above and suddenly it’s like “Mr. Grey will see you now.” (That movie? I would have seen.)

As I’m writing this section of the post, #RespectLouis is trending because some piece of garbage site dared refer to him as “the ugly one.” To which I say, bitch, WHERE? Those cheekbones could cut glass, motherfuckers.

I’d like to discuss Louis’s hair for a moment, if I may. Sometimes it’s artfully mussed and pleasantly crunchy-looking, like leaves on the ground in late fall. Sometimes it’s soft and product-less, fringe falling into his eyes that I’m confident is as soft as the underbelly of a corgi. And sometimes it’s sculpted into an architectural, fuck-me quiff. And then I die.

Arms and hands are my weakness, so I’m extra offended by Louis’s and the growing collection of tats that constantly draw attention to them. Many of which, by the way, are complementary designs to those on the body of one Harry Edward Styles. You know. Because they’re bros. It is what it is.

Now that Zayn is gone, that makes Louis’s lower body the official fifth member of One Direction. Cause I’m here to tell you that fans adore it just as much. If not more.

*Jason Derulo voice* “I got one question: how you’d fit…allll that…in dem jeans?” (I’m going to hell.)

image1 (3)

Are Louis Tomlinson’s thighs the source of all his powers?   Based on this little trick, I say yes.

Perfection, am I right? How could anyone improve upon such majesty? Well, that’s why god invented water. Take it away, Kim.


2) Wet Louis

I promise we will get to talking about Louis’ personality, talent, and virtues that make him a precious unicorn.  But we’re not done objectifying.  This section needs a soundtrack sooooooo…..

Bless the On The Road Again tour.

Bless my brOTP LiLo for their ongoing prank war.  Remember how Louis ripped Liam’s shirt open one night? Me too.  But this…this shot of them dousing each other in powerade is so glorious even Lou himself instagrammed it.

Bless Louis for favoring threadbare tees and tanks that when soaking wet cling to every curve of his body.

Bless Sage for sending me this gif one morning and saying “If this whole pop star thing doesn’t work out, Louis can be a stripper.” Bless my brain for immediately thinking of stripper Lou recreating the opening of Flashdance.  (WELCOME TO HELL IT IS NICE HERE.)

Bless you, Wet Louis Tomlinson.  Bless you.

— Kim

3) The Voice of an Angel

Harry’s got the rock star rasp, Liam’s got the R&B runs, but let’s not undervalue Louis’s vocal contribution to the band. Pull up an acapella version of most of their songs, and Lou is usually the one carrying the harmony. Effortlessly, might I add.

This lady on Tumblr does a terrific job of explaining exactly why Louis’s “high and bright” voice is so important to 1D’s sound, so you music geeks should go read her post for more. I’m no expert, but I’d wager it would have been more difficult to adjust to his loss than Zayn’s, whose verses were easily distributed among the four. No one else sounds like Louis Tomlinson. If he weren’t there, One Direction wouldn’t sound like One Direction anymore.

I can’t wait for the whole world to hear all the “Made In The A.M.” tracks (the leaked versions of which I certainly didn’t listen to, being as law-abiding and as patient as I am…). As part of a foursome now, Louis makes an even bigger impression on this album, and sounds more confident than ever. I lost track of how many times I’ve played back his rapturous bridge on “History,” the emotional climax of the song. And he hits a high belt in “Love You Goodbye” that’s going to turn a lot of girls into women. And women into girls, in my case.

Plus, this kid loves his music and he loves performing. If this doesn’t make you smile, please report to the nearest emergency room and get yourself on the heart transplant list.

LOUD AND PROUD, BOO. Your voice is a gift.


4) Mad Songwriting Skillz, Bro

“Strong”. “Ready to Run”. “Through the Dark”. “Story of My Life”. “No Control”. “Fireproof”. “Home”. “Night Changes”.  What do all of these songs have in common?  Aside from being AWESOME (many of them being considered signature One Direction songs), they were all co-written by one Louis Tomlinson.  And really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Lou is the most prolific songwriter of One Direction.  He cowrote a whopping 13 out of the 18 tracks on Midnight Memories, 9 out of 16 on Four, and 8 out of 18 on Made in the A.M..  (I’m counting “Home” as a part of MITAM because it very much SHOULD have been on the album which is why Louis basically leaked it.)  PLUS he has a handful of credits on their first two records which is impressive considering those were under tighter control artistically.  The only reason his songwriting credits have gone DOWN since MM (IMO) is the fact that the credits for his bandmates have gone UP.  Basically, he’s pushed them all to get on his level.


The best thing about Lou’s songs is that the styles and the types of lyrics are so varied.  He’s not a one trick pony, this kid.  He can write a song about waking up with morning wood and needing to ravish someone immediately.  (Can we all just give Lou props for managing to get the lyric “Waking up beside you I’m a loaded gun, I can’t contain this anymore.” ON AN ACTUAL ALBUM?) He can write a sassy and “ironic love song” like “Perfect” where he gleefully includes the line “If you’re looking for someone to write your break-up songs about” for REASONS. (It’s my head canon that Lou totally wrote that line. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, Louis. The comment section is always open.) And then he can write an anthemic love song that leaves me crying in a corner because I have SO MANY FEELINGS about the line “Could we ever be enough? Baby, we could be enough.”  I have my own theories about where Louis gets his inspiration (“My hands, your hands, tied up like two ships.” AHEM.) but that is neither here nor there.  The only thing that matters is that Lou’s songs come from a REAL place filled with genuine emotion.  We’re SO LUCKY that he shares his gift with us, you guys.

written written 2
Look how much Niall, light of my life, appreciates Lou’s talents.  Look how bashful Louis is the compliment.  BABY, YOU CAN BE ENOUGH.

— Kim

Continue reading