“Comfort the victim.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Six

source: queerpeaks.tumblr.com

source: queerpeaks.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 2
“Chapter Forty-Six”
Posted by Kim

With “Chapter Forty-Five” tying up most of season two’s dangling storylines, “Chapter Forty-Six” dove right into laying down the groundwork for the stories Jane the Virgin wants to tell in season three. There are no flashbacks to Young Jane, no past life lessons to tie in to the present day, we just dive right into the state of Jane’s life, 4 weeks after Michael’s shooting. This is another point in the long list of reasons why I love Jane the Virgin and why it’s one of the smartest shows on television right now: its willingness to play with story structure. Some weeks they use extremely heightened story structure and other weeks (like this one) we’re presented with a traditional story and we have to adjust the way we watch. ALWAYS KEEPING US ON OUR TOES, WRITERS. I LOVE how Jane unfold like a novel…some chapters have big momentous stories while others tell smaller stories that still reveal vital elements of character. “Chapter Forty-Six” is one of those chapters. Let’s take a look at what went down this week…

Jane the Heartfelt


source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com
So often, when a character has a baby on a TV show, once the baby is born we rarely see it and the mother’s life continues on as if it had never happened, other than random mentions of the baby. Jane the Virgin is not a typical TV show and they never let us forget that having Mateo has changed Jane’s life forever. (Plus, that baby is so effing cute, clearly they want him on camera as much as possible.) “Chapter Forty-Six” dealt with the search for a pre-school for Mateo and it also laid the groundwork for a completely new dynamic between Jane and Rafael: completely platonic co-parents.

Yes, with Jane MARRYING Michael, it appears that we are finally FINALLY past the Jane/Michael/Rafael love triangle and everyone can get on with their lives. Despite claims from both Michael and Xo about Raf still being in love with Jane, Rafael himself declares that he is over her and I REALLY want to believe that’s true. (Or if it’s not true YET that it’s in the process of being true.) Rafael deserves the chance to be happy and he’s never going to get that chance if he’s sitting around pining after Jane. He and Jane are always going to be in each other’s life because of Mateo and it’s so important that they have a good relationship. I loved the whole discussion they had about Mateo and the tantrums. Rafael never shamed her or hinted that Mateo’s behavior is her fault. He takes ownership too. THIS IS PROPER CO-PARENTING.



source: madddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com
What this new dynamic DOES bring is freedom for Rafael to push back at Jane’s decisions a little more, since he’s not agreeing with her because he’s trying to woo her. (YIKES. Was that how he was making choices before? Oh, Raf, be your own person.) Rafael declares the Catholic preschool they had previously agreed on “too Jesus-y” for him and he wants them to look elsewhere. He should have said something MONTHS ago because preschools FILL UP but he was too busy letting Jane call all the shots because he was in love with her. Now all the good places are wait listed and Jane is left scrambling trying to get a spot somewhere. They manage to get a visit at a snooty rich private school where the parents are more concerned about being able to send their nannies in to parents’ night than taking care of their kids. Jane is IMMEDIATELY judgey because this kind of environment is not her style. Clearly it’s not Mateo’s either, since he’s accused of biting another child. Since no one saw it happen, Jane lashes out at the mom who accused Mateo and they are kindly asked to leave. Raf accuses Jane of sabotaging the visit, which let’s be real, she probably did. All arguments are forgotten when Mateo bites Jane. Turns out snobby rich mommy was right.



source: sancriss.tumblr.com
The next stop on the preschool tour is hippie-dippie school where they don’t care if kids know their letters and numbers as long as they can name their feelings. Jane and Rafael immediately dismiss this place and start fighting about the rich school because Jane ate her pride and begged for another chance there but Rafael has changed his mind AGAIN because the rich school asked for money to make the whole biting thing go away. This leads to them screaming at each other on the playground and the preschool teacher calling them out for it…but not for the reasons you would expect. At this school, it’s fine for parents to fight in front of the kids, but they ALSO need to make up in front of them. Jane and Rafael have to sit in the compassion corner and get to the root of their issues. Rafael confesses that it’s important to him to not back down from decisions as they navigate this new dynamic between them. Jane understands that but she also stresses that Rafael can’t push back against her just because SHE wants something. I love how open with each other they were here. He’s so honest about his fears about losing his voice now that Jane is married and starting a family with Michael and she’s so steady in her reassurance that she and Rafael will always be their own family. I LOVE THIS, MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

In the end, after getting some sage advice from the hippie teacher about Mateo’s biting (“It’s just a phase. And it’s not your fault. But the next time it happens, don’t give him attention. Comfort the victim.”), Jane and Rafael choose that preschool because it’s the perfect mixture of both of their philosophies. It’s so important for Jane and Rafael to respect their differences but also have the willingness to put them aside for the best of their son. Healthy relationships FTW.

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Can I just say that I am SO PLEASED that Jane didn’t do a very special “Xiomara gets an abortion” episode? With the time jump to get us to the end of Michael’s recovery, we also skipped the ACT of Xo getting the abortion, leaving the narrator to just tell us it happened and focus on the fallout between Xo and Alba instead. While she doesn’t have any guilt regarding her choice, Xiomara DOES fear how her mother will react to the news and she’s hyper aware of it, interpreting all of Alba’s choices as passive aggressive ways of shaming her. (“Calm down, Cersei!” = me dying laughing.) After not so casually dropping “abort” into conversations and having Alba not take the bait, Xiomara finally confesses to her mom. Alba does not take it well and she walks out on her daughter, refusing to discuss it. Xo takes that hard (understandably) and later calls out Alba for telling her she should get an abortion when she found out that she was pregnant with Jane. THIS CONVERSATION. Xo thanks her mother for helping her CHOOSE to have Jane while Alba confesses her enduring guilt for even suggesting an abortion in the first place. “This is my fault for putting it in your head that it was ever okay,” Alba says. What we have here are two women on completely different ideological sides and they are both being portrayed thoughtfully and it’s so important. “Look, I know how upset you are about the choice I made, but I made it and it’s done. So can’t we put this behind us and move forward?” It’s such a monumental moment for Xiomara and Alba because even after Xo’s heartfelt plea for understanding Alba can’t find it in herself to extend it. It’s not out of cruelty, it’s out of her deeply seeded beliefs that what Xo did was wrong. It’s so real and so very painful.



source: gael-garcia.tumblr.com

source: gael-garcia.tumblr.com

In the end, thanks to a life lesson from Jane’s preschool, Alba finds the courage to admit that while she doesn’t agree with Xo’s choice, it was HER choice and it’s one that she has to accept. Xiomara is her daughter and that bond is unbreakable, even when choices are made that Alba disagrees with. She will never cheer or be happy that Xiomara got an abortion, but she WILL accept it and move on from it. The Villanueva women always find a way to come back together, no matter what. This time, they gather around and rip the cherry wallpaper from the walls. It’s cathartic and it’s symbolic and this is what happens when women are in charge of creating a show.

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“The Wind Cries Mary” – Supernatural Recap – The Foundry

Source: subcas

Source: subcas

Supernatural Season 12, Episode 3
“The Foundry”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
Special guest comments by Rebecca Kovar

Welcome to the roller coaster. Episode 3 brought us up and down so many times that we probably should have taken some dramamine before watching. We have a new format this week as well, so expect less of a scene-by-scene and more of a reaction to the three plots: The Family Winchester, The Laurangel and Hardemon Show, and Rowena is Our Queen (long may she reign). And also, we’ve had a bit of a standoff this ep, so Dawn will be repping the side of I loved it, while Jay will be repping are you effing kidding me. And introducing Rebecca Kovar, our guest “referee” for this recap. So let’s get going. There will be ranting, and there will be spoilers almost instantly, so if you’ve not yet seen the ep, do head on over to cwtv.com and watch before you read.

Jay: As my heart is made of a solid block of ice, it’s fitting for me to go first. I was heavily disappointed in this episode and in particular the turn of events that left my counterpart Dawn achingly sad. After so much hope for our boys finally having some sort of semblance of a responsible parent, we are again cut up and left in bloody ribbons by Mary Winchester. I get it, you know, I get that she doesn’t know the John our boys do, that she cannot even FATHOM what he put them through, emotionally, mentally, physically, all the abuse they suffered; I get that she doesn’t understand the depths they need her to be the parent they never had, I get that! But honestly, I’m pissed. Not an explosive font of Mount Vesuvius pissed, but a cold, creeping, dread sort of pissed. I didn’t cry; I didn’t even blink (ok, I may have internally sighed). I was left aching and hollow and so very, very cold. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I truly believe that any parent, given the chance Mary has been given, would jump at the opportunity to get to know and love their children again, no matter what age they are. She hasn’t even tried. Spending her time reading Johns journal and one measly hunt, come on Mary! So to me this hunt was absolutely fitting for how the episode left me, ice frosted up the sides of my still beating heart, punching chilled blue blood through my veins leaving me disinterested and silent. Much like Dean when another Winchester turned their backs on him.

Dawn: Overall, I loved the ep. But I need to make it clear that I am very, very not ok with how it ended. If I stretch, and far, I can kinda understand Mary’s confusion and distress. As Stephen King once said and as SPN has suggested on more than one occasion, “Sometimes dead is better,” but I am not buying that as the case here. And let’s add a touch of logic as well. Yes, Mary, this is a terribly confusing world you’ve found yourself in; hell, the technological advances alone would leave any past time traveler’s head spinning. And I also get that you miss your husband (probably because you have no idea what a son of a bitch he turned into after you died, but I expect we will get to that at some point) and that while these are your kids, they are not your kids. You left children. You found men. That’s a kick to the chest, no doubt. But how in the hell could it be easier for you to learn, to assimilate, to at least start on the road to okay BY YOURSELF? You barely know how phones work and you don’t have one of your own. You have almost no knowledge base. So I am ready to take bets now on how long it takes for Rowena, Crowley, more Men of Letters, or the Morning Star himself to find Mary and snatch her up as bait. And we all know our boys will take that bait.

Reba: After an incredible start to the season, I was disappointed this episode was not as tight and smooth as the previous two. I did like the parallels between mothers going with their instincts and revealing their power while purposely flouting the wishes of the men. Agency, mad skills, and a bit of a mean streak were nice things to see in female characters. And then. And then they took both of those amazingly strong women off the chessboard. Sure, I can understand the reasons in both cases. I get that they are in situations that they didn’t choose which are uncomfortable on a lot of levels and involve dealing with parts of their lives they thought/hoped were over for good. As individuals, I am behind these women wanting to nope the hell out to do whatever it is they think they need to restore balance and calm and get to where they want to be. HOWEVER, because they insisted on these scenes being back to back, instead of making a strong point, it stole the power of the moments when they chose themselves over everyone else and/or the fate of the world. (More on what Mary’s decision says about her later.)

In general for this episode, the “hunt” was typical of something from mid-Season 2, where we were still — as a show, as a fandom, as actors, and writers — finding our sea legs. Remember, the show was originally envisioned as two brothers experiencing The X-Files-ish monster of the week adventures, with the family plot very secondary, and Season 2 was where things began to change. So this opening with its trope camera angles and shaky close-ups just felt typical, which isn’t something we ever expect from SPN, and very two-four-eight giant steps back from episode 2 and its all-consuming, emotion-infused scenes. SPN is always good at cutting from one storyline to another in an abrupt and unexpectedly dramatic fashion, and ep 2 did it in a way that all of our emotions revolted, rioted, and quivered throughout. Ep 3 didn’t quite manage as well.

Jay: Needless to say I had high expectations for episode three and I was left feeling
wanting, empty, and unsatisfied. The only saving graces for me were the beautiful moments of Crowley/Cas, Rowena’s sass, and Dean/Sam/Cas zen.

Dawn: I found some of the plot cuts to be a bit jolting, and not in a good way. Again, I still loved the ep overall, but the normal SPN cuts of drama, humor, drama, humor, DRAMA were really uneven in places, and it was hard to make those jumps as a viewer. But when they worked, goddamn, they worked.

Reba: The repeated focusing on the doll was not effective. We’ve seen scarier dolls—rooms full of them—and it didn’t feel like a real threat or even like it was connected to the actual mystery. The monster of the week plot was not really fleshed out. There was no explanation of how the ultimate monster did what he did, and no, “his grief was that powerful” is not an answer, when there is an entire mythology that covers this in Voodoo. Heck, similar mythology was covered in “Of Grave Importance” (S7 Ep19), so they had canon to fall back on.

The Family Winchester: Dean, Sam and Momma Mary

Swinging light; mildly creepy, broken, busted doll; and crying baby sounds aside, we were super excited to see Mary on a real hunt. We were not surprised however that she was attempting to bury all her emotions inside of activity. Gee, where have we seen that before?

Source: subcas

It’s completely hilarious that it’s Sam who needs to point out to Dean what their mother is doing, because how many seasons have we watched Sam sit in the front seat of the Impala and convince Dean he was doing the exact same thing? And though it’s very courteous of Sam that he is attempting to include himself in the family dysfunction of “hunting ‘til I drop,” what Sam really meant to say, which was painfully obvious to all us fans was probably more like “I spent 11 seasons watching you do the exact same thing and trying to convince you that hunting yourself to oblivion wasn’t going to help you, Dean, deal with your emotions and feelings. And now I don’t want to watch our mother go through the same thing.”

Alas, he did not say that. But one great thing about the hunt is that it solidified Mary as the BAMF we knew she was, and it’s clear that the boys get their hunter instincts from her. Maybe John can have some credit for the weapons skills, since he was a military man and pretty much raised them to be the perfect hunters, we don’t really like giving him credit for anything because he was an abusive, neglectful, self-absorbed son of a bitch. But let’s hold off on that (for now) and get back to the point of why Mary is seeking out a hunt, aside from the obvious family trait of ignoring emotions.

Dean has confessed to Mary that this is their life; hunting is what they do. And Mary, for all of her confusion and discomfort our modern age, is trying to connect with her boys by doing what they do best, even though it was the very last thing she wanted for them. She is trying to see if she can be part of the family business, the one she turned her back on long before her death. It’s what John wanted for the boys, right? And Mary loves John and misses him, so in her head and heart, she trusts that he did what was right for their family after she was gone. Mary is seeing if this is something she can do, be with her boys, hunting, living their life with them. Picking up where she left off, except it’s 33 years later. Dean doesn’t hesitate in enveloping his mother into their fold, excited by the prospect of them all hunting together as a family, which is all he has ever wanted. It’s not what a normal family would be doing, but no one ever said our Winchesters were anything but dysfunctional. For Dean, this is like Mom taking them to Disneyland.

Source: disneyandthefamilybusiness

Source: disneyandthefamilybusiness

But it doesn’t work. For Mary, the hunting trip only solidifies that she is obsolete, that her methods and her approach to hunting are no longer valid, needed, or important. It’s clear she sees herself as slowing her boys down, and—worse for a mother, we suspect—she can’t help seeing them as her boys, “My baby Sam. And my little boy Dean.”

Source: canonspngifs

Source: canonspngifs

Dawn: I was clutching my dog and crying, at this point. I may have even promised my dog that it was okay that he wasn’t a puppy anymore because I still loved him.

Jay: I was not. I may have lost an eye from how hard I was rolling them at her.

Reba: I was sitting, mouth agape, as I watched Mary gut her own children. I get her being freaked out about her situation. She is, in essence, spending time with two grown men she doesn’t know at all. That has to be super weird. I was willing to allow her an adjustment period, as the boys also needed to deal with what is certainly a bizarre turn of events. But then she says, in essence, “I have to go because this is too hard.”

And worse than Mary’s pain was Dean’s. Dean and his resounding silence, Dean who never shuts up even when he really should. He is just silent. Shocked. Everything he ever wanted, everything he finally got, is walking out the door. The level of hurt is bone deep; it’s in the marrow. And when Dean took a step back, away from his mother, oh my Chuck. Two episodes of the joy of that reunion and now… All episode long, we saw how Mary and Dean are so alike, from their taste in music to their feelings on bacon. Dean was the happiest we’d seen him in a long time, possibly ever, so the fall from that height, from that kind of build up, yes it fucking hurt, and not just Dean but all of us. (Massive props to both writer Robert Berens and Jensen Ackles for that.)

DEAN NOD. Source: brothersinsync

DEAN NOD. Source: brothersinsync

And Sam? Sam, who never knew a mother? Sam, who has been looking for someone to take care of him and has made terrible choices in women as a direct result of that? Sam, who finally had a chance at the most impossible thing? His full-body flinch as the door closed behind Mary was a punch in the sternum. Jared Padalecki, add that to your Emmy reel.

Source: itsokaysammy

Source: itsokaysammy

Oh, and Mary cut her hair and Twitter went insane and yes, fine, it looks fucking fantastic on her even though nothing screams I’m lost, confused and having a second life crisis like a feisty new haircut.

Source: dustydreamsanddirtyscars

Source: dustydreamsanddirtyscars

And it gave us a nice Dean and Mom moment when Mary explains that long hair is potentially unwise for a hunter and Dean responds, “I’ve been trying to tell Sam that for years.”

Jay: It’s infuriating how obvious it is that Mary really isn’t trying to get to know Sam and Dean, how she is avoiding them, false smiles and distractions. Yes, things are different but if you really want to be here with them, then do it; you rebelled against your entire family for Chuck’s sake. You gave up on hunting to have a family. Well now that family needs you. You’re supposed to be strong. I’m only seeing fear, and weakness from you now. I mean for goodness sake, Castiel isn’t even human or related OR THEIR MOTHER and he’s never given up on our boys. He’s learned and adapted and taken each of his shortcomings with a head tilt and and urge to understand. Get it together Mary!

Dawn: Her leaving was really hard to take, even more so for me because she had to intone “I miss John” and John presses all my rage buttons. I KNOW she has no idea how bad of a father he was, and I kinda fear for her when she finds out, but yeah, I am fully on the “These are YOUR KIDS, FFS” train.

Reba: Okay, but she’s been reading John’s journal. It’s obvious the kids were with him sometimes, but not always. How does that not open up a world of questions for a mother? She has to already know that John didn’t give them a stable life.

Having the hunt involve child ghosts was fitting, and Mary’s ghost possession worked as well. It’s clear after the hunt is over and Mary is freed from that possession (by a crazy father who collects children’s souls, imagine that) that she has had some kind of revelation. It’s important to remember, as she states flat out, that before coming back, she had her perfect family: “Just feels like yesterday, we were together in heaven, and now… I’m here, and John is gone, and they’re gone. And every moment I spend with you reminds me every moment I lost with them.”

Dawn: Cold, Mary. That was cold. Even I felt slapped in the face. As if these boys haven’t had enough experience with feeling unworthy and undeserving, now their mother, their whole reason for this life in the first Chuckdamned place, just essentially told them that they are not enough. I’m glad you miss John so much, Mary, because that shit was worthy of his kind of parenting.

Jay: Couldn’t agree more. You’re speaking the words of my soul! And not for nothing, can someone explain to me how is Mary’s pretend family in heaven — the one all in her head, concocted by Heavens Might to give her a perfect little slice of pie — more important, or more wonderful, than her real family? Her actual real, living, breathing, [not some concoction of heaven], loving you, Mary, until they ache, family. You’re being given a chance no one else has ever had before and this is how you’re going to waste it! Pathetic. I need a motherfucking moment of GOD DAMN ZEN, because Mary is quickly approaching John in the “A+ parenting” section of my book.

Reba: Also, she took John’s journal with her! The last and most powerful and most useful goddamned thing they ever got from their dad, one that also contained pictures of Bobby, and there wasn’t even a single raised eyebrow. Heck, she could have asked and Sam could have said that he made a copy ages ago (or that you can buy it on Amazon…but I digress) so it was cool for her to take it. SOMETHING to acknowledge how very important that journal is to the canon of this show, the characters, the fans.

Mary’s statements create a mythos problem as well, though. How can her heaven have been that way, when we know that even Jimmy Novak had to wait for Amelia to pass before they could be reunited in heaven? So how could Mary have had her husband and her boys? It doesn’t make any sense. (Big glaring plot hole — we’re looking at you, Berens.) And because she can’t have them as she remembered them, she won’t take them as they are now, as adults who want her, need her, and who are STILL her children? Instead, she runs. Big freaking Winchester-sized surprise there. #NOT

source: brothersinsync

Dawn: I cannot handle Dean’s expression or his nod. HE NODS. Because he is Dean, the one who understands everyone, the one who chokes down his emotions, still the good little soldier who does what is expected. His ultimate happiness is leaving, and he nods. As a long time Dean girl, I have never wanted to wrap my arms around him and just stroke his hair more than I do right now.

Jay: THIS, CHUCK DAMN IT, Dawn! ::incoherent wailing::

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“To know where you really stand.” – Masters of Sex Recap – In To Me You See

Source: invisibleicewands

Source: invisibleicewands

Masters of Sex Season 4, Episode 7
“In to Me You See” 

Posted by Sage

“Amazing,” I thought to myself a little over three weeks ago. “Masters of Sex hasn’t fucked me over once this season.” And then it happened. The show killed off Helen and destroyed Betty’s happiness, all so Austin could come back with an admittedly splendid mustache and Bill could be inspired to give his med school girlfriend a ring. So far, there’s been nothing original or worthwhile enough in the aftermath of Helen’s death to justify the murder of another queer female character, and yes, I’m still steaming mad about this choice.

But the show goes on and so must the recaps. I wish could move on from losing Helen as quickly as Masters has. Even Betty’s mourning period is skipped. She’s back to being the lovable and unexpected source of wisdom for much less emotionally capable characters. Even if she has to about it in her bathrobe.

Barton is there in the grief weeds with Betty – they’ve always been kindred spirits – and it means very little to him that the hospital oversight committee found that Barton had acted appropriately and expertly in the delivery room. Official absolution doesn’t change the fact that his friend’s partner is dead, and that Betty is therefore doomed to lose the child that Helen died for. Bill reminds Barton of the time that Barton refused to accept his resignation after Bill tried to quit out of shame. They are men who deal with life and thus leave themselves open to seeing the other side of that coin. It’s part of the gig, no matter who is on their table. “I don’t know how to forgive myself,” Barton says. Really, he never has.

Annaleigh Ashford stuns again in this episode in her few, brief scenes. When Bill brings Betty a pizza (they travel now), she moves in the sluggish manner of someone who doesn’t have anywhere she needs to be anymore. Betty talks about her happiness with Helen like it was some cosmic error that the universe came to correct. “Helen was the one thing I got right,” she tells her boss. “We got each other right.” She doesn’t say as much, but everything about Betty in this moment conveys her belief that true happiness now lives in her past, not her future.

Her only directive now is to outsmart homophobic infrastructure yet again. Austin Langham, doctor and strip club proprietor, is her ticket to getting her daughter back. But Austin can’t simply petition to take the child from Helen’s parents and then hand her over to Betty. No: the plan is for Betty to marry Austin, adopt the baby, and then divorce him and sue for full custody. (Bet there are a couple of strippers over at the club who would be eager for an explanation for Austin’s reverse-shotgun nuptials.) Even as Betty is saying it, she knows that the hoops are too many, She appeals to Helen’s mother one more time in the hopes of walking around those hoops instead of having to jump through them. Betty pleads with the woman to understand that the daughter who loved and committed to Betty is the same daughter who loved and cared for her parents for her entire life. The rationalization that allows Edith to keep her deceased daughter in her good graces is the same one that will prevent Betty from ever getting through to her. Edith again casts Betty as the degenerate transgressor who seduced and ruined her innocent child. Ashford’s work is beautiful, and I don’t doubt that this is how the scenario would have played out in this era. But the cruelty in this storyline is bordering on sadistic. I don’t know what we’re gaining by holding Betty’s face in the dirt.

Despite those alleged casseroles, Virginia doesn’t seem to have noticed that Helen is dead. Not even an event like that can distract Gini from her goals: namely, to keep interlopers Nancy and Art in check and to force Bill to fall back in love with her. She tries to express herself to Bill in writing, but isn’t satisfied by the result. Next, she turns to manipulation; her talent for it has generated a bit of a “reputation,” according to Bill. It’s the nicest possible way to say that Gini has let life make her petty and small. Her brilliance and capability are now dimmed by her need to control people. Faced with the accusations both voiced and implied, Gini agrees to Bill’s adapted version of her proposed office shake-up. It’s cute that she actually thought – after all they’ve been through – that Bill would really believe that Virginia is concerned about Art and Nancy’s marriage and that re-pairing with Bill would be taking one for the team. Bill calls her bluff and suggests that they form a boys versus girls structure instead. Tensions between Nancy and Gini were at a fever pitch last week, so I’m suspicious that Bill is looking forward to seeing how that all plays out. The agreement is another reminder of how much Bill Masters has changed. He used to be a man who couldn’t deal with the very concept, at least personally. And even though Art calls Nancy Bill’s “shadow,” Bill is evidently not as attached to her as he was to Gini back in the day.

Nancy and Virginia’s first intake is predictably terrible, but not just because they can’t stand each other. Gini grows suspicious of the Flemings and their note-taking. She smokes them out by suggesting shock therapy treatment for their dysfunction, followed by divorce. The couple confess that they are aspiring therapists themselves, there to see how the very best do it. (The mystery shoppers of the sexual health industry.) Gini is disgusted by their deception, but even more upset that they called what they were doing “research.” The Vegas act she saw in the season premiere was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of opportunists going to school on Masters and Johnson’s throw. Some of the seminars and clinics Virginia learns about even sell their programs by using the Masters and Johnson name. Mad Men isn’t the only show capable of underlining the capitalist drive behind the touchy-feely late ’60s self-help boom.

negligencenegligence-2
Source: invisibleicewands
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“I need you to talk me down.” – This Is Us Recap – The Game Plan

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

This Is Us Season 1, Episode 5
“The Game Plan”
Posted by Shannon

There certainly are some massive themes rolling around this week’s episode. In both timelines, women had the opportunity to gorgeously articulate their feelings on motherhood and its impact on their sense of self. Also in both timelines, we discovered that two of the Pearson men have a penchant for making large-scale life plan changes in their minds without telling their wives until highly inopportune moments. Jack’s modern day fate, however clearly hinted at in earlier episodes, was finally revealed. Mandy Moore had an excuse to sing. And to wrap it all up, the show delivered its thesis statement, in the form of a stunning closing monologue from Justin Hartley. There’s a huge amount to process here, so let’s get right to it.

Jack/Rebecca

source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com

source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com

It’s pre-Big Three days for Jack and Rebecca, and we see the outline of their courtship through the lens of something deeply instrumental to all the Pearsons: Steelers fandom. Initially, Jack’s the only fan. Rebecca notices herself falling too close for comfort into the patterns of her mother; she’s watching Jack watch football, lacking an attachment to the game but more importantly, feeling separated from something that’s clearly important to her partner. What’s a woman to do? Insist that he teach her so she can be involved herself, of course. This throw-away moment actually highlights one of the very greatest things about Rebecca as a character; she’s tenacious, she cares deeply about every aspect of those she loves, and she jumps into the unknown with both feet. She more than matches Jack’s levels of personal investment and excitement for all things Steelers and Terry Bradshaw, and a few football seasons down the line, the two wake up on Superbowl Sunday ready for some shots.


source: thisisdefinitelyus.tumblr.com

Rebecca is living her best life; at 29, she’s singing at the local bar, she’s deeply in love with her partner, and she loves the freedom that their lifestyle affords. She listens to Miguel and Shelley’s childrearing horror stories and is happy to dismiss them. We get the impression that, until recently, Jack was taking part in these dismissals too – but twice in the episode, he looks at Rebecca while she declares that she never wants kids, and the sadness in his eyes is palpable. Earlier on in their relationship, the two of them were on the same page about children not being a priority; but at this point, Jack clearly has some other ideas brewing in his mind. Despite the setting, despite the company, despite a living, breathing stereotype of a misogynistic sports fan screaming at them every chance he gets, Jack prods Rebecca to have another discussion about children right here and now. It’s for all intents and purposes a terrible idea, but he just won’t let it go, and Rebecca finally dives in.

 
source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com

I loved this so much. I loved her exhaustion at having to defend not being ready for kids at 29, I loved her owning her confusion about her feelings down the line, I loved how frankly she declared that she never wanted to be the kind of woman whose only priority was having children. It was messy and complicated and contradictory and so, so real. I have nothing but respect for ANY choice that a woman makes with her life and her body; if you want to have kids at 29, or 25, or 38, or never, go forth and live the life you want to live. But we so rarely get these conversations on-screen in ANY real way, and every single thing that came out of Rebecca’s mouth hit me right in the heart. I have felt and questioned and pondered all of those things; so many of us have. And to give Rebecca the freedom to explore that, at a sports bar of all places? It was a hell of a thing to see.

The fight jumps a level when Jack gets into an altercation with the misogynistic, shouty fan (I gasped when Jack punched him out without flinching for a second) and Rebecca was onto something when she implied that Jack maybe wasn’t in a state to be having a family right now either. Of course we know the drinking problem that’s to come, and it’s hard not to point to this moment as an example of questionable decision-making on Jack’s part.  But ultimately, and with the help of another well-placed question from Miguel, Jack comes outside to apologize to Rebecca for making such a scene and for forcing her into the conversation when she wasn’t ready. The most important thing in both their lives is each other; it’s a steady bedrock, upon which the two begin to move into the next phase of their lives.


source: leave-me-hypnotized.tumblr.com

Randall/Beth

source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com

source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com

This man needs a vacation, and he needs one now. The stress of handling his biological father’s health, plus his brother essentially moving in without warning, plus his everyday stress, leads Randall to wander the kitchen in a fog first thing in the morning, almost throwing a chemo pill in with his breakfast shake. I was immediately reminded of Beth’s warning early on in the season; Randall will push and push for everyone’s well being, with no thought for himself, until he breaks. Beth is there to make sure none of the men in her home do anything too careless, and catches him just in time. While Kevin is basically a guest in the house, William has truly become family; that change is particularly on display when Beth carefully instructs William on the order of his morning ritual – “toast, pills, shoes.” He’s become folded into their home, and while his health is certainly cause for stress, William’s living there is just adding another layer of love and support to their family unit.

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“Mama, I’m coming home.” – Supernatural Recap – Mamma Mia

source: canonspngif.tumblr.com

source: canonspngif.tumblr.com

Supernatural Season 12, Episode 2
“Mamma Mia”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee

Let’s just start off by saying, it’s really painfully unfortunate that it’s become known around the circuit (and by circuit we mean the hunting/demon/angel/whatever community) that the best way to get information is via the younger Winchester’s “little Winchester,” if you get the drift. With the opening scenes of this episode, all the SPN fandom could be heard screaming, “NO, SAMMY, NOT AGAIN,” because Sammy is rolling around in bed with Jodhpurs aka Toni Bevell, Woman of Letters.

After all Lucifer put Sam through in “The Devil in the Details” (Season 11, Ep 10), showing him that his worst move ever was turning his back on Dean for a girl and a dog, now he’s banging this disaster? For shame, Sam. For super shame, considering most of us can’t even appreciate your hot, shirtless, broad-shouldered self because really, TONI BEVELL??? This opening with the sex and the wine and the candles cannot be really happening. Our Sam wouldn’t do this AGAIN. How many times is this now, Sammy, forsaking family and friends and all common sense for a little strange? And then we had to wait to find out because it was a quick cut to Cas, who is still Dean’s errand boy, traveling all over the place hunting down information on Sam. Which honestly is fine, it’s fine, but really, it wouldn’t kill you to say thank you, Dean. Cas doesn’t even have wings anymore; he’s riding around in a stolen truck for goodness sake. It’s not as easy as it used to be for him.

Jay: Wait, no, forget everything I just said cause my little Destiel heart just exploded. I need a moment. Or three.

Dawn: I am not Destiel at all and even I am all pitter-patter over this please-help-me-with-my-personal-problems BFF moment. And I love Dean admitting he is having a hard time with the very thing he wanted most of all. My little angtsy boy is growing up.

Yes, that’s right—Dean turned to Cas for advice on how to deal with Mommy. And he gets “Sasstiel” for his troubles, too!!

source: canonspngifs.tumblr.com

source: canonspngifs.tumblr.com

Dean’s “yeah, thanks, buddy” face is everything, but then it’s even better when Mom comes in and is SO Mom because of course she eavesdropped on that phone call. Mary is sassy AF herself, the way she just rolls with Dean’s defensive sarcasm like she’s been doing it for the past 33 years, and if we ever wondered where our boys got their sass from, now we know. It seems they also inherited “no chick flick moments” from her too, because she cuts right to the chase and bluntly asks Dean about his fear of overwhelming her.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the amazing Mary Winchester, please? Dean’s defensive sarcasm? Check. Sam’s no beating around the bush about feelings? Check. Bad ass hunter mojo? Check. And since there is no chance of her becoming a love interest for our boys, could it be possible that Mary is the Lady BAMF we have been waiting for, for all these years? We had our predecessors, to be sure, primarily in Ellen and Charlie, but it’s starting to feel like Mary is The One True Lady BAMF, and we are all the better for it. Of course this probably means she is in for a terrible, heart-breaking end that will send us all to either the bottle or the asylum, but for now, revel in it.

And speaking of angst, here comes the first heart wrench of the episode: Mary’s confession about her fears about meeting Sam, what Yellow Eyes did, and all the self blame she carries because of it. Like mother, like son. Let’s add that to the previous list—Dean’s penchant for blaming himself for everything? Check. Maybe seeing that in Mary will help Dean understand what it feels like to watch someone you blame themselves for things that were so blatantly not their fault.

Sam and his bed partner are still super cozy and we all puke in our mouths a little because this is SO NOT RIGHT! Sam, come on. You have endured countless sessions of torture of all kinds– mental, physical, psychological, whatever–but bad choices with women are your downfall every single time. Then one question too much reveals this to have been a trick, and we can all breathe again.

Jay: At this point, I feel a little guilty about how mad I was at Sam for his sorta-betrayal, but, then again, not really and if any, only a little.

Dawn: Yeah. Sorrynotsorry.

Let’s talk about how often Sam has been forced to hallucinate. It’s pretty solid proof of the Winchester/Campbell fortitude that his brain isn’t just pudding. That said, the Men of Letters clearly know that Sam’s weakness is lady parts, because of all the hallucinations Toni could have chosen, of all the varied things she could have used to get to Sam, she opted for vagina. This Woman of Letters is no joke now; that was serious and dangerous spellwork on her end. Thankfully, she goes back to something our boys know much more intimately, which is blades and bruises.

source: weallneedcastiel.tumblr.com

source: weallneedcastiel.tumblr.com

Jay: Cue one of the hottest clips Supernatural has given us in a long time, sexy, sweaty Winchester skin, sharp, deadly, blades and a slow sensual pursuit of pain. I’ve never really been attracted to Sam until just this very moment when Toni slides the tip of that cold, sharp, steel over his bronzed, sweat-covered collarbone and neck, and lips… and… and I know, I am losing focus, mmmm, but hot-dayum.

Dawn: (looking up from furiously writing knife-play fan fic) Sorry, did you say something?

Toni isn’t adept at torture. Her bumbling attempts are far below Sam-torture standards. We have to hand it to her for spellwork, but this is amateur hour, so let’s end this scene with another half-assed “oops did she kill Sam with that” cutaway. Yawn.

Back to Dean and his laptop and his coffee and his mom at the bunker. Mary says, “[John] was a great father,” and we have to pause as Dawn laughs so hard she nearly chokes to death and Jay’s vision goes red with suppressed rage. Jensen Ackles is the king of expressions in this ep, because his shocked and surprised and sad and emotional little bunny face is clearly screaming, “Don’t disagree with your mother, and REALLY don’t tell her about the alcoholism and the abuse and the abandonment and all the other horrors of your childhood, and just let her remember her husband they way she needs to.”

Jay: And you know what, no, cue the rage, well maybe just me, maybe it’s just my rage, because no, you do not talk about John to Dean and you most CERTAINLY do not tell Dean that John was a good father. FOR CHUCK’S SAKE, Mary, you have NO idea! This has to be some sort of set-up for a bigger plot because, no, don’t you pull that shit on our Dean; don’t you dare.

DAWN: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the stream of unintelligible screaming curses going on in my head because FUCK YOU, JOHN. FUCK. YOU. FOREVER.

Thank Chuck that Cas saves the (emotional) day (again). And he’s found Sam, but he can’t get in to help because the place is warded AF. Dean is all ready to save his brother single-handedly, and Mary is like, that’s adorable. And it is adorable how Dean tries to handle his mom but it’s is absolutely AWESOME how Mary just shuts it down.

Can this just be Mary’s signature gif forever? Because it really is. And then she makes it even better by simply saying, “Good chat,” and walking away.

We love her forever.

Remember how Toni knew all about Sam and vaginas? Yeah. She asks about Ruby.

ENTIRE SPN FANDOM: OH NO SHE DIDN’T

Oh, yes she did. But before Sam has time to panic, Toni’s phone rings and it’s Mick, a new Brit and a Man of Letters and guess what? Turns out that Toni wasn’t *exactly* following orders. She has been a bad girl, in fact, and now Mick has to come clean up her mess.

OH HOORAY, IT’S TIME FOR OUR SECOND FAVORITE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY. Rowena is dating for money, and Crowley looks amazing in white and we all need a moment to appreciate the suaveness that is Mark Sheppard. He should go for this look more often.

source: weallneedcastiel.tumblr.com

source: weallneedcastiel.tumblr.com

So Rowena is mad, but Crowley is smart, so they conspire to get Lucifer. Who is looking for a new vessel. Where can he find a vessel like that?

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Springfield. We’ll make this quick: emotionally vulnerable rock star, heavy drinker since losing his wife to suicide, dead wife shows up in hotel room, says she is an angel (archangel, technically. THE archangel, really), Vince Vincente (seriously) the rockstar says yes, Lucifer gets fun new vessel. So Lucifer has a type when it comes to vessels.

Jay: Not for nothing this was a really great scene by Rick Springfield. I totally felt those tears, and that voice waver, it was great. I could feel the pain of regret in every second of that scene.

Dawn: I guess to be Lucifer’s vessel, you gotta “Love Somebody.” He’s gonna push it just a little too far one night. ::dies laughing::

In the Impala, on the way to save Sammy, this conversation happens:

source: canonspngifs.tumblr.com

source: canonspngifs.tumblr.com

But there is also angst, because Mary never wanted this for her boys. Dean helps, and almost spills the beans on what a COMPLETE DOUCHENOZZLE Dad was, but manages to turn it around.

And now we rant. Because we are all trying NOT to think of all the times Dean tried to live a normal life himself, all the ways he tried to maintain the smallest sense of normalcy for him and Sammy, all the holidays, and that one time he tried to take a girl to a dance AFTER BEING ABANDONED AT BOONDOCKS JUVVIE, ESSENTIALLY, and then taken BACK to the fucked-up life at the last possible second. And it breaks our hearts because, Dean, you’re not your father and you never will be because you are BETTER than that, so please stop lumping yourself in with him and for CHUCK’S SAKE, stop turning Sam into some kind of saviour, because if it wasn’t for you Sam would have never had any sort of normalcy in his youth and instead he would have walked right down the path you did, right behind John, good little soldier number two, but he didn’t, because of you. (And maybe Bobby but don’t get us started on that rant yet). Because you gave him everything John didn’t, and more. Where is Cas when we need him? YOU DESERVE TO BE SAVED, DEAN WINCHESTER. You deserve to be loved, and cherished, and forgiven for everything you THINK you did wrong. You are deserving. Of so, so much. You are worthwhile. You are.

Season Four,

Season Four, “Lazarus Rising”

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“An Airbnb with benefits.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Where is Josh’s Friend?

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Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 1
“Where is Josh’s Friend?” 

Posted by Sage

I consumed the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in one of the quickest and most enjoyable binge watches in my experience. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that a) Rachel Bloom will do anything in the name of comedy. Really, anything. Try her. And b) this is a show that begs for regular Head Over Feels coverage. Between Crazy Ex and Kim’s entree into Jane the Virgin recapping, we’re honored to give the first ladies of CW comedy more space on our site.

When last we saw our West Covina friends, the love triangle between Rebecca, Josh, and Greg had come to a messy climax at Josh’s sister Jayma’s big, family wedding. Even though he and Rebecca were ostensibly in a relationship, all of Greg’s insecurities got-in-for-ma-tion when he noticed that Josh was starting to get all moony around her too. Rebecca told Greg once that his “whole settle for me thing” wasn’t working for her, because no one wants to be romanced by a defense mechanism. The wedding was Greg’s opportunity to stand in front of Rebecca and be like, “Actually, I am the shit, and you and me are a real thing.” Instead, he flamed out on vodka and pretending not to care, stopping just short of shoving Rebecca into Josh’s arms.

So, Josh and Rebecca drive off to have car sex. Her, mad at the guy she’s sleeping with for treating that like it’s nothing, and him, thrown into commitment panic by the marriage of a family member and Valencia’s ultimatum. Super healthy. Great work, guys. Can’t imagine why they’re having problems already.

Which brings us to the opening of this premiere, 15 minutes after a post-coital Rebecca admits what she’d been denying all year: that she moved to West Covina for Josh. A skilled debater, Rebecca expertly swerves the conversation. First, she pins Josh’s appearance to the “low moment” she was experiencing at the time and declares that she would have latched on to any old friend she saw. Then, she puts her own word vomit into Josh’s mouth, leaving him with that adorable, confused puppy expression on his face. A compromise: “I’ll let you off the hook just because you did me so good back there.”

As it is wont to do, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ping-ponged in this episode between “wow this is hilarious, aren’t we all having fun?” and “TOO REAL, MAKE IT STOP.” Rebecca’s delusions are working over time as she and Josh slip into the most perfunctory honeymoon period ever. She crows to Paula about how in love she and Josh are, meanwhile her “soulmate” doesn’t even feel ready to share a bed with her after sex. I don’t know what’s more demoralizing to me as a viewer: Josh’s couch-bed or Rebecca’s relentless cheerfulness about it. We’d all like to think that we’d never be so desperate to accept an arrangement like this or we’d at least have enough shame not to brag about it. But with her first music video of Season 2, Rebecca reminds us that we’ve all been there – reaching for something that isn’t there and re-framing every interaction to fit our constructed reality. TOO REAL, MAKE IT STOP.

love-kernels-2 love-kernels-3
Source: bunchofbloom
 

We knew the Lemonade homage was coming. And oh, the sweet irony of borrowing from an earth-shaking piece of empowering, female-forward art to call women out for enabling the dudes – even the nice ones – who take advantage of them. Then again, Lemonade also informed the world that even BEYONCE gets cheated on. Even Queen Bey is capable of ignoring the signs in favor of self-preservation. The cactus dress was funny, but these songs have many layers.

Rebecca can turn any neutral into a positive, but she’s not giving equal weight to Josh’s hesitancy kernels. (“I don’t want to take up any space.” Ouch.) The truth is that Josh isn’t looking for or prepared to be in another relationship at this moment. Rebecca is ten steps ahead of him, since she cast him as her fantasy boyfriend the moment they ran into each other in New York. He should be a decent guy and tell her this. SHE should be an adult woman and realize she’s trying to shove an unromantic reality into a fairytale-sized hole. More than her long-term crush on Josh, what’s preventing Rebecca from seeing things as they are is that fear of failure she can thank her overbearing mother for. If Rebecca moved to West Covina for Josh (which she did) and he’s not the magical life-fix she imagined (he’s not), then the past year has been meaningless. It hasn’t – of course it hasn’t – but logic isn’t Rebecca’s strong suit when she’s surveying her own choices. Though, as a not-little girl myself, I get the appeal of a guy who can literally toss you around your bedroom. (“Weee!”)

hector crazy ex girlfriend hector crazy ex girlfriend
Souce: crazyexedits
 

So what’s Josh’s excuse? He gave Valencia his apartment, and Hector’s preference for crust-free sandwiches has effectively ruined any chance of him bunking with his parents. Let me say this first, because it’s true: I like Josh. He is genuinely soft-hearted. He is fine but simple. (“She says so many things. She has me so confused.”) But when he told his coworker Alex that he was “crashing on a friend’s couch,” I gasped like a telenovela background player. How. Dare. You. Sir. That couch belongs to a person, not a Mississippi Love Slide. A person who is so dependent on Josh’s positive feelings towards her that her friends have staged multiple interventions. What Josh is doing to Rebecca here isn’t knowingly cruel, but it’s cruel nonetheless.

The circumstances of this jank-ass love affair are enough to disillusion Paula, Rebecca’s reliable enabler. “Honey, he’s just there for the sex,” she says. “He’s exploiting you.” (And the crash pad, but the sex is a nice bonus.) Paula was weened off of Josh-centric shenanigans during the era of Grebecca and she’s digging her heels in as Rebecca tries like hell to pull her back into meddler hell. Also, about that Greg guy? Rebecca was in love with him or getting close to it, according to her best friend in the whole world. (PAULA KNOWS THINGS.) And it’s another sign of disaster to come that Rebecca accepted Greg’s disappearing act so easily. Botched plastic surgery? It’s the oldest California lie in the book.

But Rebecca isn’t giving up on this Josh thing until she reaches peak humiliation. (Her tolerance is high, so she’s got a long way to go yet.) Tactics include enticing Josh to leave things at her place by presenting a musical, gadget-filled storage space like she’s the host of Pimp My Drawer. (“Socks, underwear, and more!”) If only things could be as easy for Rebecca and Josh as they are for Darryl and White Josh. But no one will ever have a relationship as mutually respectful, affectionate, and magical as Darryl and White Josh, because they are the purest of the pure and, to them, no harm must come. If they ever break up, I will surely die.

darryl josh crazy ex girlfriend

darryl josh crazy ex girlfriend

Source: bellamy-octavia

Rebecca finds the scapegoat she’s looking for in the Ghost of Gregs Past. She latches on to Josh’s stress dream about betraying his friend and can again see her deliverance in the distance. If it’s Falcon Greg keeping Josh rolling out of her bed as soon as he finishes, then the threat must be neutralized. Note that even though it’s Josh who’s feeling guilty, he doesn’t lift a FINGER to try to make things right with Greg. I’m usually not this down on him, but the boy has had better episodes. Also, that Emory-reppin’ bird of prey was a Twin Peaks reference, yes?

Crazy Ex Girlfriend FalconCrazy Ex Girlfriend Falcon
Source: austinlanghams
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“There are rules to the genre.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Five

source: gilmoregorls.tumblr.com

source: gilmoregorls.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 1
“Chapter Forty-Five”
Posted by Kim

After sweeping the Feelies for two years straight, I KNEW that it was high time we got Jane the Virgin recaps on this website. I had been trying to crack the perfect way to do the recaps because Jane is so many shows to me…it’s a telenovela, it’s a family drama, it’s a wacky comedy, and it’s a romance. How the hell do you break it down? Well, you can all thank our lovely fashion blogger Maggie for telling me I should structure Jane recaps like our old Sleepy Hollow ones, by breaking it down into sections according to what kind of show it is at any given moment. Brilliant. Here we go.

Almost every episode of Jane the Virgin opens with a flashback to Jane’s childhood where some type of lesson she learned has an impact on her adult life. For the season three premiere, we saw little Jane and Xiomara at a book signing for a romance novel. Jane (BLESS HER) gets up and rips the author a new one for breaking the number one rule of the romance novel: not giving her characters a happy ending. Like Monica Geller, Jane Gloriana Villanueva finds comfort in rules because they control the fun. What Jane the Virgin does with this kind of flashback is it ALSO reinforces the rules the VIEWERS have for a television show like this one. We can deal with the drama and the angst but goddammit we EXPECT a happy ending from a show like this one. We can take the cliffhangers of Michael getting shot on his wedding night because we know we are in the middle of this story and therefore we can handle the angst. But it ALSO means Michael is not allowed to die. Savvy? Let’s get to it.

Jane the Heartfelt


source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Never a show to leave us hanging, “Chapter Forty-Five” immediately picks up in the moments following Michael’s shooting. Jane, knowing something is up because it should never take this long to get ice when you’ve been waiting this long to FINALLY have sex, finds Michael in the hall unconscious and bleeding. AT LEAST HE’S ALIVE THANK GOD. Cue all the dramatic hospital waiting room scenes and the chances for Gina Rodriguez to prove how magnificent she is at ugly crying while still looking fucking beautiful. Teach me your secrets, you evil wizard.

Understandably, Jane is in shock and barely has time to react when she’s told about Michael’s condition. It’s SO HARD to see Jane so completely unraveled (also mega OUCH to the handing over of Michael’s wedding ring) and the writers did a beautiful job portraying the sheer panic and dread of waiting in a hospital room. Jane’s family tries to comfort her and I LOVE how Gina delivered the “You don’t know that.” It wasn’t snappy or angry, it was just bone tired and fearful. She perfectly captured the “Why is this happening? This is not supposed to be happening to us?” feeling and it was beautiful and painful to watch. How is this woman not getting all the awards?

source: sseureki.tumblr.com

source: sseureki.tumblr.com

Matters are compounded when Michael’s mother Patricia arrives. Patricia and Jane’s relationship is incredibly strained, mainly due to the on/off nature of Jane and Michael’s relationship. Patricia predictably steamrolls Jane, answering to “Mrs. Cordero” (when she FULL WELL KNEW the nurse was addressing Jane) and taking over the meeting with the Doctor that JANE requested to speak with once she had gotten a handle on the questions she needed to ask. Patricia takes over the medical history form from Jane after she corrects some of the answers Jane had put down and she shames Jane for eating a granola bar (when LBR Jane probably didn’t even eat at her own wedding and she’s probably STARVING). Basically, she does everything she can to make Jane feel out-of-place and bad about herself. But here’s the WONDERFUL thing about Jane Gloriana Villanueva: she sits there and fucking TAKES it. Because she is a strong and compassionate woman and she knows her mother-in-law is scared and needs someone to take her fear out on. So she allows it, at great emotional cost to herself, as she truly only allows herself to break down and sob out of Patricia’s presence. (It reminded me SO MUCH of the episodes of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall’s father died and Lily allowed his mother to pick on her for the whole duration of the funeral because Lily KNEW that’s what she needed to get through it and now I’m pissed at HIMYM again.)

source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com

source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com

Once Michael is stabilized, a different complication arises. There are bullet fragments lodged near his spine and it’s causing swelling. They can either take a wait and see approach or they can perform surgery to remove the fragments but risk paralysis. Patricia leans towards the wait and see option, but as his WIFE, the decision falls to Jane. She asks for time to think, which causes Patricia to storm off and call Michael’s father, who she is POSITIVE will side with her. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Jane tearfully tells her Abuela, who is (as ALWAYS) a pillar by her side. “We talked about who would take out the trash and when we would have another baby, not what I should do of there was a bullet near his spine. I don’t know what the right answer is.” Abuela reminds Jane that when it comes down to it, it’s NOT about what she would do in this situation. It’s about what MICHAEL would do. And Michael Cordero? He’s a fighter. (MORE ON THAT LATER I PROMISE) He’d want the surgery. She stands up to her mother-in-law on behalf of her husband and it’s beautiful. And Patricia admits that his father agreed that they should go do the surgery. I like to think that Patricia’s opinion of her daughter-in-law changed that day because Jane REALLY showed what she was made of.

source: bscgirl99.tumblr.com

Then, because we haven’t had enough feelings in this episode, we get to see Jane send Michael off into surgery. Jane tearfully tells Michael he’s not allowed to die because this is not the end of their story. She lays out the entire life she sees for them: more kids, family vacations, HER ABUELA LEADING A LONG LIFE (seriously protect Alba for always, I’m always so scared she’s going to die), grandchildren, and sitting on the porch, old and grey and still bickering like they always have. “We’re gonna be happy, Michael. We’re gonna be happy.” GOD. Let me LIVE, Gina.

source: sancriss.tumblr.com

source: sancriss.tumblr.com

Because this is a romantic comedy and not a tragedy, Michael’s surgery is a success. He DOES do an amnesia fake-out, which gave both me and Jane a heart attack. (I bought it for a hot second because in addition to being a Rom Com, Jane is above all things a telenovela and the amnesia trope is a tried and true one.) For now, Jane and Michael are at peace. Who knows what trials lie ahead for them (and there will undoubtedly be trials) but for now, they have their future laid out for them and it looks bright. JUST LET THEM HAVE SEX NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. She can’t accidentally conceive all those other babies she envisioned.

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16 Things We Learned at New York Comic Con 2016 – Part II

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Posted by Kim and Sage

Believe it or not, our first post only took us through the first 36 hours of NYCC 2016. Our con was SUPER front-loaded this year, with Friday being our biggest day and our panel schedule lightening for Saturday and Sunday. (Thank GOD The Walking Dead is dead to us because I think another long day at Madison Square Garden would have been the death of us.) Even once we passed the main hump of our schedule, we still had plenty to occupy our time, from doing several laps around the show floor to studying all the gorgeous work in Artists Alley to observing the cosplay to taking full advantage of the wide varieties of programming. I like to think we truly soaked in everything New York Comic Con had to offer this year, in every respect. My Fitbit certainly thought so. Read on for the rest of our adventures. –Kim

1) No detail is too small in the Mr. Robot Universe

NYCC Mr. Robot Panel

ReedPOP, the company that runs NYCC, has also run a Book Con event in previous years. Rather than fill the Javits for another weekend with authors, signings, and panels, Book Con was made considerably smaller and folded into NYCC for 2016. So after our morning at MSG with the BBCA crowd and a revitalizing lunch at Five Guys, we headed over to Hudson Mercantile for panel about the Mr. Robot companion book, Red Wheelbarrow. Or, in the parlance of the show: eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt.

Book Con panels were all included with NYCC badges. But there was also an option to make purchases in the pop-up book store on one of the floors of the space. For the Mr. Robot panel, the first 150 audience members who wanted to buy the book could have it signed by authors Sam Esmail (also Mr. Robot‘s creator and showrunner) and Courtney Looney (one of the show’s writers). I got the VERY LAST BRACELET, because Comic Con was very good to me this year. And as I learned more about it during the panel, I burned off any remaining buyer’s remorse and was happy to fork over the $30. –Sage

  • It was unseasonably hot that day and we were very reasonably cranky from getting up in the middle of the night to haul ass to MSG. But Book Con restored much goodwill lost during the outside wait when volunteers handed us some high-quality graphic tees on the way in. Yes, we CAN be bought.
  • The Hudson Mercantile space is not SUPER conducive for panels since it’s not graded and there are view-obscuring columns everywhere. But it’ll do.
  • Esmail was very forceful in saying that the Red Wheelbarrow book is NOT a promotional item. It is an original Mr. Robot story. And because it’s a part of the Mr. Robot, that story is not traditionally told. The book is Elliot’s journaling during the 30 days between the season 1 finale and season 2 premiere.
  • Rami Malek and Christian Slater provided writing samples to the publisher, so the whole thing could be told in Elliot’s own hand.
  • Even if you’re married to your Kindle, you probably want to buy this book in a physical copy. The notebook is stuffed with little Easter eggs (because that’s how fsociety does) – envelopes, take-out menus, and other ephemera are stuffed inside.
  • “I mean, it’s fucked up.” – Esmail’s succinct and accurate description of Elliot’s inner life.
  • Other characters appear in the book through Elliot’s interactions with and memories of them. As Looney said, “They all get shrapnel from being close to him.”
  • Esmail, on his directing style: “I’m a huge fan of long takes, because it means you can just do it and move on.”
  • The season 2 finale climax was BANANAS to shoot, with Christan Slater literally running from one side of the room to the other mid-take to his next mark.

NYCC Mr. Robot Panel

  • The moderator had to ask about the show’s insane ’90s family comedy pastiche episode. Esmail said he paid tribute to TGIF in that way because it was a comforting couple of hours for him as a kid. He felt very culturally at sea, stuck between his family life and the world he encountered at school and elsewhere. TGIF was the only place he felt at home. This is incredibly endearing, because TV doesn’t have to be great or groundbreaking to mean something profound to someone.
  • Some poor bastard got up to ask what Esmail would do to end the story if USA CANCELLED the show. The whole crowd turned on him.
  • Elliot likes drawing penises in his notebook, FYI. Just warning you if you flip through it at Barnes & Noble with someone looking over your shoulder.

2) Smaller Discussion Panels Have Restorative Powers

Hour 13 of 16. Fueled by caffeine and the Capaldi high.

Hour 13 of 16. Fueled by caffeine and the Capaldi high.

Marquee TV and Film panels with the stars are the bread and butter of Comic Con, but no con experience is fully complete without taking part in the smaller discussion panels. By luck of scheduling, the “Moving Beyond the Strong Female Character” panel was in the same room as the annual “Your Opinion Sucks” panel, so we able to make ourselves nice and comfortable in Room 1A18 for the rest of our Friday. (Sitting for 2 and a half hours is SUCH A LUXURY, Y’ALL.) It turns out that the discussion panel was as revitalizing for our minds and souls as it was for our bodies. Panelists Sam Maggs (The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy), Jody Houser (Cupcake POW!), Jill Pantozzi (The Nerdy Bird), Amy Chu (currently writing the Poison Ivy comics for DC), and Jen Bartel (artist for Jem and the Holograms) led an hour-long discussion about our favorite female characters, what we can do to promote female driven stories and creators, and why the term “Strong Female Character” is incredibly limiting. It was like Gatorade for our tired man-splained souls. –Kim

  • The panel immediately dove into how the stereotypical description of a “strong female character” (aka a “tough” woman who kicks ass) can tend to be one dimensional and limiting. “It’s not a STRONG female character I’m aiming for, it’s an INTERESTING one.” Strong means more than just physical strength. Strong can and should encompass flaws and intellect and complex human emotions, not just physical strength. This x 100.
  • Favorite female characters shouted out: Imperator Furiosa, Catwoman, Sailor Moon, Dana Scully (YAS), Buffy Summers, and Xena.
  • The panel also discussed the “Mary Sue” and how a character who serves as a stand-in for the audience is not always a bad thing. Audiences of all ages and genders need characters they can latch on to.
  • When an audience member brought up the accusation that Star Wars‘ Rey was a Mary Sue, the panel scoffed. “No one ever watches James Bond and is like ‘UGH, he’s too good at everything he does.'”
  • When asked about the recent boom of complicated female characters in pop culture, the panel posited that it was because of a new generation of writers coming of age. “Everyone who grew up watching The X-Files and Buffy are now at the age to create these types of characters.”
  • Because the universe LOVES irony, the Donald Trump/Billy Bush scandal dropped while we were in this panel.
  • The panel was asked about the Clarke and Lexa debacle on The 100 and they stressed that while the show DID drop the ball (“It was great…until they messed it up.”), it was very important that they attempted to tell the story. People aren’t always going to get it right but what matters is that the door for the discussion was opened.
  • The panel was very pro-Skyler White when they were asked about how the wives of anti-heroes like Walter often get villified. “I think everything she did was justifiable if your husband were a psychopathic meth dealer!”
  • Shout out to the few brave men who got up and asked thoughtful questions during the discussion. The one awkward moment came when a male writer expressed that he had trouble writing a woman dealing with attraction to someone else, essentially saying that he categorized female characters as either constantly pining or sleeping around. Yeesh. “I think you need to stop thinking of your character as a WOMAN and instead as a human being. How do human beings regardless of gender pursue partners?” YES.
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Taking the chance to stretch out in between panels on Saturday.

3) The “Your Opinion Sucks” Panel is ALWAYS a Good Time

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At our first NYCC in 2013, we attended the “Your Opinion Sucks” panel on a whim because it seemed like it would be fun. Now, at our fourth con, it’s a can’t miss panel for us. It ALWAYS earns a spot on our schedule. If the Strong Female Character panel was Gatorade, this one was a Red Bull. (Main lesson from this post: Stay hydrated at Comic Con, folks.) The premise of the panel is simple: there’s an open mic and a panel of movie and television critics. One by one, audience members get up to the mic and express what they think is an unpopular opinion about a movie or TV show (but usually movie). They get one minute to state their case, usually accompanied by shouts from the audience, and then the panel gets a chance to respond, either telling them they are wrong or agreeing with them. It’s basically a living and breathing internet comment section. Pass the popcorn. –Kim

  • “I LOVE Jurassic Park III! It’s the Citizen Kane of Jurassic Park movies.” That’s it. That’s the panel.
  • Given the nature of this panel, it’s usually dominated by fanboys wanting to defend or trash their favorite obscure comic book movie. If there is one thing we would complain about in regards to this panel, it would be that not enough women (and I’m counting us in that number because we’ve never stood up, even though we have PLENTY of unpopular opinions) are brave enough to get up to the mic. There WAS one girl this year who got up and defended I Know Who Killed Me and it was DELIGHTFUL. “Lindsey Lohan is a STRIPPER. OR IS SHE? That’s what’s beautiful about this movie.” Bless.
  • “For once, we can’t blame Ben Affleck for something.” – The verdict on Batman vs. Superman. Honestly, that should have been the marketing tagline.
  • “Are you asking the Fast and the Furious franchise to make sense? How dare you, sir!”
  • Guy: I would like to discuss The Matrix. Us at our seats: Hoe, don’t do it. Guy: I hated that movie. Cue the fanboys chanting for his badge to be confiscated.
  • I don’t know why we were surprised by this, but a DudeBro got up to trash the genderbent Ghostbusters. To the surprise of NO ONE, the guy hadn’t actually SEEN the movie nor did he realize that Rotten Tomatoes is simply a ratings aggregator and NOT the ones giving out the scores. Cue us screaming from our seats and the delightful dude who defended Jurassic Park III chinhandsing at us the whole time. The panel had the final word though. “Ghostbusters II ALREADY ruined the original, man.”
  • “I genuinely believe Zack Snyder is an auteur.” *deafening groan from the room, thank GOD.* “That doesn’t mean he does good work.” Honestly, THIS GUY should have had his badge taken.

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