“They’re make or break, these moments.” – This Is Us Recap – I Call Marriage

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This Is Us Season 1, Episode 14
“I Call Marriage”

Posted by Shannon

The Valentine’s Day episode is still to come, but this week’s episode took the opportunity to focus in on love. What does it mean to love, in its many contexts and forms? Familial love, romantic love, and love of self all carry different burdens and challenges, and the Pearsons are struggling with the definitions and limits of this complex emotion. Some family members are handling it better than others, but for this episode, each of the characters are tending towards insular behavior, focusing in on their own relationships. Solitude has its moments, but this week, every single one of the Pearson clan would have been helped by opening up a little more than they have to their loved ones.

Jack/Rebecca


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It’s Jack and Rebecca’s wedding day, and after leaving what looked to be a perfectly 70’s ceremony at city hall, Miguel offers a toast during their reception. He summarizes their self-written vows over a montage of Jack and Rebecca living them out in their daily lives; there’s shower sex, bad oysters, and more general evidence of how charming and loving their relationship has been through their early years. Over a decade later, Jack and Rebecca are worn down and even a little awkward while they get ready to meet Miguel and Shelley for dinner. Once there, the reason for the tension makes itself known: Rebecca has been out late playing with the band night after night, and Jack’s work schedule has been increasingly demanding. The timing couldn’t be worse. After years of being unhappy, but before they turn the corner into being outwardly cruel to one another, Miguel and Shelley have decided to get a divorce. It sounds like a healthy move for both of them, and Rebecca hears it as that, but for Jack, it’s an utter betrayal.

Jack has implied his cut-and-dry perception of marriage before, but he’s never laid it out as clearly as he does now. For Jack, marriage is the meeting of two soul mates, never to be separated until death. It’s phenomenally idealistic, but Jack doesn’t see it as such; for him, it’s just a fact. Rebecca, though, knowing how unhappy Shelley has been, sees their divorce as a healthy step. It all shakes Jack to his core, and the next day at work, after seeing Miguel and Heather flirting yet again in the break room, Jack demands an explanation. Miguel promises that he hasn’t been having an affair, and offers up a far more realistic and subtle examination of romantic love. Sometimes, relationships die “not with a bang but with a whimper.” The small decisions made in daily life often carry much more weight than we know; for Shelley and Miguel, it was a cup of coffee, and the slow acceptance that they have stopped noticing each other. Jack hears this as a warning; even the small distance that has been growing between he and Rebecca is too much for him to bear.

Meanwhile, Rebecca sees no such distance. After Ben tells her that the band has the opportunity to play on an east coast tour, “on actual stages, to actual crowds,” Rebecca’s first thought is what it will mean for Jack. When Ben tries to sway Rebecca by saying that “if Jack really loves you, he’ll understand” she calls bullshit. She sees every single gesture that Jack makes, big or small, and loves them for what they are: daily evidence that Miguel’s warning was unnecessary, that these two have not stopped noticing each other. Far from it.



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Even still, Jack feels the need for a sweeping, romantic gesture. He packs an overnight bag for Rebecca and surprises her by renting their old apartment out for the night, all done up in lights, with champagne in every room and rose petals on the floor. Jack and Rebecca both appreciate their relationship, and they both make daily sacrifices, big and small, for each other. And now that we know the timeline for Jack’s passing, every moment spent in this year is tinged with sadness and fear of impending doom. The couple re-reads their vows, Rebecca admits that she wants to go on tour with the band, and I for one am left with a new fear – that Rebecca will be away on tour when Jack dies.



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Randall/Beth

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Randall is teetering on the edge of a breakdown. And just as Beth feared, he is actively refusing help every step of the way. His nightmare of finding William at the piano was horrific, but it’s also his subconscious trying to make him face what he can’t bear to look at in his daily life. After all, he’s too busy trying to be the perfect father, husband, and coworker all at once. Beth knows that something was very wrong with Randall when Annie wakes them up after wetting the bed, but they don’t get the chance to discuss it (and even if they did, Randall wouldn’t have said a word). Instead, after helping Annie get back to sleep, they find Tess downstairs, practicing chess with William in the early hours of the morning.

Tess is so scared that her parents will blame William for their late-night chess games, but she doesn’t know what else to do. With William napping after school, soccer practice on the weekends, and parents too understandably crazed to check the whiteboard for new obligations, the only time she can spend with William is in the middle of the night. And she knows what Randall won’t allow himself to recognize – their time with William is limited, and she needs to take every opportunity to make memories with her grandfather. William is in a healthy place mentally, all things considered; he immediately apologizes to Randall about keeping Tess up, but his face doesn’t carry an ounce of guilt. Nor should it. Tess will always treasure those moments, and they both know it.

Beth brings in a grief counselor to make plans for the family, but Randall shuts down at every single mention of William’s health. The counselor is there under the guise of helping the girls,  but Randall is the one who truly needs coping strategies. And this is where the pressure of trying to live up to Jack’s memory really comes crashing down on Randall. He won’t hear a word about William’s illness or end of life care, insisting that they don’t need any help, trying to be superhuman. Randall is refusing help at home AND at work. Maybe I’ve worked for non-profits for too long, but I believe his boss when he says that Randall’s position at work is not under any threat. After a decade of proving himself, a decade of being the first one in and the last one out, Randall has earned a little support in the office. Sanjay is there to help, to go to dinner with a client when Randall can’t. And Randall’s insistence that he can do everything at once, that he can go to client dinners and handle all his accounts AND support his family emotionally will be his downfall.



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Despite all of this, Randall and Beth are still Randall and Beth. She insists that he show up for Tess’s chess game, knowing that the office can wait, knowing that Randall is on the verge of making one too many sacrifices for the sake of his job at the expense of their family. (Perhaps a part of him is hiding at the office, too – after all, his work is important, but it’s not life or death.)  It’s a testament to their relationship that, even with all of this on his shoulders, they’re still the couple from the pilot – except now the soccer game is a chess tournament. Randall and Beth haven’t been as good at checking in on their girls’ daily lives as they could be lately, but they will always show up when the chips are down.

Randall’s fear that the girls will be broken by the loss of their grandfather is just more proof of his projection and of the constant emotional barriers he has built against his loss. Randall is the one who will be broken, not Tess and Annie. Just think about Tess’s grin when she knows she has a checkmate. Tess ONLY has eyes for William. She wouldn’t trade this for anything. But Randall is in danger, emotionally and physically. He’s made himself blind from stress once before. This time, his hand won’t stop shaking, and he won’t even wake up Beth to talk it out.

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“Until he drew his very last breath.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Fifty-Four

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Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 10
“Chapter Fifty-Four”
Posted by Kim

This tweet just about sums it all up:

Yep. They did it. After sparing Michael in the season premiere, they killed him off just after he finished his LSATs, probably from a pulmonary embolism lingering from his gunshot wound. And the thing is, after nearly a week of processing the episode, I still don’t know how I feel about it. The rational side of me can step back and SEE that they had been laying the groundwork for this, going all the way back to season one, where Mateo Our Narrator first utter the phrase “Michael would love her until he drew her very last breath.” The hints that Michael was not as well as he seemed were THERE when he failed his physical (me: WHY didn’t they look into why he failed further? Could this have been prevented?) and they were there ALL THROUGH this episode when it was obvious that something was off with him, even as he wrote it off as catching Mateo’s stomach bug. (Not to mention I had a growing sense of doom all through the episode.) And yet I STILL felt like I was slapped across the face when he keeled over as he was leaving his testing center. Because it felt CRUEL, you know? The emotional side of me can’t help but scream “HOW COULD YOU?” at my television, over and over. Because really. HOW? COULD? YOU?

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I’ve read all the post-mortems with showrunner Jennie Urman, and like I said, when I take a step back, I can respect the sheer GUTS that it took to shake-up the show this way, not only by having Jane go through this unspeakable tragedy, but then fast forwarding the show three years. Grey’s Anatomy made a very similar move when they killed off Derek; they spent ONE episode that took place over the course of a year, which allowed Meredith to go through the process of grieving, but kept the SHOW from being mired down in it. Jane has ALWAYS been a show that’s been a source of LIGHT in the television landscape; it’s spirit has always been one of optimism and hope and pure GOODNESS, so I would hate for it to lose that. All of our principle characters were on the precipice of great change in this episode, from Rafael preparing to go to jail to Petra finding her strength as a mother to Xiomara preparing to move in with Bruce to Rogelio embarking on his reality show and potential fatherhood with Darcy. It will be interesting to see how these three years have changed them all. Did Rogelio get his wish? How was Rafael changed by prison? How did Petra manage on her own? WHO IS GETTING MARRIED? My money is on Xiomara, but the question is…to whom? (It had better be Rogelio, God Dammit.)

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“Time to switch positions.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Fates Worse Than Death

Scandal Season 6, Episode 3
“Fates Worse Than Death”
Posted by Kim

When Season Six of Scandal premiered, I was SUPER bummed that we jumped over the entire Presidential Campaign to get to election night. We skipped over SO MUCH good stuff. Needless to say, I’m THRILLED with how they are toggling between the present day and the highlights of the Campaign. This week, we get to spend time with our favorite master manipulator, Cyrus Beene. TO THE GIFS.

It’s 76 Days till the Inauguration and we still don’t have an OFFICIAL President.

Okay, I get that Cyrus is the Devil but let’s take a moment to appreciate that he would be the First Openly Gay President.  The ONLY white hetero man on that Presidential ballot was Jake and I just want to thank Shonda Rhimes for creating this universe.

“For the first time since election night, you seem you. I like it. Mr. President.” I love how Michael has transformed from Male Escort and marriage of convenience to Husband of the Year. Cyrus does NOT deserve him.

Abby calls Cy in FULL BossBitch mode and tells him to shut his blinds. “In 30 seconds, you no longer talk to ANYONE.” Aw yeah, the shit is about to hit the fan.

David Rosen is giving a press conference saying they are expanding the investigation into Frankie’s death. When asked if this will include Cyrus, David simply replies “Anyone and Everyone” with a dead ass “CYRUS DID IT” face.

Never one to listen to anyone, Cyrus opens his front door and finds a swarm of press and paparazzi on the front lawn.

“Now every idiot with a smart phone thinks he’s Ken Burns.”


 

“Charlie we are NOT making a sex tape.” COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE.

“We need to focus!” Huck has no patience for this twitterpaited nonsense known as Charlie and Quinn.

We flashback to the night of the Vice Presidential Debate, where Cyrus DEMOLISHED Jake.

Ooooooooh Frankie seems VERY buddy buddy with Jennifer Fields aka the Campaign Volunteer who incriminated Cyrus before someone blew up her cabin.

“Who is THIS?” Cyrus’ Spidey Senses are telling him we could have another Fitz/Olivia on the Campaign Trail situation on our hands and he isn’t having it.

Back in the present, Cyrus is spiraling. “I am being set up by Olivia Pope.”

“To answer your question, no, I didn’t do it.” Michael is like “Okay, yeah, sure babe. But DIDN’T YOU?”

Lizzie Bear shows up at Cy’s back door. “I crawled across the lawn to get here. My hands touched the ground. Let me in.” BLESS.

“You are literally a snake in the grass.” I love how much they hate each other but are also the best of friends?

“Has ANYONE taken your call?” Lizzie pulls no punches and hits Cy right where it hurts. They BOTH know he’s being shut out.

“And how do you want to help YOU?” Cy knows Lizzie’s visit isn’t selfless. She wants something and what she wants is to be his Chief of Staff.

Back to the night of the VP Debate, Liv and Cyrus engage in some fake “Oh I miss  you so much” banter and some backhanded compliments regarding his performance in the debate.

“I’m saying you’ve changed, you’ve evolved, you’ve grown. You’ve gotten good at this.”

“So I’m no longer the troll under the bridge who grunts and snorts, there’s lipstick on this pig now, and look at the monkey dance? That doesn’t even make sense.” Look, I’m with Cyrus here. This conversation would make my head explode.

“I was wrong. I’m saying I was wrong. Look at you. You’ve bloomed. So maybe putting yourself on Frankie’s ticket wasn’t the worst…” JUST STOP TALKING OLIVIA.

“Putting myself on the ticket? I put myself on the ticket? That’s what you think?” I meeeeeeeean, it’s what we all thought, Cyrus. BUT ALSO this is Olivia Pope’s fatal flaw: she throws around comments like this and COMPLETELY underestimates how deep they cut and how it just kicks people’s pride into overdrive. She did it with Abby and now she’s doing it with Cyrus.

“I made his policies, I hid his secrets, I ran his country. Watched the two of you grope each other like a cheap porno. And none of you ever saw me. And that’s fine. You think what you want to think of me. I certainly have all kinds of opinions about Olivia Pope.” YASSSSSS I LIVE.

“You better watch yourself.” Part of me misses when Liv and Cyrus worked TOGETHER but seeing them as adversaries is just so much more fun because they are both MASTER manipulators.

Meanwhile, Abby continues to be the best as she silently stands in judgement of Fitz for pursing the Cyrus angle. She gives him the judgy silent treatment until Fitz can’t take it anymore and I JUST LOVE how she is the only woman on this show to have never been dickmatized by him.

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What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On? – Sarah’s Top 20 Episodes of Will & Grace, Part Two

Posted by Sarah

We made it to the halfway point! Well…unless you’re just tuning in, in which case you can find episodes 20-11 here.

Going through the episodes I selected—but now also just watching whatever episode comes to mind, because I like staying in the thick of it, thank you very much—it’s amazing to me to see how many brilliant moments Will & Grace gave us that have stayed with me all these years…and it’s only slightly because my DVDs have been in heavy rotation since the show ended. The second I see Patti LuPone in anything now, I hear Jack shouting “SHUT UP, PATTI LUPONE!” in my head. I can’t hear mention of Antiques Roadshow without thinking of Grace doing the face (you know which one I’m talking about). And if you think “Midnight Train to Georgia” hasn’t been permanently altered for me, you are sadly mistaken. Between its massive guest stars and jokes coming from every direction, this show had its finger on the pulse of pop culture for eight seasons; I remember reading about how they stuck a Britney Spears Federline joke into “The Newlydreads” at the last minute, two weeks before that wedding happened, banking on the assumption that the marriage would last at least until the episode aired. I think part of the reason I had 70 episodes in my preliminary list—aside from the fact that those episodes are amazing—is the fact that I kept thinking about all of these moments and going “I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.” And as soon as my Will & Grace loving friends found out I was doing a top 20, they chimed in with their favorite moments, some that I didn’t even think about right away but love with all my heart. Suddenly, I’m wishing I had more than twenty spots to play with…

The fact that there are SO many great moments throughout these eight seasons proves the high caliber of this show, and I have faith that the new episodes will give us more of the same. No doubt the revival will tap into the pop culture landscape—past and present—in the same way the original series did, if “Vote Honey” is anything to go by; Grace’s outrage over a butt double in Fifty Shades of Grey was incredibly satisfying because OF COURSE she would be outraged by that. But before I go into all my theories on what Will & Grace is going to look like in 2017, let’s spend some more time exploring what the show looked like back then. We’re in the home stretch now, and we’re about to encounter some truly iconic moments. Think you know what they are? There’s only one way to find out…

Let’s dive in!

10.) Marry Me a Little, Marry Me a Little More (5 x 8-9)

Confession: I was never, and still am not, fully on board with Leo. If I had my way, Grace and Nathan never would have broken up. Because even though Nathan might have pulled a dick move by going away with another woman a few days after their breakup, I’m pretty sure he never would have cheated on Grace overseas and lied about it to her best friend. But…I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to a simpler time, when the show decided to celebrate their 100th episode milestone by having Grace get married a couple of times.

 

The impulse wedding courtesy of the TODAY show (hi, Katie Couric!) is fun if only because I like imagining that duck catching Grace’s pretzel bouquet. Will, however, is less than enthused, and with good reason; to not be at your best friend’s wedding—to not even have a chance to be at your best friend’s wedding—hurts, especially as connected to each other as they are, having spent so much time contemplating Grace’s future ceremony. (Side note: during this exchange with Leo, Will tells him, “I’m never going to have a wedding of my own, and being a part of Grace’s was important to me,” and I literally clutched my chest when I watched this for notes, because look how far we’ve come in marriage equality.) But have no fear, the lavish reception is here! The gang is absolutely brilliant here, from Jack promoting the McFarland Method as he wishes Grace and Leo well, to Will’s lovely speech about how he and Grace met through fondue, to Grace singing her feelings, to Karen threatening to sic Rosario on Leo if he ever hurt Grace. It isn’t long until the newlyweds realize that after only two months of dating, they don’t really know anything about each other, like birthdays or favorite songs, or Leo’s real name (as much side eye as I give him, “People always call me Leo ‘cause my name’s Marvin” gets me every time and I’m not completely sure why?), causing Grace to freak out, leave the party, and resist Leo’s attempts to play down the situation. And when they run into Katie Couric again and find out their marriage isn’t legitimate, it seems like all hope is lost…for about two minutes. We ARE dealing with a sitcom, after all.

Which brings us to the second, meticulously planned out wedding,, and the stand-out half of the episode, mainly for the interactions between Will and Grace. Will keeps it together for as long as he can, channeling all of his emotions into making sure this whole production runs smoothly, but once Grace tells him she needs him to walk her down the aisle, he can’t keep his cool anymore. The way he initially turns her down pulls at your heart: “Look, Grace, I’ll do a lot of things for you. I’ll plan your wedding, I’ll pick the florist, I’ll even let you have input on your dress. But to actually be the one that…that hands you off to another guy…that I can’t do.” If you weren’t aware that their dynamic was about to change in a big way, Will made sure you knew it with that explanation. Eric McCormack and Debra Messing nailed it in this episode, deftly maneuvering around the weight of such a long-term relationship heading into uncertain territory. My favorite part of all of this, though, is when Grace brings him to the rooftop where they ACTUALLY first met, at a college friend’s party:

Grace: I thought you were the cutest guy I had ever seen. So I came up to you, and I asked for a drink. And you were so sweet, the way you held that funnel for me. And then I stumbled back to Nancy and I said, “That’s the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”
Will: Well, we say things when we’re young. I said Human League would be bigger than the Beatles.
Grace: Will, I may be getting married today, but when I said I was going to spend the rest of my life with you, I wasn’t wrong.
Will: Well, except…
Grace: No. I wasn’t wrong. Now let’s jump.
Will: What?
Grace: Let’s keep goin’, Thelma.

That whole exchange mixed with Will secretly getting the first dance before he walks her down the aisle? This show knows how to wreck my emotions in all the right ways.

Best line:

Grace: I’m doing the right thing, right?
Will: Well…
Grace: What?!
Will: Nothing. No, I just—I’m just saying, as a friend, I want you to know that if you were thinking of calling it off, don’t worry about the people out there, and don’t worry about all those gifts. You do what your heart tells you is right.
Grace: …Are you freaking kidding me with this?!
Will: “If!” I said “If!”
Grace: The question was rhetorical, that means you’re supposed to say “yes.”
Will: That’s not what rhetorical means.
Grace: Are we talking about what rhetorical means, or about how you are freaking me out right now?
Will: Am I supposed to answer that, or is that rhetorical too?

9.) Last Ex to Brooklyn (6 x 2)

This episode could have gone so wrong in so many ways. Introducing an integral character in Will’s coming out story into the fold, who up until this point we knew nothing about other than the fact that she’s the only girl Will ever slept with (hi, Mira Sorvino!) is a risky move, especially since the last time she was mentioned was about three seasons ago. It’s even riskier to connect her to the OTHER most important man in Grace’s life. But damn, did they knock this one out of the park. Grace and Leo organize a dinner party for the rest of the gang, as well as Leo’s ex-girlfriend. Grace and Diane get on like gangbusters…until Will walks in and realizes who Leo’s ex really is. It makes sense that Grace would flip out over Diane’s connection to Will more than she would over Diane’s connection to Leo, even if Leo can’t really see that (but seriously, I have no patience for him in this episode. He’s definitely been married to Grace long enough to know her background with Will…come on, dude). As we all know from “Lows in the Mid-Eighties,” the fact that Will not only slept with Diane right after coming out to Grace, but also kept it from her for fifteen years is a huge deal. And while they generally put it behind them, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grace still hadn’t gotten completely over it by this point. So to suddenly come face to face with one of the biggest obstacles in her relationship with Will? It’s totally natural to get a little nuts, and Grace trying to keep her head above water is hilarious:

Grace: I’m not mad. And I’ll tell you why I’m mad. Because I’m not mad.
Will: You’re not making any sense.
Grace: Oh, and all of the sudden, you’re the vice president of things that make sense?!
Will: Why vice president?
Grace: Because Leo’s president, DEAL WITH IT.

The amazing thing about this episode is how they were able to take a single storyline that put a strong emphasis on Will and Grace, and still give the supporting players moments to shine. Jack and Karen are on point for the whole episode, and it helps that they have the world’s smallest dog with them to help balance everything out. I just love that Karen is hitting on Diane literally the entire time she’s there. It’s insanely direct, and so like Karen to just get to the point: “I like you…wanna make out?” (Tangent time! I always wanted to know how the show would have handled a substantial female love interest for Karen, during one of those stretches when she was either separated from Stan or under the assumption that he was dead. It wouldn’t have been outside the realm of possibility; after all, in addition to this and all the other times something like this happened, she was at one point linked to Martina Navratilova—which I’ll come back to later—and, you know, bisexuality exists. I’m just saying…) And Jack and Karen make the perfect color commentators at the dinner table when everything comes out in the open:

Finally, I’d like to submit Chompers the Earl of Puppydom for best pet name ever, please and thank you.

Best line:

Will: I made these kabobs for Grace once. She totally fell in love with the recipe.
Grace: Liar! How could I fall in love with your kabobs? I’ve never had them. Diane had your kabobs. But apparently I wasn’t good enough for your kabobs.
Leo: Wait. Why do you care that Diane’s had Will’s kabobs, but you don’t care that she’s had mine and I’ve had hers?
Jack: Silly! Diane is a girl. She doesn’t have kabobs, she has a kagina.
Karen: And nice katits.

8.) Gypsies, Tramps and Weed (3 x 7)

Surprise! I’m going to be completely predictable and talk about Cher for a minute. Because just as she is my queen diva, she’s also Jack’s queen diva. What can I say? The guy knows how to pick his icons. Once he’s in possession of a Cher doll (which he initially gave to Will as a birthday gift just so it could be returned to him, because of course), he takes it everywhere with him, speaking through it with the best worst Cher impression I have ever heard in my life, asking for an extra chair and a booster seat for it when he goes out to dinner. But it’s when the queen diva herself approaches him that really pushes this episode into the top ten. Personally, if I ever unexpectedly encountered Cher, I’d probably take the Community, Troy Barnes meets LeVar Burton route. Jack, however, decides to take the “That’s not Cher, that’s definitely a drag queen” route, and ends up challenging her to a Cher-off. I know it’s fueled by mistaken identity, but Jack’s boldness here is so rich, and his confidence that he’s the better Cher is so misguidedly epic that it leaves me doubled over laughing every time. And I love that Cher starts to leave and could simply write him off as a loon, but she’s weirdly invested now and comes back to try to convince him once more with a little “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Of course, Jack’s still completely in the dark and tries to one-up her again (and now I find myself singing “TIOOOMMMEEE” to that song more often than I care to admit), until she finally goes full-on Moonstruck on him. It’s honestly all I could have ever wanted in a Cher guest appearance…that is, until they just straight-up made her God in the next season.

Grace’s gift to Will leads him to a session with Psychic Sue (hi, Camryn Manheim!), where he originally dismisses her as being full of it. But when the stuff she tells him starts coming true, he rushes back to her to get the scoop on his love life, where she reveals to him that Jack is the one he’ll spend his life with. “Gypsies, Tramps and Weed” excels in exploring a “What if?” that I’m sure crossed a few minds at one point or another, without dwelling on it for too long; anything more than this would have been overkill and so not the point of this show. Will’s spiraling here is everything, from his freak out over Jack’s little squeezes to that glorious vision of Jack in a wedding dress holding a Cher doll bouquet. And when they finally do contemplate what a romantic relationship would be, the fact that they end up describing their current situation is the best way to end that story; their dynamic is great just the way it is.

But wait, there’s more! Just in case that wasn’t enough story for you, Grace manages to get the terrible waiter who served them at Will’s birthday dinner fired, and she feels so bad about it that she hires him as her new office assistant. As soon as she’s starting to feel good about the situation, though, she discovers that the new clients he’s been sending her way are actually there to buy weed from him (I love how the code word Lenny puts in place makes everyone seem so fixated on some random piece of furniture; “Can the four of us split an ottoman?”). The best, though, is how Karen was so against him working at Grace Adler Designs the whole time, right up until she hears why Grace fired him—“What?! Grace, I can’t believe it! I loved him!”—and runs out the door to catch him. That’s my girl.

Best line:

Jack: I feel like nesting. Let’s stay home and rent Silkwood. (Cher impression, waving the doll around) “I’m a lesbian who’s been exposed to nuclear waste, hohhhh!”

 

7.) Moveable Feast (4 x 9)

I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for a Will & Grace Thanksgiving episode. But I’m even more of a sucker for it when it crams four Thanksgivings into one. This episode is a gem right off the bat, starting with the opening phone call sequence. The back and forth between all of them is so well-choreographed, I could honestly spend this entire segment raving about it. Between hanging up on each other, putting each other on hold for a little too long, and somehow getting roped into a never-ending stream of Thanksgiving dinners? Priceless. Meanwhile, the guy Jack indefinitely put on hold manages to get into full drag by the time the gang’s Thanksgiving plans are all sorted out, and by the time you’re made to focus on his square, it’s the perfect ending (hi, Coco Peru!).

The rules are simple: everyone gets one hour at their family’s gathering. As soon as the timer goes off, they high-tail it out of there to move on to the next one, racing through the day so they can enjoy their own festivities in apartment 9C. First up: Karen visits Stan in prison, equipped with a chicken stuffed inside a turkey (that’s one way to do it…), and is blindsided by Stan telling her to sleep with other people while he’s in prison. She’s rightfully consumed with anger and confusion and “What ifs” for the rest of the episode, leading to one of my all time favorite scenes of the series…but I’ll get to that in a second. I actually debated whether or not to add this to the Karen Walker Feels Things! Tally. She’s obviously upset by her husband being okay with her hypothetical cheating, but doesn’t show it in the ways we’ve seen before on this list. Maybe this one gets half credit?

Karen Walker Feels Things! Tally: 3.5

Grace’s visit to her Aunt Honey’s place (hi, Lainie Kazan!) leads to Jack spilling the secret of her breakup with Nathan to her mom (hi, Debbie Reynolds, I miss you) and a prime Grace/Bobbi fight with Bobbi trying so hard to get the “Told Ya So” dance in, and Grace trashing her mother’s acting abilities. Jack picks up Elliot and takes the group to his stepfather’s hotel room (hi, Beau Bridges!), and for all of Jack’s warnings about what a hardass he is, he warmly opens up his temporary space to everyone and makes an effort to connect with Elliot. Which inevitably pisses Jack off because the guy was never like that when he was growing up. Then we get to Will’s mom’s celebration (hi, Blythe Danner!), filled with code words for his dad’s affair, a homophobic older brother he fights with to be the one who gets to leave early—Marilyn eventually breaks the tie and tells Will to go, leaving him confused and hurt—and an uncle whose medication makes people look like balloons to him (I love when Jack looks all wide-eyed and says, “Will, I’m a-scared,” because you hear that and think, “Yeah, that sounds about right”).

Oh yeah, and then there’s my favorite casting decision ever: the plumber (HI, NICK OFFERMAN!). I don’t need to explain to you how amazing Nick and Megan are on-screen together; we have all those Parks and Rec episodes to do that. It’s just so much fun to see a scene like this, long before Ron Swanson and Tammy 2 were even a thing. Also, just a really adorable side note: in the Will & Grace: Fabulously Uncensored book, Megan says, “It’s kind of fitting that the first time my character ever kissed a guy who wasn’t Stan, it was with the plumber—played by my husband.” Is your heart swelling yet?

All of these visits leave a bad taste in their mouths, so just before they sit down to their own holiday feast, they make the rounds one final time to make amends. Karen makes sure Stan knows she would never stray outside the marriage, Grace apologizes to her mother, Jack agrees to get to know his stepdad a little better, and Marilyn assures Will that her picking Paul to stay wasn’t a slight against him, wonderfully acknowledging the fact that Will’s friends are his family. This episode is the perfect representation of how the holidays can suck, but also how they can be salvaged.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, while all of this is happening, Rosario is slowly devouring an entire turkey, and I love you, Shelley Morrison. I really do.

Best line:

Grace: I hope you don’t mind, Will. I had some of your water.
Will: I didn’t have a water.
(Grace looks at Jack)
Jack: Not mine.
Grace: And Karen doesn’t drink water. Oh my god! Rental car stranger water! Oh my god! How do I know this was water?! You know, when boys go on road trips, they don’t make pee stops! They just use a water bottle! Oh my god!
Will: Grace…don’t you think you would have noticed if you were drinking pee?

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“She’s just a girl in love.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?

Source: msjessicaday
 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 13
“Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?”
Posted by Sage

Ah, the season finale wedding. A classic move. (This is actually Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s second consecutive season-ending nuptials, though last year’s couple were both minor characters.) There are only so many surprises to be pulled with a rom-com plot point like this. I thought I’d seen them all. But, in its unlimited, deconstructive genius, CXG leaned into its ruthlessness and blew up the whole damn thing. Josh and Rebecca’s dream wedding nearly ends with Rebecca hurling herself off the scenic cliff where she and the “man of her dreams” are supposed to take their photos. And that’s not even the most shocking thing that occurs.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

Rachel Bloom apparently has a five-year plan for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And since it’s taken two full seasons to even unpack the title of the show, we’re really in for it. “Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith” reveals that Rebecca isn’t JOSH’S crazy ex, she’s Robert’s. “Who the Dickens is Robert?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Robert is a spineless piece of shit straight outta the daddy issues playbook. A professor at Harvard Law, Robert slept with Rebecca, promised to leave his wife for her, and then unceremoniously dumped her, because hello, he was never planning on uprooting his life for the silly kid. (“You’re right, you’re right, I know you’re right.”) Rebecca’s attachment to Robert is one of the many instances in which the abandonment issues she got from her “garbage father” have reared their ugly head. And with Silas Bunch in town for the wedding, all of it comes screaming back.

It’s so painful to watch someone exert the majority of the effort while hoping against hope that their one-sided relationship won’t always be that way. Rebecca is reduced to frantic self-loathing in the presence of her dad who obviously has no qualms about being so casually cruel with her. In the opening of the episode, she sends the “Westchester Sperm Machine” a text to test the waters that mirrors the one that she oh-so-breezily sent Josh in the pilot. (“Well….buzz! *Bee emoticon.*”) She’s never stopped chasing either of them, not really – not in her beautiful, imbalanced brain. And sure, her dad still seems distant. But when he gets a load of Rebecca in the supremely normal context of a heterosexual wedding, well, that might be “the version of [her] he’ll stick around for.” All her hopes for the future are right there in “Rebecca’s Reprise,” a song that foreshadows so much tragedy I yelled at her through the TV to run. Run while she still could.

Silas isn’t worth what Rebecca’s putting herself through on his behalf, and someone has to get through to her on this. But Naomi’s advice to Rebecca isn’t about Rebecca. It’s about how Silas wronged HER and her annoyance that Rebecca still favors him. (“What about my mother daughter dance? You know how fast I pick up choreo.”) Trusty Paula comes through with a reality check that’s at least a little unbiased. She cautions Rebecca not to raise her expectations too high for this single interaction with her historically deadbeat dad, who’s not “a completely different person” than the guy from a few days ago who only decided to come to his only daughter’s wedding because a private plane pulled up outside his door. But Rebecca is too caught up in fantasies of father-daughter dances and many holiday visits with “the two most important men” in her life to float back down.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

If there’s a villain in Rebecca’s own story, it’s Silas Bunch. He should be groveling at her feet for walking away from her when he did; instead, he feeds into her insecurities by never moving beyond politeness and continuing to withhold the approval she craves so badly that the lack of it has dominated her entire life. Dr. Akopian can once again see the light at the end of the tunnel when Rebecca tells her the ghastly truth of why Silas even bothered to show up: he needs money for his other kid’s braces, and Rebecca is a big-time lawyer. Her shrink begs Rebecca to let go of the loving father fantasy completely; her dad has shown his true colors and will never, ever change. Instead, Rebecca shows up to his hotel room with 14 Father’s Day cards, apologies for being the “needy kid” who caused him to run away, and a check. He’ll stay for the wedding. But then he’ll disappear, and the cycle will continue you. Rebecca will keep believing that it was up to her – a child – to make her dad want to be around her. And that the responsibility still lies with her.

Everyone listen to White Josh. Source: crazyexedits

While Rebecca battles her childhood demons, Josh is trying to warm his cold feet. And the way his story plays out here is so unexpected yet SO in character. He’s spooked by the Robert talk, because Josh is afraid that he doesn’t REALLY know Rebecca. And of course, he doesn’t. She’s never shown him her real self for more than a few hours at a time. Josh drops the loaded name around the family, but can’t make out the whole story. Silas tells Josh Robert had something to do with Harvard Law, and that he only knows that because it was supposed to be a secret from him, not because he actually cares about Rebecca’s welfare. (Fuck OFF, Silas, you son of a bitch.) Naomi lies directly to Josh’s face and tells him that Robert was the name of Rebecca’s beloved dog who “got those lumps dogs get.”

Adrift, Josh turns to his bro and spiritual leader, Father Brah. He’s a good, smart guy and he really cares about Josh’s happiness. It’s good advice that Brah gives him when Josh asks if he should swallow his concerns. If he’s really going through something, Josh should go straight to Rebecca with his problems. “She’s the one you wanna face them with, right?” Brah asks. He then gently informs Josh about a pattern that’s obvious to everyone who’s been playing along at home: his usual strategy is to pin his hopes on the nearest cute girl, envisioning her (in this case, Sarah the basketball coach) as some problem-solving angel. Rebecca and Josh are more alike than either of them know.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

Josh is grateful for Brah’s sound counsel. TOO grateful even. And the hints of what’s coming have been planted throughout the season, not just this episode. He’s overwhelmed by the emotional complexities of other people. He’s felt purposeless. His anxiety plagues him. And there’s this offer on the table that’s meant to take all of that away and streamline his life. Josh listens to Brah talk about how easy it was to decide to “marry Jesus.” He wants to be that sure of ANYTHING. And the free t-shirt? Well, that’s a plus too.

Source: bunchofbloom
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How Supergirl Became an SJW

Posted by Jaime

When Supergirl moved to The CW last summer, everyone (myself included) went bananas speculating how the show would change on its new home. More crossovers with the DC TV universe were almost a given; the departure of Cat Grant was inevitable (Calista Flockhart said as much ahead of time, due to filming locations); but most of all, being on The CW meant the show would have more freedom to feel like an on-screen comic book—which was, after all, the key to the success of The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. But there was one major change to Supergirl that no one predicted: The second season has seen our heroine go from being a superhero to being a progressive activist (or “Social Justice Warrior [SJW],” depending on how you feel about the term).

Before we dig into all of the ways Supergirl became DC TV’s de facto liberal warrior, a few caveats:

  • There will be lots of spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution!
  • If you’re against “liberal Hollywood,” values-driven TV, or you use the term “SJW” as an insult, you may want to stop reading.

OK? OK. So here’s how it’s gone down.

1. The Show Confronted Superman’s Male Privilege

Integrating Superman into the Supergirl universe has always been a complex topic: How do you keep a show focused on her, when the audience’s basis of understanding Supergirl is drawn from her cousin?

In some ways, there was no winning from the start (it was rigged!). When a power dynamic based on social privilege exists between two characters, it’s not uncommon for a TV show to reflect, and even validate, that disparity. For example, when Bill Cosby (I know, I know) first starred in I Spy in 1965, he was the first African American to have a starring role on primetime TV, itself a huge sign post of social change. However, as he and his white partner (Robert Culp) drove around solving crimes, Cosby was never once behind the wheel.

One perspective on that was that the driving dynamic was pretty insulting to the black community — why couldn’t Cosby drive? Did they not trust him with the keys? It felt odd to see him constantly dashing for the passenger seat. The trouble is, if Bill Cosby had been the driver every time, it would have put him in the role of chauffeur, Driving Miss Daisy-style, which also would have been insulting…and, you know, much worse.

Clearly, the right answer would have been to have Cosby and Culp take turns driving—that never happened—but my point is that the producers of I Spy were in a situation that invited criticism no matter what they did, so long as they had to choose who to feature behind the wheel. (Again, I have no idea why Cosby and Culp didn’t take turns.)

With Supergirl, there’s a similar catch-22: When Superman isn’t an active character in the show, he’s mentioned so frequently that Kara/Supergirl effectively has to live in his shadow. But if he were a regular feature, it would give the audience the idea that she couldn’t keep the show interesting on her own.

Oh, and that overshadowing thing? I meant it literally. This was one of Superman’s two appearances in season one:

Source: Empire Online

Throughout season one, when Superman wasn’t gracing Kara with brief moments of benevolence, each of the other characters took turns referencing Superman, constantly measuring Kara’s success as a hero to her male counterpart. It eventually got old and embarrassing, and started to suggest that the producers were insecure about Supergirl’s ability to maintain the show as a solo hero.

Of course, the opposite would have been a problem, too. Bringing Superman in to his more-than-capable cousin’s show could have made his shadow permanent, and he likely would have upstaged her, diluting everything that’s enjoyable about watching Supergirl. So in a sense, there was no winning.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Season 2 launched with Superman playing an active role in the plot, and instead of upstaging Supergirl, the scripts were written to show us Superman’s privilege in focus. Check it out:

Full disclosure: This was not the actual dialogue.

What’s important about this is Supergirl’s reaction to Superman being treated with more respect than she is:

“Haven’t I saved more of these people than you have?”

“Haven’t I saved more of these people than you have?”

Rather than having the show focus on Supergirl being overshadowed from afar (ala season one) or having her not blink at being upstaged in person, the writers chose instead to use the chauvinism of other characters to illustrate the casual sexism that Kara has to deal with. The DEO troops are “honored to work with” Superman, and meanwhile, we’ve seen Kara risk her life for months for the DEO to little fanfare. The disparity is stark, and powerful.

This is fairly revolutionary for superhero TV—getting us to root for a hero whose job is made much, much harder because of male privilege—Peggy Carter notwithstanding.

Source: TomTrager/Teepublic

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“Back where we started, here we go ’round again.” – Supernatural Recap – Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets

Source: canonspngifs

Supernatural Season 12, Episode 10
“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee

For eight seasons now, everybody’s favorite Angel of the Lord has been a part of Supernatural, so it’s great to finally be getting more background on Castiel. With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Castiel-centric episodes, we knew the writers would be laying down some serious groundwork, building the history behind who Castiel was and who he has become. We could not be happier with how seamlessly “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” wove the beginnings of that extensive history into the current plot. Many times in the past, we’ve had “filler” episodes – the random hunt or salt and burn, Monster of the Week, etc. – that sorta had themes that might maybe hint at the overarching plot of the season, but you know they were just sorta…there to keep things moving.

Not so with “Lily Sunder.” This episode directly addressed the current hunt for the Lucifer’s child and the mythos of the Nephilim, and also dove head-first into Castiel’s history, the plight of the angels, the strain between the brothers and Castiel for his actions involving Billie the Reaper, and the big unknown of the season: Cosmic Consequences. Hard to do? Maybe. But writer Steve Yockey nailed every piece and gave us what was overall another phenomenally fantastic episode.

This one was complex, so we’re discussing it chronologically. Let’s go.

Castiel and Dean are giving each other the silent treatment. It’s kind of endearing, it’s kind of hilarious, it’s kind of childish, and it’s really just what we expect from the family dynamic of SPN. Basically, Dean’s pissed at Castiel for jumping in without fully understanding the ramifications of his actions.

Dawn: I’m not. As much as I hated losing Billie, I am fine with what Cas did, because it’s not like our boys ever gave a crap about cosmic consequences. But lots of people are mad, and I understand why.
Jay: Cas did what he felt he had to do. He always does what he thinks is right, is the best course of actions at the time. Sometimes it’s made things worse, sometimes it hasn’t. Now we have to wait and see, just like always.

Source: canonspngifs

The absolute best part of the entire “silent treatment” is Sam stuck in the middle, trying to make Dean and Castiel work through their little tiff. When normally it’s Sam trying to get Dean to talk about what’s bothering him, now Sam has two stubborn fools refusing to say thank you, refusing to appreciate each other, refusing to move on past this rather small issue with unknown consequences. Because honestly, we’ve had worse, and we’ve done this before. Remember that time Cas said “yes” to Lucifer? Or when Sam came back from the pit sans-soul and didn’t tell anyone? Wait, what about that time Dean decided it would be a really swell idea to bear the Mark of Cain…or Sam figuring Demon Blood was part of his balanced breakfast? No? Maybe that time Dean killed Death? OH WAIT! We all love that time they all worked together to release the Darkness into the world. Yeah. They’ve all done worse.

Jay: Personally I think Dean is being a big fat hypocrite! Who is he to judge Castiel’s actions when it was his own idea to make a pact with Billie and not fully understand what he was doing? If anything I think, much like Mary was doing last episode, Dean is projecting his own personal issues with the self-sacrificing angel. We all can’t be martyrs here Dean, you don’t get to sacrifice yourself all the time. I mean, is it weird for you that someone cares as much about you, as you care about Sam? Is it strange for Dean to see someone make the same rash decisions he, himself makes when it comes to Sam? And vice versa? Maybe now Dean and Sam will start to realize just exactly what these types of decisions do to the people who care for them, now that they are on the outside looking in and waiting for the other shoe to drop on Castiel.
Dawn: Well, actually, they can all be martyrs – they martyr themselves for each other all the time. And every time someone OTHER than Dean does it, he gets crabby. He has to learn to share martyrdom. It’s fine, Dean, really – there’s wood enough for everyone to hang themselves on a cross. And that way there will be plenty handy when you need to burn a body.

Source: canonspngifs

While it’s frustrating to see Dean treat Castiel like a child, Dean’s protective instincts are kicked into high gear and Chuck knows he’s done the same with Sam in the past. We get it, Dean: you don’t like seeing your family step into the line of fire, you’re the protector, you take the risks, blahblahblahwhinycakes.

Castiel hears a cry for help over “good old angel radio” from Benjamin, an old battalion friend, but the distress cry is suddenly cut off. Castiel has learned a lot from the Winchesters, notably when someone is in need, you run, so he does and we all get a bit of perspective when Castiel goes to investigate what happened to his old friend, including the end of the silent treatment (but not the end of the attitude, because Dean is, well, Dean).

And you know what’s awesome about all of this? For one of the first times, possibly the first time, we actually see Castiel accepting the Winchesters’ help from start. While normally it’s everybody join hands once things have already gone south, this time Sam is on Cas’ case from the second the angel tries to leave the bunker, wanting to know where Cas is going and offering help. And you know what’s shocking? Cas says yes, as long as it’s both brothers offering, and not just Sam.

Source: angvlicmish

So it turns out that not only was Benjamin’s vessel a woman, but that they were friends and Benjamin would never do anything to put [his vessel] in danger. Thanks to the investigations, a lot of information the relationship between angels and their vessels comes to light. And we see Castiel’s previous vessel.

Source: endiness

Jay: I LOVED this. First of all, Cas is alway hot – only super – attractive vessels for our Angel of the Lord. It makes me wonder is this Jimmy Novak’s great-grandma or something? Dark hair, blue eyes, full lips, neutral-colored overcoat. Either our Castiel has a prefered vessel type or the Novaks have a very strong genetic preference for trench coats. I truly love that really solidifies that Castiel is a Multidimensional wavelength of Celestial Intent. And more importantly, he never cared about gender, cause like, man vessel, woman vessel, whatever, as long as it’s a smokin’ hot brunette with blue eyes, it floats the Castiel boat (and mine too).
Dawn: BRB. Finding someone to sew that cosplay for me immediately.

Unsurprisingly, Benjamin is dead. Murdered. We don’t know who did it but apparently Castiel knows someone who might: Ishim, the angel who used to command Castiel. It’s clear from the get-go that Ishim is not a fan of humans, not that that information stops Sam and Dean from fully getting involved in Castiel’s business like the two nosey brothers they are. Remember when Dean said angels are dicks? Yeah. Zachariah ain’t got nothing on this whackjob.

Castiel is over all of it. Sasstiel in the house, ya’ll. He is 1000% done with everything.

Source: myheartofmusic

There are other angels two but they don’t matter and aren’t around long anyway. It’s all about Ishim. Smug, arrogant, disrespectful, disdainful Ishim. We can’t wait for someone to punch him in the face. He was Castiel’s commander before Cas got his own “flight,” as the angels call it. He seems particularly cruel to Castiel for his past transgressions.

Source: myheartofmusic

Jay: But, like, guys, listen, okay! Like, the BEST part about Ishim hating on Cas is how PISSED Dean gets, like, “no one makes fun of my family but me, jackass.” It’s sooo great! And really it just completely solidifies the “Cas is family” that Dean’s been saying for the past, what, six seasons? Yeah, totally, no one will ever get me to believe any differently about Cas being a Winchester.
Dawn: I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see that. Dean said it flat out — you’re our brother. And therefore Dean will whup the ass of anyone who gets up in Cas’ grill.

Dean puts up with standing around outside for what probably amounted to ten minutes, and now the brothers meet the new angel and it is a thing of beauty.

Source: canonspngifs

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There’ll Be Sleep When You’re Done – Supernatural JaxCon, Part II

“A lot of people mistake success of an actor with celebrity status and that’s not always the case.” – Julian Richings, JaxCon 2017

Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
Additional Photography by Shannon Laree Photography aka @reelnerdy and ToniAnn Licata Photography

The Creation Stands Convention was a whirlwind of activity, as we told you in Part One. If you haven’t read part one, what are you doing here? Go back and read it! There are just too many fantastic panels to cover in one post, so here in section two you will hear about Julian Richings, Alaina Huffman, Mark Pellegrino, R2M [Richard, Rob, and Matt], and the SNS or Saturday Night Special, the con-exclusive concert by Louden Swain.

Alaina Huffman

Being the first panel of a con is undoubtedly stressful. Following an opening by Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict can’t be easy. Being the only female actor to appear during the convention is sure to be difficult. At least, we think so, but damn girl, Alaina Huffman didn’t break a sweat. Taking the stage as the very first panel, at the very first con of the 2017 season, she stole hearts. She told deeply personal stories about her life as a mom and the impact acting has on it, what it was going from playing a character as good as Black Canary on Smallville to playing a character as bad as Abaddon on Supernatural, and about that time when Richard Speight Jr. ran into her father-in-law, who was Rich’s Uber driver.

“I didn’t know my father-in-law drove Uber …I guess he retired and he was bored and… he sent me a picture [of him and Rich] and it’s like the cutest thing ever…”

Alaina fielded a lot of questions about what’s it is like for a woman in the industry. She never shied away from them and was stoutly in support of being a mother and a woman and an actor. She spoke eloquently about women not apologizing for working. It was clear she hoped her views came through with her portrayal of Abaddon, a strong, unapologetic, character on Supernatural:

…I love that, as a bad guy [on Supernatural],I’m not hated.”

“Abaddon was meant to be a beacon of female empowerment.”

We believe that Alaina met her goal with Abaddon, She was a take charge character, strong independent and not afraid to go after what she wanted. Alaina was able to portray her with conviction and we think that’s one of the main reasons why, no matter how evil Abaddon was, she isn’t hated throughout the fandom. To further cement our love of Alaina she said this:

“…these conventions have been the highlight of my life.”

And we all swooned with how heartfelt her words were.

As always, no one who’s been on the show for more than five episodes escapes a panel without being asked about the pranks that happen on set. Alaina was in hysterics when she recounted the prank of her, Ruth Connell (Rowena), and Misha Collins wallpapering Mark Sheppard’s trailer with large prints of Castiel’s face from that years’ calendar.

“We put them everywhere, in the microwave, in the toilet, even in his shower. It took forty minutes and I went into Mom mode, ripping the calendars apart, organizing everyone until everything was covered in Misha’s face.”

We, and all fans, love hearing about what it is like to work with Jensen and Jared. Alaina was gracious enough to recount how their very first conversation was somehow about Vanilla Ice and she cannot remember why or how! She speculated with a fan about the kind of night on the town Abaddon and Rowena would have, as two of the more powerful female “villains” in the show.

“I think they’d go to the spa, maybe, as Ruth would say, a wee cafe, drinking, dancing, out on the town. Maybe they would team up.”

We do wonder what Rowena would say if she found out that Alaina’s favorite moment in the show was when she got to beat up Crowley.

“I think it was the time I got to beat the crap out of Crowley. All the crew were taking numbers for their turn.”

Though when it comes to her favorite line we have to agree with her when she said:

“‘I’ll stump ya to death, It’ll be swell.’”– I mean who even says that!”

Jay: I have to say I was so incredibly impressed with Alaina. For the very first panel of the con she really got it off on the right foot. She was so well spoken and so open and friendly I needed more. I actually went right then and bought a ticket for her photo-op and signing. She was an amazing sport and so fun in the photo-op. She was very liberal with the fans, taking time to talk to each one before the shutter snapped and she was down for anything! It was super fun!

Dawn: She was a doll and I kinda wish I had done the photo-op now. Also her energy during Friday karaoke was infectious.

Jay: She was so wonderful and agreed immediately to reenact the scene with me where she has Dean gripped by the back of his head. She laughed and said Right on, of course! — P.S She is super pretty and it was way intimidating for me when she slipped back into the Abaddon role.

Julian Richings

For a man cast to play Death himself, Julian Richings could not be farther from the character he portrays. From the moment he stepped on stage to Rich singing “Oh, Death” in a ridiculous falsetto followed by Rob playing”Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, he was a ball of energy and exuberance. He bounded from one end of the stage to the other, filling the room with joy and excitement. Julian has truly embraced the fans love of him and his character, dressing in a tshirt with an adorable cartoon miniature Death– scythe and all– on it.

Julian started out by confessing he found out about his character, Mr. Hanley on Heartland, being killed off by stumbling upon the episode while watching TV and seeing the ambulance riding off down the road.

“I’m dead and inside! So I learned of my death in that way. I have died in both shows now.”

He talked about how he finds inspiration for each character he plays:

“In a funny way, I don’t differentiate so much between characters. I try to find the humanity in all the characters that I play, so in a way they are all aspects of me, I guess.”

We couldn’t agree more, as it is clear that Julian is just as passionate about food as Death was. He spent a lot of his panel expounding on his love of pizza–Chicago style is the best in his opinion–and how pepperoni was considered a special snack in England, and how delighted he was to find it so readily available on pizza in the US.

Jay: Julian was a ball of energy, he was funny and insightful, and I don’t think I’d have that much energy on a normal day let alone in front of hundreds of other people.

Dawn: I loved his “awkward schoolboy dance” every time he talked about having grown up in England.

When a fan inquired as to how, with such a bubbly personality, did Julian’s agent think he would make a good Death? We loved his response:

“I have cheekbones, I have an English accent, so right away it’s like: bad guy. So I’m always the creep who kills people in the first two minutes of the movie and then by five minutes in, I’m dead! I’m that guy.”

Julian really gave us some insight as to how he got involved with playing the character Death, how the producers were looking more for the dynamic between the Four Horseman than they were strictly looking for Death. So when he was asked to read for one of the Horseman, he actually read for Pestilence.

When I got offered the job … I thought oh great I’m going to play Pestilence, and my agent said, ‘Oh no you’re going to play Death.’ Oh yes, Death, yes … So it goes back to one of the earlier question. Sure, I play Death but I try to bring as much humanity to Death as possible and see him as part of the cycle of life.”

After sharing a wonderfully personal and slightly horrible story of how he got a concussion by running head first into a plate-glass window while trying to catch a bus, he milked the crowd for all the aww’s he could get. It was adorable, especially when he politely said Thank you, after each chorus of aww. Julian Richings panel was entertaining and delightful. He was highly energetic and fully embraced the fans and their questions. By the end of it all it had been decided: Death Lives. Now we just have to wait for the writers to get on board.

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