“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. 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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“You don’t get to have both.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Hardball

Scandal Season 6, Episode 2
“Hardball”
Posted by Sage

It’s week 2 of Scandal Season 6 and America still doesn’t have a president picked out. (Just like IRL! No president…no president at all.) Olivia is 500% sure that Cyrus ordered Frankie Vargas’s assassination, but the White House isn’t going to help her prove it. Meanwhile, Mellie has to choose between her personal life and her career when she’s presented with two attractive propositions. To the gifs!

We’re back at the RNC and Marcus is tearing up during Mellie’s acceptance speech Huck is like,”You’re embarrassing us.”

So Marcus’s feelings for Mellie run DEEP. It’s not just a sex thing. But can it also be a sex thing?

“We made this campaign together so now, let’s make history together.” She’s killing it and she knows it. The crowd goes wild.

“You cried, well I think that’s beautiful.” Mellie and Marcus have a moment over some champagne, and Olivia is watching them like a hawk.

Olivia: “Knees together.”
Mellie: 

Olivia comes to the Oval to play the incriminating voicemail from the dead videographer for Fitz and Abby so they’ll finally start taking Olivia’s accusations against Cyrus seriously.

Gimme that orange coat.

“Just because he killed Frankie doesn’t mean he didn’t feel bad about it.” Olivia is immune to Cyrus tears.

Meet FBI director Angela Patterson, another black woman in a position of power!

“The election is over, Liv. And so is this meeting.” Fitz threw his support behind Cyrus, so an investigation would look bad for HIM. God, Fitz is the fucking worst.

“I’ll take care of Mellie, you make sure we get that confession.” They’re going to pin the assassination on their guy whether he did it or not.

“Tweets like, “get that dumb Mexican off my television.” Their guy IS a racist dick, so they’ve got that going for them.

“It’s a less polite way of saying go have sexual intercourse with yourself.” McClintock won’t sign a confession, even though they’re offering to make a deal. He maintains that he didn’t shoot Vargas. They’re wasting their time.

“It’s Mr. McClintock as in my parents came to America before yours did David…ROSEN.” Aw, an antisemite too. How perfectly irrelevant to the current state of our government!

Olivia orders Quinn to get to what’s left of the videographer’s cabin to search for evidence.

“I’m reminded of a movie where two women drive off a cliff together.” “We’ll drink later.” Update: Mellie and Olivia are still best girlfriends.

“Get it done.” Aware that Mellie also believes Cyrus killed his running mate, Fitz makes her sit down with him to “compromise.”

“You’re gonna kill me right. I’m assuming that’s your plan.”

“I want you to join my administration as vice president on a unity ticket.” Whaaaat.

“I’m supposed to serve you? I’m suppose to allow you to just walk away with a job I have worked for, I have bled for, I was born for?” Mellie ain’t accepting no consolation prize.

“If you think the only presidential candidate left in this election is going to get down on her knees and be a good little girl for YOU, the man who tried to murder his way into the Oval, honey, you better think again.”

“I’m not the bad guy here, Mellie. Not this time, at least.” The Cyrus who cried wolf? I don’t think so.

“You can do this. You have me.” Another flashback. Marcus is teaching Mellie how to pitch so she can impress white male voters with her all-American-ness.

“I can’t think of anything better than this. Can you?” “No.” I’m reminded of another uber romantic late night baseball date…

“Show me how you grip it.” “No, no, Miss Scully, the pleasure’s all mine…”

It’s all too intimate and obvious. Mellie freaks and leaves before she can do something stupid like kiss him.

“Who’s going to walk you down the aisle?” Charlie and Quinn are dressed like FBI agents and coming through the cabin wreckage. But Charlie wants to talk wedding planning. That ceremony is gonna be lit.

They find Jennifer’s laptop, but have to hand it over to be cataloged.

Abby calls in Jake to help her get a confession out of McClintock. HI JAKE.

“Stop doing that. Coming up to me with your concern. You didn’t choose me. Nobody does.” In the present, Marcus finds Mellie after her meeting with Cyrus and checks in on her. Something SO HAPPENED.

MOONSHINE TIME. Another flashback: Mellie and Marcus watch her throw out the first pitch. She kills it, does a dirt-off-the-shoulder move. The people love her. Mellie wants to celebrate with her favorite booze.

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“how to plan a normal wedding please help” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Is Josh Free in Two Weeks?

Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 12
“Is Josh Free in Two Weeks?”
Posted by Sage

There’s an episode of Friends where Joey and Phoebe argue over whether there is any charitable deed that can be done without the doer gaining something for themselves, even if it’s just a sense of satisfaction. (“I WILL find a selfless good deed. Because I just gave birth to three children and I will not let them be raised in a world where Joey is right.”) In this week’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, various friends and one stranger pitch in to save Rebecca’s whirlwind wedding. And even if their actions are tinged with a little selfishness, they still make Rebecca feel like what she’s always wanted to be: a normal girl. Like you see on Pinterest.

Let’s talk about the four patron saints of the #bunchofchans nuptials, starting with a protective best friend:

Paula

Source: bunchofbloom

Rebecca’s wedding couldn’t have come at a worse time for Paula. She and her classmates are consumed with prep for finals, and Sunil is not pleased that Rebecca dare show her vulnerable face at Paula’s house. The resentment over someone else thinking that your best friend is THEIR best friend is so real. Sunil and Rebecca are never going to get along. But Rebecca has grown enough to know what would happen if she showed Paula how desperate she is: Paula would spring into action, like she always does, and possibly sabotage her own chances for success in the process. Rebecca puts on a brave face and keeps her mouth shut. For Paula’s sake.

Source: crazyexedits

It’s not until later when Paula drops by to check in on Rebecca’s progress that she sees what her friend has been keeping from her. Dustin and Sasha’s DIY wedding page only shows the final product of the Nova Scotian couple’s labors: the twinkle lights, the expensive pussy willows, and every possible size of mason jar. I look at a site like that and think, “I wonder how many times Dustin cried from stress” and “I bet Sasha wish she’d never heard of Etsy. Rebecca sees only what’s in front of her: another test on the subject of being a functional adult. Even though she does’t actually know what a DIY wedding entails or even is (“Do I why wedding? Because I love Josh!”), she gets in over her head by trying to prove something to herself. And the insecurity train has gained too much speed for Paula to put a stop to it now. She does her best, asking a near-hysterical Rebecca to make eye contact with her, then pleading for her to postpone the wedding. Rebecca can’t, not with her elevator transgression hanging over her and not when rescheduling would mean admitting to her guests that she couldn’t pull it off. So, Paula changes tactics and tries to take one item off of Rebecca’s plate. But her Canadian wedding gods didn’t have a sheet cake from Costco; they had whimsical bride and groom cake pops. And Rebecca is going to have them too, even if it kills her.

Source: bunchofbloom

Paula’s real contribution to the wedding happens outside of Rebecca’s notice. Because Paula is a protective Mama Bear, she can’t comprehend the idea that a mom who’s perfectly able wouldn’t drop everything to come help her only daughter get married in some semblance of style. Why is Paula’s act of charity not entirely selfless? Because I think Rebecca’s bestie has been waiting to unload on Naomi for A LONG time. I think Naomi prides herself on being intimidating. But Paula isn’t afraid of her, and by god, reading her the riot act works. Rebecca gets the normal wedding dress of her dreams, and we get another reminder that Donna Lynne Champlin is in a comedic class by herself.

Patrick

Source: bunchofbloom

Seth Green’s guest spot is an exercise in restraint. And some of the episode’s sweetest moments came when Patrick’s quiet bewilderment at being on the receiving end of Rebecca’s nervous breakdown would melt into fondness. He’s on the front lines of the disaster, delivering wedding dress after wedding dress and serving as the bride’s sounding board in the absence of her friends and family. (“I don’t know, I wear the same outfit every single day.”)

Rebecca is piling her planning stress onto the unassuming delivery guy, but she’s also using him to air out some guilt. The only three people who know about Rebecca and Nathaniel’s elevator kiss are Rebecca, her “foine” boss, and now, Patrick. She can’t tell anyone else lest they try to make her see reason and cancel this misguided attempt to love Josh more than she does. Patrick can be objective. Patrick can tell her she’s going to be fine. “Tell Me I’m Okay, Patrick” is a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in the score of Promises, Promises and speaks to any of us who have looked for validation in strange places because we don’t dare asking the people we should.

*I don’t know why men in shorts are so funny, but they are.

We find out later that Patrick also delivers to the law office, so he knows right where to go when Rebecca’s problems become too much for him. He’s the messenger who tells Paula that her friend is afraid to tell her how overwhelmed she is. He needs relief, but also it’s an act of kindness. And Paula’s reaction tells Patrick he did the right thing. Mama Paula always makes it better.

Source: bunchofbloom
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“Have fun with the muggle.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right?

Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 11
“Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right?”
Posted by Sage

As if Rebecca Bunch needed further rationale for her misbehavior, the Santa Ana winds came to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this week. The native Californians warn Rebecca that the weather phenomenon makes everyone act a little strange. Meanwhile, nothing that any of them do in the course of the hour is one step out of character. (Except perhaps for George, but that’s what happens when you push a man to the brink.) The winds don’t blow Rebecca into Nathaniel’s rather nice arms; her insecurity about her en-gaaahge-ment does the job just fine on its own.

Source: bunchofbloom

“Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right?” is a subversive take on that engagement honeymoon period and the imagery that’s associated with it. Rebecca shoves, sticks, and plants her ringed hand on the faces of her coworkers to shut them up about the speed with which she and Josh are moving. And finding the perfect wedding venue becomes synonymous with having the perfect marriage. Josh and Rebecca haven’t had one conversation about how their relationship will change or what their long-term plans are. Though Josh – bless his simple heart – does believe that they’ll be married “forever.” Of course some engaged couples go right into planning mode. But a coffee break conversation with Paula tells Rebecca that she’s missing the other half of this experience. She doesn’t feel any differently towards Josh knowing that they’re going to spend their lives together. He doesn’t give her goosebumps anymore.

As ever, Rebecca is more concerned with how their engagement will change how people perceive her. (Hopefully: together, sane, desirable.) She’s especially eager to clock Nathaniel’s response. He’s taken SUCH pleasure in putting Josh down to her face. If an engagement doesn’t convince him that this is real, then what will? But – shocker – Nathaniel isn’t one to get all moony over an engagement ring. As far as he’s concerned, an engaged person is just giving up on the fun stuff and taking themselves out of the game. (Guys think “the chase” is a lot more fun than girls do, wonder why.) He pushes Rebecca about it – how she’ll never be satisfied, how she’s only tying herself down – because he’s decided that he wants to see her break. It’s not a HEALTHY chemistry they have, but Nathaniel and Rebecca are both very determined to pull the other over to their way of thinking. One might say they’re a little obsessed.

Source: crazyexedits
 

The switch flicks for Nathaniel when the winds blow upon Rebecca’s top and he gets a load of her sacks of yellow fat. (They ARE glorious.) In another stroke of brilliance, the show anthropomorphizes the Santa Ana winds as a Frankie Valli-esque crooner. Rebecca imagines the West Covina weatherman (who WAS in Jersey Boys – I checked) creating opportunities for mischief and meddling in her love life. Really, Rebecca’s mistake happens because of her and Nathaniel’s combative sexual chemistry. It IS weird that they both had a sex dream about the other on the same night. (“Oh, girl who works for me.”) But really, they’ve been building towards a bad decision since Nathaniel got there.

Source: crazyexedits

Paula’s advice is cribbed straight from eight Reese Witherspoon movies and is thus incredibly sound. The sexual tension will blow over. Eventually Nathaniel will do something that repels Rebecca, and she and Josh will get their groove back. (“I’m im-bump-potent with him!”) All she has to do is avoid being stuck with him alone in a small space. (Was this always a thing or did rom-coms foretell a self-fulfilling prophecy?) Rebecca spends the whole day avoiding her boss, but the wind is a prankster (“tee hee heeeee”) and they end up alone in the elevator together at night. The running George joke finally pays off when the power goes, and he’s the only person left in the building to rescue him. But Nathaniel and Rebecca are too wrapped up in their own egos and problems to remember this poor guy’s name. Their forced intimacy is George’s revenge.

Source: bunchofbloom
 

“This guy is the embodiment of all my problems,” Kim said to me when we talked about the episode. And he really is the perfect expression of “the guy she tells you not to worry about” meme. What should be repulsing Rebecca – and all of us, when we’re treated this way – is instead issued as a challenge, an enticing opportunity to act out.

Source: crazyexedits
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“Soldiers today.” – Sherlock Recap – The Final Problem

Source: sherlockstuff

Sherlock, Season 4, Episode 3
“The Final Problem”
Posted by Sage

I considered breaking with our recap naming convention to call this post an “in defense of” piece. I can’t divorce my experience watching “The Final Problem” from the high rate of angry feels (and dearth of good feels) stirred up by the first two episodes of the season. So when the first few minutes of “The Final Problem” felt like a return to form for Sherlock – at least a return to the more madcap storytelling of season 3, which I loved – I produced my ticket, loaded up my luggage, and got on board. Did it make any sense? Barely. Was it a blatant attempt to have it all ship-wise? You better believe it. But this finale had all the nerve and zip I’ve come to expect from this show. I’ve been down enough on this season; I deserve to get a little enjoyment out of what might have been the last ever episode of Sherlock, in spite of its manifold problems. Sometimes nostalgia deserves the win.

The show’s primary concern has always been the humanization of Sherlock Holmes. Above all. And while I don’t believe that all antisocial people are created by a traumatic childhood incident, I believe the series was always determined to give us a REASON for the consulting detective. (“The roads we walk have demons beneath.”) If that weren’t the case, there would have been no job for Eurus Holmes, a lost sister drawn in the fashion of Hannibal Lecter. (And even he was allowed to have books.) Sherlock incorrectly diagnosed himself as a high-functioning sociopath – he’s just a big softy with an avoidance complex. Eurus is the only sociopath produced by her family. And while her empathy chip is busted, she can do virtually anything she sets her mind to. There’s always been a somewhat rational explanation for events on Sherlock (“It’s never twins.”), but Eurus breaks that mold. Mycroft and Sherlock’s sister introduces a supernatural element. Her brain has advanced to a state that’s beyond what we’d call possible. Her will is extraordinarily potent, as is her intellect. Eurus isn’t magic in this context – just an anomaly. But she may as well be a sorceress. Seeing her standing expressionless in her cell, hair hanging around her face, I couldn’t help thinking that Eurus is a grown-up Matilda Wormwood, if her story had gone very, very differently.

Source: shrlckholmes
 

Funny that Moffat and Gatiss were deadset on over-explaining Sherlock’s emotional state, yet let the entire episode run wild under the broad hand wave of Eurus’ powers. On the other hand, I was perfectly happy to set rationality aside for the 90 minutes. We’re asked to right at the beginning, when it comes to light that Eurus dressed up as Faith Smith, exchanged texts with John, and then pretended to be the grieving man’s therapist just to announce her presence to her big brother. (Bus Girl is the inexplicable piece and a transparent effort to persuade the audience to forgive John because it’s not REALLY cheating if you’re swapping emojis with the criminally insane. I RESIST.)

Look, it’s frustrating that – in a season where one female character was thrown in the fridge and another handed mostly recycled material – Eurus Holmes exists in order to make men REALIZE things about themselves. The narrative isn’t any kinder to her than it has been to Molly and Mary, and Mofftiss stepped WAY out of bounds with that unproductive conversation about Eurus’ deviant sexuality. But I could also argue that Eurus’ Saw murder spree happens as a direct result of one man deciding that he knows what’s best for her and another deciding that what’s best for HIM is to erase her existence entirely. She couldn’t be handled. They couldn’t burn the witch, so they locked her away. Then Mycroft USES her brilliant mind whenever it is convenient for him. Eurus is called upon to save people living lives she won’t get to have. Like, I know she’s remorseless, but I also get why she’s angry.

Source: cumberbatchlives

Eurus does succeed in dismantling the stories the three men in her web tell about themselves. His sister is Mycroft’s most fatal mistake. He’s one genius level under “telepath killer” and his claim to fame is that he’s always in complete control. But The British Government’s approach to the largest problem ever to plague his own family turns out to have been tremendously wrong. (“I’m not asking HOW you did it, Idiot Boy…”) John still believes he can be a “soldier today” when the situation calls for it, but his practicality stops right before the ability to execute a man to save another life. And Sherlock, as has been pounded into our heads by now, is not immune to sentiment at all. He feels things very deeply, even though he tried to force those emotions out of himself the first time they became too much to bare.

Does Sherlock’s sister know the difference between a game and a massacre? The show tries to have it both ways with Eurus. Sometimes she seems not to understand the full effect of what she’s doing. But in other moments she’s downright Moriarty-sinister. She’s the most interesting villain we’ve had all season, but the fuzziness of her character is set in high relief when that guy actually shows back up. Jim Moriarty is shoe-horned into this story to within an inch of his (ended) life. Just for fun. But that tracks, because fun is his number one reason for doing anything.

Source: majorlyobsessed

Sometimes you don’t know how starved you’ve been for a character until you openly weep at his five minute cameo. The flaws of this episode are many and dumb, but god, I could watch that helicopter entrance on a loop for the better part of a day. I might have, actually. The glasses. That suit. The soundtrack. His love of theater. I don’t buy that Eurus would send for Moriarty or that Mycroft would allow it, but I DO buy that Moriarty would show up to Sherringford practically panting with desire to find out what’s up. (“You’re a Christmas present.” “How do you want me?”)

“Do you like my boys?” Source: majorlyobsessed

(I did fear for one brief moment that Eurus had dominated Moriarty like she does everyone else and had been controlling him for the past five years. But I suppose she can turn it on and off and what she needed from Jimbo was his own personal expertise. It would have broken my heart if they’d erased everything about him.)

Moriarty didn’t live to see it or gain anything from it, but the booby-trapped haunted house he designs with Eurus does bring Sherlock’s carefully constructed facade crashing down. She’s obsessed with her brother’s deductive skills, which she must have noticed about him when they were children. What seems rather pointless while Mycroft, John, and Sherlock are racking their brains over Eurus’ puzzles is explained to some degree when we learn what she did to get herself locked away. Victor Trevor was the game. Young Eurus reasoned that if she took something away from Sherlock that he loved very much but left a trail for him, then he’d be playing with her while he followed it. But she overestimates her brother’s abilities and underestimates his emotional distress. She didn’t mind that Victor Trevor died, even if her original intent wasn’t necessarily to kill him. Either Sherlock would be enticed by her brilliance or she’d lose him forever. When her experiment failed, Eurus literally set her life on fire. There was nothing left.

Source: rominatrix
 

Johnlock fans who were hoping for something more definitive from this episode were disappointed. (Hey kids, death threats are what we might call an overreaction. Also illegal!) But all these connections between John and Sherlock’s “Redbeard” point to the arrival of John Watson in his life as the moment that Sherlock began to untangle himself from all those emotional security systems he put in place. He blocked out all memories of Eurus and turned Victor Trevor into a trusty dog because he couldn’t live with what had happened. That ought to have closed him off completely to someone in serious danger of getting as intimate with him as his childhood bestie.

 
 
Source: stephnstrnge
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“It’s not love, my dear. It’s fantasy.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?

Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 10
“Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?”
Posted by Sage

Rebecca and Josh are that couple you hate. They’re the ones who make out during museum tours, text meaningless endearments all day, and won’t stop asking you if they’ve already told you about “that cute thing” the other did last week. They’re certainly the couple that HEATHER hates. But Rebecca has been clawing her way up this mountain for over a season and a half, so I’m inclined to let her enjoy the view from the top for a little while.

Their first two attempts to be together long forgotten by no one but themselves, Josh and Rebecca are insufferably optimistic about their future. Outwardly. Like on their Facebook, Waze, and Open Table feeds. But this precarious couple can’t escape the academic interpretation of the psych student/Vox reader they share an apartment with. And one way to throw the metaphorical cold water on some PDA-loving roommates is to force them to think about where they really stand. “You know, studies have shown that couples who post a lot on social media are often insecure about their attachment,” Heather explains to unconvincing dismissive scoffs. Josh and Rebecca are putting their happy couple face out into the world so that they’ll have no choice but to live up to it. Anyway: “Love fixes everything!”

Source: bunchofbloom
 

The lovebirds sing about their deliberate choice to ignore the differences that’ll probably screw them later in the genre that sounds most like happiness crying on the inside: disco. It’s the first real Josh/Rebecca duet we’ve gotten all season, and though it’s a song about love, it is definitively NOT a love song. (“Do you remember back when we had problems?” “Oh yeah! That was annoying.”) ’70s Heather can’t get through to their matching jumpsuit AU selves either, but she does get to look fabulous in some high-waisted bell bottoms. LET VELLA LOVELL DANCE MORE.

“Fine. I guess I’ll just Soul Train out of here.” Source: bunchofbloom

There’s no singing when Rebecca has a contrite coffee with Valencia, just an overdue talk between two friends who once swore not to fall back in the orbit of the same guy. Valencia doesn’t revert to her season 1 bitchiness; she doesn’t cast Rebecca off. But she doesn’t let her off the hook either, grading the current state of their relationship to “eh.” And because girl groups are forever (zigazow!), Valencia even tries to give Rebecca some advice about wanting too much too soon out of this relationship. “Don’t you see that Josh is like, all over the place and lost?” she asks. But Rebecca is willing herself to NOT see how ill-equipped her boyfriend is to be in a serious relationship. She’s blinded by having a date to take back to Scarsdale with her for her cousin’s bar mitzvah. Normally, she’d be dreading a weekend back in her mother’s house, but “love protects you!” Valencia laughs, bitterly.

Source: crazyexedits

Once of Josh’s more mature qualities is that he (unlike Rebecca) seeks out advice from people he trusts and actively tries to take it. Father Brah can’t reassure Josh that none of Rebecca’s older relatives will call him an “Oriental,” but he can make Josh admit the truth to himself. Josh is feeling the pressure of Scarsdale and reuniting with the woman who once asked him point-blank about the state of Rebecca’s hymen because his life is pretty empty except for this relationship. Father Brah doesn’t explain Josh’s problem to him; maybe because it’s more priest-like to let him figure it out for himself. Or maybe because he’s too busy scanning the trees for his weed stash.

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Of course, Josh and Rebecca fail to talk to each other about their trepidation, so they show up to Rebecca’s family home in New York equally paralyzed by the prospect of the weekend. And when you’re under Naomi Bunch’s roof, you’re better off if you present a united front. Boyfriend or no, the mortification starts right away for Rebecca. Naomi answers the door in her Spanx and bra, criticisms at the ready and halfway through the process of slathering La Mer over her entire body. (“I know it’s for my face, but for once I’m splurging on myself!”) It’s true, you DO have to let it sink in. And can I just say? Mazel tov, Tovah. Keepin’ it right, keepin’ it tight.

The bra twirling kills me. Source: bunchofbloom

Look, if you don’t regress back to your teen years the second you step into the house you grew up in, you are made of steel. Rebecca’s voice is two full octaves higher in Scarsdale. Her palm is permanently stuck to her face. But Josh doesn’t have the same complicated emotional history with Naomi as his girlfriend does. He finds Rebecca’s mom harmless and quirky, like a traveling show that he doesn’t really need to engage with. Rebecca is less than thrilled that Naomi and Josh are getting along so well. It’s a personal affront to her that they’re collaborating on challah French toast and learning about the problematic connotations of certain words. (“I knew it was racist, I just didn’t know why!”) Rebecca’s definition of the weekend “going well” was for her to have someone to commiserate about her family with, not someone who will challenge her unforgiving view of them. Naomi Bunch is a difficult woman, but she passed many of her traits down to her daughter, including her passion for, YOU GUESSED IT:

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Look at Josh’s face. Get on board or be left behind, buddy.

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“Once more unto the breach.” – Sherlock Recap – The Lying Detective

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Sherlock, Season 4, Episode 2
“The Lying Detective”
Posted by Sage

We are officially going around in circles. Then we are backtracking and going on random tangents and we don’t even get the satisfaction of tormenting Mycroft while we do it.

“The Lying Detective” brought so many of Sherlock‘s favorite devices limping back into an already overstuffed narrative. Were there fun moments? Sure. Was the emotion real? Sometimes. Did Martin Freeman break me with this acting? Absolutely. Even though the pacing of this episode made it an easier watch than “The Six Thatchers,” it still collapsed in the center under the weight of everything it’s trying to do.

Let’s start with Toby Jones as the odious Culverton Smith, a wealthy philanthropist who moonlights as a serial killer. I’m surprised any scenery was still standing after Jones chowed down on it all, but hey, that’s why you hire him. Culverton is the jolliest murderer you’ll ever meet and so eager to share his deeds with an audience that his board meetings always come with a complimentary mind-eraser. But who needs an explanation of why anyone would agree to be hooked up to such an IV, even if asked by someone they trusted, let alone a creepy little troll like this? There are cereal/serial killer jokes to be made!

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How many more times will Sherlock tell us that no, actually, THIS is the worst and most heinous criminal he’s ever encountered? Whatever their methods and motives, so long as Sherlock writes all its uber-villains to be overly articulate, pompous, joyously maniacal, and just half an IQ-point less sharp than its hero, those variations barely register. Andrew Scott’s Moriarty is unsurpassable. And yeah, the show blew that wad in season 1. But that’s no reason to turn every Conan Doyle bad guy into the same monologue-crazy gentleman psychopath.

So Culverton Smith’s taunting of Sherlock wasn’t as effective as it should have been. It did eat up plenty of time though. None of that time was spent explaining what Culverton’s endgame was or how he’d planned to get Sherlock in one of his hospital beds. (I don’t know how he could have anticipated what happened in the mortuary.) He grandstands with his guests in the children’s ward, behaving a way that made me wonder who would ever let him speak to kids, fortune or no fortune. Nothing about Culverton Smith is lovable. He’s off-putting and scary, even when he’s smiling. He’s so clearly operating on some strange and separate plane yet no one but Sherlock and Watson appear to be repulsed by him or even the slightest bit concerned. I wondered at first if we’re meant to be seeing his behavior through Sherlock’s eyes – that in his drug-stupor he was looking beyond the facade and into the guilt. The show could have also made a more trenchant point about the leeway we give to the rich. But as it was, Culverton’s strange personality just hung there, unexplained and unquestioned.

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I’m going to put my murder weirdo hat on right now and say that it is EXTREMELY unusual for a serial killer to want to stand out like Culverton does. Some are extremely anti-social. Most blend seamlessly into their communities. Ted Bundy was famously charming. It’s not Culverton’s hinting at his atrocities that’s unbelievable, it’s that he’d draw attention to himself in other ways, putting his name on hospital wings and appearing on television. His methods are interesting though, and I do appreciate how the show melded the “The Dying Detective” plot with the very true and very fascinating story of H.H. Holmes, the serial killer doing big, big business in Chicago during the World’s Fair. (Have you read The Devil in the White City? You get on it, and Leonardo DiCaprio, get on that movie you promised me.) He’s committing mercy killings minus the mercy and he’s doing it in a tricked-out MURDER hospital. (“I like to make people into things.”) Still, Culverton Smith falls short of being the terrifying presence Sherlock intends him to be because THERE ARE NO VICTIMS. I mean, there are meant to be many, but why are they locked out of the story? It was a nice character detail to show Lestrade so broken after hearing part 1 of Culverton’s lengthy confession. (He’s a good man.) But without context, the whole case felt so…impersonal.

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Naturally, it’s all about Sherlock, who we know from the episode title is keeping something from us. It’s back to another familiar well with the detective getting himself hooked to achieve a goal: this time, it’s to court the sympathy or at least the presence of John Watson. John, you’ll remember, decided to break all ties with Sherlock after the death of Mary.  His grief has left him temporarily incapable of taking care of Rosie, and he takes offense at his shrink approving that choice out of pity. “Why does everything have to be ‘understandable’?” he asks. “Why can’t some things be unacceptable? And we just say that?” John Watson is so alone, with no company but his dead but still cheerful wife.

It’s common in Sherlock for people to communicate with themselves by communicating with their concept of another person, usually, that’s achieved by Sherlock in his mind palace. But there’s something unkind about putting Mary in this position, following John around, existing to only motivate his participation in the world or to stir up his guilt. She’s dead and she still can’t catch a break. Selfishly, I loved seeing Amanda Abbington again. She’s a master of the reaction and made for a charming personal ghost – as nurturing, mischievous, and on Sherlock’s side as ever. And even though the manipulation was strong and so predictable, Mary’s presence broke up the anger that rightly dominated most of Martin’s performance in this episode. She tries to remind him: “John, you’ve got to remember, it’s important: I am dead.” But John refuses to register this information. His stubborn denial was this episode’s most moving moment, though I expect Team Johnlock will disagree. (I’ll get to it, dain’t you worry.)

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High Sherlock is still a sight to behold and I applaud the unabashed Britishness of having Benedict Cumberbatch roaring the most famous speech from Henry V for no detectable reason other than his training. (Question: if Sherlock doesn’t need room in his brain for the solar system, how come Shakespeare gets a spot? Answer: He’s a romantic, duh.) The visual bravado of the scene comes to its slow-mo/sped-up climax when Mrs. Hudson drops Sherlock’s tea so that she can get a grasp on the gun he’s been waving around. (“Of course I didn’t call the police, I’m not a civilian.”) And prepare to hate me, because I’m about to rain on your Hudders parade.

“That’s good.” Source: livingthegifs

I miss the subtlety of early Sherlock, where Mrs. Hudson would make reference to her checkered pass and then chuckle and pass the biscuits. (That never happened exactly so, but you get the drift.) Now all subtlety is gone. Mrs. Hudson drives an Aston Martin like a coked-out 007 and evidently has the upper body strength necessary to shove a 6′ tall man into the boot before she does it. She doesn’t need to do these things to prove to me that she’s a badass. She always has been; those original episodes show us that she endures what Sherlock puts her through because she cares about him but also because she loves the danger.

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“It’s like, could he be more of a white?” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy? & When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episodes 8 & 9
“Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?”
Posted by Sage

How’s this for a meaningful coincidence? The sort-of hardworking employees of Whitefeather & Associates got their reprieve the very same week that the CW announced that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will be back for season 3. Here in 2017, that feels like a political statement. That heat map that’s going around says that CXG is the Netflix show most popular in the liberal hotbeds of New York, California, and Oregon. Its ratings are minuscule in comparison to CBS’s block of comedies designed to bring out the very worst in your parents’ friends. But the CW doesn’t care that middle America isn’t tuning in to watch a size 8 Jewish woman sleep with a Filipino man and sing about her clinical depression. That’s one vote in favor of quality over quantity. Congratulations, you crazy weirdos. You deserve this.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came back from its brief winter hiatus with a double-dose of episodes that did feel like two halves of a whole. “Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?” resolved the argument that’s been keeping Paula and Rebecca apart for weeks. It had to, because that storyline hit its highest point with their epic ’80s love ballad, “You Go First.” But what I wasn’t expecting quite so soon was another reconciliation between Rebecca and Josh, this time with Josh as the pursuer.

But first: the ladies. What really destroyed me about Scott’s confession is that it happened in a moment of imperfect domestic happiness. The Proctors don’t know how to send their delinquent children out into the world with a normal bagged lunch, but they’re up every morning doing their best. And Paula seems content with this life, as madcap as it is. And then it blows up, right in her face. It hurts too because Scott DOES love his wife, and more than that, we’ve seen this season how much he respects her. He stood by her decision to go to law school. He stood by her decision to terminate her pregnancy. But Scott is evidently feeling the strain more than she is and makes a really thoughtless, awful mistake. Paula kicks him out because she can’t see any other option. And then she brings all that baggage with her to work and has a meltdown over her daily iced mocha. I don’t think I’ve ever identified with Paula more than when she’s shaking empty ice trays at her coworkers and bellowing, “What MAN did this?”

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When Rebecca spies a weakness in another person, she performs some quick mental calculus on how to use it to her best advantage. The standoff doesn’t stand if Paula’s in crisis; Rebecca can only apologize while under the impression that she has the proverbial upper hand. As her best friend cries, Rebecca simultaneously sees her chance to finally make things right AND misjudges the situation completely. Her dramatic display of being the bigger person doesn’t go over well, but it DOES pull a lecture out of Mrs. Hernandez, who evidently talks “all the time.” Never forget that Rebecca Bunch is one hell of an unreliable narrator.

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The shaming doesn’t put her off though. Rebecca shows up to Paula’s house offering her unsolicited nannying services so that Paula can go on her “weird adult field trip” with her law school classmates without her house spiraling into the final act of a Hunger Games book. (“Just a dystopian nightmare. Children fighting for food, trying to kill each other…”) It’s a show of solidarity, and Rebecca legitimately wants to help Paula out. But it’s also a chance for her to try on motherhood for a weekend and prove that she’d be better than all the other moms. (“I could be a good mom if I wanted to be a good mom.” I MISS GREG.) She’s a philanthropist in the way that Cher Horowitz is a philanthropist: being nice to prove a point about how good she is at being nice. (“You know, if I ever saw you do anything that wasn’t 90% selfish, I’d die of shock.”) Paula tries to warn her that she’s volunteering for a suicide mission. (“Parenting turns you into well, me.”) But Rebecca has listened to half an episode of a child-rearing podcast and she won’t hear it. She sends Paula out the door to some New Jack Swing.

Rebecca’s plans for a quiet Netflix Saturday with Tommy are shot when they run into Josh “ohmigod it’s my ex” Chan, getting some supplies for his incoming cold. He wants to be in tip-top shape for a mysterious gig at a sponsored party at Spider’s, even though his lady won’t be able to make it. (“Let’s just say I’m ‘in-volved.'”) Another imperfection? It’s Rebecca’s kryptonite. The story of Josh’s sniffles prompts the most poetic chicken soup delivery of all time. (I love her Jewish rage at the lack of matzoh balls in West Covina.) In doing something nice for Josh, she sees her chance to give something to him that Anna isn’t. Rebecca’s professional ability to hide her own intentions from herself are on full display. But hey, a sick guy got his soup.

He’s so happy, too. Josh wants to be mothered. (Not like Hector wants to be mothered, but still.) He’s not wild about commitment, but I think that’s because he’s always had the power in the relationship. He’s very aware that Anna is cooler, richer, and more cosmopolitan that he is, so despite how freaked out he was playing house with Rebecca, here he’s grasping for some proof that Anna really is into him. So when the note gets ruined by some leakage, he assumes that Anna is his benefactor. Rebecca cannot deal with the idea that Josh be ignorant of who really gifted him that warm, broth-y goodness, so she drags her young charge to the club to take the credit.

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Rebecca is the kind of person who would get a child a fake ID so she can take him to a bar. But this town is the kind of place that would let that kid into the bar even though he’s clearly not an adult named Manuel. It’s a bonkers plan that’s obviously going to end in disaster, but Rebecca can’t stand being an anonymous donor. Unfortunately, when she and Heather are looking all over Spider’s for Tommy, they miss Josh’s big “career move.” This scene is a triumph in the telegraphing of secondhand embarrassment. Erick Lopez and especially David Hull are magnificent here as two friends looking on in horror as their bro takes his male mall modeling debut with stone-faced seriousness. (“I’ve left my body. I’m floating above this room looking down.”) What I would give to have seen Greg’s reaction to this.

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The display bursts Anna and Josh’s sex bubble. In the break-up, he realizes that she wasn’t his generous “soup fairy.” Hector (A PAL) calls the diner to see who the sender really was and everyone but Josh figures it out easily when they hear that the note quoted Shakespeare. He’s just been rejected by someone with more social capital; Anna’s not cruel, but she comes right up to the line of laughing in his face. (“It might have been when the sleeves came off? Oh my god, this is bad.”) So Josh ping-pongs BACK over to the one person who thinks he can do no wrong – that everything he does or says is worthy of worship: Rebecca. Is it healthy? Fuck, no. But his realization leads to another inspired Josh number: the Bieber-like “Duh.” (“It’s like, HELLO?”)

Rebecca arrives back at Paula’s defeated and less one preteen. Paula came home early, and Rebecca is prepared for her to sever all ties between them when she finds out she lost Tommy. But Tommy is home and he ain’t no snitch. Why would he rat out a babysitter who hands out hundos like they’re Monopoly currency? (Wow, Rebecca REALLY has a money problem.) Then Josh shows up and Rebecca has a way out. It’s finally happening. She can stop chasing him. And Paula gives her full permission to go. But Rebecca can’t walk out knowing that she very nearly lost Paula completely. She sends Josh packing for the time being and ‘fesses up to Paula. Paula’s like, bitch, I TOLD you being a mom was hard. (“Honey I lost him for an entire weekend at the mall once.”) No one knows better than Paula how Rebecca can turn off her huge brain and small amount of decency whenever Josh wants her. But she postponed their reconciliation to be with Paula, and that means everything.

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