“I’ve got a feeling that something ain’t right” – Supernatural Recap – Stuck in the Middle (With You)

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 12
“Stuck in the Middle (With You)”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

We missed last week’s recap for the amazing and heartbreaking “Regarding Dean” because both Dawn and Jaymee were nailed with what may well have been the Croatoan virus. Poor Jaymee is still feeling the effects, so this week we welcome Erica McCarthy back to the SPN fold. And we’re going to need her, because this was the episode that reduced damn near every SPN fan’s twitter feed to cursing, screaming, crying, and almost total incoherence, resulting in a flood of standing ovation gifs at the hour’s end.

This week SPN basically caved in our heads and our hearts with episode 12: “Stuck in the Middle With You.” It was directed by Dawn’s boyfriend SPN’s favorite archangel Gabriel, Richard Speight, Jr., and aired 10 years to the day after the episode “Tall Tales” aired, which was the very ep where we first met our beloved Trickster.

Our expectations were pretty high. This was Richard’s second time in the director’s chair and he did a great job with “Just My Imagination” (11×8), giving us a sweet and funny episode featuring Sam’s imaginary childhood friend (Erica LOVED this episode, by the by). Plus, the second half of season 12 has been stellar so far, so there was a lot to live up to.

Source: cimiterodelleanime

We didn’t need to worry. Y’all, he nailed it. NAILED IT. Like, nailed it so hard no one even has to worry about stopping Dawn from waxing rhapsodic about Richard because he deserves every accolade. Bring him back. Let him direct more. A lot more.

This recap is going to be split into two sections: On-Screen Heroes and Off-Screen Heroes. The actors get most of our attention every week and rightly so, but the crew needs a whole lot of love this time around because damn. Writing, editing, cinematography, choreography, soundtrack, and every set of hands on a camera created a Chuckdamn masterpiece, and we need to make sure that gets recognized this time. But first, let’s talk plot and cast.

On-Screen Heroes

We’ve said it before and now we are saying it again: give Misha Collins all the Emmys. Castiel has had more to do in the past few eps and it has been flawless every time. This episode almost killed us dead, and if anyone ever doubted Castiel’s humanity and his utter love for these ridiculous humans who always seems to get themselves into trouble and take our poor angel along with them, all those doubts are now gone. Misha made us weep this week when he said goodbye to his family.

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Erica: I damn near couldn’t with this one. Like. For real. It hurt so damned bad – especially after knowing that Cas killed Billie to save all of the Winchesters. After hearing EXACTLY how Cas feels about them, to watch him say goodbye was heart wrenching, and damn near killed ME. Why, oh why, does this man not yet have an Emmy for this role, I’d like to know.
Dawn: I don’t want to hear a bad word about Misha or Castiel ever. From anyone. I will cut you. He is a precious thing and my heart shattered like a glass goblin during this scene. Un. Be. Lievable.

On the opposite end of the emotion spectrum, however, we have Mary Winchester. Mary, Mary, Mary. Girl, what are you even doing? It’s takes some hard work to make us all think maybe John was the better parent after all, so we guess well done there. Mary is just…we don’t even know. Sure, yes, fine, she has a lot to adjust to, but WTF, Mary? The British Men of Letters? They tried to kill your son, remember? They think American hunters are morons. Also we’re all pretty sure Ketch is a sociopath, so really? THIS is who you choose to ally with? Yeah, keep your opinions on Crowley and Rowena to yourself. Your buddies are WAY worse.

Source: canonspngifs

Erica: Okay. So in watching this episode, upon realizing that Mary was…I don’t even know what the hell she was doing, but my first response was “Mary, what the FUCK did you do?” My second response was “Oh Mary. What the fuck. You stupid idiot.” In those exact words, because I have no filter. I really thought she was going to be the GOOD parent–you know, the mom that actually takes care of her kids and shit. Apparently not.
Dawn: Remember when we all thought John was the shitty parent? Good times. I can’t decide if Mary’s Campbell is showing too much because she is being selfish and stupid, which she clearly got from her father, or if her Winchester is showing since she has clearly learned the trait of “keep everything of actual importance from your family members.” Because here’s a thought, Mary – instead of giving the Colt to the sociopath, maybe you might have considered discussing it with your sons first? You know, the ones who have actually killed demons before and have, at this point, more years of actual hunting experience than you do? And also they have an angel, and a demon, both of whom might also have some knowledge on this topic. JUST A THOUGHT, MARY. BUT BY ALL MEANS, YOU DO YOU.
Erica: Dude. I completely forgot about Samuel Campbell and all of HIS “awesomeness.”/sarcasm If there’s one thing about this family that I will never understand, it’s their constant need to “shoot first, ask for help later once you’ve already cocked it all up.”

Now that we’ve vented that spleen, let’s get back to things that make us happy. Crowley. Our King. Hail to the king, baby. He saved the day. He saved the angel – his buddy, “Feathers.” (a moment of collective “awwwww” from the fandom). And he does it all with such damn style. And we got some backstory, which was just the most delicious little amuse-bouche that has left us salivating for a main course. More Crowley, please and thank you. Much more.

Source: canonspngifs

Dawn: Remember when I said I didn’t want to hear a bad thing about Cas? I don’t even want to know a bad thought about Crowley. I will cut you, bring you back to life, then cut you again. Let’s be clear, kids – Crowley has been saving Winchester asses AND Castiel’s ass for several seasons now. SEVERAL SEASONS. And this time? He snapped an archangel’s weapon IN HALF to save Castiel. Snapped it in half. Imagine the power that took, first of all. Now imagine the power in the staff of Michael, and imagine that power in Crowley’s hands and what he could do with it, and yet he STILL snapped it in half to save the life of an angel. He is bad ass; he is clever AF; he is slick and stylish. In fact, given the choice between hunting with the boys and serving as Crowley’s girl friday, I am pretty sure my response would be “How do you take your coffee, highness?” Always.
Erica: MY LIEGE, PLEASE COME BACK. Seriously, though, Crowley in this episode is clutch. This would’ve been the end of Cas entirely were it not for Crowley – and that’s not the first time one of us can say that. In fact, it’s becoming very clear over the course of this season – especially the second half as we’re going through it – that our “villains” are not as villainous as we’ve previously thought. If anything, they’re becoming allies and friends in a way that one wouldn’t have expected. Sure, we’ve seen Crowley get closer to the boys, and there were instances before where Rowena was helpful….to a certain extent. But we’re seeing these characters evolve and I’m curious to see where it goes. Certainly it should be outside Crowley’s character to help as often as he does. And yet.
Dawn: “And yet” indeed. My King.

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“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


source: thisisdefinitelyus.tumblr.com
 

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.



source: strawberry-split.tumblr.com
 

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.



source: thisisdefinitelyus.tumblr.com
 

Randall/Beth

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

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.



source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com
 

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?

source: e2barryallen.tumblr.com

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.)

source: fyeahjanethevirgin.tumblr.com

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

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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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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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“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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