“I like the way Sammy sings’” – Supernatural Recap – Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 15
“Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

Oh, Davy Perez, you never let us down. Truth, lies, and some serious demonic mojo were the hallmarks of “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell,” and it was a terrific ride from start to finish. Also, there was no Mary, which was a really nice break, and family drama took a backseat to moving the season’s plot along. Fire up the Impala and let’s go.

Erica: Do you know, it says something about the fact that I really enjoyed this episode, and didn’t even realize that Mary wasn’t in it? Almost as if her presence really doesn’t matter. Yes, I went there.

Before we get to the meat of the recap, we have to give a shout-out to that scene. That short and glorious scene that everyone went nuts over. Lucille. For those of you living under a rock, Lucille is the barbed-wire-wrapped bat that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, once our own John Winchester, now wields with psychopathic glee as Negan on The Walking Dead.

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So well played. So perfect. Davy Perez, we love you forever.

You might notice the song lyric we used for this recap. It’s from BB King’s “Lucille,” so yeah, we did that, but also, it works. Because Sam Winchester gets an award for finally learning a lesson every single Winchester has failed repeatedly – Sammy told his brother the truth. Can you even? We could not even. Sam came clean about all the recent cases coming not from the program he somehow designed and put into his phone, but actually from the British Men of Letters.

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Dean’s reaction to this was…underwhelming, to be honest, and we’re hoping it’s because big brother is playing a few cards close to the vest. We know he doesn’t trust the BMoL. We are pretty sure he doesn’t trust his mother. And he has to know that his brother has a bad habit of making deals with the bad guys for what Sam thinks is the greater good. (A phrase that makes all of us shrink in horror every time it is uttered.) So please, writers, let us be right about that. That reaction was very not-Dean.

What was very Dean, what was very Winchester brothers and the reason we love this show as much as we do, was the easy banter between the two of them. It was very monster-of-the-week, very funny, and downright adorable. Like when Sam was pointing how exactly how covered in monster bits Dean was:

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Or their conversation outside Gwen’s (the “girl of the week”) door, and Dean’s little awesome comments about what they could say to her:

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Dean warning Sam about being careful with Baby and Sam being absolutely over it.

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It was adorable. It was perfect. It was them. We missed it. We love when we have that back.

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“It was enough time to know that I loved him.” – This Is Us Recap – What Now?

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This Is Us Season 1, Episode 17
“What Now?”
Posted by Shannon

After saying farewell to William last week, the penultimate episode of the season is full of complex themes. The Pearson clan has spent their recent days pondering legacy, blame, and forgiveness, and while some are making more concrete moves than others, each of them carry a hefty emotional weight. As we head into the season finale, Randall and Kevin share clarity and opportunity in their work and home lives, while the guilt and shame of Rebecca’s decision to lie to Randall is lifted and transposed to Kate. The legacy of the Hill-Pearson patriarchs is felt fully this week, and their children’s emotional connections to those legacies are not a simple matter. “What Now?” is rife with guilt and mourning, but there’s just as much joy to be found in those moments as there is sadness.  

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Jack/Rebecca

It’s time for Rebecca to head out on her two-week tour, and while she’s packing her best dresses, Jack is staying late at work for a retirement party. He’s under no obligation to stay, and he and Miguel don’t even like the guy they’re celebrating, but Jack is searching for any reason not to go home. While he hasn’t stopped Rebecca from going on tour, he’s determined to be as difficult about it as possible, making her wait until the last possible moments to say goodbye. Rebecca calls him out on this behavior as soon as he gets home, and the two bicker privately in the kitchen over schedule changes and getting the kids to a party. There’s a quiet sadness watching them like this, so disconnected, especially after their night in the old apartment was such a short time ago. They’re at least able to share a laugh over Kevin and Sophie, who are deep in the throes of teen romance and unable to keep their hands off each other, but even that doesn’t break their moods. Rebecca gives hugs to each of the kids, but Jack only offers a kiss on the cheek before she leaves for the van.

Kate sees right through her parents’ interactions, and from the moment Jack walks in the door, she knows something is wrong. She glares worriedly at Jack, urging him to give Rebecca a better farewell just with a quiet, muttered “….Dad….” Their connection is so strong (as is Rebecca and Randall’s) that she can feel every single one of her father’s moods, and she knows that he can do better than he’s doing right now.

 
 
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After Jack drops the kids off at a party, Kate lingers in the back seat, asking pointedly why he hasn’t made the relatively short two-hour drive to Cleveland to watch Rebecca’s show. This is SUCH a tough line for a kid to walk, and Jack does the right thing by assuring her that it shouldn’t be her problem. Her focus should be on “boys, and grades, and that band that sounds like they’re always kidding” – not on the ups and downs of her parents’ marriage. But Kate can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong, and while she does finally leave for the party, it’s only after making sure that her father won’t spend the whole night being sad and alone.

But that’s exactly what he does. After spending some time in front of the television with Chinese takeout, Jack grabs his keys and heads out the door – but it’s not for Rebecca’s show, it’s for his coworker’s after-party. Miguel is nowhere to be seen, but Heather is, and she promptly buys him a beer. She takes the opportunity to ask what’s been bothering Jack, and he opens up with one hell of a Freudian slip. (“She’s on tour with her Ben. Her band.”)  Heather tries to get Jack to admit that he’s having marriage troubles, but Jack isn’t having it. He’s a little too slow on the uptake, but once Heather puts her hand on his leg, he catches up quick, and shuts down her advances. Finally, after listening to his daughter’s fears, and defending Rebecca’s dreams to Heather, Jack knows that this has gone far enough. He calls the party and asks if the kids can stay the night, opening his schedule up to make the drive to Rebecca’s performance. Except he’s been drinking. A lot. After a final conversation with Kate, and after fumbling his keys, Jack gets behind the wheel and heads to Cleveland.

Randall/Beth

 
 
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It’s just been a few days since William’s passing, but Randall is already trying to make sense of the space William has left in his heart and in his home. The last time William was in Annie’s room, he was packing up for his final trip to Memphis, deciding what to take and what to leave. His instruments stayed; his poems were packed.  While Randall sits on the bed, trying to unravel the best way to honor his father’s legacy, (“Do I start wearing sweater vests?”) Beth spots a letter tucked underneath Annie’s pillow.

William rarely did anything without intention. Especially in the final weeks of his life, every single decision he made ensured that the people in his life knew how special they were to him. So of course, in his final letter to Tess and Annie, he knew just what to say. Rather than let Randall and Beth plan his memorial, he asks Tess and Annie to do it. After all, “adults make these things sad, and I want you two to make it fun.” The change in the girls from the beginning of the letter to the end is palpable. They take their mission so seriously, especially their grandfather’s request that it be joyful. Tess and Annie share mischievous smiles, and immediately scrap the plans Beth’s plans for catering and white doves. Randall asks just one thing of his girls: permission to deliver a eulogy. But eulogies are sad affairs, so it’s retitled a toast, and Tess and Annie agree.

 
 
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The Pearsons aren’t the only ones mourning William. I had wondered how Jesse would be included in the memorial, and his call to Randall is full of grace. Knowing himself and the danger of a potential relapse, Jesse has decided to stay in Chicago, but he wants to be sure that Randall knows how much William was loved by him and all of the people in their NA group. Jesse specifically passes along the well wishes of a gentleman named Sebastian, an athlete who started attending NA after an addiction to pain pills. Since no one at the group was into sports, William feigned an interest in football, hoping it would give Sebastian someone to connect with. Jesse and Randall’s conversation is painful and quiet and beautifully written. These two haven’t had the chance to get to know one another, and outside of William, they don’t have much of a connection. But William is enough, and they both feel the need to honor him, to share stories, to laugh when they can, to celebrate his memory. Randall won’t have many people in his life with which he can share those memories, and I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Jesse.

When the neighborhood mailman brings in a perishable box from Randall’s office, it gives him another opportunity to learn the extent to which William was  “a soft arm rest for weary souls to lean on.” After getting to know each other on his morning walks, the neighborhood mailman is devastated to hear of William’s passing. I was so moved to hear him say simply that “this neighborhood will miss him.” Immediately, I flashed to the first of William’s walks, when his mere presence was enough to make the neighbors call the cops. The subtle racism of the suburbs can’t be handled simply, but his impact on the neighborhood is felt in that one line alone.

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“Everybody’s Shouting, ‘Which Side Are You On?’” – Supernatural Recap – The Raid

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 14
“The Raid”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

So, after the drastic disappointment that was “Family Feud” last week, we honestly were really, really hoping for something better – something to prove that last week was a one-off this season. Our prayers were answered, thank Chuck, with “The Raid.” There was so much to love about this episode, from the writing (by the always-amazing Robert Berens) to the cinematography to the absolute heart-wrenching feels the actors caused in us from minute one (Get ready for some Jensen Ackles love). Because there’s so much to love, let’s get right to it.

Let’s start with Dean. This episode started off exactly where the last one ended, and that was an excellent choice to make because it gave us Dean in the very moment we need him in, the one we wanted to see. Can we just talk about Jensen Ackles in this scene for a minute? Because hot damn. There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language for us to describe the FEELS during this first scene:

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We spend so much time watching Dean just be a hardass or the comic relief that sometimes we forget about the range that Jensen Ackles has as an actor. We were reminded of that this week.

Erica: This show always gives us some feels, but it’s rare to be legit crying in the first five minutes of an episode. The juxtaposition of Mary looking at her phone while being ignored, to jumping back in time watching the familial exchange play out – it felt, rightfully so, like a hardcore breakup scene. Dean was saying to Mary what we ALL have been thinking this season, and you could see just how much it cost him to be saying it. It felt, to me, like that breakup that you know had to happen because the other person just wasn’t feeling it. And you could put in all of the time and all of the effort, but if the other person wasn’t, then you’re just wasting your time and your love. We watched Dean struggle all season with feeling like he wasn’t good enough for his own mother. To have that feeling seemingly validated by Mary’s admission that she was working with the BMoL instead of her own boys meant that Dean was done, and Jensen Ackles did such an amazing job of almost forcing the audience to feel that same sense of defeat. We’ve all felt that way in relationships before, I think, and the writing and acting in this scene reminded us of what that felt like.
Dawn: Dean spoke for all of us, for everyone who is sick and tired of Mary’s bad decisions and lousy parenting and constant absences. Sam usually gets the emotional foreground when it comes to dialogue, and Jared Padalecki’s beautiful puppy-dog eyes may or may not have a lot to do with that. We don’t get a lot of Dean being the emotional backbone – it’s usually jokes or snark, all his normal deflections. But when we do get those moments -”Single Man Tear” jokes aside – they are incredible. This one should rightfully go down in show history.

On to Sam. Sammy, our precious naive moose. Sam is the one who falls for Mom’s text pleas. Sam is the one who goes with her to team up against vampires with the British Men of Letters (BMoL). And in the end, Sam is the one who sides with Mom and thinks that, given time, he can convince Dean to join Team Idiots. Our sweet Sammy ran the emotional gamut this episode, from his teary-eyed “You should go” to Mary (when he was rightfully agreeing with his brother) to eye-rolling (on his part, not ours) superiority when discovering just how stupid the BMoL really are to probably-going-to-be-dashed-very-soon-hopeful when he decides to go with Mary’s (really bad) plan. And let’s not forget his moments of BAMF vamp slaying – Sam is whupping ass like we haven’t seen since he was soulless, and it’s really glorious to behold. Sam has grown into himself as a hunter; he even tells Mary this when she brings up how she didn’t want that life for them. He chose this life, and we really hope that she can see how damn good he is at it. Sure, maybe he would have been just as good of a lawyer, but lawyers don’t stop the apocalypse (of course, they also don’t accidentally release Lucifer or cause angels to fall from heaven, but that’s not the point).

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Let’s move on to the complete cock-ups that are the British Men of Letters. I mean, for Chuck’s sake, guys. Who the hell doesn’t double check their intel? Or vet the people coming through the front door? It was helpful that they had a real hunter on their side (or so they thought) but seriously, we have no idea how they managed to clear the UK of monsters because if this episode was any indication, these people are idiots. Their recon sucked. They have precious little available weaponry. No one in their little headquarters had ever actually killed anything before, save the American hunters the recruited/are trying to recruit. They have no contingency plans. Their arrogance is so undeserved, as far as we can tell, because they are terrible at their jobs. Even Mick, that smooth MF, looked like someone slapped him in the face when their plan went south and the vamps attacked. Really? This is the best of the best? So good that Mary wants to side with them? This is what’s going to rid America of monsters? Please. They can’t even be bothered to set up stronger DOORS. The fact that they claim to have been watching the Winchesters and yet STILL think Mary is “the best Winchester” just goes to prove their incompetence. Team Free Will FTW, y’all. They have it all over these morons.

Ketch showing up at the Bunker was…interesting? Stupid? A teensy bit pointless? (Erica: It’s “How to get a distrustful hunter to let you in 101: bring good booze.” Don’t look at me that way – it’s been done before.) Don’t get us wrong. It was awesome to see Dean staring him down and snarking with barely-controlled disdain and outright murderous hatred. But the Dean and Ketch show kinda got lost amidst everything else that was going on, so perhaps it might have been better saved for a different episode. And also we’re not buying the nice guy act and also how DARE he even suggest that he and Dean are cut from the same cloth. Yes, Dean kills, and yes, he’s good at it, and yes, he knows it. Hell, he’s said it himself, especially when he used to talk about purgatory. Dean Winchester loves to kill him some monsters. But not people. And never without reason. That’s the difference. Because Ketch is a sociopath, pure and simple. If he wasn’t hunting monsters, he’d be one. And Dean knows it. Check that cold Blue Steel:

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“He was the one that could steady you when the world felt like it was spinning.” – This Is Us Recap – Jack Pearson’s Son

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This Is Us Season 1, Episode 15
“Jack Pearson’s Son”

Posted by Shannon

One of the most remarkable things about This Is Us is its ability to speak on a topic before really expanding on the details that brought its characters to that point. This has never been clearer than in “Jack Pearson’s Son,” which, for all of its plot points, truly comes down to one thing: that the death of Jack Pearson, however it happened, has left his family with a lack of a clear moral center. Jack was not a perfect man – and that’s never been more clear than in this episode – but he created a family that relied on him to act as their true north. Their constant. Jack wasn’t a superhero, and of course he didn’t have the ability to protect his children from the difficulties of their lives (Randall will always have anxiety, Kevin and Kate will always live with self-doubt and self-confidence issues) but he was one of those rare people who had the ability to center anyone who needed it. And without him, the center has tilted, spun, spiraled – leaving the surviving Pearsons in chaos.

Jack/Rebecca

Now that we know the ages of the kids when Jack passes, it’s impossible to watch an episode with them as teens without wondering when the other shoe will drop. That awareness leaves this Valentine’s Day celebration with a fog hovering overhead at every moment. Rebecca is about to depart for her five-state, month-long tour, and she’s in the throes of guilt and anxiety. Leaving her family for that long, with one parent to juggle Kate’s music lessons, Randall’s debate team meets, and Kevin’s football games seems insurmountable, but Jack assures her that he has it all under control. He even has time to book their favorite restaurant and their favorite table to celebrate Valentine’s Day – after Rebecca finishes her gig with the band.

Jack puts on his typical superhero husband face while he and Rebecca make plans, but it’s a different story when he’s at work with Miguel. It only takes a little bit of prodding for Jack to admit that he’s not thrilled about the tour after all (“Who does she think she is, Janis freakin’ Joplin?”). Jack refuses to tell Rebecca how he feels, convinced that she’ll resent him for denying her the opportunity – and he’s right. She would resent him – but she’d be right to do so. And what Jack misses entirely is that his feelings about the tour have already bred resentment in their marriage; except it’s Jack who’s resenting Rebecca. He’s clearly worried about Ben, the bandleader we met earlier in the season, and the fact that he isn’t willing to talk to Rebecca about how he feels NOW, before things blow up, is a real flaw. That said, it’s been a while since Jack has shown flaws of any kind, so it was time to see his perfection crack and give way to a bit of realism.

Meanwhile, Miguel has completed his divorce with Shelley and he’s anxious to get back out on the dating scene. He initially asks Jack to go out with him once Rebecca is on tour (and it’s telling to note that he’s quick to assure Jack that he doesn’t have to drink while they’re out, making it clear that Jack’s sobriety has lasted the decade since he decided to stop drinking). Instead, Jack invites Miguel to tag along to Rebecca’s show, certain that there will be some single women out, keeping busy during the holiday. (This single woman wouldn’t be caught dead out at a bar for a mellow jazz performance on Valentine’s Day, but what do I know.)

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Naturally, while their parents are trying to plan their way out of a crisis, the Big Three are in the throes of standard teenage drama. Randall is anxious about his Hamlet paper, which Kevin thinks can only be fixed by setting his brother up on a date, and Kate is quick to jump to Randall’s defense, but does so by outing that Kevin and Sophie have started having sex. Rebecca, of course, overhears all of this, and jumps to attention after hearing that her 16-year-old is sexually active.

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She and Jack sit down to talk to Kevin, making sure that above all else, he’s being safe and respectful. There’s no way to have this conversation that isn’t mortifying for all parties, but I do have to say that Jack does an exceptional job. His priorities are clear and on point, and he doesn’t linger or try to make Kevin feel ashamed of himself. However, he also doesn’t really have much of a chance to get beyond the basics before Randall, steadily spiraling into a panic attack, interrupts. The small signs that we know in adult Randall are all here – he’s breathless, shaky, and can’t quite form a cohesive argument while he tries to explain to his father that he hasn’t been able to formulate a topic for his Hamlet essay. Jack immediately calms him down, breathing with him, removing him from the basement and focusing his son by asking him to walk Jack through the life and times of the Prince of Denmark. It’s handled ably and quickly, but Rebecca sees all of this as proof positive that she cannot possibly go on tour right now.

Jack, once again, assures her that he has everything under control, and that she can’t miss touring with the band. But everything comes to a head when he and Miguel arrive at Rebecca’s show that evening. Jack doesn’t really focus during the whole performance; instead, he spends the entire time eyeing Ben, sizing him up and trying to decide if he and Rebecca are flirting on stage while they duet. Miguel isn’t concerned, assuring Jack that it’s a performance for the crowd, but Jack is having none of it. This is a side of Jack we haven’t really seen before; he’s cold, defensive, distracted and above everything else, painfully jealous.

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When Ben greets Jack after the performance, he certainly doesn’t help the situation. The two men are both varying degrees of passive aggressive, sizing each other up with every word and glance. Ben drops that he and Rebecca used to date in college, and all hell breaks loose right in Jack’s eyes. He moves from distraction and distance to severity and bitterness, even hints of rage. He ends the night abruptly, insisting that he and Rebecca cancel their traditional Valentine’s Day bacon cheeseburgers and go straight home instead.



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This is the first Real Fight we’ve seen Jack and Rebecca weather. Back in the beginning of the season, when Rebecca confronted him about his drinking, she was so clearly in the right that there wasn’t much nuance to the disagreement. But this argument has all the messiness and chaos of a fight with no real right or wrong. They both say things they shouldn’t say, things that will haunt their relationship from that moment on, and it says so much about their characters at the same time. Rebecca DOES feel like she’s sacrificed for Jack and the kids; how much she regrets that decision is unclear, and while I don’t doubt her love for her family for a SECOND, it’s easy to see how much joy performing has brought back into her eyes. She needs to have something that’s only hers, and that’s not too much to ask. However, the family has done nothing but support her new musical venture. Jack, on the other hand, knows those things to be true, but he spins out in every sense of the phrase. His constant perfection is exhausting, even though it’s not an act (and no one, certainly not Rebecca, would have thought of it as such). But no matter how genuine his drive to be a perfect father and husband is, it leaves him feeling entitled – entitled to Rebecca telling him every slight detail of her past, regardless of her feelings, and entitled to deny her the right to go out of the house to follow her dreams if he so chooses.

A fight this deep and biting can’t be sorted in the blink of an eye, and they don’t try to. Jack heads out to dinner, alone, and orders a drink. He downs it so quickly, and with such visible relief and anger, that any doubts viewers might have had about the severity of his addiction are immediately wiped away. This is a Jack we haven’t really seen before, and it’s not pretty.

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“It’s a mutual admiration society.” – Gallifrey One 2017

Posted by Kim and Sage

Sage: This isn’t a normal time — not to go to a con or to eat a sandwich or anything else. But Gallifrey One 2017 still happened. Not rain, not sleet, and apparently not the speedy death of democracy can keep Doctor Who fans from gathering yearly at the LAX Marriott over President’s Day Weekend (THE IRONY) to hug, drink, and talk shop. L.I. Who happened the weekend after the election, and the general mood of the con was utter shock and numbness. But a few months passed, and the next geeky fan get together we attended was basically Resistance Central. Gally1 was political af this year without the despair and depression that can come with that. There was camaraderie and joy and and a lot of “hell no, we won’t go.” The whole weekend felt like a declaration of who we are, what we stand for, and what we absolutely will not abide. Is that a fair characterization?

Kim: I feel like I stumbled through a lot of LI Who in a state of bewilderment. That’s not to say that it wasn’t an AMAZING experience (remember when we interviewed Paul McGann on the mainstage?) because it was. I just had never experienced a con where the main feeling was almost…”Is this the right thing to do at this moment? Is this whole experience silly when you look at what’s going on in the world?”  Gally felt like a giant bottle of Gatorade to my parched soul. It was revitalizing. It was a time where we could immerse ourselves in both our fandom AND our friendships. I left Los Angeles on Monday afternoon physically exhausted but emotionally? I was raring to go.

TL;DR, yes, that’s absolutely a fair characterization. And it’s a big reason why this con is so freaking special to every person who comes and why it’s the CANNOT MISS convention on my calendar every year.

The Resistance starts here.

What blows my mind the MOST about Gally is that the attendance is right up around 3000 people, and yet it feels like a family, especially the more times you go back. I know there are a TON of people there I don’t know yet every face at the con looks familiar. You can barely walk more than a few yards on that con floor without running into someone you know and having a chat or hugging that person you flailed in line for a photo-op the previous year. How special is that?

Sage: I can only speak confidently for myself, but I’d wager that I’m not the only person at this con who went through a period of my life where I felt invisible and socially inept. (Everyone: “Yeah, dummy, it’s called high school.”) My point is that Gally brings together a lot of scrappy folks who haven’t had it easy, and this is a place where they can strut confidently down the halls in whatever it is they want to wear, live their fandom out loud, and be surrounded by people ready and willing to embrace them. It feels like I’m reaching back in time to tap the friendless 13-year-old in the Han Solo t-shirt and tell her that someday she’ll find her tribe.

And what a tribe it is.

But enough teenage sob stories. Let’s talk about the important stuff: ribbons.

The Gally ribbon game is always strong, but this year it was TOO LIT. “Black Lives Matter.” “Don’t You Think He Looks Tired? (with clip art of Tr*mp)” “Bustin’ fascists makes me feel good.” Those practical pronoun declarations!

The 2017 ribbon game is TOO LEGIT. #levelup #blacklivesmatter #RESIST #Gally1

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Swapping ribbons has always been a big part of the fun for me, because it’s like I’m getting little pieces of everybody I meet to take home with me. And though there were the requisite Doctor Who quotes and podcast promo designs, I was so delighted to see that people were using those little scraps of fabric to make a real statement. And you can tell us in the comments if it happened to you, but I personally didn’t see anyone take any shit for a political ribbon. I really hope that’s representative of the whole weekend.

Kim: One of my favorite things in the build-up to Gally is the Ribbon Exchange group on Facebook, where everyone shares the designs they are planning to bring to the con. What’s super fun about that group is that it feels like people took inspiration from each other and one politically themed ribbon would spawn at least five more. I think it was a combination of the current state of the world and the fact that we only had “Doctor Mysterio” to provide inspiration for new ribbons that REALLY spurred people to up their creativity. There were so many Star Wars ribbons! My final ribbon count was 215 and there are STILL a few ribbons that I am SUPER upset that I didn’t get. Namely the “But when all is said and done, Saxon has beliefs, Tr*mp has none.” one. I will cry over not getting that one for a long time.

Stick it to the man.

Speaking of taking inspiration from each other, I have to bring up our Punk Companions Cosplay. What started as an idea inspired by some Punk!Bucky art we saw at San Diego Comic Con became so much more than that. We debuted the Punks at LI Who as just a fun chance for our girl group to get creative and have fun together because we aren’t screen accurate cosplayers, for the most part. And it’s a cosplay that works the best within a large group because individually we may not be recognizable but when we’re together, it’s like “Of course! There’s Clara, there’s Romana, etc.” The Punks got taken to the next level for Gally when Alyssa (@WhovianFeminism) suggested that we add protest signs themed to all our companions. It was perfect because we did our cosplay on the same day as the first General Strike, so it felt like we got to have the best of both worlds – Being massively creative Doctor Who nerds while making our own political statement. And the best thing about it? We didn’t get any sort of blow back from it. Other than a few trolls on the Nerdist Instagram post anyway.

Punk Modern Companions.

Group Selfie Time!

Another really important aspect of Gally is that it feels like a safe space for you to push yourself outside your comfort zone. While I didn’t do any formal panels this year, I definitely upped my participation level, which is always something I’ve been HORRIBLE about. I’ve sat on the front row of “In Defense Of” EVERY YEAR and judged the hell out of the BS coming out of the participant’s mouths (which is the fun of the whole thing) but I’ve never had the guts to put myself on the line. It’s silly, really, because if you can’t make a fool of yourself at Gally, where can you? After Michelle’s triumphant performance at LI Who, I promised myself that I would do it. That didn’t stop me from breaking out into a cold sweat the moment Deb Stanish called my name though. “In Defense Of” is like an out-of-body experience in the BEST way. You just have to give no fucks in regards to whatever comes out of your mouth (I actually tied Tegan getting the snacks to women throughout history being water-bearers?! I don’t even know where that came from.) or turn your OWN criticism on topics into sarcastic defenses (Shippers NEED to be told by old school fans how to think about Doctor Who, you guys). I was RELIEVED when I finally was dethroned but it was the MOST FUN and I’m so glad I did it.

Kim's team DOMINATED Paul Cornell's "Would I Lie To You?" because they are all compulsive liars who can't be trusted. #Gally1

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When you combine that experience with doing a live Comedy Sketch for Reality Bomb and participating in Paul Cornell’s “Would I Lie To You?” game show, so much of my panel experience was performance oriented and fly by the seat of your pants improv, which was a totally new thing for me. And it felt GOOD remembering that part of me that went kicking and screaming into my college improv troupe before I ended up loving it.

Paneling

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“Oh, what a night!” – Oscar Fashion 2017

Posted by Maggie

I’m as intrigued by the details of the Best Picture mix-up as everyone else, but the real mystery is WHO WAS THE GUY ON THE RED CARPET IN THE PINK TUX?

Listen, I hurt my wrist trying to pause the TV at just the right angle to capture him so please do me a solid and help identify him because I love him. Hands down, fave male look of the year. Okay, let’s talk dresses.

BEST

Taraji P. Henson

Does it get any better than this? Sleek, sexy, elegant. Navy velvet, darlings, not black. The slit. That neckline. And those diamonds.

AND GOD BLESS HER FOR MAKING RYAN WAIT. She’s well worth it.

Auli’i Cravalho

This is quite possibly the best Oscar debut I have ever seen. I am in love with this dress and she wears it so well. I preferred this to the performance gown:

It has some structural issues with the bodice, yes? But I think that only stood out to me because the white and gold is flawless.

Ruth Negga

The queen has arrived to greet her subjects. No, seriously, check out the crown headband:

GORGEOUS. My only nitpick with the entire look is the earrings, which I noticed she took off at some point during the ceremony, so I feel validated.

And one last lingering look for the train.

Brie Larson

Look at her, she knows she nailed it. FINALLY. Where has this flair for the stylish dramatic been hiding?

This is the kind of moment I’ve wanted for her, I loved it.

I think we all felt for Brie when she had to hand the award to the problematic (let’s say) Casey Affleck for the second time this season, so let’s pause to appreciate this lovely moment between her and Emma Stone after Emma’s Lead Actress win:

Supportive female friendship always makes me feel better. You?

Emma Stone

Speaking of Emma, here we have another FINALLY moment. I wasn’t into the literal City of Stars gown for the Golden Globes and it’s best not to remember the SAG Awards look, but showing up in gold to collect your gold statuette? That I can get on board with. The top looks a little to me like the shape of a vintage bathing suit, but in a way that I respond really well to. And the fringe! I love a dress that has movement.

Viola Davis

Hello, gorgeous. Now, I don’t know how I’d feel about this neckline on someone else, but she’s pulling it off. I love this shade of red on her and the gold accessories were the perfect complement. I don’t even mind no red lip is how much this whole look is working.

Side note, is that her actual engagement/wedding ring because I absolutely love when people do that.

Meryl Streep

So at first you think, “Wow, Meryl looks amazing in this Elie Saab, suck it Karl Lagerfeld.”

To which, of course, she’s like “thank you, thank you.”

BUT WAIT:

PANTS YOU GUYS IT’S PANTS IT JUST GOT SO MUCH BETTER.

And THEN you think maybe your love for Meryl has reached peak levels for the night.

And you would be wrong.

Kirsten Dunst

B O M B S H E L L

I love the necklace.

The SHAPE of this gown, my god.

Pockets!

Red lip!

Shoes!

She killed.

Amy Adams

Tom Ford finally came through for Amy Adams, you guys. Look at this shimmery perfection.

This construction detail at the back interests me, I want to see more of it but I think she skipped the carpet because she didn’t get the nomination (which I’ve heard she absolutely deserved for Arrival).

But she’s not letting it ruin her good time. Cheers!

Chrissy Teigen

I love almost everything about this, but I think it was the sheer sleeve that really sold me. Honestly, I would change up the bodice a little, but the white and gold sparkles are so great on her and I’m really into the cape and the slit and the everything. Also, her earrings were definitely my favorite of the night.

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“No, I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day.” – Supernatural Recap – Family Feud

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 13
“Family Feud”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

So after last week’s unbelievable episode, we guess there was no where to go but down. “Family Feud” gave us some good moments, particularly when it came to Mark Pellegrino’s delicious scenery-chewing Lucifer (Welcome back, Mark!), but for the most part, this episode felt more like a passable Season 2-ish Monster of the Week ep than an important part of the story arc. Even though a lot happened that is vital to the story arc. Basically, it missed some marks.

Erica: Some marks?
Dawn: I am being kind. Well, trying to.

The overall theme was motherhood, and it was not subtle. In fact, it was downright heavy-handed in a lot of ways, down to making some characters a lot dumber than we know them to be, just to kinda shoe-horn some plot. This episode really couldn’t decide if it wanted to be filler or important, and trying to be both was not a great choice. It ended up just being…meh. Not bad, really. Just not good.

Mommies Dearest

Mary. Mary, Mary, MARY. We just don’t know what to do with you anymore. Okay, fine, maybe it was too much to expect you to adjust to all this with ease and we tried to give you that, we really did, but you have got to get better at this. Because making deals with the people who tortured and tried to murder your son is not good parenting. We don’t care how cool their toys are; working with the British Men of Letters is not earning you any points. And really, why do you need their toys? Your sons live in arguably the biggest cache of knowledge and weaponry ever. Maybe you’d know that if you occasionally stuck around.

Source: out-in-the-open

As we have said before, Ketch is *at best* a sociopath. Like, literally that is a best-case scenario. The worst can, and will, we suspect, go far beyond that, and having that not occur to Mary Campbell-Winchester, who was raised in a family of hunters and therefore should have a couple of clues, is really pissing us off. We don’t want her to be this gullible. We don’t want her to be this stupid. And we definitely don’t want her to be this shitty of a mother. Yes, okay, she finally fessed up and told the boys the truth, and no one can deny that, as a hunter, Mary is badass AF. But our ability to feel any sympathy for this character is waning, and that’s not great. You’d better pull a miracle out of your ass soon, Mary, because right now, you’re not looking good.

Erica: To be fair, at least she broke the Winchester curse of NEVER telling the truth. EVER. And she brought them beer. I mean, not totally good parenting, but… We’re so used to the boys never telling each other the truth until the very last possible moment. So while it took her a while, at least she finally admitted it before something went totally and completely tits up.
Dawn: I am just having a really hard time with her being this easily guiled. She should really be smarter than this, and “Mary is just having a hard time adjusting” isn’t really working for me anymore, mainly because she seems to have adjusted perfectly fine to the modern hunting community and now her ultra-creeptastic, manipulative bestie, Mr. Ketch. The only thing she hasn’t adjusted to is her sons. Constantly leaving them isn’t going to make that any easier, and the fact that she constantly leaves them is really not washing. Sure, she says, “Nothing comes before my family,” but so far? Pretty much everything has. And that ridiculous “Oh, hi, Dean” voice at the beginning, in the slightly higher register and singsong pronunciation as she talked on the phone to Dean? Well, that was just bullshit and, IMO, it was absolutely counter to the strong female character she has proven to be, even when I don’t agree with her decisions. That was some saccharine crap and it did not ring true.
Erica: You have such STRONG opinions. Like, I don’t really like any of what has transpired with Mary’s character, but it just means that I’ll not miss her when she (finally) leaves. But you are so ANGRY at the way Mary’s character is written. Lol.
Dawn: In general, I am fine with it. In this ep, I was livid. That said, though, Ketch was written very well. We are supposed to loathe him, and I definitely do, and it was nice to see that Mary does react to him in a way that makes it clear he makes her skin crawl, too. Look:

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Our second mom is the matriarch of the other family who knows how to put the fun in dysfunction, Rowena. Now, we LOVE Rowena (and Ruth Connell, who plays her, and who favorites our tweets!). She is our queen and we just adore her. BUT. Girl, that was some cold maneuvering this episode. She got to be Grandma Rowena for a time, since the central guest star of this episode was Gavin MacLeod, Crowley’s son (first encountered in 6×4, then again in 9×21). Some of the fandom found Gavin forgettable, but we always liked him, especially when Crowley kinda warmed to him and saved his life.

Dawn: I was looking forward to having Gavin back. I just wish it hadn’t taken a ridiculous love-lorn ghost subplot to get that.
Erica: I mean…I understand the point of it. How else would you get him back, really, when for the longest time it seemed as though he was destined to forever live in the land of lost plotlines?
Dawn: Like Adam?

Rowena reminded us that she plays the long game and that she plays it well, using Gavin and, really, the boys, to finally get her revenge on Crowley for having forced her to kill the child that she loved. And she put it just like that, too: “Oskar. The child I loved more than you. The one you made me kill to remove the Mark of Cain.” That was cold, so cold, especially after this season having given us some softer moments between Crowley and Rowena, where it seemed like maybe they could pull some kind of familial bond together. Wishful thinking on our part? Maybe. Probably, in fact. We only want what’s best for Our King, and Rowena is just fierce. Slay, queen. Slay. Even when it hurts.

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“Take me to meet your father.” – This Is Us Recap – Memphis

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This Is Us Season 1, Episode 16
“Memphis”
Posted by Shannon

“Memphis” is the second episode of the season to narrow its focus to something smaller, less sprawling, than the usual story. But instead of focusing on a day, it focuses on a person – the life of William Hill, from birth to death. We’ve known this was coming, of course, and as much as I was hoping for William to receive a miracle cure, I’ll settle for the knowledge that Ron Cephas Jones will be back in the second season. The episode sends William off with the grace and style he deserves: on his own terms, surrounded by music, and in his old home. But first, we have the opportunity to learn a little more about his upbringing, and to paint the picture of William’s life before Randall was born.

Young William


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Dorothy Hill, while pregnant with William, lived in Memphis with her husband. Their time together is summarized quickly, but it doesn’t take long to see that William’s dad had the same loving, kind eyes we know so well in his son (and his grandson, for that matter). Music rang through the home already too – William’s father would sing quietly to Dorothy and her baby bump, prompting a kick or two along the way. But just a few months before he was born, William’s father died in WWII, leaving Dorothy to raise him alone. And raise him she did; William and Dorothy lived happily in a home full of music, poetry and dancing. Their bond is strong and clear, but when Dorothy’s mother takes ill, she heads up to Pittsburgh and leaves William to his music.

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Dorothy knows the temptations that surround William and his cousin Ricky, and as they say goodbye at the train station, she leaves him with a request: to make the best of his time in Memphis, and to choose the best possible future for himself. William is already well on his way – he and Ricky have a band and spend their nights playing cover songs at a club called Melvin’s. While Ricky parties and gets smacked upside the head by the female population of Memphis, William takes his mother’s advice to heart. He declines Ricky’s invitations night after night, plays records, works on his poetry and music, and writes often. It’s a quiet life, but a good one. Up in Pittsburgh, Dorothy’s mother passes away, but she decides to stay put after landing a job at the local library. She can’t quite bear to leave, since her job “pays well and I get to be around books all day.”  (Dorothy, you’re a woman after my own heart. Stay with your books, girl.)

William has struggled to take his poetry and set it to music, but inspiration finally comes in the form of a killer soul number, “We Can Always Come Back to This.” He and his mother’s farewell at the train station was hugely impactful for William, even a few years later, and it serves as his song’s launching point. It took me a few times through the song to realize it, but the lyrics are a complete encapsulation of William’s life. It’s a song of goodbyes, hope, home, and loneliness. The refrain, “If I’m gonna be alone, then let it be with you,” is applicable to everyone William has loved and lost – Laurel, Jesse, Dorothy and of course Randall and his family. William has carried all of them in his heart his whole life, and even when he was physically alone, he’s been comforted by the knowledge that he has loved and been loved by a beautiful family.

The song, of course, is a huge hit. The crowd at Melvin’s grows and grows, and the band is poised to make a break just when William gets a call from Dorothy. She’s fallen ill, and he immediately heads up to Pittsburgh to take care of her. William knows this is the worst possible time to leave, but his priority is clear, and Ricky supports him completely. (“Never apologize for taking care of family.”) William heads off with a small loan from Ricky and the promise to return with a notebook full of 16 new tracks. Once he’s in Pittsburgh, William finds Dorothy in far worse shape than she let on. She sends him right back out again for the afternoon, off to the bus outside her apartment (“I know how you like the bus”) to explore the city.

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And all of a sudden, with the familiar chords of Jackson C. Frank’s “Blues Run the Game,” we’re back to the place where we first met William. The picture is more complete now; not only is he meeting and falling in love with Laurel on a Pittsburgh bus, but the two are taking care of Dorothy. They frequently decline invitations to hang out and party down the hall, focused instead on her care, but eventually, Laurel turns the corner. Slowly but surely, her drug habit becomes more serious. William can’t be distracted from his mother and spends every day at her bedside, reading her poetry and making sure she’s comfortable. Laurel used to paint Dorothy’s nails and keep her laughing, but as her addiction grows, she stumbles into Dorothy’s room and can no longer make eye contact to say goodbye.

Dorothy hadn’t even wanted William to know how sick she had become, so it’s no wonder that she was dismayed to have her son see her like this. Remembering all her years spent taking care of William as a child while she looked down at him from the bedside, Dorothy is heartbroken that the positions have been reversed. William wouldn’t have had it any other way, and I cannot imagine him leaving Dorothy to her illness alone. But the care takes a toll, and their second farewell leads to another pivotal moment in William’s life. His loss leads him to addiction and a life spent in Pittsburgh; he never makes his way back to Memphis.

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