“To Thine Own Self, Watson.”

Elementary delivered on “creepy,” “intriguing,” and “entertaining” in spades last week with its final sweeps episode. It started out interesting enough, with a young woman standing on a bridge, aiming a gun that was weighed down by a dumbbell at her face before pulling the trigger. It appeared to be a simple suicide, even if it was elaborately staged to look like a homicide, but it turned out that she had called the police earlier in the night to claim that a man named Lucas Bundsch was going to kill her that night. The woman, Samantha, believed Lucas had killed her sister, Allie, six years prior. Sherlock, a man of details, doesn’t take long to deduce that the young woman had killed herself in order to frame Lucas.

elementary209

Lucas was still brought in for questioning, and Sherlock believed him to be innocent until he was hooked up to the polygraph. Unfortunately, that’s when Lucas showed signs of lying, leading Sherlock to believe that Bundsch had killed Allie, and that he was, in fact, a serial killer.

“I should’ve let Samantha Wabash frame that man.”

The episode twists and turns from there, and for the first time, the viewers are aware and certain that Bundsch is the murderer for the entirety of the episode. The intrigue lay in watching Sherlock struggle to pin the murders to Bundsch, who is always two steps ahead of him. Bundsch even shows up to the Brownstone to subtly threaten and mock Sherlock and Watson, which only serves to infuriate Sherlock.

 

After a punch to the face, Bundsch files a restraining order against Sherlock, which seems to stall the case. Sherlock prepares to frame Bundsch for another woman’s abduction (one which Bundsch gloats about) until he figures out that Bundsch must be keeping his hostages at his recording studio, which was renovated and soundproofed when he purchased the property.

 

Bundsch was a repugnant man, played brilliantly by Troy Garrity. He is deeply unnerving, and at some points, it’s downright difficult to watch certain scenes. That Sherlock was provoked enough to punch him was no surprise to the viewers, as some of us were crawling out of our skin most of the time.

The episode ends with a small victory: a young woman who had been abducted in 2011 was discovered alive along with the woman Bundsch had kidnapped during the episode.

Sherlock and Joan are at odds for most of the episode, though, because of the way Sherlock treats the not-Bell police officers at the 11th Precinct. Joan disapproves of the way Sherlock talks to Detective Coventry, the man who had led the investigation on Allie Wabash six years ago, and Sherlock refuses to apologize for his actions, insisting that he’s simply asking for excellence from everyone around him.

Joan chooses to work separately from Sherlock as much as possible, angry that Sherlock can’t see that his actions have consequences.

“What does it cost us to tread lightly around the people that we work with? I’ll tell you: attention and effort. Which I am not willing to spare.”

To be fair, Detective Coventry was way out of line. He gave Lucas Bundsch the address to the Brownstone just to spite Sherlock, which should’ve gotten him suspended with pay at the very least. Later, Coventry tells Gregson over drinks that he’s embarrassing himself by keeping Sherlock around, because Sherlock is constantly checking over the shoulders of the detectives and officers at the precinct. Gregson stands behind Sherlock because of his track record (and he lays a pretty epic smackdown on Coventry in the process) but Coventry insists that “half the precinct” hates Sherlock and resents Gregson for utilizing him. He then threatens to call the union before storming out of the bar. Gregson later addresses his entire staff, saying that if anyone has a problem with the way he runs his precinct, they’re welcome to leave.

I’m wondering if we’re ramping up for an internal affairs investigation, maybe in May sweeps, in which Sherlock has to go to bat for Gregson in order to help him keep his job. This episode lays a good foundation for such a storyline, and it could even make a great two-parter.

After the case is solved, Sherlock is painting blood spatter onto the wall of a dollhouse when Joan approaches him. “I am not a nice man, it’s important that you understand that.” He goes on to list all of his negative attributes, adding, “I am neither proud of this, nor ashamed of it.”

“I’m not going to change.”
“You have. You’re not the same person I met a year and a half ago, you’re–”
“Good to you? Yeah. For the most part. I consider you to be exceptional. So I make an exceptional effort to accomodate you. But you must accept that for as long as you choose to be in my life, there will occasionally be fallout from my behavior. That must be a part of our understanding.”
“No one can accept something like that forever.”
“To thine own self, Watson.”

That exchange doesn’t bode well, either. Looks like a Sherlock/Watson schism is on the horizon.

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And for this, we are thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! And, if you’re not in the U.S., hello and welcome to Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. We here at WWFTP are planning on spending the better part of today stuffing our faces. (Bread pudding? Bread pudding? Bread pudding?) On Friday, Becca will be heading out to work the sales; Kerry will be hitting the stores and drinking a (possibly) unhealthy amount of coffee; and I will be curled up, catching up on The Fades and finishing a present for my nephew.

But in the interest of celebrating the U.S.’s national day of gratitude, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share the things for which we’re thankful.

Kerry

Everything Is Bloomable

So much better than with that awful Island wig.

Stephen Amell. I’m not sure a more perfect leading man exists.

FSU football. And football in general.

Maycove

A genius, his locks, his partner and his tortoise. (Clyde is in his trailer.)

Jonny Lee Miller. His Sherlock Holmes is only getting better.

Hiddlesmell

I went with the derpiest photo I could find.

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

Bo Dennis

Ain’t she great?

Tatiana Maslany, on both Orphan Black and Parks and Recreation.

Becca

The Scarlet Avenger

Wow. Robot faces are so *lifelike* these days.

Joss Whedon brought back Coulson. Clark Gregg is a joy to watch as he plays Coulson.

Whedonesque on Tumblr

As pretty in color as it is in black & white.

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare with actors from the Whedonverse is perfection.

Veronica Mar’s kickstarter. I’m not going to reveal how many times I saw the kickstarter and Ryan Hansen announcing Dick Casablancas would be back videos.

Felicity Sm0ak

She may be blonde, but she’s not *that* blonde.

Emily Bett Rickards was made a series regular on Arrow. Team Arrow would not be the same if we didn’t have the trio.

David Tennant, Life Ruiner

Yep.

David Tennant back on the small screen. (Including him soon being on the American version of Broadchurch; great choice, Fox.)

Film Onet

From left, Zachary Levi, Nathan Fillion and Tom Hiddleston at the premiere of “Thor: The Dark World.”

This picture exists.

Snarky Knightley on Emma Approved. I always have a hard time choosing between Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney and Mr. Knightley, and this web series is making it even harder.

Moff

Cobwebs, Books and Coffee

This has nothing to do with why I love this show, but it’s as perfectly weird *as* the show, so it works for me!

The cast of Sleepy Hollow is probably 90 percent of why this show works, and I’m so grateful it does because I need something a little bizarre to start my week.

Stop Then Rewind

And by ‘machine,’ Britta means ‘Thursdays at 8/7C on NBC, starting Jan. 2, 2014.’ Duh doy.

We finally have a start date for season five of Community, and whatever may come of the new season, at least I know when the Greendale Seven Six Five will be back on my screen.

I Lied Too

Good, bad or neutral as Switzerland, Acker as Root is both scary and scary good.

Amy Acker on Person of Interest. She’s always managed to bring charm to her roles, but her role on PoI has given her a chance to stretch her artistic limits as a character with questionable morals and even more questionable sanity.

Boys in Barrettes

Leslie Knope: Role Model. (No. Seriously.)

The ladies of Parks and Recreation, who manage to be everything I want to be when I grow up, both on- and off-screen.

Broadcast Archive @ the University of Maryland

What’s amazing about funny women? Is it that they’re funny? Or that people actually pay attention when they’re talking?

Carol Burnett winning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. I grew up watching her show, and between her professional talent and her personal grace under fire, I can’t imagine a better role model for an awkward, chatty little girl like I was.

And, finally, I’m thankful for Becca, who is the Marianne to my Elinor, and Kerry, who listens to my nonsense when I’m tired and rambling on pathetically. Both of them were willing to join me on this little blog adventure, and I’m so honored they did.

You thought your family was bad

I suppose I’m lucky. My family is pretty great, most of the time, and I’ve never really minded spending the holidays with them.

But I know plenty of families who are thoroughly annoying (and even kind of awful to each other), and for those people, I can only imagine settling in to watch a day of football on Thanksgiving is a relief. Of course, there are families where football is another source of discord, and if you’re going to watch a movie, why not watch one about a family more awful than your own? It might make everyone just grateful enough for their actual family to make it through the rest of the day.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for truly dysfunctional cinematic families.

My Man Godfrey (1936)

This movie’s as much about the excesses of the original One Percenters and the ravages of the Great Depression as it is about family and romance, but if you’re looking for a family of people who genuinely don’t get along, you can’t find a better example than the Bullocks. They’re abrasive, disconnected and more competitive than the family on Downton Abbey – until youngest daughter Irene hires a bum to be their new butler. Don’t let the black and white fool you: Carole Lombard and William Powell lead a cast as vibrant as any Technicolor spectacular.

Watch: Amazon | YouTube | YouTube

Home for the Holidays (1995)

Cast aside – Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Cynthia Stevenson, Claire Danes, Geraldine Chaplin, Amy Yasbeck and Robert Downey Jr. – the family in this movie is like any other family, but brought into sharp focus, warts and all. It’s as painful as it is funny, and may even provide some new coping mechanisms if your family is too much to bear.

Watch: YouTube

The Family Stone (2005)

It was a toss up whether this Diane Keaton-helmed flick or Because I Said So would make the list, but this one’s actually holiday themed, so it won. (Besides, there’s always Valentine’s Day and/or Mother’s Day!) It’s difficult to put my finger on why this family is so depressing, but if you don’t finish the movie hating them just a teeny, tiny bit, you may be a robot.

Watch: Amazon | YouTube

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Yes, it’s a twist on Pride & Prejudice. Yes, Helen Fielding has done some horrible things. Yes, Renee Zellweger can balloon up and down for roles. But forget Mad About the Boy and that squinty thing she does, and consider for a moment the fact that Bridget’s mother leaves her father for a man who is orange because her father allegedly didn’t know what the clitoris was.

Watch: Amazon | YouTube

Cinderella (2000) / Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (2002)

Only two years apart, these were both TV movies that were a twist on the story of Cinderella. The first stars Kathleen Turner as a twisted and manipulative stepmother who’s raised daughters who are by turns ditzy and violently malevolent. The second casts Stockard Channing in the stepmother role, as a woman who’s never quite accepted the burden of having two children for whom she must provide.

Cinderella: YouTube

Watch Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: YouTube

Rose Red (2002)

Start with a house mired in infidelity and betrayal, add psychics with trust issues, marinate for the length of a ponderous multi-part miniseries, and you get this weird and creepy Stephen King story. (If you can make it through to the end in one sitting, you have more patience than me.)

Watch: YouTube

The War of the Roses (1989)

And, if you survive the day with family but you need to settle in with your best friend, Vodka, to recover, queue up this classic story of the Worst Divorce Ever. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll feel bad for laughing, and you’ll realize that being asked uncomfortable personal questions by nosy older family members isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Watch: Amazon

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Episodes

It’s a slow week here at WWFTP HQ, thanks to the holiday of feasts and family. But does that stop us from watching TV? No, it doesn’t. Becca and I collaborated to bring you a list of our favorite Thanksgiving TV show episodes of all times. If you need to steal away from the family (or football) for a quick break before diving into some turkey and cranberry sauce, here are our suggestions for maximizing your TV-related Thanksgiving enjoyment.

 

01. Friends {All Thanksgiving Episodes} 1.09 “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” 3.09 “The One with the Football,” 4.08 “The One with Chandler in a Box,” 5.08 “The One with All the Thanksgivings,” 6.09 “The One Where Ross Got High,” 7.08 “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs,” 8.09 “The One with the Rumor,” 9.08 “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister,” and 10.08 “The One with the Late Thanksgiving.”

My tradition is to watch all of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes during the week leading up to the holiday, and Becca and I both agreed that the episodes are so great that they belong on a list of their own. So instead of listing all of the Thanksgiving episodes separately, we decided to list them all in one slot. Really, it’s just not Thanksgiving if you don’t get a dose of “Got the keys?” “More turkey, Mister Chandler?” “More bandages!” and of course, “My two greatest enemies: Rachel Greene and complex carbohydrates.”

Watch these episodes:

YouTube – 1.09 | 3.09 | 4.08 | 5.08 | 6.09 | 7.08 | 8.09 | 9.08 | 10.08

Amazon – 1.09 | 3.09 | 4.08 | 5.08 | 6.09 | 7.08 | 8.09 | 9.08 | 10.08

02. Chuck {Season 1, Episode 10} “Chuck vs. The Nemesis”

 

Chuck is having to deal with the revelation that Bryce Larkin is still alive, and that Sarah and Bryce have a history. The Thanksgiving dinner is entertaining, especially with Ellie having become Anna’s number one enemy. The best part of the episode is the Buy More story. Black Friday is a thing of chaos, and I only have one word: “Pineapple.”

Watch this episode: Amazon | Netflix | YouTube

03. WKRP in Cincinnati {Season 1, Episode 6} “Turkeys Away”

“For those of you who just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed by live turkeys.” Not only is it the iconic episode of the TV series, it’s probably the my favorite Thanksgiving-themed episode of any sitcom ever. There is no greater ending to such a disastrous episode than when Mr. Carlson fixes everyone with a stunned look and says, “As God is my witness… I thought turkeys could fly.” (Sidenote: I need this entire series on BluRay/DVD with the music intact, stat.)

Watch this clip: YouTube (only second half of the episode, low-quality and free, but totally worth it)

 

04. Buffy the Vampire Slayer {Season 4, Episode 8} “Pangs”

Buffy tries to make Thanksgiving dinner for the Scoobies. Xander gets syphilis. Angel is a background player hiding from Buffy, and everyone else thinks he is evil again. The best part is a newly-chipped Spike, who is tied up in Giles house for the majority of the episode. To see him at the dinner table with the rest of the Scoobies is a delight.

Watch this episode: Amazon | Hulu Plus

 

05. How I Met Your Mother {Season 3, Episode 9} “Slapsgiving”

Thanks to a slap bet between Barney and Marshall earlier in the season, Marshall now has a Slap Countdown clock running, counting down the minutes and seconds until he slaps Barney across the face. He times it to end on Thanksgiving, which causes chaos among the group of friends as Ted and Robin try to work through their post-breakup friendship, and as a terrified Barney tries to plead for his life. Lily, as Slap Bet Commissioner, finally puts a stop to the whole thing, fearing for the safety of the food, but when Barney gloats, she gives Marshall permission to slap again–and it sends Barney spinning to the floor. Marshall then performs the iconic “You Just Got Slapped” to the general merriment of the group.

Watch this episode: Amazon | Netflix

 

06. Go On {Season 1, Episode 9} “Dinner Takes All”

One of the first great episodes of the short-lived series. Steven and Ryan both fight over guest star Lauren Graham’s character, Amy. The group has Thanksgiving together, and greatness is achieved. The episode is full of laughs, and as always, Carrie is one of the best parts.

Watch this episode: Amazon | YouTube

 

07. Gossip Girl {Season 1, Episode 9} “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”

blairwaldorfmustpie

Gossip Girl was always ripe for Thanksgiving shenanigans, and since Thanksgiving always came at the end of sweeps, it meant wrapping up some major arcs. It was hard to choose between this episode and “Treasure of the Serena Madre” from Season 3, but I think this one takes the… pie. Blair is always neurotic about her traditions and rituals, which means Thanksgiving is always a ticking timebomb for her. Because of the disintegration of her relationship with Nate and her volatile friendship with Serena, Blair suffers a relapse in her bulimia. It’s one of the few times her eating disorder is handled properly by the show, and it showed us a new side to the Serena-Blair friendship that we hadn’t seen in the previous eight episodes, and it’s also the first time Blair shows up at Dan’s loft in Brooklyn, which was a treat for viewers at the time. The heart-to-heart at the end of the episode brought Blair and her mother, Eleanor, closer together for the first time since Blair’s father left them earlier in the year.

Watch this episode: AmazonNetflix | YouTube

08. Happy Endings {Season 3, Episode 4} “More Like Stanksgiving”

This episode shows what the characters were like in the past when Brad and Max were part of The Real World: Sacramento. It is interesting to see what all the characters were like back in the day, and what they looked like. The subplot of Dave being one sixteenth Navajo is rather entertaining.

 Watch this episode: AmazonYouTube

09. Cougar Town {Season 2, Episode 9} “When the Time Comes”

The best part of this episode is Laurie’s constant wardrobe changes. Other bonuses: Andy being optimistic even in the face of adversity (namely, his wife) and Jules/Grayson hosting their first “romantic” Thanksgiving.

Watch this episode: AmazonYouTube

 

10. Gilmore Girls {Season 3, Episode 9} “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

The best thing this show did was make Lorelai and Rory go to four different Thanksgiving dinners. If anyone can handle four ridiculous meals, it’s these two ladies. They’re forced to eat tofurkey at the Kims, then they stop by Sookie’s house, where she’s having a panic attack about Jackson deep-frying a turkey, then they go to Luke’s, where Luke made everyone wait for the Gilmores to show up, and they round out the whole thing at the grandparents house. Watching Sookie, who ends up drunk, is a personal highlight for me.

Watch this episode: Amazon

Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments! And Happy Thanksgiving, American friends.

And if you can’t be with the one you love

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for episode 1.09 of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, “Sanctuary.”

I don’t want to get all New Age-y on y’all, but there are two things about friendship I pretty strongly believe. The first is that we meet the people we need to meet when we need to meet them. I moved to where I live now about 16 years ago, and before I settled in the city I now call home, I lived in apartments in a couple other cities. As it happens, one of those apartments was in a city where two of my best friends (offline) lived. I’ve talked with them about living there, and we’ve realized there were times we were probably in the same place at the same time. But I didn’t meet either of them until high school, which is good as we might not have been friends if I’d met them when I was younger.

The second thing I believe pretty strongly about friendship is it’s necessary to be a teeny, tiny bit in love with your friends. There’s no long-term social expectations associated with friendship the way there usually is with family, so noting your friends’ awesome traits and attractive qualities makes you want to spend more time with them.

It’s Thanksgiving week on Sleepy Hollow, and this episode’s A- and B-plots were all about timing. In the first, Capt. Irving assigns Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane to investigate the disappearance of Washington, D.C., billionaire and socialite Lena Gilbert, in town to visit her family’s ancestral home. Mills and Crane determine Gilbert might be related to Crane’s wife, Katrina; or to one of his friends, Lachlan Fredericks, who may also have been part of the epic battle between good and evil that’s been brewing in upstate New York for centuries. They arrive at the Fredericks-Gilbert home, only to discover Gilbert’s bodyguard is dead, Gilbert herself is trapped by some kind of evil vine, and the house itself is full of ghosts.

Urbanized Geek

Can we give Erin Cahill (Lena Gilbert) props for managing to convincingly act terrified of the Ent reject?

Between saving Gilbert from a (super campy) vine demon and looking for an exit from a house that’s locked up tighter than the Farm Bill in Congress, Mills stumbles across a vision of Crane’s wife delivering a baby, then fleeing into the night with the newborn. She tells Crane, who is simultaneously overjoyed and devastated as he realizes he is both more and, potentially, less alone than he originally thought.
Dekaohtoura

Apparently, Ichabod’s drink of choice is rum. Someone has a little bit of pirate in him, amirite?

Back in the safety of the SHPD’s archives, Mills and Crane rifle through documents Gilbert sent them after she returned to D.C. Among them is a family tree starting with the free Black woman who was Fredericks’ house hostess and ending with Mill’s mother. The Two Witnesses realize their meeting wasn’t simply predestined but carefully orchestrated across multiple generations.

Grandecaps

Meet the Irvings: Cynthia, as played by Jill Marie Jones (center right), and Macey, played by Amandla Stenberg (center left).

The B-plot featured Irving and Jenny Mills, who bicker discuss flirt over the topics of guns and Thanksgiving dinner. (Jenny offers to cook for her sister, Crane and Irving; Irving is both surprised and doubtful at her suggestion, assuming she might give him food poisoning.) Their moment is interrupted when Irving’s ex-wife, Cynthia, and daughter, Macey, arrive. Macey, who clearly inherited her dad’s wry wit and unlimited capacity for sass, prods Jenny to find out if she is dating Irving.

Irmavep11

Lyndie Greenwood, as Jenny Mills, killing it in her scenes with Stenberg, as Macey Irving.

They bond over the need to give parents a break when they can’t manage to balance work and home. Meanwhile, Cynthia interrogates Irving about why his ‘easy country gig in the middle of nowhere’ is keeping him so busy, then tells him if he bails on another weekend with Macey, she’ll sue for sole custody.

This was another solid entry in this show’s freshman season, and managed to add new layers to the ongoing mystery and mythology without losing momentum. We learned both Mills’ and Gilbert’s ancestors were likely part of the same Good coven as Crane’s wife, while also discovering Evil can be surprisingly pragmatic when it comes to circumventing the rules by which Good works.

 

Of course, the big reveals were the existence of Crane’s son with Katrina, and the new connection Mills has with her partner and his past. Mills and Crane met not only because they were destined to, but when their meeting made the most sense. Imagine for a moment if Mills had already left for Quantico when Sheriff Corbin was killed, and she reluctantly returned, only to discover Crane then, when she had practically no reason to stay. Imagine if Mills hadn’t come upon the Horseman immediately after Corbin’s death. Or even, perhaps, imagine if the cave where Crane was buried had been discovered earlier, whether by the Hessians, the Masons, a random hiker or maybe an adolescent Abbie and Jenny.

Grandecaps

Does Orlando Jones need to ask the fandom to start making Jenny/Irving gifs?

As for Jenny and Irving,  their interaction early in the episode demonstrates the characters’ potential to be a splendidly sarcastic crime-fighting duo. Jenny, in particular, has lived a life of isolation: From society, from her sister, from their mother, from a “normal” adulthood, but she never chose to be alone. Contrarily, Irving is shown, through his conversation with his ex-wife, to be guilty of putting his work before his family, even if he does adore his daughter. Initially, he found himself alone because he worked in a bustling urban precinct, and now because he’s learned his department stands between an unsuspecting world and the Apocalypse. Whether the show runners and writers decide to make theirs a canon ship, Jenny and Irving’s dynamic is in the gray zone between flirting and friendship. (Though Jenny’s defense of Irving to his daughter veers more into friendship, especially as Jenny is a character in need of a hug and reassurance more than a romance set amidst the final battle between good and evil.)

 

This week was about timing – Is there ever a good time to tell your best friend news that could destroy him? Is there a way to recapture a ‘moment’ with someone, especially when the ‘moment’ is interrupted by that someone’s daughter? – as much as it was about time (Crane dying before his child was born, Gilbert disappearing for days before anyone reported her missing, the span of generations between Mills’ ancestor and herself).

However, I am left with one question: Does the town of Sleepy Hollow suffer from the same sort of systemic obliviousness that plagues Sunnydale and Haven? Does no one notice the dead bodies? The strange occurrences? The shoot-outs? How many times can the local paper (assuming there still is one) be fed a line from SHPD about gas leaks before someone starts to question the weirdness that came to town around the same time as the old-fashioned professor, visiting from England? When a show is as eager to wink at the audience as this one is, I can’t help but wait with baited breath to see how this is addressed.

Tune In / Tune Out: Week of Nov. 17, 2013

Wow. Apparently when I said “we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Tune In/Tune Out this week,” what I actually meant was we’d be back this week. In any case, this week was a mish mash of Thanksgiving episodes and plays for Sweeps ratings. So, without further ado, here we go.

TUNE IN

Long and Sharp

“…but you’re only ever willing to extend it to me.”

Elementary: Creepy and intriguing with lots of great layers to the relationships between Sherlock, Joan, and Gregson. – Kerry

Back in the Game: Yeah it’s getting cancelled, but it was a great episode this week. If only they hadn’t taken this long to finally humanize Dick! (That’s not a euphemism.) – Kerry

Screenwack

How’s the saying go? “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”?

Sleepy Hollow: Aw, hells yes. Brom Van Brunt finally showed up, and oh, how sweet the reunion was. – Moff

TUNE OUT

Once Upon a Time: Lo, what light through yonder window breaks? It is Peter Pan’s Ego – or Pandora’s Box/plot device or even Henry, having the common sense of a deer tick. But I can tell you what that light ain’t, and that’s the illumination of logic. – Moff

 

An Enormous Mess to Clean Up

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.08  of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Well”

Over the past couple of episodes, I have slowly started to like the character, Agent Grant Ward. I knew in the pilot, Ward could be an interesting character when they hinted about his past being tragic, but then the show started to show a no-nonsense agent. They finally addressed his personality a couple of episodes ago in “FZZT” with both Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons impersonating him. The beauty is when Ward impersonates himself to Simmons later in the episode. This was the episode where I finally started to gain interest in his character, and my interest grew even more when he was paired up with Fitz in the next episode, “The Hub.” This latest episode, “The Well,” finally started to address Grant’s past, and helped explain why he has appeared to be this stoic, I-work-alone agent most of the season.

This episode dealt with many of the characters facing fears and darker parts of their lives. For Simmons, she hasn’t been able to talk to her parents after she fell ill, and almost died from falling out of the plane. She also has to deal with the fear of falling when she has to walk up fifteen feet of a cut down tree. Ward is on site with her, and tries to deflect her thoughts. She knows what he is doing, but I think she finds comfort in him helping her deal with her fear of falling.

He assures her he will catch her again. In some ways, Ward is the person who helps her overcome some of her fears in this episode. She then finally gets the courage to talk to her parents, after both Ward and Melinda May fight the bad guys, and Coulson helps her save Professor Elliot Randolph’s life.

Then there is Ward facing some of his darkest memories. Thanks to the Ward coming into contact with Asgardian artifact, one of his darkest memories resurfaced. We learn Ward has buried his past in order to be able to do his job, but the artifact brings it back up in order to fill him with rage to give him super fighting strength. Fortunately he has May who understands the situation he is in to help him through it. May’s past is still a big mystery, but we have learned she has a dark past. It is one of the reasons why I believe Coulson constantly finds consolation with May because of all she has lived through. Later in the episode, Grant asks May how she was able to hold the entire scepter when it meant her darkest memories were hitting her stronger than his hit him. She replied she sees it every day. May doesn’t block it out like Ward, but keeps it as a constant reminder.

She has learned to live with it. It still hurts, and it is probably one of the reasons why May and Ward get drunk together at the end of the show.

Finally, there is Coulson. Coulson doesn’t remember what happened to him after he died, and it is slowly starting to bug him even more of not knowing what happened. He is tempted to touch the scepter and Randolph knows this. Randolph questions him on why he wants to know this because Coulson is alive and appears to be living a good, healthy life. It is still bugging Coulson, and will probably continue to bug him until he finally gets some answers. He knows something is wrong. I mean you shouldn’t think dreaming about Tahiti getting a massage would be a nightmare, but it is to him at the end of this episode. I’m with Coulson on this. If this show is doing a Dollhouse callback then something is wrong with Tahiti being this magical place.


The other thing I loved about this episode was the procedural part of the story. The thing with Marvel having so many movies and now this show is they now all exist in the same timeline. It is one of the things that ticked me off with Thor: The Dark World. There was only the slightest mention of S.H.I.E.L.D and nothing else. This episode made up for my frustration in some ways. It began with Simmon’s narration about other worlds and Asgard leading to the scene where the team is cleaning up after Thor and the Dark Elves. The show really didn’t spoil the movie unless someone would be ticked off to know part of Greenwich got destroyed in one of the battles.

The other part I enjoyed about this story is another Asgardian (Randolph) being involved. It was enjoyable to see someone else from Asgard not involved with Thor who has lived on Earth for quite a long time because he fell in love with our world. Who can blame him from falling in love with the planet and becoming a Pacifist, after being a mason all his life on Asgard? I also believe this explains Larry Fleinhardt so much better on Numb3rs.

Finally, I want to give this show kudos for showing different partnerships with this episode. I love that this show is exploring the members of the team partnering up with different people.