The Black Canary Cries

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**This post contains spoilers for episode 3.11 of Arrow, “Midnight City.”**

So last week I said I was pleasantly surprised by Arrow, and that on a scale of 1 – 10, I gave it a 5 while I fully expected a 2. Unfortunately, water always meets its level, so hopefully this week’s episode, “Midnight City,” is as bad as Arrow gets. Previously, I thought “Sara” or “Birds of Prey” were the worst episodes of this show. I was so wrong.

I’ll start with the good stuff: Maseo and Tatsu. I hate that we’re really only getting their story in drips, but that’s not a real complaint because everything else on this show lately has been in anvil form, so I’ll take any form of subtlety at this point. We got more of their flashbacks, namely that Maseo was willing to risk the lives of thousands of people for his family and that China White had anticipated that quality in him. Oliver looks a little unnerved by this kind of loyalty over all else, and of course it’s in direct contradiction to the Maseo we know in the present day, but that plotline continues to be one of the more compelling plotlines of this show.

In the present day, Tatsu is helping Oliver recover while Maseo protects them and prepares to return to the League. Oliver is overly concerned with his old friend’s fate, so Maseo fakes a cut on his neck to indicate Oliver fighting back. Oliver asks him to come back to Starling City with him, but Maseo chooses to go back to the League, leaving Tatsu in tears.

Speaking of anvil-like imagery, the episode starts out with a dream sequence, going back to the moment Oliver told Felicity he was leaving. In this version, he abruptly decides to stay because he loves her so much, and they kiss for one joyous moment before he leans back and starts spewing blood. They both glance down in shock to find a sword going through his midsection, and cut to — Oliver waking up. This is the sort of thing this show used to do really well, or at the very least, they did it with a little more finesse. This time it was just clumsy and shot weird and had odd emotional beats without any indication that it was a dream at all. It even seemed like it should’ve been Felicity’s dream until we saw Oliver wake from it. Just so strange. But it’s nice that he’s dreaming about her, I suppose.

Elsewhere, people are making — just — I can’t even talk about the stupid decisions almost everyone on this show is making. Just mind-numblingly stupid. The only people not doing dumb stuff in this episode are Oliver, who is healing, and Lance, who is being lied to by every single person in his life. I don’t even know where to begin, but since my ire with this show begins and ends with Thea Queen, I guess I’ll start there.

Malcolm is still lying to her. Roy is still lying to her. And now greasy grungy shady DJ guy is lying to her, because — surprise! — he works for the League of Assassins somehow. He’s Maseo’s man in Starling, I guess. We’ll get more on that later. But Malcolm spends the episode trying to convince Thea to leave the city and she tells him that they should be strong and face down their enemies, and Malcolm… agrees. So sending Oliver to his death was totally worth it.

Speaking of lying, Felicity (yes, Felicity, because as much as a certain faction of fandom would like to blame Laurel for this, it was actually Felicity who came up with this particular atrocity) had the bright idea to use old scans of Sara’s voice to have Laurel talk to Captain Lance as The Canary. Lance has been wondering why there are reports of a masked blonde woman running around town beating people up, but he hasn’t heard from his daughter, and somehow this little detail never occurred to Laurel as she was putting on the mask. After Felicity has a crisis of conscience about saving the city, she comes up with this awful idea and Laurel stands there in the foundry, talking to her dad as Sara as Katie Cassidy finally sheds a tear. I was too angry with the writers and show and the general production for pulling this stunt to really appreciate that she gave it her all, so props to Katie for trying to drag that scene out of the abyss that it belongs in, because it was terrible. I hated every second of that plot and I hate writing about it now.

But no! That wasn’t the only time she impersonated her sister! Later she stood on a fire escape four stories high to tell her dad, as Sara, that she couldn’t be in contact with him right now, and Lance looked devastated. It was bad enough when his daughter was lying to him, but now, thanks to Laurel donning the mask and Felicity rigging up her voice, the entire team has been pulled into the conspiracy, and it’s just terrible, you guys. It casts a pall over everything, and that’s saying something, because it’s hard to cast a pall over an episode where everyone still thinks the main superhero is dead.

Felicity continued her tour of bad ideas by figuring out the nanochip thing so that she could eventually send another billionaire to his snowy mountaintop grave. I guess I can chalk it all up to grief but it’s getting old.

Roy and Diggle contributed to the fiasco by not really trying to stop Laurel. We can’t blame them too much, Laurel’s gonna be Laurel, but after last week’s emotional scenes, they both just seemed off, like this show can’t carry storylines through multiple episodes anymore. There was a funny scene where Roy went to try to threaten Malcolm for lying to Thea, but I think Malcolm likes being threatened. I think it keeps him young.

And Ray Palmer still exists, because Brick didn’t do us a solid and just shoot him while he had the chance.

Eventually, it won’t be so painful to watch the Black Canary join the fray, but for the love of God, Laurel, train.

Other notes:

– This scene was fun:

– For most of the episode, it seemed like Laurel thought Oliver was dead after all; she had a couple lines alluding to that. I was initially bothered by her lack of a reaction to his demise, until she indicated at the end of the episode that she still wasn’t sure he was gone. Whew!

– Vinnie Jones was still great as Brick.

– Thea read a book in the dark. No, really:

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– Felicity and Laurel finally, finally had a not-awkward scene of mutual respect and support. It was great, and it needs to continue.

– I miss Slade. Who else misses Slade? Things were so fun when Slade was around! Except for all the death and stuff.

Next week: three terrorist attacks on Starling City in three years! What will Joe West and Harrison Wells have to say about this?! Oh and I guess Oliver’s coming back, but that’s no indication that this show will get any better.

“Is That Pistol an Automatic?”

***Warning: This post contains spoilers for ABC’s Agent Carter Episode 1.04, “The Blitzkrieg Button.”

Agent Carter is half way over, and Howard Stark is back in town. Peggy’s and Howard’s relationship piqued my interest when I watched Captain America for the first time. Howard was proof that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree with his character being a playboy genius just like his son, Tony Stark. This is why I loved the fact Howard and Peggy appeared to be buddies. Howard admires Peggy, and considers her a pal (who he will still hit on).

 

With Howard showing up, comes another mission for Peggy. Peggy is tasked with taking pictures of all the inventions the SSR has of Howard’s, but first Howard feels the need to take a selfie with Peggy.

 

After Peggy successfully takes the photos she goes back to her lodgings where she has smuggled Howard in for him to lay low. Of course Howard is a challenge because he is now in a building full of young attractive girls. Peggy is able to rein him in, but it is probably the most difficult challenge she has had to face this season so far.

 

Howard informs Peggy he needs her to steal one of his inventions back because it is extremely dangerous. Peggy is a little skeptical, but goes along with it. Howard’s her friend, and she trusts him. However, Jarvis is a horrible liar, and Peggy knows there is something Howard is not telling her. She steals the item, but decides to find out what the invention truly is. It turns out it is a vial of blood. She goes back and confronts Howard about it. Howard knows she already knows who blood it is when she is demanding him to tell her whose blood he has. The blood is Steve Roger’s.  Howard lied to her.

This is what Jarvis and Howard were talking about in the premiere. About Howard lying to her. Yes, recovering Howard’s inventions were important, but this vial was his true motive. He knew Peggy could find and recover his stuff, but also knew Peggy might decline if he told her the truth.

My favorite scene of the night was Peggy confronting Howard. She has every right to be upset. One of her friends betrayed her, and what made it worse was it involved Steve. Peggy has risked her job so Howard could have his vial of Steve’s blood.

 

The scene also shows us a glimpse of another side of Howard. The man is extremely egotistical, but the scene showed how important Peggy is to him. He let her inside by telling her how he grew up.

I grew up on the lower east side. My father sold fruit. My mother sewed shirt waists for a factory. Let me tell you. You don’t get to climb the American ladder without picking up some bad habits on the way. There’s a ceiling for certain types of people. Based on how much money your parents have. Your social class, your religion, your sex. The only way to break through that ceiling sometimes is to lie so that’s my natural instinct. To lie.  I shouldn’t have lied to you. And for that, trust me I am truly sorry.

Peggy then asks why he has Steve’s blood, and Howard tells her his hopes about curing diseases. Peggy isn’t buying that it is for a selfless reason, and you can see the hurt in Howard’s face.

 

The truth is Peggy did trust Howard, and he lied to her. Howard is relying on Jarvis to make things better, but Howard is going to need to do the groveling. He knew how important Steve was because Steve was also important to him. Lying may protect someone for a little while, but in the long run it doesn’t do any good. The truth will come out, and friendships will be damaged.

 

The one thing that made the confrontation even more amped up was the scene Peggy has with Jack Thompson. He doesn’t understand why Peggy stays at the SSR because all she does is wait on the men. Jack is an antagonist for Peggy, but what makes it conflicting is he is not a bad guy. He is only a colleague who is a massive jerk. He is part of the problem where women are not treated as equals. He knows what Peggy wants, but he also believes no man will consider her equal with himself.

 

What really caught my interest was him remarking that it was sad. Jack is A grade a jerk when it comes to Peggy, and it is pretty much the only thing we have seen of him in the series. He’s a man’s man, but this episode showed something else. It wasn’t much, but there was a small sense of isolation or loss with his character. The war affected him. It affected everyone on this show.

 

Other highlights: Stan Lee’s cameo.

 

The revelation of Dottie apparently having a love for automatic weapons.

I have a feeling it will be revealed soon that Dottie is a villain. After all, women can make great villains just as great as they can make awesome heroines.

 

“I Think We’re Going to be Fine.”

Let’s talk about Ron and Leslie. Earlier this week, Parks and Recreation had a bottle episode mainly featuring Ron and Leslie locked in the parks department. The rest of the old parks team had locked them in because the two of them needed to hash things out. Ron and Leslie had one of the greatest relationships on the show, and it was affecting both of them negatively by no longer being friends.

The series began with Ron as Leslie’s boss who was anti-government, while Leslie was pro-government. They were exact opposites, but over the course of the show they became incredibly close.

The first real appearance of this great friendship was in 2.08, “Ron and Tammy.” At the beginning of the episode, Leslie does not realize how evil Tammy 2 is, and tries to reunite her with Ron. However, as the episode continues Leslie begins to see the error in her ways. In the end, Leslie is willing to give up the lot for the park so Ron can be free from Tammy’s clutches. Leslie cares more for Ron than getting her park, and Ron knows how much the park means to her.

You just put my needs in front of your own. No woman has ever done that for me before.

 

Leslie will always be in Ron’s corner when one of the Tammys tries to ensnare him. She even joined a drinking contest with all the Tammys to save him from them.

When Tammy 2 makes her fourth appearance while Ron is dating Diane (5.09,”Ron and Diane”), Leslie tries to run interference because she knows how good Diane is for Ron. What is most interesting about this episode is Diane is not threatened by Tammy 2, but she does feel threatened of Leslie. Ron is not known to have real close friendships, but Leslie is an exception.

Leslie understands Ron. Both Ann and Ben have commiserated together about Leslie being this gift guru, and Leslie is a gift guru to all. When Leslie finds out when Ron’s birthday is, she lets him freak out the whole week thinking she is going to go crazy with his birthday. However, her gift to him is a night of peace and quiet with his favorite meal and films. The one gift that tops this one happens in 6.02 “London: Part 2.” Leslie gives Ron detailed instructions for a trip ending up at his favorite scotch distillery, and the poem (“O Were My Love Yon Lilack Fair”) he is supposed to recite there.

What solidified this relationship was Ron gaining a respect for Leslie in  2.10, “Hunting Trip.” Ron goes through half the episode believing Leslie shot him in the back of the head. At the end of the episode, it is revealed Leslie is not the one who shot Ron. Tom is the one who shot Ron, but Leslie took the blame because Tom didn’t have a hunting license. When Ron learns Leslie took the fall for Tom, he gains a new respect for her.

Even when Ron and Leslie disagree they are still able to come to terms. In 4.04, “Pawnee Rangers,” Ron’s rangers desert him for Leslie’s group. However, Leslie makes an advert in the paper for a new group of children called The Swansons.

Are you tough as nails? Would you rather sleep on a bed of pine needles than a mattress? Do you find video games pointless and shopping malls stupid? Do you march to the beat of your own drummer?Did you make the drum yourself? If so, you just might have what it takes to be a Swanson. Pawnee’s most hardcore outdoor club starts today. Boys and girls welcome. Pawnee City Hall – Dept. of Parks & Recreation

Later, Ron and Leslie butt heads again when the compete for Allison Gliffert’s future plans in 6.18 “Prom.” Ron wants Allison to learn a trade while Leslie wants Allison to work for the government. Leslie sees herself in Allison, but more importantly Leslie would feel better if the Pawnee government was in safe hands if she decided to leave. Leslie has a fantastic job offer, but she doesn’t want to see Pawnee fail with the Pawnee-Eagleton merger. Ron, is able to give Leslie sound advice when she confesses her worries to him. It is another thing that makes this a beautiful friendship. They may not always agree, but Leslie can always count on Ron to give her sound advice.

 

They are so important to each other. Ron not only makes Leslie’s and Ben’s wedding rings, but he is also the one who gives Leslie away.

As for Ron’s wedding, he actually lets her be involved with his simple wedding to Diane.

 

It is hard to believe these two stopped being friends at one point.  What makes it hurt even more is that in 2.20, “Summer Catalog.” Ron and Leslie are seen at the diner eating breakfast food. Ron is comforting Leslie in his Ron fashion about her ideas on how the picnic she planned with all the former Parks directors was a disaster. She thought it would be fun, but instead she finds out they all hate each other. She confides in Ron about what she wanted and also her fears.

Are we going to hate each other some day?

I don’t think so. I think we’re going to be fine.

I decided to rewatch this episode after this week’s Parks and Recreation because of the breakfast line. What I forgot were the lines before it. Ron and Leslie did get in a fight. It was a terrible fight, and if it wasn’t for their friends they would still be fighting. Instead we saw Leslie hugging Ron from behind while they went off to eat more breakfast food because people who don’t always eat breakfast food are idiots.

No Vigilante Left Behind

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**This post contains spoilers for episode 3.10 of Arrow, “Left Behind.”**

A friend asked me how I’d rank this episode of Arrow on a scale of 1 to 10. After thinking about it for a moment, I honestly told her, “I’d give it a 5, while I went in expecting a 2.” In a way, hooray for lowered expectations! But in another way, it’s just an ongoing trend of disappointments coming out of this show.

I won’t go into the reasons that I expected a 2 from the episode — I think at this point, that would be beating a dead horse — but I will say that the presence of Vinnie Jones plus some stellar work from both David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards really elevated the episode to the measly 5 that I’m giving it. There’s also the fact that Tatsu, wife of Maseo and the subject of most of the Hong Kong flashbacks from this season, is very much alive. I was more excited to see her than I was to see Oliver wake up at the end of the episode.

While Stephen Amell was exclusively shooting flashback scenes and then going on vacation, his coworkers were turning in some pretty spectacular work in the most emotional scenes we’ve seen on this show. The two big ones, of course, were Diggle and Felicity, who coped in their respective ways: as soldier and as almost-lover. If I had to choose between performances, I’d have to choose David Ramsey in this one, only because I think his character has been a bit sidelined this season, and this episode returned him to the spotlight where he belongs. There’s one line in particular that brought me right back to the beginning of the series:

 

“I know it’s silly, but I still like to think of myself as Oliver’s bodyguard. I just couldn’t protect him.”

Unlike Felicity, Diggle is prepared for the worst. In fact, we see the team on Day 3 post-Oliver, and Diggle looks like he’s already accepted the ugly truth. While Felicity exudes optimism and faith, Diggle’s seen and caused too much death to delude himself. His realism may seem heartless, but in fact, it demonstrates an even deeper understanding of Oliver than even Felicity has. While Oliver and Felicity shared love and trust, Oliver and Diggle shared that survivor and war mentality that Felicity could never understand. Diggle knows that Oliver would move heaven and earth to contact them if he were alive, and his continuing silence can mean only one thing.

It’s not Diggle’s scenes of acceptance and truth that get me; it’s the scenes where he tries to gently bring Felicity into some form of acceptance. He starts out slow, just telling her to prepare for the worst, but he backs off quickly when she stands resolute. It’s a scene that seems, on the surface, to be about Felicity, but the tight shots on Ramsey’s face reveal a depth of emotion that he injects into the words. It hurts him to say these things, to admit that maybe Oliver didn’t win this time. It pains him to be the voice of reason, to be the person who has to shatter that glass smile on Felicity’s face. He’s in pain, too. He’s lost without his boss, his friend, his comrade in arms. John Diggle was the first person Oliver trusted when he came back to Starling, and Ramsey didn’t let us forget that.

 

Felicity’s most gut-wrenching scene is when Malcolm Merlyn (who apparently knows the code to the door now) presents them with proof of Oliver’s demise: the scimitar with his blood on it. She goes running back to work for (ugh) Ray Palmer and slowly becomes unhinged. She begs him not to be a vigilante, then she completely freezes up during an operation and cuts off Diggle and Roy from being able to pursue Brick and retrieve the stolen evidence from all of their cases over the last eight months. It results in an even more painful argument where both sides make sense: Roy and Diggle want to continue their work, but Felicity can’t stand the thought of losing them, too.

She’s unwittingly taken on Oliver’s worst trait: his need to control all outcomes. She thinks she’s protecting the people she loves, but all she did was rob Roy and Diggle of their agency. She shouts that she made a choice, but they knew what they were getting into; they were okay with dying in the line of duty. She’s lost perspective, and that’s okay, she’s grieving, but I’m also not going to gloss over what she’s done here. I hate when people are robbed of their free will (and this season, the biggest victim of that is Thea) and even tiny bubbly blondes are guilty of doing that. Diggle and Roy are full of sympathy, though, even as they’re frustrated with her actions.

Diggle: “The point is, if we’re going to do this without Oliver, Felicity, we have to trust each other.”
Felicity: “You don’t get it. There is no this without him. It’s done. I’m done.”

She turns off the lights in a really obvious metaphor and then goes to resign from her vigilante work with Ray Palmer, and let’s talk about him for a second. I think I’m getting to the point that I have to stop talking about him. I can’t stand the actor, it’s one of those visceral things that I thought might go away once I got used to (or even grew to like) the character. I am capable of that, as I had a lifelong hatred of Chevy Chase until he was cast on Community, and while I still don’t like Chase himself, his character became one of my favorites on the show. I really thought maybe I’d grow to like Ray Palmer at least, but I think he brings nothing to the table. He’s trying to build the Iron Man suit with none of Tony Stark’s genius or charisma, his corporate persona is too close to Oliver’s but again with none of the charisma, he’s clearly there to serve as Romantic Interest Option B for Felicity, and unlike the showrunners and writers, I just can’t see the chemistry everyone keeps referring to. I can handle polarizing characters or characters with potential, but Ray is just there. He’s beige, he’s spare, he’s a human vanilla milkshake, and I just don’t understand the appeal.

Ray’s building a suit, he wants to be a new kind of vigilante, he yells at Felicity for begging him not to put himself in danger, and apparently they’re friends now, hence her concern. Oh, and he’s scared of clowns. None of those scenes resonated with me. I felt like those sorts of emotional beats — Felicity getting scared and begging someone she considers a “friend” not to go down the same path as Oliver — would’ve been better served in future scenes with Laurel. Imagine that exact dialogue, the crying and the pleading, to Laurel. Laurel, who so desperately wants to do something for reasons we already understand. Imagine how emotionally charged those scenes could’ve been. That, more than anything else, is why I think Ray Palmer is a waste of character, screentime, and space. This show is already crowded with much more compelling characters, and Laurel is a character that has already been criminally mistreated and abused by her writing team in the first place!

Speaking of Laurel, she’s still kicking ass in court but it’s all for naught thanks to Felicity’s knee-jerk fear reaction of trapping Diggle and Roy inside the warehouse, which means all the evidence went away. After she finds out about Oliver’s death (and rightly yells at Team Arrow for actually believing Malcolm Merlyn) she sees Sara’s mask and weapons laid out and dons them herself. She’s the Black Canary now.

 

It’s pretty clear that Laurel is the lone holdout as far as Oliver’s supposed demise. After her extreme reactions to her sister’s death earlier this season, plus her spiral into alcoholism after Tommy’s death, I would expect more emotion from her if she really thought Oliver was dead.

What’s not so clear is how long Oliver lays on that mountainside before Maseo rescues him. Obviously I don’t think he could’ve been dead three days, but I wouldn’t put it past this show to do a thinly-veiled Jesus allegory. Either way, he’s alive and well and there hasn’t been a mention of a Lazarus Pit yet, but it’s still a possibility.

The case of the week is actually the start of a three-episode arc involving Vinnie Jones’ character, Brick, who is orchestrating a takeover of the Glades with the help of the freshly-freed inmates. They made a point of saying that he freed everyone who had been targeted by Team Arrow since Slade was imprisoned, so I’m crossing my fingers that he has something to do with this! (Sidenote: Vinnie Jones is a damn delight of a bad guy. He pops up on all my favorite shows as various memorable characters,, but I’ll always refer to him as Bullet-Tooth Tony.)

Meanwhile, in the flashbacks:

That’s about it.

Other notes:

– “Who the hell are you?” was said two different times to two different people, but thanks to Vinnie Jones’ turn as guest star, I kept saying, “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”

– Roy reeled from his mentor’s demise as well, but his emotions only manifested in a scene with Thea. My brain turned off after that, because he lied to her just like everyone else, and that’s when my sympathy started to wane. I get why he did it, but Thea’s treatment on this show is such a sore spot for me that I get taken right out of those sorts of scenes.

– This:

– Also this:

 

– Laurel also has a very emotional scene with Diggle when she asks whether he’s still going to fight the fight or hang up his metaphorical hood. Remember when he deeply mistrusted her? And now he’s accepting hugs and comfort from her.

– As for the Malcolm Merlyn of it all — what are they doing with him? Was he really pretending to express remorse over Oliver’s death? Did he really pretend to care about Thea’s brother after he sent Oliver to his death? I hope he dies soon, which is a shame because if they hadn’t done this stupid, unforgivable arc, there was potential for him to get up to some comparatively fun shenanigans without him becoming a disgusting symbol of the treatment of women on this show. The episode ends with him telling Thea that they need to leave Starling, but let’s see how that goes. Poorly, I hope.

– I loooooved this shot:

– STOP. LYING. TO. THEA. QUEEN. Man, when she finds out the truth, there’s gonna be hell to pay! I won’t be surprised if this show ends with her killing everyone out of sheer frustration.

– We learn that Felicity is 25, which means she was 22 or 23 when she met Oliver, and that she graduated from MIT at 19. Go Felicity!

– Even if Oliver lives long enough to die of old age, is anyone gonna really believe he’s gone?

Next week: Black Canary week, and presumably, Stephen Amell continues his vacation.

In the Year 2017

WARNING: This post contains spoilers to NBC’s Parks and Recreation Episode 7.01, “2017.”

Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing Ron and Leslie are no longer friends.

Sure they have always had different ideas on how government should work, but they also believed in each other. Leslie would always seek Ron for advice on what she should do. She also understood who Ron is and gave him some of the best presents. Their relationship is so close that Ron’s wife, Diane, was never scared of Tammy 2 interfering, but she was wary of Ron’s and Leslie’s friendship. What makes this worse is they destroyed the Bicentennial cake. How long will this fight last? How many deserts will perish until they become friends again?

This wasn’t the only thing that has changed because three years do make an impact whether we want it to or not. No one is still in the local park department (which makes me wonder who is working there now). They have all grown, and while this is great development you see the slight changes it has made. Leslie is no longer as close to Donna or Tom as she once was.

She didn’t know the moment Donna became engaged. This is one of the fatalities that may occur when you no longer see someone day after day. It is easier to lose touch, or not be as close as you once were. Luckily, the Leslie we have all grown to love has rectified this mistake by the end of the episode and has made amends to Tom and Donna.

As for Tom, he has finally become the mogul he always wanted to be, and still contains his own personal swag. The premiere revisits Tom’s and Ben’s friendship. This friendship has been less highlighted throughout the series, but it is still important. It is another friendship where it seems like they would have nothing in common, but they will be there for each other in the end. While Tom may screw up from time to time, he still is able to make amends. The speech he was supposed to give was heartwarming and it left both him and Ben in tears.

Finally, there was the April’s and Andy’s story line which I found most relatable. Over the past three years April and Andy have started to become boring adults, and it freaks them out when they realize what they have become.

They try to become spontaneous as they once were at the party, but they are not able to capture it like they did when they tried to see who could get the most free stuff in the bar a few years back. While April is still mourning this new stage in their life, they come across a haunted house that is perfect for them. As Andy points out, they are able to buy it because they have been starting to act like responsible adults. Even though both of them have become more responsible, they are still able to maintain the personalities we love.

This episode was a reminder to me of how much these characters have changed, and how greatly I still love them. So if anyone wants to discuss Parks and Recreation with me, I’ll be at Subway.

A Farewell to Miranda: My Top 10 Favorite Episodes

My dearest friends, Brittany and Kerry, introduced me to Miranda, and I was so confused by this lady talking to the audience. It took a couple of episodes to get into the show.

I had no idea how I should treat the show, but the charm and wit slowly won me over. The characters are lovable, and my life would not be the same without it.

The last final two episodes reminded me of how truly great this show is. The second to last episode showed how important Stevie’s and Miranda’s friendship is. Yes, there was drama between Gary and Miranda, but it was the storyline between Miranda and Stevie that really got to me. You are nothing without your best friend.

The last episode, shows that Miranda has finally found confidence in herself. Yes, she still has the quirkiness we have all grown to love, but she (and the therapist from series two) recognized who she is and is comfortable with it.

 

The series ends with Miranda not having to rely on her mother so much, and going after Gary. Gary also grew during the series, and it is because they both grew that they were finally able to marry in the end.

 

So here are my top ten favorite episode of Miranda, which led the way for the finale.

10. “The New Me” (Series 2, Episode 1)

 There’s a massive goat in my sitting room, and you forgot to say.

It’s good. Isn’t it? You said your mum hates goats.

Ghosts. I said ghosts. Who has any strong opinions on goats?

Miranda decides to move on since Gary left, and meets Danny. As the episode goes on you can see her gain confidence, and Danny genuinely likes Miranda. However, Gary shows up a the end of the episode and things slowly fall back into place. This episode shows a glimpse of Miranda becoming the woman she is the finale. It also proves what the finale addressed about Penny being a major part in Miranda’s life when she moves in with Miranda and takes over.

 

9. “The Perfect Christmas” (Series 2, Episode 6)

 I will not have my perfect Christmas ruined by standing awkwardly in front of a group of people whose singing ability inversely proportional to their enthusiasm.

Miranda wants to escape her parent’s Christmas because she believes the perfect Christmas would be one without them and Penny’s organizational skills. All of Miranda’s friends end up at her place, but in the end realize Penny’s Christmas is the best Christmas. It is one that is planned, but what makes it the best is all of them are together including Gary who Miranda has made up with. It is always a sad day when Miranda and Gary are at odds.

 

8. “Teacher” (Series 1, Episode 2)

Right I’m not apologizing. I’m still angry.

Yes.

I’ve had a thought.

Yes.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to give you a proper-

Take me.

-cooking lesson. What?

*sings* Take me on. Take on me. I’ll be there.

Miranda and Gary have agreed on being each other safeties, and Miranda goes throughout the rest of the episode trying to create a moment with him. We also learn Miranda is not fully comfortable with shenanigans. This is a place I relate with her. I’m repressed, but for me I enjoy being repressed. I like saying the word shenanigans. It is a fun word to say.

This episode also features one of the many steamy make believe make out sessions between Miranda and Gary. What was the icing on the cake and sealed the show for me was Miranda making her kettle like Mrs. Potts.

 

7. “Let’s Do It” (Series 2, Episode 3)

 Well. We could give it a shot. I mean. What’s the worst that could happen?

Humiliation, embarrassment, fire, explosions, collisions, tears, nudity, and death, but that was bad luck involving a rogue crème brûlée torch. It’s very unlikely to happen twice.

Gary and Miranda finally go on a date, and decide to sleep together. However, finding the perfect moment is nonexistent. Meanwhile, Miranda’s allure is very strong leading to three men in their boxers in her apartment at the same time. The episode is entertaining with Gary and Miranda finally acknowledging there is something between them to all the women doing karaoke at the end.

 

6. “Before I Die” (Series 2, Episode 2)

I just got caught reading Mein Kampf to children.

Miranda worries about nobody having anything to say at her funeral and decides to do good deeds. However, this episode in usual Miranda fashion provides the opposite effect. Whenever she tries something good, it goes horribly wrong. Then when she tries to get out of being godmother, the parents only seeing her do good deeds. In the end, Miranda gets what she want by giving her own eulogy, and then punching a vicar to get out of being godmother.

 

5. “What a Surprise” (Series 3, Episode 2)

 Stop the music, thank you. And can you stop bopping? We’re shopping, not bopping. Thank you very much. And this is not a clown outfit. It may look big, but that’s because it is worn by the type of woman who sports something you may not have heard of called flesh. That’s flesh because we like something called cake. Cake. You should try it, and if you’re young enough for lucky metabolisms, it won’t last. And can everyone just leave please, if you’re heavy enough to make the automatic doors open. Altogether jump as one.

Miranda finally gets a boyfriend. Miranda goes out with Tilly and Stevie to find men because Gary has found a girlfriend. She reencounters Mike, and tries her best to act like an adult. In the end, Mike finds out Miranda is not who she was trying to portray herself as, but finds her quirkiness endearing. He is slowly falling for the Miranda we have already grown to love.

4. “A Brief Encounter” (Series 3, Episode 6)

You’ve had more farewells than Cher.

Miranda decides to forget about Gary, and go on another trip. She fails to leave three times, but on the last time Gary finally admits to Miranda that he loves her. Gary admits he has commitment issues, and that is what she wants. She wants to be in a committed relationship with him. The episode ends with Miranda between Mike and Gary who have both just proposed to her. The episode was so enjoyable with callbacks to previous episodes. It is one of my favorites because Miranda ends up at the same hotel and we get to see Jason again. This time he has to deal with both Miranda and Stevie whose friendship is so beautiful in this episode.

 

3. “Holiday” (Series 1, Episode 4)

 Exciting. I’m a trouser press. Open me up. Insert something inside of- that sounds wrong.

The group accuses Miranda of not being wild enough, and to prove that she is she decides to go to Thailand. As the episode progresses one by one they learn Miranda only went around the corner to stay at a local hotel. However, she does prove she did have a wild holiday. It may have not been intentional but through the course of the episode she accidently ordered an escort who turned out to be Clive, and impersonated another person. Miranda proves you can have a wild time even if you do not leave your place of comfort. I can relate to this because I may not always be in the middle of a dance floor, but I’m a person who finds some of the smallest things amusing.

 

2. “Just Act Normal” (Series 2, Episode 5)

Mother and daughter. Mother’s protective instinct has become dominating fueled by fear of how she is perceived by outer world. Daughter seeks mother’s guidance and approval as she is yet to find her own voice.

Absolute rubbish.

Some of my favorite episodes are bottle episodes because they are character driven. Miranda and Penny are forced to see a therapist, and from that we get a wonderful episode of them trying to act normal. These two are never normal, and it is the reason why I dearly love them. They may bicker with one another, but the similarities between the two of them are evident. What makes this episode even more special is the finale of Miranda. The therapist is in the finale with her friends and family, but Miranda has finally been able to find her own voice. The finale has brought this episode so much closer to my heart.

 

1. “The Dinner Party” (Series 3, Episode 3)

 Lord. We thank you for the music. The songs we are singing. We thank you for your bread of heaven. Bread of heaven, feed me til I want no more. Feed me til I want no more. So much. Thank you very much. To you, God. Please. Amen.

Miranda tries to prove she is now sophisticated in her adult relationship with Mike, but her plans slowly crumble during her adult dinner party. Miranda gives this big speech about who she is. She is someone who loves things that some would call childish, but it is what makes her happy. The most beautiful part of this episode is her friends accept her for who she is. They will have her back because she brings happiness to their lives. I had a difficult time with the love triangle between Miranda, Mike, and Gary because I genuinely love Mike. Mike loves Miranda for her quirky self. He doesn’t want to change her. He is this wonderful guy, and it was so hard to see him go in the end of the series.

 

I will dearly miss Miranda because after all who wouldn’t want this wonderful series in their life?

 

Because it will always remind you to have fun.

GALAVAAAAAANT!

Warning: This post contains spoilers to ABC’s Galavant Episode 1.01, “Pilot” and Episode 1.02, “Joust Friends.”

 

The strongest advantage for Galavant last night was airing back to back episodes. Pilots, are tricksters because they are episodes that have to introduce the world the characters are in. Comedies get the short end of the stick because they only have around twenty-some minutes to get the audience acquainted with the show.

Last night, I found the pilot to be alright. However, I did find it more enjoyable during the second viewing. One of the biggest problems I had last night was having to suffer through many commercials that went along with the Galavant theme. I get what ABC was trying to do, but didn’t someone mention this may start to annoy some audience members with the non-stop singing promos. How many singing promos does someone need to watch of The Bachelor? In a perfect world the answer is none. The show itself has a nice flow to it, and it will be fun binge watching it later.

The second episode was better at holding my attention plot wise. It already had my interest with the cast, but there was so much introduction in the pilot that I only started to really care about the plot in the second episode. In this episode King Richard learns he needs to man up. He is definitely a man-child, but luckily he has Gareth to teach how to be more of a man.

King Richard’s and Gareth’s relationship is one of my biggest interests. They do seem to have a good bond, and Gareth does seem to be loyal to Richard. Timothy Omundson and Vinnie Jones have done a good job with their parts, and their interaction with one another makes it seem they have the most stable relationship on the show. I want to see and know more about these two. How did Gareth become Richard’s confidant?

Richard takes the lessons to heart and has dinner with his wife, Madalena. The dinner was enjoyable to watch, and it makes me wonder when I started to root for Richard to win his queen? It has to be Omundson’s charm.

 

Meanwhile the three travelers, Sid, Galavant, and Princess Isabella enter a joust in order to win some money. Sid is this lovable guy who is wanting adventure. Galavant has parallels with Flynn Rider when it comes the smolder department. The second episode shows how delusional he is with Madalena, but the episode also plays on his insecurities of being able to be a hero again. The audience is not given a hero, but someone who needs a reality check.

 

Finally, there is Isabella who is the one who makes sure things get done. Isabella is quickly becoming my favorite. We get to see her train Galavant in probably one of my favorite training montages ever. I like that they have not made Isabella into a woman in distress, but one who is trying to save her family.

 

She then makes sure Galavant is able to win by feeding Jean Hamm absinthe. This leads to a wonderful joust.

Galavant wins by being the first one back on his feet, leading Sid to getting a chicken while Galavant and Isabella share a moment.

The songs and the second episode are my favorite right now with “Maybe You’re Not the Worst Thing Ever” being an epic and accurate love song.