Favorites of 2013: TV Ships and Friendships

This is the big one–the one with our favorite TV ships and friendships/partnerships/bromances/what-have-you of 2013.

Ships

Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

ship_oliverfelicity

Felicity: You killed again, and I am the one who put you into the position where you had to make that kind of choice.
Oliver: He had you, and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.

All three of us are big fans of Oliver and Felicity. They complement each other really well, they have great chemistry, and they deeply care for each other. And they’re just so pretty together. —Kerry

Danny Castellano / Mindy Lahiri

{The Mindy Project}

ship_mindydanny

Mindy: “You should get the Philadelphia roll. Danny says it’s amazing, it’s his favorite.”

Mindy: “Haven’t you ever had to do something because of work?”
Jason: “Yeah, sure, I just went to my boss’s kid’s graduation, but that doesn’t mean I’ve memorized her favorite sushi order.”

These two snuck up on me. I love their bickering, their friendship, and the way that they seem to be in love with each other without even realizing it. —Kerry

Monroe / Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

ship_rosaleemonroe

Monroe and Rosalee’s romance could have seemed shoe-horned into the main narrative, and the differences in their upbringings could be overlooked, but the evolution of their relationship was natural, and they are confronting their contradictory natures in a way that’s both realistic and believable. —Moff

April Ludgate / Andy Dwyer

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_andyapril

“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

This is probably the relationship most would have believed would fail, but it hasn’t. The love and support they show each other is unique and genuine. —Becca

Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

ship_barneyrobin

Barney: “Our wedding is gonna be legendary.”
Robin: “No ‘wait for it?'”
Barney: “I’ve got you, I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Who knew they’d make it all the way to the neverending wedding weekend? The writing isn’t doing them any favors (they keep having to spin their wheels as the writers try to fill the entire season with pointless shenanigans) but they’re still growing into a supportive, if unconventional, couple. —Kerry

Jemma Simmons / Grant Ward

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

ship_wardsimmons

F.Z.Z.T. is the episode I started shipping these two together. It is also the episode I finally started to like Ward. The scene where Ward mocks himself and Jemma corrects him sealed it for me. Plus: height difference. —Becca

Kensi Blye / Marty Deeks

{NCIS: LA}

ship_kensideeks

Deeks: “I’ve never had a girl give me her knife before. Does that mean we’re official?”
Kensi: “You know sometimes a knife is just a knife.”

Ah, one of the great ‘will they, won’t they’ partnerships of the police procedural world. As much as I continue to hold out hope Eric Christian Olsen will one day return to Greendale, I can’t put into words how pleased I am Kensi and Deeks have finally taken the logical next step. —Moff

Joan Watson / Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

ship_belljoan

Bell [to Sherlock]: “Where’s your better half?”

Bell and Joan have always had a unique chemistry; Bell initially liked Joan better than he liked Sherlock, and Joan always had a deep respect for Bell’s talents as an investigator. This season, there was a one-off line where Bell complimented Joan in her bulletproof vest, and suddenly, it felt like there was something there. It’s never overt: even when Joan brings him meals after his injury, it’s played as Joan just being a nice person. I won’t be mad if they never date, but I think they’d be great together. —Kerry

Ryan King / Carrie

{Go On}

ship_ryancarrie

Ryan: “I know we work together, and that’s weird. I don’t know what I want. I just- I just want it to still be a possibility between us.”
Carrie: “You’re right, it’s complicated. We work together… I quit. Ball’s in your court.”

The show got canceled, but before it ended Carrie kissed Ryan and told him the ball was in his court. I would like to believe this May/December romance actually worked out. —Becca

Ben Wyatt / Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_benleslie

“Your heart is in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”

They’re married! They’re still amazing together! And sometimes I go back and watch the early seasons, where Mark Brendanowicz calls Leslie a dork and treats her enthusiasm like it’s an annoying little quirk, and I get really, really, insanely happy that Leslie found someone who loves that about her. —Kerry

Rumplestiltskin / Belle

{Once Upon a Time}

ship_rumbelle

“You were the only one who could ever see past it… past the mask of the monster.”

While the Charmings have already had their somewhat happy ending, it feels like Rumplestiltskin and Belle will never get theirs. The pairing is beautiful, but it is hard for them to catch a break (especially after the winter finale). —Becca

Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

ship_harveydonna
Harvey: “You and Stephen, it bothers me. I know it’s not fair, but it does.”
Donna: “Good.”

I just want them to be together and happy. Is that too much to ask? —Kerry

Friendships

Shawn Spencer & Burton Guster

{Psych}

friendship_shawngus

Shawn: “I think we should call the police and let the chips fall where they may.”
Gus: “You’re talking like a real white guy right now, Shawn. Brothers don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I will not rot in a cell. You said we were in this together!”
Shawn: “C’mon, man. You know I’m gonna bake you a cake with a gun in it.”

Their friendship has only gotten better over this past year. Gus supported Shawn during his breakup with Jules, and Shawn learned to share Gus when Gus started a serious relationship with a woman. —Kerry

Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson {Elementary}

friendship_joansherlock

Joan: “You named a bee after me?”

Best partnership on TV. But, you know… besides all the other partnerships we have listed here. —Kerry

Team Arrow (Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak)

{Arrow}

friendship_teamarrow

Felicity: “What are you doing?”
Diggle: “Calling 911.”
Felicity: “Digg, wait!”
Diggle: “We can’t wait!”
Felicity: “How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone’s gonna find out Oliver is the vigilante!”
Diggle: “It won’t matter if he’s dead! Felicity, we can’t save him!”
Felicity: “I know! You’re right. We can’t.”

They all have their own special friendships with each other, and they work well as a team. It will be interesting to see how dynamics might change when/if someone else fully joins the team. —Becca

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

friendship_ichyabbie

The friendship has grown so quickly in just a few episodes. It is a strong friendship, and their camaraderie is enjoyable. —Becca

Sarah Manning & Felix Dawkins

{Orphan Black}

friendship_sarahfee

Felix: Sarah.
Sarah: What?
Felix: Um, just don’t die… ’cause your first funeral was just agonizing enough.

Felix has endured a lot (Sarah’s threatening ex-boyfriend, obstruction of justice, countless police interrogations, and oh yeah, all of that clone stuff) and he’s still deeply loyal to Sarah. That’s what family is for, right? —Kerry

Samantha Shaw & Root

{Person of Interest}

friendship_rootshaw

While former government agent Shaw hesitates to give anarchist hacker Root too much free reign, the morally dubious Root’s willingness to take immediate action appeals to the trigger-happy Shaw. —Moff

George Altman & Noah Werner

{Suburgatory}

friendship_georgenoah

The news of Alan Tudyk no longer being a regular on Suburgatory depressed me. I found George’s and Noah’s friendship was one of my main highlights for the show. In some ways, they don’t appear to have a lot in common, but the time they spent on screen together were some of the best moments of the show. —Becca

Ron Swanson & Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

friendship_ronleslie

Ron: “You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful.”
Leslie: “Okay, weirdo. Let’s go.”

He walked her down the aisle. Twice. He also punched out a jackass at her wedding. Leslie, in turn, organized a beautiful wedding present for Ron: an intricate trip up to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. It moved Ron to tears. —Kerry

Lance Sweets & Seeley Booth

{Bones}

friendship_boothsweets

Dr. Lance Sweets and Agent Seeley Booth have grown from bickering antagonists to friends and coworkers who trust each other’s instincts. —Moff

Ryan King & Steven

{Go On}

friendship_ryansteven

Ryan had his support group, but he also has his best friend, Steven. Steven was still the one who understood who Ryan was, and wanted to be there for him. In my head, they are still the best of friends and double date together (Ryan with Carrie and Steven with Lauren). —Becca

Quentin Lance & Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

friendship_lancefelicity

Oliver: “Felicity…”
Felicity: “Already on it.”
Lance [amazed]: “How the hell can she do that?”

Felicity and (former) Det. Lance have had only a few instances where they’ve worked together, but I think future episodes will reveal their values are more in line than they currently realize. —Moff

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Fearful Symmetry

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for episode 3.08 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, “Think Lovely Thoughts.” It also contains spoilers for episode 6.08 of CBS’s The Mentalist, “The Great Red Dragon.”

Tiger Tiger. burning bright, / In the forests of the night; / What immortal hand or eye. / Could frame thy fearful symmetry? – William Blake, “The Tiger

I love poetry. It’s not something I usually advertise (and I don’t normally talk about the poetry I’ve written. Yeesh.) because I tend to go in for older poetry, rather than works written in the last 20 to 30 years. I mean, there’s a reason I used a Yeats poem for my Tumblr address.

(Psst! Speaking of Tumblr, WWFTP has taken the plunge. Follow us there if you don’t already follow us here on WordPress, through an RSS feed or on Twitter. We’re only using it to share our posts here at the moment, but that may change. Who knows? It’s super new.)

My love of poetry was part of why I bought into the weird premise of CBS’s long-running procedural, The Mentalist. (Because hiring a man publicly known for having questionable morals to solve cases is something that really only works on TV. Man, I hope it’s really only true on TV.) After all, I could excuse the repetitive nature of the cases and the uneven nature of the character development when the recurring Big Bad (Red John) regularly quotes William Blake. As I mentioned in our Mid-Term Report Card, it’s nice for there to finally be some progress on the Red John case after six long seasons. I’m not yet ready to assume Patrick Jane’s reveal of Director Bertram as Red John is true, but it set things in motion.

The One With the Vows

Because the announcement of a serial killer’s identity from a consulting detective is an excellent idea.

I hope next week’s episode will offer a chance at redemption for the CBI team, who were woefully off their game this week. (I’m willing to accept their collective shock at learning they’ve been working hand-in-hand with corrupt, murderous cops and judges as an explanation, but it’s no excuse.)

And this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time, whatever faults I may have taken issue with, was similarly concerned with betrayal. While the show has been hinting at this week’s big reveal for several episodes, it was nice to have it unequivocally stated at the top of the third act Sunday evening.

Supreme Witches

(Pixie Dust + Selling Your Soul + Abandoning Your Child) > Botox +/- Plastic Surgery

Learning Peter Pan is actually Rumplestiltskin’s father, cursed/blessed with near-eternal youth at the cost of his son, gave the story a pleasing symmetry: Fathers choosing power or freedom over their families.

Supreme Witches

Like father like son, rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

In particular, the confrontation between Rumplestiltskin and Peter Pan had a lovely sense of closing a circle: Rumplestiltskin’s disgust, whether intentional or not, when Pan offers him the choice of staying in Neverland – of starting over – mirrors his own son’s reaction when he offered to make Neal 14 again.

However, as with so many of the stories Once chooses to tell, we were left with more questions than answers. We talked here at WWFTP, and these are only a few of the major questions we had after Sunday’s episode:

Supreme Witches

Without the Spinsters, Colin and Rumple would never have made it to Neverland. Secret Agenda? I think so.

  • Who are the spinning spinsters Rumplestiltskin’s father left him with? Are they relations of Colin, Rumple’s father, or of his absent mother? How did they come by a magic bean, and why were they so eager to separate Rumplestiltskin from his father?
  • Where is Rumplestiltskin’s mother? For a show so eager to point out physically or emotionally absent mothers – Snow White and Emma; Emma and Henry; Regina and Henry; Cora and Regina; Milah and Baelfire; Queen Eva and Snow White; Anita and Ruby – not to mention those characters who are only ever shown with their fathers (Belle, Grace, Hansel and Gretel), it’s strange not to mention Rumple’s mother, even in passing. Exactly how much of his own childhood was Rumple cursed to reproduce?
  • Was Colin always a ne’er do well, or did he commit some offense that forced him to resort to hustling on street corners to feed himself and his son?
  • For that matter, what exactly did Rumplestiltskin’s father a coward? In season 2’s “Manhattan,” Rumple says he won’t leave his child fatherless, a statement now clarified, but there is talk of his being the son of a coward. So what did Colin do, or what did people say he had done?
  • Who or what is The Shadow? Considering we now know it predates the ‘birth’ of Peter Pan, is it a portent of another layer of mythology the show will revealed? Is it the force that’s been pulling strings all along, stripping the characters of their free will? Or are we expected to believe something with that much power is a footnote in the real story, about the Charmings and their struggles?
  • Can we, for once and for all, have some clarification on the timeline? And the geography, for that matter? Clearly, traveling between realms has always been possible, thanks to magic beans, but is Rumplestiltskin’s original home the same world he lives in once he’s married? Is it the same as the one where the other main characters eventually meet each other? And if Rumple’s abandonment is zero on the chain of events that lead us to the events of “Pilot,” how long has everything between then and now taken?
The Girl Parachronism

I mean, if the fans can put together family trees, can’t the show at least give us a map? There must be one in Gold’s Pawn Shop.

  • Are we ever going to find out how Hook and Tinker Bell know each other? I’m assuming it doesn’t involve him trapping her in a lantern, but it’s got to be a story thread worth mining for a little comedy gold.

While confining the vast majority of the show’s action to Neverland in the first half of this season has gone a long way toward simplifying the narrative, it also means those scenes that take place either in flashbacks or Storybrooke must be that much better – well paced, tightly written, soundly structured – to warrant their inclusion.

When an episode of a police procedural where the officers are the definition of ‘camp’ when trying to keep a secret manages to forward its plot more than a family drama almost entirely focused on one character’s origin, it’s troubling. But when the family drama has a greater potential for performances fraught with genuine emotion and pathos, it’s more frustrating than anything else.