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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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.

What Happens in Russia

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 2.06  of CW’s Arrow, “Keep Your Enemies Closer”

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Team Arrow? This week’s episode lived up to my belief that the episodes are only getting better. It already held promise by being a Diggle centric episode, and then Stephen Amell amped up the hype by posting a video on his Facebook featuring himself, Emily Bett Rickards, and finally David Ramsey. The video  is beautiful, and requires a minimum of ten views per person.

https://t.co/vy4bCyBJqb

The episode started off with Roy giving Arrow his signal, and then led to another scene where Isabel is putting Oliver in his place about missing board meetings. She is cut off by Felicity who interrupts them by needing to talk to Oliver about his “meeting” with Mr. Harper. Oliver then leaves with Felicity telling her that she needs to work on her excuses. This is coming from the man who was the king of excuses last year.

As for Roy, he is doing his part on Team Arrow, and then being told to stay out of it. It is nice to see Oliver is becoming more protective of Roy. Of course Roy wants to do more, and it leads him to be arrested by Officer Lance (reunion time!) while he is trying to stop one of the bad guys. However, when Roy is at the police station he tells Lance they are on the same team right before Thea shows up and Lance lets him go. Moral of the story here is become part of Team Arrow and Lance will let you go. I enjoyed the short scene, and it is interesting to see both Lance and Roy are on the same team now.

Meanwhile, Oliver is able to take down the bad guys,  and Diggle gets kidnapped. This is why you never turn off your communicator right after the mission seems to be a success. Luckily for Diggle it was a couple of members of A.R.G.U.S. who had captured him, and we are introduced to another character in the DC World, Amanda Waller. She informs Diggle that Lyla Michaels has gone missing in Russia while trying to find Deadshot, and she needs him to find her.

The next scene with Diggle shows him entering the lair where Felicity and Oliver are watching a clip about the particle accelerator (This is the third or fourth time the particle accelerator has been mentioned, so it will come into existence on the show soon. If you mention it three times, it will come.). Diggle informs them that he is going to Russia in order to find Lyla, and Felicity explains to Oliver who Lyla is. I love Felicity and Diggle have a friendship that doesn’t necessarily include Oliver. Oliver then tells Diggle all of them will be going as a team even though Diggle didn’t ask them. I love the fact Oliver said “we” meaning he is including Felicity instead of saying he would join Diggle.

Right before the trio is able to get on the plane, Isabel appears at the hanger asking where they are going. Felicity tells her Tahiti, but Isabel already knows they are going to Russia. OK maybe Felicity does need to work on her lies. Right now, I’m claiming Felicity subconsciously does want to go to Tahiti, and she secretly might be possibly crossing the DC/Marvel lines in some way with Phil Coulson. Either way it turns out Isabel is a fast packer and joins Team Arrow on their trip to Russia.

This episode finally does give Isabel plenty of screen time, and her partnership with Oliver. As soon as they land in Russia she informs him she has made already made a meeting with the head of the subsidiaries. She is also the one to finally bring up the idea of Oliver and Felicity sleeping together. Oliver is obtuse on the matter, because it never occurred to him that a former party boy turning a girl from the IT department into his assistant might lead to people thinking they are sleeping together.

Later, when Oliver sees Isabel in the hotel bar and they have a chat. This leads to Oliver finding out more about Isabel’s past and the fact she is Russian. They have a cute little conversation in Russian, and the next thing you know they are in Oliver’s hotel room getting to know each other even better. As the slogan goes for this episode, what happens in Russia stays in Russia (possibly). When Oliver goes to the door to meet Felicity for the next part of the plan, she is already at his door. This is when Isabel walks past them saying she think Felicity can take the night off. The reasoning why Isabel does this is still unclear. It is not like she is fighting Felicity in a battle over Oliver, but she still makes it clear she and Oliver just slept with each other. At the end of the episode they decide not to discuss what happened in Russia, so it stays in Russia for now.

While the whole tryst is happening between Oliver and Isabel, Diggle is in prison trying to find Lyla. He is able to get into prison because of Oliver’s connections to the Russian mob. His connection and the reason why he is Bratva is because he saved the man they meet, Anatoli Knyazev, from the boat they are prisoners on in the flashbacks. Knyazev has a man inside the prison that can help Diggle escape once he saves Lyla. Knyasev also gives him a bag of Breaking Bad crystal meth, so he can be put in prison.

The scene right before Diggle leaves his partners is truly beautiful. Oliver was the one who first offered to go to prison when him and Diggle were talking to Knyasev, but Diggle stated it was something that he had to do himself. The worry on Oliver’s face is clearly present. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Oliver this worried. He has been in situations before where loved ones were in harm, but I think a part of him knew he could save them. This time he has to stay back while Diggle goes into a situation, which he may not be able to ever get out of. Then there is Felicity who is also worried about Diggle. If Oliver’s face hadn’t already killed me, then Felicity putting a scarf on Diggle and kissing him on the cheek did.

This team is there for each other, and would do anything for the other members. Oliver and Felicity don’t like the fact they have to wait on the sidelines, until it is time to complete the mission. Felicity keeps wondering aloud how Diggle is doing, and Oliver has to reassure her. Oliver is worried too, and whatever he said to the man they met was not “please” despite what he told Felicity.

Diggle is now in prison and becomes the best of buds with his roommate who is apparently in prison because he gave a speech against the government. He also learns that black men are not popular in Russia.

I will say that prison agrees with Diggle, not in the way it agrees with Moira, but we are able to see so much Diggliciouness while he is prison. It all started when he was in the cafeteria with his new bestie when he got into one little fight with the popular group of prisoners. I’m pretty sure Diggle broke one of their legs while he was beating the group up, and for some reason the guards thought it would be best if Diggle cooled down.

One of the best things about Arrow this season is they know how to amp up an already great episode, and Deadshot being in the same confinement with Diggle was excellent. Diggle is put into a hard spot with being so close to Deadshot, but not being able to do anything about the man who murdered his brother because he needs to save Lyla. It doesn’t help make matters any better when Deadshot kills the man who is helping Diggle, and Diggle must then rely on Deadshot to help save Lyla and escape the prison. They are able to escape prison and it looks like Deadshot was able to join the crew, no questions asked until the van stops and Diggle tells Deadshot to get out. Diggle being a man of honor is not able to shoot Deadshot, and Deadshot reveals to Diggle, that he never missed his target. He was hired to kill Diggle’s brother by an alias called H.I.V.E.

Diggle is able to help save the girl (which he revealed was his ex-wife) with the help of his friends. They come back from Russia looking as cozy as can be, and it was great to see Diggle that happy. He now wants to investigate what H.I.V.E is, but we still got a glimpse of him being happy with Lyla.

Another somewhat happy ending on the show was Moira approving of Roy. Earlier in the episode, Moira’s lawyer comes to visit Thea telling her she needs to break up with Roy because it isn’t helping Moira’s case with Thea dating him. Thea caring for her mother actually does what the lawyer wants, and breaks up with Roy. It was heartbreaking to watch. However, Moira being her awesome self finds out about it, and invites Roy to prison so she can meet him. She sees Roy as being a positive influence on Thea’s life, and wants Thea to continue seeing Roy, therefore she tells Thea she forbids her not to see him.

The only person who did not get lucky or a somewhat happy ending in this episode is Felicity. She is hurt from finding out Oliver sleeps with Isabel, and doesn’t necessarily understand why Oliver chose her out of all the other women. Isabel has been seen as the enemy who has taken apart so many companies, and was trying to get control of Queen Consolidated. The scene with Oliver and Felicity have at the end of the episode can be construed in different ways especially depending on what a person is shipping. What can be taken away is Oliver feels he needs to tell Felicity his reasoning on why he slept with Isabel, and why he feels like he can never be with anybody he can truly care for. Felicity comes back with telling him she believes Oliver can do better than Isabel. It is one of the reasons why the team works so well. They believe in each other, and see the good each of them has.

As for the flashbacks, we find out Shado and Slade are still alive on the island. The scene shows half of Slade’s face is burned, and Shado is trying to help heal his injuries. It is an interesting scene because this is the first time we see them alone, with no Oliver, and the bond works.

Elsewhere Oliver is trapped on the boat where he found out Sara is alive. However, it is not the Sara he knows, and they have both changed over the past year. Sara is still able to save him from being killed, saying he can still be of use, and Ivo agrees. Both stories were great but the present day one held my attention more.

I believe this was the best episode yet, and really hope Felicity gets some love in her life which involves her being taken to Tahiti.

The Ambiguously Legal Duo!

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for episode 3.03, “Broken Dolls,” of The CW’s Arrow.

This is an episode where Quentin Lance shined. It was obvious that his character was greatly disturbed about one of his former collars, Barton “Dollmaker” Mathis, escaping jail, and going back to making his victims into dolls.

The episode reveals the reason why this case is so close to him is because it happened after he lost his daughter, Sarah, when the Queen’s Gambit sank. The Dollmaker kept killing until Lance was able to catch him. This left Lance more vulnerable because he was not able to save the girls like he wasn’t able to save Sarah. Yet, Lance decides to join up with The Arrow (Yeah! New nickname.) in order to help take the murderer down. I loved the interaction between Lance and Team Arrow.

Lance is the one who reaches out to them for help by calling Felicity. I love the bond he and Felicity seem to have. They have gone from him arresting her on suspicion of helping The Hood to considering her a kind of comrade in arms. (I guess that’s what happens when you defuse a bomb with another person.) Felicity is one of the reasons why Lance  reaches out to The Arrow: Felicity vouches for him. Lance has slowly realized The Arrow may not be as bad as he once was, and him changing The Hood’s name to The Arrow is proof of it. As Laurel tells her father, Lance has seem to have done a complete 180. Lance is realizing the law cannot always offer the justice needed, and it’s the reason why he joins forces with Team Arrow in this episode. This case is close to him, and he needs to stop The Dollmaker or he will live with a certain amount of guilt.

While it is evident Lance is hurting, he is able to understand why he is hurting, and try to overcome the hurt while he is able to identify Arrow and Laurel as being ones who are hurt as well. While keeping an eye out on Felicity while she is undercover, Lance is able to have a real heart to heart conversation with Arrow, opening up to the other man. This is the first time we see him opening up with a character that is not Laurel. One reason why he opens up is because he knows Arrow must be broken as well since he decided to become a vigilante. Lance also recognizes a certain change in The Arrow, with the latter trying a new, non-lethal method. It’s one of the reasons I believe Lance chooses to avoid seeing who is under the hood. Lance sort of has a new-found respect for Arrow, thus the new name, and respects Arrow wanting to keep his identity a secret. Another reason could be plausible deniability. By never seeing who Arrow is, Lance is able to protect Arrow’s identity. He will never have to testify on who Arrow really is, if he does not know who Arrow really is.

Finally, Lance realizes Laurel is broken. He knows there is another reason why she is all gung-ho in capturing Arrow, besides him being the vigilante. He knows something is buried deep in Laurel that she is not revealing. He calls her out on it, and after Arrow saves them, she opens up to him about the guilt she feels about Tommy’s death.

The episode also showed a group and a family breaking. The island group was broken in this week’s episode. First, Slade and Oliver leave Shado by herself, and while they are gone, Slade warns Oliver about forming attachments. The rift between the group is small, but it is slowly growing throughout the episode. It is close to the final part of the island story where we actually see the group torn apart because someone is shooting at them. Oliver lies on the ground about to go unconscious while a part of Slade is on fire. Oliver later wakes up to finds himself in some kind of prison, alone with no sign of his friend. Earlier in the episode Slade called it home, but it was destroyed. They no longer had the home they built with each other.

Then there is Oliver and Thea being broken about their mother’s trial. This is emotionally breaking both of them emotionally especially once the death sentence is put on the table. There is a good chance they will lose their mother. What is amazing is Moira is one of the more stable characters in this episode. She has come to terms with her guilt. But she also reveals to her lawyer there is a part of what she has done that she never wishes her children to know, which limits the defenses available to her.


Finally, there was a better look at the Black Canary. After she helps him escape from Laurel and the SWAT team, The Arrow tells Roy to find her for him. This leads to the introduction of a new character, Sin, who already knows Roy’s nickname, Abercrombie.

Sin is Black Canary’s go-to girl, and both of them are quickly becoming favorites for me. I learned who Black Canary was weeks ago, but what really piqued my interest was seeing her confrontation with the man in an outfit similar to Malcolm Merlyn’s Dark Archer outfit. I can’t wait for this story to unfold, and I really wish we’d get to keep this Black Canary. However, one of my only questions is: Does the Canary already know Oliver is The Arrow?

Team Arrow After the Crucible

This week’s season premiere of Arrow was probably the best of the season for me. It was a great comeback, and the episode ended with a sense that great things will happen this season.

The title of the episode was “City of Heroes,” but I feel like it was more about the characters slowly learning how to become heroes. Several characters showed the potential of being heroic, especially compared to last season. Last season introduced the characters and provided an opportunity to develop they each character in situations with lower stakes. This season shows the promise of who they can become.

Oliver Queen started taking the first steps toward becoming a hero and leaving behind his vigilante ways. Some of that has to do with Team Arrow, but the majority is because he wants to be a better man to honor Tommy’s memory.

It is interesting to see how Oliver, a man who seemed to be all alone in the world, almost always ends up in some team. First there was him and Tommy during their adolescent years, and they would probably have continued being a team if Oliver had never been shipwrecked. This leads to Oliver slowly becoming a team with Slade Wilson, Shado, and, for a brief period, Yao Fei. Under their guidance, Oliver learns how to fight.  They became a team in order to survive, and slowly camaraderie built. It is the relationship shown briefly before Shado is taken by the new visitors.

From the friendship Oliver has with Shado and Slade in this episode, it makes me wonder even more what happened to them. What made Oliver feel shut off from everyone else? It would be easy to read the comics, but as this show has proven, it adds twists of its own. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoy the show so much. It never stays strictly to the story in the comic. If that was the case, we would never have Felicity.

Felicity is part of the new team Oliver belongs to, Team Arrow. She and Diggle went to Lian Yu to search for Oliver in order to bring him back. They let him have his space after The Undertaking, but they also knew when it was time for Oliver to come home. This team is the best one out of the series because of the way they have each other’s backs. Felicity went with Diggle to the island, even though she hated the idea of flying in the rickety old plane. Diggle, for his part, knows Felicity would have a harder time parachuting out of the plane, so he doesn’t tell her until it is time to jump.

I always enjoy when there are parallels between the island stories and present day. This episode showed a parallel with both Shado and Thea being captured. The first appearance of Oliver’s brutality is shown in this episode, when he viciously kills one of Shado’s captors. This was the appearance of the murderer Tommy saw in Oliver. There was no remorse in Oliver killing the man, only ruthlessness. This is why he doesn’t think he will be able to stop from killing the men who took Thea. He has been in this situation before, and wasn’t able to control himself. The Island taught him to kill or be killed, protect the ones closest to you.

The episode did a great job with Thea’s story. Thea has grown up over the past months. One of the biggest problems for Thea in this episode is facing her mother. Everyone lost something during The Undertaking, and Thea is one of the characters who lost the most. Her world was torn apart, first with Walter’s abduction, rescue, and subsequent departure. She then lost Tommy, her teenage crush and someone she relied on, especially after both her father and brother died.

There was also the revelation that her own mother was part of The Undertaking, as well as Tommy’s father. Season one showed Thea and Moira become closer, and for Thea to discover her mother was part of a plot which killed so many people was tragic. For Thea, Oliver, and Walter, they learned the woman they loved was actually not who they thought she was. This is why Thea has built a wall around herself when it comes to her mother.

Finally, there was Oliver’s second disappearance. This time Thea knows he is alive, but, from the way they were talking, he hadn’t been in contact, which means she lost her brother a second time. This time she really needed him to be there for her because he is the only family she has left.

Roy is Thea’s pillar right now. He was the constant in Thea’s life when everyone else had left it. Thea needs Roy. He is the one who keeps pushing her to visit her mother. She does finally see her mother, after defending her mother to The Hoods, saying it was Malcolm Merlyn’s fault. Roy helped her with confronting the issues she has with her mother. However, Roy is also hurting Thea a little by trying become like the vigilante who saved him. She can see the bruises, and reckless attitude Roy has while fighting the bad guys. She knows how easily she can lose him. So as Roy tries to become a hero, he is sort of pushing Thea away.

One of the most interesting parts was Walter coming back. I am a huge fan of Walter Steele, and was ecstatic when he graced my TV screen again. What I enjoyed most about it was the way he was introduced. Moira mentioned family to Oliver, and Oliver also mentioned him as family. It was a beautiful thing to hear, especially after Walter separated from Moira.  This also leads me to wonder if Walter and Moira have found a way to be on better terms; not ‘I forgive you, now let’s kiss and make up’ terms, but a point where they can have an actual conversation. The little greeting Walter and Felicity exchanged helped make my night even better. I love that these two still show signs of a connection with each other.

Finally, the episode introduced us to new female characters I’m interested in seeing where the story will go with them. First, we were introduced to Summer Glau’s character, Isabel Rochev. For the people who were observant, or have been trying to catch all the news about Arrow they possibly can (*holds hand up), they know that her name appeared in Oliver’s book last year. I have been a big fan of Glau’s ever since Firefly, and I’m glad she is on my TV screen again. It will be nice to see Isabel versus Oliver Queen, instead of Isabel versus his alter-ego.

Then we were introduced to the Black Canary for a few seconds, with her saving Roy’s butt as he tried to play hero again. The girl can fight, and it will be interesting seeing what the writers do with the character. I’d also like to thank them with not automatically making Laurel the Black Canary. I feel Laurel still has a long way to go, if she is ever going to be the Black Canary.

The episode filled so many of my fangirl needs, and made a mediocre TV week all the better by shining through. So I praise this episode, and I thank Felicity for keeping the salmon ladder.

Trying to Patiently Wait for Arrow’s Return

Last night, people who tuned into the Arrow: Year One recap got to listen to John Barrowman’s voice as he recapped what happened last season. It was a good, comprehensive recap of all the characters and what happened to them last season.

What really impacted me while watching the recap was what he said about heroes: “True heroism is defined by sacrifice, and real heroes are the ones who give up the most.” For me, last year’s hero was Tommy Merlyn. He was introduced as Oliver Queen’s best friend and appeared to be a rich, carefree playboy, but as the season went on, Tommy’s character grew. We got to see a character with great depth. He cared for his friends and he deeply loved Laurel. In the five years that Oliver was missing, Tommy grew up, and he was the better man for it. In the end, he sacrificed his life for the woman he loved, while saving her life.

Oliver Queen has not reached the hero level yet, but I have a feeling that is what season two is going to be about. In the Comic Con trailer, he said he didn’t want to be known as The Hood anymore. The Hood was the vigilante. He is slowly separating himself from that identity, and one of the reasons he is doing this is because of Tommy. Oliver can’t stand the idea that Tommy died believing he was a murderer.

From the sneak peek that was released online earlier this week, it is evident that Oliver has gone back to the island. He has probably chosen to hide there because he feels he has failed the city, and more importantly, he has failed Tommy. Tommy was able to become the noble guy that Oliver was not. Oliver was never interested in being a hero; he was simply trying to right the wrongs done by his father. He feels as if he has failed by losing Tommy, having half of the Glades be destroyed, and watching his mother go to prison. He goes back to the worst part of his life possibly as a form of punishment.

The clip shows us Diggle and Felicity have arrived on the island via parachuting in. Here is where I would like to point out Diggle and Felicity went together. Diggle did not leave Felicity behind; they went as a team to find their other partner. We all love Felicity, but she has never been represented as the physical type of girl. Diggle has been training her, but Laurel and even Thea have been seen as more physical than Felicity. As much as she needs to be trained in self-defense, Felicity doesn’t need to be physical; the girl rocks without kicking butt.

One of the first things we see is Felicity throwing up, which furthers proves what I have already said about Felicity not being a full on physical girl. I love that they included it, even if it was not appealing to watch. A year ago, if someone had told her she would be parachuting onto an island, she probably would’ve laughed at the idea.

Diggle, being a former soldier, leads the way as he and Felicity explore the island. Then there is Felicity, probably not in the best sneakers as she sports her colorfully painted nails, following Diggle.

From all Diggle and Felicity have probably gathered, they should probably know that the island may not be the safest place, yet both of them are landing on the island together to find Oliver. Almost immediately, we get a call back to the mines on the island. This time there is no dead body to roll on top of it, so Oliver makes his presence known. Although Diggle probably has basic training in diffusing land mines, Oliver doesn’t give him the chance to try. He’s not going to take the chance of Diggle or Felicity (or both) blowing up, so he yells for Diggle to take cover before swinging down to rescue his teammate.

I loved that Felicity put her arm up when Oliver was on his way to scoop her up. She could have just stood still with terror, but this shows she trusts Oliver. It shows them working together saving her, because they are part of a team.

What I also find interesting is the combination of the sneak peek with the Comic Con trailer. Evidently, at some point before agreeing to come back to Starling City, Oliver tells Diggle and Felicity that he does not want to be the Hood anymore. Whether Felicity objects on the island or not will be interesting to see, since the trailer shows the vast improvement Felicity has done to the lair.

Diggle is able to respect Oliver’s wishes, because he has been in combat himself. He probably agrees with Felicity that the city needs saving, but unlike Felicity, he is not going to push Oliver. I love Team Arrow because they are there for each other, and they also help each other out, pushing each other to become their very best. Oliver has become a better person because he has both Diggle and Felicity.

This is the reason why I believe the team is front and center on the promo pic, because this season will be focused on them, giving and taking from each other to help make themselves and the city better.

So now all we have to do is wait patiently until Arrow comes back next week.

Top 5 Anticipated Returning Shows

I wish I could put Community on this list, but according to NBC it is TBD right now.

5. Once Upon A Time (Sept. 29, ABC at 8 P.M.):

While the show is definitely not one of the best out there, and the sophomore season had major problems, I’m still anticipating the third season. Once Upon a Time in some ways started the deeper friendship I have with the two other mods of this blog. We all knew each other because of Community, but our friendship grew stronger from watching Once Upon a Time together. It is always fun to dissect a show with someone, and with Once there is plenty of material to use.

Hopefully the third season will be better than the second. Last year, the creators secured the rights to Peter Pan mid-season, which made them like kids in a candy store. The potential of characters and stories were wrecked. What happened to FrankenWolf, Pinnochio, or Belle as her own character, without Rumple, as storylines? There was a point during the second season where there was a glimpse of a Belle and Ruby friendship, but Meghan Ory, who plays Ruby/Red, suffered because the creators’ attention span was short.

 Fortunately for Meghan, she will be starring with the gorgeous Josh Holloway on the new CBS show, Intelligence.

The writers have also stated they are doing only two story arcs this year. This fall’s continuous episode run will contain the first arc. Let us celebrate that we won’t get two episodes and then have to wait three weeks for a new episode. The pacing should be better this way. Also, the writers should have a better idea on where the fall and then winter arcs are going. Here’s hoping for some continuity.

Another reason to look forward to the third season is because Jane Espenson is still a writer on the show; I genuinely love the episodes she writes. They are full of plot, and we get a great depth from her stories.

Finally, the actors make the show watchable, especially when you have an urge to yell at where the story is going. For me Lana Parrilla and Robery Carlyle are the two best actors on the show, and the show would be lost without them.

Oh. I also watch for Robert’s face. I find it extremely attractive.

Sexy with sass.

4. Castle (Sept. 23, ABC at 10 P.M.):

How is Beckett going to respond to Castle’s proposal? Well, that question was answered during last night’s sixth season premiere.

I have been hooked on this show since season one, and a major part of that has been Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard “Rick” Castle. The man is so lovable. It has been great to see his character development on this show. For the first two seasons, he had the characteristics of a man who was probably never going to grow up, but slowly started to grow up during these past five seasons. (Don’t get me wrong, he was always a great father to Alexis, but his character needed to mature.)

I then fell for the show with the rest of the characters. I love the cast, and I believe it is one of the better ones on TV. There is not a character on the show who I dislike.

Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic, is a great opposite for Castle. She is a great cop, who is smart and doesn’t put up with Castle’s behavior when it starts to go into childlike territory. Beckett is an awesome person. She was able to recreate Rear Window for Castle when he broke his leg. I really love the their dynamic: It may not be His Girl Friday, but I would put the two of them together with some of the great screwball couples. Just don’t ask me to call them by their shipper name.

Then we have the bromance of the show between Detectives Esposito and Ryan, played by Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever, respectively. It is a beautiful relationship. I love that they have had their ups and downs, from points where they have each others backs to those where they don’t want to talk to each other ever again.

However, they quickly make up, and the bromance slowly becomes great again. I also love that these two are their own individual characters. They have very different voices, and they each bring something to the show.

Then there is Lanie Parish, played by Tamala Jones.  She is excellent at being Beckett’s best friend and will always have her back, especially when someone has wronged Beckett.

She is also the kind of person you would never want to cross because your life would not be pleasant. The writers have also created an intriguing, but not too intrusive, on-again-off-again relationship between her and Esposito, which I find enjoyable.

Finally, one of my favorite dynamics is Castle’s family. Castle’s daughter, Alexis, played by Molly C. Quinn, was first introduced as the responsible one of the family. Throughout the show’s , she has loosened up without losing the traits of being a smart, capable young woman. The relationship between Castle and his daughter is beautiful, and is one of my favorite father-daughter relationships on TV because I feel a deep connection between the two with no animosity.

 We also have Castle’s mother, Martha Rodgers, played by Susan Sullivan. She is a lover of the arts, but I feel she knows how a family works. In my opinion, she gives some of the best advice to both Castle and Alexis. I love the flair she has.

This show is beautiful from its cast to the writing, and if you are not watching it, then you should be, because you are missing out.

3. Parks and Recreation (Sept. 26, NBC at 8 P.M.):

Ron Swanson is with child. That should be enough of a reason to watch this show.

Of course, there are other reasons why you should watch this show, like great cast, smart writing, fantastic acting, and gif-fable staging.

Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope, is a big reason why Parks and Recreation is amazing. She is this beautiful, amazing human being, and the world would be less awesome without her. She is the reason why Leslie Knope works, and why the character is so lovable.

Then there is Adam Scott, who plays Leslie’s counterpart, Ben Wyatt. Generally, watching Ben Wyatt turns into a ‘look at his face’ on both my Twitter and Tumblr timelines. He is the lovable nerd, and loves Leslie so much, which makes him more lovable.

I have already mentioned him, but Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, is one of the greatest characters on TV right now. It is going to be interesting to see him become a father, especially when the mother is played by Lucy Lawless.

One of my most favorite characters is April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza. The relationships she has with the other characters are some of the best. She and Ron have a kind of father-daughter relationship. They hardly show emotions, but you can tell they love each other through their nonchalant style.

It is always great to see scenes of Leslie and April together. They seem like polar opposites; however, as the seasons have gone by, it is becoming more apparent that maybe they are not so different. Sure the personalities at first appearance throw the viewer off, but as time goes on I’m finding more similarities between the two: The love they have for the people they love and are both slowly climbing up the political ladder. (Can you imagine April as President?)

Last but not least is April’s relationship with her husband, Andy Dwyer. I love their relationship. At times it seems so carefree, but there is a great depth in it. I love how each of them support and have faith in each other. They make their relationship work, and people should think again if they think this relationship will not last. It is a very beautiful relationship.

There are MANY reasons why someone should watch this show, and if these reasons haven’t sold someone, they should at least watch for Retta’s character, Donna Meagle. She has game.

2. Elementary (Sept. 26, CBS at 10 P.M.):

I was in my English class last year when I mentioned that CBS was making their own Sherlock show, and I had a girl tell me, “We do not mention that show.”

This immediately increased my interest in the show, because I wanted her to be proven wrong about this show, and she was. She still may not recognize this show, but this show has grown into its own, and is loved by many. That’s what I love about the Sherlock adaptations; they are their own and they all work. For me it is like reading a book: No one is ever going to have the same take on a story as another person.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have a great dynamic. Their relationship has grown into something beautiful, where she was only his sober companion in the beginning to being his friend and partner at the end of season one.

Lucy Liu makes an excellent Watson because she doesn’t put up with Sherlock’s arrogance.

                                     

I loved her when she was facing Moriarty, and how she was the one who proved she was not just Sherlock’s “mascot.” She was the one who figured out Moriarty, and was able to take her down.

This show is also awesome because they decided to combine the two characters of Irene Adler and Moriarty. The last two episodes of the first season were emotional, and I fell in love with the idea of having Sherlock’s nemesis also being the woman he loved. It put him in a vulnerable situation, and Miller played it incredibly well. Props also have to be given to Natalie Dormer: The way she played both characters was superb, and I hope we revisit the storyline again.

Another reason why I’m looking forward to season two is meeting Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, who will be played by Rhys Ifans. I’m anticipating what the dynamic will be like with him and Miller as well as Liu. With Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock, Mycroft’s interaction was mainly with Watson’s new wife. We hardly saw anything between Mycroft and Sherlock, with the exception of a few minutes of them trying to prove who was smarter.

Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes, with Martin Freeman

In the BBC version, Mycroft plays the big brother looking after a younger, sometimes infantile brother. I want to see how different the relationship will be.

Did I forget to mention that I am attracted to Jonny Lee Miller’s face and his voice? Because I am. His face helps make my night great.

Finally, Clyde. I know Moff would feel a little remorse if I did not mention Clyde the Turtle, and how we all look forward to seeing the little green guy every time he appears on screen.

1. Arrow (Oct. 9, CW at 8 P.M.)

Arrow is an AMAZING show and quickly became one of my favorite TV shows of the year, especially after I was slightly disappointed with some of the other shows I watch. Where they let me down in some areas, Arrow only became better as the season went on (especially after they were able to lose Oliver’s narrations).

This show is in no loss of the FEELS department. The first season finale proved that. TOMMY!

One GREAT thing about this show is they know when something works, they keep it. Manu Bennett (one of Kerry’s favorites), who plays Slade, is now a series regular. This means we will get more good Island stories. The Island stories are great, and are sometimes even better than some of the storylines happening in Starling City. Give me Oliver Queen, as played by Stephen Amell, on the Island over a flashback of Oliver and Laurel any day of the week. The only bad thing about the Island are Amell’s wigs. Let us all gather together around a bonfire and burn those things.

They have also made Emily Bett Rickards’ character, Felicity Smoak (who is QUEEN by the way), a regular for season two.

I LOVE that a guest character, who was possibly recurring, quickly became something more and joined the Arrow team. She is this quirky girl who is very intelligent and knows how to stand up to Oliver and his really awful lies. (That man cannot lie when it comes to her.) Felicity Smoak is AMAZING, and I can’t wait to get more of her, especially if that includes backstory.

One of things that worked splendidly was the Arrow team. The show got better once David Ramsey’s John Diggle joined Oliver. Diggle is an amazing character, and a really great counterpart to Oliver. His expressions alone are priceless.

Felicity made it even better when she joined the team. The three of them as a team is something magical, and leads to some of my favorite scenes.

Felicity and Diggle are a great balance to Oliver’s broodiness, and he would be lost without them.

Have I mentioned the eye candy on this show? What more can I ask for? (Besides Laurel showing expression or actually crying.)

Of course we watch for the plot.