And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you
Well, that's terrifying. Are these creatures running around the wilds of America? I mean, the Winchester's have met them and now Ichabod and Abbie go up against one? In other words, run for your lives, the Windigos are coming. This weeks episode, "And The Abyss Gazes Back" (fantastic title) touched on something that I made a point of a few weeks back (go me): be careful not to turn into monsters when you yourself are fighting monsters. Sleepy Hollow went a step further than I did and actually made someone turn into a literal monster to prove their point, but one, I don't have that kind of superpower and two, it all worked out in the end. As it so often does on Sleepy Hollow. The major theme of this weeks episode, though, is really about staring into the abyss and seeing what kind of person you are. Did you inadvertently ruin someone's life? Are you a good man? Is there a monster lurking just beneath your breast? And if you gaze too long, do you risk losing your self to the darkness?
--Some truly hilarious moments between Ichabod and Abbie this week. Yoga does not work for Ichabod, but that hair surely does.
--Of the world's many monsters that lurk in the dark woods, Ichabod now counts Smokey the Bear amongst them. Bless.
--Daniel Boone shall now and forever be, "the man with the raccoon on his head."
--Ichabod playing video games. Oh ye gods, I needed that.
--We've got ourselves a love triangle, don't we? Ugh. Abby doesn't like Hawly but Hawly likes her and Jenny likes Hawly. And Ichabod...he grows to dislike Hawly with each passing episode.
--Katrina swallowed a creepy spider. Eeek.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
When I first watched this episode, I had a lot of criticisms about these flashbacks, mostly because they are a lot of filler and are redundant given what we already know about Miss Emma Swan. Yes, Emma has walls. She was abandoned and unloved and left behind and she can't trust people and we all know this tune. That's the problem; nothing new was established in this episode except that we met someone who is (most likely) a one off character who just so happened to mess Emma up more than she was already messed up by further lying to her and tricking her. It's a theme with Emma but, again, we already knew that. Her parents left her by the side of the road (or so she believed for a long time), her first true love Neal turned her into the police (he did NOT, but let's not go into ship territory after my mega rant last week). And now it turns out that her first friend, Lily, was kind of a messed up teenage bitch who did an emo thing and it made Emma even more emo. And I say this as someone who is also of the emo persuasion. So, you know, lovingly. If it hadn't been abundantly clear what the writers were doing in terms of paralleling the present day and the past, then I'd write this off as totally filler and adding nothing to the overall episode. But, rather heavy handily, the Lily/Emma drama was cast as a parallel to the present day situation with Regina and Emma. It's not a coincidence that young Lily was a dark haired, spunky, Latina outcast who felt invisible and unloved. Apart from the dark haired and Latina aspect of it, it's pretty obvious why Emma and Lily got along. Though, to be perfectly frank, that was the most rushed best friendship ever. They knew each other for five seconds before they decided they were going to be best friends for life. But, in an effort to not criticize too much, Emma and Neal also fell in love after just one meeting, one cup of coffee, and a sad tale told on the swings. Parallels within parallels and wheels within wheels, guys. There were an uncomfortable number of Tallahassee callbacks this episode, and not just THE callback. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess I'll have more to say in the notes section since it doesn't warrant its own paragraph but I don't know if I feel grateful or used.
And now for something completely different. And by completely different, I mean an isolated blonde with trust issues and a spunky Latina with equal trust issues trying to work together to forge a connection and uh..failing. At least until the end. Yes, Lily was basically one giant Regina-stand in. But let's put a pin in that for a moment and talk about Regina this episode because, oh boy. She just did some serious back peddling that does not rank her below Hook but doesn't exactly endear her to me either. If the writers want me to see Regina as anything other than mostly-villain, then they need to have her stop saying such dumb things like Emma ruined her life. No, Regina. You ruined your own when you chose revenge and blood over forgiveness and understanding. Emma had nothing to do with that. Emma saved a life and while I know that means you can't get your magical rocks off with Robin Hood, it doesn't change the fact that without Emma you'd have more blood on your hands. Is that what you want? While you delight in tearing apart people's happy endings, Emma actively tried to save one. It's not a matter of Emma learning to deal with it, it's a matter of you learning to deal with the fact that you chose your path and it led you here, so maybe you take you lumps and live. It doesn't help that they give Emma some pretty stupid lines that seem way too revisionist history, like "you've done a lot for me." Well. No, she didn't. I mean, unless you count poisoning your son, trying to run you out of town, trying to kill your parents, and--oh yeah--being the reason you were sent through a magical wardrobe in the first place. Look at your life, Regina. Look at your choices. You're the one who doesn't regret or feel sorrow. Emma is beating herself up over this, even though she won't take back saving a life. You're the one who has some serious rage issues right now. And it finally came back to bite you when Sidney, your loyal servant (read: slave) decided to ditch you for the Snow Queen who wouldn't lock him into some sort of prison for all of time--be it a padded one or a reflective one.
--Snow's late night adventure was both good and not so much. On the one hand, it was amusing, but on the other hand, it's official: they are turning Snow into a Disney caricature instead of letting her be the amazing bandit she once was. She said at the end that she felt like herself again, but I don't see how since she wasn't acting anything like how I remember Snow White. Most of this was probably just the writers giving Ginny Goodwin her contracted screen time, but they could work harder on writing her more consistently.
--Will Scarlet is hilarious, but again, I wish they'd given him something more to do outside of being a funny guy. The Will I remember had layers and depth!
--Belle became a babysitter for baby Snowflake and didn't even get one line. Oh boy. She's the new Ruby.
--No Henry and no Rumple. I hope that's rectified soon. On the other hand, very little Hook!
--The Snow Queen lives in the Fortress of Solitude and is also Jadis the White Witch from Narnia going by her decor.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
--William Blake, The Tyger
All things in balance, eh? Love and hate, war and peace, beauty and horror, death and life. The tyger (er...tiger) is a creature of immeasurable beauty and grace and poise and it will tear out your throat and suck the marrow from your bones if given the opportunity. What sort of God would create such a world in which there is an undeniable existence of evil and violence but still so much regal splendor? That's some heavy philosophizing there, Doctor Who. The idea of balance and the examination of good/evil and the God who inhabits both are central to this weeks episode, "In the Forest of the Night." It wasn't as good as last week, to be honest. There's a lot to unpack in such a heavy episode that is simultaneously trying to give playful winks to your old favorite fairy tales, casting The Doctor, once more, as the wizard with a magical wand who, this time, realizes that the earth is saving itself. The heavy philosophical treatise coupled with the gentle fairy tale nudges were ultimately a problem because I wasn't sure how seriously to take this episode--are we really speculating on the Doctor's God like nature viz a viz Life that Prevails or were we supposed to laugh at the girl in the red coat being chased by a wolf leaving breadcrumbs in the form of modern day paraphernalia?
Miscellaneous Notes on In The Forest Of The Night
--Aright. Let's talk Missy. There were a lot of hints that Clara = Missy or that Missy = Clara. I don't know which and frankly, I don't care. When the little girl said that the "thought" she had to go and get the Doctor were from Miss, we all though she meant Clara because that's what her students call her. But given that neither Clara nor The Life That Prevails sent the Little Girl to the Doctor, that leaves only the demented Mary Poppins, Missy. I don't like this storyline. Maybe I'll like it more in the next two weeks when we finally get out answers but if Missy and Clara are the same I might throw a fit. Stop making Clara Oswald the single most important person that has ever lived. Missy could have been a villain from the past and I'd have been perfectly content: The Master, The Rani, hell, even Davros in a new woman suit. But to make Clara and Missy somehow linked and connected just sets my teeth on edge.
--Not a lot of funnies this week: "That's a draw back of being the last of your species. No one to ask when your TARDIS won't start."
--Why is a British kid wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap?
--Most of the child actors were a bit over the top.
--The ending was honestly one of the worst cliche Doctor Who endings I have ever seen. The daughter comes home and the magical fairy folk uncover her to the delight of her mother and sister? Wow. That's bubblegum sickly sweet even for Doctor Who. Though, I did enjoy this extra meta reference; I honestly expected the lost little fairy girl to say, "you can visit my forest again." (If you don't get this Secret of Kells reference, I pity you).
--"I am Doctor Idiot!"
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
--Crane on the brain. Seriously. I suffer from this.
--"A missive sent by thumbs cannot properly convey emotions." "Hence emoticons"
--Lover's Lane = walking hand in hand. Oh precious.
--Hawlie and Jenny got quite the little somethin' somethin', eh?
--Moloch is quite angry at Henry. I think Mr. War is getting too big for his breeches. Demons are not patient people.
--Ichabbie hug is life.
Monday, October 20, 2014
I am about to break one of my cardinal rules when it comes to ONCE: do not talk about CaptainSwan. For any CSers who (for some reason...) reading this blog, first: hi. Second, kindly skip this section and move on to the next. It's bolded, like all my headings normally are. Because I am about to embark on a long rant about why I deeply hated this first date between Emma and Hook. First off, has any "date" between any two characters ever been so dramatically set up as if it's the first date between man and woman since fire was invented. Adam and Eddy can claim they don't write ships, but the whole first 20 minutes or so was, in the present, dedicated to this idea that Captain Hook and Emma Swan were about to go on their very first date. I am honestly surprised that Snow White didn't declare a public holiday or hold a parade given how over the top annoying she was about how this date is a super big deal. It's a big deal, guys. A really big deal. I mean it's not like Emma is thirty years old (or thereabouts that it doesn't make a difference). Not like she has a thirteen year old kid. Not like she's dated countless other men before, including one flying monkey. Not like she has a history of one night stands and emotionless flings. Oh wait. Except that is who Emma Swan is. Now, you can raise some hubbub about how Emma is changing and that's fine. She probably is--whether or not a woman should be required to change in order to date a man who (as this episode clearly shows) is not changing might be the next paragraph or so. But she isn't just changing the way she approaches a relationship. Emma is changing everything. Emma's is not a girly girl. She prefers tight jeans and boots and plaid. When she did go on dates, she wears outfits that scream sex and feminine power.
I'm going to move on now, so for those who skipped the CS induced rant, welcome! What happens when you make a deal with the Dark One? Hint: nothing good. Hook wants his hand back or else Hook will spill the beans to Belle that Rumple is lying to her and that he is still using the dagger for his own means. Rumple decides to play a bit of a mind trick on Hook and tells him that the hand might act the way the "old" Hook used to be, not this clearly reformed guy in a shorter leather coat. Except Hook ends up beating up poor Will (as he's trying to break into a library, so okay, as much as this pains me, props to Hook for trying to stop the unlawful breaking and entering). When Hook demands that Rumple give him his trusted hook back, Rumple informs Hook that he gave the real dagger back to Belle and therefore Hook has lost his leverage. At which point Hook tried to kill Rumple. Eeh gads. Yeah, you changed alright pirate-boy. Why is Regina looking better by the second? She's officially the only one who didn't attempt murder between season 3B and season 4. I guess give her time? Anyway, Rumple says that if Hook wants his hand, he needs to do Rumple a solid and then there's a walking broomstick. I won't lie; should this walking broomstick and Sven the Reindeer get their own spinoff, I'd watch it. Well, provided it wasn't written or even touched by Adam and Eddy, that is. The walking broomstick was clever. I enjoy clever references to Disney classics like Fantasia. Follow the broomstick! Wherever could it lead?
Oh look. Rumple knows Anna. How shocking. This part of the storyline dragged a bit, though I did think that Elizabeth Lail and Bobby played well of each other. Anna was more likable here, a little more flighty but still kinda cute. In essence, Rumple wants to use Anna to get the hat box from the old man that he will later suck into a hat. Why? Because the hat box is enchanted with a curse that can only be broken by someone who has conquered the darkness within. Sure, okay. Condense writers. That's a lot of story and a lot of ideas, none of which have ever been presented before. In fact, why is this just now coming up? If every Dark One from the dawn of time (or something) has tried to get this hat box, why is Rumple just now going after it? He manipulated an entire birth of a magical true love baby, you're telling me he couldn't manipulate someone to getting the hat box before Anna arrived from Arendelle? Anna succeeds in not giving into the darkness and Rumple uses her tears to get himself a hat box. But then Anna takes it cause the plot requires that Rumple not have the hat box...cause he's trying to find his son. You know, his whole reason for living? The person he sought for 300 years? Yeah, hat box and unlimited power ain't gonna help that, now is it.
Miscellaneous Notes on The Apprentice
--Will wound up breaking into the library and curling up next to a copy of Alice in Wonderland. A picture of the Red Queen was found in his pocket. I'm going to go ahead and say it: Anastasia is dead.
--Henry going to work for Rumple is great, EXCEPT he is manipulating Rumple using Nealfire's name to do so. It's appalling. It has nothing to do with Neal nor with Rumple, but all about helping Regina find the writer of the book. I find it disgusting that Henry is using Neal that way.
--"I, unlike you, am nice."
--Almost no Snow Queen. Feels like the story they set up last week suddenly halted in the middle of telling it.
--Henry wants Emma to be happy but isn't sure that he's okay with her dating Hook. Too bad it'll never come up again. Also, mom and kid have apparently talked about her love life, but not his dead father. Okay then.
--Hook clearly lies to Emma about how he got his hand back and her lie detector doesn't go off. Naturally.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
This image is hilarious. This is like a fun house mirror where suddenly everything is smaller and less focused and you're left wondering what is real and what is a distortion of your perception. The plot this week, which was far more substantial than in the weeks past, was quite intriguing both from a TV enjoyment standpoint and from a metaphorical standpoint. The Doctor and Clara land back on Earth only for the TARDIS to have shrunk considerably, as you can see. There's a lot of science mumbo jumbo that gets thrown around but I'll boil it down here. Clara is sent off to investigate, with the psychic paper and the sonic, after she learns that people have been vanishing from Bristol. The Doctor stays behind to try and learn why something is eating the dimensional energy, hence the shrinking of the TARDIS. It gets so small in fact that Clara carries it around in her purse. It's actually adorable. The long and the short of it is that there are aliens from a universe that only exists in 2 dimensions, not three like ours. These 2-D aliens have crossed over and are, in effect, reducing people and objects to 2-D beings. The Doctor thinks it might be for communication or for study. Now, here's where this is really interesting; I think this is a nice metaphor for the Doctor and for Clara, both as individuals and as Doctor/Companion relationships go. The Doctor and Clara are rather 2-D themselves aren't they? At least as far as staying within the confines of their archetypes.
--A smattering of funnies:
"Don't give me an --ish." "These readings are very ish-y."
"What are you doctor of?" "I'm usually quite vague about that. I think I only picked up the title because it makes me sound quite important."
"This is embarrassing. I'm from the race that built the TARDIS, dimensions are kind of our thing."
--The Doctor becoming "Thing" from the Addams family and moving the TARDIS as a train speeds toward him. Brilliant.
--Some really fantastic CGI effects this time round.
--Oh, did I neglect Missy again? Honestly, I can't be bothered by this. The writers are only going to tease it until the very end and not give me anything to work with, so I'll just sit back and wait. But apparently Apple iPads are available in Heaven now. Well done, Steve Jobs.
--Poor Danny. I do hope we get a bit more of his story sooner rather than later because he's becoming quite one note as of late.
--The Doctor did a little dance. Adorable.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
--"We shall be victorious or defeated together." Don't touch me.
--Ichabod was quite adept at driving a car, no?
--Captain Irving finally realized that he sold his soul to the Horseman of War and had quite an interesting little vision of that foretells. Fire. Blood. Death. Woo hoo!
--"Yo, Pride and Prejudice!"
--The bone flute halves were eventually delivered to Jeremy who mashed them up and then proceeded to taste the dust. His report, "that's good." Okay then.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Even though this episode was much better than previous weeks, the flashbacks were still largely uneven and ranged from interesting to dull. Did we really need Hans? My thought is no. He was there because fans of Frozen insist that he be there. His purpose was really just as canon fodder; whether or not he plays a larger role and comes back I don't know, but I honestly hope not. He was rather one note. The thing about Hans in the movie is that he is a sociopath; he was capable of sweeping you off your feet and being charming and then he would leave you to die of a frozen heart. But in ONCE, he just felt flat. Or maybe that is in comparison to Kristoff who, along with Sven, stole the show. Kristoff is probably the best part of the Frozen ensemble. He's witty and charming and he gets the best lines and I love that he doesn't take Elsa's attitude and "I am the Queen" nonsense. By the way, that has to stop. I get it; you're royalty. However, that doesn't give you license to be rather rude to your future in-laws. The flashbacks this week are plot heavy so a quick rundown: Hans, the villain from Frozen, is on the Arendelle boarder and getting ready to invade. Hans is planning to go after an urn (yes, that urn) and trap Elsa inside so that she can't stop their forces. Kristoff gets wind of this and he and Elsa manage to get to the cave and urn before Hans but of course, Hans shows up and sword fight. Naturally.
Ice cream is evil. Bad, bad ice cream. There are many things about the present day that I didn't like, or rather they left a bad taste in my mouth. But they also worked well and flowed together which is why I'm not tearing this episode into smithereens. The biggest issue is the number of plots running concurrently: there's Snow White and her need to be wonder woman while wearing some truly heinous clothing. Seriously, what is up with that skirt and shoes?? Did she dress in the dark? I mean, I know she just gave birth so she wants to be comfortable, but that's why God invented sweat pants. Put those on; no one is going to judge you, Madame Mayor. And speaking of Mayor-ing, it's your job now. Hand Baby Snowflake off to Charming and do your work. You don't need to be holding the baby and the list of things to do and try to conduct a "fireside chat." You are not actually FDR. The Archie and Snow scene was both nice and bizarre. So here's Snow, trying to be super mom and here's Archie dropping in for a nice little chit chat and then LEAVES without actually helping Snow White with what she's struggling with? Pick up the stupid stroller and fix it for her, Cricket!
--Will Scarlet is finally in town and it's VERY nice to see him. But heaven help me if they retcon his entire Wonderland story. They've already done it a bit by saying that he was never anything but a thief. He wasn't. He was a king.
--Operation Mongoose. I have issues with this, mainly that Regina seems to think "I was written as a villain." No, Regina. You WERE a villain. You did terrible, horrible, no good things. That makes you a villain. And what's even more offensive is that Henry thinks this is a good idea and that "the book was wrong about you." No. Just, no.
--Two Neal shout outs. I'll begrudgingly accept them except what should be explored is dealing with this death. It's insulting to anyone who has ever lost a parent or a child to think that you can get over this kind of emotional trauma in a few days.
--Hook blackmails Rumple WHY exactly? There was no logic here. Why not simply ask Rumple for his help? If he says no then you can try blackmail, I suppose. But starting with blackmail is just a sign of bad things
--Sven. I love him. Deeply.
--"I didn't try to kill her; I left her to die." "Important distinction."