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Worldly Distractions: Community 5.13 – Basic Sandwich

 

COMMUNITY -- "Basic Sandwich" Episode 511 -- Pictured: (l-r) Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett, Jonathan Banks as Professor Hickey, John Oliver as Professor Duncan -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Okay, I’m not going to get into the same wailing as last year, because I thought it would be the series finale, and we all know it wasn’t. On the other hand, this really could be the end of the show. So, let’s just say that it’s been a really fun season (better than Four, anyway, but getting punched in the face is better than Four), and an incredible adventure all the way. Let’s see how this season finishes.  Will they save Greendale? Probably.

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My Five Wives, Season 1, Episode Six, Do You Want to Know a Secret?

My Five Wives, Season 1, Episode Six, Do You Want to Know a Secret?

We open on another shot of those gorgeous mountains. Inside, Brady and the wives are in a meeting. I wonder if this is a weekly thing. That would make sense. Lots of logistical stuff to work out, I would imagine.

During this particular meeting we learn that Rosemary is finally going to get her night away for her anniversary. Rosemary remarks that because Brady doesn’t have a lot of time, it’s common that these dates get put off. Her anniversary outing is currently four months behind schedule. Brady says there have been a lot of anniversaries/birthdays in the last few months and that’s why it’s hard for him to keep up. Robyn pokes fun at how difficult it must be for Brady to have these nights away. That’s the first passive aggressive move of the episode. (I’ve decided to keep count.)

Robyn suggests they have a poker night—these are fun polygamists!! Rosemary wants to finish the wine. Brady wants beer. Partaaaaaay at Robyn’s!!!

Cut to Rhonda folding jeans. Through the window, she sees Paulie walking toward her house. I get a knot in my stomach because history has shown that when Paulie comes to talk to you in private, some sort of trouble’s a’brewin’. This time, I suppose, it’s not trouble, per se; but it’s not pleasant. Paulie asks if Rhonda has thought about letting the other wives know about her cancer scare. Rhonda doesn’t want people worrying about her. Paulie says everyone loves her and they want to support her and if the situations were reversed wouldn’t Rhonda want to know about a possibly sick sister wife? Yes, she says, she would. I wonder if this is Paulie’s job—to keep communication flowing among the wives. Rhonda decides that she will tell the others, but seems slightly shaken.

Brady goes to a jewelry store. Nonie’s wedding and engagement rings have been broken for years and he wants to have them repaired as an anniversary present. The young man at the counter seems eager to help him. No wonder: he says it will cost $254 per ring. Brady says that seems steep. It seems a little high to me, too. But Brady wants to “keep a smile on Rosemary’s face.” You could have fooled me.

Back at the house, it’s Rosemary’s night. She talks about her class. I guess she is a music teacher. She mentions woodwinds—bassoons and saxophones. Now that’s interesting. I’d like to hear more about Rosemary’s musical talents. But instead she tells us about how she is looking forward to her night with Brady. But she spoke too soon because Brady’s cell phone rings. It’s Paulie. Her window is stuck open and it’s very cold. She wants Brady to come fix it. That’s the second passive aggressive move of the episode.

Rosemary is rightly upset and then we get down to the nitty gritty. Apparently, over the 19 years she’s been “married” to Brady, she believes Paulie has made it a point to take away her time with him –not as much with the other wives. Rosemary gives Brady the benefit of the doubt. She thinks he’s just trying to keep everyone happy and will never side with one wife over another. I am not as charitable. I think Brady should know better and make damn sure Paulie has tried every other option before he hauls his ass out of Rosemary’s bed to help Paulie. I wonder if he sees a pattern in Paulie’s requests. I’m guessing no. Anyway, Rosemary tells us she feels like she’s been taken advantage of for 19 years. And I don’t understand. Why doesn’t she say something? Isn’t that the way these families are supposed to work? Or must everyone defer to the first wife? That would suck.

After the commercial break we are treated to more shots of gorgeous mountains. How do they get anything done all day? I’d be too busy staring at those mountains to fold jeans. Brady talks to his and Robyn’s daughter, 20-year-old Hannah. Hannah is apparently an artist and Brady wants her to do a tattoo design for him. First poker, then beer, and now a tattoo. This is a rockin’ family. The tattoo will symbolize the five wives and 24 children. That’s gonna be a big tattoo.

Now it’s poker night. Brady suggests strip poker. The ladies all laugh, except Paulie who sort of smiles. They play a game where the winner picks a card and reads what “prize” they’ve won. Brady wins the first hand and wins a foot rub by a wife to be decided by spinning a bottle. Rosemary wins the (booby) prize but seems happy enough. Rhonda makes a joke about Rosemary massaging when it’s Rhonda’s night. I don’t get it. I thought he was getting the foot massage now, but nope.

Rhonda wins the next hand and she doesn’t have to cook dinner on her night. Brady has to do it. Why couldn’t Rosemary win that prize?

Nonie remarks how much she loves poker night. It does seem like fun. The next round involves someone having to tell a secret. Of course, the camera pans to Rhonda. But the bottle points to Nonie. She doesn’t want to tell the secret that she’s planning on having a baby because the only thing that will go through her sister wives’ minds is that she and Brady are having sex. This is the second time she’s made this observation. And for the second time I will ask: don’t they already know everybody’s having sex with Brady? Or do they repress that until someone turns up pregnant? Inquiring minds want to know.

Nonie wins next and gets a five-minute lap dance from Brady. Well, this is shaping up to be an interesting party. But disappointingly, Nonie wants to trade for the massage. I’m getting confused again. Does that mean Rosemary doesn’t have to give Brady the massage? Does Rosemary have to give Nonie the massage? Does Brady have to give Nonie the massage?

Nonie tells us that Rosemary is a licensed massage therapist. That’s interesting thing number two about Rosemary this week.

Rhonda wins next. She gets quiet when she sees her card. I guess it was supposed to be Brady’s because it’s a “Brady-gets-to-get-his-tattoo” card. Rhonda is opposed to it. Brady says all the wives have to agree on it because “we’re in a committed, loving relationship.” Robyn says she would like it. Rosemary thinks it would be “hot.” Nonie, in what is maybe her most reasonable moment all season, says she’s not sure what she thinks about it, but it’s Brady’s decision. Paulie needs to give it more thought. In their former religion, she was always taught not to mark your body, not to put holes it in, no tattoos. If I’m not mistaken, though, her ears are pierced. Let’s look at the next scene. Yup there’s a big old earring dangling from a hole in her ear. So I guess that policy is flexible.

Brady compares getting a tattoo to his wives coloring their hair or piercing their ears. Rhonda says they were always taught to look at their ancestors for guidance. She says some ancestors pierced their ears, but she doesn’t know of any who had tattoos. Maybe she’s not looking in the right place. Tramp stamps are not always visible.

Nonie says Brady would love them with pierced ears and dyed hair or without. And now Brady says something interesting. He says the leadership in their former church told him to tell the wives to take their pierced earrings out. He said “it’s their ears, they get to do what they want.” Very good answer, Brady, but I guess that’s one of the reasons they left their church—or their church left them. I hope we get to hear more.

After the commercial, Brady takes his leave from Rhonda to take Rosemary on her overnight anniversary trip. He asks if Rhonda will do his hair for his “date” with Rosemary. Seriously, Brady? Come on, even you have to know that is inappropriate. But Rhonda agrees to do it while hemming and hawing about whether she needs to talk to him about something. Oh no Rhonda, why did you have to wait until he’s walking out the door with Rosemary to tell him about your cancer scare? That’s passive aggressive move number 3.

Please believe I am in no way making light of her possible illness. I get that she’s worried beyond belief. And if I were her, I’d make damn sure my husband knew it too. But the timing leaves something to be desired. This is supposed to be a loving family but they seem to be subtly undermining each other (well, they subtly undermine mostly Rosemary). I understand Rhonda’s fear and worry. Certainly cancer takes precedence over an anniversary but was there not any other time previous to this when she could have told him? Now he will spend his time with Rosemary worrying about Rhonda.

Rhonda tells us how she put off having herself checked out because of money and then she had a baby, and my heart is breaking that she hasn’t been able to get to a doctor. My mind is wondering why Brady thinks it’s a good idea to pay for jewelry repair when one of his wives can’t even afford a cancer screening.

Brady shows his concern by offering to cancel his night with Rosemary. He thinks she won’t mind. Oh Brady, Rosemary will absolutely mind. I haven’t known her for decades like you have, but I am certain of that.

Rhonda says how hard it is when she needs time with Brady but he has to leave. Couldn’t they have had this conversation with Brady on her night? I think she was peeved about him asking her to fix his hair and that’s why she chose this moment for her revelation.

Brady calls this the part of being a polygamist that’s “unique.” I think it’s the part of being a polygamist that’s a freaking “nightmare” for all concerned. But he soldiers on and leaves with Rosemary. They arrive at a lovely bed-and-breakfast. Rose petals have been strewn on the bed and in the tub. The room has a beautiful view. They stand next to the bed and I’m so afraid Brady is going to talk about this being “where the magic happens.” Thankfully, he doesn’t.

At home, Nonie’s doing laundry and Rhonda comes in. Nonie is very excited to tell Rhonda that she and Brady have decided to have another baby. Didn’t she just say she didn’t want to tell the other wives because it would upset them? What’s her deal? And now we get more insight into this relationship. Rhonda calls Nonie “brave” for telling and Nonie says she knows this isn’t something they normally do. Nonie says she told Rhonda because they had already talked about it. Rhonda is glad that Nonie shared and acknowledges that now she’s going to think about Brady and Nonie having sex, (aren’t we all?) but she is happy for Nonie (the rest of us, not so much I think). Nonie isn’t sure if she’s going to tell the others. And I think this is a problem. Now you’ve got secrets and factions and hurt feelings for people who feel left out.

Back at the bed-and-breakfast, Brady gives Rosemary her repaired rings. It’s kind of an underwhelming moment. Neither of them seem to be that into the other. It does look very cold out, though, so maybe that’s the problem. Rosemary asks if Brady would marry her again. Brady says he would. Now Rosemary starts crying about “the sun breaking through the clouds.” I guess she didn’t think Brady would want to marry her again. That makes me very sad for her.

At home, the wives are having girls’ night out. I guess this is what they do to occupy themselves when Brady is away with another wife. Robyn wonders what Brady and Rosemary are doing. Oh, let’s not go there, ladies. They giggle about it. Robyn says Nonie still has to tell a secret. Nonie says she doesn’t have secrets, but we know better. And I’m tired of talking about this.

Now Rosemary and Brady are dining out and admiring the repaired rings. The waitress brings an appetizer and …..wait for it…..its shrimp again!!!! So far we know two out of five wives like shrimp and one out of five doesn’t. Paulie and Rhonda, we’re waiting to hear from you. Brady says he likes shrimp. He didn’t used to but he’s not afraid of change. He apologizes for being the guy who always changes.

Now it gets interesting again. Brady asks how Rosemary is doing with Paulie. Rosemary responds that “we’re doing better.” She admits that she feels like Paulie is taking her time away from Brady and it’s been on purpose. Rosemary says she is partly to blame because she didn’t make a big enough deal of it. Brady says it is his fault—I guess this is his chivalrous moment, taking the blame away from another wife. Still Rosemary felt like this was a personal attack. She starts crying and asks him not to do it anymore. Brady wants to go to a “positive place.” Rosemary laughs, but still seems sad.

Brady and Rosemary come home. Brady goes right in to see Rhonda. (I’m wondering where does Brady actually “live?” Where does he unpack? Does he have clothes spread over all the wives’ bedrooms? Where is his home base?)

Brady and Rhonda decide that she will call the doctor next day to get an appointment. Rhonda decides that she has to figure out a way to tell her sister wives about the scare. Now Brady says he was worried about Rhonda all night but he and Rosemary still had a good time. There are so many things wrong with that sentence that I don’t know where to begin. Sensitivity is not this guy’s strong suit.

Rhonda tells us she’s scared. I don’t blame her.

After the commercial break, we are at another Brady/wives meeting. Rhonda invites everyone to come watch Brady make dinner. Nonie wants him to wear an apron and nothing else. Everyone laughs, except for Paulie again. Now Rhonda breaks the frivolity by telling everyone about her health problems. Brady points out that Rhonda is playing it down and that it’s scarier than she’s making it sound. I’m not sure that’s supportive behavior but I think he might be trying to frighten the women into calling a truce among themselves.

Rhonda asks everyone to pray for her. Nonie is in tears. Brady gathers the wives around to bless Rhonda. Nonie says there’s power in that. Everyone is crying. Brady recites a prayer as he and all the wives lay their hands on Rhonda. I am always skeptical about this type of religious demonstration, but Rhonda says she felt peace come over her, so I am glad it worked for her. Rhonda says she’s glad she told everyone and that this is one of the joys of polygamy.

Yes, I can certainly see how it would be nice to have all these people in your corner rooting for you and supporting you. But the constant jealousy and manipulation and jockeying for position must be wearing. There’s enough of that out in the world. Things should be different at home.

If you’d like to discuss this show, go to the forums: http://freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=21415&p=722467#p722467

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Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 17, The Jolly Roger

The Pouty Pirate

We open at night on a carriage in the Enchanted Forest sometime in the past year. (For brevity’s sake, I’m going to call the Enchanted Forest “EF.”) The carriage comes to a stop before a mysterious knight who tells the guards that this is a stick-up. The carriage drivers think this is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard, which is a sure sign that they are about to die/be robbed. The knight gives a sign and torches/flaming arrows alight throughout the woods. I’m glad that the treasure in that carriage is not mine because the guards don’t even try, they ride away.  And they really should have tried because the “army” in the forest turns out to a party of four: Hook (disguised as the knight), Smee, and two nameless pirates.

In some exposition, Smee and Hook discuss how Smee is no longer a rat as a side effect of the curse breaking. Thanks, I was wondering about that. They open the chest to find it’s stuffed with jewels and gold. Hook says, “You don’t need a ship to be a pirate.” The pirates think this is a laugh riot, I’m guessing because Hook is their boss.

Cut to a tavern where Hook and crew hoist a few brewskies and toast “the most clever dastardly band of pirates ever to sai……” then Hook remembers “ever to stride on the open roads,” leaving us to wonder, where is the Jolly Roger? Did Hook lose it when the Storybrooke gang was cursed back to the EF?

Smee tells Hook that the crew has bought him a gift. A “tavern maid” sashays across the room to him. I’m going to keep referring to her as a tavern maid the way I did when I watched this with my daughter who, although she is 15 and knows everything, does not like to discuss EF hookers with her mother.

Hook and the “tavern maid” walk outside while the pirates laugh in a manner that is a little too suggestive for an 8:00 p.m. show, I think.

Out in the alley, Hook hands the tavern maid a pouch of coins and basically tells her, “Let’s not and say we did.” She walks away with her second payment of what is turning out to be a profitable, if very slow, evening.

Hooks walks away morosely and I assume he’s still pining for Emma. I would say he’s off his game when he gets clocked with a stick, but ever since we’ve met him, he’s gotten knocked out an awful lot for someone who’s supposed to be a swashbuckling pirate. And he’s usually getting knocked out by girls. This time is no different. The assailant turns out to be Ariel. She holds a knife to Hook’s throat.

Cut to the Charming residence in present-day Storybrooke where David is having a tough time assembling a crib. The directions do look complicated. Emma tries to help because apparently she has to be the Savior in every single situation. A very pregnant Mary Margaret rests nearby and suggests they call Marco (Gepetto) to come help. Both David and Emma are too proud to ask for help, but I wonder if there’s a reason Mary Margaret brought him up, since he hasn’t been seen since last season.

Snow wonders why they are wasting time on a baby crib when—hello people!!!!—a wicked witch has high jacked the town. She makes a lot of sense, though she does look like she’s ready to pop any second and that baby will need a place to sleep. David and Emma agree that they need to go on with their lives. David says they are making a statement that they are not going to lose another baby when in walks the person responsible for them losing their last baby, Regina. Everyone seems to forget this. I don’t, but I still love Regina. She gets stuff done.

For instance, she has put a protection spell around the building to protect the baby from Zelena. Mary Margaret wonders why Zelena would want a baby. Regina replies “The number of spells involving baby parts would surprise you.” (LOL, but I have kind of a dark sense of humor.) Mary Margaret does not and looks very perturbed. Regina calls Zelena “one twisted witch.” Has Regina forgotten about the time she killed her own father to cast a curse? Or the time she murdered a whole village because they wouldn’t tell her where Snow White was? Or the time she tossed her mother through a looking glass? Or the time…… well you get the idea. But Regina obviously doesn’t.

Emma doesn’t want to hide in the Charming apartment. She wants to play offense against Zelena. She suggests that Regina teach her how to harness her magic. As a team, Emma thinks she and Regina could defeat Zelena. Regina agrees to teach her. The Charmings go along with it and say they’ll watch Henry. Emma doesn’t think that’s a good idea. The Charmings want to know why. She’s tries diplomacy first. “You guys are tired.” When that doesn’t work, she says that all the talk of the new baby bores Henry. David and Mary Margaret take umbrage at that and want to know who could be more fun than they are.

Cut to Hook in Storybrooke harbor having a meeting with Smee. Smee wants to go back to pirating. Hook says they can’t leave town without being abducted by Zelena’s flying monkeys. Smee says the Jolly Roger can outrun them but points out that Hook won’t tell them what happened to the ship during the past year. Hook tells him to mind his own business and seems very ticked off that Smee even brought it up. Well that piques my interest. Smee apparently can’t read the room because he suggests they get another ship and leave. Hook snaps and says he has no intention of leaving town. Smee, still a little slow on the uptake, says that while Storybrooke has its charms (frozen yogurt!), he wants to get away from the Wicked Witch. Hook gets steely eyed and says, “Question me at your peril!!!” Whoa Nellie!! That was piratey! This may be the Hook who commanded Smee on the Jolly Roger, but it’s certainly not the Hook the rest of us know and love. Smee finally takes the hint and leaves.

I guess Emma and Henry have been listening to this exchange because they’re only standing a few feet away from Smee and Hook. Emma notes that he used to be a rat. Hook says that in many ways he still is. I barely remember the Peter Pan story, but I seem to remember Hook and Smee squabbling, but still sort of liking each other. Here, Hook really can’t stand Smee.

Emma asks Hook to look after Henry. Hook puts on his best, rakish, I’m-about-to-use-a-double-entendre face and says there’s no need for Emma to use Henry as an excuse to get close to him. He sidles up to her and, much as I love me some Hook, he’s really quite the close talker. He just did the same thing when he was yelling at Smee. No need to get all up in her business, Killian.

Emma explains she needs Hook to watch Henry so Regina can teach her magic. Hook tells her it’s about time she embraced her magic. She says she just wants to defeat Zelena and get Henry out of town since “he belongs in the real world.” Hook tells her she can’t just pretend the past year never happened. He tried to return to the person he used to be and it didn’t work. It really didn’t. He’s no decadent, debauched pirate. And he’s not a romantic rogue either. He seems to be tortured by something.

Emma asks him what happened over the last year. Did she not just hear him yell at Smee? At least Hook is nicer to Emma when he says “It matters not.” I don’t know why he’s talking like Yoda all of a sudden, but okay. Moving on.

Mary Margaret and David walk along the beach reminding each other that they can be fun. Aww, their feelings are hurt. But Mary Margaret, sweetie, you’re nine months pregnant. You know what’s fun at nine months pregnant? Lying in bed with a snack. Still they are determined to be fun for Henry. They happen upon a crowd on the beach and discover that Ariel has washed up on Storybrooke’s shores.

Ariel says she’s been “under the sea” looking for Eric (because she’s always using quotes from the movie). The Charmings tell Ariel to talk to Hook because he’s the only one who still has his memories of the past year. Yeah, but he’s not talking.

Cut to the alleyway in the EF. Ariel holds the knife to Hook’s throat. She accuses him of kidnapping Prince Eric. He denies it. Seems like Ariel has not had much knife practice because Hook pretty easily grabs the knife and holds it to her throat. Ariel says she knows the ship that took him was the Jolly Roger. Hook angrily demands to know if she’s certain it was the Jolly Roger which leads Ariel to believe that he’s not lying. Boy is Hook mad. What has gone on this year?

Ariel says the knife Hook is holding is from the armory on the ship. Hook looks at it closely. Then starts laughing and runs away. Ariel looks confused. Hook gathers up his men and tells them he knows who has the Jolly Roger—Blackbeard. Smee is terrified because “Blackbeard is the most cutthroat pirate ever to hoist a sail.” Then he quickly remembers himself and says to Hook “after you, of course.”

Hook decides to take back the ship and make Blackbeard walk the plank. Smee has grown accustomed to life on land and has enjoyed getting rich from robbing carriages. Hook insists the Jolly Roger is not just a ship. He hasn’t been himself since he lost her. He’s got a weird dynamic going on with that boat. Smee doubts they could find Blackbeard. Hook calls him a coward. He knows where Blackbeard docks his vessels and that’s where they are headed. Ariel says she’s coming too, to find Eric. Hook says very few people have held a knife to his throat and lived and suggests she leave. Hook is bending the truth here. We’ve seen lots of people get the best of him and live. Didn’t Emma tie him up to be eaten by a giant? Didn’t Belle hit him over the head to escape the Jolly Roger in Storybrooke?

Anyway, Ariel says pirate code says Hook owes her for telling him where the Jolly Roger is. Smee agrees. Hook looks like he wants to strangle Smee for the second time this episode.

Back in present-day Storybrooke, Hook teaches Henry to cheat at dice. See Mary Margaret and David? That’s fun. Jared Gilmore’s growth spurt has been apparent this whole season but in this scene he looks particularly adolescent-ish to me in this scene.

David and Mary Margaret walk in and introduce Hook to Ariel. He looks pained. She asks him if he knows what happened to Eric. Hook says no.

Meanwhile back at Regina’s vault, Regina cautions Emma not to touch anything. Emma doesn’t listen and picks up what looks to be some sort of reptile claw. Regina has no patience for this nonsense, grabs the claw away, then asks where Henry is. When Emma tells Regina that Henry is with Hook and the two seem to get along. Regina replies that Hook is “prone to violence, impulsive, and has a hook for a hand”—catnip to a 12-year-old boy.

Emma says she trusts Hook because he brought her back to Storybrooke. Regina replies that of course he did because he yearns and has doe eyes for Emma. Regina shouldn’t throw stones. She’s come close to doe eyes with Robin. Emma says she doesn’t yearn for Hook. We’ll see.

Regina gets down to business and takes out a spell book written in another language, which Emma mistakenly calls Spanish. Regina snidely replies “We’re not making tapas, we’re making magic. It’s elvish.” She is getting all the good lines in this episode.

Emma thinks reading about magic will take too long which is when Regina decides to use tough love and magics herself and Emma to a dodgy looking rope bridge over a gorge.

Cut to Granny’s diner where David questions Hook about Prince Eric. Everyone seems to be pushing Hook’s buttons today because he snaps that if he’d seen a prince he’d remember it. Ariel doesn’t understand how he could vanish without a trace. Mary Margaret suggests they find something of Eric’s at Gold’s shop and use a locator spell to have it take them to Eric. This is the last thing Hook wants. He looks guilty but snaps out of it and tries to walk away, but Mary Margaret wants him to help look. She and David will watch Henry.

Hook pulls David aside and tries to talk him out of looking for Eric. He says it will only end in heartbreak because Eric is probably dead and he doesn’t want to give Ariel false hope. David goes all noble on Hook and says there’s no such thing as false hope… you have to believe…. Blah blah blah. Sometimes he can be so tiresome, just ask Henry.

Back in the EF, Hook, Ariel, and the pirates walk through the forest. Ariel complains about the difficulty of land travel versus sea travel. Hook, being a sailor, concurs. Ariel gets her cloak caught on a bush, Hook uses his hook to release it. Ariel has a fit because the cloak belongs to Eric and “now you’ve ruined it.” She’s exaggerating. I think it can be sewn up, but she is tired from all the walking and misses her true love so I’ll cut her some slack.

Hook won’t though because he doesn’t have time for a lovesick mermaid. He reminds her that they are going to see Blackbeard and she should be scared. Pirates are bad people and Blackbeard is the baddest of the bad. Ariel says she’s heard good stories about Hook, how he is a hero. This really bothers Hook. He does the close talking thing again when he tells Ariel “Don’t believe every story you hear.” He really wants his street cred back.

In present-day Storybrooke at Gold’s shop, Belle is glad to see Ariel and tolerates Hook. The three look around the shop. Hook goes into another room and is very happy when he finds his spyglass, but less so when he finds Eric’s cloak. Ariel asks how Hook knew it was Eric’s. Instead of saying “Because I remember the tantrum you had when I tore it,” Hook lies and says the clasp looks like it’s from a maritime kingdom. I think that’s kind of lame, but Ariel and Belle do not. They are thrilled that Eric may be in Storybrooke. Ariel hugs Hook. Hook looks very uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, back on the rickety bridge, Emma freaks out and Regina insists she do magic on instinct to save herself. Regina uses magic to make the bridge collapse. Emma begs for help. Regina wants her to save herself. When the bridge finally gives out, Regina looks panicked for a second, but then Emma floats back up, safe and sound. Emma cannot believe she was capable of making the bridge float back up. Regina thinks it was overkill. “All I wanted was for you to re-tie the rope.” Apparently Emma is an advanced student. Emma wants to know why Regina is mad. Regina says Emma has been wasting her potential.

In Gold’s shop, Belle uses a locator spell on the cloak. For someone who doesn’t have magic, she’s getting a lot of practice casting spells. Remember when she made the protective bubble around the town? The cloak starts moving. It’s very creepy. Also, it looks like it’s moving very quickly. I don’t know how Ariel, who only has legs sporadically, can keep up.

Back in the EF, Hook and Ariel approach the Jolly Roger. Once again, Hook talks about the boat like it’s a woman…..”You’ll soon be back in my loving arms.” What is up with that? Ariel questions him. He says “You have your love. I have mine.” Poor thing, he’s grasping at straws without Emma.

In what has to be the easiest ship take-over in pirate history, Hook walks up to a sailor, smacks him across the head and tells the other pirates he’s taking his boat back. (As a side note, my daughter and I were both hoping that Johnny Depp would somehow show up in this scene. Disney owns ABC so it might have been possible. But alas, it was not to be.) There is some sinister music as Blackbeard (who is NOT played by Johnny Depp) appears from below decks. I think he’s supposed to be very frightening, but I’m just not feeling it. The sword battle begins. The crew cheers. Blackbeard taunts Hook saying he’s heard he’s gone soft. The sword fight moves behind a sail and we see the shadows of Hook and Blackbeard fighting. It’s a very nice scene. I’ve heard others say this is a callback to the Disney movie, but again, it’s been so long since I’ve seen the movie that I can’t say for sure.

Hook maneuvers so that Blackbeard steps onto a loose board in the deck and gets his foot stuck. Smee was wrong. This is not “the most cutthroat pirate ever to hoist a sail.” This is a klutz. He’s down for the count and Hook holds his sword to Blackbeard’s throat. Blackbeard yells “Finish it.” Hook raises his sword to strike the final blow. But Ariel screams for him to wait. She hasn’t found Eric on board and she needs to find out where he is. Blackbeard admits he is holding Eric on an island for ransom. He wants to prove that Hook is no longer a pirate. Blackbeard gives Hook a choice, surrender the Jolly Roger and he’ll give Eric back or kill Blackbeard and Eric will die.

Back in present-day Storybrooke, Ariel and Hook are still following the floating cloak. It leads them down to the docks. Then it disappointingly sails into the water and sinks. Ariel and Hook take this as a sign that Eric is dead. I scream at the TV “You’re a freaking mermaid!! Dive in and see for yourself if he’s down there!!!” That’s because it was my first time watching this. Later, it becomes clear why she doesn’t.

In town, David and Mary Margaret argue about their plan to get Henry to spend more time with them. Mary Margaret insists it’s dangerous and illegal. David assures her he’ll be safe and also he’s the sheriff and he won’t arrest himself. David, David, David, I know you never actually raised a child, but this is a baaaad idea. And Mary Margaret, you’re a teacher for goodness sake! You should not have let this happen. It’s also kind of pathetic that a dashing prince who fights ogres and evil queens and a former bandit feel like they have to “act cool” to make a kid like them. Of course, it’s a disaster. Henry can’t drive. ‘Cause he’s 12.

Back on the docks. Ariel is sad. Hook tries to comfort her. Ariel tells him he’s “more than a pirate” and thanks him for trying to find Eric. She walks away. Hook continues to look tortured.

In the EF, Hook makes Blackbeard walk the plank. Ariel begs him to stop. She says she knows underneath Hook is a good man. She wants to find Eric, but Hook apparently wants to resuscitate his bad-boy reputation. He wants his ship. “She’s mine. She’s all I need.” He’s has really got to get over this weird attachment to that boat. He is bitter about love and tells Ariel it would be best if she never found her true love. “It brings wasted years and endless torment.” Geez, Mr. Happy Pants. He slashes Blackbeard’s arm to lure the fish and Blackbeard goes, rather quietly and submissively, I think, off the plank. I don’t see any fish, but the water churns up in what I assume is a feeding frenzy. The whole thing happens so fast and Blackbeard seems so easy to vanquish. I don’t know what’s going on here.

Hook triumphantly claims the Jolly Roger and tells the crew they are free to join him. Ariel slaps Hook and calls him selfish and heartless. She says she feels sorry for him because he will never be happy. Ariel jumps off the plank and swims away as a mermaid to look for Eric.

Back in Storybrooke present, Hook turns into a romance-novel-type pirate and comes after Ariel on the docks. He wants to make a confession. He tells her how their paths crossed during the missing year and how he sacrificed Eric for his ship. Ariel slaps him again and calls him a monster. He says he did it to fill a void left by a broken heart. He says he’s sorry. And this is where it gets weird. Ariel wonders how she can trust a man who doesn’t believe in love, which seems kind of like a non-sequiter because obviously she shouldn’t trust him or accept his apology. Hook says he does believe in love. Ariel says that to prove it Hook should swear on the name of his true love. Don’t trust her Hook!!!!!

But Hook is blinded by heartache and says, “I swear on Emma Swan.” At this point, a green mist surrounds Ariel and she transforms into her true state, Wicked Witch. She zaps Hooks lips with more green mist.

Zelena says she wants to corrupt Hook’s love. She knows that Hook has been haunted by his guilt and she used that knowledge to curse Hook’s kiss—the next time his lips touch Emma Swan’s all of her magic will be taken from her.

I think the writers are playing with us here. So many people ship Hook and Emma and are just waiting for them to hook up hotly like they did in Neverland. So now here’s a twist. They CAN’T kiss. So we are all just going to have to be patient as the sexual tension builds for the rest of the season. I think it would have been interesting if Zelena had cursed Hook to make it that he has to get Emma to kiss him or she’ll lose her power. That would mirror the Little Mermaid story nicely (trying to get a kiss and always missing) and it would give Hook and Emma some interesting scenes. But that is not the direction the writers have chosen to go.

Hook says he’ll simply tell Emma what Zelena has done. Zelena one ups him and says if he does, she’ll send the Dark One to kill Emma. Finally, FINALLY Hook comes to his senses and realizes that Zelena is bluffing. If she could have killed Emma, she already would have already. Zelena needs Emma’s power removed before she can do anything to harm her.

Zelena responds that while she can’t hurt Emma, she can hurt her parents, her friends, her child. Hook vows to stop her. Zelena says he can’t and if he doesn’t kiss Emma and remove her powers, everyone she loves will die.

Back at the Charming abode, Hook knocks on the door. Emma wants to know what he’s been doing all day. Hook lies about helping Ariel find Eric. Regina is surprised that Ariel is in Storybrooke—hopefully she’s suspicious and will get to the bottom of this because again, she’s the only one in town who actually accomplishes anything—maybe that’s a benefit of being jaded about love. Regina says they can look through the mirror to see what Ariel is up to. Emma thought Regina couldn’t use mirror magic to look between worlds . Regina replies that she can’t, but Emma can because she’s so powerful. Hook is nervous that his lie is going to be found out, but the ladies insist. Emma does it and they see Ariel and Eric hugging. So I guess Ariel really did find him when she jumped off that plank. Regina looks disgusted at this show of true love.

Emma turns dewy eyes to Hook, “You did this.” Hook resists the compliment, but Emma says he’s full of surprises. Oh, NOW she looks like she wants to kiss him. She’s been putting him off since she came back from New York, but NOW she wants to jump his bones. Great timing, princess.

The Charmings and Henry return. Regina is furious that David let him drive the truck because apparently the evil queen makes a better mother than Snow and Prince Charming. Henry is surprised at her concern. She covers by saying as mayor she can’t allow things like that.

Henry says it was fun. David points out that he and his wife are, indeed, fun. They discuss—in code for Henry’s sake—Ariel’s story. Mary Margaret, with her pregnancy hormones all aglow at the true love story, suggests a dinner at Granny’s. Henry wants to drive. Everyone says no.

Hook gives his regrets. Emma says she’s tired of living in the past. Aargh, now that Hook is cursed she’s practically throwing herself at him.

The Charmings, Regina, Emma, and Henry have a nice dinner at Granny’s while poor, lonesome, tortured Hook uses his spyglass to watch them through the window.

Next week looks like to be a time travel episode. Honestly, this shows shifts between time zones and realms so often, it’s already hard to keep up. Next week, they go back in time to try to talk to Cora. Not old Barbara Hershey Cora, young Rose McGowan Cora. We’re all going to have to pay very close attention.

If you’d like to discuss this episode, go here: http://freejinger.org/forums/posting.php?mode=reply&f=14&t=13046

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daysoffuture

 

Another Simpsons episode where the kids get to (temporarily) grow up! These ones can be hit (“Lisa’s Wedding”) or miss (“Bart to the Future”), but at the very least, they offer a break from the same-old same-old routine. Let’s see how this one measures up.

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Worldly Distractions: Mad Men 7.1 – Time Zones

 

megan

I don’t know about you, but I got excited just typing this title. Oh, what a happy day this is. Mad Men is back, everybody! Let’s go on to the review before we die of anticipation. (No Simpsons until tomorrow, I have a rough work week and my time is reserved for special things, like awesome ’60s fashion.) Alley oop!

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basicstory

Holy crap, can you believe the season’s almost over? This is the first part of the finale! Where did the time go? Well, your loyal recapper is here to document it all. Let’s see what Greendale and its inhabitants are up to.

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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 7.20 – The Relationship Diremption

diremption

 

Bla bla bla nerds bla bla bla mediocre expectations bla bla bla let’s move on with the episode.

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My Five Wives, Season 1, episode 5

The Birds and the Bees and Everything In Between
We begin with a wives’ meeting during which Brady wants to know “who I owe what” regarding anniversaries and such. Paulie explains the rules—when you’ve been married 10 years you “get” to go away for a week with Brady. After 15 years, you get a weekend. Why do the trips get shorter as time goes on?
Rosemary and Nonie are both owed trips. Rosemary does NOT look amused. She tells us they are three months past their anniversary. Still, she defers the anniversary talk and brings up a daughter’s question about whether a boy needs Brady’s permission to hold her hand.
Brady decides he needs a meeting with the teens to discuss dating protocol. Paulie explains that with the eldest daughter, it was just she and Brady who made the decisions about her dating. I get the impression that she does not want the other wives’ input on her own children.
Brady says they need to set rules for dating. The wives give him the side eye. I’m imagining thought bubbles over their heads.“Seriously? You, with the five wives, are talking about boundaries?” Mmmmmmkay.
Brady tells us that he decided himself that he wouldn’t kiss a girl until he was engaged. Which could be very limiting …..for people who don’t have five wives. Brady calls himself a fuddy duddy.
Rosemary thinks the family should create a dating “statement” so I guess she’s been watching Sister Wives and saw how well that turned out.
Robyn says that at school the kids are “different” and “not like everybody else” because they are not part of the dominant religion. Nonie points out the kids don’t have much of a social life outside the family and they “can’t date our family.” Which, okay, but it has come to my attention that two of the wives (Robyn and Rhonda) are first cousins. That seems like bending the rules a little.
Brady makes fun of daughter September’s pre-shredded jeans and calls himself a fuddy duddy again. September doesn’t call him a fuddy duddy. She calls him “annoying,” which makes her typical of every 15-year-old girl in the universe.
They do the “repeat after me” prayer thing again and I think this must be a prayer they say often because even though the son who leads the prayer is mumbling, the rest of the group seems to be able to repeat (while also mumbling).
Nonie is looking forward to her anniversary with Brady and has found “babysitters” for her kids—babysitters being the other moms and/or teens. She still wants another baby.
Brady talks to Nonie about their trip. It seems insensitive for him to talk about this in front of the other wives. (It looks like at least Rosemary is within hearing range.) Then Nonie makes a weird face behind Brady’s back as he walks away. Does she agree with me? And the way this part is edited, it appears as if Robyn is disgusted with the whole thing.
Oooh, there’s a shot of the cutest dog in the world!! I don’t know anything about dogs. Is it a shih tzu/bichon mix? Sorry, I got distracted.
Brady and Rhonda speak in her room. She has heard from the adoption agency which has basically refused them because of a ruling against cohabitation. Brady says they have to fight this “stigma.” Rhonda replies that “it’s just because they don’t understand. They don’t know us.” I agree “they” don’t know this family, but I have a feeling they totally understand.
Brady promises to call his lawyer. Rhonda talks about how she got her hopes up and maybe dreams don’t come true. No Rhonda, sometimes they don’t.
After the commercial break, there are more shots of those gorgeous mountains.
Then September tells Nonie that “a dude” invited her out to dinner. My first suggestion when approaching your mom about going on a date, is not to call the boy in question a “dude.” It turns out he’s a boy from school. September, once again acting like every teenager in America, does NOT want her mom to call this boy’s family and then calls her mother “old.” Paulie tells us how September has always wanted to be grown up. Paulie says they need to run this past Brady.
Brady comes to talk to Rhonda about her job. He thinks she works too hard and she should quit. He’s concerned about her. She wants to keep the job because it helps them financially and also she loves it. Brady says he wants to be more successful so that Rhonda doesn’t have to work. (Note: I was going to get on my soapbox about patriarchy and how insufferable it was for Brady to mention that if Rhonda didn’t work, she could be “the mom I know she wants to be.” But I am going to give Brady a break in this case because his concern becomes clearer at the end of the episode.)
Brady says Rhonda needs to take care of herself and work on the adoption. But Rhonda counters that she doesn’t’ get to see Brady or the other wives that much, so working is her social outlet. Brady can’t argue with that and they decide to put off the decision until they look more deeply into adoption.
Brady takes Nonie to what looks to be the same restaurant (same table!) that he took Robyn to for their “sorry-I-had-to-work-on-my-term-paper-on-your-night” date. Let’s see if they order shrimp………aaaaand, I think they do. I paused the DVR to make sure. It certainly looks like it could be shrimp, but I suppose it could be another type of fish. Anyway there are no complaints from Nonie so I guess she’s happy with her lunch.
They discuss their favorite memories of their 16-year marriage and Nonie says her favorite times were when each child was born, which is a great segue into her asking about having another baby again. Brady isn’t sure he can take care of any more children, especially financially.
Where was this attitude when he was talking to Rhonda about adoption? Also, does he not remember last week’s episode when he was too tired to think? But Nonie reeeaaallly wants another baby. Now Brady decides that he wants a baby with Nonie. (I think it’s all going to hit the fan when Nonie gets pregnant. And what about poor Rosemary? What about Rosemary’s baby?)
Apparently, this has to be done RIGHT NOW because they move on to the bed-and-breakfast which is aptly called the “Anniversary Inn.” They find their log-cabin themed room. Nothing says romance more than an indoor “outhouse” complete with crescent moon on the door. Nonie pronounces it “beautiful.” Brady says it’s cool.
He also says that now that they’ve decided to have a baby, it’s not public announcement time. “It’s more precious and quiet.” Except, you know, for the millions of people watching it on TV. He continues in this shy and reserved manner when he sits on the bed and says “this is where the magic happens baby.” Nonie replies “We’ll make it creak.” And there’s a picture in my head I’ll never get out.
After their night o’babymakin’ Nonie and Brady come home. The other wives come over to bring an anniversary gift to Nonie for her anniversary. It’s bath towels, which I can appreciate because all those kids must go through towels like crazy. Nonie concurs.
Nonie says she finds it “awkward” to tell her sister wives about her decision to have a baby. This seems to be a recurring theme on polygamy shows: the awkwardness of acknowledging a carnal relationship with your shared husband. I guess, but they’ve had 24 chances to get used to the idea of one of them being pregnant. They should know the drill. So to speak.
Nonie says “it’s hard to have to share that sexual relationship.” So why are you doing this again? It must also be hard to share towels because Brady scoffs up the brand new ones and heads to the shower.
Cut to Paulie who explains to Brady (after his shower, I assume) that September wants to go out to dinner with a boy and his family. Brady says it’s something they need to talk about “as a family.” Paulie says no which again leads me to believe that she is not on board with the rest of the group weighing in on her children’s activities.
When Paulie describes the dinner it sounds more like a family reunion than a dinner date and that seems to appease Brady. But he still wants to clarify with September. He is protective. He knows how boys think. (They think they’d like to get it on with as many women as possible. I wonder if his boys think this way. I wonder where they would get that idea.)
Brady finds September and she goes all teenage girl on him when describing the evening out. “Daaaaad, we’re not datinguh!!!!!!!”
It’s decided that an older sister will drop her off at the boyfriend’s house and make sure it’s all on the up and up. Brady threatens to call state troopers if she’s late, then tells her to have fun.
Later that evening, it’s Rosemary’s night, but Brady goes to Paulie’s room to wait for September. Rosemary looks very sad and I wonder why she’s always getting the short end of the stick. So to speak. Rosemary goes to bed alone.
Luckily for everyone concerned, September is home by curfew. See Brady? She’s a good girl.
More cute dog!!!
Because he hasn’t embarrassed every teenager in the house yet, Brady calls a meeting of the “dating age” kids in the family. They all look like they wish the floor would swallow them up. Brady decides on group dates for 16 year olds and single dates for 18 year olds. Two of the girls (September and Rachel) balk at that. Brady really tries to sell them on group dates because “most of the time it’s a whole lot funner” than a regular date. So that’s settled. At least for Brady.
The earnest older brother from last week says he feels very protective of his sisters and does his best 1950s dad impression when he says he doesn’t want his sisters to get “in trouble.”
Now Brady moves on to “physical contact between the sexes.” I am very impressed with the children for not dying from embarrassment as I would have at that age. Your dad is on freaking TV talking to you about kissing!!!!! And then he starts talking about premarital sex!!!!! And here the teens break into nervous, embarrassed laughter and one points out that this whole situation is “awkward.” He hides his bright red face. The earnest one then approves of the no-premarital-sex rule.
One daughter asks about dating a polygamist. Brady says it’s okay but it scares him. It has to be a really good man who thinks like Brady who is progressive about things like gender equality and marriage equality. Well, kudos to him, but I’m not sure how “progressive” or gender equal it is for one man to have five wives. The meeting is adjourned when one kid who obviously can’t take it any more asks about dating other species.
Brady hears from his lawyer who tells him they can’t adopt in Utah because Robyn is, for all intents and purposes, a single mother. Brady rants about stigmas and being denied because they’re different. I’m guessing most of the states are reluctant to send a child to a home that ALREADY has 23 other kids living in it.
The lawyer says there are other states where a “single mother” can adopt. One of these is Washington, the state where Brady already thought about moving. Rhonda gets excited, but I can only think that this is going to upset Paulie who doesn’t seem to want to move. Anyway, Brady plans to call another lawyer.
Paulie comes to talk to Rhonda about a doctor’s appointment that Rhonda had. Rhonda is having symptoms which worry her. Both women are very upset and I can see that they really seem to care about each other. Rhonda is very scared because her mom died of breast cancer. Paulie comforts her. It seems genuine and touching.
Paulie says she agrees with Brady that Rhonda stop working. (So Brady must have discussed Rhonda with Paulie. Not cool, Brady, not cool. Or, I don’t know, is it cool? Is that how the arrangement works?) Rhonda says she’s worried about finances, and she loves her job even though she doesn’t like leaving her kids. It’s all very emotional and I can finally see a connection between these wives.
Well, I’m emotionally exhausted for this family. I think all talkof babies, adopted or otherwise, should be tabled until such time as the women aren’t constantly threatening to break into tears.

This topic is under discussion here:

http://freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=21415

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Worldly Distractions: The Simpsons 25.17 – Luca$

 

snake

 

This episode does not look remotely promising, but I will suck it up anyway and review. Rumor has it that every latter-day Simpson episode earns you at least a couple weeks off your time in Purgatory.

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Worldly Distractions: Community 5.11 – GI Jeff

gijeff

 

This time, we delve back into childhood. Like that doesn’t happen every week on this show. Time for an epic adventure!

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