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FJ Reviews & Recaps

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About this blog

A collaborative effort from Free Jinger members to review and recap books, movies and tv shows.

Entries in this blog

 

36 at the climax

Homeschooling #duggarpullout2k16 ps starts a new career as a stand up comic Dog hips All Hail The Amazing Buzzard for the awesome recap!!! Political chat Derp = knowledge Math Star Wars

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Crampons ....sherpas...

Fabric overlaod Mary Poppins or Pary Moppins (cue Perry Mason theme here) Wu-Tang Petticoats with red ruffles Inappropriate Xmas displays  - something about a six foot weiner? Kimchi: stew, tacos, burritos Silver Bells w Steve Martin FOE= do you know what is is?  Chat Clique™ does! Political stuff Health ins stuff Crampons Sherpas So much other awesomeness, please add what I missed!
 

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Plucking or shaving

Silly pet nicknames JTTH dramarama Cat chat™ Random body hairs in the wrong places Clique™ "Don't lube the door" Mango?TomatoTOE? Tomahto? Free wifi at a strip club?! UL and DL shrimp Food allergies/triggers "Antibacterial everything is not good for you" Night!  

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Big buts...not the kind you are thinking of

Chopped Soda/pop wars Water resouces Cereal faves "ps frowns loudly" Dr Grumpy Parents/children/siblings Degrees/shmegrees Dating websites "I was thinking a big yak yoked to a mini goat" "The but (not butt) tells the tale ASL Welcome to the weekend, folks!

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Stay classy, San Diego

Grocery stores PW v Martha Cutthroat Kitchen Weather Coat options Purses World travel "Chat is a privilege, not a right" Zsu= Google "are they all yours?" "He didn't mean to stab a cop - he thought it was someone else he was trying to kill" "This is fascingtingy" Chocolate Carmen, not Miranda, nor of the Carmen San Diego types Sci Fi I got booted somehow and missed out on the rest of the frivolities. See you soon!  

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Breathe Your Way To Orgasm™

Job interviews Clothes/styles Dept stores Pinterest Xmas decor wars (TLC, here is a gimme!) Disney Bacon (of course) Fundie predictions from last year "This chat is thread drift on steroids and cocaine" Fundie updates - oooh so much Fundie info Baby fever (it needs more cowbell!) Sugarland is not an all girl band Children: puke/poop - all the fun! "A breathing orgasm" Mark from 90 Day Fiance (totally no O there) Nighty night.   (Apologies for missing the weekend roundup)  

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

It's Friday, Friday...... gotta get down on Friday!

Joint cracking How to hide/bury a dead body "You have to make $ to have $" Civil uprisings Pantone color of the year - really?! The future FJ Canadian compound - jurisdictions have been assigned - but no one wants laundry "Woosh is on potties" Blue waffles - don't Google it UD things to not look at WoW and other gaming options POUTINE Fuckaduck Buttons are eye traps, unless you are Raggedy Ann, and then they are.... just eyes "I've always wondered how penises go into pants" "Why do boys' bikes have less ball space?" "All I can see are pork swords" Penis butter Lube on a wedding registry THATHATHATHAT is all folks!  

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

Almost the weekend

San Berdoo again Politics Wiz Weather MJ/music Arrow Death "I'm VRYING" Sos claims to be uptight Cooking disasters "We are really failing at running a clique here people" "Did no one write down the password?" Cheese New MMs "Who took the LSD tonight?" Germany "The Wiz sucks" 200 pound 11 year olds "I am making good life choices tonight" "I love MJ and Diana Ross" CAH... and that was that.

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

A Game of Thrones Reread: Tyrion I

  Chapter 9: Tyrion I Tyrion Lannister stays up all night reading and eats breakfast.   Characters Present: Tyrion Lannister – a dwarf. Likes to read Chayle – a septon Sandor Clegane – has a rasping voice. Also called the Hound. Joffrey Lannister – terrible human being. Teenager. Kind of the same thing in most cases, but Joff is really, really terrible. Nephew to Tyrion. Jaime Lannister – Tyrion’s older brother. Twin to Cersei Lannister. Tommen – Prince. Younger brother of Joffrey. Sweet boy, Not at all like Joffrey.   Location: Winterfell   Recap: We meet Tyrion as he is closing the cover on a book about the changing of the seasons. He has read all night  and listened to a wolf howl in the distance. He leaves the library and interacts with Sandor Clegane and Prince Joffrey. Prince Joffrey clearly subscribes to The Red Pill, and makes everyone hate him in this early chapter by being an insufferable asshole. Tyrion tells Joff to call on Lord Eddard Stark and offer them comfort. Joff refuses. Tyrion does what everyone else would like to do and slaps the prince across the face. Joffrey, being 12, says he is going to tell and gets slapped again. Joffrey runs away. Sandor Clegane warns Tyrion that the prince is likely to remember these events. Tyrion is unfazed by this idea. Tyrion meets Jaime, Cersei, Myrcella and Tommen for breakfast.  Tyrion inquires to the whereabouts of the King. Cersei tells him that the King is with Lord and Lady Stark, taking their sorrow to heart. Tommon asks about Bran. Tyrion announces that Bran has not changed and the maester thinks it is hopeful. Bran may live. Tyrion watches the reaction of his siblings, rather than the children, and notices that Jaime and Cersei exchange a glance. Tyrion mentions that he plans to go north to the Wall and piss off the edge of the world. He is not joining the Night’s Watch though.  Jaime suggests ending Bran Stark’s torment. Tyrion advises against bringing that suggestion to Lord Eddard. Tyrion hopes the boy will wake, and Jaime questions Tyrion’s loyalty. Tyrion grins “wolfishly” at Jaime, reminding him how much he loves his family. Characters that are mentioned: Summer (Unnamed) – Bran’s direwolf Grand Maester Aethelmure – Chayle is reading a book by this author. Implied to be quite boring. Arymidon – Author of Engines of War Eddard & Lady Stark Robert – King. Sort of. Brandon Stark – Lord Eddard’s brother. Murdered by Targaryen. Benjen Stark – younger brother of Eddard. Member of the Night’s Watch.   Thoughts: (SPOILERS) Tyrion is reading a book about the changing of seasons, which is obviously some sort of foreshadowing. I don’t think Chayle is ever mentioned again.   Shame that the Winterfell library burns down in a few. There seem to be quite a few books/scrolls that could be useful in there. We start with wolfs howling. We end with Tyrion grinning “wolfishly.” Nice. Sandor Clegane offers to shut up the wolf (by MURDERING IT) and Jaime offers to end Bran’s life. Joffrey is amused about Clegane killing a wolf, seeing that Clegane is a dog himself. Tyrion suggests that Joffrey can’t count past six. That amuses me. Only Jaime had shown [Tyrion] the smallest measure of affection or respect, and for that Tyrion was willing to forgive him most anything.  - L Tyrion wondered what it would be like to have a twin, and decided that he would rather not know. Poor Tyrion. He really is quite ugly, unlike show Tyrion. Jaime says that Brandon stark was a hostage murdered by Targaryen. This isn’t exactly the story he later tells Catelyn. Who else would know the full story? Or did he just short it to hostage to temper his language in front of Tommen and Myrcella? Tyrion asks Cersei if she is leaving. She replies with “Gods, don’t tell me you are staying here?” As though she wouldn’t want Tyrion far away from her. Cersei thinks the animals (direwolves) are unnatural. And Tyrion swears the wolf is keeping Bran alive.   Something tells me that Jaime will change his mind.  

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Hump Day Happenings

Well, San Berdu.  Sombering.  We will figure it out... Flashlights mistaken for fleshlights.  Um, not the same thing. Computer woes. Hire hot Japanese guys to wipe away your tears. How we found our way to FJ (humming the "Do you know the way to San Jose" song.) Tomato staking parenting. Parent/kid sleeping arrangements. "Time to make the donuts." "MM was a UM." Have a good night.   Lock the doors.   Sleep tight.  

MarblesMom

MarblesMom

 

A Game of Thrones Reread: Bran II

Chapter 8: Bran II Bran Stark is bored, as most of the men and older boys left Winterfell to go hunting. Bran experiments with voyeurism and is defenestrated. Location: Winterfell Characters: Bran Stark Cersei Lannister Jaime Lannister Recap: Bran wanders about the castle, bored and lonely. His brothers and most of the men are hunting with the King. He tries to say his farewells to the staff who were staying in Winterfell. He sees his pony in his stall and realizes that it’s not his pony, he’s getting a horse, and leaving the pony behind. He starts to cry and runs away before anyone sees him. He gets bored playing with his yet unnamed direwolf puppy and decides to climb. The wolf pup starts howling when Bran got halfway up the hearttree. He comes across some people (Jaime and Cersei) in the First Keep. They are having a conversation about how Jaime should be the Hand, but Jaime doesn’t want to be hand. Cersei thinks they are in danger. They talk about Stannis and Renly and Eddard, and Jon Arryn and Lysa Arryn. Cersei thinks they will be safer when Robert is dead and Joff takes the throne. Bran sees them naked, “wrestling” and it’s weird to read about what a 7-year-old see when he sees people having sex. Bran recognizes them as C&J and Jaime pushes Bran out the window.   Characters Mentioned:   Prince Joffrey – Hunting Party Robb – Allowed to join the hunt because Prince Joffrey was included Uncle Benjen – Hunting Party Jory – Went hunting with the group Theon Greyjoy – went hunting with the group Ser Rodrik – went hunting with group Tyrion (not by name) – went hunting with the group   Jon – Was not invited to the hunt. Bran thinks he’s angry/grumpy with everyone and doesn’t know why. Rickon – Bran’s baby brother Old Nan   Serwyn of the Mirror Shield – Kingsguard (former, I think) Ser Ryam Redwyne - Kingsguard Prince Aemon the Dragonkight - Kingsguard Ser Erryk – Twin to Ser Arryk – died on Ser Arryk’s sword hundreds of years ago. Kingsguard. Ser Arryk – Twin to Ser Erryk – died on Ser Erryk’s sword hundreds of years ago. Kingsguard. The White Bull, Gerold Hightower Ser Arthur Dayne, The Sword of the Morning. Barristan the Bold. Ser Boros – Current member of the Kingsguard. Bald man with a jowly face Ser Meryn – Current member of the Kingsguard. Droopy eyes and a beard the color of rust. Ser Jaime Lannister. – Current member of the Kingsguard. Gage the cook Mikken – blacksmith Hodor – stableboy   Grey Wind – Robb’s Direwolf Lady – Sansa’s direwolf Shaggydog – Rickon’s direwolf Ghost – Jon’s direwolf Maester Luwin Stannis Baratheon – Robert’s brother Renly Baratheon – Robert’s brother Littlefinger Lysa Arryn Jon Arryn Commentary: This chapter, like the first chapter (also Bran’s POV), is an interesting and innocent look at Winterfell and life in the North. Using a 7-year-old to describe the buildings and his family and household is almost unfair. These early looks at Westeros make it seem much less dangerous that it really is. It could be because it’s “peace time” (but we’ve still been executing deserters from the Watch) or because it’s told to the reader from the view of someone who still rides a pony. Either way, Bran is excited to be going to King’s Landing, but sad because he’s leaving his old life (and childhood) behind. He idolizes the Kingsguard and Knights, much like Sansa will in her chapters. He likes the scary stories, Sansa likes the romantic stories. The Kingsguard that came north with King Robert are fascinating to Bran. Robb said that Jaime Lannister shouldn’t count as Kingsguard. Bran thinks Jaime looks more like the knights in the stories. I never noticed the part where (spoiler) Summer tries to get Bran to stop climbing. Lots of mentions of people we haven’t met yet who are later huge players. I also forgot or missed the part where Cersei thinks everyone will be safer with Joff on the throne and Robert in the grave. Cersei, you are not very smart. Poor Bran. He wanted to be a knight.      

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Arya I

Chapter 7:  Arya I   Arya learns that life isn’t fair. Robb and Joffrey are not fast friends.     Location: Winterfell Characters in this chapter: Arya – daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully/Stark. Brown hair, long solemn face. Good at figures and horse riding. Sansa – Arya’s older sister. Can sew, dance, sing. Writes poetry, knows how to dress. Plays the high harp and the bells. Beautiful (according to Arya). High cheekbones, thick auburn hair, Septa Mordane – bony face, sharp eyes, thin lipless mouth made for frowning. Princess Myrcella - a princess. Beth Cassel – daughter of Ser Rodrik Jeyne Poole – daughter of Winterfell’s steward, Sansa’s dearest friend (according to Arya) Prince Joffrey  - crown prince. Sucks at life.  Prince Tommen - so far, just fat.  Jon Snow Nymeria – Arya’s direwolf. Yellow Eyes. Named after the warrior queen of the Rhoyne who lead her people across the narrow sea. (There is a LOT of information about Nymeria in the book “A World of Ice and Fire.” Ser Rodrick Cassel – Master-at-arms. A great stout keg of a man with white whiskers. Robb Stark - heir to Winterfell. Looks like a Tulley with auburn (or fire) hair.  Theon Greyjoy – wears a black doublet emblazoned with the golden kraken of his House. Has look of contempt on his face. Ghost – Jon’s direwolf Lew Donnis Sandor Clegane  – tall knight with black hair, burn scars on his face. Built like a bull.   Mentioned, Not Present: Lady Catelyn – Arya’s mother Lady – Sansa’s direwolf. Nymeria – Warrior Queen of the Rhoyne  Other locations mentioned: Rhoyne, Narrow sea.     Recap: Arya, Sansa, Jeyne Poole, Beth Cassel, and Princess Myrcella are working on their needlework. Arya is bad at the womanly arts. (Seriously. The books  says “womanly arts.” They mean sewing, I guess.) Arya is jealous of her sister who is pretty and good at being a girl. Jeyne (sniff) tells Arya that Joffrey likes Sansa. When Septa Mordane goes to check Arya’s work, she is critical of it. Arya goes to leave, stating that she needs to “shoe a horse.” She runs out of the room and gets her wolf from the guardroom at the bottom of the stairs. She knows that Septa and her mother would find her in her room, so she decides to go watch the boys practice in the yard. At the window in the covered bridge between the armory and the Great Keep, she finds her half-brother Jon Snow and Ghost. They watch the younger boys. Bran and Tommen hit each other with wooden swords. Jon tells her that bastards are not allowed to damage young princes, and Arya reflects again on life not being fair. Jon points out that Joffrey’s arms are divided, with Baratheon on one side and Lannister on the other. We learn that girls get the arms but not the swords. Bastards get the swords but not the arms. Bran defeats Tommen. Ser Rodrik asks if Robb and Joffrey want to go another round. Joffrey reminds everyone he is a prince. He is bored with the play swords and asks for live steel. Sandor Clegane jumps to Joffrey’s defense and claims to have killed a man at twelve. Joffrey embarrasses Robb. Theon keeps a hold of Robb who might have wanted to hit the prince (who doesn’t?) Arya goes back to her room where Septa Mordane and Lady Catelyn are waiting.   Thoughts:   Interesting to see that Arya is actually jealous about Sansa’s abilities. She actually cried a little when Septa Mordane shamed her about the crooked stitches. Not at all like on the show, where Arya DGAF.   Jon and Arya are the only Stark children to have “their father’s face.”   Arya wanted to see Robb put “gallant Prince Joffrey flat on his back.”   Oh. So Sad. Is that irony? I’m never really sure anymore as Alanis Morrisette ruined the definition for my entire generation.   Arya thinks Jeyne Pool is Sansa’s dearest friend. I don’t think Sansa feels that way. Also, damn it Jeyne Pool. I’m sorry that your dad dragged you to King’s Landing because Ned dragged him to King’s Landing. I’m sure neither of you actually wanted to uproot your whole life. And then, knowing what is going to happen to you. I mean, so far that’s two characters that have smirked and two character that are going to end up with Ramsey. Maybe GRRM doesn’t like smirks, much like the Sisters who taught at my elementary school.   Nymeria pulls Catelyn’s body from the river. Arya thinks it’s funny now. WHY GRRM WHY MUST YOU TORTURE US ALL WITH THIS. And this:

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Catelyn II

Chapter 6: Catelyn II Catelyn and Ned enjoy some post-coital conversation/arguing. Maester Luwin shows up with a mysterious box with a message for Catelyn.   Location: Catelyn’s bedchambers in Winterfell   Characters Present: Catelyn Stark – wife of Eddard Stark. Eddard “Ned” Stark – Lord of Winterfell. Desmond – I have no idea who this guy is. A named guard, maybe? This is the second mention of him, no description or anything. Maester Luwin – small grey man. Grey eyes, grey hair, old, grey wool robe with lots of pockets.   Characters mentioned but not present: Lysa – Cat’s sister Edmure – Cat’s brother Rickon – Cat’s youngest son. Robert – the king Sansa – Cat’s eldest daughter, 11 years of age. Joffrey – crown prince. Brandon – Ned’s brother, betrothed to Catelyn Tully at the time of his death. When he died, Ned married Cat out of obligation/custom. Arya – child of Catelyn and Ned. “needs refinement.” Robb – Oldest son of Cat & Ned. Will be expected to learn to rule Winterfell in Ned’s absence. Ser Rodrik - Told Ned that Joff and Robb don’t get along. I think he’s the Master of Arms, but it’s not mentioned in this chapter. Jon Snow - (thought to be the) Bastard of Eddard Snow and an unnamed woman. Possibly Ashara Dayne Ser Arthur Dayne – Sword of the Morning, deadliest of the seven knights of Aerys’s Kingsguard. Ashara Dayne – tall and fair with haunting violet eyes. Benjen Stark – A Sworn Brother of the Night’s Watch. Younger Brother of Ned.     Other locations mentioned: Riverrun The Wall Mountains of Dorne Starfall – a castle on the shores of the Summer Sea. Myr – has great lens crafters. Recap: Catelyn and Ned have sex. After they finish, Ned decides to refuse Robert’s offer to be Hand and marry Sansa (11) to Joff (12, asshole). Catelyn tells him that kings are not like other men, and Ned cannot refuse him. Catelyn is upset at this choice and tries to change Ned’s mind. She points out that she (Cat) was only 12 when she was betrothed to Ned’s older brother Brandon. At the mention of Brandon, Ned becomes upset. Maester Luwin, who has a mysterious message for Catelyn, interrupts them. He says that a carved wooden box was left in his observatory while he napped. It contained a new lens for the observatory, and a message for Catelyn. The message, hidden beneath a false bottom, was sealed with blue was and the symbol of House Arryn. It’s a message from Lysa, written in a private language that Cat and Lysa made up as children, that says Jon Arryn was murdered by the queen. Catelyn immediately uses this to convince Ned to go south. Ned decides that Catelyn must stay in Winterfell. Catelyn this of this as a punishment. Ned decides to leave Robb and Rickon , and take Sansa, Bran, and Arya to Kings Landing. Cat is like “cool, except I really like Bran so can I keep him?” and Ned’s like “no, I need him to try and make friends with the Lannister/Baratheon royal children.”   After the discussion about the true-born children, Maester Luwin brings up the fact that Jon Snow exists. Catelyn tells him that “He can not stay here.” That’s after a couple of paragraphs about how Jon is treated different, how the Starks are not like other men, and how she doesn’t know who the mother is, but she suspects it is Ashara Dayne. Catelyn has forgiven Ned for the bastard, as it was expected. She has not forgiven him for bringing Jon back to Winterfell and calling him son. They argue some more. Cat basically expels Jon from the castle. Maester Luwin cuts in and tells them both that Jon would like to join the Night’s Watch. Catelyn thinks about herself while Ned gazes out the window and finally agrees to send Jon off to the North with Benjen. Catelyn is happy that Jon will never have sons that might contest her grandchildren for Winterfell.   Thoughts: I love the description of Winterfell. I would love to live in a castle, build over hot springs, where water heats the walls and glass gardens. The pools in a dozen small courtyards would be nice too. Just head out, hop in a hot spring for a bath or whatever. I love that combination of hot + cold. It might explain my choice to live where I do and vacation where I vacation. I could do without this: Not because it doesn’t pack a bunch of information about Cat’s character, her place in the world, and her main interests. It’s the word “loins.” And the description of “feeling his seen within her” along with my mental picture of dirty Sean Bean from the show.   I had never noticed that Catelyn actually gets angry with Ned, and can’t figure out why he (Ned) can’t see what an honor it would be to be Hand, and to marry Sansa to the crown prince. She wants Sansa to be queen, she wants the honor. Catelyn also straight up tells Ned that Brandon is dead and that he (Ned) must take his (Brandon’s) role, like it or not. Does anyone bother to ask “how did this box with this message end up in the observatory with a new lens from Myr?” For all I know, Catelyn put it up there as to help her cause of making her daughter queen. “Catelyn’s heart went out to him, but she knew he could not take him into her arms just then. First the victory must be won, for her children’s sake.” Then there is this: Her first thought is about how it makes her feel. How it’s HER punishment. Not that she’s sending her husband to King’s Landing, where she just heard that the last Hand was murdered. Whatever, Cat, you uncompassionate idiotic character who has no thoughts other than duty and sons. Also, I guess Bran is her favorite. It didn’t take her long to “let go of” the girls “in her heart.” Seriously, like 10 seconds. Girls are not important in Westeros. Not even to their mother. After Catelyn decides that Ned is right about Bran  and that she can’t argue with Ned, the subject of Jon Snow is brought up. Catelyn is really upset about it and says that Jon must go. Even though Jon and Robb are close. She is still upset that Ned brought Jon back to Winterfell and called him “son.” Ned is “anguished” at her response.   I dislike Cat more in this chapter than I ever have before. I know all the stuff about the context of the time they were living in, but I still don’t like her. She has the opportunity to change the way she looks at things. In the North, things are different. She could allow Jon to stay for Ned’s sake or Robb’s sake. If she were about “duty, honor, family” she would be more submissive to Ned. Maybe she needs some lessons from Lori Alexander. I wonder why Benjen decided to join the Night’s Watch. Was it just that he was younger and not heir to Winterfell? Did he feel the need to punish himself for something? In the last Cat chapter, we read that she found Ned “At the center of the grove and ancient weirwood brooded over a small pool where the waters were black and cold.” According to this chapter, the waters around Winterfell are all hot springs. I don’t think it’s a mistake. I know, from living in the north, that there can be cold lakes and hot springs.  Just something I noticed about Winterfell’s godswood.   R+L=J Thoughts IIRC, Ned buried Ser Arthur at the TOJ. They (or maybe just Ned?) tore down the tower to create cairns because the soil was so bad. Yet somehow, Lyanna’s remains ended up in Winterfell. The remains of Ned’s men, however, were buried at the TOJ, and Ned brought that sword back to Starfall. None of this makes any sense to me. If they could bring Lyanna back, why not his men? How far is Starfall from the TOJ? How did he tear down that tower with only his hands and Howland Reed? These questions need answering. Stupid, stupid Joffrey “Baratheon.” What if he stormed up the Tower, held Lyanna’s hand while she died, picked up the baby who was starving, went to Starfall, where Ashara helped conspire with him, giving him Wylla to use as a wet-nurse. Meanwhile, Eddard and Ashara have an affair. Or maybe they don’t have an affair. Eddard sends a wetnurse and the baby north with Lyanna’s body and Howland Reed. Eddard goes back to deal with the carnage at the Tower. Maybe he puts everyone in a mass grave because the animals have made a mess of things, and then heads to the trident to meet Robert? In regards to Jon, Ned says:   Catelyn thinks that Ned must have loved whomever Jon’s father is  "fiercely." If it was Lyanna, then yes, Ned would love her fiercely. And based on her thoughts in this chapter about Sansa being queen and Jon’s grandchildren contesting her grandchildren for Winterfell, there is NO WAY Ned would ever trust Catelyn with this.    

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Jon I

Chapter 5: Jon I Jon Snow gets drunk and tries to join the Night Watch. Tyrion does gymnastics.  Characters Present  Jon Snow Lord Stark Cersei Lannister/Baratheon King Robert Baratheon - Jon describes him as disappointing, red-faced, fat, drunk, sweating.   Rickon - a child of three Robb - wearing grey wool trimmed with white Princess Myrcella - eight, thin, golden curls Arya Stark Tommen - white blond hair Sansa Crown Prince Joffrey Baratheon - Twelve, taller than Robb Stark and Jon, curly golden hair, green eyes Ser Jaime Lannister - twin to Cersei, tall, golden, flashing green eyes. Called Kingslayer behind his back Tyrion Lannister - described as the ugliest Lannister. Dwarf. Squashed in face. One green eye, one black eye. Hair so blonde it seems white.  Benjen Stark - Sharp-featured, gaunt, blue-grey eyes. Hint of laughter.  Theon Greyjoy Ghost - Jon's direwolf. Silent. White. Deadly.  Bran  Characters Mentioned b ut not seen by the POV.  Hullen Maester Luwin Daeren Targaryen - "The Young Dragon" Conquered Dorne when he was 14.Died at 18. Location: The Great Hall of Winterfell (until Jon runs out to the yard in tears, like a jr. high school girl) Other locations mentioned: The Crypts, The Wall, Dorne Recap: 
Jon Snow in the Great Hall during the welcoming feast for the king. His brothers and sisters were seated with the royal children while Jon sits with the younger squires. He tries to be positive about the inequality by getting drunk on summerwine. Uncle Ben notices Jon and comes to speak with him. He takes the summerwine away and they talk about Ghost, direwolves, how Jon notices everything, and then Benjen mentions he would do well at the NW. Jon begs to go with him. Uncle Ben isn't sure, as Jon is still  just 14. Jon runs out of the Great Hall in tears after Ben tells him to go out and father a bastard or two first. In the yard, Jon meets Tyrion. Ghost doesn't like Tyrion, which is curious. Jon and Tyrion chat. 
Thoughts. 
The author has forgotten to put Bran Stark in the procession. I wonder if this chapter was supposed to come after Bran is flung from a window. Also, I'm 90% sure that the gymnastics thing was forgotten about until GRRM tried to fix it in either AFFC or  ADWD. Either way, it's silly.  Jon is not treated like a normal bastard. He normally eats at the table with his brothers. Catelyn was the reason he is not, or  at least that is what he believes. I also find it interesting that Ben takes an interest in Jon. And it's mentioned that Jon "has more of the North" in him, which is also how they will later describe Lyanna.  Jon notes that Eddard seems unhappy. The King is drinking heavily. The queen is decribed as angry and "as cold as an ice sculpture." This is the second chapter to touch on how unhappy the King is. And I remember GRRM saying something about how in fairy tales or LOTR, the prince becomes kind and the community has 100 years of peace under his reign with no details. This is so obvious with King Robert. We never hear about Prince Charming's tax policies or reconstruction. King Robert was a warrior, Tyrion's description is always surprising. Peter Dinklage is just too attractive for Tyrion. And the black eye! Doesn't Euron also have the two different colored eyes, one which is black?  Interesting that Jon would choose a Targaryen for a hero. Wouldn't that be something that was discouraged?  "You don't miss much, do you, Jon?" Jon is very observant. Ghost is silent. I wonder if he SAW Ghost near the stag when no one else did, and lied to Lord Stark. He might also have picked up that Lord Stark believes in symbols more than he lets on. Eddard himself seems to believe in ghosts, according to the last chapter. More on the king. Jon thinks that Jaime looks more like a King that King Robert. But then at the end, he notices that the shadow  of Tyrion makes him stand tall like a king. So he went from judging people on appearance to taking advice from Tyrion. Or at least  listening to Tyrion's advice.  Interesting that Jaime is dressed in crimson with a black satin cloak. Much like a Targaryen. Also, shouldn't he have the white cloak of the Kingsguard?  Lots of possible evidence for R+L=J if you read into Benjen & Jon's conversation. I would like to think that Benjen is also observant and figured out that Ned would never cheat, that Jon is giving up more than he knows, that no one can talk about it.  MAYBE some evidence for the J+A=T or the chimera idea, based on Tyrion's appearance. But I'm not completely sold on that one yet.  I'm enjoying this read through. Wish I had more time so I could get through the 72 chapters in this book faster. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Eddard I

Chapter 4: Eddard I Two wealthy powerful men literally enter a crypt and make a deal. They do not leave. (Metaphorically. They leave, just not on screen.) List of Characters Present: Eddard “Ned” Stark Ser Jaime Lannister – hair as bright as beaten gold. Twin to Cersei Lannister Sandor Clegane – burned face Crown Prince – Tall Tyrion “Imp” Lannister – stunted little man King Robert Baratheon – 6’6”, wears too much perfume, has a girth to match his height. Cersei Lannister - Queen   Characters Not Present, yet still mentioned: Balon Greyjoy – had a rebellion nine years ago Theon Greyjoy – Ned took him as ward and hostage. Lord Rickard Stark – Deceased. Forced to watch Brandon die. Brandon Stark – Strangled by the Mad King Mad King Aerys Targaryen - killed Brandon Stark while Lord Rickard Stark watched. Usurped by Robert Baratheon Catelyn Tully of Riverrun –Betrothed to Brandon Stark. Married to Ned. Lyanna Stark – Dead at 16. Robert loved her. Fond of flowers. Howland Reed – a crannogman Rhaegar Targaryen Jon Arryn - deceased Lysa Arryn – wife of Jon Arryn, sister of Catelyn, mother to Robert Arryn. Kind of insane. Lord Tywin Lannister – father to Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei. Lord of Casterly Rock.   Location: Winterfell Crypts (mostly)   Other Locations mentioned: Highgarden: has fields of golden roses and fruit Storm’s End: Robert was Lord of Storm’s End, before he claimed the throne. The ford of the Trident – Robert and Rhaegar fought here. We will see this place again, soon. the Eyrie Casterly Rock King’s Landing: Where the king lives.   Rec ap King Robert and his people arrive at Winterfell. Ned notes that Robert, his former friend, now King, isn’t looking so hot. Speaking of hot, sounds like Robert was pretty good looking when they were younger. Tall, muscular, clean-shaven, and clear-eyed. Now he is fat and tired looking, and wearing perfume. Ned thinks back about the Greyjoy rebellion. The two families meet each other and immediately Robert asks to pay his respects. Cersei protests but Jaime quiets her. As Robert and Eddard descend the steps, Robert chats about how great the summer weather is down south. They stop at the end, at the site of the remains of Ned’s father, brother, and sister. Ned thinks back on the death of his brother. Robert complains that Lyanna shouldn’t be in a crypt. Ned reminds him that he, Ned, was with Lyanna when she died. He thinks back to when Robert and Rhaegar fought at the Trident. Robert mentions about wanting to kill Rhaegar for what he did to Lyanna. Ned reminds him that he did kill Rhaegar. Robert wants to do it again, and does, in his dreams. Every night. Because that is a healthy and productive behavior. They retrace their steps, slowly (it's slow because Robert is fat now. Because, you know, being a king made him into a fat alcoholic). Eddard asks about Jon Arryn, Lysa, and Robert Arryn. Robert mentions he wanted Little Robert Arryn to foster with Tywin Lannister at Casterly Rock, as Little Robert is sickly. Instead, Lysa had fled back to the Eyrie with him (young Robert Arryn). Ned thinks but does not speak that he would sooner leave a child with a pit viper than Lord Tywin.   The description of Jon Arryn's death sounds like poison.  Robert offers Ned the position of Hand of the King. Net tries to protest, and it is mentioned that he also stripped Little Robert Arryn of the title “Warden of the East.” Ned does not want this “honor” or the position. They discuss it a bit, and then Robert also mentions that he wants Ned to marry Sansa to his son, the crown prince Joffrey.   Thoughts. Robert is GIANT. He was 6’6” before he gained eight stone. That’s 112 lbs. for the Americans. Or 50 kg for those who use measurements that make actual sense. I miss Robert, sort of. He seems like one of those douchey guys you meet who are hilarious and full of themselves and cocky and will somehow trick you into sleeping with them. And then never call, but maybe show up again in a month or two and be charming and hilarious all over again. Or, if you are able to resist the charms, his language at least is entertaining. He’s a total jerk to Eddard though. He’s all “you people up here suck. It’s cold. I had to travel through the countryside and it’s cold. Come to King’s Landing where women are awesome, not like here, where it sucks.” Robert also does not like ruling the kingdom. It’s boring. He’d rather be out fighting and doing something. Maybe he should have joined the Night’s Watch, and fought the real enemies. Robert mentions that his ass is raw from the Iron Throne. Is it Barristan or Eddard that comments that  rulers shouldn’t sit easy on the throne? Makes Dany’s little cushions all the more suspect. She should not rule Westeros. I don’t know who should. Perhaps a return to seven autonomous kingdoms? Abolishment of the idea of Lords and Kings and instead a socialist type of government? Would that work in a pseudo-medieval society with different norms, expectations, and lifestyle? I noticed that Ned, practical man that doesn’t believe in signs, wonders if the ghosts of the oldest Starks were free to roam the castle. He also only mentions how Brandon died, and how he married Catelyn instead. No mention of the (horrible) death of Rickard Stark. I also really enjoyed the description of the crypts. The often-quoted paragraph about Ned promising something to Lyanna is in this chapter. It mentions a fever (from childbirth, maybe?) and rose petals spilling from her palm. And that “they” had found him clutching her body. Even though later it is said that the only people coming back from the Tower of Joy was Ned and Howland Reed. Furthermore, he buried Ser Arthur Dayne at the TOJ, and yet his sister’s remains are in Winterfell. I hope this matter is cleared up at some point. Perhaps she didn’t die at the TOJ? No, I think it’s pretty clear that Ned and his men took out the three Kingsguard at the TOJ, and he went inside to find Lyanna. Maybe she wasn’t dead and traveled with Ned and the crannogman to Starfall, where she had her child and died? I think Barristan might have remembered that. I really enjoyed the fact that we got two stories about the trident already. We heard Dany’s recollection, or at least the story she had been told by Targ loyalists, and then Ned’s story. Although, we are still missing some key information about the cause of the war. Although, right now I’m thinking it goes back to Duskendale, I’m sure when the Winds of Winter comes out, that will change.   Ned really does not have a choice. Robert B came all the way up to Winterfell, and he’s not someone that anyone in the Kingdom can say “no” to. Ned is forced to play the Game, tries to play honorably, and loses his head. (Unless you are a crazy conspiracy person who thinks Ned was switched in the dungeons with a different person, in which case, no. That didn’t happen.)     

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Daenerys I

Daenerys I    Characters Dany – 13 years old, long sliver pale hair. Purple eyes. Viserys Targaryen – gaunt, young, feverish look in his lilac eyes. Called “The Beggar King.” Not very nice to his little sister. Magister Illyrio – a dealer in spices, gemstones, dragonbone, and other things. Dany and Viserys are staying with him in Pentos. Would sell anyone for the right price. Described as “massive.” Has a yellow beard, crooked yellow teeth. Khal Drogo – 30, tall, skin the color of copper, mustachios bound with gold and bronze rings. Long black hair. Illyrio’s servants. One is 16 and talks a lot. The other is old, small, grey, and silent. Khal Moro Rhogoro – Khal Moro’s son Brother to the Archon of Tyrosh – has a green beard. Ser Jorah Mormont – a balding older man, past forty. Characters Mentioned but not actually seen Rhaegar Targaryen – Dany’s brother. Deceased. According to this chapter, he “died for the woman he loved.” Elia of Dorne - Kingslayer Lords Lannister and Stark Ser Willem Darry – took Dany and her brother from Dragonstone to Braavos. He died in Braavos. She barely remembers him. Houses Tyrell, Redwyne, Darry, Greyjoy Aegon the Dragonlord   Location Pentos – one of the free cities. Dany travels from Magister Illyrio’s manse to Khal Drogo’s manse. Khal Drogo’s manse was given to him by the magisters.   Other locations mentioned ·       Vaes Dothrack Fabled lands beside the Jade Sea Nine Free Cities Narrow Sea Land of the Andals (Rhaesh Andahli in Dothraki)/Westeros – it’s across the narrow sea from Pentos Casterly Rock Eyrie Highgarden Vale of Arryn Dorne and the Isle of Faces Trident Kings Landing Dragonstone Myr Tyrosh Qohor Volantis Lys Port of Ibben Summer Isles   The short version of what happens: Daenerys Targaryan prepares to meet Khal Drogo for the first time. She sees the Khal and Jorah Mormont at the manse of Khal Drogo. Her brother is gross.   The longer version. Dany’s brother gives her a gift from the man they are staying with, Magister Illyrio. Dany questions why the magister gives them so many gifts, when he has a bad reputation. Viserys threatens her. She bathes and is dressed and gives a bunch of backstory about the fall of the Targaryen dynasty and her own personal history. It’s sad. She was born nine months after a midnight flight to Dragonstone, while her father and brother (Rhaegar) were killed. Her mother died in childbirth. The knight that helped the Dany and Viserys escape Westeros died. They were put out and took to wandering the free cities and selling their personal possessions. They arrive at the party or whatever at Khal Drogos mansion. Magister Illyrio leaves Viserys and Dany alone and Viserys threatens Dany again. She starts to cry and Viserys makes her stop. She straightens up in time for Khal Drogo to come look at her.   Thoughts. Where do I begin? This chapter, once again, packed in so much detail. And for me, it’s a really good way to remember that each narrator has his or her own biases. Daenerys has never been to Westeros. She was not alive during the Sack of Kings Landing. She has ONLY heard about her own personal history from her brother, who was also young. (I suppose their household told her some things as well.) All of the stories and places she heard about were just stories to her. She doesn’t know anything about Westeros, other than what she has been told. If she ever gets there, I wonder if she’ll be like “I was fighting for this? This uncomfortable chair? This crowded, smelly city?” Girl will probably want to go right back to the khalasar. I liked that Dany immediately questioned why Illyrio would give her a gift like that. While Viserys is all “well, he’ll remember me when I have my throne.” Hey, dumbass, even IF you become kind of Westeros, you will not rule Pentos. Ever. What will you have to offer them? Trade agreements?  The part where she was turned out of houses and they wandered the free cities was sad. It must suck to be nobility. I mean, it sucks to be smallfolk too, but nobles and their heirs are always in danger. For what? Marginally better living conditions and food? I guess when everyone is working to exhaustion; those castles with servants must be nice.  Khal Drogo has a mansion in Pentos. And yet the “horselords” continue to live a nomadic lifestyle. He also has a manse in Vas Dothrak. Not really sure how these economies work, but whatever. I’ll just go with it. There are mentions of red priests and the “Lord of Light” and again with the seven. They mention the unsullied, as well. It's like he planned out these books or something.  Dany just wants a home. And she’s being sold to a nomadic warrior twice her age instead.  Viserys is a gross asshole. I would think that a boy of 8, who was cast from his kingdom with only his sister (who he was expected to marry) would be nicer to his only sibling. I mean, now he's 21. But for the last 13 years they have only had each other. Interesting how he pretends with the borrowed sword. Beggar King indeed. I wonder if he would have earned that nickname if he wasn't such a blowhard.  I think the show must have poisoned my view of Jorah, because I seem to have forgotten that he was banished to Essos for selling people to slavers. There is no way Dany will EVER forgive him.Also, he's described as older and not as attractive as show Jorah Mormont.  Dany is a slave. When she is being dressed, they discuss how Khal Drogo is rich even his slaves wear golden collars. Then they give her a golden collar, a heavy torc with ancient Valyrian glyps. A torc is a necklace. I had to look it up.We know it, she knows it.  This line: Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. So much more romantic than “Rhaegar carried her off.” Who told her that Rhaegar loved Lyanna?  I’m wondering what Illyrio was plotting here. If he’s is, in fact, a sincere Targaryen loyalist, then what is to be gained by this move? He must know that Viserys is incompetent.  Or is he just trying to please the Dothroki?   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones Reread: Catelyn I

Catelyn I  Welcome to another edition of Maggie Mae reads Game of Thrones. I'm going to say I've read this particular book at least 3 times already. However, this is by far my slowest reread. In this post, I plan to cover the very short  second chapter, "Catelyn."    Character List:  Catelyn Stark, Lord Eddard's lady wife.  Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell.   Characters mentioned but not actually present:  Brandon the Builder (deceased, a character from the Age of Heroes)  Arya Stark Sansa Stark Rickon Stark Mance Rayder, King-Beyond-the-Wall Old Nan Maester Luwin Jon Arryn (deceased)  - fostered Robert B and Ned Stark in their youth. Raised the banners against King Aerys rather than give up Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark.  Robert Baratheon Mad King Aerys II Targaryen Lord Hoster Tully - Cat's father Maester Pycelle - Maester at Kings Landing Lysa Arryn (formerly Tully) - Cat's sister, wed to Lord Hoster Tully  Bryden Tully (Cat's Uncle), "Knight of the Gate"  Ben Stark Lannisters of Casterly Rock Prince Tommen (7, same age as Bran Stark) "Lannister woman is our queen."  Jory Takes Place In:  The godswood at Winterfell. It is explained that all of the great houses have godswoods. Catelyn doesn't like the one at Winterfell. It is described as a "dark, primal place" in contrast to the one at Riverrun, where Cat grew up.  Other Locations Mentioned:  Riverrun  Isle of Faces Valyria Eyrie Short recap:  Catelyn, Lord Eddard Stark's  wife, talks to him in the godswood. She tells him that Jon Arryn is dead and King Robert is coming to visit.  Longer recap: Cat gives the reader a lot of information about the world that they live in. In this chapter, we are introduced to some of the religion of Westeros.  I'll get more into that in my "Thoughts" section. After the information dump about the Seven and the First Men and weirwoods, Cat comes across her husband, cleaning Ice in the waters in the godswood. They talk about the children. The reader learns a little more about Valyria, the doom, and spellworked swords. Ned tells her that the deserter he executed was the fourth this year, and the strength of the Night's Watch is down below a thousand men. Ned thinks it's wildlings and Mance Rayder.  Catelyn thinks there are darker things beyond the Wall. Ned disagrees.  Finally, she breaks the news about Jon Arryn's death and Robert's imminent arrival. Ned is pleased that Robert is coming to Winterfell, but Cat is hesitant. And no one likes the Lannisters.  Thoughts:  My Grammarly extension hates me.   Sometimes when I click in this blog post, words and paragraphs disappear. It's annoying.  This chapter is so packed with world building.  Is the Faith of the Seven a sort of Catholic Church type reference? Later in the series we hear about the High Septum being corrupt. Plus the incense and the rituals.  The Old Gods don't seem to  be "gods" as much as meditation.  Ned's first question to Cat is about the children. That man loves children or is very concerned about children's safety. I wonder why.  Why would Ned need to go deal with Mance Rayder?  I always forget that Tommen is the same age as Bran We hear about the Doom really early!  Jon Arryn fostered Ned and Robert B. Then Ned and Jon married the Tully sisters. On the same day at the same place and time. I am not a fan of double weddings.  I had hoped to finish the next chapter too since this one was short, but alas, not going to happen today. Oh well.       

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones: Bran I

This chapter is in the POV of Bran Stark. I still haven't decided on a good schedule, and I'm not sure how useful the character lists are, but I figure as I go along I'll figure out a style and format. Thanks for bearing with my attempt at recaping a book!  Characters met in this chapter Bran - a boy of seven Robb - Fair skin, red-brown hair, blue eyes. (like the Tullys) Gared - earless, dressed in the black of the Night's Watch. A deserter.  Jon Snow - Bran's bastard brother. Dark grey eyes. Same age as Robb Lord Eddard Stark - 35 years old, beard shot with white, long brown hair. Grey eyes.  Theon Greyjoy - Lord Stark's Ward. 19. Finds everything amusing.  Jory Cassel - captain of the Stark Household  Hullen - Master of Horse Harwin - Hullen's son Desmond   Characters mentioned but not seen Mance Rayder - "King-beyond-the-Wall" Old Nan Robert of the King Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and they Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.  The Tullys of Riverrun Targaryen kings before Robert Ser Rodrik Rickon (The youngest Stark) Short Version Bran rides his pony with the male members of his family. Eddard Stark carries out the king's justice, beheading a man I believe is Gared. (The descriptions match perfectly.) Theon is a jerk.  On the ride back to the Castle, Robb finds some direwolves.    Longer version Twenty men ride with Lord Eddard Stark to a small holdfast in the hills. Bran, a seven-year-old boy, accompanies his father, Lord Eddard Stark and company. When they arrive, they see a man who matches the description of Gared from the previous chapter. He is executed using a Valyrian steel spell forged sword called Ice. Theon laughs and kicks Gared's head away when it rolls toward him. Robb and Jon discuss whether the deserter was brave. Jon Snow believes that the man was afraid, not brave.  Bran and Lord Stark have a conversation about fear and bravery, which leads into why Lord Stark carries out his executions while King Robert has a headsman. They come across a dead direwolf half covered in snow with five pups. Lord Stark is going to have them executed when Jon steps in and points out that the direwolf is the symbol of House Stark and Lord Stark has 5 trueborn sons and daughters. As they leave, they find another direwolf puppy, an albino, far from the pack. Jon Snow claims it as his own.   Thoughts SO MANY GOOD QUOTES.  Theon is such a dick. I feel bad for him, of course, but he is really unsympathetic here. I know he's a ward, which means that he's technically a hostage. Which makes his position and story particularly sucky, but man, his personality is uncool. Also, he has to carry that giant sword around. The sword that could one day behead him if Lord Greyjoy breaks the terms of peace.  Ned Stark does not believe in signs. Until he sort of does when Jon steps in, saving the lives of the direwolves. Speaking of direwolves, that's some symbolism. The Stag's (symbol of House Baratheon) antler broke off into a grey direwolf that lay on white snow. Ned Stark is the one to pull the foot of antler out of the throat of the wolf. Jory says that perhaps the wolf was already dead. Ned says "better a swift death than one from cold and starvation." Considering what is coming, I can't imagine that these lines, in particular, don't have multiple meanings.  There is also some language in the beginning where Old Nan tells stories of the Others breeding with men and creating horrible half-human children. Children of the Forest, maybe? No, that can't be. The First Men drove the Children Out. Or was that the Andals? I don't remember.  I had forgotten about the part where Bran talks about how his father would sit in front of the fire and talk about the age heroes and children of the forest. It's nice to think about how nice life in Winterfell really was. Before King Robert came along and ruined it.   Jon Snow is the only one to hear Ghost. Jon Snow thinks he might have crawled away, but Ned wonders if he wasn't driven away. Much like what is going to happen to Jon in just a few chapters. He is white, instead of grey. And his eyes are open. Earlier Jon is described and his eyes are dark grey, but "little they did not see." 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Game of Thrones: Prologue

Welcome to my Reread of Book 1 of George R.R. Martin's  "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, "A Game of Thrones." I have no set schedule for this, but I DO have a ton of unsupervised time at work, low expectations, and a Kindle.  In this post, I will recap the Prologue of Game of Thrones (Will) Spoilers for the entire series ahead.  Characters in this chapter:  Gared Ser Waymar Royce Will Characters mentioned but not seen:  Mormont Mallister  Maester Aemon Robert  The Short Version:  Gared, Waymar, and Will are riding, about eight days from the Wall. They are supposed to be tracking some wildling raiders. Will finds them, dead. Royce wants to investigate because it's his first ranging and he's desperate to prove himself. They are attacked by Others. Royce dies. Will dies.  Thoughts: This is a pretty interesting chapter. There is a lot more going on than I originally thought. We learn some of the politics at the Wall. Even though all men at the Wall are brothers and they do not meddle in southern politics, the inexperienced Waymar Royce leads the ranging. Despite the fact that he was accompanied by two men with far more experience. Will is a criminal. Gared came as a boy, reasons unknown. Waymar Royce brought his own clothes and equipment, which makes me wonder where the other men get their clothing and other items.  As far as I can remember, this is one of only two times we actually see the Others. I'm really hoping that we get more Other information in the next books. The descriptions make them sound really cool. (HAHA PUN). Seriously, though, GRRM wrote this before 1996. Maybe he's changed the image in his head as well.   It's interesting to me, that on the reread, Royce isn't quite as awful as on my first time. He's a highborn male, whose siblings are lords and ladies. Meanwhile, he's taking a vow of chastity while living in harsh conditions with a bunch of criminals. He's still reckless and condesending, but he really wants to prove himself.  Will did not jump down to fight with Royce, either, which might make him a traitor to the watch. I think. I don't remember the vows word for word. He's actually a lot like Jon Snow, with the thinking he's better than everyone.    Until next time!   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Once Upon A Time, 502: The Price

Hint: It Ain’t Cheap In the latest installment, Regina doubts her savior skills, Emma goes gray, and there’s a ball y’all!!! Tree, Men, and a Baby The latest curse involves not only memory loss but people turning into trees when stepping over the town line. In Camelot six weeks ago, our heroes are greeted with fanfare at the royal court of Camelot and learn that Merlin is stuck in a tree. Also, Mary Margaret is carrying baby Prince Neal around with her. I understand her separation anxiety, but she’s on a dangerous quest. She should probably have left that baby back in Storybrooke. Also, she’s traveling with the two women who actually stole her two babies, so there’s that. Regina lies about who the savior is because she doesn’t want Emma using magic which might unleash her dark powers. But Regina, sweetie, if you’re trying to hide that dagger, you’re doing a lousy job. Everyone can see it under your jacket there. At the docks, gray-haired Dark Emma is nice to Henry and mean to Regina. The curse is bringing a “problem to Storybrooke that only a savior can solve.†A Buxom Beast Arthur (minus Excalibur) and the people of Camelot have been transported to Storybrooke with the curse, forcing our “heroes†to ‘fess up about the Dark One. And David has apparently gotten his voice back since last week because now he’s bossing around King Arthur as they get a search party together to look for wandering Camelotians. Robin sets up a tent city for the refugees in the Storybrooke woods. I guess when you’re Robin Hood, tents in a forest are the height of hospitality. (I hope they’ve got a recycling plan for all those water bottles.) Regina, who apparently got her feelings hurt by Emma, whines to Robin that she may not be up to saving the town. Then, the savior-requiring problem Emma was talking about shows up. It’s a demon with boobs. The boob fiend hauls Robin away despite Regina’s best efforts. Party at Emma’s (And Her Parents Aren’t There!!) Emma shows Hook her new home. It’s nice, but blandly decorated. I’ll give her a pass since she just moved in. Oh, and Hook, don’t even ASK about the padlocked door under the staircase leading somewhere mysterious. Emma, bad girl that she now is, tries to vamp our pretty pirate. But Hook is not that kind of boy and leaves in a huff. I Can’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me In Camelot, Percival gives Regina a necklace to wear to the ball. I’m suspicious (and not crazy about the bauble) but neither Regina nor Robin is because that’s how they roll. When getting ready for the ball, Regina tells the Charmings she doesn’t know how to dance. Not surprisingly, she blames Snow for that. Still, she rocks both outfits she tries out—the sassy and the sweet. Perhaps instead of dancing, she could just do a model walk through the ballroom? No, Charming insists on teaching her to dance. He also insists on talking about Regina not being the savior—and Percival hears it all through the necklace which is some sort of medieval, one-way Skype machine. In Storybrooke present, Belle has been reading again! She’s found out that the boob demon is a fury who stole Robin because in Camelot, someone did magic (which always comes with a price). The demon is going to take Robin to the underworld. (I suppose ladies in the underworld are all cursed with D cups. The horror!) He can only be saved if someone gives their life in his place. At the ball, everyone’s enjoying themselves. Emma cozies up to a dashing Hook. Henry meets a girl who proves that teenage girls are the same in every realm. She is SO OVER fancy balls. Regina dances (too well for someone who just learned) with Robin. But the good times can’t last. Percival knows Regina is the Evil Queen. Apparently he was collateral damage when she burned a town years ago. He tries to kill Regina and a rumpus ensues during which Robin is stabbed. Savior Psychoanalysis At Emma’s house, Emma finally gets off her chest how fed up she is with constantly saving everyone’s ass. Now it’s time for Regina to do some savioring. I think we all feel better now. In Camelot, we see what has pushed Emma over the edge. Regina can’t save Robin, so Emma does. See? It always has to be her. I don’t blame Dark Emma for throwing a fit. Faux Rumple taunts Emma about liking her dark power. In Storybrooke, the boob demon prepares to take Robin to the underworld. We know this because a boat with a Grim Reaper type shows up on the lake. It’s a “Don’t Pay The Ferryman†situation. Regina is willing to sacrifice herself but doesn’t have to. The heroes save Robin by holding hands. I guess together they are too strong for the buxom fiend, but I can’t understand why, since the only one who has magic is Regina. In any case, the boob demon retreats and the Ferryman backs up comically quickly. Still, all of this has happened to prove to us and to Regina that Regina does, indeed, have what it takes to save Storybrooke. In Storybrooke at Granny’s everyone worries about Dark Emma and Hook drinks rum. Regina de-statues Sneezy. How can she do that when Dark Emma was the one to statue him in the first place? Isn’t Emma’s dark magic stronger than Regina’s? Emma stands outside, separated from her friends and family by her darkness. If it’s any consolation, Emma, you look fierce in that black trench. Back at her house, Faux Rumple leads Emma down to the basement to pull the Excalibur from the stone to re-join it with the Dark One Dagger so she can rule the world with her evilness. BWA HA HA. Of course, it’s not as easy as it looks. (And I guess Emma doesn’t remember the mystical movie usher from her youth. I blame the usher. He could have waited until Emma was older to deliver his message. ) In Camelot, Regina admits she’s the Evil Queen. King Arthur forgives her, a little too easily if you ask me—something about Camelot being a place for second chances and all that. Why don’t we see how he feels about second chances when Guinevere gets friendly with Lancelot? Well, the King Arthur story hasn’t been ruined for me yet, but it’s close. Let’s see how they do next week.  To discuss this episode join us in the forum at http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&start=80

jinjy2

jinjy2

 

Once Upon A Time, Episode 501: The Dark Swan

A Brave New World Welcome back Once-lovers! It looks like our new “fairytales†this season will include Brave and Camelot. Remember how I’ve been bitching about the writers ruining my favorite story—Robin Hood? Well, my second favorite story is about King Arthur, so expect some additional bitching. Ready? Let’s look at the highlights of the season opener. In 1989, a very young Emma goes to a Disney movie (Product placement! No one’s better at this than Disney!), steals a candy bar, and gets a warning she doesn’t understand from a mystical usher. My takeaway is that 1) the foster system is indeed very tough if what appears to be a second grader is already adept at stealing, and 2) when the foster system tries to do something nice like take kids to a Disney movie, they fail miserably by arriving late, after the movie has already started. Way to make a sucky childhood even suckier, foster system! In the Enchanted Forest (EF), Arthur, Lancelot, and another guy try to talk Sir Kay out of pulling the sword out of the stone. The result is as expected—not good for Kay. I like when, after Kay disintegrates, Lance blithely turns to Arthur and says “Your turn!†Arthur tugs on the sword but only pulls out half a sword. Where’s the rest? Turns out the rest of the sword is the Dark One Dagger!!! Dun, dun DUN!! Back in Storybrooke, our “heroes†are where we left them at the beginning of the summer—still sniping at each other. Emma has been sucked up “in a vortex of evil.†Hook is despondent. Robin is confused. Hook tries to summon Emma with the dagger, but he can’t because Emma’s not in this realm. Which realm is she in and how will our ham-fisted heroes get there? They’ll get there using a wand from the sick (possibly dead) Apprentice which requires both light and dark magic. (How many ways do we have now for jumping realms? Magic beans, tornadoes, doors in mysterious many-doored rooms, I’ve lost count.) Having determined that Regina’s “gone soft†and isn’t dark enough to use the wand to realm jump, they decide to ask Zelena for help, ‘cause, you know, she’s known for her helpfulness. In the EF, Emma emerges from the vortex of evil to find her mind being controlled by faux-Rumple who encourages her to be dark. Emma insists she’ll never turn dark and stomps off to find Merlin who can help her destroy the darkness. Rumple won’t be ignored and follows Emma around, telling her if she captures a will-o’-the-wisp, it will lead her to Merlin. This is how she meets Merida and the two go into business together. In Storybrooke, Hook wants Henry to use his author powers to get Emma back. Henry explains that he broke the pen. That doesn’t stop our persistent pirate, who enlists Henry’s help to bust Zelena out of jail. In the EF, Merida gives us exposition on her kidnapped brothers and her difficulties being the queen ruling over anti-feminist clans. Later, after making camp, Merida overhears Emma talking to Rumple about betraying Merida. (And thinks Emma’s talking to herself which, I guess, she is.) In Storybrooke, Henry helps Hook get past the Psycho nurse and sweeper, but does anyone think a jail-break operation headed by Hook is going to go well? Anyone? As you’ve guessed, Zelena overpowers Hook and frees herself from the magic-suppressing bracelet. (By cutting her own hand off and re-attaching it—say what you want about Zelena, she’s got gumption.) When Regina finds out, she calls Hook a moron. (Sorry, my pretty pirate, she’s right this time.) Mary Margaret (MM) makes a speech about how important Emma is, which is certainly a huge attitude shift for her. (By the way, is David not allowed to talk? He’s been in a lot of scenes but hasn’t said a word, just keeps looking vague.) Regina knows where Zelena would go—to Robin. In MM’s apartment, Regina runs in to warn Robin that Zelena’s on the loose. But wait! This isn’t Regina. It’s Zelena glamoured as Regina. Robin sees through the charade as soon as he kisses her. (And Zelena makes an unkind remark about Marion which I don’t appreciate.)  The hero posse walks purposefully (again) across Main Street and comes face to face with Robin and Zelena. Zelena intends to escape with her baby to Oz. She monologues about how Regina always gets everything and blah, blah, blah middle school angst, etc. Regina, in fear for Robin’s life, gives the wand to Zelena who makes a tornado/portal with it. But it’s a trick! Those are some slick sisters! Once the portal is open, Regina overpowers Zelena. In the EF, a frightened Merida has run away from Emma. Using Dark One magic, Emma finds Merida who’s let the wisp go. And now we come to My Favorite Line of the Episode. Rumple, played by uber-Scottish Robert Carlyle, says: “What’s she saying? Accent’s a bit much, no?†–Hee, so meta. At Granny’s, our heroes batten down the hatches in preparation for the tornado that will take them to the EF. The dwarves come in and demand to be taken along. Fine, whatever. In the EF, Merida shoots arrows at Emma to no avail. Emma gives in to Rumple’s urging and rips out Merida’s heart but is stopped in a nick of time from killing her by our hapless heroes. MM has the dagger and is about to order Emma not to kill Merida, but Hook argues that it has to be Emma’s choice. Why, Hook? Why? Can’t we discuss all this later, when Merida’s not dead? After a noble speech by Hook, Emma relents and shoves Merida’s heart back in her chest. Merida makes friends with Emma pretty quickly for someone who was almost murdered by said friend. Emma tells her parents it was too dangerous for them to come. And David speaks!!! MM gives Emma the dagger. David thinks Emma will be able to control herself. What could go wrong? Emma is sensible and does not want the dagger, so she gives it Regina. Again, what could go wrong? At transplanted Granny’s, Arthur and his knights stop in for some meatloaf. Oh, and also they knew Emma and the crew were coming thanks to Merlin.  But now Merlin’s missing and Arthur wants to bring Emma to Camelot so that everyone can find Merlin. The group arrives at Camelot. (Did MM carry that baby a long way through the forest? Sounds mighty uncomfortable.) Six weeks later, our heroes, dressed in medieval garb, are plunged violently back into Storybrooke. Regina says they only remember walking into Camelot. Haven’t we done the memory wipe before? Yes, MM says. Thank you, MM. And here comes Emma who is very dark. (But her hair is very light.) It looks like our champion chumps have failed in their quest. And poor Sneezy gets the brunt of it. Regina no longer has the dagger. Emma does. And it appears our heroes are in biiiig trouble, because Emma wants to punish them for trying to save her. My thoughts on this episode: Emma’s Dark One outfit is pretty raggedy. Why can’t she be fierce like Evil Regina?
Belle still loves Gold. (Ick.)
Merida’s hair color is off—more “Ronald McDonald†than “Fair Scottish lass†I hope they fix that.
  What are your thoughts? Join in the forum at http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&start=80

jinjy2

jinjy2

 

Worldly Distractions: Community 6.13 - Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television

Well, it's right there in the title. Tonight is very likely Community's series finale. And yeah, I know I've been saying that for like three years, but come on, guys. It's had more lives than your average housecat. We're at the end of six seasons. We've gotten what we want (well, except for the cinematic incarnation). Even this sixth season has managed to rally with some interesting new characters. If this is goodbye - let it be a good one. We'll miss you, Community. Leonard and the Dean proudly announce that the school year has come to an end, despite ENORMOUS opposition. The campus has more or less emptied, except for the study room, where the Committee sits in silence. Us too, Committee, us too. Frankie wants to rename the Committee, since Greendale has already been saved, something that gives her uncharacteristic enthusiasm. Everyone suggests some terrible alternatives. They go with "nipple dippers", mostly based on domain name availability. The Dean appears in his first strange outfit of the season (like we didn't notice), mostly composed of floral patterns and scarves. Frankie officially adjourns the year, and the group heads to Britta's bar. However, Elroy can't join them, since he's moving to California to work for LinkedIn. (Lampshaded: does anyone actually used LinkedIn?) Also, he has a girlfriend, for which everyone congratulates him. He does intend to return in the unlikely chance of renewal eventually. Everyone squeals. Opening credits. They play pool in the bar, which Abed metas the fuck out of. Everyone wonders who will be coming back to Greendale, while Jeff points out that it's high time they all left. Of COURSE Abed has to talk about how he can't imagine Season 7. Okay, there's being cutely meta and then there's sucking the fun out of it. They briefly discuss bringing Shirley back, which leads Abed into explaining the show's "formula", which brings us... back to the opening credits? Now I'm intrigued. The scene plays out as any opener for Community does, only the characters explain what they are saying rather than saying it ("Abusively cynical one-liner dismissing everything you just said," scoffs Jeff), and OH MY GOD YVETTE NICOLE BROWN SETTING THAT IS DEFINITELY YVETTE NICOLE BROWN. Now all we need are Donald and Chevy and I'll officially be a blubbering mess. Shirley mostly wonders how the hell Frankie fits into this dynamic. Abed is basically comatose. The Dean wanders around practically naked. Back at the bar, the characters protest that they can't be reduced to a simple formula. Abed begs to differ. When the Dean challenges Abed's view, Abed in turn challenges him to pitch Season 7. The Dean does so. He suggests a show with three whole black people - Shirley, Elroy, and some guy sitting in the background. Also, everyone seems to have been hit on the head a few times. And they talk just like the Dean. Lots of mumbling and stating exactly what their emotions are. Everyone thinks it's ridiculous. Chang, in turn, suggests his own alternative, though Jeff vehemently protests. His vision includes Jeff being an even bigger sleaze than usual, and random animated characters that could only have come from the Twisted Mind of Chang. The group gets hit with lightning bolts, which for some reason makes them giggle, and the Dean is still mostly naked. Upon hearing this, Jeff decides to go home, since he's tired of not just his friends, but Greendale and all related conceptual riffs. Annie finally arrives with the momentous news that she's going to intern for the FBI (thus conveniently writing out Alison Brie if need be). She assures them, though, that she's definitely coming back, which throws Jeff into his own idea of Season 7. In this one, Annie is gone and Garrett and Leonard have joined, along with Todd and Scrunch. Essentially, the group is composed of people who belong as extras, which is exactly as terrible as you might imagine. Back in reality, Jeff suddenly gloms onto the idea of Season 7, confusing everyone around him. Abed suggests that they just hang out instead. For some reason we go into another potential Season 7. Jeff is an uber-cool partier, Britta is quitting smoking for the umpteenth time, and Annie commutes from Greendale to the FBI headquarters. You know, in DC. Britta's parents get murdered, so Annie is quickly on the case. And the Dean still won't put on clothes. Britta is understandably upset about hinging the next season on the death of her parents. She dreams up her own season, which looks like a Bono music video and revolves around Greendale seceding and becoming an independent nation. With Britta at the helm, of course. The Dean, at the very least, is fully dressed, though he has come out as transgender so that Britta can keep him in a neat little box. Personally, I prefer him undefined. Frankie scoffs, so Britta suggests that she come up with her version. It's...well, picture Frankie's ideal version of Greendale and you've more or less got it. Lots of actual learning and the occasional fart joke for humour. She marks a first of being outright booed. Abed, perhaps addressing the audience, claims that it's very difficult to keep up a TV series, and it shouldn't push an agenda or try to "beat" the rest of television. "It's TV. It's comfort," he concludes. Incidentally, his speech does justify all those terrible episodes from mid-Season 3 onward. Everyone is moved, including Britta, who cries over the fate of her pitch. Jeff launches another idea. Basically, everyone works for Greendale in some capacity, which means they have a better excuse to spend lots of time together. Also, Frankie is a lesbian (explaining why she has never made a pass at Jeff). Annie, meanwhile, is just like she only was, only more mature. And Jeff is the Dean, just because. Group hug! The team finds this all rather heartwarming, but it's not meant to be. When Jeff tries to make it serious, they all shy away. Abed announces that he's also leaving, to write for a TV show which is even more meta than he is. Everyone applauds Abed's newfound path in life. When Jeff begs him to come back for six seasons and a movie, Abed sadly tells him that this is reality. This prompts Jeff to imagine a season where he is in a room with multiple clones of Abed, and strangles them all. Sometimes you really can't get what you want. Jeff can't take it anymore, and stomps out of the bar. Alone in the study room, Jeff imagines a different future for himself - one where he's set up in domestic bliss with Annie, and they have a son named Sebastian, who is always eager to come out and be accounted for before being sent back to his child-area. When Jeff leans in to kiss his wife, however, she asks if it's really what he wants. She suggests that, though this future might look appealing, he doesn't really know what's good for either of them, or what they might want. In reality, Annie follows Jeff to the school. He confesses that he wants to be young and carefree again. Annie, on the other hand, wants stability and respect. It's clear the two are not compatible, as we suspected all along. Even if they both hate superhero movies. He clearly regrets having let her go, so Annie suggests that he kiss her goodbye. He can regret it for the rest of his life, and she for maybe a week. And so they share a long, passionate kiss, just enough closure for the army of Jeff/Annie shippers out there. It's quite touching, to be honest. Just as they break apart, the rest of the gang arrives. Jeff tells them they were "saying goodbye to the room". "For Season 6," Annie quickly adds. Abed says "cool" six times, one for each season, and Chang makes sure to fart during the fourth one. Frankie, "a humble outsider that came in and nailed it", suggests that they each imagine their own version of Season 7, privately - but they can't cut to it, or it won't come true. We cut back to the first season, where Jeff declares the study group a community - but the group is now exclusively populated by identical hot girls. The more things change. Back in the abandoned room, Jeff tells his friends, very sincerely, how much they meant to him. Chang declares it gay, but everyone else is terribly moved. A real group hug ensues. And it looks like Chang was actually trying to come out? Jeff drops Abed and Annie off at the airport. The rest of their group continues their friendship at the bar. Fade to black... ...and we get the hashtag #andamovie. Intriguing. In the tag scene, we get a fake ad for Community the cheesy board game, '90s style. Lots of in-show references and meta references (I know about St. Elsewhere, guys.) It even includes a butt spinner. Silly as it is, I wish it existed. At the end, the perfect family realizes that they're in a commercial and don't actually exist, which sends them all into existential crisis. The commercial gives a disclaimer that neatly sums up why this show is so much fun and yet so maddening. And that, my friends, is that. Well, I never thought I'd say this - because like Jeff, I do not deal well with change - but I actually would love the show to end at this point. Why? Because this was the best darn season finale you could imagine. Strange and moving, with a keen feel for the characteristics that made this show so appealing, with just enough darkness to keep it grounded, it is an appropriate sendoff for the characters we know and love. Jeff has grown into a full person, Annie and Abed have moved on, and everyone else will be okay. It had just enough meta and just enough heart. Season Six managed to save itself quite admirably, all in all. Some of the humour was recaptured, the conceptual episodes were carried off with aplomb, and even the new characters managed to make their mark. Let's end on this contented note, and focus on the movie, which Abed would be the first to point out is an entirely different matter. As for me, this is my last outing as the FJ Master Recapper. This is mostly because a) I'm going to graduate school in the fall and this is too much of a time suck, and I was mostly in it because of Mad Men anyway. It's been really awesome, FJ. This was a great focus for me during the final tough stretch of my undergrad years, and through an all-consuming - but rewarding - year in Russia. No matter what, I always had these shows and a chance to share them with others. We also sat through some great TV moments, including the horrible final season of HIMYM, the constant ups and downs of the Crawley family, and Don Draper teaching the world to sing. I'm a little sad to put it away, having had so much fun discussing these shows with you, but sometimes it's good to move on. So thanks, FJ viewers, for reading Worldly Distractions. It's been a real pleasure, and - wait a minute -   FJ Discussion Thread

crazyforkate

crazyforkate

 

Worldly Distractions: Community 6.12 - Wedding Videography

Ooh, who could possibly be facing their nuptials this time? Will the Abed/Annie shippers win, and will Troy return to be Best Man? Or will the Dean and a man dressed like a Dalmatian ride off happily into the sunset? Let's find out. (How is this a Yahoo! Original when it's been airing on NBC for years already? At least Netflix admitted that they were only reviving Arrested Development.) Abed films Jeff drinking through his class, claiming that he's "freelancing". We learn that the course has been going predictably badly, though this is average by Greendale standards. Garrett gives a presentation on marriage law, which turns out to be an elaborate proposal to some gal named Stacey (Garrett/Vickie shippers, go ahead and cry). Jeff is disgusted. However, everyone applauds wildly when Stacey accepts. While Abed remarks that Jeff had a strange look on his face, Garrett excitedly announces that he's getting laid. Opening credits. Abed has extended his footage to "Annie's Missing Lover", which is a subplot that surely had all the fans jumping, but is actually just a contingency plan in case Annie ever gets murdered and her boyfriend has to look back fondly. Yes, apparently Annie has come totally on board with Abed's cinematic conceit. Britta is weirded out by this, and also none too positive about Garrett's wedding (or Garrett himself). More talk of New York. Shut up, Britta. Annie demands that she help clean, and we learn that she's volunteered the place as a wedding prep location for her dear lovely friends. She refuses to wear Britta wear black nail polish. Britta whines and won't stop looking at the camera, much to Abed's chagrin. Frankie arrives, crumpled garment bag in hand, so that she and Annie and Britta can "be girls together". She seems on board with it in her blank way. We learn that Frankie is working to seem more likeable, and this is part of the package. The ensuing interactions are as awkward as they've been set up to be. We love you, Frankie. #givepagettheemmy Soon, the entire Committee is gathered and drinking ferociously. Even Jeff is super-excited (I assume the Scotch helps). Feeling that they have enough time, they play ridiculous wedding-related games and narrate about how cool their various friendships are. "Celebrity Garrett Marriage", which features a poor Garrett imitation marrying various poor celebrity imitations, is particularly popular. However, they soon realize they're running late, so everyone winds up scrambling out of the apartment half-dressed, and almost forget Chang. And Abed. Todd conducts his own...unique form of the ceremony, in which he suddenly develops Jerusalem syndrome despite being in Colorado. As Stacey and Garrett read their own vows, the group arrives and disrupts the ceremony several times over. Everyone else stares in horror as they break chairs, push people out of their seats, and laugh at the moment of the big kiss. On to the reception. The commitee proceeds to pull the same shenanigans at the party. Everyone congratulates themselves for having the best day of their lives, while the rest of the guests give them serious shade. Clearly, they believe themselves to be the centre of the school and therefore the world, to the point where Garrett's mother has to tell them to tone it down. Rather than, I dunno, apologizing, they concoct an elaborate scheme to become the world's best wedding guests. Britta talks about herself in the video and does an attention-grabbing dance, Elroy gives in to his "addiction to encouraging white people" (which at least makes Garrett a little happier about the whole ruined wedding thing) and sings a wedding song for the new couple. Annie and Frankie bond over their shared neuroses, which include naming dragons. Garrett's brother Bones goes crazy and is unable to do the best man toast. Though no one asked him to, Jeff steps in to give a Winger speech. Again, it is all about them as guests, not the bride and groom. The toast is rude and awful, and I'm frankly amazed the bride and groom haven't murdered anyone yet. Or Garrett's mother, who is looking pretty grouchy. However, after a rough start, he does manage to put the focus back on the bride and groom. For maybe a couple of seconds. It all comes to a head when Jeff and Elroy accidentally reveal that the newlyweds are cousins. Of course, all the group can do is blame themselves very ostentatiously. They also realize that they bring out the worst in each other. Before they can take their separate cabs home, Garrett gives a sad speech telling them that the wedding is over. The marriage will soon be annulled. Though it's totally not their business, the group (led by Chang) begs them to change their minds. He convinces them that no one will like them better if they split, and they must believe in love over all. The couple reconcile, everyone cheers. They dance while the Committee group hugs. One of the "Community writers" tells us about how he always wanted to make an episode about incest. He explains state marriage laws and the genetic risks to any children. This is not particularly funny, but mostly creepy as fuck. So. I totally loved that we're finally calling out the study group for their strange, insular ways. Very meta. But as an Abed's video episode? It was okay. I found there was very little time spent on any of the characters, and there wasn't a lot of room for the jokes to land. At least Elroy got a laugh or two. It was also very rushed. All in all, not a brilliant penultimate episode. What will the finale bring us next week? FJ Discussion Thread

crazyforkate

crazyforkate

 

Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.24 - American Skyper

It seems like the less you have to do, the less productive you become, and the same goes for recaps. Let's finish off this middling season of Modern Family, already. The family holds a graduation party for Alex, who is dismissive as usual. Cam is more concerned that he just got braces, a huge affront to his vanity. For whatever reason (ear infection, air travel), Phil could not attend his child's graduation. He instead rolls in on a selfie segway, something I was sure only existed in the world of Community in that episode with the felons. Jay promptly covers the machine with a blanket and goes on his merry way. Opening credits. Gloria's cousin, a bit of a slob, has come to visit. Believing that he understands no English, Jay feels free to insult him, something which will surely backfire in fourteen minutes or so. Beth, Andy's not-actually-fake girlfriend, is also visiting. Haley constantly denies that there's any tension. Everyone involved seems to be a nice person trying their best, and so they are making their best effort to get along. The women even bond over Andy's terrible fashion sense. However, once Andy's out of the room, Beth drops her sweetness-and-light facade and (cryptically) threatens Haley with severe bodily harm. The boy in question is none the wiser. Cam and Mitch learn that they've been approved to buy the apartment upstairs, though I suspect this scene is just to make fun of Cam's orthodontically-induced lisp. Cam wonders why his husband doesn't seem more excited - is something wrong? Claire is about to give Alex a graduation gift, on top of the 16-piece luggage set no college student actually needs. It's a keychain with a picture of the two of them. Honestly, that's pretty cute. Phil has also written Alex a song, but rolls off in a huff when Claire refuses to sing it. Haley asks Andy if Beth dislikes her. Andy says yes, but his real answers are more disturbing than outright hatred. Mitch, uncharacteristically aggressive, takes RoboPhil hostage and asks him to keep quiet about the house. Turns out that Mitch was laid off a month ago and has been keeping it a secret from everyone - including Cam. Obviously, these two have an extremely healthy relationship. Between sending out resumes, he hides in the park and plays chess with some dude called Spencer, as well as his pet bird, who is really helping with Mitch's famous phobia. A concerned Phil urges Mitch to 'fess up, but doesn't get anywhere. Phil rolls around the house interfering in everyone's lives. Jay takes him aside and lifts him up to look for napkin rings (though Jay will still have to reach them so it makes no sense). They come across a mysterious package, which Phil (worldlier than we thought) believes to be heroin. Jay immediately decides that the cousin is responsible. "That's my horse," says Gloria helpfully, meaning that they're the ashes of her dead pet. She's annoyed by his rather racist assumptions, understandably. Claire tries to take Alex aside to give her the gift, only to find that Mitch has bested her by making up a giant scrapbook full of all the correspondence they've ever exchanged. (Gee, it's almost like he has a lot of free time all of a sudden.) Haley, meanwhile, is terribly concerned that she's about to get murdered, but the rest of the family think Haley's just jealous of Beth. Cam, concerned about Mitchell's odd behaviour, is convinced that he's having an affair. Lots of gratuitous S's inserted into his speech. He sneaks some looks at Mitch's phone, mistaking Spencer for his paramour. Andy confides in Phil that he wants to propose to Beth, but he likes "this other girl". Phil advises him to be with her if he truly loves her, and it's only natural to wonder how else your life might go. They share a robo-hug. Claire also talks to Phil, asking for a backup gift for her keychain idea (which I still maintain is pretty cute). Of course, Phil suggests his god-awful song. Claire settles on a mother-daughter trip instead. However, before she can announce this, Jay inadvertently one-ups her by getting her a trip to Europe. Wait, is that a thing? I remember mostly getting cards and fancy scarves, but then none of my relatives are closet tycoons. Cam tells Phil his suspicions. Phil tries to dismiss them, but he's not very good at covering up his dismay, so Cam tries to strangle him. It doesn't work because he's a robot, but still. Phil urges Cam to talk to his husband. The cousin just stares at them all like they're crazy. Stella also tries to attack Phil. Jay accidentally locks him in the bathroom. Beth lures Haley into a demonstration of her Coast Guard attack skills, which I didn't even know they learned in the Coast Guard. Haley walks too close to a candle and catches her hair on fire, which Beth tries to put out by hitting her with a pillow repeatedly. Naturally, Haley is not quite convinced of her good motives. Luke rips off his shirt and gives Beth a suggestive swagger. Claire finally liberates RoboPhil from his bathroom prison, though she's more concerned about complaining over her family's generosity. Phil takes the opportunity to debut his song, Go Ask Alex, about his daughter's head for useless trivia (and not her crippling drug addiction from the 1970's). Beth continues to be terrifying towards Haley, so she asks Luke to test out her car, just in case it's rig. (What, any kid that wooden is expendable.) Gloria toasts Alex's kind nature, which is incredibly touching. At that point, Phil attempts to debut the godawful song, but Claire shuts him down. Jay is so moved by his wife's speech that he apologizes for his treatment of her cousin. However, when Gloria talks to Armando, it's clear he's just as crooked as Jay thought. Meanwhile, Cam confronts Mitch about the affair, which is understandably a bit confusing for Mitch. Some nice wordplay with the word "cockatoo", lots of misunderstandings, everything has its explanation. When Cam realizes the truth, he rushes to comfort him. To cover the cost of the apartment, he suggests turning it into AirBNB, which sounds suspiciously like spinoff potential. Alex says that she's going to give her mother a gift, since SHE is the one who is behind all of Alex's accomplishments. She wants her mother to come with her to Europe, in order to prevent a Taken-like situation (though I for one would love to see Phil as Liam Neeson). Claire is overwhelmed and says yes. Haley takes Phil for his 100th secret conversation of the night. She spills all about the Beth situation. Phil thinks she's in love with Andy after all. She concludes that it doesn't matter what she feels, since it will never happen. Andy walks in at that moment, ostensibly to say goodbye, but they wind up passionately front-hugging. Phil shouts that they obviously love each other, but the sound cuts out, so they don't hear him. He shouts silently as Andy leaves with Beth and Haley walks off in sorrow. Phil tries to chase after them, sending the Segway down the stairs and destroying the iPad. And in the tag scene, Armando steals it! So, apart from the GIANT FUCKING CLIFFHANGER it left us with, how did this finale measure up? Sure, Phil's story was inventive and provided a great way for him to interact with every character. Each story on its own was a little lame, though Cam's included some amusing confusion and Gloria's had a nice twist. (I wash my hands of Claire and Alex, which should have been way more developed.) Overall, it succeeded, even if it wasn't an all-time great. I like how they've given Haley more depth as the series goes on - Sarah Hyland seems to be more than up to the job. And now, to wait until September. In the meantime, let's guess how many undeserved Emmys this season will win.   FJ Discussion Thread

crazyforkate

crazyforkate



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      louisa05

      Sick rabbit. Our vet is out of town. Can't find a vet that treats rabbits to see him. 😓
      · 7 replies
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      PumaLover

      Mr. Puma just surprised me with a much newer, much faster laptop! Now I can read more FJ! Yay! #besthubbyever LOL.
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    • nst

      nst

      I start my new part time job today in a non profit company. 
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      LittleOwl

      Apparently I am trying Bouldering on Saturday.  With the upper body strength of a flower, this can only end well... right? 
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    • OyHiOh

      OyHiOh

      Went to a writer's group meeting yesterday.  First time I've gone to this group's meetings.  Different from other groups I've participated in - this one was a series of prompts and exercises.  I was in a bit of a mood going in - Father's Day weekend for a recent widow is no laugh matter; several social/annoying things happened at Shabbat service in the morning, and one of our service leaders made a "somebody really should" statement of the writing variety and once I hear someone say "someone really should" I usually can't unsee the idea until I've had a try at it.  We did a word association map for one exercise, then wrote something based on part or all of the word map.  I picked a section of the map that had some references to knives and fancy dress balls to write from.  I'm pretty proud of what I wrote in 15 minutes but it's pretty clear that I was in a "mood."
       
       
      The night of the long knives came and went as a plague on the first born of the land.  Men perfectly healthy went to bed only to be jerked from sleep with knives against their throats.  Here were the leaders of men, thrust against walls at the point of a stiletto, there the young men only following their orders, and over there again the family men who didn't exactly plan to pursue this path but perfectly content where they'd found themselves.  At the end of a blade, deep in the depression years, taking their payslips home at the end of the week feeling they'd done a good job, and a little extra for mother in the kitchen. The years of children, church, and kitchen. The good women. Most of them not owning a fancy pair of shoes or a party dress, for who had time?  The children needed their mothers at home, the men away at work.
      The children of course, were not silent.  Soldiers burst into their homes, dragged their fathers out of bed.  Mothers clutching their husbands, children wailing for their papas. The ones who understood left quietly, reassuring the children on their way out - it's a special exercise, I couldn't know about it beforehand, otherwise I would have told you.  Hush child, I'll be home in a few days. They knew they'd be lucky to make it to the end of the block, of course, but let the children hope for a little bit longer, before all hope fell away and their eyes opened to the hatred their own fathers had taken part in.
      Others didn't understand, resisted and fought against the soldiers who came into their homes.  They'd believed in the banners and flags, they'd stood and cheered, they'd enjoyed seeing fear cross the faces of those who understood.  Now they themselves fought back in fear. Fear of losing their lives for who could possibly know what comes next? Wagner wrote of Valhalla, their wives faithfully attended church; surely there was something to greet them when the heart stopped quivering, trying to pump blood flowing onto floors, and truck beds, and sidewalks.  
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