and his episodes are so brilliant

THIS

This moment right here is easily my favorite scene from the episode. Tsukki was so angry with himself for not “stopping more than one spike” that he completely ignored the fact that HE was the one who ultimately brought Karasuno to victory !!!!!! (blocking, tactics, etc.) Even when Ukai calls him the MVP of the game, it’s clear that Tsukki was still upset. It takes his best friend to finally knock some sense into him, and the way Yams does it is brilliant. Someone on tumblr pointed out that this is probably the first time someone’s called Tsukki stupid (That would definitely explain his reaction). Yamaguchi doesn’t sugar coat anything and calls out the situation as it is: “Are you stupid?!” This is coming from the boy who allows no one to badmouth his friend. But this is also coming from the boy watched his friend go from ‘getting a passing grade’ to actually wanting to get better at volleyball. Something like “What are you talking about, Tsukki?” wouldn’t have done a thing. It’s important that we get to see this irritated side of Yams because that shows how much he really cares about him. He knows Tsukki is an amazing player and demands him to be proud of himself. After all, THEY'RE👏🏼 GOING👏🏼 TO👏🏼  NATIONALS👏🏼. Yamaguchi absolutely refuses to let Tsukki put himself down, and if that isn’t being a great friend, I don’t know what is.

Prince Hans: The Mirror

In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “The Perfect Mate,” a woman named Kamala is taken on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. She is a supremely talented empath who, in any condition, mirrors the emotions of the person with whom she interacts.

Thus, with the brilliant Captain Picard, she is intelligent and adventurous. With the animalistic Klingon, Worf, she is primal. With the womanizing Commander Ryker, she is provocative and flirtatious. And so forth.

That is the true nature of Prince Hans, in Frozen.

This explains why there has been so much confusion about his character. Because he isn’t a character at all – in the sense that there is, as far as the story shows, no essential self to Hans.

Rather, every scene in which Hans appears shows him interacting with someone, and in those scenes, he takes on the characteristics and emotions of the people with whom he interacts. He mirrors them, as if he were an empath, reflecting their feelings back at them. And more than that, he even embodies their projections, personifying their hopes or dreads.

In Hans’s first scene in the film, Anna has just been dreaming of a perfect prince, and there he appears, as if her will had conjured him out of thin air. He seems to be just like her, a little awkward, but sociable, and wholly receptive to meeting someone – as if, like Anna, he too had been dreaming of running into someone new.

She leaves the encounter a little dreamy-eyed and love-struck, and he ends the scene with the same look on his face, reflecting hers.

Then, at the coronation ball, Anna attempts to re-forge a relationship with Elsa, which of course, Elsa cannot do (for Anna’s safety). Thereafter, Anna immediately encounters Hans again, except this time, he mirrors Anna’s desire for a much deeper instant relationship, just as Anna improbably wished instantly to bond closely with Elsa (as if the last 13 years of separation had never existed). Hans now wants exactly what she wants, an open-door relationship with someone, and he seems even to have endured the same hardships as Anna has: being ignored by siblings. He mimics her movements in the clock scene. He echoes her exact words: “Can I say something crazy?” “Can I say something crazy?” In their love song, they sing the same words right back at each other, again and again.

When Elsa unleashes her magic, a fascinating moment follows in which Elsa and Hans exchange glances with one another. Elsa looks up, concerned, and Hans too looks up, with a similarly concerned look on his face. In that one moment, he reflects her emotions precisely.

When Anna resolves to set out after Elsa, Hans’s desire is to parallel her: “I’m coming with you.” But Anna leaves him behind, in her place. In effect, he is to function as her substitute, as her mirror self in Arendelle.

As the governor of Arendelle, when the people approach Hans with kindness, he reflects their kindness in return. But when the Duke approaches him with hostility and attempts to show him who’s boss, Hans mirrors the Duke’s bravura and stares him down, asserting his own authority in turn.

Even at the ice palace, when he confronts Marshmallow, he mirrors the great snow monster in the ferocity of his combat skills. Just as Marshmallow grows ice spikes, so too does Hans grow one – his sword – and defeats Elsa’s mighty snow sentinel by reflecting the snowman’s violence.

When he encounters Elsa in her upper chamber, he echoes Elsa’s very own lifelong dread when he says to her, “Don’t be the monster they fear you are.” In effect, he is speaking for her, uttering her own emotions, as if he were empathically linked to her.

Even his very next action is a mirroring one: when one of the guards raises his crossbow to shoot, Hans, in grasping the guard’s crossbow, shoots with him. The are two suddenly on the same trigger, mirroring each other, performing the same act, shooting the weapon together as if they were twins.

When Hans next encounters Elsa in the dungeon, his tone is identical to hers. He sits beside her and speaks with sadness and worry: “Stop the winter. Please,” saying the lines just the way Elsa might utter them herself. He seems, in that moment, to be as gentle as Elsa. He reflects her emotions and her demeanor.

Next, of course, comes the library scene. And now, one might think that Hans reveals his “true” self. But that’s not the case at all. Here too he performs an act of mirroring – of Anna.

Consider Anna’s words when she returns:

HANS
What happened out there?

ANNA
Elsa struck me with her powers.

HANS
You said she’d never hurt you.

ANNA
I was wrong…She froze my heart.

That is, of course, Anna’s selectively edited and misconstrued account of what happened. In truth, Elsa struck her with her magic unwittingly and unwillingly, after having begged Anna repeatedly to leave, for Anna’s own safety. It was Anna herself who caused the situation in which she was hurt.

However, because Anna (due to her characteristic lack of perceptiveness about others and their emotions) does not recognize why the ice-palace incident transpired as it did, she misconstrues the event as if she were the one who had been wronged or betrayed by her sister.

And what does Hans do next? He mirrors this, as he mirrors all things. He wrongs her. He betrays her.

Anna’s projection of an unexpected betrayal from her sister causes Hans to mirror that unexpected betrayal right back at her. Once again, Hans even echoes Anna’s own words to him: “You’re no match for Elsa.” “No, you’re no match for Elsa.” He takes off his gloves when he does this, just as Elsa wore no gloves during the encounter at the ice palace, when Anna believes that Elsa betrayed her and hurt her.

In the next scene, with the ad-hoc Arendelle council, Hans seems grave but resolute, just as they do, seemingly prepared to do what’s necessary to save Arendelle – even something desperate, such as executing the queen. Earlier, they had projected onto him the image of a hero (“You are all Arendelle has left”), just as Anna had yearned to meet “the one” right at the beginning of the film, and Hans reflects their hero projection right back at the council members, just as he initially reflected Anna’s projection of a perfect prince, or later, her projection of a betrayal and injury by someone whom she thought loved her.

On the fjord, Hans once again mirrors Elsa. Observe how wide-eyed and nearly frantic he appears when he shouts at her, just as wide-eyed as Elsa herself appears.

And what identity does he take on in this moment? That of an executioner – which is exactly what Elsa believes that she has become, once she is told that Anna died because of her magic. Elsa believes that she has become lethal, that she is death personified, and Hans, in turn, mirrors that identity, becoming death himself, sword in hand, like the scythe of the grim reaper.

Only at the very end of the film, when he is locked in a cell, is Hans seen alone, for the very first time. At that moment, there is no one to mirror, and he sinks to the ground like a mechanism without a battery, because, like an empath who only exists in relation to someone else, he has no independent existence – or at least, none to which the audience is privy, in this film.

- - - -

No wonder Hans has attracted so many diverse interpretations, all seemingly incompatible with one another. There is no single Hans, no “true” Hans, not even in the library scene. In every moment in which he exists in Frozen, he functions as a mirror to other characters, embodying their emotions or their projections.

It is not that he is not sincere. Quite the opposite. He is entirely as sincere in every moment as are the people he reflects. He is just as genuinely committed to love in one moment as he is genuinely committed to kindness in another and to execution in another. As a fully empathic personality, he becomes whoever he is with.

“Who is this Hans?” Olaf asks. The answer is: not a person, not a character, but a mirror, perhaps even supernatural – a mirror who reflects everyone around him, their loves and fears, their vices and virtues, their lives and, very nearly, their deaths.

(My own extended review of Frozen appears [here].)

His Last Vow spoiler free review

Last night thanks to the lovely people at the BBC I got to watch an early screening of His Last Vow at BAFTA. As you would expect the vast majority of the episode is embargoed which is completely understandable as I would want nothing to ruin your enjoyment but a lot of the really brilliant things I’m not allowed to talk about.

But fear not whilst I adored The Sign of Three this was my favourite of the three - strong story, killer villain and a real emotional rollercoaster. Quintessential Sherlock and my favourite of Moffat’s scripts.

So here’s a few tidbits:

  • The episode is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran who directed the Doctor Who 50th episode
  • It’s based on The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and follows the canon pretty closely so it’s worth you reading the story before Sunday or at the least having a flick through this wiki entry
  • For anyone who’s been a bit dismayed at the favouring of the characters over the cases this episode is tonally much more in keeping with series 2. It’s all case, all business.
  • Lars Mikkelsen as Charles Augustus Magnussen is an utterly terrifying villain. Dead eyed, completely still, softly spoken and prone to utterly humiliating his victims he is a truly horrible specimen. There was one point during the screening when I could barely look at the screen while he was being vicious. He’s truly unpleasant.
  • CAM has the coolest evil villain lair I’ve ever seen.
  • Lindsey Duncan guest stars & is glorious as ever.
  • There’s lots and lots of canon references to please the Doyle purists.
  • John is finding the domesticity of married life really rather chafing…
  • Louise Brealey once again gets the best moment of the episode for me. Molly’s role is smaller in this episode but her moments are lovely and so emotionally true.The sheer degree of character development that we’ve seen this series for Molly who is really a secondary character is staggering. So beautifully played by Louise.
  • Anderson and his wife feature in a cameo.
  • Theres Something About Mary…
  • We find out what Redbeard means.
  • Sherlock takes his vow very seriously
  • The interaction between Sherlock and Mycroft in this episode is profoundly moving 
  • We get to see a younger version of Sherlock and he’s played by Louis Moffat
  • We find out Sherlock’s full name.
  • The episode is an absolute emotional rollercoaster and proves without question again that Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are the best actors in Britain working today. They are extraordinary in this. 
  • This isn’t Reichenbach. It will break your heart, it did make me cry, it will leave you feeling utterly exhausted like you’ve been put through the emotional wringer but it’s a different beast alltogether.
  • Make sure you watch right until the end. I cannot stress this enough. Because just when you think the episode is over. Well, those last 60 seconds. Oh goodness those last 60 seconds.I wanted to stand up and applaud…

Quick edit to add two more things I just thought about:

  • Fans of a rare pairing will be delighted. Brief on screen time!
  • Throw out your preconceptions about the ending. All the speculation you’ve read? WRONG!
I think the frightening thing about Sherlock Holmes is that he actually is human, he’s completely human, and he has all the impulses and the feelings that every other human being has, but he suppresses them in order to be a better detective, and it’s on those moments where he doesn’t successfully suppress it that he gets into trouble. He believes that emotion gets in the way of his brilliant brain, and on the evidence of the show so far and of the original stories he’s completely right. When he gets emotional, he gets blind. He doesn’t spot Mary as a fraud as he should have as she points out in that episode. Ages ago, he should have spotted it. You know when you see the word ‘Liar’ all around her – as some people have noticed – when he first meets her there’s a whole blizzard of words and one of them is liar and he ignores that word because he wants to like her.
—  Steven Moffat on humanising the character of Sherlock. (Beware spoilers for S3E3) Oh, I love the bit he didn’t want see the truth because he felt he should like her.
4

Lesley Sharp:
“When Sky is copying people’s speech patterns, we both had to learn the square root of pi to two or three dozen decimal places, but it was almost impossible to keep up with David.  His speech pattern, the rate at which he speaks, is phenomenally fast.  Really, really quick.  He learns pages and pages and pages.  And the rate at which he speaks is the rate at which he thinks.  Russell explained to me that David’s Doctor has a lot to say, because that’s David.  He’s so bright.  Isn’t that brilliant though?  The things that Russell thinks about and then re-interprets - I think they’re both amazing.”
        – from DWM #397


From the Midnight DVD Commentary (with David Tennant, Russell T. Davies, and director Alice Troughton):
David Tennant: We did rehearse the pi-number quite a lot…
Russell T. Davies: I remember you learning that the day after you got the script!  
DT: Yeah, I just thought, “Oh, I see…”
RTD:  You walked into the Sontaran read-though and just rattled off the square root of pi!
DT:  I got the script the night before, and thought, “He’s given me the square root of pi to 30 decimal places…  I’m gonna show him.”
RTD & Alice Troughton:  [big laugh]
DT: …and I got up early, and learnt it over breakfast
RTD: And it was brilliant!

my favourite thing about leverage is how careful it is to place blame exactly where it lies. sometimes i can’t even believe this show managed as many seasons as it did because it is so blatantly anti-capitalist. but as an example of the care leverage takes, “the low low price job,” where they take on value!more aka walmart. by having hardison fully address the fact that his nana was able to feed everyone on a tight budget because of value!more, the episode takes the onus of responsibility off of the the people who are forced to shop there (and work there, for that matter) and right back onto the company for taking advantage of poor people and shitty economies. it’s brilliant really. especially because it’s something i’ve tried to explain to people before (i.e. voting with your dollar is a fucking shitty skewed system in a society where some people have vastly more dollars than others) and leverage just slips it in. what a good show.

2

I wanted to fill this house with our children.

#30 Days of Doctor Who

  • Day five: What’s your favorite episode?

Midnight.

It works so well because it’s so simple and because in the end, we never really knew what the creature was, what it wanted, or if it was a creature at all. Also, it takes everything that the Doctor usually does in that kind of situation (trying to take control, talking his way out of problems, saving everyone…) and uses it against him. That’s brilliant.

“When I wrote the first Peaky Blinders episode, I didn’t have anyone particular in mind to play Tommy Shelby… I’d met Cillian for the lead. I thought he was brilliant but I made the mistake of wondering if he’d be physically big enough to play this big scary person.” Cillian lobbied for the role and convinced Knight he could pull it off. “On the screen, Cillian’s so intimidating, especially the way his eyes are dead. He was really keen about playing this shut-down, closed off quality that you see in people coming back from the war after they’ve seen their best friends blown up into 10 different pieces.” ~ Steven Knight on casting Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby (X)

Current emotion: Sam’s whimsical amusement at Sastiel.

9

taltal / toqtogha / the great historian tuotuo [1|∞]

Bonus:

External image

Thank you, Harris.

I threw my phone away from me last night when I read the news about Harris Wittels. Brilliant guy who brought so much comedy joy to so many people, myself included.

Parks & Rec fans may know him best as Harris from Animal Control, but he also worked his way up from staff writer to executive producer of the show over time.

If you haven’t listened to the Analyze Phish podcast, his Harris’s Foam Corner bits or the Farts and Procreation episodes of Comedy Bang Bang, and his interview on You Made It Weird where he is beautifully candid about his addiction, please do so. Like, right now. Like, immediately.

But for now, in this space, a compilation of the wacky dudes at Pawnee Animal Control to help us remember the spark we lost yesterday… embedding has been disabled so you’ll have to move over to YouTube but I’m hoping you’ll do so.

4

Right, I have called it before and I am calling it again: Danny Pink is the Doctor’s son. Or at least Moffat is hinting very heavily in that direction. I already had this theory months ago, actually even before the character of Danny Pink was introduced.

But this (very brilliant) recent episode Listen was one big hint:

  1. Danny lives in a children’s home. So we are told straight away that something happened to Danny’s parents.
  2. The Doctor demonstrates his dad skills. Not necessarily proof, but Moffat wants to remind us that the Doctor is a dad.
  3. The ambiguous family heirloom. Orson hands Clara the toy soldier, heavily hinting that she is his family. But Clara leaves the toy soldier with the child Doctor. Did Orson inherit the heirloom from Danny or did he inherit it from the Doctor? Or was it both?
  4. Orson Pink is vague about his family history. Once again with the ambiguity: Orson says time-travel runs in the family. But he is unclear about whether it was one of his grandparents (Clara) or one of his great-grandparents (which could be the Doctor, if Danny is the Doctor’s son), or both.

What is more, Danny shares some character trades with the Doctor. Like being a good man who went to war; being clever enough to hear dreams; calling people out on lying to them. Not to mention they have the same taste in space suit.

Who’s with me?

3

He believes that emotion gets in the way of his brilliant brain, and on the evidence of the show so far and of the original stories he’s completely right. When he gets emotional, he gets blind. He doesn’t spot Mary as a fraud as he should have as she points out in that episode. Ages ago, he should have spotted it. You know when you see the word ‘Liar’ all around her – as some people have noticed – when he first meets her there’s a whole blizzard of words and one of them is liar and he ignores that word because he wants to like her. [x]

Weirdest Star Trek Episode Opening Ever?

I dearly love Star Trek: The Next Generation. I started watching it with the very first season in 1987. The same year, incidentally, as I started watching Doctor Who. I was eight years old. And they both warped molded my brain forever. In wonderful ways, mostly. I’ve been re-watching the TNG episodes on the uniformly brilliant Blu Rays. I just got to the episode Time Squared, which I remember liking a lot as a kid. And I was struck by how bizarre the opening scene is.

So, Riker is setting up dinner. Is it a romantic get together with his Imzadi?*

*Yes, I realize there are too many dollar store transparent blue plates for that to make sense, but I wasn’t staring at a still image at the time!

Anyway, he’s actually making Dinner  (Brunch? Breakfast? It’s hard to tell in space) for Worf, Dr. Pulaski, Data and Geordi. He opens up an art department-colored egg and gets to whippin’.

The gang comes in, each of them with a vital component to the dinner, all Stone Soup-like. Dr. Pulaski has brought some ale (?) because Riker’s omelettes deserve no less. Ale and omelettes? I mean, I guess it’s the future, folks. Maybe that makes sense. And this really could be brunch. It’s just the lighting on the ship really throws me off and feels like dinner.

So, Riker gets to making his omelettes as the crew basically fill time during the pre-credit sequence talking about the lost art of breaking bread, blah blah blah. It is important to note (for later) that Riker specifically talks about how the replicator can’t mimic a good cook because it lacks the human flair that pre-programmed recipes with their perfect proportions lack. Anyway… Data looks a bit confused…

Which, I don’t blame him for. Because Riker adds absolutely NOTHING to these “omelettes”…

And then he stats breaking the grayish-yellow cooked eggs all up. These are not omelettes, my friends. These are scrambled eggs! Scrambled eggs without any apparent salt or pepper! Now, it did occur to me that maybe omelettes are made differently all over the world. And maybe somewhere omelettes are made without any toppings or spices and crumbled up like scrambled eggs? I actually tried to look this up through Google and could find no such mention. Omelettes are made all sorts of ways, but they all involve SOME sort of toppings. And they aren’t scrambled. But that’s not the weirdest part…

Everyone but Worf hates them. Geordi asks where the eggs came from, and Riker says they are Owan eggs that he just picked up from the last star base. The implication is that he has never actually tried these eggs himself.

So, to recap:

The Enterprise-D crew got together for (what really feels like) dinner, and in Riker’s mind the perfect meal to make for his friends consisted of nothing but plain, un-spiced scrambled eggs that he’s calling an omelette, using eggs he’s never tasted himself. No wonder Pulaski brought the ale! 

Probably best to let the replicator handle it, Commander.

I honestly hate Mon-El

Like I hate him. I think he’s an annoying, stupid, inconsiderate, jerkfaced fuckboy, and I can’t stand him.

Kara sure as hell deserves a whole lot better!

She actually has better. James and Winn are both clearly still in love with her; James might be being kind of reckless and chauvinistic with his whole ‘Guardian’ thing this season but it comes from a good place and he’s always shown that he genuinely cares about Kara; and Winn is her “best friend in the world” – and that is an actual quote from Kara in the episode “Livewire” – and he’s so brilliant and sweet and thoughtful and protective and has shown time and time again that he would do literally anything for Kara; and those two are just the hetero options. 
She also has Lena Luthor - kind, smart, sophisticated, lovely Lena - making heart eyes at her at least once every other episode.

The writers should either start writing Mon-El as wonderfully as they write all the other characters on this show or send him packing back to Daxom, ‘cause I feel like he is literally everything that is wrong with this season so far.

I am not down with Mon-El/Kara. Just. No. Please no.

8

Sherlock’s Parents (The Empty Hearse x)

Okay kids, sit down and let me tell you why THIS right here is so, SO important, and why Mark Gatiss wrote a BRILLIANT episode:

John didn’t call Sherlock’s parents normal. He called them ordinary.

You can see the entire scene how uncomfortable Sherlock is having his mum and dad around John. He doesn’t want his old friend to see the probably quite happy and standard upbringing he had, because it doesn’t account for the person he is now. Sherlock gets called ‘Freak’, 'Weirdo’, and is told to 'Sod off!’ when he gets too deep into his deductions. How could someone like him come from two such regular people?

You can see Sherlock in the fifth gif visibly bracing himself for John’s choice of words. John, who always told him he was 'Amazing’, or 'Impressive’. John doesn’t see Sherlock as a freak, but as a genius.

So, John doesn’t call Sherlock’s parents normal, because Sherlock isn’t abnormal. His parents are ordinary, because Sherlock is extraordinary.

Immediately, Sherlock softens. John may be furious, hurt, and altogether unimpressed with his return, but he’s still Sherlock’s Doctor. John still loves Sherlock for the things that set him apart, and doesn’t insult him the way others do. After all, two years can’t change that much, can they?

All Evidence That Could Possibly Indicate Trans Girl Marco #31

*Marco covers the mirror when he showers because Marco is ashamed of their body - Season 2, episode 13*
Relevance Level: 10
Explanation: Welp, it’s finally happened. It’s finally gotten to the point where I will be honestly surprised if Marco isn’t trans. ‘Marco Diaz covers the mirror when he showers because Marco is ashamed of his own body’ what a line. What a bloody brilliant, perfect line.

For those of you who don’t understand why I’m so happy, this line confirms that Marco experiences dysphoria.

“While I may have despised Rumplestiltskin’s manipulations, I was fascinated by them at the same time. And it was all because of Colin O’Donoghue. O’Donoghue is so good at playing Rumplestiltskin in Hook’s body that I can’t even blame the writers for wanting to go back down that well in this episode. From the moment Hook slid into the booth next to Will, I could tell from O’Donoghue’s body language that something was off. This wasn’t the same man who seemed so adorably impressed earlier in the episode when telling Emma about Regina’s ability to hold her own after a night drinking with the Queens of Darkness. This was someone darker, harder, and colder. And it just didn’t feel right.

That feeling of unease culminated in the brilliant scene where “Hook” told Belle to summon the Dark One if she really was afraid. When Belle asked him to show himself and all the was in front of her was Hook, staring at her with a dark intensity I’ve never seen on his face before, I got the best kind of chills. O’Donoghue channeled the Dark One’s total darkness perfectly, balancing it also with the inherent awkwardness of Rumplestiltskin trying to interact with Belle though the guise of Hook. It was a difficult acting task to say the least, but O’Donoghue proved to be more than up to the challenge.”

(x)

Please give all the awards to Colin O’Donoghue

Leverage Re-watch: The Fairy Godparents Job

This isn’t even one of my favourite episodes and there are still so many things to love!

  • Hardison’s little fist at Eliot. The poor guy was showing off something cool he made and Eliot just blows him off. I think this is one of the few times that Hardison actually lets Eliot’s needling get to him. Poor baby it’ll be OK, you just need to threaten to blow up his pants again and that will make you feel better.
  • Parker waving her arms to volunteer when Eliot mentions blowing up the mark’s apartment. She is so adorably… murderous.
  • Nate has the worst German accent I have ever heard.
  • Agents McSweeny and Taggert are just comedy gold in every episode where they appear. “You want to see other partners?” BEST LINE EVER.
  • Parker trying to give Hardison instructions while not tipping off McSweeny, her expressions are just brilliant.
  • Not only can Parker sketch a guy’s face from memory (“I thought everybody could do that”) but Eliot can recognize that face when he’s only ever seen the sketch AND when the guy is on the other side of a dark auditorium. Holy shit people.

All the scenes that have children in them really underscore how protective this team is of kids.

  • The scene where the mark says to Widmark, “I’d ground you, but you don’t have any friends.” and Eliot, Hardison and Parker all exchange A Look. Buddy, you have NO friends in this room.
  • I love how Eliot’s first instinct is to worry about Widmark. He tells Nate right up front that he’s not sure about using a kid to get to the mark.
  • The scene where Eliot is teaching martial arts to all the little girls and they all attack him at once is the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life.
  • Nate is the one person who really remains the most emotionally detached during this episode, but he is also the only member of the team who was once a parent. So he’s the one who can tell Sophie how to reach Widmark and gain his confidence when the poor kid is freaking out about being on stage.

And Sophie’s relationship with Widmark is really interesting. This is one of the lead-ins to Sophie leaving the team, and so when she’s trying to encourage him she ends up opening up about what she’s going through. The entire team is on the coms when she’s talking to him about how lost she’s feeling.

Sophie ends up being more honest with that kid than she is with anybody, even Nate. She ends up kind of grifting herself. She gets so invested in his success. that once again she refuses to drop the con when Nate tries to pull the plug, solely so that she can be there to support Widmark. She even shushes Eliot when he’s fighting the assassin so he doesn’t spoil the big moment.

So Sophie’s the main character in the spotlight for this episode, but I gotta say there is some stuff happening with Parker that I can only see now that I’m watching the series for the second time. For example I love the scene where Parker is trying to demonstrate sympathy with the client and Nate is getting exasperated because she’s just so bad at it. I’ve seen people describe Parker’s character arch by saying that she lacks empathy in the early seasons, but I think it’s obvious that she had tons of empathy. She just doesn’t yet have the right code words for comforting people effectively.

I also really loved the scene where Parker perches on the edge of Eliot’s chair when she’s eating cereal. There is some really interesting body language developing between those two and it’s just played in the background like it’s nothing. Here she’s practically sitting on his shoulder. That scene reminds me a lot of a cat I used to have who would follow her people around from room to room and would sit right next to them but would get really offended if you tried to pet her. This is also wrapped in my head with the idea that “Parker doesn’t touch people” (expressed by Sophie at the end of season 2). Parker was canonically an abused child, and the enforced performance of affection is a pretty common experience for abused children, so yeah, I can see how “touching people” the way most people think of it could be kind of a fraught experience for her. But sitting practically on top of somebody like that? That’s trust and affection right there. And Eliot, bless him, just rolls with it.