and i wish we got more of them in season 1 because they had really similar coming out stories!!

Here’s bullet point no.2 on season 1 Destiel and how Cas comes at it from two completely different but vital angles and basically was fated utterly to be a character to change Dean forever and to be so firmly embedded in his life and character that losing him is like cutting off a limb within a couple of years of knowing each other…

Covered the religious angle kicking off here, shortly before Faith ever goes into it and starts probing Dean’s character arc…

This time it’s 1x11, Scarecrow, and Sam and Dean’s big blow up fight:

DEAN: Dad doesn’t want our help.
SAM: I don’t care.
DEAN: He’s given us an order.
SAM: (firmly) I don’t care. We don’t always have to do what he says.
DEAN: Sam, Dad is asking us to work jobs, to save lives, it’s important.

[…]

DEAN: Dad said it wasn’t safe. For any of us. I mean, he obviously knows something that we don’t, so if he says to stay away, we stay away.
SAM: I don’t understand the blind faith you have in the man. I mean, it’s like you don’t even question him.
DEAN: Yeah, it’s called being a good son!

And later in the episode, when they’re sort of making a peace with the way things are, and that these are way too firmly embedded character traits to pry them out of Dean in one argument and lesson learned about not trusting people who won’t let Dean have any of their magic apple pie…

DEAN: Sam. You were right. You gotta do your own thing. You gotta live your own life.
SAM: Are you serious?
DEAN: You’ve always known what you want. And you go after it. You stand up to Dad. And you always have. Hell, I wish I—

Anyway, John goes and dies not even without giving Dean any real closure (the bastard) but despite Dean standing up a little to his treatment in 1x21, he ends up just getting another massive burden put on him, which spirals him out all the way to season 3 and -

DEAN
My father was an obsessed bastard!
All that crap he dumped on me, about protecting Sam! That was his crap. He’s the one who couldn’t protect his family. He-
He’s the one who let Mom die.
– who wasn’t there for Sam. I always was! He wasn’t fair! I didn’t deserve what he put on me.
And I don’t deserve to go to Hell!

But it’s too late, he can’t confront John properly. Now on one front this episode also has the first time Bobby is addressed as being a literal father figure to them and Dean especially (Sam getting separated out while Dean has a more intense bonding moment with Bobby when they go into his head, never mind the parallels between them this episode.) Having a positive father figure eases the pain a great deal, I think, and Bobby works as the fatherly counterpoint to Cas.

So in season 4, Cas shows up and for a couple of episodes he seems like an absolute authority figures, giving orders and in this way seems like he might be a potential John mirror, speaking for Heaven, where God is paralleled even more directly to John. But as soon as Cas starts getting a chance to be a fleshed out character, he swaps instead to being a direct Dean mirror, and it’s on exactly the same order questioning thing that Dean got a free pass out of confronting because John died before he could make any real progress. Instead of confronting an authority figure and rejecting John in a mirror character, Dean ends up with a character going through his exact footsteps where, like Sam feels in 1x10 that Dean is acting like his boss, it turns out he’s only following orders too, and this all comes about in one episode, with this last line serving as a great way to link it all as well -

DEAN:
Of course you have a choice. I mean, come on, what? You’ve never questioned a crap order, huh? What are you both, just a couple of hammers?
CASTIEL:
Look, even if you can’t understand it, have faith. The plan is just.
SAM:
How can you even say that?
CASTIEL:
Because it comes from heaven, that makes it just.
DEAN:
Oh, it must be nice, to be so sure of yourselves.
CASTIEL:
Tell me something, Dean, when your father gave you an order, didn’t you obey?

Quietly revealing that Cas has this reliance on Heaven being just, but then at the end of the episode, and I really don’t think Cas was allowed to do this but he did it anyway…

CASTIEL:
Our orders –
DEAN:
Yeah, you know, I’ve had about enough of these orders of yours –
CASTIEL:
Our orders were not to stop the summoning of Samhain, they were to do whatever you told us to do.

And like that Cas is close to an equal when it comes to just being the guy who follows orders and if he can’t think for himself, at least would like to and has opinions and feelings about it (all his arguing with Uriel specifically to contrast a harsher angel who doesn’t care)…

And that leaves Cas to question, and Dean to nurse him that final step of the way to rebelling in 4x22 - that conversation where Dean urges Cas to rebel acting as his way of working through some of the left over unaddressed issues.

I love that by season 5 he can joke about absent fathers with Cas and know that they’ve been through, by then, the exact same process and at that point have sort of reached a point where their feelings on it overlap perfectly. And I think Dean got something out of it as much as Cas got a hell of a lot out of Dean over season 4.

The point being, once again some lines in season 1 which seem perfectly innocuous on their own in shippy ways but when you hold them up to the whole story, Sam’s side of this arc goes off one way, and Dean’s a different, which ends up having Cas’s thread braided all around it almost immediately.

Like, again, when Cas says he and Dean have a more profound bond in season 6, it’s not just because they casually spent more time together - they emotionally mind meld over their first 2 years of knowing each other, and it’s this exact thing Dean dealt with and had left over as an open wound for 3 years until Cas.

(And thinking of open wounds - in 1x09, Missouri describing how evil could cause wounds which festered and attracted poltergeist - I think it’s a good metaphor for things like this too - open character arcs which don’t get resolution, build up and fester. It’s not like Dean *totally* gets over John because it takes years and years and again, to go back to 12x22 as I seriously can’t stop doing, I think Dean really sees HIM for the first time with clear eyes while telling Mary about it, and getting to deal with his parents (or at least one of them) face to face for *real*, no mirrors or any emotional catharsis trickery involved. But then it’s not like Cas actually feels any better about God, he just reached a place of being bitter and accepting than chasing after his approval - and I think 5x16 is Cas’s point similar to 3x10 where he can angrily reject seeking that approval.)

(This series of “Destiel began 7 episodes into the show and you can’t do anything about it” posts is dedicated to an awful hate blog that asks what show we’re watching when we say things like this. My answer is, “this show” *gestures my box set and carries on watching* :P)

The Northerner’s Daughter(s)

As a figure who is absent in real time, Lyanna is ever present through the story despite the sparse mentions of her, much like Ned although he dies in AGOT/season 1 but still is a figure, who is remembered and impacts people’s actions. Initially, she’s associated with Ned and Arya, possibly because of him seeing his sister in his daughter but we find there are indirect associations with Jon as well, as she is revealed to be his biological mother. However, less talked about is Sansa in relation to her on a book and show meta level.

Recently, @abi117 and I were discussing a tonne of things about ASOIAF, and somehow we stumbled on the topic of why the show has implied more association between Lyanna and Sansa(the crypt scene in S5 and the similar hairstyles in the flashback in S6 and in S7), when the books clearly stated that Arya was like Lyanna looks-wise and also in that she was a wild child/had the wolf’s blood, who wanted to fight like Visenya and was good at riding horses. Through a series of discussions we realized that while Lyanna resembled Arya in certain ways, so did she share similarities with Sansa in other, less obvious ways - in terms of characteristics and even journey-wise (especially in the books) to the point where it is scary why we didn’t think of it before. As the story does establish Arya and Sansa as two very different sisters who are meant to be complementary to each other (keeping Ned’s line from AGOT/season 1 in mind), they both are parts of Lyanna split up. 

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stilinski--jpeg  asked:

Scalia- your thoughts?

Okay, this is going to be the one answer I give in regards to Sc/alia, and it’s not going to be overwhelmingly positive, but before I start, I want to make something very clear: I do not hate Scott and Malia as as ship. In fact, I have crack shipped them since s4. For a long time, I’ve said that Scott treated Malia better than Stiles did and that he could really help improve her as a person. But, with that in mind, I never actually wanted it to happen in canon, and now, in the context of canon and the fandom… I like it even less. 

Problem #1: Personality

Shelley and Tyler have great chemistry, but just because they do, doesn’t mean the characters belong together. You know this, and I know this, but characters aren’t the actors. If they were, we would hate them. I just don’t think Scott’s and Malia’s personalities are conducive to a long term relationship. I personally think he’d constantly be “coaching” her and it would be great for a friendship, but not for a romance. Scott’s incredibly patient– but does that mean he should have to be a parent to his partner? Not in my view. And does Malia even need to be with someone who would be teaching her forever? Maybe at the beginning of her story, yes, but now? I don’t know. 

Problem #2: Kira Yukimura. 

I just rewatched the scene in 5b where Scott and Kira share their final moment together, but in case you’ve forgotten it (it’s short), I typed up a little transcript for you: 

[the camera zooms in on them kissing from a wide shot]

SCOTT: You don’t have to do this.
KIRA: I made a deal with them. And I need to. It’s not for my parents. It’s not for you. It’s for me.
SCOTT: How long is it going to take?
KIRA: As long as it takes. [KIRA reaches into her pocket and hands him her Tail, which is one of her nine lives as a kitsune. It is the equivalent of handing him her soul] Keep it for me. Keep it safe. 

[they kiss]

[End scene]

Where in there do you see a breakup? I… I do not see a breakup here. I see an implied someday in this scene. And then, Scott decides to go date Kira’s best friend. When, in my view, he’s waiting for Kira and Kira is waiting for him. 

I know that people date their friends’ exes, but that is just… not cool with me. The fact that she gave him her tail means that she intends to come back and collect, to me.  

And side note– Kira’s only been gone since winter of senior year. It’s been, like, nine months. It’s been less than a year since Kira left. 

Problem #3: Arden Cho’s treatment. 

From the moment Malia stepped into the scene, Kira’s screen-time went way down and Malia was, essentially, a replacement. Despite the fact that Kira was the love interest of the main character and had been on the show longer than Malia, in s4 and s5 Malia had far more screen-time, backstory, and promotion. In s3, the order was as follows: Allison. Lydia. Kira. In season 4, this is what you would expect it to be: Lydia. Kira. Malia. Instead, it was Lydia. Malia. Kira. And is it honestly worth it to kick the Asian romantic lead off the screen just to make way for another white girl? Kira was shunted to the side for Malia and you can love the hell out of Malia’s character and still acknowledge that fact. 

Problem #4: Malia’s use as a love interest 

Throughout the series, we’ve been complaining that Malia has been used as a love interest. I’m not going to pretend that I’m okay with her being used as “girl who main character gets with” just because the guy that she’s getting with isn’t Stiles. A lot of the fandom likes Malia better when she is single, and although I hope we love the way she is written this season, that doesn’t invalidate me wishing that she won’t just become a prop in Scott’s storyline. 

Problem #5: Lydia being isolated 

Someone pointed out on twitter, and I agree with them, that Scott and Malia being together is only going to serve to isolate Lydia. It’s possible that we’re going to see something very similar to what we had in s4, with Lydia going off by herself and never getting one-on-one time with the other mains. 

We literally see it in the synopsis for the second episode– Lydia is going to Eichen House by herself because Scott and Malia are spending the episode together finding out who shot the bullet. Lydia has gone through some of the worst moments of her life in Eichen House. In 5x05, there’s an entire scene dedicated to Stiles saying “Hey. You’re not going there without me. You’ve been through some shit there and I’m not letting you feel alone.” Even though Lydia has Scott and Kira for protection. Stiles is telling Lydia he’s coming with to emotionally support her because he understands that Eichen House is a place f trauma for her, and for him as well. And that was before Lydia got put into a coma by Theo and then stuck in said coma in Eichen House by her mother and then tortured in Eichen House by Doctor Valack and then accidentally murdered Doctor Valack in Eichen House while she was being saved by Stiles. Lydia almost died several times in Eichen House.

So. Yeah. Lydia going there without someone in the pack? Makes sense. (/sarcasm) And yes, Lydia’s constantly being isolated from the pack in the series, and I’m not expecting her to romantically be with Scott, but she’s dating his best friend and she’s a main character so I don’t think it’s too much to ask that she gets one-on-one scenes with Scotty, one of her closest friends. Like… why is this so hard?

Problem #6: Inter Friend-Group Dating 

Okay, this is a personal thing and it is really small and doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but think about how weird and mixed up the pack is getting. Not only is Malia one of the only shapeshifters left in Scott’s pack, just like he is (I mean, Hayden’s leaving, Kira’s gone, Isaac’s gone, Lydia and Stiles and Mason aren’t shapeshifters, Corey is barely pack, leaving… Malia and Liam), she’s also the girl to whom Scott’s best friend since childhood lost his virginity. 

So you’ve got Scott whose best friend is Stiles, who is dating Lydia, who is good friends with Malia, who used to be in a long term relationship with Stiles, whose best friend is Kira, who used to be in a long term relationship with Scott who is now dating Malia.  

Like… that’s a lot. 

If you’ve had sex with every person a person you’re having sex with has had sex with… the whole pack’s banged each other. Orgies for everyone.* 

*Note: this is sarcastic. Sarcasm is my only defense. 

Problem #7: Rick Riordan Syndrome 

Let me explain. (Spoilers?)

Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, has a Percy Jackson sequel series called the Heroes of Olympus. In this sequel, there are seven main (Girls: Annabeth, Piper, Hazel) (Boys: Percy, Jason, Frank, Leo), and there’s ten characters who have POVS. All of these characters range in age from 13-17ish.

Out of these nine, only two don’t end up with someone, and one of these girls is the Oracle of Delphi so therefore she isn’t allowed to be with someone. 

All of the main characters match up with each other, and if they don’t have a matchup, Rick creates one for them. So, Percy and Annabeth are together, then Piper and Jason start dating, then Hazel and Frank start dating, then Leo is a crazy third wheel so he falls in love with Atlas’ daughter who was doomed to spend her life on an island, then Nico is in love with Percy but can’t get Percy so he gets to be with a way older guy named Will. 

One single character. Out of ten. They’re middle and high schoolers. 

Not all characters need endgame. Sometimes you’re sacrificing the integrity of your plot and characters to give everyone an Ultimate Matchup. It’s just not necessary, and frankly it feels a little sloppy. To me, it tarnishes the credibility of the writers. It just does– that’s how I feel.


I’m attempting to reserve judgement until I actually see the season, and I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I think my concerns are valid. Scott is one of my favorite characters in the series. I really enjoy Malia, I enjoy her scenes. Shelley and Tyler have incredible chemistry. Aesthetically, this couple is awesome. Scene-wise, I know they’ll kill it and I have lots of hope for their dialogue too. They have the capacity to be both hilarious and extremely romantic. But my problem with this ship is something deeper than the surface, and it’s the thing that kinda irks me overwhelmingly, to the point where I’m not sure that I’ll be able to be impartial when it hits my screen. 

However, I’ll try. 

moansmisha  asked:

Sometimes it freaks me out how similar Claire Novak’s story is to Dean’s D:

It’s funny, I have just started the 10x09 rewatch I need to do before Wayward Sisters, but I watched it the other day with my mum too just because, and I have been thinking about this a lot. 

my desktop has literally been stuck on this all day while I have a migraine at all the things I wanted to do :P

They give her SO many superficial traits to him - the whole connection to Cas told through familiar lines like about her praying to him every night, or the ketchup conversation, and Cas comparing them directly in 10x10 about both being… gosh what was the phrase? I’ll have to look that up… “one extremely messed up human to another”… I’ve been trying to think about Claire in the bigger picture, and she’s a massive Dean mirror, but her story is different and I actually kinda like what it all built up to really.

She loses her family when she’s much older than Dean - 12 to his 4 - and she doesn’t have a sibling so she has to go it completely alone. She knows the supernatural exists but only angels and demons - she doesn’t really have experience with monsters, just the mytharc, and she’s been *possessed by an angel* so they’re unequivocally real to her. She grows up praying directly to Cas while Dean has had no faith since Mary died. 

Ironically Claire is bound to Cas under the exact same “angels are watching over you” link as Dean, Sam and Jack all share with Cas, but it’s the most fucked up iteration (with Sam somehow passing with flying colours as the LEAST fucked up one in this weird umbrella of humans in Cas’s charge :P) because Cas made a bad promise at the very very beginning of his story - so early on they had to make the episode to go back to it because it was only by late season 4 Cas was officially full time main character enough to warrant a more complicated backstory and knowing how his ~existence~ in a form we could understand anyway began and all. 

Claire has been utterly betrayed by Cas, and he’s her Azazel in a way - another mirror to Dean that a supernatural creature stormed in and destroyed her family. Took her father and killed him, and her mother broke and went on the road and became the Worst Parent and physically AND emotionally abandoned her. But Claire doesn’t kill Cas (because he’s not evil and wants to make amends), and she actually manages to forgive and accept his help, and he helps her resolve her family situation and put her on her new path - the end of 10x20 for Claire is what 2x22 was for Dean, but instead of having killed the thing that destroyed her family, she’s hugged it goodbye and kept the grumpy cat plushie it gave her.

And Dean’s the one who sets her on her path. Because Cas represents the big old mytharc stuff and the damage to her family - he has to reconcile personally. But she grew up in the foster system having human problems and the supernatural was maybe the CAUSE of it all but she was just raw frustrated anger when we first see her again, and she has no way “in” to deal with it… 

(And she should not have started hunting as a 12 year old, with no one overseeing her or anything - I was talking to Mittens about it a while back and yeah tbh if they brought her back as a hunter like a lot of the original spec/desires were, that she’s started hunting angels in the gap while she wasn’t on the show, she was too YOUNG and really around the age the show brought her back is really the start of when she would be old enough for them to justify her doing ANYTHING on her own. She COULD have found a Krissy set up - an older hunter to guide her and others to hunt with, to give her a closer backstory to Dean, but the separation from their world was important to start with, I think, that she had plot reasons from 4x20 why she would have started hunting run of the mill monsters and she was too young, so unless she and Amelia became a power duo of mother and daughter hunters… Yeah :P Not many ways to bring her in except either stuff happening TO her to bring her back or Cas wandering in to catch up on her…) 

But yeah Sam also just helps her in the sense of teaching her credit card fraud and his birthday present coming of age gesture to her was a credit card - independence and still not really HUNTING skills, just “you’re a scrappy youngster who needs help surviving in this world” stuff.

It’s Dean who shows her what it’s like to be a hunter, and how it all works, that you do your homework, and sets her up with the question of do you watch movies I rec you or do you hunt monsters like I do? He is the one who sets her up with the choice to continue being normal and to use her resolution of the family arc as a way to finish her involvement with the supernatural and move on and grow up into whoever she might be, or as just the first step before she starts venting her anger and frustration with the world to kill monsters and save people before they end up a messed up human like her. 

And in 11x12 Jody is sort of that guide as well - her place is to encourage Claire towards a normal life but she also has to deal with Claire wanting to be a hunter and in the end agrees to at least teach her “not to hunt like a dumbass” since she sees Claire is really set on doing this - and in that moment also that she now has a new family to defend and it’s less revenge and more helping people. And since she squared up what could have been a revenge arc she’s all “saving people, hunting things” like Dean represents. 

I think for Claire, Jody is like Bobby - the more experienced, kind hunter who steps into her life to fill an emotional gap her dead/abandoning (and then dead also) parents left. It’s similar to Dean in really broad strokes, but Jody has full responsibility of her and it’s Claire’s choice to leave or make use of Jody’s help, while I think Dean was happy for Bobby’s attention as a kid because in the 7x10 flashbacks we see how good Bobby was to him and we know what Dean’s like, and as adults he’s happy to depend on Bobby all the time and they pretty much end up living at his house from season 5-6 - it seems to be official by at least the midseason of season 6 that Sam and Dean are permanently based there although no one ever says anything about it. They drift TO Bobby and the narrative has to burn it all down to get them out of the house but Claire’s coming to Jody later in life and Jody’s attempts to guide her towards normality and away from monsters mean that she actually represents the opposite of what Bobby generally offered… In 7x10 yeah Bobby one time throws a ball around with Dean because John just wants him to learn to shoot all the time, but taking it as the transition in season 3 to Bobby being a permanent fixture in their lives and giving them the family don’t end in blood speech in 3x16 as the parallel to Claire beating her version of season 1 & 2 in season 10 and moving on to season 3 emotionally, we see Dean (and Sam) latching onto Bobby as the last time we see John passes and he’s now the sole parental figure they have. 

And that leads us to Claire wanting to be a hunter because of admiring what Dean and Jody do. And wanting to save people because she clearly feels strongly about monsters and her own frustration before she had a path, that hunting monsters is a clear *righteous* moral path, is not actually something that Dean was allowed to come to naturally. He was raised as a hunter, and he doesn’t get to choose it as an adult.

No, wait, it’s Sunday night I’m allowed to mention it again because it’s basically next week… I won’t quote the whole massive speech though :P Okay, so Dean never gets a choice to be a hunter when he’s growing up but it’s a lifestyle he was completely raised in. When he CHOOSES to be a hunter is in 2x20 after spending the ENTIRE season resenting John and the job and the burden that was put on him, and it’s uuuutterly depressing but he realises in the djinn dream after spending an entire season wrestling with wanting to just give up and stop hunting and leave the whole thing behind because he’s so tired of it all, that no one else will do it and so he has to - and he hates it but those lives are on him. I actually compared it more to Patience’s decision to leave in 13x09 because she would have the visions whether she became a hunter or not, but staying with her dad pretending to be normal would be like Dean being trapped in the wishverse djinn dream, knowing he had wished himself a happy ending but everyone was dying because he wasn’t out saving them. He had news articles of the deaths, Patience has her visions.

But Claire just sees something she really wants to do - to save people and kill monsters and rid the world of evil, and she makes it as a choice as an adult as her coming of age, based on her experiences of the world, and she has an unburdened FREEDOM to decide to do that, to feel like it is something that is in her nature and the idea of doing it is too compelling to sit quietly and do normal things with her life. Every time she has the choice to do normal things - to enrol in colleges and schools and get on with her life as Jody was hoping for her, she takes cases and hunts things and gets deeper and deeper into learning the job she actually WANTS and possibly NEEDS to do. 

I really love this about Claire - that because we got her innocent of monsters to start with, and that she had multiple chances to get off the ride, she chooses to hunt anyway and there’s low angst about it - she doesn’t have decisions the weight of which Dean did in all those instances, because her life or death revenge story is already wrapped up, peacefully. She just ends up on the road hunting monsters because after seeing this is a life people lead, and despite seeing the toll it’s taken on Dean, she still ends up emulating him. But as the next generation of hunters, who aren’t raised into it against their will, or out of necessity to learn everything about evil forces to hunt down anything in particular. She already dealt with Cas AND saved her mom, AND killed the angel that was responsible for that, and so she’s got an angsty backstory, but that’s not the thing that’s compelling her forwards… There’s no revenge and sacrifice cycle like the Winchesters are in. 

It’s similar to Jody, and the others - they all find out the supernatural exists but of all the Wayward Sisters, Kaia is the only one with UNRESOLVED main arc angst and probably a whooole bunch of misery tied to the Bad Place that they need to help her with/she needs to overcome as her personal arc. All the others have dealt with the stuff that makes up their backstory/introduction to the supernatural in their initial episodes, and are pretty much ready for a fresh start when their story begins :D

Oh gosh I could probably keep talking all night. Hi, I’m really hyped up for Wayward Sisters :P

Carisi-centric thoughts on Ep 18x19

For once, lol.

ALSO THERE’S A BARISI CORNER, AFTER 84 YEARS :D

Needless to say, LONG POST.

Overall Thoughts

I liked it? What?

It felt like an episode from a previous season. I checked, and it appears two of the “old” writers wrote it. One of whom also wrote Know It All and Great Expectations, namely some of the best least terrible (and more true to character) episodes of the season. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. When a writer knows the characters well, it shows.

Let me get one negative thought out of the way: just when I was enjoying the episode, what do you know, the rapist turned out to be sympathetic again! Good ol’ Season 18. I have to say, though, that in this particular instance, in this specific episode, this was probably done for the sake of the totally predictable twist. The message wasn’t “oh but he’s a nice guy,” it was “he’s a victim too,” and that’s a pretty classic SVU trope.

Still, I didn’t appreciate how the episode tried to equate the experience of the victim and the rapist, nor the fact the actual rape was practically glossed over (via that favorable-ish plea deal) in order to target the “real” bad guy. Again, SVU has done that before, many times, and the reverend sure was a bad guy, but I did not like that ending. The rapist was almost excused for his actions, and the reverend willingly sacrificed himself to keep all that money and continue to help the needy. Like, they are the criminals in this story. No need to make them so noble. At least they could have had the reverend weeping for his cash.

I did, however, like that the girl seemed okay in the end, she had accepted both what happened to her and who she was, and she seemed more free. Also, she didn’t totally renounce her faith, which I think was a nice touch.

Barba Thoughts

For once, the show managed to find the most interesting (legally) speaking aspect of a case, and stick with it. It was smart to use the first amendment to defend rape as an expression of religious beliefs. It was an (extreme but) interesting legal argument, even if the writing was a little bit murky on that. As mentioned, rape condoned by a religion is still rape by secular laws, but the real issue is consent. If the victim, even in retrospect (due to manipulation, in this case) were to say, “I consented,” that would be the end of this case. Fortunately, Liv was there to convince the victim to testify, as is her wont :D

But back to the law, and back to Barba. Barba cited actual cases! Multiple times! My word! And there was an entire scene of him and the defense attorney in the judge’s chambers, presenting intricate legal arguments! Like, there was an actual discussion of the law! What? I was pinching myself the entire time.

AND THEN WE SAW THE OPENING ARGUMENTS??? for like one minute but still, when was the last time that happened? AND THEN BARBA CROSS-EXAMINED THAT REVEREND AND GOT ALL LOUD AND RIGHTEOUS? AND THEN HE ACTUALLY CROSS-EXAMINED THE PERP LIKE A BADASS? WHAT? WHAT SHOW WAS I WATCHING?

Okay I’m sorry for all the capslocking but Barba was actualLY DOING HIS JOB?????!!!!!1

Speaking of spectacular, let’s get to Sonny :D

Sonny and Continuity

The show remembered Sonny is Catholic, and wanted to become a priest, and grew up in the Church. I appreciated that reference to his teen years, when he seemingly idolized the priests in his life. That’s consistent with what we learned in Unholiest Alliance (which, according to imdb, was written by the same writer who wrote this episode, so that would explain it).

But it’s also consistent with Sonny’s (prior) characterization. It’s one thing to say “my priest saved my life” (as Sonny said in the somewhat similar Duggars episode, last season), but to say “if a priest told me to jump, I’d only ask ‘how high?’” is very different.

We know Sonny has a tendency to get attached to the authority figures in his life (Liv, Barba), and we know he has a desire to impress them, to earn their approval. If you take that quality of an adult Sonny, and try to apply it to a teenage Sonny, with the added element of faith and God? Yeah, I can imagine how badly a younger Sonny would want to get God’s approval. That was an almost throwaway reference, but it really told us a lot about Sonny.

As did that final interrogation, with the reverend. Sonny knows how to hit them where it hurts, and he really handled that masterfully. But one detail I’d like to focus on was the way he casually accepted the fact that guy’s church had done some “good things.” It reminded me of his treatment of Rudnik. Sonny is able to perceive and acknowledge goodness, if and when it exists, even in the darkest of people. That’s classic Sonny.

Sonny and Religion

I also appreciated the confirmation that, while Sonny is faithful, he is not blind to the faults of the Church. Or to the misinterpretations of God’s will. Regrettably, there was a deleted scene which went into Sonny’s beliefs in depth (here), but we didn’t get to see it. Still, the script alone is enough to confirm everything I’ve always suspected about him and his faith.

“I don’t pretend to understand what God wants for me. But my take has always been, “Do unto others.” And I wouldn’t want anybody telling me who I could or couldn’t love.”

That’s the perfect encapsulation of Sonny’s attitude. No judgment, no presumptions, but also a healthy reverence for God’s will and the mystery it truly is, for those who are faithful. ‘Do unto others’ is truly Sonny Carisi in a nutshell. It’s both empathetic (because Sonny can easily put himself in someone else’s place) and open-minded (because Sonny believes everyone should get to choose for themselves).

And the reference to love, that’s important as well. A lot of people who grew up in a more strict religious setting can’t help internalizing some of the more conservative teachings. Even if they disagree as they get older, it can be hard to shake the beliefs they grew up with. Sonny seems to have succeeded in doing that. His take is defiant, and confident, and meaningful.

“Don’t tell me who I can love.” End of story. I truly wish we had gotten to see Sonny saying that, because I think it’s important to see a young macho (as of late) white guy expressing such kind-hearted and progressive views, but at least we did see him saying this:

They’re kids. With normal sexual desires. But you made them feel they had the devil inside them.”

That needed to be said, and I’m happy Sonny was the one to say it.

The Barisi Corner

OH, HOW I’VE MISSED YOU, BARISI CORNER :’)

Perfection.

The Barisi Corner, Part 1

(yes there are 2 parts, one for each scene. don’t judge me, this was a long time coming)

I loved the first moment, at the precinct. The entire squad, plus Barba, were discussing the absurdity of using the first amendment as a justification for rape. Sonny had some thoughts on the subject, almost as a devil’s advocate (no pun intended), and he tried to express them, but of course Barba cut him off, because that entire theory is crazy. There’s no such thing as blanket consent. Even if the girl agreed in abstract that rape can be a “cure,” she would need to consent in the moment, and that consent could be withdrawn at all times, as Barba pointed out.

But.

Sonny kept on. Respectfully. Without yelling or getting mad. Sonny agreed with Barba, of course, but that wasn’t the point he was trying to make. That’s why he didn’t let Barba’s interruption stop him. He was, again, respectful, all “of course, but I’m just saying, hear me out,” etc., but he stuck to his guns. He showed the appropriate degree of deference to an experienced ADA like Barba, but he kept talking.

And Barba kept listening.

Sonny’s point was that the case was tricky, and the victim was confused and easily manipulated, so a good defense attorney (btw I love this defense attorney, I had missed him!) would “lather that up” into consent. What a great phrase, and what a Sonny Carisi phrase, frankly. Punctuated by the classic Sonny Carisi gesturing :D

Barba’s reaction to Sonny’s totally accurate (and prophetic) remark?

“…I agree.”

Simple as that. No snark, no sass. Barba was smizing the entire time, of course, but this was about work.

I mean, the fact they even spoke to each other was progress, but the fact they had a cordial conversation about the legal aspects of the case, and they came to an agreement? WE ARE BLESSED :’)

I always love it when the show remembers Sonny is a lawyer, and he can actually argue the specifics of a case (here, the strategy of the defense) with Barba, in a way the other cops can’t. That hadn’t happened in a long time. When Liv suggests something (like playing that tape, last week), it’s more intuitive and less strategic. More “this is the right thing to do,” and less “this is the smartest move for us right now.” Sonny thinks like a lawyer. Like Barba. And Barba knows and appreciates that.

This season has done away with any and all personal plots and characterization and interpersonal dynamics, but this one scene allowed me to fanwank it as progress. To pretend we didn’t just watch a boring scene about the law. Instead, we witnessed Sonny and Barba being totally professional, and in sync, and working together as equals. Analyzing a case, listening to each other’s points, and coming to an easy agreement. We basically witnessed an ideal working relationship :’)

The Barisi Corner, Part 2

I also loved how Sonny sat in on that meeting with Barba and Liv, when they spoke to the rapist and his attorney. There was no reason for Sonny (or Liv, lol) to even be there, technically, but that was less of a meeting and more of an interrogation, so Barba relied on his two most trusted police officers :D

I think Sonny was there because he could relate to the guy, having been raised in the faith. Barba (again in Unholiest Alliance, by the same writer) was clearly aware Sonny is a “good Catholic,” so I think he may have suggested it. Or Liv could have. Cozying up to a perp is the old Sonny’s go-to move, and this case demonstrated that perfectly. Sonny was the only SVU cop able to display a genuine understanding of the boy’s faith, but also his blind adherence to the reverend’s commands. That’s why Sonny mentioned his own relationship with the priests in his youth.

Sonny was in that room for that explicit purpose. That’s why he was sitting there, all sprawled out and sexy, ready to get up and pounce. He practically took over the interrogation, with Liv and Barba chiming in here and there. I think all three of them (BARSONISI ALERT) agreed that would be their best play, and they possibly even practiced it. The best way to get the kid to crack. To understand that, just like Sonny said, it’s not right to quote the Bible to justify a crime. I loved Sonny’s confidence, in that scene.

Speaking of confidence and Barisi, I LOVED it when Sonny got all sassy, saying, “let’s hit this guy where it hurts the most,” and Barba was smiling like “that’s mah boyfriend, I’ve taught him well!” I just loved that. We hadn’t gotten a real, solid friendly look between them in so long. I’m glad Sonny got to deliver the cocky line, for once, and I’m even more glad we got to see Barba’s amused-slash-approving reaction. Sonny has gotten significantly more confident through the seasons, and it’s always great to see Barba acknowledging that with delight.

Stray Thoughts

lol at Barba being all “omg we blew it, we lost the jurors, we’re done,” even though their case was still pretty solid.

Double lol because last week Barba was all “d’oh, it’s hypnotism! Which is totally real! What a slam dunk! I’m totally winning this case!” :D

I see Fin is still a detective, glad we cleared that up. You know, because Liv introduced him as such. Even if he’s “practicing his Sergeant skills,” which, how rude were Sonny and Amanda, by the way? Crack a smile, you guys, Fin was making a joke! to remind us he is kind of a Sergeant but not really! I wish Peter and Kelli had given legit deadpan looks, though, to make it even funnier. As it was, the scene was kind of awkward. Except Ice, who was hilarious.

Also, hey, remember how Fin’s son is gay? lol me neither also, hey, remember fin is a grandfather? lol no one does

When the friend said, “YOU WERE RAPED,” Liv’s face was like, “excuse you, honey, I’m the only one who’s allowed to scream that in a victim’s face.”

The actor playing the rapist was very good! So creepy. Almost robotic, until he cracked in the end. Very nice performance, he really made the episode. All the actors were great, in fact.

Liv’s colorblock jacket? Flawless.

I’m going to need all the gifs of Sonny sitting behind Barba, all sprawled out, please and thank you :’)

HVFF Nashville wrap-up!

I think the shock has worn off enough for me to remember most of what happened ^_~. So, let’s dig in to the story of my first con!! :-) 

Sorry if this gets a little long, but I’m going to gush! THERE WILL BE SPOILERS so be warned! ^_^ Also, any pics I post are mine, please do not use without credit!!

HVFF Day #1

@ireland1733, @emmilynestill, @jedichick04, @laurabelle2930, and I all met up and headed into the con. I was so thankful to have a few HVFF veterans in our group, because I was able to follow their lead! Heading back to the autograph booths, we met up with @scu11y22 and @quant-um-fizzx. Stephen’s line was filling up quick, so we went to David’s booth because there was no one in his VIP line yet! 

Poor David. All the hugs to that man, because he didn’t fly in from Vancouver until that morning. Combining that fact with a flight delay, DR was running late (we were able to get the complete run down of his schedule from his con agent who we befriended while waiting in line X-D). In total we probably waited 2 hours or so for David to show up, but we found ways to pass the time. Hanging with this group of ladies is always a good time with many laughs and craziness. Plus, Stephen showed up during the midst of our waiting and since his booth was right next to David’s we got to stare at the pretty for as long as we wanted!! It took a few minutes for it to sink in that I was seeing the pretty IN PERSON. *sigh* it was lovely. 

–SIDE STORY– While waiting for David, we got to watch Stephen take a picture with adorable little baby who was dress up in a green arrow onesie that was made to look like the Arrow jacket. It was precious! And the best part, we found out thanks to @hope-for-olicity - who was also waiting with us - that the baby’s name was Oliver! ADORABLE!

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astronautbethjohanssen  asked:

What are your predictions for the new season of the ranch?

LET’S TALK FAN THEORIES NOW.

Okay, so where we left the show, it was a damn cliché cliffhanger I hope they try and threat correctly. Heather is pregnant from the last time she had sex with Colt, but he left her again to go and try something with Abby, to who he wanted to propose as shown seconds before Heather reveled to Colt she’s expecting.

Meanwhile, Rooster rejected Beau’s atempt to fix their relationship in a very crude, very Beau way. He says it’s nice his father gave him his grandfather’s knife but he can’t accept it since Beau has never accepted him, nor took in account his work with him, and he didn’t support him when he most needed it.

And then, in the first pictures we got a few weeks ago, we can see Colt and Abby in what seems and feels like a friendly moment:

Like #yikes, because I don’t ship them and I’m mad at Colt if he doesn’t help and interact more with Heather now that she’s pregnant. My guess is that Colt will want to help Abby as much as he can, but will not be with her as a couple. And I think that’s also something Heather would want, I honestly don’t see them happening at this point *sighs*.

I think Abby will be mad at Colt for the baby situation and Colt will try to win her back again, as he has been doing since season 1 A. My hope is that this time it won’t be as annoying as the first time, and both will actually put theirselfs to work on their relationship for it to work.

A picture that took a lot my atention is this one:

WHAT THE FUCK, MAN? For the way Colt and Rooster are looking at Berto, I guess it’s his fault their are in what seems to be jail. I bet you we are going to see the boys going out and making a party out of their alcohol, then getting into trouble or they will do something stupid and risky to help Berto out of something, and they will end up in jail.

Who is going to bail them out, though? Maybe Maggie will go to their rescue, or maybe Mary would do. I wish Mary and her girls weren’t such minor characters, the three of them are more interested than some arcs with some characters… but okay.

And then, what I actually care more about, is Rooster’s story line. 

Because we have him being comptitive with Beau here:

and then friendly as fuck with him here:

What I think is that we’ll have them trying to get along, at least when they are around their family, especially Maggie. I bet you Maggie will try to have them talk and fix their shit, but they will also be in constant competition when it comes to their respective ranchs.

Rooster is working for a big ass ranch that belong to a rich dude that knows shit about how to be a rancher, and we have been told and SHOWN that Rooster is damn GOOD at what he does. So it’s goign to be interesting to see what he can do with his own space, people and materials… and against his own father.

Because we have to remember that, from this family, Rooster is probably the most loving one and also the most closed one after Beau. He and Beua are pretty similar when it comes to their macho image and the not sharing feelings part. When it comes to be serious, Rooster is pretty serious (and I hope they keep that characterization for him).

So them drinking together at their home may be just to make Maggie happy or may be the start of an assosiation? I don’t think Rooster will come back home so soon, and I would hate it if he has to because Colt can’t do shit and Beau really needs the help, or because he couldn’t do it on his own (<– I would hate this option even more, since option one is, sadly, in canon for him).

Another thing that takes my attention to this picture of them in the house, is that Maggie is there. I guess we will see Beau and her still working on not being married, would she date or try to date? And will something happen between Joanne and Beau? It’s going to be interesting seeing these two being actually divorced an trying to keep on their lives.

I also want to know where the hell does Rooster lives, tho.

THEN, there is this:

I’m really worried about Rooster and his job. I want to see him out of his house and going through everything on his own. I don’t want him to go back to Iron River just like that. It’s a ten episodes A part of season 2, I don’t want him leaving his job so quickly.

He’s wearing working clothes, which is the strange part of the picture. In the best case scenario, he is only helping Beau and Colt out with something at their ranch. Another option is that maybe Maggie called them all to Iron River in an emergency tone and Rooster went without changing his clothes.

I DON’T WANT HIM GOING BACK TO IRON RIVER JUST YET!

So, I think we are going to have Colt trying to have a relationship with Abby (I don’t think he will propose right now, though), at the same time he tries to be there for Heather during her pregnancy and prepares himself to be a father (BOY, he needs to mature some).

Rooster will be dealing with his feelings for his father, his new job and how to treat with Beau as another rancher more than his own kind. While Beau will be dealing with seeing his son, who was the one that was ALWAYS there, now gone and hurt by him (AND I HOPE HE FEELS BAD BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN PRETTY SHITTY WITH ROOSTER HIS ENTIRE LIFE) and making a life of his own.

Also, I expect cameos from Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, aisde from Wilmer’s Berto to come back as shown in the first still we got :D.

PS: I actually like Rooster’s clothes this time. I like him when he wears other than his normal ugly ass t-shirt + jeans combo, I mean here he looks fine:

Hypno Musings 4

Throughout my online life dealing in hypnosis I have primarily dealt with text based inductions. When I was hanging with my Argent themed mentor and her friends I would be able to launch into confusion inductions at the blink of an eye.

Actually blinking eyes were my favorite form of linking text based inductions to ensuring the person on the other end of the keyboard was allowing their fingers to flow effortlessly over the keyboard as their eyes fixated on my words. After all, they would water so much when they were starring so intently on my words that they would need to blink, perhaps blink at the end of every line, waiting patiently for the next, resting their eyes waiting for my next line to arrive. Anchoring and fractionating with every line.

I don’t have too much in-person and vocal experience. Failing to get my wife into trance crippled my confidence and eventually the 4 year hiatus was enforced. Both of those things solved themselves at the same time.

A few years ago a friend inquired into my obsession. I wore the fact on my sleeve, even my public profiles mention my obsession with hypnosis. Given how non-sexual I am for the most part I don’t mind being open about it. Granted a few friends probably think I’m more “active” in this community than I’d like them to assume, but that’s okay. If it’s caused friction in my social life I’ve yet to find it.

But this friend was fascinated. She asked me constant questions about how it worked and what it could be used for. She was filled with anxiety and the idea of an anti-stress form of meditation was alluring. 

What started with curiosity became lessons. With the wife’s approval I began to meet with her once every month or two to teach her how each different induction worked. How to tell someone’s susceptibility level and how to see if they follow visual cues, audio cues, direct commands or indirect suggestions. What REM state looks like in a subject and what different type of audio could be used for brainwave/binaural files if that was something she was interested with playing around with.

I don’t know how well she took to everything. But she was most impressed with Ericksonian styles. Pattern interruptions and NLP. I warned that both were difficult to pull off without a level of experience and confidence (which I admit not having at the time) but I gave demonstrations, warning that if she ever went with shock inductions she should always ask permission to touch before doing so (which benefits in loaning trust and giving a “yes” response, which is something you want to train a subject to do).

Progressive Relaxation went smoothly. She had the patience for the full 15 minute long limb-by-limb relaxing and went directly into a dreamstate, able to describe fairly elaborate scenes playing behind her eyes from the very start.

For the “Instant” induction I gave her a prespeech to describe that the instant induction was not a snap of a finger (that’s a post hypnotic and we can test those later if you like) but an induction that brings you straight down. You know what trance feels like and so when your mind receives a situation where it wants to shut down and retreat to that state you can give it permission to go down and stay down without the need to draw it in gradually. Think about the way it felt.

I could see already she was eager and excited for this “magic trick”

So I asked a large number of questions with simple yes or no questions, watching her eyes intently. She was under the impression the stare was a hypnotic one, maybe her belief in that helped her sink, really I was watching for an expression. 

“Say the first thing that comes to your mind and keep starring into my eyes. May I try something? I could shake your hand or hold your shoulder? Which would you prefer?”

“Hand shake”

“Okay, just ignore my hand shaking yours and stare into my eyes, remember, first thing that comes to mind. Do not pause. Do you understand?”

“I think so?”

“Okay, more confidence, straight into answers. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

“Again, more confident. Do you understand?”

“Yes!”

“Very good. Questions will just be a preference, two options, like long hair or short hair. Okay?”

“Okay?”

“Okay. Very good. Question 1. Tea or coffee”

“Coffee”

“Very good. Cake or Pie?”

I continued on like this. Hand still shaking. Internally nervous as anything. This was my first time putting this theory into practice. I knew I was supposed to stroke the back of her palm with my thumb too but I didn’t feel comfortable with that so just ignored that part of the practice. I counted to about 12 questions, trying to keep rapid speed before suddenly asking her “What was the first question I asked?”

I watched her expression. That flicker of confusion. The pause where critical thinking had broken down and she was trying to draw up information that didn’t strike instantly. I pulled her hand, braced her shoulder and commanded deep sleep… my adrenaline took over from there to deepen. I’ve no idea how I managed to whisper so many rapid deepening suggestions.

The progressive relaxation was like dipping someone in to a rest and letting them dream. This one felt like my first time committing a direct action. Hypnotizing someone. She dropped like a stone and I laid her down to flow through the trance. I tried some post-hypnotic suggestions and depth tests like the balloon hand rise.

She drank in all the knowledge. Apparently she had similar problems in finding people to test with but was so excited to have witnessed the “magic” herself and was learning eagerly.

During exam season she would ask for brief relaxing breaks so I gave her the ability to close her eyes and rub her thumb against the muscle between index and thumb to just soothe. A Focus trigger to have her listen to me and follow my words more effectively and some requested robot imagery that she wished to try out because she did not want her thoughts flying so chaotically and harshly.

The training lasted a good two years, so we probably got to test and practice a good 10 or so times.  We’re still friends and she sometimes makes fun of me for being a “scary mind control vampire” sometimes, but we have not so much as tested triggers for a good 18 months or so. My hope is that she has found someone to grow with on her own, but it’s possible that she just got bored with the subject and moved on.

Either way she gave me a valuable gift. She proved that I was capable of performing hypnosis in person and that I knew more than I thought I did.

The best way to learn something is to teach it, I’ve been told.

Thank you for reading my little blog entry! As always check my #hypno musings tag for more stories.

Ranking the AOS Big Bads

1) AIDA / Madame HYDRA: Probably the closest the show has gotten to writing a villain that’s on Netflix Marvel’s level. I have to say, I’m honestly impressed with how good AIDA is as a Big Bad. One of the big things I love about her arc is that it’s not a sudden switch. We SEE all the moments that lead to her turn and it’s a natural, believable heel turn. From falling for Fitz, to discovering that she’s not unique, to meeting the Superior, AIDA’s journey to becoming the Big Bad feels earned. 

Also, speaking of Netflix Marvel, you know who she reminds me of the most? Kilgrave. Mind control issues aside, Kilgrave and AIDA are similar in that their goals aren’t that complex. In fact, they’re both coming from an innocent place. They both want to feel genuine love but they don’t understand that what they’re doing is horrible. There’s a certain immaturity when it comes to both villains and although it doesn’t excuse their actions at all, you can’t help but feel bad for them. 

Especially when it comes to AIDA. While Kilgrave’s a grown man who should know better, AIDA is technically two or three years old. Plus, she’s a program. She doesn’t fully understand what love is. But she wants to feel it and it makes sense that she chooses Fitz, the only one who treated her with respect. So when you think about it, this brainwashed version of Fitz isn’t her punishing him or Jemma. It’s all for her because she craves love, she wants to feel unique. She thinks she’s changing him for the better but doesn’t realize that what she’s doing is incredibly messed up.  

Honestly, I hate AIDA but I do feel a bit bad for her. None of what she’s doing is coming from a malicious place. But at the same time, what she’s doing IS wrong and needs to be stopped. 

Hmm…a villain that well’s developed and I can feel sympathy for but will still root against because they’re clearly in the wrong and the antagonist of the story. Gee, that sounds awfully familiar 

*coughcoughWilsonFiskcoughcoughKilgravecoughcoughCottonmouth*

2) John Garrett: So despite season one being an average season, I still think Garrett’s switch from SHIELD to HYDRA agent was fantastic. The whole HYDRA civil war arc was great in general but if I had to single out moments from the arc, I’d pick Garrett and Ward’s heel turns.

Honestly, that’s all I got to say about him. He was a great antagonist, Bill Paxton (R.I.P.) was amazing in the role, and he tied season one together. I wish I could go more in-depth with Garrett but really, that’s the general gist of it.  

3) Jiaying: Jiaying was originally going to be number two on this list but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to put her here. I think it’s mainly because of the season she was in.

I don’t think I’ve said this before but I am NOT a fan of season two. To me, it was the most cluttered, disorganized season among the four. Say what you will about season one, at least there was a clear focus (Clairvoyant, HYDRA). Say what you will about season three, it may have been overly ambitious but there was a clear villain and end goal. 

But season two really felt like the writers were tossing in a bunch of storylines and hoping that they stuck. Oh, Ward’s still here and he’s doing his own side mission. Oh, there’s another SHIELD faction that opposes Coulson. Oh, Skye is actually Daisy Johnson (that’s not a criticism, that was actually awesome). Oh, here’s Daisy’s mom, she runs a community of Inhumans. Oh, here’s HYDRA…they’re here too. There were all these storylines and at times, you couldn’t tell what the point of the season was.

Jiaying was a great villain. She had a personal tie to one of the protagonists, you can understand where she’s coming from and can sympathize with her, and she had plenty of memorable villain moments (like killing Raina and Robert Gonzales). But as the Big Bad of the season as a whole, it’s hard to justify that because there were so many different story arcs that it wouldn’t make sense to place Jiaying as the center of them all. I mean, in the season finale, the whole group wasn’t focused on her. Part of the story was focused on Bobbi, Ward and Kara. 

Plus, her villain switch was a bit sudden. Like, the season was coming to an end and then all of a sudden, BAM, she’s killing SHIELD agents. It’s justified in the story but it felt a bit rushed. 

So really, Jiaying being number three isn’t me deeming her a shitty villain. She was a great villain in a not-so great season. 

4) The Hive: Hive was the most interesting concept among the Big Bads but, in my opinion, he was the most poorly executed. I don’t blame Brett for this, there was just a lot riding against him. One, you already knew he was gonna fail. The reason why Garrett, Jiaying, and AIDA are so effective as villains is that they’re all confined to the AOS side of the MCU. If Hive succeeded, that would actually affect the Avengers, the Defenders, and…well, basically, the whole MCU. No way in hell was Marvel Studios gonna let that fly. 

Two, he was overshadowed by Grant Ward’s legacy. Yeah, I know, I know, he’s an Inhuman overlord who founded HYDRA, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the audience has followed Brett as Grant Ward for three years. Suddenly turning him into a different character doesn’t automatically erase our memory. So instead of fully embracing this new villain, Hive was still riding on the ghost of Ward (did you see what I did there?).

And third, Hive was ruined as a threat. The Fallen Agent, ticking time bomb arc made the audience care more about which agent was gonna die instead of whether or not the Hive would succeed. Also, the fact that Will Daniels, a random dude with a single bullet, managed to survive for years alongside the Hive looked bad on the latter’s part. 

All around, Hive was a great concept but it was a shitty delivery. Maybe if they had more time or they took a different approach to the story, he would’ve been higher on the list.

Why Frank Castle Doesn’t Just Deserve Love—He Needs It

This meta COMPLETELY got away from me and is seriously long, but at @76bloodytrombones’ request, here is why Frank Castle deserves love. Except that my conclusion is not that he deserves love, but that he must find it in himself to love again or he will be gone forever, and only the Punisher will remain. 

1. In the beginning, Frank’s grief and guilt have distorted his memories of his family.

In his fantastic book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Auschwitz survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl talks about one of his patients, a man who had lost his wife, who was consumed with grief. This man stopped going to work, stopped seeing his friends, stopped taking care of himself. He could not move on, he missed his wife so desperately, and he didn’t understand why he lived while she had to die.

Dr. Frankl helped this man to recover from his grief by reminding him that, if one of them had to live and one had to die, this man should want to be the one who lived—because he is the one who must now suffer, who must go on without the person he loved. If their positions had been reversed, it would have been this man’s beloved wife who suffered grief from the loss of her husband. By seeing the truth—that the living bear the pain that the dead have been released from, and that to be the one who lives is not necessarily the winning hand in a game of “who lives, who dies”—the man was able to finally come to terms with his grief. 

Like Dr. Frankl’s patient, Frank Castle has lost his wife and his children whom he loved desperately, and he is so consumed by grief and guilt at their loss (while he alone survived), that he punishes HIMSELF first and foremost. For Frank, who is caught in the emotional aftermath of his loss by virtue of both head trauma and self-torture, his penance for living when his family did not is to deprive himself of love, of friendship, of any pleasure of enjoyment that life may have to offer. 

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WALL-E IS ACTUALLY THE 100

So here’s the deal guys. It all started as routine boredom at work. In order to get my mind off of the monotony of my day, I turned to the only thing I seem to be doing consistently these lately,which is to think about The 100. As a proud passenger aboard the Clexa ship, I often think about all of the cute comparisons this incredible fandom manages to come up with, going as far as to create a love story between a small yet fierce raccoon (Lexa) and a grumpy stubborn little lion (Clarke). Well, it was this seemingly innocent train of thought that brought me to a fleeting mental image of one of my other favorite couples in cinema, WALL-E and EVE. And that’s where it began…

At first glance it was an innocent comparison of a classic “Sky meets Ground” story line. However, in the span of a few minutes I found my mind racing with the more similarities I found. The more I let myself dwell on the subject, the more I realized I had stumbled upon something truly epic. Game-changing. Legendary. 

So, below you will find my analysis and breakdown of why I am 100% (tee-hee) sure that The 100 is actually a human re-imagining of WALL-E. I am onto you Jason Rothenberg, you’ve been discovered. 

The Premise: To start off, we have a very similar set-up for our worlds. Like The 100, the Earth in WALL-E has experienced an apocalyptic-level event that drives humans into space as a last resort means of survival. While originally intended to be a temporary solution, over-time it becomes apparent that it may, in fact, be a more permanent move. While the humans in space begin a society that they believe holds the last of humanity, the Earth slowly begins its healing process. Unbeknownst to the Space/Sky people, life slowly begins to re-emerge on the surface of the planet. Though prepared to spend their foreseeable futures on the Axiom/Ark,the humans always hold onto the dream of returning to the ground and rebuilding. Eventually, they take steps to discover if the Earth they left in ruin is once again survivable. They do this by sending down EVE/Clarke/The 100 to “test” the Earths ability to sustain life. And so our stories begin.

Shortly after arriving on Earth, E/C (EVE/Clarke) quickly discovers the Earth isn’t as uninhabited as originally believed when she meets W/L (WALL-E/Lexa). E/C also comes to the conclusion that Earth is indeed capable of hosting life and immediately initiates steps to bring the rest of the population of the Axiom/Ark back to the planet. 

To make things simple, I will now break down the similarities of both       WALL-E/Lexa and EVE/Clarke individually.  

EVE/Clarke (E/C): 

  • Born/created in space
  • Sent to Earth to test livability
  • One of many, but quickly distinguishes themselves as special/a leader
  • Slow to trust W/E 
  • Trying to reunite with their people
  • Survival of their people as main priority
  • Confused with Earth/Grounder customs
  • Eventually rebels against many of their peoples wishes 
  • Becomes a leader to delinquents/misfits
  • Blows things up (I am become death)

WALL-E/Lexa:

  • Survivors of the harsh conditions of Earth
  • Jobs are to maintain order/peace on the planet
  • Immediately intrigued by the Sky/Space people
  • Has trouble with technology
  • Begins to fall in love with E/C on first contact
  • Obsessed with saying “EVE” and “Clarke”
  • Unhealthy interest in candles
  • Has a thing for towers (some of those garbage stacks have got to be at least 20 decalexas tall) 
  • Loves to twirl/show off
  • Believes towels/nightgowns are a foolproof form of flirtation 
  • And lets NEVER forget the freaking HeartEyes

Now let us compare them as they appear together…

EVE/Clarke and WALL-E/Lexa: 

  • Ground meets the Sky
  • E/C more technologically advanced
  • Join forces to make peace/save Earth 
  • Goes to battle together and become targets
  • All those damn meaningful stares…
  • Bowing/Cowering

So, at this point, we have a foundation for our main characters similarities. But what about everyone else? Particularly the antagonists. What do the “big baddies” have in common? Well thank you for asking faithful reader, because this is when SHIT. GETS. REAL. 

Season 1 (and a little of 3): AUTO/Ark

Though the Grounders are arguably the main antagonist in Season 1 of the show, I am focusing on the significant difficulties presented by The Arkers themselves.

  • AUTO actually has significant physical similarities to the Ark
  • Believes they must make life work on the Axiom/Ark rather than rely on the dream of returning to the ground (ex. Kane). 
  • Firm believer in Rules/Protocols
  • Fights against W/E’s influence in the situation of Sky/Space people

Season 2: Axiom Humans/Mountain Men

  • Physical well-being reliant on current enclosed environment
  • Will require significant physical adjustments to survive on the surface 
  • Keys to their survival both reside in bone. Bone growth/bone marrow.
  • Their leader takes the first steps to show that life on the surface will be possible. Gives hope.

Season 3: ATOM/ALIE *(A113)

  • Both believe that their actions are in the best interest of Earth/Humanity
  • Trying to create and maintain a “perfect” society
  • Offers humans a pain free/effort free existence 
  • Relentless in their pursuit to achieve their directive 
  • W/L and E/C become their unexpected rival 

*BONUS: The appearance of “A113″ has long been used as an Easter egg in movies and television, referring to the classroom used by graphic design and character animation students. Especially prevalent in Pixar films. The fact that ALIE could so easily be re-written as A113 is just waaaay too great of a coincidence for me.

Now we move onto an assortment of other characters and situations that only go to further my suspicions…

Indra/Cricket:

  • I mean, just look at that faithful little sidekick…
  • WALL-E/Lexa so worried about their brave and resilient little companion…

M-O/Lincoln/Octavia:

  • Originally working for their own peoples, eventually chooses to leave the path given to them by circumstance to pursue what they see as a new and better way

Rogue Robots/The 100 Delinquents:

  • Imprisoned for their inability to follow rules/directives on the Axiom/Ark
  • Eventually break free and join the fight 

Captain McCrea/Dante Wallace:

  • Wants what is best for their people
  • Wants to one day lead their people to the surface 
  • Comes from a long line of leaders 
  • Obsessed with memorabilia from the past  
  • One of the first to overcome the physical disability that will make life on the surface so difficult

GO-4/Jaha:

  • Sidekick of AUTO/ALIE
  • Likes to float things

BONUSES:

Floating:

The Hands:

W/L trying to reconcile things: 

The Leg (ExtraLextra):

In conclusion: And there you have it! I hope you have found this journey as enlightening as I did and can now see Jason Rothenberg for the little sneak that he is. Forget all those other theories out there, open your eyes to the truth. Clarke is just a determined little warrior trying to save her people and Lexa is really an adorably awkward, love-struck little robot determined to go to the ends of the universe for peace and love. Oh, and they live happily ever after. Duh. The End. 

A Plaid Woven out of Lies and Deception - recap of 2x01

(Note: We’re going to title our recaps an alternate episode title. This week’s comes from the lovely bearded Scot who graces our tumblr icon.)

Did the prediction come true?: Hell yes it did. Score one for me (the non-book-reader, Namaimo).

Things we discovered about ourselves this episode: Namaimo is a couch chip motherfucker who eats chips off the couch and chocolate off the floor. Eloise is a regular chip motherfucker who has no self-control when it comes to TV snacks.

Before we get further into the recap, I gotta say, as I’ve said probably a million times before, Bear McCreary is a goddamn genius (*Eloise immediately downloaded new theme and is now quite fond of the viola de gamba*). Also THOSE NEW TITLE CREDITS. I don’t know if ‘on fleek’ can be used for TV shows but DAMN IT IMMA USE IT, cause look at these beauties

(*cue medical nerds bouncing up and down with excitement*)

(*and Eloise obnoxiously mentally commenting on remembering the exact part of the book this is from and being SO FREAKING HAPPY IT’S GONNA BE IN THE SHOW*)

They’re so on point they even have S1|S2 parallels in their damn intro

(with the above medicaling)

Aaand more

(nice credit placement there, Maril)

Swordplay:

And my fav, hidden stabbies:

(Gonna go ahead and say yellow dude isn’t a friend)

And then we get some bonding

(*moar bouncing from Eloise but FOR OTHER REASONS*)

(Okay that ring he’s wearing also looks a lot like the one Claire picks up from the grass when she wakes up post-time-travel)

Anywho onto the episode

CLAIRE’S BACK IN THE 40′S

the 1940′s, that is

(Maybe she’s going for ♫ FIVE GOL-DEN RIIINGS ♫)

(**SPOILER ALERT FOR LATER BOOKS KINDA**)

Do you think it’s possible they learn about using the rocks to go through in this season? Perhaps from Raymond? Could Jamie have given her his ring for that purpose - to see her safely through, that is?

(**END BOOK SPOILERS**)

And then she meets…

(It’s a theory.)

(One I know not to be true BUT I DON’T CARE. ALL THE NED, PLS & THX)

Turns out the Brits won Culloden anyways

I kind of enjoyed her asking about who won Culloden, though I feel like it was laid on a bit too thick (and that’s shocking coming from me, cause I think Cait’s a great actress, and I love how she plays Claire. It was just a bit much in that scene, I think.)

Namaimo points out that perhaps they changed the course of events leading up to this to make it even more devastating and warrant what Eloise worries borders on melodramatic. But again, Namaimo doesn’t know.

Eloise adds that this does up the dramatic tension for the rest of the series, since it’s very clear that what they’re working to do will fail. I mean, we knew that in the book, but here it’s more immediate so I feel that it packs more of a punch. 

*queue intro*

Namaimo the nursing student does not approve of this doctor’s action and is sure that this 1940s nurse agrees.

You don’t give a vulnerable patient a goddamn sedative, because you are just asking for them to temporarily lose it (aka delirium). As Nike has never said, just don’t do it.

#Nursetips

Favourite medical moment: PTSD. I honestly thought this was lacking in the book on Claire’s part. We think it makes perfect sense that Claire would see BJR flashbacks when she looks at Frank, and we are glad that they included her trauma around that in episode 1. We also like their inclusion of her trauma around wars in general. Poor woman’s been bounced from WW2 to the Uprising back to the Cold War that looks like it might devolve into WW3. She’s got to have trauma around that.

And then they go to “convalesce” (honestly, so bloody English) at the Rev’s crib

I really liked that they mentioned the clothes. Cause nobody really mentioned them in the book and that seemed odd. We also enjoyed the choice of having Frank just burning them without asking Claire (notice the theme of him not asking her what’s best for her or what she wants… Imma come back to that later)

Frank is cheesed, the Rev is sassy, and the press are fuckwads

“Devil take the press”

“Even the devil has standards”

Claire is traumatized and desperate for info about Jamie’s fate

Sidenote: We both think it’s nice that she can talk to someone about what happened, someone who not only believes her, but sort of saw what was going to happen and believed it even before she had it confirmed (Mrs Graham was the one who suggested in S1 that Claire had gone through the stones when she disappeared).

One thing Eloise did like was that she threw herself into finding out what happened to Jamie. To me, in the books, it felt out of character that she didn’t look into what happened to him. I understand she was grieving and it was hard, but given her characterization, she seems like she would absolutely throw herself into finding out what happened and only stop doing so when it was one of Frank’s conditions and her guilt and promise to Jamie would convince her to close the books.

(kudos, Gary Steel)

And then they settle in and have the little chat we’ve been waiting for

(10 points if you get the reference there)

Frank can’t brush that off, and it’s concrete proof Claire was at least intimate with someone else, so he freaks

Namaimo is of the opinion that Tobias Menzies purposely channelled some BJR facial ticks for this scene. They’re very hard to screencap because they’re so small and also we’re weenies who don’t know how to gif and are too scared to learn, so there aren’t visual examples here - but I saw a similar jaw clench and some lip curls and a couple others. Namaimo and Eloise both thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it added to the story, the drama, and the overall characterization of Frank in the 2nd season.

(♫I came in like a wrecking stick♫)

It’s interesting to note that both here and in season 1 when he beats up those people in the alley, Frank feels a great deal of guilt about his angry outbursts. They do a great job of showing that while he is BJR’s descendent and has a temper (as, might I point out, do Jamie and Claire), he is not BJR; he’s not a monster. 

Namaimo is actually thinking that out of the three of them (Claire, Frank, and Jamie), Jamie is arguably the most gentle. Of course, he gets into fights and arguments and he can be pigheaded sometimes, but his temper is generally under his control. Even in those oft moments when we see someone say something rude to Claire and he does the thing:

…even so it’s not really a result of his temper, but rather a result of his loyalty, his urge to protect, and his need to do the right thing.

Anywho Frank gets on with the whole business of repairing their marriage

Unpopular opinion: At risk of alienating everyone, we have to admit that we quite enjoy Frank as a character. Eloise feels like the book made him too two-dimensional (though it’s worth noting that even DG doesn’t think of him as a villain) and the show does a better job of making him greyer (and even my non-book-reader companion thinks he’s a grey character).

THAT BEING SAID, Eloise wishes we had a bit less of his perspective in the first episode and more of Claire’s. After all, it is ultimately her story, but I felt like they spent more time exploring Frank’s side. Her emotions were really only explored in scenes with Frank. The only time her feelings as explored alone are in the one scene with Mrs. Graham, whereas Frank’s feelings were explored more in depth.  (Namaimo nods as I write this)

Eloise has also heard people say they made Claire out to be the bad guy and Frank the villain, but I disagree. Claire was quite sympathetic, and there are moments where I sympathized with Frank too. But he did not react well. He did not ask her what happened, and honestly sounded like he didn’t want to know. He just wanted her to forget and move on, cause that’s what he wanted. All of his proposed solutions were not made with respect for her feelings, they were quite selfish, just as they were in the book. He wants her to just forget and move on, he doesn’t want to acknowledge what she went through and her relationship with Jamie. He doesn’t even ask her if she wants to go back with him, even when she calls herself his “ex-wife,” he just assumes that of course she does. I don’t even think he believed her about travelling back in time. I think he just didm’ t want to argue about it. With everything about her disappearance, he seems to just want to pretend it didn’t happen, so I think that’s why he just accepts her story, because it’s easy to dismiss a fairy-tale.

What can’t he dismiss? A baby.

That’s why I think he explodes when he realizes Claire’s pregnant. Cause that’s real, concrete proof that she was with someone else. That her story isn’t just a story. Also, it’s what he always wanted, now given to him by a man he’d rather pretend never existed.

(Namaimo nods emphatically)

Namaimo and I wonder at the Frank hate, because we think the greyness of the situation makes it more interesting and realistic. We also don’t think it makes Claire any less sympathetic.

AGAIN, THAT BEING SAID

People were also upset about Frank accepting Claire’s story, thinking it minimizes the significance of Jamie accepting her story. I disagree. I think the comparison lies in the fact that Jamie ascertains that she wants to go back, and then gives her the choice, whereas Frank keeps saying they can move on, never asking whether she wants to move on with him. 

He never even imagines she might want to go back, that she might have been happier there or that she might have loved Jamie more (Namaimo disagrees. She thinks that’s exactly what he’s trying not to imagine. Eloise thinks that comes down to the same thing. Either way, he’s not considering it.) It’s clear she’s told him Jamie dies, but he never helps her look for him; never helps her get closure though he professes to understand that she loved Jamie. To reprise Jamie, “those are just empty words.” I think the anti-parallel between Jamie’s actions after Claire tells him about the stones vs Frank’s is quite telling. Jamie seeks to give her a choice, to act in a way that allows her to chose the life she wants, to optimize her happiness, disregarding his own. Frank orders her to stop looking for Jamie in spite of her obvious need to do so; he takes choice away from Claire, acting to optimize his own happiness, disregarding hers.

Here I must say, I see where people are coming from being upset about her taking off the ring, but then again, she is acting on her promise to Jamie to leave him behind. 


(**BOOK SPOILERS**)

Also, I did not find it realistic in the books that she NEVER took it off in 20 years. She would have to, as a surgeon. You can’t leave that on in the operating room, it’s insanitary. She would 100% have had to take it off for every operation. Just wanted to mention that.

(**END BOOK SPOILERS**)


(Apologies to Namaimo, who can’t see parts of her own joint post. She feels like Frank, specifically “I FEEL LIKE THIS BABY ISN’T MINE”)

And then they fly away to ‘merica

BOOM. TIME & SPACE-JUMP TO LA FRANCE!

(Namaimo and Eloise always love Murtagh, but particularly in these early France scenes when he’s griping about frogs.)

Jamie and Claire have some lifechats

More fiery Frasers appear

We have to say, we do feel for Jamie here. Much as Claire is supportive and they’re both together in wanting to protect the Scottish people, it’s much more of a leap of faith for Jamie. He’s just been reminded of how close he was to Jared, and how much Jared trusts him, and he’s about to commit to directly trying to undermine the cause Jared is so fiercely working towards. That would be hard for anyone, and especially someone who holds honour, loyalty, and family as pretty much the most important things in life.

Basically we like that this highlights how pragmatic Claire is, as well as loyal in her own way, versus Jamie’s strong commitments to seeing the Rising succeed. Claire is trying to get them (the Scottish people, the Highlanders) to survive in order to possibly fight another day, whereas Jamie probably views this as more of a one-shot deal, now or never, and it goes against his instincts and values to fight it.

As a book-reader, Eloise must also mention that she likes that Jamie asked why they weren’t trying to help the rebellion succeed, which he didn’t do in the book. It just makes more sense that he would ask that, while still clearly trusting Claire’s judgement.

Jamie then strips, with Claire’s help, to show Jared his back

We particularly liked this because it parallels the scenes of him being stripped during Dougal’s quest to raise funds for the rebellion. Here, he gently removes his shirt of his own volition, as opposed to having it violently torn off against his will by Dougal. Also, Dougal was stripping him to support the Uprising, here they’re stripping him to undermine it. 

And then we have some medical fun

We’re always here for Claire standing up for medicine, but…

She’s talking about quarantine and then immediately feels up Jamie’s coat without WASHING HER DAMN HANDS. It’s a small thing, but this is a hella infectious disease we’re talkin’ about. The outbreak’s in the details.

Namaimo want to know if Claire knows how the smallpox vaccine originally came about - if she’s aware of the whole inoculating with cowpox thing, and if so why is she not doing this for Jamie and then everybody?

Anywho, they speak in lovely accents to people with fabulous wigs, and make lots of new friends

This actually segues into one problem Eloise had: at times, the dialogue felt a bit on-the-nose at times (ex. “you’ve made yourselves an enemy” (I mean, we know. It felt a bit mustachio-twiddling villain-esque. Or perhaps wig-twiddling, in this case.)

(But look at these dorks being all supportive of each other. Warms my wizened heart.)

We go out with a sizzle

So that’s episode 1. All in all, we loved it and had lots to say about it.

See you for Ep2!

Season 11 Sneak Peek

For Supernatural, the first three episodes of a season always set what the rest of it is going to be about. It’s time for us to analyze what we can learn from episodes 1, 2, and 3 and what expectations we can have for season 11 thanks to them. (If you’re only interested in Dean/Cas, start reading from point #5).

1. This season is going to be about saving people again. Jenna pointed that out in 11x01: “This job is supposed to be saving people.” But it will REALLY be about the people, not just the Winchesters. Little by little, the codependency will be addressed (as well as the fact that they continue keeping secrets from each other) because if the boys don’t change, their mistakes will be repeating themselves (as Sam said in 11x01). Actually, Sam himself told Dean, “Saving people means all of the people, Dean. Not just each other.” This important theme for the season cannot get any clearer than that.

2. Next time Dean and/or Sam are in danger of dying, they will stay dead. Or at least that was the message TPTB sent us in 11x02 via Billie (the reaper). They also came up with a new place: the Empty. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the boys ended up there if Supernatural got renewed for season 12 or more. It sounds like a good escape door in case they need more storylines.

3. Lucifer will be a player in dealing with the Darkness. “Joy comes in the morning,” Jenna said in 11x01. Lucifer means “light bearer” or “morning star”. Besides, the cage was mentioned, along with Lucifer and Michael in 11x01. Why don’t I say Michael will be a key player, too? Because we have continued having references about Lucifer, but not about Michael. “Satan” was part of the lyrics of the opening song for season 11. And the song the reaper was singing in 11x02 mentions “the Devil”. So many times can’t be a coincidence! In addition, I’m betting God will make an appearance as well since Sam said in 11x03: “It’s possible he’s around. Closer than we think, you know?” Both God and Lucifer were mentioned again in 11x03 by the angel and demon who walked into a bar. So… more proof, IMHO, that both characters will make an appearance and will be relevant. Another important thing is that there’s definitely a way to seal the Darkness away once more, but of course, the show won’t give us the answer so soon in the season. Crowley asked Amara about it, and all she said was, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Predictable! The Darkness, of course, will have a purpose that is still unknown to us. Her true destiny will become clear as the season progresses, but we still can’t be sure of how evil she is. It seems she thinks God screwed up when he made a world where people have to suffer and die. It’s very intriguing to know what exactly her role in the season will be.

4. Hate and Love are going to be part of the theme for this season, but love will win in the end. I haven’t seen anybody talk about the man on the radio in 11x02? This was said:

H-a-t-e. It was with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low. L-o-v-e. You see these fingers? They’re arched. These fingers has veins that run straight to the soul of man. The right hand, friends – the hand of love. Now watch, and I’ll show you the story of life. These fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging, one against the other. Now watch ‘em. Old brother left hand – left hand hates a-fighting. And it looks like love’s a goner. But wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hot dog! Love’s a-winning. Yes, siree. It’s love that won. And old left-hand hate is down for the count.

5. Crowley is canonically queer. He had an orgy, but it wasn’t the first one. He did extraordinary things to triplets along with DEAN in season 10. So… yeah. That’s interesting. It’s also very interesting that in 11x02, Crowley said: “Dean was a rather scrumptious young altar boy.” Scrumptious means “delicious”, “mouthwatering” and altar boy could be a slang for “blow job.” The innuendo is very obvious. So much that this is Jenna’s reaction:

She raises her eyebrows in a way that kind of says “I didn’t think you of all people would…” But the best part is Dean’s reaction to Jenna’s. I wish I had a gif to show you his “yeah, well” expression.

6. This season is emphasizing that Dean deserves a life and one of the objectives of TPTB will be to give him one. A life of his own, not one that depends entirely on the well-being of Sam. Why do I say that? “Dean deserves a life,” Sam said in 11x02. “Get a life,” a random woman told Dean in 11x03. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Dean didn’t hear Sam’s prayer, but what was the best way to be told to get a life? The way it actually happened in the scene that upset a lot of people.

7. The Darkness is NOT going to be Dean’s love interest. In 11x01, Dean said this to the female vessel the Darkness occupies: “I’m not here to bring you peace.” Jeremy Carver wrote this episode, and this is not the first time he has used that phrase. In 5x15, Karen (Bobby’s wife) used similar words when talking to Dean: “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’ve never been in love. He’s my husband. My job is to bring him peace… not pain.” (I’ve even talked about this in a meta I wrote back in February). So, Dean isn’t going to be in love with Amara, no matter how bound she says they are.

8. Dean and Cas are going to care about each other again and their relationship won’t be distant (as I speculated in this post). It’s like they went back to 9x10. At that time, Dean had been keeping secrets from Cas. In that episode, he came clean and apologized, but later he left and somehow ended with the Mark of Cain. Now in season 11, he’s finally himself again, and Cas is as well. The narrative hasn’t put much conflict between them. They still have to talk about what happened in season 10. Cas might apologize for keeping secrets from Dean and working with Sam behind his back, and maybe he’ll explain why he didn’t do what Dean asked him (‘cause Dean asked him to kill him if he went dark). And Dean might apologize for what he did to Cas (‘cause let’s remember even Cain told Dean that killing Castiel would hurt something awful). Dean almost killed Cas in 10x22, so that must have hurt a lot. We already saw in 11x03 how guilty Dean feels about what he did. Why hasn’t he apologized? Because when he tried to say something on the phone, Castiel cut him off, and in 11x03, they were never alone. Sam was always with them. Dean and Cas never have deep conversations with Sam around. Do you remember how their little heart-to-heart in 8x08 was interrupted when Sam arrived? We will have to wait until Dean and Cas are alone for some real conversation. In the meantime, we know there’s still an elephant in the room for Cas and Dean, but their little conflict this season is part of their relationship, not something external. It’s not like fake!Ezekiel asking Dean to kick Cas out. It’s not about Cas not having his grace or Dean having the Mark. It’s the first time since Cas came back from Purgatory that Cas is himself as an angel and Dean is himself. Do you remember how much Dean wanted to have Cas around in season 8? All the “I need yous”? All that is still there, but it had been buried because there were always more pressing matters… because Sam was dying, because Cas was dying, because Dean himself was dying. Now all of them are OK. If TPTB intended to keep Dean and Cas away, they would have done something about it in 11x03, but they didn’t. The episode ended and Cas was still in the Bunker, and in the promo for 11x04, the boys will be on the phone with Cas. Even if Cas won’t be in some episodes because he will be looking for Metatron, distance won’t mean he’s away from Dean. Their relationship will be addressed at some point. In fact, their relationship is a quite relevant part of the narrative this season as we saw in the first three episodes that proved Cas is really important to Dean. Dean Winchester worrying about Cas was the same Dean who would NOT leave Purgatory without Cas. The same Dean who said “I need you” instead of “I love you”. The same Dean who, in season 9, acknowledged he was not really with the whole love and… love (and that’s why he couldn’t say the L word to the people he loved). The same Dean who confessed in season 10 that there were people, feelings that he wanted to experience differently, or maybe even for the first time. Maybe Dean “can’t strap on a time machine” and go back in time to fix everything that went wrong, but he can learn from his mistakes and start over. So… yeap… I’m very excited about what’s in store this season!

9. Castiel doesn’t have a place in Heaven anymore. The angels are not his family. They all reject him because Cas has always chosen the Winchesters, and they question what exactly Cas is. In their eyes, Cas is no angel. This continues to show that Castiel will have to choose what he wants to be (as I explained in this meta). And the show literally gave us a preview of Cas’ decision in the awful porn scene. There was a message reading, “You don’t really want to leave!” Whatever mission that takes Cas away from the Bunker, from the Winchesters, from Dean, he really doesn’t want to leave. I hope we can soon get the moment I’ve been talking about for a very long time. The moment when Cas stays because he wants to.

It seems to me that season 11 has a lot of potential. I’m definitely looking forward to all the parts of the story. Destiel is my main focus, but I’m certainly interested in the story as a whole, too. This is going to be so much fun!

Stefan Salvatore in TVD 7x05

So I was actually going back and forth in my mind wondering whether I should watch this after I heard recaps from several friends. And honestly, I think the Steroline story is incomplete (which causes a lot of anxiety), so it wouldn’t be the worst thing if you haven’t seen it yet - maybe you should wait to watch it along with 7x06 - it might put bring the steroline arc full circle.

That being said, I’m going to jump right in to the Stefan/Valerie/Baby story and him lying to Caroline.

Keep reading