coffin ride

4

- Rough day?
- Rough year.

This is so, so good.

I mean, in a really terrible, punch-you-in-the-gut kind of way, but still.

I just love the specter of Ziva’s presence continuing to haunt Tony. Not that I wish that pain on anyone, fictional or otherwise, but again, I like that it acknowledges the show’s history and Tony’s emotional history, and the Star of David in his desk is a constant reminder of what could have been and should have been. Because it shows us that yes, this did happen, and this is still important, and this person may not be here but she’s still here, and it’s really difficult to deal with that on a daily basis. 

Because Tony could have moved that necklace to a safer spot, or buried it deep inside his apartment and avoided it, but he chose to leave it in his desk drawer, where he’d see it constantly and be reminded constantly of her. Because he doesn’t want to forget, and in many ways, he probably doesn’t want to move on even though he knows he should, because she is it and he knows it and it’s really painful to admit that that is probably never going to happen. Abby’s right, he can’t keep living in this limbo, because he’s going to end up as alone and emotionally crippled as Gibbs, and while they all may love Boss, they must know that that’s no way to live, either.

But now that he’s been confronted with his past yet again via Zoe, he’s starting to question what it is he’s doing now. Because now he’s reunited with someone he also has a different kind of history with, and it’s comfortable and familiar and feels nice, and it may be time to admit that the time has come to give up on one dream in order to pursue another kind of dream. One where an old friend comes back to town and is there. (It’s probably no accident that all the talk of Ziva leaving and never coming back parallels Zoe returning to his life in DC and offering to stay the night simply to catch up. One door closes, another opens, etc.) And it’s a testament to Tony’s growth that he opens up to Zoe so easily, and starts to tell her things he obviously hasn’t been able to tell anyone else in his circle this year. 

But again, Tony is being allowed to feel the pain of Ziva’s loss, and the loss of what might have had, and everything that goes with that. It took them so long to get to where they were and they nearly lost each other a dozen times and a dozen different ways, that it must have been so hard to think that this time was it. Hell, he went to the ends of the earth to find her more than once and they still survived. An El-Al flight away probably seems like the least likely way to end it so terminally.

“Tony, I didn’t know where you went. One day, we were patrolling River Drive, and the next… You were just gone. You just up and left. Not a phone call, not a single word…

“You needed to find your own way. I never faulted you for that. But I deserve better.”

Okay, so who are we talking about here?

Yes, this is about how Tony and Zoe left things when he left Philly (btw did we know he’d worked in Philly before Baltimore?), but this is totally about what happened in PPF, too.

Because the gist of PPF is that Ziva had to find her own way, too. That she needed to heal herself before she could move on from her own trauma, because she’s never been afforded that luxury. And event though it broke his heart, Tony respected that and that is why he got on that plane a year ago. He probably knew it was a mistake as much as she did, but she said she needed to do this, and he had no choice but to respect her choice. But that doesn’t negate the fact that as far as we know, they’ve had no contact in a year, and at a certain point, he has has to read the writing on the wall. And he deserves better than to be strung along. Which is not to say that he is being strung along, but he can’t keep living in this limbo where he puts his life on hold because he holds onto the dubious hope that she’s going to change her mind and come back. He has to let himself move forward, because he owes it to himself to find happiness, which he never will if he keeps waiting for her.

Zoe may have uttered that line, but it could have easily been said by Tony in any hypothetical reunion with Ziva, too.

I’m not ready to move on, and neither is Tony. But sometimes you have to move on regardless of what you want. And Tony does deserve to be happy, and this clearly isn’t it. So maybe it’s time to try a different reality. He’s a work in progress, after all. 

Help this show has broken me.

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3

The Samadhi – The 4D Death Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience cremation? Well now you can! There is a “ride” in China called the Samadhi. Riders will have to lie down in a wooden coffin before ride attendants push them into a “furnace” – which heats up to a sweltering 40 degrees Celsius with the use of hot air and light projections to create that “authentic experience of burning.” 

After “dying”, the guests will be transported to soft, womb-like capsule where they will go through feeling a “rebirth.”

So, for 249 yuan (about 40 bucks) you can experience what it feels like to get cremated. 

flickr

Untitled by Suzanne C

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3 x 05 France Without Francis

Please forgive any typos. My eyes are swollen to the size of bao buns right now. To be fully transparent guys, I had had the chance to read the script for this episode before I saw it, so I was like “I can handle this. I know what’s coming. I’m a grown ass lady. I might tear up but then I’ll be okay.”

NOPE.

From basically the moment Catherine called Francis her golden child my nose tickles started. And then when Mary and Francis started talking about the feathers. And then God help me when Francis told her he needed her to love again. AND THEN CATHERINE SAID LET GO OF HIM AND HOLD ONTO ME.

AND THEN MARY SCREAMING.

AND THEN MARY FOLLOWING THE COFFIN ON FOOT.

Like I don’t know where to start. I am floating in a sea of feels right now. WHOOO. It’s a lot guys, it’s a lot, let’s try to process it.

First of all,I know a lot of Frary fans are like “Eff it I’m out what just happened.” I get it guys, I get that angst. But to be clear, let’s all take a moment to appreciate three things:

1. Francis’ death was built into the series from the pilot. The sense of doomed love was always a huge part of the hook of Mary and Francis’ relationship in Romeo & Julietesque ways, and the show was always destined to pay off that set up.

2. What this show is counting on is their viewers to care about Mary. And a CW romantic drama betting on girls to support girls is akin to astronauts taking the first steps on the moon. It’s revolutionary, its beautiful, it’s a moment in history I think we all need to sort of appreciate. This show is firmly 100% about Mary, Queen of Scots, actual teen queen. They are honoring her life, her history. It’s super sad to lose Toby Regbo, who is so talented and charismatic. By all means, let’s have a mourning period. But how amazing is it that this show asks us to care about a three dimensional girl in and of herself, outside the proxy romance of a love interest? Do you understand what this means? Do you understand the commitment to creating a world in which women MATTER that thrums through this very concept? There was NO SUCH THING in my world when I was 16, kids. Hell, when I was in my early twenties Bella Swan was a scoop of vanilla pudding next to the glittery golden-eyed Edward Cullen.

To make a series that follows a teen Queen developing into a political figure, independent of how the men in her life come in and out of frame, is truly a step forward for all girls everywhere. And I beg of you, Frary fans, for the sake of your daughters, for the sake of yourselves in another ten years, support Reign now. Tune in next week and the week after. Because guys, when you try to pitch a show with a female main character, 40% of that pitch is apologizing for asking viewers to care about a female. Guys, this is some real talk. Girls and dudes will watch a guy character, but only girls will watch a girl character, that is taken as Gospel fact all over Hollywoodland. So if you care about YOUR story being told as a female human being, please get behind a show that wants to tell a young woman’s story. Hold hands with me and tune in and show this industry that women give a fuck about women, because right now that’s not what they believe.

3. (ahahah bet you thought I was done with 2) Look. If you really love a couple that a series had cooked up, have some faith they can do it again. Historically, the Great Loves and Romantic Dramas of Mary’s life are still ahead of her. Give the show a little credit, if they made you fall in love with Frary, wait until you meet Darnley and Bothwell. There is tantalizing drama on the horizons.

Okay. Now, let’s get into it.

Francis was experiencing hyper life since his resurrection. He was seeing everything in hyper-saturated colors. And look, this whole season has been particularly gorgeous, but this episode cinematography and direction was out of control. I mean, this episode really looked like a movie, and this moment called it out but honestly the whole hour was truly gorgeous to see. Just 100% a treat for the eyes.

Anyway. Francis wanted to climb the mountains and drink the wine and eat the honey. He wanted to live live live! Catherine was like “Cool, also have babies.”

Then Nostradamus walked out of the shadows. It’s hard to miss a man who is eight feet tall and wearing a bear coat, but apparently he’d slunk into court almost unnoticed to make good on his pilot prophesy: Francis was NOT safe. Petals. Blood drippin’s. Blood visions. Catherine was like “Could we not?” but Nostradamus was like “I got a hunch you should stock up on Kleenex.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth offered Mary peace with England, if she gave up any claim to the English throne. On the one hand, Mary seems busy enough with Scotland and France. On the other hand, it IS Mary’s birthright. But Mary was like, hey, it would be pretty cool if hundreds of French dudes didn’t have to die defending my country and decided to sign away her right to the English throne.

Francis’ handwriting, by the way, was amazing.

Then Francis was like “ROAD TRIP! Let’s go to Paris!” and commence fifteen minutes of all the Frary feels. As a sort of send off, I guess, the show gave the young couple all these heart-breakingly meaningful moments. Like Mary flashing back to the pilot and being like “You were totally into me” and Francis was like “uh YEAH I was totally into you.”

Then Mary was like “Skinny dip time?” and Francis was like “Hell to the yes.”

Already this was starting to feel suspiciously conflict free.

Back in the castle, Delphine was swearing up and down she wasn’t a witch and then proceeding to do a million witchy things: rituals, chanting spells, sensing emotions, pointing out a witch house…

Meanwhile, Mary was like “Shall I get our picnic lunch?” and Francis was like “Awesome yes.” And then horror struck. Assassins sprang out of nowhere.

Francis, hearing Mary’s cries, sprang into action, and before he even got to her saw the tree in the glen that Nostradamus had warned him about.

So like, Francis made a choice here, basically, that he would die to save Mary, he was cool with that. He dove right into the action and was carving up dudes like Thanksgiving turkeys. Mary was yelling for the guards, and once again: THESE GUARDS ARE THE WORST. They let Francis fall down the stairs and now here they are letting a bunch of idiots take on the King four at a time or whatever. Disgraceful.

So basically Francis laid down his life to save Mary, which, you know, worth it. These buttholes had slammed his head against the ground a ton and it was clear he was not going to make it and Mary was teeing herself up for a lifetime of solitude and he was like “No our life together was awesome. Also life is for the living, find someone else, you brought so much beauty into my life.”

Obviously by now we were all crying for forever.

Bash broke the news to Catherine, and they and Nosty came out to the woods. You know sad as he was, Nosty had to be professionally congratulating himself on this moment (“Called it.”) and yet when Catherine had to practically drag Mary away from Francis’ corpse this is where my throat got sore from crying.

Then Mary went back to the castle and honestly this scene is maybe the best acted moment I’ve ever seen on Reign. Her confrontation of Nicholas, the pain in her voice was incredible. She told him she’d been left with nothing and by God Elizabeth wasn’t going to get her to throw away her birthright that easily and then she tore down all her new banners and there was SO MUCH PAIN.

Then this…oh guys. Mary walked behind Francis’ coffin instead of riding in the carriage. Like, help me. Help me back up onto the sofa children. This was deeply stirring and upsetting.

And then, weeks later, she got back in the boat to try and commune with Francis, and remembered the lessons he taught her, and her face was this incredible conflict of sadness and futility and just like move over Meryl Streep there is a new Queen in town.

So look. A couple things: Toby Regbo has brought so much to this show. His charisma and vitality and range have been so key. He is going to be so greatly, greatly missed. Yes his character was doomed from day one, but Reign really honored his impact on the show with this send off episode.

Plot-wise, Francis’ death is the most dramatic twist the show has put in Mary’s fortunes so far, just as Francis’ death was the most dramatic twist IRL Mary faced until she went to Scotland. What the hell does she do now? She’s not Queen of France. She’s never really been to her native land. She promised Francis to stay until his brother was secure, but let me tell you, if the history books are what we’re judging by it’s not ‘til Mary gets to Scotland that shit starts getting real.

I really want to see Mary in Scotland.  Maybe it’s just this fan promo…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXGkMpRd-HY

But chills down my spine every time.

Anyway. Look, to be real my eyes are pretty swollen. This was a big juicy episode and the cast really made it shine. Even being fully mentally prepared it knocked me backwards and I can only imagine what it was like to see it without mental preparation. I hope you’ll all join me again next week for the first post-Francis episode. Girls to the front for the rest of season three, guys.

How are you doing?

things that make me think of Agent Maine: this article

Misconception #1: Orbital drops are “kickass.”

Reality: No, they fucking aren’t. Yeah, let me just cram my up-armored ass into a tiny pod that may or may not combust in the atmosphere of the hostile planet I’m about to assault and faithfully rely on all of the sensitive electronic components that are supposed to slow me down before I pummel into the ground at terminal velocity. Contrary to popular belief, those pods aren’t designed to gently deliver you dirtside. They’re only designed to keep you alive long enough to survive skipping across the planet’s crust like a flaming pinball.

There’s no doubt in my military mind that any of the sadistic bastards who designed this drop coffin ever took a ride in one. Honestly, I think it’s purposely designed to keep us so pissed off that we’ll kill everything we see after a rough landing. The sight of enraged Marines emerging from shattered drop pods, venting puke and shit from their exo-armor, is bound to send enemy troops fleeing.

lunxmaxwell

This was her first trip to Hipsterville since she had been in the states. She had heard about a cool goth club that would give her a welcome change of scenery from Dullsville. What she didn’t expect to see was a family that she had briefly known back in Romania. Riding her coffin shaped skate board up to the entrance she flashed her fresh I.D. and entered in past the bouncer. Walking through the fog, Oktober’s vibrant blue eyes scanned the dance floor taking in her surroundings.