i'm always happy now

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I’m the Avatar.

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A: Honestly, after everything that’s happened the past few months, I could use a vacation.
K: Let’s do it. Let’s go on a vacation, just the two of us, anywhere you want.
A: Really? Okay. I’ve always wanted to see what the Spirit World’s like.
K: Sounds perfect.

Happy Two Year Anniversary, Korrasami fandom! (Dec 19th) °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °

I’m so sorry I loved you for so long. I’m so sorry I kept trying to hold onto you when it was obvious you didn’t want me in your life anymore. All you wanted was to be set free and I think I have finally learned to let you go. Not because I want to, but because you’re happy with out me. And all I ever wanted was to make you happy.
—  I’m sorry it took me so long
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H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y J U L I A!!!

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There’s no need for such ceremony for us to be friends.”
↳ Happy birthday to my most precious Sylvia bae! (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・☆

Carisi-centric thoughts on Ep 19x03

Yet another solid episode! This season is going to be a winner. Also, THE BARISI CORNER IS OFFICIALLY BACK :D

But first:

Overall Thoughts

OK, this wasn’t much to write home about, but it was more than serviceable. All three actresses were very good so they kept me engaged, the case was pleasantly twisty but not convoluted, Sonny had significant input as a lawyer (and I loved how Liv was all “we’ll follow Carisi’s suggestion!”) and Barba delivered a heated and eloquent closing argument. I enjoyed it.

Squad Thoughts

More sharing of personal information! I swear, Sonny and Fin have talked to each other more in these last two episodes than they did in the previous 3 2 seasons! And they didn’t need some random case-related segue, either. This week, they were just driving to a crime scene, and they were shooting the breeze on the way there. You know, like normal colleagues do. Like real people do. Not cardboard cutouts. Something small like that, something as silly as stealing candy as a little boy, it can breathe life into a scene which would otherwise be mundane.

The thing is, even when an episode is not as exciting, it’s still worth watching just to see our characters interacting and being friends. That’s what SVU seemed to have forgotten, and it’s also the key to making a watchable procedural. Let’s face it, all the cases have been done before (often by SVU itself, because it’s been on for a hundred years), but the team interactions can )and should) be enough to maintain the viewers’ interest. This season, it’s clear the team dynamics are being cultivated, instead of being ignored, and that makes me happy.

The Barisi Corner

WE’RE BACK.

Just like I hoped, it’s like S18 never happened. We’re back to the S17 Barisi dynamic of friendly teasing and inside jokes. In the deleted scene from the premiere, we got the classic “booyah, Fordham law” type of interaction, except in its advanced S17 form. Where in S16 Barba would be biting with his remarks, in S17 and in the 19x01 deleted scene he was just making a joke for the sake of a joke, because that’s what they do. Sonny tries to impress Barba, Barba is totally impressed, and then he makes a joke to pretend he’s not actually appreciative of Sonny’s input.

In this episode, we got an even more advanced interaction. We got Sonny making a smart legal observation not just to impress Barba, but because he wanted to contribute to the case. And, just like in S17, Barba was impressed, and then he used a joke not to diss Sonny, but to praise him.

See, there are two kinds of humorous Barisi interactions.

There’s “Sassy Sonny Tries to Impress Barba” which comes complete with Sonny’s dimples, and Sonny’s smirks, and Sonny’s cocky remarks like, “Oh, Rafael, are you mad you didn’t think about it first?” This type of Barisi interaction always ends with a Barba side-eye and a snarky comeback. When Barba knows that Sonny is flaunting, he’s always quick to shut it down. That’s the joke. Sonny starts blathering on about a hypothetical argument, just to show off his legal skillz, and Barba is amused, but he also acknowledges the alterior motive, i.e. Sonny’s desire to get Barba’s approval.

But then there’s “Dedicated Sonny Tries to Crack the Case” which comes with Sonny’s frown and Sonny’s desire to get justice, and Sonny’s casual use of legal terminology like “obfuscated.” This type of Barisi interaction always ends with Barba subtly praising Sonny, using a joke to cover up a genuine compliment. When Barba knows that Sonny is trying to be helpful, he’s always quick to encourage it. That’s Barba’s favorite thing. Seeing Sonny creatively solving a legal problem with no ulterior motive. Sure, their games are fun, and they’ve been fun for 3 2 seasons now, but at the end of the day they’re both trying to get justice, and Barba loves it when Sonny focuses on their work.

That’s the thing. Both Sonny and Barba have evolved. Sonny used to thirst for Barba’s approval, early on, in S16, but soon after that he found his confidence, and his footing, and his place on the team. He still tries to show off for Barba, because it’s fun, but that’s no longer his main motivator when he speaks legalese. Sonny isn’t a law student looking to get that A, he’s a lawyer looking to get that D. And his actions and words have come to reflect that. Now he doesn’t just state the obvious as Barba jokes “save it for night school.” Now, Sonny has original ideas which can actually help SVU.

And Barba, who treated Sonny so condescendingly at first, Barba has come to see the change in Sonny as well. The humorous element of their interactions persists, because Barba is a snarky bastard, but now those same interactions are loaded with respect. With friendship. With flirtation. Barba is no longer dismissive of Sonny, and hasn’t been for a long while. Barba sees Sonny as a useful presence in the squad, with legal knowledge the other cops don’t possess, and it’s clear he welcomes Sonny’s observations. It’s right there in his smile smirk. Barba is willing to listen, and he’s even willing to entertain the notion that Sonny just might think of something he didn’t, which is beautiful to see :’)

Barisi Hopes

Now all I want is that other type of S17 interaction, the quiet support. Sonny always supported Barba in tougher moments, like the death threats (what death threats lol?), or a trial gone wrong, but Barba also supported Sonny, especially during that Catholic Church case, as we all remember. I’m loving the new showrunner’s tendency to use humor to display the bonds between our characters, it’s just the perfect thing to balance out the grim nature of the cases, but I’d love to see some more muted, more emotional moments between them (between all of them, but Barba/Carisi especially, lol). We have an entire season ahead, so there’s still plenty of time. I’ll be waiting.

For now, I’m just happy the classic Barisi dynamic is back.

I’ve said it time and time again, and I don’t even mean romantically (that’s what fic is for). Those two characters, Barba and Carisi, they have a dynamic that’s gold. Clashing personalities (Sonny is dorkier, Barba is more sarcastic), contrasting temperaments (Sonny is sunnier, Barba is a little more bitter), common interests (the law), a reluctant mentor-mentee relationship (which has evolved now that the student is no longer a student, though he’s far from being a master), a constant willingness to joke back-and-forth (which keeps building up their relationship and strengthens their bond), fundamental differences which breed a potential for unexpectedly emotional moments (“I admire your…”, because Sonny is an openly affectionate person, and Barba and his wide eyes tend to shy away from affection), it’s all there.

Good writing, plus a willingness to explore that bond, plus the natural ease Peter and Raul have with each other as actors, plus Sonny’s sweetness and Barba’s sass = television gold. And Barisi gold :’)

Yummy Thoughts

Barba was flirting. End of story. Textbook “there is no heterosexual explanation for this.” And I’m grateful.

Barba Thoughts

I’ve always said it, I prefer seeing “shrewd legal mind” Barba instead of “slave to his emotions” Barba, but the latter sure is fun to watch. That closing was intense, and you could see that Raul really dug his teeth into those lines.  I mean, damn. It’s not every week that he gets to really show off, with more than an eyebrow raise or a smirk, but when he does, wow.  I was just thinking, they rarely let Raul have a legitimate monologue, even though he’s a lawyer and theoretically we could be watching his opening and/or closing arguments every week. This episode tells me that the writers might be saving those moments, and using them sparingly, so they’ll have more of an impact. And I think they’re right.

That said, I wonder if we’ll be seeing a focus on Barba’s more emotional side, to better juxtapose him to the upcoming ADA, who’ll be more black-and-white and (I’m assuming) less emotional. If so, this was a smart way to start doing that. In this episode, we still saw how smart Barba was, but we also saw a passion we don’t often see from him. I’m assuming Barba and Peter Stone will clash on more than their positions, they’ll clash on philosophy, as well, and I hope this was an example of that. We have to see the “new” (but old) Barba, he has to be established first, under the new showrunner’s reign, and then we can be introduced to Stone, and see what they have in common and what they’ll never agree on.

Stray Thoughts

Just like I thought, last week’s dramatic ending (and Sonny’s potential subsequent trauma) was not directly referenced. It may come up again in the future, but again, as I said in last week’s post, this is classic Original L&O stuff, a self-contained dramatic episode which ends and is never mentioned again. L&O in its earlier seasons was much less serialized, and I think the new showrunner is bringing that back. I don’t mind it.

Another thing I didn’t mind? Flirty Sonny using his masculine wiles to cozy up to that witness and get her to help. Now that’s how you use your assets :D

“CONFIRMED.” I love Fin.

That old high school pic? I love that NBC employs people who have a passion for graphic design :’)

More background on Sonny’s family! The show remembers he has a niece! His mom used to cover for him for childhood shenanigans! He went to confession for stealing candy! Classic Carisi material. And continuity galore. This is the Sonny we know and love.

Amanda dismissively saying “pills, booze” to judge a woman who was on prescribed anxiety meds and enjoyed, like, a beer? Never change, Amanda. actually, please change (that said, yay for continuity!)

What a waste of Annabeth Gish.

So Brooke Shields is the grandma? Wasn’t that what everyone guessed? I was trying to come up with other guesses because I actually believed them when they said “no one has guessed who she’ll play”. Oh well. That said, she looked amazing, and I’ve always liked her. It’ll be nice to have someone with a (seemingly) kinder demeanor fighting against Liv. Not a criminal or a lawyer, you know? We haven’t seen that before.

Amanda and Liv’s jackets keep slaying my existence every week.

WHY DIDN’T WEE SONNY’S REACTION TO “YUMMY”???? HUH???? WHERE IS THAT CLOSE-UP OF HIS SMIRKY DIMPLY LIL’ FACE???

Did I write more than 900 words of this post about a 5-second Barisi interaction? HELL YEAH I DID :D

Shhhh…. they’re actually Dragon Eggs 🐣

Wishing you all a Happy Easter! I’m so glad to be part of this fandom and I hope you all know that I love each and everyone of you. Hope you gain some calories from excessive chocolates this weekend like I did =D

Photoshopped this so that it can fit on an iPhone 6 lock screen! Feel free to use it 💕

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                                  ❀ Orange Brightlily Corsage

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How is she so perfect?