it is so hard to color multiple seasons of this show at once

Door Symbolism/Reading The Room: A Look at Klance

After finishing season 3 I, like I’m sure most people, walked away with a lot of new ideas, theories, and takeaways from the show. However, one such thing I didn’t even consider except upon review of the “leave the math to Pidge” scene while working on making gifs is how often the use of doors are in symbolism for Lance and Keith’s relationship. It’s such a prevalent matter that I couldn’t help but make a post to share with y’all some interesting metaphors and character analysis between Lance and Keith’s relationship (romantic or not)

Introduction:

Often when looking at well directed cinematography, the use of the setting/background information to portray character emotions is quite common. This can be scene in instances such as warm colors giving “romantic lighting” and dark colors/rainy weather representing “fear/sadness” in most movies/shows

Voltron does this really well in many scenes, hell just look at the first episodes and take in the emotions you feel when looking at the environment and how the characters probably feel:

In other words, shot compositions is really important in Voltron

Now. Let’s take a look at what shot composition shows us in the dynamics of Lance and Keith’s relationship

This is going to be a long post, so the analysis will be below the cut:

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My heart breaks to find out that Lewis Tan (actual martial artist) had to fight to play Iron Fist. He ended up playing Zhou Cheng in the show, who is a villain.

So I’m writing this because Iron Fist was a mess of cultural appropriation and the argument defending a white Iron Fist is absolutely ridiculous.

The most dominant argument seems to be that Iron Fist was white in the comic. Well, that has no place here. Even when we complained about the Ancient One being canonically Tibetan, everyone else also brushed it off. Don’t tell us things like you-don’t-know-anything-about-the-comic.

Iron Fist was an invention of the 70s, when under- and misrepresentation of minority groups were not a widely discussed problem. In older comics, stereotypes, slurs, demeaning characterizations, and cultural appropriation that are considered to be outrageous today were abundant. However, those have stopped appearing in modern comics, so why should something as archaic as a white savior trope appear in modern TV shows? What were socially acceptable then may not be acceptable now. Time has changed; comics have changed with the time. Staying true to source material shouldn’t be as important as staying true to the time. (and if we’re talking about staying true to source material, the arc of this whole first season couldn’t be further away from Iron Fist’s actual comic origin)

Additionally, Danny being white doesn’t have much to do with his whole storyline. The trope of being an outsider could have easily been adapted for an Asian-American actor. A second generation Asian born on American soil, grew up the American way, who might get teased at school for the color of his skin, or the shape of his eyes, who hears stories about his parents’ homeland but never really gets it, who sometimes, secretly, wishes he looked more like his friends. He then is thrust out of that world, into the culture he heard so much about, surrounded by people who look like him. But here, he still doesn’t fit in. He doesn’t speak the language, he couldn’t get used to the food or the clothing, and he is teased for his cluelessness. An outsider no matter where he goes. Yet he perseveres, he works hard at fitting in, learns the language, the traditions, and everything in between. Eventually, he comes out on top and becomes a fitting Iron Fist.

It could have been so much more meaningful. It could have resonated with so many people who can never quite identify with any particular culture, with people who question themselves when they are asked to tick a box for their ethnicity. It could have helped the show avoid the cringiness of blatant cultural appropriation. It could have achieved so, so much.

And while an Asian Iron Fist would be perpetuating some stereotypes, it could also break a lot of stereotypes. As a lead role, we could’ve seen a nuanced male Asian character, who demonstrates different sides of himself throughout the show. We could have seen an Asian character who isn’t just comic relief or the smart one in the group (which we did get, somewhat, through Colleen Wing). He may know martial arts, but he didn’t start out that way (because really, us Asians were not born with kungfu embedded into our brains). We could’ve had a Black-Asian friendship between Luke Cage and Danny, which is rarely portrayed in media. Hell, we could’ve had a Black-Asian romantic relationship when they make Misty and Danny a couple, which is virtually never seen in mainstream media! Ever!

Danny’s race doesn’t matter to the core of the character. After all, he is fictional. In the end, what matters more is the fact that there are real people out there who are disappointed​ to see their traditions on screen, but (once again) not on a face that they associated with those traditions. It’s about the multiple times when there was a chance for an Asian or Asian-American (or Asian-British in Tan’s case) actor to be cast, and they fight hard for the role, but ultimately they were let down. It’s about the fact that this continuously happens to Asian characters, leading me (and perhaps many others) to feel like we don’t exist or we are invisible in the entertainment industry.

I could go on, but all I really want to say is representation matters.

Marvel, you can really take a page from other Disney projects, or even Star Wars, on this matter.

Does Supernatural Have a Problem with Representation and Diversity: A Mathematical Study

At the end of season 12, another fan favorite minority character, Eileen, was killed. This has come in a long line of favorite SPN characters who were people of color, women, lgbt+, and/or disabled being killed seemingly before their time. This, like other instances with such characters like Kevin and Charlie, sparked outrage from many fans. Some called the move sexist and ableist. Many said it was not inherently bad that Eileen died, but the way it was done was disgraceful and unworthy of such a beloved character. Other fans fought back against these claims, citing that everyone dies in supernatural and that no one should be immune. Besides, others said, with more representation, shouldn’t that mean more death?

But is there actually more representation? And is the death count equal? Are we being persuaded by biases and personal agendas?

After the season 12 finale, I’ve set out to see if there is a quantifiable difference in representation, huge differences that can be backed up by numbers and not just perception. Much of this is going to cover gender and race, as those are the easiest diversity angles to notice, but I will touch upon other areas. This information was not compiled to confirm any set of biases, but instead answer these questions at the heart of the debate and anger. Some of the information complied is quite obvious, but having set numbers is vital in these debates.

The rest, which is a lot, is under the cut:

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Game of Thrones and the Switch from Prose to Screen

So I’ve had multiple questions lately about how I see specific plotlines playing out in the next few episodes/seasons of GOT, and I thought I would be efficient for once and make a general post summarizing of my views of the show itself.

Let me start with a blanket statement that I think many people will agree with: GOT is a glorious mess of show. I love it a lot, but it is a trainwreck. Yes, there are certain aspects of the book series it has improved upon (dear Lord, GRRM, I love you but get an editor), but there are also huge issues with the show that never appeared in the books themselves. Characterization is staggeringly inconsistent from season to season and even episode to episode, internal logic is constantly ignored for the sake of plot requirements, and as many viewers have noted, either Varys has spent all his off-screen hours building his own homemade teleportation machine or time and distance have no meaning in Westeros.

Now, the thing is, you can be convinced of all these things—as I am—and still believe that GOT is a great show—as I do. The secret to GOT’s success is that it is built from a story that does have strong characterization, plots that are both intricate and logically sound, and a functional space-time continuum (or just an absence of teleporters, who can say). Because the characters and stories of GOT are taken from such good source material, they have a solid narrative backbone that they are able to continuously draw upon even when individual episodes are at their most incoherent. The worldbuilding, the character arcs, and the mythic structure of the overarching plot are something that GOT has fallen back on over and over again to save it from its own missteps - and for the most part, in my opinion, this has worked.

It’s like D&D are driving along together at night on a road covered in potholes while cheerfully ignoring the fact that both their headlights are broken, and GRRM is the guy with the map in the back seat desperately shouting instructions over the radio. They’ve taken a lot of wrong turns and short-cuts that turned out to be dead ends and there was the one time when they didn’t even slow down after hitting a deer…but somehow they keep shambling along in vaguely the right direction anyway.

Also, in my opinion most tv shows - especially long-running, plot-heavy tv shows like this one - wind up messes for one reason or another. By its nature, the medium of television isn’t kind to stories that rely on the type of subtle, incremental character development that ASOIAF utilizes so heavily, nor to internally-coherent settings with its level of complexity (I mean, most tv shows can’t even get our world right). GOT isn’t unusual in the fact that it often screws these things up; that it receives a lot more attention for its mistakes than other such shows do is a sign, not of its inherent weaknesses, but of its underlying strength (and also of its massive popularity, to be fair). People get upset about logical inconsistencies in GOT in ways they rarely do about, say, The Big Bang Theory, because they care more about the former and have higher expectations of it as a result.

At their core, the visual and musical arts are great at making you feel things because they hit below the belt, intellectually speaking; you don’t have to know the words to a song to get choked up listening to it, or know what the subject of a painting is to have an immediate, visceral response to it. We have gut reactions to these things that are hard to overcome, because that’s simply how our brains are wired. Prose works differently; while it certainly can induce strong feelings in its readers, it generally does so by creating sensory aids to help its ideas along - ‘painting a picture with words’ and so on. But it also has access to the whole realm of analytical thought that the typical person - say, anyone not trained in art criticism - naturally uses when reading but not when looking at pictures or listening to music.

Film and television are a bit of a hybrid form between visual and written arts, but although typically chock-full of dialogue, they affect their viewers most through the kinds of automatic emotional reactions we have to shapes and colors and music. A series like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, for example, translated well to a visual medium because his books were primarily an act of myth-making; he wasn’t trying to tell a realistic story, he was trying to create an epic in the old-fashioned sense of the word, a story about archetypes and ideals and the nature of legends that didn’t rely upon realism because it wasn’t about realism. This worked great in the movies, which relied on a lot of short-hand visual tricks and inspiring musical scores that mimicked many of the techniques Tolkien used in his writing to make us feel a certain way.

But a series like ASOIAF is much tougher to translate to the screen, because it is not a traditional epic, but a deconstruction of one. It is fundamentally a work about what happens when you take archetypes and ideals and legends and apply them to a world in which realistic logic still applies. This works great in a written medium, where you can spend all the time you like teasing out the logical consequences of every action and reaction. But it’s a message that can’t help but become confused when delivered via spectacular action sequences and inspirational musical scores - because the whole point of ASOIAF is to make you think about the things that cause these gut emotional responses, not to rely wholly on them to tell its story. Thus the inherent contradiction of the show itself.

So. My attitude towards watching GOT is that these are issues I am aware of, but which I don’t plan to let get in the way of my enjoyment of the show. The best way to have fun watching GOT - and also, I think, to understand it - is to consider its storylines in terms of their overarching emotional and thematic resonances, rather than the messy plot devices used to deliver them. In other words, to let yourself buy what GOT is selling. And what it is selling is a whole lot of spectacle, a few of the sharpest-written individual scenes currently on television, a handful of truly phenomenal actors (and several more fairly decent ones), and a bunch of long-running, psychologically packed, more or less illogical political and family drama that frequently makes emotional but not logical sense. And I’m cool with that.

Now, one thing we do know is that the ending of GOT will be the same ending as the one in store for us in ASOIAF. This is why I feel comfortable making predictions about the show based on my readings of the books (and, very occasionally, vice versa). But when it comes to how GOT is actually going to get us to that ending, I honestly don’t know. I didn’t expect GOT to merge Sansa’s storyline with Jeyne’s, I didn’t expect it to cut Arianne Martell in favor of the Sand Snakes, I didn’t expect it to kill off the entire Tyrell family in a sept explosion…yeah, I’m just not comfortable making predictions about episode-to-episode events. I’m reasonably qualified for the broader narrative analyses I’ve been posting, but I’m not a film critic or a fortune teller.

So basically, while I hope the plot of this and next season will be logically coherent, I don’t necessarily expect it to be. GOT is what it is, and I’ve made my peace with that. I think we’re going to end up where we’re going to end up, and I am hopeful that it will be well-done and make sense to all us viewers in the process, but if it doesn’t - well, I doubt anyone’s going to be totally shocked. And at the very least, it will probably still look cool.

Braids

“Fritz isn’t going to let you do it, Mary.” Bella said as they stood to the side of the brotherhood mansion’s foyer messing with a vase of freshly cut flowers. The two females were dressed casually, t-shirts and jeans for Bella and a polo shirt and khakis for Mary, and both of them in their bare feet.

Mary frowned as she took a hair tie out of her pocket and gathered her hair into a ponytail, wanting to get the hair out of her face. “I’ll have you know I am a very good gardener. My thumb is so green you could call me the jolly green giant. He has to let me use the garden.”

“You know how the doggen get when we …” Bella trailed off as something across the foyer had caught her attention. Mary turned to look at what was so interesting and her jaw dropped.

Striding out of the library being lead by George was Wrath. Usually this wasn’t a cause for a conversation to drop but this time however it was. And the reason was braids. Wrath’s long black hair that was usually worn loose to his hips was now just dozens upon dozens of braids. And adding to that, each braid was tied off or clipped off with a multitude of brightly colored ribbons and hair barrettes.

And poor George looked like who ever had made Wrath over also got the same treatment. The golden retriever’s fur was also sporting hair barrettes and there was a huge pink ribbon tied around his tail and another around his neck.

Immediately both Bella and Mary broke into huge grins as they looked at each other before looking back at Wrath and George.

Wrath stopped suddenly and turned his head towards the two females. Inhaling sharply he immediately knew who they were by their scent alone.

“Not. A. Word.” Wrath said menacingly. Of course it was hard to take the Vampire King seriously when his hair was a mass of braids, ribbons and barrettes and his dog no better off.

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Dialing my delusional level down to 1% because it’s impossible for me to actually turn it off…

So, Beth Greene got shot in the head and from a medical standpoint it probably wouldn’t have killed her instantly, because of where the bullet entered and exited, so realistically she should have lingered at least for the few minutes it takes to bleed out, from… I dunno, a cavernous hemangioma?

But, whatever. She died instantly, because the plot demanded it and the bullet changed direction in mid-air, because the plot demanded it

So, Beth. Really dead. 99% sure.

As a fan, I demand an explanation because WTF of all WTFs.

But I don’t deserve an explanation, as I’m just a stupid Beth fan and true good, shiny fans of TWD never question TPTB or point out the flaws of the show, they just eat whatever they are fed without discernment.

There are some people though, who I think do deserve an explanation and that also happens to be the people responsible. If they don’t know why this is a good idea themselves, then it’s probably not a good idea.

Right? How’s that for logic?

And yes, I am aware that they offered explanations, but these limited responses are decidedly weakass.

So, since we don’t actually know who’s idea this was (Kirkman blamed this tipo but how often does Kirkman lie to/gaslight his fans? A lot, is the answer) I’m going to try and put on some different TPTB hats and explore their deal. Because each one of them would’ve had to have been talked into it, by themselves, or by someone else.

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How Straw Hats help you during finals.

Now I understand that the seasons of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are near to fill our spirits with cheer, love, and brotherhood. And eggnog. Don’t forget the eggnog. But unfortunately some people *coughcollegescough* believe in a less lovely thing to show the spirit…college finals! That’s right! So while you are thinking of chestnut roasting over fires, wishing to get your hand on that dreidel, or just getting giddy to light those candles, you have numerous finals in the forms of papers and two hour long exams to worry about. 

So this is all about how Straw Hats help you study (or not study) during finals week.

L U F F Y

Luffy? Study? Oh my goodness that nearly made me laugh. Luffy doesn’t study for anything and well, he won’t get why don’t you just skip the finals if they’re so hard? You explain once more as you massage the bridge of your nose, that your grade could easily fall into a ‘failing’ grade if you don’t pass this exam. He still doesn’t quite understand but non the less, he’s supportive. Luffy is going to be that friend. And we know exactly what that means. For those who do not have ‘that friend’, I’m just gonna explain it to you. Luffy will be the friend that shows up randomly at 2 AM with beer and offering all sorts of books to help (disregard the fact that the books mentioned have nothing to do with the subject you are tirelessly studying) because he thinks it will help. While you are tired and frustrated, a warmth blossoms in your chest because you know that Luffy is trying to show that he’s behind you 100%. Randomly at one point, you wake up from your awkward position at your desk, drooling all over your notes and textbook. As you move to stretch, you realize that something is on your head. Luffy’s hat. Doesn’t take much to realize that the reason you woke up was because Luffy’s snoring awoke you from his slanted position against the wall, still patiently waiting for you. You clutch the hat and grin. Luffy believes in you. You can do this. 


Z O R O

School and college just isn’t Zoro’s thing. He doesn’t have anything against it but while he does enjoy light reading, Zoro thinks he could use his time better to train or nap rather than to stress out over such matters. But when he does study, he can’t find that he can’t sit still. If he does, Zoro will just fall asleep and nothing will be accomplished. So that’s why he exercises and trains at the same time. He finds that the blood pumping through his body and the sweat he gains from a good workout helps him take in the information much more clear. And that is why after watching you return from all nighters from the library and numerous stops at coffee shops that he finally has had enough. This can’t be entirely healthy for you. So Zoro being Zoro, pools all the basic information you need in a duffle bag, and drags you off to the gym…or tries to, at least, you have to reroute him when he starts to walk off in the opposite direction. With finals going on, it’s completely empty. Perfect. As you do push ups and sit up, he quizzes you on everything. If you get something wrong, Zoro has you do laps. Forget the Pythagorean theory? Go ahead and do 50 suicides. While this may seem harsh and completely unrelated to studying, you remember that Zoro is just trying to help you in the way he knows best. So after he barks out to do another 50 suicides, you grit your teeth and follow his command. Studying is not always about sitting and hunched backs, try different ways to study and the changes might surprise you.


N A M I

Nami has no serious doubts or fears this finals season. She studies lightly and takes the warnings of the professor with a grain of salt. And why should she? Nami has already watched her classmates with the trained eye of a poker player and has already picked out who to sit behind or next to. In case of a surprise that she hasn’t thought of, then she has something to fall back on. Cheating is not allowed, of course. She just so happened to drop her pencil nearby and such just so happened to peek at their papers. She is the Queen of Speed Reading. Once Nami sees you stressed out, she’s gonna step in. Nami isn’t one in believing in free trips. You have to work hard for the grade but there’s no harm in sneaking a peek if you need a small hand. She’ll be right there to teach you the ‘Ways of Nami’. Everything from a slight of hand to well hidden cheat sheets that will even impress regular cheaters. If anyone has any insight to people, it’s going to be her. Given on your professors, Nami will give you hints and clues about how certain professors will choose what subjects to focus on and which one will demand more than others. If you ask her nice enough she might even help you study. While cheating is not recommended, think of places to sit so that you may not be around people who will cheat off of you and a place that you can concentrate.


U S O P P

Usopp will be the one with you in the library, nervously wracking through numerous study sheets and papers. His problem is that he waited until last possible minute to study and now he’s joined countless of others in the mad dash to study in hopes of receiving a passing grade. We salute you, Usopp. We know the struggle. But of course while he is very nervous about failing, Usopp has a tendency to suddenly relapse into a daydream stage because woo, reality is some tough shit. Why struggle when you can just relax in your own fantasy? Constantly you have to drag him back to the real world and push his face back into the books. This is seriously damaging his creative flow. So in order to make himself feel more useful and in a serious attempt to remember, Usopp begins to do what he does best…he spins wild tales. He makes studying fun by working off the material that was given and weaves a fantastic story that slowly congregates a crowd of other tired and beaten down students, like moths to a flame. Other students get involved and soon it’s a mess of studying mixed with shared snacks and hushed giggles once the group receives a glare from the librarian. You can’t help but laugh and grin along as you add your own input. Needless to say, his methods actually work and students beg to do this every semester. Remember studying isn’t all about boredom and stress, it can be fun if you make it so.


S A N J I

Sanji, like others, is feeling the pressure of studying. Albeit, his form of studying is really different than most since he is in culinary school. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel the burn any less than anyone else…eh pun. So as he finishes cleaning the kitchen from his form of “studying”, Sanji raises his head once he hears you tiredly push your way into the dorm. His showing eyebrow furrows on his forehead as he takes in the zombie-like manner that you walk and the nearly exhausted mumble to him as you nearly pass him by. But then he remembers something important. He was in the kitchen, working as a cook on campus, for the entire shift and not once did he realize that he saw your face. Sanji manages to convince you to sit your weary self down onto a seat as he ties the apron strings around his waist once more. Sanji quickly manages to serve you up a quick meal but something he makes sure is that you’re receiving full nutrients from this dish. He realizes that you have a tendency to push yourself, even skipping meals just to study. And while he doesn’t like this at all, he knows that you don’t need nagging to cause even more stress. So instead, he takes his time to cook carefully thought out meals and delivers them to you every day as you study. This includes all three meals and snacks that range from healthy fruit salad to rewarding smores cookies. He’s going to remind you that while it is important to study, never think that your grades are more important than meals. 


C H O P P E R

Chopper is a pro when it comes to studying. If you want help studying, you turn to Chopper. After all, he accomplished medical school in just a few years plus he’s returned to college once more…for funsies. But he’s constantly learning new things and he absolutely loves it. So of course Chopper is going to have multiple note cards–color coded– along with numerous cheat sheets, books, online sources, videos. You name it, he’s got it. From the moment the library opens to the time it closes, Chopper is there studying as if this isn’t one of the most stressful times for a student. Of course there are times, he’ll panic and this will set him off in a small meltdown that’ll have the librarian threaten him but you help calm him down and guide him back to his seat. Then he’s off again. It utterly amazes you. But the one thing Chopper is incredibly strict on is a healthy sleep schedule. He’ll be noticing that the bags under your eyes have bags themselves, he’ll be the one insisting that you sleep. From a few hours to a fifteen nap interval at the library. Most students fail because of the lack of sleep they do during finals, Chopper will preach, so in nagging you to sleep and threatening to withhold his studying tactics, he is helping you. But don’t smile about it, you bastard! Studying is important but remember that you need sleep too. 


R O B I N

Robin is the least likely to stress over finals. What happens, happens. But she’s studying and taking her time. She is one of the most studious students in college, so she’s not worried over such small things. You’re envious of how she seemingly has it together. While you are rushing back and fourth between your dorm and the library, she seems completely unflappable with a cup of tea prepared by Sanji and a book in her hand. And it’s not even a textbook, it’s one of her novels! How she still wants to read after this week is beyond you. Words all mold into one and the pages of your textbook begin to blur without your permission. You dig your fingers into your hair and resist the urge to pull, your fingers twitch from holding a writing utensil and your wrists ache from the use of a laptop. You just need a moment alone, you reason as you stiffly stand up from your chair. You have no idea where you’re going but you just need to be alone. The pressure is getting to you, your heart is racing, the voices begin to mock you and you soon crash. Tears fall out, quickly dampening your clothes .A hand reaches down to cup the back of your bowed head and you flinch at the touch. Hesitantly you look up to see Robin’s gentle smile. From that moment on, Robin teaches you meditation and has you take breaks to help her in the garden where you vent and release all the pressure from your chest. Robin just smiles at you and offers you the best advice she can offer. She wants you to know that it’s okay to break down every once in a while, as long as we stand right back up when we’re done.


F R A N K Y

Franky is actually annoyed. No, this isn’t something he’s able to brush off. Finals week has been a total killer on everyone’s mood. But the one he’s most worried about is you. He wouldn’t have been so worried if you had taken a break in the past three days. Thankfully his finals have all been presentations and shop projects, so he’s done ahead of time and gets to relax for a little bit before packing up for break. But that’s not your case.  You have made your new home at the library, constantly hunched over books and switching papers out like it was your job. So while you were away for your first final, he decides to plan a little. Scheme a little, I should write. As you return from your first final, exhausted both in mind, body, and spirit, you think nothing more than your bed. And studying once more. But before you even make it into the room, Franky is there to block you with a grin on his face. “Come on, (your name)-bro/sis! We’re going out on the town! My treat!” Of course you attempt to decline but much like Luffy, once Franky has his mind on something, he’s not going to give it up. So eventually after much goading, you give in. Franky treats you out to dinner, a drink or two at the bar, and then off to play at the local arcade. Cause even though you are a blossoming adult, you’re still a kid and everyone loves arcades! At the end of the day, your cheeks hurt from smiling so much and Franky considers his job well done. Remember to take a break every once in a while, you deserve it.


B R O O K

Brook hasn’t been this anxious in a long time! An old man like him shouldn’t be feeling this in his bones for Roger’s sake! Compared to most professors this semester, he was extremely generous in his classes. But he knows just how hard it is this time of year. Students have more than just his class to prepare for and since the first time he accidentally walked in on a poor student having a breakdown because of three finals they had that day, he had since then lightened his expectations on them. However, he wasn’t concerned about his students but he was perturbed about your behavior. Finals have been over for you for at least a two days and while he fully expected you to be tired, what he didn’t anticipate was for you to have the Finals Blues. Regret that you didn’t study hard enough, guilt that you failed those who put pressure on you to succeed, and just a plague of nasty thoughts. No, he wouldn’t put up with it. Rounding up their friends, Brook called for a party–no, a celebration! They had lived through yet another year of Finals. And after a moment of begging, Brook managed to get you out of the dorms tired but smiling as he led you to the party. He even played a few of your favorite songs, just for you. Brook knows life is tough but he wants you to remember that you did your best. Don’t beat yourself up. 

Tony Diversity, #OscarsSoWhite, and the Hamilton Revolution

The 2016 Tony nominations were announced today and for Broadway fans around the world, it must feel good to know there won’t be a hashtag protesting diversity this year. The uproar surrounding this year’s Oscars ceremony and the resulting #OscarsSoWhite fallout was a warning to others in the entertainment industry. Clearly, this year, Broadway got the memo.

The Tonys have an unprecedented amount of diversity this year - something Hollywood only wishes it could replicate. Of course, leading the charge is Hamilton, the game changing blockbuster from mastermind, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton is nominated a record 16 times, which is once in every category it is eligible for and multiple times in a few of the acting categories. Lin himself makes up three of those nominations! But, Hamilton is only one of the many diverse shows making Broadway proud this season. Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is another standout this year with 10 nomination (although everyone’s favorite Audra McDonald, a six-time Tony winner and WOC, missed grabbing a nom this year). There’s also Eclipsed, the Danai Gurira penned production about five women surviving the Second Liberian Civil War starring Lupita Nyong’o, and the star-studded revival of The Color Purple. Four nominations went to Waitress, the Sara Bareilles composed musical with an all-female creative team, much like last year’s Tony winning production of Fun Home. The revival of Spring Awakening also garnered three nominations. The production, which starred many deaf or hearing impaired cast members, started a wider conversation about accessibility on Broadway. It also featured actress Ali Stroker, the first-ever wheelchair user to perform on a Broadway stage.

So let’s look at the cold, hard numbers. Of the 24 competitive award categories, 17 have people of color nominated. The nominees represent nations from around the world, including South Africa, Colombia, The Philippines, Israel, and Cuba.

And it’s never been more fitting that Broadway’s annual award ceremony is named after a woman - Antoinette Perry. Out of the 16 mixed-gender categories, 10 feature at least one woman.

And the diversity continues in the four non-competitive Tony categories that are awarded to humans (Paper Mill Playhouse grabbed the Regional Theatre Award!). The Isabelle Stevenson Award is going to Brian Stokes Mitchell and two of the winners of the Tony Honors for Excellence are women.

Out of the 24 categories, there are four that don’t have a POC or woman nominated. And the big disappointments come in the form of awards for Leading Role in a Play and Featured Role in a Play, where all 10 nominees are white men. So, needless to say, there’s room for improvement. But, I think we can all take some time to celebrate and be proud to tune in on June 12th for the Tony Award ceremony on CBS. In the meantime, let’s aim to get the Best Sound Award back, eh? What can I say - the Tonys aren’t perfect. 

Yet…

A Cosplayer's Guide to Ebay: Screen Accurate Costume Pieces

Well, here’s that post I promised everyone, since it’s been requested quite a bit both here and on my Facebook. I don’t purport to be an expert eBayer, but people tell me they’re constantly impressed with my skills at it so apparently I’m doing something right?? I don’t know, but anyway, here’s a fairly inclusive guide to using eBay to find screen-accurate pieces for your cosplay.

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All this hatred towards Lizzie blows my mind

Like.

Red has invaded every aspect of her life. He hired the man she fell in love with who she later married– a man who was acting like he loved her. Red KILLED HER FATHER (both biological and Sam). He has kept secret after secret from her (I’m not saying he’s not justified- but look at it from her point of view.)

He’s also saved her multiple times, put his own life on the line, and generally worships the ground she walks on.

Now put yourself in her shoes.

Lizzie is hurting. She’s breaking. Everything in her life that she has known to be true turned out to be a lie… and it’s because of Red. Again, Red has his reasons. I’m not saying he’s in the right, but I am saying that she CERTAINLY has the right to be pissed, detached, and to put it simple, “out of character”. If she WASN’T showing animosity towards Red, I’d be calling bullshit– because THAT would make her this passive little Mary Sue character, and Lizzie is anything BUT that.

As for Tom. Stop freaking out. Lizzie was married to the man for years– there’s still a part of her that trusts him, especially now that she knows Red hired him. She’s clinging to the shards of her former life because it’s too hard to face her new life. Tom is part of her former life. She’s trying to reclaim some sense of balance, some type of normality– and right now, she’s seeing Tom through rose-colored glasses because of that fact.

Do I think they’ll get back together (as in endgame)? Absolutely not. 

Do I think she’s turning to Tom as a surrogate for Red, because she isn’t sure if she can trust him anymore? Yep. That’s exactly what I think.

Lizzie is livid and hurting. She’s forgiven Red time and time again (I mean hell, HE KILLED HER FATHER– and yet you could see their relationship had healed somewhat by the first Luther Braxton episode only for it to fall apart again in the Luther Braxton conclusion.) But she had forgiven him prior to that, much as she would claim otherwise.

Yes, Red is charming. Red is protective. Red is downright lovable from an audience standpoint.

But Lizzie has a right to be furious with him. She has a right to treat him like shit. If she doesn’t let those emotions out now, it will burn their relationship completely to the ground. 

So ease up on the Lizzie hatred, okay? She’s gone through a lot of shit, and I imagine she feels a bit like a marionette that’s only played with for Red’s amusement. We (the audience) of course know that is not the case, but how would she know? One moment he’s saving her life and sacrificing everything for her, the next she finds out he’s micromanaged every aspect of her life. She trusted him, and she feels betrayed and stupid– stupid because she ever let Red get as close to her as he did, and betrayed because she feels like it’s all just a big game to him, when it’s anything but that to her (look at her reaction in the Luther Braxton conclusion when she says the fulcrum is the only reason Red’s in her life. She’s heartbroken but hiding it with numbness, and then when he goes to touch her, she snaps.)

One final thing. Red hasn’t stood up for himself once against Lizzie’s hateful words and allegations. Why? Because he knows she’s right. I don’t think he expects her to forgive him… it’s enough for him to just be in her life. Maybe he views her hurtful words as atonement for what he’s done to her. He’d rather be in her life with her hating him than to just give up and leave her for good (though I do think by the end of the season, Red will once again offer to leave Lizzie’s life for good– and it’s possible Lizzie says yes, and that’s where the end of season 2 will leave off. It’d be a pretty fantastic cliffhanger, you must admit– because we’d KNOW that Red would eventually be coming back, but it would have to be because Lizzie asked him to. I DIGRESS.)

But for everyone claiming to love strong independent Lizzie, and then to say that current Lizzie is “out of character” and a bitch just because she’s shutting out Red? 

Are we watching the same show? Because she’s 100% in character for someone who has found out their entire life has been a lie all because of someone she trusted (Red). 

So ease up, okay? Next season I get the feeling we’ll be back to calmer waters between Lizzie and Red. I don’t know how they’ll get there, but they will. 


KEEP CALM AND BLACKLIST ON!

A Lesson in Villains - Why Abaddon is Dead and Crowley is Not

Alright so there’s a shit ton of wank on the Crowley tag right now, chiefly along the lines of [paraphrasing] “UGH WHY IS CROWLEY STILL HERE”  “ABADDON SHOULD HAVE KILLED HIM AND TAKEN THE THRONE”  “WELL WHAT ELSE DID YOU EXPECT FROM BUCKNER AND ROSS-LEMING BUT MISOGYNY?”

Okay look; we totally get that you’re sad Abaddon got the axe, but to claim that’s it’s because Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming are misogynistic a-holes who don’t know how to write is unfair and to be honest a showcase of ignorance.  First off the reason Abaddon died is not because she was a woman, but for a whole bunch of other reasons that are perfectly legitimate and decidedly not sexist.  SECONDLY, Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming did not decide Abaddon was going to die – those kinds of things are decided by ALL the writers as a whole at like, the beginning of the season.  This was the episode in which she had to die for plot reasons – they were the just the lucky pair that got to write the rest of the episode around that important development.  And subsequently they now get to earn all of the hatred.  Lucky them.

Alright.  On to the good stuff.

It would seem a lot of you (or at least, those of you who are exceptionally vocal) are dissatisfied that Abaddon’s bid for the throne of Hell ended last night with glorified defeat and CGI death.  I have to admit, I would rather her have survived as well (if only to see her suffer fiscal failure in Hell). But many of you also claim this is because Supernatural “can’t have strong women”.

No.  Let me explain to you a thing.

When it comes to villains and their ability to survive in a lengthy story, there are essentially two types: redeemable and irredeemable.  As you might be able to guess, the redeemable ones are the ones who get to hang around.  Why?  Because their character can grow and change – it is not stuck in a circular two dimensional loop.  There is a third dimension to them that allows them to grow and change and continue to make the story interesting in new ways rather than repetitive.

I’m going to be blunt now: no matter how colorful Abaddon was, she was a two dimensional villain. She was DESIGNED from the start to be irredeemable – they never hinted in ANY way that she was anything but a ruthless Knight of Hell bent on Hell’s throne.  And that was totally awesome.

But it doesn’t change the fact that she was two dimensional.  There was nowhere for her character to grow – she had exactly one goal: ruling Hell and then Earth.  Well, ruling Hell could happen easy enough, but Earth?

In a sense she had a fundamental literary problem that was unavoidable – she was too confrontational and as such, on a collision course with the Winchesters.

Abaddon’s methods of operation were direct and aggressive, which called the Winchesters into action.  She intended from the beginning to fight them, as was her nature (Knight of Hell and all that).  But fighting heroes is a dangerous business – as many fans as you might have, the show is about them.  Which means they get to win eventually.  If you continue to fight heroes, you’re going to lose.  And more likely sooner rather than later, as it’s very hard to have an indisputable villain stick around for several successive seasons of plot.

Which brings me to my next point.  Many of you think Crowley has overstayed his welcome.  I may personally disagree, but let me attempt to explain in an unbiased fashion why he’s still around.

In contrast to Abaddon, Crowley is a three dimensional redeemable villain.  The third dimension means not only do we know some of his backstory, we also see him grow and develop in character, PARTICULARLY after last season’s finale, and this season’s blood arc and his son.  It’s really getting to the point where he’s not a villain at all anymore, but just a supporting character.

Crowley was essentially different from Abaddon from the start in that he started out as brains, contrary to Abaddon’s brawn.  Crowley’s brains were what defined his character from the start – and the very first thing he did was watch others attempt and fail to bring down the Winchesters, after which he solemnly refrained from going head to head with them himself.

I don’t think Crowley was intended to be as three-dimensional as he is now, but the writers wrote themselves into his character being much, much, more than they might have planned, because he was intelligent.  He had a heuristic intelligence – he didn’t just have master plans, he responded to developing situations and adapted, which automatically put him a pay grade above other villains, because it would have been out of character for him to slip up and allow the Winchesters to kill him.

But that could have happened – it would have been easy way to get rid of him so that he too wouldn’t overstay his welcome.  Villains don’t typically get to run successive seasons – they have their arc and then they get deaded.

So why did Crowley stay?

It was a combination of reasons, but it comes down to the age old explanation – he got too popular.  Crowley started off his career as an ally to the Winchesters in Season 5, which automatically made us see him in a nicer light.  As season 6 rolled by though, we continued to enjoy his sass and general presence with that nicer light we originally had from Season 5.  More than that, it wasn’t personal – his goal wasn’t to kill the Winchesters, just to find purgatory, so his antagonism was excusable to the general psyche.  By the end of 6, he was a fan favorite – and then it turned out they didn’t NEED to kill him because CASTIEL of all people was the big bad wolf of the season… so… why not keep him?

“But Abaddon was popular too!” you shout at the screen.  “More popular and cooler than Crowley will ever be!”

Ah yes but Crowley is not burdened with literary limits as Abaddon was.  He can literally do ANYTHING.  And by that I actually mean there are NO restrictions to what he can do on the show.  Not only is he a THREE DIMENSIONAL CHARACTER with developing wants and intentions as time passes, but what I more specifically would like to point out is that Crowley continues to avoid being on a crash course with the Winchesters.  He is not designed to be the Winchester’s antagonist so much as a separate entity with an agenda that occasionally coincides with the Winchesters, and occasionally doesn’t.

So it was that Season 7 revealed Crowley to be what he remains today in Season 9 – a handy character to have around because of the simple reason he can switch sides on a dime.  Odd seasons, he’s on the Winchesters team.  Even seasons, he’s on his own. 

Even when he is somewhat competing with the Winchesters, he survives purely because he does NOT attack them directly – his issues are never with them, but rather they take issue with what he’s doing, and he continues to avoid them all season so they can’t stop him.  He is somewhere between a coward and exceptionally smart in that he stays away from them even to the point of FLEEING when they show up (multiple instances in Season 8).

So there you have it, plain a simple: Abaddon died because she was two dimensional and only played the antagonistic attack game.  Crowley continues to survive because he is three dimensional, capable of development, and plays the survival game.

Some final notes on women in Supernatural, for all of you out there who are dead set in believing Supernatural is misogynistic.

I would just like to point out there is a running theme on Supernatural.  And that theme is if you are not a Winchester or played by Misha Collins, you die.  (And they did try to kill off Castiel for real not once but TWICE, but the fans brought him back.)

Supporting male characters are booted just as frequently as women.

Crowley is one of two singular exceptions because he was on the show often enough to grab a following, and then circumstance coupled with his intelligent character design allowed for him to turn the corner and become three dimensional – more than *just a villain*.

Now before you go shouting “THEN CROWLEY SHOULD’VE BEEN A WOMAN” because we totally don’t have a regular awesome supporting woman on this misogynistic show, let me point out not one but two examples.

Before Crowley existed, you may be shocked to learn that there was another noble-villain character who straddled the lines of good and evil, played both sides, and generally focused on survival and their own agenda.  AND SHE EVEN HAD A BRITISH ACCENT.

Yes, Bela Talbot was the original Crowley.  Do you know why she died?  Extreme Fan hate.

It was a tactical error on the writers’ part; they should have cast her as an ally first, then proceeding to alternate.  First impressions are important for shallow minded fans who don’t grasp the concept of redemption as applicable to anyone who they dead set in hating.

But moving on, we also have the lovely example of Meg!

Meg was Crowley’s female equivalent – despite starting out a villain in Season 1, she managed to turn the corner and become three dimensional when she got to ally with the Winchesters against Crowley.  Again, circumstance and plot, but it worked for her.  Anyway, she turned the corner, had a following, and was handy because she could switch sides, yadda yadda.

BUT SHE WAS KILLED OFF!  BECAUSE THE WRITERS ARE MISOGYNISTS!

No actually, there’s a much more touching reason.  The actress Rachel Miner has Multiple Sclerosis and reached the point where she could no longer perform the physical requirements of the role (running around, stabbing people, general demons being flung against walls and stuff…) and because she enjoyed being Meg so much, she didn’t want to just be replaced, so she asked the writers if she could go out “fighting the good fight” a request to which they complied.

So there you have it.  Not misogyny.  A thoughtful compliance on the part of the writers.

Anyway Abaddon was never meant to be the new strong woman in place of Meg – her character was too weak to ever support that kind of heavy role which would require the ability to change and develop and have you know, a semblance of relatable decency.

If you want strong women characters to be on this show, wait for the next one to appear that has potential to stick around – then support the hell out of her.  Abaddon, I’m sorry to say, was destined for the grave from the start.

I’m not going to demand you stop hating on Crowley – I can’t fault you for not liking him because of personal preference.  I doubt it will make you feel better, but to each their own.  In my experience hate has never brought much satisfaction to anyone. 

But on the flip side (and returning to my reason for this rant) if you continue to insist he remains only because the show is run by a bunch of misogynists who kill off women the first chance they get, you are reinforcing yourself as not only ignorant but willfully so, which is decidedly worse.

SERIOUSLY.  IT’S SUPERNATURAL.  EVERYONE DIES.  DON’T TAKE IT AS AN INSULT TO YOUR SEX, BUT AS THE PLOT DEVELOPMENT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.

Annnnnnd cue me losing about a trillion followers.  Farewell friends.

It's not in your head; parts of this season don't make sense. (Sherlock spoilers)

Okay, I’ve got another big meta I want to write, but first I realized I need to write this one.

It’s kind of a public service, actually.  Some of us are dropping meta all over the place, while other swathes of the fandom are going, “SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW YOU ARE SEEING ANY SENSE IN THIS?" 

I am here to tell you that you’re not insane.  Some of it doesn’t make sense.

Keep reading

Previous metas about the Art of Level 7/Art of Evolution are here.

Man, these just keep getting better and better. One of my favorite recurring themes of the show is duality - whether it’s SHIELD vs Hydra, light vs dark, good vs evil, Inhumans vs humans - and the way that theme is displayed front and center here is so striking. 

The next episode is called “Love in the Time of Hydra” which brings the return of Ward and Agent 33, and it certainly looks like romance is in the air here - but with Ward and whom? I think it’s pretty clear we’re seeing Agent 33 and Skye here, but the really really cool part is how much further it goes than that. The duality actually goes multiple levels deep. Agent 33 literally has two faces - her own, and May’s. May was the woman Ward had a physical relationship with, even while he was developing an emotional connection with Skye. And Skye is now becoming more and more hard and closed-off like May. There are actually 3 women here, even if we only see 2, and all 3 of them have shades of each other. 

Let’s talk about the lady in red, who I would assume is Skye because of the SHIELD logo on her collar. She’s looking at him as she reaches for him, her hand holding his chin. It’s a very intimate, familiar gesture, and it’s actually a scene that has already happened between the two of them in 1x19. And remember the context of that scene - Ward confessed to her that he wasn’t a good man and she insisted that he was. This is the Skye that Ward wants to be with again - the woman who believed in him, who saw the best in him when he couldn’t see it in himself. And this is the man that Ward wants to be - a man who is worthy of her trust and faith and ultimately, love. The fact that Skye is in red is also fitting because of the symbolism of that color. Red is associated with love and passion and fire and that’s what his relationship with Skye has always been. When they first met, they were butting heads because they were so different, and then that evolved into a romance, and which eventually blew up into a spectacularly messy breakup. If their relationship were a color, it would absolutely be red - they are always fiery and explosive when they’re together. 

Now let’s talk about the lady in blue, Agent 33. Her body language is vastly different from Skye’s - she’s leaning against Ward’s shoulder, eyes closed, touching his hand. According to this spoiler, she idolizes him, and it’s clear from this image how dependent she is on him. She’s much more subservient and less of an equal. She is the opposite of Skye, even in color, as blue suggests peace and calm and also passivity, which is symbolic of her brainwashing at the hands of Hydra.

My favorite thing about Ward’s pose is that you can’t tell whose face his hand is cradling. It could just as easily be Skye as Agent 33. Ambiguity, how I love thee. But let’s take a look at the two scenarios here and how different they are. With Skye, his hand on her hair and her hand on his face, it looks very clearly romantic - the moment right before they kiss. With Agent 33, her head tucked into his shoulder and her hand clutching his, the gesture reads as more protective to me. Another noteworthy thing is the fact that he’s colored in a sot of teal green. Green stands for rebirth and in this second half of the season, we’re going to see a new and improved Ward. The first half of season 2 showed him in captivity, trying to shed his past, and now we get to see the result of that. And from the two SHIELD logos in this poster, I think it’s pretty clear where he’s going to end up. 

One last thing I want to note - the duality we see here shows two women for two stages of Ward’s life. Skye is Ward’s past because of the relationship that they had, but she is also potentially his future since he has been trying to make amends. Agent 33 is his present, she is the woman he is currently on the run with. We see a duality with Skye and Agent 33, but not with Ward. There is only one Ward. The Ward who cared for Skye is the same Ward who is now teaching Agent 33 how to overcome her trauma. And this gives me hope for his character arc. Because this man who spent season one juggling two identities - Ward, Agent of SHIELD, and Ward, Garrett’s Hydra mole - now only needs one face. Because this man, who was once fractured and tormented by his past, is now whole. 

Arrow 4x08 Meta: McGuffins Happen

Hi, breaking my abrupt and heretofore unexplained radio silence just to throw a few thoughts on 4x08 of Arrow out there. (To my lovely tumblr friends I abruptly disappeared on, sorry to just stop talking out of nowhere, I just had a lot happen back to back to back–some good, and some decidedly not good, and I just didn’t want to talk about a lot of it, so yeah, radio silence.) But I had a friend tell me I should write meta a while back, and here it is. My first real Arrow meta.

First off, yeah. That all happened. Let’s just get it out of the way and scream our frustrations.

Originally posted by diablito666

Better? Eh, either way, we’re moving forward.

Now, despite all the Legends of Tomorrow promotional material–that felt more like a DC version of The Mummy, despite all the Indiana Jones references–this ep really rocked the Arrow ‘verse. Mainly because she’s baaaaack!

Originally posted by aflawedfashion

Sandra/Samantha/Yet Another Ollie Bedmate/Baby Mama AKA Plot Device.

Because that’s exactly what Samantha was here. A giant plot device. William too.

Did anyone catch the name of their street? Because it may as well be McGuffin Lane. Or they could be Samantha and William McGuffin. Or maybe it’s Samantha and Will Fuck-Up-Your-Relationship-Oliver.

Originally posted by veryspecialpictures

Amid all the abs and wings and past lives oh my with Carter/Khufu and Kendra/Chay-Ara (with the baddie looking like a mashup of Imhotep and Ardeth Bay for good measure) on the search for their own McGuffin to save the day, we got Oliver doing his level best to multitask the mission WHILE ferreting out the truth about William WHILE also keeping Felicity in the dark.

Originally posted by smoakingarrow03

Welcome, to the club, Oliver. We’ve been waiting for two seasons. Congratulations, it’s a nine-year-old boy. And his favorite hero is the Flash.

Originally posted by teamarrowblog

Sorry, but he does live in Central City. Where apparently ONE daring citywide rescue makes you a hero, but MULTIPLE ones just makes you…that guy we bash until the shit gets real?

Originally posted by arrowreactiongifs

Anyway, Oliver ninja’s his way to a DNA test with a strand of William’s hair after confronting Samantha (side note: would it REALLY have been that hard to do Connor Hawke and just cast a WOC to play Sandra? I’m just having a little trouble understanding the logic on that one, writers), but loses all subtlety by leaving the results with Barry. While Felicity is already suspicious…

Originally posted by tanyak312

Barry is no match for Felicity on a mission, superspeed or not. She finds out the truth and is understandably and righteously pissed. Some have made the parallel to Oliver finding out Felicity was lying about helping the team while they were off for those five months, and yes, they both lied about something to their significant other. Bad form. BUT Felicity was letting Oliver enjoy a well-deserved break without forcing him back to Starling just because she was unhappy with a life consisting of more brunches and flatwear than heroics. Sort of a different situation.

(Although I absolutely believe that Felicity hiding her dissatisfaction with things in Ivy Town is indicative of a larger issue–her abandonment issues; on some level she was probably afraid to rock the boat and somehow ruin things with Oliver, possibly making him leave–but that’s my interpretation of it)

Oliver keeping his son a secret from Felicity, even once she confronts him about it and he keeps Samantha’s terms to himself, is a horse of a different color. This isn’t being bored without the mission and remote hero-ing with the team, this is him hiding a HUGE part of himself from her. One that walks and talks and shares half his DNA.

She is entirely justified to be pissed off with him knowing and keeping it from her. However, I do believe some of her vehemence is again related to abandonment. When Felicity gets into an argument with Oliver, a BIG argument, she leaves or lashes out. Whether it’s just taking a break to calm down or actively putting space between them, she takes off. Better to do the leaving than be left. Better to hurt than be hurt. Felicity has her own hangups and I’m entirely ready to see them addressed front and center through whatever storylines this secret coming to light will bring.

But on the other hand…Oliver just had his entire world wrecked in like a day or two. Suddenly he has a son. A son he’s missed nearly a decade with. And it’s because of his mother. (Although really, why is he surprised at this point with Moira? HEAVILY ARMED MEN WITH TASERS, OLIVER. A LITTLE BRIBERY IS NOT A BRIDGE TOO FAR WITH MOIRA QUEEN).

Originally posted by feelingreallyfeeling

Then the hits keep on coming with Ms. McGuffin slamming Oliver with an ultimatum: If he wants to even get to know William, he cannot do it as his father. Just as Mommy’s friend–although how that doesn’t sound like a euphemism for Prospective Step Dad, I’m not sure, but we’ll get to Samantha’s logic in a bit–AND he cannot tell anyone that he is William’s father.

Which is redundant. If he cannot be William’s father, what does it matter if Oliver tells his girlfriend he is? And how will Samantha know if he does tell Felicity? I somehow doubt Samantha is going to want Oliver to bring Felicity to share a playdate with the kid.

The second scene at her house is where Samantha may as well be wearing a T-Shirt that said PLOT DEVICE across it. That whole scene was contrived as hell.

She sends William to his room and expects the kid not to hear ANY of them arguing about Oliver being his father? What are the walls made of in her house, lies and concrete?

She claims that she didn’t want Moira anywhere near her son and that’s why she didn’t take her money, and yet she keeps the check within easy reach to show Oliver during a completely unexpected visit? What, does she have a Break Glass In Case of Baby Daddy emergency stash in the den?

Now, I can understand SOME of what Samantha must be thinking. Oliver knows she lied to him about the baby. She’s kept this kid in the dark about his father. If they tell William the truth, she’s going to look BAD to her son. The son she’s had to herself for nearly a decade. And yes, the Oliver she knew was NOT Father of the Year material. But she also knows that Oliver is running for Mayor, and even spending a few minutes with Oliver you can see the difference between this guy and Ollie.

Ollie pees on cop cars, Oliver saves people from speeding cars.

Ollie says he’s lucky when Samantha miscarries, Oliver looks heartbroken at the idea of not getting to know his son.

CHARACTER GROWTH.

So, that argument doesn’t really hold water, missy. Plainly put, Samantha is Plot Device first and logic second. She’s there to plant a time bomb on the Olicity ship and to sprinkle the barest amount of reason around it.

Many have made the very salient point that Oliver could sue for rights to see his son. And they are absolutely right. Legally, that is the appropriate course of action. But Oliver has had all of ONE interaction with this kid prior to this. Would you want your first introduction to a child you’ve missed a decade with to be you suing the other parent he’s known his entire life? Yes, Samantha lied to William, but she is his mother. She’s been with him through everything. Oliver is the guy who handed him his action figure in a coffee shop once and then showed up outside his house and creeped out his mother twice.

Originally posted by awkwardlifeisawesome

Oliver’s first moment with his son, he name drops knowing the Flash to the kid as his opening line. He is DESPERATE to make a good impression. So, playing nice with Samantha seems paramount because she controls how much access he has to his son.

So, while Oliver clearly doesn’t win in terms of logic, his actions there aren’t a bridge too far for me.

But afterward, when he doesn’t tell Felicity the truth (again, how would Samantha know if he did?) that is when things feel off. Especially at the end when Felicity begs him to let her be a good partner to him. Felicity has been his partner since S2–S1 if you ask me, but we’ll go with when he actually said she was his partner–and he chooses to honor a promise made to a girl he had sex with once a decade ago?

Originally posted by sugarteabear

Now we delve into Oliver’s issues. Felicity pointed out Oliver’s trust issues, and that is a big part of it. But Oliver ALSO has abandonment issues. He’s lost his father, his mother, Shado, and many other people over the years. Loving and losing those important to him is what he knows, and there is NO ONE he loves more than Felicity. And having Barry tell him this is something that breaks him and Felicity up TERRIFIES him. It terrifies him probably all the more considering he and Felicity are just now back to normal after 4x06 where she was questioning what their relationship did to her identity, in turn making Oliver question why she was even with him in the first place.

Oliver will do just about anything to avoid losing Felicity. And desperation usually doesn’t breed excellent decisions with Mr. Queen. Siding with Malcolm Merlyn. Joining the League. His endgame with Ra’s being a kamikaze trip to save Starling from the Alpha Omega. Handing the actual devil power over an elite group of assassins and direct access to a form of near-immortality…

Originally posted by gif-007

(We could go on but this meta would turn into all the reasons I’m STILL pissed off about Nyssa being repeatedly screwed by the narrative last season, but that’d take a lot longer than I have time for today)

So, Oliver in his fear and desperation not to lose the woman he loves BUT also form a relationship with his son made questionable decisions. Is it wrong? Hell yes. He’s ensuring this will all blow up in his face spectacularly and that Felicity will in all likelihood break up with him outright when it does.

But this actually fits for Oliver with me.

He has a MASSIVE family-shaped blind spot. He was surprised over and over by his father’s sins in season one. He refused (and continues to refuse to) believe how much his mother manipulated events in his life. And he just takes Thea at her word over and over and over despite all the lies and evidence of her making questionable decisions–like going to Malcolm Merlyn for advice on how to STOP killing.

Originally posted by msmonkey94

It makes sense that his blind spot would extend to William. But since William hasn’t done much more than make sound effects with his action figures just yet, Samantha dominates the blind spot as the gatekeeper to William.

Originally posted by diablito666

And she does it in true Moira Queen fashion: emotional manipulation. Samantha is the ghost of Moira here when she dangles Oliver never seeing his son if he refuses her terms. Oliver reacts from a place of pure emotion instead of logic. This is not unprecedented for him.

Originally posted by geekychicrules

It would be very nice if he calmed down enough to tell Felicity the truth. But this is TV. That won’t happen. You don’t defuse the bomb you just planted, you draw out the tension and let it blow.

Maybe it’s that I grew up around women in my family watching soap operas, but this sort of thing has a cycle: person A loves person B, person A keeps secret from person B, person A agonizes over secret and contemplates telling person B, person B finds out the truth in the worst way possible, person B goes off on person A, they break up…and what happens from there is TBD depending on the couple involved.

But this is Olicity. We’ve been watching them build this ship from literally nothing since S1. This is a bomb that they will not only weather but come away from stronger.

Originally posted by winsloschott

As much as I’d love to see them happily engaged and planning a wedding by now, I’d much rather see all the issues they have individually and as a couple come to light first. Because it’s better to have that out in the open before they say I do than after. Then we won’t have divorce drama.

So as far as I’m concerned, despite McGuffins and plot devices that put a new shine on contrived and cliche, we’re good. Bring on the angst.

Originally posted by dearyunaxx

Tagging a few lovely people because reasons: @kayleepetey@dust2dust34, @captainsummerday, @so-caffeinated, @sailorslayer3641, @seetheskyaboveus, @lerayon, @yespleasehawkeye, @mymusiclove101, @hopeful-warrior

Every Single Problem I Had with Unforgiven (aka: That Rant)

This is gonna be long guys. It’s almost a full 5 pages on word. I started trying to do this in an organized way but it just dissolved as I got more and more annoyed. It was numbered by Tumblr ate those. It gets kind of spacey so I’m just going to put the conclusion right at the front: This was def the worst episode of Once I’ve ever seen and maybe the worst episode of anything I’ve ever seen. And you KNOW how much leeway I give Once.

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