magnum opus spoilers

5 better bismuth endings I came up with on my way home from work

1. As I said last night, same ending, plus Wise Words From Garnet. Even just a “There’s a lot you don’t understand” that makes it clear Steven doesn’t get the gravity of the decisions that had to be made in the rebellion. Still botched, but not AS botched.

2. Steven…acts like Steven and tries to understand Bismuth. They talk things out with Pearl and Garnet. Bismuth realizes what they’re dealing with, that incapacitating homeworld threats has in fact been working for them, that her solution would be futile against current homeworld technology. Steven gets food for thought when she says “I didn’t want something lethal, necessarily. I wanted something–anything–that would work.” She leaves to investigate the site of the corruption weapon’s detonation, trying to figure out how to combat it, in an exit that implies she’s going on a noble and redemptive quest. The next time we see her she has like, 20 corrupted gem buddies and the start of a more effective AND more pacifistic plan. 

3. Back to the forge, AND LET’S BRING GARNET! Almost immediately after the Breaking Point is demonstrated, she unfuses. It’s very sudden, and shocks both Bismuth and Steven. Ruby is shouting “Whatever she says, don’t–” while Sapphire calmly requests a word. Bismuth, thinking she knows where this is headed, starts in yelling “I don’t want to hear what you think! You’re a rare gem, you probably–” Cue future vision and diplomatic resolution skills. “No, I don’t sympathize with them, not for a second,” she says, gently but firmly. “I’d like to think you know me better than that, even if it is secondhand.” That’s at least enough to give Bismuth pause. She continues. “I know exactly why Rose had a problem with it. It’s not because she didn’t understand. It’s because it wouldn’t have worked.” She goes on to explain that at the time Bismuth was bubbled, the CGs’ numbers were growing–Rose saw that as their only hope of success, which was why she couldn’t risk giving homeworld any ammo to vilify the movement, or any possible splinter factions. “Homeworld was already calling us killers. They’d have had a much easier time of it if we were actually killing. I don’t know why Rose dealt with you the way she did, but she was trying to protect as many good gems as she could–just like you were.” Strong lesson about solidarity; still a little troublesome b/c the solution to the anger of the oppressed comes from a potential oppressor being the voice of reason, but it is Sapphire, she’s always the voice of reason.

4. Back to the forge, AND LET’S BRING PEARL! Same type of stuff starts to go down, and importantly, it’s revealed that Rose lied about having bubbled Bismuth. BUT, a triumphantly shouted, protective “HE. IS NOT. ROSE QUARTZ” from Mama Pearl both stops the brewing fight in its tracks and lays to rest a thousand fandom misconceptions. Once she has Bismuth’s attention, she–nervously, seeing her friend’s pain and not wanting to make her more upset–begins, “I–I think you must have misunderstood her position.” “Oh, I understood perfectly–” “No!  At the end of the war, Homeworld was using weapons that could destroy gem’s minds a million at a time. We wouldn’t have stood a chance.” Shot of Bismuth’s face, obviously horrified. Pearl goes on: “ Rose said that if she truly believed it would save earth and the gems that believed in it, she would do whatever it took. She told me that.” She turns aside, softer now, voice breaking: “Apparently, it was the only thing she ever told me.” Bismuth reaches out and touches her arm, thoughts of her quarrel with Rose nearly forgotten in the immediate need to comfort her friend (EXACTLY LIKE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EP). Fadeout on a very contemplative Steven, who has just learned a number of positive and negative things about his mother.

5. (Far fetched) The same ending, but right at the moment where things look dire for Steven in the real version, CENTIPEETLE EX MACHINA. Bismuth stops. “What is that?” Still outraged, Steven replies, “A gem you would have killed!” Nervous stepping away. “That’s no gem…” Corruption weapon explained. Bismuth asks, “Do you have any idea how it worked?” Steven is about to get upset again when she’s like “No, no, no, listen. I only wanted to shatter gems because I thought it was the only way. If we could deploy your bubble powers on that kind of a scale–well, we’d have all the time in the world to talk them around.” Cute Steven face. Cute “Iiiiiiii’m pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down, Bismuth.” “It wouldn’t be something you could just forge out of metal. I’d need some help.” “Lapis and Peridot could help! They’re Crystal Gems now!” “What’s a Peridot?” “Uhh, some kinda engineer I’m pretty sure.” Bismuth’s nodding. “Gotcha, gotcha…someone to wire the thing. And this planet sure has a lot of ocean, I couldn’t help noticing.” Fade out on the two of them excitedly talking. Bismuth gets a whole arc to work out her hurts and grow. The weapon they’re putting together isn’t completed until the finale, but it combines the whole team’s contributions, ends the fight in the nick of time, and is understood as Bismuth’s magnum opus.

On Aerys Targaryen and Tywin Lannister, from The World of Ice and Fire

A Compilation of Greatest Hits from The World of Ice and Fire, or, How Boy Bands Come to Die (these are all excerpts/quotes unless stated otherwise, trust)

  • Aerys and Tywin Lannister had known each other since childhood. As a boy, Tywin Lannister had served as a royal page at King’s Landing. He and Prince Aerys, together with a younger page, the prince’s cousin Steffon Baratheon of Storm’s End, had become inseparable. During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, the three friends had fought together, Tywin as a new-made knight. Steffon and Prince Aerys as squires. When Prince Aerys won his spurs at six-and-ten, it was to Ser Tywin he granted the signal honor of dubbing him a knight. (113)
  • Aerys Targaryen and Tywin Lannister made for an unlikely partnership, it must be said. (113)
  • And yet the Seven Kingdoms prospered greatly during the first decade of his reign, for the King’s Hand was all that the king himself was not–diligent, decisive, tireless, fiercely intelligent, just, and stern. “The gods made and shaped this man to rule,” Grand Maester Pycelle wrote of Tywin Lannister… (114)
  • As the king’s own behavior grew increasingly erratic, more and more the day-today running of the realm fell to his Hand. The realm prospered under Tywin Lannister’s stewardship–so much so that King Aerys’s endless caprices did not seem so portentous. … From Oldtown to the Wall, men began to say that Aerys might wear the crown, but it was Tywin Lannister who ruled the realm. (114)
  • (Elaborations on Tywin as an exemplary Hand of the King yet had been little loved by other lords. He had “despised” his father, Tytos Lannister, and his relationship with his siblings were strained. Kevan and Genna had been exceptions but even then he was more “dutiful” than “affectionate”.) (114-115)

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8.13 and Onward Spoilers

Criminal Minds | SPOILER AHEAD! This is what my emailbox looked like this morning: A huge stack of “Is Reid’s girlfriend really dead?!” I for one didn’t think that was in doubt, and it isn’t — and here’s the tale behind the tragic twist. “We pitched a story where we’d introduce a unique love interest for Dr. Reid and it would end in tragedy,” showrunner Erica Messer explains. And make no mistake, the dark wrinkle had Matthew Gray Gubler’s blessing. “Matthew agreed the only way to tell this story was if she died in the saddest way possible,” Messer says. And while Maeve’s murder — in front of the beau she’d only just set eyes on — abruptly ended this week’s hour, Reid’s reaction/mourning “will be the emotional anchor of episode 813 and it’s the arc for Reid’s character for the rest of the season.”