idea: the joker, compelled even against his own interests to do whatever he thinks would be funniest. the joker may be a sadist with a really shitty sense of humor but even he knows a high-quality punchline when he sees one. his obsession with batman is rooted in batman’s unfailing ability to trick the joker into a better gag that gets him captured. the joker gets chased into a room with plenty of really great hiding places and escape routes, but also a slender pole in the middle of the room. he has to hide behind the fucking pole. he’s gotta. how can he not go for the hiding behind a pole gag. there’s three doors but there’s also a joker-shaped hole in the wall that will make it look like he broke through the wall. it’s a four-story drop into a bakery dumpster full of pies. the joker is obsessed with batman because deep in his heart he knows that batman is actually funnier than he is but instead he spends his time standing on rooftops in the rain being a stoic piece of shit. the joker is salieri, and batman is a mozart that decided to go into carpentry.
okay okay okay new list: top ten favorite critical role eps. IN ORDER
This is difficult, holy cow! I thought about defying this post and making a list of my ten least favorite eps, but was tragically unable to come up with ten episodes I disliked so, uh. Probably should’ve seen that coming. Okay, you win, here goes nothing, I’m definitely missing a bunch, this list changes on any give day, etc. etc. etc.
10. Episode 31: Gunpowder Plot. Every now and then, despite its huge cast, the show gets to highlight one-on-one interactions between Matt and a player. Scanlan spends the better part of an hour alone, a single gnome bard trying to navigate an ambush in an enemy stronghold. The process involves turning into a triceratops, defeating a dozen guards, breathing fire, and shoving a goliath off a flaming rooftop in the rain. That sequence is legendary for a reason.
9. Episode 25: Crimson Diplomacy. Mainly the first half, although Kit Buss is wonderful as Lilith and gets more screen time in the latter half. I think this episode kind of jump-started the more serious RPing on the show (which isn’t to say there weren’t great moments earlier!)–for the first time, it felt like it wasn’t so much the players worrying about losing a character as it was the other characters worrying about losing a friend. Vax completely failing to talk his way out of the Briarwoods’ chambers, “Jenga!”, Vex storming in with double natural twenties, “Sylas!” Matt did a phenomenal job juggling the tension in order to make this encounter feel like a difficult situation that was still winnable.
8. Episode 69: Passed Through Fire. I remember seeing a post from somebody who happened upon this episode on Twitch without having seen any of the rest of the show, and they said they were blown away by the emotional extremes in this episode alone. Pretty much everyone was crying, and then pretty much everyone was crying with laughter. There’s also the wonderful letter from Kerrek, VM doing shots, and the start of several RP threads that unravel over the course of the next few episodes. Also, the cliffhanger at the end of this one jumpstarts the endgame in a big way.
7. Episode 57: Duskmeadow. This was a really unexpected episode watching live, because the entire cast had been out doing interviews about CR all day and then came straight from that to this, so it’s a wonder anyone was coherent. And yet, true to form, we get Matt playing a dozen different recurring characters expertly, we get the long-awaited confrontation between Vax and the Raven Queen, we get a bunch of other wonderful character beats, and we get one of the most genuinely startling cliffhangers in the show, with a callback that stretches 36 episodes.
6. Episode 49: A Name Is Earned. The first half is a really archetypal low-risk fight for this show in that it showcases each of the characters’ strengths and weaknesses, often in hilarious ways–Keyleth accidentally disarming a trap, Percy attempting to hit someone with a lance and finally giving up and just shooting him, Vax stealthing by sinking into the snow up to the tips of his ears, Vex sending Trinket barrelling out as a cannonball. It’s a good time. And the sphinx’s puzzle is wonderfully fun and just complicated enough to keep everyone guessing–on rewatching, it’s great to see how Matt manages to drop hints without being too obvious about it. And, of course, the utterly heartbreaking moment where the whole Craven Edge arc comes to a head with Grog accidentally hurting Pike… oh man. So good.
5. Episode 63: The Echo Tree. The climax of the Feywild arc wound up being the payoff for a lot of character beats for Vex, and I’m not sure there’s been a villain who so easily and immediately got to the root of a character’s insecurities. Matt having this baddie incorporate the details of a short story that Laura wrote about Vex was vicious. It’s also so impressive that he was able to create a character who immediately brought up all of Vex’s insecurities and worries about putting her friends in danger, about being cruel and unwanted and never belonging, and there’s still that horrible guilt when she finally does fire on him. The sequence between Vex and Sondur is phenomenal.
4. Episodes 43/44: Return to Vasselheim/The Sunken Tomb. I’m counting this one as a two-parter because it features the same guest stars and makes up a pretty coherent little standalone. Absolute goofiness with amazingly funny little interpersonal moments between party members, guests, and NPCs; I’m a big fan of any time we get to see VM from an outsider’s perspective, and Zahra and Kash’s perspective is just the right mix of fond and sardonic. We get an oddly sweet after-school-special Grog moment, we get a beholder fight… and then we get everything going just unfathomably wrong in the last thirty minutes, completely out of nowhere. Half the party’s character arcs shifted permanently because of one failed saving throw.
3. Episode 89: Curious Tides. There aren’t a lot of recent episodes on this list, just because I generally only get to watch ‘em live and so they kind of all blur together and it becomes tough to remember specific episodes. But this one stood out. Any episode that can balance the extreme of a ritual that involves promising one god you’ll dedicate your life to killing another with the extreme of a well-meaning robot sketching the entire party while they’re sleeping? It’s a good time. Intense foreshadowing of some of the plot to come alongside hilarious (and wonderfully soothing) downtime shenanigans.
2. Episode 40: Desperate Measures. The completely world-shattering shift in the previous episode was startling enough, but it’s a testament to the RPing chops of the players and DM that they took the time to carefully play out the consequences of that change. What do you do when all the major population centers are being destroyed and any attempts to fight back are squashed? How far are you willing to go for a slim chance to instantly reverse what was done? Everyone in this episode is hurting and confused and frightened, and that comes across so well in the ways they lash out at each other. Despite the absolute crushing bleakness of the situation, this episode lays the groundwork for the emotional and plot-related beats of the next fifty episodes in the form of a tattered, piecemeal sort of hope.
1. Episode 52: The Kill Box. It’s one big battle, it should by rights drag out, but it’s so good. Every single member of the cast is so invested (Travis: “I can feel my heartbeat in my face…”), and it isn’t often that the party manages to catch Matt off-guard in a combat situation, but in this episode they just keep managing to surprise him again and again and again. And even their clever strategizing wouldn’t have been enough to save the entire party from the very real threat of a wipe once things start going sideways, if it weren’t for an absurd series of natural twenties to save the day. There have been a lot of mega-epic battles on this show since then, but none have hit this absolutely unreal combination of strategy and luck. This is the game-y part of the show at its absolute best.
YES! We are now here at one of Kalagang’s iconic moments – cafe in the rain and rooftop of the temple. *scream of joy* In this episode, Kala visits Ganesha’s temple after her reunion with naked-again Wolfgang to get some kind of guidance.
Kala: From the day I decided to marry Rajan, you have been sending me…visions. […] But then, you sent me a vision of a man…with a large…trunk? A very large trunk.
I just wanted to put this GIF cause this scene gets me every single time.
Kala: I am a little more than confused. But I trust you, Ganesha. So I know there must be some meaning to all of this that I cannot see. And I wish to see. I wish to understand. So help me, Ganesha. Help me see what it is I must do.
When I first watched this episode and the camera started to move around Kala, I was like ‘Is Wolfgang gonna appear? Is he gonna appear? Is he? please come out, Wolfie. I know you want to.’ and when I saw his silhouette behind Kala, I screamed with joy.
Anyway, before Wolfgang says gods don’t give shit about people (I wrote why he says that inthis post),
although the image of him is too blurry to see his face
I get this feeling that he’s been listening to her quite intently; he just seems very amused by Kala.
Look. RAIN! Kala is now in Wolfgang’s world. I like how Kala’s expression changes; so hopeful with her hands put together for prayer but as soon as she hears Wolfgang’s voice and finds out she’s standing in a rain she’s like ‘oh, great…him again. I know I asked for some guidance, but not like this’.
Also I found it interesting that Wolfgang chose to stay outside of the cafe when it’s obviously pouring down. Maybe it is simply to give cinematographic contrast between Kala and Wolfgang’s world. But I’d like to believe that Wolfgang loves rain. Besides, it’s so like him – maybe Wolfgang was enjoying his coffee outside the cafe when it started raining, but then he’s kinda lazy to go back inside so he thinks ‘fuck it, I’ll just get wet’.
Wolfgang: [Why won’t you just leave me alone?] I tried. Believe me I try not to think of you, but every time it brings me straight to you.
I have nothing to say but MELTED. This is the first time Wolfgang has ever felt something totally different to someone, and even though a part of him is afraid to explore that feeling, it doesn’t stop him from being honest with Kala – with himself. He doesn’t hesitate to tell Kala how he feels or thinks about her. No lies, no secrets, no sugarcoating. Only the truth.
It may be because Wolfgang is very straightforward person, but I also think he is taking a risk in his own way to figure out what it is – this mysterious, unsolved yet unavoidable strong connection to a woman who clearly is an opposite of him. And that’s what makes Kala more drawn into him.
Seriously, he needs to stop with whole tapping on things. It makes me want to jump into his arms and cling onto him – which I can’t. Anyway, I would say this tapping is different from the previous one. Because the one he did on in Kala’s bedroom was closer to seducing her. This time, however, Wolfgang seems more careful and polite when he gestures the chair next to him, asking her to sit down. Like he’s not trying to seduce her or anything. Right now, he just wants to talk to her; he wants to get to know her.
Wolfgang: It’s nice here. Weather’s shit in Berlin.
That smile. THAT FREAKING SMILE. OH MY GOD, ENOUGH, MAX RIEMELT! I mean, the camera is not even facing them and that little smile on his face while he’s looking at Kala/Tina; it’s just killing me and giving me life at the same time. How is this even possible? I’ll tell you, because it’s MAX RIEMELT we’re talking about.
Kala: It rains like this in Bombay, but it’s not so cold there.
Who doesn’t love this moment between Wolfgang and Kala. Wolfgang, again, does not hesitate when it comes to Kala. When she shivers with cold, he immediately tries to warm her. I actually thought he was going to put his jacket on her – but no, this guy decides to use his HANDS instead! Sharing body temperature with her, WHOO-HOO! EVEN BETTER! LOL.
OK, my initial thought of Kala’s reaction was – she doesn’t feel comfortable; which is completely understandable. I mean, after all, they’ve just met. They are technically still strangers to one another. Not to mention she is engaged to Rajan.
But then, I realized it’s the first time Kala and Wolfgang touch each other! So I’m guessing when Wolfgang touched her, she was more surprised by how real that felt. Although he actually exists somewhere in Berlin, to Kala, Wolfgang is a man who exists in her head. And vice versa. Thus, neither of them would have ever expected this kind of sensation when they touched each other.
I’m not sure if Wolfgang pulled away because he felt that same kind of surprised feeling as Kala. To me, it felt like he pulled away because he thought Kala seemed uncomfortable with him touching her. Which apparently shows how much Wolfgang cares for Kala – he doesn’t want to push her or do anything that will make her uncomfortable.
Awkward moment. Kala’s expression right there – Kala has a strong moral compass, and right now she’s having mixed feelingsbecause she didn’t hate when Wolfgang touched her. And that feeling has quickly turned into a guilt. She hates feeling guilty. She hates being the bad person. She looks down at her hand where the wedding ring is still on her finger, trying to remind herself she’s still engaged to Rajan – that she can’t betray him; logic comes into her mind telling her what she’s doing in this moment with another man is not right.
Kala: [So tell me…does he ever help?] What? [Your god.] Of course. [How?] I asked him to stop my wedding, and he did. [You think he stopped your wedding?]
However, Kala can’t help but feel emotionally free and honest when she’s with Wolfgang. Can you imagine her telling things like ‘I prayed to Ganesha to stop my wedding cause I don’t actually love Rajan’ to others like her parents? her sister? her friends? or to Rajan? I seriously doubt it.
The whole connection between Kala and Wolfgang is emotion-driven. Whereas the relationship between Kala and Rajan is closer to logic-driven; when Kala thinks of Rajan she basically lists all the reasons why marrying him is the right thing such as he’s handsome, he’s smart, he’s rich, he’s the perfect-husband-type, etc. If Kala and Rajan’s relationship was emotion-driven, she would have simply said ‘because I love him’.
With Wolfgang, Kala becomes totally herself. She doesn’t have to think about social standards, people’s expectations, or anything that keeps her from being true to herself. Wolfgang shows her that it is okay to let her emotions out; it’s okay to follow what her heart desires. Besides, after all, they are sensates – they are destined to be connected in emotional level.
Wolfgang: So you think our connection is a kind of miracle?
Wolfgang is not the kind of guy who believes in fate, gods, fairy-tales (obviously), happily-ever-afters, or miracles. But we know that he may be once believed in those things so that he could live a life in which he’s not a monster anymore…even after he’s given up on miracles, deep down there’s a part of him that still wants to believe in them. Now, he’s asking Kala if their connection is a kind of miracle. I think he secretly wants her to say ‘yes’ – maybe he’s been waiting for someone to come up to him and say ‘miracle does happen’ because he still wants that life; a life where he can put his past behind and have his happily-ever-after. Maybe with Kala.
Kala: If I were trying to describe this feeling – the sensation of experiencing the warmth of the sun, the smell of jasmine and marigold…while at the same time being soaked by a downpour at an outdoor cafe…the taste of strong coffee still in my mouth…
At that moment, Wolfgang seems sort of relieved to hear that word ‘miracle’ coming out from Kala’s mouth; but at the same time, he looks as if he’s in big trouble. Like he’s thinking to himself ‘oh fuck, I’m falling head over heels for this girl, aren’t I?’ AND THE WAY HE’S LOOKING AT HER IS JUST SO HOT.
Moreover, I like how they show Kala’s face in the rain and Wolfgang’s face in the sun. Kala who represents fire is feeling every raindrops, while Wolfgang who represents water is experiencing warmth of the sun – SYMBOLISM. It gives that feeling of…Kala and Wolfgang have completely stepped into each other’s world – like each person’s presence has soaked into one another; now they’re of one mind (like Kala’s vow in her wedding).
Kala: For me, science is another language we use to talk about the same miracles that faith talks about. [But…one language makes sense, one doesn’t] Sense? What, like quantum physics? Like a particle that can be here and not here?
Later, Kala talks about her childhood; why she likes festivals, and how she became a believer. I love how Kala is confident…so sure of herself when she talks about her love for science and her faith; and how Wolfgang is simply just amused by every word, every thought that’s coming out of her.
Then, as Kala talks about force of gravity, they both start looking at each other’s lips. HOTNESS OVERLOAD ALREADY. I CAN’T TAKE IT!
Kala: Or sense like gravity? A force that no one knows why exists. Only that if didn’t exist…if there wasn’t this mysterious attraction…this pull between objects…then none of this would exist either.
This whole description or explanation about gravity just matches perfectly with Kalagang’s relationship. It’s something beyond their comprehensions and they don’t know why this connection exists, and yet, they can’t seem to find a way to end this. They don’t want to end it, because this connection somehow makes them feel more alive than ever. What they feel for each other is the most real thing they’ve ever felt.
(Thank you anon for reminding me of this scene! I totally forgot!) Here, Wolfgang is ready to meet Kala in person. And it’s not just because of mere curiosity or sexual attraction; it’s because he truly thinks she is the one! Also, we can see there’s a bit of hope in his eyes – that maybe she is the second chance of life Wolfgang had prayed for.
Just a reminder, Wolfgang has met Kala less than five times, had conversation with her for less than an hour in total, their kiss was cockblocked by Felix, and she lives in a different country. But none of those are going to stop Wolfgang from–
(Imagine that Leo was out on patrol during a bad thunderstorm and he finds a small girl crying and all alone. He lets his instincts take over.)
Leo hopped across the rooftops, listening to the rain hit his shell and being careful not to slip on the wet surface. Thunder boomed nearby and was followed by a large flash of lightning. He stopped running for a moment to watch in awe.
“Wow…what a storm…” he whispered to himself then started to shiver a little from the cold. He turned around, it was time for him to head back anyways before the weather got any worse. He was about to leap off until he heard soft crying from the alley below the building he was standing on. He listened closer for a moment before realizing that it was a little girl. He quietly made his way down to the alley and looked around, listening for the little cry again.
To his right. Right…there! In the little box. He carefully knelt down and saw a small girl inside of the cardboard box. She was crying and was soaked to the bone. Leo’s heart shattered at seeing her like this. Suddenly she looked up and saw him.
“Uh…hi there-” The little girl cut him off with a little squeal and she began to cry harder. “Oh! I-It’s okay! I’m not going to hurt you, I promise…” Leo spoke softly and gently to the frightened girl and that seemed to calm her down because she stopped crying. “Are you lost? Where are your parents?” he asked. She just stared at him for a moment and remembered her parents and how they…. and she was crying again. Leo’s heart shattered a second time when he started to put the pieces together. He quickly scooped her up in his arms and started to dry her face. “Shh, shh…it’s okay. I’m going to take good care of you, okay?” he told her. She looked up at him with wide, tear filled eyes as he lifted the manhole cover. He walked quickly through the sewers and kept talking to her so she wouldn’t feel scared. “My name is Leonardo.”
“Leo…nardo?” Leo shook his head happily.
“And you are?” The girl paused for a moment.
“A…Amy…” Leo smiled gently at her and pushed some hair out of her face.
“That’s a beautiful name, Amy, and you’re going to love the lair.” Leo said as he continued to walk with the little girl staring up at him. “I’m going to teach you how to meditate, how to properly make tea, maybe some basics of ninjistu…” he rambled then looked down and noticed she was sound asleep in his arms. He smirked then kissed her forehead, finally at the lair’s door.
wc: 2.2k summary: “you take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless” based off of the song fearless by taylor swift
The rain had always been her favorite kind of weather. The smell always brought a smile to her face and she loved the way raindrops felt on her cheekbones. There was also something, she had noticed, about the way the pavement looked right after a rainstorm. The light from outside made it glow, and if anything she felt like the scent of it only increased. On this particular day, her and Peter had gone out to the nearby café for hot chocolate. The hot beverage warmed her hands in contrast to the cooler weather outside. She insisted on getting a table by the window and Peter didn’t argue because it made her happy.
When she heard the first raindrop hit the glass window, her head snapped towards it to see the downpour of rain begin. A wide smile made its way onto her face and Peter stared at her. He was completely infatuated with her. The twinkle in her eyes when it rained. The way her nose got this slight crinkle in the bridge when she smiled that wide. When it really began to downpour, Peter stood up, insisting that they should get back soon before Aunt May started to worry. Peter hurried and tried to run to his car while she lagged behind. The rain had soaked them both to the bone the minute they stepped outside, but she didn’t care. She stood in the middle of the sidewalk, giggles falling past her lips as she clumsily twirled, letting the rain run down her cheeks and the slope of her nose.
thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end
So the awesome @tall-butt sent me a prompt from this list: ‘exes meeting again after not speaking for years au’. It was gonna be like 5k but when do any of my fics ever go to plan!? SO here it is, 19k of pain.