slow build up and characters slowly getting in a relationship while being in character

Reasons I Ship Percico

It’s a common question in the fandom “why do people ship Percico?” So, here is half my list:

1. I like the idea of their relationship slowly evolving into a cloud of playful pushes, friendly jokes and random kisses.

2. The friendship they have (you know, the one they had before it mysteriously disappeared) was amazingly cute and could have made Nico happier if he wasn’t dealing with a lot of stuff on his own.

3. The thought of Nico slowly, but surely, over time, start opening up to Percy is just…. Wow.

4. What about Percy opening up to Nico about a personal problem to show he can be trusted? 

5. That time when Percy ran through the dangerous Labyrinth to find Nico at the thought of him being in danger clearly shows he cares about Nico.

6. I love the cheesy ending of Nico finally getting the one he always loved.

7. Nico loved but resented Percy, so think if they were together, that Percy would have the perfect comeback to Nico’s little snaps.

8. How about Percy sitting there, looking at Nico and regretting thinking he was ever annoying when they first met? 

9. It would be so cute if Percy and Nico’s relationship slowly grown over several months as they got comfortable together.

10. I’m sorry, but the thought of Nico getting irritated with the camp life and visiting Percy in his apartment for a few weeks is just adorable.

11. What about Percy’s sexuality you ask? It makes it 10 times better if Percy falls for Nico’s personality, not the fact that he’s a gay guy. So not exactly bi, but a straight guy who simply fell in love with Nico di Angelo.

12. Nico was always the one to think of ways to keep Percy safe. Ex. the curse of Achilles, going in the Labyrinth, going into Tartarus to find the Doors of Death etc.

Most importantly, I ship percico because both the characters were cheated out of their friendship by their own author. It’s NOT in character for Percy to just sit there while Jason is just talking about not saving Nico from the Giants because he might be a traitor. That scene gets me so angry I see red. Nico deserves a slow build up with someone he knows and cares about so he can actually get over his self-hatred. Nico is such an amazing character and the way he was written in The Hidden Oracle was insulting.

I ship Percico because they both deserve better.

diorxdreams  asked:

Hi, I'm at a point in my novel where my character is afraid of being defenseless and she wants to learn hand-to-hand combat. She has 0 previous experience and asks a prince, who is superskilled in sword fighting + hand-to-hand, to teach her. How would I be able to write that from the girl's pov? I would like to relay her improvements across the novel, like I want my audience to feel her getting better.

I’ll be honest, one of the biggest issues with “super skilled” or “naturally gifted” fighters is that, unless they’ve learned otherwise, they tend to be shit teachers. Teaching is, in large part, the ability to take your own experiences and struggles then apply them to aiding your student to learn the same. The best teachers are often the ones who struggled hardest to understand their subject matter, who spent a lot of time on it. This can be someone gifted, but it’s not the natural conclusion. Someone who naturally grasps the concepts and grasps the basics quickly enough that they’ve never needed to really think about it will have trouble explaining those same basics to someone else. This can lead to many frustrations for both parties, especially if this is the teacher’s first outing.

It’s important to start with recognizing that being good at fighting and being able to teach someone how to fight are actually two separate skill sets.

Being a teacher requires that you think about what you’re doing, how it works, how it functions, and then how accurately show someone else how to do it. It actually takes a fair amount of introspection and understanding. It, ironically compared to cultural perceptions, often makes you better at what discipline you practice. This is why at the higher stages of martial arts training, for example, students take on more responsibility and begin assisting their teachers then eventually teaching themselves. Having to sit down and actually explain it to someone else, to think about what you’re doing, and how you did it in a way that they can understand is important to improving yourself.

In helping others, we help ourselves.

This is just a lead in to me saying that just because this prince is good at fighting, it doesn’t mean he can teach or teach her well. There are many different kinds of combat, and his training may not be suited to what she’s looking to learn or needs to know. This is even more true if he’s physically gifted and she isn’t. For the genius, a technique that may be extremely complicated is exceedingly simple, they natively grasp the concept and their bodies can quickly adapt it into their repertoire. They may have also learned at an accelerated rate. Their learning experience being vastly different from someone on a more even keel. Even if he’s not gifted or he is and she is, they may not learn the same way and that requires him having to entirely restructure everything about his teaching methods to get the techniques across.

He’ll also be far more educated than she is which will make it more difficult to relate concepts to her if she doesn’t understand what the concept is. They come from very different beginning positions. He’ll have been primed for combat his entire life even before he began learning, while this may be a concept that’s just occurring to her. Someone raised in the lap of luxury has a different perspective than someone who grew up on the streets. More than that, unless he’s ornamental, a prince’s life is filled with responsibility, study, duties both political and governmental, with huge constraints on his time even if he’s just the second or third son.

Ruling is a job and the child of a ruler is one groomed from birth to take over that role. A prince that’s really good at combat but not likely to inherit the throne, for example, may be one being groomed to be their older brother’s general or Grand Marshal. The one who takes the reins in terms of military matters and national security, both internal and external.

Or if he’s got a lot of older brothers and no prospects, then he could be raised to be the family’s duelist or Champion. The one who fights in place of the King when another noble challenges a decision, royal decree, or personal slight.

Ultimately, the kind of teacher he is matters. The breath of his experience matters. Teachers aren’t all equal and teaching is a learning experience, just as much as the student’s training. If he’s never taught anyone before, if he expects everyone to come to it with the same background he did i.e. lots of personal tutors, if he doesn’t understand the difference between starting with nothing and starting with something, then she could be in for a very rough time.

Mentor/Student is very much a give and take. It’s setting boundaries. It’s building trust. There are a lot of ways to do that.

Even though you’re not writing from the Prince’s perspective, these are important questions to suss through and figure out. Your main character’s entire learning experience will be decided by what he does and what he knows. So it may be important to figure out what that is.

As for the first person learning perspective from the student’s POV.

You’re in for an easier road when the student knows nothing and writing from their point of view means that their teacher informs their entire learning experience.

Start slow and build your base.

One spends an entire lesson on stances, learning to stand, breathe, and balance their weight before they’re ever allowed to hold a sword. Then, they practice holding the sword, practicing their strikes. Single strikes, rather than combinations, with stances. Then, they practice their footwork separately. Single strikes are practiced together in conjunction with the footwork. Then, we move on to combinations putting footwork/strikes together into a flurry of movement with attack and defense. Practice alone, becoming used to no resistance. Then, practice with a partner. Then, practice with multiple partners to build experience.

Intersperse cardio. Stretches both before and after practice to keep the limbs loose. The character thinks about their training during the day, as they do their chores. Practicing their stances, locking their wrists, adjusting their fingers.

Safety first.

Depending on teaching style it could be confusing and “mysterious” with the teacher refusing to explain what’s going on. Or, they could explain the purpose.

The character will practice the same repetitious movements over and over again. It won’t be very exciting. They’ll leave training bruised and probably a little beaten. The teacher needs to balance the realities with hope for improvement. She will get better slowly, though due to a vast difference in both experience and expectations she may never be his equal.

Attack and defense are both necessary.

Every sword strike can lead to death.

The teacher will destroy preconceived notions.

Try not to make it so that they’re awesome at everything right away. Even the ones who can physically get it, it takes them time to really understand it. Also, a character who goes “oh! that’s easy!” will immediately be bumped into harder challenges.

They will be dumb in the beginning. All students are dumb in the beginning unless they’re not really beginners. That’s okay. Being slow, confused, and frustrated is part of being human.

Don’t forget the cardio. Training extends outside of class time. She must practice and consistently or else she’ll forget, she’ll have to learn all over again in the next class.

Some good training sequences:

Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small are very good to use for reference. Particularly Kel’s relationship with her maid Lalasa in the second novel Page, with Lalasa’s training being geared for female self-defense. Lalasa’s solutions such as practicing her stances during the day while she stands in line are excellent examples of a character consistently trying to learn.

Game of Thrones: Arya Stark training under Syrio Forel. Cat catching included. Why cat catching, you ask? It trains the reflexes and hand to eye coordination, also helps the trainee hone their stalker instincts. Plus, it doubles successfully as the teacher trolling.

The Mask of Zorro: I’ve mentioned Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins before, but the Mask of Zorro has one of my all time favorite training sequences. It combines humor and no small amount of sadism with some genuinely good advice while being highly entertaining at the same time.

Check out Matt Easton’s (Scholagladitoria) Channel

He has a lot of good training tips like his longsword training tips, footwork, small tutorials about different kinds of sword combat, and discussions on history plus the roles of various weapons.

If you can, honestly, look up your local HEMA chapters and fencing clubs. The only ones who can teach you how to teach sword combat are teachers who teach sword combat. It’s okay if you know nothing, most martial artists are more than happy to share knowledge with beginners. Take a class if you’ve the resources. It’ll help you a lot.

-Michi

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jackson-thighs  asked:

Uhm hey? To be honest I am a big Zutara shipper but at the same time I am okay with Kataang too. I saw some posts, which are representing Aang "worse than he actually is". I think the only reason he does some inappropriate things is that he is just a kid who fell in love for the first time and doesn't understand how he should handle it in a right way. I think maybe if he was more mature and grown-up it would have turned out differently.

kafkaschild said: I am not trying to hate or something, I just feel bad for my baby because he is sometimes shown as a “misunderstanding little prick”, who doesn’t know anything about Katara’s feelings. And maybe I just want to protect him from such opinions who are cutting away the real beauty of his pure character. Like I said: He is just a kid and Bryke should have waited with such a serious relationship, cause he still don’t know how to act rightly. I hope you understand what I try to say.

kafkaschild said: Oh shit, I am sorry for spamming you here… I just want to add that some people say that Katara doesn’t even care about Aang. The fuck? She cares about him deeply and always looks out for him. Well, she acts more like a mother than a lover and I agree with that, but to say that she doesn’t love him, is wrong. She loves him. Unfortunately, she loves him like a mother, but not like a lover. I think that was everything I wanted to say. I am sorry for disturbing you with my rant.

Hey, first of all, I’m not the type to feel disturbed or get offended when a follower puts their calm, rational opinions in my inbox! I actually like getting mini essays from people. But, I will respond with my own…

Let me start by saying that a lot of my dislike for Aang is Bryke’s fault. The way they wrote him towards the end of the series and then in the comics turned him into this perfect angel of child who could never be wrong. So when you say: “Maybe I just want to protect him from such opinions who are cutting away the real beauty of his pure character.” I have to strongly disagree with you for a number of reasons:

First of all, no character should be protected from opinions. They all have flaws and they all get called out.

Unfortunately, Aang is the only one who never seems to be “called out.” While the other characters show tremendous growth, respond to challenges, and change their entire world view, Aang remains stagnant.

  • He remains unquestioned. He remains the same. His beliefs were never really challenged. He was never brought face to face with some of the consequences of what he had done. Bryke treated him as someone who was always right and anyone who had a differing opinion was wrong.
  • His belief in pacifism is never challenged. All of his friends are portrayed as being wrong.
  • His belief in forgiveness is never challenged. All of his friends, especially Katara, are portrayed as being wrong.
  • His massacre at the Northern Water Tribe is ignored.
  • His destruction of the Earth Kingdom fort is ignored.
  • His temperamental outbursts at anyone who dared disagree with him are ignored and all of these disagreers are portrayed as wrong and end up apologizing for their opinions.

To say he was a pure character, is to fall into the same trap that Bryke did.

Now there are a few things I can agree with you on:

He is just a kid who fell in love for the first time and doesn’t understand how he should handle it in a right way.

Precisely. He is young, immature, and needs to grow. All the more reason why he was not a good match for Katara- someone who was very mature, strongly opinionated, and passionate.

I think maybe if he was more mature and grown-up it would have turned out differently.

Again… you’re right. If Aang had developed his beliefs a little more, faced some real character challenges, or just grown up to the point that he could respect differing opinions, he may been a better match. However, this does not happen in the show prior to the kiss, nor does it happen in the comics. In fact, his god complex only worsens in the comics.

Bryke should have waited with such a serious relationship, cause he still don’t know how to act rightly.

YEP. What twelve year old knows how to treat a girl right? If Kataang was destined to be endgame, Bryke could’ve spent more time developing a mature relationship between the two- one that grew over time until both were ready and old enough.

Side note: This is why Zutara appeals to so many of us. It was a relationship that slowly built upon respect, then forgiveness, then understanding and trust. It was slow. It had natural chemistry.

Zuko listened to her and didn’t try to run her over with his beliefs. If Zutara had been destined to be canon, it would have continued to build on this foundation. They would have grown closer, learned more about each other, dealt with these underlying feelings of attraction until finally, both admit there’s something more than friendship.

With Kataang, all we got was a temperamental twelve year old planting kisses on his friend/mother figure and then suddenly, she reciprocates those feelings. Why? Because he’s the “hero” and I guess the hero “deserves” the girl.

Because she’s totally an object who can’t make her own decisions. At least according to Bryke.

Just want to add that some people say that Katara doesn’t even care about Aang. The fuck? She cares about him deeply and always looks out for him. Well, she acts more like a mother than a lover and I agree with that, but to say that she doesn’t love him, is wrong.

I’m not sure if you’re calling me out on saying this because I know I haven’t. I know Katara cared about Aang. I know she was very close to him and loved him. But like you said, that love was motherly in nature. Again, I never said she doesn’t love him. She did- but the love wasn’t the right kind and when it turned into something romantic it came off very forced.

One final thing, and this is Bryke’s fault but… in TSR episode, we catch the first glimpse of the image of Katara that Aang has in his head. He has her on this pedestal of perfection (first crush… makes perfect sense) but as soon as she differs from his view, she’s “wrong.”

This grows leagues worse in the comics. Suddenly, Katara isn’t Katara anymore. Bryke literally had to turn her into a Mary Sue with no opinions and no fight and no spark to get her to fit Aang’s mold and be a good match for him.

If you have to completely alter a character’s nature to be in a relationship with another character, it’s not a good relationship.

Sims 4 DirkJake Challenge

Challenge Overview:

Dirk Strider and Jake English are unfamiliar new neighbors. Successfully hook them up.

Character Creation:

Dirk Strider
Traits:
-Perfectionist
-Genius
-Loner
Aspiration: Soulmate
Suggested Occupation: Tech Entrepreneur

Other Potential Traits:
-Jealous
-Bro
-Geek

Jake English
Traits:
-Cheerful
-Loves Outdoors
-Geek
Aspiration: Soulmate
Suggested Occupation: Secret Agent

Other Potential Traits:
-Noncommital
-Good
-Childish

Challenge Requirements:

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why you should watch rule the world

Rule the World is Sjin’s independent series on the Flux Buddies server, which focuses around his goal to create a medieval city by the name of Sjinterfell. Rule the World is a great series to watch because it is mainly plot-driven, has a great story and lore, introduces lovable characters, and has that certain Sjin charm to it.

(Long post under the cut!)

I. PLOT
II. LORE
III. CHARACTERS
IV. MISC NOTES
V. FINAL REVIEW

Keep reading

The 100 Season 3 Request: Slow Down Just A Little

QUOTE BELOW VIA http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/11/the-100-season-finale_n_6850268.html - 

If I have one overall idea about what “The 100” could do in its third season, it’s this: More “Colonial Day.” That’s an episode of “Battlestar Galactica” in which we got to see the characters socializing and relaxing, at least for a little while. We saw different sides of them as they celebrated a holiday, and that episode and others like it helped cement my affection for them and my interest in their lives. I truly appreciate the energetic pace of “The 100”, its moral gravity and its ability to come up with believable but shocking twists, but having some lighter moments can help the darker aspects of any show stand out. Also, purely character-driven moments can also just be fun to watch. I liked watching Raven and Wick bicker about engineering dilemmas; I like seeing Jasper and Monty hang out; I like seeing what happens when characters are not on the run or being beaten up. When a show pays attention to its forward momentum but gives the people in the story a chance to reaffirm their bonds with each other within non-traumatizing situations, it can really pay off in the long term. I’m not saying “The 100” needs an influx of kittens and rainbows — this is not that kind of show — but adding a little more tonal and emotional variety might be a welcome thing when the show returns. It’s just a thought.

I have to say I agree with this sentiment. I’ve been re-watching Battlestar Galactica, and it’s surprisingly a quite relaxing show compared with The 100. The pace of that show, while they do face similarly bleak situations and dangerous encounters, is nowhere near of that of The 100 in Season 2. 

Regardless of which characters you care about the most in CW’s show, there’s always this sense that you’re being whipped around at a frantic pace and you never get to spend enough time with any group before it’s on to the next batch. 

Those quiet moments in between battles and disasters, however, are what help us identify with and understand the characters better. Some of my favorite scenes from this show have been these lower-key moments - like Clarke talking to her dad while hallucinating; Kane coming to Abby post-shocklashing filled with regret and making her chancellor while he effectively left on a suicide mission; Raven and Wick or Octavia and Lincoln’s moments of, errr, bonding; plus backstories like Octavia’s first foray out of her hole on the Ark for that party or the whole Spacewalker thing, which finally made me like Finn. 

I know there’s a big plot to move forward, but how about telling a few stories about the struggles of everyday survival in Season 3, now that the wars with Mt. Weather and the Grounders are over, and that with the AI has yet to begin (um, again, I guess)? 

For starters, Abby needs to come to terms with letting Clarke go. She will find out next season that Clarke has left camp, and she needs to find an identity beyond being a protective mother. That ship has sailed.

I’d love to see Abby becoming a good Chancellor in the wake of Clarke’s departure, for example, organizing jobs and hunting expeditions and making sure her people have food, shelter, water, and supplies (and new clothes! Go raid Mt. Weather, by the way!) She should form a new council with Bellamy on board, and give him a ton of responsibility. 

I’d love to see Abby and Kane as well as Raven and Wick developing their own relationships outside the threat of imminent war or certain death. 

I’d love to see the characters fight their way through recovery from their physical pain, too - Raven and Abby will have serious healing to do from the marrow extraction, and will probably have a hard time being laid up in bed or unable to walk. Likely the show will just jump forward to the point where they’re healed, but it doesn’t have to. Remember when Starbuck’s leg was injured, and she wouldn’t immediately get out of bed until confronted about it? Or how Laura Roslin overdid her drugs, and then faced the consequences of trying to beat cancer by taking 3x the meds?

Those situations helped define those characters, but all we see is stuff like this: beam falls on Kane’s leg, nearly killing him. Next scene, he’s just walking around with a slight limp. Surely we missed something in between? 

I’d also love to see Clarke’s “walkabout” not turning into an immediate disaster where she’s running from a rabid bear or whatever, but one where she gets a chance reflect on her emotional pain and come to terms with it - yes, with only her - not “Clexa” - on the screen. (More like when Jaha came to Earth…or like most of the movie “Castaway” Ha!). 

Let’s see Murphy just hanging around his new fancy house, and slowly discovering whose house it was and what that guy did and the horror of that. Let’s see Jasper’s friends try to help him get over Maya’s loss, and new bonds form. 

Let’s meet some of the other kids and grown-ups, and sort of expand that world of Camp Jaha. I’m actually curious about how that whole thing runs - are parts of the Ark still livable? Are they trying to grow food yet? Can’t they build a shower already? Are they trying to take the Ark apart and re-use it to build housing? What do people do all day there?

I’m just saying: let’s give these Sky People a moment to live, not just survive, and see what that even looks like. (Clarke hinted at this being necessary, when she said something of the sort to Lexa.) 

I’m not saying don’t keep us on the edge of our seats, or tell the big story. But give us all a moment to breathe every now and then in the next season. 

Is it October yet?

anonymous asked:

Top 5 books?

1) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – This book is perfect to me. It’s structure and how that structure weaves the same themes and ideas through five different stories, each in a different time period and told through a different genre, it just blows me away. And gives me an incredible rush of inspiration at how exquisitely clever it all is from a writing perspective. David Mitchell’s writing is always strong and engaging and full of subtle poetry and there are characters who have been tattooed on my heart. It’s a novel that once I’ve finished it, I have to just sit there in contemplations for a while.

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”  

2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling – The stories that have the most powerful impact on me are stories that present the very worst and darkest aspects of human nature and then show us a way to live with that with hope and a desire to be a light in that darkness against all odds. It’s true of Cloud Atlas and also of DH and the HP series in general (including Cursed Child). Deathly Hallows is full of beautiful passages. Harry’s journey through the book, coming to terms with who Dumbledore really was, his internal struggle of choosing between the Horcruxes and the Hallows (destroying Voldemort or protecting himself), and eventually discovering and choosing to accept his true, horrific destiny… It destroys me in all the best ways. 

“Slowly, very slowly, he sat up, and as he did so he felt more alive, and more aware of his own living body than ever before. Why had he never appreciated what a miracle he was, brain and nerve and bounding heart? It would all be gone…or at least, he would be gone from it. His breath came slow and deep, and his mouth and throat were completely dry, but so were his eyes.”   

3) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This novel is pure, beautiful agony. Kathy H, the protagonist, is a wonderful, unique character and the complexities of her relationships with Ruth and Tommy are realistic in a way you don’t often find in fiction. There was a point near the end when I realised what was coming–or more like what wasn’t coming–and I had to stop reading because I was sobbing uncontrollably. Kazuo Ishiguro is a huge inspiration to me as a writer, because he has a way of using fiction to explicate deep truths about what it means to be a human. He expresses theme slowly and subtly and by the end you’re submerged and drowning. He’s brutally honest about the way people’s minds work, how our mortality defines us, how our memories are both precious and untrustworthy.

“I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I’d ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I’d see it was Tommy, and he’d wave, and maybe even call.”  

“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how it is with us. It’s a shame, Kath, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.”

4) Oyrx and Crake by Margaret Attwood – Margaret Attwood is another one of my writing inspirations. I love the way this novel is structured, with clues dropped early on and consistently until they build up into a horrifying but very satisfying conclusion. Jimmy, the protagonist, is one of those characters you love despite and because he’s kind of a fuck up. He’s super-flawed, relatable and endearing. Then there’s Crake in the background, mysterious, brilliant, tortured and horrible. And yet you can’t quite bring yourself to completely hate him. You can kind of see where he’s coming from, actually. The future world Attwood envisions is way too possible and way too close. I saw an article just the other day about pigs who are bred to grow human organs for transplants. (Sadly, I didn’t like either of the sequels to Oryx and Crake. They felt tacked on and not entirely consistent with O&C, the writing wasn’t anywhere near as strong, and there are elements I would have preferred not to have read.)

“Jimmy, look at it realistically. You can’t couple a minimum access to food with an expanding population indefinitely. Homo sapiens doesn’t seem to be able to cut himself off at the supply end. He’s one of the few species that doesn’t limit reproduction in the face of dwindling resources. In other words - and up to a point, of course - the less we eat, the more we fuck.“

“How to do you account for that?” said Jimmy

“Imagination,” said Crake. “Men can imagine their own deaths…human beings hope they can stick their souls into someone else…and live on forever.”  

5) The Secret History by Donna Tartt – Donna Tartt’s writing, the way she uses language and develops characters, makes me want to roll around on the floor with ecstasy and admiration. Her characters are always vivid and memorable, full of personality, detail and human frailty. You can tell that she watches people. She knows how they work, the locations of their weak spots, the lies they tell themselves. I love unreliable narrators, and Richard Papen is such a gloriously unreliable narrator. She brings the cloistered world of over-privileged, pretentious and self-involved under-grad academia completely to life. And she’s subtle, she doesn’t spoon feed anything, she makes the reader work to interpret what went on behind the scenes, which means you discover new things about the novel every time you read it.

“Could it be because it reminds us that we are alive, of our mortality, of our individual souls- which, after all, we are too afraid to surrender but yet make us feel more miserable than any other thing? But isn’t it also pain that often makes us most aware of self? It is a terrible thing to learn as a child that one is a being separate from the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one’s burned tongues and skinned knees, that one’s aches and pains are all one’s own. Even more terrible, as we grow old, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy, and that’s why we’re so anxious to lose them, don’t you think?”  

The Red Lady from Caribee

The first genuinely good episode of the season. The first when I didn’t think that I should be washing my hair right now. The monster of the week was interesting both in its appearance and its effect on its victims. The main storyline moved forward. The B-plot was compelling. Abbie got backstory.

If the show could do more like this, it would be back on solid ground again. All shipping aside, if they could just tell me good damn stories, I would be much happier. So let’s begin on a much less ranty (but still ranty because hi have you met me?) recap:

  • Oh hey! Fake-out cold open! I missed you because they no longer use you every episode so I immediately know no one is in any danger. Well-shot and cute. Also Crane’s love of fruity drinks will never cease to delight me. Proof that gender norms change significantly over time since enjoy froo-froo drinks was de rigeur in his day.
  • Going to do Zoe all at once. I enjoyed the awkwardness of the scene. It really captured how awful first dates are and an especially awful one at that. I really, genuinely hoped that Crane was going to go on one date, then go “good God, no” and turn his eyes toward Abbie. That clearly is not happening. But she was better written this episode. I loved that she brought him flowers. That she seemed like a person. And if Abbie gets back together with Danny for real, then honestly I wouldn’t really give a crap because Ichabod Crane does not deserve Abbie Mills right now. The biggest problem is not the character, it’s the imbalance. Give Abbie a love life and Crane can be with whatever weirdo he wants.
  • Also I’m sorry but Crane trying to protect her from the hibachi flames was adorable. I’m only human.
  • Let’s all take a moment to appreciate Abbie Mills’ hair in this episode. And let’s all tell Crane to drag a damn comb through his.
  • We did get some solid movement on Danny and Abbie this week, but why are they going so slow? They spent time shacked up together in a literal shack! You know neither of them wore clothes that whole time! They have great chemistry! Just go for it! Every time they are together it’s sparky and nice.
  • OK, I love Pandora but can we all recognize that basically thus far she’s been a Power Rangers villain, unleashing henchmen on the world while she watches?
  • Maybe the reason Danny/Abbie is going so slowly is because of the “professional courtesy” Abbie mentioned. Which, I get it. Abbie is professional. It’s a core part of who she is. But if that’s what’s holding her back, say that. Use words. They keep saying Abbie has this rich interior life and certainly we see it through Nicole’s acting but unless it’s canonical it’s little more than creator-approved meta. Authorial intent is meaningless. Do better.
  • It could just be that the show has beaten me down on the shipping front to the point that I can no longer see clearly, but the chemistry between Abbie and Ichabod does feel more platonic this season. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s acting, maybe it’s just hopelessness, but when Ichabod was asking what if Abbie was more than friends with Danny, it felt friendly. Not jealous, despite his earlier peacocking. There’s just something subtly different.
  • Why do I have a feeling Crane refers to everything as a harbinger of evil. “LOOK LIEUTENANT A HARBINGER OF EVIL.” “Crane that is a Dyson vacuum cleaner chill.”
  • ABBIE REFERENCING HER ANCESTOR’S JOURNAL. BLESS.
  • Best exchange of the episode, by far: “George Washington, paranoid? No.” “Yessssss.” Abbie has had it with the Washington fellatio.
  • For one beautiful, shining moment, I dared hope that the show would be clever and make Grace Dixon Washington’s most trusted confidant during the war. But alas, Sleepy Hollow.
  • I am sure Nikki Reed is a lovely person who genuinely wants to save the rain forest or whatever she and Smoldy do together, but my God, did Onira ever showcase that she is way, way out of her depth here.
  • Current sexuality: Grace being like, “man, shut up, I am an actual witch” when Betsy tried to whitesplain the folk remedy.
  • You guys. Betsy Ross had winged eyeliner. On a battlefield. In 177whatever. Oh my God.
  • The queen bee taking out other leaders is really, really clever! The whole use of mythology here was, and you can tell that Shernold wrote out of both great love and great knowledge of the Trini culture. The whole bit with the double-speak riddle was so great. This is how all monsters of the week need to be. The world offers such a diverse array of fascinating monsters. If you write them with genuine affection and respect, it turns out great.

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