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The 100 Returns with Retcons, Er “Echoes”

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The 100 Season 4 Episode 1 Review, “Echoes”

Content warning: This review discusses attempted suicide as depicted on the show.

When last we left the krus, Clarke had (once again) saved the world by (once again) pulling a lever, but it didn’t really fix things because (once again) crisis looms on the horizon. Only this time it’s something new another nuclear apocalypse! Wait, wasn’t that the origin story for this entire series? Oh well. At least this time, Clarke Griffin is around to take all the blame save the day! Something different! Wait, never mind. That happens every season. Hmmmm, let’s pretend this season is a commentary on climate change. That was totes planned, right? Sure, whatever. Even though none of this makes any sense because there is no way that nuclear reactors would have survived the first nuclear apocalypse, much less 100 years with no humans to control them (except there’s a magical explanation for that! Just wait.).

Suspend your disbelief, Gretchen!

Fine, there. It’s suspended. Let’s get started.

What Happened

One recap later (including the information that they have 6 months to live), cut to Octavia climbing down the outside of Polis Tower to find Indra being taken down from her cross. Indra looks pretty bad. Seriously, is she dying? Either way, she seems glad Octavia killed Pike. Meanwhile, Clarke and Bellamy waltz out the front door of Polis Tower to gaze upon the moaning, lost looking people wandering around the city. They’re trying to decide whether to tell everyone the world is ending (while surrounded by people who could overhear them…).

Bellamy thinks ALIE might be lying, but that they shouldn’t tell people regardless. He’s pretty sure they can survive either way. Clarke thanks him for helping keep her alive, but just when she’s feeling safe, all the Grounders in Polis seem to know that she shut down the City of Light (hereafter CoL). They blame her for all the people who were there being either unconscious or dead (it’s not clear who ends up in which situation, but all the Skaikru peeps are fine).

In Arkadia, Jasper apologizes to Harper, who is totes okay with him smashing her into the wall and pistol whipping her. Raven is still doing her hacker thing and making sure the people from the CoL are okay. Raven is also fine with her pain now because it reminds her she’s alive. And Jasper is really jealous that ALIE ‘upgraded’ her brain but not his even though Raven was the one who literally hosted ALIE’s ‘consciousness’ for a while. Whatever.

Everyone else magically got down from Polis Tower and the adults (Abby and Kane) are worried about the Grounders turning on them. Raven contacts Bellamy to ask how everyone is doing (Good job remembering people Raven). Surprise! Roan is alive somehow. Echo attacks Clarke and seems to be the one in charge. She doesn’t want Abby to save Roan. She lets Clarke go (for some reason) and then blames Skaikru for everything bad that’s happened because she speaks for Azgeda now (for some reason). Oh and she’s apparently one of the queensguard, and claims Polis for Azgeda. Some of the Grounders try to stand up to her but get killed.

Jaha tries to help a Grounder and gets spit on. He seems hurt by it, but like, what did you expect dude? You were the literal villain last season. Murphy tells him to float himself (again, understandable). He resigns himself to clearing up dead bodies.

Pictured: Jaha at work.

Emori has to leave Polis because she’s Trikru, and we finally learn why she took the chip: Jaha promised to take her to Murphy. Murphy wants to take her to Arkadia. (Apparently this is the Grounder/Skaikru romance we’re supposed to care about this season; I actually don’t mind, they’re cute. Fingers crossed Emori doesn’t die.) She agrees to go with him. There’s definitely a way in/out of Polis Tower because Skaikru has now holed themselves up inside the temple. Kane and Abby (Kabby) gets a nice romantic beat. Clarke looks constipated? Confused? Resigned? I’m not sure.

Indra and Octavia show up to join Kabby and Clarke (why?). They all consider handing over the flame to Azgeda, but Clarke says it won’t help. Abby picks up on Clarke not telling them something and Clarke admits that the world is ending. Bellamy is still skeptical about ALIE; Clarke believes her. Clarke advises surrendering to the Grounders.

Cut to Jaha carrying a linen wrapped body he claims is Ontari to Echo, who has him beaten in thanks. In case we’d forgotten that all Grounders are inherently violent. Echo learns that Skaikru is surrendering and goes to meet with them, but will only talk to Bellamy. Jaha tells Kane that “it worked, she’s in” , and we see Octavia cutting open the linen cloth. She was the ‘dead body’! Ngl, that was actually a good con. She kills a bunch of Azgeda to let Clarke and Abby in to save Roan. It is roughly late afternoon outside, which you need to know because…

After the commercial break it’s suddenly pitch dark. Murphy/Emori are trying to sneak out of Polis. Finding out about Pike being killed must have revived her because Indra is looking none the worse for the wear and is helping Kane advise Bellamy how to talk to Echo. Kane says offer her anything to keep her occupied, Indra is more cautious. I will say it was super polite of Echo to wait literally hours to talk to Bellamy. Echo apologizes to Bellamy for betraying him by saying she was following orders, which he says won’t cut it.

According to Echo, the CoL was the only thing keeping them from fighting each other (and not, you know, their choices) because not that it’s gone, Skaikru and Azgeda simply must be at odds. Bellamy then gives her the terms: Skaikru surrenders and accepts Azgeda rule so long as Azgeda accepts Skaikru as 13th clan. They’ll even give Azgeda guns! Echo refuses them (why??? these are really reasonable terms???), but also claims “no one wants war” (??).

Back in Roan’s sickroom, Abby and Clarke finally dig out the bullet from Roan’s shoulder (it must have really been in there for it to take hours). In the name of not wanting war, Echo threatens to kill Bellamy if Skaikru doesn’t lay down their guns. Skaikru lays down their guns just as Grounders bust in to Roan’s sickroom. Echo starts to kill Clarke but Roan wakes up just in time to halt it! Whew! That was close. Good thing Clarke has all that Plot Armor to save her from dying at Echo’s hands twice in one day. Roan is supes worried about Ontari, but not so much that he lets Clarke fully explain that Jaha killed her under ALIE’s orders. He also magically forgets that Kane was under ALIE’s control when he shot him. His memory lapse allows him to be really mad at Clarke.

Meanwhile, in Arkadia: Harper/Monty sex! Raven walks in on them and tells them to meet her in engineering because they’re all gonna die (way to ruin the mood Raven). Cut to Jasper listening to sad music, looking at a painting of “The Starry Night”, and sticking a gun to his chin. Murphy knocks on the door, interrupting him, to summon him to engineering. Raven explains that all the nuclear plants in the world were specially built to withstand both a nuclear attack and last exactly 100 years (convenient). Raven also explains that Skaikru could survive yellow radiation levels (current) but they’d all die when it hits red, which is in 6 months. Also, there’s no way to stop it. Jasper laughs because now he doesn’t have to kill himself, the world is going to do it for him (like, this is really aggressive nihilism for an 18 year old).

Back in Polis, Echo offers to ride down all of Skaikru that’s not locked up and warns Roan about appearing weak for not doing so. He proves he’s not weak by pressing a red hot poker to his chest (he’s so hardcore, guys). Echo calls Roan a ‘bargaining chip’ when talking about his exile, which apparently hurt his mom to do. Good thing they established all that antagonist between Nia and Roan last season to make all the sense of this (I don’t know what’s happening). Echo then offers to help Roan rule and tells him how to do it: take out Trikru and Skaikru.

Speaking of Skaikru, they’re all in prison and Clarke is fiddling with the flame and crying. Abby asks her what’s wrong and Clarke tells her she loved Lexa. Abby says she knew (sure, why not). Echo and some Grounders take Clarke captive while Bellamy yells ineffectually. Clarke is taken to the throne room, and Roan is antagonistic for no reason. Clarke warns him another nuclear apocalypse is coming, and that Azgeda needs her help. People are shouting “jus drein, jus daun” outside. Roan says he won’t survive if he lets her live (he’s probably not wrong). She offers him the flame in exchange for her help and Skaikru’s safety. Roan takes it, and announces to everyone that he accepts Clarke’s terms and will keep the flame safe until another nightblood is old enough to become commander.

Echo delivers a cool looking amulet to Bellamy so that he can pass in Azgeda lands safely. She asks if they’ll be able to trust each other and when he says no, she looks sad? (WHY?) Kane tells Bellamy to ‘turn the page’ and move on. Clarke and Bellamy leave to go to Arkadia and help Raven save the world. In the final shot, a couple of Grounders with radiation poisoning wander through a desert in Egypt and are horrifyingly disintegrated by a wave of fire presumably from a nuclear facility melting down.

So……

 

Can we not have a suicide attempt right off the bat followed by a nihilism so aggressive that a teenager is actively happy he’s going to die a horrible death? This is a show aimed at teens ffs.

With that off my chest, on to things that make me less angry. Holy offscreen developments batman! Echo was queensgaurd all along! Roan was reinstated as heir! We know why Emori was chipped! Abby knew Clarke loved Lexa all along! There were Grounders in other countries all along!

It actually is.

It probably seems like I’m nitpicking right off the bat, but these are some really convenient plot points that we had no idea about at the end of last season. Echo being queensguard makes zero sense. Was she Nia’s queensguard? She has to be, because that’s the only Azgeda queen on the show. Ontari wasn’t the queen, she was the commander. But if Echo was Nia’s guard, how did she end up captured by Mt. Weather in S2? Were they poaching on Ice Nation land as well as on Trikru? If not, why wasn’t she guarding Nia? Why are we only hearing about this now? Oh, right, because it gives her the authority to speak for Azgeda and ‘advise’ Roan (i.e., tell him what to do).

Roan’s backstory confused me watching this, especially when Echo called him a “bargaining chip”. I had to go online to look it up and apparently in an interview last year, Rothenberg explained that Lexa made Roan’s banishment a condition of Nia and Azgeda joining the Coalition. Good thing they took the time to explain that on the show instead of just randomly referring to information given outside of show canon.

What makes even less sense is Echo’s utter resistance to making peace with Skaikru. I get it, they’re ‘bitter enemies’ or whatever, but she has the gall to say “No one wants war.” Honey, no. No one is making you fight bb. You could make this war go away if you decided not to fight with Skaikru. It’s that simple. Echo could just not kill Skaikru. Azgeda could let it go. If Echo didn’t want war, she could have literally accepted Skaikru’s super reasonable peace terms. Skaikru was surrendering, offered to acknowledge Azgeda’s rule and give them guns, and the only stipulation was basically “let us join you and don’t kill us”. What else did Echo want? She makes it sound like antagonism between Azgeda and Skaikru is this inevitable force that only the City of Light could stop. But it isn’t? Azgeda could just…I don’t know…not fight Skaikru?

That’s not even the first instance of someone making an inexplicable choice for Plot Reasons. Bellamy’s decision not to tell everyone the world was ending may have staved off panic, but it got them all thrown in jail and almost killed. Because keeping things to himself works out so well for him and his friends. Echo decides not to kill Clarke the first time because…she didn’t want to get her jacket bloody? But then she slits that other lady’s throat so…idk.

I also can’t get over the huge time jump from late afternoon to literally pitch dark. Like, it was at least four hours in between when Echo went to parlay with Skaikru and Kane/Indra sent Bellamy back to talk to her. I guess it took them that long to decide what to say? But it also means it took that long for Abby/Clarke to dig a single bullet out of Roan’s shoulder. They must be rusty with their field surgery? Or maybe Clarke is too busy having triggering flashbacks to the day her lover died. Seriously, who decided to send Clarke in there? And it isn’t as if she was actively helping Abby for all that time. She’s just standing behind her telling her to hurry up.

At least we got to enjoy the “there’s no way down from Polis Tower, it’s all completely blocked” retcon. For real. I couldn’t stop laughing. The first shot of the episode Octavia climbing down the outside of the tower, only for Clarke and Bellamy to waltz out the front door 2 seconds later. What? Why? Why did Octavia have to climb down? Did she just think it was more badass? And speaking of Octavia, I have no idea where this ‘dark assassin turn’ is going to come from. Because right now, she looks pretty cozy with the rest of Skaikru. She seems…not all that mad at Bellamy anymore either. Maybe they had a pep talk/reconciliation off screen.

Speaking of pep talks, it looks like the show really is going full scale “Bellamy is redeemed” with Kane’s “turn the page” moment. I mean, it’s nice that Kane and Bellamy are back to having a mentor/mentee relationships (I always liked that dynamic), but I still can’t get over the aggressive erasure and minimizing of Bellamy’s actions. In an interview just last week, Rothenberg had the gall to call Bellamy’s participation in genocide a “bad decision …he’s maybe made”. What utter bullshit. Let Bellamy feel the weight of what he did, let the show acknowledge it. That’s the only acceptable thing to do after an act that heinous. It’s why Bellamy’s self righteous response to Echo’s comment that she was “just following orders” when she betrayed him fell flat. Because Bellamy did far worse and he has yet to acknowledge and truly apologize for it. Much less seek true reconciliation.

Finally, I have to say that the explanation for the nuclear reactors exploding is the most absurd case of plot contrivance I have ever seen. There just happen to be specially made reactors that just happen to have been made to withstand a nuclear apocalypse and just happen to only last 100 years? You’re telling me all the nuclear reactors in the world just happen to have been replaced with these special new reactors three years before the last nuclear apocalypse? Because that’s the only way all of them just happen to be melting down at the exact same time 97 years later. Fuck you if you think I’m going to swallow that. It’s stupid.

Why would human beings ever design a nuclear reactor like this? If it can withstand a nuclear apocalypse, why design it with only a hundred year lifespan? Why not make it last indefinitely? It just feels like one of the writers realized there was a plot hole and decided to fill it with the most specific set of details possible. Rather than, say, the most reasonable. Like maybe that these are nuclear reactors that can last indefinitely, but one of them has malfunctioned and the chain reaction is going to cause all the rest of them to explode because they all just happen to be within blast radius distance. It’s still not perfect, but it makes more sense than this.

And if there are other nuclear reactors already exploding in other parts of the world (as we saw in the end), how do they still have 6 months left? That one would be leaking enough radiation to cause problems. Especially if there are other ones in Europe and Asia exploding as well, which we saw in ALIE’s simulation. There were at least four exploding already. 6 months seems remarkably lenient for this many reactors already melting down.

I don’t know what else to say but that it’s this giant game of idiot ball, retconning, and let’s pretend this never happened and the audience has forgotten the context. Very little of this makes sense unless you’re squinting really hard or don’t care about it making sense. Then again, this is from the producer who wants to be the next D&D, so what else can we expect?

I think he feels more about Clarke’s confession of love for Lexa than he does about the 300 Grounders he murdered.

Fine, I’ll say something nice. Clarke didn’t get yelled at! The only people who blamed her were Grounders! I did appreciate Clarke getting to confess to Abby that she loved Lexa…even if Abby ‘knowing’ makes no sense. It was a touching moment. I adore my Griffin ladies. They deserve better. And Bellamy’s face was priceless. Oh! And Kabby. I like Kabby. That was sweet. Also, I’m glad to see Raven is in decent psychological health. Protect Raven Reyes 2k5ever. Roan seems pretty cool; I liked him last season and hope he stays interesting. See? I have nice things to say.

Bits & Bobs

  • Saying ‘Lexa’ count: 6
  • Saying ‘the flame’ count: 4
  • “I want what’s best for my people, same as you” (or somesuch): 2
  • Where was Miller??
  • The whole “kill Wanheda to gain her power” thing is back. Yay for being back in the S3 premiere.
  • The sound was really weird, and it wasn’t just my TV. Certain dialogue was crisp but sometimes it was like they were mumbling. I had to turn closed captioning on.
  • Parts of the episode between commercial breaks were really short
  • “Grandfather’s crown” not “mother’s crown”? Way to erase a named female character on screen with some rando we’ve never met. Roan’s grandfather’s name is Theo, apparently, and he’s a big deal because Roan mentioned him in his motivational speech to Polis.
  • Raven’s knee hurts again now. I’m sad she has pain, but at least it’s more consistent.
  • Lexa had a name for the nuclear apocalypse? since when?
  • The name “Echoes” seems to be a reference to some visual echoes from last season: Abby re-bandaging Kane/Clarke re-bandaging Bellamy, Jaha carrying shrouded Octavia/Bellamy carrying shrouded Lincoln (does this mean Octavia is going to die?), Roan cauterizing his own wound in front of Echo/in front of Clarke, Clarke with a bag over her head led to the throne room to the leader of Polis: Lexa/Roan, the Wanheda reference. There may be more, too.

Working Theories

Could be Cool: Not sure yet where the dark Octavia is going to come from, but I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I’m tired of the female revenge is empowerment trope. On the other, I want her to go full Greek tragedy, ending with her killing/wounding Bellamy which leads to her seeing the error of her ways, but not before she’s doomed herself. I’m not sure Rothenberg has the chops for this, though.

Pretty Sure: If you haven’t seen yet, there are supposed ‘leaks’ out the other day that say SPOILERS

Click here to show/hide contents
Clarke dies while sending the rest of the team up to space in a rocket. Neither of these would surprise me, honestly. I’m actually willing to bet on it.

Total Crack: Octavia is secretly pregnant with Lincoln’s baby, who ends up being the next nightblood to inherit the flame.

So how about it, do you have any theories or predictions you want to share? If so, head on over to “The 100 S4 Theories” topic on the community page and start talking! All theories are welcome, whether serious or salty. Just make sure you tell us which it is 😉

See you all next week for “Heavy Lies the Crown”!


Images Courtesy of the CW

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Should Let Rosa Date Gina

Megan

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Gina and Rosa

Google most non-canon LGBT ships, and you get results for various fanfiction sites, maybe an article or two about why they should be canon, why the show is clearly missing the opportunity of a lifetime. Google Rosa/Gina—dubbed Dianetti—and you get tweets from the two actresses involved.

Though media has made huge strides in the past decade or so with LGBT relationships, there is still a lot to be done. Queerbaiting remains common, as does the bury your gays trope. Relationships—especially wlw ones—are still seen as less valid, less possible, than their straight counterparts; this is in part due to many writers, actors, and showrunners continuing to tease of F/F relationships. By creating a dynamic where two women are clearly not just friends (and, of course, never making that dynamic explicitly romantic either), they get the best of both worlds: LGBT viewers who crave representation with none of the potential backlash for so-called political correctness.

The Beauty of B99

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, however, has never fallen into that trap. Holt and Kevin may be the subject of many jokes, but they are never the butt of any. Similarly, topics like racial profiling and police corruption are taken seriously. It is a comedy show, but it is also a show that recognizes the power of its platform. Where another show would tease these topics and turn them into a punchline, Brooklyn Nine-Nine turns them into a discussion.

Holt and Kevin marry each other as quickly as possible.

(Source: tumblr)

So, of every show on television, I know that Brooklyn Nine-Nine would treat Rosa and Gina well. That is an important part of the discussion that is oft forgotten: representation does not end when it begins. Instead, it is an ongoing process, most successful when the writers and showrunners make continued efforts to deepen and better their characters and relationships. When we ask for representation, we are asking for a commitment: at the very minimum, do not kill them. Because that is still often too much to ask, we never get to the next step: do not cheapen them, do not forget them. Do not let them be a checked box on a list of things a show needs to have.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has proven they can do it. So why don’t they?

The Case For Dianetti

Over the past four seasons, we have seen Gina and Rosa flit in and out of various relationships. All the while, however, they have been there for each other.

Rosa is closed-off, awkward whenever the slightest hint of emotions are involved; Gina, on the other hand, is as open a book as she could possibly be. In the same way that Jake and Amy build on each other and make each other grow, Rosa and Gina could do the same.

In the past, the show has paired Rosa with men who are too different or too similar. Marcus was very openly emotional, and while the importance of having such a character cannot be understated, he was not right for Rosa. Adrien, then, had the opposite problem: he and Rosa never truly get to know each other during their relationship because both were content being unattached in that way.

Enter Gina. She is the perfect option, the perfect mix of emotional and independent; she is the one who can make Rosa consistently smile, the one who isn’t semi-scared of her at all times.

There are not many women on television that are like Rosa, and to give her a chance to find true, lasting love would be very valuable to many viewers. Having her and Gina both go through several unsuccessful relationships is good—it’s realistic and done well. But just as Jake and Amy found each other, just as Kevin and Holt found each other, I would like to see Rosa and Gina do the same.

In a world where F/F ships are punchlines to jokes that weren’t funny the first time, it is a rare and very special thing to see such an opportunity supported by both actresses involved. We have the support, and we have the chance; all that remains is for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to take the leap.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine consistently surprises me with the topics they are willing to tackle and the grace with which they do so. So, as it returns this month for its fifth season, I hope that they will tackle Rosa/Gina next.


Images courtesy of Fox

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The Neighbors from Hell

Kristen Roche

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This week’s episode of American Horror Story: Cult opens with a blonde woman, Rosie, speaking with Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) about how thanks to him she’s overcome her fear of being trapped in dark places. (Sidebar: why is Ally the only important woman without white/blonde hair in this show?) When Rosie and her husband Mark, return home, however, they are accosted by clowns and nailed into coffins. Rosie’s worst nightmare that she admitted to Dr. Vincent. It makes you wonder if the Doctor is part of the cult. Hmm…

Switching up the timeline of things (again), we return to where we left off after last week’s episode; the Mayfair-Richards household following Ally’s (Sarah Paulson) gun play. Detective Samuels (Colton Haynes) assures Ally that he doesn’t think charges will be pressed because the murder of Pedro was in self defense. Though Ivy (Allison Pill) knows it was accidental and not self defense, she agrees with the Detective and the power finally returns.

The next day, protestors gather outside the Butchery on Main, branding Ally as the “lesbian George Zimmerman,” and the news is there to broadcast the protest. Unable to show her face, Ally is forced to stay in the car while Ivy goes to work. Before Ally can go home, however, she is confronted by Kai (Evan Peters) who calls her brave. He tells her to never apologize and that he’ll take care of the mob for her. When Ally does arrive home, she receives a very different greeting from Meadow (Leslie Grossman) and Harrison (Billy Eichner). The couple, dressed in sombreros, condemn the accidental murder and accuse her of being a racist.

Ally and Ivy are unable to avoid the news of the protestors on television. The news finally moves on to announce the deaths of Rosie and Mark, who were found in coffins in their home with a smiley face symbol painted above them. The same symbol that was found on the Changs’s house.

Things turn to the strange (or stranger, anyway), the next day when Ivy and Ally find dozens of dead crows in their yard. It gets stranger yet when Winter accidentally lets an unknown man into the house. The man was responding to an ad on Craigslist that listed lesbians looking for pleasure from a man.

During a phone session, Dr. Vincent talks to Ally about the Craigslist ad. It’s in this scene that we get our first election reference of the episode, a record few this time. Dr. Vincent suggests Ally file a police report then asks for an emergency meeting to talk about an inpatient facility. Ally (obviously) disagrees with the doctor’s assessment and ends the call. When she reaches town, protestors accost her car, but with a single word Kai is able to get them to leave.

Returning home, Ally and Ivy find Oz and Winter playing with a guinea pig with a cisnormative name.  They learn that the animal was a gift from Meadow. When Ally tells him that he cannot keep the pet, Oz lashes out and says that he wishes Ally wasn’t around. Ally then calls Harrison who is sitting with Meadow and Detective Samuels. Harrison states that he likes Oz but not Ally, and that Oz needs testosterone in the house. Angry, when Ally sees a truck spraying green mist, she chases the truck down to no avail.

Elsewhere, Meadow and Kai play the pinky game. When asked for her greatest fears, Meadow offers a superficial fear that Kai slaps her for. This is a revolution and he doesn’t want his time wasted. Kai calls her out as being afraid of never really being loved.

In a rare moment of levity and normalcy, the Mayfair-Richards family having a nice family dinner at the Butchery on Main. Oz apologizes for lashing out at Ally, and she decides to let Oz keep Mr. Guinea. When they arrive home, however, what was a good night takes a turn.   smiley face is painted on the door, and Mr. Guinea blows up in the microwave.

Ally crosses the street and enters the neighbors house where she assaults Harrison. She accuses the couple of being responsible for all the wrong that has been done to them, but Meadow is genuinely scared when she hears about the smiley face. Ally escalates matters and threatens to kill them before leaving. Ivy finally reaches her breaking point with Ally, calling her out on her absurd reactions, when Oz points out that the same smiley face is on the side of the Wilton’s house. Instead of warning the couple, however, Ivy and Oz return home. Ally follows behind, only to find mysterious people spraying a green substance on her lawn. When she tries to reveal their faces, she finds smiley faces in the place of where real faces should be.

Meadow is not the only Wilton to play the pinky game with Kai. This time, Harrison plays, and does a better job telling the truth to Kai than his wife. He admits that he wishes Meadow were dead.

When Detective Samuels calls on the Mayfair-Richards home, Ally talks to him with crazy eyes about her conspiracy theory. She’s finally the one that seems to be making some sense and no one is listening. It makes her look even crazier to have make-up smeared down her face. 

The conversation is halted by Oz’s scream. His mothers immediately head upstairs to find him closing his laptop. He admits that he got past Ivy’s parental controls as he saw her type in the password once, “Clownz”.  Sorry Ivy, but you’re starting to look pretty suspicious here. Ivy and Ally finally convince Oz to reveal what’s on the computer. It is a video of Ally in the bath getting fingered by Winter. Whomp, there it is.

Ivy wastes no time retaliating once they bring their conversation to the hallway and punches Ally in the face. She starts yelling about Ally breaking their family, while Ally seems hung up on the fact that someone planted a camera in their bathroom. Both valid points.

Not willing to stay in the same house as her cheating wife, Ivy prepares Oz to leave with her. Just as they are about to leave, however, police arrive across the street. They exit the house to find Harrison is freaking out and upon seeing her, accuses Ally of murdering Meadow. He woke up covered in Meadow’s blood, Meadow nowhere to be found. While the adults were arguing, Oz returns to the house. His mothers run after him to find him staring at the walls. Walls that are now covered in blood with a bloody smiley symbol on the living room wall.

Closing Thoughts

At this point, it seems as if the cult behind all the murders and strange happenings in this small Michigan town is larger than expected. In fact, it seems almost as if Ally and Oz are the only ones that aren’t part of the cult. With Meadow and Harrison both deferring to Kai, it appears that the blue-haired man might be one of the ring leaders. But then again, there’s also Dr. Vincent and Ivy to think about. Where do they fit? Are they secretly behind it all? And if Ivy is involved, what is it about Ally that makes her want to torture her so much?

With more questions raised in this episode, such as the questionable green substance, it’s easy to wonder where this cult is going, but perhaps the biggest question is; do we really care?


Images courtesy of FX

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Outlander Slows Things Down for Episode 2

Meg

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This week’s Outlander was much slower than last week’s, returning to the steady pace they set in the first few episodes of both seasons 1 and 2. Unlike other shows that use this tactic (*cough* The Walking Dead *cough*), it works in Outlander because of how invested I am in the characters, no matter what they’re doing.

Recap

Like last week, this week’s episode divided its time between Jamie in the 18th century and Claire in the 20th. Jamie is at Lallybroch with his family, but he’s a wanted man. The redcoats frequently harass Jenny and Ian, even randomly throwing Ian in the clink in the hopes that they’ll all decide to betray Jamie’s whereabouts. Since they don’t ever really do anything to him, and he seems largely friendly with the soldiers, it’s a fairly empty threat.

Still, it’s dangerous, because in the aftermath of Culloden, being a Scot in Scotland was essentially outlawed. By that I mean clans were no longer allowed to wear their tartans, bagpipes were banned, and Scots weren’t allowed weapons (except I guess what they had to have to have hunt, like a bow and arrow or a knife).

Jamie has gone full-on wild man of the woods, complete with giant beard and long hair. He doesn’t really speak, just brings offerings of excessively large game (seriously, it was huge) and makes crazy eyes at people. Fergus, my dear son, is still in his service, and for all that it’s been 6 years, he’s not that much taller or older. It’s like the Stark kids in reverse.

For real, Bran’s like 25 and Fergus is still just 14.

While Ian’s locked up, Jenny goes into labor a bit early, and her sons Robbie and Jamie see a raven perched on the gate. They tell Fergus that a raven’s bad luck and can mean the death of the baby. The boys found a pistol hidden in the dovecot, so of course they use it to shoot the bird. Because why not!? Pistols aren’t against the law or anything.

The redcoats hear the shot because black powder guns are LOUD, and of course the tenacious captain brings some of his boys around. Unfortunately Jamie chose that moment to come a-visiting, so he’s walking around the house carrying his new nephew when the English show up.

Jamie hides and Jenny tells them the baby died, and while the commander is being semi-respectful, his corporal, a Scot named MacGregor, is a real ass. Ultimately the maid shows up with the pistol and says it was her dead husband’s, and she shot at a raven to scare it away.

The commander says to leave her, she’s no threat, and the soldiers leave. Fergus is giving them the stink eye as they go, and apparently it gives the Scottish corporal the idea to follow him, thinking he’ll lead them to Jamie. He’s wise to their bumbling, however, and he leads them away from Jamie’s cave. He taunts them as Jamie, hiding in the woods, watches in horror.

The soldiers catch Fergus and the corporal, um…chops his hand off with a sword. Which wasn’t nearly as violent and/or bloody as it could have been, thank goodness, because my poor son! As soon as they’re gone, Jamie wraps his stump and carries him back to the house.

Noooo, my wee angry son!!

Fergus later tells Jamie he’s lucky, because when he first hired him, Jamie swore if Fergus was hurt while in his service, Jamie would keep him for the rest of his days. “With one blow I’ve become a man of leisure,” he says with a grin.

Fergus’s maiming causes Jamie to realize that hiding out isn’t helping anyone. He tells Jenny and Ian they have to turn him in, partly to get the hefty reward money, but also so that the soldiers know once and for all that Jenny’s loyal to the Crown. She isn’t happy about it AT ALL, but she agrees. She sends her maid out to Jamie’s cave with some food, and she helps him shave the beard and cut his hair.

She also takes her dress off and offers him some old-fashioned comfort, which he reluctantly (and tearfully) accepts.

Later Jamie shows up at Lallybroch acting all “Jenny, it’s me after all this time! I certainly haven’t been hiding in a cave in the woods for the past few years! What a random happenstance!” The soldiers are there, of course, and he’s carted off while Jenny watches, crying.

Meanwhile in the future (which is our past, but not AS past as Jamie’s time), Claire is trying to be a full time mom and housewife. If y’all learned anything about Claire the last 2 seasons, you should’ve learned that that would NEVER work. It starts with her fantasizing about Jamie while Frank sleeps next to her, then the two of them having sex while she thinks about Jamie. Poor Frank.

After a dinner party one night she seduces him in front of the fire, but when she won’t open her eyes to look at him, he stops and tells her that when they’re together, he’s with her, but she’s with Jamie. She doesn’t deny it, and after that they go back to being much more distant.

Later Claire enrolls in medical school, and all the little white boys in her class are Shook. But they’re even MORE shook when a Black man walks in. He sits next to Claire and introduces himself to her, and in that moment a beautiful friendship was born.

“YOU got into Harvard Medical School?”
“What, like it’s hard?”

The episode ends with Claire and Frank crawling into bed to say goodnight. Claire turns off the light and lies down to sleep, and as the camera pulls back we see they’re now sleeping in twin beds. I guess their pretense of returning to their marriage has ended, and they’re staying together mostly for Bree’s sake.

Review

Like I said, this was kind of a slow episode. Not a lot happened, really. It was mostly about Jamie and Claire trying to adjust to their new lives without each other. Jamie is essentially dead inside, a shell of himself, while Claire has Bree to think of.

They both tread water for a time, but eventually realize they have to figure out some way to keep going. Jamie turns himself in to the English because he knows he’s hurting his family and putting them at risk by being a fugitive. Even if they never find him hiding out on Fraser land, they’ll always suspect Jenny and Ian are sheltering him, and one day they may not be so congenial when they cart Ian off to jail.

If I have a criticism of the episode, it’s that Fergus losing his hand—a moment that shocked Jamie back to life, so to speak—lacked some of the punch it was clearly meant to have. Maybe I was just really tired, but my reaction was kinda like, “Oh no my son! Welp. Sucks for him.” I don’t know what they could’ve done differently with it. I certainly didn’t need it to be gorier. I guess it just seemed sort of…sudden? And possibly after Jack Randall’s antics, any old dastardly redcoat just doesn’t really compare. The whole thing was a little rushed in an episode that otherwise took its time.

I’m gonna admit it, y’all: I hate seeing Jamie with another woman! I can deal with Claire with Frank, but Jamie with the serving lady (who was very nice and very brave) had me seeing red. Like, duh he believes Claire’s gone forever, and it’s not like I’m mad at Jamie for seeking comfort with someone else—he needs to move on and get out of his emo phase. But STILL! Logic be damned!!!

“No cage could compare to the one I’ve been living in!” *cues “Welcome to the Black Parade”*

I honestly love this show and these characters, so I really could watch them stare at their shoes for an hour, but having said that—I hope next week picks up the pace just a li’l bit. Just a smidge. Especially on Claire’s side, because while yeah I love seeing her make That Face She Makes when men are sexist jerks, I want her to have something more to do than miss Jamie. Medical school and her career should definitely help that issue.

All in all, this was a solid filler episode, and I was glad to see Jenny and my (now one-handed) son Fergus again. Next week we’ll re-meet Sir John Grey, so that should be interesting. Also I wanna see more baby Bree because that is a super cute baby. Like, wow.

Episode Grade: B. It wasn’t as good as last week, but it’s a great show, so it earns some generosity from me. Also all the emotional notes were spot-on.


Images curtesy of Starz

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