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Legs From Here to Homeworld Kicks Our Heads In

Bo

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Does it make it better that it did the kicking with a fabulous pair of heels? Sure, why not. After making its debut at the Steven Universe SDCC panel, “Legs From Here to Homeworld” hit the Cartoon Network app last night for public consumption. In typical Steven Universe fashion, it managed to pack a ludicrous amount of content into 11 minutes. Let’s get into it, because we have a lot to talk about.

Recap

The episode kicks off with a overwhelmingly happy Blue Diamond snuggling Steven and making everyone cry her tears. Garnet panics about the possibility of Blue hurting him, but Bismuth assures her she won’t. Yellow eventually buzz-kills the whole thing to start asking why Pink faked her shattering and looks like she does. Steven does his best to explain moms and how he’s not fully Pink, but Yellow assumes they can just bring back her memories and such later. Yellow Mom is nothing if not stubborn.

Blue wonders how they survived the corruption attack, which it turns out was meant to destroy, not corrupt. Steven brings them to Centipeetles ship and brings her out, hoping they can help reverse the damage done. Yellow and Blue try to heal her at Steven’s behest. They manage to cure her form and ability to communicate, but her mind is still stuck in a loop from the evacuation. It’s not until Steven adds his powers to the other Diamonds that her mind clears and Nephrite emerges.

Yes, theory confirmed! Centi is a Nephrite, and she’s amazing! She apologizes for failing to evacuate but assumes that since the Diamonds are on Earth, they won the war. The moment they all stop touching her, though, Nephrite corrupts again. Steven wants to heal her again, and says healing all the corruption is the Diamonds’ responsibility.

Yellow says they can’t heal them without all 4 Diamonds. Yes, it happened! The White Diamond name drop! Pearl immediately freaks, saying White is nothing like other gems, or even the other Diamonds. Blue and Yellow aren’t very optimistic either. Steven insists they go to Homeworld to talk to her, though. When Yellow questions how, since their arm ships were destroyed, Steven takes them out to the desert to uncover Pink’s leg ship.

Look, we all knew it was a leg ship. We all expected it. And oh my god is it magnificent.

They fly the ship back to the beach, where the Fellowship forms. All the Crystal Gems except for Bismuth will go. She decides to stay behind to watch over Lapis and Peridot’s gems. Lion stays, too. Connie says goodbye to her parents and Steven says goodbye to Greg. Garnet does as well, handing off Cat Steven for him to take care of. With all the goodbyes finished, it’s time to take off! Which requires a gloriously goofy running start. We could not love the leg ship more than we do.

During the trip, Yellow and Blue paint an unflattering picture of White Diamond as a difficult person. They worry how she’ll react to the truth of the rebellion on Earth. Yellow even flat out states that only she should be allowed to do the talking. When they arrive at Homeworld, we get our first real look of the planet, which is shattered into three pieces barely held together. And yes, the ship lands as fabulously as it took off. A loud cheering can be heard, and they exit the ship to find gems belonging to every Diamond gathered to meet them.

White Pearl shows up to retrieve “Pink Diamond,” and only Pink. For real, White Pearl might be the best gem design yet. She brings Steven to White Diamond, and we get our first look at the Homeworld matriarch. Yes, she’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. Her design plain works for us, and Bo was admittedly a bit skeptical just seeing the grainy shots of her from SDCC.

White doesn’t act very angry but rather…dismissive. After a quick, chiding exchange welcoming Pink home, Steven’s taken away to a chamber with a view of the White Diamond statue/ship/whatever, and we’re back on hiatus.

Delightful Little Gems

  • Garnet asked Greg to water Cat Steven for her. So, so adorable.
  • Speaking of adorable, Nephrite! Could she get any cuter with her giant green eyeball??? (Gretchen is in love.)
  • Speaking of Cat Stevens, check that possible foreshadowing for White Pearl. Or was fake Connie in Rose’s room foreshadowing? It’s all foreshadowing!
  • Yellow Diamond was trying and barely failing to move her ship telekinetically. This is big news. The Diamonds can move their ships with their freaking minds.
  • The Diamonds used the warp pad! We choose to believe they shapeshifted smaller in order to fit in the house and use its warp pad.
  • Look at all those Peridots and Aquamarines!

Lingering Questions

  • We really want to know just how similar Steven acted compared to Pink. The leg ship launch was clearly a “Pink hasn’t changed” moment. What else, though? We need details.
  • Who else thinks White’s Pearl was the original Pink Pearl? Between the gem placements and White Pearl’s scar, we’re thinking our Pearl was originally White’s Pearl. The two switched for some reason as yet undetermined. It may even be that our Pearl was created for White but gifted to Pink before she could actually serve White. White/OriginallyPink? Pearl was punished for something, hence the scar.

Review

Alright, for once we’re just going to dive right in to the thing everyone is talking about. We saw White Diamond. In the span of 11 minutes we went from not even having a name drop to a Steven conversation with her. A very one-sided conversation, but a conversation nonetheless. Now begins the theorizing.

Namely, what the hell is up with White Diamond and her Pearl?

We can’t shake just how…robotic they both were. Everything from the moment Steven arrived on Homeworld felt like a scripted event. It has us wondering deeply about the White Diamond we saw. Her spiel to Steven felt like something she’d said a thousand times to fit numerous little rebellious incidents from Pink. The Gem War was such a momentous event to everyone we’ve seen, including Blue and Yellow, and yet White acted like “Pink” had just run away for the night. She never even responded to anything Steven said, as if it were a pre-recorded conversation.

Then also consider how immobile she was. Not a single part of her moved besides her face. The close-up of her legs almost resembled a statue. A lot of fans have theorized that this wasn’t the real White Diamond at all, but some kind of projection. We suppose that could make sense considering how bright White’s head was. We couldn’t even see her gem. Everything about her seemed off in some way. Even Blue and Yellow talked about how different she was.

Is this just her personality, as the greatest and strongest of all gems? Has she been affected in some way by some incident, like the corruption attack? Is she hiding for some reason and using this projection?

Obviously there is a White Diamond, and a giant White Diamond at that. We saw her participate in the corruption attack. But there was definitely something off about her, as well as her Pearl. They shared a very similar voice, and White Pearl didn’t seem to have much, if any control over herself. Her body never moved the way any of the other gems do. She slid around on the ground like she was on a sledge rather than moving her legs. Like White, only her face actually moved that we saw. Perhaps White controls her? And if White controlled her Pearl, maybe she also controlled the White Diamond we saw. If so, this level of control might tell us what White’s powers are. Her Pearl’s appearance might also tell us about White’s capabilities.

In fact, her eyes may be a hint as to what exactly she sees and how she controls it, as well as her nickname for Pink.

White’s eyes resemble a blind person’s with the clouded iris and white pupils. Is it possible she does not see gems as we see them, but rather just their aura? If so, that would explain why she does not react at all to Steven’s appearance. She may only see whatever aura Pink always had. If she can see auras rather than physical forms, it could also explain a power involving control over a gem’s form. It would make sense if the first gem could influence design in order to begin and refine the creation process for those who follow.

Consider White Pearl’s form; why does she have a scar? Gems do not have permanent physical forms. They do not scar, not that we’ve seen. A scar like White Pearl’s especially would seem to only happen from the type of injury that would cause a gem to retract their physical form and start reform. That she has not suggests White can control the physical forms of other gems, and possibly by controlling their aura.

This would make sense, because it seems to be the last element missing to fully cure the corrupted gems.

We love the scene curing Nephrite, even if we’re sad to see her corrupt again. It showed the combined effort needed to cure these gems, and the way each Diamond controls one aspect of the cure. Yellow was able to restore Nephrite’s physical form, which makes sense given her connection to the de-fusing weapons we’ve seen Jasper and Topaz interact with (both yellow gems). Blue calmed her emotions and ability to express herself, which makes sense given Blue’s ability to project her feelings and emotional expression onto other gems. Steven calmed her thoughts, which, again, makes sense given his ability to astral project into other gem’s minds and interact with the ways they think about themselves or others. We saw that on display in “Reunited” when Steven encouraged the Crystal Gems via projecting positive thoughts into their minds.

All that was missing in Nephrite’s healing was the ability to make it permanent. White being needed to control the permanence of these changes, presumably by fixing a gem’s aura, makes a lot of sense.

It also explains what happened in the corruption attack. The combined force of the Diamonds seemed to have destabilized the gems on Earth in each area the three Diamonds had control over: emotional imbalance, form distortion, and a lack of fixed aura. They can’t be healed through any one Diamond because they each control a different aspect of what happened to these gems.

What we have developing here is yet another beautiful metaphor for the healing process. When it comes to trauma, there’s never just one part of a person affected. Physical trauma changes how people think about themselves and expression their emotions. Emotional trauma impacts how people behave and mental conditioning from abuse can warp people’s ability to feel and express it, etc. And all of these kinds of trauma affect someone’s ‘aura’ or ‘soul,’ that deep part of them that defines who they are. Because damage to the self impacts every area of a person’s selfhood and expression—mind, body, spirit, and emotions—healing must occur on all these levels as well.

It’s just one more way that Queen Sugar and the Crewniverse interweave therapeutic practices and cognitive behavioral science into a story kids can understand. On a show that embodies relationships as individual characters (the fusions), we’re not surprised to see healing embodied as characters. And if we’re going to get a Diamond Voltron (and by this point, we’re definitely going to see a Diamond Voltron; maybe that’s how they heal all the gems? By joining up into a giant robot and blasting Earth with healing powers?), that’s one more layer of symbolism: heart, mind, body, and soul all fused (heh) together to make up a the Giantest Woman of them all. Greg might have a heart attack.

It’s also interesting to note how the original four Crystal Gems mirror the Diamonds in some way. Garnet as body/form, Amethyst as heart, Pearl as mind, and Rose as soul/aura. Just look at their gem placement—hands, heart, forehead, and belly. Gretchen is intrigued by the seeming difference between Rose’s role in the Crystal Gems and what we see Steven doing. It could be that we’ve misconstrued Steven’s role with Nephrite. Maybe he’s meant to play the aura role, touching the deep part of someone’s soul (which makes sense because Steven) rather than influencing their thoughts directly. Maybe White’s role is more mind control than aura control. Perhaps she’s controlling White Pearl’s mind and only that, which could explain White Pearl’s lack of movement (no body control). The more Gretchen things about it, the more she’s convincing herself that Steven represents aura.

Or maybe we’re both over-thinking this. Then again, it’s Steven Universe so probably not. We may not be right, but in terms of analysis, there really is no way to over analyze this show. Everything is foreshadowing after all.

Okay, back to the attack. If White Diamond destabilized auras (or minds) as her part in the attack, then it explains why Yellow and Blue had no idea their attack corrupted anything rather than flat out destroying the gems. So now the question remains about whether White knew. We believe she did. Blue and Yellow suggested she is at the very least known for cruelly lashing out, and also that she feels little to nothing for the lives of the gems under her. If we also consider the demeaning way she spoke to Steven/Pink, it’s not exactly a stretch to think that she would have corrupted the auras (again, or minds) of Earth’s gems as a “lesson” to Pink. Even if she didn’t purposefully do it we doubt she’ll care much or want to help heal them.

Of course, we know they will get healed eventually. How? We’re not sure quite yet, but we can’t wait to see. White’s first appearance was incredible and we can’t wait to learn more about her either. After all the discussion among the fandom that mainly guessed White would be this cold, unfeeling dictator throwing herself into imperial management to distract from her grief, it’s looking like she may be the opposite.

Yellow and Blue talked about White like big sisters warning their little sister about another older, abusive sister. Or perhaps an abusive parent. Their hesitance to admit failure to her, their warnings about how she may react, Yellow’s desire to “go first” and take the brunt of White’s reaction, it all sounded like fear of immediate, cruel consequences. Even Pink punching a window in “Jungle Moon” reads retroactively like a child who has seen domestic violence in some way (or heard about it) but found a different outlet other than hurting physical beings. Such deflection often occurs with children of physically abusive parents; they learned somehow that physical violence is an “acceptable” reaction to certain negative feelings (acceptable in their household at least) but don’t want to actually hurt a person, so they lash out at inanimate objects.

The more we see of the Diamonds, the more their dynamic becomes eerily familiar to those of us who come from homes with domestic abuse of various kinds, whether in the immediate family structure or in the generation previous. This feels more and more like a story of inherited trauma and abuse where the family in question was the ruling power of an entire society and thus the abuse shaped an entire culture. In short, the wider Homeworld culture had to stem from White Diamond, and Homeworld culture is one of oppression and abuse.

In this context, it’s frightening to think what White may want to do to Steven or those who accompanied him. We’ve said before how Steven Universe will almost certainly lead to the reformation of gem culture to be more  open and inclusive, and now that Steven’s in a position of power on Homeworld, the beginning efforts will likely take place.


Images Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Bo

Bo relaxes after long days of staring at computers by staring at computers some more, and continues drifting wearily through the slog of summer TV.

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Kris
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Kris

Legs from here to Homeworld is off the Cartoon Network app, so I think that they dropped it earlier than they meant to.

daruhan
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daruhan

The way White Pearl moved was like how the Lars and Sadie holograms in Rose’s Room first acted. Everything really is just goddang foreshadowing.

Angelina
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If the White Pearl is the original Pink Pearl (and our Pearl thus a White Pearl by origin), I may have an idea why it could’ve happened and what was Pink Pearl punished for. All Pearls are created/conditioned to resemble their owners. We know Pink Diamond was very bratty, prone to temper tantrums and it seems prone to different forms of teenage rebellion. That means her Pearl was either as “wild” as she was, or was forced to participate in her pranks. Given that WD was really concerned with decorum, to punish both Pink and her Pearl by punishing Pearl… Read more »

Television

Archie Goes Full Dufresne On Riverdale

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After last week’s exciting change of pace, Archie and the gang return to the present time in “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape” and boy, is it a drag (no, not the fun kind).

Recap

As Archie’s brilliant escape plan to run in the middle of the day, in plain sight of the guards and other prisoners, is failing miserably, we’re back at the bunker, with Betty catching Jughead and the Serpents playing G&G.

Betty tells Jug everything she’s learned from her mother, while Jughead shares his own discoveries about the game. He insists that G&G somehow reflect the real life, Riverdale’s life specifically. Betty is skeptical, so she decides to deal with feasible suspects aka the Midnight Club for now, while Jughead continues playing in order to get to the Gargoyle King his own way.

After Hiram lets Veronica know about Archie’s unsuccessful escape attempt, she decides to take the matters into her own hands. Through her connections in the, um, teenage filial of the local mafia she unknowingly gets herself invited to the warden’s little fight club. She gets a little private time with Archie and they sorta figure out a possible way to break Archie out.

Meanwhile, Betty recruits Josie, Kevin, and Reggie to discreetly question their parents about the Midnight Club. To their kids’ surprise, Mayor McCoy and ex-Sheriff Keller deny even really knowing each other back in high school, let alone dating, while Reggie gets a black eye for even mentioning G&G to his dad.

Unfortunately, the investigation has to be cut short when Veronica comes to all of her friends for help in getting Archie out of juvie. Betty tries to get Jughead on board, but he’s so cut up in a game that he sees the juvie break as nothing more than a great idea for the Serpents’ next G&G mission.

Speaking of juvie, Archie is granted a fancy meal with the warden, who informs Archiekins it’s also gonna be his last one. “The final meal before the final fight”, he says. Warden Norton also all but says outright its’ Hiram’s order. Archie takes a chance asks to hear how Hiram managed to set him up, and warden complies. When asked if Hiram also “owns” him, warden declares his soul “belongs to no mere mortal”, probably alluding to God… Or someone else.

Back at the speakeasy, Veronica lays out her elaborate escape plan for Archie. Basically, they go in undercover to the fight club, create a diversion with self-created smoke bombs (… I know), Archie escapes through the sewer drain, at the end of which Betty will be waiting for him on the Jug’s motorcycle (that she drives impeccably now, apparently).

Mid 2000’s teen rom-com shenanigans realness

Right before Archie starts his final match, he gets stabbed by Joaquin. The latter immediately apologizes and insists the warden said this is the only way he can “ascend”.

It’s game time! Literally and metaphorically. While the gang executes their rescue mission, Jughead and the Serpents are on a G&G quest of their own, that coincidentally mirrors everything the other team is doing. While trying to open the sewer drain grade, Kevin sees Joaquin running for his life through the woods. Kevin decides to follow him and leaves his task to Betty.

Back at the fight club,  Archie is up for his match. And his opponent is no other than Mad Dog. Archie tells him about the escape plan, but it seems like Mad Dog has accepted his fate.

Veronica runs into her father at the fight club, but before he can do anything to stop them she, Reggie, and Josie are setting the pan in motion. Their very slow distraction works and Archie jumps into the drain, while Mad Dog heroically holds off the guards.

At the end of the sewer, Betty meets injured Archie. They race on a bike through the woods to safety, but unfortunately, get caught by the warden and the juvie guards. But PLOT TWIST! It isn’t Archie up on a bike, it’s Kevin. They were a decoy for the guards, while Ronnie and the rest of the crew got Archie to safety at the bunker, where Jughead and the Serpents also just finished their G&G quest.

Tony patches up Archie’s stab wound, and the gang notices the warden has branded Archie with a symbol, similar to those on Ben and Dilton’s backs.

Back at the Lodges, Hermione is going off on Hiram for participating in the underground teen fight club as if she, as a mayor, doesn’t have enough problem to deal with. Veronica arrives just in time for some ass whooping as well.

But *now* we said it.

At Pop’s, Kevin tells Josie and Reggie that he didn’t find Joaquin after all, all while the news of Archie’s escape is heard on the radio. The triple also decides to play G&G by themselves, to find out what their parents, and Betty, don’t tell them about the game.

While watching over Archie at the bunker, Betty and Jug discuss how warden Norton fits into this whole G&G narrative. In the meantime, the warden himself is at his office, getting notified the mayor is here to see him. But unfortunately, they’ll have to reschedule, because the warden just drank the good ol’ cyanide-infused Fresh-Aid.

The episode concludes with Jughead getting back home from the bunker when he finally encounters the Gargoyle King himself.

Thoughts

I honestly don’t have a lot on this one. The episode revolves solely around juvie plot and we all know how I feel about it. The escape sequence is extremely silly, but sticking with Riverdale for so long, nothing fazes me anymore.

My favourite scene was probably Hermione cussing out her dumbass family.  Marisol Nichols did some amazing acting, and it was just so pleasant seeing Hermione to blow up like this. In Season 2 her character felt very Stepford wife (but make it mafia), so it’s great to see her getting some of that agency and character back.

The theory that someone of the Lodges is the Gamemaster behind this G&G madness grows stronger this episode. Killing the Red Paladin aka Archie was obviously a part of Warden Norton’s quest, and we know from the warden himself Hiram ordered to get rid of Archie. Or was the warden lying? Also interesting how Hermione was at the juvie when Norton ended his life. Could be nothing, could be something.

Next week, Archie is fugitive on the run, while Jughead discovers a new piece of the G&G puzzle…


Images courtesy of CW

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Analysis

I like my women… competent

Patrycja

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Criminal minds is a show that I enjoy watching despite sometimes watching it trough my fingers. It never fails to get my adrenaline going. One of it’s many great traits is the selection and capability of present female characters, be it unsubs or agents. The lead women are versatile and different while still having a few common traits. Furthermore they’re always competent and do the job the best they can.

The leader

Emily Prentiss is one of member of the team that was with them from almost the beginning. She went trough all the career steps, finally becoming the team leader.

Her being in charge was one of my favorite story lines. She earned that privilege with exceptional service and field work with various agencies. Her character replaced Aaron Hotchner as unit chief in season 12 after he resigned. It’s wonderful to finally see a woman leading a team; it happens so rarely. She has a great deal of experience with many different cultures as her parents were diplomats. That’s also how she speaks a few different languages, and it’s a skillset that has helped solve quite a few cases.

While on cases, she’ s rarely upset or lets her emotions get in the way, which is one of the reasons why she makes a great unit chief. She is level headed and calm and always factors many different scenarios into her decisions. With that being said she is also quick on her feet and can make split second decisions when she needs to.

While being calm and collected she still empathizes with the victims and their families and doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice herself to protect others. She’s not only a skilled field agent but also an undercover operator, which was shown in her stint catching Ian Doyle. That particular unsub also forces her to fake her own death without informing her team, with JJ and Hotchner being the only exceptions. She eventually reunites with the team in season 7 after the whole Doyle debacle was over.

She isn’t with the BAU the entire time. As previously stated she also work with other agencies like the Interpol. Even if she isn’t always with the team, she is referenced and talked about or pops up for a visit. Her work as unit chief hasn’t always been smooth sailing either. She was reassigned after she pursued a case and went toe to toe with Linda Barnes, who disbanded the team.

The mother

Jennifer “JJ” Jareau is the only women on the team with a family. She has two sons with her husband Will, who was a police detective in New Orleans. The fact that JJ is a mother strongly affects the way she acts and responds.

Although she started working when she wasn’t a mom, she always sympathized with the victims and their families the most visibly. Since she started as a police and media liaison, JJ was often responsible for contacting the families of the victims or their loved ones. She always did a great job while consoling them.

Her early role as media liaison made her the “media face” of the bureau, as she often spoke at press conferences. She was also responsible for choosing the cases the team would be working on, so her job came with a lot of responsibility. Her excellent work in that position was the reason for her reassignment and classified assignment. After her comeback in season 7, she made the change to profiler and her responsibilities were taken over by Hotch and Penelope. She is a skilled profiler, as even before she was one she was often crucial to solving cases and did that job even without the title. Her transition was also easier because she observed the team as their liaison.

She was one of the two people to know that Emily didn’t die. As they are close friends. JJ was also the one who met Prentiss in Paris after her “death”.” That close friendship is a recurring theme with the two characters, as Prentiss comes back when Jennifer is missing.

JJ has been trough tough times including the suicide of her older sister, her classified assignment, not to mention the toll the cases take. While she can wear her heart on her sleeve, she is also a skilled operator who will do anything for her family and for the people she loves. As my choice of calling her “the mother” implies, Jennifer is the one who takes care of all the team members. She shares a special bond with Reid, who is the godfather of her son Henry.

Finally, Jennifer is also a great leader, which was showcased when she replaced Emily Prentiss in the role of team leader. Although she has the ability to lead she doesn’t aspire to be the BAU’s chief. She’s content being an SSA.

Baby Girl

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Penelope Garcia is her relationship with Derek Morgan, well, and her unique personality.

Penelope is a former hacker gone good who’s now a technical analyst. Out of all the Criminal Minds characters, she’s the most colorful one—literally. Garcia often offers comic relief and a sense of light and joy to the intense show, and is the one the audience can probably relate to the most if you exclude her computer knowledge.

She is very emotional and openly shows all of her reactions. It doesn’t surprise anyone that she can’t look at horrific crime scene photos; her office is filled with colorful and cute stuff because of the horror that fills her screens (that’s what Hotch says to Strauss while describing the analyst). She also often speaks a bit too intimately when talking to team members, especially Derek. She gives him nicknames like chocolate thunder, etc, and he, in turn, calls her ‘baby girl’. These would normally be considered sexual harassment (which was even addressed in a funny scene in episode 9×12).


But it never actually crosses that line because they have a mutual understanding that it’s a consensual conversational choice. In fact, Penelope’s special relationship with Morgan is what initially drew me to the show. There is just something in how different they are personality-wise while still being very close to each other and understanding the other perfectly that compelled me. And while my shipper heart never understood why the two never dated, I have to admit that sticking to a platonic relationship between these two was a great move.

She makes him laugh and calls him out on his BS. He grounds her and helps her focus and get the job done. Their close relationship is probably the reason why it took Garcia a long time to warm up to Luke Alvarez, who replaced Morgan after he retired. It was implied that Garcia and Morgan are still in contact despite him not being on the show; she is even the godmother to his son.

As previously stated, Garcia is a skilled computer expert and former hacker. Her work is often crucial to finding the unsub. While that is her primary job, after JJ’s promotion she also became the liaison for the team. A job she shared with Hotch till he retired. The best way to describe her is that Penelope’s character is the counterbalance we need to all the heaviness and seriousness of the show.

Criminal minds proves that we can have a show that perfectly balances it’s male and female characters. It offers us a selection of women who all are intelligent, skilled, competent, educated, professional, and strong while staying human and showing emotions.


Images courtesy of CBS

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Television

Tailor Soldier Spy: Black Lightning 2×05

Sarah

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Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit
Hello and welcome back to Black Lightning season 2 after one of those weird one-week hiatuses that networks sometimes do!

Last episode, Lynn was struggling to navigate her pure heart clashing against Dr. Jace’s conscience-less one at the ASA; Anissa was vigilante-ing and Thunder and Black Lightning diffused several bombs at a neighborhood clinic; and Jen was imploding under the pressure of house arrest to the point where she finally responded to Kahlil’s messages and met him at Garfield.

This week, our fam is still pretty much in the same boat as they were in the previous episode, but with the sudden devastating addition of Gambi’s supposed death by assassins (presumably sent by Tobias).

going out in a blaze of glory

The general rule for things like this is that if there’s no body (which in this case there isn’t), the character isn’t dead (see also: Delphine Cormier). But for now, we’re all operating under the assumption that Gambi’s dead, which makes for some heartbreaking crying from the entire Pierce family, including Jefferson who at first won’t believe Gambi’s gone. It’s so sad, y’all.

when ur faves cry, u cry

In her grief, Anissa indulges her central character flaw, aka using Grace/sex with Grace as an emotional crutch. When she shows up at Grace’s apartment, she has all kinds of claims about how she now knows what’s important and Grace is the only person besides her family that she cares about, but in the morning when Grace asks Anissa to look her in the eyes and promise she won’t hurt her again, Anissa can’t do it. Really Anissa? Please stop with this nonsense. I love our bulletproof lesbian but given the way she treats her girlfriends, I would not date her.

Grace, for her part, looks like she’s about to turn into some kind of supernatural being with creepy-crawly skin, which is also something that’s happening to some other Freeland residents such as a skittish boyfriend of one of Anissa’s pregnant patients who turns up dead at the clinic (did I mention Anissa now works there because she can do everything?), and a cop who pulls her over as she drives out to check on said pregnant patient. CREEPY.

but this is sexy tho

Jen, meanwhile, has some particularly great moments this episode, the first being her witty one-sided banter with her online learning program. We also get to see the conversation she and Kahlil had at Garfield, which consisted of both of them quietly lamenting their circumstances. When Kahlil asks her then, and again later in the episode, of she thinks they can fix whatever they have together, Jen is a true Strong Female Character and basically is like, no dude, we get each other on an important level but we cannot be a thing anymore. (Anyway that’s what her facial expression said, I’m pretty sure).

Lynn aka perpetual Black Lightning MVP finds herself tricked into believing Dr. Jace has used Lynn’s amazing brain-power-math to crack a code that will save all the pod kids, but it turns out it will only save half of them and the rest of them die. This is not great for Lynn’s giant heart and after slapping Dr. Jace’s smug face and having her dragged off by security, she is left alone to deal with the mess and be extra sad because yeah, Gambi’s gone too. And because she’s Lynn, she’s also doing all the emotional labor on behalf of Jefferson who is in denial about Gambi until the end of the episode. Someone give this woman a trophy and a massage.

sad face emoji

Tobias (I guess we have to talk about him too) is busy being horrible as usual, relentlessly intimidating Kahlil and also blackmailing a councilman into helping advance his agenda to take over Freeland and ultimately kill Black Lightning. So, great. That guy sucks.

the only option for a last image: Gambi & Jefferson

That’s it for this week, friends! Do you think Gambi is really dead? Do you think Anissa needs to get her lesbian act together? Do you think Jen will be ok?!?!?! Come back next week and maybe we’ll find out!


Images courtesy of The CW

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