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Mxyzptlk’s Antics And the Gift of A Sanvers Valentine’s Day

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Supergirl Season 2 Reviews: Episode 13, “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk”

The long awaited and anticipated Valentine’s Day episode featuring Sanvers and the sometimes adorably, sometimes dangerously wacky antics of Mr. Mxyzptlk (Mr. Mxy from here on out, or just Mxy). I’m a huge fan of him already and want to see him again at some point. Sadly, Elizabeth can’t join me this time, as her city is currently sliding into the ocean (not really, but it sure sounds like it). So, I am a lonely gem without her fusion; at least I have something fun to talk about!

Quick Recap

Can I just say how GOOD Kara looks in a Vera Wang?

Mr. Mxy proposes to Kara. Mon El objects and Mxy sends him to the DEO in his undies. J’onn gives an epic side eye, but walks on by without asking questions. Kara rejects Mxy, but he believes she is playing coy and he can woo her with grand gestures of his devotion. At the DEO, J’onn composes a V-Day note to M’gann (Awwwww!). Kara decides in the middle of the DEO that this is a great time and place to have a conversation with Mon El about their relationship. At Chez Danvers, Alex learns Maggie is an epic V-day Hater. Lyra, an alien from Starhaven, saves Winn from bullies at the bar, and they hit it off geeking about her culture. Out on the streets, Kara literally catches a bullet for a thief fleeing Mxy then confronts him about his dangerous behavior. Mon El advises killing Mxy but Kara says no.

Kara comes home to an apartment full of flowers (just like last week, which was totally a platonic gesture) from Mxy. Alex wants to be super cheesy and romantic about V-Day, but she’s worried about Maggie’s resistance. Kara advises re-creating the holiday for just the two of them. ‘Parasyte’ shows up and beats up both Kara and Mon El for a bit before Mxy appears dressed as Superman. Kara realizes Mxy sent ‘Parasyte’ so he could swoop in and save the day. Kara tells Mon El to leave (and he actually listens!). Mxy tells Kara unless she marries him, things will get bad for Earth.

Mon El is mad that Kara is defending herself and tells her she’s not a good judge of what she can handle. Kara is mad that he didn’t tell her how to get rid of Mxy beforehand; Kara tells him he’s jealous and he gets pissy. They have a pretty big (and kind of loud) fight in the middle of the DEO that ends with Kara telling him it was a mistake. Mon El steals a weapon from the DEO. Alex follows Kara’s advice, but Maggie gets upset because she doesn’t feel heard. Alex encourages Maggie to not stuff her feelings. Maggie opens up about how her parents weren’t actually supportive of her being gay. She was forcibly outed by a friend she liked who didn’t like her that way and kicked out of her parents house when she was 14.

Delightful.

At the bar, Winn has set up a fancy date for him and Lyra, but she just wants to have sexy times (what is it with Winn and sexually aggressive women? Ngl it’s pretty hot). Meanwhile, Mxy duels Mon El for Kara’s hand, and goes full Hamilton, complete with costumes and pistols. Mon El uses the weapon to cut off Mxy from the 5th dimension, but Mxy crushes it. Kara shows up just in time to save Mon El from being shot with lead (foreshadowing?). She offers to marry Mxy the next day at noon in the Fortress of Solitude. Mon El apologizes for being a dillweed, but Kara has made up her mind about Mxy. Maggie shows up at the DEO looking for Alex to apologize to (that took guts); Kara tells her how much V-day means to Alex.

Champagne in hand, Mxy waits for Kara at the Fortress, where she shows up drinking orange juice (for some reason?). She rejects him and he brings the ice sculpture of Jor El to life to attack her. After shattering the sculpture, Kara encloses them in the fortress and detonates the core to explode and kill them both. He begs her not to kill herself because the world needs her. She eventually relents and he types in the abort code, which, incidentally, is his name spelled backward. (THAT’S OUR GIRL). He disappears to the 5th dimension without having found love.

Lyra and Winn have a nice second date. Alex comes home to find a box with her name on it from Maggie, who has set up an epic Valentine’s Day prom night for them both. Maggie apologizes for fixating on her wounds instead of on the woman she cares about. They dance; I cry happy tears. Mon El shows up at Kara’s and apologizes for acting like an ass. Kara admits she tricked him about saying they weren’t meant to be together and they make out on her couch.

Best Quote:

“On some planets, to write something down is to truly say it.”—J’onn J’onzz

Thoughts & Feelings

No better place to start than Mxy summing up what many in the Supergirl fandom have been saying about Mon El as a romantic interest for Kara (ourselves included)

“The other suitor? I didn’t see you there tall, dark, and blandsome. You’re barely there, let alone my romantic rival. Invisible is a good look on you, let’s play to your strengths.”

In fact, one of the cleverest aspects to the Mr. Mxyzptlk plot this episode was how it seemed very much like a meta commentary on early complaints regarding Mon El specifically and unearned romantic arcs more generally. “You can’t just put me in a wedding dress!” argues Kara as Mxy blithely ignores her protestations that she’s not interested. Mxy is ‘persistent’ in his grand gestures, believing that his very persistence will ‘wear her down’ because she’s ‘confused’ and ‘doesn’t know her own feelings’. He reminds me of Wolf from 10th Kingdom a bit.

The commentary reaches acute levels when Mxy dresses and styles himself as another Superman, just as Mon El did in “We Can Be Heroes”. Like Mon El did with James, Mxy argues Kara needs an equal to her powers. He calls Mon El a thug and claims Kara is ‘slumming it’, which sounds once again like the writers co-opted a fandom complaint. Mxy believes grand gestures, including trying to be a hero (though admittedly in a threatening situation of his own making), and deciding she is fated to be his mate will be enough to convince her to love him, much as Mon El did early in the season.

He’s actually a pretty decent foil for Mon El, if one that’s significantly more powerful, and more destructive when he doesn’t get his way. They both arrogantly believe they know what is best for Kara and refuse to listen to her when she asserts herself. Yet, again, they differ significantly in how they handle rejection. Mon El backed off and tried to date someone new. Mxy threatens to destroy the world. Even Mon El, with all his entitlement, was never that bad. He might be an arrogant dude bro, but Mon El never responded to romantic rejection by trying to physically attack Kara. That’s not to defend Mon El either; it’s more to point out the interesting juxtaposition in what they share as romantic interests and where they differ.

It’s also worth pointing out that the depiction of Mxy’s reaction to rejection in no way read as an endorsement. Supergirl is not trying to say this is an appropriate reaction for men (or anyone) to have when their feelings are not reciprocated. Mxy is 100% in the wrong and Kara makes that clear with how she handles him.

Mxy’s mixture of puckishness, amorality, and arrogant superiority reminds me of one the most interesting antagonists of the Star Trek universe: Q. Like Mr. Mxyzptlk, Q has tremendous power to warp human reality, vast experience in the universe, a high IQ, and a propensity for mischief. They’re both equally capable of practical jokes and destructiveness, and have a playfully antagonistic relationship with their respective heroes. The comparison with Q informs (but does not justify) Mxy’s more problematic character traits, like his willingness to destroy Earth to win Kara. Both Q and Mxy suffer from big egos, near limitless power, and boredom, but they’re less villainous than flippant. It’s the “you walk through the grass without realizing how many insects you step on” phenomenon.

Kara knows how you feel, Picard.

He’s also good fun. The Hamilton scene was A+, especially the longer it went on. These two men really are going to duel with revolutionary era pistols in frilly shirts aren’t they? Yes, yes they are. I loved the ending to the episode as well. So classic Superman in its execution, but with Kara’s own rather chilling twist on outsmarting Mxy instead of out-muscling him. I swear Kara must have had ice in her veins in that scene and not just she destroyed an ice statue of her uncle Jor El. Speaking of Kara outsmarting Mxy, I appreciate how much attention was given to Kara’s agency and intelligence this episode. She’s has a couple of idiot ball moments this season (she really never figured out James was Guardian until 2×10?), so it was nice to see her outwitting a highly intelligent inter-dimensional being all on her own.

I also love Kara standing up for herself with Mon El. She’s done it before (multiple times) when he’s refused to listen to her, or lied to her, or just generally acted like a walnut, but after last week, I was slightly worried that she might be starting to overlook the fact that he hadn’t changed all that much. I’m happy to see Kara setting boundaries around her new relationship in terms of what behavior she will find acceptable from him and what she won’t.

And to be honest, Mon El’s protectiveness is patently absurd at face value. Kara is both stronger than he is and has a wider array of superpowers. Why does he ever feel the need to protect her at all?

She’s nowhere near Damsel.

Physically, Kara is literally the safest and most well protected person just being herself. Mon El may be acting out or flailing because he doesn’t know how to cope with caring about someone as much as he does Kara, but the “I’m just protecting your honor” bit is already a tired trope for non superheroes. Much less when Kara is literally bulletproof and can shoot lasers from her eyeballs.

There wasn’t nearly as much Sanvers as I expected, but I realized upon further investigation that it was in large part due to overhyping from sources other than the CW. The network never promised a Sanvers-centric episode, but some entertainment outlets did, and that was the narrative that made the rounds on social media sites. Had I not seen those sources, I know I would have felt less initially disappointed. As it is, I’m far less upset now that I know my sources were incorrect, not the show.

What we did get, though, was just lovely. Ever since Maggie Sawyer appeared, she’s had pretty thick walls around certain parts of herself. While she was never glowing about her past, tonight we learned that even some of her positive statements were lies. Her parents were not affirming of her being gay. They kicked her out of the house when she was 14, and she had to live with an aunt for three years (taken largely from Renee Montoya’s backstory, by the way). It’s a gut-wrenching story, and one that’s all too true even in our day and age. Just one more way that Sanvers is one of the realest representations of wlw I’ve ever seen.

And the entire conversation showcased how far Alex has grown and how comfortable they are in their relationship. Alex has grown enough to recognize when Maggie is shutting her down, and is willing to push Maggie to be as honest as she pushed Alex to be. It takes tremendous trust on both sides for this kind of conversation to happen. Maggie being willing to open up instead of further shutting down highlights how much she’s grown in her ability to trust Alex with things she’s probably never talked about with anyone before.

Her instinct after that is to apologize, too, which yet again is a mark of maturity and overall relationship health. Moreover, rather than getting defensive when Kara gently pushes her about Valentine’s Day, Maggie turns thoughtful. She takes Kara’s advice to heart, and does everything she can to make the woman she’s crazy about feel special. When you think about it, there’s tremendous power packed into the terse narrative surrounding Sanvers, and I adored every second of it on my screen.

As Elizabeth and I have said before, one of the best things about Sanvers is its down-to-earth domesticity. Alex making Maggie her favorite breakfast, even though she thinks it’s gross. Her gushing about Maggie to Kara, listing off all of the things Maggie loves as she tries to decide how to make Maggie’s Valentine’s Day special. Alex coming out in lingerie (OMG), as part of Maggie’s special Valentine’s Day. The dancing. They’re happy together and healthy as a couple. They listen to each other, are open, and have a strong communication dynamic that is both supportive and appropriately challenging.

It’s actually jarring to see Maggie and Alex with their open, honest communication juxtaposed with Mon El and Kara yelling. Especially since the latter had more than one loud argument versus Alex and Maggie’s single disagreement that Maggie immediately wanted to apologize for. Additionally, Maggie and Alex steer clear of insulting each other and being accusatory, something Mon El and Kara can’t seem to be able to do. Did Mon El really need to tell Kara she’s full of herself and doesn’t know what she can handle?

There’s also a jarring irony to Kara encouraging Maggie to make changes for Alex when Mon El has not changed some of the things that upset Kara the most about this attitude. He’s apologized, which is a good first step (and one I am frustrated didn’t happen sooner), and I expect actual character growth, not just me being told he’s different. From here on out, I expect to see him listening to Kara and respecting her agency and her ‘no’. I expect less over-protectiveness, less overbearing egotism, and less patronizing arrogance.

I AM here for screencaps of Mon El yelling, though.

It’s funny, because as I write this out, these are precisely the things that James Olsen has been struggling with as well, and yet that relationship fizzled out. Oh wait, the writers did that. I am still bitter about the fact that James was sidelined only to be replaced with a white character with similar personality flaws this season. And now Mon El/Kara have gotten more actual screen development than Kara/James. It’s unintentional I’m sure, but the sidelining of a man of color in favor of a white male love interest squicks me out, big time. Both Elizabeth and I have been saying so since our first review this season. And now that Kara/Mon El is happening, I’m not any less uncomfortable than previously, especially with how weakly Mon El’s character development has been written.

I’m trying to see both sides. On the one hand, Sanvers is beautiful and amazing. On the other, I wish Maggie’s discussion of her forced outing to her parents and her first real crush had been given more narrative space to breathe. At least two of the Kara/Mon El scenes were redundant. And yes, I know Kara is the protagonist. I’m not arguing to make this the Sanvers show instead of the Supergirl show. I’ll be blunt, which will get more narrative oomph for the input: greater exploration of Maggie’s backstory (which audiences have been desperate for), which is a moving, painful, and real story that many young women face. Or, one more scene of Kara and Mon El fighting about how arrogant he is and how he thinks she’s full of herself and needs to accept his protection or advice.

But why, when she can do this?

Part of my struggle isn’t so much with Kara and Mon El fighting this episode, though it was discordant given Sanvers’ relationship health. It’s the pattern of this relationship overall. Kara and Mon El don’t just ‘bicker’ or have disagreements that they work out by communicating honestly, like Maggie and Alex do. They dredge up old hurts, re-open old wounds, repeat the same frustrations over and over again. Kara thinks Mon El is overprotective, patronizing, arrogant, and disrespectful of her agency and personhood. Mon El thinks Kara is self-centered, self-important, and doesn’t know what’s good for her. But only one of these perspectives is borne out by the narrative, and it isn’t Mon El’s.

So I’m left with what I think is supposed to be them ‘bickering’ on even footing (“butting heads” because they’re strong personalities), but only one of the characters actually has a valid point about the other’s behavior. And he only now started listening. It’s hard to imagine what Kara finds attractive about a man who repeatedly rejects her agency. It’s clearly something, otherwise she wouldn’t be so ready to make out on her couch, but I’m scratching my head at what it could be.

Randomness

  • Oh tiny bitter Maggie and her “manufactured holiday for patsies” line.
  • “Things were a lot easier on Daxam when I objectified women and didn’t care about anyone.”—This better be a cultural marker, because I didn’t find it funny.
  • “Once you’ve been adored by the all-powerful Mxy, there’s no going backsy” “Your one true pairing as the kids say.” Mxy had quite a few punny/culturally amusing side jokes. I approve.
  • Mxy had champagne, Kara had orange juice, together they’re a mimosa?
  • Mon El’s Kryptonite line was kind of weird. 1) He has a “Kryptonite” and it’s lead, and 2) Kryptonite isn’t just a ‘weakness’, it’s an extremely painful, torturous experience for Kara to come in contact with it. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean “you have the potential to kill me.”
  • I caught that Nasty Woman reference. A+
  • I dig Lyra/Winn and approve of Winn’s attraction to strong women.
  • NGL, Lyra looks like a vampire from Buffy.
  • Speaking of Lyra, why is she ‘British’?
  • Okay, but like, ALEX WAS WEARING LINGERIE FOR MAGGIE.
  • J’ONN SENT M’GANN A SPACE VALENTINE.
  • I hope James is doing okay on V-Day all on his lonesome, with no one to check in on him.
  • The ongoing saga of Alex’s disgust with Maggie’s eating habits gives me life.
  • Shout out to Cat Grant!
  • Also a nice shout out to Starhaven.

In Conclusion

Overall, this was what I’d like to call a warm blanket episode. Was it emotionally heavy? No, but it was a delightful romp sprinkled with some great character moments. Most of all, Kara got to shine as her strong, powerful, intelligent self. She was seriously channeling the metal as fuck In Ze women (her mom and aunt) in that final scene with Mr. Mxyzptlk. Her feelings about her mother and aunt have been justifiably mixed since Season 1, but’s nice to see that there is some Alura In Ze in Kara deep down. She just needed a mischievous 5th dimensional being to bring it out in her. Just showing up in her supersuit drinking orange juice all casual and then rejecting Mxy before setting of the core’s self-destruct? Hard. Core.

Other characters had great moments as well. I adore how casually J’onn just accepts Mon El in his undies. Either he can read Mon El’s mind (but he can’t read Kara’s) or his bar for Mon El’s behavior is just that low. Also, J’onn writing M’gann intergalactic love notes is everything I ever wanted from my favorite Martians. Space Dad is the best Space Boyfriend #RelationshipGoals.

Speaking of which, Winn with his new girlfriend! I love how eager Winn was to show her off and honestly gave zero fucks about anyone seeing him in a relationship with an alien. Then you have the layers of racial coding onto her experience as an alien. She thought she would just be an exotic ‘experience’, for example. I’m happy for Winn. He deserves it.

They’re so cute together.

Last night’s episode was also the first real moment that Mon El seemed to actually recognize his need to change. And he apologized, more than once. Do I wish it had happened five or six episodes ago? Yes. But I still appreciate it here, even if it does feel misplaced. Now he starts thinking about the consequences of his behavior, and apologizing for being an ass, and actually emoting. But why this late in their relationship? And why only in response to a romantic rival? It would have been nice if he’d figured this out when it was about Kara herself, and not tinged with jealousy over Mxy.

I’m hoping that the show is building up to something with the tiny hints we keep getting from Mon El about what life was like on Daxam. It can’t be a coincidence that both he and M’gann come from societies that did not show affection. He’s mentioned public shaming being common, and slavery was not just normal, but condoned. His objectification of women and entitled attitude stems from his culture. It is entirely possible that the show is leading up to yet another “hero rises from the ashes of trauma and a fucked up culture/home” narrative like we’ve gotten with M’gann and Lena. I won’t judge it until I see it in it’s entirety, of course. But, if this is where his arc is headed, I’m interested in taking a step back once it’s done to see how it hangs together.

And let’s not forget the lovely, genuine wlw romance that is Sanvers happening right before our eyes. There is just so much to it, that even their small scenes sparkle in a way that the main plot can’t outshine. My Sanvers shipping heart is full to overflowing. What a treasure of a love story.

Tune in next week for Danvers Family Conflict, aka Heartbreak. Go ahead and punch me in the face right now, it will probably hurt less.


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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PSA From South Park: Be More Careful When Tweeting While President

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Content warning for the topic of suicide.

Since the airing of Season 20, Trey Parker and Matt Stone hinted at staying away from a certain aspect of political satire. After last season’s serial narrative faced, well, a minor inconvenience if I can be as reductive as possible as far as story-building goes, I think we all felt a bit burnt out. In many ways we can’t find the showrunners at fault. I still had my fair share of laughs last season, but nonetheless Season 20 did suffer from a great amount of narrative fatigue, incongruity, and many other issues that the showrunners are actually pretty open about. After last week’s episode ended (ironically not with a serial “open concept,” but a concrete ending sealed with a hysterical and irreverent lesson about how “as long as the superficial things in our life are in tact, our problems will simply go away”) I was pleasantly surprised and fully on board for this new season.

I know Parker & Stone have made general comments stating they would be focusing less on politics, but really, how can they when seemingly all our current cultural relevance consists of nothing but politics? You can’t just ignore all this insanity happening all over the world no matter how hard you try, and darn it if that’s not the perfect theme for this episode, “Put it Down.” 

This week’s issues: North Korea, Phone Addiction and “Suicide at SkeWwl”

We open with Tweek performing a tune to the school about all his fears concerning President Garrison casually instigating a nuclear war with North Korea. Cartman and the boys tell Craig to “get a hold of him because he’s freaking everybody out at skewwwl.” Men aren’t supposed to express themselves emotionally, Craig! Gay or straight, you just have to “sack up,” as they say and stop bothering everyone with those “fears” and “anxieties”. This nicely foreshadows and directly parallels Cartman’s B plot as he himself attempts to freak everybody out at skewl.

You see, Eric Cartman is deep in an emotionally manipulative, abusive relationship. I mean he’s doing the abuse and manipulation of course, and this week he’s having Heidi take him back after a breakup by calling her and threatening to kill himself. Now, do I think kids committing suicide over the pains of youthful heartbreak is funny? Nope. But I sure as hell burst out laughing while the gang played Cartman’s wallowy and fabricated voicemail aloud and called him out for using suicide threats as an emotionally manipulative spectacle.  

It would appear Cartmen’s arc this season is going to comment on an entirely different brand of “poisonous boyfriend you hope your friend can escape from.” Cartmen’s Season 20 arc saw him as the overbearing and patronizing boyfriend—idolizing Heidi, fawning over her with compliments and oozing everyone’s favorite brand of bro-feminism until he felt threatened upon realizing that Heidi was a being of her own. When it came to light that Heidi really did possess the potential for all those qualities he had built her up to have, he immediately switched over to the “weiners out” philosophy and convinced himself that yes, women were planning to enslave men on Mars and milk us for our semen. Man, the election results really did mess Season 20’s whole narrative up, huh? But I digress…

Look, obviously South Park isn’t suggesting that anyone who is suffering from suicidal thoughts is just some selfish brat desperate for attention and should be dismissed like Cartmen; quite the contrary. Suicide is just the newest vehicle for Cartmen to channel his sociopathic victimhood complex. Poor Heidi…I don’t see her getting out of this relationship anytime soon.  

So Cartmen plans to raise awareness for suicide—not for students that may be experiencing suicidal thoughts and may need outreach—more along the lines of wanting attention so that everyone can pity him and see what a terrible girlfriend Heidi is. To what end he wants to take these threats of suicide, we don’t know for sure, but unfortunately (for him) he has to compete with “distracted driving awareness week” hogging all the attention.    

Tweek & Craig Are Still Gay

I can understand when people are insulted with the implications of  the whole “Tweek and Craig are gay now because peer pressure,” but what I find fascinating is that if you take this stand-alone episode in a vacuum, you can compare it to so many of the recent depictions of gay men in recent pop-culture and, with a few exceptions, not miss a beat. Sure it’s pretty shallow and insulting to have your only LGBTQ+ couple have come into existence out of a joke, but I think that’s more or less Matt & Trey’s point. South Park has always been about the characters solving problems in the most warped, superficial way possible so they don’t have to deal with real issues.

On a meta/Doylist level, Matt & Trey are two happily straight men who quite honestly wouldn’t know the first thing about the intimate dynamics of a young gay couple, but they see television culture “doing the gay thing” so to speak, and so they “keep up with the times” in the most South Park way they can. Having Tweek and Craig awkwardly refer to one another as “baby” and “honey” is just so bad that it’s good. South Park is very aware that people don’t “choose to be gay for convenience sake,” so what do they do in Season 19? The town tells Tweek and Craig that they are gay in order to parade them around as progressive tokens. They aren’t proud of Tweek and Craig at all, they’re proud of themselves for being so tolerant.  

“If this relationship stays canonical I’d be sooOo happy.”

This episode though, despite taking the opportunity to make lowbrow jokes whenever it can, deals with Tweek and Craig’s relationship in a wonderfully honest way. They are defiantly still the same characters that they always were and that’s absolutely the point. They just happen to be gay.

So Craig is doing all he can to help calm Tweek down, who is convinced that the Koreans are coming to kill him after President Garrison puts him on blast for sending them cupcakes.

“I know that kid Tweek, he’s f***ing with you North Korea, get a clue.”

This is a difficult thing for Craig to deal with as he is such an overly calm and awkward individual. He thinks Tweek wants him to solve his problem for him, so he does what most of us might do to slap a band-aide on it: go buy some trendy piece of banal, consumable plastic in the form of a fidget spinner and hope that fixes our sweetheart’s problem. And when that doesn’t work: blame them for being emotional!

“Tweak doesn’t want help, he just wants to overreact.”

Speaking of overreacting, Cartman has now channeled his desperate need for attention into a full-on production.

“My girlfriend is messed up, all I want to do is help her…I’m suffocating, drowning in sorrow, I’m gonna kill myself, probably around 2:30 tomorrow…”

The song he sings is the best kind of cringe-worthy and classic Cartman. His diluted fantasy is of course that he’ll rally the whole school into professing how much they “don’t want him to die,” while at the same time blaming Heidi for driving him to kill himself because of something internally wrong with her.

Put it Down…

Distracted Driving Awareness Week starts to really face some challenges when thing’s start to escalate further between Tweek and North Korea. The self-important citizens of South Park can’t bring themselves to look away from the political carnage being projected onto their phones via Twitter. Even when behind the wheel they can’t seem to detach themselves, and thus start running children over en masse.

Poor Gary Borkovec…

When Eric finds out that people are giving more attention to the victims of the distracted drivers rather than paying attention to his empty suicide threats, he interupts their announcement for candlelight vigil to announce a last-ditch pot-luck dinner in his honor. Before he can make a total fool of himself however, Heidi comes to the rescue with her own last ditch effort to talk some sense into Cartman…

“It’s not about problem solving Eric—it’s about people coming together and feeling what they need to feel. People need help sorting out their emotions sometimes, and the best thing isn’t always quick answers but just being there…”

This falls on deaf ears as far as Cartman is concerned, but it was just the thing Craig needed to hear.

I Learned Something Today…

Okay it wasn’t Kyle making a speech, it was Craig who learned something today: that sometimes people in our lives just need to vent, to be heard, to work out their anxieties so they don’t feel so alone. They need to figure out a battle plan and maybe sort out some irrational/not-so-irrational fears. To bounce off some ideas with someone that understands how they are wired. Now that Tweek has someone to really hear him, he can put things in perspective, and can channel his anxious energy into doing some good for the world.

He creates a song to help spread awareness FOR ANY PRESIDENTS OUT THERE THAT MIGHT BE PUTTING OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES AT RISK WITH IRRESPONSIBLE TWEETS TO PLEASE STOP.

Image of Matt & Trey so happy they don’t have to write about the election anymore.

Going forward it looks to me as though the old (well, let’s say the Season 18+19) formula of the isolated, but congruent narratives in this absurdist ‘podunk’ town will prevail from here on out. Glad to see that Tweek and Craig are being completely and hilariously normalized, and I hope Hiedi can eventually free herself from the clutches of Cartman’s hysterical narcissism…

From my view, South Park has once again found its footing with this tight-knit, topical episode with plenty of laughs, unexpected character growth, and sentiment to boot. I will be eagerly awaiting to see what’s next!


Images courtesy of Cartoon Network

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Teen Wolf Just Gives Up As It Nears The Finale

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Teen Wolf brought two episodes at once this week, “Genotype” and “Broken Glass.” They brought us very nearly to the end of the season and so to the whole show. For that purpose, they left quite a lot to be desired.

Recap

Scott found a phone on one of the dead bodies in the woods and he‘s convinced that the voicemail on it will lead him to one half of the Anuk-ite. Theo and Mason both very reasonably point out that even if that’s true, they already know about Aaron, so they could just concentrate on him. Scott really should know by now that he should listen to Mason, but instead he splits the party and sends Theo and Mason to look for Aaron while he and Liam look for a mysterious voice on the phone. Right.

Lydia and Malia are in the morgue, standing over the dead hellhound. Lydia decides he‘s not actually dead. She tries to get a vision by lying down next to him or touching him, but neither works.

Mason and Theo wander in the infamous tunnels while having pointless conversation. Meanwhile, Scott and Liam stare at a phone. Finally Liam decides to call, but Scott stops him, pointing out that they should think about what they were going to say. Hmm, perhaps this call was more of a job for Mason, while Scott and Liam, as the two strongest, would be better off wandering the tunnels? Never mind.

Liam calls and Beacon Hills High answers. Liam realizes the woman in the voicemail is one of his teachers. He and Scott go to school and Liam sits in his biology class like nothing happened. He tries to get to his teacher with a sound only supernaturals can hear. When it doesn’t work, he tries to get her with wolfsbane. She notices and tells him to stay after class, supposing he is trying to get back at her for not protecting him from getting beaten up. He tells her he knows she’s a werewolf. She looks at him like he’s crazy. Scott comes in, playing the voicemail.

Lydia has a vision of the Hellhound in Eichen and comes back saying she knows how to save him. She wants to pull out the bullet with MRI (not the most non-invasive method, Lydia), but then realizes there is silver there, which would not get pulled out, but would melt into his brain, killing him. She tries to think of another solution.

Liam and Scott tell the biology teacher her family is dead, and her daughter’s body was taken on by the Anuk-Ite. They ask her to call her daughter, and she gives the phone to Liam instead. He asks what name he should look under, and she says Quinn. AKA, the teenage werewolf who got shot by a deputy.

Theo and Mason are having a nice talk about Theo’s chances of being in Scott’s pack when Theo shifts and they are attacked.

Scott and Liam basically tell the biology teacher they are about to kill her daughter and then are surprised when she knocks them over the head. The teacher, in turn, is surprised when the daughter she’s been warned about being turned into a monster has, in fact, been turned into a monster.

Lydia and Malia decide to risk the hellhound’s life because Malia reasons that his past actions show this is what he would have wanted. They manage to bring him back to life briefly, but he does have silver poisoning. Also, it seems it is not what he would have wanted after all.

Mason is injured after Aaron attacked. Theo tries to take his pain, but he doesn’t care enough for it to work, so he fights Aaron instead. Mason tries to stop him, telling him that is what Aaron wants. Apparently his wounds appear on the Akun-Ite’s other half, too, making it an easy identifier. Or maybe it was about feeling the pain? It’s never truly explained.

Scott sends Liam to fight one half of the Anuk-Ite alone as he stays with Quinn’s mother. I just…no, I won’t even comment on that. He tries to convince the teacher to shift and trigger her healing. She does, at length, showing she is an alpha. One question: how?

The dying hellhound wastes a lot of time telling us what we already know, that combined two halves of the Anuk-Ite are dangerous. He does not tell the girls what they asked, namely how he trapped the demon when he did, a hundred years ago. He does tell them that it can kill with a look when both halves are connected, though, so we know they will in fact connect.

That is demonstrated in the very next scene, where they do. Liam’s attempt to stop it is entirely ineffective. Malia is just in time to save him from the death glare. The hunters who came to school don’t have a Malia, though, and are turned into stone. Then the pack muses about how it needs to learn to fight blind from Deucalion, Malia has Sex with Scott and Gerard makes a deal with the Anuk-Ite to kill Scott, because of course he does. That’s when the first aired episode ends.

The next one starts with Chris interrogating a guy in Brasil. There was a mass murder of werewolves and Derek apparently started to investigate by beating people up and asking them questions. He found that Gerard wants him, and doesn’t care about the others. There’s a message saying “Beacon Hills” on the wall of the crime scene. We also see Derek drive a nice sports car, which is frankly something I missed on this show.

After the opening credits, we see Tamora giving an educational lecture to her young hunters about werewolves, demonstrating on Ethan, still tortured by electricity as she sticks an arrow into him. She then offers her teenage army weapons. Ethan is carried away, desperate for Jackson, which bleeds over into Lydia’s vision.

Nolan contacts Liam and promises to give him information. He takes him to the hospital, where he shows him that ordinary people are involved with Tamora’s movement and also that three people have been brought to the hospital last night and hooked up on wolfsbane.

The Sheriff declares he will stand by his friends. He meets with Parrish, who tells him Tamora is pulling police reports to find out who is supernatural. He then goes to answer a call to all units, even though Tamora and company know he is supernatural, because reasons.

Lydia can¨t reach Scott on the phone, so she goes to his house, where she meets Peter looking for Malia. They realize communication is being cut off by Gerard, who has apparently truly gained omnipotence now.

Chris manages to find Derek. Derek has poison Gerard needs to kill Scott, who has apparently leveled up with Gerard and can only be killed by a unique artifact now, but just as he is about to destroy it, Kate appears and takes it from him.

Malia and Scott have an entirely pointless conversation with Deucalion about him teaching them how to fight blind. We get a training montage.

Lydia admits to Peter that she saw him turned to stone in a vision, and many others alongside him. She describes the place and Peter realizes he knows where it is.

Kate takes the poison and tells them its purpose is to kill Scott. Derek heads towards Beacon Hill to warn Scott, leaving Chris behind for reasons.

Lydia and Peter arrive at Deucalion’s training location to warn them that Tamora is coming with heavy firepower, because this is apparently news. Just then, Tamora herself conveniently arrives and one of her lackeys shoots Deucalion before the proper heavy fire starts. The episode closes with Tamora firing a shot.

Review

I am seriously so tired of this season by now; I could not be more grateful there is only one episode left. The writing in these two episodes was exceptionally bad even by this season’s standards. So much overwrought dialogue and pointless posturing that is out of character or just simply unnecessary. Nothing is established properly any more, nothing makes sense, no repercussions of any kind are felt, no internal logic is followed. I would enumerate all of the cases where this is true, but it would take up too much space.

That said, here are some especially glaring examples:

One half of Anuk-Ite took down Liam with one punch, and yet we are supposed to believe that its two halves together are no match for Scott in a direct fight? Scott, whom we saw getting beaten by Liam before, not to mention lots of other relatively low-level villains. I’m getting some mixed signals here. Is Scott super powerful, or is he mostly a regular werewolf?

The problem, of course, is that a demonic monster of the sort Anuk-Ite was built up to be doesn’t make deals. It doesn’t make sense, narrative wise, why it should even talk to Gerard at all. But the show -runners wanted a cool monster, and they wanted Gérard back for the final season, and didn’t think much about how those two things would together.

They don’t.

Kate—another villain they wanted to bring back—randomly appearing to torture Derek (who was apparently only brought back for that purpose) is also ineffective. If she had to come back, could we at least finally give some proper gravitas to her rape of Derek all those years ago? No? Joking about it again? All right then.

Well, no, not all right, but it’s not like I expect any better at this point.

Speaking of things that did not work, Tamora, despite her best efforts, absolutely failed to get people into the proper state of mind for genocide. It’s strange, because she is a great actress. Part of it was the absolutely abysmal acting of the extras in the scene, but even disregarding that, her speech was simply not rousing. The show made the comparison to Kristallnacht (and let me reiterate how tasteful it is to put a woman of color at the head of a movement you explicitly associate with the Nazis), so perhaps they should have taken a look at Hitler’s speeches. The way it was shot, Tamora would not have them worked up to anything beyond mild enthusiasm.

Out of the many logical fallacies of this episode, let me mention only Scott and Malia training with Deucalion. At the very least Liam, one of the pack’s front-line fighters, should have been there. But no. He had other things to do, specifically a very contrived trip to the hospital.

Then the ante is supposed to be upped by Deucalion’s death, but it just makes me tired. Deucalion is the most powerful Alpha that ever lived, so of course he will just be taken down by a random lackey and his automatic rifle. Neither Gerard nor Scott, two apparently omnipotent creatures now, couldn’t kill him, but a random lackey does it just fine. A pity Gerard didn’t know this sooner.

I could go on and on. I’m trying to think of a scene I actually enjoyed and felt it made sense. Lydia’s conversation with Peter, perhaps? Their meeting was also weirdly contrived, just like most of this episode, but I enjoyed having two smart people on the talking to each other onscreen.

The rest was a disaster, though, and I really, really hope the last episode improves the balance at least a little.


All images courtesy of MTV.

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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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