Pretty Little Liars: God Help the Sister

Well, that happened.pll prom

I can’t totally say I was all that satisfied with this mid-season finale. And not due to the big reveals (we’ll get to my feelings on that in a second), but instead I just didn’t find this to be a super compelling episode to watch. I’m glad to finally have answers to all the questions we’ve been asking for the past five years, but the episode was such an info dump – starting with the Charles reveal at the 10 minute mark and lasting the whole way through until the second to last commercial break – that I felt the action was pretty stagnate. I feel the episode would have done a lot better had it been paired with last week’s much more action packed episode into a two-hour finale event. As it was, I felt a lot like Judy Geller at the end of that Season Six Friends Thanksgiving episode. You know when Monica tells her Ross got high at college, and Ross tells her Monica’s living with Chandler, and Rachel figures out she wasn’t supposed to put beef in the trifle, and Phoebe loves Jacque Cousteau, and Joey just wants to GO! Well, this was a lot of information to get in 30 seconds.

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Teen Wolf: That Boy is a Monster

The first ten minutes of last week’s episode were harrowing. No joke. scott wolf shadowFirst with Stiles being attacked by a supernaturally enhanced Donovan, fighting tooth and nail for his life, and then, after inadvertently causing Donovan’s death due to self defense, with his control spiraling as he could do little more than breathe through a 911 call and then wait in his jeep for the police to arrive, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking, and I felt like I could feel every once of terror that boy was radiating. Dylan O’Brien deserves all the praise he’s getting for that performance, because he didn’t speak a word during that entire opening and was still able to convey so much: so much fear and anxiety and loss and guilt.

As of yet, no one else knows what happened. Stiles was alone and, though the police responded to his 911 call and checked out the crime scene, someone else (well, Parrish) had already come by to claim the body and Stiles kept himself out of sight. For now, he’s only got himself to deal with, only his own feelings to parse and dissect. But I can’t imagine he’ll be able to keep this secret to himself for long. We’ve been told all through the hiatus and all through this first half of the season that we’re gearing up for a major rift between Stiles and best friend Scott. And though part of it will surely come from Stiles’ obsessive suspicion against newcomer Theo, I have a feeling that Scott’s black and white morality issues are going to play a major part as well.

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OITNB: Mama Who Bore Me

My first thought when I think about shows that predominantly oitnb-mothers-day-feature-still-27tell stories about women is that they generally fall pretty close together. They’re shows about friends living close together and experiencing the joys of life together. They’re mostly frothy and fun. Shows like Sex and the CityGirls, Gilmore Girls, The Golden Girls (a lot of titles with the world “girls” in them!). It’s not that they can’t showcase heartache and rage and fear, but there’s an element of privilege, of security to them.

Orange is the New Black, on the other hand, is different. It is still a show mostly about women, but it’s much deeper than just gal pals drinking wine together. The diverse array of women and stories that it’s telling – black women, white women, latina women, gay women, straight women, poor women, well educated women, young women, trans women, violent women, women who made mistakes, women who were careless, women who hurt others, women who hurt themselves, women with something to prove, women who don’t know who they are, women who fucked up, and women who never had a chance – are incredibly rich and real.

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Pretty Little Liars: Put on Your Doll Faces

Whew! Well, that’s certainly one way to start off a season. Pretty Little Liars has certainly had its share of hair-rising, adrenaline filled episodes, but last night’s Season Six premier was especially harrowing. The liars (plus Mona), having spent the Season Five finale trapped in A’s living dollhouse before making one giant desperate bid for freedom, find themselves to be just as trapped as ever. Instead of open woods to lose themselves in, the girls are enclosed by an electric fence, still fully in the clutches of A (now known as Charles). Angered by their disobedience, Charles leaves them outside overnight and throughout the whole of the next day – to the point where the girls are so thirsty they start talking about the merits of drinking their own urine. Thankfully before that nastiness can take place, Charles forgives their transgressions enough to allow them back inside where they may be at his mercy, but at least they’ll be fed and sheltered from the cold. It’s a tough decision, but it seems to be the lesser of two evils.

Except, maybe it’s not.

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Community Rewatch: Gimme Zombies After Midnight

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I communityzombies1am a chronological girl. I have a very hard time with stories with weird timelines and I can’t do anything out of order. So if I want to reread the third Harry Potter or I’m going to dive back into Grey’s Anatomy after quitting in Season 7, I have to start at the beginning. I tell anybody I recommend Parks and Recreation to that they have to just get through Season One before they get to an excellent show, and I still make myself sit through it whenever I go to rewatch the show myself. And I will never be someone who watches Dr. Who since it’s virtually impossible to watch it all from the beginning.

But there are a few exceptions to this rule. I think there are a handful of shows, each with one magical episode that I will watch on its own at any time. How I Met Your Mother‘s “Slap Bet” is one of them. “The One With the Embryos” from Friends is another. “American Duos” from Psych. That one episode on Bones where Max is on trial. Glee‘s “Blame it on the Alcohol.” And from Community, it’s “Epidemiology.”

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The Flash: Going Rogue

When we’re getting down this close to the wire, it’s a real bummer when an hour of tv just flash, arrow, firestormdoesn’t seem to work. And this was one of them. Coming off of Grodd last week, not to mention the high stakes of Arrow’s penultimate episode last week, Rogue Air ended up being a bit of a let down. The second to last episode should really feed into the stakes of the finale. There should be some buildup of expectations and anticipation. Instead, I found this episode severely lacking in buildup, and in fact mostly out of place in the story we’ve been telling and the climax we’ve been working towards.

It certainly wasn’t all bad. There were moments that were great. Certain things got addressed that I have been wanting addressed for most of the season, so that’s good. But I just didn’t get a good set up for the finale. But let’s break it down.

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The Flash: Secret’s Out!

She knows!

Crazy For YouAnd thank God, guys. Seriously, after the reveal last week was less a reveal and more of a guess, I was really concerned we were going to spend a portion of the episode with Iris trying to trap Barry into revealing himself and Barry spending the whole time skirting the issue and lying even more. Instead, we only got one little scene of that madness before Iris pulled on her ‘I mean business’ pants and confronted him head on – at Star Labs, still wearing his suit and everything – with no means to escape or evade her.

It’s funny, a few weeks ago when I was discussing why keeping Iris in the dark was ridiculous, I was pretty on board with her taking a page out of Captain Lance’s book and getting super pissed. She deserves to be super pissed. Her father, her boyfriend, her best friend – everyone who is important to her is not only lying to her, but more importantly infantilizing her. Iris West is a grown woman who gets to make her own decisions and take care of herself. She doesn’t need three different men to coddle her and sugar coat life for her. But even though I was spitting fire on her behalf, I actually like the way things played out even more.

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