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And we're back.


Today I spent an extremely unproductive day descending into the heartbreak known as The Ballad Of Lindsay Gardner. I did not know this song before today, not fully anyway. My only pre-2017 recollections of Lindsay were "that weird quasi-incestuous relationship" and that in spite of it, I must have liked her face enough that I later suffered a hideous made-for-TV shark movie for her. (Actual title: Spring Break Shark Attack. Yeah.)

I had inklings of how much I was going to like her this time around after last week's mini introduction in episodes 3, 7 and 8, but ohhhhh, boy, now I have seen that arc through to its end, and I really need that Drunk Donna Pinciotti "Hello Mommy? I'M SAD" gif to express myself.

But in lieu of that, I have words. All the words.

  • That thing I said about how I can't decide whether I like Ryan/Marissa or Ryan/Theresa best? There is a new contender.

  • I bypassed most of The SnO.C. because I'm still screening out Marissa, but I saw the end and HOLY HELL. Is this really Ryan? Just...standing there...telling a girl exactly how he feels and what he wants?

  • I don't even know how to rate the level of satisfaction I have about Ryan's reaction to her getting drunk, which is to heap seething blame on Marissa and retroactively attack her for last year too. He's not entirely right and he does a lot of stuff wrong, but he is also kinda not wrong. (damn it. I promised I would not succumb to my former Marissa-hating ways)

  • I also love that zero percent of his anger is directed at Lindsay herself. He has even more indulgence for her drunk ass than he does for Seth. Although, to be fair, much like Seth, she is a way cuter drunk than Hot Mess Marissa, who is all anger and trainwreck when she hits the sauce.

  • OOH OOH OOH I forgot that Lindsay played the oboe! That was one of my favorite things about her. I always wanted to play the oboe. I mean, after I turned out to be not great on flute and I was years too late to change instruments. (Which is not to say I didn't still try.)

  • I cannot handle the cuddling in her last episode. It is Too Much. How very dare Ryan be able to switch from scandalous dirty-flirty innuendo to smitten cheek-stroking in two seconds flat.

  • For entirely different reasons, I also cannot handle their breakup. Because I don't hate it. How the hell am I sitting here being okay with a breakup that happens for Wise and Mature Reasons Beyond Their Control?

  • I feel like it has something to do with the fact that they didn't feel the need to bang to say goodbye just because they hadn't yet.

  • Oh my god, that's totally it! She got the perfect solution to an impossible ending that I am always advocating for but basically never get to see in my YA novels.

  • [Update y'all: ...on second thought I might be starting to wish they had. Because I am pretty sure I have never in my life found two people to have chemistry this scorching who were also able to be that sweet in the cuddling department.]

  • I would also like it on the record, for self-shaming purposes, that I literally couldn't come up with enough words to accurately describe Ryan's expression in their last scene, and was reduced to the following: Ryan's baby blues are so. Sad. HELP. They are the saddest thing I have ever seen. You can actually watch him get sadder by the second. He's basically sinking into QuickSad.

  • ANYWAY, MOVING ON. I can't believe Ryan coped with her leaving by taking to bed. Like full on moping and feeling sorry for himself and refusing to come out from under the covers. That is a canonical fact that happened.

  • And somehow that's not even the best part? I never thought I'd ever hear him raise his voice to Seth; that was glorious. (fact: Seth deserves smackdowns so much more frequently than he gets them)

  • And that is still not the best part because somehow Ryan is just, like, sitting there talking about his feelings and abandonment issues and I need someone to tell me which glorious writer got away with this. [edit: holy s***, it was Ryan Murphy's douchey prototype himself, Josh Schwartz. That's like canon from God, then.]

Finally, having entirely forgotten who Rebecca was, I've been skirting the Kandy scenes, but I finally let myself remember why she is spoken of as a problem bitch. It's honestly not quite as bad as I thought, and even less so since this is like the only time Sandy is not perfect in the whole series. I'm sure I wasn't able to stomach it before, but this time I was able to immediately turn around and rationalize it as "so basically, you're saying this is like if Marissa had gone on the lam instead of dying, and then Ryan married Lindsay and had two awesome kids and then 20+ years later Marissa showed up again needing help?" and oh. okay. I get it now.

In fact I might even secretly love that extramarital kiss by virtue of the fact that there are no equivalent words to accurately express that sense of regret and old loss, it has to be shown. One kiss, provided you feel appropriately bad about it afterwards, I will allow.

Because all this heartache is WORTH IT for the spectacularly romantic return scene in The Rainy Day Women. For this one episode, we can pretend that sweepingly romantic kiss in the rain is the happy ending and there's not gonna still be an entire season of fallout linking back to it afterward. "I promise you, it never started." (LIES. Pure lies. But sometimes lies are not lies, they're love. /Private Practice ref.)

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