The TL;DR takeaway here is: Sam can go DIAF with Abigail, Interrupting Dariela is the worst and the writers need to stop using her to squee-block me, Mitch/Jamie is my everything and I need Jackson to come back into the fold with them, and how the hell did I come up with so many words for an episode that was mostly plot advancement and only had like five standout scenes.
1. Looks like at least part of my headcanon last week about Mitch letting Jamie out can't be jossed! I'm so glad we got this scene in a sneak peek, because I replayed Jackson's indignation and Mitch's cheerfully dismissive response to it about 80 times.
2. Would it be irresponsible of me to assume that they spent last night together? Because part of me is still wondering if they've even touched in the wake of everything, but I would really like to believe they drowned their sorrows in each other, not least because I don't know how else to reconcile the easy banter of the next number.
3. I love the glee Mitch takes in pestering Jamie about her apparent fear of babies, all geared up to tease her mercilessly -- this must be the most fun he's had in days -- and how fast the truth wipes the smug smirk off his face. It's beautiful and terrible and I hope it socked him right in the gut to see the extent of the damage his words did. If he didn't introduce the thought into her head in the first place, it sure cemented whatever doubts she already had.
3.5. And kudos to Kristen Connolly for being able to sell those lines with a straight face, because on paper it looks hella dramatic to be like "I'm so awful that I will physically curse a baby if I touch it"
4. I am little embarrassed that my headcanon gets shot down when Mitch not only doesn't take back the darkness line, he doubles down to include
himself in it -- but I also really, really like him admitting he would have killed Abigail if she asked (bt-dubs "I've been thinking" is a fic prompt and I would love a little character study of Mitch coming to this realization).
Maybe because it's this amazing mirror of Revolution, where instead of being a story about battling past demons and trying to be a better person, he is going the exact opposite direction. Or maybe it's just because I really dig good guys doing bad things for justice (this is specific to men, because I have double standards based on attractiveness). Either way? Down for Dark!Mitch, even though I need the antidote of him and Jamie just getting the hell away and healing from all this to be immediately at hand.
5. "She kept me away from everything and everyone I ever cared about. Everyone I love." Said with bold and unflinching eye contact and I am 6% frustrated that this is about the third time he's confessed his feelings and Jamie is still batting a hundred on blank reactions to them, but 94% choking on my own tongue with excitement that the L word is out there to more than just some thugs in a bar. Sometimes there are more exciting ways to hear it than the standard 3-word way. (not that I would turn that down. Just saying, Revolution is a good example here.)
6. Now I just need to know who is responsible for Interrupting Dariela on TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS instead of extending either "darkness" convo scene literally ten or twelve more seconds for some kind of proper resolution before a scene change. He was about to reach for her hand in the first one, I know he was, I can identify a handhold situation from forty paces with the sun in my eyes. Why couldn't you have just given us even that prior to the interruption.
(Also. It takes a magnifying glass and freeze framing, but I'm pretty sure in the split second before they get interrupted the second time, it looks like their hands were or about to be in contact and are drawing apart as the shot goes wide?)
A Series Of Live Viewing Reactions To Clem's Baby Daddy
1. Awwww @ Sam hoping (in vain) that Mitch will accept him as a real member of the family.
2. WHAT THE SHIT, SAM. I TRIED TO BE NICE TO YOU.
3. All right, abort that whole plan from last week about letting him be HOH, Sam can fuck off and die and I hope Mitch takes such full ownership of the baby* that he takes to introducing him to people as "my kid, once removed." I'm not Jackson and I don't care who was raised by a madwoman. If Abe's voice + everyone's love for Clementine didn't convince you you're on the wrong team, you are beyond help.
*I don't think I can fully convey to you the amount I love Mike Baxter's relationship with Boyd on Last Man Standing, mostly because I'm not sure how many people know this show exists.
4. ...ABIGAIL R U SERIOUS. (Guys, I'm sorry if I previously claimed to be off the sympathy-for-the-devil train; those were lies but I am sure as hell off it now with her baby-snatching reveal and subsequent taunting. That's not even emotional torture porn, that is just cruelty for cruelty's sake.)
5. Welp, I think you know what this means, Mitch and Jackson bonding over shooting straight from raising a baby to parenting a 20-year-old Y/Y??
6. But honestly, I am so upset at not even considering this theory before today. He's the right age! He's a conveniently random orphan! This show is all, "People love twists!" The biggest kicker of all is that I've assumed from the get-go that Jackson's late wife was black (which I hope is not racist to assume?), and Sam is right there looking plausibly biracial as heck, and somehow not once did those two threads of thought ever cross.
Come On Guys, Be Bros
When I made this tongue-in-cheek request last year re: Mitch and Jackson, I did not in my wildest dreams expect them to one day share a grandchild, so while I honestly don't care how Jackson's being-a-daddy issues will play out, I care VERY MUCH what it means that he and Mitch are now on the same family tree, starting with how he now has an ironclad excuse to bond with Clementine and never be out of her life again. (I guess he can bond with his actual kid too. if he must.)
But the point is, even before the revelation, that short little conversation on the upper deck was a balm upon my soul. Listening to them talk about their respective families is like catnip to my ears. And I don't know how I'm supposed to read Mitch's expression after Jackson walks off in his "you worry about your family, let me worry about mine" huff, so I've elected to interpret it as "You're my family too, dumbass."
(hush and let me have my dream)
(Also I would kind of like to know why Jackson is still as willing to talk rationally with Mitch as he is given that Mitch is on Team Jamie, or as Jackson prefers to call it, She Devil Incarnate. I mean, it boils down to Jackson being a sexist jerk, but I still want to have All The Thinky Thoughts about how Mitch functions as a go between.)
Beta Ship 2.0
MY SHIP RADAR IS BACK ON AND FULLY FUNCTIONING. I don't want to scare it away by being too excited about it. Just know that my heart burst into bloom when they got their reunion hug*, crescendoed for the kiss, and by the time they were fawning over the baby together it was pretty well at a tea kettle pitch.
*Abe and Dariela take over as the center of the frame immediately, but am I looking at it or listening to them at all? No. I'm trying to shove them out of the way and peering at the edge of the screen where my new faves are nearly out of the frame, persistently tracking Jackson's hands on her as they examine her cut and hold her against him again and asdlkasjdfasd time to go dig up the 3x01 Time Capsule O' Sweetness.
Various and Sundry
I enjoyed the writers finally acknowledging how awfully prone to hacking / general failure this plane is.
This was going to be its own category, but it's late, so suffice to say that Mitch + Not Being A Mess Of Emotions About His Dead Father was very nicely dovetailed with concern for Clem and a cute debate about baby names, and I'm just happy they addressed it all, if still annoyed that the impact of Max's death on Jamie was not.
Jackson takes up Mitch's vacated seat next to Clementine when the plane starts falling and has his hand bracing the baby's head and yes hello I am dying.
Clem is so excited to offer her baby to Jamie for holding, even eager to reassure her "you won't hurt him," and yes hello I am dying again.
"I know I'm right. Want to be more specific?" = thank u for this small slice of "sass that totally happens in the Normal World AU of Domesticity"
I told you before I had 18 heart attacks watching this episode live, so I don't think it's overkill to mention dying again about the part where Jamie has the baby foisted upon her before she can protest, and Baby immediately stops crying*... Wait, no, this is the opposite of dying. This moment has restored me to full life.
*nice insufficient reaction to noticing her finally holding the baby, Mitch. Who is directing this episode, because they are Bad at it.
I literally could not be more neutral about Logan's face or potential longevity. I am a 0 on the PH scale of feelings.
Everything about Jackson's final face off with Abigail and her stupid endless villain gloating was the wooorst.
"I don't need you to tell me what needs to be done [about Abigail]." OK Jackson, but like...you kinda do.
I am a little concerned that reaching the barrier is supposed to qualify as our traditional episode 12 "get off now if you want this series to have a happy ending" exit, both because it's not that satisfying and because there is way too much left unresolved. I can only hope this means that we'll get it near the end of the real finale, with only a tiny twist at the end to set up a hypothetical season 4 that can be easily pinched off and forgotten if need be.
Next Up: I'm not sure if I can watch the finale live. I have to have all my work done by 10 AM for Payroll Friday, and then I'm taking off to go dog-sit all day, and if I watch it live I am gonna be useless from the time it starts airing until I drop from emotional exhaustion around 3 AM. If I can get 2 days worth of work done by 9 PM, I probably will, but I also kind of want to savor it in case this is the last new one I ever get.