This tour included enough season 3 clips to get me all hot and bothered, so today I finally got the season 3 DVD out of the library, and I watched 3 episodes straight through but now I feel like I gotta talk out my history with it before I turn myself loose on the Waige tour, so here goes nothing.
Even though I didn't swing into fandom until January, in fall 2016 I didn't have a 9pm Monday show, and thus I sometimes left the TV on to keep me company after the comforting Monday night sitcoms. It meant nothing to me, but nevertheless, I might have seen episode 4, and I know I saw episodes 6, 7, and 9; I also know that I was super intrigued by the clips I saw of "Ice Ca-Cabes" after I saw "White Out," but it had aired the week prior to my stumbling into fandom and I didn't feel like I would be well served by trying to watch it online when I could, you know, drown myself getting oriented in the ocean of Quintis canon instead, so I knew that treat was waiting for me. (we will talk about it more later; suffice to say WORTH THE WAIT)
My main takeaway from these episodes was a deep and abiding hatred of Paige's mother, and also how boring election-themed episodes are, but on the bright side, how delighted I was to have Reiko Aylesworth aboard as love interest Allie. (I kept waiting and waiting for her to disappear, because she seemed like too big a name for more than a temporary recurring guest star and surely doomed to an abbreviated arc, but they have paced her appearances out so nicely that as of the end of season 4 she's still here and I am daring to hope.)
As you know, I watched the rest of season 3 faithfully starting from 3x13. Toby and Happy are on absolute fire -- I remain sort of uncomfortable with the placement of the EXTRA bickery therapy episode coming so close on the heels of the amazing one where Happy shatters everyone's heart into tiny glass shards by unintentionally revealing how deeply rooted her fear of being rejected/abandoned still is, especially by Toby, but overall I was extremely pleased by how their arc played out. And yes, I got increasingly fond of their mutually pervy interest in costumes to be "saved for the honeymoon." The only good running joke this show has.
I should mention: when I was doing my shipper tour via YouTube last year, I was absolutely thrilled by the (faux) pregnancy storyline and the way the (sham) husband arc was handled (mostly because Toby leaping on Walter and attempting to kill him was very satisfying, but, you know). Every scene a golden one. Also, the Home-Alone themed Christmas episode looked cracky fun as all get out and Happy makes a darling elf, but more on that later.
The episode where her father goes to prison raked my heart over hot coals and I loved every second of it, but none so much as the ending scene with Cabe and her going from lightning fury to crying in his arms in a hot second. Even at the zenith of my shipper spiral, I knew Cabe was the better choice over Toby there, and this choice has only gotten better over time. I still don't even know how to describe the noise she makes when she realizes her father is turning himself in. It just rips your heart right out of your chest.
The follow-up episode being all about Happy's new engineering friend? Who turns out to be the sweetest, cleverest teenage girl one could ask for? What is air I loved that so so so much.
3x19: is the one with the annoying therapist, but it also has the cutest lil' Capuchin monkey anyone could ask for, SO.
As far as 3x23, I will always a) hate when a season of wedding planning is wasted because hiring guest casts of important family members is a continuity-fairy nightmare and fiscally irresponsible to boot and b) wish Toby could have shown Happy off to friends and family, since that was the entire point of them delaying their nuptials by 6 months and wasting a bunch of money, but as far as what we actually saw as viewers? Beautiful. Perfect. Stunning. Amazing. Flawless.
That is actually the first time I've looked at a wedding setup on TV and thought, "I would like this." Happy's dress? Gorgeous, and I don't even know how something so plain and modest looks so stunning and elegant, but between the glittering brooch and her loose hair it definitely did. And Toby's white tux? Pulling. It. Off. I've literally never seen a collectively nicer-dressed bride and groom. And between the actual ceremony and the kissing and the cute dancing at the reception afterwards it was everything I have ever wanted from my TV weddings.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.
My jaw is still hanging open at how, despite having an absolutely perfect season finale, when they got bonus episodes added to their order, they went full out and crafted a SECOND perfect, 2-part season finale that I'm pretty sure is still a fever dream because CRASHING ON A DESERTED ISLAND = EVERYONE'S DREAM AU. Or my dream AU scenario for all my fandoms, I forget which. But I got it. I got it and it was amazing and I wasn't even mad that my OTP was bickering the whole time, because at least they didn't split up.
I repeat: PLANE CRASH DESERT ISLAND AU. TWO ENTIRE EPISODES OF IT. With injuries to be fixed, team members in jeopardy, shipper moments from time to time, and even just basic survival stuff because when you have two hours to fill, you have time for the mundane. AND a happy, non-cliffhanger ending where all the couples got to go home happy and for a whole summer we even got to believe that Toby and Happy finally got a real honeymoon. Who could ask for anything more?? Not this gal.
As for the Walter/Paige throughline of this season: I spent most of it hardcore ignoring them any time they got focus, mostly because Toby/Happy was getting enough in every episode to keep me sufficiently doped up in a ship haze that I had no need to bitch about the peasants getting some scraps or the occasional entree.
I watched Walt fire her and had zero emotions about it ("oh no. what will happen now. I am so shocked at this unexpected turn of events."). I watched them get together and went, "Eh, fine, i guess it's about time you had your fun." (Did I feel awkward about them (almost) getting it on for the first time in a storage closet? That I did. Seemed like an oddly casual physical resolution to what seemed like a pretty intense emotional affair, at least on his end. Did I also think it was weird that they spoiled "buckle up, nerd," in the promo when that turned out to be the final sentence? Also yes. But none of it actually affected me, is the point. Except to laugh until I cried at the "hey everybody, gather round! guess who's finally DOING IT!" reactions from the team while Walter generally flailed about and ineffectually screeched at them to get out/close the door)
I also remember that "Sharknerdo" was one I just stopped watching at some point because it was a) so D-grade horror movie stupid where the shark was concerned and b) Walter-heavy that I gave up and stuck to Quintis Qlips that week, so I'm really looking forward to exploring that in more detail. I also kind of recall "Broken Wind" feeling like it had some potential in putting both women in danger at once, even when I only cared about the male reaction to one of them.
(and as an aside: I also really liked the fight between the women, caused mainly by Paige pushing too hard and then getting her feelings hurt by making assumptions about being judged inferior. and their eventual resolution. They may be too different to ever be very close friends, but when they get a rare chance to talk and connect, it makes my heart sing.)
Finally: I had less than zero patience for the Alderman storyline or whatever it's called. Sylvester + politics = literally the two worst and most boring things in the entire universe. Also, in retrospect, thank god they finally came to their senses and blasted Tim out of there. The Middle East is almost as good as space re: where to send him that is far enough.
And all this, all of these amazing things, were happening concurrently with Densi continuing to be incredible and pull focus on NCIS: LA, and while Criminal Minds was having a frickin' field day emotionally torturing Reid front and center for weeks on end, and...is it clear yet why weekly reviews of everything just stalled out??
But now. Now we are going to open up our shiny DVD package (hallelujah that the requests on it have already died out) and uncover even more good things that we either missed or dismissed. Stay tuned.