Sleepy Hollow, 2x05, "The Weeping Lady"
In which my very favorite ship trope happens: Ichabod/ALL THE LADIES.
Right up until the very end, which I will talk about later, this was my face for basically the whole episode:
If there is one thing I like more than attractive dudes rescuing children or petting animals, it is attractive dudes having emotional connections with a whole line of pretty ladies. If he has reason to look distressed about their well being, so much the better! Now, granted, Ichabod mostly sat around wringing his hands in despair while the women got **** done, but that's okay; that amused me. MEANWHILE:
Option 1, Miss Caroline: Everyone's Favorite One-Off Love Interest showed up as Crane's besotted new tailor pal, and I am beside myself with glee at this beautiful friendship. I enjoyed the misguided flirtation, but mostly I loved his super-extra-noble insistence upon rectifying her discomfort. BEST DUDE. For the record, I would allow the Crane's marriage to break up if we replaced Katrina with this gal, but on a more serious note I was looking forward to this new partnership. So because I don't follow spoilers at all, I was SHOCKED and LOUDLY OUTRAGED when she turned up dead by the second act. I mean, true, his anguished reaction went a long way toward soothing that particular itch in my hurt/comfort arsenal without drastic consequences, but I remain peevish.
Option 2: In which Abbie nearly drowns (more on this later), and someone fails hardcore at editing because they inexplicably cut the hug out, but at least there is this glorious BTS still footage!
Abbie is not a viable love interest to me, but she is an excellent cuddle buddy, and their friendship status allows me to get my fix of solid squeezing when Katrina is less than corporeal. Also am such a sucker for the use of her first name in that particular tone of distress.
Option 3, Mary Wells: I was super-duper excited when I saw this gorgeous Emmy Rossum/Leighton Meester hybrid would be playing ~a woman from his past~. A little part of me wishes he had married this darling flibbertigibbet, because they would have had such pretty children. (Besides, dude, in your time you could do a lot worse in a marriage than merely having platonic sibling feelings for your wife.) Okay, she's a bit shallow and jealous and has some slightly problematic ideas about renouncing the grand country and slinking back to London, but work with me! She's so pretty and you've known each other since childhood. What more does a marriage really need? I know you, Ichabod! You're too kind, too noble. You would never shame your families, amiright?
Also, I enjoyed the early flashbacks half for her gorgeous dress, and half for the fact that Ichabod apparently feels the need to impress Katrina with his flowing loose locks and copiously displayed V-strip of bare chest. NO COMPLAINTS.
Option 4: But of course, after teasing me with all the little bonus options, there was nothing like the glorious comfort of a Desperate Reunion Hug between husband and wife. Ahhh, feelings, locked into place.
Lousy Tumblr, making me do my own work.
(Also, rats, I missed the shot of his hand cupping the back of her head. NO DO OVERS.)
Now we can start digging into the other layers of options 3 & 4: So plotwise, the weeping widow was amazing. Wildly scary in both ghost form and in extra-wretched wraith form at the end -- the level I demand from horror movies and more ghostly scares than I normally get on this show, which if you were wondering, ghosts > demons. That face would stalk my nightmares. And while I am terrified of drowning in real life, but it looks kind of cool on TV, as gruesome near-murders go. Just the underwater camera, I mean. Just hearing the legend of the weeping woman was fantastic, but seeing him realize who she was was even better.
(Side note: I love when Abbie and Katrina team up, and this is one of my favorite lines ever: "We're all out of witches. How 'bout a Witness?")
Option 3: "She could still be dangerous." / "Not to me." So what you're saying is I get him gently cradling an essentially dying woman in his arms and speaking in soothing tones. Yes thank you I like that.
Option 4: Tumblr tags are kind of an ugly place after this episode, with despair in one camp and rude boasting in the other, and I am in neither because what I saw in the woods was not a ruinous thing, it was a fight. The meaty kind of conflict that drives a good story along, bruises characters without breaking them and gives them something to overcome. Given exactly what I got in this episode, I actually thrilled to see his face go dark and hers look cornered as he cuts off all talky escape routes (I appreciated that for once he shut down her "now is not the time" deflection and demanded straight answers).
Now, there is a subcamp out there that's just pissed at Katrina for being a Terrible Awful Gross Human Being for letting Mary's family suffer, and that thought did not occur to me while watching it because I am not a spoilsport who tries to critically analyze things. Even so, while I will allow that was not great -- although actually, how do we know she didn't tell the London family the truth and just magic away any letters coming back from them? -- it was also not like demon levels of evil.
I'm not even going to say it was wrong to spare Ichabod's feelings over sparing those of Mary's whole family (I might be a Slytherin, or just a dotty romantic). Especially not if that was just a helpful bonus to any necessity of keeping him there as a Witness. Despite Tumblr's convincing attempts to make me think she was just using him to fulfill a destiny and never actually loved him, I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive.
In a perfect world, this would all be building to an epic overcoming of whatever dark forces Molloch's side has for he and a lesson on the unbreakable bond between husband and wife.
Ending: As for Morose Barfly Crane, well, he can just take his ~marriage is hard~ speech and beat himself about the head with it while I replay the entire series to date. With note that if I ever feel this ship is shot down for good, I will flounce just as surely as I did in the season premiere.
BONUS SHIP(S): While Ichabod is flailing incompetently at Abbie's still form, and I send up a prayer upon realizing how much my brain cannot handle mouth to mouth from him right now, my prayers are answered as the glorious up-and-coming palomino colt comes to the rescue to do it. Now that was a beautiful sight to behold. Also, just throwing it out there, if he and Jenny have casual NSA hookups every time one of them's in town, I am 100% on board with that too.
Bonus Plotty-Type Things
-There was basically no Irving, Jenny or Reyes in this episode, which I bet is part of why it felt so snappy and alive. Irving I can handle more of, but I don't miss him when he's gone. There was also none of Henry smugly taunting our main characters in direct conversation, a huge relief.
-Mr. Death is getting less awful. He's almost tolerable, until you remember that he's only nice after repeatedly abducting the woman and trying to force her to fall in love with him, which is some classic Domestic Abuse Pattern behavior that even I can recognize
-I really loved her using Magic to stop the axe and talk him into sparing her husband's life.
-How much did I love the crow messenger and the love note*? Not as much as I loved learning that the real crow kept pecking Mison's hand all to buggery and refusing to do the scene as scripted.
"His name was Shaft. Shaft, the crow. They just let the camera roll and for about 15 or 20 minutes — a long time — it was just me going up, holding my hand out, trying to get the crow to drop the bit of paper in my hand. Instead, he’d put it next to him, peck my hand, and pick it up again,” Mison recalls, laughing. One of the best moments, the crow wrangler — what a job description — was just out of sight, hiding behind a bookshelf. I heard him at one point go, ‘Goddamn it, Shaft, you’re being an idiot!’ which is my quote of the season. It’s my favorite.” (x)
*really Katrina they haven't heard from you in forever, after your insistence that you stay behind for spying purposes, and your only comment is an extra flowery 'I love you'? A+ good job @ spying
-Hawley is THE BEST. (I am singing this to the tune of the line in '(I Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum,' by the way) Every moment and line of dialgoue and spare look he has is overwhelmingly excellent. I even like his scruffy beard.
-If we can't kill Henry off, then I am at least happy to see him cowering like a beaten dog before the wrath of Hellboy. Especially against the cool Room of Skulls background.
-This episode was 98.5% perfect and I think it might be my favorite in the series? Well, no, there's probably something in season 1 that beat it, but I know without question that it's in my top 5. I literally do not understand the totally lukewarm reception and I don't want to.
On the complete opposite end of the happiness scale, I would like to finally take The Mindy Project out for its overdue verbal thrashing.
3x03, Crimes & Misdemeanors & Ex-Boyfriends: I actually watched this one last, which figures since it is the only decent episode this season. I got many giggles out of Vindictive Cliff as well as Hopeful Avenger Cliff. You know what I think Mindy should probably do? Get back together with Cliff. He is a real charming, upstanding dude who probably had a much less disturbing sex life than the one we've been seeing lately. I know I laughed, but once again, I can't remember why, other than the hilarity of him destroying Danny's prize stadium seat, because the haze of wrath from the next two still overpowers all.
(Also, I just remembered my extra sense of wrath about Danny's "oh yeah I'm still married" bombshell. Every single episode, they shotgun blast a new hole through his conservative moral high ground, and that is literally the only thing I like about him. Eventually there will not be enough to keep to keep him afloat.)
3x04: "I Slipped": Can that be my defense when I JAM THIS FORK INTO YOUR HAND??
I am beginning to strongly suspect that dating Mindy has made Danny The Worst. I don't know why that would be, but I've never before had the desire to kick him in the balls on such a constant basis. What a gross, awful storyline. Of course, because I'm contrary, I'm mostly mad because Danny "what's wrong with missionary" Castellano should have no desire to do that, it should be an abhorrent concept.
Yes, he should have asked, and his rationale that "I thought you'd done it before" is supernova levels of a terrible non-reason for assuming he doesn't need to, but I am also fine with Mindy Kaling's explanation that not giving explicit verbal consent to an act before it starts (assuming it stops if you say no) does not automatically mean your s.o. is a rapist and you have been violated and the expected response is trauma and/or a permanently severed lack of trust. Depending on the nature of your relationship, there can be an expectation of "trying stuff" and being rebuffed versus checking on every little thing. And there can absolutely be comedic value in reacting with mere "omgwtf is wrong with you YOU NITWIT" outrage versus contacting the Special Victims Unit.
That said, it was still a terrible and gross plot idea, and as much as I lol'd at Mindy's sedative trip (also the only time I laughed), drugging yourself to endure sex is a 5-alarm flag on the play even in my book.
3x05, The Unsolicited Lesbian Experience Project (I'm keeping my title): Rage trigger warning: mistaking someone as non-straight without verbal or visual confirmation of such. But even though the less time spent on that the better, I couldn't help noticing we apparently had time for infinity Dudebro Frat/Bonding scenes, yet instead of showing us scenes that passed the Bechdel test, those antics were just verbally recapped. What's up with that?
Basically all I liked were the Shonda Rhimes cameo and Mindy's inability to find a dress she did not look alluring in, whilst being distracted by her own flirtatious reflection. Been there, related to it. Now I'm just in a grudge match either to get to the end of the series or to see if it can actually stay worse than the third season of 2 Broke Girls overall.
P.S. 2 BROKE GIRLS IS FINALLY BACK TONIGHT! After the dismal world of the above show, I am fair dying in desperation for girl-centric comedy again and ready to forgive every last one of its flaws.