So, The Tragedy of Maeve: which version would you like?
1 minute: Last Dance, bookending the tragic ending with the dream sequence.
2. Extra voice-over-y
3. What Hurts the Most (pretty female singer cover) with clips from the next episode
4. Maybe you just want to drown your brain in tears by remembering his non-coping method of grief in the next episode.
5. Or take a brief break to remember "she's already the most beautiful girl in the world to me" and then maybe go die of grief.
In a desperate attempt to make things OK in my brain, I also may have taken half an hour to concoct a scenario in which Spencer verrrrrry slowly tries to take things up with that young prodigy we met for an episode last season, or someone similar. (I still think someone in their early 20s is the only way to go, in order to match levels of relationship experience and comfort with pacing, and I will not rest until it is delivered unto me or something is proven better.)
But that was not enough, and so back I went to dig out every other readily-available sad thing, like the tears in Nelson's Sparrow, or the classic "I came to your house crying for ten weeks" anger at J.J. early season 7, PROBABLY MORE STUFF I HAVE FORGOTTEN, and rounded out my night with part 2 of the season 2 James Van Der Meme episode. Which really brings it in the non-stop character whomping department, and is like the first time I watched it every time. (I'd forgotten about him taking a painful switch to bare feet, at which point I'm not sure the reactionary sound came from Reid or a yelping dog).
SIDE NOTE: back to Maeve...HELLO! I don't know what you are but you were filmed at the same time, preserving the perfect hair, and oh hey let me alt prInt screen on THAT image to start, and then just never leave these eight minutes of flirty night at the museum antics.
(Update: yeah, the full-length version does not look like it would appeal to me, because I have not yet tired of watching hot people fall in love at the movies and I have very little patience for this "love cannot be bound by physical appearance" concept.)
If you need me, I'll be over here, probably writing myself a whole book spinning out of this scene, in which the characters and story will bear zero resemblance to anything that the official canon claims to happen before or after this chapter.
BONUS: A very smart person has physically done what we all did in our heads and stitched some of those scenes into a "Reid's wishful thinking" video. My comforting Retrograde universe expands into multi-media.
On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum: Chuck. Oh, Chuck. After that ultra disappointing series finale of disappointment (or my comments on it in the fandom surveys of 2012), it disappeared from the pages of this journal forever and also my heart, going instead into the Lockbox of Formerly Good Times.
Now it has been 4 years, and after a chance gif sighting on Tumblr sent me on a pesky quest to find which episode it was from because I in no way remembered it...
...a thousand rainbows burst from my heart as I realized that in the long interim, I had forgotten BASICALLY EVERYTHING I EVER SAW. Guys, I get to fall in love with a ship for the first time all over again. How lucky am I?
I'm still rambling because my brain is still overwhelmed. For starters, I watched the scene that gif is from about 5 times in a row, trying to figure out why it thrilled my brain to the degree it did, and then I realized: because when I first saw it, I had never done that. And now it is my life.
And for all the beautiful, glorious, unrealistic and unattainable romantic highlights that play out on my television every year that I'm happy just to watch, there is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing something and realizing, "I can go get that." I'm a part of something!
Aaaaaanyway, I literallly could not believe my eyes when YouTube told me that beautiful glorious mostly fully clothed domestic scene of domesticity was in the freaking middle of season three. How early did their love story start?! Way earlier than I expected from only watchng the last 1.1 seasons in full, because somehow That Thrilling Hotel Bed Episode happened at the end of season 2. I gather that there was a brief bump in the road between that point and the above gif, but as it's a span of barely half a season and way less torture than The Office put me through with Karen, I'll allow it.
And then I promptly binged on so many clips I lost count. 20? 30? 50? ALL OF THESE NUMBERS ARE POSSIBLE. I even found an important one I hadn't seen before, the beginning of 3.14.
I love watching the shift from UST to dating to comfortable living together to Married Awesomeness, largely tracked by Chuck growing into his own as a reasonably confident and competent partner in every sense of the word, instead of a flaily guy in need of saving. (I mean, he's still in need of it. Just not as frantically, and about on par with how often Sarah needs it.) It makes up for the loss of the overgrown floppy hair.
Having spent a good 2 hours watching their dynamic, it made me realize that part of the appeal is seeing my own relationship dynamic reflected back: in which self-described nerd has been smitten with girl from early on, girl needed time to let her guard down, guy is still world's most affable and laid-back person/good at keeping her on an even keel, and girl is forever rocking a real strong "will shoot you in the head without a moment's hesitation" vibe of ruthlessness and pragmatism when provoked.
That's right, I just implied I am as awesome as Sarah Walker despite notable lack of measurable skills at anything. I should probably head back to work now to remind myself that I am not nearly as badass, or accomplished.
P.S. Someone on YouTube just said there is an extended/alternate ending to the series that would largely negate my rage over it. Could it be true? Dare I dream?? I'm not ready to find out yet. I need a good long time to nurture this tiny baby bird of hope. But oh, let me believe it. It will be my light against the 2016 TV darkness.