once upon a time recapping: the evil queen

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Lacey.

This week on Once Upon a Time, everyone has conflicting ideas about the fate of our favorite magical town. In Storybrooke, Regina begins work on her escape plan, but Greg and Tamara have other ideas. Meanwhile, Emma remains conflicted about leaving and instead focuses her energy on Tamara and “Operation Preying Mantis.” In the Enchanted Forest, we see more of Regina’s inner struggle to choose between good and evil.

Once Upon a Time, Snow and Regina

In the Enchanted Forest, Queen Regina is confused why people seem to hate her so much, even as she executes an entire village for refusing to give up the location of the “bandit” Snow White. Fed up with her incompetent minions, she decides to go after Snow herself. With Rumpelstiltskin’s help (and the price of cutting off trade with King George), she transforms into a peasant. The only catch is she doesn’t control the spell, nor can she use magic when it’s active. A disguised Regina comes across some villagers trying to burn and effigy of herself and tries to stop them, only to be blamed for it and sentenced to death. She is saved by none other than Snow White. A feverish Regina awakens to find herself hidden in the woods, tended to by her nemesis. As Snow cleans her wound, she tells of the time a stranger saved her from a charging horse and inspired her to be good. They head out and Regina uses the opportunity to inquire about Snow’s feelings, and is surprised to learn that Snow would forgive the Queen and be a family again if given the chance. This abruptly changes the moment they come across the slaughtered village. Regina pleads with Snow to remember the Queen who saved her from the horse – and gives herself away. She flees and returns to Rumpelstiltskin, prepared to embrace her title of the Evil Queen.

Once Upon a Time, Hook, Greg, and Tamara

In Storybrooke, Tamara and Greg inform Hook that Rumpelstiltskin is very much alive, and offer him a deal: a way to kill magical creatures in exchange for his help in finding someone. Meanwhile, Snow and Charming decide that Regina’s options are to be left behind, or to return to the Enchanted Forest and live out her life in a cell. Overhearing this, Regina decides on a third option: escaping to the Enchanted Forest with Henry via stolen magic bean and then enacting a “failsafe” in the Curse that will destroy Storybrooke. She communicates this to Henry, but he has a problem with the “killing everyone in Storybrooke” part of the plan, so she wipes his memory. At Granny’s, Emma literately bumps into Tamara and discovers a fairy tale cheat sheet in her purse. This, combined with her superpower, leads her to believe that Tamara is the “she” August was trying to warn them about. Snow dismisses her fears, but Henry is all about “Operation Preying Mantis.” Emma explicitly states she’s not getting back together with his father, despite accidentally letting slip about the magic beans and the potential return to the Enchanted Forest. Emma and Henry break into Tamara’s room and are discovered by Neal, who gave Tamara the cheat sheet. They find nothing and Emma slinks away looking like a crazy ex. Hook goes to Regina and offers to help with the self-destruct plan, if it means Rumpelstiltskin will be collateral damage. Regina and Hook go to the vault under the library. Regina reclaims her mother’s bracer from Hook, then pushes him off a ledge (seriously, how has he not broken every bone in his body?) to deal with the tender mercies of a spectral Maleficent while she retrieves the failsafe from Snow’s glass coffin. Regina returns to the library to discover a pissed-off Hook and his new friends Greg and Tamara. She tries to use magic, but the bracer she reclaimed is suppressing her powers – powered by “science” and the “toughest machinery and metals known to man.” Elsewhere, Snow, Charming, and Leroy discover the bean crop has been burned to the ground.

Once Upon a Time, Emma and Tamara

Next week, NEVERLAND!

Thoughts/Theories

  • I understand that a lot of this show focuses on the battle of good vs. evil, and I applaud the fact that many of the characters operate in a “grey area,” the sometimes extreme flips between the two are a little tiring.
  • Is it just me, or was Neal acting a little shady this episode? Considering he’s the mastermind con artist, it’s a little hard for me to believe that Tamara was capable of pulling one over on him, especially considering how collected she’s being over the “fairy tales are real” scenario.
  • I’m curious to see how the “science vs. magic” scenario is going to develop. I wonder if Greg and Tamara’s science operates in a similar way to Dr.Whale/Frankenstein’s.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently terrified of Stanley’s oddly-shaped head on Project Runway. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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once upon a time recapping: lacey

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Selfless, Brave, and True.

This week on Once Upon a Time, Belle gets her memory back, but it’s not what Rumpelstiltskin was hoping for. In Storybrooke, Regina restores Belle’s false memories, convincing her she is a barfly named Lacey, which prompts Rumple to woo her all over again. Meanwhile, Emma must decide if she wishes to return to the Enchanted Forest, while Tamara and Greg set their plan in motion. In the pre-Curse Enchanted Forest, we learn Belle’s and Rumpelstiltskin’s romance was sparked when he spared a thief named Robin Hood.

Screencap from Once Upon a Fan

In the Enchanted Forest, Rumpelstiltskin and Belle are in the days before the “chipped cup” incident. Rumpelstiltskin thwarts a thief (Tom Ellis) attempting to make off with one of his wands, and proceeds to viciously torture him, much to Belle’s dismay. The moment he leaves, Belle frees the thief from the dungeon. Rumpelstiltskin returns to find the thief – and the wand – are gone, and forces Belle to accompany him on his quest to track him down and kill him. They encounter Nottingham (played by Red Widow’s Wil Traval), who tries to trade the thief’s location for some time alone with Belle, but Rumpelstiltskin is not in the mood. He uses magic and tongue-stealing to get the information he needs, and the thief’s name – Robin Hood. They come across the thief using the wand to heal the deathly-ill (and pregnant) Marian. Due to Belle’s pleading, Rumpelstiltskin spares Robin Hood at the last moment. Back at his castle, Rumpelstiltskin shows Belle a room full of books for her to clean, and she’s intrigued by his new kindness.

Once Upon a Time, Mr. Gold and Lacey

In Storybrooke, Rumple has nightmares about killing Henry due to the Seer’s prophecy. He lets the bombshell drop that Neal is Henry’s father, but Regina warns him that his new family will never accept him. Needing reassurance of his good side, Rumple offers to get Belle released from the hospital. Naturally, Regina thwarts this by restoring Belle’s curse memories. Rumple discovers “Lacey” at a dive bar called The Rabbit Hole, where she is a scantily-clad, hustling, hard-drinking barfly. His only option to bring Belle back is True Love’s Kiss, but she must reciprocate his feelings first – prompting him to ask her for a date. Meanwhile, Snow and Charming reveal the magic beans and their intention to return to the Enchanted Forest to Emma. As she ponders her decision, Emma lets slip to Regina that she might lose Henry “for good.” On their date, Lacey confesses to Rumple that she doesn’t understand why people are scared of him, and he accidentally spills wine on her dress in his surprise. She disappears into the bathroom for quite some time, and Rumple goes outside to discover her macking on the Storybrooke equivalent of Nottingham. She admits she went on the date out of pity, and that he is not the man for her. Nottingham later apologizes to Rumple, but he’s had it with being good and proceeds to viciously beat the idiot. Lacey discovers him mid-attack and is intrigued by the dark Mr. Gold that everyone’s warned her about. Elsewhere, Regina traces the dwarves’ tracks back to the magic bean field, while Tamara and Greg bring a package into Storybrooke to aid them on their mission – Hook.

Screencap from Once Upon a Fan

Thoughts/Theories
• Rumpelstiltskin’s perspective on magic – “those who steal it have evil intentions” – and his desire to prevent Robin Hood from using it for wrongdoing were really interesting to me, especially considering he uses magic for such evil himself. Maybe he’s trying to spare people his fate?
• Ok, so the curse is broken, and all of these men who are suddenly very into Lacey/Belle fully know who she really is, right? It makes Storybrooke Nottingham’s interest in her really creepy. The whole situation is just a little uncomfortable.
• What are the circumstances of Henry’s adoption? There are too many coincidences involved – maybe we’ll get more of the story in season 3?

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently terrified of Stanley’s oddly-shaped head on Project Runway. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.

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modern family recapping: the wow factor/the future dunphys

Previously on Modern Family: Best Men

The Wow Factor

Mitchell and Luke

Remember that house that Cam and Claire bought? Yeah I pretty much didn’t either. Well they’re hard at work trying to flip it. And while Claire’s method for getting what she wants it to throw a bunch of numbers at Cam, Cam’s method is to shoot a few pegs above what he really wants so Claire will negotiate him down and he’ll “settle”. This works until they figure each other out and Cam brings in his lesbian friend who’s a contractor to convince Claire they need fountains in the backyard as the wow factor. Cam’s plan doesn’t work especially the lesbian seems to find Claire attractive. Cam installs it himself and the two have crossed over to the dark side until the goldfish start shooting out of the fountain

Phil wants to teach his daughters how to own a home by showing them a few homeowners tasks they’ll be forced to do, like change a lightbulb. Phil shows them who to light the pilot light again, but when it doesn’t seem to be working sends them to the store so he can call his dad who walks him through how to fix it.

Jay and Joe have a day for bonding which ends with Gloria finding Jay watching the new James Bond movie while an old friend of Claire’s rocks Joe in the lobby. Mitchell wants to teach Lily’s schoolyard bully a lesson so he has Luke teach him how to win at handball. He succeeds and turns himself into the schoolyard bully in the process.

Best/Funniest Moments

  • Lukes training sessions
  • Cam freaking over the fish
  • Gloria seeing a strange woman rocking her son

Quotes

Claire: Yesterday I accidentally said eleventy five.

Luke: You’re never off the court!

Jay: Or he took a page from the old Jay Pritchett playbook, saw the crap he was in for and pretended to be asleep

—–

The Future Dunphys

Claire is headed back to the hospital to get some tests done to ensure everything is fine with her heart. Before they go she and Phil have a dispute over what advice they should give their kids. Claire favors forcing them to do what they don’t want to, Phil wants them to do as they please. While at the hospital they see grown up versions of their kids who seem to have turned out fine, but really didn’t. Phil calls to tell the kids to do what they don’t want to, while Claire calls to tell them to follow their heart. The kids worry their parent’s behavior means something is wrong with Claire, but they arrive at the hospital only to receive a text that reads “Mom OK”.

Jay and Manny

Jay takes Manny to tour a prep school he really wants to attend. Jay is apprehensive at first acting high and mighty because of his past with the preppy jerks. But the more he tours the school the more he wants Manny to attend the school and show up his old rivals. Under the new pressure Manny blows his interview, but Jay lets him know that he is proud of Manny everyday and he should never think otherwise.

Lily meanwhile has decided she’s gay. Cam, Mitchell and Gloria try to understand why she is gay and they come to the realization that she says she’s gay because she wants to be like her dads.

Best/Funniest Moments

  • Jay getting excited about the rare books library
  • Present Dunphy kids in the elevator with future Dunphy kids
  • The whole scene in the Vietnamese restaurant

Quotes
Claire: Alex what have I told you about staying out past your curfew?
Alex: I need to do it more often.

Manny: I’ve always felt out of place in public school, like a lone petunia in an onion patch.

Lily: When am I going to get real boobs?

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did you follow happy endings to fridays?

A mid-season hiatus has killed many a good show. It can be hard to keep up with return dates, especially when it’s for a show that has less than exemplary ratings and subsequently receives zero ad-time. Sometimes (and this is most frustrating for the fans that have viewed and obsessively reviewed reruns and desperately need the sweet hit of a new episode) the date is even pushed back or bounced around before a silent cancellation. This may be done because the network legitimately can’t find a suitable home, but more often than not, it’s a passive-aggressive way to cancel a show. Essentially, it’s the equivalent of breaking up by way of a disappearing act; you still get your desired result while avoiding the dramatics of actually saying, “It’s over.”

Similar to others (I’d say countless others, but if there were more fans then ratings would be higher and we wouldn’t be in this predicament), I think this is exactly ABC’s, plan for Happy Endings. Moving a show to Fridays with little fanfare or attention is just what you do when you’re trying to send a show off the air. Sadly, that age-old network tradition has also been coupled with the good ol’ “double-up the episodes so we can burn through the season and move on” treatment and the writing is clearly on the wall. Although the cast put on a brave face and gave hope for a new TGIF, it was clear from ABC’s lack of support (e.g., actually going with a TGIF-esque lineup) that this was the move before the move before the cancellation.

 

happyendingscast

Maybe there was a huge social media push for the return of Happy Endings that passed me by, and perhaps ABC ran a crap-ton of commercials that I somehow missed, but I had no clue that the new episodes were back. Fortunately, I went to watch an old episode and found not one, but FOUR new episodes were available. This was arguably the best two hours of my weekend. I didn’t know it before, but I’ve spent much of my adult life waiting for a Ladybugs reference (“He’s not lying. He once Ladybugs’d himself into a junior high girl’s soccer tournament, bet against the team, and threw the game.”) My joy aside, damn if it didn’t hurt realizing that no matter how consistently funny this show remains to be, ABC just isn’t impressed.

There’s talk of USA saving our show, and I’m appreciative of the mere possibility, but I’d be just as happy with a”TBS saves Cougar Town” treatment. On one hand, USA “welcomes characters” or something similar, and that could be the perfect home for a guy like Max. But maybe Happy Endings needs the loving embrace of a network that appreciates “very funny”. Regardless, I need this show to stick around. The Mindy Project definitely helps fulfills my obscure (and obvious) pop culture reference needs, but I need to know that the show that brought us Mandonna stays on long enough to make me someday wish it’d just get cancelled already.

I’ll leave you with these ah-mah-zing Penny moments and a request that you tune in or DVR or do whatever it is you need to do that allows you to watch the episodes while still alerting ABC that the show has viewers and it’s worth keeping around.

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recapping revenge: victory/masquerade

Previously on Revenge: Illumination

Victory

Nolan and Aiden

It’s not what it looks like.

Ironically named since no one is really victorious in this episode. Padma makes contact with the initiative and sets up a drop off time. Nolan, Aiden and Emily are ready for the drop. But when the drop gets moved up Emily is busy deal with her stepbrother and can’t make it. Once the transfer as been made, Padma is kidnapped and Nolan and Aiden are left dumbfounded on the roof. They follow the tracking device they had give Padma only to find the initiative had been one step ahead of them all along. Nolan dives deep into trying to track down Padma only to find that his archenemies Falcon is working for the initiative.

Eli makes good on his promise to Emily all those years ago. He exposes their foster mother and all her treacherous ways and tries to retrieve they letters that Emily’s father wrote to her while she was staying there. He couldn’t do that, but he manages to discover where the letters might be. With that information in hand Emily visits Mason Treadwell in jail and discovers that Victoria has another son.

Quotes

Aiden: Can you stop breathing so heavily?
Nolan: I’m sorry to bother you Lee Harvey. I guess I just get a little nervous when I’m about to kill people.

Emily: In the art of war if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the approaching battles. But if you know only yourself and not your enemy, for every victory, there will also be defeat.

Masquerade

Victoria is throwing her annual masquerade, which had to be cancelled last year because of Daniel’s trial (as soon as she said that I was like WHOA that was a long time ago). An invitation which went to the campaign instead of Victoria was ominous and no doubt sent by Emily who has developed a plan to spook Victoria as far as her first born is concerned.

Victoria and Emily

Bitch, please. I get what I want.

Emily had not received an invitation to the affair and when she tries to solicit one is turned down. Her disappointment doesn’t last long since Daniel, who has recently figured out it was Victoria who sent the threatening message against Emily, invites her to go as his date. Victoria is a bit confused when Emily shows up, but she is put in her disappointed place quickly.

Aiden, meanwhile has discovered that Padma is dead and killed Trask himself. I wonder who the new initiative point person will be. With that out of the way Aiden is free to help Emily spook Victoria by wearing a surprising similar suit to a man who poses as the aforementioned abandoned child. Victoria takes Emily’s well-placed bait and heads to the convent where she was helped during her pregnancy. Emily then claims she too is a pregnant woman, unsure of what to do. I assume her efforts will bring her closer to the answer of what happened to Victoria’s other son.

Expectation/Predictions
Emily’s findings about Victoria’s son will be salacious and downright scandalous.
Jack will soon be discovered as the person foiling Conrad’s campaign OR Amanda will start to aid him.
Nolan in his grief for Padma will continue his search for Falcon, which will come to a head shortly.

Quotes
Emily: I’m not leaving you alone, Nolan.
Nolan: I love you, too.

Conrad: [to Victoria] And here I thought I knew all the skeletons in your closet by name.

Conrad: You are deceptively brilliant.
Ashley: I learned from the best.
Conrad: You meant Victoria, didn’t you?
Ashley: Yeah.

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