Dear TV Writers: Your Fear of the Moonlighting Curse is Killing Your Show

What is the Moonlighting Curse, and why is it such a big deal to television writers? Read this in-depth look at the crippling phenomenon and find out!

Getting Rid of the Stigma: Mental Illness in Young Adult Fiction, by Megan Mann

In this piece, Megan brilliantly discusses the stigma of mental illness in literature and how some young adult novels are helping to change the landscape for this discussion.

In Appreciation of the Everyday Heroine

A mask does not a hero make. In this piece, I discuss why it's wrong to dismiss characters without costumes or masks as superheroes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Grey’s Anatomy 14x24 Recap: “All of Me” (Three Weddings and a Baby) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“All of Me”
Original Airdate: May 17, 2018

Humor, heart, and a whole lot of unexpected surprises make the fourteenth season finale of Grey’s Anatomy an unforgettable episode. Stay tuned until the very end, or else you will definitely miss something major. We all thought that we were going to be seeing Alex and Jo’s wedding and Arizona and April’s departures, but three weddings and one massive shocker play out in a way only Grey’s Anatomy can.

WEDDING ONE — WRONG PLACE, RIGHT TIME


The first wedding that takes place isn’t the one anyone expected — especially Jackson, Maggie, Bailey, Ben, Catherine, Richard, and the interns... who all showed up to the wrong location. These wedding crashers don’t even realize they are at the wrong ceremony until the bride starts walking down the aisle. Their stunned faces and awkward attempts at exiting before it’s too late provide the best bits of comedy in the episode. However, it turns out that some good comes from showing up at the wrong wedding: the bride’s mother collapses just as she is giving her daughter away.

Bailey rushes to the mother and has Ben flag down an ambulance. Everyone else has made it out before the commotion, while Bailey and Ben take their patient back to Grey Sloan Memorial. With limited staff around thanks to Alex and Jo’s wedding, Bailey bumps into Teddy Altman at just the right time. Teddy comes strolling through the halls with a suitcase, trying to figure out where everyone is, and Bailey asks if she can scrub in with her for heart surgery on the bride’s mother. I’m really glad that Teddy came back for the finale because she was left in limbo when she kicked Owen out of her house in Germany.

The bride, groom, and all the wedding guests anxiously wait in the lobby for any news, and Ben stays with them to help keep them calm. During the surgery, Bailey asks Teddy why she is visiting... and Teddy asks if Bailey is hiring. This is quite surprising, but makes sense later; Teddy has a whopper of a secret that she doesn’t reveal until the very end of the episode. The surgery is successful, and the bride and groom want to postpone the wedding until the mother is well enough to attend. Like a good mother, she doesn’t want the wedding to be postponed when all the guests are already there. Bailey and Teddy set up an impromptu wedding for the couple at the hospital’s chapel and have Ben Skype in the mother.

This story ends with two surprising moments. Before the wedding, Bailey tells Teddy that she wants to take a brief sabbatical from being chief to live a little. Teddy accepts the role of interim chief of surgery, then sits with the recovering mother to watch the wedding. Teddy is rather emotional and reveals to her patient that she is expecting! There is no way that she isn’t expecting Owen’s baby, otherwise she wouldn’t be there. Also... no one else knows! This indicates that season fifteen will have to pick up right where this one ends because there is a lot of explaining to do. On the bright side, it looks like Kim Raver will be back next season. I’m hoping that she will be part of the full-time cast again and not just a recurring guest.

WEDDING TWO — WHAT COULD GO WRONG?


It’s time for the wedding you have all been waiting for — that is, if the bride and groom can be found! Alex and Jo’s wedding is quite a ride. Pretty much what can go wrong does go wrong in these hilarious scenes. It could be said that Alex and Jo bring it on themselves to have bad luck on their wedding day when they see each other twice before the ceremony. They say they don’t believe in superstition, but after this day, they might change their minds. Before the festivities, Jo comes over to Meredith’s house to tell Alex that she got accepted into a fellowship program for minimally invasive surgery at Massachusetts General. Meredith is quite upset by the news because if Jo takes the fellowship, then Alex will move away too.

Meredith spends the rest of the episode in a state of panic, leading Amelia to say that she must be in love with Alex. Of course, Meredith explains to her several times that she doesn’t love Alex, but that he is her best friend and she doesn’t know how she could lose another person close to her. Meredith gets the final laugh when she tells Amelia to stop projecting her love for Owen on her. Amelia spends the episode denying that she has feelings for Owen again but let’s face it: we all know that’s not true. Owen and Amelia have been living together with baby Leo and teen mom Betty for a month, and their dysfunctional family unit is quite fun to watch. It’s great to see Owen finally have everything that he has ever wanted. Little does he know that his rough year is going to get a lot rougher as soon as he sees Teddy.

Before the ceremony is supposed to start, Meredith finds Jo and offers her an attending job as a general surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial. Jo thinks that Alex put Meredith up to the offer, so she confronts him, only to learn that Meredith did it all on her own. Alex and Jo then decide that they have some time for an afternoon quickie and find a small shed on the property to shack up in.

Unfortunately for them, they get locked in and have no way out. The band continues to play loudly, so no one can hear them call for help. It gets funnier when Jo discovers a skeleton in the corner. As they are stuck, April and the other wedding planner are freaking out since nothing is going according to the plan. The Justice of the Peace has yet to arrive, the bride and groom are missing, the interns and DeLuca are trashed, the wedding planner has an allergic reaction to shrimp and needs an emergency thoracotomy in the middle of the aisle, and Schmidt passes out and knocks over the wedding cake. Considering their past, it’s a pretty appropriate wedding for Alex and Jo.

Meredith and DeLuca eventually find Alex and Jo, but everything has already been wrecked. Everyone decides to take the ferry back to the mainland and go to Catherine and Richard’s for a reception. While on the ferry, Maggie tells Alex that anyone can become an ordained minister online, and Alex asks Meredith if she will marry him and Jo. In a perfect moment on the back of the ferry, surrounded by their closest friends, Alex and Jo finally get married.

WEDDING THREE — HAPPY ENDINGS


April, Matthew, Arizona, Sofia, and Jackson stay behind at the wedding location to help clean up once the rest of the group departs. The Justice of the Peace finally arrives all disheveled, saying that she got lost on her way there. In a spur of the moment decision, Matthew gets down on one knee and proposes to April in a very moving speech. April says yes with Arizona, Sofia, and Jackson watching. Since the wedding venue wasn’t put to good use, Matthew and April decide to get married on the spot. This is the best way for April to leave the show, as she is getting the ending that she always wanted. She has also left her job at the hospital to do volunteer work for the church. While she will still be living in Seattle, it is nice to know that April left on the proper note.

Arizona tells Alex at the beginning of the episode that she and Sofia are flying to New York after the wedding. She doesn’t want anyone to try and talk her out of leaving because she knows she is making the right choice. At the end of the episode, Arizona reveals that she might have feelings for Callie again, who is now single. The episode ends with Arizona receiving a text from Callie that says that she is excited to see Arizona, who replies that she can’t wait to see her too. I think all fans can agree that while we don’t know for sure what will happen, we are all happy that Callie and Arizona will end up together again. While we don’t get any big goodbyes or sendoffs from April and Arizona, they both get the happy endings they deserve.

The Handmaid’s Tale 2x04 and 2x05 Review: "Other Women" & "Seeds" (Source Material Expiration Date?) [Contributor: Melanie]


"Other Women" & "Seeds"
Original Airdates: May 9 and May 16, 2018

A happy belated Mother’s Day week to all (especially Yvonne Strahovski who — playing against type — just announced she’s pregnant with her first child)! What is a more wonderful way to spend this glorious time in the celebration of mothers than to continue to delve deeper into the chaotic and horrifying post-apocalyptic world of misogyny? In these episodes, we see a reversal of fortunes for June — meaning, she goes back to exactly where she started.

To be honest, it did feel a tad like the past few episodes of her escape attempt were filler material if she only ended right back where she started. But thus is the symptom of pushing a piece of media past its source material cut-off. 

RECAP


After June is apprehended by the Guardians, she’s chained down to a bed by Aunt Lydia who offers to send her back to the Waterfords if she behaves. June agrees. Commander Waterford believes her disappearance to be a kidnapping, while Serena is less benevolent in her reaction, attacking June before ultimately relenting for the sake of her unborn child. Serena shares her joy by throwing herself a baby shower where June sees that Nick is alive and unharmed, evidently still undetected for his part in her escape. Unfortunately, Ofglen had her tongue ripped out for her part in June’s rebellion.

To continue to force June’s hand,  Aunt Lydia shows her the body of Omar — the man who had been keeping her hidden — where it hangs at the wall. His wife was forced to become a Handmaid and his son was sent to another family. June accepts the blame for what happened to them.

In the flashbacks, June deals with Luke’s ex-wife who brings more hints of the rising theocratic tide when she insists that their wedding vows were “before God,” and therefore must be honored. June rebuffs her and later, the ex-wife watches June, Luke, and Hannah at dinner together.

In the next episode, June seems to be having some sort of health trouble when she starts bleeding in the midst of her pregnancy. Scared, she keeps the information to herself. However, Nick takes notice of June’s apparent melancholy and stress and brings his concerns to Mrs. Waterford. She, in turn, goes to Fred about the issue. But she also points out Nick’s apparent concern for their Handmaid. Fred then arranges for Nick to be married to a woman named Eden in recognition of the work done by the Guardians. During the celebrations, Nick finds June unconscious and she is rushed to the hospital. When June comes to, she learns the baby is okay but steels herself in her resolve to get herself and her child free from Gilead.

Meanwhile in the Colonies, Janine insists Emily keep faith by assuring her that God is watching over them. Emily is not uplifted by Janine’s tactics, even her organizing a wedding for a sick worker. Emily feels pessimism for their position and resents Janine’s attempt to falsely bring hope. Ultimately, the sick worker succumbs to her illness.

REVIEW


Now let's get back to my original issue with the recent episodes. I do think that The Handmaid's Tale is one of the best-written shows out there right now. Additionally, it’s visually stunning and incredibly impactful. I’m just having trouble getting over the hurdle of continued story. As I mentioned, June’s doomed escape attempt felt like filler — perhaps to get to the season’s extra three-episode mark. It seems to me that we’re taking a turn toward more plot-oriented action, rather than a focus on the overall commentary that last season delivered.

Season one was not, of course, a complete adaptation of the book either — nor does any adaptation have a requirement to be 100% faithful to its source material. But I think about Atwood’s original intention of her book and look now at the show which has taken a turn for high-stakes plot points and entertainment value. Season one was June’s story — a look into her life as bigger and more complicated pieces of plot moved around her, eventually sucking her in. This season, the story is about a wider set of characters, a larger world, and it’s taking a leaf from Lost’s book with the past and present timelines. (Though I will say that the flashes into the past showcase some eerie stuff and serve as a necessary warning for The Handmaid's Tale's audience.)

I’m curious to see how this stretch of episodes will look from beginning to end — as the sum of their parts by the culmination of the season, rather than dissected pieces of a larger story. And with The Handmaid's Tale greenlit for a third season, you can bet the writers do have a larger story they’re working toward.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x22 Review: “Leaving Storybrooke” (The End) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Leaving Storybrooke”
Original May 18, 2018

Oncers, the day that the storybook closes one last time is upon us. After seven years and 156 episodes, it’s time to say goodbye to our beloved fairytale characters. It wouldn’t be a proper farewell without the original cast coming back as special guest stars to bring everything full circle. Over the past seven years, I have been lucky enough to watch every episode of Once Upon A Time and watch new and old fairytales come to life in a way I have never seen before and will likely never see again. The way that creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were able to beautifully craft a narrative that combined reality and fantasy was truly captivating television. For the first few years, you never quite knew who a character was, both personality — and identity — wise. They created new stories in their vision to showcase the powerful messages of hope, belief, and the true magic in reality. And while we now have to turn the last page of this story, these characters will forever live on.


ONE LAST ADVENTURE


The series finale opens where the penultimate episode left off: Alice and Robin arrive in the Rollin’ Bayou food truck in Storybrooke. They immediately run into Granny, Archie, and the dwarves, who think that they are intruders telling false tales. I don’t blame them for not believing the crazy story, but they find someone who just might be able to help them. Alice and Robin think that Regina is pulling up in her car, but it turns out that Zelena and five-year-old Robin are in the car. After Robin gets the shock of seeing her younger self and her mother, she convinces Zelena that they are real and need everyone’s help to stop Wish Rumple. They plan on using a magic bean to get back to the Wish Realm, and it is a clear point when the audience doesn’t get to see the travels.

In the Wish Realm, Henry, Rumple, and Hook appear in the snow globe and are reunited with Ella and Lucy. Rumple reveals that Wish Rumple used the author’s power to do more than he bargained for and stripped Rumple of his immortality and powers. With Rumple no longer being the Dark One, he is pretty much useless in the fight against his other self. Just as Rumple calls Hook his friend as they are trying to break out of the snow globe, Maui’s fishhook (from Moana) appears out of thin air and allows them to break the glass. The group is free and reunite with Alice, Robin, and Zelena. Robin and Hook run off to find a way into Wish Henry’s palace, and Robin asks Hook for his blessing to propose to Alice. It is a very happy moment when Hook gives her his blessing. A not-so-happy moment also occurs when Rumple takes some alone time to have an emotional breakdown about not being able to get back to Belle.

Meanwhile, Regina is being held hostage by Wish Henry, who is still hellbent on killing her as revenge for the deaths of Wish Snow White and Wish Prince Charming. Regina tries to talk Wish Henry out of his murderous ways and tells him how this isn’t the person he is. Of course, this fails miserably and ends with Regina being shackled in the cave prison that held Rumple for many years in the Enchanted Forest. While Regina is being held prisoner, she has a very real dream in which she shares a tender moment with her Robin. It was really nice to hear Robin give Regina a speech that embodied the spirit of the series. My favorite line of his was when he told her, “Your life is proof that no one’s path is set.” This is a core point that the series made time and time again, as the four main villains throughout the series all became heroes in the end.

Regina eventually snaps out of her dream and wakes up in the cave prison with Robin’s red feather in her hand. Interpret that however you will, but that wasn’t quite a dream sequence. Out of nowhere, adult Henry comes to free Regina, but is thwarted by the palace guards in the classic black full body armor suits. Henry decides it’s a good idea to fight with his fists while the guards attack with swords. Right when it appears that Henry’s fate is sealed, an arrow comes flying from the back of the cave and takes out the guard choking out Henry. Two guards go rogue, take out the other guard, and then take off their helmets to reveal that they are none other than Snow White and Prince Charming! These two made quite an entrance that put an instant smile on my face.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE


With Regina free, Snow and Charming call a meeting for everyone in the famous War Room for one last session. All of our characters that we have seen in the Wish Realm this episode thus far gather at the table to discuss Wish Rumple’s plan of creating new storybooks that contain individual stories of personal hells for each character. Wish Rumple wants to use Wish Henry to power the books and trap all the characters in the least happiest places for each of them, which isn’t a terrible plan.

Snow gives the most wonderful quote of the night during this scene, which also perfectly sums up the series: “They need to be reminded not to lose hope. If Rumple succeeds, he thinks everyone will be lost for good, but I don’t believe that. Charming and I have always been able to find each other, and I refuse to believe we are the only ones. With love in their hearts — with hope — anyone can do it. They just have to believe that no one would be able to pull them apart forever.”

At this point in the episode, the scene changes to Regina meeting Wish Henry outside the castle gates to try yet again to talk him out of getting his revenge. It works just as well as the first time, and Wish Henry starts a sword duel with Regina. The choreography was a lot of fun to watch, as was this mother-son moment. Regina tries to talk Wish Henry down for a third time and actually manages to break through when he disarms her and goes for the kill. Regina is set to sacrifice herself for him, which is enough for Wish Henry to stop.

Meanwhile, Wish Rumple has appeared in front of the rest of the group and tries to enact his spell to send them all into their new storybooks. To prevent Alice from flying into her book, Hook manages to get to her and grab her hand. Since his spell has yet to be broken, saving his daughter means imminent death for Hook, who is more than happy to give the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter. However, at that moment, Wish Henry gives up his fight with Regina which stops Wish Rumple’s spell. In the end, it is Rumple who makes the selfless ultimate sacrifice and rips his heart out to give it to Hook so that he may live. The move is preceded by a great speech about what it means to be a changed person and how he has evolved. Rumple proves his hero status by giving his life for Hook’s, which gives his blackened heart a clean slate. Rumple’s sacrifice also kills all the other versions of himself, so he saves everyone in the process.

When the series first started, I never thought I would say that I would shed a few tears when Rumple died. The emotional moment only gets worse when Regina gets to the room moments after Rumple dies and says goodbye to him. Then, the emotions hit overdrive when Rumple reunites with Belle in the afterlife in one last tear-jerking Beauty and the Beast montage that is beyond perfection and words. Just knowing that Rumple was able to find redemption and his happy ending is enough for me.

ONE BIG, HAPPY FAMILY


With Wish Rumple (and regular Rumple) dead and Wish Henry turned good, the only thing left is to get everyone back home. Regina has an idea that might be crazy enough to work: she wants to create another curse, but instead of crushing the heart of the person she loves most, she wants everyone to give up a tiny piece of themselves to create enough magic to bring all of the fairytale realms together. The plan is bonkers, but it brings every realm and character together into one giant, new realm. And everyone gets their happy ending. Regina gets the best ending when Zelena and the Henrys surprise her with a celebration party and coronation.

All of the characters are gathered in the Enchanted Forest’s church — which is where the series started — for the final scene. Snow White and Prince Charming, with little Prince Neal at their side, declare that everyone has decided Regina should be named Queen of the new realm. Regina is overcome by emotion and with the fact that everyone has finally accepted her, but for the right reasons this time. Right before accepting the crown, Emma and Hook bust through the doors, carrying their baby daughter Hope. Emma and Regina share one last moment together that helps bring the series full circle. Regina accepts the crown, followed by a beautiful montage of the highlights of the series.

While the montage rolls, Regina says, “I refuse to believe there won’t be more adventures, more love, more family. And yes, there will be more loss because that’s just a part of life. And in the end, we can get past it all with hope.” That’s how the story ends, with happily forever after written all over it!

I couldn’t be happier at the way Once Upon A Time wrapped up, even though it is a bittersweet moment. From all the fans, I would like to say thank you to Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis for writing/creating the perfect finale and a wonderful series and thank you to ABC for allowing this show to air for the past seven years. It has been a pleasure to watch, cry, and embrace Once Upon A Time and bring some hope and magic into my life.

The End.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Flash 4x22 Review: "Think Fast" (Blinded by the Enlightenment) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


"Think Fast"
Original Airdate: May 15, 2018 

The penultimate episode of The Flash’s fourth season is here, and boy does that feel true. Not only because this season has dragged out so long I’ve pondered drafting a “half-seasons ain’t so bad, guys!” think piece in the vain hope that it might inspire the producers to dial it the heck back a little — but also, stuff happens! You know it’s close to finale time when stuff happens. And I do love when stuff happens on The Flash, because it’s usually sparkly.

DO YOU FEEL ENLIGHTENED YET?


Our episode opens with Diggle trying to get into an ARGUS base. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Arrow, but even I recognized that Diggle wasn’t acting like Diggle. So, it’s really no surprise when the Diggle we see turns out to be DeVoe in a Diggle disguise. Once past most of the security he needs to pass, DeVoe turns back into himself and proceeds to lay down some incredibly cool villainy on all the ARGUS personnel on site. Seriously, the entire opening sequence of DeVoe entering the base where they’re keeping Fallout (the nuclear metahuman) is probably one of the coolest sequences the show has ever done.

So much happens that I can’t really give a play-by-play description, but here’s a basic summary: it’s all set to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” (the start of some religious/god themes surrounding DeVoe throughout the episode) and I’m pretty sure DeVoe uses all his stolen powers at least once. Cleverly, this “Hallelujah” hallway fight includes DeVoe briefly cutting out the diegetic sound just as the chorus sings, “And he shall reign forever and ever,” further hinting at The Thinker’s god complex. Fun trivia that’s probably not intentional but my brain makes odd connections: Rodin’s The Thinker statue, which DeVoe’s villain moniker probably alludes to, is part of a sculpted tableau inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy and is called The Gates of Hell. So basically, The Thinker sits at the entryway to damnation — i.e., his not-so-enlightening Enlightenment. Yay, religiously inspired metaphor!

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash is assessing their status re: DeVoe. It is not good. Everyone is inconveniently busy (Joe and Cecile worrying about the baby, Caitlin preoccupied by Killer Frost) or inconveniently stupid (Harry), and all they have is knowledge of DeVoe’s five Enlightenment satellites plus one Amunet metal bomb. Things only get worse when Iris receives a comment on her DeVoe blog post signifying that The Thinker is going after Fallout.

Cue: Real John Diggle! Barry zips over to Star City to retrieve Team Flash’s most accessible associate of ARGUS. Dig immediately vomits into a trash can Cisco has at the ready, and no I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amused by Diggle’s negative reaction to Barry’s super speed. Anyway, he tells Team Flash where ARGUS is keeping Fallout, then logs into the system and discovers that “he” checked into the facility six hours ago. From there, everyone realizes that “Diggle” was DeVoe, Fallout is going nuclear, and DeVoe is going to use the energy from Fallout to power his Enlightenment device.

To add more problems onto their already heaping helping of problems, heat signatures indicate there are six ARGUS agents still inside the building as hostages. Barry can probably get to DeVoe and his portal, but he can’t do that and save six people.

The solution Cisco and Caitlin come up with is for Barry to bring them along with him when he enters Flash Time. Cisco and Caitlin theorize that Barry’s ability isn’t just tapping into the Speed Force, it’s generating a Speed Force “aura” around himself. He thought he had to touch people to bring them into Flash Time, but Caitlin thinks it’s just a method of focus and Barry can let go, allowing her and Cisco to save the hostages while Barry gets DeVoe.

Although scaffolded by absolute technobabble, the Barry/Caitlin/Cisco plot of the episode explores a lot of fun Flash sci-fi while giving us decent character moments — especially when Barry starts waffling on whether he can drag his best friends into a dangerous situation and Cisco tells him to take his “gotta do it alone” self-sacrificing mindset and shove it. Also, Caitlin gets to work through some stuff thanks to this plot, and it leads to the most interesting Caitlin story of the whole season: a suppressed memory reveals that Caitlin was Killer Frost even as a child — which means metahumans did not begin with the particle accelerator explosion.

While Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin practice making breaches and using freeze guns in Flash Time, Iris and Harry have teamed up to hunt down Marlize. Harry thinks there must be some good in Marlize, but Iris is holding an understandable grudge on account of the woman once attacking her with a katana. Iris just wants Marlize contained, since Iris thinks (also understandably) Marlize is just as bad as The Thinker himself.

Again, the Iris and Harry plot works well in this episode, from a character standpoint. Iris starts off pretty patient with Harry’s dwindling intelligence, but you see that patience wear thinner and thinner until it finally snaps when Harry brings up turning Marlize over to their side. Since Iris starts off the episode with optimism for how the readers of her blog could help Team Flash, the bitterness she has toward Marlize is especially vibrant — and then everything flows back to optimism again when Iris confronts Marlize with one of Marlize’s own quotes: “Pessimism isn’t smarter than optimism. In this life, the bravest thing you can be is optimistic.”

Iris ends her big speech to Marlize by saying she believes in her — despite all her previous, pessimistic expectations of Marlize being confirmed when Mrs. DeVoe laments that her husband had been right and humanity corrupts everything it touches, so it should be Enlightened. This subplot is all a rather wonderfully twisty knot of pessimism vs. optimism, and it’s not entirely clear whether Iris genuinely believes in what she says to Marlize, or if she’s saying it because she knows having Marlize on their side makes for a better chance of stopping DeVoe. As much as I love Iris giving a grand, heroic, hopeful monologue, I think I like the ambiguity even more.

But alas, it seems it’s all for naught. Despite being able to save the ARGUS hostages, following DeVoe, and shooting down one of the five satellites with the Amunet bomb, DeVoe is unperturbed. Even when Barry sasses him about quoting Nietzsche, DeVoe just goes on and on about how kids these days need to put down their phones and listen to him. Is this all a latent resentment from his experience as a professor? Too many students had phones go off while he was lecturing, so now he wants to eradicate Google? And emotion, too, I guess, even though he’s clearly fond of curiosity and I’ve always thought that was an emotion.

The team realizes that shooting down the satellite wasn’t the win they thought it’d be when DeVoe sneaks into S.T.A.R. Labs and uses the Gideon computer in Wells’s secret room to launch the Enlightenment for realsies, by shooting a giant laser into the sky. One of these days, I’d really like for a supervillain to enact his plan for world domination with something other than shooting a laser into the sky. Maybe a gentle, rolling fog of evil? A death mist? A sinister glitter bomb?

After a few more biblical quotes from DeVoe, the Enlightenment has officially begun.

(It’s very purple.)

Other Things:
  • Cisco name-drops the Super Friends, and... what... The Flash has been IN the Super Friends! Stop breaking reality, Cisco!
  • “Boom! Mic drop!” “Hold onto that mic.” “It’s imaginary.” I’m glad Iris and Harry got to team up in this episode.
  • Dr. Finkel directly associates Caitlin’s past trauma with her childhood trauma, which implies that it’s documented somewhere... right?
  • “Everyone I’ve tried to teach has ended up worse than when I found them.” You’re just a bad teacher, Barry. I’ve been saying this.
  • Kudos to the show for Iris’s katana wound continuity. Hope it sticks around.
  • DeVoe’s big speech to Barry gave me some serious BBC Sherlock vibes. Did some of the writers do a binge-watch?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x21 Review: “Homecoming” (Be Careful What You Wish For) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]



“Homecoming”
Original Airdate: May 11, 2018

After seven years, we have made it to the first part of the Once Upon A Time series finale. Sniffles aside, we are in for one last epic adventure before we know if the characters will get the happy endings they deserve. Thankfully, there was an open invitation to any actor who had been on the show in any capacity to come back for the final episodes, so just about every favorite character will make an appearance in the finale. Before the storybook closes for good on May 18, let’s take a look at what the last story will have in store for us.

CELEBRATION


In the previous episode, Henry breaks the curse, Alice defeats Gothel, and Wish Rumple randomly shows up to cause trouble and murder Facilier. A lot happened in a very short time and is still unknown to the main cast at the start of the penultimate episode. Even though the Seattle fairytale characters think that Facilier is still in town somewhere waiting to strike, they immediately start a party at the bar to celebrate the curse being broken. Have these people really learned nothing in the seven years we have known them?

After Henry voices some concern to Regina about the whereabouts of Facilier, Regina goes to Facilier’s office to find him. Instead of finding Facilier, Regina stumbles upon Rumple, who has been stashed behind a waterfall. Rumple informs Regina that Wish Rumple has made his way to the real world and is after the Dark One dagger. Finally, there is some real concern on their faces. Henry, Ella, and Lucy return to Ella’s apartment to celebrate their family reunion, but things definitely don’t go as planned when Ella and Lucy suddenly disappear. Of course, Wish Rumple dramatically makes his entrance and tells Henry that he must help him get the Dark One dagger if he ever wants to see his family again.

Well, it’s time to get the band back together! Regina, Rumple, Hook, and Henry join forces for the millionth time this season and determine that they will find a way to get to the Wish Realm to stop Wish Rumple and save Ella and Lucy. Rumple somehow gets a magic mirror that allows them to jump right into the Wish Realm, and I’m still not sure how that really worked. Unfortunately for our heroes, the crack in the mirror splits them up in two groups upon entry in the Wish Realm.

WISH REALM RETURN


I always found the Wish Realm to be confusing, and I think we are going to be in for a real head-scratcher in the finale. Don’t forget that the Wish Realm allows for different versions of all the characters to appear and cause trouble. When the heroes get to the Wish Realm, Henry and Regina are together and land in some dungeon, while Hook and Rumple are at a version of Rumple’s farm from the Enchanted Forest. Wish Rumple has turned the Wish Realm into a personal hell for Rumple. Henry and Regina run into Peter Pan in a stockade in the dungeon, who tells them that it will be a lot harder to defeat Wish Rumple than they think.

Henry and Regina find their way to Ella and Lucy, only to discover them trapped in a magical snow globe. First, they encounter Cruella de Vil, who engages in an odd sword fight with Henry. Eventually, Henry traps Cruella in a cage, then Wish Rumple shows up to tell them he has placed a lovely unbreakable spell on the snow globe, to force Henry to help him with his grand plan. Meanwhile, Hook actually knows his way around the Wish Realm (did you forget he used to live there?) and brings Rumple to the cave he had lived in. He blows into a conch shell, and Ariel appears out of thin air. Ariel wants to kill Rumple, but Hook convinces her that he isn’t the evil one and that they need her help. She gives them her remaining squid ink, which Rumple brings back to his farm.

Wish Rumple appears to confront Rumple at the farm and is tricked into grabbing the Dark One dagger, which has been coated with the squid ink. With Wish Rumple momentarily immobilized, Rumple gives a great speech about how he must kill this version of himself if he ever wants to dispel the darkness once and for all and find his way back to Belle. Right as Rumple goes to kill Wish Rumple, Regina bursts through the door and ruins everything. The ink wears off, and Wish Rumple is free again to cause havoc.

Henry decides that the only way he can get his family back without giving in to Wish Rumple’s Dark One dagger demand is to find the author pen and write a different future. After getting the pen, he returns to the room where Cruella is trapped and takes the dye out of her hair as ink for the pen. I absolutely loved how Cruella was only concerned with her hair during the sequence and not the fact that she was still trapped in a cage. As soon as Henry gets the pen filled, Wish Rumple poofs in and takes the pen. Surprise! The real plan was to get the author’s pen, not the Dark One dagger.

In walks Wish Realm young Henry, who appeared earlier in the episode, and Wish Rumple announces that he has made a deal with Wish Henry to write the story that Wish Rumple wants. It’s a really odd scene, but it’s wonderful in the sense that two versions of Henry get to meet. Also, what more could we ask for with Jared Gilmore and Andrew J. West in a scene together? Wish Rumple’s first order of business is to have Wish Henry write Alice’s guardian powers away. He then traps Henry, Hook, and Rumple in the snow globe, leaving Regina for Wish Henry to deal with. Wish Henry is a vindictive fellow and wants revenge on Regina for killing the Wish Realm versions of Snow White and Prince Charming.

THE FINAL CHAPTER


The Wish Realm plot stops there, and it feels like a rather abrupt ending for the episode. Obviously, the Wish Realm will be back in the finale, but there are a few more orders of business in Seattle to talk about before the story continues. While the Wish Realm stuff occurs, we get a scene that shows Tiana and Naveen together in Seattle. Tiana is having an identity crisis and can’t quite accept her new reality. This is one of the most realistic moments the show has had over its seven year run and really shows once and for all that Once Upon A Time has always had one foot grounded in reality.

Eventually, Alice feels a disturbance in the Force and knows that Henry, Hook, Rumple, and Regina are in trouble in the Wish Realm. Alice and Robin go to Tiana and Naveen for help, and Tiana reclaims her Queen of Seattle status by rounding up the townspeople to find enough magic to get to the Wish Realm. Some random dude in the crowd gives them a magic bean, which Tiana gives to Alice. Tiana and Naveen decide to stay in Seattle to watch over her people and to find their place in this new world.

Alice and Robin board Tiana’s food truck as Tiana gives them the magic bean, and I really thought they were going to drive that truck right into the Wish Realm. It would have been hilarious and led to some great comedy, but they actually use the bean to open a portal to Storybrooke. Their real destination is obviously way better than the other possibility, and immediately put a few tears in my eyes when I saw the “Welcome to Storybrooke” sign.

Going into the finale, we know that the original cast and many favorite supporting characters will be returning. It looks like Alice and Robin will round up the original group and bring them to the Wish Realm to save the day. The unknowns are: how many versions of each character will show up, where will everyone live at the end, will everyone survive, and will there be one big happy ending to end all happy endings? No matter what happens, I have no doubts that it will be a beautiful finale full of classic Once Upon A Time moments and tearful farewells.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New Girl 7x07 and 7x08 Review: "The Curse of the Pirate Bride" & "Engram Pattersky" (Teach Me How to Say Goodbye) [Contributor: Jenn]


"The Curse of the Pirate Bride" & "Engram Pattersky"
Original Airdate: May 15, 2018

Well... this is it. It's been an incredible run, and even as I type these words, I can't believe that this is the series finale of New Girl. This show will always have such a special place in my heart. It's a series that taught us all that it's okay to be weird, to fall in love a lot, to make mistakes, to embrace who you are, and to never stop trying. This quirky, adorkable little show grew far beyond those two labels into something genuinely beautiful and representative of what it looks and feels like to be an adult who doesn't know exactly how to navigate life as an adult. We've watched these characters grow from the pilot episode into the people who embark on new journeys in the finale.

I'll talk a lot more about these episodes momentarily, including the incredible character arcs we've witnessed over seven years. But for now, just know that I love New Girl — in its peaks and valleys — and found the final two episodes to be emotional, hilarious, and a fitting end to the series.

"The Curse of the Pirate Bride"

The plot: it's Nick and Jess' wedding day, and everything is set to go off without any issues whatsoever. That definitely sounds like New Girl, right? (You're laughing, because of course everything would go wrong on their wedding day!) But just like the botched proposal in the last episode, the slightly-flash forwarded nuptials are perfect because of how imperfect they are. Jess initially buys into her mother's insistence that she and Nick spending the night before their wedding together somehow cursed the pair. And soon enough, Nick is citing the curse for everything going wrong.

Their wedding day begins innocently enough, but when she slips in the bathroom and scratches her cornea on one of Milo's dog toys, Jess is understandably upset. She's got an eye patch but isn't buying that it's part of some curse. Until Joan shows her the eviction notices that have been piling up in her and Nick's mail for months. Now Jess is freaking out.

Upstairs on the roof, where the pair is set to marry, Nick begins to worry about the curse after a bird poops on his shoulder and his editor turns down his new book proposal. In a move initiated by Winston and Schmidt, Nick confronts his editor... only to be fired moments later. "Curses are real!" Nick yells from the roof. Meanwhile downstairs, Jess is freaking out about the curse and decides to indulge her mother... and may or may not wind up high and eating her own wedding cake as a result.

It's up to the best man and matron of honor to save our pair! When Russell shows up though, it seems like the curse suddenly goes from bad to worse — he tells Jess he loves her and to ditch Nick and marry him instead. And this is where I found the episode to be so refreshing. There is no doubt in Jess' mind that she is in love with Nick. She wants to marry him. She has no doubts whatsoever about them.

Even when Russell hands Jess the cards from "First Date."

Y'all, I freaked out a little bit during this scene. Out of all of the plots on New Girl that seemed to be dropped, I thought this one would be for sure. When Russell tells Nick and Jess to write down what their relationship means on two valet cards, they both do. And Russell's reaction to their notes in "First Date" seems to be one of skepticism. Now — on Jess' wedding day, years later — Jess has the cards in her hand and Russell tells her that neither she nor Nick were ever sure of their relationship.

Of course, Nick bursts into the stairwell where Russell and Jess are sitting and begins to attack the man. The whole gang ends up at the hospital soon enough, mostly because Aly is in labor, and there Nick and Jess discuss their failed wedding day.

It's funny — the proposal last episode was perfect in so many ways to me because of how imperfect it was. And a hijinks-centric wedding day where all the possible things that can go wrong do seems like the perfect wedding for Nick and Jess. (Thankfully, they agree with me.)

Jess then pulls out the cards Russell gave her, on which both she and Nick — in regards to what their relationship was — wrote "I don't know." I'm honestly not surprised that this was the response. These two were so in sync and so scared of it that even when they could've written down vastly different answers, they echoed the same scared sentiment. I remember Nick and Jess from season two. Do you? They were these two kids who had so much passion and care for each other, but were terrified of screwing up what they had. They tried to date and both weren't at the place where they could be honest and vulnerable with each other. They were scared, holding back their feelings and fears.

In season seven, it's beautiful to see how much these two have evolved. No longer are they scared of being together. They're no longer scared of diving in too deep. They now are mature enough to admit aloud to the things they couldn't years ago. They may not have jobs, or a place to live, or a single clue of what comes next.

But they have each other. And that's more than enough for them. There's this beautiful little exchange that they have right before they decide to get married in the hospital:

Jess: "We've both been scared about so many things for so long. I don't care about the past. Or the future. All I care about is right now, right here — you and me."' 
Nick: "I just wanna have a weird, wonderful life together. I wanna get married, and I wanna take care of you. I don't even care about a stupid curse. ... "Hey Jess? You wanna have the weirdest wedding of all time?"  
Jess: "To you? That's all I want, Miller."
So right there, in the hospital where Aly is about to have a baby and where Jess' scratched cornea looks disgusting and where Schmidt managed to find a rabbi and where a nurse plays "Groovy Kind of Love" on his iPad keyboard and where a new mom hands Ruth a bouquet of flowers and where everything is sad but happy at the same time, Nick and Jess get married.

They get married knowing that they can live without rooftop nuptials or cake or flowers or dozens of guests, but they can't live without each other.

And now, bonus points:
  • I love that Nadia makes her final appearance at the very beginning of the episode!
  • There's a minor plot point about Winston and Schmidt giving Nick and Jess a wedding roast instead of toast, and basically all you need to know is that Bob Day was not amused.
  • "But in a real way, Nick sucks as a person y'all."
  • I'VE MISSED YOU, JOAN DAY. I'VE MISSED YOU, BOB DAY.
  • I love that Jess forgetting to invite Sadie to the wedding becomes an actual part of the plot in "Engram Pattersky." Bless this show.
  • "Well that curse can kiss my ass, and you can kiss my face."
  • "I don't look like a pirate bride?" "No!" "Never!" "Why are we lying to her?"
  • "It's so weak, they call it gun control in America." THEY DID THAT.
  • It's the return of high!Jess. The last time we saw her was in "A Chill Day In," right? She's coming around more than once every ten years now!
  • "Did I make that sound with my mind?"
  • "Why is this how we make more people?! It's a terrible system!"
  • "What's the password?" "Ruth1." "Wrong." "Ruth2?" "Wrong." "Ruth3?" "Close!" "Don't do this to me, kid!" "Wrong."
  • "You're all so bad at fighting!"
  • TRAN FINALLY SPOKE AND IT WAS AMAZING.
  • "GROOVY KIND OF LOVE" IS THE SONG THE GANG SLOW-CHICKEN DANCED TO IN "WEDDING" AND IT'S THE SONG JESS WALKED DOWN THE AISLE TO AND I'M AWARE I AM WRITING IN ALL CAPS RIGHT NOW.
  • DanBill Bishop, I'm dying.
"Engram Pattersky"

It's time to bid goodbye to the loft and our amazing roomfriends in this hilarious, sentimental trip down memory lane. I'm not good at goodbyes. Neither, of course, is Jessica Day. She tries to tell Winston, Aly, Schmidt, and Cece over a conference phone call that she and Nick are moving out of the loft. But it's too much. So she calls them over in person. The core three — Winston, Cece, and Schmidt — are scared at whatever news Jess has to share. When she tells them, they're all baffled. They made peace with leaving the loft months or years ago.

Nick's okay with leaving, but his wife (who else loved the fact that Nick referred to Jess as "his wife" multiple times?) hasn't even begun packing yet. Jess is so not okay.

And because she's not okay, no one else is allowed to be okay. She locks the front door and demands that the group take a trip down memory lane before they can help her and Nick pack. Nick, meanwhile, takes the group aside and tells them that the only way they'll all survive the night is if they play along with Jess and pretend to get sentimental too. Schmidt, Winston, and Cece reluctantly agree to Nick's demands.

Jess, meanwhile, does the exact opposite of pack: she pulls out memorabilia from the last seven years (try and name all of the references you can! Some of my favorites: the "swuit," Winston's throne, the jam T-shirt that Spencer stole from Jess, etc.), and the group feigns interest/sentiment. Then Jess decides that simply looking at stuff isn't enough; the group needs to DO things in the loft they've never done before!

This is where the patience of the group begins to wane, and soon enough, Jess overhears Schmidt telling Nick that he's getting tired of pretending to be sad over stupid things. Jess is heartbroken, obviously, and tells her friends that they can leave. It's hard when you're the last one holding on. But it makes sense, as Jess notes, because the loft meant everything to her. It's where she found healing from her break-up and friends who became family. It's where she made memories, fell in love, and watched her two best friends get married. It's where she sat around the table for Thanksgivings and played countless games of True American.

To her, it wasn't a loft — it was a home. And a home she's having a hard time saying goodbye to.

After her moment of self-actualization, the group decides they've been a little harsh and agree to help her celebrate the loft in the way it deserves. After, Jess declares that they've finally done everything in the loft she wanted for the last time. Nick is the one to disagree though, and proposes a final game of True American. Winston, Nick, Schmidt, Cece, and Jess drink and laugh and leap around the apartment, cleaning and packing up all of Nick and Jess' stuff. As they clear up memories, we get to see a flash-forward.

See, this isn't the final game of True American after all.

In a scene that left me sobbing the first time I saw it (legit, I was a bit concerned), we get a flash-forward of True American... Kids Edition. Nick and Jess still have Mario, and now a little boy in a Bears jersey. They cheer for him as he chugs root beer, and the camera pans to another room where Schmidt and Ruth encourage her brother Moses to chug some more. Then Aly and her football team of boys leap onto pillows, Winston and his wife close behind them. Cece leaps in from the other room, and the whole scene is scored with beautiful, sentimental music.

Some adults in the flash-forward stand together on a chair... and then the scene cuts back to the present, where every character is left standing together on one cardboard box. The loft is empty. It's time to go.

Seeing the empty loft made me ache, but also feel weirdly okay. At some point in our lives, we all have to move on. We change jobs. We leave our cities. We meet new people. We start new relationships. But if we're really lucky, we'll always have a group of friends who ground us — the ones who are our second families; who our children call "aunt" and "uncle," and who fit just as much in our social lives as in our living rooms.

While the bar was the place the gang often met, the loft was really the place where they became family. 4D was as much of a character in the series as Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Cece, and Winston were. As the gang packs up the memories and heads out, there's one thing left: a final Prank Sinatra prank.

Yes, you read that correctly. As it turns out, Winston pulled off one of his biggest pranks yet. He set up the fake company "Engram Pattersky" (rearranging the letters, it spells "my greatest prank"), got some of our minor New Girl characters to help him pass out fake eviction notices, and had Fawn Moscato personally talk to Jess.

The gang is appalled that Winston pulled a prank THIS big, and they're equal parts angered and horrified. As they discuss how big of a prank this was, they all pile into the moving truck to a song called "Until We Get There," which — if you're as big of a fan as me — was featured at the end of "Winston's Birthday."

One of the lyrics to the song is:
What do you say? Is this the time for one more try at a happy life?
And I think that's kind of fitting. Jessica Day arrived at 4D with no real idea of what was going to come next for her life. She had just been cheated on, and would watch Dirty Dancing for hours on end. She learned how to be a stronger, better version of herself thanks to Nick, Schmidt, Winston (and Coach), and Cece. Nick was a jaded, cynical guy who was still hung up on Caroline. Winston had no clue what he wanted to do with his life. Cece was a model who settled for dudes who didn't deserve her, and was afraid to be vulnerable. And Schmidt? Schmidt just wanted to live his life, uninhibited.

Now they're parents and husbands and wives, and beginning a new chapter of their stories with pranks, True American, and lots of laughter.

The New Girl gang has grown up. But they'll never stop being those people we fell in love with. They're just better versions of themselves. And for that? I'm forever grateful.

And now, (final) bonus points:
  • I've been reviewing New Girl for five years now, and I'm so honored that you all chose to come on this journey with me. I can't express it enough, but I'll miss this show dearly.
  • Ruth's little "who are these people?" is hilarious. Also the entire conference call at the beginning of the episode was so on-point with everything we know to be true about these characters.
  • "Why do you always think like a character in The Babysitter's Club?"
  • I'm really happy that the show did a mid-dialogue credits cut. It reminded me of my favorite Community cut.
  • "I'm gonna go open a bottle of wine. Pink okay?"
  • It's fitting that the teleplay for the finale was written by Liz Meriwether, and the episode by Dave Finkel and Brett Baer. I'm so glad these three were showrunners together, and I hope they get to work on projects in the future because they just have a fantastic way of crafting stories.
  • I love the meta moment where the group looks at one of the places in the loft that's never featured.
  • ONE LAST NICK AND FAT SCHMIDT FLASHBACK, Y'ALL.
  • "You sweet, goblin-eyed dumb-dumb."
  • Cece's baby voice makes a reappearance and I think Hannah Simone should win an Emmy for that alone.
  • NICK FINALLY TELLS SCHMIDT HE LOVES HIM.
  • The first time I watched the screener and got to the flash-forward, I just started audibly sobbing and could not stop. I've watched it numerous times since, and still cry.
  • "You ready?" "Yeah, let's go."
  • I love that Sadie, Fawn, Principal Foster, and biology teacher dude returned.
  • "Until We Get There" broke me at the end of "Winston's Birthday," and it broke me now.
  • I love so much that the final audible line of the series is "ridiculous." It seems so right.
THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE, FOLKS. I'm so sad, but also so happy this show ended on the best note possible. What were your favorite moments? What made you cry? Sound off in the comments below!

Supergirl 3x18 Review: "Shelter from the Storm" (A Tiresome Tempest) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


“Shelter from the Storm”
Original Airdate: May 14, 2018 

I knew the run of non-annoying Supergirl episodes wasn’t going to last, but it was good while it did. This week, characters return to making idiotic choices at the plot’s behest and I wonder if I could sue the Supergirl writers for any sprains that might result from violent eye rolling.

I CAN’T STAND THE REIGN


The episode opens with James and Lena in Lena’s... office? Apartment? Anyway, Reign busts through Lena’s window searching for Ruby (because she thinks she needs to kill Ruby to kill Sam) but Lena sprays her in the face with some kryptonite pepper spray. The speed of Reign’s turn from threatening force of evil to wheezing and fleeing is so comical that I genuinely laughed out loud while watching.

At the DEO, everyone is ready to send the Legion members back to the future because they all think Pestilence is dead. Brainy gives Winn a little jar of dirt for Winn’s dirt collection (why am I not surprised that Winn collects dirt?) and is quite endearingly goofy. I would gladly trade Brainy for Mon-El, but alas — though Mon-El does indeed join his Legion teammates on the ship to the future, we all know he’ll return to blandly blandificate all over this show yet again. Perhaps forever! Is it possible to yawn yourself inside-out? Asking for future reference and insurance purposes.

Team Supergirl splits up when they learn Reign is targeting Ruby, so they can protect the locations Reign is most likely to visit. Supergirl and J’onn go to protect Patricia, Sam’s adoptive mother. Patricia is not surprised that Sam is Reign, since Sam used to draw the Reign symbol when she was a kid. Huh. So, why isn’t Kara going all self-righteous about that and lecturing Patricia the way she lectured Lena for keeping the same secret? Oh, right, it’s because Patricia must seem sympathetic in the end and Lena must be at odds with Kara/Supergirl to fulfill her role as a villain. I should have known. The quickest way to lay the groundwork for a character’s villainy is to have the hero openly disagree with them.

Reign shows up at Patricia’s and our heroes are unable to stop her. Patricia tries appealing to Sam’s forgiving, good nature, but Reign kills her. My closed captioning informs me that [flesh squelches] is what a Worldkiller murdering an old lady sounds like.

While the others failed to protect Patricia, Alex went directly to Ruby, hidden by Lena in Lex’s invisible mansion. There, Alex spends her time lying to Ruby about where her mother is and trying to distract her from what’s really going on. Since Ruby has no preservation instincts, Ruby swipes Alex’s phone, leaves the mansion, calls her mom, and gets overheard by Reign. Why did Ruby need to leave the mansion to call? It’s a giant mansion, she could have gone to a different room and no one would have heard her. Including Reign, which I suppose answers my own question.

The team finally realizes that the Worldkillers they thought were dead had just been absorbed by Reign, and the Legion learns this because the jar of dirt Brainy gave to Winn had a listening device in it. Much dithering occurs on the Legion ship while Imra and Mon-El debate turning around and I don’t know why, because their trip to the future is pointless now. Pestilence is not dead. If Supergirl fails to stop Reign, the Blight of the future will happen. Every single one of them should return to help and ensure Reign’s defeat, but instead it turns into a “if you love them, let them go” situation between Imra and Mon-El and only the latter goes back to help. This is ridiculous. You were wrong about your success against Pestilence! Stop making things dramatic and “romantic” and turn your stupid, wrong ship back around!

Back at the DEO, Lena lays her kryptonite knowledge out for Supergirl, who is upset about Lena knowing how to make the one thing that can kill her. Lena is defensive, saying that there is an astronomical number of things that can kill people, but humans don’t live in wrathful fear of all of them. I know that I’m supposed to be on Supergirl’s side because of narrative-delineated morality, but Lena’s argument is solid. Supergirl is a god in a world full of soft, flesh-squelching humans and gets mad at the prospect of one thing that could hurt her existing. She would rather eradicate all kryptonite everywhere than simply trust that Lena, a woman who has been on her side since they met, wouldn’t use kryptonite against her.

Kara doesn’t even soften it by saying that she trusts Lena, but Lena’s kryptonite could end up in the wrong hands. Instead, Supergirl is written with an air of paranoia as she makes the blanket assumption that anyone in possession of kryptonite must be out to get her. It’s an unflattering trait to give the hero of the show and only strengthens Lena’s argument that Supergirl wants guaranteed invulnerability. Do the writers want Kara to look like a coward who’s only brave when she knows nothing in the world can hurt her? Because that’s the picture this whole arc paints.

Back at Lex’s mansion, Reign takes a second to figure out that the building is invisible and the obvious metal box with a keypad in it is what’s making it that way, so she breaks the keypad. Side note: The security on that mansion really sucks if just breaking the keypad renders it all useless.

During the fight that occurs at the mansion, Ruby finally sees that her mother is Reign. Kara is only able to stop the Reign’s determination to kill Ruby when she mentions that Reign’s mission is to purge the Earth of sin, and Ruby is without sin (since stupidity is not a sin). The show should have leaned on the “Reign is a moral totalitarian” point a lot more in the episodes leading up to this, because what should have been an “A-ha!” moment sort of flatlines as an “Oh, right, that was a thing” moment instead.

Reign is distracted long enough for Mon-El to shoot her with kryptonite. Weakened, she’s transported back to Lena’s lab and freshly secured in the invisible-walled holding cell. Kara apologizes to Lena, saying that the kryptonite came in handy after all. Lena promises to keep working on a cure for Sam.

In an elevator on the way to visit Ruby, Lena runs into non-Supergirl Kara. Their conversation segues from talking about ice cream to Lena confessing her mistrust of Supergirl, and that latter bit is done with so much fervor that I can’t believe Lena still doesn't know that Kara and Supergirl are one in the same. It is exactly what someone would say if they were passive-aggressively trying to test whether their friend trusted them enough to be honest about their secret superhero identity. But no, it’s played straight because the writers still think Lena has a person-specific case of prosopagnosia.

Lena says that she can’t trust Supergirl because Supergirl sent James to determine whether she had kryptonite, and any trust they had was broken the moment she did. Which I think is perfectly reasonable. Lena doesn’t declare Supergirl her enemy or even imply that their working relationship is over, just that it was no longer a relationship of mutual respect and trust — and the cessation of that respectful, trustful relationship is Supergirl’s fault. Kara’s facial expressions flash between shock, dismay, and... worry? Guilt? It’s unclear, but I hope it’s guilt. Like the kryptonite situation earlier, I agree with Lena over Kara/Supergirl but I suspect the writers want me to think Lena is evil for her choices and Kara is in the right for hers. I certainly hope I’m wrong and all of this will turn into a lesson for Kara on her “no exceptions” approach to dealing with kryptonite, but the hope is a feeble one.

It’s far more likely that this is the first step in Lena’s descent into evil. See what happens when you keep secrets and lie to your friends, kids? They turn into supervillains out of resentment.

Other Things:
  • Next time: Putting the Worldkiller plot on pause for a James episode. Whatever.