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.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Flash 5x05 Review: "All Doll'd Up" (Parental Reflect) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


"All Doll'd Up"
Original Airdate: November 13, 2018 

Shout-out to the foley artists on this latest episode of The Flash for their sound work on Rag Doll, our metahuman villain of the week. To get that distinctive crunching every time Rag Doll contorted his freakish terror body, I assume they used... my nightmares? The horrifying psychological shadows buried in the cavernous infinity of my mind? That ancient, primal dread that exists, ineffable but undeniably present, within my very DNA?

I’m pretty sure it’s one of those three. Either that or like, crushed soda cans and wet macaroni.

Hey, have I mentioned that I have a childhood-deep irrational fear of dolls?

MAMMAS DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE PETRIFYING DOLL-MASKED FEAR DEMONS


To be totally honest, Rag Doll doesn’t factor into the episode a lot as a character in his own right. I think he’s simultaneously the least humanized and most humanized metahuman we’ve gotten in a long time, as he’s completely driven by an emotional revenge, but his behavior, his movements, the way he speaks, all borders on animalistic. His story isn’t framed like the metavillain stories usually are, with a clear-cut motivation and understandable modus operandi, and the mystery of him means he’s a bit like a spider in the corner of a room: lurking, anxiety-inducing, but out of the way.

The episode’s real focus is on Iris’s relationship with Nora, and Rag Doll’s past is used to highlight things about said relationship. This is the kind of “filler” episode I love The Flash throwing at us when it doesn’t have anything to say about the main villain of the season, because it keeps the characters’ stories moving even while the season arc is put on hold.

The episode starts when Iris and Barry get an alert that someone’s stolen a Monet painting from a museum (Barry is impressed they were proactive enough to do so at 10 o’clock in the morning). Nora has been ignoring her parents for two weeks, but she shows up during the Flash’s high-speed chase just in time to ignore her mother’s advice and almost get two civilians blown up. When the West-Allen family returns to S.T.A.R. Labs, Nora gets a stern talking-to from her parents, whines like a bratty teenager about how her mom never lets her do anything cool, and flees back to Joe and Cecile’s to do some more bratty teenager stuff. Nora must be in her 20s. Her attitude is kinda embarrassing.

Rag Doll makes his first appearance when he steals a couple’s heirloom jewels. He gets spotted by one of them, and the lady correctly labels the whole encounter “terrifying” when CCPD shows up to get the report. I’ll say! Rag Doll can bend and squish himself into small places and open jewelry boxes by smashing his hands paper-thin and sticking his fingers inside. It does seem like a tall tale from a frightened lady, though, so Barry doesn’t fully believe the story until he’s at the scene of Rag Doll’s next victim, where Barry himself witnesses Rag Doll folding through the slats of a vent like the world's worst kind of origami.

Unlike the first couple, this latest victim doesn’t just get something stolen — his whole building gets blown up, and Barry has to race him out of the explosion. The guy is an architect who’s incredibly proud of his life’s work, but Rag Doll sends it all up in flames. Much like how the jewels from the couple were heirlooms, the architect’s building was important for more than just its monetary value. Rag Doll is targeting people emotionally more than financially.

While still worrying about her fight with Nora, Iris accompanies Barry on an information-gathering trip to a party hosted by affluent Central City resident and mother of our masked metavillain, Theresa Merkel. It’s an excuse for Iris and Barry to get all dressed up and have a lovely, romantic (but brief) dance together in a ballroom. But after talking to the cold and withholding Theresa Merkel, Iris’s heart isn’t in the romantic setting or the two of them finally getting the long-delayed “first dance” of last season’s interrupted wedding. She’s thinking about how Nora sees her as cold and distant, and Iris is afraid the future her might be just as bad a mother to Nora as Theresa was to her now-villainous and emotionally messed up son.

Meanwhile, Nora’s hanging out with Cecile, who has made an exchange: for every chore Nora completes, she'll get one story about Barry, except Cecile has secretly been telling stories about Iris instead. Ever since arriving in the present, Nora has stubbornly refused to get to know Iris because she assumes her mother has always been the same as the woman who raised her and getting to know Iris now would be a waste of time. Considering how many cool stories Cecile was able to impress Nora with, this assumption is proven very wrong.

Back with Barry and Iris, Iris shares more of her fears about what kind of mother she’ll be for Nora, whether she’s destined to be the kind of mother whose daughter inevitably pushes her away. Iris pushed her own mother away when Francine came back into her life, Nora definitely pushes Future Iris away... but Barry tells Iris that she can change everything, can make different decisions when it comes to raising Nora. Like Cecile’s insistence that Nora learn about Iris as she is now, Barry tells Iris to stop worrying about what the future might bring and to reconnect with the present. After this rare occasion of Barry playing cheerleader to Iris for a change, Iris runs off to follow a lead and Barry goes home.

Not sure how Rag Doll has been choosing his victims, but it looks like Barry — or, rather, Iris — is next in line. Rag Doll kidnaps Barry and ties him up on the roof of a tall building, using a pair of pilfered meta-cuffs to make him powerless. Rag Doll’s goal is, as stated previously, to cause emotional pain like the emotional pain he lived with throughout his life, being raised by a cold-hearted mother. He wants to cause the same pain in Iris by killing Barry. When she shows up with Ralph, Iris immediately gives in, but Rag Doll pushes Barry off the building anyway. So Iris straight-up dives off the building after him so she can unlock the cuffs and save both their lives. Iris West-Allen is freaking amazing, people.

Nora witnesses her mother saving her father via the most awesome and reckless thing imaginable, and the seed of “maybe Iris is cool after all” planted by Cecile’s stories fully sprouts. It gets even better when Iris tells Nora that she’ll answer all the questions future her considered off-limits, that there’s no reason why Nora shouldn’t be able to get to know present-day Iris. It looks like the burned bridges between mother and daughter are finally being rebuilt.

A CISCO & CAITLIN C-STORY


The other character-driven plot going on this week involves Cisco and Caitlin trying to track down Caitlin’s dad, with the help of Ralph and Sherloque. I guess the team is taking a brief breather from tracking Cicada, which, like I said, is perfectly alright by me. The show taking a handful of episodes out of the season to put the season plot on pause while they build characters is not only okay, but commendable. Especially when they manage it as well as they did with this episode.

Cisco, hoping to remain useful despite the injury done to his hands (and his powers) by Cicada’s blade, has been overtaxing himself by vibing clues to Thomas Snow’s whereabouts and keeping his pain secret. He doesn’t want to be useless by being powerless, which clashes with his initial negative feelings about having powers at all. Caitlin, with her Killer Frost journey, can relate. But, she informs Cisco that there’s no way he could ever be useless — that he’s a genius in his own right, without needing powers to help the team.

He proves this at the end of the episode by jumping onto four of the satellites DeVoe launched into orbit during his world takeover last season. Cisco takes control of those satellites, finally putting Team Flash back online and giving them a fighting chance at tracking down the shards from the meta-empowered satellite... and tracking down Caitlin’s father.

Other Things:

  • Next time: we meet up with Caitlin’s dad! Will it be another good character-driven episode?

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 4x05 Review: "I'm So Happy For You" (West Covina, Or Change) [Contributor: Jenn]


"I'm So Happy For You"
Original Airdate: November 9, 2018

"The more things change, the more they stay the same." "The only constant is change." There are so many cliches about change that I'm sure you could name off the top of your head. Why's that? Because everyone has to deal with change. And — unless you're one of those rare weirdos who just loves it when their life shakes up — most people are pretty resistant to change by nature. Even if they don't fight against it, they unconsciously try and avoid it. We like things to be predictable. We like to be comfortable. Change is the exact opposite of that. It's newness and starting fresh. It's having to get to know someone again instead of settling into comfortable familiarity.

This week, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was all about change. Every storyline focused on changes disrupting our main characters and how they handled it. "I'm So Happy For You" eventually finds the characters in varying states of acceptance, but it takes a little bit of prying for them to get there.

COMPETITIVE MUCH?


It seems like an absurd confession (because Rebecca whispers it), but I actually relate to the reasons why Rebecca felt fearful about Heather and Valencia leaving in this episode. She confesses to her therapist that she's fueled by competition. Her friends seem to be moving forward in their lives — they're hitting the adult milestones of settling into their careers, permanent relationships, and owning homes — but Rebecca is fearful because she's not where they are. She doesn't want them to move on until she's hit all those milestones too. Look, as someone who's almost 30 and single, with no real possibility of an engagement, marriage, buying my first house, or children soon... I get it.

Sometimes the reason we're afraid of change is because we're afraid of being left behind in its wake.

Rebecca's logical solution? To find people who are further behind in their lives than she is to make herself feel better about her position in life. So she befriends her two much-younger coworkers in hopes that their presences will make her feel advanced and content. This obviously backfires because Rebecca is just burying the real fear (which eventually resurfaces) beneath a coping mechanism. It's then that Rebecca realizes exactly how terrible the young people she's hanging around with are and returns to her girl group by the end of the episode with heartfelt, self-deprecating apologies.

What I really love about this episode and Rebecca's progress is that it's realistic. I understand why Rebecca felt the need to compete with her friends' statuses. She was beginning to feel like she'd be left behind. And while Valencia and Heather, specifically, call Rebecca out for her horrible behavior... they also acknowledge that her self-flagellation isn't necessary. And Valencia and Heather aren't entirely excited about their change — they're scared, too! Change is scary!

But if it wasn't for Rebecca meddling to split Valencia and Josh apart, Valencia would never have realized her career path. She would never be in a position to be moving to New York. She wouldn't have changed who she was.

And Heather wouldn't have met her husband. Paula acknowledges too that she wouldn't be where she is without Rebecca. Though her actions have often been morally ambiguous at best and heinous at worst, the women know that they wouldn't be where they are or where they're going without the help of Rebecca Bunch. They would not have changed.

So while it doesn't make everything better (Rebecca still ends the episode feeling sad because she's losing two of her best friends), this small reassurance helps Rebecca realize that change is difficult for everyone. But ultimately, even the difficult pushes that change gives us can help us move into the places we're supposed to be.

COMFORTABLE IS GOOD, RIGHT?


White Josh echoes something in this episode that I recently said to my friend. We'd both recently broken up with our significant others, and I told her that I wish I could skip all the awkward small talk, getting-to-know-each-other phase and start my next relationship right in the middle of us knowing one another. White Josh feels similarly in the episode. He and Darryl aren't together, but they're spending a LOT of time together. (This leads to an impressive musical number.) See, Josh and Darryl have settled into a kind of relationship that is natural and easy. They're not together, but they know one another.

So when White Josh goes on a date, he returns back to Darryl's place and complains. His date wanted to ask all kinds of questions about him, his friends, and his life. Darryl is the first person to wake White Josh up with a splash of cold water to the face. They can't continue to remain comfortable, not change, but also not be together. White Josh has to realize that the pattern they fell into — the being together without actually being together — is holding both himself and Darryl back from truly finding happiness with someone else. You can't remain comfortable and move toward change; you have to sacrifice the things that are easy in order to become the best version of yourself.

As much as my friend and I want to skip over the difficult, awkward parts of dating — and as much as White Josh wants to do the same — we can't just fast-forward through the details to get to a place where we feel content. It's in the discontent that we become who we're going to be.

While I think we can assume White Josh and Darryl will end up together in the end, they both need to learn an important lesson right now in moving on.

AND THEN THERE WAS PAULA


I have mixed feelings about Paula's storyline this season. It feels weird that we've spent four years with her and we're now just starting to focus on her relationship with her kids in a meaningful way. Picking up from last week's storyline though, Brendan and Paula continue to bond. And then Brendan tells her that he's planning to move to South America.

After Paula gives Rebecca an inspired speech about how when you grow, you learn to say hello and goodbye to people pretty easily — the older you get, the more you have to do it and the more okay you get — she learns her son is moving, and she doesn't take it well. Thinking a relationship with a girl Brendan really cares about would keep him at home, Paula schemes... only to be schemed on by her own family who figure out her motives pretty quickly. (Sidenote: WHY did no one else on the show figure things out this quickly?!)

Paula gets to sing a nice song to her son about how she spent most of his life thinking he wasn't going places but, as it turns out, he is. And she's actually proud of him. It's a nice song, but I still don't know why I should care about Paula's family this much. They've been given a lot of focus, and I'm not sure it's earned. (I honestly think it's mostly to fill the B/C-plots this season.)

Still, at least Paula and Rebecca have each other again to lean on.

And they'll need each other with all the winds of change that keep coming!

More fun stuff:

  • I still will not get tired of the "Meet Rebecca" variations at the end of the opening theme. 
  • Did you all love the fact that Scott Michael Foster just appeared in one song and not the rest of the episode, and Nathaniel just wanted to be part of the musical number? No? Just me?
  • The end montage with all the changes was incredibly sweet, to be honest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Doctor Who 11x06 Recap: “Demons of Punjab” (Love Abides) [Guest Poster: Stephanie Coats]


“Demons of Punjab”
Original Airdate: November 11, 2018

At an unspecified time in the past, Yaz and her family are celebrating her Nani’s (grandmother’s) birthday. She gives Yaz, her favorite granddaughter, a broken watch that belonged to Yaz’s grandfather but won’t provide any detail about the watch beyond that.

Now in the TARDIS, Yaz persuades the Doctor to take them to visit her grandma when she was younger and the Doctor reluctantly agrees, so long as they don’t interfere with anything.

Yeah, because that’s always worked out well before.

FAMILY SECRETS


Pretty soon after landing in 1947 Pakistan, the Doctor has a telepathic flash of strange-looking aliens. There’s no choice but to investigate. The team encounters a man in a cart who seems to know Yaz’s grandma, Umbreen, and agrees to take them to see her. He greets a holy man also walking along the road as they leave. Arriving at Umbreen’s house, the TARDIS Team claims to be distant relatives and family friends but right away Yaz notices a problem. The man who brought them, Prem, is Umbreen’s fiancĂ© — but he’s not her future grandpa. Then again, he’s wearing the watch. Did her Muslim grandma have a secret Hindu first husband?

In addition to being the day of Umbreen’s wedding, it’s also the day of Partition, when India is divided into India and Pakistan. The Doctor knows this will cause intense violence and millions of deaths too. Prem’s younger brother, Manish, is all for the division. He even creates a border with a piece of rope to show where Umbreen’s family, who are Muslim, “belong” in Pakistan and where his family, who are Hindu, “belong” in India.

HAUNTED BY DEMONS


The Doctor gets a long psychic flash of the aliens and runs into the forest, where she and the team find aliens crouched over the dead holy man from the road. Prem shoots at the aliens but they teleport away. The holy man is covered in a weird purple dust. Prem reveals he’s seen the “demons” before, during the war. When he went searching for his older brother, he saw the aliens standing over his body. Prem, the Doctor, and Ryan stumble upon a doorway to a spaceship. Inside, the Doctor learns the aliens are Thijarians — well-known deadly assassins. When she grabs a canister of the purple dust that was covering the holy man’s body, the Thijarians are summoned back to the ship. She’s able to use the sonic to get herself and the two men to safety, though they get split up in the process.

They all meet — along with Umbreen and Prem’s families — in Prem’s barn. The Doctor uses the Thijarians’ mini teleporters to create a temporary barrier around the property. Manish as well as Umbreen’s mom, who has opposed her daughter’s marriage from the start, think the aliens were summoned because of the impending union. Umbreen is unmoved; Prem is the one certainty in her life, she says. She proposes they get married first thing in the morning.

WITNESS ME


The men and women separate for the night. The four ladies, the Doctor included, chat around a fire. Umbreen reveals her family and Prem’s have always worked the land alongside one another. She and Prem grew up together. The holy man who died was supposed to perform the wedding ceremony so instead, Umbreen asks the Doctor to do it, and she agrees. The stag night goes less pleasantly. Manish and Prem argue over a Hindu marrying a Muslim, and the younger brother storms out.

That night, the Thijarians break through the force field and take the Doctor back to their ship. There, they show her how their homeworld was destroyed and they decided to give up their assassin lifestyle in favor of traveling throughout time and space to honor the unacknowledged dead. They are staying near Prem because tomorrow on his wedding day, he’s going to die alone. The Doctor asks about the holy man and they show her how he died, though we don’t get to see. She returns to the barn and tells the team what she’s learned. Yaz is heartbroken for her grandma and doesn’t want to leave until she can be sure Umbreen will be okay. The others agree to stay as well.

LOVE, HOPE, AND LOSS


In the beautiful morning light, the Doctor performs the wedding ceremony at Manish’s makeshift border. She sonics off the rope but Umbreen picks it up. With Yaz’s help, she binds together her hands and Prem’s in the Hindu tradition. From a distance, Manish watches hatefully. He returns to the barn during the reception, where Umbreen tries to honor him for working the land during the war and helping to keep her family alive. He shirks her praise and before storming out again, saying he wishes Prem had died in the war rather than return and disgrace their family by marrying Umbreen.

Determined not to let his brother spoil the day, Prem gives Umbreen his watch, though he drops it on accident, breaking it. Umbreen reassures him — this is now their moment in time forever. The Doctor follows Manish and confronts him just as he grabs Prem’s rifle from the war. She knows he killed the holy man. Manish tells her to leave with her friends if she wants to live. Armed men are on their way to enforce the new border.

Umbreen and her mother race to gather essentials from their home. Then, Prem sends them into the forest while he goes out to confront Manish and the men on horseback. He walks forward alone. He recognizes one of the men as someone he served alongside in the war. Team TARDIS runs into the forest, but Yaz stops to watch. The Thijarians arrive and promise to watch over Prem. Yaz and the others continue to run as Manish rejects his brother’s attempt at peace and one of the armed men shoots Prem.

Back in the present, Yaz visits with her grandmother. Where before Yaz had pressed for the story of her grandfather’s watch, now she says she’s fine to wait until another time to hear it.

Final Thoughts:

  • Season 11 is turning into a massive history lesson and I love it. I’m sure there are critics and viewers complaining that the show is too political but Doctor Who has always been at its most profound when it reflects the issues we face in contemporary life. Every “political” message has been spot on.
  • I was critical last week that none of the bad guys this season have faced any consequences from their behavior, especially when that behavior has almost always resulted in people dying. I stand by that criticism, but I also acknowledge that in many episodes this season, the true “villain” is a social problem such as racism, prejudice, or greed. It’s a lot harder to punish those kinds of villains, but I do appreciate how much the show drives home the point that love, compassion, unity, and acceptance are always stronger. 
  • The Doctor: “Gold star for Ryan! Wait, was I awarding points? Ugh, I forgot about the points!”
  • Prem: “I don’t know how we protect people when hatred’s coming from all sides.” Graham: “All we can strive to be is good men. And you, Prem, are a good man.”
  • The Doctor: “Love, in all its forms, is the most powerful weapon we have. Because love is a form of hope, and, like hope, love abides ... in the face of everything. You both found love with each other. You believed in it, you fought for it, and you waited for it. And now, you’re committing to it. Which makes you, right now, the two strongest people on this planet. Maybe in this universe.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Grey’s Anatomy 15x07 Review: “Anybody Have a Map?” (Beginning of the End?) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Anybody Have a Map?”
Original Airdate: November 8, 2018

A pseudo-bottle episode stands in for the normally plot and cast-packed second to last episode of the year. While the latest entry in Grey's Anatomy may not directly play out in what appears to be an action-packed winter finale, the three storylines will most certainly have an effect on the rest of the season. If you watched this episode and aren’t sure what the point was, it focuses on Richard, Catherine, and the extended families of those closest to them. So let's dive in!

CATHERINE


Catherine hasn’t popped up since the season fifteen opener because she's been very busy with putting the final touches on converting the Harper Avery Foundation hospitals to Catherine Fox Foundation hospitals. Much to Richard’s chagrin, Catherine decides to stay in Los Angeles an extra day for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of her latest masterpiece and to welcome Meredith Grey and Tom Koracick for a consult. The two docs, under the impression that their VIP patient will be an A-list celebrity, have their worlds rocked when they learn that Catherine is their patient and a recent scan revealed that she has a massive spinal tumor.

The three characters of this story spend the episode reeling from the news that Catherine could potentially be very sick. Tom performs a biopsy to find out exactly what type of tumor they are dealing with. If you are wondering why Catherine asked Tom and Meredith to be her doctors, there are some very good reasons: Obviously, Meredith is very close to Richard, who is going to need a lot of support once he finds out the grim news. Meredith is also considered to be one of the best general surgeons in the country (and let’s not forget those early years where she was training to become a neurosurgeon under Derek). Catherine trusts Meredith and goes way back with Tom.

The nice part of this emotional story is that we get more backstory on Tom. He tells Meredith that Catherine is a very close friend of his and that she was the one to wake him up from his hazed slump after he lost his child. He credits Catherine with helping him to realize his full potential as a surgeon. And as one of the best neurosurgeons, Tom is Catherine’s first choice.

Unfortunately, Catherine has a chondrosarcoma on her spine, which is a form of cancer that cannot be treated with chemotherapy. Tom is nervous about attempting to excise the tumor because she could become paralyzed, a quadriplegic, or die during the surgery. Catherine has fought many battles in her life, so I don’t expect for her to give up easily. I’m more worried about how her husband and son will handle the news, considering both are in downward spirals lately.

RICHARD


The second plot of the episode follows Richard through a day at Grey Sloan Memorial. One of his favorite, and prodigal, nurses happens to collapse in pain in front of him. Oh, and she’s 28 weeks pregnant. Richard personally cares for Nurse Frankie all day, who then decides to go against Richard’s wishes and not have surgery to fix her splenic torsion. She decides wait and see if her spleen will fix itself so that she doesn't have to put her baby in harm’s way. This proves to be a fatal mistake: Frankie’s condition gets worse, leading to surgery.

In the OR, Richard does everything he can to save the nurse’s life, but he can’t find the source of the extreme bleeding. He calls Alex to meet him in the OR in case the baby has to be delivered, that way the child can get the best care possible. Alex arrives in time to deliver the baby and save its life. Richard’s attempts at saving Frankie’s life fall short, and he is so emotional that he can’t say the time of death. Richard then delivers the bad news to the rest of the nursing staff. He’s had a pretty tough go lately — the loss of Olive, not going to AA meetings, not finding a new sponsor, keeping things to himself, not having his wife around, and now having one of his favorite nurses die on his watch.

To say that this character needs help is an understatement. In a brief glimmering moment of hope, Richard goes to a short-lived AA meeting. He storms out of the building after hearing a woman tell a story about a local bar that gives free shots for AA chips in the form of one shot per year sober. In the next scene, Richard finds and goes into the aforementioned bar, gives the bartender his chip, and has eight shots of vodka poured in front of him. This was the first moment of the episode where I truly thought that Richard had lost it. After staring at the shots for a moment, he gets up, goes behind the bar, grabs a baseball bat, and starts smashing everything in sight. He tells the frightened bartender that taking away people’s sobriety ruins lives and that he doesn’t appreciate it. Granted, this has more to do with his own inner struggles than the bar’s practices but the point stands.

The episode ends with Meredith getting a collect call in L.A. from Richard, who has been arrested for his actions. This second moment of Richard losing it is more startling than the first. His actions are more than a cry for help. I’m assuming he is going to be charged with destruction of property and could be facing jail time, which could in turn affect his medical license. Between his outburst and when he eventually learns that Catherine is sick, Richard needs to find help before it’s too late. If there’s one character that I’m concerned won’t make it out of this season alive, it’s Richard.

JACKSON


The final story of the episode features Jackson and Maggie trying to reconnect. Things seem to be back to normal until Maggie accidentally picks up Jackson’s phone instead of her own and finds several text messages from another woman saying that she misses Jackson with several heart emojis. Naturally, Maggie is furious and accuses Jackson of cheating on her with the mystery woman. Jackson denies the allegations immediately and tells Maggie that he met this woman while on his spiritual sabbatical and only talked with her. He tries to get Maggie to understand that he opened up to this woman about his stress and problems because she had been through similar experiences. Jackson, who is already on thin ice, says that it was nice to talk to someone who understood where he was coming from.

Maggie briefly decides that Jackson is telling the truth and that situation with his new confidant isn’t earth-shattering. She tries to be a better girlfriend by giving Jackson the chance to open up to her and tell her all of his problems, but it goes south quickly. Jackson all but says that he still has feelings for April and is grieving the end of their relationship. Guess it finally hit him after... how long? Jackson is shocked when Maggie gets up and leaves in tears, saying that she can’t do this. Dude, how can you be surprised that your girlfriend probably wants to dump you after you tell her you are talking to other women and might have feelings for your ex-wife? Considering his fragile state this season, the news of Catherine’s illness will probably hit Jackson hard, and it might be the thing that brings him and Maggie back together since it impacts Richard, and therefore her, too.

Blindspot 4x05 Review: "Naughty Monkey Kicks At Tree" (The Real Remi) [Contributor: Jen]


"Naughty Monkey Kicks At Tree"
Original Airdate: November 9, 2018

Remi fights her impending death in "Naughty Monkey Kicks At Tree" and hopes for a cure, but her emotional breakdown reveals the real cure will be Kurt Weller.

CASE OF THE WEEK


Rich Dotcom truly is an inspired addition to the cast, so I don't mind the Blindspot writers jumping through ridiculous hoops to connect him to the case of the week. Rich and Patterson get a hit off one of Jane's tattoos — the scythe. There is a serial killer/assassin of the same name and he's escaped FBI capture for years. The CIA always believed The Scythe worked for the Russians, and Rich accurately points out the scythe would be a nod to the USSR. Jane's scythe tattoo has a cluster of dots, which matches the facial recognition scan of Luther Dolov, who has just entered the country.

Remi and Weller capture Luther Dolov after he murders a doctor working for an alternate energy research lab. However, Luther is not working for the Russians this time. He rambles on about the people of New York being parasites to the environment, and Rich recognizes a passage Luther references. Several years ago, Rich created a website where people would pay him to offset their carbon footprint. They paid a fee and Rich would use the money to plant trees or help clean the ocean.

... Of course, he didn't; he just pocketed their money. Why didn't these people just plant a tree themselves? They almost deserve to have their money taken if they are this stupid.

Rich grew bored pretending to be a world leading environmentalist, so he created, "an algorithm that scourers the Internet for anything remotely ecological, whips it up, and spits it out as propaganda." Rich moved on long ago, but someone used the site to inspire environmental terrorist attacks.

Patterson digs into everyone who once bought into Rich's website and finds Daniel Katzovich. He began ELM or Eco Liberation Movement, which has carried out several terrorist attacks all in the name of protecting the environment. Unfortunately, the FBI hasn't been able to connect Daniel to these attacks.

Dr. Miller was a member of ELM, but she wanted out. She was stockpiling white phosphorus, which starts fires that can't be put out. It's so awful it's banned in war. ELM took Dr. Miller's phosphorus stash and then had her murdered so she couldn't talk.

Rich goes undercover with Weller to figure out ELM's next target. Rich Dotcom undercover is always hilarious, but most of the time he blows the op with his ridiculousness. This time Rich is fairly effective, in no small part because of Patterson telling him to rein it in constantly. They discover ELM is planning an air strike with drones filled with white phosphorus. There's a shoot-out, and Keaton takes a bullet for Remi, but the team is able to stop the attack.


TEAM BLINDSPOT


Reade and Zapata are reunited, but unfortunately it's not the reunion I was hoping for. Tasha and her torture-loving partner are angling for Reade's password, which he refuses to give. Naturally.

Soooo... are we doing this? Tasha is going to stand by while Reade is tortured? Not to say this is a deal-breaker: Kurt "allowed" Jane to be tortured and they worked through it. All right, technically Weller didn't know about the torture exactly, but come on. She was at a CIA black site! Weller never asked, but he knew what was going on.

Reade and Tasha square off. She's begging him for the password, and he is trying to figure out what the heck happened to the love of his life. Tasha's basic reasoning is that she worked for the NYPD, the FBI, and the CIA and was burned by every agency. They are all corrupt, so she's looking out for number one now and doing things her way. Ehhhh... it's not the full story, but it has a very "my soul be damned" ring to it which is what she's going for. Tasha is trying very hard to convince Reade she's evil now.

Reade asks her, "Did you ever love me?" Tasha replies: "Yeah. I've always loved you."

SOB. Let's just ignore when Tasha pretends like she's just saying what Reade wants to hear and he's nothing more than a mark to her. Dude, she's trying to make sure you keep your eyeballs. The lady with the meat fork is craaaaazy.

Crazy Meat Fork Lady decides torture isn't the way to break Reade's will — Tasha is. She puts a gun to her head and threatens to kill Tasha if Reade doesn't give up the password. Zapata is legitimately freaking out because this nutcase will actually do it. Thankfully, we only get to the count of two before Reade coughs up the password.

At least Reade isn't a total dummy. He tells Tasha: "You worked with Blake because she was easy to control, but Madeleine is a different story." DING DING DING! Zapata has been in over her head for a while, but "Naughty Monkey Kicks At Tree" is when she finally gets the upper hand.

Tasha gives Madelaine whatever information she wanted from the FBI and then she kills Claudia (a.k.a. Crazy Meat Fork Lady). Claudia has been threatening Tasha from minute one, but I was still completely shocked when she killed her. Maybe it's the way she killed her. Tasha opened the trunk and it was covered in plastic. She doesn't hesitate putting three bullets in Claudia, and then casually tosses her in the trunk. STONE COLD.

Zapata lies to Madeleine and tells her Claudia was MI-6. Madeline has been looking for a mole, but she thought it was Zapata. Is she? I still can't quite figure out what Tasha's endgame is in all of this. She's not working for the CIA, that's for sure. So I don't know who Tasha would be a mole for.

KURT AND JANE


Remi finds out Kurt had Allie look into her contact, so she knows he's not buying the happy wife routine completely. Therefore, in a stunning move of diabolical subterfuge, Remi cuts her hair. DON'T BELIEVE IT, KURT. ALL THE SECRETS ARE IN THE HAIR! Sometimes I feel like Martin Gero reads my tweets and then makes storytelling choices based off of them. I was onto the hair, so of course he cuts it. Kidding. Kind of.

Patterson finds a potential treatment for "Jane," but she has to be tested to find out if she's a viable match. This isn't a simple blood test. Remi has to undergo a spinal tap with no anesthesia. SERIOUSLY? Yeesh.

We do get some amazing Kurt "Husband of the Year" Weller scenes out of it. He kisses "Jane's" hand, and constantly reassures her everything will be all right even though he's not sure it will be. Someone copy this man's DNA and replicate him already.

Despite all her training and desire to watch government agencies burn, Remi is scared. She puts on a brave face with the no anesthesia thing, but she is genuinely concerned she's going to die. When the test comes back and she's not a match, it begins to dawn on Remi — she might actually die.

What's fascinating about this scene is it's not Kurt comforting Jane. It's not Kurt comforting Remi pretending to be Jane. It's Kurt comforting Remi. For the first time, we see Remi drop her guard. All the anger and hatred seems to fade away. She's not obsessed with getting her mother released. The mission no longer matters. Remi is just scared. She doesn't want to die. She allows herself to take comfort in Kurt. He holds Remi and instead of the Machiavellian glare we typically see over Kurt's shoulder, we see her fear instead. Remi buries her head into Kurt's shoulder and allows herself to be loved.

It's really a stunning moment and I think a critical turning point. Remi keeps coming up with reasons why Kurt Weller needs to remain alive. However, it's becoming clear Kurt is having an impact on her. She's fighting it with everything she has, but Kurt is making inroads even though it's completely unbeknownst to him.

This is an important question for Blindspot to answer: Would Kurt and Jane even be together if she had not lost her memories? The short answer is no. The zip brought them together, and the zip is bringing them together once again.

It's clear Remi is developing feelings for Kurt, but they aren't connected to her memories as Jane. This is Remi's heart and soul being impacted. She may shut the door as soon as it opens, but the point is the door is opening. Remi isn't able to admit it, but she is beginning to fall for Kurt. Is it love? Is it more powerful than her desire to see the world burn? No, not yet, but we're getting there. Ultimately, whoever she is — memories or no memories, Jane or Remi — she will always find her way to Kurt Weller.

We also have confirmation Remi is beginning to remember Jane's memories. She insists Keaton bring her to Shepherd as her dying wish. Remi tells Keaton he owes her because not long ago she was the one being tortured by him at a black site. The way Remi references the torture makes it abundantly clear she remembers it.

If Remi is beginning to reclaim Jane's memories and developing feelings for Kurt then it's game, set, and match. Shepherd doesn't stand a chance. Remi is determined to free Shepherd, who is the most important emotional connection to her besides Roman. Shepherd is a master manipulator and unfortunately Remi has no clue how evil her mother truly is (or how evil their plans are together). I fully expect Remi to free Shepherd next week and the only combatant against that woman is Kurt Weller. He will be the only person who can emotional influence on Remi on the same level. A fact that will surprise not only Shepherd, but Remi as well.

Stray Thoughts:

  • "And the right to apologize for turning a perfectly good online scam into a terrorist organization." I love how Rich is just as righteously indignant over his scam being co-opted as he is about the threat to millions of lives.
  • Kurt needs to tell Patterson what's going on. Patterson knows all. Patterson fixes all.
  • Keaton took a bullet for Jane, so I'd say they are square now.
  • Keaton is in a medically-induced coma, which is going to make getting to Mama Shepherd trickier.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Doctor Who 11x05 Recap: “The Tsuranga Conundrum” (A Very Bad Alien Baby) [Guest Poster: Stephanie Coats]


“The Tsuranga Conundrum”
Original Airdate: November 4, 2018

Where would you want to go after agreeing to travel in time and space with an alien in a bigger-on-the-inside blue box? How about a very exciting... junkyard?! That’s where Team TARDIS is at the start of the episode. To be fair, their dialogue suggests they’ve had other adventures since we last saw them but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re in a junkyard now, scavenging with metal detectors. Sadly, the only thing they find is a sonic bomb, which goes off and blasts them all.

NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE


Not to worry, though! All four awake in a medical unit, well-attended to by medics Astos and Mabli. The Doctor is the last to come to, and she’s still very dizzy and in pain. The medics explain they were pulled from the debris and fixed up. Worried about leaving the TARDIS on a junk planet, the Doctor stumbles around looking for the exit, only to eventually realize they aren’t on the planet at all. They’re on the Tsuranga, a medical transport unit, four days away from the planet with the TARDIS.

Obviously distressed both for her TARDIS and ability to keep her companions safe without the ship, the Doctor uses the sonic to override the ship’s system with the intention of turning them around. Astos intervenes, however. He impresses upon her that there are other patients aboard, ones that need to receive proper treatment at their destination. If the Doctor turns them around, she’s being selfish and thoughtless. Humbled, she backs off... just in time for the ship to register a breach in the shields. Something has come aboard mid-flight.

A new passenger might not be such a bad thing — if it didn’t immediately start attacking the life pods that is. Astos convinces the Doctor, who is still in visible pain, to let him check the pod. He should’ve known better. He’s immediately tricked into getting into the pod, is locked inside, and the pod is ejected into space, where it blows up. Everyone comes running to see what’s going on and they all spy a small, aggressive, baby-like alien chomping on parts of the ship. It even snatches the sonic screwdriver and gnaws on it before spitting it out and scurrying off.

COMPLICATIONS ALL AROUND


Using the ship’s database, the Doctor learns the creature is a P’ting. It doesn’t eat people, but it is toxic to the touch and basically unkillable. It poses a significant threat to everyone on board, including a pregnant alien man named Yoss, a highly decorated pilot named General Eve Cicero, and her brother — a mechanic named Durkas. The siblings are fighting for a number of reasons, but mainly because Durkas is convinced Eve is hiding a medical condition from him, aided and abetted by her android assistant, Ronan. He pressures Mabli to give Eve more medication. Meanwhile, Yoss shows off ultrasound pictures to Yaz and Ryan but tells them he doesn’t plan to keep the baby because he’s not ready to be a dad. This, of course, brings up Ryan’s complicated feelings about his own father.

The Doctor discovers the P’ting has re-routed them towards an asteroid field. She’s still unclear what the creature wants, though. An alert comes through asking if there are any problems on board, which poses a conundrum. If they’re honest, the ship will explode in space to prevent the P’ting from reaching the planet. If they say no and can’t get rid of the P’ting themselves, they’re endangering a lot more people. The Doctor takes that chance and responds with an a-okay.

In an all-hands briefing, she reassures everyone that she’ll get them safely to the planet. Eve has experience with a P’ting and knows it’s dangerous. They deduce it will head toward the anti-matter drive because it has the most energy on the ship. If it’s destroyed, they’ll be dead in space. Ronan and Yaz are left to guard the drive while Graham and Ryan help Mabli deliver Yoss’ baby (Graham has seen Call the Midwife, after all).

To guide them through the asteroid field and to a safe landing, Durkas rigs up a Pacific Rim, Jaeger-style piloting interface for Eve. But there’s a major problem. Eve reveals she has Pilot’s Heart, a condition that means if her adrenaline surges too high, she’ll die. That’s why she’s been using adrenaline blockers and, indeed, has used all the ones on board. She is still determined to do her part.

VICTORY, BUT NOT WITHOUT COST


Ronan and Yaz manage to stun the P’ting, wrap it up, and dropkick it down the hall to buy them all some time. The Doctor removes the built-in bomb from the ship and plans to set it off safely. She lures the P’ting towards it. Once the creature, swallows the bomb, it goes off and the Doctor ejects the P’ting from the ship. Eve flies magnificently but her heart can’t take the strain. She hands over control to Durkas and collapses, dead. Yoss gives birth to a boy and decides to keep him after all.

Everyone gathers around Eve’s body to memorialize her with an incantation: “May the saints of all the stars and constellations bring you hope, as they guide you out of the dark and into the light. On this voyage and in the next. And all the journeys still to come. For now, and evermore.”

Final Thoughts: 

  • We’re five episodes in and we haven’t seen the villain of any episode face actual consequences for their villainy. Where is the justice for the people these bad guys/creatures/aliens killed or caused to be killed? 
  • I am having the hardest time hearing or remembering the names of any new character in each episode. Is it the Southern English accents throwing me off? Or is it that there are like 4+ new characters in every episode that we meet and learn about and I just can’t keep them straight? 
  • Graham has seen every episode of Call the Midwife, though he looked away at the squeamish parts. The Doctor has seen all 900 casts of Hamilton.

Blindspot 4x04 Review: "Sous-Vide" (Isolation) [Contributor: Jen]


"Sous-Vide"
Original Airdate: November 2, 2018

A bio weapon forces Team Blindspot into a lock down in "Sous-Vide."  However, the quarantine is not the only isolation these characters are battling.


CASE OF THE WEEK



The brief respite we received last week from complicated tattoo explanation is over. We twist and turn ourselves every which way to solve the tattoo in "Sous-Vide." First, we begin with a recipe. No this is not Cupcake Wars. You are on the right channel. Kurt arrives home after spying on his wife only to find Rich Dotcom cooking in his kitchen. Rich discovered a clue in the Tokoyo cache to solve another tattoo. The clue is a recipe, which means the Blindspot writers are just brainstorming ways to get Rich into Kurt's apartment and wear an apron. I fully support this endeavor.

I am way more interested in Kurt Weller giving Rich Dotcom cooking lessons than solving a tattoo, but this is still Blindspot. Rich's recipe is a stew and stews don't require cream, so that's the ingredient to unlock the tattoo. The solved tattoo spits out an address to an abandoned psychiatric hospital. (Rich: "How bad does an asylum need to be to get shut down in the 50s?")

Kurt, Reade, and Remi investigate the asylum and we are in every scary Halloween movie I've ever seen — complete with flickering lights. Someone starts shooting at them through a wall but the team takes him out. The dead gunman was protecting some super creepy doll collection hiding behind the wall. I think I hate creepy dolls even more than I hate asylums.

The gunman is a well-known drug smuggler named The Carpathian. Rich explains drugs can be starched and shaped into objects like dolls for smuggling. I believe him because there were cocaine dolls in Traffic. Feel free to fact check me on that, but I'm pretty sure.

Patterson brings in Laurel Chadwick — an expert in heroin starching from the DEA Chemical Analysis Division — to inspect the dolls. The dolls are not made of cocaine or heroin. Normally, this would be a good thing, but the dolls contain something much worse. They release dust spores containing an unknown pathogen. Patterson suspects it's hemorrhagic fever and puts the entire FBI headquarters in a quarantine lock-down. Woo! It's been a while since we've done an episode about a communicable disease threatening the lives of all we know and love.

Colonel Beck of the U.S. Army Biological and Chemical Response Unit begins administering a reaction serum that will slow down the symptoms. Beck looks official enough, so he's allowed to immediately start injecting people. The team will regret this decision later on. It'd be super nifty someone on Team Blindspot remembered that Roman and Remi's tattoos expose corrupt government agencies and officials. When a government agent they've never met before shows up on a crime scene maaaaaybe they should do a double-check before he's allowed to start sticking needles in people.

Patterson discovers hemorrhagic fever requires a live host to be transmissible so it's more likely anthrax in the dolls. But anthrax is not communicable person to person. Laurel is presenting with highly contagious symptoms, so it's a contagious disease that spreads through spores and hosts. This does not exists in nature, and Patterson suspects Laurel has been infected with an engineered bio-weapon. Laurel dies about five seconds later, so whatever this is... it ain't good.

Patterson discovers that Laurel was not killed by viral infection and not a bacteria. She explains to us non-science people eating chips at home while watching the show that viruses and bacteria are like apples and dolphins. Super rad. Carry on. Patterson says, "It was as if Laurel was killed by an entirely different agent once she was in quarantine."

If you aren't saying a lot of DUN DUN DUNNNN in this episode, you are really missing out.

Kurt realizes they used the wrong key to solve the tattoo. He looks at an army patch or something and it suddenly dawns on him, I guess? He instructs Patterson to change the key to "Rosemary" and, after some additional fiddling with clues from the recipe, the tattoo spells out "Beck BCRU."

"Cream" unlocked the smuggler part of the tattoo, but "rosemary" points to the bio engineer — Colonel Beck. The agent he administered to Laurel actually sped her symptoms up to kill her faster and masked the original pathogen. The quarantine is essentially a lab test for Beck.

Beck injects the serum into "Jane" and sends Weller into full "protect wife" mode. Remi must decide whether to trust Kurt or Beck. She chooses Kurt, so we know she's evil but not stupid evil. Unfortunately, Remi is outnumbered so Kurt orders Patterson to open the door. Yes, Kurt Weller ran into a quarantined area without a HAZMAT suit to save his woman. It was hot.

Image result for i can be your hero baby gif

Kurt injects Beck with the same serum so he's forced to reveal the cure. Yes, there's a cure; they aren't going to kill Jane.

TEAM REMI


Remi has a little side-plot while all this quarantine excitement is going on. She's determined to find Shepherd, so she tricks Boston into hacking the black site intelligence. He hands over an Ethernet cable which can be used to hack the FBI from the inside.

The lockdown makes it nearly impossible to use the Ethernet cable because there are so many people around. Remi whips a bunch of FBI employees into a frenzy and they hack open a SIOC door. Honestly, Remi's ability to make federal employees freak out on such a ridiculous level is extremely hard to believe. Bio hazard lockdowns are probably just another Tuesday for most FBI employees, but whatever.

Unfortunately, this army unit is walking around with guns. They are prepared to kill anyone who tries to escape the quarantine. Rich stops the door from opening, but the ruse still gives Remi enough time to plug in the Ethernet cable to the FBI servers. Boston hands over the extracted information at the end of the episode, and Remi is on her way to a reunion with Mama Shepherd.


TEAM BLINDSPOT


It feels like Zapata is on an entirely different show these days. She's completely isolated from everyone and everything she cares about. It's hard to feel sorry for her though because Tasha is the maker of her own prison.

Zapata is running from someone. She was unable to steal the personnel files Burke wanted from Bradley Dynamics. Since Zapata failed, Madeleine hires a new player — Claudia Murphy — to get the information. Bradley has billions of dollars in contracts with the U.S. government. This means the FBI will have done extensive background checks on their employees. Claudia and Burke simply need an FBI agent with high enough clearance to hand over the information: Edgar Reade. Their plan is to torture Reade for the information and that is when we can actually see Zapata internally screaming.


This is the real reason why Burke brought in Claudia; she lacks confidence in Zapata because of her emotional connection to Reade. There is no line Claudia is unwilling to cross.

Tasha plays it cool by suggesting they break into Reade's apartment and skip the torture. He has a hard line into the FBI's office that by passes the firewall. Does this seem like something the assistant director of the FBI should have in their apartment? No, it does not. If Hilary Clinton can't answer emails over an unsecured network, then Reade's set-up is a massive security risk.

Patterson's lockdown has initiated an additional security measure on Reade's computer. Tasha needs an extra PIN code to unlock it. Seriously, why isn't that required all the time? Keeping your FBI computer at home is a terrible idea, Edgar. Unfortunately, Zapata doesn't have the number, so now Claudia gets to torture Reade.

To make matters worse, Claudia knows Zapata left the little girl from last episode alive. How she knows and why she hasn't told Burke yet remains to be seen, but now this psychopath has something to hold over Tasha. I have yet to see how Tasha is in control in any of these situations. How exactly is she ridding the world of all evil?

As for Reade, he just lays in bed every night and wonders if Tasha ever loved him.


Patterson assures Reade she does, but it's understandable why Reade is uncertain. The next time he sees Tasha, she's broken into his apartment and is pointing a gun at his face. Sometimes I wonder if the Jeller endgame eliminates a Rapata endgame because this is why we can't have nice things. It does make the show more interesting if a happy ending for one of these couples is uncertain (and it sure isn't going to be Jeller).

In more Team Blindspot news: we even peek into the mysterious life of Rich Dotcom this episode. We don't actually know that much about Rich's life when you think about it, and neither does Team Blindspot. Rich does a wonderful job of keeping Laurel's mind off her suffering that Reade asks, "So who were they — the person in the hospital you spent so much time with? Was it a parent or sibling? It's clear you've done this before."

Reade's FBI agent skills are on point, but Rich never answers the question. Instead, he turns the tables and convinces Reade to talk with Patterson about his feelings regarding Tasha. Rich is a really compassionate person with an ability to see through the walls people put up.

However, Rich isolates himself by keeping the focus on others so no one focuses on him. It's clear Rich wants to be part of the Blindspot family, but struggles with feeling completely accepted. Maybe Rich didn't answer Reade's question because it's been so long since he's been around anyone who cared enough to ask. The team reaching out in little ways like this is so important because it shows Rich he's one of them. He's not alone; Rich is part of the family.

KURT AND JANE


Kurt calls Allie after spying on his wife and she rushes to New York because KURT IS SPYING ON HIS WIFE. Unfortunately, Kurt has not figured out Jane is Remi and has gone completely 'round the bend. I knew he wouldn't figure it out this soon. Oh, Kurt... you are such a big, dumb oak tree sometimes.


Kurt is worried Jane is getting ready to run because she wants to spare him the pain of watching her die. In terms of reasonable conclusions Kurt would come to, this absolutely fits with Jane's past behavior. Some assassins came after her while they lived in Colorado. Her response? Jane hightailed it to the Himalayas or some nonsense like that. Kurt's warning bells going off is completely understandable.

I don't know how Allie became the Jeller marriage counselor. I have lots of questions regarding their life together in Colorado; but regardless, she is pretty great at it. Allie says, "Do you know what destroys a marriage? Paranoia. Distrust."

Seriously, where was this woman during seasons one through three? Oh, that's right — she slept with Kurt and had his baby. I think "marriage counselor" is a much better use of her character. Allie poo-poos Kurt's worries for the most part... until he runs into a quarantined area to save his wife. "Jane" didn't try to stop him. Allie is right — our Jane would have moved heaven and earth to stop Kurt from risking his life for her. There would have been a very prolonged argument about who is going to die for whom because that's the Jeller way. Heck, Jane would have argued with Kurt for so long Allie probably would've had time to get a HAZMAT suit for him.

But this Jane didn't bat an eye. That's right, kids, because she's evil. DO YOU SEE THE HAIR?! So now Allie and Kurt are teaming up to figure out what's going on with Jane, and it's so fantastic I can't even.

How evil really is Remi though? Hallucination Roman keeps giving her a hard time about killing Kurt. Remi always finds an excuse to avoid murdering her husband. Roman says, "You know you can't just hug him every time he gets suspicious." But... it works. It's more than hugs between Remi and Kurt though. She even goes as far as trusting Kurt over Beck when it's her life on the line. Why? Because Remi is in loooooove. Jane falls in love with Kurt. Remi falls in love with Kurt. There is no version of this woman that is not in love with Kurt Weller. That's it. That's the show.

Maybe Jane's emotions and memories are fighting through to Remi's subconscious. Maybe Remi can see what a good man Kurt is and — despite her protests to the contrary — has fallen in love with him on her own. Perhaps it's a little bit of both. Regardless of the reason, it's clear the key to Jane/Remi's salvation is Kurt. Her love for Kurt has always been Jane's light in the dark. Of course Kurt is her way home now that she's more lost than ever.

And Remi is lost. Boston hits on something when explaining his narwhal obsession to Remi: "The biggest threat to their survival isn't predators; it's isolation."

The deeper Remi goes into this zip madness, the more isolated she becomes. She is slowly but surely cutting herself off from the people who love and want to help her. Remi's worst enemy isn't Kurt or the FBI. It's herself.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I have a spin-off idea: Kurt and Rich living in an apartment. That's all I got and I think it's pretty great.
  • How does Kurt have a recipe like that memorized? I feel there are hidden levels to this man we have yet to explore.
  • OMG, BETHANY VISITS EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS. The greatest Blindspot mystery of all — "Where is Kurt Weller's daughter?" — has finally been solved.
  • Allie is in contention for the number one #Jeller shipper. Watch your backs, Patterson and Rich.
  • I loved Patterson's yellow jacket.
  • Kurt is rocking a very disheveled "my wife might be dying and crazy" kind of look lately. *fans self*
  • Remi's evil is kind of campy. I keep waiting for her to twirl a mustache.
  • I did not know the monkey from Outbreak is the same one from Friends.
  • I have no problem hating Ross Geller's, "we were on a break!" excuse.
  • "You're going to single-handedly take out this whole unit with your bare hands?" Of course he is, Allie. He's Kurt Weller. Know your subject, girl.
  • What was Patterson's major in college? She knows everything about everything.
  • I learned more biology in the last half hour of Blindspot than I ever did in school. This is probably not true, but it feels true.
  • I'm worried Remi telling hallucination!Roman to shut it means no more Luke Mitchell.
  • Reade is emotionally shutting down and refusing to talk about his relationship with Tasha. Zapata is pretending she is willing to torture Reade. They really are Jeller 2.0.
  • Kurt snaps his fingers at Rich to get his attention like you would a puppy. Rich is officially Kurt's pet.
  • Weller, Reade, and Patterson need to form a "My Lover Went Evil" support group.