Hell Week – The Pain Continues: The Originals and The Vampire Diaries

Welcome to my Hell Week post, part 2 – The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. Once again, these finales did not disappoint when it came to bringing drama, evil and angst.

The Originals – Ashes to Ashes

Going into the finale, it was obvious that Klaus was willing to do anything to protect his daughter, Hope. Of course, if he got to exact a little revenge on those whom he felt had wronged him, then all the better. After all, his siblings worked together to dagger him while Hayley and Jackson escaped with Hope. In order to prove to Dahlia that he had allied himself with her, he shoved Papa Tunde’s magical blade into Elijah’s chest, fed off Cami, killed Gia and helped Dahlia place a curse on Hayley and Jackson’s pack. This is where the finale picks up.

Without going into a play by play of the episode, I’ll hit the highlights. Dahlia links herself to Klaus, who immediately daggers himself in an effort to keep Dahlia down while the others look for a way to kill her. Davina uses her position and powers as the regent of the nine covens to resurrect Kol. Unfortunately for her, thanks to some Mikaelson manipulation, Esther is resurrected in Kol’s place. With Esther’s blood, the siblings have the final ingredient needed to kill Dahlia. Elijah says he is now finished with Klaus because Klaus chose to enact his own plan to dispose of Dahlia instead of working together. After a confrontation between the siblings and Auntie Dahlia, in which the Mikaelsons appear to inhale particles of the white oak stake, Dahlia is killed with Esther’s help as Klaus shoves the dagger through Esther’s body and into Dahlia.

A few thoughts about the finale and season 3:

Of course Dahlia was going to die. The actress who plays her has been cast in Julie Plec’s new show, Cordon, oops, I mean Containment. (Don’t get me started on Julie Plec!)

Davina is one angry witch after her one and only chance to bring back Kol was used to resurrect Esther. I think the Mikaelsons will soon learn that you don’t piss off the most powerful witch in the Quarter.

Elijah is not allowed to be happy. Considering how much I adore that badass, heart ripping, Original vampire, I find that very sad. His loyalty to his family, while admirable, will ultimately be his downfall, at least in his personal life. It’s that loyalty and probably residual love for Hayley, that has brought him back to the compound at the end of the finale to watch over Hope. I wish he had been able to stay away longer, if only to prove a point to Klaus.

Speaking of Klaus, all of the Klaroline shippers really should just give up now. The writers and producers of The Originals have been dangling the possibility of a Cami/Klaus relationship in front of viewers since the backdoor pilot during The Vampire Diaries season four. It looks like things could be heating up in TO season three.

The final scene of the finale proved one thing to me – Klaus tells Hope some creepy bedtime stories. He claims to be ready to hand New Orleans over to Marcel. I have my doubts. I have no doubt that he will do anything possible to keep Hayley away from Hope. I guess we’ll see what season three holds for us.

The Vampire Diaries – I’m Thinking of You All the While

Confession – I have had a hard time writing this post. I’m still recovering from the TVD finale. Yes, I do mean recovering. Picture ugly sobbing – now multiply it by one million. That’s close to how the finale affected me. Parts of the finale were beautiful. Parts were just downright brutal, even knowing ahead of time the end result – Elena would be gone.

I’m afraid that if I really try to recap this episode I will end up with a complete script instead. SO much happened in the finale, so much! Going into it, I had expressed concern to a friend about how the writers would manage to squeeze everything into a one hour episode. Promo pic after promo pic was released showing just how much they were going to cover. Unfortunately, in order to do it, some scenes were, sadly, cut short. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

OK, folks, buckle your seats belts. I’m going to try to buzz through the episode as quickly as I can, because I have a lot to say about it afterward.

Elena is a supernatural coma, thanks to Kai who has linked her life to Bonnie’s. Elena sleeps until Bonnie dies. Kai turns himself into a vampire, killing the rest of the Gemini coven in the process. Tyler activates his werewolf curse (again) when, at Liv’s insistence, he kills her rather than both of them dying. Poor Gemini witch, she was doomed anyway. Tyler bites Kai, which should be fatal, but no, it’s not. Instead, Kai siphons the magic from the bite and uses it against Bonnie. Damon finds Bonnie near death and has a choice – let her die, freeing Elena from Kai’s spell or heal her, making the choice Elena would want him to make. After years of trying to be the better man for Elena, we all know which choice Damon made. Bonnie lives. Kai, however, does not. He made the mistake of messing with Elena and for that Damon beheads him. Fitting end for him, don’t you think? Mama Salvatore’s ‘family’ has returned from the 1903 prison world, and apparently Enzo is now an honorary member. Stefan and Caroline discuss a possible future together.

Woven through all of this are Elena’s goodbyes to her friends and family. As each of them enters her mind, she is able to leave them with her last thoughts, requests, words. Her final goodbye is with Damon, who meets her on the road where they first met. After a last dance and kiss, Elena’s coffin is left in the Salvatore crypt, which is spelled shut to protect her from any vampire who might want to suck the Cure from her.

The final scene, which takes place after a time jump, shows a very different Mystic Falls, seemingly almost abandoned and in shambles. Law enforcement officer Matt Donovan appears to be patrolling the town, while Damon is keeping watching from the clock tower.

I tried to keep that short. I know. I failed, but like I said a LOT happened. Now for what I was thinking while I watched and since it ended (in no particular order).

Elena tells Damon she knew he would save his best friend. When did Bonnie become his best friend? Are they friends now? Yes, I believe so. Living in a prison world together for four months will bond two people. However, Bonnie has spent years believing that Damon was the worst thing that could happen to Elena. Best friend? No way. Alaric holds that title.

After Damon heals Bonnie, he carries her away. What? Damon only carries Elena. Bonnie should have been able to walk on her power. These two items strongly point to a different relationship for Damon and Bonnie in season seven. I can only hope that the writers respect who Damon is, who he has become and don’t force this into a romantic relationship. In the past, I have mentioned viewer deal breakers. A Damon/Bonnie hookup up would absolutely be one for me.

Jeremy came back to say goodbye to his sister, which was great. But, why didn’t he seem more upset. He will likely never see her, his only remaining family member, again. Also, why did his goodbye get so little time? They deserved more. They certainly deserved more time than Tyler got.

On the subject of families, Lily Salvatore clearly has no love for Stefan and Damon. Worst mother on the planet. She would rather have her witchpire (vampwitch?) family around her than try to build a relationship with her sons. My question – how did Enzo become part of that family? Is it simply because she was the one who turned him? Is it because there seems to be something more (EW!) brewing between those two?

Speaking of Tyler, why activate his curse again? If the werewolf bite was the nail in the coffin for Kai, fine, it makes sense. But, Kai (rightfully) died at Damon’s hand. I just don’t see the point.

This might be my biggest problem with the finale, other than Elena is now Sleeping Beauty and Damon will be waiting fifty, sixty, seventy years for her to wake up. Obviously, it is possible to ‘talk’ to her. The finale was chock full of those scenes. Why would they choose to put Elena in a coffin(!) in the crypt? Damon could keep her safe in the boarding house and ‘visit’ her every day. In my opinion, there is no way Damon closes the lid of the coffin, has Bonnie spell the crypt shut and just walks away. I just don’t see it. Besides, putting her in a coffin, that’s a little too Klaus-like for me.

Questions for season seven:

Who is destroying Mystic Falls? I think it is Mama S and her family of Heretics. I’ve seen theories that it’s Damon. I hope not. My other theory is that it is the fallout of a war between the Salvatores – the brothers against Mama and her other family.

How far in the future did this flash forward propel us?

Will we see Damon and Alaric comforting each other over their losses? I certainly hope so. The Damon/Ric friendship was barely acknowledged in season six. I hope that changes in season seven.

Will Damon and Bonnie forge a stronger friendship? Or will she just be a reminder of what he has lost? I want the latter, but I’m afraid it will be the former.

Any thoughts or theories? Please, share them!

Hell Week Begins: Once Upon a Time

For me, Hell Week, aka season finale week, began on Sunday with Once Upon a Time. I’ll admit, I had been dreading it. Since its return from the winter hiatus, the show has hinted at and bluntly stated that Emma Swan, the beloved Savior, had the potential for darkness. What?!? No, that just can’t be. Thankfully, that storyline seemed to be resolved through her roadside encounter with Lily. Or so we thought, but more on that later.

I was fangirling over this episode almost from the beginning. The flashback to 1966 seemed a little out of place, but I’ve learned with OUAT that you just have to hang in there. It will all become (mostly) clear. (J.J. Abrams prodigies, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz definitely learned the art of flashbacks, flash forwards and even the flash sideways while working on LOST.) It was in the next scene, where Isaac meets with the Apprentice that I catapulted into full-blown fangirl mode. While testing Isaac to see if he would be the next Author, the Apprentice mentioned that the last Author had recently died. The Author died in 1966. Since the Author was first mentioned, I had wondered and hoped, but that exact moment and Google confirmed it for me. Walt Disney passed away December 15, 1966. Walt Disney had been an Author! This Disney girl and my mini-me Disney princess were both squealing, much to my husband’s chagrin.

So much happened in the finale and this would be an extremely long post if I delved into all of it. So, I’m just going to hit the highlights, as I saw them.

At Gold’s request, or really, insistence, Isaac, The Author, writes a new story where the heroes and villains swap roles. In his version, these new heroes and villains become the worst versions of their predecessors. Heroes who are syrupy sweet and too good. Villains who drip with evil and the worst of intentions. Rumplestilskin becomes a knight who saves Henry from an ogre attack. Snow White is now the Evil Queen and seems so much darker than Regina ever was, even at her worst.

Hook, who is not a captain, but a deckhand, sacrifices himself to save Emma and Henry, even though he does not remember loving her. As Emma watches Hook die, she realizes she loves him, but never told him. That moment is what pushes her to tell Regina to fight for her true love, Robin Hood.

As always, love and family are huge themes on this show. Regina proves this when, instead of stopping the wedding of Robin and Zelena, she chooses to save Henry’s life by stepping in front of Rumplestilskin’s blade. Just when it seemed everyone would be stuck in this alternate reality created by Isaac’s book, Heroes and Villains, a discovery was made. Isaac was no longer The Author, but Henry was the new Author. With the stroke of a pen, or rather a quill, he undid everything put into motion by Isaac and everyone returned to Storybrooke.

Emma is reunited with Hook and once again fails to tell him her feelings. (Grrr. At this point, my daughter and I were yelling at the TV.)

Everything seemed to be wrapped up prettily with a bow on top. That’s when I checked the time. Twenty-five minutes left in the show. Plenty of time for many, many things to go wrong.

Rumple is saved by the Apprentice, who pulls the darkness from his heart and puts it in the magical hat. Belle and Rumple reunite. Rumple is no longer the dark one. The Dark One’s dagger has no name on it. That’s important, remember it. But, it still seems like everyone will have a happy ending, right? I was so wrong.

The darkness can only be controlled when attached to a human body and was too much for the hat to handle. The darkness escapes and tries to attach itself to the Apprentice. Emma, ever the Savior, uses her magic to stop that from happening. However, it seems that just the brief encounter with the darkness is too much for the Apprentice. In what seems to be his dying words, he tells them the darkness can only be controlled by the Sorcerer – Merlin! Guess who’s coming to Storybrooke next season.

Looking for someone to attach itself to, the darkness finds Regina, who finally is getting her happy ending with Robin. How unfair is that? Regina, who has fought her own battle with darkness, who has come out the other side (for the most part) is about to be taken under again. I should have predicted what happened next, but I don’t think I got it until about two seconds before it happened. Emma, again, ever the Savior, takes Regina’s place, sacrificing herself to the darkness. Just before it takes her over, she FINALLY says those three little words to Hook. The darkness then takes her, metaphorically and physically, leaving behind the Dark One’s dagger bearing the name Emma Swan.

A few thoughts for next season:

I think it will be Hook who saves Emma from the darkness. Snow, Charming, and even Regina will try. But, it will be Hook’s love that actually does it.

Before Emma was taken over, Lily asked her to find her father. He had been in dragon form at the time he and Maleficient, well, you know. So, not even Maleficient knows who he is. Hmmm, her dragon father is mentioned in the same episode as Merlin, the dragon whisperer. This is not a coincidence. I believe that we’ll find out Merlin is Lily’s father before the end of next season, possibly before the winter hiatus.

This was definitely not the way that I wanted finale week to start. I’m now three finales in and two have been more than a little traumatic. Up next on the blog will be my take on The Originals, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow and The Vampire Diaries finales. Next week, we’ll have finales for The Flash and Supernatural. Then finally, this hell that we call season finales/sweeps will be over.

Any opinions or theories about the finale or next season, please share them in the comments.

Happy Smother’s Day!

I consider the ‘80s to be my decade. My thirteenth birthday was in 1980. I graduated from high school in ’85. By the end of the decade I was married and had my first child. The ‘90s passed by me in a blur of sleepless night, diaper changes and potty training. The ‘80s, however, hold a special place in my heart.

So, when ABC began airing The Goldbergs in the fall of 2013, I gave it a watch. I’ll admit, I didn’t really expect much from it. The ads the network aired leading up to the premier did not grab my attention. My husband, on the other hand, expects every sitcom to be great until proven otherwise. We rarely agree on sitcoms, so I was pleasantly surprised when we both found something to like in this new show.

Do I think it’s the funniest show I’ve watched? Not by a long shot. Friends holds that place of honor for me and I don’t see that changing. What do I like about The Goldbergs? The ‘80s references, of course! I remember the Cabbage Patch Doll mobs. I remember sitting in a theater and watching Lloyd Dobler holding his boom box over his head in Say Anything. I remember huge boom boxes! I might have even had one. What do I love about this show? The happy memories that come along with every one of those ‘80s references.

I’ve even learned something from The Goldbergs, a new word – smother. For those of you who don’t watch the show, a smother is an overbearing mother who smothers their child(ren) with too much attention. Get it? Beverly Goldberg is a classic smother.

I’ve learned something else. I had/have a smother and had no idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known exactly who my mother is. I just didn’t know there was a name for it. I’m the only child of a working mother. If asked, I would have described her as overprotective and she was! Completely! All of you math majors out there can figure out how old I am as of my birthday last week. I’m definitely way past the age of needing a smother, but my mom hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Obviously, if she hasn’t by now, she isn’t going to. I’ve learned to live with it, however annoying it may be.

All of that was to say this, I am not the kind of parent my mother is. I think I have unknowingly gone out of my way to be a different kind of parent. I try not to smother my children. They’ve never had free rein, but as they’ve gotten older, they have also gotten more freedom, less constant supervision. We’ve trusted our kid enough to let them make their own, age-appropriate decisions. We’ve enforced consequences when necessary.

Even though I have tried to be the best possible mother, to make all the right decisions regarding my kids, to raise responsible, compassionate adults, there are days when I feel like a complete parental failure. I think any parent has days like that. Maybe it’s those moments of doubt that push us even harder to be better parents. That’s the goal, isn’t it, to be the best possible parent for your kids?

Yes, my mother is a smother, in every way possible. But, I know that, even though I’m an adult, she is still trying to be the best mother that she knows how to be. My choices most likely would never have been her choices, and I know many of hers would not have been mine. None of that matters, though, because at the end of the day, we can agree on one thing. Whether because of me or in spite of me, I have four amazing children. When Mom tells me I’ve done a great job raising them, I’m still a little girl looking for her mother’s approval and basking it.

So, whether you are a smother, a very laid-back mother or somewhere in between, have a wonderful Mother’s Day. And to my mom – Happy Smother’s Day, Mom! We love you!

Once a Fangirl

Not too many years ago, I think I would have been offended if someone had called me a fangirl. My image of a fangirl had always been of a thirteen year old girl screaming at the top of her lungs trying to get the attention of her favorite boy band member. Yeah, that’s not me. However, if you define a fangirl as someone who may be obsessed with a TV show, movie, book or character, you might be talking about me. I have been known to watch shows over and over, to actively seek out every little tidbit of trivia, to memorize dates, and episode order. I think it’s safe to call me a fangirl and now, it’s a label that I proudly claim.

Thankfully, I seemed to have passed that fangirl gene on to my daughter. She’s the baby and the only girl in the family and has been our princess from day one. So, it was only logical for us to introduce her to the Disney princesses at a very young age, probably before her first birthday. As she grew older, she became more and more obsessed. If it had a princess on it, she wanted it.

By the time she was ten or eleven, I tried to introduce her to my first fangirl obsession – superheroes. She absolutely refused to give my favorites a try. She was starting to move on to more video game fandoms – Pokemon and Harvest Moon. Even though she repeatedly shot me down, I still tried to get her to watch just one movie with me, convinced that she would love X-Men or Superman or The Avengers. She steadfastly refused.

At least she did until this past winter. Over Christmas break, I found the perfect gateway to get her interested. I am a huge fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It took a little arm twisting, but I got her to watch season one. After a few episodes, she was completely hooked. She quickly buzzed through season one and caught up on season two. When the show came back from hiatus in March, she was parked on the couch with me and my husband, ready to see what would happen next with Coulson’s team. From S.H.I.E.L.D., it was a short hop, skip and jump for her to start watching the Marvel movies leading up to Avengers Age of Ultron.

Last night, we saw Age of Ultron. She had been doing a daily countdown for a week or two. She was so excited to see it with the rest of the family, instead of playing catch up. The movie did not disappoint. We all loved it. For me, the best part might have been the ride home. The four of us were talking about the movie, sharing theories about this aspect or that or what could happen in the next movie. Why was that my favorite part? Because instead of sitting back and letting the conversation flow around her while she was lost in her own thoughts, my princess was right there with us, part of it all.

That’s one of the things I love about being a fan or a fangirl. It’s the shared interest that can bring us together, whether within a family or a fandom, which are often like families. Some of the people I ‘talk’ to the most are online friends who I connected with because of that shared interest. I think that alone is reason enough to put away the negative fangirl connotation.

By the way, my daughter, who is fourteen now, is still a Disney princess fangirl. She has just let it evolve. She is now one of Once Upon a Time’s biggest fans. She writes her own fanfiction for the show, although she shares it with no one. It’s just one more reason I’m glad she’s a fangirl. She’s the real writer in the family and this is a way to let her stretch her writer’s wings. That is never a bad thing.

My Heart Can’t Take It

I firmly believe that the 2014-15 television season just might be the death of me. Barreling toward the season finales with the added pressure of sweeps, the drama and angst on almost every show I watch seems to be at an all-time high this year. I have watched while holding my breath, hands clenched together, nervously bouncing my knee, hoping that things turn out the ‘right’ way by the end of the hour. Too many times it hasn’t. I’m not sure that my heart or nerves can take much more this season.

Let’s take a look at the shows I watch (just a warning – it’s a lot), starting with Sunday night and moving forward through the week –

Once Upon a Time – The villains led by Mr. Gold (Rumplestilskin) are trying to turn Emma evil. Emma, the savior, the person who broke the curse over Storybrooke, might be evil? Now that we know Zelena (the Wicked Witch) is involved, I think we can assume that things in Storybrooke are going to get worse before they get better,

The Originals – Klaus has been daggered by Elijah. Evil Aunt Dahlia wants baby Hope turned over to her. And newly reunited sister Freya just might be helping her. Dahlia also seems to be starting a war between the vampires and the werewolves. I’m not sure New Orleans is prepared for that.

The Flash – Barry Allen, The Flash, has learned that his mentor, Harrison Wells, is not who he claims to be. Instead, he is the Reverse Flash (AKA Eobard Thawne) and is from the future. When we last saw Barry, Cisco and Catilin they had discovered the hidden lair of Eobard Thawne within Star Labs. That won’t make the Reverse Flash happy. I forgot to mention, the Reverse Flash killed Barry’s mom many years ago. That certainly puts a damper on a friendship, doesn’t it?

Agents of SHIELD – Phil Coulson turned himself over to, as we like to call them, Fake SHIELD. He is working with Grant Ward, who can’t be trusted, again. Just as Coulson thought he was getting Skye back, she was snatched again. Fake SHIELD needs to be taken down, I’m just not sure how that will happen.

Arrow – This was hard to watch this week. In order to save Thea, Oliver turned himself over to the League of Assassins and will be the next Ra’s al Ghul. As I watched Oliver and Felicity together, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the one and only time that would happen. It wouldn’t be the first time Oliver has pushed Felicity away ‘for her own good.’ What will be the fate of the Arrow?

Supernatural – This is one of the two shows that I absolutely have to watch live. After nearly a season of Sam trying to find a way to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean, he is getting desperate. Being willing to work with Rowena can certainly be called desperate. The Winchester boys are known for the raging codependency. I think we can count on Sam doing something to sacrifice himself in some way in order to save Dean. We saw that this week when he was willing to bleed himself dry in order to retrieve the codex from the Werther box.

The Vampire Diaries – Also known as the other show that I must watch live. We have known for three and a half weeks that Nina Dobrev (Elena) is leaving the show at the end of the season. That is devastating for season seven, but first we have to get through the rest of season six. Will Damon and Elena take the cure? Won’t they? My guess is that she will, he won’t. The writers also seem to be setting up the big bads for next season – Mama Salvatore and her traveling companions, the Heretics. I think that in the fallout of Elena taking the cure and the Heretics arriving in Mystic Falls, Elena will die or be forced (or compelled) to leave Mystic Falls.

Wow! That is a lot of drama and I didn’t even touch on the shows I’m behind on, Bones, The Blacklist and Person of Interest. Every year it seems to be a game of one-upmanship in the sweeps sweepstakes. I wonder what happens when they’ve killed off/written off all of the main characters. How will they keep our interest then?

Here is the flipside. I am still watching every single one of these shows. Obviously, the powers that be haven’t pushed me, as a viewer, too far. Yet. I do have my own personal list of viewer deal breakers. As long as they stay away from those, I’m in for the long haul, however bumpy the ride might be.

All Things Must Come to an End

It might be a little extreme, but I think that a series finale can forever cement or forever taint how you feel about a show. At least that is what I thought before I began to prep this post. I fully intended to have examples of my most and least favorite series finales. I sat down with my laptop, earbuds and a list of finales to rewatch, ones that I loved along with ones that I hated. I opened Netflix, pulled up the first one on the list and settled in for a day of revisiting some of my favorite shows.

It was while I was watching one from my ‘hate’ list that I realized I didn’t hate it as much as I thought. The same thing happened a second time and then a third. My list of hated series finales was getting shorter with each one I watched. With only one finale left on my ‘hate’ list, I had to change the focus of this post.

With some time and distance, I was able to find something to appreciate in each of the finales I rewatched. Are there aspects of some of them that I still hate? Absolutely! I don’t think there is enough time or distance to change that, but at least now I can watch them without cringing or grinding my teeth.

So, here are the six finales I watched, in no particular order. The one left on the hate list? I didn’t watch it. Even after almost eighteen years, I just couldn’t make myself do it. If you’re curious about which finale I consider the worst of all time, I’ll reveal it at the end.

Here we go:

  • Chuck (episode – Chuck versus the Goodbye)

When I watched this episode live, I hated it. I was completely crushed that Sarah Walker had not regained her memories. She and Chuck Bartowski were supposed to be together for the long haul, in my opinion. How could that happen if she didn’t remember him?

Watching again this week, I was reminded of the things I love about this show. Chuck got to be an awkward nerd and as well as a spy. Sarah and Chuck, in their search for the bad guy, Quinn, were able to revisit scenes similar to some of their first cases. Morgan finally stood up to John Casey, proving that even he had grown up over the course of the show. Casey had to admit that he was better with his team, Chuck, Sarah and Morgan, than he was without it.

I’ve watched this finale several times, always disappointed, okay, angry, that we didn’t know if the kiss between Sarah and Chuck on the beach triggered her memories. Watching this week, I realized it didn’t matter. Sure, having her memories back would be the ultimate happy ending. Even without them, I think they found their way back together.

  • Star Trek: Enterprise (episode – These are the Voyages)

Often, when a show is not renewed, the powers that be try to pull together a finale that ties everything up in one neat little package. That is what happened in the case of Enterprise. While the three modern Star Trek series (The Next Generation, Deep Space 9 and Voyager) all enjoyed seven year runs, Enterprise was cut off at four. The finale that Brannon Braga crafted has always felt weak and rushed to me. Presenting it as if it were part of an episode of The Next Generation as an object lesson for Riker has been the driving force behind my hatred for this episode.

However, watching it again, when I looked past that aspect, I found several things I actually liked about it. The six year time jump allowed us to see the progression of the friendships of the crew, the first deep space explorers from Earth. It served to provide one last mission for the crew before the NX-01 Enterprise was decommissioned. Captain Jonathan Archer, one of my favorite Star Trek captains, was recognized for his contributions in the founding of the Federation.

  • How I Met Your Mother (episode – The Last Forever, pts 1 & 2)

When this aired, nearly a year ago, I was furious. We had spent nine seasons hearing the very long story of how Ted met the Mother. We watched him fall in and out of love with Robin. We became convinced that Robin and Barney belonged together. Then, this episode aired, took everything we thought we knew and flipped it upside down.

I really liked the time jumps, checking in with the gang as the years went by. All too soon though, we jumped three years and Barney and Robin were divorced. We had just spent an entire season that revolved around their wedding weekend, yet the marriage only last three years. Disappointing, but not hate worthy.

Rewatching it this week, I enjoyed the episode until I got to the point where the Mother, Tracy, is dying. Really? I watched for nine years and just as we are starting to see Ted and Tracy together, she dies. That was followed by Ted and Robin seemingly getting back together after we’ve been convinced that is not what they want. I might have enjoyed most of the episode while watching again, but the last seven minutes never should have happened.

  • Friends (episode – The Last One, pts 1 & 2)

This is one of my favorite series finales of all time. Everything ended just as I wanted it to. Monica and Chandler were moving to the suburbs with their twins. Phoebe actually found someone who could deal with her special kind of eccentricity in Mike and was smart enough to marry him. Joey was still Joey, and I love him for that. My favorite part of the episode? Rachel got off the plane. After ten years of on again, off again, Ross and Rachel found their way back together in a way that was perfectly them. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Angel (episode – Not Fade Away)

Poor Joss Whedon. He went to the network for an early renewal and got shot down. I imagine that he had to scramble for an ending to this great series. My only complaint about this finale is that the setup felt a little rushed to me. Other than that, I love it. On that final day, when Angel gave everyone time to spend however they wanted, it not only gave the characters closure. It gave us viewers closure, too. The ending was perfect, the story was complete. Whatever happened when they walked out of that alley was a new story.

  • LOST (episode – The End)

LOST is one of those series that people either really love or really hate. It’s polarizing. I don’t think that it’s possible for there to be middle ground where this show is concerned. I am a huge fan of both the series and the finale. I actually wish I had chosen this finale for this post. It has been a long time since I’ve watched the series and my memory of the events leading up to the finale was a little fuzzy. Because of that, I’m not really going to comment on the symbolism in the episode. I’ll save that for a later post. I do have two comments now on the finale. First, I loved that they all needed each other in order to be able to move on. Second, the mirrored scenes that opened and closed the series, focused on the opening and closing of Jack’s eye, were brilliant, in my opinion.

That’s it, just a quick look at the finales of some of my favorite TV shows. Trust me, if I did a post on all of my favorite series finales, we would be here for a very, very long time.

Oh yeah, the one finale that was still on my ‘hate’ list? That would be the Seinfeld finale. Admittedly, I was never a big fan of the show. I only watched because my husband did. There were episodes that I like, but the finale left a bad taste in my mouth about the series in general.

When Fandoms Attack

This past week has been, well, let’s be honest. It’s been hell. I’ve watched not one, but two fandoms turn on themselves. They’ve attacked on producers, writers, and actors. When that wasn’t enough, they turned on each other. People who have a common interest have been more interested in abusing each other and tearing down what brought them together in the first place.

It’s a funny thing about digital communities and social networking. It’s all so anonymous. There is no guarantee that any of us are who we say we are. That anonymity can be very freeing, allowing us to interact with people or say things we might not otherwise. It can make even the meekest of people the bravest person on the planet. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. As recently as two years ago, I never would have considered writing fan fiction or a blog. Now, I do and enjoy both. I’ve happily gone from a lurker to an active participant.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to that anonymity, that freedom. In some people it seems to be the permission they need to turn off their inner filter. I was raised to believe that there are just some things that you don’t say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech. I just think it’s possible to speak without being abusive.

This week, it has seemed as though anyone with a differing opinion has been treated like fresh meat in a pool of piranha. The attacks have been swift and brutal. I’m sure the people attached to the shows, the actors, writers, producers, have brushed off these attacks without a second thought. They have placed themselves in a position of being on the receiving end of negativity as well as the adoration that comes with celebrity. It doesn’t make it right. Sadly, it is just part of the job.

I’m more concerned for the average fan, especially the ones who still enjoy the show and are attacked and ridiculed for admitting it. It sickens me to see the lengths that some people will go to all in the name of being a ‘good fan.’ I long for the days when we could all get along, when our fandoms were almost like Nirvana, placed where we could happily coexist. Instead, what I have witnessed this week could be better described as hell on earth for those being attacked, for those not getting onboard with the mob mentality.

In light of the atmosphere surrounding two of my favorite fandoms, I have reverted to my lurker status. I’ve unfollowed a few, muted a few and mostly just kept to myself. I’m back to being a fandom of one. For the most part, I’m okay with that. I resent that I don’t feel as if I can be free with my opinions, because honestly, I’m mad, too. I would like to commiserate with those that share my opinion. I’m just not willing to attack everyone else along the way. So, I’ll just sit on the sidelines, waiting for things to calm down before I wade back in. I’ll stick to expressing myself in the ways I’m most comfortable with – a little fan fiction here, a little blogging there. I’ll play it safe, because when this drama passes (and it will) and the rabid fans have moved on to the next crisis, those of us on the sidelines will be ready to take the field again.

And the winner is…

Pivot. Moistmaker. Transpondster. Holiday Armadillo. The meaning of the box is threefold. What kind of crazy-ass clowns came to your birthday? Gum would be perfection. Viva Las Gay-gas. How you doin’? We were on a break!

If you recognized any of those quotes and catchphrases, you know that my absolute all-time favorite sitcom is Friends. It is the one sitcom that I can watch anytime, anywhere, any episode. Twenty years after it premiered, it still holds up. The pop culture references and technology might be dated, but if you strip those away, the show is still very relatable in 2015.

From the writers to the ensemble cast, even the creative episode naming scheme, NBC had a hit from Day One. Chandler’s quick wit and snarkiness, Ross with his awkwardness and ability to embarrass himself in any situation, Monica’s competitiveness, Joey’s lovability, Phoebe’s quirkiness, Rachel’s growth from spoiled little rich girl to mom and career woman, all of these things and more kept me tuning in week after week.

Because Friends was such a huge part of my life for ten seasons, my kids have grown up hearing Friends references on an almost daily basis. Since Netflix added the series this past January, two of my sons have watched it. No. 1 Son has watched the complete series and is already planning on going back and re-watching his favorite episodes. No. 3 Son is midway through season 9, watching when his class schedule allows. He’s amazed that he can give me an episode title and I can tell him that this, this and this happened in that one.

Sharing my love of this show with the next generation makes my heart happy. These two guys each have their own fandoms. Lucky for me, some of their interests overlap some of mine. Many of our best conversations are about one fandom or another. It’s not that we are talking about ‘The One with Chandler in the Box.’ It’s the other things that come out while we’re talking about that. That’s what makes me happy. Anytime my twenty-six and nineteen year old sons share part of their busy lives with me, I come out the winner.

Some days you need a happy ending…

Today is definitely one of those days. I looked through my favorite TVD stories on FanFiction this morning in search of a happy ending. Unfortunately, nothing really grabbed me. When I did try to read, I was easily distracted, which made reading near impossible.

I lost count of the interruptions when I realized what was distracting me. My muse, bless her heart, already had a happy ending in mind. I just needed to pay attention to her. So, I did.

The result is Hope’s Reward. Give it a read. Let me know what you think. If you have any favorite Delena fics, please, share them!

Seemingly Impossible Task

Today’s announcement that Nina Dobrev will be leaving The Vampire Diaries at the end of the season has truly floored me. I suppose I should have been expecting it and maybe I was on some level. I’ve read the rumors over the last several months that things were not unicorns and rainbows on set. Frankly, I don’t care about the actors’ personal lives. As long as everyone shows up and does their job in a professional manner, I’m a happy camper. I just want to see twenty-two episodes of my shows each season.

I’ve spent the last several hours trying to figure out how the writers get us from Point A (episode 6×17) with a happy Damon and Elena to Point B (episode 6×22) where Elena dies or leaves town or whatever the writers have planned. The path totally escapes me, although I can’t help but wonder if this is why the cure is back in play.

Even harder for me to envision is what season seven will look like. I consider Elena to be the central character around whom the show was built. To move forward without her seems like an impossible task. However, I have to have faith that the producers and writers will deliver, otherwise I’m just crushed.

So, I anxiously await the final five episodes of season six and plan to mourn the loss of Elena during the summer hiatus. When October rolls around and season seven premieres, I will be sitting in front of the TV, excited to see what season seven holds for the residents of Mystic Falls.

Any theories, anyone? Please share!