After the premiere of the 90210 reboot last week, I was left feeling disappointed and genuinely sad for Tori Spelling and the rest of the self-identified has-been cast. Frankly, it was a mess of a pilot. I needed a Powerpoint slideshow to help me keep track of the plot lines and an Anne-Hathaway-in-The-Devil-Wears-Prada level assistant to remember all the relationships.
Going into the second episode, I was harboring resentment that they somehow managed to get me to tune in, but within the first 10 minutes I was invested. What can I say? I’ve always been a sucker for the underdog, especially when the underdog was a child star. The fact that Tori Spelling needs this show financially is super evident, both in real life and on the show, and it’s oddly refreshing that she has no qualms about saying it.
The more times she brought up her dire financial situation, the more I connected with her, and at a particularly touching moment featuring her deadbeat husband, she opened up about needing this simply to prove to herself that she can do it. After several comments about living in her super-producer father’s shadow, I was completely on board. You’ve got this, bitch! You can do anything! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a bartender just a year ago, you can do anything! Well, obviously not anything, but I mean you can probably get this reboot together.
The episode opens with Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling waiting to pitch their reboot idea to an overzealous Fox executive who mentions what a 90210 fan she was when she was a kid. It goes very well, and after almost no discussion the execs agree that it is in fact time for a reboot—a real reboot, Spelling specifies. The only stipulation being the entire cast needs to be on board. As we saw in the pilot, nobody is in a place to turn down a regular acting gig, but after the entire cast gets charged with public drunkenness, among other things, they’re less inclined to sign onto anything with Spelling. “See you in another 30 years!” Says a very dramatic Jason Priestley before the cast all leaves Tori standing desolate in the lobby of the Los Angeles Courthouse. Been there!
Obviously everyone’s going to sign on—they’re all depressed and poor, and as someone who’s depressed and poor, I guarantee you they’d all jump at the opportunity to earn steady money and those SAG rates are nothing to shake a stick at. Plus, collagen and botox are not free! Brian Austin Green decides he’s out of the reboot because he’s a “serious” actor now and he’s committed to doing movies! After he announces he’s apparently too good for Beverly Hills 90210 now, we see him poorly auditioning for what appears to be a terrible movie.
The audition sucks, and he knows it, but he miraculously gets the role because his Beyoncé-esque wife agrees to do a song for the soundtrack. He gets irrationally upset and storms into her dance rehearsal yelling and screaming that she doesn’t think he can do it all on his own, and like…he can’t do it all on his own so….get over it? Regardless, he ditches the movie and tells Tori over cocktails that he’s in for the reboot. A still-in-love-with-Brian, drooling Tori is thrilled.
Gabby, fresh off her first-ever girl kiss in the pilot, only agrees to do the reboot if her character Andrea is exploring her sexuality, a life-imitates-art thing that she shares with half the cast before her sweet old man of a husband. I am here for this Gabby-is-fluid-story line and she’s the best actress on the show, giving us a little taste of drama when she starts coming out to her husband in a teary monologue at the end.
Jason will only agree to the pilot if he’s made the director, and Tori, desperate for this reboot to happen, agrees. After Gabby gets him back in the good graces of the Screen Actor’s Guild, of which she’s president, both on the show and in real life, he goes home to tell his on-screen wife, played by Vanessa Lachey. She’s excited and agrees it’s the right move for him, especially with their baby on the way. Only it’s not his baby! You have to love the drama! Her baby’s father shows up at the house and she tells him never to come back, and he doesn’t…he instead pulls some strings and gets himself hired to write the reboot! You love to see it, where there’s a will, there’s a way, kids!
After Jason goes to the hospital for getting kicked in the balls by the same actor he punched in the pilot, he learns that he’s incapable of having children. In fact, he never was able to naturally conceive, as he’s informed by the doctors he inexplicably needs to see after a light ball kick. Ah, imagine having that kind of health insurance! As we wait for his breakdown moment, they decide not to give us too much in one episode, and he tells the doctor he’ll call him back which, as someone who consistently sweeps his problems under the rug, I totally connect with.
Ian Ziering’s still struggling with his wife’s infidelity from last week, and insists he’s not signing on to any contracts while he’s still married and could risk losing half of everything he makes. Half of very little is even less, after all. After planting some cameras in his house to get his cheating wife on video, he tells Tori he’s on board, under the condition she launches a line of skin products with him, which I don’t understand but whatever, it’s Beverly Hills.
Willing to do seemingly anything to get this reboot to happen, she agrees, and it seems she actually might’ve pulled everyone back together. Well, almost. Shannen Doherty is still saving wildlife and simply doesn’t have the time. We’re introduced to the idea that Shannen and Brian Austin Green are “secret best friends” when Green calls her to explain why he’s so mad at his superstar wife for being nice to him. As Shannen pulls netting off a distressed sea lion, she tells Brian to get over it, and then he presses her about the reboot. Naturally, we don’t get a clear answer before she has to hang up the phone to deal with the wild sea lion that she’s rescuing, all while using AirPods to chit chat oceanside.
Deciding to press on sans Shannen, Tori excitedly tells her co-creator, co-star, and best friend, Jennie Garth, that she’s got the gang all together. Jennie decides to crush Tori even more than life already has, saying she’s backing out because her daughter has filed for emancipation and she needs to focus on family. After spending the first half of the episode grappling with the divorce papers her third husband sent her, the idea of her only daughter essentially wanting a divorce as well is understandably upsetting. I mean, If I ever had a kid and they tried to divorce me I would pop off like the world had never seen. While they have a good relationship, Jennie’s daughter, Kyler, wants to be an actress, but Jennie simply won’t allow it! She even throws in a classic “NOT AS LONG AS YOU’RE UNDER MY ROOF” line. Also, if you’re naming your daughter Kyler, she’s going to want to be in show business…that’s like…a given. After a far-too-dramatic back and forth, they make an agreement that Kyler can become an actress like her mother but only if she’s in the 90210 reboot. Not a bad deal for a first job honestly. My first job was bagging groceries, but then again I’m not from Beverly Hills.
Throughout the episode, we see a creepy teenager taking photos of the cast paparazzi-style, and then at the end we see him applying online to be Brian Austin Green’s new assistant. You can find anything on Craigslist these days! The only problem is that he’s not a paparazzi, he’s a psycho stalker, and he sends each cast member voodoo dolls of themselves cut up and covered in fake blood. Ah, to be a free-spirited, passionate teenager again.
At one point, Brian is talking about the movie his wife tries buying his way into and says “What is it? is it a comedy or a drama? I can’t tell.” I’m assuming this was intentional, because I have no idea what this show is? Comedy? Drama? Soap opera? The point is, I’m here for it, and now that there’s a psychotic teenage stalker involved I’ll be here until the end. See you next week, Spelling.
Images: Fox; Giphy (6)
How are we feeling, Handmaid-heads? This week’s recap is rated NC-17 so please don’t read it out loud to your kids! Considering how much of this week’s plot revolved around semen, it’s really the best I could do. We begin with just a snippet of Symphony Number 9 by Beethoven (deep cut) before we go straight to June, limping her way back to Commander Zaddy’s house with Aunt Lydia. Apparently Lydia’s plan to move June out of the Lawrence house from two episodes ago is no longer a thing.
Lydia: You’re a good girl, OfJoseph.
Me: Didn’t you and all the other aunts just do a roundtable shit talking sesh of her? Two-faced bitches…
Turns out the Lawrences have redecorated to “D.C. standards” according to “Commander Waterford’s proclamation.” Now the Waterfords aren’t only rich family in Gilead that can’t bring themselves to buy a f*cking lamp.
In the kitchen, June catches up with Beth the Martha, who tells her that the delicious basket of scones on the table are actually a message from the #Resistance telling her they can’t get any more meds for Madame Zaddy, whose mental illness has been getting worse. This is why we take our meds, people.
Martha Beth: Scones mean no.
Me: Aaaaand I know what my new tattoo is going to say!
June wastes no time letting everybody know about her plan to free all the children in Gilead. Apparently she’s completely cured of the insanity she displayed the past two episodes, and nobody is going to bring it up again, just like the time I lost my sh*t during Spring Break and had to leave Cabo early. Oops.
June: I’m going to free all the children!
Finally Commander Zaddy/Lawrence appears, looking all conflicted.
June: You know you could free your wife and take her to Canada where she could get help.
Lawrence: Okay well you’ve been home for less than five minutes, so why don’t you chill?
At the Grocery Store AKA The Den of the Resistance
June heads over to the juice aisle, which is basically a freedom fighters’ bunker at this point, to tell OfRobert about her amazing plan to free all the children.
OfRobert: I can’t talk to you. They’re watching us. And you’re really conspicuous.
Finally, somebody tells her.
The handmaids are then all ushered to a stadium that is conveniently attached to the grocery store for an “inspection” by none other than Fred Waterford, the human embodiment of the word “ugh”. He has taken his micropenis compensation tour to DC, where he’s doing fabulously. He arrives and starts bothering June immediately, like an ex who texts you “merry Christmas” after not seeing him for seven months.
Fred is joined by Commander Winslow (or, as he is known in the comment section, Commander Stabler) and Serena Joy, who opts not to mention the fact that last time she and June hung out, June tried to stab her with a tiny knife. Tactful.
Stabler immediately starts going in on all the handmaids and points out Janine’s new velvet eyepatch as not “regulation.”
Me/Aunt Lydia’s Inner Monologue: YOU KEEP JANINE’S NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH BITCH!!!!!
Commander Winslow then turns to June to ask her how she’s liking living with Commander Lawrence, to which she replies that he “treats her with respect.”
Back at Commander Zaddy’s
June has been free for 48 hours and wastes no time breaking into offices to steal important documents. She’s in Commander Lawrence’s office, which is literally full of books. Stacks and stacks of books—Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Other Boleyn Girl—he’s got ‘em all. Just as she’s about to give up her search, June finds a valuable ally in Madame Zaddy, who can probably still smell June’s crazy and sees her as a kindred spirit. Despite all the sh*t everyone has been talking about her, Mrs. Lawrence seems pretty with it and cool at this moment. Maybe the best medicine for her illness is…collusion!??!
Luckily for June who, in case you forgot, is going to free all of the children, her commander keeps files on all the children born to handmaids in Gilead conveniently located in his basement.
June gets the documents and immediately turns to her own file, which is kind of like when you look at your own Insta page to try and see how it looks through someone else’s eyes. (We all do this, right??)
June: Have you ever considered leaving Gilead?
Madame Z: You mean go somewhere where I could get mood stabilizers instead of herbal tea?
Honestly are we even sure that Madame Zaddy is crazy? Or is she just another woman who has fallen victim to that label when really she’s just having normal emotional reactions to the intensity of her surroundings? **exhales large puff of marijuana smoke**
Sadly, MZ explains can’t just leave because her husband is a “war criminal” who “invented the colonies” and is “responsible for unspeakable torture and death.” Don’t ya just hate when that happens?
Anyway, this scene ends with MZ finding a mysterious looking special box and bouncing back upstairs.
At the Waterfords’ Hotel
Back at their hotel, Fred is clearly jealous that June has found a new commander who is cool and not a rapist. As most insecure people do, he then immediately starts talking sh*t on Lawrence to Winslow, dragging him for not getting any of his handmaids pregnant. As we know, Fred is just projecting here because he knows deep in his soul that he is the one who is shooting blanks and he couldn’t get a handmaid pregnant if he came in her brain. (I told you this was rated NC-17.)
Then Fred and Winslow start speaking cryptically about a way to “ensure virility” in the Lawrence household and Serena Joy is like, “Uh…isn’t that a little extreme?” The last time something like this happened, Fred assaulted June into going into labor, so I think we can all tell immediately that whatever the f*ck this is, it’s not going to be good.
June gets called in from looking up where all her friend’s children are (Janine’s son is dead, btw) by a very freaked-out looking Martha who tells her “they need you in the sitting room.”
It’s immediately clear that things are set up for Ceremony, which makes me realize we haven’t seen a Ceremony at all since last season. Not that I’m complaining.
Fred, Serena, Winslow, and Aunt Lydia all show up and we realize that apparently tonight’s ceremony is also a group date. I’m immediately like, okay so where is this going exactly? Are they gonna watch them do it? Are they gonna put them into bed and then check the sheets like in Shakespearean times? Will Aunt Lydia sub in and give Lawrence a hand job?
Eventually we find out that while they are not going to actually watch the Ceremony go down (good), they are going to have a doctor immediately “examine” June to make sure she has man seed inside her. For religious folk, these Gileadens really are freaks.
For his part, Commander Lawrence is extremely not into what is happening and immediately tries to find a way to get out of it. So was I, as I was watching it. Suddenly I’m over here thinking that maybe he could finish in his own hand and then give it to her somehow and then she would—you know what, I’m not even going to finish this.
Sadly, there is no way out and it is June herself who has to tell Commander and Madame Z that they’re just gonna have to f*ck now. MZ does not love this idea, which again, isn’t really all that crazy and is a pretty appropriate reaction for what is happening around her. She starts screaming and sh*t but then June, who has gone from insane herself to human Prozac in just one episode, calms her down.
They have sex—or whatever you would call what just happened between the two of them—but for the first time ever, Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t make us watch it. Thanks, I guess? As promised, June is “examined” in front of an audience of three people and found to be sufficiently cream-pied (I believe that is the medical term).
TLDR: I think the whole point of this scene is to show Lawrence that the world he cannot protect himself or his wife from the world he has created, and force him to #resist. Also we learn that the punishment for using contraception is being torn apart by dogs.
At the Waterfords’ Hotel
Cut to: the Waterfords relaxing after a hard day of rape by proxy.
Serena is annoyed at Fred for focusing on his career over their kidnapped baby. She then tells him about her hot American friend in Canada who gave her ciggs that one time, and tells friend they can work with him to get baby Nichole back. F*ck the Waterfords.
Our episode ends with June convincing OfRobert and Janine to help her get all the children out of Gilead. With Commander Z fully flipped, June now has access to a truck. June does not tell Janine that her son is dead, which is probably wise.
Back at the Lawrence residence, Beth the Martha put out feelers for the whole “freeing the children” and the response was…not scones!!! It’s muffins!!! Scones mean no!!! Muffins mean yes!!! June is really going to save the children!!!
This moment of triumph is ruined by June looking to camera and saying, “we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” at which point I threw my laptop across the room. I’ll leave you with this video of comedian Andrew Farmer doing an impression of Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia) as Ursula the sea witch. Enjoy.
Ann Dowd as Ursula the Sea Witch. Come on. #AnnDowdAsEveryVillain pic.twitter.com/czGuKbJ39o
— Andrew Farmer (@thatsajellyfish) May 24, 2019
Aaaand we’re back. Hulu released three new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale yesterday, but today I’m only tackling the first one because between this and the Ava DuVernay Central Park Five series, I need an extra session or two with my therapist.
Let’s start our recap with a recap: when we last left June, she had made arguably the dumbest decision of her life and remained in Gilead to save Hannah, while Alexis Bledel and the new baby f*cked off to Canada with the help of Commander Zaddy (the guy from The West Wing). The baby, of course, will suffer a far worse fate (being named Nichole).
We open on June frantically texting Emily to be like, “JK sorry actually I think I wanna get in the van after all!!!” (Not really, but this is what I would do).
Commander Zaddy finds June just walking around on the street like its nbd and plays the role of the audience by being like, “Uh…wtf is wrong with you?”
June: I had to come back for Hannah. I couldn’t leave without her.
Me: You totally could tho…
Commander Zaddy agrees to help June because…well, we don’t really know yet. It’s hard to get a read on Commander Zaddy.
Back At The Waterfords’
Oh god, it’s Fred. We begin with Fred losing his sh*t and being very annoying like the sad beta male that he is. He’s all pissed off because June stole their baby and carved sh*t in the wall and lit a bunch of sh*t on fire. Fair, but for some reason, coming from him it seems annoying.
Fred: She burned down half the city and kidnapped our baby!
Me: Ugh, Christ, can we get this man a Xanax? He’s hysterical…
Then Serena Joy drops a bomb by admitting she helped June and the baby escape, and leaves Mr. Waterford and his micro penis to figure out what to do next. I halfway expected Nick (who has been sexily lurking in the back of this scene saying nothing) to come out of the shadows at this point and be like, “Well while we’re all sharing things, I’ve been boning Offred this whole time and that baby is actually mine because you’re impotent,” but he didn’t. Shame.
Cut to: Serena Joy smoking a cig. I guess they don’t have Juuls in Gilead.
At Hannah’s House
Oh, so June is gonna try to get Hannah…right now? I figured she’d like, take a minute to formulate a plan or something but nah, she just has Commander Zaddy drop her off at Hannah’s place for a little improvised kidnapping.
Getting into the house is surprisingly easy, and she also has no issue sneaking up on that Martha she met the last time she broke into Hannah’s house. The Martha doesn’t scream or anything, she’s just like, “The Commander isn’t here,” and lets June go upstairs to take Hannah. Truly no questions asked.
June goes up to Hannah’s room and the cops show up immediately because of course they do. It’s honestly impressive how fast they arrive. June once again succumbs to her fatal flaw: having absolutely no idea when to GTFO. She just like, chills in Hannah’s room for a bit, ties a little piece of yarn around her arm, packs a bowl, smokes it, updates her LinkedIn, etc…etc…
Eventually she’s captured, because she made no real effort to not be captured. At this point I’m very confused, because I obviously know that Offred isn’t going to die, but like, just based on what I know the rules of Gilead to be, she is probably facing death. Like, they cut off Serena Joy’s finger for reading the Bible.
Random Woman from the Shadows Just as June is Being Taken Away: Jonathan, please bring her inside.
Me: Uh who the f is this and who the f is Jonathan?
Okay, so we find out immediately that this woman is Hannah’s new fake mom and she seems…honestly chill? Just like when any two moms get together, they start talking about their children (though in this case it is the same person).
Mrs. Mckenzie: She wants a dog!
June: She’s allergic!
Mrs. Mckenzie: We’ll get a goldendoodle!
Mrs. Mckenzie: I know!
June: Okay I have to go be arrested now! Bye!
Mrs. Mckenzie: TTFN! Please stop breaking into my house!
I leave this scene having no idea which one of them is right.
Back At The Waterfords’
Horrible energy at the Waterford house, per usual. Mr. Waterford—who I literally just realized is the Jared Kushner of Gilead—is still all freaked out because his baby has been kidnapped by his rape victim in an act of triumphant revenge, and his wife helped. Yawn.
Turns out the cops just brought June back to the Waterfords, which seems to go against all the rules of Gilead (last season they drowned Eden in a pool in front of the entire town for dating), but okay. Whatever. This is what’s happening.
Serena Joy is pissed that June came back and left Nichole with Emily. Serena Joy thinks Emily is a “murderer” because she “once drove a car into a crowd full of people.” Ugh. Doesn’t Serena realize that Emily had like, reasons?
Nick, Speaking for All of Us: What the f*ck is wrong with you? Don’t you know you’re going to die here?!?
June: I know 😉
Emily & Nichole
Oh right! Yes! These two! Emily is on the final leg of her journey, where she has to just casually run across a river. NBD. Personally, if I were Emily I would be very annoyed with June. I was on my way out and then you show up and give me a BABY? I wasn’t mentally prepared to care for a baby! Now I gotta do water parkour with a damn baby? I thought we were friends…
Anwyay, Emily attempts to get across the river with the baby and she just gets washed right back up on shore. The police come and we’re all like welp, this is it, there goes Emily and Nichole. Pack it up and go home guys, there’s no way they’re getting out of this one.
But wait…what’s this? The cop is being all friendly and respecting her rights as a woman? OH MY GOD, HE’S CANADIAN!!!! YESSSS BITCH YOU MADE IT!!!
Back At The Waterfords’
Mr. Waterford has calmed down, and surprisingly came up with a pretty good lie to keep the cops from all getting hanged by the government. This might be the first time he has ever been useful in his life.
Mr. Waterford leaves SJ alone in the bedroom after telling her the plan and we see SJ just like…go dark before our very eyes. You can tell she has finally made the crucial transformation from 95% that bitch to 100% that bitch.
What will she do? Will she kill herself? Will she kill Fred? Ohhh F*CK SERENA JOY JUST BURNED THIS BITCH DOWN.
NO MORE DARK ASS HOUSE.
NO MORE HORRIBLE RAPE BED.
IT’S ALL ON FIRE! ALL OF IT! SO MUCH FIRE!
AND HER AND OFFRED ARE JUST…STANDING THERE?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE’S LITERALLY A GIANT FIRE??!?
Once again, June has no idea how to GTFO. She just hangs around in the on-fire house, laughing to herself as the walls literally start collapsing around her.
June: Burn motherf*cker, burn.
Me: OKAY BUT CAN WE HAVE THIS MOMENT OUTSIDE ON THE SIDEWALK THIS SH*T IS ABOUT TO BLOW.
Cut to: a truly insane fire sequence set to anachronistic music because that’s The Handmaid’s Tale’s favorite thing to do.
Me during this whole sequence: Is this Game of Thrones? Is Gilead where Drogon was flying to in the finale? I’m confused…
Emily arrives in Canada and gets the welcome every person hopes for anytime they walk into a new room: a full standing ovation. Imagine if every time refugees arrived in our country we gave them a standing ovation? That’d be nice…
Cut to: Luke and Moira picking up the mail. Turns out, Offred sent Luke a polaroid of Hannah. Cute.
Then out of nowhere, Emily shows up and is like, “Are you Luke?”
How she found them or knows what Luke looks like is a mystery to me.
Emily: Your wife saved my life.
Luke: Uh…who are you again?
Cut to: the red center, where June is doing her chores. A random handmaid rolls up and whispers to tell her Emily and baby Nichole made it to Canada.
Honestly, there were very good acting moments from both Elizabeth Moss and Actor-Who-Plays-Luke* here. Very good.
*his name is O.T. Fagbenle.
Offred’s New Home
We end on June getting her new assignment, which is obviously going to be at Commander Zaddy’s place. It is, and he asks her if she’s going to cause him any trouble.
June: Of course not 😉
Conclusion: This episode had so much fire and winking at the camera that I honestly mistook it for a GOT-Fleabag crossover. (HBO and Amazon, you owe me if you use that idea).
Images: Hulu; Giphy (2); @handmaidsonhulu (2) / Instagram
After a brief hiatus where we were all free to spend our Monday evenings doing laundry, or going to the gym, or crying into a wine glass the size of a mixing bowl (just me?), or really doing anything other than being held hostage by Mike Fleiss for 2-4 goddamn hours, ABC is back on their bullsh*t with the newest season of The Bachelorette. But guess what, betches? SO. AM. I. As some of you may recall, I’m the resident recapper for all things Bachelor-related, and I’ve earned that title through blood, sweat, and
tears consuming obscene amounts of alcohol. My parents are so proud. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been dreading this moment ever since last season, when Chris Harrison promised me the most dramatic season ever and instead I got eight weeks of watching a relationship that could have been built over an Instagram DM.
I’m slightly more hopeful for The Bachelorette, despite the fact that I’m already mentally preparing myself to hear the phrase “Roll Tide!” no less than 1,000 times in this two-hour episode. In case anyone forgot, yes, Hannah B aka Alabama Hannah aka Little Miss Professional Runner-Up is the new Bachelorette! I feel like this season we might be in for a real treat and get a more down-to-earth, can’t-be-swayed-by-the-Flat-Tummy-Tea-deals type of Bachelorette, or we’ll get the type who won’t be able to speak words. As I said, a real treat!
And on that note, let’s get to recapping, shall we?
Just to set the mood for you guys, my dog, after seeing me break open a bottle of rosé and hearing the beginnings of Chris Harrison’s opening monologue, has already fled to the bedroom. She was Team Caelynn, so I guess you could say we’re a divided house now. Moving on.
God, Hannah is so uncomfortable to watch already. Production is trying to get in the obligatory Bachelorette-thinking-about-the-dismal-state-of-her-love-life shot and she’s acting like she just discovered she has arms and legs. It’s like she’s never recorded herself for a Fab Fit Fun partnership before? How refreshing.
HANNAH B: I know I just have to completely be myself.
ALSO HANNAH B ANYTIME A CAMERA GETS NEAR HER:
Jesus. I’m going to need more wine for this.
Is it just me or does this episode feel like it’s moving super fast? We’re already watching home video footage of the prospective suitors. If this were Colton’s season we’d still be watching Ashley I lecture a crowd of fans about finding love when
you least expect it the guy has dated literally everybody else first and getting updates from Shirley in Lansing, MI about her viewing party.
But back to the home video footage of the prospective suitors. I always love this part of the premiere, because nine times out of ten the men they show in these videos are not going to make it to the end. If anything, it weeds out which ones are looking for something serious and which ones are just emotionally stunted circus animals masquerading as attractive, single men. I love it. Dance monkeys, dance!
That said, here are my first impressions:
– I was here for Tyler the contractor until he compared himself to a young Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Now I need to go bleach my eyeballs in the hopes of unseeing that entire scene. Brb.
– Mike, you seem sweet, but that turtleneck is giving me some serious flashbacks to Nick Viall lisping about giving Raven her first orgasm. It’s off-putting to say the least.
I DON’T TRUST IT.
– Okay, did they literally just put out a casting call for another Grocery Store Joe. Italian? Into boxes? From Chicago? THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE GROCERY STORE JOE, ABC. And this hack sure ain’t it.
– Luke already looks like a front runner. Crossfit? Check. Casually highlighting passages in the bible? Double check. Pimping out his brother’s child for this intro video?
I’m wet. Check, check, check. Wait. Did Luke just say that God talked to him in the shower? I take back every nice thing I just said about him. I’m sorry, Luke, but an orgasm after jerking off in the shower is not God talking to you. It’s a just natural body reaction. Someone get this kid The Care and Keeping of You STAT!
THE LIMO INTRODUCTIONS
Moving on to the limo introductions. Hannah B shows up to the Bachelor mansion dressed like a goddamn vision in silver sequins. I can’t decide if I truly love this dress or if it reminds me of the floor of a Forever21. Probably both.
The first man comes out of the limo and I’m truly on the edge of my seat. I love this part of night one because we get to see whose producers are rooting for them and whose producers want to immortalize them as a meme by 10pm eastern time. LET THE GAMES BEGIN.
Do we think Hannah told them not to do any stupid gags? Because these guys are not impressing me. I haven’t even heard one “Roll Tide!” Just as I’m starting to think the HR meeting we had last week on the use of appropriate fonts in work emails was more entertaining than this episode, one guy takes a stab at what’s left of Colton’s dignity (spoiler alert: there’s nothing left) and jumps the Bachelor mansion fence as his intro. What we don’t see is Chris Harrison physically recoiling in the background at the mere mention of fence jumping.
A guy who looks like he would roofie my drink introduces himself as John Paul Jones. Watch out, girls, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this guy. If I know anything about guys who go by three names and refer to themselves in the third person, it’s that they’re destined for big things. And by “big things” I mean a true crime docu-series in which we learn all about the bodies they’ve stashed in their freezers. Good luck with this one though, Hans!
Next, we have a wannabe grocery store Joe who apparently thinks the way to woo a woman is by scaring the sh*t out of her. He’s just lucky Hannah is from Alabama. You pull that sh*t on a girl in New York and his ass would be pepper sprayed.
CAM: I’ve been practicing my freestyle. Spitting some game, if you will.
Seriously, what did we do to deserve this? In the immortal words of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: “I’m a good fucking person!” I’m not gonna lie, I thought his little white boy rapper schtick was cute during the “After The Final Rose” taping. Was it obnoxious? Yes. Did it make me want to delete all my dating apps and commit to a life of solitude with only my dogs to keep my company? Just a little. But, hey, at least he was memorable! Now, though, he’s forced us to sit through not one but TWO raps, and I’m rethinking my earlier stance on the matter. That’s strike two, Cammie. Strike three and you’ll be getting a VERY detailed complaint from me in your DMs. Don’t poke the bear, buddy.
Next up we have Peter, who walks out in his pilot uniform and just made every girl in America consider sliding into his DMs. I know I am.
Peter, you can call me.
THE COCKTAIL PARTY
I’m going to end the limo introductions on that high note with Peter and move on to the cocktail party portion of the evening. Hannah starts things off by sending out a quick prayer about not completely humiliating herself tonight. Relatable. It’s a nice sentiment, Hannah, but I think your prayers would be better directed at the Church of Mike Fleiss if you want to save yourself from public shame. Just a tip!
One of the guys pulls Hannah aside because he wants to throw her a proper bachelorette party. I’m sorry, but does this kid know how bachelorette parties work? There’s no need for this elaborate theme park he’s set up here. All he needed to do was give her nine shots of tequila and call it a night.
Cam, feeling cocky with that first rose, steals the first kiss from Hannah. He prefaces the kiss by saying “he doesn’t usually do this” which is something I say after pounding wine at happy hour and getting felt up by a random guy in the corner by the bathrooms, but fine Cam. Stick with that story.
I love that Demi has had almost, if not more, screen time than Chris Harrison this episode. If this is ABC priming her for host status I. am. here. for. it. Speaking of which, Demi and some random girl from Colton’s season whose name I cannot recall roll up to the Bachelor mansion in the van my mother always warned me about as a child. They’re here to do some “recon” on Hannah’s men, which can only mean they’re here to ruin lives. *turns up volume*
Demi says that some girl DMed her on Instagram and told her that one of the guys has a girlfriend back home, as if that’s enough of an explanation for why she rented out the van pedophiles use on Law & Order: SVU to lure children in with free candy. K.
So, wait. This nerd Scott is supposed to be the scumbag? He couldn’t even string a full sentence together when he introduced himself earlier in the night and he’s supposed to be this master manipulator? I would like to see the screenshots of these DMs. SHOW ME THE RECEIPTS.
Okay, I am LIVING for Hannah right in this moment. Instead of acting calm or taking a minute to process the information she immediately goes on the offense and confronts Scott. I think he just wet himself a little. YESSSS GIRL. GET IT.
ME WATCHING HANNAH COME FOR SCOTT RN:
I can’t believe he admitted to dumping a girl to come on the show!! These are things you can’t just admit on national television, buddy! He’s like “well weren’t you dating Colton like five minutes ago?” Oh, yeah, that’s good Scott. Casually slut-shame the Bachelorette on night one. In hindsight, I should have known Scott was garbage because here I was all episode thinking he was cute. Sighs.
Hannah comes back into the house and breaks the news to the other men about why Scott was sent home. Meanwhile, every guy in that room is staring at her like they’re hoping their girlfriends back home are a little less vindictive than Scott’s. Try to look a little less terrified, boys!
Luke heads off to try and cheer Hannah up and also start campaigning for his position as the next Bachelor. Is it just me or is this guy is a little too good to be true? Hmm? Like, what’s your motive, sir? To respect and uplift women? Yeah, I’m not buying it.
But I guess I’m the only one, because Luke gets the First Impression Rose, effectively proving that anyone can come back from growling at the Bachelorette on the first date.
THE ROSE CEREMONY
We made it to the first rose ceremony of the season, and not one single guy got wasted and jumped in the pool. Boooooo. Garrett does seem far to nervous about his status on the show. As if there was ever a question that a traditionally attractive white golfer from Alabama was not getting a rose. Please.
Final rose cut: Brian, Hunter, Ryan, Thomas, Old McDonald, wannabe grocery store Joe, and Chasen all get sent home night one.
The only one I’m truly surprised about is Chasen. Despite the fact that his name makes me want to report his parents to child services, he was a stone cold hottie AND a pilot. Obviously, Hannah is not thinking about the
bigger picture free flights she could have gotten out of this relationship. Shame.
And on that note, I’m outtie, betches. Until next week!
Images: ABC; Giphy (5); @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (1)
I could save both you and myself a lot of time by summing this entire Game of Thrones recap up in one statement: what the actual f*ck. To anyone who complained about the lack of gratuitous violence and death in the Battle of Winterfell, this is your fault. I hope you’re happy.
To say “The Bells” was a disappointing lead up to the series finale would be an understatement. While many characters, both beloved and despised, died in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, the most important death was the character assassination of just about everyone involved.
Daenerys? Spends seven seasons preaching about rescuing the innocent, only to torch an entire city of them even after their leaders had surrendered.
Jon? A wide-eyed idiot whose only real skill is managing to underestimate every single situation he’s ever found himself in.
Arya? Suddenly someone who runs from a fight that she’s spent the last 10 years working toward.
Cersei? Don’t even get me started. That woman has been Villain Number One since day one and she deserved a death that reflected that. Getting torched by Drogon as she stares unwaveringly into Dany’s eyes? That would have worked. Chugging a glass of wine before throwing herself off the keep à la Tommen? Fine. But cowering in the arms of her brother-lover after a failed escape attempt? An insult. Cersei Lannister deserved better.
The entirety of the siege of King’s Landing could have been communicated with a black screen and just scrolling captions that said “She’s the Mad Queen! Dany is bad! Remember how we foreshadowed this?? Also does anyone know where George went?? He’s stopped returning our calls!” It was 45 minutes of gratuitous death and gore, a purposeful move that’s meant to turn the audience against Daenerys so that her death next week will feel like vindication.
But anyway, let’s dive into this mess.
We open back in Dragonstone on Varys, who is writing a letter to an unidentified person about Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne. He’s interrupted by a young servant girl who reports that Dany isn’t taking meals.
The next morning, Tyrion watches as Varys greets Jon on the shore. The guy doesn’t even manage ten seconds of small talk before diving right into his pitch for Aegon Targaryen, King of Westeros. Jon is not entertained, but to be fair he’s never been entertained by anything so it’s hard to tell at this point.
Jon: I don’t want the throne. Never have.
Varys: Why do people keep saying that like it matters or something?
Varys might have made an impression if he just stuck to logic, but the second he insults Dany’s sanity he loses Jon entirely. Jon drops a steely “she is my queen” before stalking off into the castle.
Tyrion goes straight to Dany and we’re going to address the elephant in the room right off the bat here by saying that our girl does not look good. In fact, she looks downright bad. Not just “I lost my dragon and best friend/hairstylist in one fell swoop” bad. We’re talking “I’ve taken to glaring at the horizon and mumbling about my enemies” bad. They might as well just have hung a plaque around her neck that read “Mad Queen.”
She knows that Jon told Sansa about his lineage, who proceeded to tell the whole world, Tyrion included, who then told Varys, who is now actively campaigning against her. It’s worth nothing that not once during this argument, or any of the ones that follow, does Dany raise her voice. Everything is just a quiet, urgent whisper, which is honestly more disarming than her trademark temper. It’s clear that Varys’ fate is sealed here, only further confirmed by the arrival of Grey Worm at his room later that night. Varys manages to finish burning his letter before he’s escorted out to the cliffs where Dany, Jon, Tyrion, and Drogon are waiting. It’s safe to say that nothing good is about to happen when you’re dragged out of your room to face a dragon in the middle of the night.
Tyrion steps forward in a truly honorable moment to tell Varys that he was the one to rat him out. Varys isn’t shocked—he’s been in the game long enough to know how this goes.
Varys: I hope I’m wrong about all this.
Varys: But I’m not.
Varys: See you all in hell, bitch.
I’m surprised Dany is allowing even the slightest showing of remorse on Tyrion’s part. Empathizing with her enemies feels like something she’d be against even on her best day, and this certainly isn’t anywhere close to that. Instead, she just sentences Varys to die, with no charges or justification to offer.
After torching Varys, Dany heads to the war room with Grey Worm, where she gives him Missandei’s only possession—the shackle she used to wear around her neck. He tosses it into the fire, clearly on Team No Mercy alongside his queen.
Jon shows up and Grey Worm makes a hasty retreat, leaving these two estranged relatives/lovers to sort out some sh*t.
Dany: Sansa basically killed Varys.
Jon: Flawed logic but sure.
Dany goes on a short tirade about the people of Westeros fearing and not loving her, before pivoting and trying to seduce Jon in a way that truly made my skin crawl. He swerves, which confirms for her that she’ll have to rule by fear from here on out, having been slighted by the last person alive who claims to love her.
Later in the throne room, Tyrion is pleading with Dany to not destroy King’s Landing and all the innocent people in it. This argument, which he’ll make many times this episode, falls on deaf ears. Dany is beyond reason and speaking like a true tyrant, claiming that she’ll be saving future generations by cleansing the city now. Tyrion makes a last ditch effort and asks that she at least call off the attack if the city surrenders. She agrees, before sending Grey Worm off to prepare the Unsullied to sail out.
Tyrion: Please tell me you aren’t going to slaughter all the innocent people in King’s Landing who have done nothing to wrong you.
As Tyrion makes his way out, clearly aware of what he’s now dealing with, Dany drops a bomb: Jaime was captured trying to make his way into King’s Landing. This is the second time that Tyrion has been wrong about his siblings’ intentions, and Daenerys makes it clear that it will also be the last time.
Next we cut to King’s Landing where Jon, Tyrion, and the troops are all arriving for battle. Morale is low at best. They’re greeted on the shore by Davos, who Tyrion pulls aside to ask for a smuggling favor. Safe to say that one doesn’t pan out.
Arya and the Hound arrive at the camp at night, looking like they’re ready to singlehandedly take on this battle. If only that were the case.
Arya: I’m Arya Stark and I’m here to kill Cersei.
The Hound: She is the light of my life.
Tyrion sneaks into the tent where Jaime is being kept prisoner, hellbent on saving at least one person in this entire episode.
Tyrion: How did they find you?
Jaime: Turns out not a lot of men have a solid gold hand.
It becomes clear that Jaime has no intention of asking Cersei to surrender, thereby busting the theory I’ve been lecturing people about all week in which Jaime returns only to kill Cersei and then himself. Instead, Tyrion switches tactics and begs Jaime to escape with Cersei so that they can start fresh elsewhere. Not sure where the world-reviled Lannister twins could escape to, but it’s a nice thought. Against all odds, Jaime agrees and the two say goodbye for the final time. It was the closest I came to feeling anything this entire episode.
Tyrion: You were the best family I’ve ever had.
Jaime: Low bar there but I appreciate the sentiment.
At last, the day of the battle has arrived and both sides are prepping across King’s Landing. Euron is arming his many scorpions on his fleet in Blackwater Bay. John, Greyworm, Tyrion, and Davos, followed by the Northerners, the Unsullied, and the five remaining Dothraki are lined up against the Golden Company outside the walls of the city. Inside, soldiers are taking their places as the civilians race to the Red Keep for protection. The gates close before many of them can get in, Jaime included. He spends the next thirty minutes trying to find his way inside a crumbling city. Cersei looks out over King’s Landing, calm as a cucumber. God grant me the serenity of Cersei Lannister when faced with any kind of adversity.
Things kick off swiftly with Dany flying down from the clouds to torch Euron’s entire fleet of ships. The scorpions, which seemed last week to be the end of all dragons, are entirely ineffective. Drogon is out here, pirouetting across the sky, raining fire down on these giant crossbows as if it’s no big thing. Rhaegal is quaking at the bottom of the ocean.
Dany makes quick work of the bay and then turns her attention to the city itself. She blasts through the wall behind the Golden Company, effectively toppling all of them in seconds. Jon, Grey Worm, Davos, and their armies run through the gaping gates while we’re offered expansive shots of the opposing side lying screaming and burning on the ground. There’s a lot of that kind of behavior over the next forty or so minutes.
It becomes quickly apparent that Cersei does not stand a chance. Like, if Dany had rolled in with all three dragons, this episode could have been five minutes long. While she torches the Lannister army from above, the Unsullied wreak havoc below in the streets. It’s not even a contest, which seems weird considering the fact that Team Dany was looking worse for wear not ten minutes earlier.
Cersei is watching from her balcony, slowly realizing that this won’t be the cake walk she anticipated. Qyburn informs her that the scorpions have all been destroyed, that the Golden Company are charred, lifeless husks, and that everything is rapidly going to sh*t.
Dany parks Drogon on a tower just as Jon and company come face to face with the Lannister army. It’s a standoff of sorts, everyone clearly in over their heads. The Lannister forces drop their swords seconds before the bell signaling surrender rings through the city. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “thank God that was quick. Now we can spend the rest of the episode effectively setting up a plot for next week.” Just call me Jon Snow, I guess.
Up on the tower, Dany watches as the city surrenders. For one second you think things are going to be chill before she suffers a clear mental break, lets out a single sob, and then takes off in the direction of the keep.
“Oh, well, she’s just going to kill Cersei,” I thought, “this plan still checks out.” But guess what? She doesn’t do that. She doesn’t even attempt to do that. Cersei is hanging out, entirely unprotected on a very visible balcony on top of the biggest building in the city, and instead of heading for that very viable target Dany flies down to the streets and begins torching civilians and soldiers alike.
This move is clearly a shock to Jon, Davos, Tyrion, the millions of people in King’s Landing, me at home on my couch, and anyone capable of understanding logic, but you know who’s not fazed at all? Grey Worm, who takes it as a signal to keep on keeping on. He charges full force into a crowd of unarmed Lannister soldiers, and the battle is back on.
What follows is forty straight minutes of carnage. It was clearly meant to shock the audience into submission, but I actually just found myself to be bored by the over-the-top gore of it all. I had more of a visceral reaction to Tyrion outing Brienne as a virgin than I did to the people of King’s Landing being incinerated in HD. So instead of attempting to describe the mayhem, let’s just cover the important plot points that took place while the King’s Landing was being dismantled brick by brick.
Jaime & Euron
Jaime finds his way to the outlet Tyrion directed him to, down on the shores of Blackwater Bay, only to be intercepted by Euron, who immediately challenges him to a duel. This entire scene was the most unnecessary sequence of events in an episode made up solely of unnecessary sequences of events. Euron, whose character arc was already weak at best, has been reduced to a man who operates on chaos alone. He managed to survive Drogon’s attack on the water, and instead of making a break for it he just…goads Jaime Lannister into a fight? To what end?
Euron: I had sex with a queen which makes me a king so now if you kill me everyone will be like “Wow Jaime Lannister killed TWO KINGS” wouldn’t that be crazy?
Jaime: …Sir this is an Arby’s.
Jaime gets stabbed twice in the torso before managing to get a killing blow into Euron’s chest. Dark Pacey Witter, the chaotic Jack Sparrow of Winterfell, dies alone on the shores of King’s Landing. His last words are “I am the man who killed Jaime Lannister.” None of it made sense, but it’s so low on the totem pole of things to be mad about that I guess we’ll just move on.
Jon spends the entire siege running around the city, being shocked that Dany is doing exactly what Varys said she would do. He tries to save a few people and stop a few fights, but is ultimately useless.
Dany: * goes insane, burns King’s Landing to the ground, basically follows up on her promise to rule the people of Westeros by fear*
The Hound & Arya
Pre-Mad Queen, the Hound and Arya were strolling through King’s Landing looking like the best pair of assassins you’ve ever seen. But once the city starts crumbling around them, they lose some of their bravado. The two of them make it all the way to the Keep only for the Hound to turn around and urge Arya to escape. You expect her to laugh in his face but then, against all odds and in opposition to everything we know to be true about her, she just…does it?
The girl who killed the Night King makes it to the doorstep of Cersei, the woman she’s vowed to kill since day one, and then goes “Eh, not feeling it anymore.” At this rate, why didn’t she just stay back and marry Gendry? She could be in Winterfell, eating ice cream and watching rom coms with Brienne and Sansa, having sex with her hot, newly-noble fiancé, not having a care in the world. But sure, this route makes sense, too.
Arya thanks the Hound for I don’t know what, then high tails it out onto the streets of King’s Landing, which appear to be just as dangerous as the Keep. The Hound continues up the stairs and comes across Cersei, Qyburn, and the Mountain, making their escape. The brothers lock eyes, and it’s clear that we’re about to get the fight everyone has been asking for. Cersei commands Ser Gregor to stay by her side, and he answers by picking Qyburn up and busting his skull against a rock. Good riddance. She sneaks past them and leaves the two to battle it out.
Jaime & Cersei
In case my rant above wasn’t enough, let me drive my point home by saying that the death of the Lannister twins was the single most disappointing death scene in this entire show. Qyburn went out more heroically than these two incestuous idiots.
After leaving the Cleganes behind, Cersei comes across Jaime in the Keep. She starts sobbing upon seeing him and they stand there and hold each other for far longer than you would expect, given the fact that the ceiling could come down on them at any moment.
They make their way to the dragon dungeon Tyrion once escaped from, only to find that their route has been blocked by a pile of debris. Instead of doing, I don’t know, anything about this situation, Cersei starts sobbing about not wanting their baby to die. Jaime grabs her by the face, tells her that nothing matters but the two of them, and then they died clutching each other as the entire Keep collapses down onto them.
Their death feels like such a throwaway that I am now retroactively Team Cersei. Dying together? Check, we’re all on board for that. Dying cowering and sobbing in each other’s arms? Not my Lannisters.
What happened to Cersei, whose natural response to any danger is gulping wine and arching her eyebrow? Or Jaime, the brave and honorable knight who would rather go down fighting than surrender? Did everyone just forget the last nine years of character development? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
It shouldn’t be surprising by this point when I tell you that Clegane Bowl was entirely underwhelming. The Hound repeatedly stabs his giant zombie of a brother to no avail while the building collapses around them. Once it becomes clear that nothing will stop the Mountain, not even a dagger through the skull, the Hound tackles him and together they crash through what’s left of the wall and they both tumble hundreds of feet to the fiery city below. I would say it’s safe to assume both of them are dead, but it’s not safe to assume anything about this show anymore.
Arya & The Horse
Out on the streets of the city, Arya is not faring well. Despite the fact that she’s clearly won, Dany is still flying around and roasting people while toppling whole city blocks. Everything is debris and ash and fire and death and it’s honestly awful. Arya almost dies a handful of times, only to be saved by a kind woman who later dies by fire for her efforts.
Arya is knocked unconscious and wakes up covered in debris an undetermined amount of time later. While you can still hear screams in the distance, everything is quieter now. There isn’t a living soul in sight except for one immaculate, entirely unharmed white horse. I thought maybe this was a metaphor or a hallucination on Arya’s part, but It was actually just a whole-ass horse. Arya hops on and gallops away as the screen fades to black and for some reason “Old Town Road” isn’t playing in the background. Yet another disappointment to add to the list.
That’s it, folks. That’s the episode.
It seems like the only possible route now is for what’s left of Westeros (aka the Starks) to rise up against Dany. Now that she’s not even feigning sanity anymore, there’s nothing stopping Dany from riding north and torching her last standing opposer: Sansa. If we don’t get a Stark reunion followed by a Baelish-style surprise execution, I will riot.
Sansa up North, sipping a daiquiri and not being burned alive in a battle she didn’t support, carefully crafting her “I told you so” speech for Jon:
MVB: That stupid horse
Pickings were so slim this week that we’re bestowing the coveted title of Most Valuable Betch to the horse that managed to survive the melee on the streets of King’s Landing. With those kind of instincts, it’s probably smarter than Jon—someone please let the horse develop the game plan for next week.
Images: HBO; Giphy (5)
I don’t even know where to start.
The Battle of Winterfell was 82 minutes of straight f*cking torture. Beautifully shot, anxiety-inducing torture. The episode was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the man who brought us such nightmares as “Hardhome” and “The Battle of the Bastards”, so you know we were going to be in for a traumatizing time from the start. I am sitting here, scrolling through my TWELVE PAGES of notes and realizing they’re almost entirely incoherent keyboard smashes followed by a roll sheet of people who I could tell were still alive at any given point.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a physical reaction like this to any kind of media in my life. The second the theme music began, I was overcome with a wave of nausea so intense that I had to lie down. My heart raced, as if I was outside running a marathon, for the entirety of the episode. I had to pause halfway through to answer the door for my Postmates, and my hands visibly shook as I reached out to grab for the bag of food. Those enchiladas sat, wholly untouched, until the credits ran. I cried salty tears into my cold Mexican food as my roommate walked through the door, equal parts confused and concerned. It wasn’t even sad crying, but just the kind that little kids do when they’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to communicate it. This show reduced me to the emotional maturity of a toddler. It feels like I just survived a battle, which is more than we can say for some.
Let’s get the worst part out of the way and tally our dead. Ignoring the obvious thousands of unnamed Dothraki, Unsullied and Westerosi who fell to the army of zombies, we also lost Edd, Beric, Lyanna Mormont, Theon, Jorah, Melisandre and … the Night King? Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each one as I try and dissect the almost hour and a half of warfare we just watched unfold.
If you don’t feel like reading this novel of a recap, it can be mostly summarized in this single GIF.
I think it’s fair to say that the women of Winterfell truly put the entire team on their back. From Dany and her dragons to Melisandre and her fire to Lyanna and her final act of heroism, it was the women who saved humanity tonight. Plus, well, the obvious one.
* Extremely Tim Riggins voice * Arya Stark forever.
Typically when these battles episodes take place, I skate over most of the action and recount the main plot points, because words could no truly do scenes any justice. This isn’t really an option for this episode, which was 99% battle and 1% me screaming into a pillow. So, we’ll do our best here.
We’ll start with everyone’s positions at the beginning of the episode. We follow Sam, making his way out onto the battlefield. The Dothraki are on the front lines, being led by Jorah and, for some reason, Ghost. There’s only enough production budget to CGI him into 45 seconds of every episode, so I guess we’ll find out next week whether or not he survived the fray.
The second line is made up of our Westerosi heroes, with Brienne and Jaime leading the pack. They’re joined by Tormund, Podrick, Gendry, Beric, the Hound, Edd and finally Sam. Not one of them look confident.
In the back are the Unsullied, who will later have the very terrible job of holding back the wights as everyone else retreats. From a plot point of view, I understand why both the Dothraki and Unsullied armies were put in the literal worst positions, but it was still horribly sad to watch all these unnamed men die such horrible deaths so far away from their homes.
Jon and Dany soar onto the field on the backs of Drogon and Rhaegal and take their place on a nearby clifftop observe, while Davos, Sansa, Arya and the archers watch from the ramparts of Winterfell.
This entire set-up unfolds over the course of what felt like 15 minutes, but was likely only three. Every second of it was ominous. This doesn’t feel like any battle we’ve ever seen on Thrones—there is no air of excitement or even optimism. Every single face we come across is terrified.
A single horse rides across the battle field towards Winterfell and, lo and behold, out of the mist and darkness comes Melisandre. I take back every terrible thing I ever said about this woman, who showed up in the final hour of humanity and not only provided fire for the army to fight with, but also provided the single source of lighting in this entire dark as night episode. Honestly, feel free to throw leeches on Gendry’s d*ck any time. You’ve earned it.
The Apocalypse: * is imminent *
Melisandre: Not today, Satan.
She asks Jorah to tell the Dothraki to lift their weapons, at which point she performs a quick spell and every single one of their swords catch fire. Where was this women during the strategy sessions? Would have loved her input while Jon was pushing tiles around on a game board.
Apparently only the Dothraki are being blessed by the Lord of Light, because Melisandre walks past the rest of the waiting armies and right into Winterfell, where she is immediately met by Davos. If you’ll recall, Davos is not her biggest fan, on account of that whole “burning Shireen Baratheon alive” bit.
Melisandre: There’s no need to execute me, I’ll be dead by dawn.
Davos: …. I mean we all will, that doesn’t really count.
Melisandre spies Arya watching from above, and they share the first bout of incredibly meaningful eye contact in this episode. Believe me when I say, there is a lot of it. Everyone is just out here, staring into each other’s souls, getting ready to die. The battle hasn’t even started yet and I’m already sweating.
The Dothraki ride across the field, which is actually a beautiful site to behold from Dany and Jon’s perspective. Just a mass of screaming, burning torches, flying into the night and coming to an almost immediate stop as they collide with the army of the dead. You can actually feel the last shreds of hope die as everyone watches the burning swords of the Dothraki be extinguished one by one. These people followed Daenerys across the ocean only and into the frozen and racist wasteland that is the North only to die on the icy battlefield of Winterfell to save a bunch of people who probably hated them anyways. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
A few horses and Dothraki manage to successfully retreat, Jorah once again in the lead, and sprint past the Westerosi and Unsullied in a futile attempt to escape. Dany watches from above and immediately races to Drogon, trying to get to the battlefield to help before all hell breaks loose. Jon tries to stop her, reminding her that they’re meant to be protecting Bran.
Jon: The Night King is coming.
Dany: You have never created one successful plan in your life and I doubt that you’ll be turning that record around today.
Down on the field, we get one more pan across the terrified faces of all our favorite people before the wights come flying onto the screen. They collide with the first line, and the battle has finally begun.
I get that we’re all going to make the same joke about the total lack of lighting and how you need blackout curtains to even attempt to see what was happening on screen, but I think it makes sense the way it played out. Staring into blackness, only hearing the screams of dying people and seeing flashes of horror by firelight was 10/10 the most terrifying viewing experience imaginable. It put us right in the thick of things, leaving the audience just as confused as those on the field.
What follows here is an hour of straight mayhem, cutting between the battlefield, the Godswood, the skies, and the crypts. Each time we flash to someone we know, they’re in worse shape than when we saw them last. I was convinced Grey Worm died six separate times, but somehow the guy kept coming back. Maybe he really will get that life on a beach in Naath with Missandei. JK, I refuse to believe in anything.
It only takes about 30 seconds of watching events unfold before Sansa sends Arya down to the crypts for safety and takes her place amongst the melee.
Sansa: I don’t know how to use a knife.
Arya: Stick them with the pointy end.
I’ve already seen some Sansa slander circulating, saying she played a minimal role this episode while girls younger than her were risking their lives out in the fray, so we’re going to pause really quick to let you know why that’s wrong. As previously stated, this is a pro-Sansa zone and that kind of behavior won’t be tolerated, but especially not when the take is that bad.
Arya and Lyanna Mormont are warriors. Sansa is not. They are able to meaningfully contribute to a battle, whereas Sansa’s presence would only serve to distract those who would try and save her. Running out to risk your life when it’s only going to make things more difficult for everyone else may be Jon Snow 101, but not Sansa. She’s smart enough to know that everyone is better off with her out of the way.
Throughout the entire battle we get multiple shots of Jaime and Brienne diving into screen at the last minute to save each other from the jaws of death. These two lovebirds, fighting back to back, with dragon fire blazing behind them like a beautiful sunset? Poetic cinema.
The first major character to fall is Edd, who dies seconds after saving Sam from a wight out on the battlefield. It’s the quickest death of the episode, and honestly the one we all care least about, but jarring nonetheless. All week long we’ve been talking about how people are going to start dropping like flies, but it’s different to see it actually happen.
Sansa’s arrival in the crypts is not met with the best reaction. First of all, everyone gathered there knows that her showing up means things are going poorly up top. To make matters worse, she’s looking less than composed, tears welling up in her eyes and at complete a loss for words. Her and Tyrion share some long-held suffering eye contact and it communicates what he already knew to be true: they’re f*cked. At least he planned ahead and brought some wine down there with him.
Up in the sky, Jon and Dany are effectively blind. The darkness wasn’t a great start, but they’re also coming up against a gigantic cloud of fog courtesy of the Night King, which makes it difficult to see where they’re throwing fire onto the field. I didn’t realize until this moment that it’s very likely that a lot of our own people are going to get roasted on the battle field. Dany may be good but that level of precision is just unrealistic, I say in reference to a show about medieval people with dragons fighting ice zombies.
On the ground, the armies start to retreat behind the gates of Winterfell, where they have their next round of defenses. It looks like Lyanna and House Mormont are leading the charge here, while Jaime and Brienne start manning the ramparts. Remember that scene in Hardhome when all the wights just climb up the fortress wall, World War Z style? Well that’s making a cute comeback soon.
Tormund and the Hound are two of the last to retreat past the Unsullied, who are all silently and dutifully holding down the last line of defense. We don’t deserve them. The Hound is saved from a stray wight by none other than Arya, who shoots a flaming arrow over his shoulder from up on the ramparts. It’s reminiscent of the first time we ever met Arya back in season one, shooting arrows from the walls of Winterfell. You can see the pride swell in his eyes for about half a second before he remembers that he’s on an open field full of zombies, and makes his way inside.
Once everyone is in, Grey Worm makes the call to light the trenches that have been dug around the castle. He pulls a rip cord that appears to effectively separate his army from the safety of Winterfell, the trench between them. Only problem—it’s not on fire. The fog is keeping Dany from being able to see the signal to light it, and she’s stuck looping above the castle trying to what’s going on.
It’s at this point that Melisandre makes her second dramatic appearance and comes forward to light the trenches with her hands. In this moment, when the fire catches seconds before the wights break through, she is forgiven for that time she let a child burn to death. The Lord of Light decrees it. We have no choice but to stan.
Down in the crypts, morale is low. Everyone is sitting in total silence, until Tyrion starts whining about not being up top with everyone else. He’s sure that were we there, he could see something that the rest of the warriors couldn’t. Sansa assures him that’s not the case, probably because that would require actually being able to see what’s going on. She echoes my earlier sentiment, albeit bitterly, that any of them being present in the battle would only serve to distract those who were fighting.
Sansa: We’re useless.
Tyrion: Wow I love that level of self-loathing, perhaps we should have stayed married.
Sansa: You were the best of them.
Tyrion: That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard in a lifetime of exclusively sad things.
It appears that Tyrion is actually reconsidering this whole marriage thing but Sansa nips it in the bud, saying that his allegiance to the dragon queen would prove to be a problem for them. I think it’s bold that they’re making plans for anything farther than five minutes into the future, considering the state of things at the moment. Missandei agrees, popping out of the shadows to remind them that they’d all be dead if it weren’t for that dragon queen. Get you a friend like Missandei, defending your honor even on the brink of the apocalypse.
In the Godswood, Theon can see that the trench has been lit, which means they’re seconds from being thrown into battle. He takes this last second of wight-free time to attempt to apologize to Bran for all the sh*t he’s pulled over the years. Bran, in classic three-eyed raven nature, doesn’t let him, telling Theon that everything he’s done has brought them to that moment. This is a theme throughout the episode, as it becomes clear that a lot of the suffering we’ve endured has been to ensure that every single one of these people was present at this exact time. Doesn’t make any of the last nine years any easier, but it’s nice to know we didn’t all cry in vain.
Bran: I’m going to go now.
Theon: …..I’m sorry but what?
Bran wargs into a flock of ravens and suddenly we’re back up above the gates of Winterfell. The trench appears to have worked, leaving all of the wights lined up on the other side, staring into Winterfell. Bran continues to fly until he reaches the Night King, who is now ready to join battle as well. Remember when the Internet thought he wouldn’t show up at Winterfell? The joke is on all of us.
The novelty of the burning trench lasts for all of ten seconds, at which point the wights start throwing themselves onto the flames one by one. Slowly but surely, there are enough bodies to smother the fire, and a tiny bridge has been created for them to cross through.
Everyone in the castle braces for an attack, with Jaime, Brienne, Jorah, Tormund, Gendry and Podrick leading the arches up top, and Lyanna and House Mormont holding the yard below. This is when things truly started getting grim.
The only shining beacon of hope at the moment is Arya, who is flying through wights with the special weapon she had Gendry make for her. Davos is watching from a few feet away, equal parts terrified and impressed, probably looking into adoption papers. Same.
Arya: * murdering zombies left and right, looking like a graceful queen while she does it *
But soon Arya is overcome by the masses, and seeing her almost fall is enough to break the Hound out of the existential crisis he’s been having on the sidelines. The combination of all that fire and the never-ending onslaught of wights was really taking a toll on him.
Beric: Get your sh*t together, Clegane
The Hound: We’re literally all going to die. We can’t beat death.
Arya: * back flipping through the background * WANNA BET
Speaking of tolls, y’all ready for our next death? Down in the yard, the gates of Winterfell splinter to pieces to reveal the giant zombie Wun-Wun. In all the chaos I forgot that there was a literal giant on the side of the Night King. He busts through the gates and knocks Lyanna Mormont to the side before he starts wrecking everyone in sight.
She recovers and charges him, only to be picked up and crushed to death in his giant hands. For a couple horrifying seconds it looks like Wun-Wun was going to eat Lyanna, at which point I was already crafting my home sick email to my boss for the next day. But with her last living breaths, Lyanna leans forward and stabs Wun-Wun in the eyes with her dragonglass dagger. They both go down and Lyanna dies as she hits the ground. This small child singlehandedly took down one of the biggest threats in the Night King’s army, while Jon pirouetted through the air, trying not to collide with his girlfriend. Queen of the North, indeed.
Up in the sky, Jon and Dany finally break through the cloud cover and get about a second of peace before Viserion and the Night King come barreling up through the clouds. A chase scene ensues that only leaves me wondering how high into the atmosphere these people can fly before dying? Like, there’s no way they can breathe up there? There’s not even handles on these dragons? This is no time for nit-picking scientific accuracies, and yet here I am.
Inside the library of Winterfell, a nightmare is unfolding that is giving me PTSD flashbacks to the scene in Jurassic Park where the children are hiding from the velociraptors in the kitchen. The wight have made it inside the castle, but instead of a screaming horde they’re now actually just wandering around like slow, meandering zombies. Arya is dodging them in the stacks of the library, because apparently they only operate off of sound? And not smell? Sure.
She tosses a book to distract them all and barely escapes through the doors, only to alert them all to her presence by sighing too loudly. A girl can truly not catch a break. Neither can the wrinkles in my forehead, which deepened a whole two inches just watching Arya sprint through the castle in utter horror, bleeding from the forehead and narrowly avoiding being killed four separate times.
Down in the crypts, the sounds of battle are starting to permeate through the walls. The children are dead silent. Varys looks like he’s about to sh*t himself. Tyrion is drinking. All in all, things are bad and then they hear a swarm of bodies crash against the door. It’s soldiers from the living side’s armies, who are yelling for them to open the door as they’re being attacked by wights. The screaming lasts about ten seconds before everything goes silent again. No one even moved an inch towards the door.
It’s moments like this that make me really glad that Sansa and Tyrion are down in the crypts and not someone with a mile wide honorable streak *cough* JON *cough*. The two of them are pragmatic enough to know that they can’t save everyone, and that trying to do so would probably get the rest of them killed anyway. Jon would have opened that door, and in doing so ensured the death of everyone who was put down there to hide in the first place.
The Hound and Beric have made their way inside the halls of Winterfell and come across Arya in just the nick of time, who crashes through a door and is tackled to the ground by wights. They pry them off her and start sprinting away, but not before Beric is repeatedly in the chest. The three of them make it into the great hall and manage to barricade the doors before Beric falls to the ground and dies in Arya’s arms.
Melisandre appears, apparently immune to things like walls and zombie wars, and completes her third and final act of greatness for the day: spurring Arya to action. She reminds them of the time they first met, during Gendry’s kidnapping, when Melisandre predicted that Arya would kill many people—people whose eyes are brown, green, and …. BLUE. Did Melisandre predict that Arya would kill the Night King all the way back in season three? Did Beric know that he was meant to keep her alive for that very purpose? Has this entire show been hurtling towards this moment? I’m not sure, but I’m ready to spend the next seven days obsessing over it.
As the wights come crashing against the door, Melisandre gives Arya the strength she needs to go out and finish this sh*t.
Melisandre: What do we say to the God of Death?
Arya: Not today.
Every single person watching:
Things are really escalating on the battle front. The wights have full swarmed the Godswood, and Theon is shocking everyone by holding it down while the rest of the Iron Borne die left and right. Brann sits, entirely unperturbed, still watching bird TV as people are getting massacred all around him.
In the sky, the Night King runs Viserion full force into Winterfell, unleashing his blue fire all across the side of the castle just as Jon and Rhaegal crash into him. They start battling it out up above the battlefield, and eventually both Jon and the Night King fall to the ground.
Dany pulls up above them on Drogon, makes direct eye contact with the Night King, and then unleashes a Dracarys on him. It was far too triumphant a moment for any of us to believe that it would work, which was proved seconds later when the fire dissipates and the Night King is left their SMIRKING AT HER.
Fire cannot kill a dragon, which begs the question…. Is the Night King a Targaryen? It’s possible and I’m exhausted at the very thought of it. This man has gotten far too human and far too confident this episode. He’s just swagging his way across the battlefield towards Winterfell all by himself, laughing at people. The audacity.
Jon tries to catch up to him, under the very mistaken impression that he’s about to singlehandedly take down the Night King. Sorry, that role has already been assigned, my dude. Instead, the Night King turns around, lets Jon get about ten feet closer, and then slowly starts to lift his arms, raising the thousands of dead people surrounding them as he does it. Literally the entire battlefield stands up as Jon limps his way towards the Night King. Inside, we’re treated to an especially horrendous moment as Lyanna Mormont opens up her now electric blue eyes. Talk about adding insult to injury.
The Night King leaves Jon to deal with the newly resurrected sea of wights and takes a couple jaunty steps towards the Godswood. Honestly, he’s having way too much fun. Dany flies down to save Jon’s ass for the 100th time this episode, distracting the dead as Jon runs off to try and beat the Night King to Bran.
Dany makes the mistake of staying on the ground for too long, and suddenly Drogon is overcome by wights. He knocks her off and then attempts to fly away with hundreds of them on his back, leaving Daenerys alone and unprotected on a battle field for potentially the first time ever. But fear not, because before things can get truly dire, Jorah appears out of absolute thin air to defend her.
As Jon passes through the yards of Winterfell and watches each of his friends fight losing battles, it starts to become clear that things are not going to end well here. The ceiling is collapsing, the wights are a ceaseless stream of death, and Sam is on the ground being straight up mangled. Jon passes by all of it, and the fact that he doesn’t try to save anyone is probably the greatest indicator that they’re on the losing side of this battle.
Inside, the wights begin to break through the walls of the crypt. It’s unclear whether they’d found a way in, or if these are the centuries old dead Starks coming back to life. Either way, it’s not a good change of events.
Tyrion and Sansa have taken cover behind a tomb, and I am truly glad that they are sharing what is quite possibly their last moments on Earth together. Further proving her worth, Sansa refuses to go down without a fight and pulls out the dagger that Arya gave her. Tyrion does the same, before grabbing her hand and kissing it. This is the most platonic love scene I’ve ever witnessed, and the effect is not at all lessened by the fact that you can hear young children screaming and dying in the background.
Watching what looks like the end of times, losing any semblance of hope by the second as the noise begins to dim and haunting music plays over the single most depressing sequence of fight scenes I have ever seen, I can’t even believe there was a time on this show when we were worried about anything but the White Walkers. Like, the days of Joffrey are straight-up laughable right now. All former grudges are dropped as each of our heroes stares straight into the depths of hell that are charging throughout Winterfell. We are all on one team, and it’s called “Team Too Traumatized to Go to Work Tomorrow.”
Finally the supercut of death and despair stops as the Night King arrives in the Godswood, flanked by his generals and a couple hundred wights. All of the Iron Borne are dead, leaving just Theon between Bran and the White Walker army. It is very obvious what direction this is about to go in, and only becomes more so when Bran calls to Theon and tells him that he’s a good man.
With that single sentence, the only thing that he has ever wanted to hear, Theon has effectively completed his redemption arc. He thanks Bran and turns to the Night King, charging at him and then being almost immediately speared through the torso. Theon Greyjoy dies protecting Bran Stark, but more importantly, he dies a good man. Sorry for saying that you didn’t deserve Sansa last week. I stand by it, but at least feel guilty about it now.
As the Night King slowly marches towards Bran, always one to heighten the drama, he looks more human than I’ve ever seen him. Except for that one time when he used to actually be human. I don’t know if that’s just because he’s never had this much consistent screen time, or because I’m suffering from an entire mental break. Both seem plausible.
In an episode chockfull of longing, meaningful eye contact, Bran and the Night King truly take the cake. This thousand-year-old zombie takes his sweet-ass time slowly reaching for Bran, and just as he’s about to reach him, just as Viserion is about to straight up torch Jon out in the yard, Arya comes flying out of the fog to stab the Night King.
In the single most important scene in TV history, the Night King catches Arya’s mid-air, and she drops her dagger from her raised left hand to her lowered right, stabbing him in the chest.
Arya Stark saved humanity. Beric Dondarrion and the Hound were both resurrected to keep her alive long enough to kill the Night King. Syrio Forel, Jaqen H’gar, Melisandre, the Faceless Men—all of them lead her to this moment.
She murdered the Night King, with the dagger that was meant to kill Bran, in the exact spot where she asked Jon how he possibly could have survived being stabbed in the heart only days earlier. There were a hundred clues that led to this moment and we didn’t pick up on a single one because no one dared believe that this battle could actually be won.
Arya Stark is truly THAT BITCH.
love letter to arya pic.twitter.com/3sftUXog7f
— ???????? ⌖ (@kiminostaythere) April 29, 2019
All cross Winterfell, the wights begin to fall. Viserion crumbles to dust before he can blast Jon with blue fire. We flash across the faces of the living, and it’s almost impossible to believe that most of our favorites are still standing.
Sansa. Tyrion. Varys. Gilly. Sam. Little Sam. Missandei. Jaime. Brienne. Podrick. Tormund. Grey Worm. Gendry. The Hound. They’re all still alive. How are they all still alive. I haven’t breathed in an 80 minutes but it’s okay because THEY’RE ALL STILL ALIVE.
Except, well, Jorah. Out on the battlefield, he keeps the brand strong to his literal dying breath, going down defending Dany in a blaze of glory.
Jorah, laying on the ground with upwards of 45 stab wounds: I think I’m hurt.
He dies exactly the way he always wanted to, in Dany’s arms, her weeping over his body. This is truly best case scenario, okay? A dragon, I think Drogon but truly cannot stop crying enough to differentiate at this point, lands next to her and swaddles her with his body while she sobs into Jorah’s corpse. Just like that, the proud House of Mormont is gone.
As everyone looks around in disbelief, also shocked that they somehow survived, Melisandre makes her way out to the grounds. Davos follows her, still wary of this woman even though she showed up and save everyone’s asses.
Melisandre marches out onto the now still battlefield alone, removing her pendant as she goes. Without it, the magic that keeps her alive slowly starts to drain away, and Davos watches as her retreating figure slowly decomposes into dust. She falls just as the sun peaks over the horizon, making true on her promise to be dead by dawn. Much like Beric, she had completed her mission. Then the credits roll into silence, as if we hadn’t all spent that last hour and a half in a state of near cardiac arrest.
Was ten pages of that recap too long for you? Well TL;DR: Arya Motherf*cking Stark killed the Night King. The White Walkers are gone. And somehow, there are still three more episodes left.
I understand that the battle for the Iron Throne is the focal point of this entire show, but the fact that we’re concerned about literally anything happening after this is laughable. Like, I watched the trailer for next week and rolled my eyes. Oh, we’re still worried about Cersei? Arya just murdered a thousand-year-old zombie king, but yeah, the drunk woman who f*cks her brother is definitely still a viable threat.
On the other hand, this victory is going to leave everyone feeling a little too confident for my liking. Fresh off a victory like that, it would be easy to start taking things for granted and making stupid mistakes. What I’m saying is, we’re not out of the woods yet.
Most Valuable Betch: Melisandre
I know you probably think Arya should be carrying this title for the rest of her life, and you’re not wrong, but none of what she accomplished would have been possible if Melisandre hadn’t showed up and lit a literal and figurative fire under her ass. Our Red Witch Queen, always ready to do the hard jobs that others won’t. A little Machiavellian for my tastes, but you can’t argue with the results.
Images: Giphy (6)
Welcome back, Riverdale fans! After a too-brief hiatus, the show we love to hate is back and probably more batsh*t than ever. I’m going into this episode with a little bit of trepidation because I’ve seen what the writers of this show can do with only one week to write material, so I’m downright terrified to see what they can come up with when they’re well-rested after a four week break. Case in point: When last we left off, Archie and Veronica had broken up, Betty had escaped the nunnery/insane asylum and, oh yeah, Hiram and his thugs QUARANTINED the entire town of Riverdale just for funsies. Again, I say, this is what happened when the writers were given one week to let their imaginations run rampant. I shudder to think what we’re about to watch on our screens. So let’s get started!
Lol I forgot Archie was running away to Canada. Honestly, I can’t fault him for it. With all the sh*t I saw in 2018, I’m one State of the Union address away from moving there as well. It looks like Archie fled the country at the right time, because things in Riverdale don’t look great rn. And by “don’t look great,” I mean this would qualify as a national emergency if the writers of this show wrote within the realm of reality, but okay.
At least the quarantine was lifted, even though no one is explaining why it even happened in the first place?? Like, I’ve swallowed every piece of bullsh*t @writerras tries to spoon-feed me on Wednesday nights, but this I refuse to accept. An entire town thrown into a Purge-like state at the whims of a drug lord?? They’re in the state of New York, for god’s sake! At the very least, PEOPLE magazine would be sniffing around for a cover story to exploit to the masses. Please!
Since the quarantine, Cheryl and “TT” have apparently taken up stealing from the rich to give to themselves but, like, isn’t Cheryl the richest person in that town? I thought her family’s maple syrup paid for the town to, like, exist? Just because you wear leather and found lesbianism doesn’t mean you’re one with the people, Cheryl!
Lest you forget where you came from, Cheryl.
Also, Veronica is now selling booze at her speakeasy. I guess she finally learned that sober people don’t spend as much money. What, they didn’t teach you that in business school, V?
Also, I’m confused. Is she selling the booze to her high school friends or is she only serving people of age? Who would come to a speakeasy populated by high schoolers with a penchant for wearing fringe and suspenders?? WHO.
Meanwhile, Betty brought the runaways from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to her house. They’re all camping out in her living room, and Alice is surprisingly chill with this. She has legit mental patients sleeping on a mattress in her breakfast nook and she’s like, “As long as you feed them, Betty, and they don’t mess on the floor…”
JUGHEAD: It doesn’t make sense for Hiram to quarantine an entire town.
NO IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE, JUGHEAD. Thank you!
Honestly, I’m so over this entire Hiram plotline. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. First, Hiram’s big diabolical plan is to create more prison jobs, then he wants to turn an entire town into his personal meth lab. I ASK YOU: WHERE DOES THE MADNESS END. Kelly Ripa, please invest your money in some other show and leave ours alone. I’m begging you.
I love that all Archie needs is an L.L. Bean vest and he’s at peace with himself. Like, he is living his best cabin life, and I’m shocked things are working out so well for him. Whatever. I’m just glad the dog is still alive.
Wait. I may have spoken too soon here. Three seconds into Archie’s blissful cabin life he’s… mauled by a grizzly bear?? I’m sorry, but WHAT?? I mean, we don’t actually see the mauling (shame); we just see Archie looking shocked for a second and then the scene cuts to him radioing for help with massive cuts down his chest. All I have to say is, wow. The lengths The CW will go to to incorporate a shirtless scene for Archie where there should not be one is wild. I applaud their efforts.
Also, what’s the deal with the radios? Who is he even talking to? I thought he was supposed to be living off the grid! Who wants to bet that the person on the other end of the line is a hot girl? It would not surprise me in the slightest if that even in utter seclusion Archie has somehow managed to get laid.
Back in Riverdale, Veronica is just trying to run an entire bar and maybe show up to homeroom this week, but Hiram keeps f*cking it up. His thugs keep stealing her booze, and he wants her to hire him for protection. I guess in addition to commandeering entire town, he’s also taken up shaking down underage kids while wearing a fabulous fur coat. Jesus Christ. Kelly Ripa wrote this scene, I just f*cking know it. The fur jacket is her calling card.
Meanwhile, Jughead finds out that The Serpents are dealing Fizzle Rocks and he calls an emergency meeting in Riverdale’s version of Hooverville. Seriously, Jughead is using an abandoned La-Z-Boy as his throne. I can’t.
Fangs is like, “There’s no money coming in, how are we supposed to feed ourselves?” Um, IDK, maybe your parents?? Or, like, the government?? Like, he’s under 18. Surely this lawless town has some sort of system in place to protect unaccompanied minors? Also, I love that Jughead, who is literally the same age as Fangs, is doling out judgments and punishments over here. Like, Fangs, look around you buddy. You’re living in an abandoned field and taking orders from the president of the newspaper club. Please, dear GOD, just find a real adult already!
Cut to Archie, who is having some sort of fever dream from his extensive grizzly bear wounds. He wakes up to a room full of dead people trying to play boards game with him. He’s like “I’m hallucinating” and it’s like, no, the writers of this show are hallucinating if they think I’m just going to buy this bullsh*t for one more goddamn second!
THE RIVERDALE WRITERS ROOM: We’ll put Archie in a fever dream and set him up with a vision quest. It’s weird, but he’ll be shirtless. Fans will love it!
Veronica and Jughead come up with a solution to solve both their problems. Veronica doesn’t want to give her dad a single penny of her speakeasy money even though she lives under his roof and he’s probably paying her cellphone bill. Relatable. She decides to hire The Serpents as protection instead.
Jughead’s like, “This is so great now you guys will have a stable income!!,” and it’s like, okay, but HOW much is Veronica paying these people? Like, what do you mean “a steady income”? This bitch is 17! I was thinking like paying one guy $12 an hour and Jughead is making it sound like they’ll make enough money to cover Fang’s mom’s cancer treatment. Is she also supplying health insurance? How much money can she possibly be making serving mocktails and marketing a keg of Natty Lite as artisanal beer?
Before Veronica can hire any Serpents, she wants Jughead to get back the v expensive egg Cheryl and TT stole from her dad, which is like the richest request I’ve ever heard. Cheryl doesn’t want to give the egg back, though, because she needs it to keep the lights on at her mansion. Lol k.
CHERYL: I’m not afraid of Hiram. What’s he gonna do? Call the sheriff? There is no sheriff!
Out of the mouths of Cheryl! Riverdale is a godless town.
Jughead banishes Fangs, Cheryl, and Toni from The Serpents because they’re sullying the Serpent name with their criminal behavior. K. So, let me get this straight. They get to leave the tent city and not take orders from someone who just started shaving last semester? I mean, who really won here?
Lol Archie’s vision quest wants him to play more guitar. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to use this whole experience as material for the next school talent show. God help us all.
The gargoyle gang attacks Veronica’s shipment again and it’s all very Robin Hood. Like, is that a wagon hauling their booze down that dirt path? They are aware that this is the 21st century and they can use, like, the highway to get places, right? Also, this is so extra, even for Veronica.
After defeating Hiram’s thugs, Jughead declares that “Riverdale hasn’t fallen yet” and I absolutely beg to differ. Riverdale has fallen somewhere very dark and I’m scared to follow. Someone please save this show from itself.
Meanwhile, Archie is still struggling with his vision quest. He’s realizing that the only person responsible for his banishment to Canada is actually himself. Not Hiram or the Black Hood or the diabolical teen fight club, but his own ignorant self. Is this the part where we hang him in the town square? Because that’s the first plotline I’ve supported all season.
ARCHIE: I have to destroy the part of me that’s stupid.
ME: I guess we’re going to be here for a while then.
Back in Riverdale, Veronica is out eye-f*cking Reggie as she headlines her own club. I guess she can’t spring for entertainment anymore if she has to pay for an entire gang’s health insurance. Also, does anyone else feel like this whole Reggie/Veronica storyline was only created because they started dating in real life? This feels extremely random to me. Veronica and Reggie start making out and the camera cuts to Archie who’s…dead?? Like, WHAT. Some cops bust into his cabin and find him deadass on the bed.
Wait that was actually real? Are pigs flying? Have my prayers been answered? ARE WE REALLY DONE WITH ARCHIE? On the one hand, it’s everything I’ve ever asked for. On the other hand, if Archie’s not there to screw up a murder investigation or sleep with the first woman who gives him attention, what will I have to talk to about??
Well pals, I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see if Archie’s actually dead. I’ll hold off on the bubbly until then. Let’s just pray next week is less of a snooze, amiright?
Images: Giphy (2); @writerras /Instagram (2); The CW (1)
Well Bachelor Nation, the time has come. You cried, you shouted, you asked for a recount, you even pulled the fire alarm at the mansion in hopes that the season wouldn’t film, but to no avail. Colton’s season of The Bachelor has started. Yes, the same man who couldn’t commit to a summer fling in Paradise now will commit to finding his WIFE on national TV. I don’t know how this season is going to end, but stock up on the toilet paper because I know the journey is going to be a sh*t show.
Episode 1 kicks off with ABC showing a bunch of people around the country that decide to go to their local bar and grill to take in three hours of Colton Underwood. The only explanation as to why someone would do this is that that the amount of liquor required to tolerate this season cannot be stored in a single family home, and people hate to drink alone. ABC literally spends 45 minutes going back and forth showing live footage in LA, Dallas, Utah, and Michigan of people watching THEMSELVES on the big screen. Yes, we’re about 45 minutes in and no sign of Colton. What’s even funnier?? NO ONE is upset. It seems that ABC got the memo: we know you weren’t happy with our pick, so you win, we just won’t show him.
We start to see some of the girls and their backgrounds. We have a speech pathologist from California, and Miss Alabama who has only kissed four people in her lifetime. Heather is up next and get this…like the movie SHE’S NEVER BEEN KISSED! (If she makes it to the Fantasy Suite, no condoms will be needed. Just UNO cards and bunk beds). Heather has her eyes wide open at all times, and it kinda looks like she sneezes with her eyes open, so definitely someone you want to keep your eye on.
Next, we meet Bibiana Jr. (aka Nicole from Miami) who brings a lot of spice with her. She’s a big family person, meaning Colton: You better have at MINIMUM a 4-door, because the family will be tagging along as well. Dental hygienist Kirpa, and Demi from Texas round out the rest of the intro packages.
Colton then gives his big soliloquy about how he’s changed, evolved, and still doesn’t wear underwear (this alone should disqualify you from being the Bachelor). In a series of some of the worst shirts I’ve ever seen, Colton talks to Chris Harrison about how the experience has changed him, and how he’s ready to prove people wrong and lose the V-card that’s super glued to his chest. Yeah, enough of that.
Somehow, The Bachelor makes LA traffic disappear, and these limos start rolling in hot and heavy with girls with tags still on their dresses, hoping that Nordstrom will take everything back if they get cut early. The first couple of limo entrances are pretty basic, nothing exciting. Miss North Carolina makes it known who she is, followed by Sydney who makes it known that she quit her job to be there so yea, Colton, I hope you can bring home enough bacon for the both of you.
Probably the best virgin joke of the night belongs to Caitlin who “pops his cherry” via a balloon on a string. (Here’s $100 saying he didn’t get the sexual reference.) More V-card jokes come, and the entrances start getting even more boring….until the sloth. Following the likes of Dolphin Alexis Waters, and Penguin Matt Munson, we have a girl dressed as a sloth moving ever so slowly. Well if there’s one thing he’s not in a rush to do, it’s have sex, so you’re probably torturing yourself more than Colton. Tracy shows up in a cop car as the fashion police, and then we get a voiceless Alex, a fake Aussie, and a girl who drops off her daughter (aka her dog) in Colton’s hands as she enters the mansion. The last entrance might be the most memorable: a horse and carriage ride in, complete with slipper left behind and everything. But the way gas prices are in LA, I totally get this move.
And finally, the cocktail party starts…LET’S GET TO IT!! Colton proclaims that he’s ready, and he begins to meet with all of them. Demi steals him first (which, PRO TIP: automatically puts a target on your back) and then the other conversations follow. The conversations are going as well as you’d think they would…until they don’t. Miss North Carolina gets the first kiss, and she’s smitten. Chris Harrison then messes up the vibe created by free Hennessy & Patron by placing the first impression rose on the table.
Catherine (the bad dog parent) gets her time, but decides enough isn’t enough. She proceeds to steal Colton away from three others in addition to her original time. Despite being warned that it’s rubbing others the wrong way, she continues to do it. One thing’s for sure: Catherine is definitely going to have Nair put in her shampoo bottle, and it’s ONLY NIGHT ONE.
Hannah gets the first impression rose, because he knew “from the beginning of the night.” My money is on it being the only name he could remember, but hey, I’ll take his word for it. All the girls now hate her and probably are putting itching powder in her g-string. Okay, one rose down…several to go.
Rose ceremony time. All the roses aren’t really surprising given the amount of TV time they’ve gotten. But the final rose is here, and time thief Catherine still doesn’t have a rose. But you know ABC…she’s getting one, and unsurprisingly, the last rose goes to her. I mean, if we’re not gonna have sex on this show, we gotta have drama, right? People who got eliminated before the sun came up and can return to work like nothing happened: Alex D, Laura, Revian, Erin, Devin, Tahzjuan, and Jane.
This season will be drama-filled for sure, mostly because at some point, Colton won’t be able to make up his mind, will forget someone’s name, or call someone Becca/Tia!