Sailor Stars Check In: Episodes 196 & 197: Everyone Dies and I’m Crying

Sailor Stars

Alright, I knew this was coming, I mean, it’s right in the title, “The Sailor Guardian’s Final Battle” but I really, really wasn’t ready for it.

I mean, I’ve read the manga, I know that everyone dies. But I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready for Ami making the Starlights promise to watch out for Usagi, Rei telling her to pull it together, Mako and Mina explaining that they consider Usagi precious to them. It’s perfect and wonderful and totally heartbreaking when they die and Galaxia takes their star seeds.

Like totally awful, completely devastating, and wonderfully beautiful and perfect. And I was only crying because I was also doing my ab workout, that’s for sure…definitely not because Usagi is having a breakdown and she’s stuck with the stupid insensitive outer senshi and the useless Starlights.

That was mean. I love my outers, but they are not terribly warm, are they? Anyway, during the confrontation with Galaxia, she shows off all of her star seeds and Usagi notices a gold one. Galaxia nods and explains that’s Earth’s star seed, as in it belongs to the being associated with the Earth.

As in the Earth Prince.

As in Mamoru/Endymion, as in Tuxedo Mask. As in he is SUPER DEAD. (Should we honor our treaty? Uh, do whatever you want…) We get an awesome flashback of him fighting Galaxia and her being all “I now rule this planet,” and him being all, “You in the shit now so someone’s gotta shovel it!” (Guys, I listened to Hamilton yesterday, can you tell?) Basically he lets it slip that this planet is protected, which is why she’s looking for more star seeds.

So, after all of this, The Outers and Starlights and Sailor Moon are hanging out in a closet and Saturn tells the Starlights to maybe have some faith in The Moon Princess and the Outers go off to fight Galaxia. She wins, because, obviously. (She’s the best). She offers them a deal, either she’ll take their star seeds and kill them, or they can offer them up willingly and serve her. Saturn and Pluto choose death. (Good girls!) Neptune and Uranus however, make the romantic but sad choice to stay together and serve Galaxia.

Shut up. I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying.

So that’s where we are. My heart is broken. Why would you do this thing Haruka and Michiru?

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 2: Episodes 16-20

As we move along in season 2, I’ve settled into a viewing pattern and our characters have settled into themselves. I’m really excited as we move forward!

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Season 2: Episode 16: “Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking”

It’s Keith and Jules wedding day and everyone is happy.

I’m kidding. No one is happy. Except Keith. And Peyton and Jake. And I guess Lucas and Brooke are like, happy adjacent. And even those get sort of blown up by the end of the episode

Everyone else though, is completely miserable. Karen and Andy learn that Jules is actually named Emily, and they assume, since he’s been paying for her life that she’s having an affair with Dan. Karen confronts her Jules/Emily tells her the truth and then leaves Keith at the altar.

Lucas figures out (by magic, I guess?) that Deb is starting to pill pop. ADDICT DEB! I forgot that this started here. He also brings Brooke to the wedding because Brooke loves weddings. Sure, whatever. They’re still just friends, but we all know they still love each other.

Nathan is continuing to spend his days moping and drinking and when Haley calls him excited that she’s going to be on TV, Nathan is mean to her. He watches and when Chris insinuates that he and Haley are a couple he freaks out. He shows up at the wedding blasted and starts yelling about love not being real.

Peyton and Jake have sex!!!! Also, Jenny says Dada and then Nikki shows up. (Ugh, Nikki).

Oh, someone else is happy. Dan is happy, because now he’s ruined Keith’s life, but he’s still trying to get Deb.

That’s right, it’s DEB that he sets on fire. See, I’m remembering things.

Season 2: Episode 17: “Something I Can Never Have”

The aftermath of all the wedding stuff comes to burst. Keith finds out that Karen and Lucas knew about Jules and he is not happy about it. He feels betrayed. He is right. Keith usually is. He does hear Karen out eventually and, my God am I glad that this storyline is finished.

Meanwhile, Brooke is coming to terms with moving and she’s very sad about it. She proposes moving in with Peyton, but her parents nix the plan. She winds up moving in with Karen, since Lucas is still living with Dan in an attempt to destroy him (and hide his life altering disease from his mother.) So Brooke gets to stay in Tree Hill! Hooray!

Meanwhile, Anna figures out that Felix (Ugh, Felix) is the one who spray painted her locker and she tells Peyton, and the principal and Felix gets his ass sent away to military school and dumped by Brooke. And that’s the end of him. Seriously, I couldn’t be happier. For a show that was always pretty much allergic to letting anything go, I’ve always been glad that they recognized how awful this character was.

Peyton and Jake are stressing over the Nikki factor, since she’s decided on full custody for herself. They’re going to fight though, and Andy is going to pay for it. I don’t know why Andy is looped into Jake’s Baby Mama Drama, but whatever, it’s fine. Andy’s a good dude.

And the biggie. Nathan drives somewhere to see Haley, he has a series of delightful flashbacks to their perfect wonderful love. He gets to her and she’s hesitant about things and not wearing her wedding ring, so he leaves, and is sad.

Season 2: Episode 18: “The Lonesome Road”

So, Nathan is really bummed out about Haley and this leads him to getting super drunk and trying to hook up with Taylor. You know, because obviously the way to get through your troubled teenage marriage is to have sex with your sister in law, who you lost your virginity to.

I love this show, it’s so bonkers.

Taylor turns him down, because she’s kind of a bitch, but she’s not a monster. Anyway, she tells him to go home and figure his shit out.

Jake and Peyton run around trying to figure out how to further keep Nikki from getting Jenny. In the end, Jake goes to jail and Jenny goes to Whitey. I truly have completely forgotten how this storyline plays out which is OK because Jake and Peyton are SO DAMN CUTE that I don’t even care.

Lucas finds a double set of book and a bunch of cash in Dan’s ceiling but when he and Andy return to investigate it, it’s gone. (DUN DUN DUNNNN) Then Lucas and Dan talk about Sherlock Holmes and I HATE THIS PLOTLINE SO MUCH OMGGGGG!!!!

Karen grounds Brooke for getting drunk and not working at the cafe. Brooke learns about family, or responsibility, or something.

We say goodbye to Anna, and it’s kind of the worst. I mean, the plot itself is great. Her old girlfriend shows up and they talk and she decides to come out to her parents and then go back to her old school. It really is a bummer that the show didn’t keep Anna, because, as I’ve said, BIG FAN of her.

Season 2: Episode 19: “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning”

Nathan and Lucas drive RACE CARS and Nathan crashes his on purpose probably. I should go back though.

Deb’s cool brother Cooper shows up to help get Nathan out of his funk. Cooper’s actually a really fun character. We haven’t gotten into Brooke’s fun crush on him yet. (Or even better, when he hooks up with Rachel. Ah! I feel like we’re so close and yet so far from Rachel…) But I was really excited for this episode. So, Nathan, Lucas and Cooper go for a road trip and hang out with these other weird racing kids. Nathan broods, they race cars, and then he crashes it and HE goes into a coma. God, those Scott boys and their comas…

Dan shows up at Andy’s class and makes insinuations about his relationship with Karen. (Which by the way, is really unethical…I mean, they’re both adults and everything, this isn’t like season 4 when a newly 18 year old Brooke boinks their English teacher…but it’s still uncool) and Andy loses his job. But he says he’d rather lose his job than Karen. AWWWW. Also he and Dan make man noises at each other.

Deb can’t donate blood to Nathan because she’s a pill popper. Also Brooke, Karen, Deb and Peyton have a dance party to cheer Peyton up because Jake is in jail. Also she and Whitey have a talk about Florida. God, I love Jake and Peyton together, but I forgot how boring the Jenny custody stuff is. Also, Mouth and Erica hang out. I love a Mouth relationship.

Season 2: Episode 20: “Lifetime Piling Up”

OTH Coma Dream ALTERNATE UNIVERSE!!!!!! There are more Alt-verse in One Tree Hill than in The DC Universe. (I’m kidding, by the way, but there are quite a few…) Nathan dreams about what life would be like if Dan had chosen Karen instead of Deb.

It’s the pilot, but with Nathan as Lucas and vice versa. (Also Dan is now the assistant coach of the Ravens, Karen is cheating on him with Keith. And Haley is tone deaf). I love this episode. I was actually really excited to watch it. It was made easier by Agent Carter and wanting to punch Chad Michael Murray in the face a whole bunch. (*whispers* Hail Hydra!)

Overall Analysis of This Arc

I mostly stopped the binging at this point. But I forgot how much I liked this run, despite the return of Nathan Scott, rampaging asshole for a half an episode there, and the just sheer mind numbing dullness of Lucas trying to take Dan down. The Naley stuff is good, the Brooke stuff is fantastic, the Andy and Karen stuff is cute and the Jake and Peyton stuff is perfection.

You’re Who Now?

So last night was the big Superhero Team Up we’ve all been waiting for!

You know, after the one that happened last week…

And the one that’s happening in May.

And the ones that happen regularly on The CW.

But really, this is the biggest, most important of all the Superhero crossovers hit last night, The Flash crossed over into Supergirl, and everything about it was delightful. Barry found his way to Kara’s Earth. He explained multiversity,  they flirted like crazy, and they took down Livewire and Silver Banshee and then they had a race to break the dimensional portal to get Barry home and also there was ice cream, and Kara kissed James and did I mention the flirting?

Because the flirting was really great. And I only half  mean the flirting between Kara and Barry which was wonderful, I mostly mean Winn’s dude crush on Barry. They got to the nerd part and built things, and created algorithms, and other sciencey things all over the place.

I can’t decide who’s interaction with Barry I liked bet, except that it’s probably Winn’s. But Winn is often my favorite part of Supergirl because he’s basically the same character as Felicity. (I badly want an Arrow crossover just so that these two can interact.)

Anyway, the episode was great and I was smiling the whole time. The only way it could have been better would be if they were singing. (I really want them to sing on this show. Or on The Flash.)

Whatever, it was great! ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE!

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Everything Is Copy and Examining Icons

This past week HBO released a documentary made by Jacob Bernstein about his mother Norah Ephron, called, Everything Is Copy. The phrase was Ephron’s personal motto cribbed from her own screen writer mother, who encouraged her daughters to channel their pain into their work.

The documentary was meant to relay Ephron’s life, examine her work, and reveal bits from those who were friends with her and worked with her. While there wasn’t a whole lot new in the doc to me, I’ve read most of Ephron’s books, and seen all of her movies, and the whole point of “Everything is copy,” is that nothing was off limits in her work.

But that didn’t mean I wasn’t thoroughly entertained, and it was especially interesting to hear her second husband, David Bernstein talk about the dissolution of their marriage. (Which Ephron chronicled in barely fictionalized detail in her book and later film Heartburn, which I am currently reading) I’d seen Ephron’s side of that story, but never Bernstein’s and it was cool to see.

There was also a lot of speculation about why she kept her cancer a secret as she was dying. Why would a woman who’d always been so raw and honest conceal such a major part of her life? In the end we can’t know, but the best guest is that it was her way of controlling the story, by not revealing it.

My favorite part was hearing women who’d worked with and been influenced by Norah Ephron reading her essays. I Feel Bad Abour My Neck and I Remember Nothing are two of my favorite books and hearing Rita Wilson, Lena Dunham and, of course Meg Ryan vocalize those essays was a lot of fun for me.

As I’ve said a few times this year I’m trying to get back to some of my inspiration roots, and Norah Ephron is a big part of that. I still watch You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally everytime they’re on TV. I still write long rambly speeches and draw too close to my life when I write. This all comes from her. It was a good reminder that what I’m doing is worthwhile, and can go somewhere.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: On Ambition

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As the final push into Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was made, and I finished up season 2 of Daredevil,  I found myself wondering if the movie would feel too much like a Frank Miller comic book. Not that I would mind, I like a lot of Miller’s work, but after 13 episodes of what felt like Miller’s world, I wasn’t sure I wanted a movie of it.

And there is absolutely no way to deny that Miller’s DNA is all over the movie. But he’s too deeply engrained in Batman as we know him now to be erased. So that’s all there, the “sons,” the clunky epic speechifying, the brutal violence, it’s all there.

But as I sat back and watched, I realized that this didn’t feel like a Frank Miller story at all. It felt like a Grant Morrison story and for that reason, I was able to sit back and enjoy it all the more, because I don’t love any comic writer the way that I love Morrison. (And that includes Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gail Simone…I adore them, but Morrison is something different.)

Like a Morrison story this movie is ambitious, heavy, nonsensical at times, full of on the nose symbolism, and sort of impenetrable to newbies. It’s also very messy, which is not really an accusation you can hurl at Morrison, but I mean in spirit.

Elements of the movie are perfect. Affleck is great. I did go in rooting for him, but that means that if he’d been bad I would have been really disappointed. (Hello, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller in Fantastic Four…) He’s such a solid choice for this role, and we get to see things we’ve never really seen on screen. (BRUCE IN THE LAB!!!!)

The thing that made both Aless and I happiest is that we skip the Lois and Clark relationship drama. They’re together. They’re a team. That’s it. The end. There are issues, she isn’t sure he should risk the innocent lives that seem to fall around Superman for her sake. He can’t bring himself to not save her. Honestly, if it weren’t for the music and desaturated color scheme the scene where Superman saves Lois in the first twenty minutes would have been absolutely perfect.

Gal Gadot and the energy she brings to Wonder Woman is amazing. The story comes to life with her and she’s the impetus for Bruce to actually do him some sleuthing. Also, how good Gadot and Affleck look together has even brought me around to Bruce/Diana shipping. (You may recall, I have some opinions on that score…) Her movie is going to be SICK, because she owns Diana.

The Doomsday fight is fine, if unnecessary, the movie would have been streamlined by simply having the Luthor storyline, which involves him manipulating Batman and Superman to fight each other. (In fact, the final fight only happens because he kidnaps Matha Kent and tells Supes that she’ll be killed if he doesn’t kill Batman.) This is a good contrivance, and while the potential fridging of Martha is dangerous, it’s worth it to create a new framework for the smackdown. But without Doomsday they would have needed another reason for Wonder Woman to suit up, so there’s that.

The Justice League set up is probably the best part of the movie, including a brilliant reveal that I won’t spoil.

Batman v Superman isn’t a great movie. It’s either an adequate movie or an ambitious and interesting failure and I can’t decide which yet. Parts of it remind me of Iron Man 2, in the bad way, but in the end it’s worth it to see the Big Three on screen together.

Jesse Eisenberg is a huge disappointment. Or maybe the script. Either way, I’m not into weird crazy Luthor. The only time Luthor should feel unhinged is when there’s rage happening. Otherwise he should hold it together.

Overall the movie has more good than bad for me, but I can’t really recommend it to people who don’t really love these characters and aren’t overly attached to a particular version. It’s a specific niche, but a worthwhile one. It did set up an interesting world, and honestly, I think the other films, which are out of Snyder’s peculiar control (The Ben Affleck/Geoff Johns helmed Batman solo movie in particular) should be really good.

Look, if it means a lot to you to see Batman and Superman punch each other, get your butt to the Cineplex. Because that definitely happens here.

Sailor Stars Check In: Episodes 194-195: Body Guards And Such

Happy Batman V Superman Day all! We’ll be talking about that tomorrow, as I’m going to the movie tonight, but for now, let’s check in for the week with our Sailor Friends.

Sailor Stars

So in our first episode we meet Princess Kakyu properly. She explains that the Sailor Guardians have always protected the galaxy from The Chaos, which was sealed away by one Sailor’s might. (Based on the silhoutte in flashback, it’s Mars…but what do I know?) She asks Sailor Moon for help finding the True Light of Hope, and of course Usa is all in, but Haruka and Michiru show up and say that this is a bad idea. So in order to protect Usagi’s star seed from Galaxia, The Inner Senshi decide that round the clock guarding is in order. Usagi gets upset by this and tells them she can handle herself.

She of course, can, but she always needs help…anyway, when she goes off on her own to have a cry about missing Mamoru, she’s attacked by Sailor Kitty Cat…who points out that she complained about having people with her and now she’s crying about being alone. They fight, and Sailor Moon is losing. Until…A ROSE! It’s not Mamo though, it’s Seiya and after the battle is won, she explains that she really wants to see Mamoru and then Seiya asks if he can take his place and kisses her.

And then THE FLAMES…FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE.

Our next episode has Usagi in emotional disarray after all of this information being thrown at her. (No blame) When she gets out of her sad crying bath, Rei is there to remind her that she has someone she loves and Usagi reveals that she hasn’t heard from Mamoru since he left for America and that’s what’s had her so sad. Rei is stunned and immediately tells the others. They learn that Mamo never reached the US…they wonder if he’s alright. (He isn’t…)

Meanwhile, the Starlights have decided to stop living earth lives in order to seach for the Light of Hope with their Princess. They’re giving a farewell concert. It’s quite emotional.

Usagi decides to go talk to them, but Haruka and Michiru tell her she should just be saying goodbye. So she gets backstage and Seiya totally misinterprets this action because, and I know I say this a lot, he is the absolute worst, and tells Usagi that after they’re done here they’re going to run away together.

DUDE! YOU NEED TO LISTEN WITH YOUR EARS! YOU NEED TO GET THAT SHE ISN’T INTO YOU LIKE THAT!!!!

Anyway, as The Three Lights sing “Search For Your Love” one more time, Galaxia shows up to wreck shit, like the true Beyoncé level Queen Boss that she is. There’s a battle, Princess Kakyu dies.

So we’re very near the end here you guys, but we’re also very near the start of the new season of Crystal, and I’m really hyped for that. I also still have the short stories to read when things get really sad…and as I’ve said before I might dip into the original English dub…We’ll see…

Daredevil Season 2: Finishing Up

Ok everyone! I finished this morning before work. It was amazing. So much of it!

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Guess Who’s Back!

Matt

God he’s a badass. And also just an ass. While I’m thrilled that he told Karen that he’s Daredevil, and that he chose Elektra (I mean, she died, but he chose her!) And he spends the whole back half of the season chasing ninjas (badass) but blowing off Frank’s case which he forced Foggy and Karen to take on (ass)

Luckily it’s Claire that tells him he needs to get his act together.

Claire’s the best!

He’s now mourning Elektra, thinks he beat The Hand (he did not) and has mended fences with Stick. All of this is good. Seriously, I’m glad we got a season of street level stuff before the mystical ninja stuff. (Also, seriously Arrow, TAKE NOTES.)

Foggy

Foggy is working for Hogarth!!!! Marcy got him the job after he and Matt dissolved Nelson and Murdock. This means that we may get Foggy and Jessica interaction! Also I’m real proud of him for not taking Matt’s shit anymore. I’m completely obsessed with this character though, so that’s part of it.

He also gets shot, when Frank is killing the DA he gets caught in the crossfire, which is the straw that breaks the camel’s back with Matt, who is now convinced that all he is is a danger to his friends. (He is, but he’s also an ass)

But Foggy and Karen also have my favorite moment of the finale, where they sit at Josie and promise to stay friends and be there for each other. These two have been through a lot together.

Karen

If you had told me in a season that featured Daredevil and Elektra that I would find the relationship between Karen Page and The Punisher the most compelling of the season, I would have told you to go fuck yourself.

Seriously.

But it was incredible. Her decision to go on the run with him, realizing this is a terrible idea, getting him to talk in court, trying to stop him from killing Lex Luthor…I mean, Clancy Brown’s “The Blacksmith,” all of it, is incredible. Now she’s a reporter, which means Ellison is sticking around. Which means he’ll probably not have to fire his personal trainer…look, I’m always going to look out for family!

Claire

She’s only in three of these episodes, but she’s supposed to be a regular on Luke Cage. I’m just saying there’s a good chance that she’s going to be the one calling everyone when the time comes. Anyway, she admitted a bunch of patients who’d been tortured (and then we learn brainwashed) by The Hand and got herself fired over it. But without her hospital job now she can just stitch up superheroes full time. She also gets Matt to pull his head out of his ass, tells Foggy he should become a rapper (MC FOGGY! YES!)

Look, she’s the best. The end. More Rosario in everything.

Stick

Stick’s back! He’s trying to get Elektra and Matt to fight the hand with him. Well, Matt. He’s trying to kill Elektra, because she’s Black Sky, but you know whatever. The Elektra flashback episode is awesome.

AND THE BIG ONE

Wilson Fisk

Guys he was back. For a few episodes. It was amazing. He’s running prison. He’s going to figure out that Matt is Daredevil. He manipulates Frank to kill all his enemies in prison and then sets him free. D’Onofrio is amazing and everything about this was amazing, and I can’t wait until he gets back out and puts Matt through his paces. So happy that he was back.

Nobu

Immortal Ninja, enough said.

Madame Gao

So cool, with her painting and her advising Matt and her probably being around for Iron Fist right?

The New Kids

Frank Castle AKA The Punisher

God, they nailed this character and is was so great. Punisher has never been my guy. (I like my vigilantes gunless and kill-less) But I do get the appeal, and after this show, he might be my guy. I’m not sure that I want to see him have his own Netflix show, I’d much rather see him pop up and cause problems for various Defenders now and then. (Can you imagine him and Jessica together. We’d all be decimated.) But his trial, his relationship with Karen, his decision to save Matt’s soul rather than make his quest easier, is all amazing.

Elektra

Dead but about to be reborn. Look, we knew that she was going to die before the end of the season. She has to, it’s kind of the biggest part of her character that she dies and is resurrected. (That and NINJA ASSASIN!) So The hand is getting ready to resurrect her so that they have control of Black Sky.

This will not end well for them I don’t think. But the final scene between Elektra and Matt, where they decide to run away together is beautiful, because you know what’s coming, she knows what’s coming, he doesn’t because he’s kinda a dummy about stuff, but it’s just so wonderful. BIG fan of how that all turned out.

Overall Season Thoughts

I enjoyed the season, much like Jessica Jones I thought it was tighter and technically better than Season 1, but I don’t know why, I’ll always love season 1 the most. Maybe it’s because it was such a gut punch. Because I was able to fully binge it. Because I didn’t know how to feel and it taught me that I should feel awesome. But overall, it was just an insanely good 13 hours of television, much more episodic than season 1 (in a good way) and true to the characters as they were built.

Luke Cage Teaser

GUYS THEY FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO NETFLIX POST CREDIT! And the teaser is great, and I’m really excited and I’ll see you September 30!