Once Upon A Time 5×15 “The Brothers Jones” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

It’s not enough to have others forgive you, you have to forgive yourself, too.

Episode Summary: Flashbacks reveal the terrible deal Liam took with Hades to ensure his and Killian’s place in the King’s Navy. And when Liam doesn’t choose to see the best in Emma, she needs to put her heartache aside to fight and make sure Killian forgives himself. The heroes go on a quest to find the underworld’s version of the storybook, but in order to keep his secret hidden, Liam does Hades another favor by tearing his story from the book. However, when he’s caught red-handed, sacrificing himself after revealing the truth to Killian and the crew gives him the chance to finally move on.

Review | Analysis: Once again, the series beautifully magnified the significance of forgiveness and true heroism reminding its viewers that the honorable road is the honest one. As human beings, desperate times call for desperate measures, but the secrets that are kept and the inability to forgive ourselves can haunt in unbelievable ways. A hero isn’t someone who’s free of all sin, but rather the person who’s learned from their mistakes. “The Brothers Jones” reminded viewers of the fact that there’s a clear difference between selfishness and self-love, one dooms us, while the other frees us. And most importantly, a hero is someone who lends a hand. Once Upon A Time has continuously illuminated the idea that selflessness will lead to a far better future than constant greed.

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Chicago P.D. 3×18 “Kasual With a K” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: When a crime breaks out at a Battered Women’s Shelter, it’s up to Intelligence unit to figure out who’s behind the crimes. And with the help of the head woman in charge Jessica surviving, it becomes much easier.

Review | Analysis: Chicago P.D. is great for a number of reasons, but the reason I’ve stuck around for this long is because of how well the women are treated. And especially because of how well women treat one another. For the most part, “Kasual With a K” was a well written episode, but it wasn’t one of my favorites — leaving me with very little room to analyze.

It’s always fun to get more information on our main characters and it’s especially fun, if it involves sharing the information with another member of the unit. But, what makes it funnest (can’t remember the last time I’ve used this word, lol!) is when it’s shared between a couple. However, am I the only one who was actually expecting Erin to share something more tragic? Sophia Bush had said that it’s a piece of information she had assumed about her character, but given what we know about Lindsay’s past, I was expecting this news to be heart shattering adding on to the darkness we know she’s lived through. Given how empathetic she generally is towards women who have been mistreated, abused, or raped, I had sort of made the assumption that she’d gone through one of them as well which is why she’s so fervently devoted to justice. And while of course you don’t have to go through something yourself to be passionate about it, we’ve always known that her childhood was dark, but the question’s always been how dark?

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Once Upon A Time 5×14 “Devil’s Due” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Don’t make deals. Don’t ever make deals. Don’t make deals with Rumplestiltskin. Don’t make deals with Hades. Don’t make deals with Cruella. Just don’t make deals okay?

Episode Summary: When a rare snake in flashbacks threatens Bae’s life, Milah and Rumple seek a man who can magically help him, but they cannot afford his asking price. Milah asks Rumple to kill him in order to steal the elixir, but instead, his naiveté inspires another decision instead: their second born child will be given away. We also see Milah and Killian’s first meeting after he defended her from a drunken man at the tavern. In Underbrooke, Regina is given the opportunity to see that Daniel has moved on to a better place. Rumple seeks Milah’s help in order to get him and Emma into Hades’ lair where Killian’s held. Milah and Rumple discuss how her unfinished business in Bae, but instead of giving her the opportunity to reunite and move forward with their son, Rumple takes a deal with Hades, sends her into “the river of lost souls”, burns their ride home, and lies to the heroes. Killian and Emma reunite, but because Killian would not choose souls to stay behind, Hades took matters into his own hand trapping Emma, Regina, and Snow. In the end, it turns out Belle is pregnant and when the child is born Rumple must give him/her to the man he once killed in order to get out of the contract.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time at its core is a series about redemption and this arc especially is focused on the importance of doing good, honorable deeds in order to help others. “Devil’s Due” was perhaps one of the darkest episodes Once Upon A Time has done because it focused primarily on just how far man is willing to go in order to seek what he desires. Surely we weren’t the only ones hoping the episode would have ended with Milah being given the opportunity to move on, but something tells us this isn’t the end of her story. What this episode has fundamentally done is revealed the truth behind a villain’s agenda — it’s never black and white. It is complicated, it is messy, it is heartbreaking, and it is disgusting. However, it has once again reminded us of what clearly distinguishes heroes and villains. While tonight’s episode did not leave us hopeful like the past two have done, it has beautifully revealed that teamwork is truly the key to success.

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Scandal 5×13 “The Fish Rots from the Head” and 5×14 “I See You” Recap

Spoilers Ahead:

Olivia comes face-to-face with Fitz.

Episode Summary: The Gladiators handle a Secret Service scandal.

Review | Analysis: This week’s episode of Scandal started off strong with the show’s leading ladies becoming a power duo and working together. Liv tells Mellie she needs to keep her ex-hubby from endorsing Susan Ross. It’s sad that Mellie wrote a book about how she finally found her own voice outside of the pres, yet she needs his voice to go further in her career. Two hookers are purchased and one of them ends up dead in the middle of her hotel floor. The agents said she died of a heroin overdose so the team gets busy cleaning up the mess which is led by Quinn, naturally.

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Once Upon A Time 5×13 “Labor of Love” Recap

Spoilers Ahead 

Snow White is back and all’s well in the world again.

Episode Summary: Bailee Madison reprised her role as young Snow as she became a better warrior due to the help she received from her demigod friend, Hercules (Jonathan Whitesell). In the underworld, Killian helps Megara (Kacey Rohl) escape in order to give Emma a message, but the three headed beast Cerberus goes after them forcing Mary Margaret to retire her Storybrooke alias because in order to win, she needs to channel bandit Snow. Hercules, Snow, and Megara slay the beast and the two dead souls are finally given the chance to go to Olympus. While trying to find a map of Storybrooke in Regina’s office with Robin, Henry comes across Cruella (Victoria Smurfit) who tells him that much like the living souls, the quill he destroyed is in the underworld. The quill also has infinite powers and she wants to be written alive again. And in the end, Hades reveals to Killian that with every soul his friends save, he needs to choose which one of them to stay.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time knows how to write real, complex women who are strong because they’ve been weak — women who find themselves again after losing battles or falling apart. And it’s no wonder so many of us are in love with this series. Who doesn’t adore heroines who’ve not only taught us so much about ourselves, but who’ve inspired us to continue striving towards better? “Labor of Love” showcased the very fact that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather it’s taking risks in spite of the overwhelming thoughts that say failure is more probable than success.

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#100DaysofFanFavorites | Day 26

25 Nearest and Dearest 25/25
The Serenity Crew (Firefly)

Serenity-Crew-malcolm-reynolds-26244018-500-405 copy

I was very late to the Firefly brigade — a good 13 years to be exact. I know, friends. I know. I’m kicking myself too. But somehow I just knew the list we’d prepared for this next portion of #100DaysofFanFavorites felt incomplete. It didn’t feel right. So I figured, well, what perfect time to see what the hype is all about. I’d be lying if I said I understood it right away, but when I finally got into it, it was because of the strong, profound bond shared between the Serenity crew members. If there’s one thing I look for in friendships or families in the world of media, it’s loyalty — loyalty even when there are uncertainties and loyalty even when people screw up. A captain isn’t deserving of the respect he gets unless he cares for his crew as though they’re family, and though there’s a clear distinction of authority, each and every member feels significant. Serenity wouldn’t be what it is without the uniqueness each crew member brings and Firefly wouldn’t have been such a memorable series without the exceptional partnerships.

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Once Upon A Time 5×12 “Souls of the Departed” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

100 episodes. 100 beautiful stories told.

Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learn about the time Cora took Snow White’s heart only to have Henry Mills Sr. return it, which then sends Regina into a fury, and she shrinks her father. In the underworld, we learn that the souls of the departed found each have unfinished business. Cora tells Regina to leave or she’ll send her father to the worst part, but when Henry Mills Sr. convinces Regina to do the right thing by helping her friends, he finds himself finally free to rest peacefully in the best place.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has always been a series about hope. It’s been there time and time again to remind us the fact that even in the darkest hours, hope is never lost. It’s reminded us that even the vilest of villains could find redemption when they finally choose to make honorable choices. It’s reminded us of the fact that forgiveness is possible. And most importantly, it’s shown us that where there is love, whether platonic or romantic, there’s always hope.

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Chicago P.D. 3×17 “Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Backstory is always the most remarkable type of story telling.

Case Summary: When an operation goes south at Jay’s second job, Terry loses his life. The Intelligence unit questions Brianna then learns the facility was bugged. And we get a little bit more on Jay’s past.

Review | Analysis: Episodes that challenge the characters always manage to be the best. “Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb” took a man away from his family, and as he grieved for his friend, Halstead also dealt with the horrific return of war memories. At this point it’s no surprise that the reason I’ve chosen to review this series is because of the friendships — the subtle moments where we get to see the people behind the uniforms. And these are also the episodes that allow actors to challenge themselves with some of the most gut-wrenching performances.

I may be biased here, but episodes centered around Jay generally tend to be incredibly intriguing. And because we’ve wanted backstory on his character for the longest time, it was delivered in ways better than I had expected. It’s always made sense to me that details of his past couldn’t be revealed due to the fact that it’s anything but easy to open up and talk about them. And while a lot’s been left to our imagination, it’s nice that we’re still able to get fragments.

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Agent Carter 2×10 “Hollywood Ending” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

I feel as though the episode should’ve been titled “Hollywood Beginning” instead.

Episode Summary: “Hollywood Ending” picks up six seconds after “A Little Song and Dance” ends, but the enormous explosion is surprisingly not Jack’s fault. Howard Stark returns and with the help of his (strange) friend Joseph Manfredi, the team manages to beat Whitney in her game. Zero Matter is permanently removed from both Jason and Whitney. Peggy chooses her happy ending. Ana Jarvis returns home. And Jack’s left in a critical state with Peggy’s files in an unknown man’s hand.

Review | Analysis: “Hollywood Ending” did what Agent Carter does best; it reminded its viewers of the importance of unity while keeping a wonderful balance between heart and humor. I have no plans to write about this season finale as though it’s the end because much like Ana Jarvis, optimism runs heavily in my veins. There’s a lot to be appreciated about this particular finale, and it’s mainly due to the fact that through each and every character we met last year, we’ve seen palpable growth (except maybe in Howard, but we all need that one ridiculous friend, right?). And that’s precisely why we need to move forward with the series because there are still countless stories to be told.

The reason Agent Carter is Marvel’s most inexpressibly unique series is because of how well it works around its characters in the 1940s. It’s without a doubt one of the most female dominant series, but it’s also the one that promotes the significance of equality most eloquently. And that not only comes from the fact that each of its characters fit into the storyline, but the writers know how to give us profound moments in the most subtle ways. If this were any other series, the finale would’ve felt anti-climatic, but for Agent Carter, it works. I did however feel as though there wasn’t enough Peggy and that may have actually been the biggest flaw.

However, the most important component the finale dealt with is Peggy Carter’s happiness. And that’s fundamentally what this series has always been about. Yes, Peggy’s an incredibly strong female agent at a time where the men don’t see her fit, but at the end of the day, it comes down to her moral compass and happiness — the importance of choosing for ourselves and moving forward with honor despite what the world attempts to throw in our paths.

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