This Week on TV, Feb. 21, 2015

Spoiler Alert!

No Grimm this week, apparently. (grumble!) And not for another month. To which, I say, WHAT?! Hey! Gimme my Grimm! 😉


I love the episodes where arch-nemeses get taken down!

It seems I was both right and wrong when I thought, “What are Castle and Beckett without Ryan and Espo?” Tyson and Nieman did have help, but only one accomplice, Amy Barrett. Now, the part where she lured Beckett into a trap, got the drop on her, drugged and transported her, single-handed, does speak to some capability on her part, but she’s much more a grunt than a mastermind. Ryan and Espo, however, are highly capable in their own right, equal partners to Castle and Beckett. Tyson was so obsessed with Castle himself, and Nieman with Beckett’s beautiful face that she wanted to steal, that they completely overlooked the rest of the team.

It wasn’t easy, of course. Castle was driven half-mad with worry, pain, and desperation, all because Tyson wanted to prove he was the smarter one. Tyson tortured Castle from within Castle’s own head and heart. I find it telling that “Iron Gates” is the one to help Castle collect himself, enabling him to see Tyson’s “story” and get ahead of him. It takes nerves of steel to knowingly walk into your enemy’s trap, trusting in your friends to have your back when you can’t even see them. That was a badass moment for Castle.

And, of course, trying to keep Beckett prisoner is like trying to contain a force of nature. She’s clever and determined, and focused first on just getting one hand free. She succeeded just in time to save her own life, and I think we can all agree: when Beckett’s hand came flying up, grasping Nieman’s wrist like a vice? We knew what that meant. Nieman may have had the scalpel, but she was way out of her depth now. And Beckett, with the look in her eyes, just sitting up, inexorable, unstoppable. And that’s all she wrote.

Cops: 2. Serial killers: 0.

Can I just cheer for the love story, just a bit? Beckett may have triumphed, but her captivity and the brutality of her own survival have left a mark. She’s strong, but mortal, and she needs Castle to help her get through it. She sees Nieman every time she closes her eyes, and how does Castle respond? He confesses that he has seen Tyson’s face countless times when he closed his eyes. How does he deal with it? “I open my eyes, and look at you.”

I am torn between “awwwww!” and “whoo-whoo!” 😀

And Castle is finally welcomed back into the NYPD fold. After taking down one of the worst serial killers they’ve ever had to deal with, he’s earned some good credit. 🙂

But now I have to wonder: what can they do with Castle now? I mean, they’ve taken down the man who killed Beckett’s mother and they’ve taken down their worst arch-enemy now. Castle and Beckett are married, Alexis is grown up, Martha is teaching acting classes and performing on the stage, Ryan and Jenny are married with a daughter, etc. Espo just turned down Laney for idiotic reasons, so their both free, but that’s not a pivotal point. They’ve touched on more genres and tropes than I ever thought possible. They even told us about Castle’s father. The only thread I can see left for them to tie up is what happened to Castle during the months following his abduction.

Am I wrong? With eight or nine episodes left in the season, are they wrapping it up for good, or just putting old threads to bed so they can bring in new ones? I mean, seven seasons is fairly respectable for a show to run, so are they thinking of hanging it all up? That would be understandable, but so sad! 😥


It was just a matter of time before they took a crack at the Joker’s origin story. I mean, he’s the villain of the Batman franchise, and almost nothing is ever known about his past. I think I prefer his origin, as opposed to other villains, remaining a mystery, but this one isn’t so bad. He was born and raised in a carnival, and listening to his mother engage in activities in the next room in their trailer, but when you get down to it, he was just born sick. I doubt his mother is the first creature he killed, but we know it’ll not be his last, not by a long shot. That laugh was spot-on, though I couldn’t help but think was a little ham fisted for the future Joker to already be laughing quite like that, but it was still freaky.

And you gotta love how he only got caught because of how his biological father was trying to protect him. Of course, that’s partially because Gordon was on the case, and he firmly does not believe in psychics. Thompkins sort of believes, knowing that there are things science does not know, but Gordon wins this particular debate simply because he understands people. If the psychic is not psychic, yet knows precisely where the murder weapon is stashed, then he must be involved. He obviously did not kill the woman in question, which means he has to be protecting someone, and why would he do that? Because the culprit is his own son. Simple.

Gordon had a few moments of thinking-outside-the-box genius, such as using a snake to find the missing woman’s corpse. He is a good detective. He also ends a feud with the truth and a few choice, pointed words, which enables the future parents of Dick Grayson to come together in matrimony. Just a little nudge, and many years later, the world is better for the presence of Robin. I like that.

Unfortunately, a complication called Barbara is trying to walk back into his life. It was a strange combination of funny, strange, and understandable when she came home to find Cat and Ivy squatting in her place, and she lets them stay, even gets their opinion on what to wear when she goes to talk to Gordon. Unfortunately, she walks in to see Gordon and Thompkins kissing. Can’t wait to see her top blow when she realizes who was on the other end of that phone call several episodes ago.

Bruce, meanwhile, is trying to take his company into hand by meeting with the board of directors. They don’t take him seriously just because he’s so young, but when he confronts them with evidence of Wayne Enterprises’ connection to criminal activities, he has their attention. They try to brush him aside, but he makes it clear in no uncertain terms: they should take care, because he will have influence in the future.

Basically, he just used himself as bait to draw out his parents’ murderer. As a certain trailer they’ve released shows Alfred in the hospital, I suspect he has succeeded in gaining their attention.

Meanwhile in the Underworld, Penguin seems to be out of his element. He’s proven most adept at wriggling through dire situations, but now he seems to have too much breathing space. He needs the club to be a success, and for Falcone to be successful via the club, in order to keep Falcone’s protection, but he’s doing terribly. At best, the place is boring and unpleasant, and at worst, it’s deadly. But Falcone sends Zasz with a gift. Having been taken, tortured, and trained by Zasz, Butch – Butch! – returns to help Penguin run the club and make it profitable.

Holy crap. What did Zasz do to Butch to break him like that?

Finally, Fish Mooney is taking charge in the Hell she’s found herself in. She doesn’t just bully. She leads the ragged mass of people into challenging their captors. Fish brings them all together as a new “family,” and promises, in honesty, that some will get out alive. She forces their organ-harvesting captors to make a deal, or at least to start negotiating with them, when she has the man they want killed, and he lets it happen. Now Fish has left the cage, stepping outside so she can see what she’s up against, and she’s going to talk to the man in charge.

It’s brilliant. Sure, they could just swarm over the handful of guards, but they’re weak, disorganized, and ignorant of what’s beyond the door of their prison. Now, she can gain intel and form a plan, all while getting them some better food and blankets to build up their strength again.

Fish is cunning and duplicitous, and a situation like this, she knows how to inspire fanatic loyalty.

agentcarterlogoAgent Carter

I’m reminded of something read in a book as a kid. It went something like, “Is there greater evil than that which wears the mask of good?”

The very worst of enemies is the one which wears the mask of a friend. We got plenty of that in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Agents of of Shield. There is, after all, a reason why they used to keelhaul traitors, and why they have the deepest circle of Hell reserved all for them. Give me a thug, a rapist, a murderer any day, the worst of the worst is the false friend.

Unfortunately, the SSR thinks Carter is the false friend. Thompson, Sousa, and Dooley all take turns interrogating her, but she matches them blow for proverbial blow, holding her own against all three. All while Dr. Ivchenko manipulates and hypnotizes his way towards his objective, stabbing them in the back to their faces. It’s only serendipity that alerts Carter to the true danger, when she sees him communicating in Morse code, and she echoes what Brannis told her, “Leviathan is coming.”

Having to regain the SSR’s trust fast, Carter reveals everything she knows, everything she’s done, and even hands over Captain America’s blood. They believe her, because everything rings true, both in how they have treated her poorly and in how much it means to her, handing over Steve’s blood. She just gave them something she values more than anyone else in the world.

Unfortunately, when Dooley sends Thompson and Sousa across the street to verify Carter’s intel, the chief himself stays with Ivchenko, and he’s already been half-hypnotized. It’s no effort to finish the job, and Ivchenko even gives hims the dream of what he wants most, his greatest desire, coming true. Then he uses the hypnotized Dooley to neutralize Carter and Jarvis, who has been a true, if also daft, friend and come to rescue Carter. Then Ivchenko has access to all of Stark’s “bad babies,” but one in particular is his goal. Another, however, becomes his weapon against the SSR, when he has Dooley strap on a prototype vest, originally meant to protect its wearer, but which is faulty and explodes.

I notice that Ivchenko seems to have a certain MO which involves giving his victims the illusion of their greatest desires before killing them, almost like he’s doing them a favor in exchange for what he’s about to do them, even while he uses those dreams as his murder weapon.

Also, random observation, there is a reason why our law enforcement officers have partners these days.

Not only do they provide excellent entertainment, as Jarvis and Carter did in their interactions, but it’s also safer.

Sousa, Thompson, and co. find Dottie across the street, and she clashes first with Sousa. By rights, she should have obliterated him, but I think having a crutch actually saved his life. She toyed with him, and that cost her when he managed to get his hands on his gun again, she was just a little too far away to deprive him off it again, so she turned and ran. Sousa survived, but she escaped unscathed, and left another SSR agent dead on the ground floor.

She makes her getaway just as Ivchenko is exiting the SSR with his prize in hand. Thompson runs back to report while Sousa keeps investigating, but it’s all too little too late. Dooley wakes up from his dream of reuniting with his wife and kids, and finds himself living the last moment of a nightmare. All he’s able to do is leave behind a final message for his family, charge Agent Carter – it’s telling that he says it to her and no one else – to find and stop Ivchenko, and then he hurls himself out a window at precisely the right moment so the blast only kills him, leaving the rest of the SSR intact.

That’s at least five SSR agents Leviathan has killed now. Ray Krzeminski, shot while transporting a witness (also without a partner, and also by Dottie, we can be fairly certain), an agent killed in action alongside Thompson and Carter in Russia, that poor rookie who was hypnotized into walking in front of a car last episode, the one killed on the ground floor by Dottie, and now Chief Dooley, blown up in and attempt to cripple the SSR.

Carter and co. only manage to pick themselves up in time to realize that Ivchenko took one of Stark’s inventions, and they have no idea what Item 17 is or does.

But Dottie tests it out, and we see it’s a gas, one which makes a theater full of people, men, women, children, friends, couples, perfect strangers, old ladies… everyone starts coughing, goes nuts, and kills each other with their bare hands.

I think we now know why Leet Brannis turned against Leviathan. He and his former comrade, Spider, survived the “Battle of Finow” (however it’s really spelled) which was really just the result of the Russians being exposed to the Item 17 gas. That gas seems to affect the throat and voice box before driving people into homicidal rage, and since those two had theirs removed, they were immune when the Russian army came into contact with it, perhaps by accident, design, or a bit of both. These survivors witnessed the obscenity of their brothers-in-arms tearing each other apart in savage fury, butchering one another down to the last. That sort of horror, one does not just forget. So when Brannis realized what it was he’d stolen, he tried to backpedal, to keep such monstrous devastation from happening again.

And it truly is monstrous, when a breath of gas can turn anyone, be they complete strangers or dearest loved ones, into rabid animals bent on slaughtering everyone within reach. It’s despicable to be a false friend and traitor, but to take people and rob of them their affection for one another, to force monstrosity upon them, is outright evil.

I may be wrong, but that strikes me as Howard Stark’s single most monstrous and obscene invention. Small wonder he pulled out of his connections with the military and tried to contain it alongside the nitramene gravity grenade, the exploding vest, the constrictor, and the blood of Captain America.

So now what? The SSR is wounded and in shambles, Howard Stark is incommunicado (why is that, I wonder?), and Leviathan has his worst invention in the hands of Dr Faustus (iconic Marvel villain, uses hypnotic illusions) and a black widow, who have a head start and an unsuspecting populace between them and their pursuers. The season finale promises to be huge.

I’ve heard a theory that Carter may be temporarily hypnotized into thinking she and Steve had that dance after all, which would be awesome in a way, but I’m not sure how Ivchenko would get the moments he needs alone with Carter in order to enchant her. Either way, as we have no idea what happens with Sousa and Thompson, but we can guess something happens to them, I’d say there is cause for concern about their well-being.

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

General Wade Eiling is a real pain. He has such tunnel vision that he can only see what military use Firestorm can be put to, never minding the cost to the soldiers who would become such a creature, and callously making everyone else, like Ronnie and Dr. Stein, pay the price for his vision. He even thinks himself noble, that he can stand in the place of an entire country, kidnapping, tormenting, and killing the very people he should be protecting.

He gets his soon enough, though, and I seriously wonder if he manages to survive the end of the episode. He may be formidable, but being abducted by Wells, the current Reverse-Flash, and left to the mercies of Gorilla Grodd – you know, it never occurred to me how unnatural and threatening it would be just to see a gorilla walking perfectly upright – is not good for any mere mortal.

Of course, after what he did to Bette the last time we met him, and particularly after what he does to Barry, Ronnie, and Stein in this episode, it’s a little difficult to feel sorry for him. That said, it’s also difficult to wish that sort of fate on anyone.

Speaking of Ronnie and Stein, they are rather entertaining! They were literally thrown together, and there is a teensy bit of friction between them. But, in dire circumstances, they manage to work together, with a bond that just can’t be unraveled. They’re stuck together, including Stein taking after Ronnie’s love of pizza – exactly how any soul on the face of the planet can not like pizza, I have no idea – and they manage to work out a few kinks in their relationship, now that they can talk face to face.

And on the subject of relationships, Iris has begun to suspect some things about the Star Labs crew. She stumbles into Cait and Ronnie laying low at Barry and Joe’s place, and the instantaneous, flimsy lies they all come up with are unconvincing. She figures out there’s more to all of them than meets the eye, particularly as her coworker voices some suspicions of Wells. So now Iris is going to investigate her own friends. Perfect.

As for Barry, Joe lets him know what he’s found out, and Wells and Stein both acknowledge the possibility of time travel. This weighs Barry down with the knowledge that his “destiny is to fail.” He’ll see his mother die all over again. But then Stein tells him there is such a thing as second chances, and Barry instead resolves to learn from the images Joe and Cisko uncovered, and not make the same mistakes. He just might succeed, he thinks, but either way, he is not giving up.


Merlyn is a sick sociopath. He sends Olly and Thea to the island to face their fears and grow stronger, and he unleashes Slade Wilson on them to expedite the process and turn them into killers like him. During this debacle, Thea snatches onto the truth that Olly is still hiding something from her. When she learns the secret, that Merlyn drugged her and used her hands to kill Sara, she is devastated, in shock, and furious.

Can’t say I blame her, but it seems she may make a terrible mistake in her fury. Then again, if she manages to turn Merlyn over to the League without suffering their wrath herself, then I begin to think Olly could just wash his hands of the whole affair. He already took a blade through his gut for Merlyn, why bother protecting him if the League will leave Thea alone?

Somehow, I doubt it will go that smoothly.

Though he is defeated, Slade proclaims that Olly has lost Thea now, that she has been touched by the darkness. And with a simple question about Felicity, he reminds Olly that he is still keeping his promise, to take everyone Olly loves away from him.

Meanwhile, back in the past, we see when Olly returned to Starling City. He was ready to hang it all up and defy Waller, to come home to the family he left broken. He collides with Thea’s current drug dealer, breaking the man’s neck when he recognizes Olly. He even ignores Maseo’s words to him, but then he finds his father’s message, left behind for him, and he receives his mission. In that spirit, he comes back to help Maseo take down White China, but not before she sends out an order for the Yamashiro’s deaths.

I think we need to brace ourselves now for what comes next, the one thing left that can happen, and leave Maseo as “nothing but a phantom.” We’re going to see his son die, aren’t we?

Since White China is in custody, we know she has to escape at some point, and with General Shrieve’s word that Olly can go anywhere in the world after the mission is done, how does he end up back on the island?

Also: heartbreak. We see Sara’s father and sister dealing with her death twice, in both the past and the present. And what’s the worst part, in the present? Laurel’s father isn’t tempted to drink again because of Sara’s death, but because Laurel hid it from him. Lied to him. He trusted her absolutely, and she broke that trust. We see Laurel is also tempted to take that drink… but upends the bottle and empties it on the ground before Sara’s grave instead. Good going, Laurel.

Bright side, we see when Olly caught his first glimpse of Felicity the IT girl, and smiled at her mannerisms.

Oh, and the Atom is incoming! I am so excited to see that armor in action! 😀


No, Teddy, no! I’ll acknowledge that seeing her father’s name dragged through the mud as an employer of prostitutes would be highly unpleasant for Maddie, but when you get down to it, Teddy just sold out his own daughter to a despicable, conniving, abusive man just to save his own skin. Absolutely shameful.

Maddie is blessedly unaware of this, but when Rayna receives a package for Maddie from Jeff, an expensive necklace, she understandably flips out. She tries to take Jeff on alone, but fails. She tries to use the law, but that proves ill-advised, with the safest option being to take away Teddy’s parental rights (justified, but extreme), but even that would be too time-consuming. Under pressure from Rayna, Teddy divulges the truth, every bit of it, and that works out perfectly. She takes charge, crashing Jeff’s big meeting with his superiors, where she doesn’t need to bring legal action against anyone, just reveal a few of Jeff’s misdeeds, and that’s all Mr. Benton needs to hear to make his choice not to enforce the contract and to eject Jeff’s scaly butt from the label. Rayna informs Teddy, who is relieved, but also takes the girls to live with her now that she’s staying in town.

I can’t think of anything more appropriate, and it certainly rocks Teddy to the core.

Hmm, I wonder who will be the next label head at Edgehill? If there is one, after those two assistants were talking about how there’s going to be a veritable bloodbath before this fiasco is over. The biggest downside, at the moment, seems to be that Leyla Grant, in the wake of her ruined reputation, just lost what seemed to be a golden opportunity. I doubt it really was, so long as Jeff was running the show, but it’s devastating to her. And then he shows up on her doorstep, telling her what happened, and getting her to let him in.

I’ve actually seen that sort of person before. They take without giving, and when their world is turned upside and they’re left alone, they reach out and try to grasp the faint tendrils of phantom connections they’ve already ruined. It is such a sad thing to see, and the only connection he has is with Leyla, whom he used, manipulated, cast aside, and given pills to, and only helped when it was in his best interest. Unfortunately, she didn’t send him packing, but let him in. Poor girl’s going to regret that, I fear.

Juliette took a backseat in this episode, as being so pregnant has made her a bit loopy, stir-crazy, and unable to move. Avery handled it all with fair aplomb as he went in to lay down tracks for Sadie’s album. He did not have an easy day. First, he has Juliette. Then he has an accomplished sound mixer who doesn’t know a thing about Avery the newcomer, and pressure from Bucky, who fears he is too inexperienced and stressed by Juliette’s pregnancy. After dragging everyone through the mess of getting it right, Avery finds Sadie hiding in another room.

Sadie has received legal papers. In response to her restraining order, her ex sues her for royalties, past and future. He’s getting inside Sadie’s head, tormenting her, and his mere presence lurking outside the studio all day and night makes her afraid, incapable of properly recording her music. Avery, bless his soul, goes right outside to face the man the moment Sadie lets slip that he’s there. Seeing her friend face off with her ex, Sadie’s courage reignites, and she sends him packing. (WHOO!) With her fire restored, she can start laying down tracks, and it’s beautiful.

By the end, Avery has earned the respect all his coworkers. There’s a bit of madness to the method, but also some method to the madness. He takes the time to get it right, he watches over his wife, and he supports and protects his friends. No matter how long it takes.

You know, I really didn’t like Avery at the beginning of the show, but he’s one of my favorite people right now.

Heh, I didn’t much like Juliette either, but I love her plenty nowadays! Any wonder these two are my fave couple in this show?

Everyone else is going through assorted crap, trying to find the light again. Deacon is trying to figure out how long he has, and he even rights out his will. He only manages to find the will to keep fighting after Maddie comes over for a guitar lesson, shining so bright in his darkness that he can’t help but get back up. Hmmm, might it be possible that Deacon’s daughter could have the spare liver that can save his life? And how might he react to that idea? …probably with thunderous anger, simmering self-loathing, and grudging, grateful acceptance of a chance to be there for his family. That’s about what he’s like here.

Scarlett is what the doctor calls a “happiness bully.” She tries too hard to keep Deacon’s spirits up, and it completely backfires, until the doc helps her see what she’s doing wrong. In thanks, she gets him a proper cup of coffee. Whether or not Deacon survives, we romantically-obsessed humans can hardly help but see some potential there. 😉

Luke, Will, and Gunnar go out on the town, prowling for some women. They get drunk, get laid (except for Will, he turns it down), and find they don’t feel any better about the world or themselves, so they seem to be deciding to give that sort of thing a rest, which is good.. But that realization gives them some clarity, inspiring Luke and Gunnar write a proper song (unlike the one they were writing earlier), giving voice to Luke’s heartache, instead of his anger. Gunnar, however, can’t quite deal with Kylie’s old betrayal come to light, and losing time with Micah. He burns the things she had kept, including a picture of her, him, and Jason, despite Will’s urging not to. Might be a mistake, I’d say, but it’s his to make.

I really like this episode. It has everyone dealing with their crap, and not dealing with it alone. Everyone has their burdens, their tough times, their darkness to wrestle with, but in each other, in honesty, in the choice to behave better than our base desires, we can find the light.


Mary’s mom, Marie, makes another appearance, and is very insistent that she start providing heirs. She argues, quite validly, that it will secure her own future, but even when Mary reveals that she was raped, Marie presses on with the matter. Mary is furious, until Conde gathers that Marie is taking opiates, and Mary learns that Marie is dying, leaving things very uncertain for her daughter. So she wants things to become more certain, and safe, for her child. Not a bad desire, but being so high on opiates, she certainly pushed things too far.

Speaking of the opiates, Lola manages to accidentally drink some, which puts her in a very unique and uninhibited mood for most of the episode. She may have utterly ruined a marriage arrangement Francis has made for their little son, and it would have been everything Lola could hope for. A safe refuge in the event of anything happening to Francis, a powerful family to secure her son’s future, etc. But it’s hard to blame her when she was accidentally drugged at the time, so here’s hoping they can salvage something out of the mess!

Oh, and she makes certain overtures towards Narcisse, who showed a surprising amount of restraint. Considering his machinations against Francis and Mary, it would seem unexpected for him to only want Lola when it really is Lola, as he puts it. Then again, he probably would want to not anger Francis by bedding Lola when she’s so intoxicated.

Greer and Kenna both find themselves caught in situations they cannot entirely control. On Greer’s end, she stumbles further into the role of madame when, once again just trying to help, she gets Charlene a wig, helps her dress up, and sets her on a high-class party to ply her wares. Not only does Charlene want to do it again, and offer to split the profits with Greer for her help, but other whores want in on this too. I mean, one woman got two months of rent in a single evening, so who wouldn’t want that? And Greer is both desperate and hungry and finally having filling meals. I imagine Greer would take good care of her girls, and it is so they can all survive, but if this, too, doesn’t blow up in her face, then I will be very surprised.

It’s a scarily accurate representation of how people can so easily get sucked into such an obscene situation. Human traffickers prey on people who are either naïve and trusting, or who have been brought low into desperation. I imagine Greer would take good care of her girls, and it is for the purpose of their survival, but who knows what monsters are going to come sniffing their way now, without the protection of the king and his knights all around her?

Kenna falls for Antoine’s beguiling ways, to an extent, but then she sees through him when Bash comes storming into the party she helped Antoine set up. Unfortunately, with all the stress placed on her relationship with Bash, with how he is a man of duty, and “wants less,” while she “wants more,” Antoine’s offer of straight-up marriage, following the supposed impending death of his wife, is a rich offer, and the sweetest revenge Antoine can have right now. To take Bash’s wife and make her his queen? To give Kenna all the material things she wants as well as the status of a queen? It’s a tempting offer, and one she can’t simply dismiss, though she should.

Antoine is a malicious little rat.

Have I mentioned how much I like the coupling of Bash and Kenna? To see Antoine playing on their weaknesses, working to drive them apart, especially while Bash is trying to solve mysteries and protect his family and the people of the realm. He finds the mysterious woman in white, who turns out to be a nun. She is a healer, but she does not raise the dead as they say, and she only works her healing when someone is about to die otherwise. There may be a supernatural element to her healing abilities, and one which seems capricious in taking a price from those who are saved. Certainly, she is able to warn Bash that he will soon lose someone he loves. If Antoine gets his way, it’ll be Kenna.

And the worst thing is, Kenna has at least one justification to her complaints. She’s endured losing status at court, and living with less when her husband denied her the chance to have more without talking with her about it, but the thing which is worst for her is simply this: Bash is always gone. Kenna is a social creature, and he leaves her alone. It could be solved very simply, though, if Bash just recruited some others to aid in his investigations. They could cover more ground, watch each others’ backs, and be more certain of returning home, and at a reasonable hour. Simple solution! Just watch as no one thinks of it!

Finally, Antoine delivers some “good news” to Conde. Queen Elizabeth I of England has invited Conde to court her and become King of England, perhaps France and Scotland in the future as well. This comes exactly when Mary is choosing to live for herself instead of as a vessel for others’ goals and aspirations, a determination gained after he mother Marie confesses her condition. Mary is returning to Scotland, permanently, and she has invited Conde to come with her.

So, while we know the eventual fates of the two queens, Conde’s choice remains: Mary or Elizabeth?

It’s much the same question the whole of Europe is asking. And it is a very dangerous question to answer haphazardly.

You ever think our society’s tabloid obsession with the love lives of our rich people, celebrities, and political leaders might be a remnant of when such could alter the course of history and nations?

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