MAJOR Spoiler Alert!
It does tend to get rather major with the spoilers as we start reaching the finales, ya know? I think most of these only have, like, one or two more episodes to go! Very exciting!
And then comes the long summer wait… but that’s far less irritating to deal with than all that stop-and-go nonsense, ya know?
Cruella’s funeral attendance consists of Isaac, who muzzled her, Rumple, who used her, and Emma, who killed her. Not a high note to end on, but as she was a serial killer who killed her own parents and wanted nothing more than to do more killing, such a sparse turnout is hardly surprising.
Emma tries to make like what she did to Cruella isn’t weighing on her, but it is. It come quickly boiling to the top when someone else is threatening her loved ones and Emma has every possible chance to kill them outright, and she nearly does. Having taken one life already, and so recently, Emma is feeling, deep down, that she is a killer. She comes very close to her second kill, but Regina is there to talk her down.
Heh, and it was Regina who thought she would be needing Emma more than they other way around.
The pair, Emma and Regina, set out into the outside world together, partially because they’re going in the same direction anyway: out of Storybrooke. On Regina’s part, we already know she’s out to save Robin and Roland from Zalina. But for Emma, it gets even more personal.
Maleficent turns on Rumple, not wanting to be his next sacrificed pawn like Cruella, and also wanting Emma to find her daughter, Lilith, the titular Lily. Emma recognizes the name immediately and finds proof soon enough: her one childhood friend, whom she pushed away more than once after being hurt by her destructive antics, is Maleficent’s daughter, who carries Emma’s darkness within her.
After all the anger she’s felt towards her parents, Emma now has even more reason to be angry, because now she has clear, visible, concrete, living proof of how their actions have adversely affected her life and her friend’s life. But when she finds Lily, she finds not a woman who is ignorant of their intertwined fates, but someone who has known the truth for awhile and become obsessed with finding and punishing Snow and Charming for what they did to her. After a long, painful life filled with failures and destruction, no matter how hard she’s tried to do the right thing, Lily believes she doesn’t even have a choice in the matter: she destroys everything she touches. She may even want to die, instead of hurting anyone else, just as much as she wants to kill Emma’s parents.
In short, since the Apprentice, just trying to help the little girl the Author used his hand to wrong, told her the truth, Lily has had two decades to develop an anti-messiah complex and nurse an anger far deeper than Emma’s.
Hmm, I wonder if the Sorcerer and his Apprentice, once he gets released from the hat, can take the darkness from Lily and put it back into Emma. I hope so.
Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, Rumple gets Will Scarlet to help him steal Belle’s heart from Maleficent, whom Regina trusted with guarding it. We know that coupling of Belle and Will has to end somehow, but it’s nice to see the two men working together to protect the woman they both love. Of course, with her leverage over Rumple removed, Regina’s task became much more urgent, so the three women, Regina, Emma, and Lily, whom Maleficent demands Snow and Charming beg forgiveness from, all set off at top speed for New York together.
They arrive just in time to catch Robin alone and bring him up to speed, but he is too shocked to really respond. Having his wife restored to him, only to be revealed as a fake, actually the evil sister of the woman he loves, will do that sort of thing. And, to top it all off, Zalina, the woman who murdered Marian and took her place, is now pregnant with Robin’s child.
I swear, when someone gets around to drawing a chart detailing everyone’s relationships, it’s going to be massively complicated, and impressive achievement.
“In Plane Sight”
The makers of Castle once again manage to touch on another trope: the airborne thriller, a Murder on the Orient Express mystery, but on a plane… and complete with a snake.
Apparently, they’ve heard of Snakes on a Plane. 😉
Castle and Alexis are on their way to London for a sort of father-daughter trip, when she’s not hanging with friends and he’s not talking to a writers’ society at a certain address on Baker Street. Castle is apparently more nervous on the plane than he’s usually been, as he’s afraid of things happening which end with the plan falling out of the sky with him and his daughter on board. So, when he notices the flight attendants acting suspiciously, he becomes all the more anxious.
As it turns out, the air marshal has vanished without a trace, shortly after notifying his superiors that he was investigating a potential threat to the plane. Just before the captain locks herself in the cabin, she asks Castle, the closest thing they have to law enforcement now that the marshal’s gone, to find out what’s happening. He accepts, and between himself, Alexis, and the crew in the air, and their friends on the ground, they’re able to solve several mysteries.
First mystery, what happened to the marshal? He was lured into the cargo hold, killed with a blow to the head, and stuffed into a suitcase. Terrorism is forefront in everyone’s mind, so the next mystery is who he was investigating.
That turns out to be a Syrian man flying with a stolen passport. He has connections to ISIS, because his cousin joined up, but now he’s just trying to go home and be with his mother before she dies of pancreatic cancer. They can’t afford to take him at his word, but he’s eventually exonerated, and for the trouble, Castle makes a few calls so he can see his mother before facing charges for the stolen passport.
After that, there is the mystery of a woman who turns out to be the marshal’s girlfriend. She was afraid he was cheating on her, so she disguised herself to follow him. Small detail: she’s flying on the airline she blames for ruining her life, and she’s been set up to take the fall for whatever the perpetrator does.
It turns out the marshal himself was working two jobs at once, as a marshal, and as a guard for a shady businessman. The business is auctioning valuables like, say, a watch. When the man transporting it turns out to be drugged, with his bodyguard dead, Castle realizes it was never terrorism, just a heist gone wrong. And the perpetrator is one of the flight attendants, bitter about the company taking away her pension after thirty years of loyal service.
After talking her down, and facing death, Alexis and Castle decide that they’d rather be joined at the hip after all. Very understandable, I’d say. Even when you appreciate what you have, you still take it for granted until it’s threatened, or taken away.
“The Hammer or the Anvil”
Well, Barbara quickly finds out the truth about her one night stand date: he intended to kill her, and now he wants to have her. He spends the entire day tormenting her, and she’s already fragile enough that she breaks pretty quickly. Just wanting her to love him, he’s convinced that if he kills someone she wants dead, then she will love him. I was hoping she’d pick Zasz, as death matches between psychos can be most interesting, but he pushed her so hard that she picked her own parents. He killed them in front of her, and she watched them die.
Gordon and Bullock pressed the chase all day, though, and into the night. Gordon forced Penguin to cough up an invite to a secret brothel, sending Bullock in as a surprisingly good undercover agent. They got a lead to the Ogre’s residence, but were too late. He called to taunt them, tell them Barbara was safer with him than she ever was with Gordon, but the two detectives managed to figure out where they were going and keep up the pursuit. They arrived too late to save Barbara’s parents, but they finally caught him. After a tussle in which they wounded each other, Gorden had his gun on the Ogre, but the Ogre had a knife at Barbara’s throat. Bullock came in from behind, drawing the Ogre’s attention from Gordon just long enough for Gordon to shoot him, but, even as he died, he slit Barbara’s throat open.
It was just barely shallow enough not to kill her. Once again, she is left scarred and traumatized by an insane man who was targeting Gordon.
Bruce infiltrates Wayne Enterprises, and gets into Bunderslaw’s safe. But he finds it empty, and his enemy returns to give him a lesson on how things work. He stains Thomas Wayne’s name in his son’s eyes, saying Bruce’s father and grandfather both accepted the illegal activity within their company and kept quiet about it. With flagging spirits, Bruce is given only a faint light of hope as he meets Luscious Fox, who tells him, while having him keep his expression very neutral for the cameras, that Thomas Wayne was a good man, better than the business executives knew. “He kept his best face hidden.”
I’m guessing that means Fox was working with the elder Wayne to try and purge the corruption, but the Waynes were murdered while Fox escaped unnoticed.
With his faith under assault, Bruce confesses the truth of his activities, and Reggie’s murder, to Alfred. Alred takes it rather well, I’d say. Instead of condemning the death of Reggie, he tries to restore Bruce’s faith in his father as a good man. But Bruce now knows, even good men have secrets. So he cuts his father out of a picture of the two of them together, and adds it to the wall of his investigations.
Nygma utterly pulverizes the remains of his murder victim, destroying the body before anyone notices he’s missing. He even makes a note, a riddle hidden in plain sight, so Miss Kringle won’t wait around for him. She’s bemoaning her bad taste in men, as she keeps picking creeps, not knowing that the worst of them all is circling around her.
Penguin finally made his move on Maroni, but it didn’t go according to plan. Or, so it seems. When both of the hired guns have their weapons jam at the same time, before they even get one shot off, after delivering a message supposedly from Falcone, enraging Maroni against Falcone, and after Penguin used Falcone’s name to convince his thugs to take the job in the first place… well, it’s pretty obvious that Penguin is playing everyone, as usual. He wants Maroni dead, but he also wants out from under Falcone. So he’s sparked a shooting war between the two.
And everything in the GCPD comes to a dead stop, just as Gordon and Lezley were having a moment, as Ellis announces the crisis.
“The Dirty Half Dozen”
So, I missed the very end of last episode, where Coulson surrendered. It’s easily as daring as any other plan he’s ever concocted. He surrenders, to get some time with Gonzales, and he offers up everything he has to offer, including the Toolbox, just for the chance to rescue Lincoln, Deathlok, and whatever other prisoners Hydra might have at their arctic base. Oh, and he doesn’t tell anyone, but he also grabs some priceless information, involving Strucker’s location (at last!) and Loki’s spear/scepter/staff thing, which Hydra has been using to experiment on people.
Walking away with swag like that, I’d say it was worth tolerating Gonzales and the others for five minutes.
Gonzales sends a substantial force to blow up Hydra’s base, but that would be after Coulson’s small, select team successfully raids the place. For this, we got the old, original team back together: Coulson, May, Fitz, Simmons, Skye, and Ward.
It feels like it’s been forever, since the fall of Shield and Hydra’s first exposure. How very far they’ve all come from where they started. Coulson is an ousted Director, May has finally healed some from her ordeal in Bahrain, Skye’s a one-woman army, Fitz has been crippled and recovered, Ward is now a former Hydra agent, and Simmons was ready to kill Ward in cold blood. They’re all so different, and what they had before is gone forever, represented not so subtly in the destruction of the Bus. They are changed, through devastation and growth. They have evolved.
Yet, they are also reflections of their former selves.
For one thing, it used to be, Skye kept secrets about herself because she did not know about her past. Now, Skye keeps secrets because she knows about her past. Also, Skye was once unique in being the most normal person on the Bus. Now, Skye is unique in being the least normal person on the Bus, an Inhuman. Oh, and once again, Coulson brought the original five together, and Skye crashed in unexpectedly.
Side-note: do I detect the faint odor of a Daredevil influence on Skye’s fight? The scene where she takes down all of those Hydra agents reminded me of a similar long-cut scene in Daredevil, and that was some impressive choreography and camera work. Granted, the two fights have distinctly different flavors to them, but it’s an interesting coincidence to have a such a specific similarity between them.
Ward proved his worth, though still failed to fully validate his continued existence. Bakshi really was his loyal servant now, and he proved pivotal to the team’s infiltration and Coulson’s successful raid on the base. He even laid down his life for Ward, taking Simmons’ splinter grenade had intended for Ward. And then Ward spared Simmons, just telling her he was disappointed. So he’s still a tactical asset, and his brainwashing of Bakshi was successful, and he spares Simmons. To top it all off, he leaves Kara in Coulson’s care. It seems he’s been trying to help her heal after what Hydra did to her, but he’s not the man to do it, so he asks Coulson to heal her in his stead.
Of course, now Ward has a friend within Shield, and I suspect that benefit did not escape his notice, or his intention. But, at the very least, he’s doing some good, and refraining from some harm he could have easily done. He’s not really mentally stable, but in his way, he seems to be trying to do good again. But, much like Thor could never trust Loki again, neither can Coulson and his team ever trust Ward again. He always has some ulterior motive.
As for Simmons, the change in her really is, as Fitz once said, the most terrifying of all. Skye may be able to kick ass and manipulate vibrations now, but Simmons is capable of cold-blooded murder, and not for justice, but for revenge. Or, as she says, for “protection.” She may be on Coulson’s side, but that’s right in line with the Gonzales faction: putting people down before they can do any harm. Fortunately, now the deed has been done, and especially as Ward spares her, she seems to have felt the weight of her mistakes. We can only hope that she’s hearing the wake up call, so she can start healing instead of lashing out.
And speaking of mistakes, and prodigals returning, and attempts of reconciliation (Ward really botched his), and second chances and all that, this episode was really heavy on that. It was really cool. Hunter and Mack have a moment of repairing their friendship, where Mack apologizes and Hunter forgives him, though not without pointing out how Mack owes him more than a beer for the trouble. He’s yet to talk to Morse, but that will come soon enough. Morse, meanwhile, reaches out to Kara in friendship, treating her, as Kara puts it, “like a real person.”
And that, right there, is the biggest problem I have with the Gonzales faction.
When Gonzales looks at Skye, Lincoln, and Deathlok, as well as Kara, even when they’ve been mutilated by Hydra, he doesn’t see “people.” He sees “things.” That is what makes him and his compatriots wrong: they dismiss and devalue the humanity of others, those who are “different.” They lack compassion, which we already know is Shield’s greatest strength, and they do not possess it. They might not be Hydra, or, rather, might not have Hydra’s extensive resume, but casting that compassion aside takes them significantly in that direction.
Which, I suspect, is what’s about to shape their impending confrontation with the Inhumans, and tear Shield apart yet again. Coulson’s faction sees all people as people, and they won’t take kindly to Gonzales attacking Afterlife.
Speaking of, Ja-Ying and Cal have an argument, where their joint parentage of Skye is revealed to everyone within earshot. They make a sort of reconciliation later, and from him, she learns about Raina’s true nature, being manipulative, deceptive, and dangerous. As Skye was able to convince her and Gordon to let her go into danger partially because of what Raina said about her visions, she has good cause to be worried. Ja-Ying decides she should be the one to decide what they do in response to Raina’s visions, and that is both good and bad. Good, because is limits Raina’s sphere of influence. And bad, because it means she only needs to deceive one person, instead of many, to whatever end.
She closes the episode with a prophecy concerning consequences and terrible destruction, as metal men destroy cities and change everything. This happens almost exactly as Coulson is talking to Hill about Theta Protocol, and bringing in the Avengers.
Ooooh! What’s Marvel up to now? How are they relating Agents of Shield to Avengers: Age of Ultron? I mean, we know it’s gotta be big, but with half the run time as Season 1 for a post-movie event, and with at least some of it devoted to Shield colliding with the Inhumans, I am wondering just what they have up their sleeve.
It should prove most exciting!
So, Liv eats the brain of a woman who died just before giving birth. Instantaneous maternal behavior. Very amusing. And at the same time when Loel has apparently eaten a gay doctor’s brain. So she’s extra affectionate and he’s momentarily not attracted to her. It makes for a night of comparing which men are hotter, and how many women get to do that with their boyfriend?
You know what the single most fearsome creature in the world is? A mother. Fathers may be contenders for the throne, but mothers are definitely the queens of “Do not get on my bad side.” So when the victim’s boyfriend, father of their child, is gloating about how much his child will boost his celebrity status, we get a glorious moment of Liv putting him in his place!
On the less-happy side of things, Blaine manages to turn a bust of a couple who abducted girls into a red herring. Through the Homicide captain, his pawn, he arranges for the couple, whom the captain kills in cold blood, to take the fall for the deaths of all his victims thus far. And for a moment there, I was hopeful that the captain might have been protecting his men, but he was just eliminating the scapegoats.
Clive is momentarily in hot water with his colleagues after Major unwittingly gets a quote out of him for a reporter. Said reporter is interested in discovering the fates of the many people vanishing off the streets, which gives her and Major common purpose. But when Major is caught rifling through the “candy man’s” car, the cops arrest him. They even let the candy man go uncontested once he explains that the human brain Major found is just a calf’s brain. He’s obviously more capable than Blaine’s last henchmen, though Blaine’s usage as a butcher shop becomes all the more evidently clever.
So, the reporter is back to square one, the potential investigation into the disappearances ends before it truly begins, Major is thrown into lockup with several large thugs as a “thank you” for his part in the cops’ embarrassment, and the only two who are on to Blaine’s scheme are Liv and Ravi, and they are operating under the assumption that Blaine would want to be “cured.” For him, it’s a step up, and the key to his money, power, and influence is how his “clients” are all trapped as zombies, dependent on him for fresh brains. The closer Ravi gets to a cure, the more danger he’ll be in.
And that’s not even accounting for the fates of the rats Ravi used in his experiment, one of which turned zombie and ate the rest.
You gotta love the little things they sprinkled into Barry’s glimpse of the future. The references to Green Arrow, the Atom and Hawkgirl in the newspaper article, written by Iris Allen-West, and Gideon the AI created by Barry Allen, “also known as the Flash, founding member of-” and we know what name they were about to drop!
Needless to say, Barry and company need a moment to process this information, particularly when Gideon reveals that the enemy came back in time specifically to kill Barry. They’re starting to get to know their enemy as he truly is, but they’ve only just begun, while their enemy knows them all too well. Knowledge is power, and Barry, after fifteen years, is finally on the brink of proving his father’s innocence. So he comes up with a bad idea, but one which might both exonerate his father and give them insight into Thawne’s motivations.
They mean to lay a trap for their enemy, but for that, they know they need the perfect bait. Caitlin and Cisco design a pair of glasses, ironically with Thawne’s help, that can help Cisco relive the dream-memories he still retains from the alternate timeline. He’s able to glean information, including when Thawne confessed to murdering Barry’s mother, but suffering the experience of being murdered without actually dying leaves him very much shaken. After that, he really is quite brave to offer himself up as the bait they need.
He takes precautions, of course. He’s not an idiot, and rather likes being alive, and he’s facing his bogeyman, so he takes measures to protect himself. As the plan involves luring Thawne into his confession within reach of the containment unit, Cisco just turns it into his personal protective shield. No speeding through the barrier at super speed.
So Thawne just steps through at normal speed.
Joe opens fire on Thawne, and Barry, still needing a complete confession, tries to stop the bullets, but fails, running into the barrier. Cisco is saved, but Thawne is dead.
…or, at least, he would have been, if he’d ever been there. He just sent the shape-shifter in his place, wearing his face. Joe shot the wrong man. And Thawne gloats over the intercom before speeding off to claim his next victim. Barry fears that victim is Iris, but Thawne grabs Eddie instead.
Eddie, who was just on the cusp of proposing to Iris.
Joe didn’t like that idea, because he knows Iris would say yes, then wake up one day to realize her true feelings, but still stay with Eddie because she made a promise, and he doesn’t want that life for her. Barry learns this because Eddie asked him to talk to Joe and get him on board, but all things considered, not gonna happen. Still, Eddie is moving forward, and staying close enough to protect Iris. He is just telling her how he feels, talking about keeping faith in each other. “Iris West,” he says, ready to say those four words… but he doesn’t get the chance. Thawne interrupts, and takes Eddie away.
Eddie, as it turns out, is Thawne’s insurance. Which makes me afraid once again that he intends to take Eddie’s place as he took Wells’.
Finally, Iris is putting some things together about the metahumans in general. She figures out that it all began with the particle accelerator explosion, and the people at Star Labs know about it. She doesn’t know about Barry, though… until she feels a literal spark, just like she felt one night when she was pleading with a comatose Barry to wake up. In the moment, she knows, and knows he’s racing after the Reverse Flash to save Eddie, which he swears to do.
The League of Assassins is seriously warped, and none more so than the Demon’s Head, Ra’s al’Ghul. As Digs puts it, “You talk about honor, but if you knew the first thing about it, you’d know are line you do not cross!” But Ra’s and his ilk are so far gone, and have been for centuries upon centuries, that they think nothing of the atrocities they commit.
Small wonder, then, that Ra’s old rival for the throne, Damien Darhk, apparently built up HIVE (Season 4 antagonist, anyone?) and has caused great harm across the world ever since his failed attempt to take the throne. Ra’s cites several instances Olly has faced which were because of Dark’s influence through HIVE, and we’ve long known Deadshot killed Digs’ brother on their order. So Ra’s, in the interest of preventing another such splintering of the League, orders Olly, Al Sah-him, to kill Nyssa. Or, more specifically, to bring her back to Nanda Parbat to be killed there.
And Olly is apparently so far gone, or such a supremely good actor, that he accepts the mission without question or hesitation. Ra’s and the League have been brainwashing him with a combination of rituals and drugs derived from plants. Olly is gone. Only the Arrow, Al Sah-him, remains. And what is the Arrow without Olly? A cold-blooded killer, that’s what.
Al Sah-him defeats Nyssa, only sparing her when Digs and Laurel intervene. So he kidnaps Lyla – Lyla, for goodness’ sake – and ransoms her for Nyssa, and defeats, nearly kills, Olly’s friends. It’s so bad that Thea has to put an arrow through his arm, just to save Digs’ life. Everyone is left reeling, hurt, traumatized, and Al Sah-him takes Nyssa back to Nanda Parbat anyway.
Nyssa is made to kneel before her father and the man who would kill her on her father’s order. Yet she displays little but dignified defiance. These last weeks, teaching Laurel about fighting while Laurel teaches her about normal, happy living, have been among the happiest of her life. Now, at the last, she is not afraid of her father, or of death.
Yet Ra’s says Al Sah-him has “broken” her somehow, and at the last moment, he spares Nyssa. And decrees that the two of them, Nyssa and Al Sah-him, shall marry. It’s hard to say who is less pleased about that, the man or the woman, but his word is still law.
And, to top things off, Ra’s wants Al Sah-him to kill the birthplace and last vestige of his old life as Oliver Queen. He has the Alpha and Omega virus, though Nyssa stole and tried to hide it in order to prevent exactly this, as Ra’s orders the Arrow to unleash it on Starling City.
Oliver and the Yamashiros remember that deadly power very well. Apparently it did hit Hong Kong, and many people died. All they could do was retrieve Akio and try to escape the city amidst all the chaos. They deviated only long enough to end the further distribution of the virus under the guise of a cure (which is just sick) but then they grabbed Akio and stole a car. Which is about when Tatsu noticed Akio, supposedly inoculated against the virus, suffering the symptoms.
Now Ra’s (how does he have that virus?) wants the Arrow to use it on his own city.
So, he brainwashes Olly, sends him to kill his daughter, then decides they should marry instead, and he’s sending the man to kill his own city, as Ra’s killed his. All of his family and friends, dead, by his own hand. Ra’s killed the very same family he told Felicity he gave up everything to protect. And this is the League’s normal way of doing things. The League is insane!
Sheesh, it looks like Thea’s potential departure from Starling City, to join Roy wherever he is, could come with either excellent or terrible timing. Which seems to be a recurring theme in Arrow, as the last time she made to leave on her own, Slade Wilson nearly burnt the city to the ground.
Hmmm, I suddenly notice: Merlyn used an earthquake, Slade tried to get the city nuked, and now Ra’s is unleashing a virus into the air. If HIVE attacks Starling City next season, are they going to use some sort of water-based attack?
“Time Changes Things”
Ok, they finally mentioned Maddie giving part of her liver to Deacon, but just in passing and just to say she’s too young. Which, of course, I did not know, but it still irritates me that they didn’t address that several episodes ago.
Rayna went with the other obvious solution, namely convincing Deacon’s sister Beverly to actually, you know, act like real family and save her brother’s life. She tries several times and gets refused several times, but Beverly is a petty and selfish and constantly twists things around to make it sound like everyone else has wronged her, when her dissapointments are all her own fault. Sheesh, with family like her, who needs enemies? Finally, Rayna pulls out her last resort, the one thing she and Deacon should not have to do, and the one thing Beverly should not want in exchange for helping her brother.
Rayna hands her a check for one million dollars.
(and it’s official, I am never going to be able to say “one million dollars” without thinking of Dr. Evil)
That should convince her. After all, she was going all, “Why should I be a decent human being and do the right thing and save my dear brother’s life when I don’t get anything out of it?” Well, now she does. Bless her blackened, shriveled, pea-sized heart.
Back home, Deacon has his hands full when he finds Maddie alone in her room at his house with Colt, partially unclothed. All things considered, he handles the situation with grace and dignity. By which, as grace and dignity have no place in such a situation, I mean he does not engage in anything destructive or rash, which tends to be well within the realm of possibility for both Deacon and dads in general.
There was no actual teenage sex involved, thank Heaven, but adults understand something kids don’t: passion is not something you can voluntarily turn on and off like a light bulb. It gets turned on and off. So Maddie’s argument that they didn’t intend to go that far really does not carry that much weight. One may need to gradually work their way up to full-blown sex, but if the phrase “getting carried away” can possibly apply to anything, it’s this.
Poetically, it’s Juliette who’s able to give Maddie some counsel about this. Having made many mistakes, especially in regards to her sexual behavior (I seem to recall she even had a fling with Deacon a couple years ago), Juliette is able to stand as an example of why it’s better to be careful. If nothing else, she’s able to comfort and relate to Maddie in a way Maddie can believe.
Deacon and Maddie are even able to have a moment later on, where he can say he’s just glad to be there for her at this moment. He’s missed so many, and the possibility of missing so many more is weighing heavy on him. So, no matter what, he’s glad to have the time he has, even when it comes with times like this.
But, no, Maddie, you’re not off the hook with Deacon telling Rayna. Nice try. Heh.
I was just glad to finally see Juliette being something better than we’ve seen for the last few episodes. She had her fangs out when Avery showed up to band practice, but then withdrew them as he told her he was there to play alongside her. What he knows she needs to learn is that being “Juliette Barnes” and being “Mom” are not mutually exclusive things. It’s just a matter of balance. For his part, he’s figured out that she’s trying to revitalize her career, so he hopes that helping her nab a “win” will help her relax and find herself again.
She was also rather rude to Bucky and Glenn when she learns no one’s interested in promoting her, and then swept them straight up into her newest scheme. After learning about Deacon’s cancer, she decides to do something spontaneous again, so she makes her comeback with an impromptu performance on a roof in the middle of town. And we can she, she’s finally reconnected with that Juliette Barnes spark, and it is glorious! And then as she and Avery are sneaking away like a couple of teenagers caught at a party they weren’t supposed to be at! So cute!
It’s looking hopeful, but then, as they’re… being spontaneous, Cadence wakes up and demands attention. Avery has no problem with it, but Juliette, so soon after a triumph, is disappointed. Oh, please don’t let her just revert straight back to her lesser self just when we had hope of her better self finally winning out!
Meanwhile, and speaking of lesser selves, Layla and Jeff are not doing so hot. Layla flirts with celebrities at Jade’s party, putting herself out there just to get more public buzz about her, which is very manipulative and insincere of her. She and Jeff fight about it, and finally Jeff sabotages her. There’s a rule, where what goes on in Jade’s house stays in Jade’s house, right down to sharing pictures on Twitter. So, Jeff shares a picture on Twitter. He means to get Layla kicked off Jade’s concert tour, and if Layla has any sense, she’ll fire him for it. Of course, if she had any sense, she’d be less eager to get drunk at parties ever again.
In contrast, Jade and Luke break off their brief relationship. They didn’t really do anything wrong, but they just weren’t right for each other, as Luke sees it. So they part on peaceful terms, and Luke heads home to deal with the Colt side of the Maddie-Colt fiasco.
Gunnar’s thrown a curve ball when Kylie shows up out of the blue, wanting to see Micah. As one might expect, he blows a gasket and yells at her, chronicling how she’s hurt him, practically in one single breath. He gets another curve ball when she tells him that she did not cheat, that she was, in fact, raped by Jason. I’m not sure how truthful she’s being, but it’s possible, and makes some sense. Even so, if it’s true, that only gets her off the hook for cheating. It still doesn’t excuse leaving her son behind like that, but Gunnar is suddenly giving her blank check of forgiveness.
Which Scarlett does not take kindly to. She doesn’t know about Kylie’s rape, but she’s still right about Gunnar, that he keeps letting the past drag him down, and she’s very frustrated with it. Fortunately, she has Caleb, and spends the night at his place.
Finally, there’s Teddy. Natasha calls him to give him a heads up that the feds are coming for him – yeah, like, several weeks after the fact – and they used her to set him up. With nothing more he can do to evade the consequences of his crimes, Teddy shifts gears into at least evading arrest. He packs up, grabs his passport, gives his daughters one last gift, writes notes for them to read after he’s gone, and he’s just about to head out the door… when an old friend of his walks in. Dash, who was his best man and works for the U.S. Attorney’s office. Dash is Teddy’s last, best hope, offering to protect Teddy from the law. But only in exchange for… something.
I doubt that “something” will be good.
So, Conde’s on the run, and with most compelling reason: if he gets caught, he dies. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. Yet, sorrowful for his rash betrayal, he returns to Mary one last time, to beg her forgiveness before he dies. She gives him that, and one last act of aid, giving him papers to pose as a tanner transporting skins. Unfortunately, Renaude, the one man who can recognize him, is there, and sees through his disguise.
Conde is captured, waiting for death… but then Elizabeth’s envoy returns with aid, rescuing him, and making an offer. Elizabeth is very interested in marrying Conde, if claims the throne of France for himself. Conde is reluctant to do this, though refusing cost him his life, but the envoy convinces him to attend a meeting of Protestant brethren. The idea is to stir up a rebellion within France, with Conde’s army coming to him from his homeland, and the English coming on another front, and all while two thousand French soldiers are away in Scotland.
In short, it’s the potential conquest of France.
No two ways about it, Conde has chosen a path to be Mary and Francis’ enemy.
It turns out to be Bash who gives Mary some clarity. These things have happened before, after all, just a little differently, when Bash and Mary had their tangled affections for one another. With horror, she realizes the truth of her responsibility, and the danger she poses to any man but a king. And considering how her actions have endangered all of France and King Francis, it would seem no man is safe from her.
Have I mentioned recently how the one thing I consistently dislike about this show is how literally everything revolves around the overly complicated love lives of these women?
For his part, Francis has the weight of a crumbling nation on his shoulders. The recent military action with England, the plague, the turmoil of religious unrest… France has been through a great deal, and people are angry. Thanks to Mary helping Conde escape, their enemies now have a face to put in front of their zealotry. Everything is at risk, and blood will be spilled. Mary comes to beg forgiveness, but Francis is not sure he ever can give it to her.
Certainly, Catherine won’t. She’s neither forgiving of those who slight her, nor tolerant of rivals. She demands Narcisse prove his loyalty to her by ruining his relationship with Lola. She wants him to “do something unforgivable.” And so he does. He distributes a drawing of Lola, naked in the bath, smearing her reputation, hurting and enraging her, solely to smear his standing with her. Afterward, Narcisse tells Catherine that she needs to see that someone can know her as she truly is and love her at the same time, instead of relying on her power and her wiles to gain such affection.
Meanwhile, Kenna pursues a relationship with Renaude. Her marriage to Bash is empty and hollow now, which is absolutely tragic, and she desires Renaude, and admires his honesty in his ambition. His father may want to make a match for him with a noblewoman, but Renaude also desires Kenna, and believes they could have a future together, and they begin with one first night. Lola cautions her to take care, as the last three relationships she’s had were not of her own choice and making, so she is treading new ground here.
Leith’s devotion to Greer, and his desire to marry her, has put him squarely in that bishop’s pocket. The bishop says he needs money to grease palms all the way up to the pope, and even if he’s being honest about that, which is not necessarily likely, he certainly means to keep some for himself. But we’re talking quite a sum of money, so he tells Leith to steal something, which he mentions far too specifically to be random, pawn to someone specific, and then bring the bishop the money. I’m sensing some other sort of scheme at work here, especially as the bishop only became interested in Leith’s plea immediately after hearing of his station in the castle, but that’s pure speculation on my part.
Here’s another reason to never sell your soul: once you do, anyone can swoop in and claim it, and it’s all but impossible to reclaim afterward. Claude catches Leith in the act and blackmails him into allowing her to see her old flame, the one she wants to keep, even at risk of Catherine’s considerable anger. When Claude, so high-born and alluring and yet so lonely, learns that her old flame does not want her as she wants him, she is angry and hurt, which especially brings out her petty, hurtful nature. When she whimsically orders Leith to break things off with Greer, he refuses, being frank and honest with her, as always, and declaring how much he loves Greer. Claude gives Leith her own earrings to sell to pay for Greer’s annulment, if only to have peace from hearing her name ever again.
But when Leith proposes, Greer refuses. She’s lost so much, especially recently, and has barely managed to climb back up out of squalor, and now she has something which cannot simply be taken from her (at least, not by anyone without authority to do so) and she’s not willing to give it up. Not even for Leith. So, though Claude was paving the way for them to be together by giving Leith her earrings, it proves to be the very thing which tears them apart.
Oh, and Mary now has Greer and her girls acting as her agents, listening for information. Which is, I expect, how she learned of Conde’s capture before Francis told her. It pays to know people at the top, but it also pays to know people at the bottom.
“You Don’t Know Jack”
So, Renard’s little brush with death, where he was brought back by his mother, apparently made his body a vessel for a soul, or a devil, that’s clawed it’s way out of Hell, none other than Jack the Ripper. Who is apparently a lot older than is widely known, and specifically kills wesen women. At least, that’s my theory, and one I’m fairly certain of. He claimed two prostitutes in this episode and, when Renard went to Henrietta for help, the Ripper killed her too, to prevent her interference. She was plenty strong, but the Ripper was just too fast for her to defend herself.
If only they could turn the Ripper on Kenneth before getting rid of him…
Speaking of, Juliette not only burned the trailer, but used it just to make sure Nick wasn’t home when she used his computer to email Kelly. She said Nick was in danger and could be killed if Kelly didn’t come help, and Kelly answered that she was on her way. So she’s about to return, and we can only hope it’s in company with Elizabeth, the only one left who could help Renard with his Ripper problem. Either way, she’s walking straight into a trap, and what a trap it is, as Juliette talks about all her immediate neighbors in detail in front of Kenneth and his guards. Looks like they’re planning to kill some so they can take over their house and lie in wait for Kelly’s arrival. With lots of men. And lots of guns.
Nick has no idea any of that is even happening. He’s devastated by the loss of so much in the trailer fire. A few things survived, but only a small pittance compared to the wealth he and his friends had before. It’s a place that holds good memories for all of them, and seeing it charred and burnt hits them all pretty hard, but none so badly as Nick. Now it’s settled: Juliette has to be dealt with, one way or the other.
The first way they try is with Adalind’s hexen-suppressant. They exhume her mother’s body, and take what they need (Rosalee, of course, is the one who’s able to do it). It looks like water, but sure doesn’t taste like it. Adalind tests it on herself, and it works, so they try to get Juliette to drink it as well. She doesn’t comply, saying how she likes what she is now, breaking the glass, throwing Rosalee with a mental shove, and even turning Nick’s gun, in his hand, on Munroe. Cliffhanger as a shot goes off.
I’m guessing either Juliette doesn’t actually hurt Munroe, or Trubel makes an extremely well-timed entrance, as Munroe and Rosalee thought to call her for help.
So, Renard is the Ripper now, Henrietta is dead, the trailer is burned, Kelly’s walking into a trap, and Juliette is terrorizing her friends, all while the suppressant is now down the drain, Adalind is powerless, and the only thing protecting her and her child is Buddy.
Yeah. Crap, fan.