Stephanie’s Weekly Recommendation: Big Little Lies


    I hopped on the Big Little Lies wagon after the show was all done so I could mainline it. And it was very worth it. The cast is amazing: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, LAURA DERN, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgard, Shailene Woodley. You would think a show about a bunch of moms and kid drama would not appeal to someone who is very far removed from that world. But the key piece of that puzzle that drew me in: MURDER!

    At its core, Big Little Lies is a murder mystery. We get select pieces of the puzzle through the seven episodes that once you fit them all together make absolutely perfect sense. I’m not usually a fan of Shailene’s acting (I think she’s very dry and was a poor choice for Divergent, which granted were not great movies anyway but still), but it fit super well with her character. And I guessed

    I’m not usually a fan of Shailene’s acting (I think she can be very dry and was a poor choice for Divergent, which granted were not great movies anyway but still), but it fit super well with her character. So, I guess she should play more troubled, numb chicks? And I guessed THAT TWIST pretty early on. Everyone else was super great. Reese Witherspoon was endearingly frustrating; Laura Dern was hilariously over the top; Zoe Kravitz was annoyingly gorgeous; and well, I always love Adam Scott.

    This show affected me in a way I did not expect. Nicole Kidman’s character is experiencing some very realistic abuse. Honestly, one of the most realistic portrayals I’ve seen, including his gaslighting, her response to it, how she discusses it in therapy, how she hides how bad it gets from her friends. Basically, it brought some SHIT up for me. And the reason I bring that up is because that made the show all the more engaging for me. It drove me to finish it. That’s a very strange reason to enjoy a show, I know. But it was (uncomfortably) relatable, upsetting, and ultimately, extremely cathartic. Maybe not everyone could handle that being right in their face after experiencing something eerily similar, but it helped me see where I’m at now. How far I’ve come in dealing with my stuff. (Or dealing with what was done to me, to be much more accurate.)

    TMI, y’all, sorry. But I think it’s really important for that kind of thing to be blatant on people’s TV screens. You can see how that stuff is covered up so well in everyday life. The perfect couples are never as perfect as you think. Suffering and abuse can continue for a very long time when you can’t see a way out. And there always seems to be a reason to stay.

    You will not be disappointed once the mystery is completely unraveled and revealed. I certainly wasn’t. If only, man.

    Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 2.15 “Slaves and Masters”


    A death mask. Is there a reason for a death mask? It is barely a physical resemblance – in death, the muscles so relaxed, the face so without the animating spark. A death mask is almost an intrusion on a beautiful memory. And yet, who could throw away the casting of a loved one? Who would not want to study it longingly, as the distance freight train blows its mournful tone?”

    We open the episode on some ominous chess pieces, which I guess are supposed to represent Windom Earle. He sure loves chess.

    Windom is trying to both save Leo and bring him to heel to help him. Windom is certifiably insane at this point. And it’s really hard to feel any sympathy at all for Leo after all the shit he did to Shelly. So, I mean, he kind of deserves to be shacked up with a crazy man in a onesie who puts a shock collar on his neck. *shrug*

    Bobby is brought in to discuss the Leo incident, along with Shelly. He tells Harry and Cooper that Hank shot Leo through the window the night the Mill burned. Harry assigns some deputies to watch Shelly in case Leo comes back. Also, Shelly asks for her job back at the diner and Norma is happy to give it back.

    Albert shows up and says, “GET A LIFE, PUNK” on his way in as he bumps into Bobby. I’d never noticed that before, and it really cracked me up. Anyhoo, he and Harry give each other a super big hug. It’s so nice they love each other now. Anyway, he’s there to help Cooper find Windom Earle since he was close to both of them.

    Ed and Norma are finally IN BED together. Oh my goddddddd. They waited 20 years to finally be together, and they finally have the chance. “It’s about the future now, Ed, and what we’re gonna do about it.”

    We can all lament the fact that Big Ed needed to just grow some Big Balls and break up with Nadine long ago since he and Norma have been in love for so long. But Nadine is not well – as evidenced by her drape runner obsession and suicide attempt – so I think Ed really did love Nadine in a way. And he feared that divorcing her might literally kill her. I don’t think he thought he was so great that Nadine would die without him in her life, but that she simply couldn’t handle an extreme life change like that.

    The same could be said for Norma and Hank. But Hank has clearly been gaslighting Norma for years. He’d screw up time and again (spending his time at One Eyed Jack’s, dealing drugs, gun for hire, etc.) until Norma thought she was finally at her limit. And then he’d do something good enough to win her over again as he promised to change. (*cough* I can relate.) I imagine this happened over and over again, as evidenced by the show even. A lot of this backstory knowledge comes from the Secret History of Twin Peaks.

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    Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks 2.14: “Double Play”


    The heart – it is a physical organ, we all know. But how much more an emotional organ – this we also know. Love, like blood, flows from the heart. Are blood and love related? Does a heart pump blood as it pumps love? Is love the blood of the universe?”

    At home in the dark, Shelly is terrified of the now very mobile, very angry Leo. He’s playing with her and scaring her. The house is lit in a red glow and an owl watches from outside. I’m assuming BOB is just near whenever a woman is being tortured and nearly murdered. That’s his jam.

    Although he’s up, Leo’s not all there yet in his brainpan. But somehow Shelly can’t seem to open the doors in her OWN house to escape. I don’t understand why this is unless Leo locks it from the inside and keeps the keys for himself? That’s crazy. She grabs a knife and tries to slice open the plastic covering on her unfinished cabin, but gets tossed like a ragdoll as Leo acquires an ax. Bobby comes crawling back to Shelly and hears her screams. Just in the nick of time, Bobby stops Leo from ax murdering her. Shelly grabs the knife she dropped (after an excruciatingly long search for it, seriously, she felt around for that thing for a good five minutes) and stabs Leo in the leg. He hobbles off into the night, screaming in the distance.

    The dead guy in Harry’s office had a chess piece stuffed in his mouth. With the blackout, no one saw a thing. But they did find boot prints. Cooper knows he has his work cut out for him because Windom Earle knows just what to do to cover his tracks and get under Cooper’s skin.

    Silver lining: Cooper was cleared of all charges, although his suspension has not been lifted. Looks like he’ll be sticking around with Windom Earle after him and in town. “You’re still my deputy, so if you want this case, it’s yours.” God, they’re adorable. Continue reading