Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2×14 “Love in the Time of Hydra”

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Taco Tuesday!

That’s it. That’s my review for this week’s episode.

Okay, not really, but Talbot was definitely the bright patch in this otherwise dark, upsetting episode. Hopefully he and his wife can make up. Edible arrangements seems like a good way to go, dude.

Anyway, Ward is back! Yay! And he’s with Agent 33, who apparently nursed him back to health after Skye shot him. They wreak various havoc together throughout the episode. First, Pulp Fiction style in a diner to get a techy guy to fix her May face mask, then on the military base to retrieve Bakshi. Agent 33 has some….issues to work out with him.

Ward seemed rather gleeful to discuss the issues he worked out with the whole, you know, murdering his family and burning their house down. Eep! And he’s clearly not afraid to take people out who get in his way or who could compromise his mission. Dammit, Ward, I just want you to be redeemed already. Seems like he is slipping further and further from that path.

Skye’s issues took a bit of a backseat this week, but they’re still pretty prevelant for our science twinz. Fitz and Jemma can’t stop arguing about her. Jemma claims she wants to help by subduing her powers, but Fitz believes that changing her is exactly what she tried to do to him. Fitz thinks Jemma just can’t accept these changes in people. It’s really painful and I fear that this ship has sailed for them.

You’re scared. That Skye and I changed. But you know what the scariest change is Jemma? It’s you.”

Ouch. But true. Jemma, get your shit together. But at least she developed Quake’s gauntlets and that’s pretty awesome. So, in a way, she is also trying to help Skye learn to control her powers. Hopefully both Skye and Fitz can recognize this and they can all go back to being friends? Please?

In order to help her do this, Coulson took Skye to one of Fury’s safehouses: a cabin in the woods. We’ve all seen the movie, we know how this ends, ha. He mentioned that Steve Rogers spent some time there, which is a cool sidenote. But my poor homegirl is gonna be lonely.

The biggest story this episode was this other SHIELD, run by Admiral Adama. Apparently a lot of people are prejudiced against Coulson because he has alien DNA. (Seems to be a theme the past couple weeks! Civil War, man.) Sure, he made some questionable choices because of it, but the theme of fate played a huge part in this, tying Skye and Coulson together from the beginning. That none of this was an accident. That doesn’t matter to these folks though since it seems like Bobbi, Mack, and the other “SHIELD” are planning a great big coup d’é tat. NOT COOL, GUYS.

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Hunter is not about this and fights off a bunch of “SHIELD” dudes and steals one of their jets to escape. I think it’s hilarious that he managed to escape a submarine. Good on you, mate.

Hopefully he gets to them in time….but eep! Everything is scary!

Other things:

  • “Fitz really wants a dog.”
    “I thought he wanted a monkey.”
    “Guess he readjusted his expectations.”
  • Skye and Coulson sharing Twizzlers! (This is significant to my congoing friends, heehee.)
  • I lol’d when that one guy told Adama to throw Hunter “in the brig.” Heh.
  • May’s voice coming out of Skye’s face was a bit unsettling.
  • “If there is an Avenger equivalent [to Skye], I’m afraid it’s the Hulk.”
    “Well, Hulk saved the world last I checked.”
  • PUMPKIN PANCAKES!
  • TACO TUESDAY!

Stephanie Reads Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 Issue #13

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It’s already been a year since the season 10 comic came out. Comic time flies by!

Anyhoo, when we last left our heroine, she was boinking Spike. Oh yeah. They finally sealed the deal. Again. And probably several more times after that.

Only problem is that Spike had a very realistic dream that he stalked and killed a couple in an alley. (Poor Buffy, can’t she boink without reprocussions? At least it’s not her fault this time!) And after following up on a call from their police friend Dowling, he finds the two people he dreamed he killed massacred from a vampire.

Spike is at a loss. He doesn’t want to scare Buffy, so he confides his concern in Xander. He’s 90% sure he didn’t get up in the middle of the night without Buffy knowing, stalk and kill those people, and somehow clean up all the blood.

They go to Giles and Willow for help. Their solution is to conduct a slew of magical (and very painful) tests on him. But Spike just wants answers.

So, is Spike behind the murder? It wouldn’t be the first time (remember The First controlling him in season7?). Or is there something bigger at work? Check out this month’s issue!

Pick it up from Dark Horse or at your local comic book store!

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Stephanie Reads The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson

51Rr4+J-sfL For those of you who may or may not know, Amber Benson played Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And she is the author of the new urban fantasy series The Witches of Echo Park. Amber Benson was doing a signing for the release of the first book in this new series at Challenger Comics in Chicago on January 9th.

A cool random tidbit is that we both share the same birthday of January 8th. I met her a few years ago at a convention, but in my excitement forgot to tell her this fact. But it ended up being even better that I got to tell her so close to our actual birthday! She wrote a super sweet message in my book (“Happy Birthday, Birthday Twin!”) and gave me a huge thing of cupcakes after I invited her to my party. She obviously didn’t attend (how cool would that be??? And also how embarrassing given how much Buffy memorabilia I have, ha!), but it was still amazing to meet her and take a couple selfies and profess my love. Naturally.

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This novel was my first experience of her writing. I really enjoyed the way each chapter was from a different character’s POV. (This should be obvious given how much I enjoy the different POV style in ASOIF.) You get to know all of the characters on an intimate level this way. The story follows a young woman named Lyse, who travels to Echo Park after she learns that her Aunt Eleanora is dying of cancer. Through dreams, flashbacks, and these different POVs, Benson weaves the mysterious tale of Lyse learning the truth about her aunt’s powers and wrangling with not only the decision to join her coven, but also if she even believes in it all.

The novel felt mainly like an introduction into this world, so I’m curious to see where it all goes. It was basically Lyse and Eleanora’s origin story. I imagine Lyse will grow more confident over time and take the reigns as more danger comes for her and the coven. This story also made me want to visit Echo Park. It sounds like a beautiful, quaint little place. (Although I kept picturing Portland in its place since I have no visual for it, but perhaps I’m way off in that connection.) If you like magic, cooky witchy ladies, urban fantasy, and a wee bit of sexiness, you’ll enjoy this story. And again, thanks, Amber for the lovely message and selfie! You da best!

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Pick up a copy of her book here or your local bookstore!

Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2×13 “One of Us”

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Things seem a little less dire for Skye this week. Jemma’s warpath has calmed down a bit, while May enlists the help of her ex-hubby to do Skye’s Index evaluation. Skye’s convinced that she can control her power and wants to get back out in the field. And if she can’t control herself, well, she’ll knock herself out again. But she really can’t control it, as we see when the quaking manifests while she sleeps, shaking the entire Bus. So, now she’s terrified to even sleep.

Meanwhile, Skye’s father Cal is working to put together his own gang of “gifted” individuals to take down SHIELD. Well, actually, Phil Coulson, to be more specific. The rest of SHIELD would probably just be a bonus. So he collects a super strong dude, a hacking electronics dude, knives for fingernails lady, and the guy with, I imagine, the worst breath in the world, Angar the Screamer.

He lures Coulson to his hometown of Manitowoc, WI for Dad-Off Round 3. May, along with Skye and her hubby, come in for backup. May threatens to take out Skye right in front of Cal, but he rightfully doesn’t believe her. Instead mysterious Inhuman No-Eyes comes and removes him from the area. May, Bobbi, and Coulson take out the rest of Cal’s gang.

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But the stress of the situation and seeing her father again is more than Skye can handle. Her powers manifest, but somehow, she turns them in on herself, until she passes out. When she wakes, she’s covered in bruises and small hairline fractures, as Simmons explains. For the first time, I think Skye truly realizes the gravity of her situation. She was so terrified of hurting her team that she subconsciously tried to hurt herself. While this is extremely tragic, it’s also very brave of her. She’s still putting her family first.

The FitzSimmons stuff is still quite painful, but I hope Jemma realizes that this was her own doing. Fitz sabotaged your science because you were being craycray and scary. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, you probably wouldn’t hurt your friend. But he saw how you pushed him away after he changed and he didn’t want Skye to feel that pain.

But at least they had kind of a cute little chat about May and her ex-hubby. Fitz walked in on them and left very awkwardly. “She was laughing… He was…teasing her.” DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN. THE HORROR!

Also, if they’re having Coulson lean towards the Stark side of the debate given he and Jemma’s chat, that’s also very interesting since he’s Captain America’s #1 Fanboy. But all this “index” mumbojumbo is basically like forcing mutants to register, soooooo~ Your favorite person isn’t going to be too happy with you, Philip! Get it together!

All right, all right, what the hell is the REAL SHIELD, Mack and Bobbi?? I guess we’ll find out next week when Agent Adama joins the show (WEE!). Maybe Hawkeye too? Hahahaha, I will forever push this theory.

Other things:

  • Cal in a diner drinking some damn fine coffee…before breaking the cup! Eep! (Current obsession: Twin Peaks, FYI.)
  • May and her hubby eloped in Vegas. Ha! Probably because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That’s right up May’s alley.
  • Cal screaming “DISAPPOINTING!” reminded me of Hercules. But Kyle Maclachlan said he was channeling Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. I don’t know which is better.
  • May’s admiration of Skye gave me warm fuzzies.”We’re as close to a family as Skye has.” Mama May doesn’t wanna give her bb up.
  • “So, tell me, what’s your thing? I was hoping it was wings!”
  • Cal is not actually Inhuman, he was experimented on. Hmmm!
  • I saw Ward in the preview for next week! YAY!

Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2×12 “Who You Really Are”

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The wonderful Lady Sif returned to Midgard this week on a mission. The only problem is that she can’t remember what that is…

But as we go through the episode, we discover that she’s chasing a Kree soldier who is targeting Inhumans. And he has a fancy mini hammer that can zap people’s memories, hence her lack of memory. She eventually gets it back, but her confusion was pretty silly and adorable for most of the episode. In the meantime, we get a nice history lesson from Kree dude. We learn that the Kree people (blue aliens like the one Coulson saw!) experimented on various alien races to create soldiers to fight their wars. It didn’t work on many planets, but seemed to thrive on Earth through a process called terrigenesis–and the first official mention of it in the MCU! He found a box of what he hoped were the remaining obelisks to destroy and eradicate any more possibility for Inhumans, but the box was empty. Which means there are a few more of those things floatin’ around. Thanks, Whitehall.

And while all this is happening, Skye is having a major wig. She’s been having trouble controlling her new powers throughout the episode. She was holding back while sparring with May. A gun exploded in her hand when she got stressed out fighting the Kree guy earlier.  But as the guy explains that she is the weapon for the Kree (aside from Raina) and needs to be eliminated, she loses all control.

Both Coulson and May break my little heart as they look to their adopted daughter Skye for answers in what’s causing the rumbling throughout the base. His scared, soft-spoken, “Skye, what’s doing this?” killed me. Augh. DadCoulson feels. But she breaks down and the lights flicked and windows explode all around her.

Now they all know she’s one of them. The Kree guy wants to take her out and Sif wants to take her back to Asgard to protect her from hurting the people of Midgard. Coulson, May, and Fitz are very much against that idea and hide her while a brawl ensues. Skye runs past Jemma, apologizing to her because she didn’t tell her the truth. And now Jemma is upset with Fitz because he clearly knew all along. The two once shared everything, but now he’s keeping secrets from her. But it was to protect Skye! After her talk of wanting to take Raina out, it’s only natural that Fitz wouldn’t want the same to come to his friend. He feels a kinship with her now, being different in his own way. Granted, I don’t think Jemma would kill Skye outright, but there would definitely be a little bit of a creepy experimentation. As I mentioned in last week’s recap, the seeds of Civil War are just so strong here.

And knowing that Skye transformed probably hurts Jemma even more. She’s changed into something dangerous that Jemma can’t explain, while killing Tripp in the process. So, she’s probably blaming her a little bit for that too. Noooo, everybody just be friends. It wasn’t Skye’s fault! Augh.

May takes Skye into Ward’s cell and tries to calm her down as the quaking continues.

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“Listen to me. Just me. We can do this. You can do this.”

Auuuugh. But Skye sees no other way to control herself and knocks herself out with the night-night gun.

They take Kree guy’s memory away and Sif agrees to let Coulson handle Skye.

“Don’t you see? She wants to get better. If you take her away from the people she loves, she’ll only get worse.”

But everyone on Coulson’s team, except Coulson, May, and Fitz feel utterly betrayed by Skye’s secret. But Fitz defends her and is the best person ever. I love the bond that’s growing between them, even if it is distancing him from everyone else.

Skye overhears everyone’s fears and locks herself up in the hexagon holding cell. I wish she had run away to her dad or to Ward.  (Well, probably not TO Ward, but I’d like to see her run in to him, regardless.) What’s Ward up to these days, anyway? Hmmm.

I loved the idea of fate they brought in at the end of the episode. That finding Skye, Coulson dying and being imprinted with the temple coordinates, and leading her to it was something they were meant to do. I like that this bonds Skye and Coulson’s fates together as well. And the ominous, “Wherever Skye goes, death follows” will likely be a theme for the rest of the season! Eeee~ Exciting and scary!

Other things:

  • May and Skye sparring. Fitz checking on Skye. Aw.
  • “You want her? You go through me.” Auuugh SHIELD family protecting each other. <3
  • Hunter’s abs.
  • I find it harder and harder to care about the Bobbi/Hunter/Mack drama the longer they draw it out. Just tell us already! Must be pretty major if you’re gonna sleeper hold your buddy just like that.
  • “I am no monster. I am sometimes dangerous but only towards those who are deserving! …I do not actually know. Is it only towards those who are…?”
    “No, that was right.”
    “Excellent. Answer his questions, elderly man!

Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2×11 “Aftershocks”

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When we last left our heroes (for what seemed like a lifetime ago), a lot of crazy and tragic stuff had gone down. Both Skye and Raina had gone through their fated Terrigenesis transformation, while Trip sacrificed himself to keep the obelisk’s power from spreading to the rest of the world.

The episode begins with a cool, yet upsetting flashback that brings back Skye’s mom and Whedon alum, Dichen Lachman. Seems as though she’s had several children or at least knows of several Inhuman children that she helps cope with and master their power after their transformation. Unfortunately, Whitehall murdered her before she could help her own daughter Daisy.

When we rejoin our SHIELD gang, we find that very little time has passed for them. Skye is in quarantine since they know she was exposed to whatever was in the obelisk. And everyone keeps mentioning that it caused an earthquake and she just happened to make it out unscathed. But we know better, of course.

What we didn’t know is what Raina became. And our first glimpse of her, she very viciously takes out some of Simmons’s fellow scientists. She’s covered in thorns and looks like a cute lil’ hedgehog now. But having seen Skye become this glorious earthquake goddess, she’s rightfully miffed to become what she deems an ugly freak. She tracks down Cal, but all he does is tell her there’s no reversing it. This was her destiny and if she doesn’t like it, then she can end her life. Yikes. But knowing that his Daisy successfully transformed, he will probably come to track her down once more.

When Simmons comes back to report that they should maybe take Raina out before her disease spreads, Skye’s fear begins to manifest her powers. She’s now terrifed that she’ll be stuck in quarantine forever, labeled as some kind of freak. The clock is ticking down until her blood results come back.

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Fitz comes to see her. He’s still wrestling with his own issues, but realizes that it’s not him this time. It’s Skye.

“Your heart rate was recorded at almost 300 bpm.”
“That’s really fast.”
“No… That’s inhuman.”

(HE SAID THE THING!) He eggs her on more and more until Skye’s power finally appear and she blows up the lamp in her room. Fitz seems startled, but satisfied. He’s finally figured something out all on his own. Skye is now rightfully terrified he’s going to blab to the whole world and Simmons will come in and take her out with her unsettling new prejudices. But Fitz does the opposite. He switches Skye’s blood samples, confirming to her secretly that they are vastly different now. He tell May and Simmons that he broke the lamp. He releases Skye from quarantine. And the two of them break down and share a tearful hug.

“There’s something very wrong with me.”
“You’re just different now, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

We are already seeing elements of Civil War playing out here. Simmons is taking the Tony Stark side of the Inhuman debate, while Fitz is on Captain America’s side. And that makes perfect sense for both of their characters, especially after what Fitz has been through. Simmons sees the science in everything, but she also saw the danger in this strange power. She saw it as the scientists were wheelbarrowing pieces of Trip out. Fitz used to see things that way, but he’s different too. He’s gone through his own transformation and cannot go back to that carefree, curious Fitz he once was. Now he knows how it feels to be held at an arm’s length with everyone tiptoeing around him. So, he’s content to keep Skye’s secret for her and help her through it.

Oh yeah, and I guess a bunch of other crazy stuff happened! Everyone used Bakshi to track down and kill the remaining Hydra higher-ups. But I’m sure more heads will come to take their place, yadda yadda. Hydra, get some new lingo. Still, it was a pretty sweet, nicely executed plan. Well done, guys. Not to mention Coulson’s melodramatic, “THEY’LL NEVER TAKE US ALIVE!”

The episode ended with everyone remembering Trip and further breaking my heart. Thanks, guys. I’m still convinced he will be back, but I’m still happily vacationing in the land of denial.

Other things:

  • Good news for SHIELD! Seems like Hydra is out of business since Radioshack is. Heehee.
  • “Maybe I just need a hug.”
  • Coulson bringing Trip’s belonging to his mom broke my heart. And seeing the Howling Commandos photo didn’t help.
  • “You always did like flowers.”
  • What the frickity frack are Bobbi and Mack up to? I don’t think they are doing something Hydra-related. Adrianne Palicki said we’ll find out soon and that it’s not a bad thing. But still. There were rumors that Hawkeye was on the AoS set, so maybe they’re contacting him! That would be awesome.
  • “C’mon, grrrl.”
  • My Marvel aficionado (and the Fitz to my Skye, Nick) thinks that Raina might be an Inhuman called Naja. If you google her, there is a striking resemblance.
  • DAT POST CREDITS SCENE THO.

Stephanie Reads Apocalypticon by Clayton Smith

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What would happen if the majority of the world was liquefied by flying monkeys? Well, if you read Apocalypticon by Clayton Smith, you can find out!

Apocalypticon follows the story of two men, Ben and Patrick, who are determined to leave their boring, apocalypse-driven lives in Chicago and trek to Disneyworld. Because, why not?

Ben is kind of a grump, but an entertaining grump, while Patrick is full of life and can find a joke in everything and anything, despite losing both his wife and daughter to “M-Day.”

I asked Clayton if he had to choose any actos to portray Ben and Patrick in the inevitable movie version of his novel, who would they be? He said Jake Johnson for Ben and Jim Parsons for Patrick. I think that fits really well as you get to know their personalities.

If you’re from Chicago or lived there for a significant amount of time, you will really connect with this story, as I did. I love watching or reading things set in my home territory because I feel like I’m in on the joke. All the landmarks are there and notably used. I love imagining my city in ruins. (Does that make me super weird and creepy? Perhaps.) Even better, Patrick and Ben make their way to St. Louis, my hometown, and I was extremely giddy as I read their journey through the city and especially the abandoned St. Louis Cardinals Ballpark to find Yadier Molina’s baseball jersey. Yadi! I just grin like an idiot, saying to myself, “Oh yeah totally. I know exactly what this is.”

My only issue is that sometimes I found myself yelling at Patrick, along with Ben, to stop making a joke out of everything. But you realize that everyone copes with tragedy differently and Patrick has that Chandler/Xander way of dealing with things. (Yeah, I’m gonna make random pop culture references too since this book was FILLED with them!) Plus, without their banter and plethora of fun references, this story would be insanely stressful and depressing.

Clayton does a great job of mixing up the eerie, abandoned feeling of the world with much humor, along with a cast of strange, horrifying, and pathetic leftover people they meet along the way. From the evil train attendants to the 50s-style family in complete denial of the apocalypse (my favorite chapter) to a band of well-meaning religious folk, there’s no shortage of interesting characters. You may only spend a short time with some of them, but they all add a fun element to the journey.

And this story truly was a journey from start to finish. It was bittersweet, but I can’t think of any other way it should have ended.

Buy Apocalypticon | Check out Clayton Smith’s Website

Stephanie Watches Marvel’s Agent Carter: 1×08 “Valediction”

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The Leviathan plot came to a head in the season finale (it better just be a season finale!) of Agent Carter. Howard Stark finally returns after causing much mayhem for Peggy Carter, Jarvis, and the SSR. But he means to fix this, as he feels responsible for everything. But the “Midnight Oil” was not invented to make people viciously kill each other, it was to help soldiers stay awake during battle. It just didn’t work.

Dottie and the Russian hypnotist intend to deploy the “Midnight Oil” gas over Times Square, where hundreds of thousands of people have gathered for V.E. Day. Howard decides to use himself as bait to drive their attention away from the celebration, in the meantime getting Agent Chad Michael Murray to say a ton of nice things about him in a public forum to clear him of any wrongdoing and treason accusations.

The SSR’s plan goes awry when Dottie kidnaps Howard and takes him to his giant hangar that he stupidly showed her when she was trying to get info out of him and he was trying to impress another girl. Dottie seems a bit offended that he doesn’t remember her. Girl, do you know how busy Howard is with the ladies? Anyway, Leviathan plans to use Stark’s owns planes and Stark himself–after being hypnotized into thinking he’s found Steve Rogers–to deploy the gas over NYC. The SSR arrives. Peggy and Dottie finally have a knock-down-drag-out fight, which was full of awesome. Lots of loud, ruthless hits to each other. The hypnotist bests Agent CMM, but Sousa has ear plugs and doesn’t fall under his spell, so he knocks him out.

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Jarvis flies out after Howard, ready to bring his own friend down if he can’t be convinced otherwise. But Peggy, after a tearful conversation between both of these two men–trying to bring Howard back to his right state of mind and trying to get Jarvis to give her more time–she gets through to him. Howard is the last link she has to Steve and she can’t lose him.

The city is saved and Peggy returns to the SSR to a round of applause from the men that didn’t believe in her and/or thought her a traitor. But she saved the city and they know it. When a Congressman shows up to thank the SSR, he congratulates Agent CMM, who happily takes the credit. Dammit, dude, didn’t you learn anything? Sousa is rightly outraged (as am I), but Peggy keeps cool. Because Peggy is the epitome of class and cool.

“I don’t need a congressional honor. I don’t need Agent Thompson’s approval or the President’s. I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”

Peggy knows that she can’t measure her self-worth through the approval of others since it is so hard to come by in her life as a woman. She knows this will be an ongoing battle, but that doesn’t mean she will give up. She will let Agent CMM take the credit for now because that’s what he needs. Peggy’s friends are safe, the city is safe, she is safe; that’s enough for now.

Also, costume note: Peggy is wearing purple in this scene where she returns to the SSR. Purple generally signifies royalty, pride. And I think that’s exactly what’s she exuding in front of all of her colleagues. She is leagues above them in power, intelligence, ability, but she is also a class act, so she won’t be boastful of her superior capabilities.

Since Howard feels so guilty (I assume, anyway) for what he put Peggy through, he gives her and Angie use of one of his mansions to live in for free! Yay! I imagine many peach schnapps nights and gossiping for them to come. I imagine that every night is a silly slumber party for them because they are obviously besties now. I’m sure Peggy has filled her in on all her drama by now.

Despite this happy reunion, the episode ended on a sad moment. Jarvis returned Steve’s blood to Peggy without Howard knowing. But she knows the risks of keeping it, so she decides to dump it into the river. She can’t hold on to him anymore, just as she told Howard in the plane. She has to let him go. She has to move on with her life and keep fighting his fight. Because now it’s her fight. She is the superhero.

The music over this final scene was just so perfect for the era, the lighting, the coloring, just everything about this scene. That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this show, they really nailed the period atmosphere and aesthetic.

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We ended on a bit of a cliffhanger with Zola, perhaps in hopes that we can continue on for another season. And after this wild ride, I really hope we can. I want to see more of my Peggy Carter. If we could get this little interlude between Agents of SHIELD episodes every year, I think that would be an awesome way to break up the seasons and juxtapose the different SHIELD eras. So come on and renew it already!

Other things:

  • Howard trying to remember Dottie’s name and getting slapped each time.
  • “Humbled by his genius. No, no, humbled by his brilliance!”
  • Sousa asking Peggy out for a drink!!!! She said “Maybe another time” for now, but oh she smiled a lot after that. Please continue this show so I can see their budding romance. PLEASE.
  • “Ida, that’s her name! I knew I’d remember. Steel trap.” Peggy and Jarvis walk away rolling their eyes. Hee.
  • I wonder what will become of Dottie/Ida/Black Widow since she got away…
  • “I appreciate the finer things, I just don’t want to know what’s happened in and on the finer things.” (Fav line of the episode by far!)

Stephanie Reads Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 Issue #12

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When we last left Buffy, she was kissing Spike. Of her own volition. Without any rising music influence. Or sad post-death feels. And actually happy to do so.

And what does Spike do? He shoots her down.

Sure, they’ve both finally reached a place where they can just be friends. And neither one is using the other for the wrong reasons. But Buffy gave Spike what he always wanted: her opening up to him and being vulnerable and giving herself to him.

He now realizes what a “wanker” he was to her. But there’s no time to dwell because HULK ANDREW is ready to send the Scoobies on a new mission with his new friends Professor Xavier aka Clive (who Andrew is totally crushing on) and Julie. Not to mention, puberty Giles is still so insanely frustrated by his sexless adolescence, he is taking it out on everyone. Xander quips that he made it through a pretty sexless adolescence and survived. But Giles doesn’t want to hear it! Pimp Slave IV just isn’t doing it for him anymore.

Eventually Spike and Buffy are able to talk it out. She concedes to his earlier concerns and, while Spike agrees with what he said, there’s just one problem: “I’m in love with you.”

Awww. So, Spuffy fans, you will definitely enjoy this issue and what comes next!

Pick up your copy today from Dark Horse or at your local comic book shop!

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Stephanie Watches Marvel’s Agent Carter: 1×07 “Snafu”

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Things got really–pardon the pun–explosive on last’s night Agent Carter. With only one episode left of the hopefully first of many seasons, things really took off.

Peggy Carter was captured by the SSR at the end of the previous episode, as they assume she is working with Stark and Leviathan and is some sort of evil double-agent. And while yes, she is a double-agent of sorts, she had to be. When she finally fesses up (after learning that Howard Stark’s confession Jarvis cooked up was completely fabricated), they actually seem to believe her. Gasp! But they just don’t get how she could have possibly been doing this under their noses all along. So Peggy points out, in one of the best lines all season:

I conducted my own investigation because no one listens to me. I got away with it because no one looks at me. Because unless I have your reports, coffee, or your lunch, I’m invisible.

I cheered for that because it really is the takeaway from this entire series. They spent months doubting her worth as an agent, but finally they see she is truly capable. Sousa knew it all along, CMM saw it in Russia.

Unfortunately, they still have the Russian doctor and Dottie to deal with. He puts his whammy on Chief Dooley (hey, I finally remembered his name…a little too late), who locks Peggy and Jarvis away, then gets him to help steal one of Stark’s inventions.

960

I loved the Peggy/Jarvis scene of them attempting to escape from their interrogation room. “I’ve just thought of someting. We are still attached to a table.” They are a perfect comedy duo and I need more of it.

Thankfully, Agent Chad Michael Murray discovers them (after they’ve broken the interrogation room mirror), but Peggy knows that something must be wrong with Chief Dooley. The Russian guy has strapped Dooley in to some sort of heat armor. One of Stark’s prototypes, of course, which has no release and if they try to help him out, they may all explode. Great. So, in a heroic last moment, Dooley sacrifices himself and jumps out of a window, exploding in mid-air. Super cool, but super sad.

And what were Dooley’s last words? “‘Atta, girl.” He finally believes in Peggy and realizes how important, how strong, how capable she is. He wants her to finish this fight for him. And oh, she will.

But she will have her hands full, considering what Leviathan has to unleash.

Other things:

  • “Mr. Stark never answered. I left countless messages. Nothing. So then I panicked, and panicked again.”
    “Oh, for the love of God, man!”
    “As I said, panic was involved.”
  • Sousa bravely taking on a Black Widow, despite his handicap.
  • Sousa believing Peggy.
  • Agent Chad Michael Murray believing Peggy.
  • Dooley believing Peggy.
  • Dooley was holding Steve’s blood so precariously over the floor. I was just shouting, PUT IT BACK, JEEZUS.
  • How creepy was that last shot in the theater? So good.
  • Hey, Howard, didja ever think about NOT inventing these horrible things? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Don’t forget, keep watching reruns on ABC and Hulu! We need a second season!