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Music Monday: Review of Everywhere – a new up and coming band

This week GeekGirl World reviews a submission from an up and coming band from Sweden. Check out Everywhere and let us know what you think.

Everywhere is on Soundcloud, so check them out!

Did you like what you heard? Let us know in the comments!

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Music Monday: Review of ‘About Love’ by The Plastiscines

This week’s edition of Music Monday features an incredible French band that I happened to stumble upon – The Plastiscines! Check out my review of their album About Love below.

I found this band to be absolutely incredible, but what did you think? Take a listen to the album and share your thoughts in the comments!

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Music Monday: Review of ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’ by Cage the Elephant

It’s Music Monday! This week we reviewed Tell Me I’m Pretty, which is the brand new album by rock band Cage the Elephant.

Check out our review below! Spoiler alert: we loved it.

What are YOUR thoughts on Cage the Elephant’s new album? Let us know in the comments!

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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: Nimue

After some sword fondling in Emma’s basement, Rumple’s image tells her that the blades represent history, and that Excalibur’s promise was born “eons ago,” and that its promise is about to be fulfilled.

1000 years before the time of Arthur, in what looks like biblical wear that even a leper would sneer at, Merlin and a companion struggle through the desert, apparently fleeing from some soldiers.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.25.23 PM
What are thooooooose??

In the distance, something shiny catches Merlin’s eye and he limps towards it. The supposed Holy Grail sits atop a rock, and, upon drinking from it, Merlin discovers he now has magic. The desert transforms into the lush woods of Camelot.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.26.49 PM

Oh and no big deal, but Merlin’s bro tries to drink from it without asking nicely, and he bursts into smoke.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.27.14 PM

Cue the title card with poppies a totally innocent looking field of flowers.

In Camelot, Mary Margaret, David, Hook, Regina, Robin, and a silenced Zelena confer with Arthur as they hammer out a plan to save Emma, who is outside fashioning dream catchers with childlike innocence.

Merlin says it’s his and Emma’s job to procure the magic to reunite the Dagger and Excalibur. Hook is super annoyed with how “fuzzy” the plan to get the blades back from Arthur is.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.29.07 PM
No caption. I just happened to get this screen shot and it made me laugh too much to not use. Please enjoy.

He confirms that Emma doesn’t sleep anymore and instead fashions dream catchers meant to steal people’s memories all night. Arthur assures Hook that he knows what it’s like to lose a loved one to the Dark One.

500 years after drinking from the Grail, and 200 years previous to the age of Arthur, Merlin is out by a well healing people a la Jesus.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.30.04 PM
“No allegory here. Nope. None. Zero. Now find me a place to eat the Passover.”

His apprentice, then a young boy, is with him. Merlin speaks to the last woman in the queue who tells him she escaped her town, which was being ransacked by a masked man named Vordigan. Though the town was destroyed, she saved Middlemist flower seeds, which she then presents to Merlin. She asks for revenge in the form of allowing the flowers to live on, a reminder that Vordigan did not destroy everything. Merlin lets her plant them, then magics them to bloom immediately, much to her joy and at the expense of some terrible CGI. He suggests that she come to visit them whenever she likes, but is unable to read her future to tell if she will. The woman introduces herself as Nimue.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.32.32 PM
“Keep looking at these tennis balls on sticks. They’ll fix it in post.”

Merlin approaches Emma (who is still fashioning dream catchers) about collecting a spark from Prometheus to forge the blades back together. The first Dark One is still around, and they’ll have to face him. Merlin foresees two outcomes: 1) Emma chooses to resist the Darkness, and they return, or, 2) Emma succumbs to the Darkness, and Merlin dies, confirming that “a” Dark One does have the power to kill him. Emma is obviously not excited about that, nor is she happy about the idea of facing Darkness Prime when she’s just gotten Rumple out of her head. To add insult to injury, Emma realizes that if “a Dark One” kills Merlin, it would be her that does it.

As Emma prepares to leave with Merlin, Hook says goodbye to her with a kiss, then hands her a ring that he says is the reason he’s still alive… well, probably – he was kind of vague. He reminds her that the Dark One is immortal, but Emma isn’t, so to bring her back to him. They share some cuteness and Emma looks and acts more human in this brief scene than she has all season.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.36.54 PM
*hyuck* I’m the Dark One!

She slips the ring necklace over her head as Merlin tells her it’s time to leave.

Back in the day, Merlin and Niume, who have obviously been in a relationship for a while, discuss what is standing between them and a life together. On one hand, Merlin’s immortality means he will live on after Niume dies, which he can’t bear to think about. On the other, if he fashions the Grail into a sword, it will cut away his magic, leaving him mortal again. They could live their lives out normally until a natural end. Niume, moved that Merlin would give us so much for her, happily accepts the ring he fashions out of a stem-turned-to-gold.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.14 PM
Am I the only one who remembers the last Mac Guyvered engagement ring fiasco?

OH BTW SKETCHY CREEPY DARK ONE PRIME IS LIKE RIGHT THERE WATCHING THEM.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.41.54 PM
“Wait… This isn’t the Little Hangelton graveyard…”

As Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Robin, and Hook work out how to infiltrate Camelot, Zelena silently scoffs and mimes derision at each of their suggestions.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.32 PM
“Amateurs! You might as well draw a map on one of Granny’s place mats!”
Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.28 PM
Literally.

Entering head on, using a diversion, and magicking in will all get them killed, explains Zelena once Regina removes her silencing hex. Zelena informs them that while she was in the castle she formulated a way to excape, and if she knows a way out, she knows a way in. She’ll help them, in exchange for her magic back of course.

Outside a super convenient back door to the bowels of the castle, B Squad gathers. Mary Margaret stands guard with Zelena as Regina magics away the grate, and the boys draw their swords.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.43.43 PM
“Why does this door say ‘Cast Members Only’?”

Upstairs, Arthur is rummaging around Merlin’s lab like a meth head looking for quarters.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.44.35 PM
*twitch* C’mon, c’mon, just another dollar and I can get some medicine… *twitch*

Guinevere warns him about the strong magic he is working with, but Arthur is adamant that they need protection from the people “from the sky.” So, you know, totally not paranoid. Arthur calls the guards to reinforce the castle and grounds, and then gives them the potion he’s concocted. He demonstrates the acidic like powers of the brew, and instructs them to throw it on any stranger they meet. A creepily intense Arthur tells Guin that it’s war now.

Emma tells Merlin that she’s worried that not seeing Rumple means she has embraced the Darkness. She confesses that she hurt Henry, and she’s worried that the Darkness may be winning. Merlin says that there is hope, and they head up the steep hill before them.

200 years previous, Niume and Arthur walk the ruins of Niume’s village. There is rubble and bone all around, and Niume is overcome with the want for revenge. Merlin steadies her and they note that there are cups in the street.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.46.47 PM
Those guys from Kappa Gamma Tau throw the best parties.

Merlin realizes Vortigan demanded to see their cups because he was questing for the Grail. Merlin performs a detection spell and sees Vortigan not far.

"Leave Potter for the Dark Lord!"
“Leave Potter for the Dark Lord!”

He hastens Nimue to leave, but she reminds him that he could strike down the Dark One with one magic word. Merlin, though, insists he cannot, as then the darkness will take root in him, and he is not willing to risk that.

B Squad stands in a really obvious doorway while the guards carry their bubble bubble through the courtyard. They engage in some very cliche talk about waiting for the other shoe to drop and how Zelena hasn’t betrayed them…YET.

Outside, Zelena is in tears about how unfair it is that she’s just trying to help and no one believes her. She doubles over in pain as she cries about Regina taking her baby. Mary Margaret, who has been aloof to her whining, approaches Zelena and is double gut kicked and knocked out. Zelena ties her up.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.49.00 PM
“Oh my goodness, are you ok?”
Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.49.01 PM
“HRRRUUNNNGGH! Right in the bread basket!”

Merlin and Nimue approach the Altar of Prometheus. Merlin takes the grail and places the cup near the fire. He magics the cup into the sword we know as Excalibur, whole, with the Dagger piece fully intact. Nimue turns to find Vordigan behind them. Merlin clutches Excalibur, and Vortigan grabs Nimue. Merlin warns Vortigan that the sword will bring him no joy. Nimue fights back against Vortigan, ripping his mask away, exposing Anakin Skywalker his pale, scarred face.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.52.58 PM
Totally not derivative.

Vortigan slices open Nimue’s stomach, and she dies in Merlin’s arms.

Merlin and Emma arrive at a dilapidated and overgrown Altar of Prometheus. The flame is extinguished now, and Merlin tells Emma the first Dark One possesses it as a single ember. This is the spark they will need to forge the blades back together. Emma is ready to kick some ass, so Merlin hands her the Dagger. He confesses pragmatically that he didn’t ask permission to take it. He tells her to call on the spirit of all the previous Dark Ones, to reach back to the origin of dark magic, and Emma clutches the ring that Hook gave her. “Take the right path,” she reminds herself.

A slot machine of names appear on the inscription of the Dagger as the Dark One appears before them. Merlin warns that it’s not a “him,” and Emma sees the name “Nimue” on the Dagger as the figure removes its mask revealing a sparkly, scary-as-whoa Nimue.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.02.50 PM
“Will you still love me… When I’m no longer… Young and beautiful?”

Flasssssshbaaaaaack to Merlin about to avenge Nimue’s death at the altar. In a poof of purple smoke, Merlin cuts off Vortigan as he walks away with Excalibur. But before they can fight, Nimue rises and pulls Vortigan’s heart from his chest. She reveals that she drank from the Grail and revels in the power of immortality. She says that she had to play dead to remind Merlin what death looks like. He tells her that she holds a man’s heart in her hand, and that if she kills Vortigan, she will go down a dark path that she can’t return from.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.06.17 PM
Katniss, have a Snickers. You know how you get when you get hungry.

Nimue chooses to crush the heart of Vortigan and becomes the first Dark One. She grabs Excalibur and strikes the altar, extinguishing the flame and severing the blade, dooming Merlin to immortality.

Flashback over! Nimue approaches Emma, the first Dark One and the newest Dark One, together. Emma realizes that Merlin blames “the Dark One” for killing Nimue because she killed the woman she used to be, the woman he loved. As Nimue attacks, so does Emma, and Emma is mortified to see that she is working in synch with Niume. But Nimue insists that she’s got to be who she is, to claim what’s hers, to stand up for what she wants, and to kill anyone who tries to stop her.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.04 PM
“She’s evil, but she makes some valid points.”

With her hands on Merlin’s neck, Emma tries to resist, but Nimue infiltrates her mind, telling her they are one, that Merlin is trying to make a sword to destroy them.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.02 PM
*hrrunnggh!*

If Emma doesn’t kill him know, Nimue warns, then she’ll go back to being powerless, to being nothing.

In a move that actually surprised me, Emma resists and screams that she “was never nothing!”

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.26 PM
Man, this episode had way too many great faces in it. I wish there was room for them all, but Emma’s giant forehead vein is taking up too much bandwidth.

Her name appears on the Dagger again. She holds it towards Nimue and tells her she’s going to take the ember and leave. She magics the ember out of Nimue’s bra, I guess? and holds it in her hand.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.38 PM
I’m sorry, ladies, Sweeny Todd auditions are one studio over.

Nimue says the sword has more than one use, and she’s not dead yet. When Emma wants her again, she’ll be *points to Emma’s head*

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 11.36.31 PM
“Ellliot….”

Alive and relieved, Merlin asks how Emma feels to have take the right path. Emma replies it feels “damn good.”

As they head home, Merlin explains how he and his apprentice kept Excalibur and the Dagger safe. Merlin encased the sword in the stone, and used a tethering spell to bind the Dark One to the Dagger to have some control over her, but Nimue got it away from him. She then imprisoned him in the tree. Nimue wore the mask of Vortigan, dressing up her darkness as vengeance. Emma tells Merlin that Nimue still loves him, and though she’s twisted and evil, that love is still real.

In a flashback, the Apprentice says it’s too bad that Merlin couldn’t see her future and just avoid her to begin with. But Merlin, echoing something David has said before, tells him that “life is made of moments,” and he had some of the best with Nimue.

#YOLO, amirite?

Emma wonders to Merlin if it’s possible to have the Darkness, but use it to protect people. (Hmm, foreshadoing? Or… or is it hindsight? Or… wait, where are we in the time line?) Merlin says there may be a person capable of such a thing, but if they reunite Excalibur and the Dagger, they can wipe out the Darkness forever.

In Arthur’s round table room, B Squad bursts in, and Regina petrificus totaluses incapacitates Arthur.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.21.30 PM
“Wingardium levi OH NO YOU DIDN’T!”

Just as Regina is gloating about her upper hand, Zelena comes in with a tied up Mary Margaret and no magic-dampening brace, which Arthur removed apparently?? Yeah, I was a bit lost on that one, too.

Robin prevents Regina from blasting Zelena to hell because #baby, and Zelena takes 3 seconds to read, decipher, and use Merlin’s cookbook.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.22.19 PM
“Yeah, see? Says right there. Robin only gets two lines per episode, and one of them has to be about the baby.”

 

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.24.56 PM
This show, I swear.

She tethers Excalibur to Merlin and puts Arthur in control of it. Once Arthur summons Merlin, he makes the wizard magic B Squad away, then gets all kinds of grumpy on him for treating him like a pawn. Merlin says Arthur was like a son to him, someone he put all his faith in to save him. But Arthur is too hardhearted to believe him. Merlin says Emma has passed her test and all Arthur has to do to fulfil the prophecy that he will banish darkness from the land if he would just give Merlin the sword. But Arthur feels slighted and wants for greatness.

Back where we began in Storybrooke, Emma stands over the broken pieces and Rumple goads her to reunite them. Nimue appears, saying now Emma can douse the light. Then about a hundred Jawas Dark Ones Previous appear, chanting chug chug  “take the power.”

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.27.09 PM

Emma practically rolls her eyes and gets on with pulling the ember from its storage and doing some kind of funky dance moves that even Drake would question as she forges the two halves back together.

As Emma is about to reach up for the sword, she remembers that Merlin told her not to touch the sword. But both Niume and Rumple encourage her to do it. Emma grabs the sword and looks fierce.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.28.38 PM

Did I miss something? When did Arthur get a chance to remove Zelena’s brace? And why didn’t Emma use her power of foresight to anticipate the Nimue reveal? Also, why could Nimue drink from the Grail when we were very blatantly shown that one had to be worthy to drink from it? How could someone motivated by revenge be deemed worthy? What do you think? Tell us in the comments?  

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Music Monday Review: ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’ by 5 Seconds of Summer

This week I stepped back and listened to something sixteen-year-old Lacey would have liked: Sounds Good Feels Good,  the latest album by Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer.

Check out my review of the album below, and don’t forget to comment with your own thoughts! Enjoy!

 

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GeekGirl Review of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer

As every man(dalorian), woman, and child from here to the farthest edge of the galaxy surely knows by now,  a new trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens debuted October 19, 2015.

GeekGirl Megan shared the news here at GGW, while Lacey and I weighed in on the new footage in our YouTube video review, which is featured below. We talked about seeing old favorites, the grand mythos of the Force, and even had a lightsaber battle. Plus, there’s a little extra something at the very end!

After watching the trailer again (and again and again), we realized there were a few things worth discussing, speculating, analyzing, and fan-girling:

Kylo Ren (possibly) torturing Poe Dameron.

We’ve seen baddie Kylo Ren and his tri-blade saber in previous trailers, but this time we hear his voice and actually see him causing major Force-style damage to the sexiest pilot to ever fly an X-Wing. What’s happening here? What led their paths to cross? Some fans are speculating Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac’s characters knew each other in the past before going down their separate paths (Kylo Ren’s being one of pain and destruction, and Poe Dameron’s being one seemingly more noble). Is this revenge for a past wrong-doing? Or does Kylo Ren simply impact suffering on anyone not on his side? Or is it something else all together? This is one sub-plot that is keeping us guessing!

Rey sobbing over a body.

After seeing this scene, two thoughts immediately crossed my mind: 1) How can Daisy Ridley simultaneously break our hearts with the most believable crying I’ve ever seen in a trailer/movie/television show, while still looking down right gorgeous? Tobey Maguire, take note. 2) Who/what is she crying over? She seems hunched over a limp body. Is someone injured? Is someone dead? Fan speculation tells us we might lose a classic character, and looking closer at the footage, I have a pretty good idea of who. Something tells me I will be crying just as hard during the movie… but probably not as gracefully as Ms. Ridley. Someone better bring tissues to the cinema, that’s all I’m saying.

Finn’s reaction at the fight.

John Boyega’s Finn was the first person we saw in the initial Episode VII teaser trailer. Another early image was of Kylo Ren’s saber in the forest, but we didn’t know who he was fighting. As more and more footage was released, we’ve learned it was these two about to battle it out. Can I just say how much I love Boyega’s face in this snippet? He is so expressive in his mannerisms, and seems to convey so many emotions in such a short amount of time, from “Holy Moly! What did I get myself into?!” to “I can’t show this guy how scared I am!” to “Okay, I can do this! Bring it on!” I love each and every subtle expression, and think he’ll be able to be comedic without being over the top. Nope, definitely not the next Jar Jar. This guy is surely a Jedi!

Feeling more like an epic World War II film than your run-of-the-mill sci-fi adventure, there is so much we loved about this dark, serious trailer. We can not wait for the feature film, which is released October 18, 2015 (though, let’s be serious, we already got our tickets for the premiere the night before!).

Thanks to  at TechCrunch for sharing the special moments from the trailer as gifs!

What did you think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section! 

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RECAP – ‘Once Upon a Time’ – ‘Killers’

In Minneapolis, 1989, a young Emma attends a showing of Disney’s The Sword in the Stone alone. She steals a candy bar from a woman, and is immediately approached by an usher who knows her by name.

Hey, totally unrelated, but Merlin is played by Elliot Knight. But that’s got absolutely nothing to do with anything right now.

But the usher doesn’t care about the candy. He simply warns her to never pull Excalibur from the stone. Then he vanishes.

Cue the title card with a distressed looking Granny’s diner.

Lancelot, Perceval, and Arthur arrive at the sword i the stone, but discover Sir Kay has beaten them there. He wants the sword for himself, but when he reaches for it, he turns to a pile of ash, obviously unworthy. Arthur takes his turn, and succeeds in removing what’s left of the sword from the stone.

Uhhhh…. Holy cow…. Didn’t see that coming.

Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Robin, Henry, and Hook try to summon the Dark One but fail, realizing she’s not in their realm.

“I’ve spent the last 200 years learning about this thing… *achem* Uh… Hmm… Doesn’t seem to be working…” #awkward

They head to the Apprentice who is being cared for by Mother Superior. Before he passes on, he gives them a wand and says it can only be wielded as it was forged, with the darkness and the light. Regina thinks this is her cue, but fails to make the wand summon a portal to Emma. Hook points out the irony that she’s done too much good to be dark enough anymore. He says they need someone “wicked.”

5 manhole

In a very fancy manhole cover, the alien from the X-Files the Dark One appears.

6 emma hood
“I’m sorry to bother you, ma’am, but I ran out of gas, and I just need a few more dollars to get home…”

Emma, clad in rough garments, has materialized in the forest.

The Darkness takes the form of Rumpelstiltskin, informing Emma that the real Rumple is still in a coma back in Maine. But though the Darkness can take many forms, this is the most practical one for Emma to accept. Immediately, the Darkness tries to push Emma to use her powers. Though Emma insists she’ll never go evil, Rumple assures otherwise. The only way to stop, he promises, is to be stopped.

Emma approaches a peddler on the road for directions, and he charges her an increasing rate for his information. Not having any money, Emma tires of his demands and inadvertently Force chokes magically restrains the peddler. Though disgusted by her actions, Emma can’t deny that she is intrigued by her powers.

*ack* Darn *coff* Star Wars *gasp* references!

Belle is watching over Rumple in the back room of his shop, instead of a hospital room for some reason. Mother Superior tells her she ought to be helping the others get Emma back, but Belle wants to be there in case Rumple dies. Mother Superior magics Belle a most impractical rose in a bell jar, saying that as long as the rose has petals, Rumple still lives.

“This is beautiful… But could you just, like, text me if he gets worse?”

Zelena is meditating in her padded cell when Regina, Robin, and Hook arrive asking for help. After a bit of squabbling, Zelena asks to see the wand. Despite the magic-blocking cuff Regina slapped on her, she’s still able to understand the magic in the wand and tells them they need something important to Emma to guide them to her. Regina refuses to remove the bracelet from Zelena and leaves, but Zelena appeals to Hook.

Meanwhile Emma is lost in the forest, and Rumple taunts her into using her magic to teleport to where she needs to be. She discovers the Will-o’-the-Wisp and is told that it can get her to Merlin. Emma chases the Wisp through the forest, but it’s snatched up by Merida, who Emma magics to the ground. Emma pleads with her to give her the Wisp, but Merida needs it to save her family and kingdom.

9 Merida bow
“I don’t know if you saw my movie, but I’m pretty good with a bow.”

She’s willing to fight for the right to it, though, so long as it’s fisticuffs and not magic. Rumple encourages Emma to break Merida’s neck, but Emma refuses to fight at all, hurrying Merida on her way before it’s too late. Grateful and sympathetic, Merida offers to take Emma with her to the Hill of Stones where she can use the Wisp too. Emma agrees to set out with her, pleased that her choice to not use magic has worked in her favor.

At Granny’s, Hook approaches Henry about using the Author’s pen to change Emma’s story, but Henry confesses he’s broken the pen to avoid temptation.

10 Hook murders Henry with his eyes
“I don’t care if you *are* Emma’s son; I am going to straight up murder you.”

Hook then suggests springing Zelena from the padded cell. Henry shows his teenage reckless side and agrees to help him.

Merida slashes her way through the delicate ferns of the forest with a massive sword as she and Emma trek to the Hill of Stones. She reveals that her brothers have been kidnapped by warring clans, and that her rule as Queen has been put into question. Emma suggests they make camp because an exhausted warrior is no good to anyone.

As Merida sleeps, Emma tosses and turns. No matter which way she faces, Rumple appears to her. Though Emma is proud of not using dark magic to get what she wants, Rumple informs Emma that the Wisp will belong to Merida once she whispers to it for help, and it will be inaccessible to Emma so long as Merida’s heart beats. Though she cannot hear Rumple speak, a terrified Merida gleans enough from Emma’s half of the conversation to know she’s in trouble.

a awkward moment murder
That awkward moment where your new witch friend is talking to herself in the middle of the night and plotting your brutal murder.

Henry and Hook make their way down to the psych ward of the hospital, and Henry creates a diversion by spilling his soda on “Nurse Ratched” (no, really, Henry actually calls her that) while Hook snags the keys to Zelena’s cell.

b nurse ratchet soda
This ruse is 10 out of 10 not derivative.

Zelena realizes that Hook’s there to spring her. Despite swearing on her unborn child that she’ll be good, Hook requires more insurance. Using a potion Regina gave him a long time ago to rip out Cora’s heart, he douses his hook with it and aims for Zelena’s chest. But she’s protected her heart a long time ago with magic that still shields her. She swipes Hook’s knife from his belt and slices off her own hand. Now free of the bracelet, she uses her magic to reattach her hand and disappear in a cloud of green smoke.

c hand 1
I’ve lost count of the Star Wars references at this point…

Regina is livid that Hook’s let Zelena escape. Mary Margaret FINALLY speaks and insists they stop bickering. They need to stick together, united as Emma would want them to be.

A glamored-as-Regina Zelena appears in the Charming’s loft where Robin has just put Roland to sleep. Fake-Regina tells Robin Zelena has escaped and they must flee. Upon kissing the glamored Zelena, Robin realizes it is not Regina. Zelena drops the glamor and tells Robin he’s the key.

Out by the clock tower, Regina leads the Charmings, Hook, and Henry towards Zelena who is holding Robin hostage. She wants to trade Robin for the wand so she can return to Oz. Though Hook is incredulous that Regina would give in, she makes the trade, and Zelena uses a trinket from Oz to summon a green twister.

I love that Belle keeps her jar at her side, but we don’t see baby Neal until 30 minutes in.

The others look on in horror as Zelena aims the wand to summon the portal to her, but she is struck by … I dunno…wand kickback? David grabs her and Regina reclaims the wand and shoves the magic-dampering brace back on Zelena’s wrist. Regina hijacks the portal and says they are taking it to Emma.

Emma discovers Merida has left while she was out gathering food.

She used the old "shove a rock and some sticks under her cloak" ruse!
She used the old “shove a rock and some sticks under her cloak” ruse!

Rumple tells her she’s gone to the Hill of Stones to use the Wisp and says she’s going to have to kill her. At the Hill of Stones, Merida whispers to the Wisp, destroying Emma’s chance at using it. Emma’s countenance has changed dramatically and she looks less desperate and more determined. Merida pleads with her to leave, but Rumple goads Emma to rip her heart out.

Vader to his Palpatine, you say?

The twister is approaching town, and the rescue party has taken up inside Granny’s. As she battens down the hatches, Zelena is tied to a chair. As the only one able to wield the Apprentice’s wand, they must take her along. Regina pulls out Emma’s baby blanket, one of the very few belongings that are special to Emma. Four of the Dwarves rush in before the twister strikes, and they pledge their fealty to Snow. The twister hits and the diner is shaken loose from the foundation.

g you cant take a baby to camelot
“You cant take a baby to fight the Dark One!”
“FML.” – Baby Neal, probably

Rumple continues to whisper to Emma as Merida shoots arrow after arrow at her heart. But Emma catches every shot and throws them aside with increasing ease.

i arrow catch
“Ok, not gonna lie, I am *really* impressed I’ve caught like, eight of these.”

Emma insists she can talk to Merida, but as Rumple pushes her, Emma becomes more enraged and pulls Merida to her magically. She pulls out her heart, and on Rumple’s command begins crushing it. As Merida gasps, Hook and the rescue party run up to them and he yells at her to stop. 

j merida heart
“I’m sorry, she’s not usually like this. EMMA, EAT A SNICKERS!”

Emma says it’s the only way to ensure the Darkness won’t destroy everything and everyone she loves. Mary Margaret pulls out the Dagger to control Emma, but Hook says Emma must make the choice to be good.

k dagger snow emma
“We need you to choose. Of your own free will. While we hold this dagger to you.”

As Merida’s pleading eyes beseech Emma, Rumple continues to encourage Emma. Hook comes between Emma and Merida, saying heroes and villains overcame their demons, and so can she. Emma shoves Merida’s heart back in her chest and collapses in Hook’s arms. The vision of Rumpelstiltskin has disappeared for now.

The Wisp flies off as Emma apologizes to Merida. Merida thanks her for showing her darkness and decides mercy may be the better choice for dealing with the warring clans that took her brothers. As Merida follows the Wisp, Emma and her parents reunite. They try to offer her back the Dagger in good faith, but Emma gives the Dagger to the one person she knows will overlook her emotions and do the practical thing. She hands the Dagger to Regina, asking Regina to save her if she can, or destroy her if she can’t.

They leave the Hill of Stones and return to Granny’s and the rest of the rescue team. King Arthur and his knights ride up to them, expecting the group’s arrival because of a prophecy from Merlin. Merlin, though missing, is to be reunited with them all through Emma. The group is led to the gates of Camelot, and Emma and Hook walk hand in hand behind King Arthur.

l camelot bridge
Emma: I don’t like it. The moat is really big. Hook: You haven’t liked any of the ones we’ve looked at. We’re never going to find a house in this neighborhood.

Six weeks later, Sneezy and Sleepy are patrolling the town. Sneezy is wearing Emma’s red Savior jacket. Gross. There’s a flash and a crash, so someone must be back from the Enchanted Forest.

The entire rescue party have landed back in town in the diner. Dressed in period garb from Camelot, they know not why they have returned nor remember what has transpired in the last month and a half. They have lost their memories. AGAIN. Emma appears in the doorway in black clothing with stark white hair and pale skin. More evil than ever before, her bearing and tone have changed dramatically.

m white dark emma
“I came here to rip out hearts and bleach my hair. And I’m all out of hair bleach!”

Emma tells them they failed to get the darkness out of her. She turns Sneezy to stone, saying there’s no savior in this town anymore. Regina reaches for the Dagger, but Emma reveals she is holding it. She threatens to end them all. Hook asks why she’s doing this, and Emma simply replies she’s the Dark One before vanishing.

Final thoughts, Jerry Springer stye: Not a big fan of this episode. While I really liked Merida and Emma’s story and how Rumple was her spirit guide, I’m over Mary Margaret and David’s bland parenting, Henry’s new “teenager” mode, and Zelena for being Zelena. I still want to see how Regina and Hook continue to grow, but I could actually, literally throw Robin Hood into Granny’s deep freeze until after the hiatus. In my opinion, there was too much story crammed into this one hour, and they could have easily broken this into two parts and given the Charmings more personality (and dialogue) and Henry a little more depth.

But what do you think? Tell us below!

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Comic Review: ‘The Blacklist: The Gambler’ – Part 1

TITAN COMICS

THE BLACKLIST: The Gambler – Part 1
Writer: Nicole Phillips
Artist: Beni Lobel
Publisher: Titan Comics
Page-count: 32pp
Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22, 2015


There is only one meme that could sum up my excitement for when I heard there was going to be a Blacklist comic:

Is there an emoticon for *grabby hands*? Because I could use that too.

This just in, apparently there are several. 

I’m a huge fan of the NBC television show and a huge fan of comic books in general. So when I found out there was a Blacklist comic, I did a little wiggle dance and squeed “they put chocolate in my peanut butter!” I was not disappointed, and I neither will you be.

TITAN COMICS

The dangerous world of Raymond Red Reddington and Agent Elizabeth Keen translates extremely well to comic book format. Written by show script writer Nicole Phillips, the story thus far is solid and as good as anything you’d get on television. And the artwork by Beni Lobel is spot on, bringing not just the characters to life but their style and attitudes as well. The art compliments the dialogue perfectly. If you’re familiar with the show, you will absolutely read the text in the character’s voices.

Much like the show’s episodes, this issue focuses on one of the 161 “blacklisters” who make up Red’s collection of killers, thieves, and assorted crime bosses who, along with the FBI, Red wants to bring to justice (of course, Red’s justice might be an ironic taste of their own bitter medicine).
Number 148, Leon Kiklinski, is Red and Agents Keen and Ressler’s focus. A modern terrorist-for-hire who specializes in the manipulation of media, Kiklinski has made the FBI the scapegoat in a gruesome police shooting of a community activist in front of a crowd of live witnesses and hundreds of rolling video cameras and cell phones. While the FBI deals with the social media fallout and the serious blow to morale due to being framed for an innocent man’s public execution, Liz and Ressler embark on a deadly wild goose chase perpetrated by Kiklinski and whoever he’s working for. The ending ramps up to the next issue so perfectly that I feel like the next page should be a commercial for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

TITAN COMICS

It’s important to note that this story occurs after the conclusion of the Berlin storyline, but before the end of Season 2, so while it’s not set in an exact point in time, it does take place

TITAN COMICSafter Red and Lizzy have gotten to know each other (as much as Red will allow), so their chemistry is very enjoyable. Mr. Kaplan also makes an appearance with Red that implies that Red has become acutely aware of his own mortality in the wake of the death of an old associate.

One should also be warned that this story doesn’t pull any punches just because it’s in comic book form.

Titan Comics rates it at 15+. The graphic violence that is prevalent on the show is expressed realistically, though not wantonly, on the page, and fans who enjoy the show regularly should have no problem digesting this issue. This series is the perfect cure for those suffering through the Summer break until the show returns on Thursday, September 24.

Included is a copy of Red’s infamous blacklist and a 2015 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive promotional artwork page. The Blacklist: The Gambler is on sale today, July 22, and retails for $3.99.

What do you think of Red and Liz’s comic book counterparts? Will you be picking up a copy? Tell us in the comments below!

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Review – Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #14

DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #14
WRITER: Al Ewing, Rob Williams
ARTIST: Simon Fraser
PUBLISHER:  Titan Comics
PAGECOUNT: 32
COVER PRICE:  $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I can’t lie… the Eleventh Doctor has been my least favorite Doctor to date.

People tell me it’s because I miss David Tennant, but I know it’s because Eleven irritates me. He’s like a small child who bounces around the grocery store picking everything up, putting nothing back, and the whole time you’re screaming in your head “where are your parents!?” So this issue was particularly nerve-wracking for me because the Doctor finally has to deal with the harsh consequences of his behavior, but all he does is squirm away and whine about how unfair it is that he’s being held accountable.

By the end of the previous issue, the Doctor had defeated the Entity, but lost Jones, his eccentric musical companion. Jones, believing himself dead, floats through space signing amongst the stardust.

Screenshot 2015-07-09 at 8.54.04 AMMeanwhile, in Ancient Rome, the Doctor sits with Alice, rejected by the TARDIS. The Doctor realizes the TARDIS has been warning him for a while, and he pleads with the phone box not to spurn him. As he admits his arrogance and mistakes that he’s made over the years, the TARDIS remains significantly silent. The Doctor changes tactics and insists he could save lives again if the TARDIS would only let him. When he’s met with the same deafening silence, he snaps and demands to be let in immediately!

If the TARDIS wasScreenshot 2015-07-09 at 8.58.40 AM capable of giving the finger to the Doctor, then that’s totally what happens next.  The box lets out some signature VWOORRRPs and begins to fade as the Doctor begs it not to leave him.

With the departure of the TARDIS, the Doctor begins to have an identity crisis. He warns Alice that, in the wrong hands, the TARDIS is a weapon that can rewrite time and destroy space. It’s programed to return to Gallifrey, or to the nearest Time Lord. But since neither of those things exist any longer, the Doctor has no idea where the TARDIS has gone.

The odds are not in the Doctor’s favor, but with the combined efforts of Alice, Jones, and A.R.C., all may not be lost. But the story is not the Homeward Bound homage it sets itself up to be. Improbable odds and an impossible ending await you in this latest adventure of the Doctor!

A ridiculous-but-probably-accurate two-page humor strip by Mark Ellerby features the Doctor, River, and the pros and cons of social media!

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #14 “The Comfort of the Good – Part 1” is in stores now.  It retails for $3.99.

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