What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)
Once Upon a Time
Underneath a bridge, a little girl reads a fairy tale book, then uses the pages to stoke a fire. A young man asks what her story is. She tells him that she ran away and it’s none of his business. He asks her to stop burning the book, and tells her that The Ugly Duckling was his favorite. He says the best fairy tales are about transformation. She says that’s not what it’s about; the duck was always a swan, but didn’t know it. He says it’s about belief; if we believe in something strongly enough, we all have the power to change our fate. He asks if this is the fate she wants.
The little girl tells a desk clerk that her friend brought her there, and her name is Emma Swan.
In the enchanted parallel world, before Emma and Regina can jump into the porthole, Robin holds them up for their jewelry. Some huntsmen ride close by, and Robin jets. Henry leads the pack, and thinks that Emma and Regina crossed the river. Emma tells Regina nothing there is real. The place was created by a wish. Emma thinks she’s found a way back.
David and Hook stroll the streets of Storybrooke. David says they need to give the Evil Queen what she deserves, and he’s not resting until it’s done. Hook says he’s in, but he hopes David knows what he’s doing.
Rumpelstiltskin (as Gold) asks Gideon how this is possible. Gideon says he was in a place where time didn’t move. Gold asks if the Queen harmed him, but he says she toughened him. In all of the dark years, he tried to remember Belle and follow her example. He’s still going to kill Emma though, because he’ll gain her power as Savior. He needs to rid his land of the Black Fairy. He says when he kills Emma, he’ll finally become a hero. He disappears, poof! in a puff of pick-a-color smoke. Okay, I wasn’t looking.
Emma finds Pinocchio, who thought she’d been captured. He asks what happened that she’s in the Enchanted Forest, and she says it’s a long story. He tells her how he desperately wanted to be a real boy, and it only took his father to make it so. He asks what he can do for her, and she tells him to build something to get her out of there. She wonders if he still has the enchanted wardrobe, but he dismantled it years ago. He thinks he can still help. He knows where the grove is that the wood came from, and thinks they might be able to replicate his father’s work. Emma asks Regina what she thinks, but there’s no Regina, only a note. Regina says she knows Robin isn’t real here, but needs to know if he’s better off without her, like everything else in the realm.
Regina looks through the window of the pub, and remembers seeing Robin for the first time. She goes inside and everybody freaks because she’s the Evil Queen. They all run, but Robin asks if she’s going to buy him a drink. He thinks she’s there for the necklace that he stole, but she wants to talk. She asks if he’s happy, and he says she’s a strange one. He tells her that his life is great, he answers to no man and sleeps under the stars. She says he was better off, and he asks why she would care. Before she can say anything, the Sheriff of Nottingham comes in to arrest Robin, and slaps a cuff on Regina. He says Robin comes with a bonus, and tells his men to take her too.
Pinocchio and Emma go to the enchanted grove. Pinocchio checks out his father’s tools, and picks something out. He says that a true wood carver must be in conversation with the tools and materials. Emma pulls out a sword and tells Pinocchio she’s no longer a princess, but a Savior. She explains that her fate is to die while protecting her family.
Hook comes out of nowhere to “rescue” Emma. He’s fat, has grey hair, and looks like an aging Jack Sparrow. Obviously, he wasn’t better off.
In Storybrooke, Gold tells Gideon that it’s lonely. Gideon says that’s his fate. Gold says fate is a tricky business that requires planning. Gideon believes that Gold thinks he isn’t strong enough. Gold says there are things a man learns with time, but Gideon tells him to get lost. He says Gold thinks he knows all about him, but he has no idea. Gold says that Gideon’s life has been full of pain, but if he wants someone to pay, let it be him. He tells Gideon to hit him. Gideon doesn’t do it, and Gold says if he can’t hit his father, how does he expect to kill the Savior? He says he can help, but Gideon says he doesn’t need his help.
Emma tells Hook to let Pinocchio go, and leave the rescue to the professionals. She says she doesn’t need rescuing and Pinocchio easily takes Hook’s sword from him. Hook says there’s a reward for Princess Emma’s return. Pinocchio asks if she knows him, and she says she knows another version of him, and they sort of live together in another world. She knocks Hook out with some magic, and says it’s time to go home and get someone off the rum. Hook disappears, but the tool is broken.
Emma asks if Pinocchio can fix it, but he says he can’t. She says they have other tools, but he says they need magic and he’s not good enough. He says he’s sorry she put her faith in him, and hopes she doesn’t make that mistake again.
Regina and Robin are locked in a cage in the forest. Robin says he’s going to die having accomplished nothing. She says he’s Robin Hood who robs from the rich and steals from the poor. He asks if she’s nuts, and tells her that he just steals from the rich. She finds out that Marion died before they got married. He says there’s no one. She asks if he’s happy. He says if she wants the truth, he hasn’t been happy for a long time. She says he never had love.
The horses begin to rear up and run away. The guards chase them. One approaches the cage and is blown back. Rumpelstiltskin appears. Regina asks him to take the cuff off. He says on one hand she helped him escape, and on the other, the woman he loved starved to death. He dumps out a bag of bones and says that’s her now. Regina assures him that she had nothing to do with that. He says he might not be real, but he has the feeling he can still make her bleed. Yikes.
In real life, David tells Snow he’s sorry he can’t wake her. He promises he’ll find their daughter, bring her home, and fix this. He and Hook try to make a plan. Belle says they’re looking for her son, Gideon. He grew up in another realm, and the experience affected him. She says Rumpel is out looking for him too. David wonders who Rumpel is helping, and Belle says she can stop him, but she doesn’t want anyone harmed. She trusts them, and asks them to trust her. David says when they find Gideon, she can try to get him to listen.
Back in the world of fairies, Rumpel pushes Regina and Robin into a cell, and locks the door. Robin is like, so, I’m living in a fake world created by the wish of a princess who isn’t fake, and I’m a folk hero in another version. Regina is surprised he believes her. He says he doesn’t mind believing that he lives a better life in another world. He asks if he’s a scoundrel there, and she says he’s dead. He asks if the other Robin had a good life before he died. Regina says she thinks and hopes so. He helped a lot of people, and loved his friends and family. And her. Robin says it sounds like a good life, even if it was too short. He tells Regina that he’s not just the world’s greatest thief, and breaks the lock. They leave the cell.
Emma is about to chop at the tree, and spies a carved box with her name on a gift tag tied to it. There’s a carved swan inside. She goes to Pinocchio’s ship and asks him what it is. He tells her happy birthday. He says he always liked swans, and talks about The Ugly Duckling. His father told him that if you believe hard enough in something, you can change your fate. Emma remembers him at the fire, and says, it was you. She says when she was a kid, Pinocchio gave her advice that changed her life. He says she became the swan. She hands him the magic spatula and says he can do this. If he believes he’s a master carpenter, he will be, and his life will change.
Pinocchio chops at the tree. Magic pops out of it, and he says it looks like the swan is going home.
Commercial break. No surprise. It’s for Beauty and the Beast. I’d love to see it on the big screen, but I’ve sworn off any movie below an R rating. The last time I saw something that was PG-13, I felt like I was in the middle of a bus during a field trip, surrounded by the light of phone screens.
Pinocchio builds whatever, and thanks Emma for believing in him. She says his father would be proud. He shows her the finished product – a new enchanted wardrobe. Regina and Robin arrive, and Robin asks if they’re getting back in a tree. Regina tells him sorry for dragging him in. He gives her a feather, saying she’ll have a piece of Robin. She tells him that when her Robin died, there was a feather that was lost. She’d hoped he was in a good place, and thinks somehow, he lives on in this Robin. Emma asks if she wants to bring him as her plus one, but Regina says he’s not real. How can a wish become real? Emma says if Regina believes that any part of Robin is in there, she should bring him, saying that they make their own fate. She did it, and now it’s Regina’s turn. Robin says he’s in. Regina tells him it might not work, but he says it might. She asks if he wants to take the risk, and he says it’s not that great there, so why not go with the woman who was willing to die for another version of him?
Pinocchio opens the door. Emma steps through and Regina thanks him.
In Storybrooke, Emma and Regina come through, but no Robin. Emma says she’s sorry, and Regina asks for a moment alone. While she’s meditating on her sadness, Robin appears. She hugs him. He’d probably hug back, but he has arrows and stuff in his hands. She shows him the town from the top of a hill, officially welcoming him to Storybrooke.
Commercial break. It’s for the Time After Time series premiere. I thought this show had been on already, since there have been ads for it for months. I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to see it, but I loved the 1979 movie with Malcolm McDowell and David Warner.
Emma strolls down the street, thinking about her vision. Gideon appears and says he’s been waiting. She says she only knows one Gideon, and he’s a lot younger. She asks what he wants, and he attacks her. They battle with their swords. Emma’s sword goes flying, and Gideon has them both. The others run up, and Emma tells them to stay back. Belle tells Gideon that he doesn’t have to do this. He freeze frames everyone. He tells Emma that he’s not going to hurt them, just her. Her hand starts to shake, and he tells her that she’s fated to die. She says not today.
Emma blows Gideon back with magic and holds a blade to his neck. Gold begs her not to kill him. Gideon says he doesn’t need Gold’s help, and disappears. No poof, no smoke, just disappears. Emma is stunned that he was Belle and Rumpel’s baby. They suddenly notice Robin, and Regina explains about the alternate reality. Everyone hugs. We hear a typewriter.
Emma walks in on Pinocchio typing. He says he works in a cabin out there, so his father can sleep. She asks him if he knew it was her when she was little. He says he kept tabs on her for a while. He knew she didn’t belong on the streets, and had to make sure that she did too. Emma sees the book that she was going to burn in a box on Pinocchio’s table. He says when she picked Swan as a last name, it made him happy. He figured she got it, and was on the way to being the person she was supposed to be. She says she thinks she’s on her way to believing she makes her own destiny. He tells her that believing is the first step.
Gold finds Belle on the bridge, and asks if she’s making a wish. She says he succeeded in keeping Gideon from his horrible fate. He says Gideon had the power to make his own choices. He thought Gideon would make the right choice, and even though he was wrong, Gideon may still do it. Gold says that through his whole dark life, he’s sought out light, like her. He doesn’t want Gideon to kill anyone because it’s not the cure for his pain. He doesn’t want that for his son.
Belle says she protected Gideon, knowing what he wanted to do, and it can be easy to rationalize. Gold says, indeed it can. As they’re talking, Gideon is climbing up the stairs inside the clock tower. Belle wonders what they can do. Gold says if there is, they should do it together; not just for them, but for everyone. War is coming to Storybrooke.
Gideon busts out the clock’s face. It shatters everywhere.
Next time, Emma wants to break the curse, David needs a pirate, and Emma wants to know what Hook is hiding.
The Walking Dead
Michonne and Rick comb a house for supplies, gathering anything of value. Down in a van by the river, she thanks him for keeping watch last night. He says they’re getting batteries for the walkie-talkie and getting it to work again. They raid another house, fighting off some zombies. They get busy during a break. Rick is discouraged that all they have are two guns, some dented cans of beans, and some football jerseys, but Michonne says they’re fighting the fight.
They come across a group of Saviors playing golf. They see batteries in the back of their truck.
Back at the van, Michonne tells Rick that they have to get back. Rick wants to stay a little longer, and sounds like a kid who wants to stay up later. Michonne agrees.
Rosita stitches herself up. Tara tells her it’s going to work out. They have the numbers to fight; they just need guns. Rosita asks where they’re going to get them, and says she can’t just wait. Tara says they’ll get the guns and fight. Rosita says it’s not going to be easy; it wasn’t the last time. She says she’s going to find guns.
Rick sleeps while Michonne drives. Rick sleeps while Michonne makes coffee. She sees a deer and tells Rick to shhh! even though he was sleeping. She gets a gun, but the deer is gone. Rick says he owes her a deer. They look around the forest, making so much noise that every deer within miles has disappeared.
They see a fence with a half-fallen tarp on it. Rick bangs on the fence and a soldier zombie stumbles around on the other side. Rick sniffs a bullet casing and they look around. Michonne says something serious happened here a long time ago. Rick says there might be serious guns in there.
Rosita noses around an abandoned house. She starts to go inside, and a Mama June (not hot) type zombie ambles out. She slices mama’s head in half with a machete. She finds a gun, but it’s just a water pistol.
Michonne and Rick go to the top of a building. They see zombie soldiers and civilians wandering around a carnival. Cool! Let’s get those zombies on the Ferris wheel. Rick says there was a fight, and they’re still wearing their guns. Michonne shoots, and ends up doing well at one of the carnival games. Until she and rick fall through the roof. We hear Rick laugh. Because it’s all good when you’re in love.
Rick and Michonne lie there laughing. They look around and find a boatload of food. Some kind off pre-packaged “ready to eat” meals.
Rosita finds Gabriel at the church. She tells him she didn’t find any guns even though she was out there all day. She had a gun, and was going to kill Negan with it. If she’d done it, he’d be dead. Maybe she would too, but who gives a damn? She lists all the people who would still be alive, and says that she’s still there because she was stupid enough to listen to him. She tells him that he doesn’t know sh*t about sh*t, and he tells her she’s right. He told her not to do what she was planning because they needed her, and they still do. It’s easier to be dead, and if it’s his fault, fine, but he did what he thought was right. He says she can blame him for having life, but what is she going to do with it? Anything is possible until your heart stops beating. Since she can’t argue with that, she walks out.
Michonne and Rick open the boxes, pull out the meals, and dig in. Michonne makes a plan to get the others to fight with them and kill Negan, but she doesn’t know what happens after that. They’ll have to reorder the world once he’s gone. Rick says they’ll figure out how to work together. She thinks he should be in charge, but he doesn’t. She says he’d be good at it, if it’s something he wanted. He says he doesn’t think he would, and he doesn’t want it. He says they could work together, and he wants that, if she does. She says she wants that, and they kiss.
Rick says they can take their time. The place is clear, locked up tight, and they found the only way in. He thinks they should get back. He gives her a package of chili and mac and cheese together. That’s love. The zombies stagger about outside, while Rick and Michonne get busy inside. Honestly, I don’t know how busy I could get, or would want to get, with zombies lurking around several feet away.
Tara babysits Judith. She’s torn between telling Rick about Oceanside or not, and uses Judith as a sounding board. She says that the others should just fight with them, but they only want to hide because they fear the world. But if she tells everyone about Oceanside, it might end up proving their point. She wonders what makes their life worth more than the others, because they want to stop the people who want to hurt other people?
Carnival time! Rick and Michonne watch the zombies from behind a truck. Rick wants to block one of the gaps to make it easier for them. He wants to do it quiet with the sword. Michonne makes a noise, and takes out the zombies one by one as they come her way. Rick grabs a gun from a zombie soldier, who’s wedged halfway through the windshield of a car. Rick tries pulling him out by the feet, and the zombie’s foot comes off. Ha-ha! He pulls some more and the guy’s legs come off. Ha-ha! again. Rick finally gets him out of the windshield glass. Michonne joins him and they push the car toward the gap. He realizes that the breaks don’t work, and all of a sudden there’s gunfire from a soldier zombie. Michonne jumps into the trunk, and Rick steers the car to the opening in the fence. Zombies surround the car and claw at it. Rick says it was a great plan, and Michonne agrees that it was.
They jump off the car and behind some ride barricades. They run through the fairgrounds, the zombies trailing behind. They knock over the test-your-strength game, and it blocks the zombies for a bit. Rick asks if Michonne wants to go, but they both think they can do this. Rick goes in front of the Ferris wheel and coaxes the zombies forward. Michonne does the same thing by the big slide. As the zombies get to the gate, they’re dispatched; heads rolling, eyeballs squishing, blood spurting. Rick sees the deer, and jumps onto the Ferris wheel, climbing up to the top. He’s about to shoot the deer as zombies are coming toward it, and he falls off. Oh crap.
Rick is down, but grabs the gun, and starts shooting the zombies. Michonne runs toward him, gun drawn. When she gets there, she sees the zombies circled around something, eating. She looks sick, and tears roll down her face. She drops her sword. The zombies start to come toward her. She backs away, but she’s not herself.
Like Superman, Rick jumps out of a crate, and throws the sword to Michonne. They slice and dice the zombies. They hug, and Rick says he tried.
They gather up the guns. A lot of guns. Michonne has a moment.
It’s quiet on the ride back, but they got tons of supplies. I’d be hiding some of those somewhere. Rick pulls the van into the forest. He wishes they could have spent more time away. He says he hasn’t been sleeping, thinking about what they’ve lost, and the friends he couldn’t save. He says they went through something, and this doesn’t cure it. Michonne says she’s sorry. He says they’re going to fight them. They’re going to lose people, maybe even each other, but it will be worth it. Michonne says she can’t lose him. Rick says she’d asked him what kind of life they’d have by just surrendering, and it would be no life. Fighting the fight is living, making a future for Judith and the others. He says she can lose him. It’s not about them anymore; it’s about a future. If he doesn’t make it, she’ll have to lead, and she can. She asks how he knows, and he says she led him there.
Back at the Heapsters heap, Jadis asks if the guns are all operational. Rick says they need cleaning up. There are over sixty guns, but Jadis says it’s not enough. Rosita suggests they leave and take their guns with them. Jadis says no, and they haggle. Jadis gets to nine and they get the cat back, and Rick says twenty, and they fight together. Jadis says yes, and if they get more soon, they’ll fight. Everyone wanders around looking like they’re doing something important. Michonne tells Rick they have a few more days before what happens next. They’ll figure it out in a few more days.
Back in Alexandria, Tara is looking for Rick. He asks if she’s okay, and if she’s seen Rosite, who hasn’t shown up for her shift. Tara suggests that maybe she went out looking for more guns. She says she has something to tell Rick.
Rosita stomps through the streets, and sees Sasha at Abe’s grave. She says she needs Sasha’s help. Sasha says under one condition – she gets to take the shot. Rosita agrees. She asks if Rosita brought explosives, but Rosita felt that was taking too much of a chance. She has something better. She brings out a bazooka, and hands it to Sasha, so she can take her shot. Rosita says that Rick and Michonne found guns and the Heapsters wanted more guns. She thinks that means more excuses. She tells Sasha that she’s memorized what Carl and Daryl told Rick about the Saviors’ camp. Sasha says she has a map that Jesus drew for her. They discuss how they can’t be caught alive, and it’s a one way ticket for both of them.
Next time, Ezekiel rises up, Carol emerges, and there are lots more guns.
💣 Feud: Bette and Joan is perfection! The casting couldn’t be better, and the topic couldn’t be more current. For all the equality whining going around, not many people talk about how ageist our society is, and the scope is even narrower for actresses in Hollywood. Way back when, Joan Crawford recognized this, and brought the novel, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell, to Bette Davis’s attention, thinking it was the perfect vehicle for them both. Being no slouch in the brains department herself, Bette agreed, the rest is history, and their feud is legendary.
While both women are gone from this world, so there’s no one to confirm or deny, this interpretation of their relationship shows an almost softer side. While hating each other on a certain level, neither could deny the other’s talent or their admiration for it. Although “frenemy” wasn’t a term back then, they were the perfect example of it.
The cast is chock full of exceptional actors and actresses, like Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, and Stanley Tucci. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Jackie Hoffman playing Mamasita, Joan’s right hand person. I recognized her right away, pointing and shouting “Penny’s mother!” at the TV, as I’d seen her on Broadway in Hairspray.
And lest we not forget one star of any period drama – the clothes and props. So far, I’m enthralled. One of my favorite things in the world are those brocade dresses with matching coats that were so popular in the 1960s. My favorite Barbie outfit will forever be Evening Splendor. (However, I would not have paired the green/blue bag with this.)