6 Pairings That Romanticize Abuse

Abuse

Every time, I swear to God, every time I fall in love with a new TV show, some asshole comes along, sweeps up the main character, and brings down the entire show, causing me to stop watching in disgust. I’m not kidding, this has happened three times this year alone.

Abusive relationships being romanticized is one of the things that I absolutely hate with a burning passion. But gone are the days where the hero dudes go around smacking their girlfriends, because if that happened, everyone would be up in arms. No, TV and movies have found sneaky ways to paint abuse as “true love” and get away with it scot free. But luckily for you, my little raspberries, I’m here to expose their malpractices with the light of truth!

For this article, I’ve avoided obviously abusive pairings, like Joker/Harley Quinn and Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham, or pairings that have been beat to death by the mainstream like Bella/Edward (seen above) and Anastasia Steele/Christian Grey. I’m choosing to focus on those pairings who are the darlings of their fandoms, who can obviously do no wrong. Oh, but they can, my ducklings! They can. I’m about to rock your world.

**Warning: mild spoilers ahead for various media, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and BBC Sherlock.**

1. The Phantom and Christine Daaé, The Phantom Of The Opera

Because every girl’s fantasy is to be stalked by a murderer in the shadows and be forced into marrying him or have to watch her childhood best friend be strangled to death. I don’t give a shit how many roses he leaves in her dressing room – that’s f**ked up.

Not to mention, Christine is 18. Eighteen! She’s barely legal as it is. She claims that the “Angel of Music” (the Phantom) has been tutoring her and watching over her since she first came to the opera house. She’s been living there since she was eight years old. And thanks to Madame Giry’s flashback, we know that Erik is only a few years younger than Madame Giry – so he’s 40, at least. This is a fully grown adult who’s been stalking a child and gaslighting her until she’s old enough to bang. That’s disgusting.

But, you know. Some free music lessons and a candlelit boat ride through a swamp make everything okay.

Gaslighting: a practice in which the abuser gains the trust of the victim and uses that trust to manipulate them into doing things against their will, all while maintaining the pretense of someone who has the victim’s best interest at heart.

2. Rey and Kylo Ren (Reylo), Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

It honestly shocked me that this was even a popular pairing – or a pairing at all. Not as popular as Kylux (Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux), but it’s up there.

There’s not much to go on here, as there’s really only a couple of scenes between them, but what is there, is pretty frightening. I’m going to put aside the fact that Kylo straight up murdered Rey’s friend and father figure. I’ll even waive all the physical abuse in the lightsaber battles because, hey, this is Star Wars, and it isn’t exactly Star Wars without lightsaber battles.

But there is the creepy torture scene (torture isn’t a very good premise for a romantic relationship, now is it?) where Kylo is trying to get information out of Rey and threatens her with a line about how he can force her to tell him what he wants to know, and J.J. Abrams himself admits that this is supposed to be a “rape” scene. Getting inside a person’s head and violating their thoughts is mind rape. Plus there’s the disgusted, fearful look Rey makes as Kylo reaches toward her face that tells us all that Rey is in distress. Rey is trapped in the room, tied down, and can’t escape this situation, where she’s under the threat of physical violence and having her mind raped by Kylo. And that is abuse.

3. Kara Danvers and Mon-El (Karamel), Supergirl

This is what I was talking about earlier when I said TV shows often get ruined by some asshole (Mon-El) swooping in and becoming the protagonist’s “true love”. I’ve stopped watching Supergirl because my once beloved show about a strong, kind lady hero has been hijacked by this entitled jar of mayonnaise.

Upon crashing down in National City, Mon-El has done nothing by lie to Kara (not telling her that he’s the prince of Daxam), insult Kara and everything she stands for (“You fly around, rescuing people, like you’re just pure of heart, but that is crap. Because you love that attention. You love people loving you. You are not selfless.”), and go against Kara’s wishes (“You have ignored what I need from moment one today”), and generally just be a piece of shit (“I never said I wanted to save the world.” “Oh my God. You are so selfish!”). When she doesn’t return his affections, he whines and guilts her into loving him. And somehow – he ends up with her! What kind of message is that sending young girls?

Also, telling someone you allegedly love that they’re your “Kryptonite” (weakness) is NOT romantic. Love is supposed to make you stronger. If your romantic partner makes you “weak”, that’s a bad sign. Believe me, I know.

4. John Watson and Mary Morstan, Sherlock

I’ve been a little harsh on men in this list. But women can be abusers too, and this is a prime example.

Thanks to poor writing from misogynistic, self-satisfied dipshits, Mary Morstan’s characterization has been all over the place. But two things are for sure: Mary is a psychopath and a pathological liar. It eventually was revealed that Mary wasn’t as sugary sweet as she initially tasted. She was actually a killer for hire before meeting John, which she kept from him for almost an entire year, even after they were married. And the lengths she goes to keep that secret from him are outrageous. Namely, attempting to murder John’s best friend – the very same friend who had been missing for two years, whom John had been grieving over, which Mary had to know would devastate John at losing Sherlock all over again. But does she have any regards for his feelings? No. She would rather kill her husband’s dearest friend then have to come clean.

John does eventually find out, and naturally, is a little pissed off by it. So much so that he leaves her. When John finally does agree to speak to Mary again, she immediately guilt trips him – for being rightfully angry about Mary lying to him and trying to murder Sherlock. But for some reason, John takes her back and all is forgiven and forgotten.

(By the way, she never actually says that she’s sorry for shooting Sherlock in the chest. Not until she herself is dying, but honestly, series 4 is such out-of-character, bizarre, melodramatic, sloppily written horseshit that I don’t take any of it seriously. But that’s an essay for another day.)

And beyond all that…she’s just not a nice person. She makes fun of everyone, treating them all like they’re so beneath her. At one point she implies that John is so stupid, a dog is superior to him in intelligence. She’s manipulative, critical, and conniving. And yet, even though there’s little to no affection shown between John and Mary, she’s supposedly the great love of his life. His saving grace. His angel with a sniper rifle. *noise of disgust* Whatever.

5. Emma Swan and Captain Hook, Once Upon A Time

God, where do I BEGIN with these two?

Captain Hook completely ruined Once Upon A Time. He’s been sucking the soul out of Emma Swan for four seasons, and now she’s pathetic, codependent, and completely unrecognizable from the amazing, badass female protagonist that rolled into Storybrooke in a beat up Volkswagen seven years ago.

Hook started off, appropriately, as a villain. He gets into a sword fight with Emma right off the bat and makes lewd, rapey comments towards her. Emma was sensibly repulsed.

Then in season three, Hook decides he’s going to become the guy everyone loves – especially Emma. “I will win your heart,” he growls in her face. Again, another line that’s supposed to sound romantic, but is actually really gross.

Eventually, Emma was hooked (get it?), and her character development was sacrificed for makeout scenes with this guyliner wearing piece of shit. Like Mon-El and Mary, he lies to her constantly, doesn’t respect her wishes, manipulates her, and verbally abuses her when his world isn’t going perfectly ducky. In season 5, Emma saved Hook’s life by using dark magic, turning him into a Dark One (long story). She erased his and everyone else’s memory, but he does inevitably find out, and boy, does he drop that sweet boyfriend act fast. He hits Emma right in the emotional chink in her armor – by saying that all she’ll ever be is an orphan. He knows Emma’s trigger and uses it against her in the most brutal fashion possible. But are there ever any repercussions? Nope. Because Hook is the love of Emma’s life, and he can do no wrong!

Luckily, Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma Swan on OUAT, has announced her retirement from the show after the end of season six, and this godawful romance can die a festering death. Let’s just pray Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) gets fired and the show is left to be run by the only two likable characters left, Regina and Henry Mills.

And number six…

6. Severus Snape and Lily Evans, Harry Potter

I get it, Internet. You pity him. He never got the girl of his dreams. It’s the age old love story: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy calls girl a racial slur – wait, what?!

There was no fucking excuse for Snape to EVER call Lily a Mudblood. James was bullying him, Lily stepped in to defend Snape, Snape got his sensitive little male ego bruised and had been hanging out with a bunch of wizard white supremacists, and called Lily the worst word possible. She was his best and only friend, and he called her that. So no, I don’t feel bad for Snape at all. Especially since he carried his butthurtedness against her and James past their deaths and onto their orphaned child who had endured domestic abuse for the last ten years of his life. Snape gets no sympathy from me.

Okay. Rant over. Hopefully next post will be something more cheery. Thanks for reading. ~TRL

A Comparison Of Unfortunate Events

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**Spoiler free!**

As a child, I was a huge reader and re-reader, especially of one book serial by “Lemony Snicket” (Daniel Handler) called A Series Of Unfortunate Events. I think I have may read the whole series through even more times than I did Harry Potter. I also rewatched the 2004 film version starring Jim Carrey many times (to be fair, I didn’t own that big a collection of DVDs and VHS tapes back then and Netflix didn’t yet exist).

And speaking of Netflix, I was very excited when an actual series with the entire story, all 13 books, was announced to be aired online. I waited in anticipation for months. So when the series was posted about three weeks ago, I devoured the first eight episodes like the Lachrymose leeches did poor Ike Anwhistle (too soon?). So I thought I’d write a post comparing the 2004 Nickelodeon movie to the 2017 Netflix series.

The direction for both adaptions is somewhat Burton-esque (Helena Bonham Carter even made a brief, faceless cameo as the Baudelaires’ mother in the film). The movie is reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands in style (especially costume); the series more like Big Fish. The movie definitely took its own path, plotwise, but seeing as it was adapting a 13 short novel series (well, the first three books) into a 110 minute movie, it was really good, and earnest. Plus some of the original scenes that weren’t pulled straight from the book (like Klaus’s “this is not home” monologue) are really well written. Meanwhile, the Netflix series is pretty true to the books (except for Violet’s pink dress from “The Bad Beginning” – Violet canonically hates pink), and is a real treat for someone who’s read them over and over like I have. We actually get to delve deeper into the mythos of the secret society V.F.D. in a way the film couldn’t do, although I have to admit, part of what made the books so enticing was all the mystery and suspense behind it. The series just gives it all away up front. We even get to see Lemony Snicket’s face, whereas in the movie, all we got was a voiceover and unrevealing shots of Jude Law. I’m not saying you have to have read the books to understand or enjoy the Netflix series, but it’s clear that it was designed for fans of the source material. One thing I thought was interesting was that the series borrowed the spyglass from the movie, even though it was never in the books.

The acting in the movie is clearly superior. The child acting from the Netflix series tends to fall flat sometimes, like participants in a middle school play. Neil Patrick Harris’s Olaf is clearly a replication of Carrey’s portrayal, spliced with Barney Stinson and Doctor Horrible (maybe some Dougie Houser on the side). What I’m saying is, NPH is playing NPH playing Jim Carrey. I was delighted at the diversity in the series, however (Sir and Charles confirmed as a gay couple, finally!); it was a pleasant change from the pasty white complexion of the movie (even Cedric the Entertainer was white). I was so excited when I realized that Mr. Poe was being played by the same actor who played Mr. Trick from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The actors playing Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine from both adaptations, respectively, differ from their counterparts yet are delightful to watch in both cases. I found it amusing that Catherine O’Hara, who played Justice Strauss in the 2004 movie, played Dr. Orwell, the optometrist/hypnotist, in the Netflix series. But I have to say, I think the best actor in the entire series is Patrick Warburton. I’d only ever seen PW in frat bro roles like Puddy on Seinfeld or Jeff Bingham from Rules Of Engagement. But it seems like Warburton was the only (adult) actor in the series who was playing it straight the whole time. I have to admit, I always did envision Lemony Snicket with a British accent (like Jude Law’s portrayal), but Warburton’s ironic deadpan really sold me on his performance. Oh, and the genderless henchperson. I love he/she/them too.

There’s many great things to love about both the movie and the series. I thoroughly enjoy both adaptations and would highly recommend either one. The score to the movie by Thomas Newman is one of my all time favorites. And the Netflix series, since there are two fifty minute episodes for each book, explain a lot of things that the movie – and the book series itself – didn’t address. Like, why did the employees of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill stay there when all the pay they received for their work was coupons and gum? Or how did Count Olaf, a man who is clearly an enemy of the Baudelaire parents, end up with custody of their children?

However, if ever another version of A Series of Unfortunate Events is made, can we have an actually scary Olaf? He terrified me as a child, and I’m sorry, but Neil Patrick Harris is not scary. ~TRL

Year In Review: 2016

It’s no secret, 2016 has sucked massive eggs. A raging fascist pumpkin was named the next President of the United States, with Satan himself as his VP. Brexit happened. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Carrie Fisher, and her mother Debbie Reynolds, all passed away this year. The Pulse shooting in Orlando. The murder clowns. The death of Vine. Fucking Harambe.

And I’m sure there were other offences that I missed. It seems like mostly everyone is in agreement that 2016 was the pits.

Personally for me, this was a taxing year. I’ve never worked as hard in school as I have this past semester. The US election, as a queer woman and also as, you know, a decent, sane human being, has been so emotionally upsetting for me. There wasn’t even any Doctor Who this year to lessen the blow.

But, I’m here to talk about some good things: the Sherlock special in January. Leo finally getting his well deserved Oscar. Hamilton took off in a big, big way (and so did Lin-Manuel Miranda). Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Deadpool all came out (and they were amazing). I got to be in a play this summer, and work on a webseries with my friends. Because I worked so hard, my grades for this semester were really good. I got a lead role in my college’s opera. A really hard to please teacher gave me her approval.

So yes, 2016 was really fucking bad. But I like to think it was made to challenge us, and here we are, still here. We rose to the occasion. So let’s breathe easy these last three weeks, and use the holidays as a time to recooperate, and thank the higher power that this awful year is over.

Besides, Johnlock is going to be canon in January of 2017, so that’s at least something to live for.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and sticking with me this year. I know this blog doesn’t reach a lot of people, but if you are reading this, just know that I’m thankful for you. Here’s to a much better 2017. ~TRL

Why All The Villains Are Gay

More than likely, you’ve watched a TV show or movie where the protagonist and their same sex opponent have…weird sexual chemistry. Maybe the villain gets up in the main guy’s personal space; maybe they make lewd innuendoes; maybe they tell the hero they were meant to be together or something. Sounds romantic, almost, in a really twisted way.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, about why a lot of villains are Ambiguously Gay, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a matter of homophobia (necessarily). Let me explain. On my blog post about Hannigram, I talked a bit about enemyslash, and why I thought Bryan Fuller chose to inject his series with an overdose of homoerotic subtext (if it can even be called subtext anymore). I mentioned that it was Hannibal’s intention to seduce Will to the dark side. Emphasis on the word seduce. In a similar fashion, Passion Of The Nerd covered the lesbian subtext between Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Faith represents Buffy’s shadow self, Slayer power left unchecked. If Faith is symbolic of temptation to act out of selfish wants instead of duty and the desire to do good, it would make sense, then, that Faith would be…tempting.

Often times in film and television, the main character’s archnemesis reflects them, is their dark half, like Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. A classic archetype for this equation is Professor Moriarty from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures. Both Holmes and Moriarty are geniuses, but whereas Holmes uses his wits to defeat crime and do good, Moriarty employs his in committing the crimes. Which is why BBC Sherlock, a slow burn gay romance between the famous consulting detective and his army doctor life mate, has produced one of the most overtly homosexual Moriartys in Holmes canon history (thank you, Moffat and Gatiss).

Usually, the dark mirror half can recognize themself in the light mirror half, and wants to combine their forces to be even stronger. Thus, the villain must seduce the protagonist to the dark side. To better mirror the two characters, they’re often made the same gender (since, you know, men and women can’t be equals, right?), so when you produce Doctor Evilman trying to coax Goodguy Heromale to the dark side, ho yay is bound to follow.

Course, I could be completely wrong and it could all be a plot for the viewing public to associate queerness with being evil, but I like to think positively, you know? ~TRL

Movie Review: Doctor Strange

strange

Spoiler alert! Proceed with caution.

The other night, I saw Marvel’s Doctor Strange, starring Sherlock Holmes, Regina George, and Hannibal Lecter. I mean, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen.

One of these days, I’m going to have to rank the movies in the MCU in order of preference, but this movie would defnitely make top ten – maybe even top five. I’m going to try not to kiss Ben C’s tight white ass this entire review, but it’s going to be very difficult, so bear with me.

First of all, gotta say, Kaecilius (Mikkelsen), of all the Marvel throwaway villains, is probably one of the least sucky. And his motivation kind of isn’t stupid? It’s new, I’ll give it that. His motivation stems from pain, which always makes me more accepting of villains, but his plan isn’t stupid complex and convenient like Zemo from CACW. Anyway, in the beginning when he chops that dude’s head off, I muttered to myself, “bon appetit” (’cause, you know, Hannibal), and the guy three seats down fucking choked.

Second thing I gotta talk about is Rachel McAdams. Wow, a female lead who wasn’t completely badly written! Yes, they follow the basic formula of “she’s in love with the main guy and she’s helpful for like one scene”, but it’s actually not so lame this time? That’s two points it has up on Civil War.

Third, Karl Mordo was really cool. He reminded me of Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onnz from Supergirl. Wise, has that sharp sense of humor, charming but stern. And I think he has the potential to be considered an awesome villain, like Loki. (It’s really sad when there’s only one good villain in your franchise.) And Tilda Swinton was pretty good too.

Fourth: THE VISUALS EFFECTS. OH MY GOD. JUST…WOW. KICK ME IN THE DICK.

Okay, now onto Cumberbatch.

Just…yaaaaaaaaaas. Look, Internet, I know you all think BC gets too much praise, that we only love him for his beautiful lizard face, but the truth is, Benedict is a brilliant actor, plain and simple. It’s amazing to me how he can play roles as drastically different as Khan in Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes, and Alan Turing from The Imitation Game. Again, the man is a genius. I’m really curious as to how he’ll do as the Grinch. He’s one of those actors that has such a well-known face, but he plays every part with such nuance that he’s literally unrecognizable in every role. Why do you think he gets cast in everything? It’s just not because he’s marketable, fam.

Now, on my Tumblr (my new account, @salve-regina-mills, is doing rather well, thanks for asking), I made a post comparing DS to Sherlock…there’s a lot of similarity (at one point Strange literally pops up his collar…come on). But in no way would I say Ben was just recycling his Sherlock persona for Strange. The two are very different characters. Stephen Strange is truly and unapologetically an asshole, and he only gets worse when he loses the one thing that makes him special, but then he grows as a character (obviously) and becomes the awesome Sorcerer Supreme. Also, I think BC was really good in the action sequences. And yes, I realize it’s mostly special effects since this is a movie about magic, but I mean, acting wise, he could play a badass. Oh, and I never had one of those “Hey look, a fake American accent” moments with Ben. And I’m usually good at picking out those moments. And Strange’s humor in the movie is distinct from the other quippy Marvel heroes. Tony Stark is the king of arrogance, Peter Quill is more meta like Deadpool, and Scott Lang is very self-deprecating. The humor in Doctor Strange isn’t really in Stephen’s one liners; it’s in the reactions…or, lack thereof (Oh my God, Wong. “Try me, Beyoncé!”).

Anyway, great movie, cogent plot, good pacing, witty dialogue, fantastic cast, spectacular visual effects. Again, probably in my top five in the MCU. Go watch it, it rocks. ~TRL

Problematic Pairings – Hannigram

UGH! I deleted my entire Tumblr account by mistake! I’m such an ass. Well…*sigh* anyway…

Hey, guys. So I just finished the first season of NBC Hannibal. And it got me thinking. So today, we’re going to be discussing problematic ships. And no, I don’t mean like the Titanic. I mean romantic fictional pairings (canon or not) that could be considered controversial. Now, as you probably drew from the title, the topic of focus will the “flag”ship of the Hannibal fandom, that’s right, you guessed it, Hannigram (Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham).

Nothing is completely black and white. Every ship has its issues. From the fairly vanilla pairings like Destiel, to the highly problematic like Harley Quinn/Joker, every ship has room for discussion about serious issues like whether or not the relationship is healthy. Hannibal centers around the relationship between the infamous cannibalistic psychopath, Hannibal Lecter, and the forensic scientist destined to bring him down, Will Graham. Unlike most m/m pairings, this one is actually canon, according to series creator Bryan Fuller. While they never kiss onscreen, their relationship is quite plain. The cinematography is set up to make the viewer subconsciously pick up on romantic/sexual undertones to their scenes together. Hannibal and Will even canonically have a “daughter” together. They’re good friends (in the beginning, at least), and Hannibal, despite being a psychopath, seems to legitimately care about Will.

However, that doesn’t stop Hannibal from framing Will for the murders he commits in season 1, which result in Will being incarcerated in a mental hospital for the criminally insane, or taking advantage of Will’s fragile sanity to make him a killer like himself. So is this relationship healthy? Obviously not. Not even taking into consideration that Hannibal is a serial murderer who eats people.

These kinds of problems arise when shipping the protagonist with the villain and they need to be addressed. Just how problematic is Hannigram?

Well, let’s compare it to two other popular enemyslash pairings. Take for example, Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty from BBC Sherlock. I’ve talked about Sherlock at length before, but in brief, Sherlock is a show about the famous British detective, set in the 21st century. In this adaptation, James Moriarty, Holmes’ classic arch nemesis and hacky gay stereotype, is in love with Sherlock Holmes and wants him all for himself. He’s been stalking Sherlock since they were tweens, and his long game is to “burn the heart out of Sherlock”, or in other words, to make him insane and evil like himself. Apart from the intellectual challenges Moriarty presents in “The Great Game” and wanting to bring him to justice for his crimes, Sherlock is not interested in Moriarty in the slightest, is afraid of him, and just wants to be left alone by him. This is not a pairing I support. Moriarty is a stalker and an abuser (and possibly a sex offender?), and Sherlock wants nothing to do with him. There’s no question here that this pairing is toxic.

But on the flip side of the scale, let’s talk about a pair of friendly enemies. Two individuals who have known each other since they were kids, who enjoy their battles with each other, who have actually saved each other’s lives on multiple occasions and had proper freak-outs at the prospect of the other’s death, and despite being mortal enemies, consider themselves best friends: the Doctor and the Master from Doctor Who. There are of course problematic aspects to this relationship, such as the Master’s possessiveness of the Doctor and gleeful willingness to murder any and all of the Doctor’s friends to have him all to his/her/themself. This relationship is so bipolar; you can have the Master slapping a tied down, defenseless Doctor, and the two of them sacrificing their lives for each other with tearful, loving, shared gazes, in the same episode (I could write a novel on “The End Of Time”). At the end of the day, while their relationship obviously generates issues, and certainly isn’t the healthiest, the two are on an equal level, enjoy each other’s company (to a point), and are usually hungry for more interaction. There’s a reason this pairing is nicknamed “Best Enemies”.

So that’s an example of a very negative and a (mostly) positive relationship between two enemies. But where does Hannigram fit in? Well, there’s pros and cons to Hannibal and Will’s relationship to be sure. I can’t call myself an authority because I haven’t seen the whole series, but even in the first season, the homoeroticism is present. From Hannibal sniffing Will to “we will be her fathers now” to the weirdly romantic swell of music in the last scene of season 1 when Hannibal visits Will in the sanitarium (coupled with the strangely pissed-off-yet-sexual way Will says “Doctor Lecter”). Contextually speaking, Hannibal is trying to seduce Will to the dark side, so it makes sense that he should be, well…seductive. Whether or not Hannibal really has feelings for Will or if it’s all a part of the game he’s playing also should be taken into consideration: can a psychopath love? And if so, can they love selflessly? There’s a strange balance between the two men: Hannibal, being a psychopath, by definition, cannot feel empathy, and Will feels pure empathy, which fascinates Hannibal. They’re a yin and a yang, light and dark, although Will definitely grows darker thanks to Hannibal’s influence. But could the opposite happen? Could Will influence Hannibal to draw closer to the side of good?

Well, we could sit here and debate all day. I’m eager to watch the rest of the series and see how their relationship evolves, especially if the tentative season 4 comes to fruition. Thanks for reading. ~TRL

“Deep Breath” Review

Happy Whuesday! (It’s been awhile, I know.) So by now, “Into The Dalek” has aired, so it’s alright to talk about the episode that came before that, “Deep Breath”. ***Spoilers, sweetie!***

“Deep Breath”, 8×1, is the first episode of a whole new era of Doctor Who. It shows a more complex, dark Doctor. It hints at a lot of changes to the show. But mostly, it basically indicates another epic series of our favorite fifty-one-year-old, British sci-fi TV show. This is gonna be great.

First, let’s talk Peter Capaldi. HE IS FREAKING AWESOME. I knew I was gonna like him, I haven’t found a Doctor I didn’t like yet, but I’m also a little scared of him. You know? Like with Matt Smith, you felt safe. Not this Doctor. Twelve is a lot less cuddly, and a lot more cold. In fact, he strikes me as a Seven-ish Doctor. Everyone swears that he’s a Three or Four, but I don’t see it. I mean, Twelve’s older and dresses like Three, but Three was an arrogant prick who was secretly a sweetheart (who was secretly an arrogant prick). Four was definitely more alien and cutoff, so they’re alike in that respect, but there was also something fun and comical about Four that Capaldi doesn’t seem to portray. This is an all business Doctor. But he is definitely manipulative like Seven, and dark too. What I’m trying to say is, this is a new Doctor entirely. And I’m rather looking forward to it!

(Plus his eyebrows and flirting with dinosaurs, yo.)

I think the role of Clara is going to change dramatically, and before I go into that, I would just like to say that this episode moved Clara up to my number two spot for favorite companion (Sorry, nobody beats Donna. Nobody.). Before, Clara was just sort of the Doctor’s date, someone he could show off for and amaze her with the marvels of the universe. Now I think Clara’s going to have to take a lot more control (put that control freak-ism to use) and be more independent than before. I heard Jenna Coleman hasn’t signed on for series nine (although Capaldi has), which means I was right in thinking that she was going to take the Billie Piper route: stay for one more series with the new Doctor, then leave the show. I hate being right.

Alright, now let’s talk about mysteries. First: jumped or pushed? Meaning, did the half-face man jump from the ship, or did the Doctor push him? Personally, I think he pushed him. As the Doctor said, he’s made a lot of mistakes, and it’s time he did something about it. Maybe he considers one of those “mistakes” showing his enemies so much mercy and refusing to resort to violence.

Secondly, the face. The Doctor swears he’s seen his face before. That’s because Peter Capaldi played Caecilius in the series four episode, “The Fires Of Pompeii”. (Capaldi was also John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children Of Earth, but I’m not sure if that’s relevant.) RTD and Steven Moffat say that they have an explanation for that. I think it might have something to do with the Curator’s line from “The Day Of The Doctor”: “You might find yourself revisiting a few [faces the Doctor’s seen before]…but just the old favorites, eh?” (I have a personal theory that Caecilius was secretly Twelve and that they’ll refilm that episode from his POV, which means the dream team of Tennant and Tate will return. Plus, “DB” is chock full of references from “The Girl In The Fireplace”, another Ten story. But I’m a dreamer, and it’s probably not going to happen. Sigh…) I just hope the explanation isn’t something stupid, but Moffat very rarely disappoints, so I’ll probably be satisfied.

And there are many more, but the biggest of all, is…WHO THE F**K IS MISSY?! Is it River? The Rani? THE MASTER?!?!?!?!?!?! (I wish it was the latter. I really do. I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP.) There are many theories, so I reserve judgment, because I don’t want to be wrong and/or disappointed.

Well, that’s about it from me. Looking forward to discussing a whole new series with you guys. Peace!