On Repeat: Playlist of the Week

1. “Girls Like You” – The Naked and Famous

This song’s so damn catchy, it’s been in my head for weeks. One of these days I’ll get sick of it (or maybe not–it’s that good), but not this week! I first heard it several years ago, when The Naked and Famous released Passive Me, Aggressive You, but I was too preoccupied with “Punching in a Dream” and “Young Blood” to even notice it. Over the summer, I watched a movie featuring “Girls Like You” and fell in love with the band all over again. Their newest album, In Rolling Waves, was just released a little over a week ago, and it’s every bit as good as its predecessor. 


2. “Tempest” – Lucius 

Speaking of catchy, good luck getting this song out of your head once you’ve heard it; the band, led by two female singers with stunningly lovely voices, is set to release their debut album, Wildewoman, in mid-October. I can’t remember where I first heard this song, but I fell in love immediately–everything about it is gorgeous and so close to perfect–and I can’t possibly do it justice writing about it, so just listen. 


3. “Pumpin Blood” – NONONO

Go ahead, try not to be happy when you listen to this song. I first heard “Pumpin Blood” when it played over a promotional commercial for Netflix’s shows (all of which, funnily enough, do not in any way match the upbeat mood of this song). If this song weren’t so good, it’s unbelievable cheeriness would be grating–but, fortunately, this band avoids irritation and expertly hits fresh and optimistic instead. 


4. “The Wire” – Haim

I haven’t been able to get enough of Haim lately, especially this song. And the music video’s hilariously perfect, as the girls (sisters, I believe) ditch their lackluster lovers, all of whom weepingly converge and mourn their respective dead relationships. Haim’s been compared to 90s-era Shania Twain, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on your opinion of the singer–though the trio’s music is charming and peppy enough to allow the girls to make a name for themselves that’s uniquely theirs.  


5. “Skinny Little Girl” – Hanni El Khatib 

First heard in the promo for the new season of The CW’s Arrow (an extremely fitting choice, by the way), I immediately searched this song down on the internet and proceeded to play it on repeat. Lines like “I think I’m gonna pray for you,” the overall bluesy-rock sound, and the singer’s gruffly sexy voice make for one hell of a good song, made even better by its connection to a morally ambiguous small screen superhero who spends half of his life dolling out vengeance in the middle of the night.  


6. “Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now” – Lavender Diamond

Sorry to end on such a sad note (no, I’m not), but this song–recommended via Emma Watson’s Twitter–is so heartbreakingly gorgeous I had to share. Though it didn’t make me cry (I don’t know how), it certainly has the potential to wrench sadness out of you–I keep picturing it playing over a sad, sappy scene on any one of the multitude of dramas I binge on–but the song’s lovely enough that you’ll want to listen to it anyway, sadness be damned. 



‘Pretty Little Liars’ S4E12 Recap: The Stalker King

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Despite several desperate (and mostly ludicrous) moves on A’s part, “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” felt pretty lackluster for a summer finale. For the episode’s first half, the liars did what they do best: repeatedly receive increasingly violent threats from A whilst standing around panicking together. Because involving the police is out of the question (why is that, again?), the girls enlisted themselves, as well as Toby and Caleb, to put a stop to A’s newest murder plan. Oh, and don’t even get me started on that “cliffhanger.” A’s not the only one getting desperate, it would seem.

Here we go…

1. Aria

After a few obvious allusions to Aria’s poor compatibility with good guy Jake (he doesn’t like poetry readings–to be fair, who does?–and falls asleep to old black-and-white movies–again, who doesn’t?), Aria sought the company of her former lover and current teacher Ezra post-poetry reading. As the pair chatted happily on the coffee shop’s couch, Aria leaned forward and planted a surprise kiss on Fitz’s lips. Um, guys? This is, once again, ILLEGAL. And you’ll only be right back where you were at the beginning. (Sorry; I’m just feeling particularly bitter about that ending.) Go ahead, Ezria, flaunt your forbidden love in a public coffee shop. And don’t mind that red-coat-wearing blondie spying from the window; she’s only a guaranteed lunatic and potential murderer.

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

2. Spencer

Though Toby went AWOL after last week’s hoedown, he’d only really been crying over a box of his mother’s things in his apartment. (I guess Spencer–who spent numerous phone calls looking for her runaway boyfriend–forgot to look there.) When Toby stumbled across some news indicating Wren and Melissa were once again living together, he finally gave Spence a call. Then, he gave her some horribly weak excuse about being in town for her, when he once would’ve fled altogether! Maybe this would’ve been a more acceptable excuse if, say, Toby actually informed Spencer he hadn’t skipped town? Couldn’t he have just been all, “I need some space” instead of going radio silent? Anyway, Spencer forgave his stupid excuses and went hunting down Wren. But, whoops, the doctor-turned-A-accomplice had vanished, leaving Shana to care for his place? Honestly, I’m just very confused about everything right now.

3. Hanna

Thanks to Travis’s confession, Ashley was finally released after several episodes worth of suffering. Of course, A threatened terror and mayhem and murder (specifically Mona’s) if Ashley got off, but the liars basically ignored her and celebrated Ashley’s freedom. In true psychotic fashion, A responded to the snub with several monstrously-huge packages of hidden saws, a kid coffin, and personalized magic-8 balls to convey a message that the girls should attend a magic show in Ravenswood. (A doesn’t believe in e-vites, or even simple paper invitations.) The girls obeyed their stalker’s demands and trekked to Ravenswood for the show, where Aria momentarily disappeared inside a box on stage, and then Emily disappeared for real from the crowd. Don’t worry, she was only stuffed in a coffin and set on a sawmill assembly line. KIDDING! (No, I’m not. I just wish I was.)

4. Emily

Poor Emily always receives the brunt of A’s most vicious attacks, from cars through the window to nearly being sawed in half whilst inside a chained coffin. Luckily the girls rescued her in time–HA! Kidding!–I mean, Red Coat shut the assembly line off in time for Emily to safely escape. In the first not-so-surprising twist of the episode, the girls realized there were TWO red coats running around, and Aria caught up with one, none other than Cece Drake, and proceeded to beat the crap out of her before Cece accidentally fell over a ledge. As the girls comforted Aria, Cece’s presumed-dead-but-really-alive body up and sauntered away. Luckily, A Number Two led Spence to the real A lair, where the girls found expensive computer surveillance equipment, storyboards of the girls’ lives, and a closet full of MEN’S SUITS.

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

5. Alison 

As creepy Mrs. Grunwald confirmed to the liars, Alison was indeed alive and running scared; she’d been contacting the clairvoyant sorority mother for help seeing who her stalker was (remember, A also tortured Alison), and Mrs. Grunwald was the one who pulled Ali out of a shallow grave, where the poor girl’d been buried alive. And someone led the liars to the real lair and proceeded to watch them from behind a poster, and, judging by the unseen creeper’s eyeball, they were female.

Don’t worry, I’ve saved the worst for last: Guess who’s A suspect numero uno now? EZRA FITZ. Yep, in a surprising but not welcome cliffhanger, Pretty Little Liars revealed Ezra had been watching the girls, then throwing a fit inside the lair after realizing his hideout had been discovered. Of course, this might be a fakeout a la Toby, Spencer, Mona (sort of–she still seems to be on the A-team and was once evil), etc. At this point, is anyone in town NOT helping A commit crime and murder and various other small-scale acts of terrorism? Seriously, there’s some sort of town-wide evil conspiracy junk going on in Rosewood.

On the plus side, the Halloween episode looks like it’ll be genuinely good (and, besides, the summer finale acts more as a penultimate episode to the real finale that is the show’s excellent Halloween episodes anyway), and HOW AWESOME DOES RAVENSWOOD LOOK!? That thirty-second preview was the best part of the episode, seriously.

And that’s it, see you in October!

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E12 Recap: Now You See Me

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it? Happy endings all around, Kali and the Darach aside. Of course, God only knows what’s coming to town after the kids put the “beacon” back in “Beacon Hills.” But, for now, everyone’s safe, sound, and moderately okay–even the scarring was kept to a minimal, with the exception being Scott, Stiles, and Allison and their newly-darkened hearts. Those should provide Teen Wolf with plenty of deep and personal character drama in the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…we’ve still got “Lunar Ellipse(/Eclipse?)” to discuss!

Post-sacrificial deaths, Scott, Stiles, and Allison woke in a bright and empty Dark Knight-esque room decorated solely with the Nemeton and a few hundred fluorescent lights. Scott reached the roots first and pressed his hand to them; immediately, he was taken to that fateful night during the pilot when Peter bit him. The roots took Stiles there, too, and Allison wound up nearby, where she and her mother nearly ran over Scott, then stopped and found his inhaler in the woods. No, this wasn’t an afterlife trip through the past; the Nemeton’s location was right beside where the trio’s supernatural adventures began. After their respective mental journeys, the trio woke up for real in Deaton’s veterinarian office, and Deaton quickly informed them they’d been out for sixteen hours, leaving the lunar eclipse only four hours away. Whoops (but also convenient!).

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Before the group could formulate a plan, Ethan the Nice Twin burst into the vet’s office to fetch Lydia for help stopping his brother and Kali, who were on their way to kill Derek. Though Cora’s healthy and healed, Derek’s a weakened Beta shell of his former Alpha self and unable to fight. Peter made the Hale siblings run and disappeared himself, just as Kali and Aiden confronted Lydia and Ethan. But, before anyone could attack, Jennifer burst through the ceiling (she and Derek have that overly-dramatic entrance thing in common), slaughtered Kali with shards of glass, and broke the neck of the conjoined twins (don’t worry, they’ll later be taken to Deaton by Lydia and Cora and saved). Then, she rounded on Lydia and urged her to scream, knowing Derek and Cora would hear and come running (which they promptly did).

At Allison’s, where she, Scott and Isaac were gathering weapons, Scott ran into his father waiting for them. With no leads on the murders other than the kids, Agent McCall hoped to grill Scott and co. for information. Allison had other, better plans that involved a quick defense of her father’s need for the weapons followed by the dropping of a smoke grenade. At the same time, Stiles found himself in the middle of a Darach-influenced storm and crashed his jeep into a tree. As Scott rejoined the Deucalion, Allison and Isaac went off in search of Stiles, until Isaac heard Mr. Argent’s sonic emitter, and the pair found the root cellar instead.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

With the Deucalion at his side, Scott came up with a nifty use for product placement and lured Jennifer to the slaughter warehouse where the Deucalion originally lost his pack. She arrived, but not alone: Derek, having fallen for her revenge pleas, joined her to take down the Deucalion and save the guardians. Of course, the demon wolf transformed into his namesake and proceeded to take the pair down, until that pesky lunar eclipse hit. As the Deucalion lay defenseless on the ground, Derek urged Jennifer to heal his eyes (knowing this would weaken her) so he could see her true face. Jennifer, all too happy to oblige, healed the Deucalion’s blindness and reverted to her hideous, evil Druid face. Luckily for the wolves and unfortunately for Jennifer, she weakened herself long enough for the eclipse to end. Trying to protect herself long enough to complete the sacrifice (the guardians plus Allison and Isaac were about to be crushed in the cellar, thanks to the Darach’s magic storm), Jennifer dropped a circle of mountain ash. Scott didn’t care; he shoved his way through the circle–becoming a red-eyed Alpha in the process–and threatened to kill Jennifer to save his “pack.” Impatient, the Deucalion stepped forward and slit the Darach’s throat, effectively cutting off the storm.

Stiles, having arrived at the cellar in time to help hold it up with a baseball bat, gave Scott a call for help. Then, in a decision they’ll probably come to regret, Derek and Scott let the Deucalion live and told him to get the hell out of town.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

As the midseason finale came to a close, Scott filled Deaton (and the audience) in on the current happenings in Beacon Hills. Derek and Cora left town, the Argents came up with a new family motto (“We protect those who cannot protect themselves”), Scott’s father stuck around but isn’t welcome, and Scott and Stiles feel the darkness surrounding their hearts every day. To lesson the weight, Scott simply looks at his friends: Lydia and Aiden, Danny and Ethan, Isaac and Allison, and, of course, Stiles.

All’s well that ends well, right? WRONG. Peter, who WAS up to no good last episode when he encouraged Derek to sacrifice his Alpha status for Cora’s life, found Jennifer crawling to the Nemeton to be healed and killed her before she could touch the tree. Then, he shouted to the skies that he is, and has always been, the Alpha.

And that’s it, see you in January!

Bonus: The song playing toward the end of the episode, when Scott returned to school, was “Kids” by Mikky Ekko.





‘Pretty Little Liars’ S4E10 Recap: Mommie Dearest

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Remember when A was being a weirdo and drilling holes in someone’s floor? And removing porch panels so she/he/it could climb underneath a house? Well, like all of A’s secret plans, this one had a purpose–to spy on the DiLaurentis’ home from the safety of their dank, dark basement. That’s right–A, possibly homeless and definitely crazy, set up a cozy little hideaway complete with a sleeping bag and various pieces of trash (A’s a surprisingly huge slob, FYI) BENEATH A DEAD GIRL’S HOUSE. You’re such a psycho, A. But you’re also smarter than everyone on the show, including the police? At this rate, A won’t be caught until season 10, when all of the Liars are homeless orphans settling in for a long-term stay at Radley after their collective mental breakdown.

Whoops, that got dark! Sorry, let’s just talk about “The Mirror Has Three Faces,” shall we? And guess who earned her own paragraph in this week’s recap! The deliciously devious…

1. Mona

If you thought being locked away in a psychiatric hospital would keep Mona from wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives, then you were WRONG. In true Mona fashion, she sassed cutie-slash-possible-A-accomplice Dr. Wren as he attempted to pull the truth from her by poking fun at his inability to spell on her notes and calling him out as a liar. He, in turn, revealed he knew she was off her meds and suspected she had nothing to do with Wilden’s death. The stand-off ended when Wren left and took off for Mrs. Hasting’s to warn her about Mona’s dangerous ways; he suggested Mona hadn’t forgiven any of the Liars and wanted to see all of them, families included, hurt. Mrs. Hastings responded by stopping for a visit with Mona, wherein Mama Hastings threatened a future in prison for a thoroughly-unfazed Mona. Actually, Mona seemed pretty pleased by this confrontation after Mrs. Hastings left–either everything is going smoothly in some plan of hers, or she finds being harassed amusing. Maybe both? Oh, Mona. Never change.

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

2. Hanna

Though Hanna wanted to pay Mona a visit, Caleb successfully talked her out of it and gave her something else instead: the potential address of Cece Blake, located in Philly. Oh, and he also pushed her to tell her parents and the cops about A, which Hanna vehemently refused to do. Not because she believes a handful of teens can handle a psychopathic stalker/murderer alone, but because she’s afraid of how A will react to being outed. Around Caleb’s back, Hanna sought out Dr. Wren and begged a favor; after hearing a blonde had attempted to see Mona, she wanted him to check out Radley’s security cameras. Initially Wren declined, smartly trying to keep out of the Liars’ drama, but caved because he can’t seem to resist the pleas of a pretty teenager. Though, once Hanna left, he paid a call to someone about a “problem” that he would take care of. So, presumably Wren’s gone dark side now–a shame, since he always seemed like one of the good ones (weakness for teen girls aside). Later, Hanna ran into Caleb trying to visit Veronica, the counselor who previously skipped town rather than help the Liars. Caleb’s afraid for Hanna, especially since he can do nothing to keep her safe from an enemy that’s “everywhere and nowhere.” While his concern is undeniably sweet, shouldn’t he have chosen someone other than flighty Veronica? Doesn’t matter–he never made it inside, but kissed Hanna on the sidewalk instead, under the watchful eyes of Wren from his parked car. And, Ashley’s also out of a lawyer, after an anonymous tip (revealed to be WREN) accused Mrs. Hasting’s of obstructing justice and pushing Mona to falsely confess. Poor Ashley just can’t catch a break, can she?

3. Spencer

After Toby’s delivered an envelope of sheet music and a note about lambs and lions, he and Spencer set off for another visit to the dementia-ridden Dr. Palmer. Of course, Dr. Palmer had no idea what the pair were talking about; that is, until Spencer took the sheet music and began playing piano. He immediately believed she was Toby’s mother and questioned her about Toby’s next visit before dropping a mention of Mrs. DiLaurentis. Spencer automatically assumed Mrs. DiLaurentis was the blonde whom Dr. Palmer previously warned Toby of, but Spencer’s usually a little wrong about these things, isn’t she? So let’s assume Mrs. DiLaurentis is a red herring, as she all but confirmed when Spencer confronted her. Turns out, Alison and Cece liked to play mind games by imitating one another; once, Cece dressed as Alison and stopped by Radley, which resulted in a frantic Jessica DiLaurentis skipping several stop signs as she raced to her self-harming “daughter.” Doesn’t everyone spend their adolescent years trying on their best friend’s personality? No? Just me, then? Moving on…

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

4. Aria

Once learning Jake had a match in Philly, Aria invited herself along, much to Jake’s happy surprise. Taking advantage of her situation, Aria also paid that potential Cece Drake address a visit (under the guise of seeking fro-yo), but merely ran into a huffy ex-acquaintance of Cece’s as she was moving out. The woman revealed Alison had gotten Cece kicked out of college after knocking someone down the stairs at a party, then called Aria a “she-devil” once learning she’d been a friend of Ali’s. Aria’s reaction to the nickname was priceless, but she wasn’t exactly innocent back then, was she? On her way back to Jake, Aria received a call from Ezra (who’d spent the episode learning Malcolm was not his biological son, which, ugh Pretty Little Liars, seriously? But Ezra’s response was pretty heartbreaking, so props for giving Ezra a good storyline outside of his relationship with Aria) that she ignored. After winning his match, Jake and Aria shared a cheesy-but-sweet moment on a stoop, eating burritos, ragging on one another, and kissing. Team Jake, yeah? Though Malcolm was the obstacle separating Aria and Ezra (not their age gap, of course–don’t be ridiculous), and he’s gone now…

5. Emily

As Emily quickly found out, moving into the room of your dead best friend/occasional lover is both creepy and pretty sad, especially when said friend’s mother wanders around the home crying and practically begging for the company of her dead daughter’s best friends. Seriously, every scene any of the girls shared with Mrs. DiLaurentis was usually a little odd but mostly just heavily sad–not only is the woman still mourning the loss of her daughter, but also she’s been served divorce papers by her husband. Luckily, she seemed to take solace in Emily’s company (even expressing a wish that Alison had returned Emily’s feelings once Emily revealed to Mrs. DiLaurentis that she’s a lesbian), and Emily was conveniently put in the position to discover A’s underground hideout.

Lastly, A took that dirty and incriminating high heel of Ashley’s and tossed it among the wreckage of Emily’s house, right beside a cracked photo of Emily. Presumably Em’s her next target (A has a serious fixation with her), so Emily should probably just get the hell out of town now, graduation be damned. And, I forgot to mention the incident when Hanna stopped by House DiLaurentis, and A sneaked around RIGHT BEHIND HER wearing her signature red coat and Alison mask. Though A was literally two feet behind her, Hanna never even heard or saw Red Coat, so A’s obviously either a ghost or a ninja or BOTH.

That’s it!

P.S. World War A (hahahahaha) is only two weeks away, ARE YOU READY FOR IT?


BONUS: That lovely, slightly spooky song closing out the episode was “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” by Talk Normal.



‘Teen Wolf’ S3E11 Recap: Family Matters

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

“Alpha Pact” picked up right where last week’s breathtaking episode left off, with Scott and his mother gone and everyone else reconvening in the hospital parking lot. After literally slapping an unconscious Derek awake, Stiles sent him off to find Cora and run, then opted to remain at the hospital to delay the cops; the Argents found Isaac alone (Peter ran off after spotting the hunting duo), and Derek filled the trio in on Scott and his mother’s whereabouts. With everyone up to speed, the real fun began: a new character came to town, allegiances shifted, budding relationships developed, and several major characters chose to sacrifice themselves to save their families. As a penultimate episode, “Alpha Pact” did an excellent job setting up the midseason finale without skimping on heavy character moments.

So, let’s talk about it!

As Stiles quickly learned via an FBI agent he not only recognized, but also did NOT appear happy to see, someone had written “Argent” on the hospital’s elevator doors. The message was either a threat or a warning, depending on who wrote it, but no one needed to know the deliverer’s identity to understand Mr. Argent was the last guardian on the Darach’s hit list. Stiles immediately ran to the Argents with the news, and they pieced together a plan to attack the Darach. Isaac, after a one-sided screaming match at Derek’s (where he ultimately asked Derek why he’d turned the members of his pack, and Derek copped up to his loneliness), stopped by to help. After sending Stiles to find Lydia AKA Beacon Hills’s resident banshee/death detector, Mr. Argent took Allison and Isaac to the bank under the guise that Jennifer would return to the site of a failed sacrifice for a do-over. But, Mr. Argent had no intention of fighting the Darach–instead, he shocked Isaac to the ground and handcuffed Allison to the bank’s guard rails before tossing his beloved gun aside and sacrificing himself to a very pleased evil Druid.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Once Isaac contacted Stiles with the bad news, Stiles immediately began to have a panic attack in the middle of the school hallway. To calm him down, Lydia dragged him into the empty locker room and tried to make him think happy thoughts; when this failed, she kissed him. Unsurprisingly, her plan worked, and newly-calm Stiles realized they needed to find Ms. Morell. Though the guidance counselor herself was missing, Stiles searched her office and pulled out Lydia’s file. Inside was one of Lydia’s tree sketches, which Stiles noticed was identical to every single tree sketch Lydia’d been doodling in class. By flipping the tree over, the picture represented roots, and Stiles smartly deduced where the guardians were being held. Unfortunately, all attempts to find the location of the root cellar fell through–Lydia found Derek (and ran into Peter, resulting in a tense stare down that ended with Peter looking uncharacteristically ashamed), but his memory of the location had been wiped by his mother Talia after his and Peter’s tragic experiences there; Stiles drew a blank with Allison, whose grandfather had long ago forgotten the cellar’s location. With the help of Deaton (who’d rescued Stiles from more FBI questioning), Stiles, Allison, and Isaac came up with a plan, but they needed Scott.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Meanwhile, Ms. Morell was running for her life through the woods as the pack of Alphas chased her. Scott and the Deucalion were there, too, discussing the Darach. Deucalion confessed he wasn’t scared of the Darach, but concerned–anyone willing to kill so many innocent people for her cause was somebody who shouldn’t be underestimated. When Scott asked about the Deucalion’s stance on murder, the Deucalion responded with this chilling line: “I’ll kill any living thing that gets in my way.” So, this battle between the Deucalion and the Darach ought to be semi-exciting, right? Anyway, Ms. Morell trapped herself in a circle of mountain ash while the Alphas and Scott surrounded her. The Deucalion wanted Ms. Morell dead because she was so similar to the Darach, and he was distrustful of her, especially after she sent the girl (from the premiere!) to rescue Isaac from the twins. Then, Ms. Morell began to call the Deucalion out on his lies (especially about Ennis, which definitely piqued Kali’s interest), and he responded by throwing his spear/walking stick through her chest. Scott stopped the pack from finishing the kill and asked Ms. Morell where the guardians were.

Later, Scott met up secretly with Deaton and Stiles in the woods, and Deaton revealed his plan: the kids of the guardians would act as surrogate sacrifices for their parents. Though Deaton believes he can bring the kids back, the plan is still dangerous; if they succeed, the Special Druid Tree will have more power than it’s had in years, and the trio will carry a mark (like a darkness around their hearts, as Deaton put it) with them for the rest of their lives. Oh, and the tree will act as a beacon to all supernatural creatures. Of course the three teens agreed to this almost immediately, and Deaton brought them to ice-filled basins in his veterinarian building. Each teen sacrifice needed someone they were emotionally bonded with to push them beneath the water, as well as draw them back to life–Lydia attempted to go to Allison, but Deaton, correctly assessing a bond that the pair probably haven’t even admitted to themselves yet, sent her to Stiles. Isaac went to Allison and Deaton to Scott. Moments before their heads were shoved under the icy water, Stiles informed Scott his father was back in town. That’s right, the FBI agent Stiles seems to hate? He’s SCOTT’S FATHER. Such a good development, seriously. Anyway, under the water they went, and Scott’s eyes opened to reveal a lovely shade of True Alpha gold.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Having spent most of the episode fairly removed from the action, Derek and Peter sussed out a potential cure for Cora. It involved Derek sacrificing his Alpha status so Cora could use the extra spark of magic/power Alphas have to live. Though Derek definitely reverted to a blue-eyed beta (which Peter looked very pleased about), Cora’s fate remains up in the air. Also, despite being stripped of every one of his weapons, Mr. Argent still had his sonic werewolf alarm; he pressed the button, hoping the wolves would be clued in to the guardians’ location.

And that’s it! Next week’s the midseason finale, and it looks like a werewolf-blocking lunar eclipse will be creating havoc for the wolves. Should be fun!


–As Peter pointed out to Derek, Isaac’s pretty much completely Team Scott now. And the Deucalion’s pack still seems to slowly be splintering, especially after Ms. Morell cast doubt upon the Deucalion’s past actions.

–Sheriff Stilinski’s a true believer now–Mama McCall filled him in on the town’s supernatural intricacies (including Mr. Argent’s werewolf hunter status); in a heartbreaking moment, he confessed that not believing in the past had led to him missing his wife’s death when an injured girl buried under a car pileup told him to hurry to his wife, but he didn’t believe in her abilities and chose to stay with the dying girl.

‘Pretty Little Liars’ S4E9 Recap: Happy Birthday, Emily?

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

Hasn’t this season of Pretty Little Liars felt a little slow in comparison to previous seasons? Nine episodes in and the police are still tracking down Wilden’s murderer while the Alison case (minor developments and Mona’s premiere confessional aside) has been mostly static–shouldn’t we be learning a bit more at this point, rather than treading previously-explored ground? Instead of being pushed along, story lines–like Emily’s injured arm, Ashley’s legal trouble, Spencer’s proclivity for enthusiastically suspecting everyone at some point or another, and Aria’s new relationship–are being explored over and over again each week, with no real resolution in sight. Though slow-burning plots can be fine, they need to be balanced with some excitement; “Into the Deep” tried to mix quiet character moments with a party and a near drowning, but all of the action was saved for episode’s end. Maybe the intriguing aftereffects will carry on into the next episode or episodes? Let’s hope so.

Anyway, onto the episode…

1. Hanna 

Mona’s false(?) confession brought Hanna some much-needed good news: the police finally set Ashley’s bail. The bad news? The bail was set at one million dollars. After a tearful phone call with Caleb in the park, Ashley ran into Reverend Ted. He’d heard about Ashley’s arrest and told Hanna to have faith things would work out. Hanna, the realist, stated she didn’t need faith, she needed money. However, when Ashley’s bail was paid by an anonymous source, both Marins assumed Hanna’s father had paid up; he didn’t, of course, but Ted did. Ashley realized the truth when Ted stopped by the house with a pie, and she returned the favor with an explanation (she’d fought with Wilden on the night he was murdered but didn’t kill him) and the acceptance of a dinner invitation. So, Ashley’s in the semi-clear for now but still under house arrest. Meanwhile, Mona, released from the police station due to a lack of evidence, returned to Radley for an extended stay, but she seemed oddly pleased to be there? Obviously she’s planning something, but how long until we discover what it is? And is she hoping to help the Liars, or resume her A mission?

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

2. Emily 

Because of Emily’s recent A-related stressors, Paige decided the best way to distract Emily was through a meeting with a famed swim trainer and a surprise party at Paige’s aunt’s lake house. Unfortunately, Paige neglected to inform the trainer of Emily’s injury, and Emily received the disappointing news that it’d be very unlikely she’d be trained in time for scholarship season. Poor Emily’s taken most of the brunt from A’s attacks lately, hasn’t she? Between her injured arm, destroyed house, and parental drama, it’s a wonder the girl hasn’t checked herself into Radley at this point, if only to catch a break. Now her relationship with Paige is looking grim–despite Paige’s good intentions, the girls know they won’t be together next year at Stanford, and three thousand miles plus four years of separation is an awfully huge obstacle. Emily promised Paige she’d try to enjoy her party, but she escaped the first chance she got and found Jenna unconscious in the lake. After rescuing her, Emily showed Spence and Aria the blood stains on her sleeve, indicating Jenna had been knocked on the back of the head.

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

3. Aria

After Aria’s fear-fueled call, Jake ended up spending the night on the couch so she’d feel safe. Whilst sitting on the porch chatting with Spencer, Aria sneaked a peek or two at Jake dressing through the window and seemed pleased by what she saw. Though Aria tried to ditch him to meet Spencer, Jake talked her into grabbing a coffee together. Of course, Ezra was seated nearby, talking with Maggie, and spotted the pair with jealousy etched all over his face. He almost missed what Maggie was saying: she received a job offer in Seattle and would be moving Malcolm there with her, much to Ezra’s disappointment. He sought out Mrs. Hastings for a family lawyer’s number, but Ezra’d have to establish his paternity to even have a case, which would then only lead to a massive legal battle between him and Maggie. If he truly cares about his son, as we’ve seen he clearly does, then he’ll let them go. (Also, are we supposed to be suspecting Malcolm isn’t Ezra’s biological son, since Ezra’s name isn’t on the birth certificate? Please no–don’t go with that route, Pretty Little Liars.) Anyway, Jake wandered into Emily’s birthday party with a pretty blonde on his arm. Aria responded with obvious jealousy, and later, when Jake sat on her couch after the near-tragic party incident, the pair finally (finally!) kissed.

Photo Courtesy of ABC Family (abcfamily.com)

4. Spencer

With Toby still in New York, Spencer’s story line has largely stalled–she spent the episode attempting to question Jenna (who’d finally returned to Rosewood) after overhearing a conversation between Shana and Jenna about Alison. Her plan faltered when Jenna was discovered face-down in the lake during Emily’s birthday party. Unconscious in the hospital, Jenna won’t be answering any questions anytime soon. Convenient. But Shana reluctantly offered some information when Spence cornered her–it’s not Alison Jenna’s afraid of (since she’s, you know, dead) but Cece Drake. Hmm.

Lastly, Red Coat visited Alison’s house (as someone moved around with the light on in Ali’s old bedroom!) to open an entrance under the porch, and A played some piano music before stuffing the sheets of music into an envelope addressed to Toby.

That’s it, see you next week!

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E10 Recap: Under The Mistletoe

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

With a vicious storm, a dying wolf, and one flighty Darach, “The Overlooked” managed to bring almost all of Teen Wolf‘s current heroes, anti-heroes, and villains under one roof for a nonstop thrill ride of corny one-liners (cough, “Let’s rumble,” cough), near deaths, kidnappings, and the occasional heart-to-unconscious-heart. Despite the high intensity level (thanks to the impending mid-season finale, which is only two episodes away), “The Overlooked” still took the time to fill in a few plot blanks and illuminate the cracks forming within the Alpha pack’s ranks as everyone converged on Beacon Hills’s storm-ridden hospital.

After last week’s stunning Darach unveiling, Scott and Stiles wasted no time getting the truth to Derek. When Ms. Blake swung by Derek’s loft hoping to lie about her evil Druidic nature, she found the boys had beaten her there–they stepped out of the shadows and doused her with mistletoe, revealing her hideously-slashed face. Enraged, Derek grabbed his lover-turned-enemy and began to strangle her, but Scott stopped him; without Ms. Blake, Cora can’t be saved and Stiles’s father will never be found.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

The four drove to the hospital–which was being evacuated because of the thunderstorm–to find Cora, who hadn’t been evacuated yet and was still vomiting black blood laced with mistletoe. After running into his mother, Scott told her to leave immediately, and she didn’t argue after noticing his companions. Mama McCall told Scott to get Cora on the next arriving ambulance, but the group found Cora’s room empty. Turns out, the Alpha twins had already arrived at the hospital and were busy shoving Peter (who’d been visiting Cora) through doorways and stealing Cora. As Derek and Scott attacked, Ms. Blake tried to run (so much for her claims that she sincerely wanted to heal Derek’s sister) while Peter and Stiles helped Cora. The twins claimed they were only after the Darach, which proved true when the Deucalion and Kali showed up to join the hunt.

Unfortunately, Mama McCall stumbled across the Deucalion’s spear/cane stuck in the wall and pulled it free–the Deucalion promptly retrieved it from her and took her hostage. While hiding from the twins, Scott and co. heard Mama McCall make an announcement via “Mr. Deucalion” demanding the Darach be handed over. Ms. Blake found the group and told them she’d only help Cora and Stiles’s father in exchange for her safe escape from the hospital.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Scott, knowing the Deucalion wouldn’t hurt his mother because he wants Scott on his team, agreed to distract the twins so the others could flee. Peter chose to fight with Scott, but only if he could find a suitable weapon. (His weapon of choice ended up being a shot of some drug that’d make him stronger.) The twins, who’d just been bickering over Ethan’s hesitation whilst fighting, attacked the pair, and Derek, Stiles, Cora, and Ms. Blake made a break for the ambulance. They encountered Kali waiting for them with a dead driver and the keys, so Derek and Ms. Blake ran as Stiles locked himself and Cora inside the ambulance. After shutting down the hospital’s power, the Deucalion freed Mama McCall (as a gesture of good faith) and trapped Derek and Ms. Blake inside an elevator. Back in the ambulance, Stiles realized Cora wasn’t breathing. Luckily, Stiles is skilled at CPR and saved her.

After a humorous escape through the laundry chute, Scott and Peter headed for the ambulance, where they scared Stiles post-confession (he’d just told an unconscious Cora of his fears that she was right, and humans were only good for finding bodies–he feared he’d find his father’s body). Dropping an injured Peter off, Scott ran back to the hospital and attempted to single-handedly take on the twins. As they simultaneously choked him against a wall and insisted they weren’t trying to hurt him, Mama McCall attacked with a defibrillator and knocked the twins to the ground.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Meanwhile, Ms. Blake decided being trapped in an elevator with Derek was a good time for some confessions. For starters, her real name is Julia, and she was Kali’s emissary. Against the Deucalion’s orders, Kali had spared Julia because she loved (!) her. (Kali has a heart after all!) Though Kali did claw Julia almost to death, she chose to leave her to die in peace rather than finish the job. Big mistake, because Julia crawled to the Sacred Druid Tree, where Derek’s sacrifice of the virgin (his girlfriend Paige, whom he killed on the tree’s roots) had woken the tree’s powers; in turn, the tree gave Julia the strength to remain alive until she was found. Then, Ms. Blake told Derek a story about mistletoe that involved feuding gods and death and mistletoe being overlooked as a weapon–her point being the Alpha’s overlooking their emissaries, AKA the basis behind her revenge-murder scheme. To punish the Alpha’s, Julia gained power from her sacrifices and planned to murder them all during the lunar eclipse, when, as Derek finally revealed, werewolves lose all of their power.

Scott and his mother found the Argents and Isaac (they’d arrived to help after learning Scott and co. were trapped inside) roaming the hallways and began to formulate a plan. Allison, the increasingly-awesome BAMF, came up with a plan first. To attract the twins, Derek opened the elevator doors loud enough for them to hear; the twins took the bait, and Isaac, who’d been watching the hallway via his phone, drove for the ambulance to rescue Cora, Stiles, and Peter. As he was leaving the ambulance, Stiles noticed a sheet of paper requesting the signature of a parent or guardian and puzzled out who Ms. Blake was targeting. As soon as he conveyed this information to Scott, Scott took off to find his mother. Instead, he found an unconscious Derek lying face down in the elevator and the Deucalion waiting on the roof.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

The Deucalion offered Scott a deal: he’d help rescue Scott’s mother and Stiles’s father, but only if Scott joined the Alphas and helped take down the Darach. Despite Stiles protests that they’d find another way, Scott chose to go with the Deucalion.

Lastly, Mama McCall woke up in the root cellar where Mr. Stilinski was also being held. Good to see they’re alive, for now.


–With the twins fighting, Ennis long dead, and the Deucalion realizing Kali betrayed his orders before she even joined his pack, the Alpha pack’s really showing its fractured foundation. Adding Scott to the mix could only hurt them further, as he’ll likely be favored. Not to mention, he’s different–if he becomes an Alpha, he’ll have done it without murdering anyone, and he’s not joining the pack too willingly.

–Mr. Argent seems to have done a 180 since season one; he stormed into the hospital with Allison and Isaac to save werewolves. Does this mean he’s firmly on the hero side now? It could be argued that he simply wanted a chance to kill the Darach, since he has been hunting her, but I think he would’ve gone in otherwise.

Bonus: Here’s the song that played at the end of the episode, as Scott tried to save his mother. It’s “And The World Was Gone” by Snow Ghosts.