It’s almost Valentine’s Day! The day known for love, compassion, and spending a fortune on pretty weeds and chocolate-covered calories. Yay! Unlike the majority of the female population, I personally love February 14. It’s the one-day of the year that combines three of the world’s best things: wine, glitter, and oh-so sweet shipper moments on our favorite TV shows!
This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is sweetly sprinkled with love and plenty of your favorite TV goodies. I spilled almost everything I know from Sunday’s jaw-dropping episode of Once Upon a Time and the drama-packed hour of The Good Wife. I gathered some Valentine’s Day scoop for The Middle and will they/won’t they details from The Carrie Diaries. I also chatted with the unbelievably lovely Sutton Foster about what's twirling into town on Bunheads. Happy Valentine’s Day, TV lovers!
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Kaley Cuoco’s Sister To Star On ‘Big Bang Theory’s Valentine’s Day Ep
1. Twitter Question: @charmingfinchel: Once Upon a Time the "Manhattan" episode!
Hmm, well that wasn’t really a question; it was more like an excited demand. Luckily for you, my head is still spinning from watching this Sunday’s all-new episode, “Manhattan,” and I need to gush about what happened. Not only do we learn the identity of Rumpelstiltskin’s son Baelfire, the episode is also jam-packed with answers to our most burning questions.
In the flashbacks to Fairytale Land, fans will get a deeper peak into Rumple’s life B.M. — Before Magic, that is. Mila is back and for a brief, shining moment you’ll see a sweet side to the pirate-loving, child-abandoning cheater. OUaT lovers will also finally learn exactly what happened to Rumple in The Ogre Wars and trust me when I tell you, the situation was much more complicated than you could ever imagine. Some might still call Rumple a coward, but after seeing this episode, I now think of him as a caring, kind-hearted hero. Weird, I know.
Over in Storybrooke, Emma calls with news that leaves Charming and Snow adorably baffled, while the evil threesome—Regina, Cora, and Hook—are searching for the one thing that can finally take down “The Dark One.”
But here’s where it gets good: Rumple and Bae finally have their much-needed heart to heart. (Even though it’s only three minutes long, per Bae’s request.) Although I can’t reveal who his son is — I’m pretty sure ABC would send Snow to shoot an arrow straight though my heart — I can tell you that we may have seen this person in the past. Or maybe not. Oh, and all you August fans out there are definitely going to want to tune in this week!
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Couple Alert! What’s Next for Nick and Jess on ‘New Girl’?
2. The Carrie Diaries: Limo Loving
New Goal in Life: Be an extra for a day on the set of The Carrie Diaries. Bonus points if they’re filming another school dance like in the upcoming episode “Caught” (airing Feb. 25, bee-tee-dubs). If you’re not watching this delightful Sex and the City prequel, then you really need to reevaluate your DVR priorities. Not only is this show addictingly sweet and filled to the brim with Google-worthy fashion pieces, young Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) is simply sensational.
This week we met Carrie’s new beau George, and in a few weeks we’ll see that this super tall hunk is still very much in our leading lady’s life — but so is Sebastian. While Carrie is rocking the world’s most amazing mint green dress at the Winter Dance, fans will see that V-word is something that will finally be addressed. And to all you sweet-minded fans, I’m not talking about valentines. Let’s just say she’ll be having a very Chuck and Blair moment in the back of a limo.
With Carrie off dancing the night away, Dorrit is finally spending some one-on-one time with their dad. And fans will also see a first glimpse of Carrie’s knack for writing when her quippy headline makes it into Interview Magazine.
Plus, get excited for Carrie’s best line of the episode — and the best SATC jab yet: “If I’m still dating and talking about guys in my thirties, someone needs to smother me with a pillow.” Hah! Oh, Miss Bradshaw, if only you knew…
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Which ‘Pretty Little Liar’ Could Be A? ‘Glee,’ ‘The Following’ and More
3. The Middle: I Heart The Hecks
It’s no surprise that I love sparkly things. So you can imagine my extreme delight when Brick Heck, sent me a personalized valentine yesterday. There is red glitter all over my desk and I’ve never been happier — that is until I saw tonight’s episode of The Middle and realized that he gave Frankie and I the exact same valentine. Matching girlfriend and mother presents is quite a big step, but I’m glad that Brick is confident in our love. Swoon!
Love is in the air in the Heck house tonight, and while Mike’s idea of romance is finally taking the Christmas tree out to the curb, his co-workers decide to tackle his “intimacy issues” and suggest new ways to show his love for Frankie. Meanwhile, Axl and his Boss Co. crew come up with the world’s most genius — and yet incredibly douchey — way to make money off his classmates’ V-Day misery.
And Sue is once again trying to channel the world’s supply of optimism and signs up to be on the clean-up crew for the school’s Valentine’s Day dance. She exclaims, “I may not be in love, but I can still clean up from people in love!”
The Middle is not typically a show filled with spoilers, but I reveal that tonight’s episode has a massively amazing twist at the end. I literally gasped, squealed from delight, and the re-watched the moment three more times. If you’ve never seen The Middle, then shame on you! But you’re in luck, because tonight is the perfect episode to jump into the craziness of the Heck house.
RELATED: Leanne's Spoiler List: Cocaine Fueled Adventure on 'Girls', Megan Hilty Talks 'Smash' Romance
4. The Good Wife: A Sweet Surprise
This Sunday’s episode, “Red Team/BlueTeam” is a whirlwind of classic Good Wife drama. Now that Lockhart Gardner's debt issue has been resolved, the partners are less inclined to let newbies in — so the status of Alicia, Carey, and the rest of the fourth years' partnership offers is up in the air. In the meantime, Diane and Will ask the officemates to argue against them in a mock trial to prep for a lawsuit against their energy drink company clients.
As Alicia and Carey throw themselves into the case, they get angrier and angrier that they might not get their promotions. Could they strike out on their own together? From competitors to potential partners — those two have come a long way over the years and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this to happen.
Eli enlists Elsbeth's help in the criminal case building against him, and once again the quirky lawyer finds a way to outsmart her competition. Sure, she's a weirdo, but I'd hire her in a heartbeat!
And since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, here's a sweet treat: Keep an eye out for an unexpected romantic moment during Sunday's episode. I'm not telling who kisses, but let's just say I screamed at my screen — and you will too!
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: 'Glee' Star Naya Rivera Talks NYC and Bram, ‘Justified’ Season 4 Scoop
5. Bunheads: Red-Hot Fun
Lemme just start this off by saying that my go-to show is Gilmore Girls — always has been, always will be. So the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino is has sprinkling some of my favorite Stars Hallow residents into Bunheads has been particularly thrilling for me. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.
There are only two more episodes left in the winter season of Bunheads, and they will definitely make your head spin. I had the pleasure of speaking with the legenday Sutton Foster yesterday and she filled me in on everything that’s coming up in next Monday’s episode.
“There’s a fire and the dance studio becomes one of the evacuation zones, so Michelle becomes one of the co-captains to oversee the disaster.” Foster continues, “All the characters are forced to be in the same place at the same time all the girls, all their love-interests and the girls decide to take their relationships to new levels.” Cue the cat fight and tutus!
So while the girls are figuring out their love lives, our leading lady is left trying to keep everything in order. Sutton says, “Michelle becomes more of a parental figure and watching every body and then reluctantly being put into a position of responsibility and that is ot necessarily her strong points.”
I then suggested that Michelle should bring back her polyester-powered panysuit to give her the courage to handle the responsibilities. Sutton laughed, “Oh no! Thank god I’ll never have to put that pant suit back on. But there is a lot of silly crazy and fun stuff in the next two episodes.” Can’t wait to watch it all twirl out of control!
Who do you think is Rumplestilskin’s son in Once Upon a Time? Is Carrie ready to give up her V-card in The Carrie Diaries? Excited to see all the drama unfold on Bunheads? Will you be my Valentine, TV lovers? Tell me everything in the comments below!
—Additional Reporting by Jean Bentley
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: CREDIT: Jack Rowand/ABC; David M. Russell/CBS; Adam Taylor/ABC Family; Michael Ansell/ABC; Patrick Harbron/The CW]
That Bobby Cannavale was so much nicer on Will & Grace.
When the last season of Boardwalk Empire closed out with a bullet to the head of Jimmy Darmody — the character whom many considered to be the backbone of the HBO series — fans felt more or less unconvinced that the show could carry on with the same weight or emotional investment it had managed through its first two years on air. Season 2 especially lent its primary focus to Jimmy, shifting away from Nucky for entire episodes to lend development and examination to Michael Pitt’s tortured war veteran, absent father and husband, criminal protégée to the Atlantic County treasurer, and incestuous son to Gretchen Mol’s Gillian Darmody. Boardwalk seemed like Jimmy’s show, where it had begun under the premise that it was Nucky’s alone. The mentality behind this strategy — shifting gears only to drop Jimmy in the end of the season, thus reverting back to Nucky as the central antihero — was perplexing. The aftermath does seem to bear evidence to its birth from this confusion.
Nucky’s story kicks off, on the eve of 1923, with Steve Buscemi’s master crook conducting business — with partners Munya “Manny” Horvitz (William Forsythe), Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks), and right-hand-man Owen Sleater (Charlie Cox, now a cast regular — and instituting a new procedure for the distribution of alcohol. Nucky will sell exclusively to Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), a fact that disappoints the likes of George Remus (Glenn Fleshler), et al, but particularly enrages season newcomer Gyp Rosetti (Cannavale).
We meet Rosetti in the episode’s introductory scene. Automotive complications land him roadside, taking a favor from a passing dog owner with a case of oil in his car. An innocuous remark from the good Samaritan sends Rosetti into enough of a rage to bash the man’s head in with a crowbar; later on, this rage (albeit not exacted) is apparent in Rosetti’s conversation with Nucky about the latter’s decision to cut off his distribution of alcohol. Nucky’s decision is sparked by the advice of his politician “friend” Harry Daugherty (Christopher McDonald), who wants Nucky to be more careful lest he find himself (and his allies — Daugherty included) the subject of a news story for illicit business. Thus, Nucky tidies up his act to the point of dealing only with Rothstein. But obviously, Rosetti was not introduced into this series to be the kind of guy who takes news like this calmly.
So what’s the angle here? A rougher, more unpredictable enemy? That seems to be the sell: Rosetti’s actions are meant to shock us, to suggest that he’s the exception to this organized game. As if most of Nucky’s would-be assailants so far have maintained spotless records of calculation or professionalism. Detective Van Alden (Michael Shannon) is a venerable psychopath. Al Capone (Stephen Graham) is a childlike hothead. We’re reminded of the latter in this very episode. This show has never had its deficit of unbalanced foes, so what makes Rosetti so compelling or unique that he should be able to lead the peril (for Nucky) in Season 3? And if he isn’t meant to do so, then who or what is?
I suppose Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) might provide Nucky with a fair share of enmity, although of a different sort. In the premiere, we see a refresh of her feministic values — she celebrates female pilot Carrie Duncan’s pioneering of the breakdown of gender barriers, and looks toward the institution of a program for the hospital (of which she and Nucky are benefactors) that would help teach pregnant women about prenatal care. Her ambitions get in the way of Nucky’s business; this disparity in interests will undoubtedly escalate toward the crumbling of their marriage this season. Nucky is already seen enjoying extramarital encounters. The question is, how significant will the destruction of Nucky’s and Margaret’s relationship become? Will she also pose a threat to his career? Will his love for and investment in her children become the real issue for Buscemi’s character? Or will he prove entirely heartless and risk or discard everything in the name of success and glory?
The memory of the fallen Darmodys is more present over in an Atlantic City brothel run by Gillian, although it is not Jimmy’s mother who is holding onto the spirit of her son or his wife Angela (Aleksa Palladino, who was murdered by Horvitz last season) — it’s Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), the series’ breakout character with a hopeless devotion to both deceased parties (Angela especially). While Gillian is bent on erasing all recollection of Jimmy and Angela in the mind of their son Tommy — her son now, as far as she’s concerned — Richard makes it a point to teach young Tommy about his beautiful, golden-hearted mother... until Gillian catches an earful and demands ever-so-manipulatively that he keep his mouth shut. “Look to the future,” she suggests. He’s not really into that. Instead, he heads out for the night and shoots Manny Horvitz dead right in the man’s doorway.
As interesting a character as Richard is, it seems unpromising to think that Huston will be shafted alongside young Tommy this season. The murder of Manny might suggest that Richard will be out on the warpath of revenge, maybe hunting down the likes of Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham), Mickey, and Nucky himself. Of course, then the show would really be over, so we shouldn’t actually expect that.
Meanwhile, over in Illinois, Al Capone is still a hot-blooded gangster, but another old friend has turned over a new leaf: Van Alden, who is now going by alter ego George Mueller, working as a door-to-door salesman, and living in a cramped apartment with an unhappy Sigrid (Christiane Seideil) and his daughter Abigail. But Van Alden is pulled back into the game by chance, when he happens upon a run-in between Capone and Irish gangster Dean O’Banion (Arron Shiver). Helping O’Banion out of a jam with an improvised performance as the man’s hired gun, Van Alden earns the crook’s favor and a job offer. He might be getting his first full-fledged step onto the criminal side of the prohibition deal… and perhaps might see his first shine of financial fortune since we met him.
Of the stories introduced in the premiere, Van Alden’s is the most interesting, if only to see where the depths of his psycho character will fall next. The man has no discernible sense of reality. His staunch appreciation of right and wrong cannot be defined, as he is so far gone from a sane mind that any viewer would be hard pressed to identify what he deems appropriate. All this, delivered expertly by Shannon, makes for an undoubtedly exciting story to come this year.
Unfortunately, Nucky’s case does not hold the same luster. Sure, Cannavale might be a fun addition to the series. But is he really anything new? Just another egomaniacal crook with his finger perpetually on the trigger? Jimmy’s absence is palpable in this premiere, as you can’t forge the kind of relationship that he and Nucky had between any other two characters on this show. Their mutual broken-hearted hatred, sorrow, distrust, sense of betrayal, it was the show’s lifeblood. And now all we have is another angry mobster who wants his rum. Hopefully, Van Alden’s adventures to come are strong enough to carry both stories. Maybe with a little help from Richard?
Episode Body Count: 4
Season Body Count: 4
[Photo Credit: HBO]
'Boardwalk Empire': A Deep Dive
'Saturday Night Live' Recap: Seth MacFarlane Gets Laughs, and the Boys Take Over
'The X Factor' Premiere Part 2: You Can't Be Pretty And Talented