After debuting a month out from the release of the 23rd James Bond adventure, Skyfall, Adele's anthem of the same name made 007 music history. The song hit the UK Singles Chart at No. 4 after less than 48 hours on sale, while it ranked 8th on the Billboard Hot 100. The bellowing tune wasn't just an original number tacked on for the sake of tradition. It was a beast all its own.
Awards voters have responded appropriately: Thursday morning, "Skyfall" earned a Golden Globe nomination — and a step in the right direction to the coveted Best Original Song Oscar (an accolade no James Bond title song has ever been able to attain). Paul Epworth, the British music producer who won a Grammy award for his work on Adele's 21 and shares the nomination with the singer, says that finding the right sound for "Skyfall" that was a particular challenge. "[The producers] said they wanted a dramatic ballad basically," Epworth tells Hollywood.com. "With having read the script and trying to set the whole thing up in that context, where it happens in the film, there was really only one thing it could be. It was interesting to want to do something that was simultaneously dark and final, like a funeral, and to try and turn it into something that was not final. A sense of death and rebirth."
What would be an issue for most "pop" stars was a welcome twist for Adele. Epworth describes the singer as having "an open mind musically." While aware of her audience, Epworth says that Adele never shies away from darker material. It's a sensibility at the core of Adele's music and one that worked out for Epworth's approach to "Skyfall." After marathoning the first 13 James Bond movies, where the producer deciphered the "musical code" of the songs ("I think it's a minor ninth as the harmonic code … the Bond songs, they have that elaboration to it"), Epworth sat down and wrote a piece of music that he believed could be the tune for theme.
"I thought, 'This could be the song,'" Epworth says. "And I rang her up and said, 'It might be too dark.' And she said she loved it." The duo immediately jumped into the studio. "Within 10 minutes, she put down most of the vocals. She had the lyrics ready in her head when she drove over. It was the most absurd thing. She's fast, but it was really quite phenomenal."
Performing "Skyfall" unveiled a new side of Adele to her collaborator. "She has an old soul," Epworth says. "She never really mentioned she could sing the [Shirley] Bassey-esque slurs that she does in the opening." But any fan of Adele can immediately recognize the signature belting voice that made her previous work notable. "She's actually a very controlled vocalist. She has a lot of finesse and skill. She's not just a powerhouse — it's a lot of careful technique. That's why she's an amazing vocalist. It's all control."
The idea of being the first Bond song to win a Golden Globe and an Oscar excites Epworth, and feels like the end of an amazing journey. "To get the call and feel like we came up with the goods — I'd never dreamt of awards."
Update: Epworth has since elaborated on his previous statement: "Adele didn't record her final "Skyfall" vocal in 10 minutes. We cut the first draft of the verse and chorus. It took us a while to hone the track into the end result."
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
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Just three weeks after Larry Hagman died of complications from cancer, TNT's Dallas has locked in a plan to pay tribute to the ten gallon-hatted TV legend who will forever be known to fans as J.R. Ewing. TV Line reports that the network will devote the eighth episode of season two, airing March 11, to J.R.'s funeral. And it's rumored that characters from the original long-running Dallas series—characters who haven't yet been seen on TNT's reboot—may be in attendance to pay their respects.
Hagman completed filming a number of episodes before his sudden Nov. 23 death, and production on season two (debuting Jan. 28) was not significantly affected. Dallas' writers were even able to retrench and script this proper tribute to the man who proved famously invincible to bullets. Let the speculation begin as to what blasts from Dallas' past will be in attendance at the biggest funeral South Fork will ever see.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal/TNT]
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It's amazing that an episode of television can involve both the death of a major recurring character and the wedding of one of the series' stars and still feel like nothing happened. This week's 30 Rock, in the wake of Liz Lemon's marriage to hot dog vendor Criss Chros — an event that left me questioning the very fabric of my own world perspective — sets its gazers on two of the show's most toxic relationships: the wholly upsetting Liz and Jenna dynamic, a friendship-turned-enmity, and the far more interesting Jack and Colleen dynamic (Jack's mother, a role played to absolute perfection by Elaine Stritch). Although each of these storylines prevents a major change of course for its characters, neither seems to quite live up to potential.
Jenna Maroney is a character on whom I soured long ago. Gone are the days of her humanity; 30 Rock has transformed what used to be a likable, pitiable person, overwrought by insecurity and self-destructive habits, into a nonredeemable monster. She exhibits no compassion for anyone, least of all Liz, her alleged best friend. And all in the name of what is supposed to be humor, although the laughs come infrequently with Jenna lately. She's just plain hard to watch*.
But at the onset of this week's episode, "My Whole Is Thunder," Jenna seems like she might have an entirely sympathetic conflict: her grief over not having been invited to Liz's wedding. An offhand jab at the heroine for this offense early on in the episode seems to mislead the viewer into thinking that Jenna is simply hurt that her very best friend, her own maid of honor, chose not to include her in her day of matrimony. But this idea is quickly glossed over when the story turns focus on Jenna's ego. She simply needs to be the star of the show, the center of attention. She vies to reclaim this territory by staging her own "surprise wedding" during a Lifetime (.com... /garbagefile) ceremony recognizing Liz as a female role model, but Liz ambushes the ordeal by using her gift for lighting design to make Jenna look horrible and as such recoil into the shadows. Unimportant note: Oprah's friend Gayle is there. This show loves Oprah.
Later on, Liz and Jenna have some words that are meant, presumably, to conclude their longstanding toxicity once and for all: Jenna admits that she is impressed by how far Liz has come and is as such overwhelmed by envy. It's not the sweet and sad kind of "I wish I could be like you" kind of situation; it's more like a horribly bitter "I want you to perish" thing, but it's as close as the late-era incarnation of Jenna is going to come to humanity. The pair makes up and resigns one another back into the sad positions they have for the past few seasons upheld. Liz and Jenna might be a horrible thing to watch, but at the very least, hopefully, we can just put their "friendship" out of our minds for the rest of the series.
Meanwhile, Colleen Donaghy has returned to New York, once again wreaking havoc upon her son's psyche. It's the same old song and dance between them: she criticizes him for everything he does, he counteracts with a combative animosity. But it's all a pleasure to watch thanks entirely to Stritch, who has made Colleen an undeniable favorite among recurring 30 Rock characters. But... well... that's over. Because in this episode, as elderly parents are wont to do in later seasons of programs, Colleen dies.
Her death, brought on by heart attack, follows a fight with Jack about the very nature of their relationship. He calls her overbearing, she calls him ungrateful, all that jazz. But in lieu of an ambulance, Colleen demands that Jack escort her to the hospital in a horse-drawn carriage, presumably well aware that she might die on the way but insistent that she spend her last moments by her son's side, telling him, privately, that she just wants him to be happy.
We'll never know what Colleen's true intentions were in making this statement to Jack, but years of mommy issues have contorted Jack's brain to the point of automatically interpreting this to be one final passive-aggressive criticism; Jack reads Colleen's final words to mean that could hope only for happiness for her son as she believed him incapable of obtaining anything more. Not success, not greatness, not the superhuman stature for which Jack has always gunned. Just happiness. And of course, happiness is not even close to good enough for Jack. With that, he mourns his mother's dying opinion of him, reflecting on how all throughout his life, he understood her to never think he was good enough.
But we know that's not true. We've seen Colleen open up just enough in the past to suggest how proud she truly is of her "good boy." Jack, with that contorted brain and all, can't fathom this as a truth, so he plummets down a rabbit hole of dejection following his mother's death, questioning his own merits and achievements. It would be interesting if we were to see more of this journey, more of Jack coming to terms with Colleen's last words to approach the eventual, happy realization that his mother's lifelong critique of him is what turned him into the triumphant, accomplished person he is, but we really only see the aftermath: Jack pronouncing his realization at his mother's funeral, and going on to give the best eulogy ever. Irish poems, woodwind performances, an appearance from Kermit the Frog... it really is quite magical.
And then, not to be outdone again, Jenna takes the stage, using the platform of Colleen's funeral to finally have her own "surprise wedding." And Jack, acknowledging how irritated and appalled Colleen would have been with this atrocity, laughs heartily to himself and lets Jenna have her spotlight.
Again, it seems like this episode should feel like a big one. Colleen dies, Jenna gets married. But it's moreover a filler episode. Anything not furthering Liz's story at this point will feel that way. But I suppose we do have to give Jenna her happy ending (if only to get her out of the way), and transport Jack to his eventual peace of mind as well. And as for Kenneth and Tracy... well, they hang out in an elevator with a drunk Florence Henderson this week. It's actually quite delightful.
*Based on the novel Stone Cold Bummer by Manipulate.
[Photo Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC (2)]
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Nothing was hotter in 2012 than '90s nostalgia. From the Clueless cast getting back together to the revival of Boy Meets World, this was the year of reminiscing. But while the trend is veering dangerously into overkill, there is nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — bad or wrong about Vanity Fair's photo shoot of the entire cast of the beloved, short-run cult darling Freaks and Geeks.
It's not just the obvious players like James Franco (Daniel), Jason Segel (Nick), Seth Rogen (Ken), Linda Cardellini (Lindsay, a.k.a. Lady L), Busy Philipps (Kim), and Martin Starr (Bill), but everybody was there. Millie! Mr. Weir! Cindy Sanders! Guidance counselor Mr. Rosso! The original McKinley High gang (that's right, Glee, deal with it) is all here. Okay, you can argue that it's not technically everybody (Bill's Seven Minutes in Heaven partner Vicki, played by Joanna Garcia Swisher and relentless bully Alan, played by Chauncey Leopardi, are among some of the MIA) but it's still a joyous blast from the past to see the cast and creative team — including Judd Apatow and Paul Feig — from this brilliant comedy/drama back together.
Sure, they're a little bit older (except for John Francis Daley and Samm Levine, who appear not to have aged a single day since Freaks and Geeks unjustly went off the air after one perfect season back in 2000) but the chemistry is still completely there. As a fan of the series, it's hard not to get a little bit choked up looking at the sweet VF photos, but then again, Freaks and Geeks is like seeing an old reliable friend who conjures up some seriously wonderful memories. You can see the entire slideshow here, but check out the amazing class photo below and see if you can spot all the familiar faces:
The Freaks and Geeks reunion spread appears in Vanity Fair's Comedy Issue, on newsstands now.
[Photo credit: Mark Seliger/Vanity Fair]
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Alfred Hitchcock is noted as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and rightfully so — his body of work comprised of over 60 films is skillfully composed highly dramatic and eclectic from beginning to end. So pulling back the curtain on the legend in his own medium was only a matter of time a how'd-he-do-it biopic that could pay respects to the collected works while revealing the master's process. Hitchcock directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) pays its respects but also reveals another unexpected quality of the auteur's behind-the-scenes life: it wasn't all that dramatic.
Anthony Hopkins slides into the silhouette of the recognizable director and does a reasonable job nailing his cadence and posture. Side by side with his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) who as the movie reveals was the director's close collaborator Hitchcock strides confidently into the world of independent cinema for the first time balking at studio heads who demand something more audience-friendly than the gruesome Psycho. Investing his own money into the film Hitchcock risks everything to turn the story of murderer Ed Gein into a high art horror picture. He finds a leading lady in Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) a script in a screenwriter with mommy problems and a closeted actor to portray the sexually exploratory Gein.
And that's about it. Hitchcock disguises the usual stresses of moviemaking as major hurdles even representing Gein as a specter who haunts Hitchcock's every decision. Aside from the brief suspicion that Alma abandons him mid-production for charming writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston) which feels stuffed in and meandering rather than intrinsic to the making of Psycho there's little explanation for Hitchcock's anxiety and downward spiral. The film even dabbles in Hitch's well-known infatuation with his leading ladies — explored to a terrifying degree in last month's The Girl — but places the director on too high a pedestal to ever dig deep.
The real star of the show — and perhaps one who would have made a better subject for feature film — is Alma a complex second fiddle overshadowed by the greatness of Hitchcock. Mirren once again delivers a lively performance as a woman desperate to live her own life; the scene when she lets loose on Hitchcock is easily the high point of the movie. But like the audience who unknowingly appreciated her work behind-the-camera Hitchcock is too obsessed with the man at the center of it all to open up and give the character or Mirren the spotlight.
Hitchcock's time period flourishes and camera work are presented simply (Gervasi keeps hat tipping to the auteur's oeuvre to a minimum) while Danny Elfman whips up a score that riffs appropriately on longtime Hitchcock collaborator Bernhard Hermann's works. But there's no hook to elevate the film from a puff piece and even the biggest Alfred Hitchcock fan will be grasping for something more.
Homeland has been relying on a lot of melodrama lately, and while I always appreciate some high-stakes emoting, there have been moments when things start to spill over to the silly side; most notable, from last week, the entire shootout ordeal and the extended car accident subplot. This week’s episode takes a lot of those borderline outrageous moments and centers everything once again, ending in some of the most sure-footed plotting I’ve seen on television lately. I think I gasped out loud at the weirdly easy complexity of it all.
The episode starts with Roya hanging out on along Brody’s running path; Roya is wearing a slouchy morning cardigan and looking super upset, which I guess is code that she’s ready for a meeting. Carrie is listening in on the whole thing, as Carrie will do, while Roya and Brody fight over the aftermath of the Gettysburg shootout, seeing as six agents are dead and the attack is all over the news. Scary. Roya is trying to keep Brody on her path towards higher power, but Brody is getting antsy. Duh.
Saul is visiting your good old local maximum security prison, where he finds Eileen – Saul drove from Mexico to DC with Eileen last season (Homeland flashed briefly to the episode during the “previously on” segment, which is always so nice of them), as she was an important piece of the whole terrorist puzzle that we’re always dealing with. The guard at the prison calls Eileen a “spitter, hitter, sh*tter,” which is just really funny. However, Eileen looks absolutely awful; Saul gets the poor woman released from her chains, and the two enter an interrogation room with some nice sunlight. Saul needs Eileen’s help with the mission at hand – he wants to know if she can identify the mysterious man that led the Gettysburg attack, but Eileen wants a cell with a window before she agrees to anything. The direction of this episode is absolutely gorgeous; there are some really beautiful shots, especially the angles used in the interrogation room and some upcoming caravan drama…
Quinn is alive and well in the hospital, because as I said last week, you cannot kill your most attractive season two recurring character after a three-episode arc. I think that’s a legitimate rule of television. Unless you’re Game of Thrones, where I’m afraid that the entire cast will just be killed every single episode. Carrie and Quinn gather the intel that there is no nuclear residue in the Tailor’s shop from Gettysburg, but that crate probably contained enough C4 to blow up a massive structure. Quinn, realizing he is the most attractive character on the show, hops out of his hospital bed and provides a side butt shot. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
That upcoming caravan drama! Finn and Dana are in the back of a limo en route to a nice white male fundraiser, where Dana comes clean that she went to the car accident woman’s funeral and that she wants to come all the way clean to the cops. Finn isn’t on board with this entire plan and just looks really bored in general, but Dana convinces the cute little bugger. I don’t think this relationship is going to work out, you know? In a different limo, Jessica and Brody and talking about Mike and the Tom Walker whispers; Jessica is wearing a fantastic dress, and Brody technically tells Jessica that he killed Tom. I say “technically” because Brody made up a lot of details and promised he was telling the entire truth to his skeptical/manic wife.
Some man named Rex owns the house that is holding the fundraiser, where Finn is clearly looking shifty from second one of arriving. Also, the Vice President’s wife, Cynthia, offers everyone lemonade; I would want some serious hard alcohol if I was about to walk into an entire epic day of fundraiser family weirdness. Brody steps out for a second to call Carrie – “How does my wife know about Tom Walker?” Carrie is going to deal with Mike, Estes is going to keep an eye on Brody during the fundraiser, and Quinn is going to continue taking a lot of prescription pain meds. Everything’s covered! For now!
Eileen has zero trust in any human beings, so Saul needs to show her that she has a windowed cell before she says a single word. That makes sense, as I would have the same bitchy attitude if I were in maximum-security prison. Saul meets with the warden in an attempt to speed up the whole window process, but the warden is a huge ass and basically questions Saul’s power/important. Bad move, bud. Saul will go around the fool, because Saul has all of the military clearance in the entire history of the world, but it will take more time.
Carrie meets up with Mike on a park bench thing, where Carrie tells Mike that he needs to “cease and f*cking desist” before he seriously screws with a matter of national security regarding Brody and Tom Walker. Or, actually, regarding Jessica. Carrie bonds with Mike because it is obvious that Mike is still madly in love with Jessica. Seeing as Carrie is still madly in love with Brody (I think? Can we confirm? Are we being played here?), the two have kind of maybe a lot in common. I don’t see them ever being friends however, so I won’t push Carrie & Mike filling the Paris & Nicole roles, respectively, to headline a reboot of The Simple Life.
Brody is being ogled by some awful woman in all pink at this fundraiser pool party (the fundraiser gets more confusing the longer the episode plays out); this woman looks like she is maybe related to Molly Shannon and was an extra in some direct-to-video Legally Blonde sequel. Leave Brody alone! He just survived life as a prison of war after he converted to Islam and become a sleeper cell! Elsewhere at the estate, the VP and Estes are screaming about “lunatics on the loose with their goddamned explosives,” and we all know that this is going to end poorly. Brody is suddenly in the middle of a horse barn with Rex – Rex confesses that he thinks Brody will be the President of the United States soon enough, and that is basically the only reason he is supporting the Walden/Brody ticket. Brody is all “I’m not the man you think I am, blah blah,” but no one is listening to him. I wish people would start listening.
Carrie is waiting in the trees behind the barn, and Brody comes to find her. I HATE THIS. Carrie and Brody and basically doing the dirty in the middle of the woods; however, we must remember that Quinn told Carrie to make sure Brody felt powerful and in control, as everyone is getting nervous of Brody’s crazy outbursts. The sexual encounter ends with a classic Brody moments – “I do feel used, and played, and lied to… but I also feel good. Two minutes with you and I feel good. How do you pull that off?” And it’s not fully a compliment to Carrie. Brody and Carrie have maybe the most terrifyingly exciting relationship on television right now.
Finn is wandering around the party chugging forgotten, which is what I would also be doing at this point in the evening because this party is horryfing. Dana is acting like a prissy little whore, screaming at Finn that they need to come clean. Hey, Dana – why don’t we wait till all of these rich political fundraiser fools leave before we start discussing your accidental murder? Thanks! Unfortunately, Cynthia and Jessica overhear the spat, and it all comes out in the open. Great work, Dana.
We must remember the poor folks that couldn’t make it to the fundraiser – Saul is still waiting around the prison, waiting to hear the okay from the Attorney General so Eileen gets her room; Saul brings a nice picnic of wine, cheese, and bread for Eileen. So sweet. Eileen mentions Saul’s wife, Mira, and we’re reminded that she is living in Mumbai and Saul’s heart is always bleeding. Saul finally gets the green light, Eileen reviews the documents about her room transfer with some nice glasses that Saul lends to her, and Eileen provides a name for the man – Mohammed Al-Gamdi (spelling is, umm, the best I could do – I’m sorry).
Quinn is in charge of the team to nab Mohammed, who lives near Newark; when the FBI raids the home of this shady characters, it turns out that Mohammed is a nobody musician that Eileen used to know from her family’s old security team. So…Eileen? Turns out the poor sad soul used the entire ploy so that she could kill herself, slitting her wrists with the shards of Saul’s glasses after finally getting her window. Saul let his emotions get the better of him, and the CIA team is floundering.
Brody goes for a midnight swim while Cynthia and Jessica get all of the murder details from the kids; Jessica is ready to take the information to Metro North, but Cynthia states she will take care of the drama. Obviously, Cynthia and the VP will make sure it looks like the thing never happened. Jessica is furious, and explains the situation to Brody; Brody decides to take Dana to Metro North himself. Finn and Dan maybe possibly break up forever, as Finn reveals the reason he liked Dana so much was because she didn’t understand the dark world of politics. Everything is politics.
Brody and Dana are walking up to the doors of Metro North, but Carrie is blocking their path. CARRIE. Estes made Carrie take over the scene, as Carrie had to make sure Brody realized the severity of the deed he was about to commit – if Brody called in the crime, he would break ties with Walden and therefore end his campaign for Vice President; if Brody lost his influence as potential leader of the United Statues, Abu Nazir would no longer need Brody and the entire CIA mission to find Nazir would fall apart. SURE-FOOTED PLOTTING! Homeland took some minor drama of a supporting character and wrapped it around the main arc of season two, woven so tightly that the politics surrounding Dana’s car melodrama is now crucial to the forward momentum of… everything. Oh, Homeland! I am so sorry that I ever doubted your greatness! POLITICS!
[Image Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime (2)]
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The wolfpack is back, but their shenanigans might be a little more deadly this time around...
The Hangover Part III director Todd Phillips shared some sneak peak pictures of the upcoming movie on Instagram, and one photo in particular has us a little worried. Check out the pics below:
While we love our first look at John Goodman in the movie (see #5), that last picture shows Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, and Justin Bartha standing in a cemetary, wearing their Sunday best. There could only be one explanation: they're attending a funeral.
Now, since this is an installment of The Hangover, many different and wacky scenarios could be the reason for this seemingly-out-of-place dramatic setting, and we're left to wonder: who dies? Could it actually be a member of the wolfpack, or someone else?
Take our poll below and let us know who you think bites the dust!
Who dies in 'The Hangover Part III'?
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
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We trudge through the summer months with a heavy heart and ever darkening sensibilities. We only persist through this treacherous era, year after year, thanks to the hope inspired by the sparkling charm awaiting us at the other side. On Tuesday night, we grasped such a charm. We were granted the ultimate reward for patient survival, for our unwavering faith. We finally got what we have been waiting for since last May: Happy Endings came back. It returned to us. It kicked off its third season with the premiere episode, "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires." It reminded us just why we've been longing so ardently for its revival. It made us feel happiness again.
It's true, "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires" was not the best episode Happy Endings has ever coughed up, but it had a bit of everything we need to declare our lives worth living again. And so, here they are: the three reasons that Happy Endings' third season premiere made us, after so many nights of pitchblack trajectories into nihilistic wormholes, happy again.
"The last thing we want is for things to get complicated, like in It's Complicated, so we're just gonna go with it, like in Just Go With It, and be friends with benefits, like in No Strings Attached." - Alex
Context: Alex and Dave are back together! After a broken engagement, a slow slide back into friendship, a drunken one-night-stand, and a rekindling of old feelings, the central players on this comedic wonder have decided to give it another try. Of course, when the episode starts off, they insist on a purely caszh (that is the official spelling, as indicated by the ep title) ordeal, which quickly spirals out of control when they pressure one another into dating other people (just to prove how caszh they are!). But at the end of the day, Alex and Dave admit they do have real feelings for one another, and brace themselves for a more substantial relationship.
Why We're So Happy: The pop culture references are always plentiful on Happy Endings, be they circa '80s, '90s, or post-millennial. This gag is a double-whammy, acting as both a recitation of the lazy naming trend overtaking contemporary rom-coms and a character joke about the lovably two-steps-behind Alex, who misses the point of her own joke with that eventual evaded opportunity.
"That girls' so whack, her first name should be Knick-Knack-Paddy." - Sinbrad
Context: In the second season finale, Brad was let go from his job, launching him into an unprecedented state of unemployment (the man has been a workaholic since his middle school days). Even though he feared his type-A wife Jane would become livid and neurotic over this turn of events, she actually takes to it quite well, appreciating having him around to take care of the house and be there when she herself gets home from work. But here's the secret: Brad actually found another job right away, but has been keeping it a secret to make Jane happy. To foster the lie, Brad pretends to take up a slew of hobbies, including an old favorite: ventriloquism. Introducing... Sinbrad.
Why We're So Happy: Because Brad, although the straight-laced father figure of the group, is best when he is unequivocally silly. It doesn't matter that Sinbrad is a bit too close a cut to GOB's puppet pal Franklin on Arrested Development (especially considering Brad and Sinbrad's "Ebony and Ebony" against GOB and Franklin's "It Ain't Easy Bein' White, It Ain't Easy Bein' Brown"). We love this show enough to overlook that.
"Lunesta: Nature's Ambien." - Max
Context: When Penny is injured (scathed, even) falling down a flight of stairs, Max cares for her dutifully. But his attention diverts when Penny hires an attractive physical therapist named Kent, guiding Max to take advantage of the situation to earn some time alone with him. Max even delays the removal of Penny's body cast (seriously, she's very scathed) to take greater advantage of the Kent situation, eventually knocking his friend out with some Sleepy Time tea (laced with Lunesta!) to get Kent to physically therapize him instead of her. It's all very evil, yes, but as a flashback reveals, Penny did the exact same thing to Max once. Turnabout is fair play (especially when it comes to attractive physical therapists).
Why We're So Happy: Max, the brightest star on this great sitcom, strives to be an evil genius, but is really just of average evil intellect and sub-par evil drive (he gives up on his own plan mid-sentence at the end of the episode when he realizes just how sleazy it is). Plus, the revelation that Penny once Miseryed Max as he is now doing to her shows just how loose and fun an approach to its reality this show is willing to take. If it's funny, they'll do it.
The greatest joy derived from Happy Endings is that at the end of the day, it's a good old fashioned sitcom that knows it's a good old fashioned sitcom. It is satisfied sticking to the formulas presented by television comedy since the I Love Lucy days, but is always willing to say a few sharp things about said formula. The on-again-off-again thing that Alex and Dave uphold isn't new, but Happy Endings isn't treating it like it is. Ditto Penny's conflicting feelings for Dave, Brad and Jane's fear that their marriage will fall into a routine, and Max's constant scheming. This is all well-tread territory. But it's territory we know, and we love. And it's territory that is retread in a wonderful way. And that is why we're so happy to have you back, old friend. See you next week!
[Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC]
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The B is back, people! And I'm not talking about Chloe (Krysten Ritter), I'm talking about Dawson James Van Der Beek, of course!
Not only is our favorite flannel-wearing Spielberg fan here for our inner-teen amusement — or if you're me, every day genuine entertainment — but more lovable Creek kids are popping up this season, too. Then there's June (Dreama Walker). Dear, sweet June bug. She really took a beating Season 1, huh? From the cheating fiance to raising a grown child (well, sort of), to being slapped at a wedding, to having a disturbing affair with crazy Chloe's dad (yep!), this chick had it bad. Through it all, a friendship did come out of the random Craigs List rooming, even if it is absolutely dysfunctional. But isn't that why we love the gang in Apt. 23? Now, time for new shenanigans!
James Van Der Beek's Funeral?
A viking funeral in Central Park, to be exact. Chloe, in all black (veil included) explains to the crew the sad misfortune, but before we get any of the juicy details we're forced into a flashback, what else. So...
Two Weeks Earlier
Chloe wisps her bangs out of her face to let June in on a little secret about her sweater resembling a pumpkin that mated with a turd, which is actually quite affectionate coming from the B. They're about to have a real breakthrough moment, as June inches closer to Chloe, hoping to hear what she's always dreamed of: That she's like a sister to Chloe. That living together was the best thing that could have ever happened to her. Just as they're about to have this embrace, which obviously definitely was so going to happen, JVDB enters the room with MASSIVE news. They both turn. Whatever could it be, they bounce up eagerly...
I Don't Wanna Wait
Well OF COURSE it's about the Dawson's Creek 10-year reunion! Dawson is all ripping up the letter that invites him and the rest of the A-team (Joey, Pacey, Jen, come on, guys!) because he's King James now! He's the Lenon AND the McCartney of the group and they need him, he says. So, instead of convincing him that a reunion IS the best thing, Chloe says it's time to party and they frolic to the tents for fashion week. At least June is upset. In fact, she really takes it out on the muffins at her coffee shop job. And you know what?! I feel for her. I too would LOVE a Dawson's Creek reunion. I think about it all the time. Pacey seeing Joey one more time, wiping a stray strand of hair behind her ear, whispering the words we all know too well: "I remember everything." All the while, Dawson is trying to reconnect with Jen, trying to get her to see that he can still be her boy adventure. It would be too good. June knows it (her boob size went up a cup size, for crying out loud!) and I know it. And yet JVDB can't seem to grasp the realness of it all. The magic that would come of it. At least not yet. Moving on...
After attending the fashion show (front row, of course), June surprises Chloe and Dawson with a makeshift slideshow including the reasons why he MUST agree to be in the reunion. Hell, there's even a Dawson as Simba slide that, I mean, there's no way you can say no to Simba. No way. Dawson comes to his senses: "This is bigger than me. I need to do a reunion. For the fans. I'M KING JAMES!" But then Chloe drops a bombshell, which must, IT MUST, be false: "I'm his fans," she says. "I'm the one that writes all the letters." Please be lying Chloe, please...
But She's Not
"He shouldn't relive the past by doing some stupid reunion show," Chloe says, confirming the pen ink she's used for every letter. She loves the power, she says! And who can blame her. Every year JVDB rejects the Dawson's Creek reunion letter, making him feel invincible and therefore falls to Chloe's feet, ready to do whatever she commands. Doesn't make all that much sense, but let's just go with it. And so the battle is on. Chloe vs. June on the future of the reunion show. But Chloe isn't messing around. Nope. This is no amateur house. The B takes it one step further and actually shoots June with some sort of device that leaves her passed out for 6 HOURS. When she finally awakens from her deep slumber, dreaming of a reunion that would get her high school friends so insanely jealous and proud of grown-up New York City girl June, D says he won't do the reunion. He says Chloe has told him everything! The fake fans, the misspelled names, all of it. Dawson and June separately think-walk and end up crossing paths (in their minds? It's not very clear), but naturally in black and white. And the verdict is in: The reunion will, it will happen. June wins, until she hears...
Dawson Is Lying
JVDB says that Michelle, Katie and Josh are SO into the reunion. He says it's happening! So we can all celebrate, right? Wrong. Apparently, they all HATE Dawson. "They hate you!" he hears. And they're not doing the reunion. Nope. They'll only do it "the Hollywood way" (whatever that means). So, where do you go from here?
You all remember Audrey Liddell, right? She was Joey's quirky, alcoholic, but SO FUN roommate in college, who eventually started dating Pacey for a short time until he realized that he needed to be back with Joey. His one true love. Like the boat he made: "True Love." From scratch. ANYWAY, so Audrey is all like "You gypped us on the finale present, duh! That's why we hate you! We were stuck with a bill for 145 boats, James! I had to sell my horse Cha-Cha!" And though Dawson wants to make amends, Busy states that it's just simply too late for that.
"My Life Was Better 10 Years Ago"
Dawson and June reflect on their current s**ty lives. Obviously Dawson's life was better 10 years ago – and June, well poor June was just a little, innocent girl from Indiana with dream of living in the big city. Things seemed simpler back then, hopeful even. And now. Well look at them! Sure they have beautifully knit sweaters on with matching v-neck angles and jawlines made to cut stone, but at the end of the day, they're both just lonely. Lonely and looking for a place to call home. Real home. The Creek, if you will. Chloe perks up at their misery, well #duh, and urges them to snap out of it. And while she's still "The B in Apt. 23" the girl has got a point! And anyway, all the moping around is more depressing than the time D did this. "Get to your room and put on something I don't like," Chloe demands in her most maternal way possible.
Something Better. Bigger.
Dawson has a revelation, people! "I don't need those guys," he says loud and poud. "It wasn't Pacey, Joey or Jen's creek!" And for the first time I find myself on D-Man's side. It was his creek after all. First up: Frankie Muniz. JVDB finds him in the grocery store and tries to persuade him to do a reunion show. Not exactly a Dawson's Creek reunion, but you know, something like that. Chloe finds Dawson through Grindr, but of course, and tries to put a stop to Dawson's lunacy. And she does so by wiping him out. Good girl, Chloe. Good.
Who better to calm Dawson's pipe dream of a full-blown reunion than to bring in the one and only Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar)? He admits he too has tried to accost Muniz (at a zoo, no less) and that was perhaps his breaking point. That was the moment he knew that he needed to break free from dreams of Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) wrapping her slender arms around his neck, telling him his bedspreads weren't lame. That his highlights gave her the chills and that, if nothing else, his volleyball skills would stay in her mind forever. "Have you read my book, amigo?" Morris asks Leery. "It's called 'Finding the Now.'" They have a similar problem, Zacky says. They both have been living in hopes of resurrecting the past. And Dawson concedes, and with that goes his entire memorabilia. In a fire in the Central Park river. "The funeral." And though it wasn't actually JVDB the man who had died, it was his spirit: the spirt of Dawson. But if you ask me, it will live on forever, whether or not he looks back at all.
[Image Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC]
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Debra Morgan's life is currently run by monsters. Monsters of all shapes and sizes—though the scariest ones are most certainly the ones that manifest themselves within humanity. Her entire life has been a series of mistakes that have lead her into the path of these monsters. And it seems that Deb's biggest problem is figuring out which monster she should be the most terrified of: Dexter or the out-in-the-open murderous monsters that make up her job. Like Speltzer.
This episode is all about Deb's monster problem: which is the lesser of two evils, essentially. Who can she trust, and who should she trust? And why hasn't she made up her mind about Dexter? How is she still not sure what to do? Call me old-fashioned, but the "serial killer" title trumps pretty much everything: even "family." (So my entire family should know right now that if they one day decide to become a serial killer, I will have no qualms about calling the police and ratting you out. Murder is scary and weird!)
Deb essentially sees herself as unwittingly married to Dexter and his ~dark passenger~, as witnessed by her bathtub hallucination. Beer and a bathtub: Debra Morgan knows how to unwind! Too bad her momentary place of zen turns into a the bloodbath of her dreams: literally. While dozing, Deb finds that the water in her tub isn't water at all, but lots and lots of blood that she can't stop the flow of—no matter how hard she tries. And she sees she's married! But to whom? Why, her brother of course! Because that awkward story line is apparently not going anywhere, but will constantly be alluded to in order to ensure everyone is uncomfortable all the time.
So Deb is looking up at Dexter, who also has a wedding ring on saying "Deb, will you...?" complete with ominous baby giggles (nothing ups the creep ante like disembodied, maniacal baby giggles) and a giant rusty, bloody machete. So naturally she tries to stop the flow of blood the only logical way she imagines she can, but it won't stop flowing. Her cup runeth over: with psychos! The blood running of the side of the tub splashes with impressive force, considering blood doesn't really splash—it spatters (not splatters: very important!)—and she wakes up. Oh it's just her tub water, running over the edge. Turn off the water, everything's fine! Silly Deb! Real life!
MAN these metaphors, am I right?
Before we get back to Deb's slow mental unraveling, we see that Speltzer is a meticulous murderperson. There's no DNA anywhere that can tie him to the murders. Luckily, someone spots him at a metal scrapyard and four cops take him down. Justice! ...Only not really (but we'll get to that shortly). Sidenote: nice subliminal dig at Dexter with the "had the good sense to not try and be a hero" line, writers.
Deb's slow but surely starting to realize (but why oh why is this taking her so long?!) that Dexter's own involvement and hunting of Trinity essentially caused Rita's death. How can Dex say he's a loving husband ("are you even capable of love?") when his own desire to control and fix everything is what ultimately brought upon Rita's death. (Also: Dexter declaring "I love you" was AWKCITY.)
Isaak Sirko's desire to control and fix everything has got him into quite a pickle, too. He knows, thanks to Creepy Louis, that Dexter murdered Viktor, but he's not sure the extent to which everyone else knows. Was it an inside job by the police? Is it drug-related? Were Louis and Dexter working together? Not all the pieces fit quite right yet for Isaak, and time is running out. Realizing that the cops are not going to stop showing up anytime soon, and Viktor's body isn't going to manifest itself with a note that says "I was killed by Dexter Morgan for murdering your cop friend Mike Anderson," Isaak decides they need a fall guy. Because until the cops get out of The Fox Hole, the Brotherhood cannot do their job of ensuring that the Colombians don't take over the entire Miami drug trade. Fair trade between the Ukrainians and Colombians apparently does not exist. Viktor was in charge of this prior to his death (which Isaak is oh-so worked up about, gee wilikers wonder why), and can only be properly handled when the cops aren't constantly sniffing around. George tries to buy Quinn off with cash and blow—just like old times when he was a dirty narcotics cop!—but it doesn't work. (At least not yet?) Enter: quiet, unassuming bartender Alex. He has a family back in Kursk that he was sending money to—$750 a month. Not much, thinks Isaak. So The Brotherhood of the Traveling Death head over to Alex's home and force him to kill himself. Isaak promises Alex that his family will "never want for anything," and that either way, Alex is dying and taking the fall for Viktor murdering Mike Anderson. Cut and dry. Or cockamamie and doomed-to-fail. Either or, I guess.
Good news is that Speltzer's been detained for questioning, and it's time to pull out ALL of the stops to get him to confess. The biggest question of the evening is, of course: could Speltzer really fall for Batista's terrible excuse for a wind-up and then Deb's attempts at authority and cage-rattling? How does this questioning work with a meticulous psychopath, as we've established Speltzer to be? Someone who knows very, very well how to hide his true self from the cops. I don't understand. According to the writers, this buffoonery works because: oh, mommy issues! That just explains everything. "There are many ways to break a body down," Dexter's voiceover coos. It's so ~deep~, you guys; we've got an Oedipus Complex for the win! Freud is sitting somewhere, muggin' for a camera sayin' "I toldja so!"
(Sidenote: Anyone else notice Detective Simms? He of the first season's Ice Truck Killer investigation? Something tells me his knowledge base is going to further f**k things up for Dexter. Just a hypothesis I have.)
After her mommy-baiting, Dexter assumes Deb would want to celebrate her "big win" against Speltzer. However, logical thought takes over and she's all 'no way man, he's still a murderer that murdered someone, what is there to be happy about? Oh and also Rita's death IS YOUR FAULT AND YOUR SON IS GONNA BE A MONSTER BECAUSE OF YOU!' (Sick burn, Deb) Dexter is all 'whoa, slow your roll,' but Deb fires back with a big ole 'YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE: DAD OR SERIAL KILLER.' Deb's assertion that Dexter cannot control the universe causes him to snap (like an animal pushed into a corner, right? eh? eh?) and get to the heart of what's wrong with Dexter Morgan's lizard brain when he yells "I don't make mistakes!" and "Everything is in my control!" OK—woo! Hello, loose gasket. Hello completely irrational line of thought, thy name is Dexter Morgan. Dexter's biggest problem is that he feels like he can fix and control everything. Which, ha! Welcome to real life. You cannot control everything, even if you are a serial killer. Pretty soon there's going to be too many plates to keep spinning and they're all going to crash down around you, Dexter. Hid own unhinging is coming closer and closer into view. Dexter's downfall will ultimately stem from his need to control every single thing around him. Not going to happen.
NEXT: Hannah McKay and a Minotaur
But for now, the soon-to-be-it-is-so-obvious future girlfriend of Dexter's dreams, Hannah McKay, stops by Miami Metro. She's going to help them uncover Wayne Randall's final victim's bodies. But let's first talk about the fact that Hannah is so clearly also a serial killer? Or at least, she was (can people really change? Is this going to point to some sort of absolution for future Dexter?) and is seemingly nostalgic about it. Their conversation feels like a for-sure nod to something that will happen in the future, I just can't figure it out quite yet. Either way, these two are going to totally bone and also have murder in common.
Dexter's spidey-murder-sense isn't the only one tingling: at the crime scene for Alex the Bartender's set-up suicide, Batista thinks the puzzle pieces just don't fit: Alex had no priors in Kursk and wasn't on anyone's radar. Sure, there's a suicide note that Quinn calls "sweet" (yeah, too sweet), and we know this means Batista's not going to quit. It was at this moment that Masuka had his token pop culture commentary moment of the episode with a joke about Twitter followings and turds. You work here is done, Masuka. Thanks for being totally worthless.
You know who else are worthless, apparently? Miami PD! The jerk cops were on patrol when the scrap metal guy called in Speltzer's whereabouts, and in the most pathetic attempt to twist the plot, we find out that the cops never got a verbal confirmation of Speltzer's understanding of his Miranda Rights, so a judge has thrown his confession out of court. Because apparently Miami is run by a governmental and law system pieced together by idiots. Naturally, Speltzer is going to sue for excessive force (thanks, random detective lady who's now shown up twice in this episode to simply state the obvious. Who are you and why are you here? Your purpose is so pointless an annoying). Deb is totally bugging out because Speltzer is back on the streets.
Obviously this means it's time for Dexter to do what he does best: murder people dead. He heads to the little RV abode by the cemetery that America's favorite Minotaur crashes in, and is totally a normal place to live that isn't creepy, and woops! Speltzy comes home early. Dexter gets knocked out and put into another, building-wide (this time) mega-maze of death and creepiness. On a note left above Dexter's head is the words "Run." Dexter, in his best Walter White impression says "I don't run, I make people run." (The whole one-who-knocks thing isn't really your style, Dexter. But I appreciate that you appreciate Breaking Bad.)
Obviously Dexter ends up running, though, because Speltzer is a very large, steroid-raging crazy murderperson in a Minotaur mask. This scene is straight-up Hostel-type s**t, you guys. Yawn. Is everything in this episode just a poorly-veiled reference to something else? It's all just been done before: and better.
I will say this: the strobe light room with the mannequins was creepy—but only in that "oh man I totally wandered into the really weird corner of this Brooklyn warehouse party" sort of way. Is this real life? I am not on enough drugs for this, you guys. So instead I'm just sort of cringing about how hokey this all is: sure, if you were in this scenario in real life, you'd be peeing yourself in a corner possibly welcoming death. But you also might just be looking for a crack spirit guide, too. Once Dexter begins his epic confrontation with Speltzer in the kooky mannequin room, Dexter puts on his Christian Bale-as-Batman voice and gets to steppin' (and by that we mean, escaping from Speltzer's muder maze).
Which is to say: can we talk about how irrational and out-of-character Dexter is being? This is SO not the calm, cool, calculated, and collected serial killer of seasons past. This man is essentially flailing about, wildly hitting at whatever he can, hoping to regain control of his environment. He's acting super dangerously AND irrational as f**k. Who is this man and what has he done with Dexter Morgan? He's going to really crash and burn, isn't he?
Anyway, now Dexter decides he needs to live with "nothing to lose" attitude, so they're going to ship off poor Harrison into the great unknown—aka Orlando—to live with his grandparents and those old stepkids of his, Astor and Cody, for awhile. Sayonara, Harrison. We're sure you'll either be lost and gone forever—forgotten like the other kids—or someone will ultimately try to kill you at some point close to the season finale. Man, Dexter is such a terrible father. Aside from Deb being completely right about Dexter's unabashed selfishness, he can't even be bothered to drive his own child to Orlando from Miami. How is Jamie just totally OK with the fact that she's more a parent to Harrison than Dexter is? Why does she not even find it strange that the man can't even live in the same apartment as his child. (They're attached but it clearly doesn't count; they're two very separate living spaces.) People are way too forgiving of Dexter's weirdness. I get that he's hot, but come on!
To explain why Isaak is totally not OK with letting go of the whole "Viktor is dead" thing, we find out his big gay secret. Namely: that he's gay! Viktor was his lover! While this is all well-and-good as far as a plot point goes, the way this whole scene is handled is completely ridiculous. Isaak goes into Viktor's taped-off, crime-scene apartment and sits down to stare at a hidden picture of the two of them and weep. But not only that, he clutches the picture to his chest before declaring "I will avenge your death. Everything I do...is for you!" Someone's got a first class ticket on the Melodramatic Express, you guys! Way to hit us over the head with the obvious. Just by having him risk going into a closed-off crime scene and touch a bunch of s**t (leaving fingerprints everywhere which is going to look SUPER weird when they go back and realize someone has broken into a crime scene) already signifies oodles about their relationship and Isaak's motives. Also, here's another instance where a character is established as one way, and then has a completely off-course reaction to something. I mean, Isaak would have to know that every single action of his at Viktor's apartment was completely careless. It was all just asking for trouble in a way that seems REALLY out of character for a dude that constantly attempts to remove all traces of anything ever in dangerous situations. Come ON! Dexter, Dexter, Dexter, you were doing so right by us for a few there. This is just sloppy.
Someone not down on that sloppy tip? Batista. He knows the Alex the Bartender death was a set-up. He asks for Quinn's thoughts, but he just calls the suicide note "sweet." Which, duh, it was—but in the all-too-convenient and easy way. Quinn's stuck between a rock and a hard place because he totally knows this doesn't add up, but he also wants to close this case and keep his girlfriend Nadia out of harm's way. (Oh that Koshka Brotherhood!) Batista somehow gets this, and gets Quinn to admit that he's f**king a stripper ("dancer," sorry). Batista just says he's jealous (really?), and Quinn explains that Nadia has a lot of friends (ugh), but Batista isn't into being a stereotype. You just got zinged, Quinn.
Quinn also uses the phrase "Patsy" in reference to Alex, which is hilarious. Suddenly this show is a 1940s detective drama. Well, see, we gotta see if he's a Patsy, see. For the mob, see! And then everybody put on their fedoras and smoked a bunch of cigarettes in black and white.
"You're so easy, like the others," Speltzer growls at Deb while sitting outside his last victim's funeral. This man is both nuts and ballsy. And knows exactly what buttons to push to make Deb go nuts. She gets all riled up and mouthy with him (swear words! So many swear words!) before Batista tries to separate the two. Visibly upset (she threw a damned shoe at this looney tune!), Batista sends Dexter over to Deb's to check in on her. When Deb admits that wanted to kill Speltzer in that moment, she does a good ole' projecting anger onto Dexter moment and defensively gets angry about her own feelings. She doesn't want Dexter to think that he's winning her over, or showing her that somehow he's serial killer tendencies are understood. Instead, the two go back to rehash how their relationship has changed. Dexter tries to convince her that nothing has changed (which, HAHAHA that is insane, dude) and Deb fights back, saying "what I know about you makes you a completely different person." Dexter goes all 'no way, I'm the same!' about who he is—which is true, but also not. Dexter's truth is only true for him, because he's always had all the facts. Deb never has, she's never known all sides of him. So for her, everything really has changed.
"The question is whether you'll be there for me," explains Dexter. Which—SERIOUSLY? If Deb couldn't recognize his sociopath tendencies before, that statement should've solidified it. You cannot save Dexter, Deb. This is not something within your control. This is a man who cannot feel or understand empathy and emotions (how could he? He's a serial killer). The hardest lesson Deb will have to learn is that she cannot help her brother. Each one has in abundance what the other lacks. Deb has a lock on compassion, while Dexter's logical reasoning is Rain Man-esque. But Deb's belief in the greater good of Dexter still leads her to be unsure as to whether or not she can be there for Dexter. It's certainly a conundrum—one I wish they played out differently, though. Cue the groan-inducing "I do" and "I do, and I don't do" moment. Allusions to wedding stuff, again! Which, ugh. STOP WITH THAT. IT IS SO CREEPY. Nobody wants this in their television show!
So naturally, Dexter's last-ditch effort to prove to his sister that he can be relied upon to control everything, he decides to take Speltzer out in his own way. Lizard brains, unite! (Apparently that saying is going to keep happening.) Dexter manages to knock Speltzer out and drags him into...a crematorium! Right on cemetery premises! Convenience, thy name is Miami. The two go back and forth, but we all know how this is going to end. Dexter continues to show us just how unhinged he's become, actually yelling "f************ck!" in Speltzer's face like a mimicking nutso. It's apparently Speltzer's fault—not at all Dexter's murderousy murderperson lizard brain and ~dark passenger~—that ruined Deb and Dexter's relationship. Oh, right. Natural thought progression right there.
The most intriuging part of the whole Speltzer death? Dexter takes his own trophies and throws them in with Speltzer's body. Is this his way of moving on? Getting rid of his trophies won't change Dexter, will it? In the end, we all know that Dexter is still going to murder people. It feels almost like another defense move for Deb's sake. Will it, though? Only time will tell if he really is or isn't like Speltzer, in the end.
Dexter calls Deb to pick him up from the crime scene (natch) and tells her about the wonderful evening he had, murdering Speltzer in her honor. Even though Dexter denies it to her face. "Did you do this for me?" Deb asks; he says no, even though he really means "yes, obviously." Dexter is like that cat that kills a bird, brings it proudly to your front steps beaming with pride over what its done for you, while Deb is the owner going "Ew, cat, what did you do that for?"
But Dexter still feels like he's right on this situation, so he oh-so-eerily asks "how do you feel?" To which Deb replies "glad...what does that make me?" Dexter, feeling like he's made some sort of 'kill' in his hunt to turn Deb to his side, declares that she is "human." (Because, ugh.) Was Speltzer really the monster that, once gone, would solve all of Deb and Dexter's problems? Or was he simply a stand-in (some would maybe even say...a mannequin. Oh SNAP look what I did there!) for the real thing? Dexter still doesn't understand the difference between human and humanity—will he ever?
The two sit in silence, watching the smoke of a burning monster crawl into the night sky. Can Deb and Dexter's relationship, like a phoenix, rise from these ashes? Could that last sentence have been any cheesier?
What did you think of tonight's episode? Agree or disagree with our theories? Sound off in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Showtime]
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Episode 1. Bowling/Wedding Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/02/2013)
In the premiere of a reality series about a Dallas funeral home specializing in elaborate ceremonies called "home-goings" that are tailored to the lives of the deceased, a woman who was a bowler is honored with a down-the-lane send-off; and a wedding-funeral combination is planned for a couple who passed away less than a year apart.
Episode 2. Breakfast/Olympics Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/02/2013)
A man who loved breakfast so much he ate it three times a day is honored by his family; a track-and-field-theme funeral is held for a former Olympic athlete
Episode 3. Candy; Hollywood Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/09/2013)
A Hollywood-theme funeral is planned by a woman's children; a casket is dipped in chocolate to honor a man who loved candy
Episode 4. Horror; Game Show Homegoing
(AIR DATE 12/09/2013)
The crew turn into zombies to celebrate the life of a horror fan; a game-show-theme funeral is no easy task for planners.
John Beckwith Jr. and the staff of Dallas-based Golden Gate Funeral Home organize the most unique funerals in the country, called home-going celebrations. Starting with the deceased's occupation or passion in life, the Golden Gate staff work with the families to create a central theme for a memorial and then elevate it to an unforgettable party. The end goal is to create a celebration as unique as the recently departed loved one.