A Look at You’re the Worst- Season 1, Episode 8: “Finish Your Milk”

Something else I’m guessing couples aren’t ready for at first: meeting the parents.  This is the main plot of the eighth episode: “Finish Your Milk.”

Finish Your Milk- Gretchen has Jimmy cover for her

Gretchen is set to fly out and spend time with her parents- and get out of going the gym at the same time- but doesn’t want Jimmy to take her to the airport.  He insists and only intends to drive her there without any sort of awkward confrontation between the parents.  Fair enough.

Finish Your Milk- Shit Stain and Honey Nutz deduce that Gretchen is trying to hide Jimmy

When all is said and done, Jimmy intends to spend the day at the cinema, where he runs into Honey Nutz and Shit Stain.  It’s worth noting that the only reason Jimmy is at a Black cinema is because he can yell out character insistencies and other issues.  Such things can’t be done at a White theatre.  However, Honey Nutz and Shit Stain find it odd that Gretchen is out of town, given that they’re supposed to meet with her later.

One phone call later, they learn that Gretchen is still in town and at an art gallery with her parents, which begs the question of why she would lie to Jimmy.  The two rappers realize quicker than Jimmy that Gretchen is trying to hide him from her parents, similar to Richie and Margot in the Royal Tenebaums.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy joins Gretchen at the art gallery

So Jimmy heads to the art gallery, much to Gretchen’s surprise.  Jimmy doesn’t buy her elaborate excuse of how her parents showed up when she was supposed to be visiting them.  Even typing that out, her excuse sounds stupid.  Jimmy refuses to leave until Gretchen produces her parents.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy meets Gretchen's 'parents'

So she does.  Though Jimmy hasn’t met the parents before, the conversation doesn’t last too long.  Gretchen’s father is having a surgery, anyway, so they have to get going.  Jimmy seems to buy it, but when Gretchen leaves, he starts piecing a few things together: Gretchen mentioned a Dr. Pablo, and they’re in an art gallery, her father is having back surgery, which leads Jimmy to notice a woman with a back brace, and the procedure is experimental, as it reads on an art brochure.  Jimmy returns to the couple and learns that they are not, in fact, Gretchen’s parents.

Finish Your Milk- Gretchen's parents

After a bit of snooping, and the return of that moustache, Jimmy soon meets Gretchen’s real parents, Fred, played by Stephen Mendel, and Vanessa, played by Rebecca Tilney.  Gretchen’s parents are the definition of upper echelon: they’re snooty, play tennis for sport, and criticize their daughter’s tennis prowess.  They don’t think little of her, but Gretchen looks like she wants to make them happy, so she creates another elaborate tale- this one about Jimmy.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy meets Gretchen's real parents

Apparently, Jimmy and Gretchen met at a fundraiser.  He’s from the fancy part of London and one of his novels is being turned into a movie starring Zach Braff.  Gretchen is doing all of the talking for Jimmy, who intends to leave, but can’t take this charade.  He fesses up: he’s not from the fancy part of London- he’s from Manchester.  He may not always agree with Gretchen, but he doesn’t like the way her mother bullies her.  Gretchen isn’t some fancy philanthropist- she lives off 7-11 hot dogs.  That’s a bit too much, Jimmy, but whatever you think works.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy and Gretchen argue about truths and lies in relationships

Gretchen isn’t pleased by this act, though, but Jimmy doesn’t back down.  He thinks that people should prefer having a fractured, combative relationship based on truth as opposed to an unpleasant, artificial one based on lies.  Jimmy values honesty, and I really can’t disagree with that.  Gretchen, though, doesn’t call it honesty.  She says that it’s bullying and that Jimmy himself is a mean person.  But, as Jimmy retorts, at least he is a person.

Damn.  Again, I’ve never been in one of these situations, but it’s immediately clear to Jimmy that he didn’t just insult Gretchen right there- he hurt her.

Finish Your Milk- Gretchen finds an engagement ring

Now hurt, Gretchen goes off and heads to Jimmy’s room.  She wants to blow her nose and dry her eyes, but there’s no tissue in the box by his bed.  Go figure.  Anyway, she goes through his shirt drawer and finds not just a shirt to wipe her face with- why do people do this?- but an engagement ring as well.

Realizing her future based on Jimmy’s upcoming move, Gretchen decides to end things between them right there and then.  She said from the start that she hates relationships, but now she’s in one.  This is her last chance to hop off this speeding train.

Now, we could call this the breakup episode, but there are still two episodes left in the season.

“Finish Your Milk” tackled what I’m guessing is one of the more awkward moments of a relationship: meeting the parents.  This has the potential to be rewarding if the parents like the significant other, or it can be an interrogation sequence as you’re grilled on your intentions with the parents’ sweet, innocent child.  Of course, innocence is subjective, but I’ll assume that people in relationships don’t want to disappoint their parents with the choice they made.

That’s a large assumption and in no way universal, but some of us may just throw caution to the wind and commit to the person that we like, regardless of everyone’s opinion.

Not Gretchen, though.  Of the two relationships Jimmy describes, Gretchen’s is the latter: artificial and based on lies.  She’s focused on making her parents happy, even if that means lying to them.  They exist in two different worlds: the parents are very posh and come off as very wealthy and well-read, but Gretchen is more laid back and down-to-earth.

Finish Your Milk- Fred tells Gretchen to finish her milk

Granted, we don’t get to know much about Gretchen’s parents and I don’t think they’re as demanding or bullying as Jimmy makes them out to be, but I get the impression that Gretchen is the kind of child who may have let her parents down with her life choices.  She’s now paralyzed with the fear of letting them down yet again.  As such, she first tries to hide Jimmy from them altogether, but when he finds them himself, she tries to make him seem better than he is.  This kind of deceit can and does only get worse as Gretchen digs herself deeper.

She has a point that Jimmy shouldn’t be telling her how to have a relationship with her parents, but it’s still her decision.  It’s not the best decision, in my opinion, but it’s still hers and she’s allowed to have that.  Gretchen wants to maintain this wholesome image that she’s a good daughter, but she keeps disappointing her parents, even when she tries her best.  Should she ignore their opinion altogether and just bring Jimmy out into the open?  Sounds like that would make more sense, but she fears letting them down again.  Instead of taking that risk, she tries to keep Jimmy separate from her family life altogether.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy speaks in defense of Gretchen

Jimmy, however, doesn’t care about that and prefers to just be honest, even if means making someone angry.  After all, that’s who he is.  When he tells Gretchen’s parents that they don’t know the real her, who is brave and spontaneous, Gretchen sees firsthand that Jimmy really does care for her, even if he has a weird way of showing it- it’s devotion, but odd devotion to a person who he knows is as toxic as he is.  He wants them to see Gretchen for who she really is because she’s unhappy with this facade, and so is he.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy realizes that Gretchen lied about her parents

And he’s at least smart enough to pick up on Gretchen’s crap, such as when he puts the context clues at the art gallery together and realizes that Gretchen tried to play him for a fool.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy sees Gretchen with her real parents

When he finally spots her playing tennis with her parents, his facial expression says it all.  Gretchen saying ‘Mommy?’  Playing tennis and getting upset when her mother criticizes her backhand?  This isn’t the cynical, brash Gretchen that he knows.  Something about this doesn’t fit.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy tells Gretchen that at least he is a person

Is honesty really the best policy?  As much of an outright prick as he is, I have to side with Jimmy here.  I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a perfect relationship, but I do think that basing it on lies and deception only hurts the people involved.  Better to have a more combative relationship based on honesty because at least everything is out in the open.  There’s no need to hide behind deceit.

Finish Your Milk- Gretchen calls Jimmy a mean person

Gretchen disagrees with this, and that’s what, I think, made the argument feel so raw and real.  We know that these two are cynical, but Jimmy is the more outspoken of the two.  Gretchen is at least trying to be a grown-up about some things, but even that’s not saying much.  Her behavior around her parents is artificial, which is what prompts Jimmy to deliver the stinging comment of saying that Gretchen isn’t a person.  His quick reaction to his own words shows that even he believes he may have gone too far.

Finish Your Milk- Gretchen ends the relationship

I liked the use of the split-screen during their confrontation.  When it was first used in the pilot, the two actually weren’t in the same space.  Now, however, they’re both at Jimmy’s place, but the split-screen just shows how the two couldn’t be further apart than at this moment.  It’s a confrontation that I think the show has been building to, as Jimmy is quicker to take a person down a peg than Gretchen.  She’s right to call him mean, but I would say she’s wrong for lying to herself.  I don’t find a clear answer here, but it’s another reason why I enjoy You’re the Worst and how it deconstructs relationships by slowly putting two toxic people together.

Finish Your Milk- Paul and Lindsay

But they’re not the only ones having problems in this episode.  Lindsay has her own share of issues.  Becca confides in her that Jimmy tried to kiss her, which Lindsay flips out about, for some reason.  Becca isn’t happy in her marriage, either, which she realizes is a commitment she continues to struggle with, 24/7.

Finish Your Milk- Becca and Lindsay talk about cheating

Lindsay struggles with whether to tell Paul about her infidelity.  Unlike Becca, Lindsay doesn’t show any restraint when it comes to being with fooling around with someone outside of her marriage.  As such, like Gretchen, she can’t bring herself to be honest with herself, so she finds herself spending the day with Paul and even rides with him on his tandem.

Finish Your Milk- Lindsay gets a nose bleed while hanging out with Paul

By the way, sitting in a semi-reclined position on a tandem provides a better distribution of body weight and better blood flow to the anus and testicles.  Paul’s words, not mine, but words of wisdom to live by nonetheless.  It’s also worth noting that four Presidents were home brewers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Barack Obama.  Who knew?  These are the kind of things Paul must think about even when he’s not with Lindsay.

Finish Your Milk- Lindsay enjoys spending time with Paul

Interesting enough, Lindsay actually finds that she enjoyed spending time with Paul, even if she didn’t admit to cheating on him.  If Lindsay weren’t so repulsed by Paul or the type of woman who enjoys watching television shows with adultery- apparently that’s all she watches- she could probably have a healthy relationship with Paul.  As is, she’s just the adulteress that likes sitting on people’s faces.

Finish Your Milk- Edgar at the V.A.

Again, Edgar is a complex character with some deep, psychological issues that do deserve attention, but he doesn’t get it from either Jimmy or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  He’s reduced to recycling in order to get money for Ambien and doesn’t want to go to the V.A. because he believes there are veterans out there with real problems.  I’m sure that waking up with a knife is a problem, but okay.  Edgar’s decision.

Finish Your Milk- Edgar at the Veterans Affairs office

The scenes at the office where Edgar tries to make his case are indicative of how we don’t give veterans that much attention or focus after all they’ve done.  The office is filled with unopened boxes and veterans line up like they’re waiting to take their examination at the DMV.

Finish Your Milk- Jimmy tells Edgar to head back to the V.A.

What’s worse is that Edgar just ends up getting turned around and around.  After the first visit, he goes to Jimmy, thinking that he’s taking advantage of him…

Finish Your Milk- Vet turns in his hook

…but he ends up back at the V.A. and ends up having another veteran turn in his hook.  Whoops.

Finish Your Milk- Edgar helps Jimmy cook

In the end, though, Edgar is still a good friend to Jimmy and is there to console him after the break-up.  He even helps him cook after being so surprised that Jimmy would even try in the first place.  It’s a warm moment to end on as the two have both had terrible days, but can still be there for each other at the moment.  “Finish Your Milk” brought Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship to a screeching halt as the two grappled with what’s the better policy: honesty or deception.

Jimmy prefers everything out in the open, but Gretchen wants to hold back when necessary.  The friction between them leads to their break-up, but there are still two more episodes in this season, so let’s keep moving.

A Look at The Walking Dead #143: “A Union”

The Walking Dead #143- Cover

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Rick and Carl had a falling out?  Well, let me clarify: they still see eye-to-eye on many things, but Carl’s brief time with Lydia- and by extension, The Whisperers, I suppose- has given him a fresh, albeit quick, outlook on the path he’s walked and how he’ll move forward from here.

Issue 143: “A Union,” is quite the deceptive title.  We do have unions and reunions, but we also have a shaky relationship between father and son.  But we’ll get to that in a moment, as I want to touch upon some other quick storylines first.

The Walking Dead #143- Pete and Ezekiel discuss Michonne

Let’s start with Michonne.  Or rather, the story concerning Michonne.  We’ve known for a while that and Ezekiel have been on shaky ground for some time, even before the time skip, but even now their bond is very fragile.  Despite how much time she’s had to spend on the sea, we learn from Pete that she’s still very much a loner.  It’s a personality trait that she’s been unable to fully shake off, despite opening up to Rick and the others.  Whether she and Ezekiel remain friends or go back to a relationship, I’d like something to happen, and given Pete’s push, hopefully Ezekiel makes a move.

The Walking Dead #143- Jesus and Maggie discuss how to tell Rick about Gregory's execution

I said before that it was interesting how Maggie didn’t mention Gregory’s execution, and at least we know why, as seen through her brief talk with Jesus.  Rick had enough on his plate and Maggie wasn’t exactly looking to cause even more friction between the two of them.  So at least we know she does intend to tell him.  It won’t go over easy, I’m presuming.  Rick has been pushing to prove Negan wrong, so to hear that Maggie went against that would be a huge blow to him.  I expect Jesus to be somewhat of a mediator during this confrontation, as he’s the one who eased Rick off and told him that Gregory tried to kill Maggie.

The Walking Dead #143- Eugene and Rosita talk about the baby and their future

Also, we get a brief appearance of Eugene and Rosita, who are still deep into their relationship, but all is not well.  Remember that Eugene is not the father of this baby, but he vows to stay by Rosita’s side anyway.  Again, I like how Eugene has more of a leadership role in the community, but he’s still fiercely devoted to Rosita.  He even remarks in this issue that what she looks like doesn’t matter to him- he’ll still care for her.

Rosita is grateful, but I can’t help but wonder if she feels a bit ashamed of herself as well.  Despite all she’s done, Eugene has shown her nothing but kindness and it makes me wonder whether she feels she’s good enough for him because she hasn’t always been the nicest person.  Eugene could have walked away the moment he learned that Rosita’s baby wasn’t his, but he’s remained with her because he cares.

The Walking Dead #143- Dante and Rick talk about Carl's disappearance

Now onto Rick and pals on the road.  Remember how much Rick blew up at Maggie for not spending more time locating Carl?  Well, now he regrets that and mentions to Dante that he doesn’t expect people to risk their lives for his son.  How very generous of you Rick, but I don’t really buy this sort of double talk.  It was in the heat of the moment that he exploded at Maggie and he even made a fuss that his son should have been worth more than two days.  At least be consistent, Rick.  You weren’t short with Dante- you were short with Maggie.  She’s the one who should get an apology.

The Walking Dead #143- Carl says that the world, not Rick, is his father

And then Rick reunited with his son.  You know, Carl really gained quite a bit of insight for the brief time he’s been with Lydia and the rest of the Whisperers.  But then, part of me wonders if Carl’s speech about Rick Grimes defending everyone isn’t also a comment on Rick’s portrayal in both the comic book and television show.  Rick isn’t invincible or untouchable, but he’s damn durable.  He’s endured so much and lost friends and family close to him, but he still keeps moving forward.

Carl is similar, but ever since Carl lost his eye, he- pardon the pun- sees the world in a different light.  It’s the first time we’ve heard him really address this, but he feels that Rick and most of the people around him look at him differently.  That’s partially true, as Negan saw Carl for who he really was.  He brought Carl into his inner sanctum, despite his appearance, and never thought different of him.

The Walking Dead #143- Carl says that Lydia understands him for who he is

Yes, the shooting has permanently scarred Carl, but Rick hasn’t treated him any differently as his son.  Few have, really, so I don’t fully get where Carl is coming from when he says that Lydia sees him for who he is.  I don’t want to make this accusation, but I would chalk this up to him still being in love with the girl.  He knows Lydia intimately, but like Maggie mentioned a few issues ago, he doesn’t know her that well.  He just met her, but already he’s come to the conclusion that Lydia is the one person who can accept him for who he is.  Now he’s ready to become his own man and carve out his destiny without- for the moment- his father.

Carl, are you out of your mind?  You’re in no position to come to this conclusion with someone you’ve just met versus people you’ve known for most of your young life.  I don’t recall many people flinching at Carl since his injury.  Have any felt uncomfortable?  Yeah, probably, but he’s still been accepted as the same Carl Grimes as before.  And Lydia’s smile during Carl’s rant looks as if she’s the happiest gal in the world.  Yeah, thanks for the being part of the reason for fracturing Carl and Rick’s bond.

The Walking Dead #143- Alpha tells Rick that he's in no position to threaten

Oh, but Rick’s not out of the woods yet.  Alpha returns from the fair quite sooner than I expected and apparently experienced some trouble on the road.  What’s the trouble?  We’re not told, though Rick thinks that something happened to Michonne, Andrea, and Dante.  We’ll see.  Oh, and by the way, Carl flipped out about Alpha’s disappearance, but we last saw the two talking before Alpha said she needed to learn more about Carl’s group.

But anyway, Alpha manages to put Rick in his place by reminding him that he isn’t in a position to threaten, and she’s right.  Rick is in unfamiliar territory and he doesn’t have the others by his side.  Sure, Carl is with the Whisperers, but Rick already knew from Maggie that Carl went of his own volition.  Recognize that you’re outnumbered, outmatched, and don’t try to be a hero.  Carl already said he didn’t want to go with you.

The Walking Dead #143- Alpha leads Rick on

As for the ending, there was a good amount of tension to it, as we had no idea where Alpha planned on taking Rick.  But the reveal of that massive horde of roamers was a sight to behold.  We’ve seen swarms and herds, but nothing quite like this.  At least, not for a long time.  It makes me wonder where all these roamers even came from.  Did Alpha and the Whisperers manage to corral them to this point or are they just stuck here?

The Walking Dead #143- Alpha shows Rick a horde of roamers

Either way, Alpha has a powerful weapon at her disposal or at least a way to prove she’s not screwing around.

A Look at True Detective- Season 2 Premiere: “The Western Book of the Dead”

2014’s True Detective was critically lauded for many reasons: it’s engaging and often creepy storyline with occult elements interwoven throughout, great writing and direction- not to mention the show’s now well-known six minute tracking shot, and the casting, led by the strong lead performances of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Marty and Rust

It was a different sort of television show from what you expected and it managed to deliver on many counts.  Now if you’re going to follow up to this, you don’t want to just create a carbon copy or it’ll seem like you’ve run out of ideas.  At the same time, you want to make sure that viewers remain for the same reason they were invested in the first place.

The point I’m getting at is that Season Two of True Detective had a large hill to climb before we even saw the first trailer.  As months went by and we received more details, we learned that the next season would be akin to American Horror Story and Fargo with a new storyline and characters not connected to the previous season.  Time progressed and we found out that there would be not two, but four lead characters.

When the trailers debuted, I got the feeling that this new season would be a bit more…streamlined, as it was, and something a bit more inviting to viewers, new and old, than the occult storyline of Season One.  Don’t get me wrong- I love True Detective’s first season, but I can see how it would turn people off because of how strange and downright creepy it could be.  It would be unfair to spend the entire time comparing this season to the previous one because they’re two different beasts.

We shouldn’t expect Marty and Rust banter or philosophical talks about time.  If we can’t separate this season from the first one, how can we enjoy it if we’re constantly drawing comparisons?  Let’s see how this season can stand on its own two feet.  Welcome back to True Detective.

The Western Book of the Dead- Detective Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell, speaks with his son, Chad, played by Trevor Larcom

The season begins with the first of our ruff, gruff detectives: Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell.  He’s speaking with his son, Chad, played by Trevor Larcom, about any issues he may be having with the other kids at school.  Okay, Chad is a pudgy ginger, so it’s pretty easy to tell that he either is already or will be the subject of some bullying.  Call it a hunch.  Anyway, Chad is getting ready for a camping trip in two weeks and he’s got a brand new pair of shoes to wear as well.  I imagine that will be important.  As Chad leaves for school, Ray watches as some of the other kids ridicule his son for his shoes.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray interviewed by an attorney, played by Molly Hagan

We then cut to Ray being interviewed by an attorney, played by Molly Hagan, and learn that, a few years earlier, Ray’s pregnant wife had been beaten and raped.  Chad was born nine months after this, but the man who assaulted Ray’s wife was never caught.  As far as his relationship with Chad, Ray that it’s solid enough that his visitation rights should be expanded.  He even bought digital recorders for the two of them so they could send each other messages.

Ray raised Chad on his own for two months when his wife came back and started talking divorce.  Neither requested a paternity test.  Ray is convinced that Chad is his, but the attorney is just giving him this question now because others will ask that question more rudely than she did.  Right now, Ray needs the attorney to come up with something and slides her a wad of cash as an incentive.  Instead, she asks if anything from Ray’s eight years with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will hurt him now.  Ray, though, says no- he welcomes judgment.

The Western Book of the Dead- Flashback, Ray speaks with Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaugh

The episode then flashes back to Ray in a bar years earlier as he meets with Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn, who knows about man that attacked Ray’s wife but he’s not affiliated with him.  He’s just some amphetamine freak.  Sometimes, everybody’s not always on the same side.  He happened to brag about it and it matched the wife’s account, but this is only information.  What does Frank want in return?  Nothing.  Maybe they’ll talk later.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank gets ready with help from his wife, Jordan, played by Kelly Reilly

Following this, we cut back to the present as we see Frank get ready for a big day with the help of his wife, Jordan, played by Kelly Reilly.  Frank hasn’t slept much- he has a big day ahead of him, but Jordan doesn’t think he needs to put on any false airs.  He’s better than that.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank’s consigliere, Blake Churchman, played by Christopher James Baker, discusses an LA Times article on corruption in Vinci

We then cut to the Vinci Nine Garden Casino as Frank watches from above while citizens gamble.  Frank’s consigliere, Blake Churchman, played by Christopher James Baker, shows him the first of an eight part mini-series in the Los Angeles Times.  This series in particular focuses on corruption in Vinci, but Blake feels that there’s nothing connecting it to Frank.  They wonder what a man named Osip can tweak from this, which is that they’re not buttoned down at the least.

Frank wants Ray on top of this, as he knows that Ray won’t get carried away.  If this catches fire, it could become a state investigation.  Blake still feels that Frank isn’t touched, but Frank and his wife disagree.  Everyone gets touched.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani Bezzerides, played by Rachel McAdams, makes coffee while Steve, played by Riley Smith, tries to talk

After a brief scene of a car taking off, we’re then introduced to the next protagonist of the season: Ani Bezzerides, played by Rachel McAdams.  Ani and her boy-toy of the morning, Steve, played by Riley Smith, are talking.  Well, that’s not accurate.  Steve is trying to talk about their night and going forward, but Ani doesn’t have time for this.  She’s got work to do.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani and her partner, Elvis Ilinca, played by Michael Irby, perform a raid on a farmhouse

Does she ever.  Ani and her partner, Elvis Ilinca, played by Michael Irby, along with other detectives perform a raid on a small farmhouse in the middle of nowhere that, according to a tip, is supposedly a brothel.  However, not only is it just webcam shows, but everything going on in the farmhouse is 100 percent legit.  Private subscribers and all of the women involved are American.  Hell, the owner even has a business license.  Now that is funny.  How often do you see raids on television shows where the business is illegal?  Here, though, it’s all by the books.  Nice change of pace, True Detective.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani's sister, Athena, played by Leven Rambin, argues with Ani about their lives, Ani's problems, and drug use

So who tipped off Ani?  Turns out it’s the green haired woman in the farmhouse that happens to be Ani’s sister, Athena, played by Leven Rambin.  It’s not porn, as Ani believes, but just entertainment.  Ani asks Athena if she’s off her meds, implying that she’d rather her sister stop screwing people and start taking drugs.  That’s some sisterly love right there.  From this scene, we can tell that there’s some huge friction between the sisters.  Athena believes that what Ani says are her sister’s problems are really her own.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray talks to Police Chief Holloway, played by Afemo Omilami, and Lieutenant Kevin Burris, played by James Frain

Ray reads the Los Angeles article while listening to his superiors: Police Chief Holloway, played by Afemo Omilami, and Lieutenant Kevin Burris, played by James Frain, right after his appearance on Orphan Black this year.  City Manager Ben Caspere has been missing for two days and there are many people looking for him.  His phone has been shut off as well.  Mayor Chessani is on DEFCON.  Ray is ordered to investigate the city manager’s office with the help of Teague Dixon, as Caspere’s disappearance now makes this a missing persons case.

The Western Book of the Dead- Paul Woodrugh, played by Taylor Kitsch, stops Lacey Lindel, played by Ashley Hinshaw

Then we meet another of the main characters: Paul Woodrugh, played by Taylor Kitsch.  Woodrugh is a highway patrolman and he happens upon a pretty young blonde named Lacey Lindel, played by Ashley Hinshaw, speeding along in her convertible.  She’s pulled over in no time, but wouldn’t you know it?  She doesn’t have her license or registration, but she is sporting a fancy ankle bracelet.  She tries to barter with the officer, saying they could talk if he just escorted her home.

The Western Book of the Dead- Commissioner Floyd Heschmeyer, played by Matt Battaglia, talks to Paul about the blowjob solicitation

Next thing we know, Paul is receiving a lecture from Commissioner Floyd Heschmeyer, played by Matt Battaglia.  Why?  Because soliciting a blowjob to avoid a citation is bad news.  Now Floyd knows the claim is bullshit- Paul isn’t that kind of guy.  Ms. Lindel probably just violated her parole to score and got caught doing so.  Even still, Internal Affairs needs to investigate this matter, so Paul is placed on administrative leave with pay.  He’ll be reinstated soon.  Paul loves his bike and feels that he’s no good on the sidelines.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank greets Bart Sallis, played by Chet Grissom, and Mayor Austin Chessani, played by Ritchie Coster

Back at the casino, Frank greets Bart Sallis, played by Chet Grissom, and Mayor Austin Chessani, played by Ritchie Coster.  They aren’t worried about the newspaper miniseries.  Once the federal contracts come through, writers can write whatever the fuck they want.  Now, though, is a time for celebration.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray does some investigating into Ben Caspere's disappearance

Ray does some investigating into Ben Caspere.  No family and no trips on the books, as he wasn’t the type to just up and disappear.  He had been going to the Monterey and Russian River Valley a lot, but he was never as out of touch as he is now.  No real kind of bad blood.  Mr. Caspere holds the purse strings for a lot of stuff.  A lot of folks have to go through him.  Time to head to his location.

The Western Book of the Dead-Ray and his partner, Teague Dixon, played by W. Earl Brown, check out one of Caspere's locations

Ray and his partner, Teague Dixon, played by W. Earl Brown, check out a trashed, weird as fuck looking home.  There’s even some weird sort of penis statue thing.  No, I don’t get it either.  Dixon immediately orders Ray to burn anything of his, should anything happen to him.  It helps to cover your bases, you know.  But anyway, Caspere’s computer has been taken.  Ray examines a map in a book and decides that the two need a tech crew for prints.  Dixon wants to let the bosses know, but Ray thinks they already may be aware.  He wants this to be treated like a 207- a kidnapping.  They don’t belong on this.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank meets and greets Osiv Agronov, played by Timothy V. Murphy, and his attorney, Michael Bugulari, played by Solomon Shiv

Over at the casino, Frank meets and greets Osip Agronov, played by Timothy V. Murphy, and his attorney, Michael Bugulari, played by Solomon Shiv.  Jordan shows Osip around to meet some developers and contractors.

The Western Book of the Dead- Man falls over in car

We then get a brief scene of the car from earlier, still on the road.  The man in the back falls to the side.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani and Elvis deliver a foreclosure notice

Following this, we return to Ani and Elvis delivering a foreclosure notice to a small family.  The owner would rather the officers locate her sister, Vera, who she hasn’t heard from in some time.  More than that, her phone is disconnected and her old roommate says that she moved out awhile back.  She worked as a maid at a couple of places, but others said that she quit.  Despite telling city police, there was never any word back on Vera’s disappearance.  The last place she worked at was a religious institute that Ani immediately knows: the Panticapaeum Institute.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank speaks about the future high speed rail in central California

Time for Frank’s presentation.  Proposition 1 has passed.  Starting next year, construction will begin on a $68 billion high speed rail in central California.  An undeveloped valley adjacent to the rail and the coastal highway has been purchased by several holding companies anticipating a commercial development that will be in line for hundreds of millions in federal grants.  The feds have guaranteed cost coverages.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani speaks with her father, Elliot, played by David Morse

At the Panticapaeum Institute, Ani overhears a man giving his students a task: recognize the world as meaningless and to understand that God did not create a meaningless world.  Hold both thoughts as irrefutable and equal, because this is how we must live now in the final age of man.  This man, it turns out, is Ani’s father, Elliot, played by David Morse.  He spoke with Athena a few days ago and is fully aware of her job.

Unlike Ani, he doesn’t have an issue with her life choices.  Ani calls it porn, but Athena calls it theater.  Ani wants to know why, but Elliot has never been good about guessing what Ani wants or needs.  He wants her to convey some kind of guidance, but Elliot isn’t and hasn’t been comfortable imposing his will on anyone since 1978.  Not even to stop them from walking into a river?

Perhaps if mom’s flair for the dramatic had been channeled into her acting, she might have gone onto great things.  Elliot directs Ani’s attention to the totems: they watch over departed spirits and, sometimes, Elliot can feel his wife.  She abandoned the girls, but he didn’t.  He tells Ani, quite bluntly, to spend less time in a state of resistance making up problems for herself: a failed marriage, a few relationships, Ani is angry at the world and men in particular out of a false sense of entitlement for something she never received.  Hell, does Ani even like what she does?

Great father-daughter talk.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray stalks senior staff writer, Dan Howser, played by Stevin Knight

Oh, and Ray waits outside the home of one senior staff writer, Dan Howser, played by Stevin Knight, dons a ski mask, and heads in after Howser to start wrecking shit.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray demands to know who took Chad's shoes

He then heads to the school to pick up Chad, who is talking with Richard, played by Christian Campbell.  Ray gives Chad a sleeping pack to take with him on his trip, but said trip was last weekend and Chad ended up having a stomachache.  He also lost his damn shoes and there’s blood on his sleeves as well.  What happened?  Some boys took his shoes out of his gym locker and cut them up.

An enraged Ray demands to know who stole Chad’s shoes, and if Chad doesn’t start talking, he’ll spank him in front of the cheerleading squad.  Very specific threat.  Chad eventually coughs up the name Aspen Conroy.  Feeling guilty about this later, Ray leaves Chad a message, apologizing for his actions.  Dispatch then transmits the Conroy address to him: it’s in Sherman Oaks.

The Western Book of the Dead- Paul has some alone time with his lady

Paul, meanwhile, meets with his lady friend of the day, now that he has some extra time.  Before the two can get down, he needs to shower, even though she likes when he stinks.  Okay, I guess.  He pops that oh so familiar blue pill while in the bathroom and then heads over to receive his blowjob.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank informs Osip that Caspere’s absence means nothing, talks about the future

Frank informs Osip that Caspere’s absence means nothing.  It’s happening, though: Vinci tapped fed money from the subway line, and the same thing will happen on a much, much bigger scale with the rail corridor.  All owned by their holding companies and set up through Catalast.  This goes way beyond them- it could lead to a legitimate legacy.

Osip needs some time to speak with Frank alone.  He has complete confidence in Frank, but the organization has very old rules.  Checks and balances.  He must perform his due diligence.  He’ll close when he’s ready to close and is in no need to hurry.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray addresses Wit Conroy and his son, Aspen, played by Cooper Roth

At the Conroy residence, Ray first arms himself with brass knuckles before meeting Wit Conroy and his son, Aspen, played by Cooper Roth.  He asks Ass-pen about the stolen property, and then calls him evil as fuck for already being 12 years old.

Then he proceeds to beat the living hell out of Wit before threatening Aspen with one of the most memorable lines of the episode: “If you ever bully or hurt anybody again, I’ll come back and butt-fuck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn.”  Damn.  Ray leaves just as Mrs. Conroy comes out to check the commotion.

The car from before stops on a dirt road.  The driver pulls out the old man.

The Western Book of the Dead- Asking about Paul's scars

Paul’s lady friend inquires about a scar on his arm.  It’s not from his Army days, but before.  He gets dressed to go work on something, even though he’s currently not working.  It’s just a side job.  Right now, his life is all sorts of fucked.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray and Frank meet

At a bar, Ray delivers files and a laptop to Frank.  There won’t be any investigative piece written anymore.  Ray goes through his drink fast, despite Frank’s suggestion to savor it.  Frank asks if Ray spoke with the attorney he put him up with, and he did.  She’ll see what she can do.  As for Ray’s personal life, Frank wants to know more, such as whether he’s seeing anybody.  He’s not, though Frank feels he should, since a good woman mitigates a man’s basic tendencies.  Frank congratulates on a good job with the thing.

The Western Book of the Dead- Paul finds Ben Caspere's body

Paul goes for a motorcycle ride on the highway and comes potentially close to breaking the sound barrier when he stops on a dirt road.  He finds the old man sitting on his own and not moving.  Sitting on the lifeless man’s lap is his wallet and identification.  Paul then calls it in.

The Western Book of the Dead- Arriving at the scene of the crime

At the same time, Ray and Ani, both plastered, leave their respective locations and are called to the scene.  Why?  Because the body of Ben Caspere has been found.  His eyes are gone, possibly due to chemical burn.  COD can’t be called in yet, but he bled out somewhere else.  It’s mentioned that Ray is from Vinci.  The fuck is Vinci?  A city.  Supposedly, anyway.

“The Western Book of the Dead” manages to squeeze in a lot for a premiere, which it has to, but also set the stage for the season to come and assure viewers that this is a new world for True Detective.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray interrogates Aspen

Creator Nic Pizzolatto is back, but we’re without director Cary Fukunaga.  Stepping into the director’s chair is Justin Lin and he does a good job at establishing the tone and feel of this new season.  His take on the series is one I can accept.  Watching True Detective is like watching a slow burn, and this premiere is no different.  We’re given ample time to take in the environment around us and learn about each of the new main characters, which is both a good and bad thing, but I’ll get into that later.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank and Osip talk

There are a bunch of various themes and messages discussed that will no doubt play out as the season progresses: corporate corruption, abuse of power, self-discovery, seeking your destiny, and battling demons.  Lots of demons.  We had figurative and actual demons last year, and now we’ve got them again with our characters battling within themselves.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray smokes

Let’s begin with Ray, as he’s the first of the characters we’re introduced to and, in my opinion, Colin Farrell’s performance was the most memorable.  Ray is a shell of his former self.  The moment we see him first talking to Chad, we can tell that his life isn’t all together.  He’s struggling to be a good father and detective, but he’s abusive and corrupt, as he’s deep in Frank’s pocket.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ray threatens to butt-fuck a man with his wife's corpse

He takes advantage of his authority to get information about an ongoing case to a businessman who he must owe tons of favors, might be in danger of losing his son, he beats the living hell out of a father because his son is a little shit, and he drinks himself stupid.  He wants to do the right thing and be there for his kid, but he’s in way too deep.  Farrell wears the facial expressions of a worn man who has been through some shit, but manages to get up, day in and day out, to keep on going.  Hopefully with this case, Ray has a shot at some redemption.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani and her father

Ani seems to be exactly what her father and sister make her out to be: the person who seems to have a problem with everyone and everything in the world but themselves.  She advises her own sister to give up webcam videos just so she can get back on using drugs.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani and Elvis go for a drive

Ani has a rebellious side and isn’t interested in forging friendships or relationships, as seen through the brief scenes we get between her and Elvis.  Between them, it’s all business, no time for just shooting the shit.  She drinks alone, doesn’t want to talk about sex from last night, and blames her father for her mother’s suicide.

The Western Book of the Dead- Ani drinks in a bar

Like Farrell, Rachel McAdams is just wearing depression on her face and it paints Ani as someone with a lot of personal issues that she’s clearly not ready to work out.  It would take too much effort on her part to admit that she’s to blame for how her life has turned out.

The Western Book of the Dead- Paul gets a blowjob

Then we’ve got Taylor Kitsch, who just looks depressed all the time.  Seriously, the man gets a blowjob and he looks like he’d rather be any place else.  However, unlike Ani or Ray, Paul is, as far as we can see, a good cop and decent man, as even his superiors figured that he wouldn’t try to take a blowjob from a speeding driver.  We get a bit of insight into Paul’s past, but unlike Ray, he isn’t keep to opening up about his past life at all.  There’s a brief mention of something called Black Mountain and how Paul fought for his country, which I assume we’ll learn more about as the season progresses.

The Western Book of the Dead- Paul goes for a fast ride

When we see him riding out on the highway at speeds that could have killed him with one wrong move, it’s clear from the look on Paul’s face that this is what he’d rather be doing instead of laying around and doing nothing.

The Western Book of the Dead- Frank speaks with Ray

Finally, there’s Frank, who we don’t get to learn much about, but I get the sense that he’s an opportunist.  He helps Ray out of a jam and Ray is now indebted to him.  More than that, he’s looking to the future and what kind of legacy he’ll leave for himself and his kids.  Though we do learn that he and his wife have had challenges conceiving, Frank comes off as a man who will do anything to achieve his desires.

The Western Book of the Dead- Jordan watches Frank at work

Side-note, I love his wife, Jordan.  There’s not much to say about her yet, but she doesn’t come off as a trophy wife.  She’s authoritative and has her own input to her husband’s doings.  Also, she’s not afraid to get involved and speak her mind.  In a way, she kind of reminds me of Anna- Jessica Chastain’s character from A Most Violent Year.

If I had any qualms with the episode, it’s how Caspere’s death brings Ray, Ani, and Paul together.  Okay, Paul I understand because he was there, Ray is looking into the case, but why is Ani- or Elvis, for that matter- there at all?  Is it even her jurisdiction?  This is the one issue I have with introducing us to all of the main players off the bat.  I would’ve much preferred maybe introducing two or three of the main characters, and then have the discovery of Caspere’s body lead us to the rest of the cast.  It’s not a major issue, but it felt like a way to unite the three by episode’s end.

“The Western Book of the Dead” is a pretty strong start for True Detective’s second season.  It’s a fresh start for the series that enthralled us one year ago.    I’m very interested to see what direction the show will go in with the new cast, new plot, and new folks developing it behind the scenes.  I know I’m saying ‘new’ a lot, but only to avoid constantly calling comparisons to the previous season.  This season does have a lot to live up to, but based on the show’s first outing, I’m optimistic that it can and will deliver.

A Look at The Walking Dead #142: “A Gathering”

The Walking Dead #142- Cover

Issue #142: “A Gathering,” pushes the story forward by bringing the groups of the Alexandria Safe Zone and Hilltop together for the fair.  After so much development has taken place as a result of the time skip, we see the culmination of hard work citizens have put into this festival.  Oh, and hey, brief reappearance of Magna and company.

The Walking Dead #142- Maggie addresses the Hilltop citizens after Gregory's execution

But before getting there, let’s start with the beginning of the issue, which picks up directly after the ending of the previous one.  So Maggie knows that Gregory’s execution is sure to cause division amongst citizens.  Hell, there’s already division within the neighbors anyway since many of them don’t like Maggie’s style of leadership.  However, with Gregory’s death, this may lead to more of a headache for her.

She doesn’t want it to be the start of something, but there has been something brewing long before this.  I’d say that it started when some of the local boys attacked Carl and Sophia, but right now, Maggie wants calmness in a sea of so much division, but she has to know that this won’t be the end of the conversation.  And she probably wouldn’t expect it to be.  If anything, maybe there will be less of an uprising now that people know what Maggie is capable of, but that would go against Maggie and Rick’s leadership styles if it’s based on fear.  All just speculation here.

The Walking Dead #142- Andrea is overjoyed at the idea of the fair

In Alexandria, it is amazing to see how society has progressed.  I know I’ve said that before, ever since we got to the time skip, but the look on Andrea’s face really shows just how much even she can’t believe that she’s living in the same world where people used to spend their lives running from roamers.  Sure, roamers aren’t a thing of the past, but they’re less of a threat now.

The Walking Dead #142- The fair

 

As such, we have some semblance of normalcy or a close return to it.  It’s too good to be true, but these people have worked for it.  It’s nice to see their work actually bearing fruit.

The Walking Dead #142- Jesus and Maggie tell Rick about Carl and The Whisperers

It was only a matter of time before Maggie informed Rick about what happened to Carl and the introduction of The Whisperers, and Rick’s anger is justifiable.  Even though Carl isn’t a kid anymore and should be responsible for himself, Rick still entrusted him to Maggie and not only is Carl gone, but Rick is only now just learning this, after everything the two have endured.  And Rick hasn’t had to go through any major hardships lately, so this is a shock to him.

The Walking Dead #142- Rick learns that Gregory tried to kill Maggie

However, that’s exactly the point, as he didn’t have someone try to poison him.  Now Rick is a reasonable man, but he’s not one to just calm down easily unless someone forces him to, so I’m a bit surprised that he chilled out as soon as he did when Jesus revealed why Maggie had such a hard time.  It’s also interesting that Maggie left out the part about executing Gregory, since that would put her and Rick at odds so soon after they’ve reunited.  But given how much Rick is determined to make this life work and prove Negan work, things won’t go over well once he learns what Maggie has done.

The Walking Dead #142- Rick, Michonne, Andrea, and Dante ride off to find Carl

Oh, side-note, I love the panel of Rick, Michonne, Andrea, and Dante riding off.  Such a cool shot, in my opinion.

The Walking Dead #142- Carl speaks with Alpha

As for the Whisperers themselves, Alpha seems a very different sort of…well, I can’t call her an antagonist or villain, in the same way I would Negan or the Governor, but just a different sort of leader.  The Whisperers have a different way of living, but for the most part, they want to be left alone.  They can’t do that when they’ve got people like Carl tailing them because he’s lovesick for Lydia.  This doesn’t mean that everything they do is civilized, as they don’t go by names and still commit certain acts that Carl doesn’t approve of, but they want to remain amongst themselves.  And with Alpha managing to infiltrate the fair, it remains to be seen just what she wants to learn.

A good issue, really.  Rick and Maggie reunited while learning about their potential common enemy, while Alpha has slipped within the confines of the Alexandria Safe Zone to learn about Carl’s group.  There’s no follow-up to the Negan situation, which is a bit disappointing, considering how much of the last issue it took up, but maybe that’ll be saved for later.

 

A Look at Orphan Black- Season 3 Finale: “History Yet to be Written”

Not the best finale, but still a very good episode nonetheless.  We get a few unexpected surprises, some plot points I could have done without, and a sense of happiness when all is said and done.  It’s a good episode, but not great.  This is “History Yet to be Written.”

History Yet to be Written- Rachel finds a note

The episode begins with Rachel having flashes to her childhood before awakening and realizing that she has a patch on her eye.  She awakens in a room she doesn’t recognize, finds a note on the table, and then heads over to the mirror to discover…

History Yet to be Written- Rachel's new eye

…voila.  A brand new eye!

History Yet to be Written- Art brings Sarah and Felix to the hiding spot

Meanwhile, Art brings Sarah and Felix to a safe room where Scott is already hard at work.  Mrs. S soon follows with Kendall Malone.  Sarah asks Scott why Malone doesn’t look anything like the clones, and it’s all because Malone has two different cell lines in her body, meaning that they express differently in combination.  Isolate the female genome, and you get the clones.

S promises to incinerate Malone if it looks like even one speck of her flesh will end up in Castor’s hands.  Such a nice daughter.  Everyone is aware that Castor and Topside will be on them now that they have the original, but they have no intention of avoiding them.

History Yet to be Written- Dr. Coady and Mr. Benchman speak with Rudy about Sarah and the Castor original

Dr. Coady and Mr. Benchman inform Rudy that Sarah found the original.  Hence, Rudy is needed on the ground in two hours and he’s told that the director appreciates his services.  Because Sarah has gone to ground with the original, this only leaves one of her people visible.

History Yet to be Written- Alison campaigns on election day

On cue, we cut to Election Day as Alison speaks with voters while Marci talks about some possible violation for using a loudspeaker.  Whatever.

History Yet to be Written- Jesse returns

Donnie, meanwhile, has a surprise for Helena in the form of Jesse.  That certainly came out of nowhere.

History Yet to be Written- Cosima comes to try and apologize to Shay

To my irritation, we get another scene between Shay and Cosima, though this one is for Cosima to apologize on behalf of Delphine’s deplorable behavior.  And this is before Cosima learns that Delphine threatened to cut open Shay’s veins and let her bleed out in the bathtub.  Cosima still wants to know why Shay didn’t tell her that she was in the military- not that it was ever of Cosima’s business.

Shay’s not practicing Chinese medicine either- she’s an R.M.T.  As for why Shay supposedly lied?  Well, the two did meet on a dating app where you reinvent yourself online.  Not the biggest lie in the world, and though Shay is still left in the dark on what’s going on, Cosima still can’t bring herself to be honest.  So Shay asks her to leave.  I have a big problem with this scene that I’ll get to later.

History Yet to be Written- Ferdinand speaks with Delphine about Sarah, Rachel, and the Castor original

At DYAD, we get a brief scene of Delphine arming herself with a gun before Ferdinand enters.  Ferdinand knows that Sarah found the original and believes that Rachel has been eliminated.  Delphine thinks that Ferdinand may be overplaying his hand, and he agrees.  He likes to be under the heel of a woman.  He wants the original, and once she’s returned to Topside, he can have a seat at the table.  Delphine doesn’t accept that.

History Yet to be Written- Sarah and Delphine arrange with Ferdinand

And neither does Sarah, who reveals that she was playing Rachel during her first encounter with Ferdinand.  She reminds Ferdinand that he only needs Malone’s genetic samples.  With her genome, Topside can reproduce Duncan’s cloning trials.  However, they want Castor gone and Ferdinand is the lesser of two evils.  Coady is still trying to weaponize the pathogen, but without her science and the original, Castor dies.  If there’s any bullshit, Sarah swears to incinerate Malone, but Ferdinand calls her bluff, saying that she wouldn’t kill Leda’s one chance at a cure.

History Yet to be Written- Cosima comes to extract a sample from Malone

Cosima arrives to get a sample from Malone, who is just as peachy as always.  Malone doesn’t owe Cosima anything, but Cosima owes her something: the stuff of life, as Malone is the closest that Cosima will get to a cure.

History Yet to be Written- Sarah and Felix confront Gracie and Mark

With some directions from Art, Felix and Sarah head to the apartment room to confront Gracie and Mark.  Felix even manages to kick in the door.  They remind Mark that Coady won’t let him walk away, but he doesn’t care about that.  He and Gracie just want to spend time together before he’s killed.  Mark can still help since the others need to know Coady’s next move.

History Yet to be Written- Mrs. S shows Kendall Malone some sulfuric acid

Back at the safe point, S shows Malone some sulfuric acid that she plans to use if it looks like Castor has located them.  It’s some satisfaction for S after what Malone did to John Sadler, though Malone is convinced that John got what he deserved.

History Yet to be Written- Dr. Nealon and Delphine with Krystal's body

Delphine speaks with Dr. Nealon about Ferdinand poking around about Rachel’s condition.  The plan is to move Rachel to a private facility.

History Yet to be Written- Krystal awakens

When Nealon leaves, Delphine examines the body when, all of a sudden, Krystal awakens, completely unaware of what’s going on and has both of her eyes.  Well, that was a discovery.

History Yet to be Written- Helena catches up with Jesse

While Rachel examines her new eye, Helena and Jesse catch up, with Helena informing Jesse about her new mother.  Before the two can get hot and heavy, Helena gets a phone call and learns that her family needs her.  No worry.  She’s waited a long time to be back with her first- despite the science baby inside of her- and she can wait longer.  Luckily, so can Jesse.

History Yet to be Written- Rudy stalks Alison

Back to the election, Alison speaks with voters and the press while Rudy stalks her.  As Alison and Donnie head off in the campaign bus, Rudy follows from a distance.  Donnie is fully aware of this and lets Sarah and the others know that they’re being tailed, just as expected.  Over at the safe point, the others put their plan into action, starting with Sarah punching Mark in the face.

History Yet to be Written- Rudy finds Helena in the garage

Alison departs from the bus and Rudy pursues her, but ends up finding Helena in the garage.  She promises him that only one of them will live- as prison rules dictate- and with Rudy constantly having flashes, Helena has the obvious advantage.  She proves this by kicking some tape in Rudy’s face in one of the most effective uses of tape as a weapon that I’ve seen.  Hell, she even manages to shove a screwdriver through his arm.  Rudy is unable to put up any sort of fight due to his flashes and he falls to the ground.

History Yet to be Written- Rudy and Helena talk about their upbringings

On the garage floor, the two talk about their upbringings and how they are so similar.  For example, Helena was once ordered to kill a puppy when she was nine years old.  Isn’t that precious?

History Yet to be Written- Ferdinand meets Dr. Coady

Dr. Coady gets a call from a bloodied up Rudy, who informs her that he went after Alison and instead found Helena, who led him right to the prize.  Not long now.  But then Dr. Coady gets a surprise visit from Ferdinand and his assistant, who shoots and kills Coady’s driver.

History Yet to be Written- Kendall talks about how she brought S and Sarah together

Time for character development and revelations.  Sarah, S, and Malone talk about Sarah specifically, as S wants her to understand who she is.  It all goes back to Duncan.  Five or six years after Malone had been harvested, Duncan returned and admitted to cloning her.  Now he was in fear for his life from something called Neolution.  From that point forward, he didn’t know who to trust.  He said they polluted everything, poisoned the science, and corrupted his wife, Susan.

However, Duncan managed to hide Malone from everyone.  Duncan said there was one child outside it all- lost in the foster system.  Malone sent Duncan to S.  So yeah, Malone ended up steering S and Sarah together.  She never expected forgiveness, but she wanted S to have her.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine confronts Dr. Nealon

Delphine confronts Dr. Nealon on Rachel being transported to Australia under Krystal’s name and was admitted to a private hospital.  Nealon has Delphine turn on the screen, which shows Rachel alive and well in her room.  You see, Topside pursues its profits, the military pursues its weapons, while they steer it from within.  They?  Yes, Neolution.

Leekie was useful for seeding ideas, but they run far deeper.  Nealon explains that they’ve infiltrated and maneuvered all of the players since day one.  Castor and Leda are Adam and Eve.  Soon, Topside will deliver the genome right into Neolution’s hands.  Nealon offers Delphine a one-time offer, but Delphine shoots it down.

History Yet to be Written- Dr. Nealon almost puts the lizard into Delphine's mouth

The two struggle and we get a payoff to Delphine arming herself, as she uses the gun to shoot Nealon before he can slip a lizard into her mouth.  An actual lizard, mind you.  Nealon tells Delphine that she won’t live to the next morning.

History Yet to be Written- Ferdinand learns that he's been played

As Ferdinand and his henchman arrive to extract a sample, Sarah receives word from Delphine about Ferdinand being a pawn in a much larger game.  Sarah informs Ferdinand of this and the fact that Rachel is still alive, but in Neolution’s possession.

Ferdinand, reasonably pissed about this revelation, rages at his assistant and beats him to a pulp.  Looks like Neolution really is everywhere.  There’s still a safe place to keep Malone, but Ferdinand does not want to know where.  He’ll be in touch.

History Yet to be Written- Alison learns that she won the election

That night, at Bubbles, everyone celebrates Alison’s victory, and she gives a speech about family and such.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine makes amends with Shay, sort of

Delphine makes a stop by Shay’s and lets her know that what she did was unforgivable- no shit-she won’t be in the way anymore.  She can tell that Shay and Cosima care for one another.  She then hands Shay a DYAD card with the code 324B21 written on the back.  Delphine wants Cosima to start being honest with Shay, even though that’s still Cosima’s decision.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine and Cosima kiss

Following this, Delphine heads to Bubbles to meet outside with Cosima.  She needs the clones to keep the sequenced genome safe and Kendall Malone far away.  Mrs. S is on top of that.  Then the two kiss.  Again.  I do hope we don’t see more of that in the future.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine gets shot

Oh wait, Delphine is shot in a parking lot not too long after this after wondering aloud what will happen to her.

History Yet to be Written- Charlotte greets Rachel

Rachel receives a visit from Charlotte, who informs her that she’s going to be her new mother.  Why?  Because Duncan said so.

History Yet to be Written- Professor Mama Duncan

As in Professor Mama Duncan.

History Yet to be Written- Sarah, Mrs. S, and Kendall unite with Kira

The season comes to a close as Sarah, Mrs. S, and Kendall Malone head to Iceland to meet up with Kira.

So that was a season.  “History Yet to be Written” was a good episode, but I don’t know if I’d call it a great season finale because of some scenes and moments that I didn’t like all that much, but let’s focus on the positive.

History Yet to be Written- Alison gives a speech about family

If there’s an overall theme of this episode and this season in general, it’s about family.  Though the clones started in different places this season, and Alison’s story in particular felt completely separate from the Leda and Castor plot, they soon coalesced in order to deal with Castor.  And despite never knowing who within or outside of the club could be trusted, the clones managed to band together to go through hell and back while dealing with a common enemy.

This was a moment where the clones and their allies had to set aside their differences in order to deal with Castor and Topside looming not too far behind.  You can’t just bicker about who you can and can’t trust because there are bigger issues to deal with right now.

History Yet to be Written- Malone gets honest with S and Sarah

I think this was a good time for S and Malone to try and find common ground after being at each other’s throats in the previous episode.  The scene where Malone explains how Sarah and S came to find each other was great.  Sure, this didn’t make up for Malone killing John Sadler, but her heart was in the right place when she pulled strings to make sure Sarah ended up with S.  Even if she was ice cold to almost everyone she came in contact with, we saw the shades of a good person beneath that rough exterior.

History Yet to be Written- Helena and Rudy

Another instance of tragic characters exploring their lighter sides came with the confrontation between Helena and Rudy.  Sure, it started with a fight, but both Helena and Rudy have been trained to be killing machines.  The difference is that while Helena still has a dark side, she gradually opened up to the other clones.  She’s still a killer and has a dark side, if the previous episode is any indication, but doesn’t always act on those tendencies, as Rudy and the Castor clones have been trained.

I’m glad that Alison got the success she wanted, though her storyline is one that feels the most open.  After all, will there be any repercussions to Helena’s bloodbath last week?  And what happened to Jason Kellerman?  Again, Alison is my least favorite of the clones, but this season did soften me to her just a bit and I hope she’s given humorous storylines like this as opposed to us having to endure her being an unhinged wife.

History Yet to be Written- Shay has no idea who Cosima is

Shay, Cosima, and Delphine.  I wasn’t a fan of the three way conflict between these three before and I’m still not.  Delphine’s apology felt forced and just a way to hopefully put her and Shay on good footing, even when that’s obviously not the case.

History Yet to be Written- Cosima won't open up to Shay

And it’s really uncalled for when Cosima harped on Shay for not being completely honest when Cosima wasn’t even willing to open up a bit about her life.  That’s unfair.  Oh, and also selfish and a dick move.  Scott’s been brought into this mess, so why not bring Shay in as well?  I don’t sympathize with Cosima at all here.

She’s upset about a few minor details not being true, but she won’t share even one aspect of her complicated life?  Why not open up if she was so willing to take Delphine’s word that Shay could have been a Castor spy?  Whatever Cosima ends up doing next week, I hope it’s more entertaining than this cheap drama because I don’t like the direction the show has taken her character this season.

History Yet to be Written- Delphine is shot

Then Delphine gets shot.  It’s one of the few examples of consequence for Clone Club this season, but whatever happens is anyone’s guess.  Sure, we could assume that the shot kills Delphine, but we linger on her body for quite a bit and we never actually see her die, so as of now, I don’t think Delphine is dead.  Possibly on her way out, but we’ll find out next season.

History Yet to be Written- Gracie and Mark

Same goes with Mark and Gracie.  If Castor is no longer a threat, then they may be able to live out what little time they have left together in peace, but if not, I’m curious to see what happens, especially since we never find out when and how Gracie got in contact with Castor.

History Yet to be Written- What about Krystal

And what about Krystal?  She’s been left in the dark about Clone Club, but then got caught in the middle of it.  Did Delphine tell her anything she didn’t need to know?  I assume that waking up in a building and knowing little about where you are isn’t something to easily forget.

As far as the grand story, bringing Neolution back in felt a bit out of left field since the bulk of this season had been Castor vs. Leda.  Even Topside pulling strings would have made more sense since we’ve at least been exposed to them this season while, to my knowledge, Neolution hadn’t even been addressed this season up until this episode.  This, I think, was just to set up the conflict for Season Four.

Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the reveal of the other Dr. Nealon- aka mother, to Rachel, who finally got herself a new eye.  This, I think, will make for an interesting storyline.

History Yet to be Written- Alison thanks her family

It’s fitting that one of the last scenes of the episode ended with most of the main characters celebrating together, mirroring Helena’s dream from the beginning of the season.  Though not technically as impressive as the dance party in Season 2, in my opinion, it was still a great scene and a nice way to bring the season full circle.  The season started with Helena envisioning a happy life.  Now, for the moment, she has that solace with her family.  Now to see how long that lasts.

Again, “History Yet to be Written” is a good episode and has some great character moments, but little things like the Shay/Cosima/Delphine storyline, Jesse’s pointless return, Art’s sudden return after a temporary absence, kept it from being as great as I would want it to have been.  It still had strong moments.  Helena’s fight with Rudy was entertaining, Alison won her race, and S and Malone putting aside their differences was a warm moment in an episode with so much drama.  Very much looking forward to Season Four.

A Look at You’re the Worst- Season 1, Episode 7: “Equally Dead Inside”

Episode Seven, “Equally Dead Inside,” has Jimmy and Gretchen acknowledging that they won’t sleep with other people, but they still don’t think much of whatever it is they have.  In fact, Edgar is more ecstatic about this bond than either Jimmy or Gretchen.  They aren’t, as Edgar puts it, boyfriend and girlfriend.  They’ve just made a verbal agreement to not sleep with other people.  So close enough, but with more words and less lovey-dovey stuff.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy receives a jersey from his father

Jimmy’s conflict this week revolves around a jersey he received in the mail.  Upon looking at it, his face becomes a mix of disappointment and anger, prompting him to throw the jersey out and leave.  Normally, Edgar would give Jimmy a pep talk, but luckily, that’s now Gretchen’s job.  Since she’s his lady, she has to get to know him more.  That all takes effort, though.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy thinks his books have sold out, learns Sandra Bernhard will be coming for a book reading

However, Jimmy receives the surprise of his life when he heads to his bookstore and can’t find any copies of his book.  He believes that they’ve sold out, but the owner tells him that’s not the case- he’s just been remaindered.  Besides, the owner has more important matters to deal with, like the upcoming book reading by Sandra Bernhard, or “the lesbian from Roseanne,” as Jimmy refers to her.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy depressed while Gretchen shows a liked Instagram photo

Yes, our witty Brit is in a funk and nothing is cheering him up.  Gretchen doesn’t make things better, either.  Normally, Jimmy would tolerate Gretchen’s randomness, but when she brings up how someone at her job named Dana liked an Instagram photo she put up, Jimmy just asks why someone else’s internet approval is meaningful.  This is something Jimmy would probably say anyway, though had he not been in this funk, I think he’d have been more receptive to Gretchen.

So what’s the problem with the jersey?  It’s just a jersey.  Well, turns out that this particular Manchester jersey came from Jimmy’s father, even though Jimmy doesn’t even like sports.  More than that, Jimmy once sent his father a copy of his book months ago, but got no response…until now.  Gretchen, though she doesn’t want to, tries to listen to Jimmy talk about his troubles.

Equally Dead Inside- Edgar and Lindsay talk at dinner while waiting for Jimmy and Gretchen

Meanwhile, Lindsay and Edgar wait for Jimmy and Gretchen to join them at dinner.  Lindsay apparently doesn’t have many people ask her questions, as she’s surprised when Edgar asks how she’s been.  She isn’t well, though, as she’s still upset about cheating on Paul with Aiden- the nice guy from the previous episode.  To her, there’s wife Lindsay and Adulteress Lindsay that likes sitting on people’s faces.  Personally, I’d rather hang out with Adulteress Lindsay.

Edgar has his own alternate personality: there’s veteran Edgar and regular Edgar.  Edgar had a traumatic brain injury, but so did Lindsay.  No, really.  She stared at a strobe light for way too long while at a rave and now she’s forgotten how to whistle.  That’s apparently a thing.  We’ll get back to these two in a moment.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy rants about his father while Gretchen plays a game

Jimmy is still ranting about how much he wanted his father to say he was proud of him, but Gretchen is more focused on the game she’s playing.  She explains that she listens better when she’s doing stuff with her hands.

Equally Dead Inside- Lindsay and Gretchen at frozen yogurt store

That frozen yogurt Gretchen and Lindsay frequent is still open for business, but the cashier has come up with a new method in order to deal with them: it’s all self-serve.  Each patron receives a sample cup and only one free sampling is allowed.  Most people would probably abide by this, but it’s still faulty design, as Lindsay and Gretchen just sample one flavor after the other.  Can’t really fault the two for taking advantage of the system.

Anyway, Gretchen isn’t a fan of Jimmy’s moodiness, but also isn’t ready for this part of a relationship.  Lindsay’s not happier due to her infidelity, but Gretchen isn’t listening.  She listens better when she has something in her mouth.  I sense a theme here.

Equally Dead Inside- Lindsay meets Gretchen's work wife, Dana, played by Jeanine Mason

Either way, Gretchen is feeling abandoned by Lindsay, even though Gretchen is the one not paying attention to her friend.  Not seeing the hypocrisy in this, Gretchen leaves with her work wife, Dana, played by Jeanine Mason.

Equally Dead Inside- Lindsay and Edgar react to being sidekicks

Once again, Edgar and Lindsay wonder why Jimmy and Gretchen are flaking out on them.  But then it finally hits Edgar: he and Lindsay are sidekicks.  How meta.  Lindsay is absolutely aghast!  She’s Beyonce, not Kelly Rowland.  She’s a motorcycle, not that shitty little side seat next to the motorcycle!

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen suggests she and Jimmy do it backwards while he watches foot fetish anime

Gretchen is still unable to shake Jimmy out of his funk.  She tries the obvious methods, like playing something sad and English.  When that doesn’t work, she realizes there’s just one solution: they have sex backwards while Jimmy watches foot fetish anime.  I did not know this was a thing, but Jimmy isn’t feeling this, so Gretchen leaves.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy at Sandra Bernhard's book reading

However, Jimmy does find something to occupy his time when he attends Sandra Bernhard’s book reading.  He wants to heckle her, but he’s so captivated by her work that he can’t make fun of her anymore.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy meets with Sandra Bernhard at book reading

When he meets her, she then asks for some of his heckles.  They aren’t that impressive and Jimmy is probably better off having not said them.  She does think that Jimmy being remaindered is a waste of money, though.  It’d be much better to just take all of his books and throw them into a hobo trash can fire.  That would save you a few bucks, I’m sure.  Jimmy decides he’ll take the life-size cardboard cutout of Sandra Bernhard as his consolation prize.

Equally Dead Inside- Dana and Gretchen grab drinks and talk about emotions

I’m not a fan of characters delivering words of wisdom that just happen to apply to one of the protagonists, but as Gretchen and Dana bond over drinks, Dana asks Gretchen if she can imagine not being able to experience emotions.  And, of course, Gretchen’s response is no, she can’t.

Equally Dead Inside- Dana and Gretchen come to have a threesome with Jimmy

However, because Dana is fun and spontaneous, Gretchen brings her to Jimmy’s so he can finally experience a threesome.  Apparently it’s a thing to have a threesome when you’re in middle school.  I missed that notice.

Equally Dead Inside- Dana and Gretchen kiss

While a threesome with two women sounds amazing, turns out that Jimmy already shot his load.  It’s possible that he premature ejaculated from excitement, but he says that it’s from earlier, starting from when he went downstairs to his room.  Apparently that’s where he started and he just likes to bathe in the afterglow.  Eww.  You get all sticky that way.  Despite Jimmy’s current state, he calls Dana of all people weird, causing her to storm off.  Never mind that Jimmy has a life-size cutout of Sandra Bernhard in his room.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy not comfortable with Gretchen's feelings

After this, though, Gretchen is in her feelings about how she made a friend and just alienated her by asking her to participate in a threesome.  Completely skipped taking her to dinner and everything, too.  As Gretchen talks about her life, her past problems, and the sad little 10 year old girl she is, she’s looking for someone to hear her out.  Jimmy, however, is not that person and quickly tells Gretchen to stop emoting because she’s making his skin crawl.

Jimmy fails to see the irony, though he correctly points out that Gretchen didn’t listen to him, either.  The two wonder just what in the hell is wrong with them.  However, they can take solace in the fact that they’ve found someone who is as equally dead inside as the other.  The two vow to never feel anything around each other ever again.

And scene.

“Equally Dead Inside” takes time to slowly develop Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship and doesn’t throw it in your face that the two are, in almost every sense of the word, ‘official.’  But then, like the previous episode, they still despise those cute little buzzwords.  To them, little has changed, but they’re still of the opinion that this could go south any time.

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen and Edgar surprised that Jimmy never had took part in group sex

The problem is now that they’re an item, their bond has to go beyond sex.  Once you commit yourself to someone, conversations won’t always be about sex and your day.  You start digging deeper and talking about your feelings.  Your emotions start pouring out and you hope that certain someone will be there to be a shoulder to cry on and comfort you in your time of need.

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen doesn't want to get to know the real Jimmy

And that’s not what Gretchen signed up for, as she’s not ready to commit to this.  As she tells Lindsay, she’s not equipped to handle this part of a relationship.  She doesn’t want to get to know Jimmy or his daddy issues because that takes the fun out of their little thing.  Knowing him on a deeper level would require her to put forth effort and step outside of herself but, as we’ve seen, Gretchen is a very self-consumed person.

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen unable to talk to Jimmy

She’d like to get to know Jimmy on a deeper level, sure, but once that happens, they stop being two people just hanging out and actually become boyfriend and girlfriend.  Gretchen isn’t ready to take that step, which is why she finds it so awkward for her to deal with a moping Jimmy.

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen tries to get Jimmy to open up

Her priority is still having as much fun as possible and she hopes that will snap Jimmy out of his funk, but you can’t always solve a problem with fun, sex, or foot fetish anime.  Taking Jimmy’s feelings seriously would mean she sees him as more than just a guy she hangs out and has sex with.  The two would become something more, which isn’t what they want.  However, the more they start to learn about one another, the more inevitable it is before they start talking about their feelings.  That’s hard to do for two emotionally detached cynics.

Equally Dead Inside- Gretchen makes plans while Jimmy is still depressed

If Jimmy and Gretchen were completely open with one another and accepted that right off the bat, there would no conflict.  We’ve known since the beginning that they reject the notions of traditional romance, and that includes emotional attachment.  They make a pact to never feel around each other again because they’re not like other people, and that makes them perfect for each other, but no one else.

Equally Dead Inside- Edgar realizes that he and Lindsay are sidekicks

This includes their friends, as Lindsay and Edgar get to spend more time together and have the sudden realization that they’re being sidelined.  Luckily, the two aren’t just here to fill up time.  I mean, they sort of are, but it’s not without humor.  Edgar tries to compare him and Lindsay being sidekicks to Mary Tyler Moore or Rhoda, but since Lindsay doesn’t know who those two people are, Edgar is forced to go with a more contemporary example: Jeff Lewis or Jenny from Flipping Out on Bravo.

Equally Dead Inside- Edgar and Lindsay waiting again

It would be easy for the two to just talk about how they have nothing to do, but Lindsay and Edgar do have very good chemistry together.  They have their fair share of complex issues and I like that the show is building off of character traits and quirks established in previous episodes, such as Edgar’s war memories or Lindsay’s serial cheating.

As much as Gretchen talks about needing a friend and feeling abandoned, neither she nor Jimmy realize yet what they’re doing to Edgar and Lindsay by always leaving them to fend for themselves.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy fantasized about Dana and Gretchen

We haven’t learned much about Jimmy’s past, so it was a refreshing change of pace to hear him talk about his failed relationship with his father.  And I’m glad he snapped out of his funk quickly enough.  His reaction during the threesome was priceless and I enjoyed how he was so focused on the fact that Dana and Gretchen’s boobs must have touched when they hugged.  Priorities, this guy.

Equally Dead Inside- Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard is fine in her appearance, but she doesn’t really get much to do aside from put down Jimmy’s heckles and take him down a peg.  For someone as cynical as Jimmy, it’s nice to see someone throw his sarcastic wit right back at him.

Equally Dead Inside- Jimmy and Gretchen make a pact to never feel around one another

“Equally Dead Inside,” in my opinion, isn’t as strong as “PTSD,” but it did show the kind of progress and changes that Jimmy and Gretchen are slowly making as their…thing slowly develops into a relationship where they’re forced to open their hearts to each other.  Perish the thought, they say, as they vow to never feel around each other again.  They’re just not ready.

A Look at Veep- Season 4 Finale: “Election Night”

Because it couldn’t be that easy, even for Selina Meyer.  One season ago this time, Selina and company were headed to the White House to watch Selina Meyer take the Oath of Office and become the next President of the United States.  One season later, one Hugh Laurie, and a bunch of political hiccups later, we’ve arrived at “Election Night.”

Election Night- Selina stares into the distance

The episode begins with Selina in a hotel room, staring out into the distance.  Kent pops in and lets her know that East Coast polls are closing, Tom James tells her that history is calling, and Gary enters purely to make sure that Selina is okay.  She’s not.  It’s time to get an answer on whether America wants Selina Meyer to be her President.  Luckily, America doesn’t just love Selina- they’re in love with her.

Oh, and they’ve just lost Kentucky.

Election Night- Dan and Amy talk with Matty Curtis, played by Neil Casey

It’s Election Night, 7:15 pm.  At CNN, Dan and Amy discuss their futures based on who may win the election.  If O’Brien wins, their lobbying stocks will drop.  They need to be in touch with him, though Amy is convinced that the two need to be in with Selina as well.  In enters Greg, played by Scott Adsit, who lets the two know that they will be joined by Sally Davenport and Matty Curtis.  Curtis is an online statistics savant: he predicted the margin in every Senate seat.

Election Night- Jonah tells Richard that Selina wants to thank him

Over in Baltimore, Richard and Jonah prepare for a Meyer-James really.  Thanks to the hearing, the whole harassment situation has done wonders for Jonah.  I mean, the hearing was terrible, but now Jonah is the face of workplace bullying and genital health.  Plus, he gets word from Mike that Selina wants him in the presidential suite to get a one-on-one thank you from Selina.

Election Night- Selina awaits incoming results

At election HQ, Selina’s team awaits incoming results.  Indiana and South Carolina have gone for O’Brien, but Vermont and Connecticut went for Selina.  Only Gary is ecstatic, as, according to Selina, a bowl of hair could win those states.  Bowl of Hair 2016.  Calling it now.  Anyway, Jonah enters and his thank you from Selina is over as soon as it begins.

Election Night- Bill and Catherine talk about fiances

To my surprise, Bill Ericsson is here, but he’s still steaming over being tossed under the bus during the hearings.  Catherine reminds him that no one got out of those hearing unscathed- which I don’t completely buy, but whatever- as she had to ditch her fiancé.  Bill plans to think that over when some guy makes him his prison fiancé.  He then asks Selina, should she lose, if she could pardon him, but she hasn’t got time to think about his potential imprisonment.

Election Night- Karen returns

Oh, and Selina invited Karen to be with her tonight, and she’s as indecisive as ever.  Or is she?  I’m unsure right now.

Election Night- CNN panel

Over at CNN, the panel, Dan and Amy join a panel that includes Sally Davenport, played by Orlagh Cassidy, and Matty Curtis, played by Neil Casey.  By CNN’s projection, Senator O’Brien has 33 electoral votes, while President Meyer only has 10.  However, it’s still too early to tell.  Get used to hearing that a lot.  The uncertainty of the election is bleeding into those pesky battleground states.

Oklahoma is lost as well, but Selina expected that.  O’Brien is then projected to be the winner of Minnesota.

Election Night- Sue and her friend, Kim, played by Susan Kelechi Watson

Over at the West Wing, Sue and her friend, Kim, played by Susan Kelechi Watson, asks Sue what she’ll do if O’Brien wins.  She won’t be returning to politics, as they bore her.  Sue notices Amy’s lack of focus, but it lines up perfectly with her avoiding dealing with her weird mix of lack of self-worth and narcissism.

At CNN, Wisconsin is projected as a win for O’Brien- and this keeps Mike from having to bear the bad news to Selina.  Dan calls this a big win for O’Brien, but Amy reminds him that the polls have not closed.  Amy decides to leave so she can watch this play out with Selina, and no one really gives a shit what shrill Amy does right now, so she’s free to go.  Because Amy is so focused on leaving, I’m assuming she misses the call that Sue makes, as she’s also on her way to join Selina.

Election Night- Selina asks Tom what would happen if they switched positions

Back with Selina, she asks an optimistic Tom if she thinks they would win if their roles were reversed and Tom was at the top of the ticket.  Karen, though, has no straight answer.  Shocking.  However, then the Wisconsin call is rescinded, so all hope is not yet lost.  In addition, CNN and Fox have called Colorado for Selina.

Election Night- Tom wants to be Treasury Secretary

Following this, Tom and Selina talk in private.  Tom likes to think he’s been of great use to the campaign, but he doesn’t want to be impotent…in her administration.  No, he’s not talking about being first in and last out of cabinet meetings.  No.  Tom James wants to be Treasury Secretary as well as Vice President.

Bold move, but Tom believes that this administration was coming apart at the seams during those hearings and he used six rolls of Magic Tape to stick it back together.  Needless to say, Selina isn’t happy.

Election Night- Sue stuck listening to Amy sing

Nor is Sue, as she’s stuck in the car while Amy tries her best to impersonate someone who can sing.  We do learn what Sue applied for: United Seasonings, which supplies 90 percent of the world’s paprika.  Hey, Amy and Dan lobbied for them, her hands are dirty with paprika money.

Election Night- Catherine wants some mother-daughter time with Selina

Illinois is still in Selina’s camp, but Iowa goes for O’Brien.  Pennsylvania and Florida are too close to call, though.  The congressional races are just as tight. Everything’s tight tonight.  There may be a clearer picture in an hour.  Selina is tense, so Catherine takes her aside for mother-daughter time.

Election Night- Jonah gives it up for Band of the Horses

Back at the Meyer-James rally, MC Jonah gives it up for Band of the Horses…Band of Horses.  He thanks everyone for supporting the men’s health campaign and letting him tell guys that they should feel themselves up.  Easiest job ever.  But then he tries to warm up the crowd with some A-Team references, but they’re not feeling him at all.

Election Night- Mother-daughter time

Okay, mother-daughter time.  Selina feels that she’s losing control of everything around her.  She apologizes to Catherine for the end of her engagement- even though it was Selina’s fault- and imparts some words of wisdom: men are horrible.  All of them.  The key is to find a man who’s the least horrible.

Election Night- Pennsylvania is called for O'Brien

Amy and Sue arrive just as Mike makes a run for the soda machine and Pennsylvania is called for O’Brien.  Another loss for Matty Curtis’ predictions.  On CNN, Dan wouldn’t be surprised if Selina decided to concede.

Though these are just projections and not concrete results, Selina decides to throw in the towel and call O’Brien to let him know that she’s conceding.  She sees no point in dragging this on and wants to have a bit of dignity in defeat, so she’s going to bow out.  For Selina, this job fucking sucks anyway.

Election Night- Mike about to learn that Pennsylvania could go for Selina

At the same time, Mike manages to get a few sodas from the soda machine without being electrocuted when he gets word from Dan that Pennsylvania was the wrong call.  It could end up going for Selina.

Mike rushes back to the room just as Selina is about to concede and lets her know that she’s still in the game.  Once Pennsylvania does indeed swing her way, she calls off the concession.  Jonah needs some backup and energy at the rally and wants Tom James to come, but Selina won’t have that.

Election Night- Sue tells everyone that if Selina wins Virginia, then the election is a tie

More states come in: Washington State, Florida, and Iowa for Selina, New Hampshire and Ohio for O’Brien.  Selina is at 256 electoral votes and it all comes down to Virginia.  If O’Brien gets it, he wins, but if Selina gets it, they don’t win…they tie.  Knowledge courtesy of Sue.

So what happens if there’s a presidential tie?  The 12th Amendment is superseded by the 20th.  The House is given until January 20th to elect the president, with each state getting one vote.  First candidate to 26 votes becomes the president, while the Senate chooses the vice-president.

Election Night- Team learns that Tom could become the next President of the United States

The obstacle here is that there are currently too many close House races.  If there’s a tie in the House, then whoever the Senate picks as vice-president elect becomes the president.  Hence, Tom James could become the next President of the United States.  It is good to be prepared.

As Selina come to terms with the fact that she may lose the election to her running mate, Tom leaves and heads to the Meyer-James rally to fire up the audience.

Election Night- Selina joins Tom on stage

But then Selina and company go after him.  Though the crowd loves Tom James, they’re less enthusiastic about Selina.  The entire team, minus the Professor and Mary-Ann, is brought on stage just as everyone sees that Selina Meyer wins Virginia!  With some of the House races still too close to call, Veep’s fourth season comes to a close as we head into presidential overtime.

Now that is what I’d call an effective cliffhanger and a strong way not just to end a season of the show, but easily hold interest for when Veep returns in a year’s time.

New Hampshire- President Meyer on the warpath

Let’s look at this season in retrospect: Veep’s third season ended with Selina becoming the President of the United States.  She didn’t win it through election- it only happened because the previous president stepped down.  After taking the Oath of Office, she told her team that there would be no more fuck-ups.

Election Night- Selina addresses the crowd

But this is Veep and this is Selina Meyer.  Almost everything that’s happened this season, in one way or another, has been a fuck-up.  And unlike her service as Vice President, Selina’s problems didn’t just go away.  Her presidential problems only built to the hearing and have left us here, with the possibility that Selina will lose the presidency to the very man she brought on that sparked energy and enthusiasm for her campaign.

Election Night- Tom warms up the crowd

You know, let me get to Tom James right off the bat.  First off, it goes without saying that Hugh Laurie has been excellent in this role from start to finish.  Though I wish he’d been brought on sooner, Laurie brought such energy and enthusiasm to his performance.  Tom James was a much needed boost to Selina’s campaign because he got people even more excited about it.  Tom is a suave man and a very suave politician.  He knows how the game is played and is more than willing to help Selina.

Election Night- Tom realizes that he could be the next President

So it’s not entirely unlikely that he would’ve known that, should there be a tie, he could become the next President and not Selina.  Whether this happens may depend on whether Tom James even appears next season.  I imagine Hugh Laurie may be a busy man and while it would be great if he returned for Season Five, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom James was merely mentioned by name or kept off-screen, like Selina’s predecessor most of the time.  That said, if there was any possibility that Hugh Laurie could return for the next season, I would welcome it open arms.

Election Night- Kent learns that the Wisconsin result has been taken back

As for the episode itself, even though a lot of it involved waiting, there was a real sense of dread and tension about the fate of Selina Meyer’s political future.  And Veep, as always, manages to turn the political process on its side, whether it’s the team trying frantically to figure out what happens if there’s an electoral tie.  There’s also Karen’s line of “Why can’t the American people make up their minds? I mean, how hard is it to decide between two candidates?”  It’s ridiculous, but there’s so much truth to this.  It’s like the abortion issue: a bunch of people lean one way, the others lean the other, and then there’s everyone else in the middle.

This episode had a lot of great little character moments: Amy and Dan contemplating their future if Selina loses, Mike constantly getting shocked, Bill talking about prison, and even Sue got a moment to talk about her future outside of politics.

Election Night- Jonah and Richard at the Baltimore rally

Plus, Jonah and Richard were great this week and I hope they remain a pair next season when talks begin about what to do with the balloons.

Election Night- Selina rages

But this was Selina’s episode and Julia Louis-Dreyfus sold it this week.  From the way she easily considers conceding, we see that the presidency has worn Selina down.  Hell, the entire team looked mournful as Selina prepared to concede to O’Brien.  She just wanted the night to be over.  There was such optimism coming into this position, but now it’s no more fun than it was when she was just the vice-president.  She did have time to be warm through her…less than great talk with Catherine about men and how she led to the end of the engagement.

Election Night- Selina realizes that she could lose the presidency to Tom James

And yet, despite the renewed energy, Selina is now in political limbo.  She’s not the candidate that gets people enthusiastic and isn’t even that likable, so the odds would seem against her, yet enough Americans voted for her to ensure a tie.

Election Night- Selina brings the team on stage

So where do we go from here?  “Election Night” was a great episode and good way to hook viewers in and keep them intrigued for next year.  When we return, will the election already be sorted out?  Will Selina retain the presidency or return to becoming a vice-president?  If so, would she have to serve under her running mate?  Will Tom James even return next year?  Would Selina even want to go back to being a vice-president anyway?  And if she comes through this as president again, how will she make up for the errors, flubs, and fuck-ups that have defined these past few months?  Who knows?

We’ll find out when we return for Veep, season five.