Friday, 14 December 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Wow. WOW.
Okay, to get this out of the way--Not a fan of 48FPS. Luckily, you'll mostly forget about it after the first ten minutes or so.
Growing up with Canadian TV, it reminded me very much of watching Littlest Hobo or Road to Avonlea. It's very much like watching a live show on a screen, if that makes sense....the rain doesn't touch the actors during the scenes! O.o

The movie itself is AMAZING. It's all I'd hoped it would be and more.
It's exactly like coming home again.
Freeman IS Bilbo. I was so worried because I really only see him as Arthur Dent or Watson...but he's the PERFECT Bilbo.

The beginning scenes are epic and amazing.
The first scenes in the Shire are quietly touching.
The troll scene is hilarious, the dwarfs are perfect and endearing (especially Aidan Turner, who has quite a few scenes!), but Andy Serkis as Gollum absolutely steals the show.
This is a much more Smeagol-y Gollum (er, does that make any sense?) than we saw in the LOTR trilogy, and Serkis plays the part brilliantly.
The whole theater was in stitches during the Bilbo/Gollum scene, which, by the way, was the first to be filmed and took about a week of filming!

There are a few surprise guests--I'm not naming names--but you'll be pleased to see them. ;)

Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown is another highlight, and, man, Richard Armitage is a damn great Thorin Oakenshield.

Seriously, go see it....and do your best to get over the initial shock if you decide to see the 48fps version.
It's so, so worth it.

And the way it ends?!
How am I going to wait a YEAR to see part 2?! (Which opens on my birthday next year!)

Did you see it? What did you think??

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

GenreCon 2012-- Day 3

I started the day off by watching the news coverage of the con from the night before. Can you spot me in the video? Haha!

9:30am again came early, but thanks to my great decision-making the night before, I felt well-rested and ready to go.
My co-volunteers? ...not so much. ;)
Some looked like death warmed over (I'm looking at you, Liz!) and others just looked tired. Next year I'm definitely going to plan around the Saturday night room parties. I felt a bit left out!

It was just Nick, Rob and I in the dealer/signing room on day 3, which worked out fine. I wandered around the floor while they sat and 'supervised'.
By day 3, there's a wonderful camaraderie and friendship between the volunteers, so there was much joking and teasing. It was great.

Mark Meer talks with Mass Effect fans
I got to watch Mark Meer (Mass Effect) fawn over some fans in GREAT costumes. We don't allow fans to take posed photos with the guests, but this time Mark himself asked for the photo!

The talent did a lot of connecting. You could tell the con was coming to an end and no one wanted it to!

Mark Meer chatted with pretty much every other guest, as did Robert Maillet and Mark Lutz.
I think the talent really enjoyed meeting each other! I like to imagine that some will stay life-long friends. :)

Robert Maillet (seated) chats with
Mark Meer

The vendors also seemed very happy on day 3, because many of the guests started buying the merchandise they'd had their eye on all weekend!
I saw Mark Meer buy a few ChiZine books and Julian Richings bought a movie and a book!

I took it upon myself to 'live-tweet' on Day 3.
I noticed that no one was really doing it, and I thought the fans (and my followers!) might find it fun!
I got a HUGE response! Thanks, you guys, for being so interested in my tweets! I hope you all come next year so you can see the awesomeness for yourself!

His t-shirt says, "Hello, my name is Inigo
I watched Robert Maillet buy a t-shirt and I just had to take his pic while wearing it. Can you see the name tag? Hahaha! He DOES look like Inigo Montoya!

The morning went by quickly and at 12:30, I went to see about my photo op with Nicholas Brendon.
There was a small line, and at 1pm it started to move.
Imagine my surprise--and joy!--when I was told that I could get a photo with BOTH Nicholas and Tom Lenk for the price of one photo op!
Um, yes, please!!
I was last to go and I smiled nervously for the camera.
I think the photo came out okay, don't you? :D

I got ANOTHER hug from Nicholas (he initiated, not me!) and went back to my 'job' in the dealer room.

I was again just thrilled to watch the talent interact. Most of them had only just met each other and, like the con volunteers, seemed to mesh and just had great camaraderie!
I guess geeks are geeks, no matter WHAT we do for a living! :D

Mark Lutz and Nicholas Brendon
(You can see Robert Maillet standing
in the background)

Mark Lutz hanging with the Dead Genesis crew
Robert Maillet and Sandhal Bergman
(Red Sonja, Conan the Barbarian)
pose for a photo

And I finally got my photo with the amazingly inspiring Jacqui, Nicholas Brendon, Mark Meer and Mark Lutz's con manager!

Nicholas Brendon and Robert Maillet
say goodbye
Sadly, Jacqui and Nicholas had an early flight out, and they were the first to say goodbye. I got ANOTHER hug from Nicholas--again, instigated by HIM!--and waved goodbye.
Meeting them was a dream come true and I'm so, so grateful that Genrecon made that happen.

Back at the volunteer table, Nick and I were fascinated to watch the filming of a Versus Valerie webisode. The amount of takes and different camera angles--it's seriously REALLY cool to watch! I can't wait to see the finished product!

Mark Meer playing a cosplayer
playing the Tenth Doctor
in Versus Valerie
 I got to hang with my favorite child actor, Connor Stanhope again too. He really seemed to enjoy himself, which made us all pretty happy.
When it's a guests FIRST con, you want to make it special and something they'll remember forever. I like to think that Chris, Rob, Jody, Adrienne (Connor's liaison), Tom and I were able to do that for him.
Volunteer Chris, hangs with Courtenay Taylor
(Mass Effect) and Connor Stanhope
I gushed over him enough yesterday, so today I'll just ask you to follow him on Twitter and Facebook to show your support for a really great kid. Thanks. :)

Next it was time to say goodbye to Mark Lutz--and I got a REALLY unexpected hug from him!
I was thrilled to watch him and Sandhal Bergman say their goodbyes--they talked and joked about Mark's HUGE bottle of booze.
Sandhal (in the hat) wants to know how Mark
is going to get the huge bottle through

Sandhal and Mark say goodbye

It really was touching to see everyone so sad to be leaving the con.
Hydra team, fellow volunteers--I wish you'd been able to see what I saw. They truly had a wonderful time with us and with each other.
Kudos and congratulations for showing them what a fan-made con is all about!

But it wasn't COMPLETELY over yet!

Connor and Nicole Gauss (My Little Pony) hung out for a few more hours, and there were still a few panels and Q&A's going on as well.

Nicole Gauss and Connor Stanhope (notice the
sonic screwdriver!) pose for a pic

Finally, FINALLY, it was time for my daughter to meet me. It was a LONG weekend without her--and it was the first time I'd ever been away from her, even overnight!
I missed her like crazy!!

I brought her around to meet Nick and let her pick out a new toy. She chose the red ghost from PacMan. Haha!
Of course, I couldn't help myself and took this awesome photo of her with her new ghost buddy. Best. Pic. EVAR! ;)

My daughter poses for a pic--
But who's that in the
Oh, only Julian Richings
saying goodbye to
Robert Maillet!
With a few last and completely unexpected goodbye hugs from Tom Lenk, Robert Maillet and Connor Stanhope, it was time for me to head home.

I hugged Nick--best boss ever--and thanked Kris, one of the lead volunteers for an amazing weekend.

The ride home was quiet and bittersweet. On one hand, I was so happy to see my baby girl, and on the other, I missed my co-volunteers and the con atmosphere so much already.

So thank you, Tom and Karen and Kris and Paul and Petr--the whole hydra team. We've done the impossible--and that makes us mighty.

To Chris, Nick, Jody, Liz, Rob, Justin, and all of my co-volunteers--We did it, guys. And the best part? We've made friends for life. I adore ALL of you. Until next year, Staff Infection, et al!

To the vendors--You are ALL awesome. Although the con was small, you all made your own fun and decided to sign up to come back again next year!
Thank you for believing in us, for your patience and for being fun. :)

To the guests & talent--Lifelong memories were made this weekend, for some of you, for our attendees and for US, your volunteers. Thank you for being gracious, approachable, friendly, funny, patient and just plain amazing. I'll never forget any of you. :)

And to the attendees--Wow, you guys. WOW. You're amazing and smart and fun! Thank you for taking a chance on our little con and for making it bigger and more wonderful than we ever imagined it would be.
I hope that your memories of Genrecon are as amazing as mine are, and I can't wait to see you again next year.

It wasn't perfect, our little con--there were a few glitches and minor set-backs--but all-in-all, everyone seemed happy and, best of all, they had fun.

Expect bigger and better things next year. you guys. And expect me. Wild horses couldn't keep me from GenreCon 2013!

Thanks for reading my experiences, everyone. Hugs and con-love to you all!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

GenreCon 2012--Day 2

7am came early and, thanks to the poor choices I'd made the night before, I wasn't quite feeling my best.
But the show must go on, and I soldiered through!

I arrived at the hotel at 9am and met with my co-line manager for the day, Jody. She was also a big Buffy fan, hooray!
I introduced her to bossman-Nick and showed her around, and then it was time to start our day.

Nicholas Brendon's Q&A was first thing that morning, at 10am. Thanks to it's early time slot, I was given permission to sneak away to watch some of it.
Nicholas and his con manager, Jacqi
during his Q&A
This reunited me with Liz, Chris and Mike, my Staff Infection mates from the night before. We all looked a bit tired. ;)

Nicholas was funny and sweet and, yes, a bit racy. He talked about Joss and his cast mates and possible spinoff series and his other projects.
He said he misses Xander (so do we, do we!) and that he'd come back for a reunion show or movie in a heartbeat.
As his panel concluded, yes, he did his famous Snoopy dance. And yes, I got it on video.
To see that live? Yeah, dream come true. :D

After that, it was back to my post in the dealer/signings room. I didn't spot any cosplay on day 1, so I was very excited to see lots on day 2!
There were ponies and Assassin's Creed and Predator and Mass Effect and Jessica Rabbit and Supergirl, and a Cardassian, and, yes, even I got into the spirit with my Jayne Cobb costume!

Nicholas on the end, Tom in the
leather jacket.

The signings were in full swing, and this was when I got my first glimpse of Tom Lenk (Andrew, Buffy/Angel)!

It was busier, but still much more quiet and intimate than a large con like Fan Expo.
I stayed busy and when Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc's handler asked me to find them some Diet Coke, I sent Jody to the green room for some.
Little did I know that the hotel was a Pepsi-only venue.
So it was Christina to the rescue!
I ran out, in the cold, without a jacket, in my Jayne costume--complete with gun in a leg holster--across the street to the drug store to purchase Diet Coke for our guests.
It's a horrible pic, but it was
taken just after Nick
hugged me
They were grateful--and then I found out that Chris, my fellow Staff Infection member--had a FULL CASE of Diet Coke in his room upstairs. ARGH!

Since it was pretty quiet, I figured this would be a good time to get my autographs.
First up was Nicholas.
He gave me a BIG hug, and the rumours are true. He hugs so tightly and pretty much just envelops you. He makes you feel like you're his favourite fan ever, just in that one hug. Thank you for that, Nick!
I showed him my tattoos and told him about my disappointing James Marsters meeting at Fan Expo. I thanked him for being everything I'd hoped he'd be and told him Xander was my favourite Scooby.
I got my autograph and sighed happily. He was sweet and handsome and funny and it was just an awesome, awesome experience.

I chose this photo because
it's my favourite Andrew

Next was Tom Lenk, who's adorable and beautiful and smart and gracious.
I showed HIM my tattoos and we talked about how big Buffy still is, and how he doesn't think about that often.
I told him it changed my life and that really surprised him. He told me that his boyfriend is a child psychologist in an ER and that he often comes home after experiencing such disturbing things feeling helpless.
Tom signs something
for Liz
He said that all he does is read the lines on the paper provided for him. He doesn't often see the side that I see--the possibly of Andrew--especially season 7 Andrew--as a life-saver for teens even today. Teens that are bullied and close to giving up might see Andrew being accepted and loved and even becoming a hero and realize that it DOES get better.
I think he appreciated hearing all that. :)

Julian Richings
plays 'Death'
on Supernatural
After that I got back to work...which really wasn't much work at all.
It was very laid back and so much fun.
I pretty much just circled the room, answering attendee questions, making sure the vendors didn't need anything, seeing if the talent was okay--so I was able to take a lot of pics and talk to a lot of people. It was pretty amazing.

Julian Richings (Supernatural, Cube) is SUPER nice and spoke to each fan for at least 5 minutes each!

Tom Grofton. The man, the
myth, the legend

Tom Grofton, the man who made the con happen, did a quick interview. I swear he was like a ninja!
I barely saw him all weekend, but, POOF, he'd appear suddenly out of nowhere and then disappear again just as quickly! Hahaha!

Mark Lutz Q&A

I was also able to catch a few minutes of Mark Lutz's (Angel) Q&A. Wow, is he a hilarious and engaging speaker! It was an awesome panel!

Nick and Tom reconnect
Back in the dealer room, it was truly great to see old friends Tom Lenk and Nicholas Brendon reconnect. When they weren't signing, they were talking and laughing, reliving memories and making jokes.
Nick even defaced one of his own photos in an, kind-of way and signed it for Tom. Hahaha!

Robert Maillet (300, Sherlock Holmes) was a huge hit with attendees (pun intended) and Connor Stanhope (Smallville) was a huge hit with us, the volunteers! ;)
Robert made time for every single fan, and then some! He always had a smile, a nice word and a hearty 'hello', and his manager was pretty cool too!

Connor was a pretty amazing kid.
At only 14, he's at least 4 inches taller than I am! He spent the day creeping people out while wearing his Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta, showing off his plethora of card tricks, and grossing everyone out with his double-jointed hands. Yeah, I could NOT look when he did those weird things with his fingers!

I'm seriously honoured to have met them both and when Connor is rich and famous one day, I'll be able to look back and say I knew him when. He's a really, REALLY brilliant kid. :)

By this time, the night before was finally catching up to me and I took a ten minute break to recharge in the green room.
Thank God for oranges and granola bars!

Then it was back to the 'grind' (it was totally not a grind) for a bit, and 6pm came fast.
My shift was done and I was VERY excited because I was about to meet friends!
I'd been speaking to George for a year or so on Facebook--we 'met' on the SPACE channel FB page!
George is from Guelph and made the trek down to the Holiday Inn with his adorable girlfriend, Kitty, just to meet me!

We sat in the lobby and chatted...and we got totally lucky in the celeb-spotting department!
Tom Lenk waits for his limo
You see, many of guests were slotted to be at the Saturday night party that was being held off-site. As they waited for their limo, they sat in the lobby and talked--right where George, Kitty and I happened to be!

Since I was off-duty, I could now act as a fan, and I did, just for George and Kitty.
You see, they're BIG Supernatural fans, and who just happened to be in the lobby?
Why, Death, of course!

George and Kitty chat with Death
I took it upon myself to say hello and introduce him to the couple. They chatted as I took pics. I'm pretty sure they were stunned and a bit tongue-tied, but they did fine and Mr. Richings was ever-gracious and kept the conversation going. It was REALLY amazing to see and I'm so glad that I was able to do that for my

The Masquerade was about to begin and my co-volunteers tried their best to get me to stay and watch.
Sadly, I knew I had to get back to my moms and get some sleep--and judging by their faces the next morning, it's a good thing I made the choice I did. Apparently they partied all night! Hee!

George, me, Kitty

By 8pm I was exhausted and it was time to say goodbye to George and Kitty. We got a pic and I hugged them goodbye--getting teary as I did.
It's hard to say goodbye to kindred spirits. :(

An early bedtime prepared me for the bittersweet-ness that way day 3...

And you'll hear all about that tomorrow. ;)

Monday, 19 November 2012

GenreCon 2012--Day 1

You guys, I had the BEST WEEKEND!
I was lucky enough to get a volunteer position at the first annual GenreCon in Guelph, ON!
Who were the guests? Oh, just to name a few--NICHOLAS FREAKIN' BRENDON and TOM FREAKIN' LENK and MARK FREAKIN' LUTZ!
Only THREE Whedon alum--one of whom just happens to be my FAVOURITE scooby! Y'know, no big deal. (TOTALLY A BIG DEAL!)
Autograph table, before the guests

My job was 'line management' in the Autograph/Dealer room, which was a pretty sweet position!
I was able to watch and even interact with the talent and guests all was a dream come true.

Day 1--Friday:

I arrived in Guelph 90 minutes before my 5-8pm shift was to start. The location was a Holiday Inn, and I was sent upstairs to the 'headquarters' (a block of 3 attached rooms) to sign my release and get my 'official' t-shirt.

My boss, Nick.
I was given a quick tour--the main Q&A room, the panels, the vendors, the photo op room, artists alley--and then I was introduced to my immediate boss, Nick--who seemed a bit uptight and cold.

There was a bit of confusion over what my job was, exactly, but I'm pretty resourceful and was able to pretty much figure out my own duties, which I think Nick and Paul--my bigger boss--appreciated.

Day 1 was slow, but fun. Because we didn't have a steady stream of attendees, the talent mixed and mingled with the volunteers and vendors.
Michael Biehn and his wife
Jennifer Blanc
I had a 30 minute conversation with Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) about karaoke, his horrible singing voice, a movie he almost did with a young Peter Gallagher 30 years ago and my city, Hamilton, which he calls, 'rough'. Hahaha!

I was also able to say a brief hello to Nick Brendon (Buffy, Criminal Minds), Mark Lutz (Angel) and their con manager, Jacqui.

Nick Brendon (sitting, grey hat) and Mark Lutz
(sitting, looking at Nick)
I shook the guys hands and hugged Jacqui hello. It was so awesome to meet her in person after reading her Tweets for so long.
Of course, I squeed over the guys after I moved away from their table, and I immediately regretted not asking Nick for a hug.
He's pretty well known as the huggiest Whedon alum, but since I had my 'official' con shirt on, I didn't feel it was appropriate of me to hug the guests.
Boy, was I wrong. ;)

Mark Meer chats with the artists
As I made another circuit around my area, I ran into Mark Meer (Mass Effect) browsing Artist Alley.
We said hello and talked about the amazing Thai food he'd just had.

8pm came quickly and a few of us--including author JM Frey, whom I've seen and spoken to at many, many events now (and adore!)-- then decided to check out the pub quiz and karaoke that was happening in the party/main Q&A room.

Hoooooo, boy, was THAT a great--but oh, so painful the next day--idea!

We were split into teams, and I was put on the 'Genrecon staff' team because they were short players.
I was okay with this and unknowingly made some amazing new friends!

After the first round, in walks my uptight and cold boss, Nick. I'm pretty sure I gasped aloud when he sat at our table. LOL
And now comes the part where I apologize to him (again) about calling him uptight. We had a GREAT time at the trivia and it was pretty damn amazing, working together as a unit like we 'Staff Infection' (best team name EVAR) did.
We all knew a bit about almost every subject, and so we did really well. After the 6th round, we were winning by 5 points.
...but somehow we lost by 1 to another team.
The funny thing? The other team is pretty sure the host added wrong and that we were the winners....but I'm not bitter. (I'm totally bitter :P)
Jess shocking the crown with her huge voice!

Next up--Karaoke!
By this time I was a few beers deep, which is NEVER a good thing when Karaoke is involved.
Jess (JM Frey) got up there and belted out an amazing 'Let's Hear It For The Boy', new friend Liz and NICK (*gasp again*) got up and sang, 'I Got You, Babe' (just for me, to prove how uptight he really isn't. LOL!) and then, yes, I actually got up on the stage and helped sing background vocals to 'Grease Lightening' with my fellow Staff Infection members.

By the way, Rob, Dave, Nick, Liz, Chris and Mike--if you read this? Thank you. You're amazing, you brought out the best in me, you made me feel accepted and I adore each and every one of you. Thank you. :)

I'm the one trying to hide behind everyone.

Last call came early (thank GOD!), and I hopped in a cab.
Luckily, my mom and step-dad live in Guelph, so I didn't have far to go.

I was there by 12:30, ate a ton of Chinese food, drank a ton of water and in bed by 2am.

Boy, did 7am come quickly, and I wasn't feeling so great when I woke for day 2.

And with that, GenreCon day 1 was wrapped!

Day 2 would bring even more awesomeness and surprises!

...and I'll tell you about those tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

YA Book Review- Ironskin by Tina Connolly

304 pages
Release date: Oct. 2, 2012
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Ironskin #1
Author: Tina Connolly
Big thanks to Tor for providing this copy for review!

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. 

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. 

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey. 

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Ironskin is apparently a 'steampunk retelling of Jane Eyre'. I've never read Jane Eyre, so you won't find any comparisons here.
I'm just going to tell you MY thoughts about a cool book. :)

Ironskin takes place in a really amazing world. I just wish we learned more about that amazing world!
Because it takes place years after the war, and we only get a few flashbacks and memories, we don't know exactly what happened or why, and I REALLY wish we did!

The characters were mostly great. I loved Dorie and REALLY loved Poule, but I disliked Edward. A lot.
And the romance was just so forced. I almost wish that bit had been completely left out. It wasn't needed at all and really just slowed the book down.

With more world and character building, Ironskin could have been a great book.
As it is, it's a good book.

I'd recommend it to folks who enjoy steampunk or stories about the fey.
There's no heavy romance or violence, but the plot can be a bit complicated, so readers 14+ might enough this book.

Let me know if you read it!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Once Upon A Time: Child of the Moon

Yaaaay, a Red episode! But, sadly, not the best Red episode. It was just okay for me. How about you guys?

Oh, and do I get to gloat now? I do? Okay!

I was right, nyah, nyah! I was right about Henry and Aurora's dream! I am teh smart! S-M-R-T, smart! (Simpsons reference for the win?)

Ahem! Okay, on with the recap! Here we go!


In Fairytale Land that Was-

Snow and Red are running from the Queen's lackeys. They escape, but the full moon is upon them and Red's cloak has ripped. They must split up. They agree to meet again the next day.

Red wakes in the forest and goes to meet Snow. As she's washing up, her hood is stolen. She chases after the culprit who reveals that he knows what she is, and that he's also a child of the moon.
His name is Quinn and he brings her to a place that can help her learn to control her wolf side.
The leader of the wolf band is Anita...Red's mother.
She tells Red the 'truth' about her childhood and her wolf side and takes Red for a run. Red remembers everything. She can control the wolf.

Suddenly, Snow enters the wolf hideout. Red saves her from her wolf pack, but the King's men track her and find the hideout.
Quinn is killed by the soldiers and Anita wants to make Snow pay for his death.
Red refuses to kill her friend, but Anita changes and lunges for Snow. Red changes and pounces on Anita...accidentally pushing her onto a spiky adornment that kills her.


In Storybrooke-

The Dwarfs are mining when Grumpy falls through a wall. He's found diamonds, and diamonds means FAIRY DUST!
Everyone heads to Granny's to celebrate. As they eat, drink and make merry, Red is working.
A man named Billy tells her that his name is really Gus and that he was one of Cinderella's mice. (OMG, I loved Gus! The adorable fat little mousie!)
He asks Red out for a drink, but she has to turn him down. It's the first full moon since the curse was broken, she can't find her red hood, and she has no idea what's going to happen.

Meanwhile, Widmore King George drops by to talk to Charming. He threatens to tell the townsfolk who Charming really is. Charming doesn't seem to give a rats ass what the King does. He has faith in his people.

The next morning, Granny comes into her diner to find that Red has escaped the fortified freezer. There are wolf-scratches all over the kitchen.

Across town, Henry is having the dream again. The room is on fire and he sees a woman in white....and then Regina wakes him. (She's babysitting because Charming has to find Red)
Oddly, he wakes with a burn on his hand!

 Granny and Charming find Red in the forest. Charming gets called to a suspicious vehicle.
Inside they find half of poor Billy. Red finds the other half a few feet away. Red is sure she killed him.

Over at Snow's place, Mr. Gold makes a housecall. He gives Henry a charm that will help him control his dream--which is actually a real place. A place somewhere between life and death.
He does this as a favour to Henry. (I wonder what housecalls REALLY cost?!)

Back at the crime scene, Charming doesn't believe Red did it. She convinces him to lock her up, just in case.
But in walks King George, who accuses Red of murder and wants justice. Charming's not having it and stands in the King's way.
The King goes to the people and rallies a mob against Red. Luckily, Charming has recruited Belle and has taken Red to the library basement.
Belle refuses to leave Red so Red tricks her and cuffs her inside the library.
Red then goes to turn herself into the mob because she believes she should die. (Er, wut? This is all not very Red-like...)

In the meantime, Granny tracks the killer--King George--who has Red's hood in the trunk of his car.
Charming realizes this is all a plot against him. Poor Red was just the device the King chose to use.

The mob finds Red in her wolf form and the King raises a gun. But, THWACK, Granny is right there with her crossbow and shoots the gun out of his hand!
Charming explains what the King did and proves that Red isn't a killer by 'taming' the wolf, making her remember who she is, and giving her hood back.
The King escapes and Charming and Red go after him.

They find him easily enough, near a bonfire. He has the fairy dust and he tosses it all into the fire. He vows that no matter how much they get, Charming will never see his wife or daughter again.
Red talks Charming out of killing the King.

Later at Snow's, Charming is feeling disheartened and Red gives him a pep talk. Then she goes for a wolf run.

And Henry has another dream. This time he controls it. He makes the fire die and speaks to the girl he sees...


In Fairytale Land that Is-

Aurora has another nightmare.
"This time it was different. There was a little boy. He put out the fire. He talked to me. He said his name was Henry."


BOOM! How's THAT for a reveal, right?!

So, a 'meh' episode with a pretty great ending. And remember, 'meh' for OUAT is 'frickin' awesome' for all other shows. That's how high my standards have become because the writing/acting/directing/everything is just SO DAMN GOOD.

Sadly, I just didn't find Red all that believable in this episode. She's a STRONG woman. I don't think she'd just roll over and give herself up like she did.
But I'm not a writer, so what do I know?! ;)

-Beverley Elliot is just so, so great as Granny.
-Meghan Ory is a brilliant Red.
-The Dwarf scene at the beginning. I got goosebumpy when they found the diamonds!
-Lee Aranberg. 'Nuff said,

What questions do we have after this episode?
-Will Henry and Emma communicate through Aurora now?
-How will Emma and Snow get home?
-Why does King George want to ruin Charming?
-Does the King want the town?
-How did he get the fairydust?!
-What did he mean when he said Charming will never see his wife and daughter? Does he know something or is he just going to keep stealing the fairydust?
-CAN the fairydust help Emma and Snow get home?
-What do housecalls really cost?
-Why did Gold do Henry that favour? Is Belle rubbing off on him, finally?

No episode next week, Oncers. But here's the trailer for 'Into The Deep', which airs on Nov. 25!


Only TWO more episodes until the mid-season break, you guys! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO WITHOUT OUAT?! :(

See you back here in two weeks!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Once Upon A Time: Tallahassee

I sound like a broken record, right? But AGAIN, Jane Espenson knocked it OUT of the park! And co-writer Christine Boylan as well!

What an absolutely BRILLIANT episode! So many questions answered...and so many more questions raised!

How much did you love Neal?! Michael Raymond-James is gorgeous and amazing and I'm completely head-over-heels in love with him already! Heehee!

By the way--I'm totally shipping Emma and Hook. And Emma and Neal. Either of the two, I'm good with. ;)

Before I start, I'm going to point you all towards this Wikipedia page, just in case you're not familiar with the name Neal Cassady and who he is. Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.

Okay, done? Good.
Interesting parallels, no?
Cassady was arrested for receipt of stolen property. Served 11 months of his sentence. And he was a drifter.
Just like Emma.

The writers REALLY do their homework, and I love them for it!

And, lastly, I'm not even going to bother to mention that there's NO way Jennifer Morrison can pull of being a teenager. No, Emma in Portland didn't look like a teenager.
But do I care? Did it make the episode unwatchable? No frickin' way!
The end. ;)

So here we go!

In Fairytale Land that Is--

It's decided that Emma will climb the beanstalk with Hook.
Emma asks about the magic beans and Hook tells her that Jack fought a war with all giants. The giants destroyed all the beans so no one would have the power.
Jack killed all the giants but one--The strongest and biggest of them all. And they have to get past him to get to the magic compass.
They can use Cora's magic ashes to get back to Storybrooke, but they need the compass to show them they way.
Hook swears allegiance to whoever can get him there.

Snow, Mulan and Aurora settle in to wait and Aurora tells Snow about her nightmares.
Snow says it's from the sleeping spell and that they'll go away, eventually. She promises to watch over Aurora as she sleeps.

Back up the beanstalk, Emma figures out that Rumple took a lot more from Hook then just his hand....
Hook summons the giant (Hi, Jorge!), and Emma puts him to sleep with the powder (made from poppies?!).

At the bottom of the beanstalk, Aurora has a nightmare and Snow wakes her.
Aurora dreams of, "A red room. Bright red curtains, but no windows or doors and she couldn't get in or out. The curtains are on fire. She was in the corner and she looked over to the other corner and sees someone else there. She can only see HIS eyes."

Back at the top, Hook and Emma are admiring the booty (with much flirting on Hook's part). Hook wants to stay and plunder, but the giant wakes.
He catches Emma and she bites him. He drops her and she uses the tripwire to trap him.
Holding Jack's giant-killing sword, she gets the compass from the giant but doesn't kill him.
The giant frees himself, but he doesn't kill Emma either.
He grants her two favours and frees both Emma and Hook....But Emma cuffs Hook and traps him in the giants castle because she 'needs a headstart'. She asked the giant to hold Hook there for ten hours before freeing him too.

At the bottom, Mulan starts chopping down the beanstalk, as she'd promised Emma she would after ten hours.
Snow fights her and Emma returns.
Snow makes Emma promise that they'll go home together only.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, 11 years ago--

Emma steals a very familiar car.
And--GASP!--Mystery Man from the season premiere pops up in the back seat!
It seems that Emma has stolen a stolen car!
Mystery Man introduces himself as Neal Cassady (see link above).

In time, Neal and Emma fall in love. And steal stuff. Lots of stuff. All over the country, it would appear!
During one such outing, Neal steals Emma a keychain and Emma steals a dreamcatcher. (The same dreamcatcher that can be seen in Neal's apartment in the season premiere, by the way!)
He seems to want to settle down. He convinces Emma as well, and they choose Tallahassee.

Sadly, Neal finds a wanted poster of himself up in the post office from a jewelry heist he'd done previously.
They can't go to Tallahassee. Neal has to leave. Emma and the country.
Emma won't allow it. She suggests that she go get the watches, sell them, buy new identities and go to Tallahassee.
Neal reluctantly agrees.

Emma succeeds and Neal takes the watches to the fence.
They make a plan to meet later, after he gets the money.
On the way, Neal is accosted by....AUGUST?!? (And I screamed at my TV)
Our darling August, with a much younger-looking face, explains that he's Emma's guardian angel.
He shows Neal something in his wooden box that convinces Neal of Emma's destiny and of Fairytale Land.
He believes everything August tells him.

Neal calls the police, who find Emma is possession of stolen goods. A watch.
Emma is obviously confused and heartbroken.
Her love has turned her in...and left her.

Two months later, Neal and August meet in Vancouver.
Neal can't move on. He wants to know about Emma. Is she okay?
August explains that she's serving 11 months in a minimum security prison. That she's going to get out and have a good life, as long as Neal stays away.
Neal makes August promise to be there for her. August does.
Neal gives August thousands of dollars and the keys to the Bug to give to Emma. He then asks August that, if anything changes...if she does her job...if she's free...
"I'll send you a postcard.", is August's reply. (This was the second time I screamed at my TV)

And in a minimum security prison in Phoenix, Emma Small gets mail from Phuket, Thiland. (Where our darling August once 'lost himself', as you may recall from 'The Stranger')
Inside are car keys...on a familiar keychain. A SWAN keychain.
And in her hand is a pregnancy test....a positive pregnancy test.


In Storybrooke--

Henry wakes from a nightmare. He tells Charming, "I was in this room...and it was red. And there was no doors, no windows. And these curtains...and they were on fire. And I was in this corner...and I was looking up....and there was someone else there...SHE was staring at me through the flames..."
And Charming tells Henry that it was just a bad dream....


HOLY COW, right, you guys?!?!

Epic episode of eipcness!! Jorge Garcia is a perfect giant, although I wish he'd had more lines!
The GOOD news is that...ready?...He's COMING BACK!
Yes, he mentioned in an interview that the show has called him back to appear on at least one more episode this season! *happydance*

Okay, so now I want to mention a theory I have--
Aurora and Henry are having the same dream. And if you noticed, I bolded the important parts in each's description of their dream.
Aurora speaks of a MALE in the dream and Henry of a FEMALE.
My theory? They're dreaming of EACH OTHER.
I'm a frickin' genius, right?!? Of course, right! :P
Who's with me here?! *crickets*
(Might I add that Jane Espenson called me 'clever' when I mentioned this theory to her on Twitter? So there! Nyah, nyah!)


-Jorge Garcia! Even speaking with mostly grunts and groans, the man is wonderful! You know, he did every single one of his scenes in front of a green screen?! How amazing is he, right?!
-Michael Raymond-James. I'm so, so in love with his character! The chemistry between he and Emma was so gorgeous!
-AUGUST!! I'm SO happy they kept his appearance a secret!
-The swan on the keychain is WHY Emma Small is now Emma Swan! AWW!
-The car was Neal's car! Now we know why Emma drives it and loves it so much. It's a piece of him!


What questions do we have after this episode?
-ARE Henry and Aurora dreaming of each other? If so, can they communicate? And if the dreams are a side effect of the sleeping spell, can Snow also have the dream and communicate with Henry??
-Will Neal come to Storybrooke for Emma?!? (Oh, God, YES, PLEASE!)
-How will Emma react if/when she sees Neal?
-Where is August? (We now know he's alive because he sent Neal the postcard!)
-Why did August leave Storybrooke after the curse broke?
-Will Hook catch up to Snow and company?
-How will Snow and Emma return to Storybrooke?
-How will Snow and Emma get the wardrobe ashes from Cora?
-How did August convince Neal about Emma?
-Is it possible that Neal is also Baelfire? He was convinced of Emma's destiny awfully easily.
-How much older than Emma is Neal? (This could matter if he is Bae!)

Here's the trailer for next week's episode--it's all about Red!--called, 'Child of the Moon':

Okay, you guys! Share your theories, please! I want to know what you guys think will happen with Aurora & Henry, with Neal and Emma, with everything!

And as always, I'll see you back here next week, Oncers!