GOT S7 Ep. 5 Recap: Eastwatch

I knew Jaime wasn’t going out that way! Please, show runners–everyone knows he has to kill Cersei! Bronn surfaces, gasping for air, then drags Jaime out of the river. By my calculations Bronn has just saved Jaime’s life twice in quick succession, yet Jaime still has the nerve to complain, “You could have killed me.” Bronn is incredulous at his petulance and asks him if he noticed the dragon standing between him and Daenerys. Until Bronn gets what he’s owed, no one–not even a dragon–gets to kill Jaime except Bronn. Oh, Bronn, I’m sorry I wished you would die before you got to the Scorpion last episode. I’m happy you’re still alive and unafraid of calling Jaime Lannister a cunt.

The awesome power of the dragons dawns on Jaime. If Daenerys decides to use all three of them–“you’re fucked,” says Bronn. Jaime qualifies that “they” are fucked, but Bronn begs to differ. Dragons are where their partnership ends. He’s not going to be hanging around King’s Landing when Dany decides to rain hellfire on the Red Keep. Jaime’s primary concern is getting to Cersei and telling her what they’re up against. His continued misguided devotion to his sister is rendering him less hot with each passing episode. He needs a good dose of Brienne.

Tyrion looks deeply troubled as he walks through the annihilated landscape of the Reach. Dany has gathered the surviving Lannister soldiers and gives them a choice: they can bend the knee or they can die. Only a few of them fall to their knees at first, but after a little encouragement from Drogon, several more bend the knee. Randyll and Dickon Tarly do not. Dany beckons Randyll forward and he explains that he will not pledge loyalty to a foreign invader backed by savages. At least Cersei was born and has lived her entire life in Westeros. Randyll Tarly is an unreconstructed idiot. Cersei has lived her entire life in Westeros wreaking havoc upon its people.

Tyrion tries to persuade him to bend the knee–after all, it wasn’t so long ago that he was pledged to House Tyrell. Since Cersei obliterated the Tyrells and ordered his rightful queen, Lady Olenna, murdered, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for him to switch allegiances once again. He refuses and Tyrion asks Dany to send him to the Wall. Has Tyrion failed to learn that Dany is displeased when her advisors question her decisions in public? He should trod carefully. I think Tyrion was surprised by his dismay at seeing Jaime so spectacularly defeated and the Lannister army blown to kingdom come.

Dany can’t send Randyll Tarly to the Wall because she is not his queen. Dany respects that he will not trade his honor for his life and accepts his decision. Dickon pipes up and tells her that she’ll have to kill him, too. Tyrion implores him to bend the knee–this war has already wiped out one great house and he is the future of another. Dickon will not. His father is dismayed but, along with the resignation flickering across his face over his son’s decision, there is pride.

Tyrion tries once again to dissuade Dany from her course of action. Take them prisoner, he pleads, but Dany is not there to put men in chains. She calmly explains that she gave them a choice, and they’ve made it. Dothraki guards lead the Tarlys to the side and Dany sentences them to die before she quietly says, “Dracarys.” And that’s that for Randyll and Dickon Tarly. Too bad about Dickon, but Randyll shouldn’t have been such a prick to Sam.

Jaime is striding through the corridors of the Red Keep, anxious to warn Cersei about the threat Daenerys poses. Smug as always, Cersei thinks that with the Tyrell gold and the Iron Bank’s support, they can raise an army of mercenaries. Jaime, however, has just seen the Dothraki fight. He explains that to them, slaughtering the Lannister forces was not war–it was sport. He is correct. He describes Drogon’s mighty powers of destruction and that Qyburn’s Scorpion couldn’t stop him. And that was just one dragon. He tells Cersei they cannot win this war.

Cersei suggests that Tyrion intercede on their behalf as a way of apologizing for killing their father and Joffrey. Jaime delivers Lady Olenna’s message. At first Cersei doesn’t believe it, but Jaime convinces her. It doesn’t really matter who killed Joffrey–Cersei will never let go of her hatred for Tyrion. Cersei is pissed that she listened to Jaime and let him kill Lady Olenna painlessly with poison. She should have died screaming. Jaime points out that she’s dead, her son and grandchildren are dead, and her entire house is gone. Cersei’s had her revenge. Jaime warns that if they don’t find a way to get out of this war the same thing will happen to them. Since Cersei is incapable of listening to reason she chooses to fight and die rather than submit and die. WHY, Jaime, WHY are you so enthralled with this woman??

Drogon and Dany approach Dragonstone as Jon Snow stares out to sea, no doubt brooding about the Night King. He takes in the awesome sight of Drogon coming in for a landing, and barely flinches when Drogon walks toward him, roaring in his face. Drogon knows a Targaryen when he sees one! Dany watches anxiously from Drogon’s back as Jon Snow removes his glove with a flourish and reaches out to stroke the dragon’s snout. Drogon allows the caress. Dany watches them in wonder and I think she falls in love with Jon Snow in that moment. What single mother doesn’t want to find a suitable father for her children?

Dany says, “they’re beautiful, aren’t they?” When Jon replies that “beautiful” isn’t the word he was thinking of, he realizes he’s hurt her feelings and immediately backtracks, agreeing that they are indeed beautiful–“gorgeous,” in fact. Jon notes that Dany wasn’t gone long and she says she has fewer enemies today than she did yesterday. Jon is conflicted about either her tactics or the outcome of the battle–I’m not sure which, and I don’t understand why. She reminds him of the thousands of men he killed during the Battle of the Bastards and says that they both want to help people, but they can’t do it unless they are in a position of strength. And sometimes strength is terrible.

Dany asks Jon what Davos meant when he said Jon took a knife to the heart for his people. Jon tells her that sometimes Davos gets carried away. Why doesn’t he just tell her? What is the significance of his reticence? She presses him, asking if it’s just a figure of speech. Earnest Jon Snow can’t lie, but he is saved from answering by the Dothraki, who approach Dany with someone claiming to be her friend.

It’s Jorah! Dany is greatly moved to see him, cured of greyscale and ready to serve. I’m glad Jon gets to see firsthand the kind of loyalty she inspires. He’s heard of it from Missandei, but witnessing Dany and Jorah’s heartfelt reunion should drive it home for him. I hope so, because now I’m hardcore shipping Dany and Jon Snow.

Bran has warged into one of a flock of ravens flying north. He sees the army of the dead on the march, and tells Maester Wolkan they need to send ravens.

The Citadel maesters scoff at the missive from Winterfell. Sam urges them to take it seriously and send ravens instructing the Westerosi lords to send men to reinforce the Wall. He implores them to consult the ancient scrolls to find a way to defeat the Night King once and for all. But Sam is doomed to be frustrated by the sluggish inertia that plagues the Citadel. The Archmaester allows that Bran’s message might be authentic, but it could just as easily be a ploy of the “dragon queen” to lure Westerosi soldiers north so she can take the lands they’re currently defending. The maesters will do nothing until they get to the bottom of it. Sam leaves the room and the maesters discuss the recent demise of his father and brother. They haven’t had the heart to tell him yet. I wonder how he will take it, given his estrangement from his family?

Tyrion is justifying Dany’s actions at the Reach to Varys. Varys thinks she’s getting dangerously close to Mad King territory and warns Tyrion that he needs to make her listen. Jon asks Varys about the scroll he’s holding and asks if he’s read it. Varys feigns indignance, saying that it’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North. Tyrion asks him what it says. HA! I love how Tyrion and Varys have no illusions about each other’s questionable ways.

The scroll finds its way to Jon Snow and he realizes that Arya and Bran are not dead like he thought. But being Jon Snow, he can’t take even a moment to rejoice over this news and instead dwells on Bran’s vision of the Night King’s army. He needs to go back to Winterfell and fight with the insufficient men he has, unless Dany will lend him her forces. She thinks if she does this, she will be handing Westeros to Cersei.

Tyrion comes up with a plot to prove the White Walkers’ existence to Cersei by capturing a wight and showing it to her. She only listens to Jaime (except she doesn’t) and Jaime might listen to him. Davos will smuggle Tyrion into King’s Landing and Tyrion will try to convince Jaime of the looming threat Beyond the Wall. Ser Jorah volunteers to go north and capture a wight. Jon says the Free Folk will help them. Davos points out the Free Folk won’t follow Jorah, but Jon Snow knows they will follow him. Dany looks alarmed at the prospect of Jon Snow participating in such a dangerous mission (ship, ship, ship) and tells him she hasn’t given him permission to leave Dragonstone. Jon Snow doesn’t need permission–he is a king. Dany was a stranger to him when he came to Dragonstone, but still he trusted that she wouldn’t burn him alive or otherwise kill him. Now he asks her to place her trust in him. She agrees.

At Winterfell, the Northern Lords are complaining about Jon Snow’s prolonged absence and thinking maybe they should have chosen Sansa to rule over them instead. Sansa weakly defends Jon while Arya surveys the scene with consternation. She thinks Sansa should have made more of an effort to stand up for Jon. She notes that Sansa is now ensconced in Ned and Catelyn’s chamber and that she always liked nice things because they made her feel better than everyone else. There are a lot of unresolved issues between these two.

Arya thinks Sansa should keep the Northern Lords in line by chopping off a few heads, but Sansa explains (a bit patronizingly) that while chopping off heads may be satisfying, the only way to survive is to work together. Arya adds that if Jon doesn’t return, Sansa will need the Northmen’s support which is why she doesn’t want to do anything to incur their wrath now. Sansa acts is appalled at Arya’s analysis of her motives but Arya doesn’t back down. There is more than a leftover childhood rivalry going on here–there is a complete lack of trust and maybe even a little hatred. It scares me.

Tyrion and Davos land on the beach at King’s Landing. Tyrion is going to meet Jaime in secret while Davos tends to business in Fleabottom. Bronn leads Jaime into the Red Keep’s catacombs under the guise of weapons training. Jaime is angry with Tyrion for killing Tywin but the soft spot he has for him is still apparent. Poor Jaime is so torn–I think he hates himself for loving Cersei and knows he should join forces with Tyrion and Dany, but he never will. Tyrion tells Jaime that Dany will win the war, but she is willing to suspend hostilities while Westeros deals with the Night King–if Cersei will play ball.

Davos finds Gendry(!) plying his trade in a smithing shop in Fleabottom. Gendry has been waiting for something to happen–he’s tired of making Lannister weapons–and is packed and ready to go with Davos. A couple of guards catch them as they load up their boat and shake Davos down for a payoff. All seems to go well until Tyrion approaches the beach and the guards recognize the dwarf with the scar on his face. There is a moment of tension until Gendry grabs his hammer and unceremoniously kills the guards. Gendry is a badass. Welcome back, Gendry!

Jaime tells Cersei that Dany wants to meet to discuss an armistice. Cersei wants Jaime to punish Bronn for setting up the meeting with Tyrion without Jaime’s knowledge or consent. God, can she just stop with the power trip? Of course she can’t–she’s Cersei. She is unmoved by tales of armies of the dead and vows they will defeat any obstacle that faces them because–ugh!–she’s pregnant. Just gross. Now she and Jaime have a legacy to fight for once again. She will tell the world that Jaime is the father of this child and just like that, Jaime is completely sucked back into her web. Is she lying? Will she have a sudden miscarriage a couple of months down the road, after she has secured Jaime’s total devotion and is satisfied that his affection for Tyrion will never trump his loyalty to her? I don’t put anything past her.

Against Davos’ advice, upon meeting Jon Snow Gendry immediately tells him he’s the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. They seem to bond over their fathers’ relationship and Gendry offers to go North with Jon. As Jorah prepares to leave for Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, he and Tyrion reminisce about their adventures in Essos. Tyrion gives him the coin the slavers gave them, and tells Jorah to bring it back. Aww!

Dany exchanges farewells with Jorah, then it’s time to say good-bye to Jon Snow. She says she’s grown used to him and he wishes her good fortune in the wars to come. Dany looks forlorn as she watches Jon Snow take his leave. Ship!

Gilly is reading fun facts from High Septan Maynard’s journal to Sam as they study by candlelight. Apparently High Septan Maynard recorded endless minutiae about his daily activities, including an annulment and secret marriage he performed for RHAEGAR TARGARYEN in DORNE! JON SNOW IS NOT A BASTARD! He is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna! Oh my God–I can only anticipate the identity crisis Jon will have once this information comes to light. Fresh fodder for brooding once the Night King is (hopefully) defeated.

This bombshell doesn’t register with Sam. He has had it with the Citadel and is sick of reading about the “accomplishments of better men,” tm Randyll Tarly. He steals a bunch of scrolls and books and he, Gilly and Little Sam leave the Citadel in the middle of the night. Hopefully they’re headed to Winterfell.

Arya is spying on Littlefinger. Maester Wolkan gives him a scroll and assures him it’s the only copy at Winterfell. Arya breaks into Littlefinger’s chamber and searches for it. She finds it tucked into a slit in the mattress. It’s the scroll Cersei made Sansa send to Robb, telling him to pledge his fealty to Joffrey. Littlefinger watches as Arya steals out of his room, satisfied that his little plot has worked. Wow, he’s good. He set it up so that Arya would hear him thank Maester Wolkan on Lady Stark’s behalf, and Arya would think Sansa wanted to remove the scroll from Winterfell’s records. And of course instead of confronting Sansa about it and getting the real story, Arya will remain silent while her suspicion and distrust for her sister just grow and grow. The rift between these two has just become a gulf. I hate Littlefinger. I thought between Bran and Arya, he wouldn’t be able to get away with his games at Winterfell. I was wrong. Bad things are indeed coming, Ser Davos.

Jon Snow and Davos are explaining their plan to Tormund Giantsbane at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. He points out they don’t have enough men for the mission, but he’s just disappointed they didn’t bring Brienne. He brings them to the cells where the Brotherhood is being held. They explain they are there because the Lord of Light showed the Hound the army of the dead. Jon recognizes the Hound and Gendry recognizes Thoros and Beric. Thoros recognizes Jorah and calls him by his full name. This does not sit well with Tormund, since as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jeor Mormont hunted down wildlings like they were animals. Jorah retorts that the wildlings returned the favor.

The Hound is tired of the chitchat and asks if the Brotherhood will be allowed to accompany Jon and Co. Jon agrees, because they’re all on the same side–they’re all breathing, after all. The gate lifts and everyone ventures into the swirling snow Beyond the Wall.

Next week: an apparent ambush by the wights, and I will spend this week in a low state of terror.

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GOT S7 Ep. 4 Recap: The Spoils of War

The Lannisters are looting Highgarden. All the Tyrells’ gold is headed to King’s Landing to pay the crown’s debt to the Iron Bank, and the Reach’s stores are being sent there to fortify the capitol since #winterishere. Jaime tosses Bronn a saddlebag full of gold coins while Bronn complains that the Lannisters have not, in fact, paid their debt to him because he still doesn’t have a castle. Jaime points out that the Seven Kingdoms are at war, and while Bronn could have Highgarden today, Daenerys could take it from him tomorrow. Bronn remains disgruntled.

I need to point out that while Jaime, like Tyrion, is linguistically facile and able to engage in witty repartee with Bronn, there is an unpleasant undercurrent to his verbal jousting. Bronn and Tyrion respect each other. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship–each of them has something the other doesn’t have. Tyrion has gold, and Bronn has brawn. Both of them see themselves in the other. Bronn is a hard-nosed sellsword with a hardscrabble upbringing; Tyrion is the despised dwarf of a landed family. Both of them are outcasts in their own way, and the relationship they forged is genuine.

Jaime treats Bronn like a minion–a highly respected and valued minion, but a minion nonetheless. His attitude is that the Lannisters lifted Bronn out of the gutter, gave Bronn riches and a title, and because of that Bronn should do their bidding. Tyrion understood the quid pro quo nature of his and Bronn’s relationship–he wasn’t giving Bronn handouts, he was paying him for extremely valuable services rendered. Jaime doesn’t get it. Doesn’t he remember how Bronn trained with him after he lost his hand?

The Iron Banker is ecstatic that Cersei will be able to pay her debt in one gargantuan payment. He thought Tywin Lannister was an efficient man, but he is even more impressed with Cersei. He eagerly assures Cersei the Iron Bank will be willing to support any and all of her endeavors–that is, as soon as it receives the gold. Hopefully this is foreshadowing, and the Tyrell gold will not reach King’s Landing.

At Winterfell, Littlefinger unsheaths the dagger the cutthroat used to try and kill Bran in Season One. He gives the dagger to Bran, along with his eely spiel about how he would have given his life to protect Catelyn, he wasn’t there when Catelyn needed him most, now he can only be there for her children, etc., etc. It’s all bullshit. It may have worked on Sansa when she was a tween, but Littlefinger doesn’t know what he’s dealing with here. Sure enough, when Littlefinger says the dagger started the War of the Five Kings and brought Bran to the chaos by which he’s now surrounded, Bran cuts him off with his own line: “Chaos is a ladder.” For once, Littlefinger is speechless. And caught off guard. And wary. Littlefinger can navigate the politics of King’s Landing like a champ, but when faced with the mystical Three-Eyed Raven, he’s at a loss. And it’s awesome.

Meera interrupts to tell Bran she’s leaving. She doesn’t want to, but her job is done and when the White Walkers come she needs to be with her family. Bran coldly thanks her. Meera can’t believe that’s his only reaction after all they’ve been through. Bran remembers what it’s like to be Brandon Stark, but he is no longer that person. Meera tearfully tells him he died in the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave and leaves.

A figure on a horse approaches Winterfell. It’s ARYA!!! The guards don’t believe she is Arya Stark and refuse to let her in the gates. She tells them to call for Maester Luwin or Ser Roderick–either one of them can confirm her identity. The guards have never heard of these people and tell Arya to “fuck off.” Arya tells them they turn her away at their own peril, so they let her inside the gates. While they’re arguing about who is going to tell Sansa about her, she slips away.

The guards report the incident to Sansa, who knows it’s Arya as soon as they tell her the visitor mentioned Maester Luwin and Ser Roderick. Sansa knows where to find her. Arya is staring at Ned Stark’s sculpture when Sansa enters the crypts. “Do I have to call you Lady Stark now?” Arya asks. Sansa replies, “Yes.” Sansa goes to her sister and hugs her, but Arya does not return her embrace.

Sansa tells Arya that as happy as Jon was to see her, when he sees Arya his heart will probably stop. Yes, it will. This is how I fantasize the Arya-Jon reunion: Jon returns from Dragonstone and notices Brienne sparring with someone in the courtyard. He recognizes Needle and stops in his tracks. He slowly approaches the duo. Brienne looks up and sees that the King in the North has returned and sheaths her sword. Arya wonders why Brienne has stopped what she’s doing and follows her gaze. She turns around, she and Jon see each other, and all the pain and strife and horror that has made Arya the killer she is today fall away, and she is that little girl at Winterfell again. And there is her brother, who had Needle made for her because he always understood who she was. There are no vestiges of sibling rivalry like with Sansa, there is no question of trustworthiness. Jon Snow and Arya have been allies from the beginning, they have both been on Odyssean journeys. Their reunion might be too profound for a hug, but I hope there will be one, because for just a moment I’d like to see Arya able to let her guard down and just feel safe. That concludes the fanfic portion of this recap.

Sansa and Arya engage in a stilted conversation, but the ice breaks when they bond over their shared hatred of Joffrey. Sansa admits that unfortunately she was not the one who killed him, and Arya shares that he was always at the top of her list. Sansa is puzzled and Arya explains that her list is comprised of people she’s going to kill. This cracks Sansa up, probably because she’s finally able to recognize her pugilistic little sister in this composed stranger. Sansa has no idea what a badass Arya has become. They acknowledge that they’ve both had long, unpleasant journeys then Arya gives Sansa a real hug. *sniff*

Sansa solemnly tells Arya that Bran is home too, and the three remaining Stark children reunite in the Godswood. Somebody tweeted “Not now, Starks are reuniting” during this scene and it is my new go-to phrase. Arya hugs Bran and he just sits there, then tells her that he saw her at the Crossroads. Sansa explains that Bran has visions. Bran thought Arya might go to King’s Landing because Cersei is on her list. Sansa asks who else is on her list and she answers that most of them are already dead.

Bran takes out the dagger Littlefinger gave him. Sansa is alarmed because Littlefinger is not a generous man, and would not have given Bran a Valyrian steel dagger if he didn’t think he would get something in return. This gives me faith in Sansa. Bran gives the dagger to Arya, because it’s “wasted on a cripple.” It won’t be wasted on Arya, I’m sure.

Brienne and Podrick watch the three Starks enter the courtyard at Winterfell. Sweet Podrick tells Brienne that Catelyn would be proud that she kept her vow. Brienne, incapable of accepting a compliment, says she did next to nothing. Pod says, “You’re too hard on yourself, my lady.” Brienne starts to say she’s not a lady, but stops herself and just replies with a simple thank you. Good for you, Brienne!

At Dragonstone, Dany and Missandei have a little girl talk about Grey Worm before Jon beckons Dany into the caves beneath the castle. He wants to show her the dragonglass before he starts mining it. And something else. The Children of the Forest made cave paintings depicting their allegiance with the First Men against the White Walkers. Jon tells Dany that they need to fight together, just like the Children and the First Men. Those cave drawings sure are convenient. Dany tells him she will fight with him, as soon as he bends the knee. The sexual tension between them is riveting.

We don’t know if Jon bent the knee, because the next shot is of him and Dany exiting the caves. It looks like they’re holding hands–what exactly did happen in that cave? Jon Snow is no stranger to cave couplings! They’re not holding hands after all–rats. Tyrion and Varys deliver the bad news about Casterly Rock and Dany throws a little tantrum. All her allies have been taken from her while she sits on Dragonstone. She wants to fly the dragons to the Red Keep, but Tyrion counsels against it–again. Dany’s had enough of Tyrion’s clever plans and asks Jon Snow what he thinks she should do. People follow her because she’s made impossible things happen, and they believe that maybe she can create a better world than the one they’ve always known. But if she uses the dragons to “melt castles and burn cities,” she’ll just be more of the same.

Brienne and Pod are training in the courtyard when Arya approaches. She wants to train with Brienne because she beat the Hound. They spar to a draw, and Brienne is impressed with Arya’s fighting prowess. She wonders who taught her how to do that. “No one,” says Arya. Sansa looks on, seemingly troubled by what she sees. Arya stares at Littlefinger like she’s wondering if she needs to put him on her list. Littlefinger is (hopefully) going to find himself at a disadvantage with Arya and the Three-Eyed Raven.

Now it’s time for Jon Snow and Ser Davos to have some guy talk. Jon thinks Dany has a good heart. Davos has noticed him staring at her “good heart,” but Jon says there’s no time for that. He wonders how many Northmen they have to fight the Night King–ten thousand, less? Davos pulls a Stannis and replies, “fewer.”

They greet Missandei and she asks why Jon is named Snow when his father was a Stark. He explains that he’s a bastard, but Missandei is confused. In Naath, where she’s from, there is no marriage so the concept of a bastard does not exist. Davos finds this liberating. He is smitten. Jon notices a Greyjoy ship approaching Dragonstone–it’s Theon. The only reason Jon doesn’t kill him is because of what he did for Sansa. Theon has come to ask for Dany’s help in rescuing Yara from Euron. Jon tells him that the Queen is gone.

Back to the Reach, where Bronn and Jaime are overseeing the Loot Train. Randyll Tarly rides up to inform Jaime that all of the Tyrell’s gold has arrived safely in King’s Landing. Damn it! Why does Cersei keep getting all the breaks??

Dickon Tarly is a little shaken from his first real-life battle experience. He didn’t realize it would smell so bad. Bronn confirms that men shit when they die and asks Dickon, “Didn’t they teach you that in fancy lad school?” Bronn is awesome.

Bronn hears something in the distance. It’s about to go down, people! It’s the Dothraki! The Lannisters get into formation as the horde rides over the horizon, all war cries and pounding hooves. Bronn tells Jaime to get back to King’s Landing because they’re about to be swamped. Jaime thinks they can hold off the Dothraki. Famous last words, because…who comes swooping in? DROGON!! With Dany on his back! Here we go–DRACARYS! Drogon blows up part of the Lannister line and the Dothraki stampede through it, wreaking havoc as they go. Dany and Drogon blow up the Loot Train, along with a good portion of the Lannister army. It’s AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! Take that, Cersei!

Jaime looks around, disbelief and panic on his face, but is still able to command effectively. The archers make the mistake of shooting Drogon with their arrows, so he incinerates them. YES! Oh no–Jaime is telling Bronn to get Qyburn’s Scorpion–the dragon killing machine. No way are they going to kill off Drogon. I’ll kill myself if they do.

I have loved Bronn since the first season, but I am actually hoping he dies before he gets to the Scorpion. I never thought I’d see the day. But if it’s between Bronn and Drogon, I am going to take Drogon every time. Shit–he made it to the Scorpion.

Tyrion is watching the scene from a ridge. He looks pained as he watches Jaime at a loss, taking in the utter destruction around him. Drogon barely misses Jaime as he breathes another stream of fire. Bronn is manning the Scorpion. I can’t watch! HE HIT DROGON! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Drogon screams and begins to plummet downward. He doesn’t crash–thank the Seven!–but lands safely and lets off another blast, just missing Bronn. Dany gets off and is trying to pull the bolt out of Drogon when Jaime charges her.

From his vantage point, Tyrion calls Jaime a fucking idiot. Dany turns around just in time to see Jaime riding toward her, spear at the ready. Before he can get to her, Drogon swings his massive head around and opens his mouth. Jaime can see the fire in his throat, about to roast him alive, but a second before Drogon lets loose, Bronn pushes Jaime out of the way and into a lake.

The last shot of the episode is Jaime, in full armor, sinking to the bottom of the lake.

Jaime is NOT going out that way! I hope Cersei thinks he’s dead and cuts her own throat. Of course she won’t, but a girl can dream.

GOT S7 Ep 3 Recap: The Queen’s Justice

It just keeps getting better.

Jon Snow and Ser Davos arrive at Dragonstone, and this awesome exchanges ensues:

Tyrion: The Bastard of Winterfell

Jon: The Dwarf of Casterly Rock

And then Jon Snow almost cracks a smile. This episode is already epic. And that’s before the dragons swoop overhead as Jon and Ser Davos are being escorted to the castle, causing them to duck for cover.

The Red Woman is watching their arrival from a cliff when Varys approaches her. She admits that she did not part on good terms with Jon and Ser Davos because of terrible mistakes she made. Varys warns her that she shouldn’t return to Westeros again, but she calmly tells him that she will return, one last time, because she has to die “in this strange land. Just like you.” Varys, like me, is unsettled.

Jon and Ser Davos enter the throne room and Missandei introduces them to Dany, rattling off her many titles. In response Davos says, “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North.” Brevity is the soul of wit, Ser Davos. Dany embarks on a typical power play in an attempt to get Jon Snow to bend the knee. When he refuses, she reminds him that she is the last Targaryen (she’s not!) and that the Starks and the Targaryens were allies for centuries–centuries during which Westeros enjoyed its most peaceful and prosperous era. Jon reminds her of her family’s crimes against the Starks, and although she apologizes, he is not there to bend the knee. He is there to tell her they need each other’s help in the coming war against the Night King. She is skeptical and launches into a monologue about how she was forced to flee Dragonstone as an infant to escape Robert’s assassins. She points out that Ned Stark was Robert’s best friend. I wish she knew how vehemently Ned counseled against assassinating her, and at what risk to himself.

Jon listens to her speech and her declaration that she will rule the Seven Kingdoms–it’s a stirring speech, that’s for sure–but Jon is unmoved. He stands his ground and tells her she’ll be ruling over a graveyard if they don’t defeat the Night King. Jon Snow just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

And now it’s time for Ser Davos to pull out the big oratorical guns and explain that if Dany is an instrument of destiny, so is Jon Snow. Jon stops him when he’s about to say that Jon Snow died for the Night’s Watch, but Dany and Tyrion catch it. Tyrion implores Jon to bend the knee and fight alongside Dany to defeat Cersei. Jon Snow refuses once again and calls Dany’s claim to the Iron Throne into question. Jon Snow is now approaching Kingslayer hotness.

Varys enters and Dany abruptly ends the conversation by offering Jon and Ser Davos baths and supper. Jon asks if he’s her prisoner and she says, “not yet.” They leave and Varys breaks the bad news: Dany’s fleet, sunk or captured. The Greyjoys, dead or captured. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, dead or captured.

Everyone except Theon, who is being pulled out of the sea. He lies and says he tried to save Yara from Euron, but the salty Ironborn who asked about her knows that if he had really tried, he wouldn’t be alive. Why does Theon try to pass himself off as having courage? It just reveals his cowardice that much more.

Euron Greyjoy is being lauded by the huddled masses of King’s Landing. It is a mystery to me why the denizens of King’s Landing are loyal to Cersei. She inflicted the odious Joffrey on them, then blew them up along with the Sept of Baelor. But for some reason they are, and are cheering for Euron as he yanks a captive Yara along behind his horse through the streets of the capitol. He’s eating it up. Defiant Ellaria spits in the faces of the crowd as they boo her.

Euron presents Ellaria to Cersei–he’s given her justice for her murdered daughter. Ellaria spits on the floor in front of the Iron Throne–she’s got balls, that one! No wonder Oberyn loved her. Cersei promises Euron that he will have what his heart desires when the war is won. She proclaims that with Euron as the head of her navy and Jaime as commander of her armed forces, the Lannisters will prevail. The assembled sheep cheer–seriously, what is wrong with these people? Euron asks Jaime a gross question about Cersei’s sexual preferences, and we’re done with the Greyjoy psycho for now.

Cersei has Ellaria and the surviving Sand Snake chained to the walls in her dungeon. She taunts Ellaria about Oberyn’s death and delivers a bone-chilling monologue explaining her fantasies about destroying the woman who took her only daughter from her. I hate Cersei, but Lena Headey is awesome. Cersei kisses the Sand Snake and wipes her lips. It’s the Long Farewell, of course. Ellaria will remain chained to the wall as she watches her daughter die, then rot in that cell. If she refuses to eat they will force-feed her. She will spend all her remaining days there, with her daughter’s corpse. Cersei is a monster.

Perpetrating such horror obviously turns Cersei on, because she bursts into her chamber and lays a passionate kiss on Jaime. In a throwback to the Joffrey’s coffin scene in Season 4, Jaime half-heartedly tells her no, but succumbs to her sexual advances almost immediately. I wish Jaime would channel the honorable man Brienne brought out in him, but, like any man, all it takes is a simple blow job and all morality goes out the window. Oh, well.

The next morning, a brazen Cersei allows her chambermaid a glimpse into the room, where Jaime is lying naked in her bed. Jaime warns against it, but Cersei is the Queen and she’ll do as she pleases. I can only hope this bit of hubris signals the beginning of the end for her.

Now Cersei is meeting with a representative of the Iron Bank. The crown is deeply in debt and its coffers are empty. The Iron Bank wants to be paid and Cersei assures her visitor that the Lannisters always pay their debts. God only knows the havoc she’ll wreak to accomplish this.

Jon Snow is brooding on the cliffs at Dragonstone. Tyrion points out that Jon Snow’s brooding puts his own brooding to shame. That is does, Tyrion, that it does. It is a testament to the bond Tyrion and Jon Snow formed way back in Season One when Tyrion tells Jon he believes him about the White Walkers. Then regretfully tells him that it’s unreasonable to ask for Dany’s help against the Night King. When Jon Snow begins to walk away, Tyrion asks him if he has anything reasonable to ask. God, Tyrion’s the best! Of course Jon Snow has a reasonable request–he needs the dragonglass that lies beneath Dragonstone.

Tyrion is convincing Dany to allow Jon Snow to mine the dragonglass when she brings up Ser Davos’ aborted statement about Jon giving his life to the Night’s Watch. Tyrion brushes it off by saying she must allow certain flights of fancy because it’s dreary in the North. Tyrion is witty as always, but the fact that it’s been brought up again means that Jon Snow’s death and subsequent resurrection must have a significant part to play as the season unfolds. What could it be?!

Dany and Jon Snow share an intimate moment–let it be the first of many!–on the parapets of Dragonstone. She dodges his question about whether she believes him about the White Walkers, but she will allow him to mine the dragonglass. What a power couple these two could be!!

Sansa is discussing the (lack of) stores for the winter and other administrative issues regarding the operation of Winterfell. Baelish creepily tells her that command suits her then offers the cynical advice we saw in the Season Seven trailer–fight every battle, everywhere, etc. She appears to be taking this in, but it’s hard to tell with Sansa. I feel like she’s listening, but at the same time trying to determine Baelish’s angle in telling her these things. They are interrupted with the news that someone is at the gate. It’s Bran! Another Stark reunion! The Stark theme begins to play as Sansa tears up and runs to embrace Bran…who just sits there. I get that Bran is now the Three-Eyed Raven, but he feels zero emotion at being reunited with his sister? What a letdown!

In the Godswood, Bran tries to explain to Sansa what it means to be the Three-Eyed Raven. His explanation echoes Baelish’s counsel. Baelish told Sansa to fight every battle, all the time–to consider every move that people could possibly make because everything that is possible is happening all the time, everywhere. Bran tells her that he can see everything that’s ever happened and everything that’s happening now, everywhere. Hmmm. Bran says he’s sorry for everything that’s happened to Sansa and tells her how beautiful she was on her wedding night. Why does he bring this up? He knows what happened to her that night–what is he trying to convey to her? That he understands the magnitude of what she’s been through? Even though he appears to be devoid of emotion, is he trying to let her know that if he could feel, his heart would ache for her? I just don’t know. Sansa appears to be shaken as she walks away. Who can blame her? Not only is her little brother the mysterious Three-Eyed Raven, he’s just told her that he saw Ramsay brutalize her. That would unnerve anyone.

Ser Jorah is cured of greyscale! He is free to leave the Citadel and Sam shakes his hand before he goes. Aww! Jorah hasn’t shaken anyone’s hand since he was touched by the Stone Men in Old Valyria! Archmaester Marwyn lectures Sam about how dangerous it was for him to treat Jorah before congratulating him on a job well done. Sam may have cured Jorah’s greyscale, but he’s still expected to perform the menial tasks of a maester-in-training. At least copying ancient scrolls is better than changing bedpans!

Dany’s war council (what’s left of it) is meeting in the map room at Dragonstone. She wants to use the dragons to destroy Euron’s fleet but Varys and Tyrion tell her it’s too dangerous. What about Casterly Rock, then? The Unsullied should be there soon. Tyrion’s explanation of what’s in store for them is brilliantly cut with the action at the Rock. Tywin Lannister built Casterly Rock to be impregnable–and its walls are–but he couldn’t be bothered with building the sewers. He gave that job to the lowest creature he could think of–Tyrion. Since Tywin wouldn’t let Tyrion have his whores there, Tyrion built a secret passageway so he could smuggle them in. Cut to Grey Worm and a small contingent of Unsullied approaching an opening in the sea. They use Tyrion’s secret passageway to enter Casterly Rock and open the gates for the rest of the Unsullied to flood in and take the castle.

Tyrion warns that Cersei will be ready for them, and that the Unsullied will be outnumbered by the bulk of the Lannister forces. But people fight for Cersei out of fear; the Unsullied fight for Dany out of love–which is why the Unsullied will triumph.

But something is wrong. The Unsullied aren’t outnumbered and handily defeat the sparsity of Lannister soldiers stationed at Casterly Rock. Grey Worm wonders where the rest of them are, and looks out to sea to see Euron’s fleet setting the Unsullied’s ships on fire. He grabs a not-quite-dead Lannister soldier and asks him where the rest of the Lannisters are.

Strings play the Rains of Castamere as we get a sweeping shot of Jaime leading the Lannister army to Highgarden. Lady Olenna watches them approach from the castle tower, and Jaime strides through the courtyard, which is littered with dead Tyrells. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is so beautiful. Sigh. Lady Olenna is waiting for him in the tower, knowing the Tyrells have been defeated and that her time is nigh.

She and Jaime engage in some discourse about strategy, and she warns him that Cersei is a monster and will be the end of him. Jaime concedes that this is possible, but he’s done with the conversation. Lady Olenna gets down to business and asks how he’s going to kill her. Cersei of course wanted to drag her through the streets of King’s Landing and inflict all sorts of horrible things on her, but Jaime talked her out of it. It will be poison, and Jaime has made sure that it won’t be painful. Every once in awhile Jaime’s better nature surfaces–he’s going to do what he has to do, but he’s going to do it in the most respectful way he can think of. Imagine how amazing he would be if he could get out from under Cersei’s spell!

Jaime pours the poison into Lady Olenna’s wine glass and she drinks it. She’s not done though–she still has a major ace up her sleeve and she’s going to fuck Jaime with it. She recounts Joffrey’s gruesome death and how she didn’t intend for it to be that way. It dawns on Jaime that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey, but just in case he doesn’t fully understand, Lady Olenna says, “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”

Mic drop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RHOC Episode 3 Recap: The Not So Q-Dub

We pick up where we left off, with Lydia and Shannon having it out at Tamra’s granddaughter’s birthday party before Shannon storms away, announcing that she’s “fucking done.” A clueless David follows her into the limo, asking what just happened. I feel like David is constantly trying to get to the bottom of Shannon’s meltdowns. Does he still get embarrassed by her public displays, or is he just resigned to them? Probably the latter, since resignation seems to be the theme of David’s life.

Tamra offers Lydia this pearl of wisdom: maybe it’s best not to bring Vicki up in front of Shannon. Lydia figured that out after Shannon went to crazy town on her within ten minutes of meeting her. Shannon is still huffing to David, “I am nothing like Vicki Gunvalson!” Why does she have to protest so much? Why does she always lose it so completely in these situations? She did the same thing when David’s mother showed up to their daughters’ band performance. Has she always been like this? Or has the stress of her crumbling marriage rendered her incapable of controlling herself? O Shannon, who art thou?

We have to watch Vicki talk about how much she’s spending on her new office. Wow, she’s so rich and successful…and disingenuous. She wants cameras installed so she can watch her employees from her phone because she’s a micro manager from hell. And because one of her employees allegedly embezzled from her last year. But mostly because she’s a micro manager from hell.

Peggy and her husband Diko are at the plastic surgeon’s office discussing how big her breast implants should be. Like everyone in Orange County, I’m sure she’ll opt for ones that are way too big for her tiny frame. I am reserving judgment on Peggy in accordance with the Real Housewives Institute’s Eileen Davidson Accord (tm Brian Moylan), so I will refrain from commenting on this segment, except to say that even though it looks like Peggy has everything, she reminds us that every family has its struggles. And that her husband seems to be very supportive of her.

At the offices of Lydia and Doug’s vanity project, Nobleman magazine, Lydia is concerned that they’re not going to get the current issue done on time. She’s also concerned that Doug doesn’t seem concerned about it. She wishes her husband could be more like her father and grandfather, who are famous in Canada for being cutthroat businessmen. Who knew Canadians could be cutthroat? I have learned a cultural fact from the Real Housewives of Orange County–go figure! Tamra calls, and she and Lydia rehash the Shannon altercation. Lydia wonders if she was being oversensitive or if Shannon is really that excitable. It’s the latter, but Tamra says Shannon’s just expressive. Lydia doesn’t buy it, but agrees to bring Peggy to The Quiet Woman for their mandatory cast dinner on Thursday. How much is The Quiet Woman paying Bravo? Vicki didn’t want to break up with Brooks because she didn’t want to be sitting at The Quiet Woman with Shannon looking for their next husbands. Meghan and Kelly met for drinks at The Quiet Woman last season. And now The Quiet Woman is the backdrop for this episode’s main event. And why would anyone name their bar/restaurant The Quiet Woman? What does it mean? From what I can glean from its appearances on this show, it seems to be some sort of glorified honky-tonk where the well-heeled women of the OC go to drink themselves maudlin or troll for men. Anyway…

Tamra plays with her daughter’s guinea pig while she and Shannon discuss the fight with Lydia–it wasn’t that big of a deal, folks–the rehashing of it doesn’t warrant this much screen time. The Quiet Woman dinner is still on, and Shannon will attend.

Meghan and Jim are selling the OC house Meghan just completely overhauled because it’s too big for them since Jim’s daughter Hayley moved out. If Meghan had her druthers, she’d live in a maintenance free condo. Meghan asks Jim if he thinks baby Aspen can see ghosts. Of course he doesn’t. Jim is about as mystical as a concrete stoop. Meghan does, because she reasons that babies have just arrived from the spirit world and have no preconceived notions about it being socially unacceptable to see ghosts. I’m with Meghan on this one. While I enjoy these little vignettes with Meghan, Jim and the baby, I am anxious for her to be integrated with the rest of the cast. I know she signed on late, but these ladies need a voice of reason–preferably one, like Meghan, who knows how to properly use an adverb.

Shannon meets with her trainer. She is determined to lose weight, and she endures a fitness assessment by Trainer Tim, who further shames this already beaten down woman by exclaiming, “Wow!” when she gets on the scale and again when she takes off her shirt. Shannon is whimpering and berating herself the whole time, but despite this, Trainer Tim feels it’s appropriate to basically say that David cannot possibly find her attractive in her current state. Fuck off, Trainer Tim.

Peggy picks up Lydia in her two-tone car on the way to dinner at The Quiet Woman. Again, I’m reserving judgment until the fifth episode of this season, per the afore-mentioned Eileen Davidson Accord. Apparently Lydia has already gone to lunch with Vicki and Kelly Dodd, and she calls Kelly to…what? Introduce her to Peggy? Inquire about her dinner plans? Because production told her to? There seems to be no point to the conversation except to let us know that Kelly refers to The Quiet Woman as “Q-Dub,” and is not planning on attending the mandatory cast dinner because she is on a boat somewhere. Except we all know that she does end up attending the dinner because we saw the previews. And because it’s mandatory.

Shannon and Tamra are riding to the Q-Dub together, and Shannon fills Tamra in on her fitness assessment. She weighs 172 pounds and has 40 percent body fat. Tamra is concerned. She knows how unhealthy this is because she is in the fitness industry. And everyone knows that being a certified aerobics instructor is the next best thing to being a doctor, which must be why Tamra feels justified in judging everything Shannon puts into her mouth.

Lydia warns Peggy not to mention Vicki as Shannon and Tamra approach the table. Everyone greets each other and is introduced to Peggy before they get down to small talk. Peggy is aghast that it took Shannon six years to build her last house. She didn’t build her house because she doesn’t want the hassle. For what? An extra room? A bathroom? Shannon is displeased at this perceived mockery, and explains it took so long because she took great pains to ensure that the house was toxin-free.

They order drinks, and Tamra gives Shannon a side-eye for ordering a Grey Goose and soda. How will she ever lose weight if she drinks alcohol? Let me point out that on the limo ride over, Tamra was all about drinking at this dinner and she and Shannon decided it would be Shannon’s last hurrah.

Lydia wants to clear the air so they rehash the birthday party argument AGAIN. Shannon apologizes for “yelling” at her and Lydia accepts. Then for some reason Shannon tells this table of relative strangers the particulars of her weight gain, and again blames it on the stress caused by Vicki’s allegation that David beats her. Peggy interjects that she and her husband have a joke where they say that every Friday night he beats her. Again, reserving judgment. Shannon doesn’t appreciate Peggy’s Armenian humor. Don’t feel bad Peggy–Shannon doesn’t appreciate any humor.

The waitress comes to take their order and Tamra tries to dissuade Shannon from ordering red meat. How is she ever going to lose weight if she eats beef tenderloin? Tamra suggests a nice piece of dry white fish with unseasoned vegetables on the side–after all, this spartan diet worked for her. Maybe Shannon wants to gets some pleasure out of life, Tamra. It reminds me of when these embarrassing Americans were in Ireland and refused to eat potatoes because–gasp!–carbs.

Lydia invites Tamra and Shannon to her son’s birthday party. Tamra will be at a seminar in Vegas and Shannon declines the invitation because Vicki and Kelly Dodd have also been invited. Cue the entrance of the notorious Kelly Dodd. She heads straight to the bathroom, where Shannon greets her with the non-cotillion-approved phrase, “Are you serious?” She then tells Kelly that she has gained 40 pounds in the last year and her body fat is 40 percent. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Shannon just turn down Lydia’s invitation because Vicki and Kelly would be there? Why would she reveal this information to Kelly? As far as I know their relationship is quite contentious. Is it a preemptive strike, like–you don’t have to call me fat behind my back because I’m letting  you know upfront that I know I’m fat? I can’t figure it out.

Kelly is pissed because Shannon said “are you serious” by way of greeting. Shannon protests that she was just surprised to see her, but Kelly isn’t buying it because everyone knows she lives right across the street and that the Q-Dub is her “jam.” Shannon can’t believe Kelly turned on her right after she confided in Kelly about her weight. Has Shannon met Kelly Dodd? Lydia takes a moment to pray for Shannon, which is just weird. And presumptuous.

Kelly sits down at the table, and when Shannon returns things go south. Shannon tries to explain once again that she was surprised to see Kelly because the last time they were together (the reunion) was unpleasant, to say the least. Kelly says Shannon is always upset about something and Shannon–getting upset–orders Kelly to leave the table. Kelly, Queen of the low blows, says maybe Shannon needs some hormones. This sends Shannon over the edge and she tells Kelly to “fuck off,” gives her the finger and calls her a “fucking bitch.” Kelly, stooping ever lower, tells Shannon to “keep eating,” which prompts Shannon to throw her plate at Kelly as the stunned patrons of the Q-Dub look on.

Lydia is embarrassed and she and Peggy head for the door. Tamra takes Shannon outside to calm her down, which she accomplishes by telling Shannon that Kelly Dodd can just go suck on some big hairy balls. That Tamra–keeping it #classyAF as always.

 

90 Day Fiance HEA Episode 5 Recap: Voodoo Chicken Feet

Danielle and Mohamed

Danielle is meeting with her family members to ask them to provide evidence against Mohamed in her upcoming annulment trial. They are skeptical, because this is about the seventh time Danielle has filed for an annulment. They’ll do it, but this is Danielle’s last chance. If she pulls the annulment or goes back to Mohamed, they’re done. Again.

Mohamed’s friend Diamond has asked to meet with him and he hopes everything is okay with her. It is not, because Danielle has been texting her and hassling her on social media ever since Mohamed posted Diamond’s picture on his Facebook page. Obviously Mohamed is a little slow on the uptake regarding his social media management–this is like the tenth girl Danielle has stalked. Maybe don’t post pictures of girls for awhile? Diamond seems to take Danielle’s harassment in stride, especially her comment that Diamond looks like a man. I really don’t think Danielle is in a position to cast aspersions on other women’s looks. She’s too easy of a target herself and should know better.

Mohamed is embarrassed by Danielle’s behavior and apologizes to Diamond. He knows that marrying Danielle was the biggest mistake of his life, and hopefully he’ll be done with her once and for all when he returns to Ohio for their annulment hearing.

Mohamed packs for his trip to Ohio and Danielle is shopping for court clothes with her sister. It’s hard for her to find clothes because she’s got “short girl problems.” Mmm…okay. Mohamed says he’s afraid for his life and Danielle and her sister bash him in the sad little dress shop where they’re browsing for a new outfit. Danielle isn’t sure what Mohamed’s up to, but she hopes she’s gathered enough evidence to secure an annulment. So do I. This storyline is tired AF.

Chantal and Pedro

Chantal and Pedro are packing to go to the Dominican Republic. In addition to an entire suitcase full of gifts for his mother, Pedro has bought her a flat screen TV. How does he think he’s going to get that on the plane? Chantal doesn’t understand why Pedro is bringing back all these gifts when he’s already paying his mother’s rent. She thinks Pedro’s mother and sister are freeloaders. She’s right. And as if paying his mother’s rent, bringing a suitcase full case of gifts and a flat screen TV isn’t enough, Pedro wants Chantal to buy his mother a laptop. Incredibly, she agrees to do it. Where does it end? Even though Chantal is trying to be patient with the cultural differences, at this point she needs to have Pedro’s paycheck deposited directly into her account and put him on an allowance–at least until he pays her back for the wedding ring she had to buy for herself. How does Pedro have all this money to spend on his family but he can’t buy his wife a $4,000 wedding ring? Oh–I just answered my own question. Time to cut Mama Pedro off.

Chantal’s parents feel awkward around Mama Pedro because they can’t get over the time she called them stupid Americans with mental problems after they insisted Pedro sign a pre-nuptial agreement. I love the way Pedro refers to Chantal’s family as the “Family Chantal.” It’s cute. What’s not cute is the way his mother and sister basically ignore the Family Chantal upon their arrival in the DR and accost Pedro about the whereabouts of their TV. His sister seems like a bitch. They couldn’t bring the TV because it was too big, so they’re going to FedEx it upon their return to the US. I think you could probably buy a seat on the plane for the TV and it would be less expensive than FedExing it to Pedro’s family. Just how expensive ARE electronics in the DR?

Mama Pedro invites the Family Chantal over to her house for dinner, but Chantal’s mom Karen is leery of eating food that was prepared by someone who doesn’t like her. Once they arrive, Mama Pedro gives them the grand tour, and Chantal notes that it is a three bedroom, two bath apartment. She and Pedro live in a studio. Chantal tells her family that they’re able to afford this apartment because Pedro is footing the bill for it. Karen finds this strange and Chantal tells her she’s trying to be “acceptive” of Pedro’s customs. Karen still doesn’t like it. She watches disapprovingly as Mama and Sister Pedro unpack their suitcase full of gifts, but the laptop is the last straw. Someone asks the sister if it’s for work and she says, “yes, for work,” before she and Mama Pedro break down in laughter. Karen has Pedro’s family’s number, and she’s seen enough.

She says they won’t be able to stay for dinner, but Pedro begs them to stay because his mother has been cooking “all day.” The Family Chantal reluctantly sticks around, only to be served a plate of chicken feet and chicken necks. Not only is Karen insulted by this meager offering, she thinks Mama Pedro may be putting some sort of hex on her, since she knows that chicken feet are often used in voodoo rituals. This seems a little paranoid to me, but I wouldn’t be thrilled about eating chicken offal either.

The Family Chantal prepares to leave, but before they do Karen thanks Mama Pedro for inviting them into their home, even though she thinks they are “stupid Americans with mental problems.” What follows is a language barrier-challenged roundelay filled with chicken feet angst and lingering bitterness over a certain pre-nuptial agreement. Nothing is accomplished and the Family Chantal takes their leave.

Chantal sits down to dinner with the Family Pedro and tries to convey why her family feels disrespected. Mama Pedro admits they never eat chicken feet, but says, with a shit-eating grin on her face, that she thought the Family Chantal would enjoy some traditional Dominican fare. She’s a sly one, that Mama Pedro. Chantal also wonders if Mama Pedro “prayed up” the chicken feet with voodoo and points out that regardless, it was disrespectful of them to cook something they don’t normally eat and try to feed it to Chantal and her family. Chantal is spot on–if the something they don’t normally eat was lobster, it would be a different story. But it was chicken feet and chicken necks–in Chantal’s words, the lowest part of the chicken.

Chantal calmly explains to the Family Pedro that the whole point of their DR wedding is to unite the two families. Mama Pedro concedes that she knows this and that hopefully they can still accomplish it. The next day is a new day, and the Families Chantal and Pedro are traveling to the wilds of inland DR to meet Pedro’s grandmother. Everyone is hopeful that relations will improve from here on out. The ride to the grandmother’s house starts out well, with Chantal’s dad complimenting the countryside and Mama Pedro apologizing for the previous night’s dinner. Five hours later, however, they still haven’t reached the grandmother’s house, and when they do, it’s “pitch black” outside. Pedro joyfully reunites with his grandmother while the Family Chantal refuses to get out of the van. Why? Because through the inky darkness all they can see is a house that is in disrepair (River says it’s the kind of place where the militia live), some “wild” dogs running around and a woman stirring a cauldron–more chicken feet voodoo, assumes Chantal. Translation: there is a modest home, a couple of dogs and a woman cooking over a fire. The Family Chantal are not world travelers, are they?

In the van, the Family Chantal riles Chantal up over the fact that Mama Pedro lives in a three bedroom apartment, while she and Pedro live in a studio. Why are there three bedrooms and two baths when only Mama Pedro and the sister live there? Who is the third bedroom for? Obviously Pedro, who has perpetrated this marriage charade so he can earn money in the US before going back to live with his family in the lap of luxury at Chantal’s expense. It is beyond rude that Chantal’s family won’t leave the van. I would be mortified if I was Chantal.

Pedro doesn’t understand why the Family Chantal won’t leave the van, and Chantal tries to explain to him that they are questioning why Pedro’s family is moving up in the world while he and Chantal are stagnant. She thinks he’s putting his family above his wife and Pedro explains that as a son, it is his responsibility to take care of his mother (and to let her shamelessly take advantage of his sense of duty). Chantal feels like she has tried to respect his culture and customs, but he gives her no respect in return.

Mama Pedro laughs as Chantal and Pedro fight, while the Family Chantal cowers in the van and wonders what menaces lurk in yonder shack, not to mention the surrounding jungle. Karen thinks that Pedro and his mother plotted to hoodwink Chantal into marriage, and she doesn’t trust them. Chantal is starting to think her family is right. She storms away from Pedro and into the van, and the Family Chantal heads back to (relative) civilization, bashing Mama Pedro all the way.

Back at Pedro’s grandmother’s hovel, Mama Pedro curses Chantal and her family, and warns that they shouldn’t fuck with Dominicans. Her formidable manipulation skills are on display as she tells Pedro that she gave birth to him, educated him, and gave up everything for him. The least he can do is support her while she doesn’t lift a finger and shower her and the sister with expensive electronics while they sit around and eat the highest parts of the chicken all day. If Chantal doesn’t like it, she can go back to the United States. I don’t think the Family Chantal are the only ones anxious to flee the DR for the US. Have you been to Washington Heights?

Pedro despairs that the goal of uniting the families is a lost cause, and I have to agree because his mother and sister–who are both despicable–are berating him for making a fool of himself over a girl who thinks she’s a queen, and for caving into the American custom of purchasing a ring for his wife. Umm, Pedro? You didn’t buy that ring for Chantal because your credit was denied. She bought it for herself.

It looks like a lost cause for the Families Chantal and Pedro. Pedro’s mother and sister are shamelessly greedy and manipulative, but the Family Chantal are provincial snobs. So I guess it’s a draw for now.

Jorge and Anfisa

Anfisa was upset after Jorge didn’t stick up for her to his sister Lourdes, so she’s kicked him out. Again. Jorge is holed up in a hotel–again–and thinks this latest fight is more serious than their garden variety knock-down, drag-out blowups. He was blinded by lust love, and now his heart is broken into a million pieces.

Anfisa Ubers over to the Fig and Olive to meet her friend Miranda for lunch. Why does Miranda have purple splotches on her lips? They discuss Jorge and Anfisa’s latest breakup, and Miranda tells Anfisa she can do WAY better. After all, they’re in the OC, where sugar daddies abound. Who is Miranda? How did Anfisa find a girl with the same deplorable value system as herself so quickly? Oh, right, it’s Orange County, where sugar daddies abound but moral compasses do not. Anfisa compliments Miranda’s lips–the purple splotches are the result of recent lip injections. I should have known. Miranda encourages Anfisa to ignore the haters and do whatever makes her feel good about herself. Anfisa doesn’t really need this advice because she points out that when people say she’s filled with plastic, she just shrugs her shoulders and says, “who isn’t these days?” Anfisa gives zero fucks, which is why she’s awesome.

Jorge is meeting Lourdes for lunch to tell her about his breakup with Anfisa. He is able to be candid with her since Anfisa is absent, and tells her that things between them are worse than he’s led his family to believe. He describes the degradation and the hitting, and admits he’s afraid of Anfisa. He says he’s finally seen the light and feels like the marriage was a mistake, but Lourdes is skeptical. She’ll believe he and Anfisa are over when she sees the divorce papers. Jorge’s penis still loves Anfisa, so Lourdes shouldn’t hold her breath.

Loren and Alexei

Loren and Alexei’s mother Natasha are shopping at an Israeli market so Natasha can teach Loren how to cook some of Alexei’s favorite dishes. One of those dishes is chicken livers and onions–of course Loren is grossed out by chicken livers. In addition to preparing a nice meal for her husband, Loren wanted to bring Natasha to the Israeli market to show her that she can be comfortable and make a life for herself in America. There is more to living in a foreign country than knowing where to buy your preferred brand of ketchup, but Loren doesn’t tend to overthink such matters. She and Alexei are hoping that Alexei’s parents and brother will immigrate to the US, so Loren is taking Natasha to see an immigration attorney.

The attorney sits down with Loren and Natasha, and upon being introduced to Natasha begins speaking Russian! Natasha is delighted. He tells them that after three years, Alexei can apply for US citizenship, and once he becomes a citizen he can file a petition to bring his parents to the US. Once he files, the process only takes about six months, which is great news. Bringing the brother over is a different story. Alexei can file a separate petition for his brother at the same time he files his parents’ petition, but instead of six months the time frame for his brother to be allowed into the US is about thirteen years. Loren and Natasha are disappointed, because Natasha will not leave Alexei’s brother alone in Israel. So that’s that. It seems like this drama could have been avoided if Loren and Alexei would have educated themselves about the mechanics of bringing over his family before everyone got all excited about it.

Alexei takes Natasha and Loren out for a nice dinner, but Loren is worried about telling him about his brother’s dismal prospects for immigration. It wouldn’t be an episode of 90 Day Fiance Happily Ever After if Loren wasn’t worried about breaking some sort of distressing news to Alexei. Reasonable, mature Alexei is disappointed but he understands. He respects that his parents do not want to leave his brother behind and will not pressure them to do so.

Russ and Paola

Russ has had it with Paola’s shady “agent,” and with his wife in tow, goes to confront her. Paola is dressed like a Tijuana whore. The only signage to identify the “agency” is a haphazardly tacked-up banner over the door, indicating a fly-by-night operation that changes locations every time the law begins to sniff around. Paola has not gotten any work since she’s been in Miami, and Russ wants to meet the woman who promised her so many great things. He stares her down as he says this and the “agent,” who senses she can’t play with Russ like she does with her stable of starry-eyed, D-list would-be “models,” is speechless for a moment. But the “agent” is a mistress of deflection and says she totally understands Russ’ frustration but she is a very busy woman, and the pictures Paola has given her (the pictures Paola took with the photographer the “agent” set her up with) are no good. Paola needs new, sexier pictures that reflect her current look. I don’t know how Paola’s pictures could be any trashier sexier–they already look like a boudoir photo shoot from the back room of a motorcycle clubhouse.

Paola says she’s happy to get new pictures but since the “agent” has ghosted her, she didn’t know she needed them. The “agent” switches tactics and blames Paola for not logging on to the agency’s “casting system,” where she can access all the model castings and generate direct bookings. This is not how the modeling industry works (at least not in New York–I don’t know about Miami). There is no way a real modeling agency would allow its models to use its website to get direct bookings from a client. Modeling agencies make their money by acting as go-betweens, and they get a percentage of whatever job a model books. They do not provide an avenue for clients and models to contact each other directly, because in doing so they would eliminate their role as middle man, and thus their source of income. Escort services, however, operate in a way that is similar to the one Paola’s “agent” is describing. No wonder she told Paola during their first meeting that she doesn’t like working with women who are married.

The “agent” pretends to check the “casting system” to see if Paola has activated the login credentials the “agent” claims to have given her. Not surprisingly, Paola has no profile on the website. There are only six “models” on this “agency’s” website, and one of them has no picture, just a default avatar. Russ sees through this charade, but Paola wants to start fresh. Oh, Paola–listen to your husband for once. You are being taken for a major ride.

Russ and Paola meet with her photographer and her idol, some internet fitness model and her manager/husband, Jimmy. Paola has plotted planned this meeting to push Russ in the “right direction,” i.e. to make him more comfortable with whoring out his wife. The photographer says Russ needs to loosen up about Paola’s photos–yes, they’re sexy, but they’re classy, too. Classy?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just choked on my gin and juice.

Paola, the photogapher and Jimmy all tell Russ he needs to support Paola in her famewhoring endeavors, but although Russ is proud to say his wife is a model, he points out that Jimmy is European–a far more open-minded populace than your average Oklahoman. Russ wants to support his wife, but he’s not sure he’ll ever be 100% okay with what she’s doing. Poor Russ–he’s trying, but like I’ve said before, he needs to trade in this flamingo for a humble little wren if he’s ever going to have a happy marriage.

 

 

GOT S7 Episode 2 Recap: Stormborn

Mind. Blown. How can this show keep being this amazing?! As promised by the show runners, Season 7 is wasting no time, so let’s get to it!

A storm rages outside Dragonstone as Dany and her council hold a strategy session in the war room. Tyrion and Varys reminisce about the similar storm for which Dany was named, but she does not feel as if she’s come home. They discuss the fact that Cersei controls only three of the Seven Kingsoms, and Varys tells Dany that the people hate Cersei and are plotting against her. Dany remembers Viserys was stupid enough to believe that the Westerosi were drinking toasts to his health, and says that if he’d been backed by an army and had three dragons, he’d have already invaded King’s Landing. Tyrion reminds her that conquering Westeros would be easy for her, but she did not come there to be queen of the ashes. She concedes that he is right before turning her attention to Varys.

She interrogates him about his shifting loyalties: first he served her father, then he served Robert before turning against Robert and backing Viserys’ claim to the throne, even though Viserys was “cruel, stupid and weak.” Varys is wary at this turn in the conversation (as am I), and Tyrion, recognizing that Varys may be in trouble, attempts to intervene on his behalf. Dany cuts him off and questions Varys’ track record as a loyal servant–as soon as he becomes disenchanted with one ruler, he conspires to crown the next. She challenges his servitude and he counters by saying he provides what the realm needs. And here, if Varys is being sincere, we see what makes him tick. I think he is being sincere–Dany has turned on him out of nowhere, and although taken aback, he recovers quickly. Varys is cagey enough to realize that Dany isn’t going to be taken in by glib explanations, so he realizes that the truth is the only politically expedient tactic in this situation.

He describes his childhood–how he was sold as a slave and mutilated as an offering, how he grew up in the gutters among the filth–and tells her that his true loyalty lies with the people, “the people who suffer under despots and prosper under just rule.” He says that Dany is the best hope for the people, which is why he has chosen her side. If she demands blind allegiance, he respects her wishes but cannot fulfill them. If she wants to kill him because of that, fine, but if she lets him live he will dedicate himself to seeing her on the Iron Throne. She extracts a promise from him that if he ever thinks she is failing the people, he will come to her directly instead of conspiring behind her back. If he doesn’t fulfill this promise, she’ll burn him alive. Yikes–Dany needs to channel a little less of the Mad King and realize that she is a stranger to Westeros, and needs her allies’ knowledge of the history and intrigue of the Seven Kingdoms in order to navigate its political landscape.

Dany and Varys reach a truce, and Grey Worm announces a visitor. It is the Red Woman, who explains the Azor Ahai prophecy. Dany takes issue with the “prince” who was promised, until Missandei steps in to point out that the High Valyrian word for prince has no gender, and could therefore mean prince OR princess. The Red Woman tells Dany she has a part to play in the wars to come, as does Jon Snow, who, to Tyrion’s surprise, is now the King in the North. Melisandre and Tyrion fill Dany in on Jon Snow–the things he has seen beyond the Wall, his alliance with the Wildlings, and his reasons for hating Cersei. Tyrion vouches for Jon Snow, and that is why, way back in Season One, the seeds were sown for Tyrion to be the key to Westeros–he is the only one in the South who has established a rapport with Jon Snow, and the only one who can draw on their mutual respect and trust to entice him to come to Dragonstone. He is also the only one who knows that Jon Snow is not going to “bend the knee” to Dany–who, by the way, needs to chill out on her power trip.

At Winterfell, Jon receives a raven from Dragonstone (with a note that says nothing about bending the knee). He knows it’s from Tyrion because the last line reads, “All dwarves are bastards in their fathers’ eyes,” and explains to Sansa that Tyrion said that to him on the first night they met. He asks Sansa for her advice, since she knows Tyrion better than he does, and while she concedes that he’s not like the other Lannisters, she thinks it’s too big of a risk for Jon to go to Dragonstone. Ser Davos concurs, but points out that Dany has dragons, dragons breathe fire, and fire kills Wights.

House Tyrell’s bannermen are gathered in the throne room at King’s Landing, where Cersei is trying to convince them to turn against the Tyrells and join her cause. She paints a chilling picture of what will happen if Daenerys triumphs–Dothraki “heathens” will sack their villages, rape and enslave their women and butcher their children. Cersei sure knows how to turn a phrase! She attempts to shake their sworn allegiances by telling them that is how Lady Olenna rewards centuries of loyalty and spinning tales of Dany’s “legendary” brutality in Essos. Dany needs to move on this bitch, NOW! It literally kills me to see Jaime at Cersei’s side, persuading Randyll Tarly to abandon House Tyrell. Will his sense of honor ever transcend his loyalty to Cersei?! Talk about blind devotion!

Sam watches as Archmaester Marwyn examines Jorah Mormont and tells him that while he could live for years with the greyscale, he has maybe six months before joining the ranks of the Stone Men. Sam intercedes to bring up the case of the Princess Shireen, but the Archmaester points out that Shireen was an infant whose greyscale was caught in time while Jorah is an adult whose greyscale has advanced beyond the maesters’ ability to cure it. He gives Jorah one day to get his affairs in order before he is sent to Old Valyria to live out his live with the Stone Men. Sam asks Jorah if they should get word to his family, and is surprised to learn that Jorah is a Mormont.

Cersei and Qyburn are in the cellars of the Red Keep. Qyburn has used his skills as a mad genius to deduce that if dragons can be wounded (as Drogon was in the fighting pits), they can be killed. He has fabricated a weapon that he thinks will kill a dragon and demonstrates by asking Cersei to pull the lever. When she does, a spear catapults from the contraption, piercing the skull of the mighty Balerion. I’m sick to my stomach thinking of all the time Dany and Co. are giving Cersei to prepare for their attack. If Qyburn’s contraption succeeds in killing one (or more) of the dragons, the Red Wedding will look like a tea party.

Back at Dragonstone, Yara urges Dany to attack King’s Landing with everything they have immediately. Tyrion counsels restraint, citing the destruction such action would wreak on the people of King’s Landing. Ellaria Sand sneers, “that is war,” and she and Tyrion snipe at each other before Dany intervenes and commands Ellaria to treat Tyrion with the respect warranted by the Hand of the Queen. Dany agrees that she does not want to be Queen of the Ashes and she and Tyrion set forth the battle plan.

They will not march the Unsullied and Dothraki to King’s Landing. Tyrion predicts that Cersei will appeal to the loyalty of the Westerosi Lords by riling them up against an army of foreigners (as we just saw her do). Rather than prove her point, they will use only Westerosi armies to attack the Capitol. Yara and Ellaria will set sail for Sunspear, and the Iron Fleet will escort the Dornish army to King’s Landing. The Dornish, along with the Tyrell army, will lay siege upon King’s Landing. Lady Olenna wonders why, if Dany is going to employ Dornish and Tyrell forces against Cersei, did she bring her own army to Westeros? Tyrion explains that the Unsullied’s objective is to take Casterly Rock. Yara, Ellaria and Lady Olenna agree to this plan, and Dany asks to speak to Lady Olenna alone.

She promises that Cersei will pay for what she did to Lady Olenna’s family and that peace will be restored to Westeros. Lady Olenna schools Dany on the fleeting notion that constitutes peace in Westeros, and advises Dany to ignore the advice of the clever men surrounding her. Then, with singular Lady Olenna saltiness, she offers this counsel: “the Lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No, you are a dragon. Be a dragon.”

Missandei arrives at Grey Worm’s chamber, noting that he leaves for Casterly Rock tomorrow and wondering if he’d planned to say goodbye to her. Grey Worm tells her she is his weakness, and explains how the Masters exploited weakness in the Unsullied. Grey Worm had no weaknesses–he was not the biggest or the strongest Unsullied, but he was the bravest, because he had no fear. Now, because of Missandei, he has fear. I hope this doesn’t foreshadow a tragic fate for Grey Worm on his upcoming mission to Casterly Rock. Missandei is also afraid. They share a poignant stare, then Grey Worm strides to Missandei, takes her face in his hands, and kisses her. Finally! Missandei pulls away, and at first Grey Worm is heartbroken at the apparent rejection, but then he sees that Missandei is undressing. She begins to undress him, but when she reaches to take off his pants, he tells her no. In a voice filled with all the love and tenderness she feels for him, she asks, “Please–I want to see you.” Knowing that he can trust this woman with everything he is, Grey Worm stands still while Missandei removes the rest of his clothing and looks at what the Masters did to him. It is such a sweet and tender moment, full of all the love and trust they have between them. Missandei leads him to the bed and we see–rather explicitly–that the Masters did not succeed in removing Grey Worm’s ability to pleasure a woman. Whew, that was hot!

Sam follows Archmaester Marwyn through the Citadel’s library as he piles ancient tomes into Sam’s arms. The last contains a procedure for curing greyscale, which the Archmaester warns is far too dangerous and therefore forbidden. He says this, but why would he provide Sam with such knowledge at this particular time? I think it’s the Archmaester’s way of tacitly giving Sam permission to attempt the procedure on Jorah. Cut to Jorah, who as his last act before being shipped off to Old Valyria, is writing a letter to “Khaleesi.” Sam enters his room with a cart full of potions and surgical instruments. He tells Jorah that he knew his father and that he was with Jeor Mormont when he died. He promises, “You’re not going to die today, Ser Jorah.” Given his unique experiences, Sam, unlike everyone else at the Citadel, understands that sometimes circumstances call for action. Hence his swiping of the keys to the restricted area last episode and the operation he’s about to attempt on Jorah.

Sam gives Jorah some rum and a strap to bite down on, because this is going to hurt. He pleads with Jorah not to scream, because if he does and anyone hears him, they’re both finished. Sam is unfailingly polite, isn’t he? He begins the procedure, and of all the violence and gore Game of Thrones has given us so far, this is hands down the most cringe-inducing scene I’ve ever seen on this show. Let’s hope it works.

Arya is eavesdropping on a conversation about Dany’s dragons at the Inn at the Crossroads. Sweet, sensitive Hot Pie sits down at her table and after a brief conversation looks at her searchingly before asking, “what happened to you?” She guzzles a glass of ale in response, while Hot Pie moves on to the next question and asks where she’s headed. When she says King’s Landing he wonders aloud why she’s not going to Winterfell? Arya still thinks the Boltons have Winterfell and is stunned when Hot Pie tells her that the Boltons are dead and Jon Snow is now the King in the North. The glimmer of hope and relief that flits across her face at this news is heartbreaking. She departs, and as everyone else heads towards King’s Landing, and the forlorn strings of the Starks’ theme accompany her, Arya turns her horse around and heads north. She’s going home!

At Winterfell, Jon receives a raven from the Citadel. He meets with the Northern Lords to explain that Sam has discovered that Dragonstone sits on a mountain of dragonglass. He also apprises them of Tyrion’s earlier missive, and tells them he’s going to accept his invitation to meet Dany. Sansa objects (here we go again), warning that it’s a trap–Ser Yohn Royce agrees–“a Targaryen cannot be trusted. Nor can a Lannister.” Even Lady Mormont objects to Jon’s plan and it looks like he might be facing a mutiny. For a moment he looks defeated, but manages to earnestly explain his position and stand his ground. Sansa stands up and accuses him of abandoning the North when he refuses to send an emissary in his stead (shut up, Sansa!). He turns to her and says that he’s leaving the North and Winterfell in good hands. “Whose?” she demands. “Yours,” he replies. “Until I return, the North is yours.” See, Sansa? Maybe you should be brother’s ally instead of a constant thorn in his side.

Baelish sidles up next to Jon as he’s visiting Ned’s crypt. He starts in with his eely bullshit, calling Jon the last best hope against the coming storm, saying how he loved Catelyn and that she obviously underestimated Jon, etc. Jon tells Baelish in his quiet yet threatening way, “you don’t belong down here.” Baelish explains his presence by saying that he and Jon have never properly spoken and he wanted to remedy that situation. When Jon tells him he has nothing to say to him, Baelish overplays his hand–“how about thank you?” he asks, reminding Jon that he would have lost the Battle of the Bastards without the Knights of the Vale. It’s good Jon’s back is turned to Baelish right now, because if Baelish could see the expression on his face, he might stop digging himself into this hole. But he can’t, so he doesn’t. He continues, “I love Sansa…” and at that, Jon snaps and slams Baelish up against the wall. Jon Snow is getting hotter every minute. After choking him a moment for good measure, Jon snarls, “Talk to my sister, I’ll kill you myself.” Jon strides out of the crypts and into Winterfell’s courtyard, where he mounts his horse and sets off for Dragonstone as Sansa looks on. Baelish appears, looking a bit stunned. I hope Jon Snow hasn’t shown Baelish too much of who he is, because as we all know, honorable and straightforward men have not fared well against Baelish’s cunning ways.

Arya is camping out on her way to Winterfell (yay!). Her horse begins to fidget, and, sensing danger, Arya grabs her sword to defend herself against whatever menace is approaching from the woods. She is soon surrounded by a pack of wolves and swings around in a panic, wondering how she can keep them at bay, when over her shoulder we see a massive direwolf approaching. Could it be? Arya senses its presence and slowly turns to face it. Her apprehension turns to recognition and pitiful, heartbreaking hope as she realizes it’s NYMERIA!! Nymeria has found her–she is still connected to at least one creature in this world and upon this realization, all the armor Arya has accumulated over her sad and grueling journey falls away as she reaches out to her wolf and says:

“Nymeria, it’s me, Arya. I’m heading North, girl, back to Winterfell. I’m finally going home. Come with me.” And again, “Come with me.”

Nymeria stares soulfully at Arya for a moment before turning around and leading her pack back into the wilderness.  Every sorrow she has ever known shows on Arya’s face as she watches Nymeria disappear into the woods, and you think perhaps the brevity of this reunion is too much for her to bear. But then she gathers herself and whispers, “That’s not you.”

And I am dead. Bravo, show runners and Maisie Williams–you’ve killed me. I am returned to life, not by the Lord of Light, but by the thought that Nymeria may be off on her own journey at the moment, but I predict there will be a deus ex direwolf situation somewhere down the road.

The Sand Snakes are lolling about in hammocks on their way to Dorne, arguing over who is going to have the first crack at Cersei once they reach King’s Landing. One of them–I can’t tell which is which and I don’t care enough to make the effort to distinguish them–wants to take on the Mountain. The Sand Snakes are delusional about their abilities. Ellaria and Yara flirt as they discuss Theon’s role once Yara is installed as Queen of the Iron Islands. Yara says Theon will be her protector. Ellaria, along with the rest of the world, scoffs at this idea. Just as Yara and Ellaria are about to get down to business, their ship is rocked by an explosion.

Yara and Theon run onto the deck and are greeted by a firefight. Yara looks around in disbelief before she notices a behemoth ship bearing down on them amid the chaos and breathes, “Euron.” Sure enough, Euron jumps onto a gangplank terrifyingly shaped like the foot (or maw?) of a fearsome reptile, probably a Kraken. He is maniacally giddy as this epic battle at sea begins. Yara tells one of the Sand Snakes to take Ellaria downstairs and keep her safe. Good luck with that, as two Ironborn follow them below deck and capture Ellaria. I think she might be Euron’s gift to Cersei. Better Ellaria than a dragon.

The other two Sand Snakes put up a good fight, but alas, they do not survive. Good riddance. Yara is slashing her way through Euron’s men like the badass she is, while Theon appears to be helpless. Pandemonium rules until suddenly the action stops and Euron eerily calls out to Theon. He turns around to see Euron holding Yara by the throat, and visibly falls apart as Euron taunts him, “I have her. Come and get her.” But Theon is no protector, and as he takes in the violent melee around him, he whimpers, Reek-like, before turning tail and jumping overboard. Euron breaks into psychotic laughter at his betrayal of Yara, and God (and the show runners) only knows what’s in store for Lady Greyjoy from here on out.

The episode ends with Theon clinging to a piece of wood, bobbing about and surveying the destruction around him. I’m about ready for Theon’s Homeric arc to end, and to watch him die the coward’s death he so richly deserves.

 

 

 

90 Day Fiance HEA Episode 4 Recap

The Guy from Oklahoma and His Cheap Skank of a Wife

I’m over Paola. After sitting there giggling while nasty queen Juan tore her husband to shreds she has the NERVE to be pissed that Russ got up and left. She then proceeds to throw him under the bus YET AGAIN to that smarmy little trick before calling him up and demanding to know where he is. You know where he is? Slumped against a wall on a Miami street cursing himself for making the two biggest mistakes of his life: marrying a trifling famewhore, and chucking his whole life to follow her to the cesspool of Miami.

After fighting over the Juan debacle in the street they take it to their hotel room, continuing to argue over her not supporting him and him not supporting her. The incident prompts Paola to wonder if she’s the right person for Russ and to acknowledge what fundamentally different people they are. She wonders if the marriage can last, and half-heartedly adds that she hopes it can. Russ is also wondering whether the marriage will work, saying that Miami might not be the place to make that happen. It’s not Miami, Russ. Take a cue from your wife and just admit that you’ve both made an enormous mistake and call it quits.

The most disappointing thing to Russ about the Juan debacle was how Paola did not defend him or their relationship. Conveniently, the only thing Paola remembers about the night before was that Russ left her behind. Like a pathetic lapdog, Russ admits he shouldn’t have done that, but tells Paola she becomes a person he doesn’t like when she’s with Juan. Unfortunately, that’s who Paola is, and she says that Russ wanted an exotic wife, only to try to change her once he got her. She has a point. I get why he married her, but why did she marry him? It wasn’t just for a green card, because they’ve been married for awhile, and she did try to stick it out in Oklahoma even though she was miserable there.

Russ says he wants to find a group of friends in Miami they can both be comfortable with, but that ultimately they might need to find another place where they can both be happy. Russ doesn’t get it–Pao has already found her place. She’s not leaving.

Russ visits a headhunter to investigate the job prospects for a drilling engineer in South Florida. They’re not good. The oil and gas industry doesn’t exist there. If he wants to stay in Miami, he’s going to have to make a career transition. Pao already suggested that he become a bartender–problem solved! Russ tells Pao the recruiter is looking for openings in Russ’ field somewhere other than Florida, and the writing is on the wall. If Russ leaves Miami, he leaves by himself. That is the best thing that could happen to either of them.

Pao and Russ have rented a little house in Miami. Russ thinks that Pao doesn’t understand the financial strain he’s under, supporting two households with no job. Thank God for the TLC paychecks! Juan texts Pao to tell her he’s stopping by before he leaves for Colombia. Russ obviously doesn’t want to see him, but Pao insists on it. Does she never learn? And what is she wearing? A flannel shirt as a dress? God, she’s got the WORST taste!

Juan shows up with Christian, and they sit down with Russ and Pao to hash out the other night. Juan eventually apologizes, but as Pao notes, his apology was “fake as hell.” Juan says he only apologized for Pao’s sake, and he will “never, never, never” be friends with Russ. Juan is on his best behavior for the rest of the night, restricting himself to needling Russ about being unemployed and taunting him about Pao’s “career” as a model. If Paola really wants her marriage to work, she should tell Juan to shut the fuck up, and if he wants to be her friend, he’ll respect her husband and her marriage. But she knows her marriage is doomed, and Juan will be there long after Russ is gone, so she says nothing.

On the way out Juan says he’ll continue to bother them and stress them out until they get to the point where they realize they’re just too different and call it quits. Score one for the snarky little bitch.

Loren and Alexei

Post Tourette’s revelation, Alexei and Loren are at the airport to pick up his mother, who is arriving from Israel. Both of them are worried about telling his mom that Tourette’s is hereditary, unlike what Loren’s father told her. She and Alexei are so happy to see each other! Alexei is hoping that his family will consider moving to the US, and his mom, Natasha, is interested to see how her son lives and what life in America is like.

Loren, Alexei and Natasha set off to meet Loren’s mom for a boat tour around Miami. In true Loren style, she wants to wine and dine Natasha and show her only the pretty, shiny parts of Florida to induce her to move there, while keeping the not-so-pretty parts a secret. Natasha speaks Russian, Ukranian and Hebrew–impressive!–so Loren feels left out on the ride to the boat. Loren’s been married to an Israeli for over a year–maybe she could learn Hebrew. Just a thought. Loren greets her mom and prepares to ask her why her parents never told her that Tourette’s is hereditary.

Natasha is enjoying the boat ride and can see herself living in Florida one day. Loren takes her mother aside and asks her THE question. Loren’s mother’s response is despicable, but a giant Palladian window into why Loren is the way she is. She weasels out of keeping this major piece of information from her daughter by saying Tourette’s is not hereditary because passing it down to one’s children is not a 100% sure thing. Loren agrees that there is only a 50% chance of passing it down. Her mother says, “or not.” The mother reasons that since Loren cannot be sure her children will have Tourette’s she shouldn’t worry about it, and she shouldn’t tell Natasha about it either, because why make someone worry about something that might never happen?. Is Loren’s mother the Mad Hatter? It’s like she’s saying the possibility doesn’t exist until the reality exists. No wonder Loren is always sugarcoating and equivocating. No wonder her logic is flawed. Poor Loren. I take back every bad thing I ever said about her.

Of course Loren tried to avoid it as long as she could, but the time has come to tell Natasha about the Tourette’s. She says the news is serious and unpleasant, and wonders why Loren’s father told them it wasn’t hereditary. Loren’s parents have put her in a terrible position, and she runs into the bathroom in tears, crying that “it’s too hard.” Alexei comes in to comfort her, and he translates while she tells Natasha, in her own words, how she feels. Since her parents never told her it could be passed down (there is a question about why she didn’t research her condition herself, or discuss it more thoroughly with her doctors, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt), she never thought about giving it to her children. And while she hopes that doesn’t happen, if it does, she’ll be there to help them through it.

Natasha, who is awesome, says that every family has its difficulties, but with love and understanding they’ll get through it. Awww! *sniff*

Jorge and Anfisa

Jorge is meeting Anfisa at the attorneys’ office for another go-round over the post-nuptial agreement. On the way he calls his sister Lourdes to make plans to meet for dinner that night. He’s not going to tell Anfisa about it because Anfisa and Lourdes don’t get along–go figure. He hasn’t seen Lourdes in a long time and is looking forward to catching up with her. Jorge and Anfisa don’t even make it out of the attorney’s waiting room before he crumbles and tells Anfisa “we’re” meeting Lourdes tonight. Anfisa of course flips out and throws a punch at him, which he blocks. She storms out of the office, leaving Jorge no choice but to follow her, shoulders slumped in defeat. In the hallway, Anfisa rips her microphone off and refuses to continue filming. She and Jorge drive away, the picture of domestic bliss.

Anfisa thinks that Jorge should stick up for her instead of his sisters, and accompanies Jorge to meet Lourdes so she can confront her talk to her face to face. Lourdes is unhappily surprised to see her. It’s been nine months since Lourdes has seen Jorge, and she wonders what’s been going on with him. Jorge mumbles a vague answer before Anfisa and Lourdes get into it. Anfisa doesn’t want Jorge to see his sisters because they think she’s a whore who married Jorge for money and treats him like shit. Lourdes says they drew conclusions about her because they don’t know her (and because she’s a whore who married Jorge for money and treats him like shit).

Anfisa is pissed that Jorge tells her she needs to make an effort with his family, and wonders why Jorge would want to be around people that “talk shit” about his wife. Umm, because they’re his family. Lourdes is never going to win this one. She is a rational, reasonable human being who is genuinely concerned for her brother’s welfare. She’s no match for Anfisa, who stonily rebuts every one of her arguments with her peculiar but unshakable brand of logic, until Lourdes loses her cool and accuses her of only “spreading her legs” for Jorge when he has money. At that, Anfisa gets up to go and Lourdes calls her a little girl who solves her problems by walking away. They exchange a few more words, then Anfisa turns to leave and Jorge, like a beaten dog, follows her. Lourdes is upset that this girl has alienated Jorge from his family and vows to not let her destroy him.

Danielle and Mohamed

Danielle goes to meet with a lawyer to discuss the annulment. Again.

Mohamed is concerned about his immigration status given the current political climate in the US, so he meets with his Russian friend to get some advice. She tells him he’s right to be concerned, because he can be deported for any little thing. This scares Mohamed, but also motivates him to nail Danielle to the wall if she goes forward with the annulment. Mohamed might have a shot here, because Danielle’s rap sheet is about a mile long.

Chantal and Pedro

Chantal returns from her bachelorette party and there is some mild drama over Pedro not being able to get a hold of her before they both dissolve into giggles over one of her sex toy gifts. Chantal thinks he needs to stop being so controlling overprotective and trust her.

Pedro and Chantal go shopping for a ring. Pedro is comfortable spending around $500-$700 on a ring, but that’s not going to fly with Chantal. His gaming system cost $2,500, so he should be fine with buying her the ring of her dreams. She falls in love with a ring that will cost Pedro $4,000 out the door. He applies for credit and is denied because as an immigrant, he hasn’t established any credit. Chantal isn’t thrilled, but she understands, and applies for the credit on her own. Chantal is a good sport, laughing about the fact that she’s buying her own wedding ring.

Pedro Facetimes his mother, who is living in a new apartment that Pedro is helping her pay for. This is news to Chantal–while she and Pedro are living in a studio, his mother is living large, and has the nerve to rattle off a list of things she needs Pedro’s money to buy. Chantal knew Pedro was sending money to help his family out, but she had no idea how much he was sending. She’s not happy.