What a time to be alive.
Sundays were already nuts between Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks but now, Rick and Morty is back as well. I have a hard time on Sundays because as much as I love Thrones, I've been a huge Twin Peaks fan since I was too young to watch the original series and was left with nothing but an air of mystery around it. Then I got older and watched it through the first time and I just ended up left with a different set of questions entirely. Because Thrones is more likely to get spoiled for me by pretty much everyone, everywhere, Kat and I watch it when it airs and then catch up on Twin Peaks the next day. I know it's Wednesday and that was nearly three days ago but being the first in the series, I at least wanted to make sure I got it out there. I'm sure this could be considered late in the blogging world but Wednesday is blog day and I have a writing schedule to keep. Hopefully it gives everyone time to catch up on the episodes before I start blurting shit out. Next week should be more on time. So let's get to it and, for those of you that don't read titles, here be SPOILERS. At your own peril and such.
Game of Thrones
This season's already moving really quick. I know that the quickened pace is bothering some viewers but I think that a lot of the extra fat has been slowing getting trimmed out with each new season. I feel like they have finally reached a point where the balancing act between gratuity and narrative has ended and we're now full speed ahead on prioritizing the story.
When Jon and Dany finally came face to face I found it not only as weighty and intense as I'd hoped but it carved out some great moments for both Tyrion and, one of my favorites, Sir Davos. Jon is the underdog hereand while Tyrion did a good job of helping him along while also making sure he was doing his duty as Hand to the Queen. Davos also gets major props for making sure Jon didn't just do his humble brooding thing through the conversation. He put some power behind him and Jon didn't take any of Dany's bullshit. I did make a sad face after he cut Davos off when he nearly mentions him having died. Own it, Jon. Own it. Missandei, despite having little dialogue, had some great moments as well courtesy of Nathalie Emmanuel's brilliant subtlety. The tension between Dany and Jon was beautifully handled and almost cute but when Dani said that she was the last Targaryen, I nearly died. Because, just no, your Grace. I'm sorry but that's hilarious. If either of you only knew. I'm also intrigued by the conversation between Melisandre and Varys.
Theon. Dude... I just can't yet. That's a bit of heartbreak and frustration I won't be ready to handle until I see more of where they're going with it. I would never expect him to be rid of Reek so easily but it still hurts to see him return like that.
There was a bunch of Cersei being Cersei and Lena doing what she does best. "The thought of this lovely face cracking open like a duck egg." Shit gave me chills. Plus, Uncle Greyjoy being a dick to Jamie. #funnynotfunny #sorrynotsorry
I feel like Bran coming home stoned on Three Eyed Raven-ness and confusing the shit out of Sansa moved too quickly. I would have liked there to be more of that but winter is here, the end is nigh, and all that.
Inevitably Jon got permission to mine the dragon glass and awesomely, Ser Jorah is on his way back into the fold. Jamie did a number on Grey Worm and his boys without even being there.
But Holy Shit did Lady Olenna own the episode. The amount of Lady Olenna thug life memes being made in the last few days could have, theoretically, broken the internet. And Jamie's face was absolutely priceless.
All in all, it was a magnificent episode and I'm glad that the writers can now trim the fat and go full steam ahead toward whatever kind of ending we're in store for.
I know a lot of people, old fans and newcomers alike, are feeling a bit frustrated with this show at times. I think part the misunderstanding lies in the belief that The Return was about us, as viewers, returning to Twin Peaks. I believe that, in reality, The Return refers to Cooper. This is about his return to the world. Twenty-five years trapped in the Black Lodge was not going to end by walking through a door. It could have. It almost did. But The Arm's doppelgänger stopped him from walking through the curtains near where his own doppelgänger was driving and prevented that transition from going over so smoothly. Cooper had to take the long way out and because doppelgänger Coop manufactured Dougie to sabotage his return, we're now watching Coop trying to dig his way out of his own trauma.
I'm not going to lie. I'm enjoying it. Every sip of coffee or bite of pie. Every weird turn of phrase that lights up his eyes puts Kat and I on edge wondering if it will be the thing he needs to return completely but we are loving watching the struggle. And on the sides of that we've got Hawk and Truman unknowingly working parallel with Gordon and Albert to help him get back. There's also plenty of craziness happening to keep Coop's eccentric and mysterious investigative techniques busy for some time once he does. He is a deputy in Twin Peaks, after all.
My favorite moment of this weeks episode was with Laura's mom in the grocery store and how far reaching and long lasting the effects of those original events are. I feel so much love for that woman for what she went through and sadness for what it's done to her. Hugs, Mrs. Palmer. Big, squeezy hugs.
I know there are some things that are really frustrating people. Long pauses and lingering shots. I think the other part of the misunderstanding is that a lot of people don't realize that in context of David Lynch's entire body of work, the original series was the outlier. It was unconventional for him in that it was still fairly straight forward. The Return is much more in keeping with what a lot of us expect from him. It is eccentric and weird and sometimes lingering, but so is the world around us. We're just not used to it happening on film. Some of it is meant to grind on you and some of it is meant to put you in the shoes of the people that are apart of it. Albert was just as frustrated as we were that it took her so long to leave the room. We don't mind it. If we wanted linear, normal crime procedural, we wouldn't be Twin Peaks fans and we'd be watching one of those every week. I want to say that we should allow Lynch his indulgences but he doesn't need our permission. He's David Fucking Lynch and he does what he wants.
I fully expect this season to end at eighteen episodes, with Coop finally making it back to the world and a new mystery ready for him to tackle for next season. That really wouldn't bother me a bit. It's like an eighteen-hour movie and when I think about it, it feels like it has the narrative structure of a novel, with each episode being a chapter of it.
I've loved this world since the first time I saw that first episode and I love The Return just as much.
Rick and Morty
I don't really have a lot to say about this episode but, holy hell, is it good to have Rick and Morty back. I can't think of any better way to cap off a night of drama, suspense, and mind fuckery than interdimensional portals, domesticated cannibals, mom-sitting androids, and the wind and feral dogs giving Jerry shit for being a loser. The episode was nuts.
I feel like we're going to be dealing a bit more with the consequences of Rick's adventures and how he handles them. Morty very specifically showed Summer the stuff he leaves behind and made a point to acknowledge that Rick had no qualms abandoning his own version of her to the Cronnenberged world. Rick always makes a really big point of making sure they know how he only half ass gives a damn and I think it's bullshit. I think he has some messes to clean up. I'm assuming most of the other Ricks, and their respective Mortys, were killed in the slaughter on the Citadel of Ricks and if he was special - the most "Rick" of all of them - then now would be the best time to do that. The one Rick council member that used summer as a human shield during the standoff, the one in which Morty definitely saw the note on the gun, did say it was because he cares too much.
But Rick dropping a death truck into the garage and Automaton-Morty's "My sister died in the spaghetti" line were the highlights for me. The whole episode was really perfect as expected and the wait has definitely been worth it. Even if I'm wrong about all of this, it's still going to be ridiculous as hell.
So that's all. It's a lot but the first pass was way longer. All I know is that after a long week of crazy reality, it's good to have some escapism to look forward to.
I'll have another, hopefully shorter one next week that follows closer behind the actual episodes so I can save Wednesday for a regular post.