Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×19, originally aired April 2, 2014:
In “Crazy,” Maddie’s secret is finally out in the open and it isn’t good for anyone. The aftermath of Maddie posting her singing video (even though she took it down as fast as possible) with the name “Maddie Claybourne” on it is crazy. Yes, even more insane than when Juliette slept with a married man (*cough* Charlie Wentworth *cough*). The press has taken the Rayna Jaymes’ love child story and run with it. The only way to fix it? Tell the truth!
As Rayna tries to find Deacon, in order to present a united front, Juliette tries to get back on country radio. She turns to Charlie Wentworth to help her, but only after Avery gives her his blessing. Charlie of course kisses Juliette, but she shuts him down. Yay, Juliette! Unfortunately, Charlie doesn’t take no for an answer; he shows up at Juliette’s concert and tells Avery he hasn’t won yet. Yikes.
In the music realm, Gunnar gets his first royalty check—and it’s a big one! In order to celebrate, he pays for Zoey to finally have a real demo. This sets Zoey up with the tools she needs to become a real backup singer. The good news: Zoey can actually present herself to record labels and have a good chance at booking a gig. The bad news: She wants to go to Los Angeles for a better shot at singing. Poor Gunnar, always getting left in the dust. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×18, originally aired Wednesday, March 26, 2014:
“Your Wild Life’s Gonna Get You Down” is full of Nashville drama … and not the good kind. As a result of Juliette coming onto the Highway 65 label, Rayna’s single is failing on the charts. In order to try (without very much success) to fix the problem, Rayna sends Scarlett on Juliette’s tour. Avery also joins the tour to work on Scarlett’s album. Juliette is not a fan of this plan, at all.
Juliette is continuing to rebuild her image and works her butt off on stage this week. She gets jealous of Avery working so closely with Scarlett, of course, and yells at Scarlett for not performing to her standards. Scarlett sticks to her guns and decides to perform a soft ballad (which is beautiful), even after Juliette threatens her. In the end, Juliette talks it out with Avery and admits that she trusts him but she is scared of their relationship. Aw, Juliette just loves him so much!
Scarlett freaks out when Juliette comes to talk to her after their Seattle concert. Juliette tells Scarlett that she won’t let her leave the tour because she has talent. Unfortunately, Scarlett continues to use drugs as a crutch and Juliette is starting to notice (or at least suspect it). It’s only a matter of time until Scarlett loses all control. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×17, originally aired Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
“We’ve Got Things To Do” is all about the music collaborations, deals and dilemmas. As Rayna is continuing to build up Highway 65, things are getting wild in the rest of the music world. Zoey tries her hand at back up singing and auditions for a tour, but she doesn’t get it. Gunnar is trying to accept the fact that their band isn’t really happening, while Avery is struggling with what to do next with his career.
In bigger news, Juliette gets more and more upset throughout the episode, after Rayna decides to keep their signing deal a secret for a little while. The secret doesn’t last long, obviously, because Juliette snaps and announces that she’s the newest member of Highway 65. Rayna gets upset, but manages to fix it (at least a little bit) and performs with Juliette at the Opry. The song is really good and I just love Rayna’s motherly guidance and belief in Juliette … even when Juliette loses her cool.
In case you missed the last episode of Nashville, Megan and Teddy slept together and now they’re trying to live with the guilt (at least Megan is). Teddy has no shame and follows Megan the whole episode trying to hook up with her again. Megan stays strong, but has yet to tell Deacon about the horrible mistake she made. Deacon is going to be heartbroken and might even try and kill Teddy (unlikely but I’m sure he will get in a few good punches). read more…
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×23, originally aired Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The season finale is upon us! I, for one, am not ready to say goodbye to the brilliant insanity that has been season four of PLL. So let’s relive the penultimate episode before tonight, when we bid the PLLs farewell until the summer…
We open with a little flashforward action: Spencer in a wedding gown proving that veils are super annoying and only trip you up. She stops and we hear the clink-clank of a bear trap.
Back up 48 hours and the girls are having a pow-wow at The Grille: Spencer’s feeling guilty, Hanna’s feeling hungry, and they aren’t sure that Mrs. D is A. (And of course someone seems to be watching them through the window.) Spencer and Emily see Jason DiLaurentis, and he full-on ignores them. They go to chase him in Spence’s car, but it’s stuck. Just the usual car trouble: a strip of photos of a blonde girl, her face blacked out, and a message scrawled on for good measure: You know me, Spencer. You killed me.
On the phone with her mother, Aria gets an earful about her hotel partying and then, surprise! Ella is back!
At the Hastings household, Dean is still hanging out, and he wants to accompany Spence to talk to Jason and he wants more of her urine. Sobriety coaches are so demanding! Hanna’s mom is deep into planning the bridal charity party, and Han is in anti-Mrs. D mode.
Paige and Emily have a chat: Paige was dodging Em’s calls while she was visiting her grandparents, and Emily is in no-nonsense mode. (“All grandparents are old.”) Emily thinks that Paige is after revenge on Alison. I love it when Em’s mad.
Hanna wears her sparkliest jacket whilst talking to library-assistant Travis. He brushes off her attempt to make up for the epic date fail the other night. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×16, originally aired Wednesday, March 5, 2014:
Record deals, hookups, and feuds! This week’s episode of Nashville is nothing short of exciting. The episode begins with Juliette being pursued by numerous record labels. On the bright side: the music world hasn’t totally forgotten about her. The downside: every label that wants her would want to change her, and no Nashville labels want her at all—yikes.
While out to dinner with Avery, Jeff from Edgehill sends over a bottle of champagne, which Juliette rejects (obviously). Later on, Jeff officially makes her an offer to come back to Edgehill. He even throws in a deal for Avery to produce the record. Very enticing, but Jeff is a total jerk, which would never end well when it comes to Juliette’s music.
Avery’s storyline this week is bigger than ever. When it comes to his relationship with Juliette, things are going well until it becomes obvious that she always wants to pay the bill and “help” him. While she is considering the offer from Jeff, Avery freaks out because Jeff has no respect for her. Plus, Avery doesn’t want a handout when it comes to music. Luckily, Juliette turns down the deal with Edgehill because her relationship with Avery is more important. Seriously, I love this couple! read more…
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×22, originally aired Tuesday, March 4, 2014:
On the PLL Insanity Scale, “Cover for Me” ranks lower than the previous installments, but it’s a much-needed reprieve from the WTF/OMG/etc. of it all. Sometimes you just need to catch your breath with a fling in Syracuse, you know?
Spencer unpacks a million sweaters from a three-day stint in rehab, and she’s grumpy with her mother who demonstrates the patience of a saint. Irritable from kicking her drug habit, Spencer is also having flashbacks (audio! visual!) of the night Ali disappeared—chasing her with a shovel, the usual. Meanwhile, Aria is at a frat house, drunk, necking with a surprisingly handsome rock’n’roll college boy. (Side note: for a more realistic try-to-pick-up-at-a-frat-party plot, plz watch the latest Parenthood episode.)
The next morning, Spence finds her mother in the kitchen with “Dean Stavros” (whom she must’ve invited into the house): he’s a sober coach, Spencer isn’t going back to school, and she’s not allowed to have her cell or laptop or contact with her friends or BF. Best line: Dean hands her a urine sample cup, and Spencer says, “I will go upstairs and fill this with my dignity.”
Looking stylishly hungover, Aria calls Emily: she’s at Syracuse with her dad, pretending to check out the college. Enter Hot Guy from the Party, aka Riley, who wants to ditch the student tour and grab killer pancakes. At school, Emily and Hanna witness a fight between Mike and Mona, along with some significant glances between Mona and Fitz. Hanna can’t be in the same room as Fitz, and Emily’s pissed. She confronts him with the best death-glare of all time, and then dresses him down for betraying her: “Will you make sure a real teacher gets this?” Boom. read more…
Read on for Johnni’s recap of Nashville episode 2×15, originally aired Wednesday, February 26, 2014:
Nashville is back and, as you may have guessed, Lamar is dead! This week’s episode is all about death and how it affects Rayna and her family, and it’s a good one. Plus, there’s lots of music!
After discovering that her father is dead, Rayna puts her bitch armor up and refuses to let it down. She doesn’t cry or talk to her sister, and she barely even speaks when it comes to the funeral. Her father’s death brings out the worst qualities in Rayna, but who would blame her? Her father lied about her mother’s death and their last words were hurtful and depressing—yikes.
As Rayna is trying to be strong, Scarlett is continuing her musical journey with Liam. Her album is coming along great, which is awesome, but her relationships with her family and friends are almost nonexistent—not cool. After a night out with Liam, he tries to kiss her, but Scarlett turns him down. Score one for Scarlett! Unfortunately Scarlett has a change of heart after she sees her friends moving on and kisses Liam in the recording studio. This is not a good idea in any way and let’s face it, Rayna is not going to be okay with this. read more…
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×21, originally aired Tuesday, February 25, 2014:
It’s official: we’re in the season-finale lead-up insanity! This episode is hardcore. I have to applaud the writers for going there with the Aria-Fitz relationship; this fallout is serious and irreversible, and a turning point for Aria and the major romantic cornerstone of the series. I love this kind of shake-up four seasons in—the stakes are so high, we’re all so deeply invested in the Aria-Fitz dynamic (whether we ship them or not), and to see Aria go through this total freak-out is amazing. And so majorly justified, given the situation. And there was so much more in this episode! To the recap!
The girls gather at Aria’s to hear the Fitz story, and while Aria doesn’t think that Fitz tried to kill Alison or that he’s A, she’s pissed. And Ezra’s theory is that one of the girls killed Ali. Lucy Hale does an amazing job here, looking simultaneously broken and blazing with fiery rage, tears escaping. Emily asks the question: how could he not help Aria, knowing about A? And Aria says it’s simple: he never really loved her. (Shippers, are you OK out there?) The next morning, Aria flashes back to when she first met Fitz (and they both look so young!), and the memory makes her literally sick.
At Casa Hastings, Spencer awakens to her parents—both parents in the same room!—ready to ship her off to rehab. Spence argues, successfully, for one more chance to kick the pills herself.
At school, jumpsuited Hanna finds out that Travis’s dad is on trial for the Thing With Wilden. She feels guilty even though Travis insists it was his own decision that got her mom out of hot water and his dad into it. Emily reveals that she got a call from Shana: urgent money-drop for Ali required after school!
In a skull-print top, Aria arrives at school looking a little bit crazy and marches straight to his classroom; the girls try to stop her, but there’s no need to. The “liar and the coward” Mr. Fitz took time off for a family emergency. After freaking out, Aria agrees to let Emily take her home.
Wearing the Scrabble-piece necklace (aw!), Spence drops by Toby’s with apology cronuts. He declares them “disgusting” in a really charming way, and tells Spence she looks like crap in a really caring way. Also his hair looks good in this scene—not so much later (spoiler alert!).
Paige gives Emily a hard time about never seeing her and spies the envelope of cash in her purse. Em lies about it, but Paige doesn’t buy it.
Aria goes to Fitz’s apartment but he ain’t home. So she does the logical thing: engages in a massive snoop-and-destroy mission that is just the absolute best. [Editor's Note: THE ABSOLUTE BEST.] This has gotta be my favorite Aria sequence of all time. And she finds so much stuff. Including a diary where Fitz made notes about the secrets that Aria revealed to him—it’s a day-by-day chronicle of his lies and betrayal. So Aria smashes all the things. (Hanna would’ve torched the place.)
Hanna tries to convince Officer Handsome not to testify against Travis’s dad, and it seems like he’s not swayed.
At school, Spence finds a bottle of pills from A in her locker, and Emily lets her keep them (C’mon Emily!). The girls realize Aria isn’t at home, and they head to Fitz’s apartment where they find her in a little ball, like a tiny sad peanut. Heartbreaking. The girls get Aria out of there, but Spencer wants to collect a few clues. (I’m with ya, Spence—valuable info all over the place there!)
At the post office in Some Other Town, Emily very obviously puts a pile of cash into the envelope, while someone watches on. It’s Paige! Her girlfriend followed her there, thinking A is making her do something again. Paige snatches the envelope and refuses to return it until Em spills her secret. She does. Paige is anti-Ali, calling her manipulative and sick and threatening to expose her secret to Ali’s family or to the cops. The two have it out, and I’m sorry I am 100% on Emily’s side here. I don’t like ultimatums either. Emily’s coldness to Paige? Totally justified in my book. Paige dropping a note in the cop car? Terrible move!
At the courthouse, Hanna finds out that Travis’s dad got a really light sentence thanks to Officer Handsome. Hanna and Travis have a nice/slightly awkward moment.
Withdrawal-Symptom Spencer goes through the clues she collected at Fitz’s, finding a business card for a P.I. that Fitz suspects was hired to follow her. Feeling too crappy to resist, she takes more pills. No, Spencer, no! Spencer later finds a note from Ezra detailing how both CeCe and Mrs. DiLaurentis witnessed Spencer and Ali’s fight the night she disappeared. Spencer confronts her dad: does he think that she had something to do with Ali’s murder? He avoids answering and she feels crazy.
With Hanna, Aria burns the pages of Fitz’s diary, feeling awful and guilty. [Editor's Note: Hanna and The Destruction of Evidence is my OTP!] Hanna leaves for something to eat, and runs into Officer Handsome who compliments her for always helping her friends. She counters with a compliment of her own, and then totally surprise kisses him. Ha ha, Hanna, never change. They’re flustered and awkward and she jets.
Spencer ditches Toby and heads to Mrs. DiLaurentis’s to ask her if she thinks Spence hurt Ali. Spence is on the edge, grabbing her and yelling. Spencer returns home to find Toby and her parents waiting for her; instead of accepting the offer of help, she retreats to her room where she quietly cries.
Aria finds a letter: Fitz has a book deal for the Ali/PLL story, and he’s meeting with his agent right this second. Not to be outdone in the crazy department, Aria speed-walks to the principal’s house to tell him everything about her relationship with Ezra. Hanna wants her to be clear about what will happen if she spills her secret: Ezra would go to jail, Aria and her family would be affected too, the secret splashed all over the Rosewood newspapers. Aria decides not to tell, and then freaks out on her: she wants to be left alone. Hanna obliges. Emily shows up at Aria’s to find her packing. Aria pushes away Emily’s help and leaves, no destination in mind.
Sad times in Rosewood!
- How did Fitz get the Grunwald tape?
- Who should Hanna date: Travis or Officer Handsome or No One, since everyone is a sneaky liar on this show? [Editor's Note: No one because Hanna is too busy destroying evidence to date! My OTP 4eva!]
- Was Paige right to give Emily an ultimatum or to leak the info that Ali’s alive to the police? Will Emily ever forgive her when/if she finds out?
- Did Emily look even more like an insanely gorgeous supermodel than usual in this episode?
- Will Ali get the money?
- On a scale of 1 to infinity, how evil do you think Ezra is?
- Will Aria change her mind about reporting Ezra? Where is she headed?
- Will Ali return to Rosewood before the season ends?
Happy Oscar Sunday! It’s the 86th annual Academy Awards today, and what better way to celebrate than to talk movies? My friend Kyle joined me on Friday night to discuss the Oscar nominees that we’ve seen. Update: Kyle has now seen Dallas Buyers Club and loved it, and I am about to put Nebraska in the DVD player as soon as I push publish on this post. You can listen to the podcast on the player below, or download the MP3. Also, you might want to consider subscribing on iTunes. Enjoy! And let us know your thoughts in the comments! (Fingers crossed for Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o!)
Read on for Crissy’s recap of Pretty Little Liars episode 4×20, originally aired Tuesday, February 18, 2014:
The moral of this week’s PLL is never trust anyone, and being a pill addict really undermines your credibility when it comes to conspiracy theories about diabolical tormentors. Spencer is in a tough spot right now; her secret is out not only to the girls, but to her mom and Toby–mostly thanks to that meddling writer/liar Ezra Fitz.
I loved the opening scene in this episode: Spencer wakes up with her head on Fitz’s desk in her pajamas and robe, shoeless. Before she can get her bearings or get out of there, in walks Mr. Fitz with some vaguely threatening/vaguely caring-teacher type words for her. She bails and meets up with Emily and Hanna in the girls restroom (aka PLL headquarters). More important that deciding when to tell Aria about Fitz is Spencer’s gym locker outfit. “Did you have an accident?” Spencer wants to tell Aria right away, while Emily cautions that the big talk will be difficult.
Fitz intercepts Aria in the hall and spills the beans: Spencer’s on drugs. He gives Aria Spencer’s confidential school file to prove that she has a history of pill problems. Spencer emerges from school wearing Hanna’s Popsicle shirt (best!) and has lunch with Toby. (Well, she picks at a salad and avoids making plans.) He explains why he took the settlement from Radley. Hanna stress-eats Emily’s string cheese, and the girls prepare for things to get ugly with Aria. Aria lands at the table and tells them that Spencer is strung out! read more…