American Horror Story Recap S4E7: Test of Strength

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E7: Test of Strength

Original Airdate: November 19, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Jimmy is at Dandy’s house and he knows that something is wrong.  The twins are there eating ice cream and Dandy and Gloria show him that they are not being held hostage.    Gloria adds that they paid good money for them.  Bette says that Jimmy lied about being the hero.  Dandy is the one who killed the clown.  Jimmy flashes back and realizes that Dandy was the clown trying to saw the twins in half.  Jimmy tells the girls that they aren’t safe there, and that they have to leave.  Dandy makes the mistake of mentioning that he knows Dot wants to have surgery, but that was something she only mentioned in her diary.  She becomes upset when he boasts that he read their diaries, because there will be no secrets between them.  He pleads with Bette to stay with him, but Dot tells her sister that there is something undeniably wrong with Dandy.  The trio leaves, and Dandy stares at them in a horror-filled rage.

Jimmy tests the microphone as Eve starts playing the bass to Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.”  He jumps into the song while Elsa sits in the audience and watches.  We see Penny caring for Paul in his tent.  We also see Dell in the bar asking about Andy.  He hasn’t been seen since the last time Dell had been there.  When the bartender says that you should never fall in love with a hustler, Dell loses his temper and smashes his far into the bar.  When Jimmy finishes the song, Elsa starts to give him feedback and Jimmy says that he isn’t changing the story.  Jimmy tells her that she was a liar, and all of the freaks know that she lied about the twins.  Elsa denies any wrongdoing, saying that the twins ran away.  But Dot and Bette are behind her, and Elsa is shocked to see them. Dot tells a different story, though, silencing her sister so that she can trick Elsa into welcoming them back to the show.  She says that Elsa helped them to experience the finer things in life, but the show is their home and that’s where they want to be.  Elsa is forced to graciously welcome them back or else she will look the fool in front of her performers.

Desiree helps Ethel walk up the walkway to the doctor’s office.  They exchange friendly banter about their surgeries when they see a sign saying “closed for business.”  They’re shocked.  Inside the office, the doctor’s daughter is packing his belongings because the doctor killed himself.  She blames them for what he did.  She says his beliefs were challenged and so he smashed his hands before shooting himself.  Neither woman can believe the story, but the daughter threatens to call the police if they don’t leave.  “Get out, you freaks!” she screams.

Stanley is practicing his skill at the strength meter game.  He manages to swing the mallet enough to register, and yet he can’t get halfway up.  Dell walks by and Stanley tells him that he feels like a fairy today.  Stanley teases him about not being able to “get it up.”  When Dell threatens him, Stanley says that he saw him at the gay bar, and so did other people. Dell is about to take a swing at him when Maggie interrupts and points out that Dell might hit Stanley if he isn’t careful.  Stanley is a master at manipulation, of course, and he planned to have Maggie around as a witness.  He takes Dell into the tent and says that Dell has what he wants: no moral code, strength, and that he must do everything Stanley says.  Stanley pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him in the nuts if he doesn’t obey.  He needs one of the freaks, dead, but clean.  Dell doesn’t want to kill one of his own, but clearly he has no choice.  He has a day to get the job done.

Jimmy and Maggie are in bed together in their underwear.  He’s upset that the twins changed their story and made him look foolish.  She says that they changed their minds. Jimmy says he will leave with Maggie, but he wants to figure out who the other clown was.  He wonders if Maggie would recognize Dandy’s voice.  She thinks he’s stalling, that he doesn’t want to leave.

Outside, Dell pours chloroform on a towel and goes to Eve’s tent.  He tries to knock her out while she’s sleeping but she wakes up and beats the shit out of him, to the point that he cries uncle.  She throws him out of her tent.  “Who’s the strong man now?” she taunts as he lies on the ground, beaten and bloody.

Eve tells Ethel what happened to her. Jimmy is furious and wants to go to the cops, but Ethel says that they can’t go to the police.  They need to kill him.  Suzi and Eve remind him that he would be at his door with a gun if he’d attacked Maggie.  Ethel tells Jimmy that they need to remember that hope doesn’t exist for them.  They have to survive, and no one will take care of them but themselves.  He can’t get away with it.  “We can’t let the degenerate prick win,” she sobs.  Jimmy says he can handle Dell.  “You handle him, or we will,” she says.

Dell is teasing two men about the game, and the fact that neither one can ring the bell.  Jimmy walks up and says that he wants to talk “man to man.”  Pompous Dell tells him to let him know when the other man arrives.  Dell wants to go into town, and Jimmy can buy him a drink.  Then they’ll talk.  Stanley gives a nod of approval to Dell.

Elsa asks the twins what they’re after.  Bette drinks her drink while Elsa bemoans the fact that they have a Hollywood show.  Bette is doing all the talking now.  They don’t trust Stanley.  With Dot’s approval, Bette says that she wants to be a comedian, and she’ll perform between songs.  And they want 20% of the take.  Elsa prods Dot, who says she wants 50% of the box office.  And they want the money Elsa got from Gloria.  Elsa is in deep trouble now.

At the bar, Dell and Jimmy drink cheap liquor.  Dell wants another drink but Jimmy isn’t a big drinker.  He tells Dell that the women want to string him up by the balls.  Dell tries to say that he tried to talk to Eve about doing an act, but she smashed him up.  Dell tells Jimmy to take another drink.  Jimmy tells Dell that he has to get serious because the women are going to mess him up. Jimmy couldn’t care less either way, but the show has had enough trouble this year.  As Jimmy drinks, he starts talking to Dell about how nice it is to be out in the world.  One year they missed their Tampa booking and stayed in the snow.  It was freezing.  He killed a rabbit and made a coat for Ma Petite.  He enjoyed the cold because he could wear his gloves like every other guy.  Dell tells him to take the gloves off.  He tells Jimmy that if anyone looks at him funny he’ll break his skull.  “Unless it’s a girl, right?” Jimmy asks.  Both men start laughing.  Outside, Jimmy is puking when Dell almost clocks him with a brick.  Jimmy says that he knows who Dell is.  He has always known.  The famous Toledo Lobster Clan.  He knows Dell is his father.  Jimmy wants to hear Dell say that he’s his father.  He begs him.  Dell nods slowly.  “Yes, son, it’s true,” Dell says.  They hug it out, and you can see the fear in Dell’s eyes as he realizes the predicament he’s in.  He pulls Jimmy against him and helps him home.

It’s dawn when they get back.  They’re both singing.  Elsa tells them they’re drunk and she won’t allow them to wake everyone up.  Desiree tells Jimmy that it’s not too late to make something of his life.  Dell admits that Jimmy is his son.  Elsa tells him that it must be courageous to admit such a thing after 24 years.  Dell tells his son the Toledo Family code, that once you let a woman tell you what to do, you’re handing your balls over.  “I want to keep my balls,” Jimmy proclaims drunkenly.  Jimmy tells Elsa that they aren’t going to let her boss them around anymore.  They stagger off together, laughing at making noise. Dell puts his son to bed, and Jimmy says “Goodnight, Dad.”  Dell is floored.  Stanley is outside the trailer.  He tells Dell that he’s trying his patience.

Penny returns home and her father asks if she was at the camp again “with him.”  She says she’s going back and that he’ll have to kill her to stop her.  She taunts him and says that he’s too vain.  He says that he can make it so that no one will believe she is part of his family.  He figured she’d be leaving, so he invited his friend Morris to the house.  Morris is covered in tattoos.

Bette is now platinum blonde.  Dot says she looks like their mother.  Bette thinks she looks like Eve Arden.  The hairdresser has worked on people with two chins, but never two heads.  Bette proposes a new act—the metamorphosis, where the caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  Elsa passes Dot a letter.

The letter, from Elsa, notes that she didn’t say much during their negotiation. She questions what the money is for.  They must work together, the note says.  Whatever it is that she wants, Elsa will help her to get.

Pepper comes into Elsa’s tent with a note.  She sends her off for another drink.  The note tells Elsa that she wants something.  She wants the doctor in Chicago to separate them.  She needs help finding him, and her secret is safe if Elsa helps her.

Penny’s dad watches as Morris finishes his work.  She wakes up and cries that it hurts.  He stands over her and shows her a mirror.  He has had her entire face tattooed, and her tongue is forked.  She screams.

Elsa dines with Stanley.  He comments on her lack of appetite.  She wants to talk about a problem, that the twins are back and dedicated to destroying her.  Elsa says Dot wants to have the operation.  She needs Stanley to find the doctor in Chicago, and then they can be separated.  Stanley steals Elsa’s steak and proposes a mercy killing to end their suffering.  Ethel hears the whole conversation, and she doesn’t like what she heard.  You can see that the wheels are turning in Elsa’s head.  She says she has heard about managers who would kill for their clients, and now she has one.

Dell goes into Ma Petite’s bedchamber with a box.  She opens it and sees a beautiful dress.  She goes to try it on while he waits.  She looks gorgeous.  She needs his help with the zipper.  He says that she looks like a little princess.  He hugs her and smothers her in the process, twisting her neck just enough to kill her and not ruin her body.  “I’m sorry,” he whispers.

Paul wakes up when he hears a noise in his tent.  Penny walks through the darkness and into the light.  When Paul sees her, he hugs her and says that this is all his fault.

There’s a party at the museum.  Madame Curator says that they have a new gift.  It’s a very rare specimen that they believe will bring thousands of visitors.  She pulls the veil off to reveal Ma Petite’s body in a jar.  She’s wearing the purple dress that she died in.

Well.  Ma Petite is dead, Paul’s girlfriend looks like a lizard, and Dell is a bona fide murderer.

See you in two weeks, fellow Freaks!

Gotham Recap S1E9: Harvey Dent

Gotham S1E9: Harvey Dent

Original Airdate: November 17, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

After one of the best episodes of the season last week, Gotham had a big challenge in front of it.  And you know what?  They did it.  This show keeps getting better and better.

Gordon arrives home to find that Barbara is gone.  He has Selina with him, who is impressed that he lives there.  As Selina goes off to the kitchen, Gordon finds the note from Barbara saying that she his nervous, needy and screwed up.  She needs some time to get back together.  He gets a call, and in the meantime Selina finds the note.  She asks where she’s going to stay.  Gordon tells her that he knows she’ll break out of juvenile hall or jail, so he has a sketch artist coming over first, and then she’s going to Wayne Manor.  Her green eyes get even bigger.  She has been there before, hasn’t she…?

At Blackgate Penitentiary, the GCPD is about to unload one of their worst criminals, a bomb maker named Ian Hargrove.  The officers instruct the junior officers to not speak to him.  He has a nasty reputation for building bombs out of random items.  Hargrove is led to the van, and he has something in his hand when he is cuffed for the ride.

At Wayne Manor, Gordon asks Bruce if he recognizes the man who killed his parents.  He doesn’t.  Bruce wants to know who she is.  Gordon says her name is Selina Kyle and he wants her to stay there for her own safety.  Alfred is totally opposed to housing a criminal, but Bruce puts his foot down and says she can stay.  Bruce walks out of the study and Alfred asks what the plan is.  Gordon says that he is meeting with Allen and Montoya, and they have a reputable DA waiting to prosecute the case.  Alfred can’t believe that an honest lawyer exists in Gotham, but he’s willing to do what it takes to solve the crime.

Bruce wanders down the hall and finds Selina playing with a vase.  He tells her it’s from the Ming Dynasty, and he barely gets out that it’s 500 years old when he realizes that he has seen this girl before.  He’s totally smitten.  She laughs and says that you can buy one just like it for five bucks in Chinatown.  He extends his hand and formally introduces himself.  She tells him that people call her Cat.  He smiles.

The van carrying Hargrove is driving along.  The officer in the back sees Hargrove fidgeting with something in his gloved hand.  He uncuffs him and sees that he was holding an origami flower.  Suddenly a car cuts the van off and it crashes.  Men jump out of another car and quickly shoot the driver and guard.  The back of the van opens and that guard is shot, and then a heavily accented voice calls out for Hargrove.

Now we meet Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) on the steps of the courthouse.  He’s admonishing a kid for screwing up.  He tells him that he’ll flip a coin as to whether or not he will go to jail, but if he goes free he has to promise to God that he will go back to school.  The kid wins and Dent sends him on his way.  Gordon, Montoya and Allen are waiting for him.  Dent laughs and says teens almost always pick heads, but he has a two-headed coin.  Gordon laughs.  He likes him.  In Dent’s office, Dent thinks that the sketch is a good first step.  While an eye-witness won’t necessarily help on the stand, it will help the case overall.  He shows Gordon a guy named Lovecraft who has dealings with Falcone, Maroni, and the Wayne Family.  He’s willing to bet his career that Lovecraft is involved, so he wants to set up a story to ferret out the killer.  They decide to give it a go.

When Gordon returns to the office, Bullock tells him about Hargrove’s escape.  Four men broke him out.  It’s odd given that Hargrove has never had any visitors aside from his brother John, and he never worked with accomplices, so who busted him out?  Bullock teases that he thought he was on his own today, and naturally Gordon can’t tell him about the meeting with Dent, so Gordon says it was girl trouble.  Bullock nods sagely.  Those uptown women are wound too tight.

Alfred is making good on his promise to teach Bruce to fight.  When Selina steps out onto the patio, Bruce looks away and Alfred hits him.  She laughs and asks what he’s doing.  Bruce tells her that he’s learning to fight.  This makes Selina laugh; it’s not like he lives in a bad neighborhood.  He says he’s learning in case something happens in Gotham, but Selina points out that they don’t fight with gloves there.  She’s hungry, but staunch Alfred says that she slept through breakfast and that lunch is at noon.  Selina says she’ll figure out what to eat, but Bruce graciously offers to have Alfred make her food.  He says this isn’t a hotel, but Bruce insists.  Selina walks away, and Alfred calls her a minx.  If he only knew….  One thing he does know, though, is that Bruce likes her.  He says it’s totally fine for him to like her, but she’s sneaky.  They get into a sparring match, with Bruce teasing the older man about his experience with women.

Penguin arrives at Liza’s apartment and scouts around.  He knows she is up to something, courtesy of Fish’s man.  He looks at her bed and finds a blouse there.  He inhales deeply and smells lilacs.  He walks out just as she arrives home.  She immediately notices that the blouse is missing, but Penguin is already gone.

John Hargrove has no idea where is brother is.  He says that Ian is innocent, but he was blowing up places that made weapons and thought he was doing a good deed.  He felt bad about the crimes but didn’t know better.  As John talks about his brother being ill and their parents not having enough to get help for him, we see Ian assembling a basket bomb.  Some henchmen place treats inside, and then it is delivered to a guard tower.  The guards hastily eat the treats, but then they hear ticking.  Ian Hargrove watches as the building explodes.

Bruce reads about the explosion when Selina comes in and grabs some breakfast.  She says she slept well but the house makes noise.  Bruce offers for Alfred to buy her some clothes.  He knows she lived on the streets and wants to know what it’s like.  She doesn’t know why he wants to know given that he’s a billionaire.  She asks why he isn’t in school.  Bruce is “developing” his own curriculum.  He asks about her parents, and she gets defensive.  She isn’t an orphan, she says.  She has family everywhere.  She rushes from the room, bumping into Alfred, who has a troubled look on his face.

Essen says that now they have a bigger problem than just an escape now that a building has blown up.  The press is calling Hargrove an urban terrorist.  Bullock reports that Hargrove stole some HMX before the explosion.  They need to do some more work to figure out what is going on.  That’s when Gordon’s phone rings.  It’s Alfred, and he tells Gordon that things aren’t working on.  Selina is a “tough nut” and she can’t stay there.  Gordon says there is nowhere for her to go and promises to check on them soon.  Alfred relents, albeit begrudgingly.  Sean Pertwee is awesome.  Just plain awesome.

Butch brings two cell phones to Mooney and says that everything is ready.  He asks if she still wants to go through with it.  Penguin walks in and says he was just passing by.  He inhales her scent.  Lilacs.  She says he should go, so he leaves.  She tells Butch to forget about him because “he’s nothing.”  She is so long.

Bullock pulls all of Hargrove’s files.  Gordon tells him that Barbara left him.  Bullock says that it’s a common ploy for him to set a date.  That’s when Nygma comes up and asks if they play video games.  He likes them a lot.  When prompted, Nygma says he found a nameplate from an old warehouse.  Bullock and Gordon go to investigate and they find Hargrove chained to a table.  Hargrove tells them that he was broken out by some Russians to pull a job on Falcone.  He is about to say more when the men return and start shooting.  Gordon and Bullock manage to chase them off.

Selina is about to go exploring.  She sneaks out of a window when Bruce finds her and says they can call her a taxi.  He says that he’s sorry for bringing up her family.  She says she wasn’t upset.  She picks up a picture of Martha Wayne and says she looks nice. Bruce asks about the night they were killed.  He says he didn’t do anything and she tells him that a gun is a gun, and that he couldn’t do anything.  She tells him that her mom is a millionaire celebrity covering for her job as a secret agent.  Bruce seems to buy this story that she has clearly concocted to hide her pain.  Selina changes the subject and asks if he has ever kissed a girl.  Of course, Alfred interrupts and announces that it’s time for his studies.  Selina bails, smiling.

Mayor James is upset at the media coverage on the “terrorist” situation.  Gordon says this is all the mayor’s fault because they kept a mentally ill man at Blackgate and then he was broken out of jail on his way to treatment.  James storms out of the office and Essen tells the duo that Hargrove’s brother has been placed in protective custody just in case.

Dent has a meeting with Lovecraft and his band of lawyers.  He tells Lovecraft that he has him going down for the murder of the Waynes.  When Lovecraft laughs, Dent growls at him and grabs the man’s shoulder, telling him that he will rip him apart.  Lovecraft is shocked at the turn in Dent’s personality.  It’s almost like he’s two people.  Dent composes himself in the blink of an eye and tells him that it’s good to see him.

Bullock has found the Russian man and he has a long rap sheep.  He worked for Nikolai.  But who could be financing Gregor now?

Fish Mooney arrives in the alley and tells Gregor that everything is set for him.  If he wants revenge for Nikolai, this is the chance.  She tells him to break a leg.

Bruce is training himself to hold his breath.  He’s fully dressed, which is odd.  He checks the time and finds that Selina has been watching.  She says he’s the weirdest kid ever.  He explains that he’s developing “self-discipline and will power.”  She tells him that it’s not enough.  He needs to be mean and ruthless.  She says all of his work, including holding his breath, won’t do a damn thing.

Nygma is listening to a radio program and he’s getting every question right on the trivia competition.  He’s testing the compound that Hargrove stole.  He reports back to Bullock and Gordon that the compound is specifically made to blow up iron.  Banks don’t use iron in their safes anymore, so they figure out that there was iron in the old safe at the Gotham Armory.

Gregor and his men are at the Armory and Hargrove is finishing up the bomb to blow the door.  Once the door is open, the men see millions of dollars behind the door.  Hargrove tells Gregor to promise him not to kill anyone else.  They load the money into the truck, and that’s when Gordon and Bullock appear and tell Gregor that they’re surrounded.  The demand Hargrove’s return, and as he backs away, a cell phone goes off.  It’s attached to a bomb.  The truck explodes, sending the money flying.  Butch stands up and walks away from the scene.  The deed is done.

Bruce and Selina have lunch together.  She smiles and throws a bagel at him.  She says he probably can’t hit her.  Hit her and she’ll let him kiss her.  A food fight ensues, and Bruce starts laughing as they throw bagels and muffins at each other.  Alfred walks in and sees the change in Bruce, and he looks relieved.  Gordon calls and apologizes for the delay.  Alfred tells him that Selina is a breath of fresh air.

Liza returns home and finds the Penguin sitting at the foot of her bed.  She knows who he is.  He says that he knows she is spying for Fish Mooney.  While he doesn’t have any proof, the reality is that if he mentioned it, it would create doubt for him.  He says they can call Falcone and ask if he minds, but she stops him.  He tells her that she will keep working for Fish and she won’t tell anyone about Penguin or she’ll die.  Poor Liza really looks upset at her predicament.

Dent catches up to Gordon at the station.  He tells Gordon that Lovecraft was scared at their meeting.  He got people talking.  Gordon tells Dent that they need to move together on the next steps as soon as something happens.  He sees Bullock approaching and parts ways with Dent.  Bullock reports that Hargrove is being moved to Arkham as part of Mayor James’ plan to move the mentally ill inmates at Blackgate into Arkham for rehabilitation.  Gordon can’t believe it, given that the building is 200 years old.  “That’s Gotham,” Bullock replies.

Mayor James holds a news conference and announces that there have been several tragedies the past few days.  They have happened as a result of the criminally insane not being rehabilitated.  But now they will all go to Arkham for treatment.  It’s a brand new day for Gotham.

Later, Gordon calls Barbara.  He understands that she needs time away from Gotham and him.  We see her in a hotel room in front of a big fire.  And there is another woman with her.  They kiss.

Well.  I don’t think she’s coming home any time soon.

We’re one week away from the fall finale, and next week’s episode looks amazing.  What did you think of tonight’s episode?

The Walking Dead Recap S5E6: Consumed

The Walking Dead S5E6: Consumed

Original Airdate: November 16, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

It’s hard to believe that after tonight we’re only two episodes away from the midseason finale.  Crazy.

And of course it will be another week before we learn whether or not Eugene is still alive….

But for now, we start out tonight with a return to when Rick left Carol in the little neighborhood.  She drives for a while, but then she breaks down in tears down the road as the reality sets in.  Walkers surround the car, but she doesn’t care.  “Go away!” she screams before driving off again.  She arrives in a town and finds a law office that seems to be untouched.  She shakes a pencil holder to see if the noise draws anyone out.  It seems to be empty, so she gets comfortable, though she sleeps with her hand on her gun.  The next day she awakens to see fire rising from the prison.  She drives like mad and arrives to see that the whole place is on fire.

We return to the night that Daryl and Carol drive off after Beth.  Daryl is explaining how he and Beth were together.  (As they drive and converse, they run over a Walker)  Their car is about to run out of gas.  They plan to surprise whoever has taken Beth, with the plan to do whatever is necessary to get Beth back.  They follow the car into Atlanta and it stops.  Daryl stops and sees that there are two people in the car.  One is a cop.  He clears the road so that they can drive through.  Walkers surround their car.  The car carrying Beth drives away.

Daryl can’t start their car so Carol tells him that she knows a place they can hide.  They run off into the night and find themselves in an office building.  Daryl asks if Carol used to “work here or something,” to which Carol replies “or something.”  The building is quiet and they have a set of keys courtesy of the dead guard.  Carol says that it’s temporary housing for abused women and children.  Carol says they didn’t stay long.  There are bunk beds and Carol tells Daryl to take the bottom bunk while she takes first watch, even though they are pretty secure.  She asks him about being able to start over.  He says he’s trying to.  He encourages her to say what’s on her mind.  She doesn’t think they can save people anymore.  I suppose that’s a double entendre.  “Then why are you here?” Daryl asks.  She lies down on the bed with him.  He asks what would have happened if he hadn’t shown up when she was at the car.  She isn’t sure.  There is a banging noise, so they go to investigate.  Inside one of the rooms is a pair of doors made of frosted glass.  There is a woman and her child, both of them Walkers.  He tells her she doesn’t have to do anything, but she feels she must.

The next day, Carol awakens to find that Daryl is outside on the roof.  A fire is burning and he’s carrying the body of the child, draped in a white sheet.  She joins him, and she thanks him after the body is in the fire.  Smoke billows up into the air.

We return to the cabin as Tyreese and Carol bury Lizzie and Mika.  She has the same vacant expression on her face.

Back in the present, they pack up and get ready to scout the city on foot in search of Beth.  Daryl lights a fire to distract the roaming Walkers, and he and Carol make their way to the inside of a parking garage.  They’re an office, and a man is watching.  Inside one of the corridors, there are a dozen Walkers in sleeping bags and tents.  The duo quickly kills the sleeping bag Walkers and sneak inside the hospital proper.  They find a well-appointed office with a view of the burned out city.  Carol wonders how they got there.  She tells Daryl that he still hasn’t asked about when she was with Tyreese and the girls.  He said he knows they aren’t here, and she says it was worse than that.  Daryl spots one of the vans with the crosses on it like the one that took Beth.  Carol fills their water bottles while Daryl admires the expensive art that some asshole probably paid a lot of money for.  They leave, but the man who had been watching them confiscates their weapons.  He cuts open the tents full of Walkers and takes off before Carol and Daryl can stop him.  Now they have no weapons, and Daryl tells her that she has to be in the moment.  She doesn’t want anyone to die, but she’s not sure she believes in God anymore.  She drops her bag, and Daryl sees the book about helping people deal with abuse.

Carol flashes back to when she set Karen and David on fire at the prison.

Now she and Daryl are walking around in Atlanta.  They find the van on a highway bridge, dangling off the edge.  The city is eerie and quiet.  And empty.  Daryl jumps into the van, even though Carol is lighter.  Walkers approach the teetering van.  Inside they find papers and a little statue of Mary.  The gurney says Grady Memorial Hospital.  Before they can do anything with that information, the van is surrounded by Walkers.  They climb in and drive the off the bridge.  (They’re holding hands)  The van lands on its wheels and Walkers soon start plopping and splatting on top of them.  They get out and start walking again.

Later, Daryl asks Carol to prove she’s fine.  She’s in bad shape, but she says she’s “had worse,” referring to a nasty bruise on her collarbone.  They figure they are three blocks from the hospital.  Daryl wants to scout it out to see what they can find.  They go inside a nearby building and they camp out with a perfect view of the hospital.  While they wait, Daryl asks what she meant when she said he isn’t the way he was before.  She says before he was like a little kid, and now he’s a man.  She tells him that she and Sophia were in the shelter for almost two days before they went back to her husband.  Carol thinks that she got to be the person she was meant to be when they were at the prison.  But now everything “consumes you.”  Down the hall, a Walker is pinned to the wall with an arrow.  They hear gunshots and Carol and Daryl race to see what’s happening.  That’s when they see the man with their weapons, but they’re intercepted by Walkers.  Carol is attacked but she can’t fight, so Daryl saves her.  He finds the man who took their weapons and he pins him to the ground with a bookcase while Walkers try to burst in the door.  Now we can see that it’s Noah, the kid that Beth saved from the hospital.  Daryl seems content to leave him there.  He lights a cigarette and tells him that he tried to save him once but he isn’t going to do it again.  Carol begs him to save the boy as the Walker bursts in.  Daryl shoots the Walker with an arrow and gives Carol a long look.

Carol flashes back to the battle at Terminus when she was covered in Walker blood and gore.   Gunshots ring out as the battle rages on and the fires burn.

Carol helps to free Noah from the bookshelf.  He races to the window to see what’s happening.  He says they probably heard the gunshots and will come after them.  Daryl demands to know who he’s talking about.  Noah says it’s the people at the hospital, and Daryl asks if he saw a blonde girl.  “Beth?” Noah asks.  Noah explains that she saved him and he’s trying to save her.  Now that they know they’re on the same side, they move along together.  They go downstairs because Noah says there is a safe building across the street.  He stumbles and falls, so Daryl helps him while Carol steps outside.  As she crosses the street, she’s run down by the medics, who load her up on a stretcher.  Noah holds Daryl back, telling him that they can help her at the hospital but they’re going to need a lot of help getting her out.  They have guns and people.  “So do we,” Daryl says.  They work to escape the throngs of Walkers and take a van so that they can flee the city.  They drive along in silence.

Well, now we know who is with Daryl back at the church.  This was definitely a slower-paced episode, but it gives us some background on what Carol had been doing up until she reunited with Tyreese.  Are the flashbacks a sign of strength, or madness?  Will she be able to move forward after this?

What did you think of the episode?  Leave your comments below!

American Horror Story Freak Show Recap S4E6: Bullseye

American Horror Story Freak Show, S4E6: Bullseye

Original Airdate: November 12, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

There is a lot of activity at the campground as Elsa orders her workers to bring a giant red and white wheel into the main tent.  She comments that life is like that, a mess of choices between one thing and another, like tea or wine.  But we’ll all end up on the wheel eventually.  Once the wheel has been set up she starts to practice throwing knives at a stuffed dummy, only in her mind she sees Maggie and Jimmy.  She says she knows how to stay off the wheel; by staying in control of herself and not letting anything get in the way of what she wants.  Ethel sees her practicing and asks if they are bringing it back into the act.  Elsa says she used to be a master at the wheel but now it’s for the second act of her television series.  Ethel cautions her against leaving too soon, as the Tattler Twins are missing.  Elsa says they gave her the slip when she took them dress shopping, when really they should be grateful to her.  Ethel says everyone is grateful to her and it’s a special time because it’s her birthday week.  She has a big show.

Gloria has a gift for Dandy.  They’re sitting in the dining room at dinner.  Under the silver dome is a stack of condoms.  Gloria says that his affliction is the result of years of inbreeding, so he must be careful when seeing to his “needs.”  He is appalled—he’d never violate Bette and Dot. He loves them.  After all this time, he finally feels normal.  Gloria becomes angry with this news, reminding him that he could never take the girls to cotillions or balls. Dandy knows it’s because they’re freaks, and he reminds his mother that he’s also a freak.  He says that there comes a time in every mother’s life when she must give up her son to another woman.  He plans to marry Bette and Dot and they will be together forever.

A receiving line has been set up in the main tent as the performers pay homage to the birthday girl.  Indeed, a big banner proclaims Elsa’s birthday and the lady herself is perched on a grand throne.  Ethel gives her a nice gift while Paul gives her lingerie.  “Cheeky bastard!” Elsa laughs.  She loves it all.  Eve has a huge box.  Ma Petite is inside and Elsa is thrilled to have her there.  She clutches her to her chest and kisses Ma Petite’s cheek.  When she notices that everyone seems sullen, Elsa asks what is wrong.  Ma Petite says they miss the twins.  Jimmy wonders if they gave any indication of where they were going.  Elsa goes into a fury and says she gave them a home and they’re ungrateful.  She demands that everyone starts having fun, or else they will end up on her wheel.

Music is playing in Elsa’s tent and Paul is in bed with Elsa.  He’s kissing her back while she smokes her opium.  She tells him that they don’t fall in love, but she knows he is going to miss her.  He gets out of bed and he’s naked.  (Incidentally, she isn’t wearing her prosthetic legs)  She says he could be her valet in Hollywood.  He is impressed that she gave him a thought at all.  Elsa asks for her baby, so he brings Ma Petite to her and bids them good night.  Elsa cradles Ma Petite in bed and tells her how much she loves her.

Paul ends up in bed with a young woman whose bedroom is covered in floral sheets and wall paper.  It’s Penny, the candy striper we met in the first episode.  She asks if he wants her, and he says that he loves her more than anything.  He wants to get to know her as a man and not just as her lover, so that when they make love she’ll know it’s for real.  That’s when her father bursts in and demands to know who she was talking to.  Paul is stowed under the bed for now.  Dad looks pissed off.  He says that he’s trying to keep his little girl safe.

Bette is writing in her diary.  She’s in love and life is now wonderful.  Dandy bursts into the playroom with a tray full of one of each dish.  He introduces Bette to caviar and she loves it.  Dot is a bit skeptical, but as they eat dinner with Gloria, who tells her that they can have anything they want, Dot points out that Dandy doesn’t abuse them in any way.  Later, they have tea together in the playroom and dandy reads about a successful surgery on another set of Siamese twins.  Dot is very interested in the story, and suddenly she realizes that the money she’d need to raise for the surgery is at her fingertips with Dandy.  She envisions talking to Jimmy as a single person.  Bette would be dead, but she’s ok with that. Suddenly the gilded cage doesn’t look so cage-like.

Paul arrives at the pharmacy and asks for a bottle of Venetian Romance perfume.  The clerk says they don’t have any, but Paul sees it on a shelf behind him.  Dandy rushes up to the counter, dressed in a full suit, and asks for another hairbrush.  Paul recognizes him and talks to him while the clerk goes in the back room.  Dandy tries to pretend that he didn’t like the show, but Paul remembers that Dandy did like it, and he liked the twins even more.  That’s when Paul notices that Dandy has bought a ton of women’s accessories in sets of two.  The clerk returns and asks dandy if Paul is bothering him.  When he lies and says Paul tried to pickpocket him, the clerk tells Paul to leave.  Paul knows his rights, but Dandy says Paul isn’t even American.  Paul decides to take his business to Woolworth.  They have ice cream.

That night at the fairgrounds, Jimmy is cleaning up when Paul comes in.  The crowd, Jimmy says, was thin because people want to see the twins.  Paul tells him about Dandy, and he suspects that Elsa took them to Dandy to get rid of them. Jimmy slaps Paul, telling him that Elsa rescued every one of them and she saved their lives.  Paul doesn’t buy it.  Jimmy is close enough to pass as a normal man, but Paul knows that Elsa would do anything for one last shot at fame, including killing someone.  As Paul storms off, his words sink in with Jimmy.

Bette thanks Dandy for buying the perfect shade of lipstick.  Dot is reading the paper and it turns out one of the conjoined twins died, but the other is a miracle.  Bette doesn’t think science should interfere with the will of God.  Dot thinks that they are more of a cruel joke than the will of God.  Bette says they are what they are, and they will always be like that.  Dandy listens to the twins and he realizes that Dot likes to keep secrets.  He says they shouldn’t have any secrets between them so he proposes a game.  They will each share a secret with each other.  He tells the girls that he was the one who killed Twisty.  Dot says that Jimmy would never lie about that, while Bette is thrilled that Dandy is a hero.  When Dot refuses to share a secret, Dandy goes into a rage because Dot won’t play by his rules.  He throws a tantrum and leaves.

Stanley finds Maggie outside.  She tells him that the twins are gone and no one knows where they are.  Stanley needs something to transport so he suggests that they take Jimmy.  He tells her to lure him to their car.  All they need is his hands.  Maggie clearly doesn’t want this to happen, so she suggests that they take Ma Petite.  We see a vision of Maggie bringing Ma Petite to a barn.  Ma Petite says that Maggie is very nice.  Little does she know, Maggie and Stanley are going to put her in a jar.  We see Ma Petite stuck in a jar, and she screams when Stanley pours the formaldehyde in.  Ma Petite is soon pickled.  Back in reality, Stanley laughs at Maggie’s ruthlessness.

Elsa is in her tent practicing her singing.  “These precious days I’ll spend with you,” she sings, looking at Paul, who is watching her.  He says that the audiences will love it.  He moves to leave, but she wants to know if he will stay.  He’s got things on his mind, but it turns out that she smells the Venetian Romance on him and wants to know who he’s screwing.  She knows her monsters don’t wear perfume.  He says he’s not beholden to her.  He knows she did something to the girls and he tells her that everyone is talking about it.  She demands that he wake everyone.  They convene in the main tent, where Elsa rips down the birthday banner.  She asks Toulouse if he remembers how she rescued him from a chain gang.  Or how she found Salty and Pepper in the orphanage, where her own sister wouldn’t have anything to do with her.  They were gnawing on rats in their urine soaked crib.  Ethel wants her to calm down, but Elsa demands that one of them goes onto her wheel.  Jimmy volunteers, but Paul says it should be him.

Paul is strapped in and he tells Elsa not to miss.  “I always miss, darling.  That’s the point,” she says.  Elsa makes a show of the situation, telling the gathering that it takes a split second to separate life and death.  As the wheel spins, she throws a knife and everyone gasps.  She tells them that fate is the true master.  A knife lands between Paul’s legs. Then she throws the last one, and it plunges into his stomach.  She seems saddened by what she has done, but as soon as the others have taken Paul away, she wipes her forehead in relief.

Penny the candy striper is sneaking out when her father points a rifle at her.  He thought she could be a burglar.  She tells him that she is in love and she’s going to live her life.  If he doesn’t like that, then he can shoot her.  She leaves.

Maggie sneaks into Ma Petites bedroom and grabs her.  Ma Petite says the moon is beautiful, and that Maggie is beautiful.  Her present is in the barn.  Ma Petite is hoping for a pony.  Maggie says they are playing a game and she puts Ma Petite in a jar “like a butterfly.”  Ma Petite flaps her arms as if they were wings while Maggie prepares the formaldehyde.

Penny arrives at the fairgrounds.  Eve and the gang are seated at a table.  Penny says she’s looking for Paul.

Paul is in Elsa’s tent.  He takes a hit of her opium.  Elsa tells him that she doesn’t think the spinning wheel act is right for her television show.  It takes too long.  Paul knows that she didn’t really call a doctor.  Elsa says that she wouldn’t shed a tear if he died because he betrayed him.  That’s when Penny rushes in and demands to know when they called for the doctor.

Ethel is putting the finishing touches on the cake.  Jimmy can’t believe she is actually finishing it, but Ethel points out that the cake was already made.  She doesn’t like that Jimmy is questioning Elsa.  Jimmy says that the doctor never came, and that Paul had been trying to tell him something about the twins.  Ethel won’t hear it.

There’s a knock on the door and Eve tells Jimmy that something bad has happened to Ma Petite.  She wasn’t at breakfast or in her tent.  Jimmy says they’ll find her, but that’s when Maggie rounds the corner with Ma Petite in her arms.  Eve takes Ma Petite and Maggie says they were out hunting fireflies.  She grabs Jimmy’s hand and says that they should run away together.  She doesn’t care where, so long as they are together.  She kisses him and he tells her to pack her bags.  Maggie heads to her tent and Stanley is there waiting.  He has a train ticket with him and notes that Ma Petite is not in a jar.  Maggie says that with the twins gone, all of the freaks are on alert.  Stanley says it’s a good thing that there is no value in her dead body, so he’s switching back to his plan—Jimmy.  Or, more specifically, his hands.

Gloria takes a tray to the playroom.  Dandy tells her to go away.  He’s crying.  He has been reading Dot’s diary.  He tells his mother to read it.  She reads that Dot is tired of eating caviar and pretending to tolerate him.  He cries hearing that she is only after his money.  Gloria thinks that they might be able to bribe her by spoiling the other twin.  Dandy compares how he feels to when he had tuberculosis and they went to Iowa and they were surrounded by open space.  That’s how he feels.  Empty.  Now he knows what he is supposed to do.  He packs a knife in his belt.  “My purpose is to bring death.”

The doorbell rings. It’s Jimmy.  Dandy tells his mother he is here for the girls.  She lets him inside.

Ethel has a hunk of cake for Elsa and tells her that everyone else is with Paul.  They don’t feel like celebrating.  Elsa agrees that family should stick together.  Elsa says that she had a sister who died as an infant.  Her parents probably had Elsa to heal their pain, but she was nothing more than a reminder.  She made her own family.  She loves them all, but she sees Ethel that she’s like a sister.  That’s why she saved her.  Why can’t everyone else see that she loves them?  Ethel points out that there is a lot going on.  She lights the candle and hands the cake to Elsa.  She says that if she ever finds out that Elsa is lying or if she did anything to the twins, she’ll kill her with her own hands.  “I just wanted to be loved,” Elsa says.  She blows out the candle.

I have a feeling that things are about to go south really fast in the next few episodes.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

 

 

The Walking Dead Recap S5E5: Self-Help

The Walking Dead S5E5: Self-Help

Original Airdate: November 9, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

We’re back with the rest of the gang this week.  It was nice checking in last week with Sansa Stark, er, I mean Beth….

The bus is rolling along the road.  Abraham is at the wheel and there is some music on the radio.  Rosita is playing with his hair.  She’s teasing that his hair has gotten long.  He says he’ll let her shave him all over, “dolphin smooth,” if she’s good.  Tara teases Eugene about his hair.  He says it doesn’t matter how long his hair is in order for him to save the world.  He’s lost in thought thinking about the church and the preacher.  Glen asks him how long it will take to fix things.  Eugene pulls the “classified” card again but Glen points out that if they save the world, secrets won’t matter.  This gives Eugene pause, and eventually he says that there would be missiles deployed with the cure.  Everything from there would depend on weather patterns, which they would need to recalculate because no one anticipated having the world free of planes, trains and cars for so long.  And lastly he says that no one is messing with his hair.  He likes his hair.  Abraham smiles as he drives, as they pass a herd of Walkers on the road.  Suddenly the bus hits something.  There are cars strewn in the roadway and the bus catches one of them and flies up and over it, spinning onto its side.  The Walkers slowly approach.

We flash back to a time when Abraham is bashing in a man’s face with a tin can.  He stands up and looks at the mess of bodies lying in what appears to be a supermarket aisle.  Back on the bus, the group comes to their senses and Glen says that he and Abraham will get off first, followed by everyone else.  The bus’s engine is on fire and they’re surrounded by Walkers.  Eugene is terrified but Tara tells him that it’s time to be brave.  She gives him a knife and he looks at it like he’s never seen a knife before.  They step outside and he watches as everyone around him fights the Walkers with their bare hands.  He tries to kill a Walker but he misses the brain.  Tara helps him out.  Once they’re safe, Abraham says someone should check Eugene to be sure he isn’t hurt.  He says he isn’t hurt but Abraham insists.  A cut on Abraham’s hand opened up again, but as Maggie turns to grab the first aid kit from the bus, the bus catches on fire. Abraham says they have to keep moving forward, that there is no turning back.  Glen asks if Abraham is okay.  He isn’t questioning his authority, he just wants to be sure Abraham is okay.  Abraham looks utterly lost, but he’s happy to know that Glen is on board.  They all decide to press on, but before they leave, Eugene pauses to spit on the Walker he almost killed on his own.

Back in Abraham’s flashback, he’s walking through a store searching for Ellen.  She rises and turns with a little boy.  They’re both sick.  In the present, the gang finds a book store and make sure it’s a safe place to crash for the night.   They close up the windows and make a fire.  The shelves provide extra protection.  Tara boils water while Maggie rips books apart and gives Rosita the string inside to stitch Abraham’s hand.  He caresses her cheek and then leaves to scout the perimeter.  A Walker bumps into the window and Abraham watches.  Glen walks up and Abraham thanks him for showing up.  He stayed with them, which means a lot.  Glen points out that he made a promise, and there wasn’t much Abraham could do if he broke it.  Abraham says that they’re at a point where they need to stay strong.  Glen can see that he’s battling some demons.  “The world’s gonna change, right?” Glen asks.  Abraham says it is.  Glen suggests that he should turn in for the night, but Abraham says he needs some “ass” first.  Rosita and Abraham get it on behind a shelf, and she looks up to see Eugene watching them have sex.  She tells Abraham he’s looking over the shelf in the self-help section, which makes Abraham laugh harder.  He assures her that Eugene is harmless.  Tara walks up and taps Eugene, who quickly explains that he enjoys the beauty of the female form.  She doesn’t want to hear that (especially considering that they can all hear the grunts) and instead wants to thank him for having her back today.  He saved her life.   (Easter Egg: There are three red books on the shelf behind Eugene in the self-help section.  They’re all the same: We All Fall Down.  I wonder if that means anything…) He says he wanted to help and she gave the context to do so.  That’s when Eugene drops the bomb—he made the bus crash.  He put crushed glass in the fuel line.  He didn’t mean for it to crash, but he needed to stop it.  He said that he did it because if he fails in his mission, he can’t protect himself and he’ll have no value.  Tara tells him that they are all friends and they would certainly take care of each other.  She tells him not to mention what he did to anyone else.  He’s not sure why he told her in the first place, but she says it’s because he’s human.  He walks away, and she takes a quick look over the shelf before leaving.

Glen and Maggie are cuddled together and Glen sees that Maggie is still awake.  She says she feels guilty about Abraham and Rosita, and Glen says that they all deserve little vacations, even if it’s on book store floors.  He points out that they almost died and they’re drinking toilet water.  She says that the night before was about what it’s going to be like.  They kiss and go to sleep.

Abraham continues his watch now that he’s gotten his ass.  Outside, Walkers wander around aimlessly.  He’s deep in thought.

In the flashback, Abraham tells Ellen and the kids that they’re safe now that he stopped the bad people.  He’s covered in blood, so they’re afraid of him, too.

The next day, Rosita tells Abraham that his cut isn’t infected.  She wants to spend the day at the store, but he doesn’t want to stop.  She says that maybe they never get anywhere because they never leave at 100%.  The rest of the gang comes in and Maggie says that this town seems to be in good shape.  No one even touched the book store.  They could restock for the day and then leave.  Rosita looks at Abraham and says that they need to keep moving.  She’s a good little soldier.  Abraham has found them a new vehicle…a fire truck.

They go outside and check out the abandoned rig.  Eugene is humming as Abraham starts up the truck.  It starts up slowly but it gets going.  Then it stops. Abraham is angry and tries to clear the intake, but Rosita points out that it’s actually on the top of the truck.  A tire rolling across the street catches their attention.  The truck had been keeping a door closed, and inside the station is a herd of Walkers.  The group tries to take them out but there are too many.  Suddenly an arc of water shoots out and decapitates the Walkers.  When they’re all gone, the group looks up to see Eugene on the top of the truck with the hose.  Abraham laughs and says that’s the best thing he has seen all day.  Glen and Maggie suggest that they find some dry clothes, but Abraham doesn’t want to stop.  He says they can air dry.  He gets on top of the truck to clear the intake, and he spots a message painted on the ground saying to let the Walkers die inside.  He laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever.  “It’s screwed up!” he laughs.  I think Abraham is cracking a bit.

In the dream, Abraham awakens to see that Ellen and the kids are gone.  “Don’t try to find us” is written on a receipt.

Out on the road, the gang is stopped.  Everyone scouts while Eugene reads H.G. Wells’ “The Shape of Things.”  Maggie walks up and says that she likes his hair.  She says that she thinks he keeps it so people don’t think he’s like them.  He has a mullet to look different.  She says he isn’t like the story of Sampson, and she tells him the story of Sampson in the Bible.  Glen smells something awful, so they set out on foot to see what it is.  In the distance there are thousands of Walkers in a valley, in what looks to be a huge farm.  The group wants to leave, but Abraham says that they keep detouring and they need to keep moving forward.  They can’t turn back and they have to keep going.   He won’t listen to their ideas, but when Rosita says they’re right, he stops.  He suddenly turns and grabs Eugene and walks him back to the truck.  Glen tries to stop him and they all start tussling.  That’s when Eugene drops the other bomb—he’s not really a scientist.  He lied.

At the fire truck, the gang has no words Eugene.  Rosita says that she has seen him do things.  He says that he is smarter than other people.  He says that he figured that Washington D.C. is their best chance for survival, so he lied to ensure that he was protected.  Rosita says that people died to protect him.  Eugene recites their names.  Abraham can’t contain himself any longer.  He punches Eugene over and over, and on the last punch Eugene bounces against the truck and falls face-first into the pavement.  The group isn’t sure if Abraham is alive or dead. Abraham walks off and continues the flashback.  After Ellen left, Abraham was about to kill himself, but that’s when Eugene comes running up.  He’s being chased by Walkers and Abraham helps him.  Eugene doesn’t want to be alone, so he tells Abraham that he has a very important mission.  That was all Abraham needed to hear.

Wow.  I didn’t see that coming.  As I’ve mentioned, I haven’t read the comics so I don’t know that Eugene is full of crap.

What did you think of the episode?  Next week we get to see what happened with Carol and Daryl, so stay tuned!

Trekkie Since 1991

For some strange reason, it occurred to me tonight that I don’t blog about being a Star Trek fan despite the fact that Star Trek was my entree into geekdom.

When I was 11, way back in 1991, I was convinced that I was going to grow up, go to college, major in astrophysics, and work for NASA.  (Incidentally, I did grow up and go to college, but an aversion to math kept me away from astrophysics. I still love physics, I just can’t do the requisite math.  Ironically, I discussed my aversion to math with Bobak Ferdowski, the mohawk guy from NASA who helped land the Mars rover.  He told me that he doesn’t use much math at all. This made me feel slightly better, somehow)

I started watching the original Star Trek series because of my love affair with space. My parents had seen the show but weren’t huge fans. Little did they know, we would soon become a Star Trek family.  We attended conventions here in San Diego that, in retrospect, were more popular than San Diego Comic Con.  I met stars from all of the series, including William Shatner, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Rene Auberjenois, Marina Sirtis, and Jonathan Frakes.  I had both a command gold uniform and the command red uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched Deep Space Nine, but fell away from Star Trek on television after the premiere of Voyager. To this day, I have never seen Enterprise, though I was in line on opening day to see Star Trek VI as well as Generations.

Star Trek gave me something to believe in at a critical moment in my childhood.  I truly believe that I would be a different person without it. I also know what it was like to be ridiculed for being a nerd before being a nerd was cool.

I pledge to post more about the series and films that did so much for me in my childhood. 

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With the Release of Prince Lestat, I’m Falling In Love With New Orleans All Over Again

I have always been obsessed with New Orleans.  When I read Interview with the Vampire when I was 14, my love affair truly began.  With every Anne Rice book I read, the city came to life in my imagination.  I read everything I could about the city.

In 2011 I was fortunate enough to travel to New Orleans over Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a work trip, but it allowed me a chance to visit the city I already knew I loved.

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New Orleans was everything I imagined it would be, and more.  I fell in love with the city in earnest.  The world of Anne Rice’s vampires came to life.  I could imagine Lestat and Louis walking down one of the narrow streets in the French Quarter.  I strolled along the streets of the Garden District and saw the house on First Street that had been Anne Rice’s home for so many years.

It’s rare these days to have a book series generate such a love affair with a particular location.  We saw it with Twilight and Forks, Washington, I suppose, and we’re seeing it now with Fifty Shades of Grey fans flocking to Seattle.

For me, though, the visit wasn’t important because I’m a fan of the books and the characters; rather it was that I wanted to see for myself that such a magical place could exist.  And it was true.  New Orleans has its own magic, its own charm, and no other city in the world can recreate that charm.  New Orleans was as central a character in Anne Rice’s books as Lestat himself.  The city was more than a setting.  It came to life in the books.  I saw the banana tress and the wrought-iron railings.  They appeared exactly as described.

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With the release of Anne Rice’s new novel, Prince Lestat, I find  myself fondly reminiscing about my trip to New Orleans, even though New Orleans really isn’t featured in the book.

If you haven’t been there, you must visit.  You simply must.  I cannot wait to walk the cobbled streets and smell the beignets from the Cafe du Monde.

Ah, New Orleans.