my top ten favorite villains


Some villains.

Villains.  You’ve gotta hate them.  They’re sneaky, evil, horrid, clever, seemingly invincible (at times), hateful, manipulative, and just downright bad.  Still, there’s a certain fascination that hangs around many villains.  We might be rooting for the hero (at least, I hope we are!) but sometimes the baddies can be so smart, funny, and (in some cases) attractive, that we kind of hope that they get away in the end – or that they turn good (a villain/antagonist turned good guy is amazing, IMO).

Anyway, this is my list of my top ten favorite villains.  It’s not comprehensive, it’s a strictly personal list, but I had fun with it.  There’s five male and five female bad guys/girls because I like making things even.

// Ben Wade – ‘3:10 to Yuma’ //

3 10 to Yuma 1957 77 Glenn Ford in handcuffs plotting.JPG

I wrote an entire post rhapsodizing about why this guy is my favorite villain of all time and having recently re-watched + loved ‘3:10’, I see no reason to change my opinion.  Just check out my post; it’ll be much more eloquent than anything I could scribble down here.

// Mother Gothel – ‘Tangled’ //

Manipulative.  That’s the best word to describe Mother Gothel.  Over the past seven years since ‘Tangled’ was released in theaters (has it really been that long?) people have debated over whether or not Gothel actually loved Rapunzel somewhat or was simply using her all along.  I think the answer’s pretty obvious.  As soon as Rapunzel told Mother Gothel that she would never let her hair be exploited again, any pretense of affection on Mother Gothel’s part instantly vanished.  She’s a horrible woman…but a great villainess.

// Jim Moriarty – ‘Sherlock’ //


Every girl who watches ‘Sherlock’ ends up falling for Moriarty sooner or later.  It’s a basic fact of life.  I think as soon as he showed up in ‘The Great Game’ (as himself, that is, not “Jim from work”) I became fascinated with him in that “you’re a despicable person, but still insanely clever/attractive” way.  It’s really weird. (I was so disappointed when BBC did the bait-and-switch thing in the very last episode with the flashback.  Even after Sherlock concludes Moriarty’s dead, you always wonder.)  His dedication to defeating Sherlock is a bit crazy – I mean, he commits suicide to gain the upper hand.  That is a serious super villain move.

// Solovet – Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins //


If/when ‘they’ make a movie of the Underland Chronicles, Cate Blanchett NEEDS to play Solovet.

Worst mom of the century award goes to Solovet.  Easily.  She locks Hamnet away without light, without human contact, for a month and then expects him to still be her loyal little son?  Who does that? (I’m writing some fanfiction right now surrounding those events, so I’m more triggered about it than usual.)  I will say, however, that Solovet is the least villainous person on this list.  She’s more of an antagonist than a villain and I still do feel a little sad when she gets sacrificed for TGG (the greater good) near the end of the series.

// Zemo – ‘Captain America: Civil War’ //


Um…I mostly included Zemo because he has a Tragic Backstory and he’s *cough* rather handsome and I’m rather tired of monstrous comic book villains.  Zemo’s normal compared to a bunch of Marvel and DC villains.  But I don’t particularly think he’s an epic villain, per se. (Though I will defend the brilliance of his plan.  Complexity of that sort amazes me.)

// Queen Levana – Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer //

The Lunar gift is both fascinating and terrifying.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if people actually had that kind of power?  Levana is a master at manipulating bioelectricity, which makes her frightening and unpredictable.  She, too, has the typical Tragic Backstory but she’s also just plain evil and a little unhinged as well (that always helps).  Even when I read Fairest, which is Levana’s story, it didn’t really make me sympathize with her (though it was written from her POV) because she is so weird/creepy/heartless.

// Scarecrow – the Dark Knight trilogy //


Speaking of weird and creepy…there’s plenty of weirdness and creepiness going on in Gotham and a lot of that is connected with Arkham Asylum and Jonathon Crane, AKA Scarecrow.  To be honest, my interest in Scarecrow may have more to do with the fact that I really, really like Cillian Murphy than any of Crane’s sterling qualities (I’M KIDDING), but there’s also something of a villain crush going on there as well.  One thing I find interesting in ‘Batman Begins’ is the power struggle.  Falcone thinks he’s so powerful and everything, but then he gets taken down by Crane who acts so superior and then R’as al Ghul sweeps into Gotham and takes over everything.  That being said, I put Scarecrow on the list (as opposed to R’as) because I find Scarecrow more interesting.

// Lina – ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ //


One word that sums up Lina?  Nasty.  Or, rather, nastiness personified.  She’s deceived herself into believing that she and Don will eventually be together as a couple, so she gets Kathy fired and throws temper tantrums whenever she’s contradicted, and generally makes an idiot of herself.  She’s definitely one of those ‘love to hate’ villains and her downfall is exquisitely perfect.

// Ratigan – ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ //


Look at that – another Sherlockian baddie!  Ratigan was my number one villain for the longest time and he’s still really high up on my list (just not on this list, ’cause I didn’t really rank anyone here except for my real number one).  One reason for Ratigan’s awesomeness is the fact that he gets TWO villain songs (I know I’ve said that before, but I still find it really, really cool).  He’s the perfect opponent and foil for Basil (in a similar way to how Moriarty and Sherlock are so evenly matched) and Vincent Price’s voice acting is a real treat.

// The Wicked Stepmother – ‘Cinderella’ //


What is it with stepmothers being so evil?  Lady Tremaine is pretty much the epitome of evil stepmothers and Cate Blanchett brought her to life with biting accuracy. *shivers*

Do you spot any evil favorites on this list?  Who are some of your favorite villains?



my top ten favorite TV shows


~Combat! -Most of the episodes in C! would make excellent war films by themselves.  In many episodes, the writing is brisk, the characters are realistic, and the emotions and tensions are real.  The best WWII show ever made.

~Rat PatrolMy first real TV show obsession.  Yes, it’s campy and cheesy – but isn’t that true of so many great shows?  The characters are what made me fall in love with RP.  From Tully to Dietrich to Moffitt, I love ’em all.

~Hogan’s HeroesOkay.  I used to dislike this show because I didn’t enjoy the humor, but I like it lots now.  Again, it’s the characters.  And the humor.  I mean, I laugh out loud quite a bit at HH now, and it’s a great show overall, especially because it gave me three of the four or five Russian words I know.

~The FugitiveI’ve only seen a few episodes of this, but I *cough* kind of like it better than the Harrison Ford movie *cough*.  Stories of falsely accused people have always struck a huge chord with me, for some reason, and this is, like, the ultimate example of that.  Plus, David Janssen’s acting ability blows me away.

~Psych – I’ve watched most of these episodes to death.  Still love it.

~Monk – Ditto.

~BBC Robin Hood – I can’t express my adoration for this show.  The characters!  The music!  The writing!  It’s all so, sooooooo good.  Btw, my favorite character used to be Will, but I’m pretty sure it’s Allan now.  Especially in Season 3 (*goes away and cries forever*).

~Get Smart – Normally, I dislike the type of humor found in Get Smart (slapstick, y’know).  But there are tons of genuinely funny moments; I’m grinning just thinking about them.  I don’t sit down and watch the episodes these days, but my little brothers love + watch them frequently, so I still get a good dose of Maxwell Smart almost every week.

~Wanted: Dead or Alive – My favorite Western TV show.  Steve McQueen does such a good job, and the eps have heart.

~Flashpoint – Canada has produced some wonderful shows, and my favorite is definitely Flashpoint.  The team-family is the best thing about it, with Spike being his own special kind of awesome.  And the finale is one of the greatest, most gripping TV finales I’ve ever seen.  Ever.

What are some of your favorite TV shows?



monk VS. psych

Comparison posts = awesome fun (for me at least; if y’all are getting tired of them, let me know please).  This time, I’ll be contrasting two of my all-time favorite TV shows: Monk and Psych.  I’ll try to not to have any spoilers throughout, except in the ‘Villains’ and ‘Finale’ category (duh).

This post is probably going to be crazy long, but….you’ll thank me later.

// Premise //

Monk: An former police detective who has major OCD works as a private investigator in San Fransisco while trying to find out who murdered his wife, Trudy.

Psych: A fake psychic and his best friend solve crimes and goof off (not necessarily in that order).

// Characters //

Monk: Well, for starters, you’ve got the man himself.  Adrian Monk is brilliant, but can often be infuriatingly annoying (he throws away all that food! he tries to fix that curtain when everyone’s stuck in the jury room! and tons of other stuff that I can’t think of right now!) but when the chips are down, he always comes through.  With all of his problems, tics, and quirks, it’s only natural that he should have an assistant – first Sharona, then Natalie.  Of the two, Natalie is my favorite, with her down-to-earth approach and genuine affection for ‘Mr. Monk’.

As for the other characters, they’re a mixed bag of great (Captain Stottlemeyer, Randy, and Dr. Bell), weird (Harold Krenshaw and Jack Monk, Jr.), blah (Dr. Kroger), and sweet (Kevin, Ambrose, and Trudy).

Psych: Shawn is a five-year-old at heart (and in mind as well).  That’s about the best description of him I’ve got.  Occasionally, you catch glimpses of his more mature, serious side (usually a feels-inducing moment, by the way) but it’s mainly nonsense throughout the whole show.  And Gus is only slightly better.  Shawn’s dad, Henry, keeps the two of them grounded in reality at times, but, honestly, it’s a rather futile endeavor.

At the police station, you’ve got the Chief (I like her), Lassiter (close to being my favorite character, even though he can be just plain weird at times), Juliet (<3), Woody (blech), and Buzz (*grins*).  Shawn’s mom also makes a few appearances; I love how she calls him ‘Goose’.

// Villains //

Monk: The only major villain (aka, one that appears in more than one episode) in this show is Dale the Whale and he’s gross and I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about him.  So I won’t.  Patrick Kloster, Steve Wagner, Theresa Scott, Ethan Rickover, and The Great Torini are also notable baddies.

Psych: Okayyyyy.  There’s some pretty great villains in Psych (great as in ‘really worthy opponents’).  Yin, Yang, and Pierre Despereaux (aka Royston Cornwallis Staley) stand out the most.  Yin/Yang are simply freaky.  Despereaux (played by a still-adorable-even-though-he’s-middle-aged-or-something Cary Elwes) is debonair and dashing and I love how he kinda sorta turns out to be good in the end, though you’re never quiiiite sure about that.

// Episodes //

Monk: The two-parter, ‘Mr Monk Is On The Run’ is EXCELLENT.  All the Christmas episodes are great (especially the secret Santa one) (and with the exception of the one with Monk’s dad).  I love the thread of Trudy-ness running through the whole series.  ‘Mr Monk’s Other Brother’ makes me grin and ‘Mr Monk’s 100th Case’ is seriously the best for someone new to the show – it explains everything.

Psych: Psych.  The Musical.  PSYCH THE MUSICAL.  Are you hearing this???  There’s a musical!  How insanely cool is that?!  (Also, they’re coming out with a Christmas reunion movie this year, people.)  My favorite part of the series, in all probability, is the Yin/Yang trilogy which is super dramatic and serious compared to the rest of the show. (My favorite of those three episodes is the second one, ’cause the feels are huge and it’s Hitchcock-themed so what’s not to love?).  Also, all the parody/tribute episodes are swell. (Like ‘100 Clues’ and ‘Dual Spires’ and ‘Heeeeere’s Lassie’.)

// Theme Song //

Monk: The first season had a jaunty little instrumental theme that played during the opening credits, but season two (and onward) had the Randy Newman song “It’s a Jungle Out There” for its theme.  It’s a funny song that accurately describes Monk’s near-constant state of mind, but I usually skip it.  It was changed up only once, for ‘Mr. Monk and the Rapper’.

Psych: LOVE this theme.  The energy is great and the clips make me grin (especially the Season 6 opener, which I’ve HTML-ed in above).  Psych gave its theme song a new twist several times, depending on what the episode was about.  You can get a full list of the changes here, my personal favorites being the Christmas one and the a capella one.

// Guest Stars //

Monk: Stanley Tucci, Sarah Silverman, Howie Mandel, Enrico Colantoni, Sean Astin, Jennifer Lawrence (in a very small, maybe even un-credited, role), Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Bernie Kopell…it’s a pretty great list, right? (And I didn’t even get everyone!)  Probably my favorite guest appearance was Bernie Kopell, ’cause he’s in Get Smart and it’s just so cool, that connection between two of my favorite TV shows (and from totally different decades, at that).  I believe Stanley Tucci got an Emmy for his role in ‘Mr. Monk and the Actor’ – he’s my second favorite guest star.  However, I don’t think Monk’s Hall of Guest Star Fame can really compare with…

Psych: John Cena, Anthony Michael Hall, C. Thomas Howell, Val Kilmer, Christopher Llyod, Ralph Macchio, Lou Diamond Phillips, John Rhys-Davies, Kevin Sorbo, George Takei, William Shatner, Lesley Ann Warren, Cary Elwes, Curt Smith…and, again, that’s not even half of the great guest stars Psych managed to pull in over the years.  Favorite guest star?  William Shatner, who’s not just a great actor, but a great character in the show as well (playing Juliet’s estranged dad).  But Ralph Macchio is, of course, right up there, too.

// Finale //

Monk: Ohhhhh, man.  You’d better have ten boxes of tissues for this two-part end to the series because it’s intense and feelsy and an incredibly amazing/satisfying end to such a good show.  To give you an idea of how powerful it is, I’ve got to tell you that I watched the finale quite early in my obsession with Monk and even though I didn’t know the characters all that well, I was definitely moved.  I still tear up every time.  It’s the show at its absolute best.

Psych: A good finale.  It does the job of ending the show in a bittersweet-ish way.  But it’s not phenomenal in the way that some TV show finales are phenomenal (Flashpoint comes to mind).  The best bits are Shawn proposing to Juliet and the little reference to Monk at the end.  LOVED that bit.  And Dobson’s identity finally gets revealed, and it’s pretty epic considering all the references the show made to Val Kilmer throughout its eight year run.

// Overall //

As much as Monk will always have a really special place in my heart, the winner of this contest is Psych.  The characters are wacky, but I love ’em.  The episodes are endlessly inventive.  The humor never gets old.  Still, several episodes of Monk will never fail to grab me, and the emotions are real.  In the end, I’d say that both shows are excellent and highly recommended.



the adventures of robin hood (1938) VS. robin hood (1973) VS. bbc robin hood

Olivia from Meanwhile, in Rivendell… is hosting a Robin Hood week and, naturally, I had to join in the fun.  I’m an ardent fan of Robin Hood – the character, the books, the movies, and the TV shows (yes, there is more than one).  It was a bit difficult to decide on what I should write about, as my options were almost limitless, but since movie (and TV show in this case) comparison posts are so much fun, I thought I’d do another one.


The Adventures of Robin Hood: I think many people view this re-telling of the Robin Hood story as the definitive version, and it’s quite easy to see why.  Many of the plot points from the original legends are brought to the screen in glowing Technicolor – from Robin and Littlejohn’s battle over the bridge to the archery tournament to the return of King Richard.  While the film can be episodic at times, it flows together well.  Two thumbs up!

Robin Hood: This adaption is more a series of entertaining, swashbuckling vignettes than a cohesive whole – and I’m fine with that.  It’s good, solid, entertaining fun.  Not until Prince John calls in all the taxes and Friar Tuck is put in jail does any real plot come together (besides the thread of Robin + Marian throughout).  Still, like I said, it’s good fun and a great interpretation of the Robin Hood legend.

BBC Robin Hood: How do I go about describing the story?  It’s a three-season TV show, so there’s lots of plots and subplots and romances and drama and all that good stuff.  I will say, however, that in terms of accuracy to the original Robin Hood stories, BBC’s adaption falls short.  Very, very short.  Don’t get me wrong; the episodes are still awesome.  They just don’t stick close to all those thrilling tales of old.

-Robin Hood-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: Errol Flynn seems born to play the role of Robin Hood and he makes the part his own with his customary swagger, feats of derring do, and more than a few glimpses of Robin’s romantic nature (in his scenes with Maid Marian, of course).  Flynn’s delivery of Robin Hood’s speeches stirs the heart and he never misses a beat in the entirety of his performance. (Those sword fights…)

Robin Hood: In many ways, this Robin Hood (appropriately enough, a fox) differs little from Errol Flynn’s portrayal (nothing wrong with that). After all, Robin is supposed to be the brave, bold, daring leader with a dash of cheekiness and plenty of heart.  This Robin has all of that, and more, and there’s something about either Brian Bedford’s voice acting or the animator’s skills (or my own mushy, gushy feels – or all three) that makes me love this Robin Hood the most of any portrayal I’ve seen.  I mean, seriously, when he says “Keep your chin up.  Someday there’ll be happiness in Nottingham again.  You’ll see.” I get this close to crying.  Every. Single. Time.

BBC Robin Hood: For whatever reason, a lot of the show’s fans don’t much care for Robin himself.  I guess I can kind of get that, ’cause he can be a jerk and all, but Gisborne is a murderer and everyone loves him, so… Anyway, Jonas Armstrong’s Robin Hood is much darker than either Errol Flynn’s or Brian Bedford’s.  He’s also a deeper character, more nuanced, more interesting, which only makes sense – it is a TV show, after all, with much time to develop its characters.  I don’t wholeheartedly like this Robin Hood, but I sympathize with him and I can respect him.


The Adventures of Robin Hood: You’ve got most of the classics here: Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy, Maid Marian, Littlejohn, Will Scarlett, Friar Tuck, Much, King Richard…these are staple Robin Hood characters, and each is portrayed about as perfectly as you can get ’em.  Love it.

Robin Hood: There aren’t as many classic characters in this one – and all of them are talking animals (there’s nothing wrong with that, but I feel like it should be pointed out). Skippy & Co. take up a relatively large chunk of the movie, and the only member of Robin’s band that makes it into animation is Littlejohn. (Mayyyybe Friar Tuck.)  There is Allan a Dale, though, which is nice.  And Maid Marian and Prince John and the Sheriff.  And King Richard.  You could say Sir Hiss is a counterpart of Sir Guy, but I don’t see much resemblance.  Overall, in terms of accuracy-to-the-originals, it’s not as good as The Adventures of Robin Hood, but not quite as bad as…

BBC Robin Hood: Okay, sure, a lot of the characters have the same name as their legendary templates, but that’s about where any similarities end.  Marian is a feisty action girl.  Friar Tuck is a warrior priest.  Allan is a trickster.  Much is Robin’s former manservant.  Will Scarlett is a carpenter.  The Sheriff, Sir Guy, and Prince John are appropriately villainous, but BBC gave them each a life of their own.  King Richard is a jerkface (well, at least that’s accurate) and there’s lots of new characters, too.  Like Edward and Djaq and Kate and Isabella.  I do adore most of the characters, though.


The Adventures of Robin Hood: Erich Wolfgang Korngold captured the essence of the story of Robin Hood with his incredible score.  It’s bold and daring and instantly recognizable.  Plus #nostalgia for me, especially the bits of scoring when Robin and his men attack the treasure/taxes procession and also when Robin and Littlejohn fight on the bridge.  It’s an awesome score.

Robin Hood: This being an animated Disney film, there are songs.  My favorite is ‘Love’ (I’m still going to do a BBC Robin Hood fan-vid to it someday) – it beautifully encapsulates Robin and Marian’s relationship.  And all the other ones are great, too.

BBC Robin Hood: Okay, so there’s the main theme (this being a TV show) that just is Robin Hood to me.  Plus a great soundtrack throughout the show, plus two songs that are first sung aloud and then used for the duration of the series in their instrumental forms and it tugs on the heartstrings, y’all.  First the song that Alice sings to little Littlejohn, and then the one that Eve sings to Much.  Music is my thing and I love how the show reuses its musical themes to great – and often emotional – effect.

-Love Story-

The Adventures of Robin Hood: The traditional Robin + Marian romance.  Errol Flynn and Olivia de Haviland were paired in a bunch of movies, most of which I haven’t seen, but I doubt anything could match the chemistry they have in this film.  At first, Marian doesn’t care much for Robin (an understatement) but after seeing his true motivation, she quickly falls for him (after all, it’s an under-two-hours-long movie).  A sweet, gentle love story.

Robin Hood: Another lovely romance.  Robin and Marian get a love song, fight side by side at the archery tournament, and get married.  No tragedy, no heartbreak (well, except when Robin’s about to get executed – my heart!), and plenty of shippable moments.  The only complaint I have is that Marian disappears after ‘Phony King of England’ and doesn’t return until the last scene.  Apparently, there was an alternate ending in which Marian found the wounded Robin and hid him/nursed him back to health, which would’ve been EPIC, but anyway…

BBC Robin Hood: *bawls* Sure, they’re annoying in the first season, but adorable in the second.  AND THEN SHE UP AND DIES.  It’s so unfair.  Still, I wholeheartedly ship BBC Robin and Marian.  They’re wonderful together. (And I love all the other ships, too, like Will + Djaq, Much + Eve, and Guy + Meg.)


The Adventures of Robin Hood: King Richard comes back and squelches Prince John, Sir Guy, and the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Everyone else gets pardoned and lives happily ever after.

Robin Hood: King Richard comes back and squelches Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham (+ Trigger + Nutsy).  Everyone else gets pardoned, Robin and Marian marry, and “that’s the way it really happened”. (I refuse to believe differently.)

BBC Robin Hood: King Richard gets captured and imprisoned (I HATE HISTORY), almost everyone dies, and nobody lives happily ever after.  Ugggggh.


It’s a tough choice because each of these versions of Robin Hood is so different.  One is a 1938 Technicolor show-stopper, one is a little-known Disney flick, and one is a uniquely modern BBC production.  It’s difficult to chose!  I think that The Adventures of Robin Hood is closest to the spirit of the original legends.  Disney’s animated adaption is the most fun (definitely) and has the added attraction (for me, at least) of being hugely nostalgic.  And BBC’s Robin Hood is, in turn, enormously awesome and frustrating.

However, I’m going with Robin Hood (1973) as my favorite of the three.  Because I love, love, love it (even more than BBC Robin Hood).



wanted: dead or alive episode review/analysis – “secret ballot”

[This post was written for the 3rd Annual Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon, hosted by A Shroud of Thoughts.]

Ohhhhhh, that glare at the camera. EPICNESS.:

Wanted: Dead or Alive is an outstanding (though little-known) western TV show that ran during what many refer to as the ‘golden age of television’.  Westerns were hugely popular with TV audiences in the 50’s and 60’s and Wanted: Dead or Alive slipped through the cracks for whatever reason, running for only three seasons.  It might have been entirely forgotten, had not the show’s star, Steve McQueen, gone on to bigger and better things. 

Still, even apart from McQueen’s excellent turn as Josh Randall, Wanted: Dead or Alive is still a great western show, unique in that the lines aren’t as clearly drawn between good guys and bad guys as in some westerns.  Josh himself is often ostracized from ‘polite society’ because he’s a bounty hunter and at times the wanted criminals he pursues turn out to be decent people, falsely accused.  It’s an interesting take on the classic western. (And besides the uniqueness of the show, there’s cool guest stars, too, like James Coburn, Mary Tyler Moore, Lee Van Cleef, DeForest Kelley, and Martin Landau.  And that’s just naming a few.)

Anyway, today I want to discuss one of Wanted: Dead or Alive’s most powerful episodes, in my mind – ‘Secret Ballot’.

The episode begins with Josh riding down the street of a small town.  There’s  a large banner strung across the street that says NED EASTER FOR MAYOR.  That doesn’t make The Bad Guys happy, the ones who just a moment before were gloating about the much smaller poster that advertises their favorite candidate, Barney Pax, the current (and corrupt) mayor.  One of the bad guys is Steve Pax, by the way, Barney’s brother, and you can imagine what the town’s like if the mayor and the sheriff are not only corrupt, but brothers as well.

Anyway, one of Steve’s lackeys goes over, swings a rope over the banner, and yanks it down.  Josh takes exception to this and suggests that the guy put it back up.  That doesn’t go over well with Steve or his two deputies, of course (I dunno if the two guys hanging around with Steve are actually his deputies, but I’m just going to guess that they are) and they ‘suggest’ that Josh should move on.  (Surprisingly, he does.)  And then there’s this great little exchange that always cracks me up.

Henchman #1: “You figure Ned Easter’s hired a gun to run his campaign?”
Steve: “[If] he did, it’s the greatest mistake since buttermilk.”

Cut to the opening credits. (Which are awesome, I might add.)

So, after the credits, Josh goes into the town schoolhouse which has become Ned Easter’s campaign headquarters.  Ned and his wife, Carol, are excited/happy/pleased to see Josh, but when Josh tries to explain what he’s doing in Crater City, Carol hurries Ned out the door.  We soon find out why – Carol doesn’t want Ned to know that she sent for Josh because apparently Ned thinks he can beat Pax alone and “he’d be furious” to find out that Carol doesn’t think so…?  I guess? (Fun fact: Ned is played by John Lupton, who I first saw in Disney’s The Great Locomotive Chase.  It was neat to see him in a Wanted: Dead or Alive episode.)

After Ned leaves, Josh and Carol discuss some things, like how Ned’s the first person to stand up to Barney Pax, how Ned deserves to win the election more than anyone else, and how Barney made Steve sheriff to keep all his dirty dealings and murderous tricks legal.  There seems to be no way of stopping Barney, especially because he tends to scare people out of voting for anyone other than him.  But then Josh pulls out a wanted (dead or alive, naturally) poster for Steve Pax, alias Steve Patrick.  According to Carol, the poster could win the election for Ned, I guess because it would discredit Steve and so people would be less afraid of Barney’s threats.

A moment later, they hear gunshots from outside.  Steve’s deputies are riding back and forth, shooting their guns, and one of them goes so far as to throw a lasso around Ned and drag him along the street until Josh shoots him (the deputy, not Ned).  Then the deputy tries to shoot Josh.  Then Steve tries to shoot Josh.  Then Barney shoots the gun out of Steve’s hand and does the whole ‘concerned civil servant’ act and it’s nauseating, but what can you do?  Ned does try to do something, ’cause in the next scene, he’s talking to a bunch of people (it’s nighttime, just so you know), but his efforts appear to have been successfully thwarted when Dolly, who owns the town’s saloon, shows up with a carriage full of dancing girls from Denver City.  But Josh sees through her. (Duh.)

“Excuse me.  Now you didn’t bring these girls all the way from Denver just to heckle up Mr. Easter’s campaign, did y’ now?”

Dolly gets pretty angry, but even more so when Josh shows her the reward poster for Steve Pax.  Then he gets Ned to read it out loud and everyone drifts away from Dolly and her dancing girls, so I suppose it made a pretty big impression.  Later on, at the schoolhouse, Ned tries to get Josh to change his mind and leave Crater City instead of sticking around and maybe getting himself killed.  That’s when you learn Important Backstory Information ’cause Josh mentions that Ned (‘Corporal Ned Easter’) went out of his way to help him a couple times (during the Civil War, I’m assuming).  And that just makes what happens at the end of this episode even more heartbreaking and just…ugggggh.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Dolly shows up at the schoolhouse with a message for Josh: Barney Pax wants to see him.  Josh follows her into a room at the back of the saloon, where she leaves him to wait, saying she’ll go get Barney.  While Josh waits, he either hears a noise coming from a closet in the room or just assumes that someone might be hiding in there, and when he opens the closet door, out tumbles Steve Pax.  Dead.  There’s a bullet hole in his back and, of course, Barney and and a couple of his/Steve’s friends come in right then and find Josh standing over Steve’s body.  Barney takes his (Josh’s) gun.

Commercial break.  I’d like to point out right here that Steve Pax is played by DeForest Kelley and I promised my dear friend Maribeth a screenshot just of him since she’s a huge Trekkie (and I’m a second-hand one because of her), so here it is. 

By the way, Barney was the one who killed Steve, or at least ordered the killing. I don’t think it’s ever proven or said outright, but you just know.

This post is getting super long, so I’m just going to go over the next few scenes as quickly as I can.  Barney goes to the schoolhouse and tells Ned and Carol that Josh is being held on a murder charge and will be hung for it…unless Ned agrees to step out of the campaign, leaving Crater City in Pax’s slimy hands.  Ned agrees to do so, on the condition that he can see Josh first, to make sure he’s still alive. (Oh, and Barney also says that the printer in town, who owes him a few favors, will swear that he printed the wanted poster for ‘Randall’ just to smear the Pax brothers.)

To make a longish scene short, Josh ends up escaping from the room he was being held in.  But Ned still agrees to give Barney the whole ballot, because Barney says that he’ll make sure Josh is hunted for the rest of his life, until he ends up dead.  Barney wants the agreement in writing, and Ned goes back to the schoolhouse to write it all down.  Carol is angry that Pax has finally succeeded in stopping Ned and, in a frantic attempt in stop Ned from taking himself out of the running to save Josh’s life, she ‘admits’ that the reason Josh came to Crater City was to see her, that he’s been writing to her for months, that he’s been trying to convince Carol to go away with him.  Ned doesn’t believe her and still plans to go ahead with what he feels is the only way to save his friend. (Note: I can kind of see where Carol’s coming from, but I really, really, REALLY don’t like her.)

Let me just say that whoever cast this episode did a great job because the actors and actresses all perfectly inhabit their roles, making Ned upright and honest, Barney seemingly upright and honest but with a certain untrustworthiness, Steve a creep (sorry, DeForest Kelley fans!), Carol conniving, and Dolly cheap.  It’s very interesting, watching them all play off each other.

Anyway, Barney comes over and takes the written agreement from Ned.  When he leaves, Ned asks Carol if what she said about Josh was true (as opposed to something she just said to make turn him against Josh so that he wouldn’t give up the election).  And she says “Oh, what difference does it make now?”.  PLENTY of difference.  A years-old friendship is at stake!  UGH.  Ned goes off to find Josh after that little exchange (I don’t know if he still believes Carol’s lies or not right here) and once he’s gone, Carol grabs a gun and goes off to the saloon to see Barney.  Meanwhile, Josh has slipped back into the saloon’s back room and listens in on Carol and Barney’s exchange.  She threatens him with her gun so that she can get Ned’s agreement back.  Barney says that it’s already at the printers, but that’s a lie, as Carol points out – he hasn’t had enough time.

Things happen really fast after that.  Josh opens the door he’s hiding behind and Carol turns and tries to shoot him.  Josh slams the door shut and then Barney fires three shots at said door.  Then Barney cautiously enters the room, Josh emerges from the closet with his shotgun ready, Barney turns from the window to Josh, and Josh shoots him.  Obviously, Barney dies and that’s the end of him.  Dolly seems quite upset about it, though…but enough about those two.  Josh gives Ned’s paper back to Carol.  In all fairness to Carol, I think it was more of a reflex thing, her shooting at Josh, based on their little exchange right after she gets the paper back.

Josh: “Well, that’s the resignation.”
Carol: “Josh, I…I almost killed you.”
Josh: “Yeah.  You almost killed me.” [He says it with his signature little grin/smirk/smile, so he’s not mad at her or anything.  And then he leaves, with very dramatic music playing on the soundtrack.]

And thennnn there’s The Awful Tag Scene.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Basically, Carol comes running down the boardwalk after Josh and tells him about some of the lies she told Ned and she’s all ashamed and upset and kind of puts her head on his shoulder and then Ned walks up and asks Josh if what Carol said was true and Josh says “Yeah, she told you the truth” and then Ned gives him a look and he walks away and it’s horrible, it really is, because of (among other things) the expression on Josh’s face as he leaves.  Plus, he and Ned were such good friends.

The ending of this episode is powerful and unexpected and completely unfair, but that’s sometimes life, y’know?


Despite the ending, I do love and admire this episode.  It’s one of the finest – if not the finest – of the entire show.  And here’s a bunch of pictures for ya’ll – all the screenshots that I couldn’t really find a place for in main body of the post (except the one of Dead Barney Pax which doesn’t really belong anywhere).  I’m not one to let good screenshots go to waste. 😉

Have you seen this episode of Wanted: Dead or Alive?  What do you think of it?


valentine’s day 2017: #relationshipgoals


~”If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” – #relationshipgoals

~When some famous movie star takes you into an empty set and creates a beautiful (albeit fake) rose-trellised garden flooded with moonlight and star dust and then proceeds to sing you a song and you realize he’s more than just a shadow on film. – #relationshipgoals

~”I’m your density.” – #relationshipgoals

~How Jack looks at Rose and vice-versa. – #relationshipgoals

~”You were my new dream.” – #relationshipgoals

~Anne and Gilbert and how she cracks the slate over his head at first but then when he’s dying she shows him her book and then they get married and go through so many ups and downs and then WWI breaks into their family but they’re still strong for each other and love each other. – #relationshipgoals

~”I let her go.” – #relationshipgoals

~TheMarried Life Montage’ from UP. – #relationshipgoals

~”Stay with me?”  “Always.” – #relationshipgoals

~When your husband’s slowly killing you with a combination of poisoned tea and sheer terror and then the guy you really love shows up, ready to rescue you, and then actually does while under enormous pressure and plenty of danger and you’re just hanging onto him, trusting him to get you safely away. – #relationshipgoals

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious:

~”Baby, all your facial parts are in the right place.” – #relationshipgoals

~Robin Hood + Maid Marian, any version/adaption of the story EVER – #relationshipgoals

~”Fraulein…I want you to stay.” – #relationshipgoals

~Steve and Peggy and how even before Steve got all tall and buff, Peggy liked him because of the thing with the grenade and he’s smart and funny and pretty awesome to boot, and how Steve was sort of scared of her at first (not really, but pretty much) and then their friendship/professional relationship deepened into something beautiful and then he died and she got married and it’s just too much, guys, but it’s still #relationshipgoals.

~”Will you love me just as much when I’m normal?”  “I’ll be insane about you.” – #relationshipgoals

~Larry Daley and Amelia Earhart’s rather unique relationship in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – #relationshipgoals

~”You’re as beautiful as the day I lost you.” – #relationshipgoals

~Also, y’know, my mom has stuck so close to my dad’s side during his battle with cancer and my grandparents have been married for almost fifty years, so I have the greatest #relationshipgoals examples right in front of me every single day.  And that’s a blessing I’m hugely grateful for. ❤

Legit photo of my parents.


“I’ve got the solution.”

(AKA a bunch of gushy thoughts about the TV show Flashpoint.)

Five seasons.  Seventy-three episodes.  In less than three weeks.

Do not binge watch this show.  Ever.  It’ll leave you feeling like your heart is all twisted up and you just got punched in the stomach.  For the one hundredth time.  I’m serious. 

In case you didn’t know, Flashpoint is about an elite police unit called the SRU (Strategic Response Unit) – it’s sort of like SWAT.  The unit/team responds to various ‘hot calls’, most of which involve some sort of hostage situation.  SRU’s responsibility is to calm everyone down (both hostage taker and hostage[s]) and make sure everything turns out all right.  Only, that doesn’t always happen. (Fun fact: Most episodes of Flashpoint are specifically designed to rope you in with a super emotional plot/likable characters and then crush all your hopes and feelings and leave you in a puddle of tears.) 

Anyway, this show can get super, super tense. (Especially the bomb episodes, partly because BOMBS and partly because my absolute favorite character is the team’s demolitions expert, so he’s pretty much always two centimetres away from some of the deadliest, most diabolical bombs known to man.)  People die and characters suffer from regrets, broken homes, and PTSD.  It’s really tough, but I still love it because it’s CANADIAN and awesome and full of wonderful people (I love every. single. character.) and since it’s so intensely emotional, it’s dug right into my heart (duh).  But enough of all that, because I want to talk about my favorite part of the show…


THE CHARACTERS. (Of course.)

First impression of the team:

  • Greg – That dude from Monk.
  • Ed – Cool beans.
  • Sam – JERK.
  • Jules – The Woman On The Team.
  • Spike – Comic relief?
  • Lou – Guy in the background all the time.
  • Wordy – That dude from Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye.

Final impression of the team:

  • Greg – Sergeant Saunders 2.0.  Also, pretty awesome.
  • Ed – SERIOUS cool beans.
  • Sam – Afghanistan veteran whose backstory is super tragic + heartbreaking. *heart eyed emoji* One half of a great ship.
  • Jules – Love her!  One half of a great ship.
  • Lou – *bawls*
  • Wordy – *bawls again*

That’s the team, in a nutshell.  Spike is my favorite, closely followed by everyone else. (I really can’t list them in order of liking except for Spike, who’s always at the top.)  There are quite a few minor characters who’ve stolen my heart as well, but I can’t list them all right now.  (If you happen to like this show, I’d love to discuss all the characters further, but this post is sort of just to get people interested in watching it themselves, so I want to keep moving forward.)  Since there’s five seasons of everyone being pushed to the breaking point, their true colors bleed through a lot which helps you get to like/know them very well, very quickly.

First episode weirdness is pretty much a prerequisite for any TV show, and Flashpoint is no exception.  The first episode actually bored me so much that I ended up flipping through a book for most of it.  But then we started watching the second ep, all about a father taking hostages in a hospital so that he can force the doctors to do heart surgery on his little girl, and it was suspenseful, emotional, and interesting – I couldn’t stop watching.  But it wasn’t until the third episode (wow – such a long time, right?) that I truly fell in love with Flashpoint because that episode is so gripping, heartbreaking, and intense that I decided that episode would be my favorite forever and ever. (I enjoy being emotionally manipulated, I guess?)  Of course, that didn’t last long (though it still remains one of my favorite eps) because the awesome episodes kept coming and coming and coming.


I believe the main thing that I’ve taken away from Flashpoint is to not judge people from first impressions.  Most episodes start out with a little prologue that’s taken from the middle of the episode (sort like YA novel prologues) and it often gives you the wrong idea about practically everything.  There’s not a whole lot of black and white in this show – most of the antagonists are good people who’ve been driven to do desperate things.  And the main characters themselves change (sometimes not always for the better).  The longer you watch, the deeper things get and that’s awesome.

WATCH IT, PEOPLE.  It’s so, so good.