T-Shirt: Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Never Give Up, Never Surrender


Today's daily tee from TeeFury is the N.S.E.A. Protector from Galaxy Quest. A beautiful ship from a non-stop hilarious movie that's one of my all-time favorites. That's why I had to take some time out of the beginning of the work day to talk about it. Many shirts I have come across in the past number of months have been great, but I haven't had the time to do more than slap quick links into tweets. Many more haven't been to my liking, either because they weren't the best designs, I'd seen them before or too many had been similar, or they were pop culture icons that I just don't care about.

But I sure do care about this particular one. I can't ignore "Never Give Up, Never Surrender," and I cannot pass it up, especially not for just $11. Though I have probably what is now a literal ton of shirts, I don't have a Galaxy Quest tee and that just feels wrong.

You know what else feels wrong? I never got to finish writing my Alan Rickman tribute. :( One day, hopefully.

The Blacklist: Cape May ~ The Depths of Grief

SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU ARE CAUGHT UP WITH "CAPE MAY."

Cape May. I never imagined just the name of a place could have such an affect on me. Though The Blacklist has had much to recommend it, "Cape May" was a standout in its depiction of grief, the way it flowed from beginning to end with the eerie feeling that something wasn't right, something was missing, like a half-remembered dream.

Nothing was right, of course, and the missing piece, it could be said, was Red; he hadn't been there to save Katarina from herself and he failed to save her daughter. In a profound grief triggered by Liz's death, Red fled to probably the last place that holds significance for him. Not knowing what to do and too hurt to do anything else, Red sat on the beach of Cape May to stare out at the hypnotizing vastness that guides broken souls through all their "what ifs?" Before long, his distraught mind decided for him.

What a superb episode. I didn't know James Spader could give more of his heart and soul than he already has throughout these past three seasons...

Barely having a chance to get lost in his thoughts, Red saw someone in trouble, a woman he had earlier seen fleeing a diner, pursued by a man in a flannel shirt with a scowl on this face. She was about to let the ocean take her. Having lost someone in such a way, Red didn't hesitate to act.

I had no clue who this woman was right then. I just thought it was nice for Red at his lowest to have someone to save. The first indication that something was off—those missing pieces—was the way this scene was edited. The woman started walking toward the ocean and Red ran after her, yelling for her to stop. She dove into the waves and he followed. Then suddenly, a little oddly, it cut to Red pulling her out of the water.

He helped her inside the beachfront inn, set her down by the fireplace, and went to get a blanket. He halted for a beat when the inn hostess appeared behind him and asked if he needed help. But this was the off season and no one else was there. He shrugged it off, found a blanket, started a fire, and layed down next to the suicidal woman. I assumed it was only for body heat and to comfort her, but then it seemed more intimate than that, his face showing more than the natural concern for another human being, his words too easily getting a confession out of her.

It's not that he died. It's not even the way he died. It's in the things I said to him just before he died.

When they had dinner, there was a wide shot of the table with two place settings where the woman was completely obscured by a post, as if she wasn't there at all and I got a sinking feeling. The next angle showed both of them and I was reassured, but then the unease about her returned with the way they seemed to have an unspoken connection and how she brought out of Red the terrible things that have happened, the choices he made.

I was arrogant. I presumed that there was an order to things, that there was - that if I nourished and protected and taught the child, she would be...safe and happy.

Then the attack came from the man in the diner. The woman whispered a warning to Red, and it sounded like she was right next to him, but she wasn't there. I was sure then of what I had begun to suspect. They talked in the living room afterwards, the woman at the piano and Red on the couch baring his soul again, the present in parallel with his past.


The Blacklist Tracklist

There was a woman I loved. She was my life...my heart. Then she died. She left behind a little girl: one last, precious piece of herself. I would give anything to be a part of that child's life, but a man made it clear I would never see her, hold her, watch her grow. And I knew in that moment, I would never be a part of that beautiful little girl's life...

This sad scene finished with a phone call, and they got ready for an onslaught. They won, but the people who were after the woman weren't going to give up. She had no options left, and Red did his best to talk her out of what he knew was coming by relating to her his witnessing of "a perfect circle of death."

That's every suicide. Every single one. An act of terror perpetrated against everyone who's ever known you, everyone who's ever loved you. The people closest to you, the ones who cherish you, are the ones who suffer the most pain, the most damage. Why would you do that? Why would you do that to people who love you?

A beautifully heart-felt plea to the woman he had loved. And her response is something he should have told Liz before it was too late. But don't we all think we have more time?

That little girl, the one you told me about, the one whose father you spared, what would you do if you knew, knew that as long as you drew breath, as long as you continued to exist her life would be in danger, she would be hunted, and she would be killed? What would you do?

Every one of their exchanges had felt like more than two strangers just getting to know each other; it's like they already did, but they were in a sort of purgatory where their memories of each other had vanished. Through all of this, until the end, Red didn't realize who he had saved, until after the woman inevitably walked into the water again, as she always would. Red's hallucination rewrote Katarina's last day as if he had been there with her, what he would have done to keep her safe. Everyone wishes they could change the past, but it is a deep and abiding sorrow, an utterly shattered heart, to be manifesting someone long-gone and to think she's actually there.

Now I wonder if Katarina really told him why she took her own life or if he just intuited it. Did she leave a note? (I don't remember if there was ever a hint of a note before.) Had he really been there in the past to help protect her from a couple of thugs and then did he leave when she asked him to? Is that why he said "I can't" and stayed with her, because this time things would be different? All I know for sure is she died and left behind little Masha. The rest could have been a scenario Red made up in this waking nightmare.

[EDIT I was in such a rush that there was a question I forgot to ask, until the latest episode reminded me of it. Why didn't Red recognize Katarina? At first I thought it was just the way his mind was working through the grief, like a dream where the people you know have different faces. That has happened to me a few times before. So, could it be that Katarina didn't really look like the woman in "Cape May"? Could it be that Red saw a flesh and blood woman in that diner, rather than a ghost his heart could never let go, and then built a scenario around her where she stood in for Katarina?]

What a superb episode. I didn't know James Spader could give more of his heart and soul than he already has throughout these past three seasons, but "Cape May" surpassed even "Madeline Pratt." That was the episode where Red recounted finding his daughter in a pool of her own blood, his eyes closed, transported back to that moment as if it had just happened, the wound never having healed.

And tonight, in "The Artax Network," the rest of the cast gets their chance to bring everything they have to the funeral episode. I'm really looking forward specifically to seeing how this affects Aram. Amir Arison was perfect in "The Director" when Aram saved Liz. That entire scene where he was trying to reassure Liz, pleaded for her life, performed CPR on her, and then threatened the Director was the highlight of Arison's work on the show.

I can't wait to see what the final episodes have in store, but I'm not even finished with this post. I sacrificed almost my entire work day for this, but I have to get to it or I will be scrambling to catch up on the weekend. So, I guess there will be a Part 3 of this post, which I will have to link to here.

The Blacklist: Lyrics in the Aftermath of Mr. Solomon

SPOILERS AHEAD...SORT OF. I DON'T REALLY SAY ANYTHING SPECIFIC, BUT STILL IT'S NOT THE BEST IDEA TO READ THIS UNTIL YOU'RE CAUGHT UP WITH "MR SOLOMON: CONCLUSION."

When there's no way out
I'll let you build your home with me
'Til the clocks run down
...
When there's no way out
Call me and I will come and bury you
All safe and sound.


Music and The Blacklist: They go hand-in-hand. Never in the the way or inappropriate, the music enhances the emotional payoff and sometimes reveals a little more than it seems at first. Look at the lyrics above, hinting at what was to come in the following episode. Just the words "no way out" should have instilled a sense of dread about the direction this two-parter was going to take. Every series uses music to help tell the story, but The Blacklist does it better than most. It wouldn't be any less without, because the emotions run high regardless, but the music makes it even more.

There was a mournful piece once early in the first season that, upon doing some research, I discovered was about the loss of a child. That one from "Frederick Barnes," which I talked about then, accompanied the scene where Red visited the house where he raised his family, looked to the top of the staircase with that ever-present sadness in his eyes, gently touched the banister, pulled off the paneling covering the height marks a parent makes to see how their child is growing, and then stopped and stared out the widow, lost in the memory of his daughter playing in the yard.

Whoever is choosing the music has used Radical Face to perfection I think twice now, and one of Electric President's members *is* Radical Face. But I'm still waiting for them to use "All is Well (Goodbye, Goodbye)."

So I collected all our plans and crimes
And set them all alight.
The only thing that bound me to this place,
You took with you when you died.

When I first heard this one, sometime a bit before or after "Madeline Pratt," I immediately thought of The Blacklist, every word aching with sadness. I think this song cuts deepest and closest to Red's heart and would be another brilliant choice for the series. Until then it has a place in my Reminds Me of the Blacklist playlist.

This wasn't supposed to be a post about the music, though. I decided to include the lyrics from two episodes prior to where we find Red now in "Cape May," because I watched it again and realized how true the lyrics were. Suddenly I was writing about the soundtrack. You can listen to it at The Blacklist Tracklist, which I started back in season 1, or The Blacklist Playlist, the one NBC finally created for their epically intimate crime/mystery/thriller series. NBC's playlist I assume is more complete, but doesn't seem to be all in order, and I don't know yet if there are songs on it that haven't been in the show. I have to give it a listen.

I had something else to say, too, and since this is long already, and people have short attention spans, I will split these up into two posts. The next part is coming soon—hopefully, before the next episode—and I'll link to it here when I've finished.

The Blacklist: Mr. Solomon Conclusion

The Blacklist, Mr Solomon Conclusion
It's the children whom the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.
~ Raymond Reddington

SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU'VE SEEN "MR. SOLOMON: CONCLUSION." IF YOU WANT TO GO IN COMPLETELY FRESH, MAYBE ALSO AVOID THIS VIDEO.


That quote that I started with, the beautiful thing Red said to Liz, gave me hope that everything would be alright. But nothing was and may never be again for poor Red.

My dreams on Thursday night were so vivid. They weren't dreams specifically about The Blacklist, but they certainly involved Raymond Reddington or James Spader. I don't know who it was. All I know is that a lot of things were going on, it was a life and death situation, and I woke up a few times and thought of things I would say in this inevitable post. The shock of what happened most definitely interferred with sleep. The whole episode was intense, especially the end, which I never saw coming. I guess I just assumed that Liz/Megan would have the baby at or near the end of the season and take a summer break.

Keep her heart beating, Nik. Please, just keep her heart beating.
~ Raymond Reddington

Right here it got really desperate and Spader had yet another chance to be superb. Being stopped by Mr. Solomon and his crew when they were still a couple miles out from a hospital, Red could do nothing but plead and watch as the life drained out of Liz. The looks on Dembe and Ressler's faces when they opened the van door and Nik (doctor/Liz's ex) said he had to call time of death. The shot of the back of Cooper's head, looking down on Aram, frozen in devastation, who just got the call. Poor Aram, who had recently saved Liz from a desperate situation, which gave Amir Arison his biggest role and best scenes to date. And then Samar doubling over, overcome with tears, being embraced by Ressler. That scene of everyone getting the news was so depressing.

Out of all the beautiful and flawlessly-acted scenes in the series, this wordless one may be Spader's finest.

Then there was Mr. Kaplan slo-mo walking away with Liz's body, glancing down...looking for movement? Hoping for it when she knows it's not possible? Or hoping Liz doesn't wake up too soon from whatever may have been secretly given to her? In an earlier scene, she was so concerned for Liz that in a way it felt they may be related somehow. It makes me think there is a slim chance this could be a move by Mr. Kaplan to get Liz away from Red. She is in charge of getting things done, and she got the medical equipment. Maybe she ordered a little something extra. Mr. Kaplan was very concerned and even tore Red a new one after he blamed Dembe for not having enough protection for Liz. She told Red just how wrong he was and that, if anything, it was his fault for needing to be in Liz's life. I don't know that I would want to see what happens to her if Red ever found out that he was deceived that way.

If Liz did survive, I wouldn't think she was in on it because of what that would do to her team and Tom, and it meant leaving her child behind. It's more likely, with the trauma she suffered, that Liz just couldn't hold on. The scene after she passed seemed pretty definitive. And that is one of the most messed up, depressing things the writers could have done to Red, who has already lost so much. By 'depressing' I don't mean disappointing in the least. Those are two very different things and a depressing turn on a television show can have the deepest impact and make me love a show even more if done right.

And what an impact it was: Here, finally, was something Red couldn't get out of, after so long having all the answers, after Liz so recently surviving having a target on her back. He thought he could come out of the woodwork and take down his enemies with the FBI's help, quipping and monologuing away in the face of death, knowing he's the most clever one in the room, and counting on all his resources, contingencies, intelligence, and some luck to win the day. But not this time. Not when the stakes were higher than ever; not again. Red involved Liz in his dangerous life and she paid the price. I wonder how guilty he will feel about that.

Every episode of this series has had something to recommend it, because of what the writers have given Spader and the brilliant way he takes their words to somewhere incredible, adding a beating heart and layers of emotion.

I remember at the beginning fearing that Red would die many years down the road, probably in spectacular fashion, in the series finale. It never crossed my mind that Liz could be the one to fall, and so soon. I wonder if the writers had this storyline in reserve all along in case Megan Boone got pregnant in real life and wanted to be written out. (If so, I wish her well in her new mom role.) I also wonder if they always meant to kill off Liz at some point to cut the legs out from under Red and show him overwhelmed with grief and renewed vengeance, and if Megan's pregnancy moved up that timeline. TV series aren't set in stone, and to get from A to B there are any number of ways for them to go. They change when they have to, maybe even a change so drastic, with a character so important, in a series that could have years more of story to tell.

In real life, death is never convenient and it doesn't wait for business to be finished. I do appreciate seeing that represented on television on rare occasions, even if it leaves practically everything unresolved. Whether Liz's death was real or fake, it was quite real to Red. Now, not long after standing over an empty grave, thanking Aram for saving Liz's life, we get to see him alone and overcome with grief. Based on everything that's come before, I'm sure Spader will give a powerhouse performance.

Even though this is now the most depressing episode, it is one of my favorites for the sheer power of the acting and speculation of how much the game may change, and for how Liz will never know who Red is and how he lost the chance to tell her. He had so many chances, but he just couldn't. That is, of course, if it really is the end. We'll see what they do in the next episode and wait until the finale. Maybe there will be some hint of a future reunion. I mean, Liz was so important for these three years, that ending it this way, with no resolution for her, seems an odd choice. I'm sure there are people who have been shipping Red and Liz that will stop watching, enraged that their ship not only just hit an iceberg, but also seems to have been torpedoed, kamikazed, and engulfed by the perfect storm.

I'm glad I don't make those kinds of hasty decisions. I don't think that I know what's best for a series. There are always a lot of factors driving decisions, especialy ones this big, and I cannot know what they are until they're revealed. A series that I have loved has to do something truly unforgivable for me to stop watching and then not capitalize on what they have done in order to propel the story and the characters forward. I don't watch purely hoping that people get together, and never saw Red and Liz as a couple, so this startling development doesn't ruin it for me. I watch for the individuals, for the performances, for the emotion they pour into it. If one is lost, the other is still there and I want to know what happens to them In the wake of tragedy. I don't just give up, like many knee-jerk commenters threaten when anything bad happens to any character on any show.

I've been amazed by James Spader many times before, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with such a fresh, bone-deep wound to explore.

I have no idea what will come of this, and I absolutely want to see what the writers have planned. Liz may have been an enormous part of the show, but that's only because of Red. Raymond Reddington's story is the catalyst and the focus. Everything that happens revolves around him. I want to see how deeply this affects Red, and I don't want to miss any performance from James Spader that's guaranteed to make viewers a sobbing mess. We already got a glimpse of that -- Red quiet and lost in his grief, unable to move from Liz's side, holding her hand to his face, giving her a very long, sweet, devastated kiss goodbye, then walking to the car, collapsing, and Dembe catching him. Out of all the beautiful and flawlessly-acted scenes in the series, this wordless one may be Spader's finest. The heartbreak on the screen was palpable and I think exceeded even that scene in "Madeline Pratt" where he was talking about the loss of his family with tears in his eyes and trembling voice. I have a Tumblr post for that somewhere around here.

And then the tease for next week actually said to watch for Spader's performance. That also had me wondering how else he could astound me; he's already done it so much. Every episode of this series has had something to recommend it, because of what the writers have given Spader and the brilliant way he takes their words to somewhere incredible, adding a beating heart and layers of emotion. I can't wait for this. Sad that the season is almost over already, sad to know what just happened, and sad that I likely won't know until next September or October how Red will move on...or if all of this was just an elaborate late April Fool's joke. If this really was the end for Elizabeth Keen, though, I am ready for whatever The Blacklist has in store for the future. This tweet by the episode's writer gives a little hope.

Of course, the plan may not need Liz to be alive. Even if Megan dedicates herself to being a stay-at-home mom, hopefully she can make a few flashback type appearances here and there, or as a manifestation of Red's desire to not let go of Liz, or maybe even pop up a ways down the road and say, "Hey, guess what? Not dead." That last one seems farfetched, by the way they filmed "Mr. Solomon: Conclusion" and for the glimpses of the upcoming funeral. But this was just such a devastating episode, I have to hold out hope until I see firm proof that Liz is actually in that coffin and of where the series is planning to go in the wake of such a loss. When I do, then I can let go, too. I would have loved for both Liz and Red to be happy in the end, but I never expected it. Instead, it seems we will get to see a new direction, and possibly reinvigoration, of the series. I've been amazed by James Spader many times before, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with such a fresh, bone-deep wound to explore.

I wish I could have written more about The Blacklist this year. I didn't take notes on any episode, like I've done in the past. It's not about less interest, but about less time. I took on a big thing around the same time as TV season was starting last September and have been bogged down ever since writing about just two series instead of three. I didn't mean to cut out The Blacklist; it just happened that way, unfortunately. Then my Mom went to the hospital for three weeks in Janauary, and she's been back there again for the last three weeks. Visiting her has taken whatever time I had left, and I've gladly given it.

But The Blacklist just keeps getting more high stakes and this is the biggest thing that could have happened to Red, so I had to scratch out a moment to add my keystrokes to the opinions of what just happened in case I'm the only reasonable and understanding one out there. I bet the TBL and character tags on Tumblr are awash with emotion and indignation right now...but I'm sure if I check them out, I'll just find a dozen things to dispute with people who despise any kind of change, and I can't dedicate that kind of time anymore.

Seems more like a series finale is coming rather than a season finale. This episode itself seemed like a finale. I can't imagine how Red would recover after this, but I'm sure Liz's baby, Agnes, will help give him a new purpose. And Tom, who only recently started caring about others, now has the huge responsibility of caring for a child on his own. And Tom's life now is a sort of parallel to Red's: both having tragically lost loved ones because of the work they are involved in. However they proceed, The Blacklist gets deeper emotionally all the time and Liz's absence will truly be felt. This twist that I never imagined ensures that this series keeps its high standing among my top favorites. Now, let's see what else it can do.

Related Article // James Spader on That Shocking Twist
Transcripts // Blacklist Declassified and Forever Dreaming.
Preview for next week //

Doctor Who Series 9 Available Today

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Oh my, what is this? A published post? Not a draft? I almost can't believe it. I made two posts in the entire month of February and nothing in March, so I'd like to shout it from the rooftops that I'm still here. But then I'd probably slip and fall and most certainly injure myself since we've had snowstorms for the past two days...in April! It's been far too long since I've talked about anything in more than 140 characters. It's just been too hectic around here with Mom in the hosptial twice this year already and me trying to start a business, among many other things.

But I had to carve out some time to talk a bit about Series 9 of Doctor Who seeing as how the boxset is out today. I would jump for joy, but I would probably twist an ankle or slam my hand into and break the overhead fan light, sending shards of glass raining down upon me. Let's not have that. Instead, I am celebrating by writing about it; that's my usual way.

It's been quite a wait for the complete series. I finally pre-ordered mine on Friday when the price suddenly dropped significantly. I had put off getting the first part of this astounding second outing for Peter Capaldi with great difficulty. It became even harder to pass on when the second part, with undoubtedly some of the most powerful episodes in the history of the series, became available. Then the Christmas special arrived and came full circle with a character we knew the fate of since she first appeared during Tennant's tennure, and more tears were wrung. But I told myself April was not really that far off, because I wanted the complete series to make sure I got all the extras that are usually missing from rushed (lol*), incomplete half-season sets.

*Why did I laugh just then? Because that reminds me of a scene I just saw with Tom Baker's wonderful Doctor.

Unless we work very closely together, we could be caught here until the crack of doom... Oh, what's the use? Can I have one of your pickles? I had a rushed lunch.
Doctor Who, "Warrior's Gate"

By the way, if anyone here is a fan of The Blacklist, how fun was that when Aram said Baker was amazing? Though, apparently the scriptwriter mixed up the fourth Doctor with the fourth season, which I missed until I looked up the quote.

Getting back to what I said before I so rudely interrupted myself, I was okay with the wait. I had all but one episode on the DVR, and Whovians are quite familiar with waiting. Ahem, series 10 sometime, eventually in 2017. To survive that, I'll fill the void by refamiliarizing myself with everything in the last decade. I rewatch episodes here and there when BBC America plays them, especially ones like "Midnight," "A Good Man Goes to War," and "Listen." But I haven't yet broken out all my boxsets I got as presents over the years. I've been wanting to for so long, and now that I've finally gotten into the classic series, I'll be finishing that first.

I'm six episodes away from saying goodbye to Tom Baker. I don't want him to go. I know he did a very long time ago - I turned 2 only 5 days before the first part of his final story started - but still, he is so much fun. (Update: I finished with Tom. Wanted to cry. But I moved on immediately and now I'm enjoying Peter Davison.) Then I have to get the episodes on DVD that Hulu never had. Maybe Amazon has those now that they're exclusive...*checking*... Nope. They have the new series, but the Classic is still woefully underrepresented and not available on Prime.

Then life will move on and take over, movies will come and go, one or two maybe becoming favorites, and a brand-new television season will start and then end again. Around that time, we'll all be really anxious to get back to our favorite Doctor, and the premiere will still be months away. But maybe by then I'll have done what I've wanted to do for far too long. That could mean anything, but I'm talking about writing. Life has been unordinary lately, so I never got to finish a post about "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent." Here's a small excerpt from that, so you can see where I wanted to go with it. I just spent quite a bit of time rewriting just that little bit. I also wanted to share thoughts from a few other posts I was able to finish this season.


 
HEAVEN SENT and HELL BENT

The moments where the Doctor is shattered and grieving, unhinged and desperate to put things right, to do everything he can to save someone, to save himself from all the loss and pain, are moments where the best stories are told, the deepest emotions are felt, and the most astounding acting is realized. The final episodes, "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent," have those qualities in spades. No one could have asked more of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, both completely invested heart and soul in the Doctor and Clara, and in making the most intimately epic, blindingly brilliant, achingly beautiful hours of television possible.

Intimately epic. I have described only a few things this way before. Those two words together encapsulate the unthinkable scope of time coupled with the extraordinary heartbreak and determination of one man to save one woman. Billions of years. Eons in the life of the universe compared to the infinitesimal nature of the outcome, just one life resurrected, added a very heavy weight to the emotions. It had a stunning impact and quite clearly demonstrated the awe-inspiring capacity for love and care, bordering on the infinite, that the Doctor possesses.

SERIES 9

The love I feel for series 9 may be unmatched. It has this nearly perfect synergy of every element needed to make the stories far more than just memorable. The acting is nothing short of flawless, feeling completely real at any of the many moments that demand wrenching of the viewers' emotions. Capaldi's talent allows for an intimate vulnerability...
Read more // Doctor Who's Incredible Series 9 Ends Tonight

HEAVEN SENT

I'm trying to get things ready for Christmas around here and so haven't gathered all my thoughts about the eerie beauty of the penultimate episode yet. I also need to rewatch it since it deserves multiple viewings to make sure I didn't miss a moment. "Heaven Sent" was just too good, one of the best episodes ever in a season full of best episodes. There is not even a slight bit of exaggeration when I say that. If you haven't seen it yet, don't delay any longer.

I have said it before with other favorite series that have had those perfect moments to capture and interpret in artwork, but the overwhelming sadness, incredible determination, and gorgeously haunting imagery of "Heaven Sent" I seriously think will be what finally gets me back into drawing.
Read more // Doctor Who's Incredible Series 9 Ends Tonight

FACE THE RAVEN

It's inevitable that every companion and every Doctor leaves, so you might think it would get easier. But the writers and actors are relentless when it comes to wringing every last drop of emotion from a moment. You think you can prepare, and then they do something like this, something that was somehow even more poignant than expected, because they did the unimaginable: neutralized the Doctor and gave Clara no way out.

"Face the Raven" was amazing. Haunting and beautiful and devastating.

Oh my God, Capaldi's eyes and face in this scene, especially the sadness in his voice when he says, "What about me?" Ouch. His entire body language is spot on. He's slightly trembling with a grief that's about to overwhelm him, not able to do anything else but accept the inevitable, hardly able to look at Clara, trying not to break down. Could Capaldi be any more unerringly brilliant?
Read more // Doctor Who: Face the Raven

THE ZYGON INVERSION

I could probably write about this episode for days, but it's late. I need sleep. It's my Mom's birthday. Busy day ahead. So, I just wanted to leave you with the best speech I've ever heard on war or anything. The best speech the Doctor has ever had. The most beautifully acted and deeply felt speech I've seen. Peter Capaldi was so emotional it's like he pulled his heart out and showed it to us. He was utterly invested in the scene and was incredibly affecting because of that. He needs to win an award for this.

This is a scene where you just stare enrapt, wrapped in tension, stilled by the raw emotion, stunned at the power of the impassioned words that are truth without being preachy, as Doctor Who does so well, so often. To be able to think about those words and Capaldi's indelible performance over and over again for the rest of my life will be a privilege.
Read more // Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

THE WOMAN WHO LIVED

The Doctor saying he didn't know Ashildr's heart would rust will likely be my favorite line of the season... It elegantly describes what could happen to someone if their life was so long, and the lives of their loved ones so fleeting, that the mountain of loss was too much to bear.

It was a memorable moment in an unforgettable episode. The torment in Ashildr's words and what the Doctor felt for her was beautifully portrayed by Maisie and Peter. Earlier, the Doctor had insisted he knew Ashildr wasn't as cold and uncaring as she was pretending to be, and here he seemed stunned to find out he had done so much damage by saving her.
Read more // The Girl Who Died and the Woman Who Lived

THE GIRL WHO DIED

Things don't always go the way the Doctor hopes. The final scene of "The Girl Who Lived" starts with a happy Ashildr getting another chance at life. Sadly, though, she's the only one of her kind and the Doctor has left her behind. As the years pass and the centuries turn, signified by innumerable sunsets as she remains the same age, her face turns from happy to be alive to grim with the understanding she will always lose those she loves and forever be alone.
Read more // The Girl Who Died and the Woman Who Lived

IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH, all of my Doctor Who thoughts can be found HERE and Series 9 is available below.

Series 9



Series 8