Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” season 3 episode 1 season premiere: “The Calm before the Storm”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Riverdale season 3 episode 1 season premiere, we are left with some shocking moments, a new mystery, and so many questions.  Are you ready for season 3?  Here we go!  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In tonight’s episode, “Chapter Thirty-Six:  Labor Day,” Archie faces his trial and is tormented by nightmares before the big day.  Meanwhile, Jughead learns that it is not easy to lead, Veronica continues to clash with her father, and Betty is not a fan of her mother’s new outlook on life.  My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 3 episode 1 season premiere are:

5

“Have a terrific weekend!”

During Archie’s trial, we learn that there will be a short recess until after Labor Day, which gives Archie one last potential weekend of freedom.  Hiram Lodge makes it a point to wish Archie a terrific weekend, but Fred Andrews wipes that smug smile off his face literally when he punches him.  Even though this may not have been the wisest decision, Fred is not about to let Hiram say anything else to his son and he will not rest until he brings him to justice.  I have to admit that I was cheering for Fred in this moment.  Take that Hiram!

4

“Cheryl doesn’t miss.”

Oh Cheryl Blossom, how I have missed you.  Cheryl makes an entrance like no other and walks into Pop’s Diner, sporting her red leather Serpent jacket and red bikini top like a boss.  Cheryl announces that there will be an end of summer party at her house and lets us know that she spent three wonderful months with Toni.  Can we get some footage of that please?  Cheryl opens up to Toni during the pool party and talks about when Archie saved her in the river, revealing that she had lost hope and did something really stupid.  Toni proves to be a wonderful partner and is always there to support her and listen.  Toni embraces Cheryl’s hand, letting her know that she is there for her and I am happy that these two are finally getting the chance they deserve together.  Later on, Cheryl continues to steal the spotlight when she sports her bow and arrow, ready to protect her fellow Serpents.  Cheryl puts an arrow in the shoulder of a Ghoulie who gets a little bit too close to Jughead and reminds everyone, “I told you I was in the mood for some hell raising.”  After Penny threatens the Serpents, Jughead tells Cheryl to point the arrow at Penny’s head and reminds her that “Cheryl doesn’t miss.”  Seriously she’s like a super hero or something.  With everything else going on in this episode, it was great to see some moments reserved for Cheryl, but I am hoping to see her character develop even further this season.  She deserves it.

3

“You don’t have a daughter anymore.”

Tensions continue to run high in the Lodge family.  Veronica begs her father to change his mind and help Archie, but he tells her that “it’s simply beyond my control.”  Later on, Archie tries to tell Veronica that he doesn’t want her to wait for him, but she refuses to accept this and tells him, “I am not letting my dad take away the one thing that I love.”  Later on when Archie is taken away, Veronica learns that this is her punishment for betraying her father.  Hiram is cold and harsh with Veronica, but she refuses to back down and tells him, “You don’t have a daughter anymore.”  We know that Hiram will never hurt Veronica physically, but the fact that he can stoop to this level is monstrous.  Hopefully Fred, FP, and Tom Keller can come up with something before it’s too late.  Either way, my heart goes out to Veronica and I am hoping that Hermione will have a change of heart and get more involved.

2

“I didn’t kill anyone but I could have.  I have to take responsibility for that.”

During the episode, Archie is tortured by nightmares, as his guilt starts to overwhelm him.  When he is out with his friends for Labor Day weekend, he tells them that “this is the best last day of summer a guy could ask for.”  Jughead suggests that Archie make a run for it, but Archie feels guilty and responsible for so much and can’t run away from this.  When Archie learns that there may now be another trial, a deal is presented for him to confess to manslaughter and Archie immediately jumps up and accepts the deal, against the advice of his mother.  Archie doesn’t want to put his family and friends through this ordeal any longer and accepts his punishment.  Good thing Archie has some fresh ink, as he will need to look for some potential Serpent allies while in jail.  While I commend Archie for his courage here, I wish that he wouldn’t always act so quickly.  His mother knows what she is doing and this all could have been avoided, but we will have to wait and see if Fred can somehow prove that Hiram is behind everything.  No pressure Fred.

1

“The Gargoyle King.”

The season premiere gave us a lot of shocking and heartwarming moments, but a new mystery has presented itself.  During the episode, we detect Dilton, who is always off by himself and has been seeking out advice and help from Jughead.  Dilton begins rambling to Jughead about the Gargoyle King, almost warning him, but Jughead has to get to Archie’s trial.  When he returns home, he finds a drawing from Dilton that matches up with a map.  When he arrives at the marked spot, he finds several boys in front of some kind of ritual with carvings on their backs.  I have to say that I am absolutely baffled and I have no idea what will happen here, but it looks like Jughead has just discovered a new darkness lurking in Riverdale.  If that wasn’t shocking enough, we learn that Alice has been influenced by someone named Edgar.  Polly introduced Alice to him and so far it seems to be harmless enough, but it is absolutely screaming cult.  We also learn that Betty has been abusing prescription drugs and has lied about going to see a therapist, which is alarming.  At the end of the episode, Betty thinks she sees her mother and sister holding the twins above a fire and then collapses and begins convulsing on the ground.  While we can guess that she must have been hallucinating, Betty’s life is in immediate danger and I am extremely worried.  Earlier, Jughead reminded her that they are partners and I’m hoping that she will learn from her past mistakes and open up to him about her problems now.  She needs Jughead more than ever even though “The Serpent Queen is a Warrior Queen.”  Betty is strong, but her father’s actions may have taken a bigger toll on her than she is willing to admit.  Let’s hope that she will be OK because I can’t live in a world without Betty Cooper.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Riverdale in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support! 

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Affair” season 4 episode 9: “I Just Want To Live A Different Life”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s The Affair last night, I realized that it is never too late to try and change our own story.  Alison Bailey is proof of that.  Over the years, Alison has been broken, like a wounded bird, desperately trying to cling to some kind of temporary moment of bliss.  Even though Alison began to make real changes in her life, her true metamorphosis occurred when she took Helen’s advice and decided to change her narrative, refusing to let men treat her a certain way.  That made this episode even more tragic, dark, and heartbreaking for me.  I was so proud of Alison’s strength here, but sometimes there is a darkness in others that tries to stifle even the faintest light, dragging it deep into the ocean.  But not everything stays beneath the surface for long.  Please note major spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “409,” Alison prepares for her conversation with Ben and confronts him about his lie.  While the temptation remains, Alison focuses all of her energy on doing the right thing and finding out the truth.  Alison’s fate is finally revealed to the audience, which is both shocking and devastating.  My top 5 moments from The Affair season 4 episode 9 are:

5

“All I want is to somehow be forgiven.”

Part one of the episode is from Alison’s perspective, as she anxiously waits for Ben to arrive.  When he shows up, Alison does her best to keep the conversation going and explains that she has some things she wants to address with Ben.  Before she can get a chance, Ben reveals to Alison that he is married and that he has just left his wife.  Alison explains that she already knew this information and that she is “done being a woman you lie to your wife about.”  After all, Alison has already lived through this before and she knows that “it doesn’t end well.”  Ben opens up to Alison and tells her about his time as a soldier in Afghanistan and how he killed a kid by mistake, which has left him with a never-ending hole of guilt, weighing down on his conscience constantly.  He explains that he was not the same person when he returned and this impacted everything, including his marriage.  Alison compassionately listens to him, understanding what it means to walk around with that pain every day.

4

“Don’t mess with my heart, OK?”

Ben agrees to fix Alison’s sink even after she tells him she can’t see him anymore and then she agrees to make him dinner.  It seems like their break-up is amenable and I instantly began to question everything since we know that this is not the story that Ben told Cole and Noah.  Ben asks Alison to dance with him and Alison asks him, “What happens to us?  The ones who can’t be forgiven.”  Ben answers that he wants to live and the two share a kiss.  He asks Alison what she wants and she gives in to Ben and begins kissing him back.  This leads to them making love and it seems like everything is perfect between them now.  Only it’s too perfect and now we know why.

3

“Tell me the truth.”

Alison is cleaning up in the kitchen and hears a knock at the door.  The rain is still pouring outside and she looks down at the sink, which is now broken again.  When she opens the door, Ben is standing there and part two from Alison’s perspective begins.  One of the reasons why I adore this show so much is because we get to see things from different perspectives.  Usually each story has its own version or variation of the truth, but we ultimately get to peek into the hearts and minds of our favorite characters.  When part two opened up with Alison again, I realized that the first part was merely a dream or a fantasy of what could be.  Reality was now at the door and I was on the edge of my seat, fearing for the worst.  When Alison tells Ben she needs to talk to him, he is no longer kind and gentle like in the first part.  He tells her never to stand him up again and is clearly angry and on edge.  Ben begins drinking when he tells Alison about his time in Afghanistan, which now reveals that Ben knew that the kid he killed was not holding a real weapon.  Alison tries to ask him why he would do this and his anger begins to escalate even further.

2

“I don’t owe you a thing.”

We know that Ben has a problem with drinking and his behavior begins to become erratic.  He breaks down when Alison tells him to leave and cries in her lap and begs her to be with him.  Alison has had enough; however, and is ready to embrace the strong woman within.  She tells Ben she knows that he is married and it’s like a new darkness comes over Ben.  He is now suddenly calmer, but the danger is nowhere near gone.  He tells Alison that she better not tell his wife, threatening her.  Alison tells him that she won’t if he leaves and he turns everything around on her.  Ben tells Alison that she broke up other marriages and that he will only leave if she admits that this is her fault.  Alison stays strong and tells Ben, “I don’t owe you a thing.”  While I was so proud of Alison in this moment, I feared what would happen next.  Ben attacks Alison and hits her over the head.  As the blood rushes down on Alison’s face, her life began pouring out of her.  While I was hoping to be wrong about Ben, the reality of him being Alison’s murderer became painfully obvious when I realized that there were no other characters in this episode at the beginning of part two.

1

“I just want to live a different life.  I want to live a different story.”

At the end of the episode, we see Ben dumping Alison’s body into the ocean by the rocks.  Alison’s last monologue is heard, which is beyond heartbreaking.  Alison talks about wanting to live a different life or story so that she could be someone who could be happy.  She took Helen’s advice and finally tried to be strong and stand up for herself, but Ben refused to allow her the chance at a fresh start.  We see Alison’s body sinking to the bottom of the ocean, as this life is over for her.  In this moment, I wanted nothing more for Alison than for her to get another chance.  She has been through so much loss and pain along the way and it seems beyond unfair that her story ends just when she was starting to fight for the spark of life that had been trapped away for so long.  This episode was compelling and dark, revealing the ugliness that can lurk beneath the surface.  Alison was not perfect and she was completely aware of this, but she didn’t deserve what happened to her and I am hoping that Cole gets the chance to bring Ben to justice.  While Alison’s story may be over, Cole’s love for her will not burn out, keeping her memory alive.  Farewell Alison.  You deserved better.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Affair below in the comments section.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support! 

I am so excited to announce that my book is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

 

13 Reasons Why you should watch “13 Reasons Why” Season 2

If you’re a devoted television fan like me, then I’m sure you have heard of the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why.  Last year I spent an entire day binge-watching the first season and I have to say that it had me laughing, crying, and shocked more than I thought possible.  I do recommend that you read the warnings before each episode, as some of the content can be emotionally disturbing.  Having said that, the characters on this show are so real and it’s hard not to connect to their stories and dive into their world.  Our hearts break for some characters and we find ourselves angry at others, but we learn that “everyone affects everyone” in some way or another and it’s up to us to decide how we are going to behave and who we are going to become in the process.  It may be difficult to step out of a label or an expectation, but doing the right thing and supporting the people around us is so much more important.  While season 1 focuses primarily on Hannah Baker’s story, season 2 gives us the chance to see what happened from other perspectives, as unlikely heroes emerge and second chances are presented.  Please note major spoilers are ahead.  My top 13 reasons to check out 13 Reasons Why season 2 are: 

 

13

Clay gets a tattoo.

In the beginning of season 2, Clay is still with Skye and we learn that it has been 5 months since Hannah committed suicide.  Clay decides to get a semicolon tattoo, but ends up passing out.  As a result, he has a “fucking comma.”  Skye has emotional problems of her own and ends up moving away, but is an important influence on Clay’s life.  At the end of the season, Clay returns to finish the tattoo.  The semicolon symbol is important, representing another way to continue a sentence, rather than end it simply with a period.  This can be true about a sentence, a story, and about one’s life.  Selena Gomez and several of the actors on 13 Reasons Why have gotten the same tattoo and have discussed its message and significance.  The tattoo marks the beginning of Clay’s new journey, as he tries to deal with his life without Hannah.  No one said it would be easy, but Clay is ready to move on.

12

“There’s always another side to every story.”

Part of what makes season 2 so great is that we get to see what happened from different perspectives.  In season 1, everything we learned was mostly through Hannah’s eyes.  However, season 2 allows us to explore more of that story and understand how her suicide has truly impacted those around her.  For example, we learn that Zach actually had a summer romance with Hannah and had real and true feelings for her.

11

Clay is still seeing Hannah.

It’s hard not to root for Clay and want the very best for him.  Clay’s world is still falling apart, even though he has tried to move on.  He begins seeing Hannah and even has full conversations with her throughout season 2.  Clay clearly understands that Hannah is gone, but his loneliness is sometimes too much to handle and it seems to bring him some sort of comfort to talk out loud to her.  While this allows us to see more of Hannah Baker, the real emphasis here is on Clay and him trying to make sense of his life and figure out a healthy way to move on and still get justice for Hannah.

10

“Feeling the pain and facing it.  That takes courage.”

Hannah’s mother, Mrs. Baker is dealing with quite a lot.  Her daughter is gone, her husband is filing for divorce, and she is consumed by the trial against the school.  It’s difficult to sit through the trial as some witnesses tell a truth that is difficult to hear, while others completely lie.  Later on we learn that Hannah was responsible for bullying a girl at her old school.  Hannah wasn’t perfect, but Mrs. Baker’s love for her is unconditional and like Clay, she desperately wants justice for her daughter.  Mrs. Baker does have a second chance to make things right, as she becomes an important influence for both Jessica and Alex.  While Mrs. Baker may not have been able to save Hannah, she has the opportunity here to make a real difference with two kids in pain.

9

Alex puts the pieces back together.

At the end of season 1, Alex shot himself in the head, but did survive.  It’s difficult for him to walk and he has lost huge chunks of his memory, but he is determined to put the pieces back together.  He even listens to the tapes again, which eventually Clay leaks out to everyone anonymously so that they can learn what truly happened.  In episode 11, a huge fight breaks out and Alex begins to remember things, like Monty’s part in all of this.  He refuses to sit by on the sidelines and becomes a character you can truly relate to.

8

“Love as infinity.”

In one of my favorite moments of season 2, Clay and Hannah are lying on the floor and looking up at the ceiling.  They discuss the concept of infinity and how to understand it and Hannah suggests that “maybe that’s how we understand it.  Love that goes on forever.”  In this moment, it’s like the entire world has stopped and it’s just Clay and Hannah.  Clay’s love for Hannah is beautiful and transcendent.  This is a memory he can always hold on to forever, suggesting that her words are actually spot on.

7

Unlikely heroes step forward.

Characters like Mr. Porter, Justin, and Zach all get second chances in season 2.  Mr. Porter breaks down in court and even though he did everything he could according to policy, he feels like he could have done more.  He ultimately loses his job, but his words are important and he tries to make a difference in as many lives as he can.  While he feels like he let Hannah down, he has a second chance to make it right.  Justin has been living on the streets and Clay finds him and lets him stay at his house secretly.  Justin has an addiction to heroin and has been dealing with quite a lot, but he is able to do the right thing and tell the court and the police what he saw Bryce do to Jessica.  While Justin has consequences of his own because of his involvement, he is willing to do the right thing and become someone to be proud of.  When Clay tells Justin that his family wants to adopt him, it looks like he can finally get the second chance he deserves.  Now he just needs to kick that nasty drug habit.  Zach is another character who becomes an unlikely hero.  Even when he was with Hannah, he was a coward and allowed Bryce and the others to make fun of her.  Zach finally breaks out of this and stands against Bryce.  In the huge fight in episode 11, he finally picks a side.  Zach is an important character because he reminds us that sometimes it’s easier to do nothing and stay quiet, but taking a stand takes real courage and can shape us into who we are meant to be.

6

“Some people will still blame others.”

While many of the characters are trying to pick up the pieces and move on, poor Tyler is having a rough go at it.  While it’s easy to dislike Bryce who refuses to believe that he is wrong, a character like Monty can be even more dangerous.  Monty’s actions are cruel and disturbing.  In a graphic sexual assault, Monty does the unthinkable to Tyler.  The rape scene in the bathroom is extremely difficult to watch.  Tyler is traumatized and is looking to take revenge against his classmates as a result of this.  Even though unlikely heroes have emerged, there are still bullies and villains present, refusing to take a hard look in the mirror to see what they have done.  Bryce and Monty have destroyed lives with their actions.  But will they ever truly try to make amends?

5

Justice for Jessica.

Jessica is having a very difficult time coping and is unable to name Bryce throughout most of season 2.  After Justin comes forward, Jessica is able to finally file a police report.  Even though Bryce gets off with 3 months probation, she no longer needs to hide from the truth.  Jessica learns how to live her life without being defined by something that happened to her and to step forward for those who can’t.  For example, Chloe has the opportunity to speak out against Bryce and can’t go through with it.  However, Chloe has another problem to deal with, as she confides in Jessica that she is pregnant.  Jessica is also able to get justice for Hannah in this moment as well, who never got the chance to speak out against Bryce.  Even though the trial ends with ruling in favor of the school, what happened to Hannah is not to be forgotten.  Jessica’s justice is also extremely important.

4

“I can love you and still let you go.”

Earlier in season 2, Skye leaves and says these words to Clay.  They are beautiful and meaningful and later when Clay speaks at Hannah’s service, he applies them to his love for Hannah.  The service allows everyone to finally say goodbye to Hannah and cherish her memory.  Clay’s eulogy is so real and heartbreaking.  While he will never forget Hannah, he is ready to move on with his life.

3

“The Night we Met.”

In the season 2 finale, Clay and everyone are at the school dance.  “The Night we Met” song comes on again, which is the song he danced with Hannah to.  Clay’s emotions begin overwhelming him and Tony immediately goes to find him when he hears the song.  In a beautiful moment, Tony and all of his friends surround Clay and sway back and forth to the music.  All of these characters have come together to be there for Clay.  He is no longer alone and these characters are now linked forever.  In season 1, they were all brought together by terrible secrets, but in season 2 they are brought together to honor Hannah and to support each other no matter what comes their way.

2

“What do we do?  Do we look the other way or do we help them?”

When Clay discovers that Tyler is on his way to the school with an assault rifle, everyone suggests that they call the police and get out of there.  Clay refuses to run away, however.  He knows that Hannah would want him to step in and help.  It’s never too late and Clay risks his life trying to tell Tyler this.  Tony gets Tyler out of there in the nick of time, while Clay is left standing outside holding the gun.  In this moment, Clay is beyond courageous, but he has a lot to explain once the police show up.

1

“But no matter how many reasons there might be why, there are always more why not.”

This is probably the most significant moment for me.  Mrs. Baker finds Hannah’s list of reasons and discovers that she made a list of reasons why not.  Clay and “Helmet” are on there, which reveals how important he truly was to Hannah.  Mrs. Baker tries to tell him that she left so many reasons out and that there are always more reasons why not, reminding us that living is what’s important.  Clay and the other characters are ready to finally start living.  The tragic moments are always going to happen and we can’t always control that, but we can control what we do afterwards.  It’s what makes us who we are; who we can still become.

 I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on 13 Reasons Why in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!