Ranking the top 5 villains from “Once Upon a Time”

Happy Saturday TV Fans!  For today, I started to really think about all of the heroes and villains on Once Upon a Time.  One of the reasons why I truly love this show is because it redefines these roles from traditional fairy-tales.  Heroes we root for are far from perfect and villains transform into unlikely heroes, rewriting their own stories in the process.  Who says that villains can’t achieve a happy ending?  It’s never too late to change and embrace the goodness within that has been stifled by past actions and circumstances.  While some villains are never able to redeem themselves, others have surpassed our expectations, sacrificing everything for the greater good.  Over the seven seasons of OUAT, we have witnessed some of our favorite heroes fall from grace and some of the most notorious villains accept their true destiny, saving the day and reminding us that we all have the potential to do the right thing.  Even though some of their roles have been redefined, one cannot forget how truly “wicked” they once were, proving to be formidable foes who threaten to extinguish all of the good in Storybrooke and other realms.  Whether they possess dark magic, a knack for manipulation, or an impressive evil cackle, these villains have paved their way into my top 5, refusing to make it easy for the good guys.  After all, where is the fun in that?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Once Upon a Time are:

5

Captain Hook

While most of us will think of Captain Hook as a hero, we can’t forget how he started out on the show.  Captain Hook was a villain who was purely out for revenge.  The “crocodile” is none other than Rumplestiltskin and is responsible for cutting off Captain’s Hook hand and for killing his love, Milah.  Milah was married to Rumplestiltskin, but we learn that she and Captain Hook were lovers, which only enraged Rumplestiltskin even further.  Captain Hook started off as a pirate looking for adventure.  He may have had selfish tendencies, but he didn’t truly become a villain until he became obsessed with his quest for vengeance.  Captain Hook teams up with Cora, but soon learns that there is more to life than revenge.  While it’s difficult for Hook to let go of this, his growing feelings for Emma show him that perhaps he can go down a different path…or sail down a different coast.  Captain Hook is redeemed by his selfless and pure love for Emma.  He becomes a hero one can be proud of and sheds his treachery in the process.

4

Zelena

Otherwise known as “The Wicked Witch of the West,” we learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister.  Zelena was abandoned when she was a child and never really found anyone who could truly accept her.  Rumplestiltskin taught her how to channel her rage and magic, which turned her into a powerful witch.  Zelena’s wickedness comes from her jealousy.  When she goes to see the wizard, she sees Rumple stating that Regina is his best student and her jealousy escalates so much that it turns her skin green with envy.  Zelena is a primary villain for most of the show, but she eventually forms a sisterly bond with Regina and learns what love is.  Even though Zelena is able to redeem herself, her side comments and puns still have a “wicked” quality that make fans adore her even more.  Zelena may be fighting on the side of good now, but that doesn’t mean she needs to suppress her opinions and sense of humor in the process.

3

The Evil Queen

After watching the entire series, it’s difficult to lump Regina Mills with the Evil Queen, especially since her evil half gets separated from her later on.  However, everyone has a past and Regina definitely has done her fair share of evil.  The Evil Queen focused most of her revenge on Snow White and made it a priority to become the most powerful of all.  She is known for ripping out the hearts of her enemies to control them, proving to be ruthless and coldblooded.  In Storybrooke, Regina is the mayor and is not afraid to showcase her “power” for all to see.  However, Regina’s love for her adopted son, Henry, teaches her that unconditional love is possible.  While her romantic love interest, Robin is killed, Regina is still able to hold on to goodness because of her family.  At the end of the series, “The Evil Queen” has transformed into the “The Good Queen,” and is actually elected by everyone in Storybrooke to lead them.  This is a pivotal moment for Regina because she spent most of her past forcing others to follow her commands.  However, she is now fully accepted as a hero and is trusted because of her goodness and courage.

2

Dark Emma Swan

Emma Swan is known as “The Savior” and the main protagonist on the show.  Even though she had trouble believing, she always tried to do what was right and when she becomes “Dark Emma Swan,” it was completely shocking.  The twist was a role reversal for our favorite hero, which kept us on the edge of our seats.  Emma’s actions were to protect Regina from darkness, as she consumes the magic of “The Dark One.”  Emma’s hair is now an icy white, as the darkness within her corrupts her, turning her into a fear-provoking villain.  Emma is still conflicted, as she clearly cares about her loved ones, but she recognizes how strong the darkness is.  She plans to sacrifice herself, but Hook intervenes and takes her place to save her. 

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Ingrid, the Snow Queen
  • Peter Pan
  • Black Fairy
  • Mother Gothel
  • Maleficent
  • Cruella De Vil
  • Cora Mills
  • Hades
  • Drizella
  • Doctor Facilier

 

1

Rumplestiltskin

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to be Rumplestiltskin.  Insert his classic creepy laugh here “dearie.”  Rumplestiltskin enjoys making deals and gaining power as a result.  He always has something up his sleeve whether you are aware or not.  If we look at a lot of the other villains mentioned, Rumple has played a role with almost all of them in some form or another.  While he is consumed by the power of “The Dark One,” Mr. Gold is no stranger to concocting his own schemes as well to further his agenda.  What makes him a truly great villain is that he often goes unnoticed.  However, he is the master puppeteer in many instances, which proves how powerful and dangerous he can be.  While it initially seemed like Rumple could never be redeemed, his pure love for Belle changes his tune.  Belle sees the good in him even when others see him as a monster or a “beast.”  While Rumple does disappoint Belle along the way by giving in to the darkness, he desperately tries to be the man she wants him to be.  However, Rumple does not fully redeem himself until the end of the series.  Up until this point, we have seen signs of goodness within him, but he has always been too afraid to fully commit.  Even in his past, he was called a coward and it seems like this has always come back to haunt him.  At the end of the series, Wish Rumple threatens everyone and Rumple finally realizes that he may not be able to be with Belle again after all.  He puts aside the one thing he cares about more than anything in order to help his family and friends.  When he sacrifices himself and gives his heart over to Nook, he has finally embraced the goodness that has been trying to surface for so long.  Rumple’s act is out of pure goodness and friendship and he can now finally earn the happy ending he has been searching for.  In the afterlife, Rumple and Belle are together and will never be apart again.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Once Upon a Time 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! 

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Ranking the top 5 heartbreaking moments from “Charmed”

Happy Friday TV Fans!  For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Charmed That’s right, the original Charmed.  Have you ever watched a show that just brings you to tears?  This is not always a bad thing, as it means that you are connecting to the show and the characters on a profound level.  Whether it is one of your favorite characters dying, an epic romance coming to end, or a moment of sheer vulnerability, there are some heartbreaking moments on television that still impact us today.  After many re-watches of Charmed, there are still certain moments that I recognize.  I find my heart start to skip faster, anticipating the worst, even hoping that somehow the outcome might be different with a re-watch.  However, the heartbreaking moment replays itself, still bringing tears to our eyes and tugging at our own feelings in the process.

There are so many of these moments in Charmed and it was difficult for me to narrow it down to just five, but there is something to be said about these three, or really four, powerful women who are just trying to find their way.  Sure there are demons and magical forces at play, but the moments of sacrifice and true selflessness remind us that we can all channel the “power of three” in our own lives.  We can’t always stop the tragic moments from happening, but we can do our very best to try to do the right thing and support our family and friends.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet.  My top 5 heartbreaking moments from Charmed are:

5

Andy’s sacrifice.

In the season 1 finale, “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” Tempus creates a time loop that causes the day to repeat itself over and over again.  While the characters are not aware that the day is repeating, Phoebe’s power of premonition allows her to realize what is happening.  Tempus uses Inspector Rodriguez to try and destroy the Charmed Ones.  Each time he fails, the time loop is reset.  When Phoebe first receives her premonition, she sees Andy dying and Prue wants to stop this from happening.  However, with each new attack, Inspector Rodriguez is able to kill one of the sisters.  When Prue is knocked out cold and Andy is killed, he speaks to her in a sort of limbo at their favorite bench.  Andy is Prue’s first real love and she doesn’t want to lose him.  However, Andy realizes that this is his destiny and explains to her that he will always be there for her.  When Prue wakes up, the reality that Andy is gone hits home, but she knows that she must stay strong for her sisters and defeat Inspector Rodriguez and Tempus.  Throughout season 1, Andy had an on-again-off-again romance with Prue, but he finally accepted her for who she was…powers and all.  Andy would do anything to save Prue and her sisters, which makes him a real hero.  He reminded Prue that “everything happens for a reason,” and sometimes things don’t always work out the way we want them to, but that doesn’t mean we stop fighting.  Andy’s sacrifice proves that mortal love is possible and that it’s never too late to stand by the ones we care about.

4

Piper’s death in season 2.

In the episode, “Awakened,” Piper is chopping up some smuggled fruit at the club and suddenly collapses.  After she is rushed to the hospital, we learn that she has been infected by a rare disease.  Her condition continues to get worse and Prue and Phoebe decide to use magic to save her.  We experience the consequences of “personal gain” first hand, as the sisters begin to realize that they will need to let their sister go.  They can’t use magic to stop what is happening no matter how much they want to without putting other lives in danger.  When Piper is dying in the hospital, the reactions of Prue, Phoebe, and Dan are absolutely heartbreaking.  Leo is able to intervene and he saves Piper, but this episode really struck home for me.  While it’s easy to root for the sisters to destroy the forces of evil, a disease is something that you can’t always fight and you don’t have control over it, which can make you feel completely helpless.  The acting in this episode is phenomenal and Shannen Doherty’s performance in particular really tugged at my emotions.  Her pain and anger about the situation was beyond tragic, making her that much more sympathetic in this difficult moment.

3

Piper’s speech to The Elders.

In the season 3 episode, “Once Upon a Time,” Piper has a nightmare and ultimately learns that The Elders are forbidding for her and Leo to be together.  Piper goes outside the club to take a moment to breathe and is attacked by invisible trolls.  She gets knocked to the ground and dusts herself off, but not before she gives The Elders a piece of her mind.  Piper says:

I bet you guys think this is real funny don’t ya? Haven’t you taken enough from me? You have to send trolls to kick me while I’m down. I had a nice normal life once and you took that from me. You took my boyfriend, you took my life, the least you could do is leave me my freakin’ car keys. I am a good person, I am a good witch and damn it I would’ve made a great wife. And how dare you take that from me. I deserve… no, you know what? I demand that you send him back to me. You hear me? Right now. I am going to stand in this very spot until you send Leo back to me.

Source: https://www.quotes.net/mquote/701902

Piper lets her guard down here and refuses to just sit quietly and accept her fate.  She stands up for herself and demands that The Elders do what is right.  While they don’t send Leo back in this scene, this is one of the key moments for Piper and Leo’s relationship.  Piper never stops fighting for Leo and it’s hard not to let your heart break for her here.

2

Cole’s letter to Phoebe.

 In the season 4 episode, “Long Live the Queen,” Phoebe has accepted her new role as Cole’s queen, but is having second thoughts.  She doesn’t want to lose her sisters and the good in her still exists.  Phoebe is completely torn between the love of her life, Cole, and her family, but she ultimately sacrifices her love for Cole and helps vanquish him.  Even when Phoebe begins saying the spell with her sisters, Cole tells her that he’ll always love her.  Although they try to vanquish Cole “from time and space,” we know that this is not the end just yet for him.  However, this moment feels final and tragic.  Phoebe loves Cole so much but she has to let him go.  At the end of the episode, she is upstairs crying and Piper and Paige get in bed with her to console her.  They don’t say anything in this moment because there really aren’t any words that will make her feel better, but their presence is enough to give Phoebe some sense of comfort, as she knows she is not alone.  In the episode, “Womb Raider,” Paige finds the letter Cole wrote to Phoebe and he narrates it at the end of the episode:

Dear Phoebe, 
If I’m dead right now, 
I know it was at your 
hand. No one else in 
heaven or hell had 
Power over me. Please, 
don’t cry. I was dead 
Before I met you. I was 
Born the day you loved 
me. And my love for you 
will keep me alive… 
Forever 
Love, 
Cole 

Source:  http://charmed.wikia.com/wiki/Cole%27s_Goodbye_Letter_to_Phoebe

 

Cole’s words to Phoebe are so beautiful and real, reminding her that he did truly love her deep down.  While Cole was not able to stop the evil from corrupting him, his love for Phoebe always remained, even keeping him alive later in limbo.

1

Piper’s reaction to Prue’s death.

In season 4, we learn that Prue did die in the season 3 finale and Paige is introduced as Piper and Phoebe’s half-sister.  Prue was one of my favorite characters and her death alone was enough to make me cry, but Piper’s reaction to it was something even more tragic.  In the season 4 premiere, Piper is trying every possible spell imaginable to bring Prue back from the dead.  As she gets ready for the funeral, she tells Leo that she doesn’t want to go while she mechanically brushes her hair.  She explains that if she goes, then it means that it’s all real and Prue will not be coming back.  Piper says that she doesn’t know how to live without a big sister and tells Leo that he should have saved Prue because she was the strongest.  In the next episode, “Hell Hath No Fury,” Piper gets turned into a Fury and Leo orbs her and Paige to Prue’s grave.  Piper lets out all of her anger and Paige tells her to tell Prue how she feels.  She tells her it’s alright to hate her.  Piper breaks down screaming and crying, yelling at Prue for abandoning her.  This turns her back into her normal self, but the tears won’t stop falling and all of the emotions hit Piper at once.  Piper finally lets her emotions reach the surface and her reaction is something that really resonates with me.  The show is about family before anything else and Piper can’t imagine a world without her sister in it.  While she will never forget Prue or stop loving her, Piper visits Paige later in the episode and even says, “she’s my sister,” which proves that she can still love Prue and open her heart to Paige as well.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heartbreaking moments from Charmed 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! 

Throw-Back Thursday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Charmed.”

It’s Throw-Back Thursday TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Charmed Out of the 178 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes.  Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes have stood the test of time.  As I re-watch the series each time, I find myself looking forward to them because they truly make an impact with me.  There have been different points in my life where many episodes of Charmed have gotten me through some really tough times and that just goes to show you how amazing this show is.  It’s not just about witchcraft and magic.  It’s about family, loyalty, and how to deal with the everyday demons in our lives, not just the supernatural.  The entire series is filled with great episodes, all connecting to create a believable story and providing us with some great entertainment, while keeping our favorite characters real, empathetic, funny, and significant in the process.  It’s hard not to feel like part of the Halliwell family when you invest so much time watching these powerful and amazing women.  These stand-out episodes below take it a step further, however; surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Charmed are:

5

“From Fear to Eternity.” (Season 1, episode 13)

Fear 4 12

“Prue.  Prue. You must face your fears, Prue.  You must trust in the greatest of all powers.  Love.” (Patty Halliwell)

So for me this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Charmed for good.  This episode was in the middle of the first season and really elevated the show to an entirely new level.  It’s Friday the 13th and we are first introduced to one of the greatest villains on the show, Barbas, the Demon of Fear.  I have to say that it was very clever to have episode 13 be the Friday the 13th one, which really made this episode that much more haunting.  The Demon of Fear has to murder 13 witches before midnight so that he can be freed, which is alarming enough for those of you who are superstitious.  What makes Barbas so frightening is that he brings a victim’s greatest fear to the surface.  The victim appears to die from a heart attack and their hair turns bright white from fright, which gets the police involved, but there is something so bone-chilling about this.  Just imagining this happening makes my skin crawl, which is why Barbas was such a genius villain and so difficult for the sisters to face.  This episode stood out to me as well because the sisters could not just rely on their magical powers to defeat him.  Phoebe is held captive by him and he lures Prue to the scene to get two witches for the price of one.  We learn in the episode that Prue is very fearful of drowning, as Barbas initially attacks her in the shower.  When Prue is in the pool, the spirit of her mother, Patty appears before her and tells her to trust in the power of love.  Prue is able to overcome her fear, which banishes Barbas.  It took Prue conquering her inner demons to be able to defeat this one and it finally allows her to open up to her sisters and let them into her heart, while still having plenty of room to remember and love her mother.

4

“Chick Flick.” (Season 2, episode 18)

Kill it before it dies 4 12

“You’re my hero Billy.”

“And I think you’re swell, Sally Mae.”

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Chick Flick.”  I typically refer to this episode as “Kill It Before It Dies,” which is the old movie that Phoebe is obsessed with, currently playing down at the local theater.  In this episode, the Demon of Illusion flees from the Charmed ones and hides right in the movie.  The demon is not afraid to change the script and even recruits other psycho killers from different movies to attack the sisters.  Phoebe’s dream man, Billy, comes out of the movie and is still in black-and-white.  Phoebe is beyond thrilled and bonds with Billy.  I mean how many times have we thought about hanging out with one of our favorite characters?  Phoebe actually gets to do this which is beyond cool.  The sisters team up with Billy to fight the Demon of Illusion, but not before they get trapped in the film.  The Demon of Illusion explains that if they are stuck in there when the movie ends, they will never get out.  Luckily, Prue is quite the photographer and is able to rewind the film and vanquish the Demon of Illusion by leaving his frame under the light for too long.  Phoebe is forced to say goodbye to Billy, but is thrilled when she gets her own copy of the movie.  “Kill It Before it Dies” actually appears in three episodes of Charmed and even Cole tries to give her a message through the movie.  I mean you can’t knock him for lack of effort.  Either way, this episode is absolutely hilarious and fun.  If you’re having a bad day, I strongly recommend you grab your popcorn and watch this one.  And whatever you do…don’t hide from a psycho killer in the shower like poor Piper.

3

“The Seven Year Witch.” (Season 7, episode 16)

Seven year witch 4 12

“Leo and Piper’s love, it’s epic, it’s massive.  It’s Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Brad and Jennifer.”   (Drake)

There are a few reasons why I absolutely adore this episode.  First off, my absolute favorite character, Cole Turner is back.  Well not back to the land of the living, but he does act as a sort of mentor and guide for Piper who is currently trapped in limbo.  Meanwhile, the elders decide to test Leo and strip him of his memory and leave him out on an abandoned highway so that he can choose his path once and for all.  The path is not so clear-cut, however; as the elders do try to manipulate him by focusing on his love to help others.  Cole finally gets through to Piper and she realizes that she must let go and die and call out to Leo in order to reach him and the plan is a success.  While Drake should have probably picked couples in history that actually ended up together…or ended up surviving, the intent is there.  When I think about epic couples, Piper and Leo always come to mind and it’s because of moments like this.  Piper and Leo’s love transcends everything else around them and they are able to fight for each other and support each other through it all.  At the end of the episode, Drake’s life ends at midnight when he says, “Alas…pumpkin time.”  Fans learn that Cole sent him there to help Phoebe believe in love again, which is absolutely swoon-worthy.  Even though Cole can’t be with Phoebe, her happiness is all that keeps him going in the other plane and he will forever love her.  Phoebe even feels his presence in the house, which proves that they are still connected on some level.  Now that’s romantic.

2

“Centennial Charmed.” (Season 5, episode 12)

Centennial charmed 4 12

“We’ve been through so much together…haven’t we?  Our love’s so strong, nothing can destroy it, not even this.  We’re meant to be together.” (Cole)

So even though Phoebe says, “I don’t think so,” it’s hard to fully believe this can be true.  I absolutely believe that Phoebe and Cole were meant to be together, but unlike Piper and Leo, they are unable to defeat everything that gets in their way.  Cole’s path toward self-destruction is beyond difficult to control and Phoebe will always choose her family over her love for him simply because she is selfless.  It’s a sacrifice and something that will always be with her, but it’s hard to agree that their love was not meant to be.  While I do think that her love with Coop later on in the series is a healthy and stable relationship for her, it comes as a close second to her passionate and messy romance with Cole.  This episode is the 100th episode of the show and I think that they really hit home with it.  Cole has been vanquished before, but he always finds some way back.  However, this time is different.  Cole reveals that it is his birthday but all he wants is a chance at love and happiness, which is heart-breaking and empathetic.   The Avatars approach Cole, which prove to be a greater threat later down the road with Leo, and Cole decides to use his new powers to cast a spell to alter reality so that he can win Phoebe back.  Only this has unforeseen consequences, as Phoebe does not love him in this reality anymore than she does now.  Cole’s plan back-fires when Paige sneezes and orbs out when the spell is cast, as he had anticipated her being dead in this reality.  Paige is able to convince Piper to help her, which is no easy task and the power of 3 is alive again.  Cole is not indestructible in this reality and when he is vanquished, it’s for good this time.  The end of the episode is bitter sweet, as Cole’s place is found empty and abandoned, revealing that he’s not coming back anytime soon.  Paige wishes him a happy birthday before she exits, which always brings me to tears.  The sisters did not want to vanquish Cole, but he made it impossible for them to live in a world with him.  Perhaps his path could have been different or perhaps it would end just the same, but it’s clear that he impacted more than just Phoebe, which makes his departure from the show that much more heart-breaking.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Charmed are:

  • “The Wendigo”
  • “Is There a Woogy in the House?”
  • “Déjà Vu All Over Again”
  • “P3 H20”
  • “Ms. Hellfire”
  • “Awakened”
  • “The Good, The Bad, and the Cursed”
  • “Just Harried”
  • “All Hell Breaks Loose”
  • “Brain Drain”
  • “A Paige from the Past”
  • “Charmed and Dangerous”
  • “Marry-Go-Round”
  • “Long Live the Queen”
  • “The Day the Magic Died”
  • “Sense and Sense Ability”
  • “Witchstock”
  • “The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father”
  • “Hyde School Reunion”
  • “Witch Wars”
  • “Charmageddon”
  • “Show Ghouls”
  • “The Torn Identity”
  • “Kill Billy: Volume 2”

1

“Forever Charmed.” (Season 8, episode 22)

Forever charmed 4 12

“And although we certainly had our struggles and heart aches over the years we’re a family of survivors and we always will be.  Which is why we’ve truly been Charmed.” (Piper Halliwell)

So I absolutely have to give the series finale of the show the number one spot.  Mostly because it truly sums up everything the way I would have liked.  I would say that the only thing missing was the presence of Prue but they did mention her.  The episode focuses on Piper using Coop’s ring to travel through time to save her sisters, which allows some of our favorite characters from the past and future to get involved to help save the day.  When the threat is over, we get a glimpse into the future of the lives of our favorite Halliwell sisters and everything is as it should be.  Piper’s words to her future grand-daughter remind us what the show is all about.  While the Halliwell sisters are powerful witches, they are much more than that.  They are survivors and they are a family that sticks together no matter what.  It’s hard not to fall in love with this show and every time I watch the series finale, it inspires hope and love.  While it’s always hard to say goodbye to the Charmed ones, you can always start the series over again, but knowing that they obtained the future that they deserved provides us with closure and satisfaction.  “The power of 3 will set us free!”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Charmed below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Once Upon a Time” season 7 episode 14: “The Girl in the Tower”

After watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 14 last night, the words of Lewis Carroll seem more than appropriate, reminding us that all the best people are mad and I completely agree.  One can really sympathize with Tilly/Alice who feels invisible in the world around her, desperately trying to find someone to connect to.  Whether it be to Nook or an unconventional silent friend, Tilly/Alice is hanging on by a thread and desperately needs someone to believe in her.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “The Girl in the Tower,” we learn how Alice is able to break free from the tower with the help of a giant troll and we see the first time that she meets Robin.  Meanwhile, Rogers/Nook puts everything on the line to help Tilly, Ivy/Drizella takes off to find her sister, Regina and Lucy put “operation hyacinth” into motion, and Zelena tries to find out what her sister is hiding.  My top 5 moments from Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 14 are:

5

Ivy/Drizella goes to find Ana.

While it appears that Ivy/Drizella is finally trying to do the right thing, no one said that this would be an easy task.  Ivy/Drizella is learning that and realizes she needs to go and find her sister, Anastasia on her own and continue to make amends.  She confides to Henry that she wishes she had met him before and maybe she would have made better choices as a result.  While Ivy/Drizella cannot go back and change the path she took, it’s not too late for her to break off into a new one that could lead her to good.  However, after seeing the preview for next week’s episode, it looks like she may not be ready to help Regina, so is this goodness short-lived?

4

“Nobin” and “Tower Girl.”

While we know that there is a romance between Alice and Robin at some point in time, we get a glimpse into their very own “meet cute.”  Robin points an arrow at Alice, who is spying on her father, Nook from afar.  After Robin reveals the reasoning behind Nook’s new nickname, Alice playfully suggests that they call her “Nobin.”  “Yea don’t call me that,” Robin says, clearly not a fan of her new nickname.  In return, she calls Alice “Tower Girl,” and the two head off to find the troll that is destroying villages.  Alice tries to defend the troll and explains that he is her friend, but Robin is determined to prove that she can live up to the legend of her father.

3

“Sometimes you just have to look up and face your problems.”

After getting captured, Robin escapes to go kill the troll and Alice follows quickly behind, proving that she can improvise with a hairpin as well.  Just as Robin is about to take the shot, Alice intervenes to protect her friend.  Robin turns on the men she came there with and explains that she would “rather be a troll lover than fight beside a bully like you.”  Robin makes the right call and chooses friendship over pride.  The famous “yellow bug” car makes a cameo appearance as well, bringing fans back to the days of Emma Swan.  Robin and Alice try and stop the troll and Alice realizes that she created him during her loneliness.  She is able to successfully turn him back into a statue, now understanding what true freedom means.  Robin has now returned to Hyperion Heights in present day and she meets Tilly who is in desperate need of some advice.  Robin tells her that “sometimes you just have to look up and face your problems,” before revealing that she is reading “Alice in Wonderland,” which is her favorite book.  Tilly takes her advice literally and realizes that the troll statue has a camera hidden in his eye, providing her with the alibi she needed to prove her innocence.

2

Rogers/Nook tries to help Tilly/Alice.

After last week’s episode, it seemed like Nook would never be able to see the blaring clue right in front of him that Tilly/Alice is his daughter.  While he still has not realized this, Rogers/Nook finally makes the right decision and tries to help Tilly.  He hides her out at Henry’s apartment and tells her, “I believe you now.”  Even after Tilly discovers that no one in the town remembers her and the pieces of hair show up in her backpack, Rogers/Nook does not abandon her.  He continues to help her and at the end of the episode, he asks Tilly to stay with him, which is beyond heart-warming.

1

Step 1 of “Operation Hyacinth.”

While Lucy doesn’t seem thrilled about the idea of “walky-talkies,” she is ready to go to work and help Regina find out what Doctor Facilier is doing in town.  Initially, Regina keeps this from Zelena, however; and takes Doctor Facilier on a decoy date while Lucy breaks in to see what she can find.  Zelena interrupts the date and asks her sister why she is lying to her.  Regina explains what is going on and tries to warn Lucy who is able to get out in just the nick of time, but not before finding the tarot cards revealing the death card.  Doctor Facilier proves that he is not easily fooled and drops by Regina’s place with Lucy’s hat.  He tells her that he is here for The Dark One’s dagger and shows Regina her own fortune cards, revealing that love is still a possibility for her.  But at what cost?  Regina finally tells Zelena everything, including about her feelings for Doctor Facilier.  When Robin comes in to see her mother, Zelena hates that they have to lie to her and Regina tells her, “welcome to the club sis.”  While Regina was able to get some important information out of Doctor Facilier, is he being completely truthful with her?  Will Regina tell Rumpel what is going on?  Stay tuned to find out!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Once Upon a Time below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Charmed”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Charmed, as I am currently on the last season of my re-watch.  The Halliwell sisters are always fun to watch and truly know how to protect their innocents from the forces of evil with good magic.  Even though most of their everyday foes are easily conquered with a Power of 3 spell, there are some villains on the show who just won’t go away…no matter how many times they vanquish them.  These villains become worthy opponents who continue to threaten the sisters over the seasons, trying desperately to bring down the infamous Charmed Ones.  While some villains are just completely terrifying, others take the time for a well-thought out pun, while others are tormented by the darkness that continues to incessantly creep in, wiping out any goodness that may be inside.  Either way, these villains have paved their way into my top 5, refusing to sit back and let good conquer evil.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Charmed are:

5

Christy Jenkins

In the final season of Charmed, we are introduced to the character of Billie, who is a young witch eager to take on demons and excited to have the Charmed Ones as her mentors.  We find out that Billie has a complicated past, however; and has unresolved memories about her older sister, Christy being kidnapped by a demon when they were children.  We later learn that former villains, The Triad, are responsible for this and have been training and raising Christy to be an unstoppable force of evil.  The Triad anticipated that sister witches could be the ultimate power to take down the Charmed Ones.  Christy initially pretends to be good to lure Billie to her side, but her childhood and innocence were corrupted long ago when she was taken, as she is unable to step away from the darkness.  Billie has to ultimately kill her sister in an act of defense, which is unbelievably heart-breaking.  The very idea of putting sisters against sisters is a genius move of the Triad, but they are unable to predict that Billie’s goodness combined with the Halliwell sisters is too powerful for evil to tip the scale.

4

Zankou

An upper level demon who is after great power, Zankou initially appears to be on the side of the Charmed Ones, when he teams up with them and Agent Brody to stop the Avatars.  He bids the Charmed Ones adieu, but they know this is not the last they will see of him.  Zankou begins to re-organize the underworld in an attempt to steal the power from the Nexus, which is beneath the Halliwell manor.   He also tries to obtain the Book of Shadows, which he successfully manages to steal.  Zankou stands out from other demons because he learns to anticipate their humanity, which so many other demons have failed to do in the past.  He spies on them in their home and even reads Piper’s diary to get the full inside scoop on the Charmed Ones and their human emotions giving the term “know thy enemy” new meaning.   This comes in handy later on when he causes the sisters to shake their bond, making the book and them vulnerable in the process.  Ultimately, the Charmed Ones are able to defeat Zankou by tricking him into absorbing the power of the Nexus so that they can cast a spell to destroy it and everything else in their path, causing the Charmed Ones to fake their own deaths in the process.

3

The Source

The Source is probably one of the scariest demons I have ever seen on Charmed.  He initially cloaks his face with a dark hood, but later reveals his half-face which had been mutilated from his many battles in the past.  The Source is the big bad that has been mentioned since the beginning of Charmed.  Even Rex, Prue’s demonic boss, mentions that he won’t be pleased without revealing his name.  The Source is always after power and is no longer interested in sharing a balance between good and evil.  He even takes in the power of the Hollow, which is forbidden, to try and kill the Charmed ones.  The Source is also responsible for the death of the oldest Halliwell sister, Prue.  His demon for hire, Shax is the one who kills her, shattering the lives of the Halliwell family.  Later, he tries to corrupt Paige to his side, but he is no match for the power of family and love.  Even though The Source is beyond scary, he does take a few moments to toy with his enemy, taunting the sisters to “say hello to Prue for him.”  However, this only enrages the sisters even further, using the magic of their entire ancestry line to stop him.

2

Barbas aka The Demon of Fear

Barbas first appeared in season one in one of my favorite episodes of all time where he appears on Friday the 13th to take out 13 witches to free himself.  He reads the fears of his victims and then uses that fear against them, causing them to die from what looks like a heart attack, as their hair turns completely white from the panic and fear.  The victims truly believe that their fear is coming to life, which makes him a very dangerous demon to say the least.  Barbas targets the Charmed Ones and comes very close to killing Prue, preying on her fear of drowning.  However, Prue is able to overcome her fear with love.  Barbas is banished as he is unable to obtain the 13 witches he needs for freedom but he is never gone for good.  Barbas has appeared as a recurring demon over the seasons, teaming up with other forces of evil to bring down the Charmed Ones.  When the Charmed Ones go on trial, he leads the prosecution, bringing up evidence against the Charmed Ones in quite the compelling argument.  When the Charmed Ones get trapped in a parallel world where everything evil is good, they have to go to Barbas as the source of all good to help them.  He is clearly one of the toughest enemies for the Charmed Ones and he is quite entertaining as well in the process.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Inspector Rodriguez
  • Bane
  • Shax
  • The Woogyman
  • Gideon
  • Evil Wyatt
  • Evil Charmed Ones
  • The Seer
  • The Triad
  • Agent Jackman

 

1

Cole Turner

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to be Cole Turner.  Cole first appears on Charmed in season 3 and is the love interest of Phoebe.  Cole reveals that he is half-demon and half-human, which causes quite the internal conflict.  His demon-side, Belthazor is an upper-level demon who is absolutely terrifying.  However, his human side is tall, dark, and handsome, proving to be quite the charmer and an excellent lawyer.  Later in the series, Cole becomes the source of all evil, taking in the hollow to protect Phoebe and her sisters from the original source.  When the sisters ask what happened to the powers of the source, the Seer says “into the void” with a knowing smile, as her plan to make Cole the new source has sprung into action.  Cole cannot control the powers of the source but he refuses to give up Phoebe in the process, his love remaining true to her.  He even corrupts Phoebe to darkness, tricking her into a dark wedding and impregnating her with the spawn of Satan.  The Charmed Ones are able to vanquish Cole but one learns that he is never gone for too long.  Cole remains trapped in limbo, collecting powers of vanquished demons along the way to become an even greater threat with more powers than the sisters thought possible.  Through it all, Cole tries to continue to change for Phoebe and hold on to their love, but he ends up being his own worst enemy.  In an effort to change his fate and be with Phoebe, he tries to create a new world and goes back in time.  This plan back-fires, however; as he is now in a time when it was possible for him to be vanquished as Belthazor.  Cole is vanquished on his 118th birthday in the 100th episode of Charmed and it seems like this one is for good.  He makes a special appearance when Piper is trapped in limbo later on in season 7, however.  Cole comes to her rescue and even sends Drake to Phoebe, to remind her about the importance of loving again, even though he will always be loving her just a little out of reach.  Either way, Cole is my favorite villain of all time on the series, proving that villains can find love too.  Unfortunately for Cole, his own inner-conflict and pride get in the way, preventing him from ever finding the happy ending he so desperately wanted for him and Phoebe.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Charmed.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 TV witches: “The power of 3 will set us free!”

Happy Friday TV viewers!  When you think of witches, what comes to mind?  Society has embraced the idea of the witch as an old hag with a wart, hooked nose, and pointy hat flying off on her broomstick, cackling across the night sky.  But to be honest, witches have so much more depth and character than this common stereotype.  Sure it may be fun to embrace the costume for Halloween, but what’s so great about witches is that they are a source of female empowerment.  They may possess magical abilities and can whip up a spell in the blink of an eye…or the wiggle of a nose, but what makes these women so intriguing is their humanity.  Some of my favorite witches on television desperately attempt to balance a “normal human life” with their calling and magical duties.  They want something more out of life and sometimes feel stifled by their magical responsibilities, feeling that it gets in the way of having true and meaningful relationships.  While they sometimes reveal their secrets to mortals, it is clear that being a witch is very complicated and not all it’s cracked up to be.  However, they sure do have some very cool magical powers that could come in handy now and again.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 TV witches are: 

5

Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries.

Bonnie 1 12

When you combine being a witch with being a teenage girl, things get beyond complicated.  Bonnie and her best friend, Elena, live in Mystic Falls where it seems like supernatural beings are creeping up behind every corner.  While the show focuses primarily on vampires, Bonnie’s witchcraft is a key component and an influential force.  When Bonnie discovers her powers as a witch and realizes that she comes from a very powerful line of witches in history, she has to confide her secret to her best friend.  One of my favorite scenes occurs when Bonnie and Elena are sitting on the bed and Bonnie closes her eyes and makes the pillow feathers float all around them.  Her powers are beautiful and mysterious, but as the series goes on, she becomes more and more powerful.  While she sometimes drains on magic and needs strength from those around her, Bonnie is the essence of good magic and is a great asset to Elena and the Salvatore vampires.

4

Zelena aka The Wicked Witch of the West from Once Upon a Time.

Zelena 1 12

There is clearly a lot of unlocked magic in the quiet town of Storybrooke, ranging from evil queens to saviors.  However, when something wicked comes their way, Zelena proves to be the witch you don’t want to mess with.  She embraces the green skin and looks absolutely fabulous.  We later learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister, which explains their connection and Zelena’s constant quest for revenge against her.  While Zelena does transform into a powerful ally later on, her snappy one-liners and her refusal to let others get in her way make her stand out in a crowd of fairy-tale villains and heroes, absolutely stealing the show.  Fans everywhere root for Zelena and desperately want her to get her own version of a happy ending.  In the most recent season, Regina goes off to find Zelena in San Francisco, when a new memory curse has been cast on our favorite characters.  In Zelena’s new life, she is actually a cycling instructor and even tells her class to “fly like monkeys,” keeping her humor and character alive.

3

Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Willow 1 12

While the show focuses primarily on Buffy and her strength and powers as a vampire slayer, Willow gives up on a being a quiet nerd in the background and tries out witchcraft to help her best friend fight evil.  In the beginning, her powers seem harmless and involve floating pencils, which does come in handy when she actually uses it to stake a vampire.  As the series goes on, Willow becomes more and more powerful and has an unquenchable need to consume magic.  This dangerous consequence leads to her tapping into dark magic.  Willow even gives up using her witchcraft, recognizing that the addiction is hurting those around her.  When her love, Tara dies in her arms, there is no stopping her, however.  The dark magic pours into her, making her one of the most powerful and dangerous villains Buffy and the Scoobies have ever faced.  Luckily, Xander is able to bring her back to goodness, refusing to lose his best friend to evil.

2

Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.

Bewitched 1 12

This list would not be complete without including one of the most famous television witches who paved the way for the rest to come.  I grew up watching re-runs of the show in black and white and was mesmerized by Samantha’s powers.  With the wiggle of her nose, she used her magic to even the score, proving to be very powerful.  Samantha had trouble balancing her life as a loving housewife with being a powerful witch, introducing the very concept of a witch looking for something more meaningful in life beyond magic.  While she loved her husband dearly, she didn’t want to just be labeled as a housewife, still holding on to her identity as a witch.  Samantha was absolutely a source of female empowerment, refusing to merely comply in a man’s world.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick for TV witches are:

  • Sabrina Spellman from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”
  • Davina Claire from “The Originals”
  • Melisandre from “Game of Thrones”
  • Endora from “Bewitched”
  • Rowena from “Supernatural”
  • The Coven from “American Horror Story”
  • The Beauchamp family from “Witches of East End”

1

The Halliwell sisters from Charmed.

Charmed 1 12

So my number one pick has to go to the Halliwell sisters.  Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige all possess amazing magical abilities and have a sisterly bond that cannot be broken by any evil that comes their way.  Charmed is one of my favorite series of all time and each sister possesses their own strength, but as the “power of 3,” they are unstoppable.  My favorite power belonged to Piper who could literally freeze time by putting her hands up.  What makes the Halliwell sisters so great is that they didn’t always know they had powers.  When their grandmother dies and they move back into their child-hood home, they release the power behind the “Book of Shadows,” reconstituting the power of 3.  At this point in their lives, they are already dealing with finding love, finding a career, and dealing with the daily pros and cons of being a sister.  They are known as the most powerful witches of all time and many demons and evil beings try to defeat them.  When Prue is tragically killed off at the end of season 3, Paige Matthews steps in as their long-lost half-sister and has just as much power as the rest of them.  The sisterly bond continues and they deal with some really tough decisions.  On more than one occasion, the sisters have the opportunity to relinquish their powers and lead normal lives, but the Halliwell sisters embrace their destiny and understand that protecting the innocent isn’t just a job…it’s who they are.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV witches.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 siblings from television: Family is where the heart is.

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, it’s a time to re-connect with family and remember what’s truly important in life.  Many of us have an unspoken bond with our siblings, whether it is inside jokes or a similar laugh, which is natural when you have all grown up together and faced many of the same challenges and shared similar memories.  This really got me thinking about siblings on television and how difficult it must be to create that connection instantly.  The actors on these shows already have the complicated task of portraying their roles and diving deep into what makes that particular character tick.  However, when you also need to add on a believable and real connection as siblings, this becomes even more difficult to capture.  For today’s topic, I am going to be ranking my top 5 siblings from television.  The siblings I chose are not just cast well.  Rather, they become so believable as siblings that I have to bring up Wikipedia on my phone just to double check that the actors are not relatedPlease note spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 siblings from television are:

5

Brandon and Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210.

The Minnesota Twins!

Who could forget when twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh move from Minnesota all the way to glamorous Beverly Hills, California.  While the twins quickly realize that West Beverly High is not like any other high school they have ever seen, they fast-track into a superficial bubble where they are faced with difficult decisions.  Luckily, the twins have each other to support one another.  Some of my favorite moments on the show are when Brandon or Brenda would make a huge mistake and they would end up meeting in their Jack and Jill bathroom, relieved to see their other half so they could confide in them.  Brandon and Brenda share quite a bit of fights along the way and introduce new friends like Kelly and Dylan into the mix, but there is something about their bond as siblings that is wholesome and unbreakable.  Fans were disappointed when Brenda left the show, wondering where that would leave Brandon now that his beloved sister was gone.  While Brandon still kept viewers hooked with his charm and good sense of right and wrong, the earlier episodes with the Walsh twins had something truly special that could not be so easily replaced even with new cast members.

4

Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam Gallagher from Shameless.

“Hey, sometimes life throws a couple swings at you. But we’re Gallaghers, okay? And there’s two things that we’re really good at:  knowing how to get back up, and knowing how to party.” (Shameless)

This list would not be complete without the Gallagher siblings we have watched grow up over the years.  Fiona has the difficult task of taking care of her five younger siblings since their parents are rarely present…and when they are it’s like they are children too.  While this forced Fiona to grow up very quickly, she has always made it clear that family comes first.  The Gallagher siblings may appear to be a group of untamed misfits, but at the end of the day they are truly there for one another.  The family faces many problems over the seasons ranging from losing their house to Fiona winding up in jail.  When Fiona was not around, Lip and the others recognized that they now needed to step up.  Whether that meant collecting money in a jar for the electric bill or making sure that Liam was actually fed breakfast, the siblings are forced to grow up fast in a world that seems to be against them, but they are resilient and strong.

3

Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break.

“I’m breaking out, and you’re going to make sure my brother goes with me.” (Michael from Prison Break)

How many of us would tattoo our entire bodies with the blueprints of a prison and commit a crime so that you could help break your brother out of prison?  Seems extreme, right?  But Michael Scofield is a genius and will not stop until he frees his brother, recognizing that his brother was framed for a crime that he didn’t commit.  While this show keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with each new challenge that gets in the way of the escape, what keeps you coming back for more is the undeniable connection between Michael and Lincoln.  Lincoln is the older brother and used to take care of Michael when he was younger.  Michael feels like he owes him and has guilt about turning his back on him previously when he asked for help.  He sacrifices everything to help him escape, redefining what unconditional love means in the process.  Michael and Lincoln always have each other’s backs and their physical resemblance is uncanny.  Even though they are not related, I found myself repeatedly searching online to see if perhaps they were distant cousins to no avail.

2

The Halliwell Sisters from Charmed.

“The power of 3 will set us free!” (Charmed)

Charmed has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  I always enjoy watching shows that feature a supernatural premise, but this series goes beyond that.  The sisterly bond between Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell is so heart-warming that you truly believe they are sisters.  In moments where one of the sisters faces an unstoppable evil or comes close to death, their heart-breaking tears even get me crying.  Through all of the evil monsters and demons they face as witches, they take the time to bond and fight over things normal sisters would, such as trying to stealing the other one’s boyfriend or remembering to ask before borrowing a favorite outfit.  This light comedy combined with some intense drama and action along the way makes this show truly unique.  Much like 90210, Shannen Doherty left the show, which had fans wondering how Prue could ever be replaced.  You couldn’t just recast her because the sisterly bond is what captured so many viewers.  Fans would have been put off if they just tried to pretend like another actress was the oldest sister. The producers and writers were smart enough to add in a new story-line where Piper and Phoebe discover that they have a half-sister they never knew about previously who could help re-establish the power of 3.  Whether you were on board with this or not, Paige stepped in seamlessly to fill the void Prue left and the sisterly bond continued to stay strong.

1

Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural.

“You saved my life over and over.  I mean, you sacrifice everything for me, don’t you think I’d do the same thing for you?  You’re my big brother.  There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”  (Sam from Supernatural)

So my number one pick for best siblings on television has to go to my favorite brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester.  The series has lasted for 13 seasons and is still going strong.  Like Charmed, this show features a supernatural premise…hence the title.  Sam and Dean are forced to grow up quickly when their mother dies when they are young and they follow in the shadow of their father’s footsteps to become hunters.  The brothers travel from place to place to take on cases and help save innocent lives, but deal with some powerful obstacles along the way.  Whether it is getting trapped in hell or purgatory or working with angels or demons, the brothers refuse to let death get in the way.  They support each other no matter what.  When one brother is going through a difficult time, the other recognizes that he needs to step up and help pick up the pieces.  Out of every show I have ever watched, the bond between Sam and Dean is the most real and uplifting.  You don’t doubt for a second they are brothers and you never give up on them.  What’s so great about the brothers is that they also have quite a few hilarious moments together as well, ranging from running away from an adorable Yorkie to reluctantly facing a child-hood fear of clowns.  This reminds viewers that the brothers are human and while their calling is to fight the good fight, they are not afraid to share some laughs too.  Fans love when the brothers show up posing as FBI agents, wondering what new dynamic duo they will pretend to be.  Like our own families, Sam and Dean portray the good, the bad, and everything in between, truly representing what it means to stick by one another through thick and thin.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite siblings from television.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl