8 Stand Out Stories for the 12th Doctor

We have a new Doctor. But with each new Doctor comes the end of an era. And each era comes with incredible episodes. So I compiled a list of my own favorites. And a lot of what’s on here are likely not the ones you were expecting. But these are the 8 stories from the 12th Doctor’s era that made me want to run off on an adventure,  take on an army of monsters, or hide behind the couch.

In chronological order:


Oh, HELL no!

This is, arguably, the first time we see the real power of this incarnation of the Doctor. And it’s a little…scary. But scary is good in Doctor Who, and this isn’t the only scary story I’ve included on this list even.

It plays on a very common fear that many children have: there’s something under the bed. Even as an adult, and I’ve talked to many people who are the same, I never let my leg or arm hang over the side of the bed. And I sleep on a mattress atop a boxspring atop a bed shaped wood shelf. There couldn’t be anything under the bed. Yet, that’s the rule, you never hang a limb outside the bed. Something will grab you.

The twist ending with the childhood Doctor’s ankle being grabbed by Clara hiding under the bed was brilliant, the episode has some really nice timey-wimeyness, and it creates a lovely creepy atmosphere that sticks with you.

It lost a little favor with me as I was waiting for the episode to be the beginning of a search for Gallifrey story arc that we never got, but if I can keep that out of my mind, this episode, as a single, is a knockout.

Mummy on the Orient Express

Not sure if my distaste for Clara is exacerbated or alleviated by the fact she gets to wear this dress.

It’s trains and the 20’s and a mummy, but also it’s space and time travel with Queen covers, and if that’s not enough for you, then I don’t know what you could possibly want out of life.

Much in the way that I adore “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” this one just ticks all the right boxes. While I wouldn’t put it on the same level as “Listen,” as far as the scares go, I do think it’s got a cracking monster and people keep dying, so there’s a definite threat that will keep you hand-wringing. And the clock (which was an idea apparently added by Moffat, despite the episode being expertly crafted by Jamie Mathieson) was a great touch.

And, oh, how I wish Frank Skinner’s character could have left with the Doctor and Clara at the end. He could have made a great part-time companion. Just popping his head out beneath the TARDIS console, as he did repairs.

The costumes and sets are especially fun in this one. The blend of past and future, or maybe more accurately, the future’s take on the past, is really fun to see in action. Plus, there’s that “are you my mummy” call back.


I’m very much not a Clara fan, but I was delighted by how much this episode delighted me. She’s joined by Rigsy (another great coulda-companioned, written again by Jamie Mathieson), while the Doctor is trapped in a rapidly shrinking TARDIS.

The Doctor is incapacitated for almost the whole of the episode. So Clara has to go do the investigating Doctor-y things with some instruction from the Doctor, while he tries to get the exterior of the TARDIS back to its original size. And Rigsy, who they meet early on in the story, basically has to play companion for them. I admit seeing the roles all switched around is a good bit of fun.

All the while, they’re in danger of these graffiti monsters catching them and turning them two dimensional, while the monsters themselves, become multi-dimensional. This leads to some really interesting shots, forcing director Douglas Mackinnon to get creative.

Of course, what people really remember, and why I love it so, are all the visual gags with the Doctor stuck in the tiny TARDIS, having to spider hand walk it around and everything, which succeeds at being properly funny.

The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar

The two parter nature of series 9 let’s the stories really take their time. Sometimes the stories feel long, but in this case there was enough going on to keep me interested, and it’s one of the better Dalek stories we’ve had in a good long while.

I’d argue we really get Missy, who I LOVE, at her best here. As evil and nasty and dangerous as ever, but absolutely necessary. And she’s not even the bad guy! No! We’ve got to deal with Davros, in the ultimate if-you-could-go-back-in-time-and-kill-Hitler-would-you allegory. Not the first time this was done on the show, but still very effective, with the Doctor forced to face little boy Davros and decide his fate.

The Doctor riding into a medieval arena on a tank, while playing electric guitar is probably the best re-introduction to a character ever (and a great way to signal “this ain’t your series 8 12th Doctor”).

My only disappointment was, when Missy stuffs Clara into the Dalek casing, I thought the narrative was gonna wrap around, so it turned out Clara became Oswin from “Asylum of the Daleks,” which turned out not to be case. But it doesn’t really track when you think about it, and it wasn’t the story being told.

The Woman Who Lived

If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you’ve probably pegged that I’m a Maisie Williams fan. So I was a little let down by “The Girl Who Died,” which both introduced her character and was written, in part, by Jamie Mathieson, who had never let me down before.

“The Woman Who Lived” really stands on it’s own. Though it’s set up as part 2, really it’s not connected to any of the episodes. Considering how important Williams’ character becomes, I’d have been curious to see “Girl” sprinkled in earlier in the season and “Woman” later. Anyway, point is, the episodes are totally different, and I love what they did with Williams in “The Woman Who Lived,” riding in like she’s Adam Ant in a music video.

It feels like a good old-fashioned “let’s go on an adventure” episode, the likes of which we hadn’t had in awhile, with Ashildr as the unmanageable companion. But there were also some real issues that went along with her immortality that were touched on.

Ashildr really gets a chance to arc in this episode, more than any of her others, and the Doctor gets the chance to make some puns, and they play just lovely opposite each other. The setting, the tone, the atmosphere, I just want to crawl into this episode and play awhile.

The Pilot

In which we are introduced to the infectiously enthusiastic Bill. If you don’t like her, put this post aside a moment, you seem to have misplaced your soul somewhere. She was the right companion at the right time.

Clara knew as much about the Doctor as anyone. Bill knew nothing about him. After two and a half seasons with the girl who had literally wandered around in the Doctor’s time stream, your zeal may start to waver. Seeing the 12th Doctor from a new perspective gave us yet another re-introduction. The 12th works as a professor at a university, giving him a place to show off, while keeping him grounded.

The student/teacher relationship that the two quickly form, while it was done with the 7th Doctor and Ace in the classic series, wasn’t something that the show had done anything with since it’s reboot. It works really well in contemporary times.

“The Pilot” is fast paced and has enough intrigue to keep you interested without making you want to claw your ears off with frustration. And we’re given the thread of Heather, who, while I wish she was further established over the series, is important in the finale.

Thin Ice

We get to visit regency era London, play at a carnival atop a frozen lake, and watch the Doctor punch a racist in the face! All in the course of a single episode! Bill’s excitement at her first real outing in the past is a big part of what makes this episode so joyous.

The Doctor is really in his element here, getting to show off his historical knowledge, while also having to use his detective skills. He eventually learns the “monster” is not so monstrous and gives it its freedom. Again, we’ve seen similar stories on the show before, but the execution of this one maybe works best of all. The Doctor even manages to set up some street urchins with a pretty hefty fund.

I love all the costumes in this episode. Obviously the main costumes that the Doctor and Bill wear throughout, but also the regency-era scuba gear they need when they go under the ice. It has an air of steampunk about it.

There’s also a lot of fun with the sonic screwdriver, which, now that it’s a screwdriver again, I found very enjoyable. Admittedly, it’s very sciency-wiency, but in a very entertaining and true to form science-fantasy way.


This is the other spookier episode on the list. Space suits that can control you, blind you, or kill you is properly chilling. It makes for the Doctor doing some really top-notch bluffing. Evil suits not enough? He may just blow himself up!

It’s a space set episode, which we hadn’t had in awhile and I think it was a nice place to slot it in. As much as I love the show jumping around in history, it’s cool to have these more science fiction feeling episodes in the middle of it, all technology gone wrong and evil corporations and running out of oxygen in space. The idea of oxygen, something so basic to human survival, being considered a commodity is the stuff of great dystopia.

This episode employs the stranded without the TARDIS situation. It’s the perfect set-up for a Monster in the House style story. The Doctor without his TARDIS is always a heartbreaking thing, and whenever they’re reunited, it feels like a huge triumph.

The episode opens with the Doctor saying “space, the final frontier,” and even I, who am not much of a trekkie, felt a little trill in my heart at the idea that the Doctor is a part of the same geeky fandoms that the fans are.


That’s my list! Bracing myself for the hate at not including “Heaven Sent,” but the truth of the matter is it just isn’t one of my favorites and it’s my list. So there. But really Peter Capaldi was magnificent, and it breaks my heart that he’s no longer the Doctor. Now I just have to wait for Jodie Whittaker to mend it.

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Running Commentary of “Home” (The X-Files)

Okay. I’m a massive fan of The X-Files, but when first watching the show all the way through, I skipped the episode “Home.” I was watching it with my mother and she didn’t want to sit through it again.  I also have a friend who stopped watching The X-Files after this episode, because she was so disturbed by it. On top of that, there are all these stories about how they wouldn’t rebroadcast it, about it being the first episode of the series to get a viewer discretion warning and TV-MA rating, and it all built up this kind of mystique in my head. But I decided to be brave and watch the episode (in the morning. Before work. With daylight. And total control over volume and playback). Let’s do this.

It’s a cute house, really. Bit of a fixer upper…

-Yikes. That opening is unsettling. Though nothing necessarily paranormal happened.

-Mulder is a child. Whenever they’re at a crime scene he has to play with the victim’s/suspect’s/witness’s stuff. Put the baseball down.

-Interesting. Mulder and Scully don’t have the same picture of an idyllic lifestyle.

-I can almost hear banjos dueling in the distance.

-Ew! Ew. Ew. You kept the dead baby on a tray in the fridge? With your food?! Eeeeew!

-Loving the Andy Griffith references.

-Always with the flirting.

-I’m expecting to hear a chainsaw revved up at any moment…

-But why does the Peacock family choose to live in the dark like that in the first place? Actually, to be fair, I usually keep the curtains drawn as long as possible. But I’ve not boarded up my windows yet. Yet.

-Mulder going into yoga poses to pick up the TV signal is a problem today’s kids won’t understand.

-Are the Peacocks wearing goth lipstick in the scene where they all pile into the car?

-“Maybe you don’t have to lock your doors around here.” There’s  a murderer on the loose, Mulder! How ’bout tonight we lock the door?!

-I’m terrified for Sheriff Andy.

-Yep. There he goes.

-Could they smell the wife? Cause I’d actually count a heightened sense of smell as a plus on the evolutionary track.

-I get that they’re inbred, but they’re also all incredibly deformed, which could just be a different thing. Like, do they ever address how long this family’s been like this? It couldn’t have been more than two generations, right? Also, they really remind me of something…

Buffy vampires. That’s what it is. They look like Buffy vampires.

These lovely gentlemen kill newborns.

-Ooooh, Deputy Barney’s out for blood.

-I don’t wanna know what happened to the chickens all those feathers belong to.

-Bye, Barney. But, like, obviously that was gonna happen.

-Maybe they should have more than 2 people handling the Monster House job. Though now I’m really hoping for some serious Home Alone antics.

-Ohmigod. Scully speaking Babe to the pigs. But, of course, that’s the command to herd sheep, not pigs. I presume that’s why it isn’t working.

-Yes! Indiana Jones house!

-Mulder’s reaction to the news about Elvis has me in stitches.

-Okay, so I had already heard about the mother under the bed, which makes this all…well, less surprising, I don’t know about less disturbing. Also, there are a lot of women being stowed under beds in this episode.

-“They’re such good boys.” They’re really not.

-WHY ARE THEY IMPERVIOUS TO BULLETS? And baseball bats for that matter?

-She’s not there…how…

-Just chilling in the trunk (no, I know what was actually happening in the trunk. They just had to cram a little more incest in the end).

-That seems risky though. What if he locked himself in and couldn’t get back out? I’ve never been locked in a car trunk before. How do you get out of a closed trunk?

-Aaaaand the song “Wonderful Wonderful” is effectively ruined for me now.

-Other than the fact that they’d been shot a dozen times before going down, which was never commented on, there was nothing supernatural about this case, and I don’t understand why Mulder and Scully were specifically assigned to it, and the audience subjected to it.

Okay. It actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. But I think a lot of that can be chalked up to the fact that I knew what it was about going in. And I knew that the limbless mother was under the bed. I had really built this one up in my brain, based on everything I heard about it, but I’m actually feeling pretty okay. Almost…I’m tempted to say underwhelmed, but that makes it sound like it wasn’t good. I’m not saying that. It’s a great episode. I was just expecting nightmares.

But no time to linger. I have a re-watch to finish before the new episodes come out in January.

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Why Maleficent is Definitely 100% the Best Disney Villain

You know the movie Maleficent? Fuck that movie. Not because it’s a terrible movie. It’s not. I mean, it isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible. Maleficent, the movie, is basically the concept of Wicked (more the musical than the book) with the ending from Frozen tacked onto it. And, hey, Disney? You know that stunt you pulled where the crow turns into a dragon and Maleficent definitely doesn’t? YOU HAD ONE JOB! Turn Maleficent into a dragon at the end! And you couldn’t even do that right!

No, for this post, I’ll be looking at the animated film, Sleeping Beauty, from 1959. A movie whose villain stole the show in such a way, that Disney thought “gee, she’s popular. Wanna give her an origin story that fucks up the reason people like her?” (I’ll lay off now, but JEEZ. US.)

The reason that people are so taken with Maleficent is that she goes above and beyond the call of evil, and she enjoys it. Not that she goes around attacking random people, but if she feels you’ve wronged her, she will take her revenge. But not by going after you, by going after your loved ones.

What happens is, Maleficent makes everyone a little uneasy, so the king and queen have a baby and don’t invite Maleficent to the christening or baby party or whatever. Like she wouldn’t hear about that shit.

Fun fact: In the original fairy tale there were a bunch more fairies and they couldn’t invite them all cause they didn’t have enough golden plates. So the 13th fairy, the only one who didn’t get invited was like, “well curse you, and your stupid baby.” Maybe invite her and give her a silver plate next time? Not indicative of anything. I just think it’s funny. I’ve never not invited someone over because I didn’t have enough cutlery.

Oh, and you may have noticed that in the fairy tale, she was a fairy. That didn’t change in the adaptation. Kindly stop calling her a witch. I’m sure that’s not doing you any favors.

Anyway, of course she hears about the baby party, and of course she’s upset she didn’t get an invite. So she whooshes in (THAT ENTRANCE) and chats with the party guests and the king and queen. And they’re embarrassed, but Maleficent claims she fine with it. As a matter of fact she’s gonna give the baby a gift. Then PSYCH! She’s super pissed, she has been wronged, and as a punishment to the parents, she curses the kid, so she’ll die on her 16th birthday by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. Admittedly a weird method of execution. Then she evil laughs and disappears. She’s clearly enjoying herself.

And another fairy’s like, “seems unfair to the kid, maybe she’ll just be a really deep sleeper if I enchant her.” So, yeah, Cruella wants to skin puppies, but Maleficent likes to curse babies. Babies that have done nothing to her. To settle a score with the parents.

Fast forward to Aurora (the baby from the baby party) being 15 years and 364 days old. Maleficent has her literal pig-headed henchmen looking for Aurora and they just can’t find her. Why? Cause ‘”they were looking for a baby.” As at the party, Maleficent laughs it off at first, giving her minions a false sense of security. Then she starts shooting crazy lightening at them all. She’s so good at being evil.

But Aurora is found, and it doesn’t matter that the king has burned all the spinning wheels, Maleficent just magic’s one up, puts Aurora in a trance, and Aurora pricks her finger. By the time the “good” fairies get there, it’s too late, and Maleficent does the most dramatic reveal of the dead princess in maybe all of cinematic history. Feel badly about yourselves, good fairies! Feel very very bad!

She also decides to kidnap Prince Phillip, Aurora’s betrothed, for good measure.

Side note on the subject of Prince Phillip: He’s the first Disney prince to don a personality. Up to this point, Disney had featured only 2 other princes in an animated feature. These are Snow White and the Seven Dwarves‘ prince, who is never mentioned by name in the film (apparently they retconned him the name Florian), and  “Prince Charming” from Cinderella. Neither have much screen time, nor many lines, but are meant to represent a happy ending for a put upon, soon to be princess. Sleeping Beauty went in a different direction. First off, Aurora’s already a princess, though she doesn’t know it. When she finds out she’s a princess, she thinks this will be a problem, because she likes Phillip and she has no reason to think he’s a prince. Phillip has even less reason to believe Aurora’s a princess, and if everyone had just been upfront from the beginning, it would have saved a LOT of trouble with this vengeful fairy. Ah, well. It may be better actually, because this is where Maleficent goes above and beyond the call of baddie.

So, anyway, Phillip’s personality is that of an arrogant dick. Oh, I never said it was a good personality, but it’s a personality nonetheless. He’s brash, he’s stubborn, he’s patronizing, and goddamn it, I still prefer him to the previous princes. At least, he’s interesting to watch. And this is actually important, because it makes Maleficent more evil, facing off with a more fully realized character. Now, unfortunately, this personality only lasts for the first half of the movie. He turns mute and cliche at the end, which is too bad. But at the point he’s captured, he’s a realized character.

Cat got your tongue? She took that gag off, dude.

Maleficent takes the captured prince home and proceeds to physically, emotionally, and psychologically torture him. Is it any wonder we all adore her so much?! As a villain, I mean. Great villain. When else has a Disney villain psychologically tortured the captured hero?

To refresh your memory, she throws Phillip in a dungeon,which is pretty basic bad guy fare, but she pays him little visits. During these visits she tells him stories about princes rescuing princesses and waking them with true love’s kiss. The narrative she tells is the happily ever after narrative that we are all waiting to have happen already. Here’s the nasty part, as she tells the story, she conjures visual images to go along with it. They show the story she’s telling, but in them Phillip is an old man, barely able to stay atop his horse, who is also incredibly old, struggling to walk towards the tower where Aurora sleeps, in her eternal youth and beauty. Maleficent absolutely intends to release Phillip. Just as soon as he’s actually dying of old age. Then he can wake up Aurora.

So, anyway, the goody-two shoes fairies show up to ruin everyone’s fun. They release our suddenly boring hero, and give him magic shit, which is absolutely one hundred percent the only reason he wins the fight. Phillip goes thundering toward Aurora’s tower on his trusty steed, while Maleficent’s up in another tower making weather, when she decides to create a literal barrier between Phillip and Aurora and magics up some wicked thorns. Phillip begins hacking away at them, and Maleficent’s like “this turd just won’t stahp!” But she’s got one more ace up her flared sleeve, and it’s a doozy.


That’s it. We’re done. Nothing can ever top that. Jafar’s giant cobra is the only thing close, but snakes are a thing. Dragon’s are mythological. That doesn’t slow her down for a moment. Oh, and Maleficent’s using her own damn magic.

There’s one teensy little thing that Maleficent is missing, that a lot of other Disney villains have. A song. This was before Disney started giving their baddies songs though, so it seems a little unfair to dock her for that.

So cursed babies, captured princes who are torture in all the ways, making lightning, conjuring thorns, and turning into a dragon. All while looking fashionable and balancing a green and purple motif (two colors I would not have thought go together). She’s the best at being bad.

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Top 14 Episodes of Psych

The movie is coming and my mind is stuck on Psych.

I should note that, heartbreakingly, Omundson suffered a stroke (BUT HE SURVIVED. HE’S FINE.) just as production on the movie was about to begin, and his role was mostly cut. Though they have promised his presence will be felt, and I hear he will have a brief appearance. I’m still excited, but that’s a bummer.

This was going to be a top 10 list, then a top 11 list. I wasn’t expecting this to to be so hard. It was actually really hard. I had a few episodes in my head that I knew I really liked, but I recently rewatched the series in preparation for the movie, and I had forgotten how many awesome episodes there are of this show. Why top 14? Because I can! But no more than that, because damn, this took a long time to write.

But, yes, there’s a lot of good stuff missing from the list, and I probably left out all of your favorites. Go make your own list! But the episode with my favorite ever joke isn’t even on here, so I was really going for overall quality.

Oh, and I’m discounting the musical, because it was a feature length television event, and that’s not fair. But the musical is wonderful. Yes, I realize that you can split it in half, but why would you do that?

14. Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire (08×01)

I couldn’t not include a Despereaux episode. That would be madness.

Aside from that, this episode is like if Guy Ritchie directed The Italian Job, starring Dulé Hill as Harry Potter. What about that doesn’t make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and watch it immediately?

I’m partial to Mini Coopers, so it didn’t hurt anything that that was the getaway car. And the episode makes us question if, after all his previous nefarious involvement, Despereaux was actually working undercover for the government (or then again, maybe he wasn’t). It was done really well.

One of the other things that I appreciate about this show is, while it does poke fun at nerds and geeks, Gus is one. A lot of the people who watch this show are as well. As the series wore on, the references to things like Harry Potter, conventions, and cosplay became kinder. And Gus wanting to attend a Harry Potter convention wasn’t so much a point of ridicule, so much as an obstacle for Shawn, who was trying to convince him to help with the case.

This was also a really great way to start season 8. Season 7 ended with our beloved SBPD being dismantled. Setting the first episode of the next season outside of the country allowed for the first episode to be fun and lighthearted. An immediate return to form, thus leaving some of the more serious elements for later episodes. I was one of the people who watched this show as it aired, so it was nice to have this open the season after waiting out the season break.

13. 1967: A Psych Odyssey (08×06)

Seeing the list laid out like this makes it seem that it’s stacked in season 8’s favor. This is odd to me, because on the whole, I don’t think of season 8 as being the stand out season. But it has a lot of important endings that were the moments that really stuck with me, and I couldn’t bear not to include them.

While seeing the characters as their 60’s counterparts was a lot of fun (as was Dulé Hill’s awesome musical number), that’s not the reason this episode is on the list. Lassiter is finally appointed police chief, but on the condition that he be assigned a new head detective, meaning the job won’t go to Juliet. He tells her that, and then says that’s the reason he’s not taking the position. Juliet in turn, tells him to take the job. Instead she’ll take the head detective position Chief Vick offered her in San Francisco.

Then she has to tell Shawn, and the night before she’s supposed to leave, she takes off while Shawn’s still asleep, snatching away any last attempt Shawn would have made to make her stay (she knows him well), but also taking away his chance to say say a proper goodbye.

The scene with Lassiter was actually the thing that got to me the most. Shawn she’d continue to see, but Lassiter, not so much. They’d worked side-by-side for 7 years, and as he was promoted, the plan was always to promote her along too. When the role was offered to him the way it was, he felt like moving forward without her would be a betrayal, so instead, she moved on without him. Their final scene (and it was the last scene the two of them have together in the series) had me in tears.

12. Santabarabaratown 2 (07×01)

…he’s so happy.

Again, this one got a spot because of how emotional it was. Shawn’s relationship with his father, Henry, is complicated. Paren-child relationships often are, but there were a few moments, when the show would do flashback sequences, and I’d find myself thinking, “okay, we’re bordering on child abuse now. We’re not quite there, but we’re close.” Not that Shawn made anything easy for his father, ever, but Henry was always pushing Shawn to be more analytical and grown-up. The resulting rebellion meant that Shawn never grew up.

But when Henry gets shot at the end of the previous season (and props to Corbin Benson for some of the best getting-shot acting ever), Shawn becomes both angry and terrified, in a way that we just never saw before (or really after). The scene where Shawn breaks into the shooter’s house, and proceeds to destroy every valuable item he sees, hits an oddly emotional note, and one the show doesn’t often explore. Shawn’s dealt with countless murders and shootings, but when it’s personal, he can’t cope.

But it’s not completely devoid of comedy. Lassiter find’s his “favorite landmine,” Shawn and Gus accidentally set one such mine and need to be rescued, and there are multiple gun-conga lines, which Shawn insists on mistakenly calling “Mexican standoffs.”

And Juliet has to save Shawn at then end. I love when that happens. To be honest, there was some casual sexism earlier in the series that was mostly eliminated by the end. The only sexist comments by this point were meant to show that someone was a terrible human being.

Oh, and Henry doesn’t actually die. That’s important.

11. Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion (02×15)

Because Shawn and Gus have to be models and that’s just funny. What lands it, of course, is that Shawn thinks he’s hot shit, then he’s repeatedly taken down a peg throughout the episode, when the real models are baffled by his presence. Even Gus fairs a little better than Shawn.

This episode isn’t gimmicky in any way, nor does it have a particularly strong movie tie in, like many of the episodes do. It’s just a strong episode that’s a lot of fun, with as good a mystery and resolve as any other.

And we learn Shawn and Gus should never be allowed at a funeral ever. But that scene is bloody brilliant. Plus, it’s open casket, and everyone’s a little too handsy with the body, really.

Of course, the joke that everyone probably remembers from this episode is Shawn and Gus going by the aliases Black and Tan. Respectively. And calling out the bouncer who refers to them by each other’s names.

And this show is sort of famous for its guest stars, but somehow people seem to forget that this episode features Amanda Pays! From Max Headroom and The X-Files. I’ve written about both of those shows on this blog before, and Pays is awesome. I love her in the former and love to hate her in the latter. A joke of the episode is that her character’s set up on a blind date with Henry, and in the beginning he claims they don’t have any chemistry. The actors are married in real life.

10. Murder?…Anyone?…Anyone?…Bueller? (03×02)

This episode gets a lot of credit for being their Breakfast Club episode. There have been numerous references to The Breakfast Club throughout the series, including several of the cast members guest starring, some in major and recurring roles, but this is the episode that just exists as homage. (The only actor from the main five that they failed to ever get on the show was Emilio Estevez. Maybe he’ll turn up in the movie or  some other future incarnation.) As the title would suggest, there are a few send ups to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off thrown in the mix, as well.

Gus is organizing his and Shawn’s high school reunion when, of course, Shawn thinks he sees a murder and has to convince everyone of what’s happened. Lassiter, it turns out, is already there, on a date with an intense and dramatic woman, played hilariously by Janet Varney (whose character also been illegally filling prescription medication). Juliet agrees to attend the reunion undercover. Then, after Shawn has to make a phone call to his dad, both his father and mother show up at the reunion, much to Shawn’s horror.

WhenGus realizes that there has been a murder at the reunion he’s been so carefully planning for so long, he and Shawn have to carry the body, stuffed in the mascot’s costume, through the halls of the high school.

This episode also marks the introduction of Abigail, who becomes the first real girlfriend we see Shawn have. Yes, unfortunately, her personality begins to erode away in later episodes, but she’s great in her first showing. She’s able to match wits and 80’s references with Shawn. Their banter provides some really excellent dialogue and some sweet moments.

9. Pilot (01×01)

The first pineapple.

Pilots are always a little off. It’s all the actors’ first crack at playing the characters, the creator/writer is still figuring things out, moments are bound to change as their being shot, and it doesn’t have the polish that any network is going to give it. They’re always just a little strange. Psych is no different. Juliet isn’t even in the show until the next episode! (Though I always attributed that to Anne Dudek getting cast in House. Is that what happened?) I’m really happy we ended up with Maggie Lawson though, so I can’t complain.

That being said, the pilot episode of Psych is a really strong showing. The original pilot is longer than the one that was aired and really gives the whole thing time to breathe. Seeing how Shawn uses his non-supernatural abilities in a way that seems supernatural is handled really well, both in the way he works out the murderer as well as how he convinces the police department that he’s psychic. The elements themselves may not be the most original, but the way they’re assembled and the characterizations laid over it is incredibly effective. Also, it explains why he needs to pretend he’s psychic, and keep the charade up. This isn’t just for fun, there are stakes. Shawn’s in a lot of trouble if they realize he’s faking. But in the moment, it’s the only way he thinks he can keep out of trouble.

The chemistry between Shawn and Gus is instantaneous and never weakens. And it’s probably the most important part of the show, so it’s impossible to oversell this. We know everything we need to about who these characters are and what their relationship is from the first scene they have together. Like writing should do. Lassiter, Vick, and Henry are also pretty clearly drawn from the start, which I think is a combination of good writing, casting, and acting.

8. Dual Spires (05×12)

Alright, so if you’re not a Twin Peaks fan or have never seen Twin Peaks, you might have seen this, thought “that was weird,” and then moved on with your life. But if you are familiar with Twin Peaks (especially if you actually enjoy it), then you may very well still be recovering from this episode.

It included several actors from the original cast: Dana Ashbrook, Catherine E. Coulson, Sherilyn Fenn (my favorite!), Sheryl Lee, Robyn Lively, Lenny von Dohlen, and Ray Wise. Wise had appeared in an earlier episode of the show, so they devised a way that his character would end up in the strange town of Dual Spires.  The episode followed a similar plot line to Twin Peaks: a girl washes up dead, but in a town full of weirdos, how do you find the killer?

There were maybe more Easter eggs in this episode than any other (especially if you watch the extended cut). The episode clearly had a lot of love for the series, though wasn’t afraid to point out some of its flaws, like its lack of minorities (at one point, a little girl asks Gus if he’s Frederick Douglass).

I’ve written about Twin Peaks twice in the last year (and seen the original series again), so I found myself catching even more of the references in the Psych episode than I had the first time around, which means it gets better on repeat viewing. I consider this the mark of a great episode.

And, hey, maybe “Dual Spires” is part of the reason they got the attention of Jennifer Lynch, who went on to direct future episodes of Psych. Jennifer Lynch is the daughter of Twin Peaks creator, David Lynch.

7. Mr. Yin Presents… (04×16)

I back and forthed on this one. I knew I wanted a Yin or Yang episode on the list. Seasons 3, 4, and 5 each had an episode where the villain was either Mr. Yang (played by Ally Sheedy) or Mr. Yin. And these episodes were DARK. Yin and Yang would go after people close to Shawn and threatened to murder them if Shawn couldn’t solve the puzzles left for him. The first episode gets major points for it being the first time they tried something so dark and doing it so well (and Gus does some of the best best friending), and the last episode ties up the arc really well.

But “Mr. Yin Presents…” had to win in the end. It’s a love letter to Hitchcock films and has some really gorgeous technical elements. There are some shots in there that are unlike any other in the series. There are also just a million awesome references. Ally Sheedy gets to be heavily featured, as they visits her in the institution where she’s being held, and she gives them information on the new killer.

Eventually, Shawn is forced to chose between saving Abigail (his girlfriend at the time) and saving Juliet. He saves Abigail and gives Lassiter the information to reach Juliet. In the end, both are saved, but each comes with a price. Abigail realizes the dangers that Shawn’s work really brings (after nearly being drowned) and decides it’s not a life she’s comfortable with and breaks up with him.

Meanwhile, Juliet is traumatized (after nearly being dropped off a building), and it affects her work, an arc which continues into the next season, forcing her to take a leave of absence, and then having trouble when she tries to return to work, with an overprotective Lassiter trying to dissuade her.

I also feel like “Mr. Yin Presents…” was an episode for movie lovers, and I’m maybe that above all else.

6. The Break Up (01×10)

This is another emotional one. Actually, it’s THE emotional one. I know because I recently watched it and just bawled the whole episode. But then it was also really funny, so I choke-laughed and sob-giggled through the whole friggin’ thing.

The title doesn’t refer to Shawn and Juliet, it refers to Shawn and Gus. As I previously mentioned, that relationship is the real heart of the show. Shawn gets to be with Juliet, but it means sacrificing his friendship with Gus. Or so he thinks.

It’s almost cruel, really. Shawn completely packs up, clears out the Psych office, tells Juliet he’s moving, makes a good-bye video for a few key people, and leaves. The face-to-face good-bye’s are just to hard for him. But, ouch, Gus’ expression when he’s finished watching the message. It’s a mixture of confusion, sadness, frustration, anger, and betrayal. He doesn’t understand. Is it true? Is it a joke? And then he realizes that Henry found out Shawn had left in the same way, and he realizes it must be real.

Again, one of the real gut-punches of the episode involved Lassiter. Lassiter, who so often played light antagonist to Shawn, watches his good-bye message. And then comes the moment. Shawn’s gonna admit it. The one person who always doubted he was psychic, and Shawn’s gonna come clean and tell Lassiter he was right, and Lassiter turns off the message and breaks the DVD it was on. In the end, Shawn left, Psych was closed, and Lassiter would rather have the illusion. And I fucking wept. (Guys, I’m beginning to think Timothy Omundson is, like, a really good actor.)

The episode also incorporates a murder mystery as per its usual. Shawn’s Billy Zane obsession gets a hilarious payoff as Billy Zane plays the killer. (And the often mentioned Val Kilmer also makes a cameo.) There’s also a really great car chase where Shawn and Gus are both steering a student driver car.

In the end, the whole main cast, minus Lassiter and Henry, are together again, but in San Francisco (where the Psych business will be reopened), and the idea is that they can basically continue on as always.

5. Last Night Gus (06×02)

Full disclosure, as of my writing this, I’ve not seen The Hangover, and this episode is a send up to it. But if anything, I think that it deserves points for me enjoying it as much as I do without ever having seen the film is references.

Shawn, Gus, Lassiter, and the coroner, Woody, all wake up in the Psych office and try to piece together the events of the previous drunken night, which ended in a murder. Each of them could potentially be the murderer and none of them remember what happened.

Shawn is especially out of his element, eventually exploding in a rant about imaginary ice cream cones. Lassiter spends the day trying to conceal that he has a black eye, getting into an insane argument about sunglasses with Juliet. His gun is also missing bullets. Gus goes into a panic after discovering the Blueberry, his company car, has a dent in it. Woody has a strange substance all over his face that looks like cocaine, but turns out to be from powdered donuts.

Everywhere they go, people remember them and no one’s pleased to see them again, particularly the donut guy.

Of course, none of them killed anyone, but them trying to follow the clues while they’re all hungover is hilarious. And Shawn’s utter despair at being unable use his memory and observation skills to go faux-psychic are where much of the fun stems from.This is compounded with Henry waking up in an unfamiliar hotel with a similar problem, no pants, and discovery that a corpse has turned up in one of his shirts.  That and the group dynamic. Anytime Lassiter has to work with Shawn and Gus is great. And Woody is always an excellent addition.

4. Cloudy with a Chance of Murder (01×13)

This episode was so good they made it twice. But the remake just couldn’t live up to the original (though I love the My Cousin, Vinny joke). Full of puns, this early episode is a great example of the show’s ability to take any category, like weather station, and turn it into a murder mystery. The reason the original worked was it didn’t feel overstuffed or even heavily themed. And, as this list has made abundantly clear, I love my themed Psych episodes, but it’s nice to see the show successfully pull off a more straightforward episode of TV. Because it can. The show’s legitimately good.

The plot isn’t all that complicated: a lawyer, Adam Hornstock, played by the excellent character actor Michael Weston (who is seriously a big part of the reason this episode works), is trying to convince a jury of his client’s innocence, but he just doesn’t have the confidence to back up his claims. But Shawn doesn’t think the defendant has killed anyone and decides to step in. He and Gus become legal consultants, helping Hornstock build up his case.

I challenge you to find a better scene than Shawn handing Adam alternate and increasingly ridiculous names for the weatherman. And then I’d like to refer you to the gag reel for the rest of the names, which were left on the cutting room floor. That sequence brings me so much joy.

Shawn’s antics in the courtroom, Adam’s boomeranging confidence, and Shawn wrestling Gus’ tie off made this episode an instant classic for me. Apparently the crew disagreed. I still love it.

3. Heeeeere’s Lassie (06×11)

Like “Dual Spires,” appreciation for this episode involves some prerequisite viewing. But, oh man, do I love The Shining, and this episode! It makes me giddy with glee. And alliteration, apparently.

Lassiter moves into a new building and starts experiencing some strange things there that he can’t explain. Embarrassed that he finds himself considering the disturbances may be paranormal, he asks Shawn and Gus to take a look. They’re THRILLED by this turn of events, showing up at the building in Ghostbusters-esque jumpsuits and wielding ghost-hunting equipment.

They meet several of Lassiter’s strange neighbors, each reminiscent of a character from a horror film. But overall, nothing seems suspicious while they’re there, which drives Lassiter nuts. But that night they witness a light fixture filling with blood. Lassiter becomes increasingly sleep deprived and paranoid and Shawn and Gus suspect a neighbor is trying to drive him away. But by the time they tell Lassiter, he’s gone full Jack Torrance and begins chasing Gus around the building with a sword, until they’re reenacting THAT scene. You know the one. They find out that one of the tenants was pumping amyl nitrate through the vents, which resulted in all of Lassiter’s strange behavior, and the tenant is arrested.

Some of the best moments include my personal favorite alternative credits sequence, Amy welcoming Lassiter to the building, the pregnant woman, Rosemary, the bloody light fixture, the holiday photos (akin to those at the end of The Shining), and the Lassiter/Gus chase.

2. Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast (01×16)

The season one finale very nearly took the top spot. And depending on my mood, these top picks could all jostle for position and shake down a little differently, but here it’s ended up just shy of the top spot.

Haunted by a death Shawn thought he saw as a child, the urban legend of Scary Sherry has been passed around town and survived into his adulthood. Meanwhile, a sorority has had some strange activity and the girls in the sorority house suspect ghost activity. Shawn and Gus are only too happy to investigate. Juliet goes undercover as a graduate and alumna of the sorority when bodies start dropping.

It’s the perfect set up for the show, a scream queens style setting and cast of characters, bizarre, but amusing deaths (the second half of the title refers to an unfortunate incident one of the girls has in the bath with a toaster), and the setting of Halloween night.

By the time Juliet finds herself the next target of the murderer, she’s been lured to the hospital of the Scary Sherry scene. Shawn and Gus overcome-ish their fear of the site, and they and Lassiter rush to the old facility, hoping to rescue Juliet, but she proves she can handle herself. When they find her, Juliet has taken the ax from her would be attacker and stands over her with it, screaming “you’re under arrest, you crazy crazy bitch!”

Lassiter’s side of the episode involves him trying to train an aging rookie detective, who drives him crazy, but who he also seems to have a begrudging affection for. At the end, the rookie ends up in the hospital, and Lassiter sees Shawn, Gus, and Juliet having lunch together at the station. He seems to want to join them and, for a moment, looks like he might, but then turns away. Shawn calls after him and tosses him a fortune cookie. Lassiter wanders off with it, but smiles. He’s making progress. Not that he ever really reaches the level of friendship the trio have. Ah, well. Still, a great episode.

1. Tuesday the 17th (03×15)

Fun fact: the original airdate of this episode was Friday the 13th.

I’ve actually written about this episode before on my 11 excellent episodes of TV post, so it may not be surprising this ended up at number one. And I’ve not seen Friday the 13th in its entirety, so like the Hangover episode, I’m not terribly familiar with the source material. Though I have seen scenes from it, including the ending, and I’ve seen Freddy vs. Jason (WHICH IS A GODDAM MASTERPIECE. FIGHT ME).

Like Scary Sherry, Tuesday the 17th is a great set-up for Psych and in a somewhat similar vein: Shawn and Gus are asked for help by an old camp friend (whose name is Jason…hmm) after a counselor at the camp he’s opening goes missing. As they head towards the camp, they’re warned by a guy on the road not to go there. While touring the camp, Shawn finds bloody clothes. True to horror movie fashion, the counselors, who are each perfect horror film archetypes, want to split up and search the grounds. Shawn wants to stay put and call the police. The others all leave, but Shawn calls Juliet who meets him at the camp. Shawn then finds the missing camper shoved in a laundry sack as a hooded figure bursts in. Shawn runs off, before realizing this is all an elaborate prank. The camp is horror themed and they were testing it out on Shawn. Even Gus was in on it. They break into a celebration montage complete with champagne and Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” (LOVE IT. I basically claimed this song as my anthem in college, so I felt like this episode was speaking to me personally, while watching it in my dorm room). Then a real dead body turns up. From there on out they have to figure out which of the counselors is a murderer.

Meanwhile, Lassiter has to face the fact that his estranged wife is, in fact, divorcing him and does more good acting.

Shawn literally being placed in a horror movie setting  and situation is brilliant. So often he’s able to dance around the edges of any real danger. Here, he recognizes the signs, and there’s not really anything he can do about it. And Shawn’s childhood Rick Astley piñata?! Brilliant. Seeing Gus have such a close friendship with Jason and witnessing Shawn’s jealousy adds an interesting layer to their characters that we don’t often get to see, without tearing  a rift in their relationship. This episode is quite simply everything I want from a Psych episode.

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What Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Taught Me About Addiction

Several months ago I fell down the rabbit hole that is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I didn’t watch the first two seasons when they premiered. I admit, I found the title a little off-putting and didn’t get how the plot could sustain an engaging week to week scenario. And musical TV shows are very hit and miss. While the idea of a show creating multiple original musical numbers week after week sounded appealing, it seemed unlikely they could pull it out of the hat. But several people I knew were watching it and all thought it was great. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t heard a single bad thing about it. And I had been watching a lot of dramas and was ready to start a new show. Something light and fun. I gave it a try, and I sopped up the first two seasons like a mop.

And here’s the thing. Yes, it’s a little like a soap opera with ridiculous things happening week after week, and you can often sense where it’s going next, but there are some real issues it brings up, which makes it continuously relatable. And the musical numbers, as it turns out, are brill.

There are a lot of different things I could talk about in regards to the show, but I want to focus on addiction. Because the lead character has an addiction. But it’s not in the way you’d expect. While they do touch on her use of prescription medication, she doesn’t have the drug/alcohol problem that many other shows lean back on.

I’m going to very openly state here that I have an addictive personality. I’m aware of it, and so far I’ve been able to (mostly) keep it check. I particularly careful of,  you know, the obvious addictions. But it’s so easy to get addicted to things. And the type of things you may find yourself habitually doing, might not be talked about really. Like, bingewatching. Yeah, that an addictive thing. I do that. I have for awhile. I’ll zip through shows that have been on for years in a couple weeks. Other than the fact that it’s just easy to sit on the couch and let a show wash over you, the thing about TV watching that’s addictive for me, is that I can get really caught up in the fantasy. Really really really. I want to live in that TV show world. Doctor Who, Supernatural, The X-Files, Max Headroom, Jessica Jones…alright, some of those might seem like odd choices of universes to live in, and maybe I’m giving myself too much credit. I might not actually survive a Wendigo attack, but I could try!

I’m getting off topic. The point is, my addiction isn’t just to watching a show. It’s also this fantasy it’s created. Or I’ve created. I dunno, it’s my head. So I retreat into my disturbed little brain and plug myself into that world. Whether or not I’m watching the show. I imagine scenes with myself in the universe. Everywhere, and all the time. Home, work, out for a walk, driving, trying to fall asleep. Of course, the same goes for movies and books. Star Wars? I’m there. Harry Potter? Hold my Butterbeer. And sometimes they’re universes that I’m writing, and I can at least pretend that’s not as bad, cause, like, it’s kind of working on the script in a weird way?

But what does this specifically have to do with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?

Yep. Yep yep yep yep yep.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is all about addiction. The lead character, Rebecca, is addicted to Josh. Actually, no. She’s not so much addicted to Josh, but rather the fantasy version of him (and them) that she has in her head. She needs to attain him, so that she can carry on with the fantasy life she’s created. Along the way, the audience retreats with her, into her brain, and experiences the musical numbers that she’s imagining. That’s the addiction.

But she’s not the only one with an addiction. Paula’s addicted to the drama that comes from Rebecca’s love life, Valencia’s addicted to health crazes, Greg’s an alcoholic, and Josh likely has some sort of relationship addiction (and keeps pinging back to Rebecca, maybe from an alternate fantasy of his own). Most everyone in the show has an addictive personality.

The characters begin as over-the-top caricatures, stereotypes even. You know a Rebecca type and or a Josh type or Paula/Greg/Valencia/etc. And it’s a musical, and it plays into musical tropes, which are very formulaic. And then the show completely fucks up those tropes, and that’s where I learned something.

In the beginning we’re introduced to Rebecca and her McGuffin, Josh. Then after the inciting incident and her move from New York to West Covina, we meet Greg and go “oh, so obviously he’s the guy she’s supposed to be with.” They followed that storyline to a T, and then wrote Greg off the show. Wait, what?

Now that may not have been the intention of the writers from the beginning, but when the actor (Santino Fontana) left, it brought that storyline to a close. It upended the trope. And it jarred me, because I had let myself fall for the trope, hook, line, and sinker. But the thing is, that’s every well meaning feel-good rom com with a bad message about being with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. SO, actually, it may have kinda saved the show. And I liked Greg, I didn’t want him to leave, but for the sake of a better message…maybe it wasn’t the worst thing in the world?

Cause I think we all have a certain addiction to story formulas too. The romantic comedy musical formula goes: Girl chases wrong boy. Girl meets right boy, but isn’t interested because of wrong boy. Hijinks ensue. Girl realizes wrong boy is wrong. Girls ends up with right boy. They walk off into the sunset together.

We were expecting that. She even has the airport scene where she dramatically stops him before he gets on a plane. To which he responds by going into a showstopping number, in which he calls their relationship shitshow, and then gets on the goddamn plane. And he’s not totally wrong to say what he said or do what he did. And isn’t that more like…life?

And they left it so Greg could come back, but he and Rebecca wouldn’t be able to pretend like they had a perfect relationship and could just pick back up where they left off. That shit needs some work.

Then, okay, fine. I can’t just roll over and rewire my brain out of fantasyland. And I’m not sure I want to. But some of us have this trope addiction. How do we treat it? By letting our expectations evolve. Letting shows grow beyond their tropes, really pushing for and supporting new stories. Or, okay, if it’s a familiar story, tell it in a new and exciting way. Go in a direction the audience didn’t see coming or, you as a creator, hadn’t planned. I’m hopeful, we’re going in that direction. TV is so exciting right now. Some people don’t get that, and it’s SO frustrating to me. Shows coming from streaming platforms have been ON POINT, but shows coming to us through traditional networks are also crafting good stories. Let’s acknowledge them. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a great place to start for a little trope rehab.

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A Preparation Guide to the Wayward Sisters Series

Supernatural is attempting another spin-off. Its first attempt, Supernatural: Bloodlines failed. It was a muddled mess that didn’t follow the rules of the universe. It wasn’t particularly well-written, it wasn’t intriguing, and it wasn’t, and this bit’s important, anything anyone asked for. I bring up Bloodlines, because I believe (and hope so hard) that Wayward Sisters will be a very different case. Rather than trying to introduce us to characters we’ve never met, this will do the usual spin-off thing and revolve around characters we’ve already grown to know and like. And it’s a show fans have asked for. Some details may have been altered, but the basic premise seems to have remained. It goes something like this:

Sheriff Jody Mills, with help from Sheriff Donna Hanscum, trains her adopted daughters, Alex and Claire, and other troubled young girls and women, like Patience Turner and Kaia Nieves, to hunt the supernatural.

Like Bloodlines it will be a backdoor pilot,  doubling as the tenth episode of Supernatural‘s upcoming 13th season. As I understand it, it will be the first episode to air when the show returns from its mid-season break.

For anyone who’s curious about this female-led Supernatural spin-off, but is unfamiliar with the show (or just wants a little refresher), here are all the pertinent episodes: the must watch’s, the character arcs, and the good-to-know’s. A fair few of them crossover, so I did look into each character’s perspective. There’s also a tiny bit of information on the newcomers, but they haven’t dropped a ton of information about them yet.

The numbering refers to how important it is to watch the episode. I enjoy any Jody or Donna episode, and it would probably be good to watch all of these, but I get that it’s a lot, so the numbers specifically refer to how informative they are. It doesn’t mean to indicate quality.

Let’s start with protagonist Jody Mills:

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (05×15)

Jody’s first episode. It gives a ton of backstory and goes a long way to explain her character’s motivation. She’s the sheriff of the town of Sioux Falls and had a happy family that was ripped away from her by supernatural forces.


Bobby Singer, who acts as a father figure to Supernatural‘s two leads, Sam and Dean Winchester, has had run-in’s with her before. She meets the Winchester brothers and learns the truth about things that go bump in the night. She discovers the town she protects is being taken over by zombies.

By the end of the episode she’s kicking those things in the ass and has become an ally to Bobby, Sam, and Dean.

  • 10/10

Weekend at Bobby’s (06×04)

We see just how far Jody is willing to go to help Bobby hide his paranormal hunting from the authorities (I ship it). She catches him with a dead body, but immediately assumes that it’s an evil creature.

She also reluctantly helps Bobby’s hunting partner, Rufus, escape from jail.

  • 4/10

Hello, Cruel World (07×02)

Jody is recovering from an appendectomy in a hospital, and realizes there’s something not right with her doctor (turns out he’s a Leviathan). She starts to do some very hunter-esque research of her own. When he discovers that she knows the truth about him, he tries to knock her out, but when he leaves her unattended, she manages to call Bobby, who sneaks her out of the hospital.

  • 4/10

Slash Fiction (07×06)

Jody goes to Bobby’s house to thank him for saving her. She gets him to agree to let her cook him a meal as a thank you.

In the basement, Bobby has a Leviathan tied to a chair, but can’t find any way to kill it. Then some sort of liquid drips from above them and begins burning the Leviathan. Bobby runs upstairs. to find Jody  cleaning something off the floor. The cleaning solution seeped through to the basement below. Bobby is so excited that he kisses Jody, and I continue to ship them so fucking hard.

He gives her the severed head of the Leviathan after he later cuts it off and asks her to throw it into the river, which presumably she does.

  • 5/10

Time After Time (07×12)

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/supernatural-tv-series/images/1/1a/7x12_SheriffJodyMills%2BSamReturnDean%2BChronos.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140914173323This is two episodes after Bobby’s death, and Jody calls Sam, asking if she can help him with anything. Sam’s just lost Dean, who’s trapped in the past, so he asks if she can help him look through some old files to try and find where Dean is and bring him back.

Together they find a summoning ritual to bring Dean back and figure out exactly where Dean will be and at what time, and manage to return him to the present.

  • 8/10

Sacrifice (08×23)

Jody briefly appears in a scene where she’s on a blind date with Crowley. He tries to kill her remotely through a hex bag, and uses her potential death to get something from the brothers. They give in to save her.

  • 1/10

Rock and a Hard Place (09×08)

Jody goes to the Winchesters after several people go missing. She combines her sheriff and hunting skills to discover what the monster is (a goddess). After it captures Dean, Jody and Sam go hunting it.

Sam is incapacitated and Jody get the brunt of a beating, but continues to struggle with the goddess, who stabs her in the shoulder (and my heart fucking stopped, because I thought she was stabbed a little lower). The goddess then turns her attention to Sam, at which point Jody manages to stab and kill her from behind. Like a rock star.

  • 7/10

Annie Alex Alexis Ann (09×19)

Here we go! This is really where Wayward Sisters started to take shape. Jody kills a vampire and rescues a young girl, Annie, who the vampire was holding captive. And Annie’s furious.


Jody discovers the vampires are using Annie as bait, but Annie views the vamps as family and acts cold toward Jody. But when the vamps capture Jody and tell Annie to feed from her, so Annie will become a vampire herself, she’s hesitant and instead incapacitates her “mother” vampire.

Sam and Dean take out the other vamps, and Jody decapitates the mother. They cure Annie of her partial transformation.

Annie’s real name is actually Alex, and she goes back to her original moniker. Because Alex and Jody have both lost their families, Jody adopts Alex.

  • 10/10

Hibbing 911 (10×08)

And THEN Jody met Donna Hanscum. Donna had only been in one episode previously, but was so unbelievably lovable, that she soon became a fan favorite. And she’s a sheriff and Jody’s a sheriff, so it only made sense to send them off to a sheriff convention where they meet and become best friends.

Jody isn’t immediately won over by the bubbly Donna, but by the end she can’t help but be impressed by her.

This episode features them fighting vampires (again), which takes Donna a while to get her head around. Jody’s been dealing with the supernatural for sometime now, but Donna’s still new to it all.

Though Jody calls Sam and Dean for backup, Donna’s the one that saves Jody from the main vamp. Jody offers to teach Donna how to hunt the supernatural. Considering that it’s been announced that Donna will also be a regular on the show, this turns out to be an important exchange.

  • 10/10

Don’t You Forget About Me (11×12)

https://i0.wp.com/www.mymbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/07/supernatural_11.12_dont_you_forget_about_me_1.pngAt this point, Claire has joined Jody and Alex’s household (we’ll get into that in Claire’s section), but Claire’s not happy about it and wants to strike out on her own and hunt. Jody invites the Winchesters over, hoping they’ll talk some sense into her.

Meanwhile, there’s monster trouble at Alex and Claire’s school. There’s (ANOTHER) vampire on the loose.  Jody gets badly injured and Claire is abducted. Turns out this vamp blames Alex for the death of another vampire and is out for revenge. He bites Claire with the intention of turning her, before Sam and Dean arrive to stop him. Claire carries out the final kill herself and is spared of a vampire transformation.

The next morning things are a little gentler in the household, and Claire realizes that letting Jody teach her a little more about hunting may not be the worst thing in the world.

  • 10/10

Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox (12×06)

Sam and Dean casually stop by Jody’s after a hunt. While there, Jody gets news of a friend’s death, Asa Fox, a legendary hunter. The brothers offer to drive her to where the hunters are gathering to pay their respects.

Sam and Dean’s recently resurrected mother shows up, and Jody mildly fangirls over her.

Later, they discover someone is being possessed by a demon. It jumps between several hunters before it finally possess Jody. Mary tries to stab her, but the demon is too strong, turning the room of hunters into chaos, before, together, they manage to exorcise the demon.

  • 3/10

Who We Are (12×22)

https://i1.wp.com/www.spoilersguide.com/media/images/9f/f2/0017fcef1a7d995d5e3d4e0cce8a.jpegMary’s been brainwashed by an organization known as the Men of Letters and she’s killing hunters. Unable to get ahold of Jody, Sam And Dean hurry to warn her in person.

Jody helps Sam, and the other hunters they gather, to storm the Men of Letters’ headquarters. Jody shoots and kills the woman at the head of the organization.

  • 3/10

That’s it for Jody so far.


Moving on to Donna Hanscum:

The Purge (09×13)

While investigating a strange death, Sam and Dean first meet Sheriff Donna Hanscum.

Following the trail of the monster, they meet Donna again. This time she’s on vacation at a spa. She falls asleep during a “cupping” session thing (where they place warm cups on her back). While she’s asleep, a monster sucks fat out of her. She notices that she’s lost weight and mentions it to the Winchesters, who find this is a vital clue to figuring out who the monsters and what they’re doing (I still can’t hear the phrase “fish taco” without giggling).

  • 10/10

Hibbing 911 (10×08)

https://i2.wp.com/sweatpantsandcoffee.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/21-Supernatural-SPN-Season-Ten-Episode-Eight-S10E8-Hibbing-911-Sheriff-Jody-Mills-Kim-Rhodes-Donna-Hanscum-Briana-Buckmaster.jpgThis episode is almost more about Donna than it is about Jody (though it does feel more like it’s from the latter’s perspective).

Like I said before, Donna only just learns about the supernatural in this episode, and Jody offering to teach her seems to align with what the spin-off is supposedly about. And Donna starts chopping off vamp heads as soon as she finds out what they are. So that’s pretty cool.

  • 10/10

Plush (11×07)

Donna’s investigating a guy in a rabbit head (that doesn’t come off) who’s been killing people. She calls Sam and Dean, worried it may be some sort of spook.

When the wearer is killed and the head comes off, Donna blames herself for not being able to help the young man inside. But the killings continue, perpetrated by other strange figures. They eventually discover a vengeful spirit is behind the attacks. Donna helps burn the costumes the spirit was tethered to, so he’ll be forced to pass on.

There’s also a pseudo-love interest for her in this episode that the writers may or may not pursue. His name is Doug (not to be confused with her ex-husband of the same name).

  • 4/10

And those are the only episode Donna has been in. Yet she’s had a huge impact on the show and its fans.


Now for the girls. First up Alex Jones. All of her episodes feature Jody, but I’ll shift perspective:

Alex Annie Alexis Ann (09×19)

I think a large part of the reason Wayward Sisters has gotten greenlit as far as it has, is up to this character in this episode.

Sullen teenager is one thing, but Alex manages to be layered both in writing and performance. She suffers a sort of Stockholm Syndrome for much of the episode and is eventually won over by Jody. While her turn around may seem  a little quick, I think Jody has a great deal of humanity about her, something that Alex would have been missing with her vampire family.

  • 10/10

Don’t You Forget about Me (11×12)


This episode does a lot to establish Alex and Claire’s sister-like relationship, and almost works as a pilot in itself. It’s the promise of the premise. We see their family life, their school life, and how that will have to be balanced with the monsters they encounter.

Alex’s boyfriend does turn out to be evil and working with a vampire, but other than that she’s doing pretty well. Alex seems like the character who most wishes this family unit could be normal. She likes living with Jody, but does she really want to be a monster hunter? It’s a question the series may explore.

  • 10/10

Who We Are (12×22)

Alex isn’t in this episode a whole ton, but we get to see that she supports her surrogate mother going out and saving the world and has every confidence that she’ll come back (while, personally, I had a terrible dread they were gonna kill off Jody. So glad that wasn’t the case). Alex even seems a little proud of Jody.

  • 3/10


Claire Novak will also be a regular:

The Rapture (04×20)

This episode happens when Claire is a little girl and played by a different actor. It shows the repercussions that the angel Castiel’s possession has on Jimmy, his vessel, and Jimmy’s family.

For the most part Claire is just a bewildered little girl, trying to understand what’s happening with her father and between her parents. When Claire is kidnapped at the end, a furious Jimmy asks where Castiel has gone, and why he won’t protect the family he’s tearing apart.

Jimmy gets shot, trying to rescue his wive and daughter, and Castiel possesses Claire, so he can rescue the family. Castiel then possesses Jimmy again  and leaves the Novak family, who are never to be heard from again. Until:

  • 8/10

The Things We Left Behind (10×09)

Well, Claire hasn’t exactly turned into a well adjusted teenager (understandable), and she’s being kept in a holding cell. She’s very angry and aggressive and has no trouble letting Castiel know just how much damage he’s done to her and her mother (who left, forcing Claire to live in foster homes). And Jimmy is proper dead dead at this point, Castiel is just using his body as a vessel.

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/supernatural/images/f/fe/Spn_the_things_we_left_behind.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150507034514Cas(s) tries to get custody of Claire, but it doesn’t go over well. So he breaks her out. Castiel thinks they should stick together, but Claire, manages to make a getaway.

Castiel finds Claire just as she’s about to rob a convenience store at gunpoint. She then threatens to kill Sam and Dean (who are with Castiel at this point). After refusing to accept Castiel’s apologies, she runs off again.

Claire’s been working with a Fagin-like character, Randy, who’s gotten himself into some financial trouble. She pulls a gun on his attackers, but is quickly disarmed. He trades them Claire instead. She fights off a man who moves in to assault her.

Castiel and the Winchesters show up and Cas(s) finds Claire almost immediately. He takes her out to the Impala (the Winchesters’ car) and comforts her. Much like a father.

Dean kills Randy.

  • 10/10

The Hunter Games (10×10)

Castiel comes to see Claire who’s staying in a motel. He explains he wants to help her have a normal life, but she thinks that impossible. They argue about Dean, whether or not he’s a killer (she still thinks Randy wanted to protect her), and she storms away.

Cas(s) asks Dean to talk to Claire, so Dean leaves her a message. When she hears it, Claire tries to come up with a “permanent” way to deal with Dean. She calls him to set up a meeting. Two of Claire’s friends attack Dean when he shows up, but Claire has a change of heart and warns him they’re there. He’s able to easily fight them off and looks like he may attack them. Claire screams for him not to, and Dean contains himself long enough to storm off.

Cas(s) finds Claire later. She admits she wants to do better and keep in contact with Castiel. But for now it’s good-bye.

  • 6/10

Angel Heart (10×20)

Sam, Dean, and Castiel find Claire staying at another motel. Cas(s) is still trying to make amends, giving her gifts he thinks a child would like.

The trio bring Claire with them as they investigate a strange murder. Sam and Cas(s) end up finding Claire’s mother, badly injured, while Dean and Claire are away playing miniature golf. Claire seems to have a better understanding of her father’s sacrifice and that Cas(s) is trying to do his best. Then Dean realizes what they must be hunting.

https://i2.wp.com/www.tvovermind.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Supernatural-10.20.jpgThey return to find Cas(s) with Claire’s mother. Dean and Cas(s) go off to rescue Sam, who’s been captured, and Claire embraces her mom. The creature who captured the mother appears, and Claire tries to shoot him, to no avail. He moves to stab Claire, but her mother jumps between them, getting stabbed herself.

Cas(s) appears to destroy the creature, but Claire’s mother dies, saying good-bye to her daughter. At which point the boys finally think: JODY. Send her to Jody. Which they do.

  • 5/10

Don’t You Forget About Me (11×12)

Claire’s not doing as well at school as Alex. She’s had some time to settle in with her and Jody, but Claire finds it harder to adjust. She’s not as popular, not as content. She tortures Alex as best she can, but the trouble is that Alex is mostly happy and Claire isn’t. And where Alex seems to lean away from hunting, it’s all Claire wants to do.

Jody and Claire get attacked by the vamp, and Claire is taken. This is that episode where Claire is bitten and kills the lead vamp, but by the end, it seems she’s coming around. She still wants to hunt, but she wants to learn from Jody.

  • 10/10

Ladies Drink Free (12×16)

Claire’s been tracking a werewolf and teams up with the Winchesters, who are hunting it. But she ends up arguing with them both after they find out Jody thinks she’s away looking at colleges.

She storms out, but is attacked, and when Sam finds her, she’s been bitten by the werewolf. With the werewolf’s blood, they may be able to cure her, so the brothers leave to find it, and Claire is watched by Mick, who’s working with Sam and Dean.

While the brothers are gone, Claire starts to transform. The werewolf returns and takes Claire, Mick unable to stop him. Sam, Dean, and Mick manage to find her, take the werewolf’s blood, and cure Claire.

She goes off on her own again, but calls Jody, tells her where she is, what she’s doing, and that she loves her and Alex.

  • 5/10


A new character, Patience Turner (played by Clark Backo), will also be introduced. While we haven’t seen her, back in season 1, we met her grandmother, Missouri Moseley, who I think will also be appearing in season 13. I believe the introduction of Patience and the reintroduction of Missouri will occur before the backdoor pilot. Missouri is a psychic and apparently Patience gets pulled into the Wayward fold when she discovers that she too is psychic.

Missouri’s appearance:

Home (01×09)

https://www.hypable.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SPN_1025.jpgSam and Dean learn that their father, John, met with Missouri, because she’s a psychic. They go to see her, and she immediately knows who they are. Missouri goes with the boys to a house being haunted by poltergeists and helps them rid the house of the spirits. Unfortunately, after she leaves, more spirits appear, and Sam and Dean return to defeat them.

Back at Missouri’s house, we discover that John is still meeting with her. She urges him to see his son’s, but he’s not ready yet.

I don’t know how important this will turn out to be, so…I’ll put it right in the middle:

  • 5/10


Another new character, Kaia Nieves (played by Yadira Guevara-Prip) is going to recur in Supernatural‘s season 13. She will join the Wayward Sisters cast. She has the ability to travel between worlds in dreams (which could turn out to be really useful, considering recent events).

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The Audrey Situation (on Twin Peaks: The Return)

This post contains massive spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return. Obvs.

There are a lot of different things you could talk about in regards to the Twin Peaks finale. There’s a lot of dissection and discussion flying around right now. There were many things about the show that were thrilling and exciting and many things that left fans disappointed and frustrated. The thing that frustrated me most (aside from the fact that we never got to see Cooper in the Double R Diner with a slice of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee) was the Audrey situation.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d8/ca/75/d8ca75f4f2c02644d2405ca265e0fc28--twin-peaks-retro-fashion.jpgI was thrilled to hear that Audrey would be in the new season. She’s far and away my favorite character in the original series, but the ending of season 2 leaves her fate a little…uncertain. For all we knew she was blown up along with the bank. But it seems she survived. Or did she?

Audrey didn’t show up for a long time. In a season of 18 episodes, she first appears in episode 12. And she’s only in three episodes after that. Also, the Audrey we were seeing was very different than the Audrey we expected.

There were dozens of theories about how she may have already been referred to, just not by name. When she has her first scene, a seemingly endless circular conversation with a creep, who claims to be her husband, many fans that had been anxiously awaiting her return, found themselves falling asleep. And her next two appearances weren’t much different.

https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2017/08/28/28-sherilyn-fenn-2.w710.h473.2x.jpgThen her 4th episode aired. Audrey got out of the house she was in for the all the past scenes and arrived at the Roadhouse. At least we’re going somewhere. And then Audrey’s theme started to play, the crowd cleared the floor, and Audrey danced. Like she used to do. I was so happy, I could have cried.

All of a sudden, the scene did a smash cut to what seemed to be Audrey starting awake. She seemed to be in bed and looking in a mirror. And she’s freaking out. That’s intercut with the scene of her dancing, and she seems to fall back into what, at this point it seems safe to say, is a dream.

https://ozba.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/disakwhwaaa1-y7.jpg?w=424&h=239This went with a popular theory I’d heard about: that Audrey was in a coma. Now how long this coma been going on, it’s hard to say. She has a son, but she could have become pregnant with John Justice Wheeler’s kid, and he could have been born while she was in the coma.

Of course, she also could have been raped by the evil alternate Cooper during her coma, which would explain why her kid was SO awful.

And apparently we don’t even know what year it is, so any wiggle room needed for age and time is allowed. Or maybe none of that’s the case. Maybe she survived the explosion and ended up in a coma for a totally different reason. We don’t know.

I was actually relieved to see her “waking up.” I was totally willing to go with Audrey-in-a-coma theory. Especially if it null-and-voided all those sleepy scenes we’d seen so far. I was excited to see her interact with the other characters, for her to see Cooper again.

When she was absent from the solid episode, Part 17, I thought “okay, that’s fine. They’re saving her for the finale. She’s a fan favorite after all.” Part 18, the finale, aired and ended and not a whisper of Audrey.

https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_small/public/thumbnails/image/2017/08/07/16/twin-peaks.jpgSo there were things that I liked about the finale and things I didn’t like about the finale. And if this were part of a larger arc, and we were going to revisit the Audrey situation, then this would all be fine. But HBO David Lynch, and Mark Frost have all said that they don’t have any plans for a 4th season, in which case, WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL?!

Was she dead, in a medical hospital, in a mental hospital, in a government observation room, heaven, hell, a previously unseen part of the black lodge, a previously unseen part of the white lodge?

Or maybe that’s entirely the point. As much love as we all have for Audrey, she’s one of those characters that never has a happy ending. Every iteration of every story she’s given ends in trauma. So even if someway somehow there was more Twin Peaks, it’s possible Audrey would have another part to her story and would still end up in a purgatorial state. Maybe that’s all we deserve after all our complaining. It just seems that Audrey deserves better. But what did we expect really?

Forget it, Jake. It’s Twin Peaks.

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