<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

Recap: 'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Faith and Despondency'

In the wake of a whole lotta lovin’, Abel acts out and Jax makes a big decision

Still up after that oh-so-long episode of “Sons of Anarchy?” Well tuck the kids in tight and be sure to hide all the forks because finally—finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for happened. 

Or, did it?

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Sleepy Hollow - Heartless
Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Sleepy Hollow' - The heroes could stand to be a little more 'Heartless'

Succubus mating habits are super weird, y'all.

After a last minute abortion last week — everyone calm down, it was a demonic abomination — Katrina has officially reunited with her husband and joined the team. But there are problems: Abbie is still solidly Team Kill Henry while the Cranes are vehemently against it. Ichabod doubts his wife, and Katrina now has to figure out how to live in the 21st century.

Can our expanding Scooby gang learn to get along, or will they remain “Heartless” towards each other?

***********

The Cranes are sitting in bed, engaged in a modern day marriage ritual: watching reality television. Somehow they have gotten sucked into “The Bachelor” and, like the rest of America, cannot look away. Ichabod feels the show is a terrible mockery of love while Katrina is more optimistic about the TV couple’s chances.

Shhhh. No one tell her.

Of course, the Cranes can’t watch a show about True Love™ without the conversation turning to their own marital problems. Because couples therapy didn’t exist in colonial times, they’re trying to work through Katrina’s lies and Ichabod’s trust issues on their own. This is going better than expected. But before they can really get to making up, Abbie bursts into the cabin with dumb old apocalypse news.

Oh right, Henry’s still out there. And since they aborted Moloch, he’s probably pretty pissed off at them. The gang tries to figure out what their next move should be. But they shouldn’t have worried, it is totally not War’s style lay low. Case in point, as our heroes debate the merits of Real Housewives, Henry is busy pulling a beating heart from an urn. This seems promising. 

The Horseman of War delivers. One magical Latin incantation later, a super fine naked lady demon is brought forth to sow dissent. And get her party on at a local rave. I mean, what else would a succubus do? How do we know she’s a succubus? Other than the visual cues of being a smoking hot female demon? Well, the changing herself into a hot nerd girl after noticing her prey lusting after a nerdy acquaintance was one hint. Sucking the life out of the poor nerd boy in the backseat of his car before he even got to second base was another one. This is some straight up PG “Jennifer’s Body” shit, right here.

After proving himself last week, I guess Reyes is cool with Ichabod tagging along again. So both Crane and Mills are called in to the scene of the crime. The succubus is long gone, but her victim is a crusty husk. No matter how much you want to dismiss supernatural murder, there’s not a lot of normal explanations for this one. So everyone just seems to be deferring to the supernatural experts. 

Abbie is pretty pissed that Henry has fired up the old demon-murder machine again. Ichabod is still beating a dead horse with “My son can be saved from this evil.” Oh God, Katrina’s willful blindness is contagious. Get these naive fools into quarantine, STAT!

Back at the Carriage House, Abraham aka Headless is whining about Ichabod stealing his girl. I’d say it’s impossible for someone to steal another person, but it’s actually a pretty common occurrence in this universe. Henry is unimpressed. Apparently Moloch has commanded the horseman of Death to stay away from Katrina…at least according to War. Henry cuts the mirror-call short as the succubus shows back up. Moloch has a new plan and it clearly involves regurgitating souls into a mason jar.

Gross.

At the Exposition Library, the gang is coming up blank as to what could’ve killed the nerd boy.  But Katrina recognizes the creature was basically using supernatural acupuncture. By figuring out which vitae point they accessed to kill the victim, the gang can narrow the search parameters. Katrina’s usefulness is cut short as a vision hits from out of nowhere. A cradle and a crying baby and a heart flash before her eyes. 

In a moment of accidental bitchiness, Katrina’s response to neither Abbie nor Ichabod having tea on them is to say “Well Abraham always had the brand of tea I liked.” Girl, no. You’re in danger of letting Stockholm Syndrome ruin your marriage. 

A quietly hurt Ichabod takes his wife home, leaving Abbie to stew about having to follow up on the demon that’s you know, murdering people, alone. Speaking of which, the next victim has been spotted. Random third wheel lesbian goes down for the count within seconds. A good succubus does not discriminate based on sexual identity. 

Without any solid leads, Abbie resorts to finding another supernatural expert. Awwww yessss, it’s the return of Hawley aka Southern Gentleman Aquaman. But alas, SGA is no help at all. He’s never seen anything like these victims before. He tries to salvage the night by asking Abbie to join him for a drink, but she’s too caught up on not getting romantically involved with anyone to just loosen up and get some. Which is probably for the best since SGA has slept with her sister. 

Yeah, that’s gonna get weird later. 

Anyway, Hawley excuses himself to go flirt with more willing partners and Abbie runs off to meet up with Ichabod. The whole Hawley scene could be written off as time filler but suddenly Mills realizes the only reason anyone would be in the backseat of their own car would be to get some. Ichabod adorably tries out his modern word of the week — macking — and the gang puts two and two together to figure out what the audience has known forever: they’re dealing with a succubus. 

As a witch, Katrina is a font of useful information. When it comes to succubi — and presumedly incubi — the more secret the desire, the more the demon can see you and mimic what you want most in order to eat your sweet, delicious soul. Using a tracing spell, Mrs. Crane is able to locate the succubus’s current location. She’s down at the docks. At Hawley’s pier.

Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn.

Abbie and Ichabod race to the rescue but no one rescues Southern Gentleman Aquaman. Hawley saves his damn self…temporarily. In the end, it becomes a group effort. Hawley burns the succubus with a magical artifact, Crane beans her with a metal pipe, and Abbie empties some bullets into the demon’s back. Of course, demons almost always take Endurance as their main stat and the succubus flees into the night. But at least Hawley still has most of his soul.

Having part of your soul removed apparently makes you woozy and Crane comes to Hawley’s rescue. Oh? What’s that? The beginning a grudging mutual respect? Whatever, I will use this moment of physical contact to ship the ever-living hell out Crawley. Crane half-heartedly tries to dispel the sexual tension — SHUT UP LET ME HAVE THIS — by warning Hawley to stay away from Abbie but SGA is like “I do what I want.”

And then they make-out.

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'The Comeback' returns with more Bravo than Valerie
Credit: HBO

'The Comeback' returns with more Bravo than Valerie

Valerie Cherish is in control, for now

The comeback of "The Comeback" cleverly began exactly the same way as the first season, with a test pattern and an indication that we were seeing raw footage for a show called "The Comeback."

Yet the show that followed was very different. Yes, it's still raw footage from a camera crew -- this time, a group of students Valerie Cherish is using to produce a pilot presentation for her own reality series -- but both Valerie and the series have changed.

Most significantly, Valerie is in control. She's far less insecure and constantly troubled about how she'll appear to others, in part because she's the one controlling her film crew, however amateur they are. This time, if she makes that T with her hands, they really will time out and not use it ("My show, I can cut it"). Or at least, that's the way things appear now.

It's a remarkable change for the character, who's not nearly as desperate, neurotic, or put-upon as she was during season one.

Although she is still worried about her image, there's also a new, uglier edge to Valerie. Early in the episode, she's in bed with her husband reading Paulie G.'s script for an HBO series based on his experiences on Room and Bored. There's information in that scene--Room and Bored didn't get renewed, and neither did Valerie's reality show--but it's most striking because Valerie angrily parrots her husband and calling Paulie G. a slur, and then slips back into her old ways.

"We can't say 'cocksucker' because I had Tyler put back the ceiling camera," she said.  Valerie Cherish has become what she never wanted to be: mean and controlling, and she's also become Jane, the producer who followed her around to capture footage that would ultimately be manipulated by editors in the show's great first-season finale.

Valerie Cherish has also become more savvy, but it's not growth. The end of season one showed Valerie finally embracing the humiliation she feared so much, but what's happened since then has jaded her so much that she's now willing to create drama.

She first realizes she misses a moment to literally make a scene when, in a callback to season one's penultimate episode, she's punched in the stomach--though not quite intentionally--by a host at a restaurant.

Later, she jumps on the opportunity when she senses that she can make a scene at HBO, where they're casting her part in the new dramedy, a casting call she misses because she doesn't even know who her agent is any more. She ends up succumbing to flattery and niceness, and also surprises everyone at HBO with her emotional line reading of a scene (from her own life, so of course it's emotional).

"The Comeback" itself felt weighed down by its references to reality television.
That's because, with the exception of a wasted cameo by RuPaul Charles ("you've got that show!" Val says to him, and then he's ignored), a reference to "Survivor," and an offhand summary of other series, the entire episode only refers to Bravo reality shows.

Yes, Val is initially working to pitch a new reality show to Bravo, and that makes Andy Cohen's cameo plausible, but it's a weird choice to have the characters in this universe only talking about Bravo shows, never mind all the Bravo cameos.

Perhaps the most successful was Val's failed appearance on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," refusing to fight with Lisa Vanderpump because she's still burned by her experiences with her reality show. That interaction is loaded with references (to Kyle Richards, the New York version of "Housewives," the way producers set up meals and plotlines in advance) that are both hilarious and not-so-subtle commentary on the genre.

Still, it almost felt like product placement, especially when "Top Chef"'s Carla Hall showed up so another character could make a throwaway joke/reference to "Top Chef." The first season had plenty of reality TV show references and cameos, but they were more purposeful.

Just has Valerie has gotten a little more craven in her desire for attention and affirmation, it seems like "The Comeback" has, too.

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Doctor Who - Death In Heaven
Credit: BBC

Recap: 'Doctor Who' - 'Death In Heaven' brings series 8 to a heart-wrenching finale

There's bittersweet endings, and then there's 'rip your heart out' endings.

Well folks, this is it. We made it to the series 8 finale for “Doctor Who.” After tonight, we will be bereft of Time Lord shenanigans until the Christmas special. Let’s savor every last gut-wrenching moment of “Death In Heaven.”

******

Things pick up right where we left off last week in “Dark Water.” The solitary Cyberman in the office with Clara is on the warpath. But it’s the slow, plodding warpath “Who” villains save for main characters. Instead of vaporizing her on the spot, the Cyberman hesitates just long enough for Clara to be very clever.

There is no Clara Oswald. There never was. She was a figment of the Doctor’s imagination. Clara is, in actuality, the Doctor. 

Jenna Coleman sells this monologue so hard that not only is the Cyberman convinced, but I’m half hoping that this is the twist of the season. How amazing would it be if Clara’s been an amnesiac Time Lady version of the Doctor all this time? Dare to dream, y’all.

Meanwhile outside, the Doctor and the Master, who is now going by Missy because ladies can’t be called the “Master” don’t be silly, are having a bit of banter. Twelve is freaking out because there are Cyberman in broad daylight and he’s waiting for the humans to freak out. But he severely overestimated our sense of self-preservation. Instead of fear, everyone just wants a selfie with the weird metal men. I swear to God, humans in the Whovian universe have the collective memory of a goldfish.

Or, they’re all just UNIT employees in disguise. My faith in humanity ticks up a hair. Even Osgood returns in all her nerdy glory, but she’s shed her scarf in favor of a bowtie because “Bowties are cool.” Also on hand is a whole squadron of UNIT in military gear to hold Missy and the Cybermen hostage, which at first seems ridiculous until Kate Stewart shows up. She nonchalantly tosses an old Cyberman head into their midst like “You forgot something last time. We upgraded. Oh, we also have the Doctor on our payroll.” With an airtight argument like that, the Cybermen do the only logical thing. They flee straight into the air on their jetpacks. 

RUN AWAY!

Of course, humanity’s moment of badassery is cut short when the building housing the water tomb opens up and spews out Cybermen. Ninety-one of them to be specific. Kate questions how the hell the self-proclaimed “Queen of Evil” managed to house that many robots with no one noticing. Well, it’s easy when you’ve got Gallifreyan technology. A hiding place can be as small as you need it to be because it’s bigger on the inside.

To add insult to injury, the Cybermen weren’t running away from Kate Stewart’s amazing monologue. They were headed to the atmosphere in order to explode into a dark cloud of Cyber-Spores. Missy explains her plan is for the particles to pollinate the Earth, falling like rain to awaken the dead. And if zombie Cybermen doesn’t ping your animal hindbrain with fear, congratulations! You’re probably gonna die first in the upcoming apocalypse. 

In the Nethersphere, the lights are going off. Seb finally drops the truth bomb on Danny Pink. They aren’t in Heaven…duh…but in a data cloud. The technology has been collecting recently deceased minds and now they’re all being called home. Back to their “upgraded” bodies. Danny takes this about as well as can be expected.

On Earth, the humans are taking no chances. The Time Lord and Lady are tranquilized for someone’s safety. Kate mentions something about the “First protocol is implemented” while the Doctor expends his last moments of consciousness whispering to Osgood to watch the cemeteries.

I assume the Doctor passed out before mentioning “Oh and the morgues.,” which is where we now find ourselves. The Cyber-Pollen is doing its best “Ghostbuster II” impression, oozing out of the drains and into the newly dead. For some reason, the mortician’s reaction to sudden banging noises coming from closed cold storage lockers is to say “Hello?” instead of running away screaming. THAT part doesn’t happen until a Cyberman sits up on the gurney.

Now alone with his thoughts, the Cyberman looks in the mirror. He is obviously upset by what he sees. Oh, it’s Danny. Cyber-Danny crushes his autopsy report in his fist. Things might be about to go very badly for Missy.

I guess now would be a good time to ask, “How is this happening?” How are Cybermen converting organic matter into robots with no processing? I’ll just assume nano-technology. Nanotech is always good for a pseudo-science plot.

The Doctor regains consciousness in a plane hanger. Kate Stewart apologizes, but there are UNIT protocols in place for an alien invasion on this scale. Twelve is notably unpredictable so tranquilizers and control of the TARDIS were the only way to guarantee is his cooperation. 

Well, she’s not wrong.

Kate ushers the Doctor onto a plane where he is instantly declared the President of Earth. The Doctor’s word is literally law. He is now the chief executive officer of the human race. Suddenly, every taunting word Danny Pink said about the Doctor being officer aristocracy is thrown into sharp relief. The parallel of course being that Mr. Pink is now the ultimate solider. An unthinking, unfeeling, killing machine. Well played, Moffat.

Finally, we check back in with Clara. By confusing the Cyberman, she has bought herself some time. But they want more proof she is the Doctor. She starts rattling off facts at a lightning pace, revealing exactly how much Twelve has shared with her over the course of their adventures. She even mentions Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter! But the ever-logical Cybermen aren’t buying it. Including a newcomer, who seems to know an awful lot about Clara Oswald. Obviously it is Cyber-Danny.

Clara tries to stall for time by saying “I’m a good liar,” to which Cyber-Danny replies “Yes, you are,” and my heart breaks just a little bit because ouch. Cyber-Danny then knocks Clara out and quickly dispatches his fellow robots. Well, well, well. I’d wager Missy did not expect human souls to retain emotion and attachment.

In the hold of the plane, Missy is taunting the Doctor and Osgood. Twelve can’t figure out how she’s here and alive because Gallifrey is lost in another dimension. The obvious answer? Gallifrey is in another dimension, but it’s definitely not lost. Missy knows how to get home but she’s not telling because what fun would that be? Are we just gonna ignore the fact they handcuffed the most psychotic being in the universe to a dolly and put her next to the TARDIS? This seems like poor planning. Why did they even let Missy wake up? Keep that lady hopped up on tranquilizers! 

Osgood dispenses with the Doctor’s notions that humans wouldn’t be able to grasp fluid genders among Time Lords/Ladies. She just kind of assumed Missy was the new regeneration of the Master based on her behavior. 

Off to the side and ignored by everyone, including her guards, Missy activates her bracelet. Jewelry can be fashionable AND functional.

Clara wakes up in the graveyard at dusk because Cyber-boyfriends are bad at ambiance. She meanders aimlessly among the tombstones and I keep hoping the Weeping Angels show up and this finale turns into a rumble over who gets to destroy humanity. But no such luck.

Back on Air Force One, the Doctor is finally explaining what the hell is going on. The Cyber-Pollen searches out organic matter and starts a full conversion chain reaction. But up until now, it has need a living creature. Somehow Missy has figured out how to weaponize the dead. “It’s all over,” says the Doctor, dramatic defeatist. “How can you win against the dead?” Oh I don’t know genius, EMPs for starters? Or maybe go find the Lorax-Fairies from two episodes ago. They seemed pretty good at protecting humanity from imminent extinction.

Off-handedly Kate mentions UNIT was tipped off to what was going on by a woman with a Scottish accent. The girl from the shop strikes again!

The Doctor goes on to mention Missy has been traveling up and down Earth’s time stream for who knows how long, collecting the consciousness or souls or whatever of the dead and putting them in the Nethersphere cloud. Every concept of an afterlife can be chalked up to her tampering.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up a minute. There are some heavy implications here. Every human soul on Earth was in that data cloud? If the plan was to eventually put those souls back in their Cyberman bodies, what happens to the souls so old they have no bodies? Were Egyptians mummifying themselves to have a body to return to? Does this mean we truly have no good grasp on life after death since it’s been skewed by Time Lady meddling? 

Speaking of Time Lady meddling, in the hold Missy has a secret she wants to tell Osgood. But she wants to whisper it. Throwing genre savviness to the wind, Osgood falls for this obvious ruse and comes close enough for Missy to tell her the “secret girl plan.” Which is that Osgood is about to die.

Holy hell, does Michelle Gomez ever shine in this role. The tenuous grasp on sanity, the flair for the dramatic (“I’m accelerating the countdown for dramatic effect”), the sleight of hand, the cold indifference to outright murdering Osgood and the nameless Red Shirts™…it’s all deliciously unhinged. More complex unlikeable female characters, please!

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<p>Matt Davis on &quot;The Vampire Diaries&quot;</p>

Matt Davis on "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get'

The Delena reunion goes down as expected and Alaric is thrown a twist.

If the Delena fans out there are thinking of forming a support group, well, they would definitely be justified. Thursday night’s episode of “The Vampire Diaries” could have been a hot and heavy reunion episode for the masses to gif for the near foreseeable future; instead it became a source of frustration for anyone tuning in. 

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<p>Kim Coates of &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;</p>

Kim Coates of "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

Recap: 'Sons of Anarchy' - 'What a Piece of Work Is Man'

The club feels blowback from Jax’s killing frenzy as Marks makes his mark

Still reeling over Tuesday night’s “Sons of Anarchy?” Well grease up those prison weapons, wipe those drugs off your boobs and let’s avoid solitary confinement by getting through this together, shall we?

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Sleepy Hollow - Deliverance
Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Sleepy Hollow' - We need 'Deliverance' from Katrina trying to save Henry

Demon pregnancy? Demon pregnancy.

Last week was a low blow for our heroes. Captain Irving is still struggling to maintain his sanity without his soul and the gang accidentally acquired a super rare poison for Henry aka the Horseman of War. He used that nefarious, suspiciously blood-like mixture to create a FREAKIN’ SPIDER that crawled into Katrina’s mouth.

No. God, no. Please…no. Ugh. With Moloch’s minions having the upper hand, will the Scooby gang rack up a win this week in “Deliverance?” 

*******

We open on Ichabod and Katrina in bed, bathed in blue light and gossamer sheets. So this is either a memory or a dream. The couple share some platitudes about the grueling schedule of the Revolutionary War interfering with them getting it on like rabbits. Ichabod shares his hopes for their future children, which is sweet. He then flips Katrina over and chokes her out while spitting spiders into her mouth, which is not so sweet.

So, dream sequence then. 

Katrina wakes up in a pool of sweat. She doesn’t look too good, but neither would you if a blood spider made entirely of poison just crawled into your stomach. 

Unaware of his wife’s predicament, Crane has followed Abbie to the voting polls. Of course, Ichabod is incensed that voter turnout for mid-term elections is a paltry 40%. Back in his day, everyone voted and gladly, at that. Abbie is like “Oh really? You know, except for black people…and women…and anyone who wasn’t a white dude.” 

You need some ice for that burn, Crane? No? You’re gonna add to your own flagellation by pointing out the white dudes also had to own huge tracts of land, and thus be rich? Well, good for you, seeing your privilege and being like “Okay yeah, I just said a stupid thing.”

Back in the Carriage House, Katrina looks like garbage. Abraham — otherwise known as the Horseman of Death — is worried about her. If their relationship wasn’t seven kinds of messed up, it would be kind of cute. Instead, it’s just disconcerting. Katrina blames her illness on supernatural forces and passive-aggressively blames Death for her condition.

Suddenly, Henry bursts in aggressive-aggressively and has his goons apprehend Katrina. Did War shop for minions on Mafia Discount Day at Red Shirt Emporium? Because these guys are dapper as hell. 

Whatever is going on with Mrs. Crane, it is going exactly according to plan. But who’s plan? Henry says he’s here on Moloch’s behalf and their commander has changed his mind about Hell’s plan for Katrina Crane. Both Abraham and myself call bullshit. But War has a better grip on his Horseman powers — or he just has cooler abilities — and opens a window with telekinesis to let the sunlight trap Abraham while his goons whisk Katrina away.

Dissension in the ranks of Hell is getting serious, y’all. This is some straight up Mario/Bowser nonsense.

No one moves Abraham’s princess to another castle! Death rallies against the evils of natural light and puts an axe right in a goon’s back. I hope Henry kept his receipt. That guy still had “new minion” smell. 

Seeing an opening, Katrina kicks her captor straight in the nads and makes a break for it. Despite suffering from supernatural consumption, she manages to make it to the nearest gas station — and help — before passing right the hell out.

Back in town, Ichabod is still railing against modern democracy until Abbie soothes him with an “I Voted” sticker. You guys, these two dorks are adorable. Right as our heroes are about to leave, Sheriff Reyes shows up with her posse. Crane laments Abbie’s removal from The Plastics…I mean the police inner circle. But one of the cool kids throws us a bone. A call just came in about some crazy red-headed Jane Doe in Revolutionary clothing passing out in the street and being taken to the hospital.

Say no more, minor recurring character.

At said hospital, Katrina is unconscious and still has the sickly sheen of someone suffering from blood spider poisoning. A doctor shows up to be indignant and spit out crucial information. The patient has a fever of 105 and an infection in her abdominal wall, says the doctor before disappearing, because clearly these people know the Jane Doe and shouldn’t have to provide proof or anything. Katrina wakes up just in time to be completely conscious for the emergence of painful black lines that signal blood poisoning.

Um, did Henry start a metamorphosis that will turn Katrina in the Horseman of Pestilence? Because that would be ONE way to stay closer to Mommy while sticking it to Dad.

Always the voice of reason, Abbie suggests they should vamoose before the Goons of War show up to re-kidnap Katrina. The only problem is the hospital took her clothes. So Mrs. Crane ends up in a drunk goth’s rejects: skinny jeans and a corset. Ichabod is conflicted about the state of dress — or undress — of his wife in public. But there’s no time to waste because the goons have arrived. Abbie shuffles the Cranes out of the hospital so she — you know, the cop — can tail these minions back to their lair.

Ichabod takes Katrina to the Exposition Library because it has every possible book they could ever need to discover what Henry did to her. When the minions of War tried to kidnap her, Katrina remembers seeing a goat in their “medical” book. Using his photographic memory, Crane is able to deduce the symbol belongs to the Hellfire Club within seconds. 

Oh man, I hope Emma Frost shows up next week! Wait, wrong universe. In the “Sleepy Hollow” world, the Hellfire Club was infiltrated by Ben Franklin — because of course it was — and as luck would have it, Franklin witnessed them do to another woman the same thing that’s happening to Katrina. 

I am side-eying the hell out of this deus ex machina library, y’all.

Unfortunately for our heroes, even absurd coincidences draw the line at literally writing down what ails Katrina. Franklin never gave any clues as to what caused the illness or if the other woman even lived. That bodes well, right? Oh, also during this exchange Katrina lets it slip that she’s wearing an enchanted necklace that allows her to converse with Abraham. Ichabod is not amused. 

Away from all this middle school drama, Abbie is making progress. She is on the case…following a minion holding a case. Dude enters an abandoned warehouse and Mills follows. So, is Sleepy Hollow suffering from a manufacturing recession? There is a seriously high number of empty industrial buildings in this tiny town.

In a clean room in the warehouse, one minion is on the phone while the other wrestles with a tablet that is obviously the baby cousin of the Rosetta stone. Abbie snaps photos of everything on her cell phone before stumbling into a gurney with a corpse on it. A corpse with the same black lines that now cover Katrina. Ah, it seems Henry is thorough. You don’t just give unknown blood spiders to your target without running human trials first to work out the bugs.

Get it? Sorry. 

The guards are alerted by the noise but studied at the school of “Metal Gear Solid” sentry duty. Abbie not only manages escapes undetected but is able to take more pictures on her way out. Oh look, a crib and a delivery table. Did Henry IMPREGNATE Katrina with Pestilence? Is there really time to raise a Horseman to maturity? It would be a kind of poetic justice though, right? Katrina Crane, Uterus of the Apocalypse.

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Doctor Who - Dark Water
Credit: BBC

Recap: 'Doctor Who' - Turns out 'Dark Water' makes a great hiding place

Missy finally puts her plan into motion.

We’re in the home stretch now, folks. Only two episodes remain. After the elves or whatever showed up last week to save the Earth from a deadly solar flare, Clara Oswald’s lies to Danny Pink finally caught up to her. Will she be able to keep him from leaving her? Does she even want to? Everyone take a deep breath, because we’re headed into “Dark Water.”

********

Never before has Clara — or perhaps any companion — sounded so similar to the Doctor. Ms. Oswald is on the phone with Danny but she’s telling him to shut up, shut up, shut up, despite the fact that he can’t get a word in edgewise. We can deduce that Danny was on his way over to get the explanation he deserved. But as we all know, sometimes it’s easier to talk when you can’t see the other person’s face.

So in a fit of nerves, Clara has covered her wall in post-it notes about both her current feelings towards her beau and her past adventures with the Doctor. Armed with this cheat sheet, she called Danny in a bit to avoid face-to-face confrontation. The most important thing for Mr. Pink to know? Clara loves him. And not in a rote way. The words “I love you,” from Clara belong to Danny now, and he is the last person who will ever hear her say them. Which, because this is television, means something irreversibly devastating immediately follows her ominous declaration.

Danny Pink is dead. Hit by a car while crossing the street. The show glosses over the specifics, giving us a voice-over eulogy while Clara stands in the middle of street staring at Danny’s memorial on the sidewalk. She’s is obviously devastated and yet I feel nothing. Danny was so peripheral to the season that his loss — to me — is almost a relief because now Clara doesn’t have to choose. I assume this is not the reaction they were going for. Look, I get not wanting to rinse and repeat the Ponds by having Clara’s boyfriend tag along in the TARDIS, but not doing so hindered the writers ability to show the process of them falling in love.

ANYWAY. Whether or not I’m distraught over the loss Danny Pink matters not, because Clara is. Standing in her kitchen, she calls the Doctor because her boyfriend dying wasn’t terrible. It was boring and ordinary and Clara knows she is OWED better than that. She has a point. After all, she did throw herself into the Doctor’s time stream and shatter herself into a thousand thousand pieces to keep him alive. The least he can do is bring Danny back from the dead.

“What can I do for you Clara?” asks the Doctor, after finally answering the phone, Without warning, we are transported to the climatic battle from “Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.” Twelve awakens on a rocky volcanic ledge and Ms. Oswald eerily appears from the fog of war with fire in her hands. 

Note to self: do not kill Clara’s loved ones or she’ll go all Galadriel holding the One Ring on you.

Back in the present, our heroine boards the TARDIS in a fit of forced cheer. She wants to see a volcano. No reason, just needs to see one. Preferably now. As she chatters on to distract Twelve, she’s collecting the TARDIS keys. Why she knows where all of these are is proof the Doctor is either going senile or has put way too much trust in her. Finally, she steals a sleep patch and in one swift movement slaps it on Twelve’s neck. So, thanks for that mini-flashback I guess?

Standing on the edge of the lava pit, Clara Oswald channels her best Anakin Skywalker. Only lava can destroy a key to the TARDIS and she has all seven in her hand. To prove she is serious, Clara lobs one into the waiting volcano. If being a companion doesn’t work out, she’s got a great future as a hyper-competent super villain ahead of her. 

Danny Pink is dead and Twelve is going to fix it or she will destroy every single key to the TARDIS. “Hahaha,” says Twelve. He can’t just bring people back from the dead because of time loops and paradoxes and other wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

Clara basically says bullshit, and chucks a TARDIS key. She knows the Doctor is trying to regain control of the situation and the stand-off continues until she’s had it with his manipulation and throws the whole fistful of keys into the lava. “YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE,” screams the Doctor…in my version anyway. In reality, Twelve stares in disbelief. He seriously underestimated the depths of Clara’s grief and now he’ll never again fly away in his precious blue police box and they’re both gonna die here on Mustafar. 

Even realizing what she’s done, Clara is brutal in her non-apology. “I’m so sorry but I’d do it again.” She is shaping up into one hell of a Time Lady.

Satisfied with how far Clara would go to save Danny, the Doctor ends the charade. The patches weren’t sleep aids, but lucid dreaming aids. None of that actually happened because he stuck one on Clara to see the lengths she’d go to. On the one hand, I’m glad they don’t have to waste precious side-plot minutes on getting back into the TARDIS.  But on the other hand, I want to strangle the Doctor with his own arrogant manipulation.

Clara is too numb to even be angry that she got played. She utterly betrayed the Doctor and it didn’t even save Danny. She asks “What now?” and Twelve tells her to “Go to hell.” But hahaha, just kidding. It was merely convenient Time Lord literal-ness. He doesn’t want Clara to go to hell. They’re both going to hell to get Danny back. Duh. In a rare moment of sincerity the Doctor questions “Do you think I care so little for you that it would matter if you betrayed me?”

And every Whovian down in Whoville swore the Doctor’s hearts grew three sizes that day.

Throwing caution to the wind, the Doctor turn off all the TARDIS safeties (again) and shoves Clara’s hands into Sexy’s brain (again). I’m actually impressed this plot device came back up. Before long, the TARDIS has telepathically linked itself to Danny Pink and we’re off on an adventure to wherever people go after they die.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Meanwhile, Danny Pink is waking up in Seb’s office in “Heaven.” I’m still not sure if Seb is an auditor of sins or an afterlife orientation guide or what and the show isn’t interested in clearing up my confusion. But it is interested in appeasing me by finally revealing what the Nethersphere looks like. Danny thrusts open the curtains to reveal the afterlife looks like Neo-Tokyo and Blade Runner had a baby and shoved it into a sphere. A city skyline stretches out and up, defying gravity and several laws of physics.

Not that it matters, since Danny won’t be sticking around long. The TARDIS has landed and the rescue party is on the way. Or not. The Doctor warns Clara this isn’t where Mr. Pink is, just the next spot his time stream likely crosses with Clara’s. Twelve also tell her to buck up. I mean, they’re about to get her boyfriend back from the dead…by way of creepy mausoleum. 

Sexy has brought her passengers to a never-ending crypt full of fish tank after fish tank of human skeletons sitting in chairs. What is the purpose of this? I mean, other than to be creepy enough to give Pinhead nightmares? Oh wait, it just got worse because one of the skeletons moved to watch Clara and the Doctor walk by.

TIME TO GO. 

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Chris Rock And Kenan Thompson

Chris Rock And Kenan Thompson

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Chris Rock and Prince

The former 'SNL' star returns with The Artist Formerly And Presently Known As Prince

Much like Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock did not have the most illustrious career at “Saturday Night Live.” But much like Silverman, Rock is returning to host with a post-“SNL” resumé that is extremely impressive. It will be fascinating to see how much of Rock’s tumultuous time at the show is explicitly addressed, and how much the show’s current cast composition feeds into the narrative of tonight’s episode.

The program has taken great strides over the past year to combat outcries following its hiring of six Caucasian cast members two summers ago. And now, the show boasts five African-American cast members, by far the most at one time in its history. Does that automatically make the show better? Of course not. But it sure as hell makes the show more reflective of the culture it’s designed to satire on a weekly basis. The show’s work isn’t done, insofar as it will never be done. But there’s almost certainly a link between the show’s comedic resurgence this season and its embracing of new voices to augment its already hallowed perspective. The show has changed since Rock left. And as of right now, in terms of its relevance to the world around it, the show hass changed for the better.

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<p>The Vampire Diaries</p>

The Vampire Diaries

Credit: CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The World Has Turned and Left Me Here'

A familiar face returns and Elena tries to move on

“The moral of the story is, don’t fall in love with your brother’s girl.”

Damn it Kai. Of course you had to go and do … that. Let’s get our witchy woo together and sink our teeth right into Thursday night’s “The Vampire Diaries,” shall well?

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