Once Upon a Time Episode Review – “Breaking Glass”

The latest episode of OUAT brought forth new revelations and gave us a much desired glimpse into Emma’s childhood. By the end of the promo for next week’s episode, I was more than a little excited and shocked. So what sort of things did we learn from this episode.

Well, first off, that Regina is hurting, a lot. And all throughout the episode, Emma tries to show Regina that she wants to be friends, despite Regina’s anger. Another thing we learn (Which is explained, but no spoilers here) is that Sidney, Regina’s mirror, is not being entirely honest with Regina. We also learn the identity of the Snow Queen in terms of her relationship with Emma. All of this makes for lots of fun twists and turns.

Another aspect of the episode that I loved was watching Snow and Charming finally get some time together, and seeing Snow finally get back to her old self. In the previous episode, Dr. Hopper told Snow that it wasn’t wrong for her to sometimes be separated from baby Neal, and I think Snow is finally realizing that even though she may have missed Emma’s childhood, she has plenty of time to enjoy being with Neal.

Other fun stuff? Besides seeing more of the Knave/Will Scarlett, I loved the little reference to Asgard. It was rather ironic considering that Josh Dallas (Who plays Charming) played in the first Thor movie. To be honest though, next episode has me worried. The promo talks about sister turning against sister????? Uhm,  they better not go ruining Elsa and Anna! And husband against wife? Well, I think it is high time that Belle finds out about the dagger and gives Rumple a good chewing out. I also read in a little synopsis that Emma will lose control of her magic, and pushes everyone away and turns to Mr. Gold for help? Yeah Emma, real smart. Turn to the guy who forced your boyfriend to commit murder for help with your pretty serious powers. *facepalm*

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Doctor Who Episode Review – “In the Forest of the Night”

The last few weeks of episodes have been surprisingly good, though Flatline was still somewhat underwhelming. But this weeks episode made me feel like I was actually watching Doctor Who again. It wasn’t just some old guy who replaced the loveable 11. It was THE Doctor.

The plot of the episode revolves around a forest springing up all over the world, taking over the planet, and the problem of a massive solar flare that will destroy the earth. The entire episode had me wondering how on earth they would get out of this one, and for a moment I actually cried because it seemed like there was no way that they would get out of it. But, as always, the Doctor has a plan… Well, half a plan.

I particularly loved watching the Doctor interact with Maebe (And no, that is not a typo. I believe it is pronounced “Mave”?), a young girl who is a student of Clara and Danny’s. She suffered a great trauma when her sister ran away from home and has been on medication. But watching the Doctor interact with her was adorable. She brought out a sweetness in him that I hadn’t seen yet. To be honest, I loved all of the kids in this episode. They were what you might call “problem children”, whom Clara and Danny were working to help. And by the end of the episode, these kids had become a team.

Danny was also pretty funny in this episode. He gets into the adventure role in this episode, and we see his inner soldier come out. Of course, it drives the kids insane at first, but they soon come to love it. And I greatly admired his response to discovering Clara’s dishonesty. Instead of walking up to her and accusing her/chewing her out, he gave her the choice to tell him the truth, even telling her to take some time to think first. That is what I love about Danny. He doesn’t whine because Clara travels with the Doctor, or act all wimpy. He is strong, and understands that Clara makes her own choices.

So overall, I loved the episode. And it is a great lead up to what looks to be a crazy first part of the season finale. Yup, you read that right. The season finale begins on Saturday. The promo legitimately freaked me out. “You will never see the inside of your TARDIS again”? “Clara Oswald I don’t think you will!”???????? “Clara Oswald NEVER existed????????????????” Seriously… WHAT??????? I am eagerly (And fearfully) anticipating the finale, and FINALLY finding out who Missy really is, AND seeing the return of the Cybermen. And hopefully hearing that Moffat will step down? *gets on knees and begs*

Stay nerdy everyone!

Ebola Doesn’t Scare Me

So this is more of an opinion piece than anything else, but just try to roll with me here. And no, I am not going to say Ebola doesn’t scare me because I have Jesus on my side, though that is completely true. I am actually going with other statements that even non-Christians can relate to. With all the media hype about Ebola that has spread fear and dread amongst the American populace, I feel that it is wise to take a step back and think about what is happening here. There have been between 3-5 reported cases of Ebola in the U.S. (This does not include the doctors and missionaries who contracted the disease while overseas and returned to the U.S. for treatment). Of these cases, only ONE has resulted in death, and it was likely because it was caught too late and the correct measures were not taken beforehand. I mean, really. There is a picture floating about that points out: “More Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola”. And yet everyone goes on about “it’s a national emergency” “It’s an EPIDEMIC!!!!” and so on. So why should we NOT be afraid of Ebola?

1: Because we are a civilized nation.

  • I know this may sound crazy considering what happened in Dallas, but fact is: The U.S. is better equipped to handle Ebola than Africa was. We have clean water, better hygiene, a strong healthcare system, and none of the ignorance and superstition surrounding the disease that is prevalent in Africa. Yes, the death rate in Africa is high, but only because they do not have the resources required to handle such a disease. We have people here in the U.S. who have undergone “hazmat training”, which prepares them for situations just like this.

2: Because the disease does not spread as easily as one might think.

I checked out the CDC website to find out how Ebola was spread. It says, in short, that the disease is spread through contact (through open wounds or through the eyes, mouth, etc.) with body fluids of an infected person, such as saliva. But, the disease is NOT transmitted through the air, like the flu, common cold, etc. You can be in the same room as an infected person and not get the disease. Unless they sneeze on your face, or on you and you touch your face, it is pretty tough to actually get it. And we already take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of germs as it is. We wash our hands after being around someone who is sick(Keep in mind that Ebola presents itself like a cold or flu), we cover our mouths when we sneeze, and we slather our hands in hand sanitizer. We are so ultra clean that it is almost dangerous… But that’s a discussion for another time. What I am saying here is that your chances of contracting it are much lower than you would think.

3: Because most of the hype is something commonly referred to as “fear mongering”.

  • Why is everyone in such a panic about this? Surely it can’t be that the media is sharing all these horrific stories about the people in Africa who have Ebola, and keep spreading the story of the man in Dallas who died? I mean, why would they want us to be scared? Ok, this is going to sound a lot like a conspiracy theory… It is easier to make money when people are scared. We visit the doctor at the slightest sign of the sniffles, we stock up on over the counter medicines and hand sanitizer, and the CDC is even trying to produce a vaccination. All of this is earning some people a lot of money. And not only that, but it is easier to control people who are afraid. What does that mean? Well, because people are so scared, someone high up could say: “The only way to protect yourself from this disease is to get this vaccine and to take these precautions”. And because people are scared, they will take any chance at saving themselves from the terrible epidemic that is apparently upon  us.

Simply put, we have no reason to be freaked out about Ebola. If it does get worse, we will soldier on like we always do. And yes, my biggest reason for not fearing Ebola is that I know that God is watching over me and my loved ones, and that He knows what will happen. He has a plan. So there’s no need to fear the future. Am I saying that you should pretend that there isn’t a problem? No. Because it is reasonable to worry. But don’t let it control you. Don’t lock yourself away because you’re scared. Just trust that everything is in God’s hands, and know that you have nothing to fear.

Thought for the Week – Your Calling

Everyone has a calling. Whether it is for a career, a certain ministry, or a simple way of life, everyone is called to something. Sadly, most Christian teens, and many Christians in general, have no idea what their calling is because they have not actively sought out God’s will for their lives.

When we ask God to show us what He is calling us to do, the answer may not come immediately, and sometimes your calling is not always what it first appears. It took me several years to find that God was calling me to become a journalist and spread his word through that career, and who knows? I may discover an even deeper calling in that regard. And you might not think that knowing what you are called to do is a big deal, but it is. When you know what God’s desire for you is, you can do the work He has called you to do in the best way possible.

Does that mean you have to have a solid plan for your life? Nope. No one knows what the future holds. It simply means being aware of God’s guidance, and asking Him to show you the right way to go when you are faced with big decisions. And as a teen, knowing that God can show me the way is a big deal, as I am faced with tons of decisions. What college should I go to? What career should I study? And in a few years, I might be faced with the question of “Should I be with this person? Is this the man you intend for me to spend the rest of my life with?”

I hope that you will take time to listen for God’s voice as you make decisions in your life, and discover what He has called you to do.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Review – “A Hen in the Wolf House”

Despite the fairly humorous title, this episode was anything but. The stakes in this episode were high, possibly the highest this season. Raina, being threatened by HYDRA, tries to convince Coulson to make a deal with her so that she can live. This deal? Raina takes Skye to meet her father, whom we now know is a cruel man, and she doesn’t rat out Simmons, who is still deep undercover in HYDRA. But Coulson, as always, has a plan, and calls Raina’s bluff. The episode delivers some of the biggest shockers of the season, and brings a couple of tear-inducing moments along with them.

The first is when Skye finds where her father was hiding, along with a picture of him holding her as a baby. She cries in Coulson’s arms, and I was crying with her. After everything she has been through, now she finds out her father is a monster. The other moment was involving FitzSimmons, but I won’t spoil that one. And I LOVED the new character by the name of Bobbi Morse, aka. Mockingbird. My jaw about hit the floor when I realized who she was, and then I was cheering. And it looks like Lance is going to have some adventures in the making as he deals with his “she devil ex-wife” (as he so colorfully puts it) being around.

As the plot thickens, the characters grow closer, and the stakes are raised, the show is becoming better and better. Coulson and Skye have finally gotten to the point where they are back to the father/daughter like relationship they shared, and his relationship with May is apparently deeper than any of us expected. I have also loved seeing May and Skye work together. They make a great team. And seeing more and more of Ward is putting me on the fence about his character. One part of me wants to hate him and despise his sick soul for what he did to the team, but the other part feels bad for him and wants to believe that he actually regrets what he has done. It appears that we might discover more about him next week.

In terms of content, the biggest concern is the violence. This episode was particularly violent, with an opening sequence that consisted of people dying from a terrible alien weapon. Their faces were grotesque. Another disturbing bit was when the team found two dead bodies, one of which had a pretty gruesome wound. I was able to glance away, but it was still pretty disturbing. And of course there is language, as always.

And while we are on the topic of MARVEL… THE AGE OF ULTRON TRAILER HAS FINALLY RELEASED!!!!!! It was originally supposed to premiere during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next week, but someone (Marvel blames HYDRA) leaked it early, so Marvel decided to release it to the public. So, instead of a trailer… (are you ready??)… We get a WHOLE ENTIRE CLIP!!!!! And the movie isn’t even coming until May 1st of next year!!!!! So, needless to say, I am so excited! The trailer was depressing, exciting, wonderful, and sad. We finally got to see Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in action, and I am LOVING them already!!!! If you haven’t gotten to see it yet, please go look it up on YouTube! 😀 Stay Nerdy everyone!

Book Review – “A Matter of Heart” by Tracie Peterson

As I had read a couple of other books by Tracie Peterson and immensely enjoyed them, I was excited to read and review this one. The story sounded interesting, and I do love western novels.

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two men come into her life and both manage to stir her heart. Harrison Gable is a rich young lawyer who intends to travel the world and live a life of opulence. His ambitions match Jessica’s dreams, but her heart has begun to change.

Austin Todd, former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he’s drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Austin is well-thought-of and admired in the community. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes. Will Jessica choose financial security or follow her heart?
The characters were good, though I was slightly confused after not reading the first two books in this series. But to be honest, I did not like Jessica that much. Sure, she did change and wasn’t so selfish, but something about her just seemed really shallow, even after she changed. I struggled to connect with her in a way that I don’t usually encounter when reading a book. I did like Austin a lot, and thought he was a strong character. My one complaint was that he and Jessica seemed to move awfully fast. Declaring their love when they really didn’t know each other was really not something that made me like them or the story any more.
The plotline was definitely lacking. I was so confused. I am all for writing books in a series, but this seems like the sort of series that a person should be able to pick up the second or third book and not be completely confused. There were a lot of different characters and plotlines that didn’t mesh well together, and the inclusion of Harrison was just too much, especially with his very inappropriate manner.

Perhaps if I had read the first two books, which I shall soon, I might enjoy this book better. I rate “A Matter of Heart” with 3 1/2 stars out of five, and recommend it to 14 and up.

Things only Fandoms Will Understand – “Merlin” Edition

So I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while, but realized that I have a ton of fandoms to choose from. Solution: Do one at a time! Today I have chosen Merlin. There are so many hilarious ones and sad ones for this, and I hope y’all enjoy it! If you don’t get it… GO WATCH MERLIN NOW!!!!!!!!

Things only Merlin fans will understand:

Uther’s problems are many…

Haha

The first 3 seasons summed up in one picture<-The whole storyline summed up in one picture.

The painful realities of Morgana Pendragon *sobs*

This hurts... This really hurts... :'( *sobbing*

Colin Morgan’s tears…

Oh that? That's just the sound of my heart breaking.... Nothing to... *sniffle* Worry about.

Hmmm, let’s see. I see Gaius, Gwen, Leon… Oh, there’s Percival… Yup. That’s it, Oh, and Merlin…

Let's see... there's Merlin.  And Gaius.  And good ole Leon who can't ever die.  Yep, not a long list. Oh, and Gwen.

Those clueless newbies…

*SOBBING FOREVER*

The realities of being a manservant…

What my boss thinks I do... That is perfect!

Gwaine’s hair… Just… Gwaine’s hair…

... I am going to die of laughter if this keeps up!

The hilarity of the infamous “Oblivious Arthur” meme…

But at least the dungeons are top-notch!     Never thought of that one....

Like... REALLY ARTHUR????? You even knighted Percival, whom you BARELY KNEW and couldn't even knight your loyal friend and servant????   ROFL!!!!

(No, seriously… Go on Google or Pinterest and look up oblivious Arthur. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!!)

The amazing (and sometimes dumb) knights of Camelot…

Knights of Camelot- Merlin  <3 them all. each and everyone one of them.

(From left to right: Percival, Gwaine, Lancelot, Arthur, Elyan, and Leon)

This facial expression…

I personally wouldn't do it with people all around me like Morgana <--thank you! also they were rarely occasions to smirk about.

This hilarious truth…

Gwaine advice. It did get him pretty far in life though! Wonder where he'd have ended up if he hadn't helped them!

Uther needs some help with his security…

Uther meme LOL - Merlin on BBC Fan Art (21382175) - Fanpop fanclubs

The crazy grudges held by numerous characters are bad… But this one tops them all…

People don't seem to get that Merlin tripped Mordred in the hope that the knights of Camelot would kill him and Mordred knew this. That's why Mordred was so ticked. Frankly, I think that Merlin was being OOC, because I can't believe that he would ever murder a child whether it was indirect or not. --Description by DestinyandDoom

The pain that this character caused us…

I seriously want to crawl in a corner, cry and yell no with Mordred now.  Mordred...  Poor baby...

The fact that this caused no suspicion whatsoever…

Fan Art/Memes - Merlin Wiki - BBC TV Series

And Merlin’s brilliant ways of trickery and general sneakiness…

Logic

“Dragoon… THE GREAT”…

Gotta love those parts!

And the accuracy of this… Bottom left….

Mine was and still is the "die-hard Merlin Fan's Reaction".... and Morgana's.

And this…

what-i-think-meme-on-merlin-merlin-on-bbc-33495099-710-696.png (710×696)

Once Upon a Time Episode Review – “The Apprentice”

Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time delivered a plotline that I will not soon forget, and brought new deeds to light from characters that I had truly believed to be good. The episode continued the storyline of Anna in the Enchanted Forest, but in Storybrooke focused more on Hook and Emma’s first date, and a big mistake that Hook made that could cost him everything.

In the Enchanted Forest, Anna goes to visit Rumplestiltskin and asks him for information about her parents. He agrees to do so once she has done a task for him, making her sign a deal. First mistake. It is obvious that Rumple needs Anna to get something… But what? It seems to be a magical hat thingy that Rumple wants to use to do something. What he intends to do with it, we can only guess. Anna learns an important lesson about facing one’s inner darkness before she returns to Kristoff in a sweet scene.

In Storybrooke, Emma and Hook go on their first date (FINALLY), and Hook goes to Rumple and asks for his hand back so that he can be a whole man for Emma. Hook uses his knowledge of the dagger as leverage to convince Rumple to do it. But he does not take Rumple’s warning’s about the nature of the hand to heart and sees bits of his old self returning on the date. When he goes to Rumple to ask for him to remove it, Rumple says he will… For a prince. And Hook, frightened and desparate, accepts. First mistake. By the end of the episode, Hook has been backed into a corner with no where to run, and we can only guess what will happen next.

Other happenings include Emma chasing after “Dairy Queen” as the mysterious Snow Queen has been called, Henry going to work for Rumple in order to get help for Regina in finding the author of the book, and Snow and Charming being the adorable parents watching their daughter go out.

Other than a bit of cussing here and there, and a bit of innuendo, this episode was, as usual, mostly clean. There’s a reason I consider OUAT to be one of the best shows on TV, and it isn’t just the plot. Next week’s episode looks like it will be a bit freaky, but I am looking forward to FINALLY discovering who this Snow Queen is. And Anna will be in Storybrooke, Emma and Regina will have to work together, and that freaky lady wants to hurt Elsa… in her words “I’m going to build a snowman…” Thanks for ruining the song. xD

Doctor Who Episode Review – “Flatline”

This week’s Doctor Who episode brought what, to me, seemed to be the freakiest monsters, funniest conversations, and most brilliant moments all season. Well, this one and The Caretaker were both brilliant. But in “Flatline”, Clara shines as the “main” character in the story, as the Doctor is trapped inside a shrinking TARDIS. We also met a brilliant new side character, found out that Clara has been lying to Danny, and discovered that the strange woman named Missy has a plan, and it involves Clara.

Overall I enjoyed the episode, though I was pretty mad at Clara about her lying to Danny, and the Doctor as well. I felt like her dishonesty was wrong, especially given the fact that Danny was willing to support her no matter what decision she made concerning her relationship with the Doctor. But she was a brilliant Doctor, and the Doctor’s reactions to her impersonations of him were hilarious. Jenna Coleman has really brought new dimensions to Clara’s character this season, and I will be sad to see her go, as will inevitably happen.

The Doctor was also fun in this episode, particularly his little happy dance when he missed death by mere inches. And his speech before he destroyed the monsters was particularly chilling. Though his comments to Clara at the end were confusing. That and the fact that Missy has something to do with what Clara is doing. Like, WHO IS THIS WOMAN AND WHY IS SHE SPYING ON CLARA?????

The content was fairly clean, a bit of cussing as usual. There was also a brief bit of innuendo that nearly went over my head until someone pointed it out to me. Looks like next week will have us back in London… the jungle… both? And Danny will be back, which leads me to believe that there will be a confrontation between him and Clara.

We only have 4 episodes left in this season now, and my overall thought is generally hit-or-miss. Some episodes have shone, such as The Caretaker, Kill the Moon, and Flatline. But most of the episodes have been disappointing, blah, or just plain bad. Deep Breath is the worst series opener in the modern Who. The Doctor is cold and detached, caring nothing for the lives of others. What ever happened to: “In 900 years of space and time I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”? Clara is a great character, and I love the huge steps she has taken in this series. But even so… I am ready for regeneration already.

Magic in the Media – What’s a Christian to Do?

I am one who has grown up in a home where Harry Potter was frowned on, and Lord of the Rings was a favorite. I was often accused of having double standards among my peers, or called weird because I would rather read a classic book for adults than a series of books that is widely called “childrens” or “teens”. For a long time, I believed (not because my parents told me) that Disney, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia, were the only “magical” stories that were ok for me to read/watch. But, as I have grown more mature in my walk with God and have gained more discernment when it comes to media, I have discovered that it isn’t exactly as black and white as all that.

Obviously, the Bible tells us that certain practices are wrong. Some of these things are practiced in Disney movies, and yet we let our kids watch them. Thing is, the Bible also says that divorce is wrong, and yet we watch movies where a divorced person gets married to someone. The Bible says that foul words should not come out of our mouths, and that we should not use God’s name in vain, and yet we watch films and TV shows that have one or both of these things. I confess, some of my favorite TV shows have cussing in them (obviously not the every five words and nothing worse than the occasional “a” word), and I watch Hallmark movies about divorced people. That doesn’t mean I am promoting that behavior, of course. What it comes down to is some questions that you must ask yourself. These can go for all content issues, but I am specifically focusing on magic.

1: Is magic used irresponsibly? And is the person who used it praised for using it in such a way? This is something I ask myself whenever I watch these shows. If magic is shown as some sort of “get out of death free” card, then you might want to watch yourself. When I watched Once Upon a Time, the hit ABC show, one of the first things I noticed was a phrase that was repeated over and over again throughout the show: “All magic comes with a price”. Characters who used magic were always cautioned about the price of it. And in Merlin, the main character (Merlin of course) often does things with his magic that could get him and other people hurt or in trouble. He is constantly cautioned by Gaius(his mentor) and an old dragon that he must use his gift responsibly.

2: Do characters who use magic selfishly and/or for evil succeed? If a character who uses magic for selfish reasons is praised, succeeds in all they do, or is not shown to have any reason to change their ways, then there is a problem. One of the biggest things in Lord of the Rings in terms of magic is that everyone who uses magic for their own selfish/evil reasons is ultimately doomed to fail. In Once Upon a Time, the characters who use magic for selfish reasons are the ones whose behavior is shown to be the most undesirable.

3: Does what you are watching make you think that sorcery is ok, even if the Bible says it isn’t? This is where you have to be careful. Another way of looking at this is: I watch TV shows with cussing, but I don’t think cussing is ok. The key is that you watch the show/movie with the understanding that it is not ok to do these things. The Bible clearly outlines that sorcery is wrong, foul language is wrong, etc. That doesn’t mean we should hole ourselves up and hide away from it all. It means that we should form a strong relationship with God so that we can know when to turn away from things that are wrong for us to watch.

Fact is, some of our greatest childhood enjoyment comes from Disney movies. And even Veggie Tales, one of the greatest Bible-based shows for kids, has magic in some of its stories. Each person must understand what their limits are and spend time in prayer about what they are watching. Sometimes you might get a strong conviction that something is wrong, and might not even understand why. For example: I used to love to read the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. But when I tried to reread the series when I was about 14, I suddenly found myself uncomfortable with what I was reading in terms of magic. I had really grown in my walk with God, and realized that I was experiencing a “conviction” that what I was reading was not right for me to read. So I stopped reading. Whenever I watch a show that has magic in it, I will watch the first few episodes, then reflect on what I have watched to determine: “Is this something God would be ok with me watching? Is this influencing me in a bad way?” In fact, I do that with any TV show, book, or movie.

Saying that you can’t watch something because it has magic in it is like saying that you can’t watch something because it has violence in it. Pretty much EVERYTHING has violence to some degree, it is how much violence there is, and how it is portrayed, that makes the difference. We have to learn to be discerning about what we are watching.

If you are looking for some shows to try out, I do recommend Once Upon a Time and Merlin (the latter was canceled in 2012). There are some content issues outside of magic, and I recommend you check out my review of Merlin (https://thelifeofanerdygirl.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/tv-review-bbcs-merlin/) and my weekly reviews of Once Upon a Time, which only started with the 4th season. Stay nerdy everyone!

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