Recap: Last Tango in Halifax, S1 E6

The episode opens with Celia (Anne Reid) and Alan (Derek Jacobi)  having a cup of coffee on their way to Celia’s. Celia tells Alan that Caroline told her when she was 18 and home from her first year at Oxford that she was interested in a woman. Celia said she didn’t want people pointing and saying things. Alan wanted to know what happened. Celia revealed there was one girl but Caroline never brought her home. In a few years Caroline met John and Celia thought it was forgotten.

Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) arrives home after taking a drunk and bloody Judith to the emergency room. Kate (Nina Sosanya) is there waiting. Caroline asks how the boys are. Kate says do you want the bad news first or the even worse news?

bad news
Do you want the bad news first, or the even worse news?

Kate tells Caroline that Gillian (Nicola Walker) rang and warned about Celia coming home. Kate says Celia is apparently taking the news badly. Plus, Lawrence now knows about Kate.

Caroline goes up to Lawrence’s (Louis Greatorex) bedroom. He is in tears and hugs her fiercely, saying he doesn’t want people being mean to her. She hugs him back and says, nobody is going to be mean to her, she can handle mean. Since we saw her effectively shut down the male teacher who tried to intimidate her, we know she’s right. Lawrence appreciates the reassurance, however.

I can handle mean
I can handle mean

At the farm, John (Tony Gardner) wakes up in Gillian’s bed. He goes outside to find her working on the clutch. Paul (Sacha Dhawan) is sitting outside reading a manual on Land Rovers while Gillian works. John comments that Gillian is up early. She says, “Early? It’s half past 7.”

We made love
We made love

“We made love,” John says. Gillian says, “You were upset. It was my birthday. Go pour yourself some tea.” John seems to want to process the night, Gillian doesn’t. She lets him know with her attitude that it was nothing but sex and she’s not interested in anything more. Paul’s a bit jealous. Gillian isn’t interested in that either.

Caroline goes to her mother’s cottage in the early morning. She looks like a child, steeling herself to face an angry parent. She says she’s sorry Celia heard what she heard the way she heard it. Alan tries to leave them alone, but Celia insists he stays.

Caroline says, “I don’t know what you’ve heard.” Celia answers, “Well, I’m assuming it’s nonsense.”

Alan looks at Celia in dismay. He doesn’t like the way Celia is dismissing Caroline.

assuming its nonsense
Alan doesn’t like Celia to assume it’s nonsense.

Caroline tries to explain how she and Kate became close and how things developed. Caroline said, “She thinks the world of me, and I think a lot about her.”

Celia raises her voice and calls it sudden. Caroline says it isn’t sudden, that she tried to talk to her mom about it when she was in university. Celia ignores that and says, “Why did you marry John?”

Caroline answers that she married him because she like him and thought they could have a good life, which they did until he ran off with Judith.

Caroline wants her mother to get it. Caroline says, “I’m too old to pretend anymore.” Celia is untouched by the pain in Caroline’s face. Caroline says, “I’d like both of you to meet Kate.”

too old to pretend
I’m too old to pretend any more

Celia says, “No thank you.” Caroline insists they must. She says she’s called Kate McKenzie, which prompts Celia to ask if she’s Scottish. Caroline answers, “No, she’s Nigerian.” The Brits are far more enlightened about race that we are here in the states, but the implications of the word Nigerian wash across Celia’s face in an unpleasant way. Celia announces that she and Alan have decided against the school chapel and will make other plans.

decided against the chapel
We’ve decided against the school chapel and it would be better if I moved out.

Celia says it would be better if she moved out. Alan watches her walk away from Caroline with a horrified expression on his face.

Talking to Gillian
Lesbian spores?

Alan arrives back in Halifax on the train, where Gillian is waiting to pick him up. They stop in a pub where he tells her the story. Gillian says, “Why does she have to move out so fast? Is she afraid she’s going to get infected with lesbian spores?”

Alan explains that he told Celia that Kate seemed like a nice person and that was what mattered. He says it’s nothing these days, people don’t bat an eye at lesbians.

John arrives home. Caroline says, “I specifically asked you not to tell my mum.” He says he’s sorry. He says he went to Halifax to talk to Gillian. Caroline says, “I knew you were infatuated with her.” He keeps quiet about the sex with Gillian. He offers to apologize to Celia.

Then Alan asks her about the hundreds – thousands – of times they had sex. He wants to know what she was thinking about.

what were you thinking
What were you thinking about?

She says she can’t remember. She says, “I was a good wife. You blew it, not me. I liked having sex with you. I’m sorry if that doesn’t compute but it’s true. I liked you. I loved you. I wanted to have children with you.”

He says he feels used. She talks about how sordid Judith’s flat is and how vulnerable Judith is. When John asks what she was doing with Judith she answers, “I was having sex with her.” He believes it for a moment, but she quickly adds, “That was a joke.” She explains about Judith accidentally slashing her wrist in the garden, William fainting, and how it was a memorable birthday.

At the farm, Paul and Raff (Josh Bolt) are on the couch playing video games like old friends when Gillian and Alan arrive.

Paul and Raff play video games
Paul and Raff play video games

Alan and Gillian go in the kitchen where Alan continues to worry over his disappointment in Celia. He says, “She reads The Daily Mail.” Gillian turns very seriously and says, “How long have you known this?” Then they giggle. They talk about Celia’s honesty and plain spokenness, which Alan normally likes. Alan says he was shocked by how unkind and unthinking she had been toward Caroline. Gillian says, “You’re not going to fall out with her.”  He doesn’t answer.

Celia comes to Caroline’s door and asks to talk to her. She says it’s been several days since she talked to Alan. He wants Celia to meet Kate. Caroline says she can cook dinner for Kate and Celia and Alan. Celia mutters Oh, god, under her breath as Caroline leaves. She’s only doing it for Alan.

The night of the dinner, the boys are helping with the table, Kate is helping make salads. Celia and Alan are in her cottage waiting for 8:00 to go to dinner. He tells her he thinks she’s bigoted, small minded and old fashioned. She denies it and claims she is not. She’s bewildered by his opinion.

I'm not bigoted
I’m not bigoted or small minded or old fashioned

Robbie (Dean Andrews) arrives at the farm. Gillian greets him with a big smile. Robbie’s brought wine for dinner with Gillian. He’s a bit surprised to see Paul still there, but he accepts it. Their dinner will include Robbie, Gillian, Paul and Raff. It’s odd, but it works for Gillian.

Robbie
Robbie

At the other dinner party at Caroline’s, Kate is trying very hard, talking to Celia and Alan about how wonderful their story is, which she calls uplifting and extraordinary. Celia is being difficult. Alan keeps attempting to  jolly Celia in to behaving better. He says William and Raff put their names on Facebook. Kate says, “I know all about it. Caroline told me.” She takes Caroline’s hand when she says this. Celia looks horrified.

touching
Caroline told me all about it

Alan reminds Celia to ask Caroline about using the chapel after all. She acts reluctant to ask. Kate offers a choir – seems she runs the choir at school.

William mentions he’s in the choir. Lawrence says that’s because William is a puff. He says William fainted.

Kate asks what music they would like and Alan mentions “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.” Celia is still reluctant to talk about this with Kate. By now Caroline and Celia are shooting daggers at each other with their eyes.

Celia asks why William fainted and Lawrence says, Judith slashed an artery and he got sprayed in mad alkie-woman blood. Kate tries to make light of it, which lets Celia know she was there. Kate asks about honeymoon plans.

Caroline asks to talk to Celia in the other room. They leave the room, but everyone can hear them arguing. Caroline says, “Why are you being like this?” Celia says, “I can’t stand seeing you make a fool of yourself.”

make a fool of yourself
I can’t stand seeing you make a fool of yourself.

Celia says that Kate is only being nice to Caroline because she wants a promotion. She says that Caroline doesn’t love Kate, a fact she thinks she knows because Caroline didn’t say it outright the other morning. Kate hears this and looks hurt. Alan is mortified on Kate’s behalf. Celia says, “It turned my stomach when she touched you.” Caroline says, “She touched my hand.”

Celia goes back to her cottage. Alan lingers. He asks Kate if she’s all right. She says she’s tough as an old boot. Kate calls a cab and goes outside to wait for it. Caroline chases her outside and asks her to stay. Kate says, “I always knew you didn’t feel the same about me as I feel about you.” She leaves even as Caroline asks her again not to go.

disappointed
I’m disappointed

At Celia’s cottage, Celia says, “Well, that’s done.” Alan says, “Yes, that’s done,” in a sad voice. She asks if he’s all right. He says, “No, I’m disappointed.”

alan arrives on the train
Alan arrives on the train

Morning in Halifax and Alan has come home on the train again. Gillian and Alan stop at the pub for a talk. He tells her that he thought Celia should try to get on with Kate. He was hurt because Celia told him that her relationship with Kate wasn’t any of his business. He told her they’d reached the end of the line. Celia answered that she couldn’t feel something she didn’t. Gillian is sorry that he thinks it’s ended. He looks terribly sad.

At home, Celia is sitting alone. It looks as if she’s been doing it for hours. Let’s hope she’s doing some soul searching. When Caroline gets home from work she asks to speak to her. She says Alan’s dumped her. Caroline just says, “Oh.” Celia says it’s all because of Caroline’s business. Caroline says, “Don’t you dare blame me.” Celia says, “I’ve been so happy.” Caroline says, “If it’s any consolation, Kate’s finished with me.” Kate handed in her resignation, which Caroline has in her purse.

Caroline calls her mother a nasty, small-minded old bitch. Celia recoils as if she’d been slapped. John comes in and says, “Don’t speak to your mother like that.” Caroline counters, “I haven’t got a mother.” Celia, who was already miserable about Alan, is clearly hurt deeply by Caroline’s venom. Then Caroline runs up to her room where she starts sobbing.

Gillian and Alan talk
Gillian and Alan talk

Gillian and Alan are on the couch at the farm. Gillian tells Alan that Robbie asked her out, proper. She reminds Alan that he apologized the other night. We learn that she went out with Robbie before she married Eddie. She says she always liked Robbie. Alan and Celia seem to have lost their second chance at love. Caroline seems to have lost her second chance at love. Here we are in the last episode of the season and we learn that Gillian is hoping for her own second chance at love. The writing on this show is so good!

Alan is rubbing his chest and dismisses it as indigestion when Gillian is concerned.

Celia goes to Kate’s house. Celia talks about her unhappy marriage, about how Caroline was the one thing that kept her going. She talks about how Caroline reminds her of her dad, whom she still misses. Celia says, “The thing that worried me when she told me when she was 18 – what worried me – was I thought it was my fault, by being so disappointed in Kenneth. I thought it was my fault.”

Kate says, “Celia, that’s not how it works.”

not how it works
That’s not how it works

Celia says, “Now I know that.” She adds, ” I just want her to be happy.” She give’s Kate a plaintive look. “Don’t leave her.”

don't leave her
Don’t leave her

The next thing we see is Celia and Kate arriving at Caroline’s door. Caroline opens it and realizes what’s happened. Celia leaves and heads for the cottage. From Celia’s viewpoint outside the house, we see Kate and Caroline on a couch touching and laughing. Celia smiles.

At her own cottage, Celia sees Alan inside and she’s suddenly joyful, but when she gets the door open and turns on the light, he isn’t there.

In the morning Celia drives to the farm. Only Paul is inside. He tells her that Alan had a heart attack. He says the paramedics brought him back from the dead.

Celia rushes to the hospital where she finds Gillian and Raff in Alan’s room. Gillian is crying, she says she didn’t ring because they split up and he was so unhappy. Celia says she’s put everything right and she needs him to know.

Gillian crying
Gillian cries as she tells what the doctor said

Gillian explains what the doctors said and how bad it is. He hasn’t been conscious at all. Celia wants to sit with him and tell him that she’s put things right. Gillian tells her to go ahead.

Celia sits down and talks to the unconscious Alan telling him that it turns out that she’s not bigoted or small minded, but that she blamed herself for Caroline being “the other way inclined.” She says, “I’ve been on the road to Damascus, come out the other side. They’re back together, the ladies. I’m assuming you and I are back on.”

Caroline arrives at the hospital. She hugs Celia and they apologize to each other. She asks how Alan is and Celia whispers, “Not good.”

not good
How is he? Not good.

Alan is dreaming about their youth, about the time he asked Celia out, the time he asked her to meet him on the bridge at 6 PM and she agreed.

Alan awakes saying, “I always knew you’d turn up eventually, even if it took you 60 years.” Celia says, “Hello.” Alan asks, “Did I come to see you last night or were I dreaming?” He says he loves her and he doesn’t care. She says, “I went round to Kate’s house last night and they’re back together.” Celia says, “You’ll never guess. Kate can play the organ. She can play The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.”

you'll know
Kate knows The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. That’ll be coming in handy.

Alan laughs. Celia smiles. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba plays in the background. The first season ends on a happy note.

What are your thoughts about this episode?

All images ©BBC productions

Jon Stewart’s Interview with Malala

Malala Yousafzai is 16 now and is appearing in promotion of her book I am Malala. The Pakistani girl is the youngest person ever nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Her story and her courage are remarkable. Jon Stewart had her on The Daily Show.

 

At the end of the interview, Jon Stewart mentions malalafund.org where you can donate in support of education for girls. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban is available from Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is so much fun

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. puts me in a zone where the passing of an hour of TV seems to take about 5 minutes. I’m shocked when it’s over – already?

I know it’s a comic book come to life, so I guess I’m a 10 year-old at heart. I love the way it looks, I love the special effects, and I love love love the female characters. I even love the male characters.

The special effects are fun. Semi trucks lifting into space, gravity defying machines, floating weightless in airplanes, cool tech gadgets everywhere you look.

Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May

Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May is a pilot, a soldier, and guardian of Agent Coulson’s safety (which Agent Coulson doesn’t seem to realize.) She dresses in black leather and looks powerful and awesome in her costumes. In all that leather, she looks like she just came from the set of Lost Girl.

Chloe Bennet as Skye
Chloe Bennet as Skye

Chloe Bennet as Skye has mad skills with a computer and can work her way into an enemy compound with nothing more than her smart phone. She originally went into S.H.I.E.L.D. undercover for The Rising Tide, but has committed to S.H.I.E.L.D. at this point. She is the geeky young female character for tweens and teens to see as a role model that I long for more of in popular entertainment.

Elizabeth Henstridge
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons

Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons is another geeky young female role model. She’s a scientist, along with her partner in science, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz.

Let’s add this up.

  1. Female jet pilot and action hero
  2. Female computer whiz who’s learning to be an action hero
  3. Female scientist who can do anything sciency the team needs

Three amazing female characters in one place. What a joy. What a gift.

What about the guys?

Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward

Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, or Mr. Impossibly Handsome, can do anything in combat and turns out to be Mr. Really Nice Guy under his chiseled chin. He’s willing to mentor Skye and bring her self-defense skills up to speed.

Clark Gregg
Clark Gregg in action with Ian Hart

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson wears a suit and tie, even in combat, and leads his team of agents with stoic calm. He just has to stand there in that suit and tie to be funny, like Jack Benny giving a camera a double take. Plus he is a miracle man, because he got killed off in another comic book universe somewhere. How can you improve on that?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is great entertainment. Do you agree?

Images ©ABC television.

The Crazy Ones: How’s SMG Doing?

Calling a show created by David E. Kelley and starring Robin Williams The Crazy Ones is only logical. Robin Williams, as ad exec Simon Roberts, doesn’t have to be anything but his most manic to be hilarious. In this show, he gets to do plenty of that.

David E. Kelley has a string of bizarre hits to his credit including Harry’s Law, Boston Legal, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and, my favorite, Picket Fences.

Together, these two guys are the world’s most outlandish and wacky minds on the planet. Putting them together on a sitcom is, again, only logical.

Then you introduce Sarah Michelle Gellar as Simon’s daughter Sydney to the mix. She’s the other Roberts in the Roberts & Roberts ad agency. I love SMG – Buffy forever! – but let’s face it, she’s not known for her comedy chops. Can she keep up with the world-class comedy awesome Robin Williams brings?

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar
Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar

Luckily, a considerable part of her job on The Crazy Ones is to be the sane one. She reins in her father with a voice and look that she surely acquired from being a mother. Even though she tries to tone him down, his excesses are always a stroke of pure advertising genius which she should have actually encouraged rather than discouraged. She never will, however, because the premise of the show is that she must act as the tether that ties her father to solid ground.

Even so, it isn’t all perfect sanity from her. She’s been given a chance to stretch her comedy muscles. She’s proven she can do the fast talking and the sight gag stuff with aplomb. She’s got the timing down. We are getting to see Sarah Michelle Gellar stretch and grow on this show and it seems to me that it’s working out very nicely. Working with Robin Williams every day must be like going to the college of comedy with the valedictorian as your personal mentor. I think she’s taking advantage of the education and holding her own with a solid performance.

What’s your opinion? Is SMG keeping up with the master?

Photos by Richard Cartwright – © 2013 CBS BROADCASTING INC. All Rights Reserved.

Note: This post was syndicated in a slightly expanded form on BlogHer.com.

Recap: Last Tango in Halifax S1, E5

It’s the morning after everyone was up all night looking for Alan (Derek Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid) and after Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) announced to her husband John (Tony Gardner) that she’s been seeing someone.

Caroline parks at her school. She’s on the phone to Kate (Nina Sosanya), all chirpy voiced, asking her to come to her office.

Nina Sosanya and Sarah Lancashire as Kate and Caroline
Passionate kisses for Kate and Caroline

In her office, she grabs Kate, pushes her up against a door, kisses her passionately and pulls up her shirt to reach under and have a feel. She steps back, smiling, and says, “I told John. It felt good.”

Kate asks Caroline if she wants to come round tonight. Caroline says, “Yep.” She studies Kate’s face and announces, “You’re very pretty.” Kate answers, “You’re magnificent.” I have to agree with both of them about it. Caroline whispers something we cannot hear in Kate’s ear, but we can assume it was naughty indeed. They almost kiss again but an assistant comes in with a cup of tea. The assistant talks about the day’s calendar, offers lunch, and heads off.

Sarah Lancashire and Nina Sosanya
Sarah Lancashire and Nina Sosanya

Caroline collapses in tears with the same passionate energy she had just devoted to kissing, and moans, “I thought she was dead last night. There was this one moment when I thought that’s it. And I thought how unfair that was, to find that one person again after all these years and then die.”

She realizes she sitting on the floor. Kate suggests maybe she should be home resting. Caroline asks if Kate will be home by 4 o’clock and Kate says, “I can be.”

At the farm, Alan is watching Celia sleep. She’s on the couch. He perched on the other end, enjoying the sight of her. He brings in tea and the rattling of the china wakes her. She says, “We keep having adventures!” He reminds her that their adventures have been her idea. They talk about the “distinct presence” in the old Hall last night. Celia says, “We’re back in the land of the living now.”

He starts to tell her something about when Gillian’s husband died, but Paul (Sacha Dhawan) comes crashing down the stairs and through the door. He writhes on the floor in pain muttering about keeping his fluids up as Alan explains who he is.

A knock on the door and it’s Alan’s two sidekicks (Paul Copley and Roy Barraclough) which leads Alan to ask, “Is it Tuesday?” The fellas apparently have a regular Tuesday thing.

Celia is on the phone to Caroline while outside a pub with Alan and the fellas. She asks Caroline to bring her fresh knickers, her toothbrush, and a nightie so she can stay in Halifax a few days. Caroline doesn’t want to do that but asks to call her later. Celia tries to make her feel guilty, apparently an old and well worn game with them, then asks her what she wants for her birthday tomorrow. Caroline manages to get off the phone by promising to call her later.  In the pub, Paul is there, trying to drink a pint. Guess they didn’t want to leave him alone at the farm. Alan and his sidekicks discuss Gillian’s birthday tomorrow. Well, well, well, isn’t that interesting. Caroline and Gillian have the same birthday. Alan wants to buy Gillian a used Land Rover and knows where he can find one. He wants to go have a look at it.

Sidekick number one lists his qualifications to be Alan’s best man. Alan won’t commit.

Celia comes in to join them. She says to Paul, “I hope you’re not taking pain killers and drinking alcohol.” He asks her to get him a straw. Cheeky.

Gillian on two phones
Gillian on two phones

Gillian (Nicola Walker) arrives at the house to find it empty. She calls her dad but his phone is on the table. She picks it up and talks to herself on two phones for a funny moment. Then she calls Caroline who explains they’re at a pub. Caroline asks Gillian if she can get her mom a few things – she doesn’t explain why, but we know it will leave her free to go to Kate’s. Gillian can do.

stuffed in the Land Rover
stuffed in the Land Rover

Out in a muddy field, Alan is trying out the used Land Rover. Paul and the two sidekicks are stuffed in the back. Gillian calls and says they are to take Paul to his mother’s house and she asks what size knickers to buy. Celia pretends she can’t hear – no way she’ll discuss knickers in front of these blokes – and hangs up. Sidekick number two announces that the clutch needs to be replaced. And – they are stuck in the mud.

giggling about knickers
giggling about knickers

Caroline rings Kate’s doorbell, looking incredibly eager. Just as they are about to start kissing again, Gillian calls asking about knicker sizes for Caroline’s mum. This gives Kate the giggles and we get to see Sarah Lancashire show off her physical comedy skills.

Alan buys a new clutch, and sidekick number two makes his pitch to be best man. Alan doesn’t commit.

Alan and Celia hide the Land Rover in the barn and go inside. He makes tea and tells Celia his story. When Gillian’s husband Eddie put his head in the log splitter, he didn’t die immediately. Gillian stood and watched him die without calling an ambulance. After about an hour, Alan arrived. Gillian told him what had happened and that she had called the police. Alan feels guilty and responsible for being a party to something that wasn’t right. He doesn’t blame Gillian, he just feels guilty about his part. Celia does not blame him or Gillian and reminds Alan about wanting to kill her own husband. Alan says sometimes he feels as if Eddie’s ghost is in the barn and that’s why the Hall bothered him.

jiving
jiving

They talk about jiving in the old days, and move on to happier thoughts. When Gillian gets back, she hears music and finds them dancing in the living room, much to her delight. (Derek Jocobi is a damn good dancer, by the way.) Gillian snaps their picture and texts it to Caroline. They stop dancing when they see Gillian. Alan is winded, but not having any chest pains.

Gillian says Robbie is bringing Raff back home tonight. She’s invited Robbie (Dean Andrews) to dinner and seems excited about it. She’s bought food and wine and wants to celebrate. She tells her dad Robbie apologized last night.

Caroline breezes in at home – her afternoon with Kate must have gone well, she’s very happy. John wants to know where she’s been. He wants to know who it is. Caroline wants to know if Judith is pretty – he says no. He says he thought they were going to try to make it work for the boys. He says he can’t stay there if she’s going to sleep around. She says, well maybe we should get divorced. She says if she’s going to be with someone she wants to have them at the house where she can have them any time she’d like. Caroline says it’s like a fog has lifted from her, that she’s happy for the first time in years. John says, “You’re not moving him in here.” Caroline says, “It’s not a he.”

It's not a he.
It’s not a he.

Tony Gardner’s rendition of processing this announcement is absolutely perfect! Caroline is going on and on about something related to the boys but I can’t hear it for laughing so hard at the expressions rolling across Tony Gardners’ face. He’s gobsmacked.

Gillian phones and the two women discover that they share the same birthday. They both turn 46 tomorrow. They’re twins!

John, in the garden, calls Judith (Ronni Ancona).

Gillian and Robbie
Gillian and Robbie

Robbie and Gillian are saying goodnight. He asks her out for a meal and she says yes. He kisses her, a move she rather likes. She asks him to stay. He refuses.

William (Edward Ashley) wakes Caroline on the couch and says she should go to bed. He asks her if she’s seeing someone and if it’s Kate McKenzie. She bumbles around a bit and he says, “She’s nice, she’s interesting, she’s kind. I want you to be happy.”

land rover gift
land rover gift

Next morning Alan presents the Land Rover – and the clutch – to Gillian. She’ll have to install the clutch herself.

A car roars up and dumps Paul on the ground. His mother won’t have him. Maybe because he keeps calling her a bitch. Gillian walks away and leaves him in sprawled in the dirt.

At Judith’s, John is talking to Judith about how Caroline couldn’t be a lesbian. “Aren’t you quaint?” says Judith. She wants to know what it’s like to get hot and steamy with a woman. Then she points out that the woman he’s been living with for 18 years has probably been faking it every single time. Caroline calls and tells him she’s cooking for her “friend” and the boys that night for her birthday. She wants him to join them if he can behave like an adult. He finally clicks on the fact that he knows who the woman must be – the woman Caroline had in the garden.

where to wed
deciding where to wed

Celia and Alan, still searching for a wedding venue, are looking at an impersonal public space. They talk about a chapel at Caroline’s school. That might be the answer.

Gillian is installing the clutch when John calls. He says she gives such good advice he wants to come talk to her. She tells him okay.

cooking
Caroline cooking

Caroline is cooking, drinking wine, and so happy she’s almost dancing. She answers the door to find Kate. William wants Kate to come play Scrabble with him and Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) before dinner.

stealing kisses
stealing kisses

Kate agrees to Scrabble, but steals a few kisses before she goes. Caroline says William knows about them and is being brilliant about it.

On the farm, John, Robbie, Paul and Raff are lined up like ducks in the living room. Gillian is pacing the floor in her bedroom. Alan and Celia arrive from their venue search. Alan again brings up the “manslaughter” he confessed earlier. She again reassures him. They go in laden with boxes and sacks from shopping.

Shut up, John
Shut up, John

Gillian tries to warn Celia about John and what’s going on. She can’t quite get it out about Caroline and Kate. John, who naturally is drunk, manages to announce that Caroline is a lesbian in the most offensive way. And Celia is indeed offended – both by the thought that her daughter is a lesbian and by John’s behavior. She gets very upset. Alan and Robbie try to shut John’s ranting down. Celia says it’s wicked to say things like that. She wants to go home.

Caroline’s dinner with Kate and the boys is going well when Judith appears at the door. She’s drunk and looking for John. She’s dropped a wine bottle on the sidewalk. She talks about how she always wanted to be with a woman. She keels over backwards and when Caroline goes to help her Judith is covered with blood from the broken glass. Caroline takes her to the hospital.

Lawrence
Lawrence realizes about Kate

Caroline’s at the hospital and Kate is back at Caroline’s with the boys. She’s talking with Lawrence. He knows his mother is seeing someone but doesn’t know who it is for sure. Gillian calls and wants him to tell his mother that Celia is on her way home and very upset about Caroline’s relationship with . . . with . . . with . . . Gillian can’t say it, but Lawrence says, “Kate.” Gillian says, yes, Kate. Everyone important to Caroline now knows about Kate.

Robbie is leaving for the evening. He says good night and kisses Gillian again. She goes into the living room and sits down to have a drink with John.  John says he only came over because he wanted to see her again. He keeps thinking about her.

It’s late, Alan is tired. He’s driving Celia back home. He pulls the car over to rest his eyes for a few minutes. Celia is upset, won’t look at him. We got a glimpse at Celia’s conservative politics when she and Alan were taking politics a couple of days ago in the church. Her conservatism may cause trouble between her and her daughter when she gets home. Gillian got a new car for her birthday. Caroline’s about to get an earful for hers.

Gillian considers John
Gillian considers John

Gillian and John have a few drinks. Gillian tells John she can’t decide if he’s an evil git. He says he’s not horrible, just disappointingly human.  She says, “Do you want to go upstairs,” and rubs his thigh. Paul is out of commission, Robbie’s being honorable. John it is. Will he be honorable, too? We don’t find out in this episode.

What about Sofia if Callie and Arizona Split?

In the season opener of Grey’s Anatomy last week, we saw the first reaction by Callie (Sara Ramirez) to Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) infidelity. Hurt and angry, Callie takes Sofia and leaves. She takes up residence on Derek and Meredith’s couch for a while.

It takes Callie one day to talk to Arizona about a schedule for sharing Sofia. She can’t discuss anything else about their relationship without crying, but she’s willing to talk about Sofia.

Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw with baby Sofia
Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw with baby Sofia

(IMDB does not give the real name of the child playing Sofia.)

Before the wedding, before the baby, Arizona had to be converted to the idea of parenthood. I clearly remember the episode when she embraced the idea of mothering Sofia. In fact, I wrote about it way back then.

A quick recap: Arizona and Mark argued about who was more important to save after the car wreck – Callie or the baby. Mark argued that he should have more say in the decision because he was the baby’s biological father and Arizona was “nothing.” Both Callie and the baby were saved, of course, and Arizona was at Callie’s bedside when she woke up. Arizona said, “I don’t feel like nothing. I feel like our baby’s mother.” Here’s what I wrote earlier:

It’s the line I feel like our baby’s mother that I want to talk about as important. Once the heart moves into that place of parenting, a family is born. For same sex couples like Callie and Arizona, or for adoptive parents from any configuration of family you can imagine, this is the bond, the spiritual tether. The parental bond, once formed, is what creates a family that will cherish and nurture a child.

This is what’s remarkable about Shonda Rhimes and this particular story about a two-mom family: from the first suggestion that there might be a split between the two women, they were written as equal parents to little Sofia. Shonda Rhimes gets the “parental bond” between both parents and their daughter.

Shonda Rhimes gives us drama and conflict, and plenty of it. Bumps in Callie and Arizona’s relationship are a part of that, but it looks as if their baby isn’t going to be a source of the conflict.

I’m rooting for Callie and Arizona to work it out. I really hope Shonda Rhimes wants them to be together and happy, too. Until we find out what happens, I’m glad to see her treating an adoptive parent as equal to a biological one. It’s further proof that Shonda Rhimes can write about same sex couples and treat them as she would any other couple.

Images ©ABC and Shonda Rhimes.

Recap: Last Tango in Halifax S1, E4

This is Caroline and Gillian’s episode. It’s the rainy evening when Alan (Derek Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid) are trapped in the spooky hall they scouted as a wedding location. Gillian (Nicola Walker) is outside with firemen who responded to her flaming Land Rover. She returns to the house, anxious because her dad isn’t home yet and isn’t answering his phone.

Paul (Sacha Dhawan), in all his bloody, beat-up glory on her couch, asks how the fire started. She says they don’t know, but he says someone torched it.

Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax
Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi

In the old hall, Celia and Alan found candles, food, a deck of cards and a bed. They are on the bed, still wearing their coats. They sing and talk to the creaking noises that might be a ghost. Alan is having chest pains, which he hides from Celia. Alan says, “Do you think anyone’s realized that we’re missing?”

Indeed, pretty much everyone will know they are missing before long. Gillian calls John (Tony Gardner)  looking for the two tardy lovers. John gives the phone to Caroline (Sarah Lancashire), who takes note of the fact that John has Gillian’s number and she has his while talking to Gillian about calling her mother. Celia doesn’t answer her phone either.

Gillian mentions that her dad doesn’t have his heart pills and shows her worry, which gets through to Caroline.

Celia flushes a noisy toilet in the old hall, while Alan stands guard with candles and a guide book to the age of this ancient structure they’re stuck in. Drafts and noisy spook them a bit.

Josh Bolt as Raff
Josh Bolt as Raff

Gillian calls her son Raff (Josh Bolt) looking for Alan. Robbie (Dean Andrews) offers his usual trash talk about Gillian and Raff actually stands up for her. Raff offers to go to the farm and to help find his grandad.

Caroline sets off for the police station, as the fears about the missing parents have infected her too.

The fearful spookiness of the hall is making Celia angry and she’s talking about suing. They climb back into the big bed as candles move around and doors open themselves.

Alan's sidekicks
Alan’s sidekicks

Raff and Robbie reach the farm. A couple of Alan’s friends show up, mainly for comic relief. At least they notice Paul sitting on the couch, which is more than Robbie and Raff have mentioned yet.

Nina Sosanya as Kate
Nina Sosanya as Kate

In the car, Caroline is on the phone with Kate (Nina Sosanya), who brings up Caroline’s suggestion that they go away for the weekend. Kate is looking at a web site about Barcelona and is ready to book a getaway. Caroline says, “Can we talk about it later?” When she reaches the police station, the two old buddies of Alan’s are still about, still bringing the comic relief. Robbie explains that police cameras will tell them where the car was last seen. Gillian suggests they all go home.

Caroline goes with them to the farm. Caroline points at Paul on the couch, asks who he is. Robbie and Raff explain that he’s Paul, an idiot, who was beat up because he’s “not popular.”

Robbie follows Gillian into the kitchen and they finally have the conversation they’ve needed to have for days about what she’s doing with Paul. She says, “It’s been 10 years, do you seriously think I haven’t slept with other people?” He stumbles around and finally admits that all his lashing out was because he likes Gillian himself, a fact obvious to everyone but Gillian all this time. He basically apologizes and she says she appreciates it.

A phone call informs them the car was seen driving on Godley Lane. There’s a discussion about what’s on that road. Nobody knows why they are there, until Paul says, “You can get married at South Whatever Hall.” (I still can’t get the name.) They realize then that Alan and Celia were there looking for a wedding venue.

Cops arrive outside the hall where Alan and Celia are now sleeping peacefully. The cops find the empty car parked there but don’t think to look inside the hall because the manager of the place tells them the Hall was closed all day.

John, home with his boys, talks about not wanting to get a divorce. The younger son gets quite upset over the idea of a divorce.

Sarah Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire as Caroline

Caroline and Gillian are cleaning up the kitchen at the farm, washing dishes. They talk. Really talk. They talk about Raff, Paul, John, themselves. Caroline isn’t holding it together very well and welcomes the offer of brandy with enthusiasm.  They are starting to care about each other. If two women ever needed a friend, it’s these two. Happy as I am that Alan and Celia found each other, I’m even happier to see these two connect – they both desperately need someone to talk with.

A phone call tells them they’ve found the car, but not Alan and Celia. The police think Alan and Celia have killed themselves, to which Gillian answers, “They’re in love. They’ve never been happier.” Robbie reassures everyone about the situation and offers to go to the hall.

the farm
The farm in the morning light

Morning comes and Caroline and Gillian sit outside drinking coffee (tea?). Again, they have a meaningful conversation. This time about Gillian’s husband’s death, about how beautiful what their parents feel for each other is. Gillian talks about how much it bothers her that her mother didn’t pass on the message from Caroline’s mum. Caroline tells her that her mother was a teenager then, and it shouldn’t be held against her. Gillian’s parents were happy. Caroline’s were not. They talk about that, laugh that they might have been sisters.

Celia and Alan wake up, snuggled deep in the covers of their borrowed bed. Celia complains about being stiff but is in a hurry to get out of there. When they get downstairs there are people there who tell them that you have to dial 9 for an outside line and the door was open yesterday for a delivery. Celia wants to call home and finds out the police have been looking for them.

shared joy
Shared joy when Alan and Celia call

Caroline talks to John about how things are at home with the boys as the phone rings at the farm. It’s Celia calling to say everything is fine. Caroline runs outside with Raff to tell Gillian. There are happy hugs all round, including Gillian and Raff, who definitely needed the shared moment.

John tells his boys they can stay home from school and he heads off for the “supermarket.”

Caroline and Gillian help Paul up the stairs and into bed. This removes him from the living room, but, alas, installs him in Gillian’s bed. Gillian tells him he’ll be out on his ass sooner than he can say compound fracture if he says anything vulgar to Celia.

Alan’s first thought on getting home is for the Land Rover. They go in for tea and Alan’s pills. Gillian explains why Paul’s car is in the yard.

John’s in a coffee shop, where he gives Judith (Ronni Ancona) money for her rent. She wants to be a writer and thought he was going to be a help to her. He tells her she has to put in the work or it won’t happen. She’s mad. He’s busy trying to dump her for good.

Tea in hand, Celia still wants to sue. Caroline points out that you can’t accept the very classy venue free of charge for the wedding and sue at the same time.

In the kitchen, Alan, Gillian and Raff have a family discussion about Paul. Alan says, “You always did pick ’em.” To Raff, he says, “You can’t be stopping with Robbie.” Raff answers he doesn’t mind his mom having a boyfriend but why can’t she pick on somebody who, A, isn’t a dickhead; B, isn’t 300 years younger than she is; and C, isn’t engaged to somebody else. After this most excellent speech he exits. This gives Alan the opportunity to say he wants to go to the doctor. He makes light of his condition, but Gillian knows it’s serious. She makes him promise to call immediately.

Last Tango in Halifax
Caroline and Gillian hug

When Caroline leaves Gillian hugs her and tells her not to be depressed. Instead of going straight home, Caroline stops for coffee. She watches a happy family and smiles – some decision made, she relaxes visibly.

kissing
Stealing kisses

Alan tells Celia he’s poured her a bubble bath. She says he’s spoiling her. He gives her a kiss. He offers to have coffee ready when she gets out of the bath and heads for the kitchen, where we see him stunned by more chest pain.

Caroline arrives home where John is being cloyingly nice. He brags that he promised himself never to lie to her again, and tells her about giving money to Judith. Everyone is exhausted from being up all night, but John is invigorated by his honestly. Caroline says, “This can work. We can be civil for the boys. I’m seeing someone.” Boom! She won’t tell John who it is. John yells and rages. William comes in and John asks who Caroline could be seeing at school. William instantly realizes it’s Kate, but doesn’t tell his dad that. He’s been so angry with his dad for cheating on his mom. I hope he doesn’t transfer that anger to his mom, because I think his little brother really needs him now. John won’t take finding out about Kate well and Caroline isn’t the best at explaining herself to her children.

Whee! What did you think of this week’s developments?

Dishing About this Week’s Season Openers

All the season openers for the week have aired now. Let’s talk about how they did.

The two that I thought did the best job starting the new season off with a bang were Castle and Bones.

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillian in Castle
Stana Katic and Nathan Fillian in Castle

Castle jumped right out of the gate with action, conflict and new situations. Beckett is busy in Washington D.C. in a new job and the newly engaged couple are missing each other. Castle can’t keep from meddling in her cases and trying to keep their relationship exactly like it was before. Alexis comes home with a boyfriend in tow – a boyfriend who makes a mess in the kitchen cooking vegan steaks out of hunks of papaya. The episode was fast, fun, and gave us a glimpse into where the season is headed with Beckett in D.C. and Castle in NYC.

Yes, Bones can be formulaic. However, this week was hilarious, with Bones and Booth going undercover as a couple of Jersey shore types to solve a murder at a couples retreat. In other storylines, Angela wants to quit working at the Jeffersonian, and Sweets is having a crisis of his own about his career path. Camille has been targeted by a recurring bad guy who is messing with her identity, credit, and finances. We had a fun plot line to get us going and ongoing problems for future episodes. Perfection.

And the Others Are . . .

Connie Britton and Lennon Stella in Nashville
Connie Britton and Lennon Stella in Nashville

Much as I love Nashville, it got off to a slow start, mainly because Rayna spent the majority of the episode in a coma. Connie Britton is the soul of this show, and we simply cannot have her lying in a bed doing nothing. Juliette released a new album while pretending to be concerned about Rayna’s condition, Scarlett quit her job as a waitress at the BlueBird to go record an album on Rayna’s new record label, Gunnar might be growing up a bit, Teddy’s girlfriend is lying to him about being pregnant, and Deacon is blaming himself for every bad thing that ever happened on the face of the earth. Deacon is caught in one of the most grandiose shame spirals ever – much credit to Charles Esten for playing it so powerfully. Rayna finally woke up at the end of the episode which means I’m really looking forward to next week.

Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire
Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire was a bit same-old, same-old. The plot mainly revolved around Taylor Kinney’s character Severide. An arsonist is out to get Severide with personal attacks. Renée is home from Paris, pregnant and wanting Severide to be her baby daddy. Good grief, why does everyone want Severide for their baby daddy? Shay, who hasn’t managed to get pregnant yet herself, points out to Severide that the math on Renée’s due date doesn’t add up. Man, what a week Severide is having. I know Severide had high hopes for Renée – heaven knows they were sexy together – but I think being busy shooting people with a rifle on a rooftop in Person of Interest puts her in the she’s just not that into you category. The question is, what reason will the writers dream up for him to use to dump her. Arithmetic?

Speaking of Person of Interest, the dream pairing Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker didn’t have any scenes together this week. Sarah Shahi was shooting people from a rooftop and not interested in finding a baby daddy.  Amy Acker was being mysterious while having conversations with a shrink. I’m looking forward to seeing where her story arc takes us.

The Grey’s Marathon

Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy
Ellen Pompeo in Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy charged into its 10th season with a two-hour opener. My first thought was how cute Tina Majorino looked with her short hair. She’s my favorite of the new doctors, along with Gaius Charles, who always reminds me of Friday Night Lights, which always makes me happy. All that cute and happy screeched to a halt when Shane sent Heather to look for Richard who’s been lying electrocuted in a puddle of water ever since the end of last season. Yep, Heather steps in the water and gets electrocuted. Even Derek and his magical brain surgery skills cannot save her. The rest of the first-year interns bond over Heather’s death and their daunting assignment to tell her mother stories about what a great person she was. Tina, I’m gonna miss you.

Yang and Bailey manage to save Richard while arguing about how to do it for 2 hours.

In other parts of the Grey’s universe, Callie is hurt and angry at Arizona. They fight and cry for 2 hours. One light moment in the Callie and Arizona crisis comes when Karev advises Arizona to apologize to Callie by saying, “Sorry I’m such a slut.”

Christina and Owen break up again, but they keep having sex because they want to create a perfect last-time-we-ever-had-sex to remember.

Meredith has a new baby named Bailey and some further medical complication which keeps her in her bed. Her hospital room is the calm eye of the storm where everyone goes from time to time to hold the baby and have a quiet moment.

Lots of other stuff happened: Kepner decides who she actually loves this week, Karev remains a chick magnet, and lots of people need heroic medical help. Hang on, Grey’s is underway for a 10th year.