May 27, 2013

5 Actors Who Could Play The Villain in Fast & Furious 8

By now most people know that, at the end of the excellent Fast & Furious 6, Jason Statham is introduced as bad guy for the next film. This is fantastic instant attendance news for fans and I literally am already thinking of all the different ways Vin Diesel will make fun of Statham for being British, not valuing family, and for drinking Newkie Brown instead of Corona. But with The Rock getting introduced in Fast 5, Statham introduced in Fast 6, who will they introduce in Fast 7 to make Fast 8 a must-see film. There is no such thing as too much planning, and you'd be foolish to think The Fast Gods are not cooking this up you read this. And while I know these casting questions keep you up at night, I've chosen to help you our and hit you with a list of actors who I think would fit right into the best franchise on four wheels.

Liam Neeson
Who He Would Play: Uh, this one is a no brain  brainer, he would play the father of Statham and he would be seeking vengeance on the crew that killed his sons. His particular set of skills versus the set of skills of the Fast Gang. Yes please.
Why He Would Do It: Once considered a serious actor, he know almost exclusively appears in mindless action thrillers, where I'm sure he collects a sizable paycheck. And with the Fast & Furious franchise printing money still, there is no monetary reason they wouldn't pay him.

Mark Wahlberg
Who He Would Play - A maniac Boston cop who Paul Walker used to bust bad guys with. No Walker has no choice but to take him down... In recent years Wahlberg has proven himself to be an ass-kicker, but no role has exceeded his Officer Dignam from "The Departed." Picture that a bad guy.
Why He Would Do It - With star turns in "Contraband," "Ted," and the upcoming "2 Guns" Wahlberg has become something of Universal's Go-To tough guy, so it would be easy to slot him to their top of the line action franchise. Besides he took the lead in the new "Transformers" so he clearly has no problem jumping into franchises at any point.

Eva Mendes
Who She'd Play: Even though she appeared in the tail end of "Fast Five" Mendes' cop character Monica Fuentes was nowhere to be seen in "Fast Six." I could see her coming back in some disgraced cop seeking vengeance against Hobbs role. It would tie the story together oh so nicely.
Why She'd Do It: What reason would she have to pass up a chance to be the main villain in this franchise? Seriously?

Halle Berry
Who She'd Play: Some type of international criminal who the gang have to take down. I've always wanted the franchise tackle more exotic locations (Southeast Asia, Africa, The Rings of Saturn) so with her exotic looks, I think she could fit right in.
Why She'd Do It: Berry's name recognition is pretty strong with audiences, yet her choices in movies have been weak at best. A big role in the franchise could revitalize her career and position as kind of the female Liam Neeson -  a slightly older ass kicker.

Martin Lawrence
Who He'd Play: A very dangerous and powerful LA drug kingpin with connections to everyone. Sooner or later the franchise is going to have to return home to the streets of LA and I could see Lawrence ripping it up as hilarious but totally evil bad guy. Besides you know any scenes he had with Tyrese & Ludacris would be hilarious, that duo has been bringing the laughs for the last three films!
Why He'd Do It: I like to think a chance to play a bad guy would interest him.

Honorable Mentions: There are many big time actors just jump into the ultimate summer popcorn franchise, but I doubt they'd do it. This list includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day Lewis (yes seriously, pure intensity), Robert Downey Jr., Gary Oldman, and Alan Rickman all come to mind.

What About?: Ahh, I knew you'd ask. As much as I love them Arnold, Stallone, Van Damme, and even Willis are just too old/dated to fit into this franchise. Let's keep them locked into the Expendables purgatory.

May 25, 2013

Fast & Furious 6 Excels With No Super-Powers

In the last couple years, the biggest movies on top of both the box office and the general world of major studio films involve cosmic cubes, super soldiers, robotic armies, British mouth breathers, elves, child warriors, and vampire-werewolf super babies. Yet in this ocean of action and explosions, The Fast & Furious franchise stands alone as the carrier of the torch for good ol' fashioned mortal human action. And while the characters may appear to be super-human (The Rock is gigantic, Paul Walker doesn't age, and Diesel is um, named Vin Diesel) they are actually just many in a long line of tough guys making tough stuff look cool on the movie screen. 

The plot of the newest film involves the crew teaming up with their former nemesis Ellis Hobbs (The Rock) to take down British super-villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Shaw has a crew of his own and they are the opposite of our heroic crew who loves newborn infants, saying grace, and drinking coronas. So naturally the two posses don't get along and because of that they frequently battle each other  with guns, fists, headbutts, spear-guns, body slams, and as one character puts it "vehicular warfare!" One of the most enjoyable things about the new movie is how it returns to the franchise's roots with a huge amount of actual car chases, not just the heists of Fast Five. Director Justin Lin is a master of knowing where to put the camera to make every chase make spacial sense and has evolved into a mastermind of combining practical stunt driving with fist pumping visual effects spectacle. They say that with Superman you'll believe a man can fly...well in Fast & Furious 6 you'll believe a F-1 race car can flip cars like a spatula and make them ross through posh office buildings. 

Yes the action is fantastic, but at that point that is to be expected. What really makes the franchise and this film work so well are the...wait for it...emotions that run through the story. Emotions? TPG you are crazy man, I thought this was about vehicular warfare? It is, it is but hear me out. While other movies layer their emotions like some type of exotic French dessert, the Fast & Furious franchise puts them right out there. I LOVE YOU AND WANT TO SETTLE DOWN WITH YOU! MY FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I AM GOING TO DESTROY YOU! Yes, it's very very easy to digest, but there is something immensely delicious about characters existing in black and whites. Good guys vs Bad Guys. Fast Car vs Not Fast Car. If only life could be that way, right?

So yeah...incredible super-hero free action, heavy handed emotions, expert direction, what else is there to say? Oh, one last thing, the movie gives you EXACTLY what you want. Not many times in movies/life do you get exactly what you want, but in this movie it's all there. Oh I hope that that huge german dude ends up fighting the Rock, happens. Oh I hope that Tank our boys are fighting goes out spectacularly ..yupp (still thinking about it actually).  Oh I hope that that grappling hook gun is put to good use, happens in every way you can imagine. Oh Ludacris & Tyrese are funny, they get the best zingers. Fast & Furious 6 knows what you want and gives it to you which is extremely commendable. And just when the movie is over it leaves you with a massive cliffhanger that instantly clicks in your cinematic soul and feels you with a sense of..."Oh...I didn't know that I needed THAT in this franchise...but know that you have given me what I actually wanted....I'll have an another order please*. 

*Fast 7 comes out July 11th 2014

May 19, 2013

TPG's Game Time - Season 3 - Episode 8 - Second Sons (Game of Thrones Recap)

Of all the episodes this season this one felt the most like a set-up episode. I mean at this time last year we were heading into the battle of Blackwater bay, and here...well I'm not sure where we are heading. But I feel like it can't be any place good because all of the characters seem to be in bad situations, except Khaleesi, but more on her later.

Direwolf Badassery - One day the Direwolves will return to Thrones, until then I'm stuck with nice ocean vistas

Joffrey Swag - Swag on Westeros Swag. Swag for days. Where to begin? Every line he had tonight (outside of that creepy line having his guard hold Sansa down) was so hilarious. Dude is just so massively evil. He's like the spoiled rich kid crossed with the smart aleck nerd crossed with the high school bully.

1. I hope The Hound doesn't die a terrible death. He really hasn't ever done anything wrong and seems to be a relatively good guy. I mean he's cruising around with his kid sidekick offering her bread, I thought I was watching A Perfect World, medieval edition.That being said if we don't get to see him battle his brother, I will be disappointed. Horse-Head cutters must answer for their crimes.

2. Interesting that Stannis said he believes that people don't choose their own destiny. This is a different point of view that other characters. Consider Khaleesi who very much is forging her own path or Robb Stark who believes his destiny is just to kick it in Winterfell.

3. Stannis says "What's one bastard boy against a Kingdom?" If that bastard happens to be Jon Snow then we're talking about a major player and I got some serious gold weight that Jon has a big part to play in the Kingdom.

4. When thinking about the Margaery-Cersei interaction, I see it two ways. The first is that Margaery is in way over her head and Cersei is a world classing scheming woman who'll destroy the young girl. And the second is that Cersei is a dated stupid hag who's messing around with the young gun and is gonna get burned. My prediction is on the second.

5. In some ways Tryion's actions tonight were some of the most selfless character actions we've ever seen on Game of Thrones. Sure he was drunk for the bulk of it, but it's clear that he probably more than any other character is GOOD guy.

6. Damn it's nice to go an episode without having to see some terrible Theon Grejoy torture scene.

7. Mind Bone With A Side of Leeches - So now we know what Stannis saw in the flames at the end of last season. A battle in the snow. Got Dayuuum, I almost fainted. Now it's time to figure out who'll he'll be fighting with. Only fire can beat Snow...get your dragon game up.

8. So Khaleesi has a new squeeze with this Dario character. With his "I do want I want" attitude he is about as emo as they come, but chopping off his pal's domes was a pretty nice move. Also dude barely flinched when the world class babe and mother of dragons just walked up to him naked. Still need to see him fight to know if he's a total badass.

9. Ahhh, so Sam got his big moment. With all those ravens by the Godswood I thought that Benjen Stark was going to show up, but then I saw that Blue Eyed Demon flowing hair and I knew Sam was going to bite it or Ghost was going to save him. But how awesomely surprising was it that he was the first one to shatter a White Walker. Looks like that blade he found while making a snow fort is mighty powerful, now please, give it Jon Snow so he can really put it to work.

10. Tyrion has all the best lines - "I am the god of Tits & Wine"

No Thrones next week. We got a Sunday off for Memorial Day. See you in two weeks.

May 15, 2013

24 Points About 24 Coming Back

I am a 24 fan, worshipper, devotee, fanatic, critic, archivist, connoisseur, and whatever other noun you can dream up. I have seen every episode of the show live except one in season three (VCR malfunction!) 24 was the first TV show I ever watched with my family and was my favorite show to watch with friends. I have written extensively on how it relates to "Homeland" (24 is superior). And finally I shared recaps in the form of 24 points for the last 3 seasons here on thislalife.

Now that it has been announced that the show (the new season titled 24:Live Another Day) will be returning for a more condensed 12 episode run next summer, I thought I would return to the 24 Points to let you know all morsels that are brewing in my head with the almighty return of Jack Bauer.

1. How will the 12 episode format work for a show that is so dependent on having 24 episodes? The producers have said they will skip some hours and condense some events to fit the timeline. This sounds like we'll still be looking at a full day in the life of the greatest terrorist hunter that has ever lived. 

2. Will we finally get the epic motorcyle that Jack has in him. Motorcycles, TPG what you talking about? You see, revealed somewhere in the bonus features of the DVDS and mentioned here in the 24 wikia, it is stated that Jack is an expert motorcyclist. Also says he's a surfer, I'd rather have him dispatch foes by bike than by bodacious waves.

3. Will Tony Almeida return?

4. While we are at it...will the vampire bite return? That's what really counts (sorry Tony).

5. The show always succeeds because the way that it mirrors and inflates real life events. It's well known that the show premiered months after 9/11 and rode the war on terror to massive critical, popular, and political success. I wonder how it will adapt to the current drone based war on terrorism and also how the events of the Boston Marathon bombings will influence it?

6. My dream is that even though the episode count is shorter the budget will be the same which will mean bigger and better action.

7. The whole "skip" and "condense" some hours thing means that perhaps we will see multiple far off locations for the show, which has always been rooted in either LA, D.C. or New York and the surrounding area. Will we see Jack get on the plane to some far off exotic place and then jump to him landing...I think so.
8. Ron Swanson survived season 2, will he make a guest appearance?

9. The Bad Guys in the new season will be some mix of the following: private contractors, "Russians," Islamic extremists, red-neck terrorists. In fact Bauer has never really taken on the red-neck variety, actually....Kim has she took down Johnny Drama in season 2.

10. Will anything in this season come close to the majestic brutal power of the Fayed death from season six?

11. Jack has had some "bad luck" with the ladies in his life? Will he have a new flame this season? Does that even make sense or is the ticking clock just not gonna allow it?

12. How many Christmas Trees will Bauer destroy?

13. Kiefer is 46 years old now, which is not exactly young on the special agent scale, I wonder if we'll see him either shrug off his age or acknowledge it a la Brian Mills in "Taken."

14. Speaking of that whole time speeding up, is the reason for the shorter season because we as human beings can't handle 24 episodes of anything anymore. Is 24 episodes too long for our twitter/facebook/24-7 news cycle brains to handle? 

15. James Badge Dale was not really a known actor when he appeared in the highly underrated season 3 as Jack's partner Chase Edmunds. Now he is everywhere (Iron Man 3, Flight, The Pacific etc.) I have no doubt that Jack will get a new partner (besides Chloe of course, more on her later) but who could play that part? Don't be surprised if they switch it up and give him another female partner. This way the bad guys can say things like "you can't protect ya women Jackkkk!"

16. Chances that the season will actually just be a prequel and it will feature the abandoned "Samuel" plotline featuring legendary anti-hero Dubaku. Hopefully 10000%, long live Dubaku.

17. Calling it now we're looking at 37 confirmed Bauer kills this season and I'm not talking about random explosion related deaths. I'll be more specific and say we'll get at least 3 spectacular kills or "Mortal Kombat" deaths.
18. Earlier I asked if Tony will return. I'd say the only guaranteed cast member to return besides Jack would be Chloe as she is like part of Jack's existence now. In fact Chloe never really changes season to season...she's just always there and as neurotic as ever. That is except for the time she blasted those dudes with the machine gun!

19. Anil Kapoor - the star of the Indian version 24 has already starred in a season of 24 as a different character, but what are the chances he pops up again this time as the Indian Jack Bauer...that would be crazy.

20. Speaking of crazy, I would love to see the show get slightly meta and have Jack take down some Hollywood types. You could tie it all together with the shady world of global corporations media investments.

21. Jack Bauer is also a straight up Grandpa - how zany would it be if the whole season was actually a comedy where Jack has to supervise a kid. Kind of like Baby's Day Out but with more awesome violence.

22. I'm calling it now...Kim Bauer is coming back fo sho.

23. Feels great to be writing these again, so stoked the show is coming back, did I say that?

24. As a show 24 was a classic water cooler topic. If you hadn't seen last night's episode then don't waste my time talking to me chief. But things are different now, people binge on shows on Netflix and the water cooler isn't what is once was. Will the show's return to the airwaves signal a return to must see live drama programming? We'll have to wait and see...beee bowp bee bowp beee bowpp.

May 12, 2013

TPG's Game Time - Season 3 - Episode 7 - The Bear & The Maiden Fair (Game of Thrones Recap)

When did Thrones get so romantic? Dayuum, I thought I was watching some medieval version of "The Notebook," I mean did anybody get diced up in that episode or was it all talk of romance. Alright, my heart isn't that cold, so let's leap into the bear pit and get into this episode.

Direwolf Badassery - It's been a long time since we saw a direwolf, let alone saw a direwolf hurt somebody. One can dream.

Joffrey Swag - He got one good line about having to walk his lazy ass up those tower stairs, but as much as I love everyone's favorite demented boy King, I might have to rename this Tywin Swag cause that dude makes going up four steps look badass!

1. If you didn't catch it, tonight's episode was written by George R. Martin himself which is cool because he's adapting the screenplay from the books he wrote. Since he knows what's coming in the books and the show, we have to read deeply into everything that was said.  That means lots of mind-melts, hope you like em with a side of garlic seasoned sweet potato fries.

Bonus Update Post - It was also directed by Michelle MacLaren who's directed many of episodes of that other show....Breaking Bad. Big thanks to Sir Megamix of House Tiesto for the observation

2. The "when it suits them" speech that Warg drops on Jon Snow was incredible for two reasons. The first is just that he's is rapidly becoming a very interesting character. The second is that with his badass swordsmen skills, romantic tendencies, and general good spirit, Jon Snow is a very traditional hero so whether it's intended, I think many people view him as the one of the central protagonists of the show. So the Warg gives him that speech, he is really describing not just the Wildlings but EVERYONE on the entire world of Thrones. Great writing.

3. I do not want to offend any of my female readers, but I was VERY distracted by Oona Chaplin's ass.

4. This was a very romance heavy episode of Thrones and we got to see all different kinds of love. The Ygritte-Jon Snow is kind of the super intense I'll follow you to the end of the earth love. The love that Warg has for Ygrite is more of  a "I can provide for you love." The love that Margaery tells Sansa about is more of that "it's not that bad, just deal it and you'll be rich/powerful love." The love that Jaime has for She Man is more of the "true love can take the blackest of hearts and make it right again." What do you prefer?

5. Margaery reminds me of a certain type of sorority girl that roams college campuses. Very pretty, great lineage, immensely smart, and wildly wildly cunning. I don't know what she is scheming on with Sansa but I don't think it's all rose garden friendships and girl talk.

Joke Time: Is there a McDonalds at King's Landing because every single room seems to have perfectly golden light arches. Get it GOLDEN ARCHES. Zing!!!

6. MIND MELT COMING AT YAA -  The Wargs says that soon we'll see what "Jon Snow Really Is," which on the surface means he's a Crow, but as I said in point #1 you gotta look deeper here. I think Jon Snow is wayyy more important that he appears. Kind of like he is The Game of Thrones Luke Skywalker. His part to play in this story is much bigger than what's happening at the wall. I can feel it.

7. I dig that Khaleesi is like this marauding civil right's activist, and sheeeiiiit, those dragons are incredibly awesome, but to me her plot is all glitz and glam and no substance. Like I'm tired of seeing her marching around. Another city, cool, great, I'm sure you'll destroy this place. Show me the sacking of King's Landing and you taking the Throne, not some random city I don't care about.

8. Loved that shots of the ships in Blackwater Bay, but I really flipped that scene where Melisandre tells Gendry that's basically the true heir to the Kingdom. However, I again wonder if Gendry is doomed to be sacrificed to the Red God or potentially be given some type of Red God upgrade to become a super warrior for Stannis. I'd prefer the second.

9. Just when you think Thrones is past it's ridiculousness sex scenes of seasons past, we get a good ol' fashioned Theon Greyjoy romp...of course this is season 3 so the sex comes torture as soon as the mystery man appears and torments him again. After last season I never thought I could feel bad for Theon but he's had it bad this time around. Who are these people? My new theory is there some how connected to his spiny first mate from last season, you remember him (featured on the left), he knocked Theon out at Winterfell. Was always a shifty character.

10. Ahh Jaime Lannister saves She Man in act of selfless courage, I get it, it's super romantic but HOW THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO DEPRIVE US OF A BADASS FIGHT WITH KINGSLAYER AND A BEAR. Really would have loved to see that. Of course the question is if She Man and are Jaime are going to stick together, sadly I think not, once Jaime is back with his family, he'll probably be on his way. That's just his style, of course he'll still have the memories, so hopefully he'll whip Cersei into shape.

That's all until next week....Hodor.

May 9, 2013

Gatsby As Gatekeeper - How One Book Introduced Us To Thinking Deep

"Involuntarily I glanced seaward - and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away..." - F. Scott Fitzergald, The Great Gatsby

Somewhere on the list of things to teach in High school, right in between "Hamlet" and "Physics" is F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." In the great literacy leg race of most read books in American High Schools I would say that "Gatsby" is constantly neck and neck with "To Kill A Mockingbird" as top dog. Sure there are other contenders like "The Scarlet Letter," "Of Mice & Men," and "Huckleberry Finn," but Gatsby is always the big cheese and the reason for that is because of that legendary Green Light. Ah yes, the green light. Many a High School mind has either exploded in understanding or wallowed in confusion when their teacher asked them "What do you think the green
light means."

Part of this confusion is because you already know what a green light means: it means go. Yet just with the tiniest prodding from a teacher, the whole concept of a "metaphor" is introduced to your brain. Whooahhh, it means a lot more than just being a freakin green light? Green means money, which is power. Green represents Daisy. Green means relentless ambition. Green means Gatsby is secretly a stoner (what? really? c'mon!) Green means Gatsby is a Celtics fan. The Green light is the hope for a future just as American settlers view America (got that from Sparknotes.) Welcome to the land of metaphors. Your brain will never be the same. You now can re-experience all your favorite media as metaphors for something else. I wonder what "The Lord of The Rings" is really about?*

Once you understand the concept that things have double meanings, then the world is a much different place. The cafeteria is a metaphor for the future class structures of your adult life. The worms your science teacher keeps in a box for his compost are a metaphor for the relentless grind of student testings. Drug Wars on your TI-83 calculator is a metaphor for drug wars, wait that one was obvious, but you know what I mean. Thanks to Gatsby, you start seeing metaphors in places you never imagined. Prom is just a metaphor for....

So when I roll into the brand new version of Gatsby tonight, you bet I'm going to be looking out for that Green Light. It better shine into my soul and let loose a host of new thoughts about what movies really mean and if the American Dream is straight C.R.E.A.M. or something deeper and more sincere. Because however it appears, there are lots of High School English teachers out there hoping that it lives up to mind blowing metaphoric power.

*If you know what it's really about...please leave a comment.

First Gravity Trailer Is Out Of This World

I've been covering this flick since 2010 and I'm still impressed by this! Dayuuuummmm

May 7, 2013

Re-Making The Myth: Appreciating The Big Budget Super-Hero Film

Hero - A person who is admired for their noble and courageous qualities, usually at the benefit of others.

Every time a super-hero film comes out, there are always detractors who say "it's just a super-hero film." Sure you may not see these statements as much in the reviews (which have been positively kind to super-hero films as of late), but if the barometer of critical praise and "seriousness" is Academy Awards than it's clear that our heroes are not taken seriously. This is a real shame, because the best super-hero films in addition to being massively entertaining and well crafted, are carrying the flame of the role that the hero places in society, a moral example for people to strive for.

Before you get going on on how people should look up to real heroes, you need to chill out. Right now anyone who is labeled a hero is quickly praised, processed, and/or penalized. In our 24/7 world, the person we praise today, is often forgotten or scorned tomorrow. We rarely have figures in our culture who endure a time-tested examples of being true heroes. Politicians are out because they are prone to the brutally cynic nature of politics these days. Any athlete that is well known enough to a massive hero, probably got there because his corporate sponsorship team put him there. Technology figures like Steve Jobs, who are praised for their innovation are quickly lambasted for their relentless drive. I think everyone can agree that we love to look for chinks in the armor, hell it's almost a national pastime. If only we could have heroes that can't be corrupted (or be free from skeletons in the closet).

That's where the superheroes come in. Long before big movie budgets made comic books come to life, I mean, technically way before comics, we had myths about great heroes who we could look to as ideals to strive for. Our current crop of modern heroes is no different. In his spectacular third outing
Iron Man excels not because of his money, but because of his creativity and determination ideals that we can truly work towards. And let's not forget Batman a hero who's entire recent trilogy was focused on Batman's true "super" power of - being completely selfless. After all he pays the cost dearly (dead parents, dead girlfriend, public thinks he's a killer, broken back, no love life, etc) so we can live free and be happy (reminds me of someone else, but we don't need to get into that!)

Ultimately these super-hero films are resonating with a natural longing for the spectacular hero. More than any other factor (actors, directors, budgets, continuity between films) Marvel excels because they recognize that longing for traditional heroes and stories and they provide that. The upcoming Superman film "Man of Steel" looks like it's on the same wavelength as well. So while people may scoff at super-hero films and say they're just to sell toys, they need to realize that they're scoffing not just a history, but at their own longing for something better.

TPG's Game Time - Season 3 - Episode 6 - The Climb - (Game of Thrones Recap)

For the first time all season I missed the Sunday broadcast of Thrones, so today I'm coming at you with a late edition of TPG's Game Time. Fear not, just because I slip up, doesn't mean I'm going to let some warg cut my rope and leave me to die, hell no! So it's going to be quick and abbreviated, but fear not, like Daenerys, I'll be back in force next week.

Direwolf Badassery - None, soon the Direwolves will rise.

Joffrey Swag - It's all fun and game laughing at Joffrey until he actually uses his bow to kill a seemingly innocent woman. Man, hating on Joffrey is fun, but there's a reason for it, this kid is a monster.

1. Fat Sam is either going to die a terrible death or come out of this saga as either A) A King B)Just a jolly old fat dude with a huge family that he sings to. Still waiting for his courageous first kill though, it's coming....I can feel it!

2. Trajectory of Jon Snow. Season 1 he's the ultimate badass, just beating the shit out of everyone and killing blue eyed demons on the reg. Season 2 he's...ehhh....kind of a wuss. Now Season 3 he's a sexual mastermind and epic hero pulling off Cliffhanger stunts, befriending the BG, and rocking out epic sunrise makeout sessions. Welcome back to being my favorite character, Jon Snow, actually you never stopped.

3. The magic of Game of Thrones is when characters from different story-lines meet and the entire "game" gets re-arranged. Never for the life of me did I think Melisandre would meet Arya and Gendry, but now that they did, my head is spinning. Why does she need Gendry, I know it's some Baratheon blood magic, but what is she really up to. Breeding more shadow assassins. And what does it mean when she says she'll see Arya again? What's that...I smell a mind-melt on the grill.....

4. MIND MELT with Multiple Eyes - I mentioned last week how clear it is Arya wants vengeance on those that wronged her family. I think those different eyes that Melisandre refers to are different stages that Arya has to go through before she becomes a master swordsman and catches up with Sir Jaqen to become a Faceless Woman aka a badass destroyer.

5. Somewhere in this episode I realized we haven't seen the BG (that's the Badass Ginger if you haven't been paying attention) wreck somebody yet. His first kill is coming and it's going to be epic.

6. The Theon plotline this season is like "Game of Thrones" does "Saw." I have no idea where it's going. For a moment I thought maybe the torturer was working for the Lannisters, but who knows? My prediction...he's working for the Greyjoys.

7. Olenna Tyrell's shtick of putting everyone down yet also keeping them up by pulling their strings was getting old and I'm glad that someone finally got her in line. Not surprised it was Tywin that dude is so cold I could have sworn he was a White Walker. Speaking of Tywin, something for all the 50 Shades readers out there.

8. That scene where Sir Loras was bullshitting about the weddings was hilarious.

9. While it's tough that Tyrion has to wed Sansa, I feel that he may be playing his family a little bit. He knows the value of Sansa to the Starks, and while he may gripe about it, I wonder if he's keenly aware of how his bride to be is actually a key puzzle piece on the ladder to power.

10. Speaking of a ladder, how about that final monologue about the climb out of the pit of chaos. Classic Littlefinger but I want to point out a couple of things here. The first is that Varys didn't seem that phased by the death of Ros. The second, if Ros is dead I wonder if Shae can't be to far behind, I say this because of their opening scene together where they revealed they're both hiding secrets. The third, is a more deep thing, but if Littlefinger says the climb to power is all brutal and rough but then at the top we get some deeeeeppppp romance with Jon Snow and Ygritte, are the creators trying to tell us that the true glory of the climb is love. They wouldn't have included an epic kiss between two lovers from different worlds, a gorgeous vista, and some serious heavenly sunlight if they didn't.

See you next week.