‘Glee’ recap: 4×07 ‘Dynamic Duets’

11:15 am EST, November 24, 2012

This week’s Glee, which aired on Thanksgiving, is not the show’s actual Thanksgiving episode. No, that’s next week, because it’s Glee. If you are concerned about erratic air dates, this is not the show for you. In this episode, “Dynamic Duets,” it’s Finn’s first day on the job as a superhero craze sweeps McKinley, the Jake/Marley/Ryder love triangle gets more annoyingly triangular, and Blaine receives a tempting offer wrapped in navy and red. Read our full recap below:

The Secret Society of Superheroes convenes in an abandoned classroom. Their leader: Blaine Anderson. His super-power: hiding control-freak tendencies within a tensely pleasant exterior. Actually, Nightbird, the Nocturnal Avenger, would have had me excommunicated for revealing his civilian identity just then. As the club inducts new members – Brittany “Human Brain” Pierce, Becky “Queen Bee” Jackson, and Artie “I really hope you’re not trying to pass yourself off as a certain telepathic leader of a certain group of superhuman mutants because that would be a copyright violation.” “Er, I’m… Doctor Y?” Abrams – they’re interrupted by Histrionic Freshman Dottie “Chai Tea” Kazatori, who sounds the alarm. After some dramatic shots of our heroes running down hallways and twirling capes, they discover that New Directions’ Nationals trophy has been stolen. On the laptop left in its place, a video of a mysterious figure with face blurred and voice distorted plays. He’s wearing a very familiar blazer – a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers. Nightbird narrows his eyes.

The new kids are too cool to play at superheroes – well, Jake’s too cool, Marley thinks she’s too fat. Since neither of them have to stop the Joker from poisoning Lima’s water supply this Friday, he tries to ask her out. She squirms awkwardly as Ryder struts up to announce that Marley has plans – he’s asked her to come to an away game with him. Jake and Ryder hurl insults at each other, and when Ryder challenges Jake’s badassery, things get physical. Marley stands there ineffectually chirping “Oh guys. Stop!” as they start hitting each other right in her face. Finn catches them and pulls them apart, exuding authority in his new sweater-vest.

Finn’s teacherly confidence fades fast when he tries to start his first glee rehearsal. The kids – especially the ones who started glee with him – don’t respect him as their teacher, he can’t operate the whiteboard, and his Sectionals idea sucks. Nightbird, Nocturnal Perfectionist, cannot handle Finn’s lack of professionalism and he swoops out, off to go rescue their trophy from Dalton. “The one you haven’t even noticed is missing?” he snarks at Finn, mouth all soft and sneery the way it always does when Blaine is at his most condescending and bitchy. “Oh, crap,” Finn exclaims, registering the space where their trophy used to be.

Finn asks his old friend Coach Beiste for some teaching advice. She’s dressed in superhero garb, too – “I’m the Beiste-Master. I’m from the planet Testoestrogen.” Why? “Blaine said I couldn’t be faculty advisor unless I dressed up once a week.” I cannot even, with that statement, I’m dead from the adorableness of Blaine being so persistently anal-retentive and Beiste wanting to be their advisor enough to go along with him. Finn finds McKinley’s new cosplay craze bizarre, and Beiste explains the appeal – that it gives people the same freedom and escape as being on stage.

They address Finn’s problem – that the glee club doesn’t see him as an adult. “Ugh, God, is that what coffee tastes like? How do people drink people drink that?” he splutters, dribbling into his cup in the teacher’s lounge. Coach Beiste suggests that he get in on the costume craze, and use a superhero identity to inspire the group.

Blaine – for the first time in so very long – walks down the mirrored spiral staircase at Dalton. A hundred thousand Warbler fangirls immediately burst into tears. Lingering at the foot of the stairs is everyone’s favorite smarmy meerkat-faced teen gay, Sebastian Smythe. “Of course it was you,” Blaine sighs. “No, it wasn’t,” Sebastian smiles like a ray of sunshine, and reminds Blaine that he’s changed for the better. “That must be boring for you,” Blaine says dryly. “Yeah, it is. Being nice sucks.” I think I might actually finally ship these two, because this was hysterical. They stride through the beautiful halls together as Sebastian sedately tells Blaine that the person he’s there to see – the captain of the Warblers – awaits him. “I thought you were the captain of the Warblers?” asks Blaine, confused. “I thought the Warblers had an elected council, a group of three upperclassmen voted to lead the group?” asks everyone who saw season 2, confused.

Hunter Clarington is the new head Warbler, and he was such a brilliant glee captain at his old military academy that Dalton poached him from them on a full scholarship. He’s “not even remotely bi-curious” and is identifiable as a bad guy because he has a Bond villain cat. The trophy-theft, it seems, was a ruse to get Blaine back on Dalton grounds. Hunter’s heard about the legend that was Blaine Anderson, and since he is determined to lead the Warblers to victory, he attempts to lure Blaine back to his old school. “Why would I ever leave McKinley?” Blaine asks. “Why would you stay?” Hunter replies, which is a valid point, and he goes on to make some more extremely valid points about Blaine’s transfer. “In fact, I hear they even call you ‘Blaine Warbler.’ They know you don’t belong there, so why don’t you?” This is so over-dramatically done, a classic cheesy face-off, but oh, my feels, because it’s true, it’s so very true.

The other Warblers file in as Sebastian claims that they know the real Blaine, that he’s ambitious, driven – a Dalton boy. They present him with a new blazer. “That’s not going to work on me,” he tells them, and Hunter says, if that’s the case, he shouldn’t be afraid to try it on. Blaine does, the fireplace explodes in flames, the cat screeches, and yet another hundred thousand fangirls burst into tears seeing Blaine clad in uniform again, that face above the sharp line of the shoulders of the jacket.

Hunter takes him on a little walk-and-talk, and taps into some of Blaine’s current insecurities about New Directions – that their last Nationals win was a fluke, and that the Warblers will beat them at Sectionals. Hunter doesn’t want to see a Dalton legend like Blaine sidelined in his senior year. The Warbers want him back with them, back on the winning side. Blaine remains impassive, but Sebastian was right – he is driven, in such a structured way, and that’s exactly why he’s so frustrated with Finn. As Blaine mulls this over, Sebastian quips – and I swear this is word for word – “Hey, you know what goes great with a new Dalton blazer? An impromptu song.”

Blaine tries to brush them off, but as they start up their a capella harmonies, he gets caught up and starts to sing. The song is Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side,” and as he crosses his arms, looking at his old friends with a nervous smile, you can tell that he’s forgotten what it feels like to be so accepted and encouraged. At McKinley, he’s idolised and used, in the harshest sense of the word, for his talent, yet ridiculed or dismissed for his personality – they treat him as something both more and less than human. Hunter’s motives may be ambitious, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is one of them. The lyrics of the song are very telling, and when he finally gets excited and buttons the blazer hurriedly, I cry. When he jumps on a table, I cry. I pause the TV and I cry and cry.

I miss this so much – not just Warblers numbers, but Blaine’s personality – all his confidence, traditionalism, and silliness. Everything about him that works for Dalton makes life difficult for him at McKinley, and the result is an uptight, depressed young man who fakes polite until his fuse blows. His transfer to McKinley never made sense, for the character. I still do not believe, to this day, that this was a smart move, either plot-wise or business-wise. Glee‘s ratings have never been on such a consistent high as they were during mid season 2.

I am not saying the show should focus on Dalton as an A-plot, because Glee tends to ruin things by over-kill, but I think that the Warblers, including Blaine and his story, would have been more powerful as a treat to pull out every few episodes. The transfer was stupid. Blaine being at McKinley is stupid. And this performance reminded me, once again, of all of that. Blaine looks and feels right here, down to the way he holds himself. This is who this character is, and who he should have always stayed. They finish the number and Blaine hands back the blazer, but Hunter instructs him to keep it, and think about it.

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‘The Space Between Us’ set report: What if a human was born on Mars?

Hypable visited the set and spoke to the film's stars.

12:00 pm EST, January 17, 2017

Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

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Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

He never would’ve guessed what was going to happen when he spoke to them.

“I called a group of NASA scientists and said, ‘So what would happen if an astronaut turned out to be pregnant on a flight to Mars?’ and there was just silence on the other end of the call. And they said, ‘Are you listening to our phone calls?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve never spoken to you in my life.’ And they said, ‘It’s going to happen, and we don’t know what to do.'”

That was when he teamed up with screenwriter Allan Loeb and started fleshing out an answer. “I thought, wow, that’s the beginning of an interesting story.” Lewis even worked with his father, a heart specialist, to examine how that muscle would develop differently on Mars, and aspects of this research became a big part of the story.

The Space Between Us is an interplanetary adventure following a human boy named Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) born on the distant red planet. His mother, an astronaut, only realized she was pregnant with Gardner after leaving on her mission to colonize Mars.

Once Gardner reaches his teenage years he becomes interested in leaving East Texas (yep, on Mars) and returning to the home of his species. Not only is he curious about Earth, but Gardner has also fallen for a girl named Tulsa who’s literally tens of millions of miles away in the state of Colorado. The two met online and can relate over their outsider perspectives.

There’s just one problem: Tulsa doesn’t realize that Gardner is literally living on Mars.

Hypable visited the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of The Space Between Us starring Butterfield, Robertson, and Gary Oldman in late October 2015. On the day we visited, Asa, Britt, and crew were at the tail end of their 37-day shooting schedule which took them through New Mexico, Las Vegas, and Malibu.

It was Day 31, and indoor and outdoor shoots were taking place at Highland High School located in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque. Since it was a weekday, real classes were in session as Asa and Britt shot outdoor scenes.

The real students who walked by the production had mixed reactions. Some watched and Snapchatted the excitement, while others passed by as if a Hollywood production wasn’t filming right before their eyes. Later in the day, after the real students went home, production moved inside the school to shoot a scene where Gardner and Tulsa meet in person for the first time. It’s one of the more touching moments in the movie.

Earlier, Asa walked into our press tent carrying a drone in tow. He had recently purchased it to try and capture aerial footage for fun, and was learning how to operate it in between filming his scenes.

Both the aerial device and Gardner struggle to deal with Earth’s gravity.

When asked how he handles playing a character who has never been on Earth before, Asa describes it as a very unique experience. “It’s hard to put yourself in that kind of position because we [as humans] are so experienced in the world, and to completely strip all that back and be absolutely in awe at everything you see — a tree, a doorman — everything’s interesting,” he says.

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Tulsa (Britt Robertson) experiences zero gravity with Gardner (Asa Butterfield).

Living on Mars your whole life doesn’t mean you’re missing hormones, so girls are also of interest in Gardner. On the relationship between his character and Tulsa, Asa tells us, “They both have this longing desire for being somewhere. Belonging somewhere. Tulsa’s been jumping around through various foster homes, she’s never really settled anywhere. Gardner spends his life on Mars. No one knows he exists. They’re kind of united by this experience.”

“He’s an alien, and she’s an alien, and this is the journey of the story,” Lewis tells us. “Watching these two characters connect, and the disconnects, the misunderstandings, and then ultimately they have a connection.”

Those good and bad connections were present in the scene we observed, which finds Gardner surprising Tulsa in her school hallway. As someone who is tough and reserved, Tulsa is understandably frustrated by Gardner’s sudden appearance. The two still haven’t communicated well with one another — Adorably, Tulsa is unaware that when he says he’s from “East Texas” he means the establishment on Mars.

With Gardner now on earth, the two begin to form a close bond as the Mars-born boy tries to discover his roots.

Co-starring in the movie is Gary Oldman, whose character originally organized the trip to Mars. He wasn’t on set the day we visited, but the actor has a very important role in the movie.

The Space Between Us opens in theaters February 3, 2017.

‘Rogue One’s’ best scene doesn’t involve the heroes

It's a nameless character who saves the day.

8:15 am EST, January 17, 2017

Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

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Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

This character has no name, and we know nothing about him beyond this scene. But faced by the most fearsome threat and terrible odds, he abandons fighting and uses his dying moments to get the plans across the doomed ship, and to Princess Leia.

It’s not common to see a scene like this one – scenes that convey the power of the collective action of many people across different areas – done so skillfully, especially in movies that are so character-driven.

In Star Wars, we’ve always focused on Luke and Leia and Han, and more recently on Rey, Finn and Poe. Although we knew that the Rebellion was the fruit of the efforts of many, we never had such a clear look into just how many lives were involved.

Rogue One the Rebellion

This final scene brings it all together, tying together the various storylines we know in an epic finale, and finally connecting them to Episode IV in a perfect mix of excitement and nostalgia. Without this character, driven by desperate hope rather than fear of his imminent death, Rogue One’s mission would not have ended successfully, Leia would have never received the plans… and none of the story we already know would have taken place.

For once, it was a character whose face we didn’t even see properly, dressed just like everyone else, fulfilling his own small role in a much bigger mission, who saved the day.

This ending, maybe even more meaningfully than the stories of the heroes we know and love, shows us the very essence of the Rebellion: a movement of dedication and sacrifice, full of people like the ones that died on Scarif, that put themselves between the plans and Vader, that drove the mission to success in their dying moments – and that stopped the race to save their own lives in favor of securing the mission’s objective.

We, as the audience, can find ourselves in the nameless rebel soldier and his sacrifice – a realistic and emotional portrayal of what makes any movement for change possible: the sacrifices of a vast number of people whose names and faces we may never know, whose stories may never be recorded, but whose lives were spent in search of a better future for the generations that follow.

What scene in ‘Rogue One’ impacted you the most?

Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

The final problem

The greatest flaw of Sherlock is when it gets stuck in its own heightened story telling. “The Final Problem” is the perfect example of retelling the past and not giving the audience any new information. It’s not hard to deduce. The episode does not suffer for this. Because it is not about the game at all.

Eurus’ game is well-crafted, brutal, and unforgiving. She is a master. The episode goes above and beyond to prove that over and over. Eurus wants to understand the complexity of human empathy. The only way she can do that is to cut the people open and see what makes their muscles move.

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The maze she crafts tests the resolve of Sherlock, Mycroft, and John. One great example of this is the use of Molly Hooper. It should be noted that Molly Hooper deserves so much better.

Using her love for Sherlock as a weapon, Molly Hooper’s life shatters with three words. Unfortunately, all of this is in service to unravel Sherlock with no resolution on her end.

As he smashes the coffin with his bare hands, John and Mycroft are there to reel him back in. They lend a hand to rebuild the walls that are falling down around him. That is until they literally fall at the doorstep of his childhood home.

The final problem is how do you deliver human connection to someone who does not know how to receive it? That desire to feel that her brothers appreciate her for more than her brain. If Eurus’ favorite person, Sherlock, could just take a moment to play her game, everything can end.

The test, it turns out, is for Sherlock to lean heavily on his capacity for emotional connection throwing logic out of the equation. He makes room for John, Mary, Molly, even Greg in his life. Can he find a way to make room for Eurus in spite of everything he just found out?

“You were always the grown up,” says Mrs. Holmes near the end of the episode. Sherlock takes the family into the next chapter of their life. One where music bridges the gap between them and the entire Holmes family can sit together without words getting in the way.

‘I’m a pirate’

The biggest twist, if you didn’t already work it out for yourself, comes when John discovers the bones of “Redbeard” in the well. They are not dog bones, but the bones of Sherlock’s best childhood friend, Victor.

But the best appearance is by far the inclusion of Mycroft’s Christmas gift — Jim Moriarty.

sherlock season 4 moriarty

Moriarty’s obsession with Holmes begins well before Eurus calls him in for a meeting. But did he succumb to being one of her agents? Probably. But Jim likely steered his own course to Sherlock. But the game… well, the game now reeks of Eurus.

Mycroft Holmes

The Holmes brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, have the most fascinating relationship on Sherlock. “The Final Problem” highlights the complexity of their past and the trajectory of their future.

The most moving scene in the entire episode arrives when Mycroft, John and Sherlock are contemplating the reality of what may be their final moments alive. Hearing that Sherlock appreciated a talent of his, one that is not based on their familial intellect, moves him to a smile. Well before Mycroft sacrifices himself for Sherlock’s partnership with John, he gets the validation that their relationship is full of mutual appreciation.

mycroft sherlock

The minds of the Holmes siblings may be capable of great feats, but no fortress is entirely secure.

Mycroft’s home at the start of the episode is infiltrated by the combination of Holmes and Watson. Later on, his mind’s security system fails. He is a strong, put together person. After years of arranging Sherlock’s safety behind the scenes, it’s time for Sherlock to step up and do the same.

Is there room for more?

Perhaps we will all meet again at Anemoi. In the credits letters it is typical for the editors to highlight certain letters. The final sequence produces just a single word — Anemoi, the meeting place of the four winds.

While the finale ties up loose ends, recreates the scars that affect the duo the most, it does feel more like a beginning than an ending.

Sherlock may or may not return.

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