After a burgeoning sixth season of Mad Men, it all came to a close tonight with the episode, “In Care Of.” What was your initial reaction? Share your thoughts here!

The opinions of Mad Men season 6 are as varied as Peggy’s hairstyles. “In Care Of” wrapped up the penultimate season (according to creator Matthew Weiner, season 7 will be the last) and, as every season before it, is meant to stand alone as an ending to the entire show, if need be. What did you think? Did it feel incomplete, or like it could have ended Mad Men on a solid note?

In summary, this season saw a monumental amount of tension build, harvested a few stand-offs between characters, and witnessed some bridges burned for good. Roger’s mother passed away, while his rights to his grandson were also pulled out from under him by his daughter. However, he was almost vindicated this episode, when he was let into Joan’s home for Thanksgiving, but not for her sake, she clarifies, for their son’s.

One of the main discussions of this episode centered around the firm’s decision to expand into a new LA branch. To become bicoastal and embark on this new journey had Ted, Don, Megan, just about everyone vying for the chance to start over and escape their New York City lives.

Pete, who we’ve seen inconvenienced by his mother’s rapidly deteriorating mental state, was ‘freed’ of the burden of having to take care of her when it’s learn she has been lost at sea, conveniently after marrying Molano. Also cut off from his wife, Trudy, and daughter, Tammy, he has a sincere scene with his estranged wife, bidding farewell before he goes to LA. Bob Benson, a power player in this season, is unsurprisingly berated by Pete prior to a work trip to Detroit, but ultimately appears relatively unscathed by the end of the episode – he didn’t run over a GM display – that was Pete’s doing when he put the car in reverse instead of drive – and he celebrated Thanksgiving with Joan. Roger was also invited to the dinner, unbeknownst to him Bob would be joining them.

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Benson gained the trust of the SC&P (the freshly-merged ad agency of SDCP and CGC) and even heads up part of the crucial Chevy account. Benson’s in good with Joan and tries to gain the admiration of Pete, but ends up rubbing Pete the wrong way (literally, kind of), and the two find themselves in a cold war.

A number of social upheavals occurred over the season, which takes place in 1968. The characters felt the tremors of the Vietnam war and the consequential riots. They also faced the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. There’s also the unsubtle shift in the fashion trends, heading into the 70s – the last time we see Peggy she’s rocking a print pant and matching top.

Peggy and Abe had a rocky season 6, only made worse by the brownstone they purchased in a rough part of the city. When Peggy accidentally spears Abe, mistaking him for a criminal, the two officially call it quits. Peggy fell quietly in love with Ted Chaough, who seems to reciprocate. They do sleep together this episode, after Ted promising he will leave his wife and start anew. However, he decides to do the moral thing and put a contient between them before he can act on this promise.

mad men finale smallDon and Megan’s relationship is tumbling downward, only worsened by Don’s tumultuous affair with Sylvia Rosen, the woman married to a doctor that lives in the apartment building. It doesn’t help that he also decides to rekindle his love with Betty for one night, and that she walks away with her head held high – much higher than Don’s. When she informs Don of Sally’s suspension Miss. Porters, she seems vulnerable and has regressed to the old days when they were a young couple in love.

Despite her at-times cold exterior, we see that she does in fact feel bad that she can’t give her daughter a perfect life.

Megan and Don seem to be failing on all accounts, given that Megan left Sally and Bobby alone and had their apartment robbed by an impostering “grandmother.” Megan is trying to build her career as an actress, but struggles to work her way up, even after landing two different characters on her soap opera. When the opportunity to relocate to Hollywood arises, she jumps at the chance. It’s unsurprising that she’s furious with Don when he says they will not be going after all – her character was already written out of the show, she had had meetings set up on the West Coast. She storms out of the apartment, and while Don proclaims his love for her, she neither reciprocates, nor indicates they will be together much longer. Would Matthew Weiner give Don yet another divorce in the last season? Maybe.

mad men finale small sally 2In a pivotal moment, Sally catches her father in a very compromising situation with Sylvia. Her response, of course, is to get as far away as possible, which naturally means boarding school. Betty is quite proud of Sally for choosing a future, but is Sally getting herself into a world of trouble?

The answer is yes. Sally is suspended not long after starting school, for being drunk and buying beer for her classmates. When she talks to Don, her sass is at an all-time high, while it’s not completely warranted, Sally always has been sarcastic and known to err on the side of rebellion.

Peggy Olson might be one of the most fascinating female characters to watch in recent years. There are timelines out there than can depict her rise from secretary to chief copywriter more eloquently than we could explain here, but that shot of her in Don’s office, sitting in his chair, wearing pants (this is a big deal), she has achieved something few probably thought possible at the time. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but by the show’s end, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Peggy running the show as SC&P, or even opening her own firm.

Don might have been more honest in this episode with his co-workers and family than he ever has been before. From his Hershey’s pitch, finally divulging the details of his less-than-picturesque childhood, leaving the Hersey’s execs and his fellow partner’s mouth’s agape, to showing his children the home he grew up in, now decrepit and decaying.

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All season long we’ve seen Don spiraling, and he has finally, maybe hit rock bottom when it is suggested by the partners that he take an indefinite leave of absence. This point is emphasized when asked, ‘going down?’ Yes, yes he is.

The question is, with Mad Men heading into its final season, how many of these changes will really stick? Will those heading to LA stay there for long? This was certainly an eventful episode, full of subtext, actions and consequences.

Tell us what you thought of the ‘Mad Men’ season 6 finale ‘In Care Of’

The Catch killed off a fan favorite character in the most recent episode, and we think it may have been a better idea to not pull the trigger.

Warning: This post contains spoilers from The Catch season 1, episode 6.

The first recurring character death on The Catch has been met with a lot of controversy. Felicity only lasted a few episodes on the series, but in the short time we knew her on the show, she became a fan favorite character, and a big factor in many fans’ decision to tune in to the show. This is largely, though not entirely, because she was a bisexual woman of color herself, and she brought the bisexuality of one of the lead characters to light. Unfortunately, she fell victim to the harmful, “Bury Your Gays” trope, and was killed off far too soon.

It is both horrible, and great, that this trope is currently being so widely discussed throughout many sectors of fandom. Horrible, because of the ubiquity of its use that has made the discussion so necessary. Great, because more knowledge imposes more responsibility on those in charge. The defense that so many showrunners claim when they receive backlash for falling into the trope is ignorance. Many assert that it is a trope they were not aware of, thus, they refrain from taking complete responsibility for their problematic decisions.

I must admit, I was ignorant of the trope myself until quite recently, but many people have been feeling marginalized by it for years. The fact that showrunners and television writers are now starting to acknowledge that the LGBTQ+ community both needs and deserves better representation in the media, even to the point of The Lexa Pledge being created, gives a sense of hope that things might be better in the future. Regrettably, progress didn’t come soon enough to save Felicity, and some other beloved characters.

Related: Television is killing lesbians, and fans aren’t happy about it

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Another part of the problem is the growing number of television deaths, in general. More and more series seem to be following the “nobody is safe” model that became common with shows like Game of Thrones. Character deaths are definitely an effective way of keeping stakes high and getting viewers’ attention, but there are many other compelling ways of telling stories, that don’t necessarily result in a shorter call sheet.

Related: The complete list of major TV deaths and departures in 2015-2016 and what they mean

Now, back to the topic at hand: the lovely Felicity. Her death couldn’t really have fit better into the “Bury Your Gays” trope. She was unceremoniously shot by her male love interest, immediately after having sex with her female love interest.

Felicity was never afforded the chance to be a multifaceted character, or to have a real story line of her own. She was merely used as a plot device to serve the lead characters, to act as an entrance point for the benefactor, and to introduce us to Margot’s bisexuality (which we’ll hopefully still get to explore more of).

While she did have a significant impact on The Catch through her interactions with other characters, she could have been so much more, had she been given the chance. In The Catch season 1, episode 6, we finally got a real glimpse into who Felicity actually was, and what she could offer the show, but it was already too late.

The impacts of Felicity’s death were the following:

  • It illustrated the ruthlessness of Reese’s character. After he learned that Felicity, a woman whom he supposedly cared about, may not have been completely loyal to him, he shot her in cold blood. This left viewers with a sense of fear of what he might do to Ben and Margot if they get on his bad side, and also what he might do to Alice, now that he knows about her.
  • Felicity’s confession immediately preceeding her death put Ben and Alice in a more precarious position than ever. Things may have been complicated between them before, but now, their future together and their lives are in jeopardy.
  • Although we don’t know for sure yet, since we haven’t seen Margot’s reaction, Felicity’s death will definitely affect her deeply. She may have started sleeping with Felicity to distract her from the debt that was owed, but it clearly grew into something much more significant for both of them.

the catch, margot and felicity

Given these impacts, Felicity’s death definitely left its mark on The Catch, but the truth is, all of these things could have been accomplished if she was left alive!

Reese’s psychopathy was made abundantly clear just minutes earlier in the episode, when he relentlessly tased someone and then shot them, completely unnecessarily. Yes, when he shot Felicity, it took it one step further to say that he would do exactly the same thing to someone he knew, but The Catch has already clued us in, many times, on the fact that the Bishops won’t let anyone come between them and what they want (which includes Ben, for Margot). Seeing how happy that taser made Reese was more than enough to make any reasonable viewer realize that he was not to be trusted by anybody.

Related: ‘The Catch’ 1×06 review: Brotherly love

Margot’s continued ignorance of Ben and Alice’s relationship has been a saving grace to them so far. Now that, with Felicity’s tip, Reese is close to finding out about them, that safety is seriously threatened. Admittedly, this does do a lot to propel The Catch forward, since Ben and Alice were starting to get way too comfortable in their strange little love affair.

That being said, this information could have come out in a myriad of other ways, that wouldn’t result in a bullet in Felicity’s chest. Margot and Reese are both insanely intelligent con artists. If they had simply looked, even a little bit, they would have caught Ben in the act! He’s not exactly being overly careful about his little trysts. If Margot didn’t trust him so much, she would certainly have caught him by now.

Finally, we get to the Margot of it all. Her character was a clear highlight of The Catch, even before Felicity came along, but Felicity’s entrance gave us so much more insight into who she is. Instead of just being the cold and calculating leader of her little band of outlaws, Margot’s relationship with Felicity opened her up to being a softer and more caring character. Also, instead of watching Margot sit idly by while Ben’s off betraying her with Alice on a daily basis, we got to watch her find her own happiness with someone else.

Seriously, how much more interesting would it have been to see Margot have to actually deal with having feelings for Felicity. Now that she’s dead, at the very best, we’ll see a brief grieving period, but probably not. It’s possible that it might take a while for Margot to even realize what’s happened. Reese could want to cover it up, or he could traipse into her room immediately and brag about the cool thing he just did. It’s really 50/50 with him.

the catch, margot and reese

No, don’t count on Felicity’s death turning Margot into a grieving widow. Probably the death will affect her most in her relationship and her interactions with her brother, if and when she finds out. It would have been so much cooler to see Margot in a more vulnerable place, with someone she actually loves. I’m sure her and Ben do have a deep connection and love between them, but something has definitely faded in their marriage to the point where they are simply familiar partners, rather than lovers. Seeing her with Felicity was entirely different.

As complicated as Margot’s relationship with Reese will inevitably get now, it would have been way more tangled if Felicity was still hanging around. I mean, the fact that Felicity was sleeping with both of them would add at least a bit of intrigue into their dynamic, right? She could have been extremely valuable and it would have been amazing to see her playing double agent.

While this is all great, it still all hinges around how Felicity’s presence would serve to make the other characters far more interesting, which isn’t really solving the problem. We didn’t get to know much about Felicity in her abbreviated stay in Los Angeles, but the things we do know could all contribute to her having fascinating story lines of her own.

She is clearly well respected within Reese’s con syndicate, and there must be a reason for that. The skills that she showed in her brief stint as a double agent, and her experience as a collector, showcase the uniqueness of her character. Besides the interesting choices she would have to make while playing double agent between Reese and Margot, she could also be running her own, competing cons. Also, Margot is married to Ben, so why couldn’t Felicity pursue another relationship herself? All the infidelity!…?

In any and all of these ways, Felicity’s character could have made the world of The Catch a much fuller, more interesting, and more inclusive place. Alas, all of these possibilities were forfeited when that fateful bullet escaped the barrel. Now, we can finally get back to focusing on the sordid love story of Ben and Alice! *sigh* Felicity, you deserved better, and we will miss you, and all that you could have brought to The Catch.

What did you think about Felicity’s death on ‘The Catch’?

Here’s how Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ should split the books up

We still know next to nothing about Netflix’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ adaption, but we can dream.

8:45 pm EDT, May 2, 2016

There are few things in this world I am more excited about than the Netflix adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The casting so far is perfect. Neil Patrick Harris looks like a better Count Olaf than Jim Carrey did, and the kids selected to play Klaus and Violet look like they jumped right out of the book. Plus, Netflix is keeping Daniel Handler, the author, close at hand as a producer so they adapt the books accurately.

Impatient fans with nothing better to do, like myself, have to wonder, how will the books be broken up across a Netflix series? How do you transition 13 short children’s books into a format broken up by episodes and seasons?

The Game of Thrones option is out, because the ASOUE books are far too short to do a book a season. And also, 13 seasons just won’t happen. So what do you do? You do what the movie did and group them together. With that strategy in mind, here’s how I think A Series of Unfortunate Events will play out on Netflix, and what ground each season will cover:

Season 1: ‘The Bad Beginning,’ ‘The Reptile Room,’ ‘The Wide Window’

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The Baudelaires have never experienced tragedy before. When they learn of their parents’ death in a fire that destroyed their home, they simply don’t react. They don’t know how to. Before they can process any of their grief, they’re dragged into the custody of Count Olaf, a character who earns the title of the series’ antagonist. Count Olaf is after the Baudelaire fortune, an immense sum of money the children’s parents left behind for them to inherit when Violet, the oldest, turns 18. Through the entire series, Count Olaf deceives, kidnaps, steals, and kills to get what he wants. Every time, the Baudelaires narrowly evade his grasp. During the first three books the orphans visit the Count’s sinister, disgusting home, a room filled with fascinating reptiles, and a house dangling over a lake infested with flesh-eating leeches. This is just the start of the orphan’s troubles.

Season 2: ‘The Miserable Mill,’ ‘The Austere Academy,’ ‘The Ersatz Elevator’

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Through the next three books, the Baudelaires come to expect Count Olaf everywhere they go, and they’re right to do so. While meeting even more unpleasant characters, they also meet some who come to be their closest friends. The Quagmire children still consider themselves triplets, even though one of them died in a fire. The Quagmire triplets also have a large fortune waiting for them when they turn 18. The other triplets are also exceedingly smart, just like the Baudelaires. Count Olaf kidnaps the Quagmires, but before he can do so, Duncan Quagmire gives the reader, and the Baudelaires, the first glimpse into the mystery behind these unfortunate events, “V.F.D!” The mystery only grows larger when the orphans find a secret passage from one of their new guardian’s homes, to their old mansion, which is now reduced to ashes.

Season 3: ‘The Vile Village,’ ‘The Hostile Hospital,’ ‘The Carnivorous Carnival’

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The children no longer fall from guardian to guardian and are more or less on their own. They go to a village where they discover the Quagmire triplets are being held somewhere secret. By the time the Baudelaires figure out the location of the Quagmires, they are also running for their lives, as Count Olaf has managed to frame them for murder. The orphans are no longer safe anywhere. Meanwhile, the acronym V.F.D appears everywhere they go. The children come to find that V.F.D is a secret organization — an organization that their parents, Count Olaf, and many other characters they have met along the way are members of. This season will be fraught with violence, as it includes a harpooning, a surgery, and man-eating lions.

Season 4: ‘The Slippery Slope,’ ‘The Grim Grotto’

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The orphans begin to discover more and more about this secret organization, its history, and what it had to do with their parents. Eventually, they find the headquarters of the organization, but of course, it’s burnt down. They learn about a mysterious sugar bowl, and something that was contained inside which that caused the falling out of the entire organization, the organization splitting into two sides with two very different goals. At this point in the series, mystery will now be dominating.

Season 5: ‘The Penultimate Peril,’ ‘The End’

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In the last book, which I’m sure will take up most of the last season, we find the Baudelaire orphans on a remote island. One last time, Count Olaf finds them and has a final standoff with the children. The series comes together incredibly, with things from 10 books ago now once again coming into play, and mystery after mystery being solved. Ultimately, however, more questions are asked than answered. Thus the whole series heeds the advice of a submarine captain we met in book 11:

“Some things are better left unknown.”

All we know right now is that season 1 will be eight episodes long. Netflix is free to decide how many episodes each season will include, so the following seasons could potentially get longer as the story progresses.

These books are perfect for a TV series adaption. It was never meant to be a movie. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, characters die off constantly. Every book is filled with insane twists that will make House of Cards look like Sesame Street. Not only that, but the books are stuffed with colorful, imaginative locations, and addictive, outrageous characters begging to be brought to life in your web browser or on your Apple TV.

We still don’t have a release date, trailer, or anything really. All we can do
for now is watch this Very Fake Depiction of what a teaser trailer might look like:

How do you think Netflix will tell the Baudelaire Orphans’ story? Comment below!

‘Space Jam 2’ starring LeBron James finds director as script enters development

Welcome back to the Space Jam.

2:14 pm EDT, May 2, 2016

Rumor no more! LeBron James and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin are currently at work on a Space Jam sequel that will find the big (both literally and figuratively) basketball player in the leading role.

The Hollywood Reporter says that a Space Jam 2 script is currently being penned by Lin and writer Andrew Dodge. Very little else is known about the movie, but it’s safe to say it’s going to get a lot of attention as it makes its way through development. The original Space Jam starring Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny, and the rest of the Looney Toons became an instant classic thanks to the basketball theme and the fact that the animated characters were interacting with real actors.

Adding to its quirkiness, WB has kept the original Space Jam website online over all these years. Visit it. It’s amazing.

Space Jam hit theaters in 1996 and co-starred Larry Bird, Bill Murray, Thom Barry, Charles Barkley, Wayne Knight, and Theresa Randle. And the Looney Toons, of course.

LeBron James appeared in last year’s Trainwreck opposite Amy Schumer. We’re sure he’ll invite a few of his basketball friends to make appearances in Space Jam 2 like Jordan did in the original. While LeBron James’ interest in a Space Jam sequel has long been rumored, today’s report is the first time we’re hearing that the film has found a director, and that the script is now being worked on.

Lin is also known for directing Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6.

Are you ready for another ‘Space Jam’?

While we wait (it’s probably going to be a while), watch the original trailer for Space Jam below. Damn, we miss the ’90s.