There are two different experiences, both called “Big Brother”.

One is the television show Big Brother, as the CBS producers present it to broadcast tv audiences, three times per week. But the other is what is actually going on in the Big Brother house; the experience of the house guests, unfiltered — or at least less filtered — by television editors.

Fetchland presents Ruining Big Brother. It’s less “spoiling” Big Brother and more pulling back the curtain, to ruin our collective illusions about reality television. Enjoy! Or better yet, recoil in horror

Welcome to Fetchland’s last “pure TV show” Big Brother post of the summer. It’s gonna be mostly feeds onward from here with a few TV bits sprinkled in purely for information sake. This is all about RUIN and the TV show only helps Fetchland as contrast for that purpose. But for now we still don’t have feeds, so, tune in tomorrow, June 25th, for loads of ruinous feed up-to-the-moment info. Meanwhile, the second episode of the “Premiere” opens as the Freakazoids freak out because they have to battle each other to decide the first evicted houseguest of the season.

In the next room a relieved Da’vonne comforts weeping Tiffany. It’s hilarious how Da’vonne recounts that Tiffany confessed “what she already knows” and then they bond. They laugh together over how Tiffany vowed not to be too emotional and is already breaking down on day two. Then Da’vonne tells Tiff she has to fight and it’s just the right amount of pep talk she needs. Meanwhile Paul gives the rest of the Freakazoids a lecture series about how they really must get rid of Nicole because she’s a veteran and he’s Mr. Bossypants McGee. Corey doesn’t seem so sure and who can blame him? Nicole is cute and sweet and… not at all Paul.

Then Da’vonne, Frank, and James have a pow wow about how they have to stick together while Nicole and Corey have an alliance chat about the first HOH in the storage room. She connives him into “having the idea” of handing her the first HOH. HOH is an ultra important element of Big Brother. Every week the houseguests compete for the title. The previous week’s HOH can’t compete in this and thus have to sit out. But the rest all fight hard because the HOH nominates two houseguests who will go up for eviction that week. During each week there’s also a Veto competition and the two nominees fight in it along with three other players and the HOH. Whomever wins can take one of the nominees off the block, including themselves if they’re not on the nomination block and is they do use the Veto to pull someone off the block they are then safe from nomination. After this Veto ceremony there’s a new nomination in which the HOH picks another houseguest to replace the vetoed one. So, HOH is a powerful position and notorious for “going to a Houseguest’s head” as if they forget it’s only for one week and suddenly believe they are King of BB house. Nicole knows all this and she’s definitely playing the game this season.. and, a lady who’s well-known for her fluffy hairstyle confections, she’s got even better blonde popover action this season too.

Now it’s competition time and the Freakazoids are each stranded on a tiny wobbly island with a palm tree and coconuts. Because balance is a critical factor, the ladies have an intrinsic advantage in this challenge. Glenn’s playing slow motion style while Nicole kicks ass and wins quickly, thus guaranteeing her safety. Tiffany struggles against the coconut conspiracy until finally getting second place safety. So, it’s down to Glenn and Corey with a “photo finish” between the two. The winner is Corey but only by a tiny fraction of a second. Thus Glenn is the first eviction. Now the leftover three Freakazoids need to choose an HOH and, through Nicole’s subtle machinations, end up giving it to her – just how she wanted it. The newbies are henceforth pissed, especially Mr. Bossypants Mcgee, Paul. Looks like furious fireworks will fly after the goodbye hugs for Glenn, who will be forgotten the minute the door swooshes shut upon his exit.

Back in the house, Paul gives Corey the WTF hairy eyeball and yellorama in the storage room while Corey just gets all squirmy and inarticulate in response. Victor talks to Nicole and he’s looking Kaysar-style dreamy while telling her Jozea is coming after the veterans, “handing her a nominee on a silver platter” as Nicole later says in the diary room. Then James pranks Nicole while she’s in the shower, pretending to be Victor and telling her that all the newbies are coming after her… but he soon admits to just being a sillyhead.

Then team Big Sister gets their Have-Not situation explained with slop for their meals and a bumper car/circus bedroom. Their beds are bumper cars and crazy colorful lights that will flash all hours. It’s odd that we don’t find out the Mysteryland punishment that team Category4 earned in the Rocket competition but BB often has trouble covering it all within the TV show, which isn’t really their fault. There’s so much going on! This is why the feeds are so much fun and helpful for BB fans. They fill in all the information gaps while giving us a window into the everyday cage-matches within the Big Brother house.

Jozea-Da'vonneIn the first awesome hammock convo of the season Jozea calls himself the “messiah of the newbies” to the inwardly outraged but outwardly nodding Da’vonne. She’s taking note of all his BS and then relates it in the funniest diary room session yet. Lady Day also tells Nicole all this dirt, thus reinforcing her HOH decision to put Jozea up for eviction. It’s all just so frigging easy for Nicole thus far. She tells Corey she’s going to put Jozea up and then Paulie next to him only because “Paulie will definitely fight to win the veto and ensure that Jozea goes home”. So, she won’t have the infamous “blood on her hands” we’re always hearing about in the BB house. Is this a Shakespearean tragedy or a network reality show? Hard to tell sometimes.

Nicole then tries to convince Paulie it’s a good idea for him to go up as a pawn and he points out that the worst case scenario often happens and pawns go home. Going “up as a pawn” is when an HOH wants one particular player to be evicted so they put an ally up and try to get the house on board with votes all evicting the houseguest they prefer. It often backfires and is a controversial, but common, BB tactic. Nicole has to admit Paulie’s right and pawns do often go home regardless of the HOH’s wishes but then she puts him up on the block anyway. The nominations ceremony is another element of BB that isn’t shown on the feeds, so we see it here on the TV show when Nicole puts up Paulie next to Jozea. The funniest line of this Premiere2 episode lies in Nicole’s “explanation” behind her nominations when she claims that it was “so hard because there just weren’t many to choose from,” in a completely full house. Haha. We love you, Nicole but that excuse would only work during ANY other week this summer.

Stay tuned to for BB18 daily updates on feeds drama and fun along with our twitter feed @RuiningBB18 for tiny cheerful rants and lots of screencaps all day and night throughout our infinite summer of 2016 Ruining Big Brother.

– KatherineRecap

Monster Swamp

[For Preacher “Monster Swamp” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Monster Swamp. Jesse makes Quinncannon a bet he can’t refuse; and Cassidy works to fend off the angels. Meanwhile, Tulip tries to bring justice to Annville.

Las week’s episode got me a little nervous about the future of this show. The first two episodes of the show did a great job of introducing us to the main characters, getting us invested in their storylines, and setting up the thematic style of the show. That’s exactly what you want from a new show. However, once you get to episode three, you’re hoping for a little more focus on the primary storylines and some additional development of the supporting characters. Unfortunately we didn’t really get that last week, which got me concerned and afraid they would just keep introducing weird characters and rely on gonzo action sequences to get us to tune back in.

Fortunately, this week felt much more structured and got me invested in characters other than Cassidy and Tulip.

“Monster Swamp” opened up with a really crazy sequence that was straight out of a John Carpenter movie, with a woman running around town in her underwear being chased by a pickup truck with flood lights (and as we all know, anyone who drives a pickup truck with flood lights is clearly a creep). At first I thought this might be a standalone episode, like what The X-Files used to do, where they’d take a break from the primary storylines and focus on a story that would be resolved that week. I even brought up the info on the episode in the guide and fully expected to see “Preacher uses his powers to catch a serial killer who is terrorizing Annville.” However you quickly come to realize that this isn’t a serial killer scenario as much as an ill-advised paintball game being played by the men of QM&C that ends disastrously for one of the prostitutes from the local brothel.

The sequence serves two functions:

  1. It helps show how much power Odin Quinncannon hand his employees have in Annville
  2. It gets Tulip angry which leads to an important sequence in the brothel with her and Cassidy

Much of the episode was really as much about the past as it was about the present. As Jesse comes to grips with his powers and how he feels best to use them, we start to get flashbacks of Jesse’s past, and in particlar, his father and how he acted as a preacher. Jesse’s dad was clearly an authoritarian figure, but also one who took his job as town savior very seriously. The flashbacks also gave us a little more insight into Odin Quinncannon, and what his role was in the town and how he clearly had a relationship with Jesse and his father.

Four episodes in, here are the main points we’ve learned about Odin Quinncannon (played masterfully by Jackie Earl Haley):

  • He’s a powerful man in Annville
  • He hates clean energy
  • He has no problem urinating in briefcases
  • He enjoys listening to animals being slaughtered
  • He loves Q’Bert

Through the flashbacks we also learn that Jesse’s father tried to “save” Quinn back in the day but couldn’t, claiming that “Some people just can’t be saved.” Jesse realizes that if he can do what his father can’t, it would inspire his congregation, and even the town, and he could finally leverage his powers into something truly good.

On the other side of town, fueled by rage over how the men of QM&C recklessly killed (even if by accident) her friend Lacey, Tulip attacks a man in the brothel she believes to be the man responsible. However it turns out it’s actually Cassidy who falls out the window, seemingly very injured. Tulip soon discovers that Cassidy is not a normal guy and Cassidy discovers (like the rest of us) that Tulip is super cute and awesome. We’ll see how that plays out next episode, but I’m glad the vampire secret is out of the bag with at least one of the core three.

Similar to last week, there wasn’t a really amazing action sequence like there were in episodes one and two. But unlike last week, I think this episode was much more structured and grounded in helping us understand what Jesse’s objective is and what fueled that. It also helped flesh out some of the supporting characters (Quinncannon and Emily), and helped bond two of the core three (Tulip and Cassidy), so overall I’m pleased with how things went down.

Some other thoughts:

  • The two angels here to collect Jesse’s powers into a coffee can don’t appear to be authorized to be here by the powers above
  • They also have a phone that allows them to speak to their bosses in heaven, which was surprising because I didn’t expect God to still have a land line
  • Emily is sweet and I’m glad to see that she had a sex buddy (even if it was the wimpy mayor of Annville

–Osyp Lebedowicz

“Help us turn Ardent Recruits into Civilized Scholars!”

That’s what it says in the fine print on the Gamers Helping Gamers webpage. Also on that page are the names of more than a half dozen veteran Magic players — Hall of Famers, Grand Prix, Pro Tour and World Champions with a smattering of Player of the Year — who formed the non-profit organization to award need-based scholarships to a new generation of Magic players. Timothy McKenna (President), Eric Berger (Secretary), Jon Finkel (Treasurer), Chris Pikula, Robert Maher, Jr., Matthew Wang, and Daniel O’Mahoney-Schwartz make up the board that reviews the submissions each year and decides upon the recipients.

For the past several years I have had the pleasure to introduce the recipients and this year is no exception. This year’s recipients include two four-year scholarships of $5,000 annually and one one-year scholarship for $5,000. They have been waiting all week to share the good news with others so without further ado let me introduce you to this year’s crop of gamers.

Faolan Sugarman-Lash
Age: 18
Hometown: Richmond, Massachusetts
Destination: Santa Clara University
Scholarship: 4 years/$5,000 per year

Faolan Sugarman-Lash

Faolan is an avid consumer of Magic content and actually discovered the existence of the scholarship by watching Jon Finkel’s stream one night and last year, his best friend Dylan Quinn (photobombing above) also won a scholarship award from Gamers Helping Gamers. The Massachusetts-based player, who will be heading to Santa Clara after this summer, describes himself as a competitive player who does not get to play nearly enough.

His Magic playing career began when handed a large box of cards from a family friend. It was not long before he was getting booster packs and questing to get better and better at the game. In addition to Jon Finkel he lists LSV, Kenji Egashira, Alex Hayne, Shahar Shenhar, Reid Duke, HAUMPH, and Jacob Wilson as players who inspire him to be both “a better Magic player and a better person.”

“This scholarship is really important to me,” said Faolan who was looking forward to celebrating his good news with an Eternal Masters draft. “It’s a physical manifestation of the idea that following one’s passions can benefit them! It makes me really appreciate the game that I’ve played for more than half of my life — almost 11 years!! — and the people who make this happen. It’s humbling as well as inspiring to me to be a recipient of this award.”

Jacob Schliesman
Age: 22
Hometown: Kenosha, WI
Destination: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (Majoring in Media Arts and Game Development)
Scholarship: 1 year/$5,000 per year

Jacob Schliesman

Jacob is already attending the University of Wisconsin — Whitewater and has been applying for the scholarship for the past four years since reading about the first class or recipients. Interestingly that was not too long after picking up Magic roughly a half decade ago when his local homeschooling organization handed out Mirrodin Besieged Intro Packs to all the kids. He was instantly hooked — and hooked beyond just the game play. The story was just as important and engaging to him which worked out well for him while filling out the application for the past handful of years.

“It’s certainly the most enjoyable application process I’ve ever encountered; writing about Magic is something I love to do, and it really makes you think a lot more about the game itself. And it never ceases to amuse me that there is a place for your DCI number right next to your SAT score,” laughed Jacob. His essay for the application included a discussion about how Magic spurred him to study game design and journalism.

“I worked as a writer for my campus’s student-run gaming website,, and actually ran the writing team for about a year. During this time, I had the opportunity to interview a few Magic pros for the website; namely Patrick Chapin, Jon Finkel, and LSV. My goal is to eventually work on the story team in R&D itself, a dream which I’m happy to say I have taken some steps towards since my initial application. I now have a freelance position writing creative text for Magic, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Jacob also wrote about Narset, Transcendent in his essay. Early on in his education Jacob was labeled as “intellectually gifted” and struggled to fit in with his peers as some things came easily to him while others were more elusive.

“This all changed when I read the story accompanying the preview of Narset Transcendent, The Great Teacher’s Student by Kimberly Krienes. Never before had I seen a character whose mind so closely resembled mine. Narset quickly became one of my favorite characters of any medium, as I finally had a character I could relate to. This also taught me the importance of diversity and inclusion in pop culture, because everyone deserves to have a character, be it Alesha, Ashiok, or whoever, that they can point to and say “that one is like me.””

Community is a recurring theme for Jacob and this scholarship was very meaningful for him in multiple ways.

“Not only have I been working towards it for a few years, but I have been trying to be more involved in the Magic community for many years. Currently, those efforts include a semi-collaborative parody Twitter project with A.E. Marling and a portrait of the Magic community through signed Unyielding Krumars. I’ve always wanted to make or write or do things that other Magic fans would enjoy, and to me this scholarship means that I can do that. I can get there.

Not shockingly the world of Innistrad is one of Jacob’s very favorites and he plans to celebrate his scholarship beneath the Eldritch Moon.

Oliver Tiu
Age: 18
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Destination: Boston College
Scholarship: 4 years/$5,000 per year

Oliver Tiu
If you follow competitive Magic you have probably heard Oliver’s name mentioned often, and with increasing frequency, over the course of this season. He currently leads the Rookie of the Year race, has crossed the threshold to become Platinum through the remainder of this year and next, and could very well be competing at the World Championship if he can maintain his pace in the Constructed Master category at the last Pro Tour this season.

Oliver has been playing the game since the 5th Grade when he saw some fellow campers playing the game. He was drawn into Magic by the artwork rather than the gameplay itself which is somewhat unexpected for someone who describes himself as “extremely competitive”.

I had the opportunity to interview Oliver after the second Pro Tour of the season when he finished in the Top 16 in Spain. It was obvious that the young New England player had attracted the attention of the best and the brightest from the Northeast as both William Jensen and Mike Sigrist went out of their way to make sure I knew that Oliver was the real deal. During that interview he stated that Owen Turtenwald was the player he attempted to template himself after.

“He is simply the most consistent and flawless player I’ve had the pleasure of watching in the current Magic era,” said Oliver who voraciously consumes Magic content (which is how he found out about the scholarship in the first place). “I also admire Luis Scott-Vargas for his mastery of creating Magic content, he has the most entertaining articles and videos out of any player. In addition to that, he is a great player across every format and always is able to see weird plays that would not be seen by a vast majority of players.”

One of the amazing things about the success Oliver has had on the Pro Tour has been his ability to succeed without working with one of the major playtesting teams (which changes for the upcoming Pro Tour when he joins Team Face to Face Games) and that was one of the topics he wrote about his Magic essays.

“I found the questions very thought-provoking, especially the question about what I would change in the Magic community,” said Oliver. “I discussed my favorite Magic card: Deathmist Raptor, my least favorite: Monastery Swiftspear, and what I would change about the Magic scene: decreasing the necessity of teams in order to be successful on the Pro Tour.”

Oliver has a lot on his plate for the coming year between his freshman year of college and following up on a Platinum Pro Tour season.

“This scholarship means so much to me, especially in regards to continuing to play competitive Magic while pursuing a college education,” said Oliver who will be playing at Grand Prix Pittsburgh this weekend. “This scholarship will be a big help in making college affordable for me, and using what I’ve learned in Magic to aid my education. The scholarship is a great idea to reward those who have a skillset that isn’t typically rewarded by the college application process. I hope I’ll be able to contribute to the scholarship when I graduate.”

There are two different experiences, both called “Big Brother”.

One is the television show Big Brother, as the CBS producers present it to broadcast tv audiences, three times per week. But the other is what is actually going on in the Big Brother house; the experience of the house guests, unfiltered — or at least less filtered — by television editors.

Fetchland presents Ruining Big Brother. It’s less “spoiling” Big Brother and more pulling back the curtain, to ruin our collective illusions about reality television. Enjoy! Or better yet, recoil in horror

Unfortunately, we can’t ruin anything for you quite yet because the live feeds of what’s “really” going on in the Big Brother house won’t start until Thursday night after the end of the two initial “Premiere Episodes”. So, for now we’ll just introduce the basics and get you up to speed before we hit the “reality” raceway. During the season we’ll reference the TV show quite a bit, especially when it comes to competitions. BB holds tons of comps and they NEVER show them on the feeds so “feedsters” have to play Sherlock and deduce what happened from all the post-competition convos and drama. Lucky for us, there’s mucho drama in the house so it’s usually pretty easy to figure it all out pronto. Another aspect of Big Brother that’s never on the feeds is the “diary room sessions” and they’re crucial to understanding the inner workings of individual characters. Some characters give good diary room and they tend to be either the more emotional brand of houseguest or just flat-out diabolical – like Evel Dick (Dick Donato). We already have a great example this season with Da’vonne, who gives amazeballs diary room because she’s not only hardcore emotional but also incredibly funny and articulate. We know a lot of BB fans aren’t into Da’vonne but we’re not ashamed of our adoration. Fetchland is for lovers, not haters and we can find something nice to say about ANYBODY. That may sound easy, but if so you’re probably not a fan of Big Brother – yet.

BB18 begins with our fav ChenBot, Julie, delightfully perfect in a lipstick red evening gown for premiere night. Right away she tells us there are four secret stowaways tucked away in the house. This is the first of three “twists” to be revealed tonight. BB is all about twists, expecting the unexpected, and messing with houseguest heads. In the immortalized words of Chenbot: But first, let’s meet our sixteen characters for this all-grown-up-at-18-years-old Big Brother. 


Former cheerleader with matching attitude – it helps that Natalie’s already on the winning team.


Victor was premiere night’s big winner. He’s already seriously smitten with Natalie.


Corey’s the BB18 requisite “boy next door”


Token Oldie from “Da Bronx,” Glenn’s a former NYPD narcotics detective turned dog groomer


Bridgette’s the personification of that “Flat White Coffee” we keep hearing about – yawn


We anticipate fab diary rooms from Jozea. Bad childhood be damned, sweetie. You made it.


Houseguests have noticed Tiffany looks like her sister Vanessa from BB17. Fess up or mess up.


A collage of Michelle’s many fears was the best part of her role on the premiere.


Paul clearly didn’t get enough attention as a kid. We hope BB18 finally scratches that itch for him.


She wins the beauty contest. So, we’ll overlook how long it’ll take to get her name right.

There’s a funny configuration of crushes as everyone introduces themselves. Victor falls hardcore for Natalie right away. Zakiyah swoons for Paulie. Natalie ogles Corey. And Corey has got his eye on Victor for what he calls a “bromance”. Paul is attracted to Zakiyah – which makes total sense because she’s incredibly gorgeous. Meanwhile the non-romantic types have their own inner workings. Bronte plays at being diabolical with her pretending to be in childcare scheme… she’s actually a mathematician. Big whoop. Michelle immediately knows Tiffany is Vanessa’s sister and later confronts her about it for a “shared secret session” on the couch. The initial twelve immediately notice that they’re short some fellow travelers on this vacation-themed season of BB. Julie tells them about the first twist while they’re still sipping celebratory champagne. Who and where are the four stowaways? It’s about to get a bit more crowded on this good ship to crazytown.

Because the theme of this season is vacations and world travel, the stowaways are hidden inside colorful trunks. The beloved character, Nicole, from season 16 is the first to pop out of a trunk. Then out comes James, a prankster from season 17. He was America’s favorite last season. Next we have Da’vonne who was also from Season 17 but considerably less liked by America and voted out the second week – so less liked, period. Finally, Frank, from BB 14, pops out of the last trunk, another America’s favorite. These so-called veterans team up right away to try to protect themselves and it makes sense because the newbie houseguests are all pretending to be thrilled while surreptitiously shooting eyeball daggers at them.

For some reason Paulie chooses this moment to confess that his brother is Cody, from Big Brother’s Season 16, which puts Tiffany in a tough spot. We know already that Da’vonne and Michelle are already certain Tiffany is Vanessa’s sister and this will only stoke suspicious fire in the minds of houseguests to be looking for such resemblances in each other now. It’s rare for BB to only put one of a kind in the house. They almost always put at least two of a twist into the game just to rile things up. Later in the episode Michelle will face-to-face ask her if she’s Vanessa’s sister and Tiffany tells her it’s true but they lock it in the secret vault for now. We’ll see how that flies. Da’vonne, on the other hand, tells us she knows in the diary room and says nothing to Tiffany about it. An argument could be made for either move. Michelle now has a bit of an advantage over Tiffany but Da’vonne’s also smart to play her card close to the vest this early in the game. Thing is, if Michelle went up on the block for eviction right away Tiffany would have a good reason to get rid of her at this point and would likely vote her out.

Next Julie tells the house the second twist: they’ll play the game this summer in teams of four. Everyone will have a chance to take part in choosing their teams. A few seconds after this announcement Da’vonne starts weeping because I’m here to play for myself and my daughter. This isn’t fair, etc. Let it all out Da’vonne. It just makes us love you more to see your big heart breaking over this twist that affects every single houseguest equally. After all, everybody’s got their sad story and a reason to be on Big Brother. In fact, Glenn’s also there to play for his daughter. But the difference is, the houseguests and America know all about Da’vonne’s agony because she flies her feelings flag high in the sky.

Now on to team picking. The first competition begins and it’s time to get the teams together to finally play the game for real. Julie explains that each veteran will be on a different team and make the first pick for their team. Then each selected houseguest will pick the next member of the team and so on. Rule is that you have to pick someone of the opposite sex. Frank picks Michelle, Da’vonne picks Paul, James picks Natalie, Nicole picks Corey, Corey picks Tiffany, Natalie picks Victor (he’s ecstatic about this – kismet), Paul picks Zakiyah, Michelle picks Paulie, Paulie picks Bridgette, Zakiyah picks Jozea. Then as a matter of course, Bronte goes to team James and Glenn goes to team Nicole.

The competition ensues: Ride the Rocket everyone climbs onto a rocket and holds on until all four members fall off. The order of falling off determines their destination – first team to fall off become have-nots, 2nd team gets a mystery punishment, third team gets a ten thousand dollar prize to split four ways, and the last team still holding onto the rocket gets safety from eviction for the next two evictions. The first eviction will take place before this two night premiere is over – so likely it will be the end of Thursday night’s episode. For those of you not familiar with Big Brother, being a “have-not” is hell. You can only eat slop, a tasteless form of protein shake/oatmeal, along with condiments. That’s it. Houseguests tend to lose weight and be a-holes while they’re have-nots. Sometimes it also involves sleep deprivation and other elements of torture like “sleeping” in a freezing cold room on the floor with no blanket or bed. Fun stuff like that.

Victor ends up winning the Ride the Rocket competition for his team so that they no longer have to compete for the next rounds leading up to the inevitable first eviction. Yay! Celebration time! After which, it’s time for all the teams to name themselves. Big Brother is notorious for hilarious team names through the years and BB18 is no exception. They come up with some doozies, even with full knowledge that this is what they’ll have to live with for the rest of the summer. James’s team spends a full hour brainstorming with deadpan faces and brains on tilt but STILL end up sounding utterly ridiculous. Big-Sister

FreakazoidsFor their next competition there are three rounds with the last place team at the end forced to play each other individually so that the single loser of that round has to go home. In a way it’s kind of cool not to have to vote the first houseguest out. They just lose and go home. You know, like a loser does. Team-UnicornThere’s some fun drama during the competitions. Corey’s playin coach, Da’vonne’s flippin out that Paul keeps talkin, and meanwhile Category4 just keeps dropping their game pieces and then rebuilding them in silence until they finally win it and are the next safe team. After that round of competition failure, Corey and Nicole have a heart-to-heart in the storage room that looks like it could lead to romance down the road or at least maybe a two-person alliance. Fingers crossed! Da’vonne, meanwhile cries her eyes out because it’s so hard. It’s so hard. We hear ya, Da’vonne. Loud and clear.Category-4

In the second round Da’vonne continues her trend of overreacting to Paul while the Freakazoid team play snail-style and take a half hour to do basically nothing. When the Freakazoids finally get some balls and make a move they lose their shit completely at the final second. Then the same kinda thing happens to team Big Sister but instead of losing it, they adjust quickly, keep trying, and go on to win the competition. Thus, Nicole’s team, the Freakazoids, have to battle each other Thursday night and the loser of that last competition will go home. So, on eviction night, it’ll be Corey, Nicole, Tiffany, and Glenn all against each other.

At the end of the first premiere night, Julie reminds us that Thursday night one of the houseguests will be evicted. Also, we’ll find out the first Head of Household and who the two houseguests on the chopping block for the eviction. Then she adds that Sunday night a new Big Brother competition will give one player unprecedented power to change the game. It’s all music to our ears, Julie. We can’t wait and have never been more ready for a summer of silliness and shenanigans. Sure, lots of people like to get all serious about Big Brother and call it a microcosm of our society etc. Analyze away, bros. But the truth is that BB’s really just about pure fun and entertainment… unless, of course, you’re in the house.

– KatherineRecap

Battle of the Bastards

[For Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Battle of the Bastards. Latest episode of the hit series.

Did you read BDM’s recap of “No One” from last week? I loved it and decided to steal the format for the extended epic battle that was “Battle of the Bastards.” In that vein…

My Top 8 Favorite quotes from “Battle of the Bastards”:

“Thank you for the armada; our queen does love ships.”

When we left Meereen last week it was under nautical siege by the combined Masters of the other Slaver’s Bay cities. Grey Worm dictated that our heroes hole up in the Great Pyramid (the only place he and his Unsullied could reasonably defend)… And then mommy came home.

The Mother of Dragons appeared and all of a sudden there was hope for the lone “Free City” of Slaver’s Bay.

Tyrion asks Dany what her plan is, and she has one:

I will crucify the masters. I will set their fleets afire, kill every one of their soldiers, and return their cities to the dirt. That is my plan.

Tyrion, who Dany keeps around for his wisdom, cautions her against the kind of behavior we might more closely associate with her father; he presents a different strategy. Dany’s court at Meereen parlays with the assembled Masters, who think she is there to discuss terms of her surrender… When in fact it is to be theirs.

Dany sends her dragons — led by a now-enormous Drogon — against the Masters’ armada. Personally, I thought they were going to burn the whole thing into Slaver’s Bay, but they just really, really incinerated one of the ships; prompting Tyrion’s quote. So while Dany lost her ships a few episodes ago, she ended up way, way up on ships by the end of “Battle of the Bastards”.

“You’re going to die tomorrow Lord Bolton. Sleep well.”

Don’t forget that Sansa might call herself a Stark now, but she is a Bolton by marriage (and was previously a Lannister, also by marriage). And you know what they say about Lannisters and debts…

“Did you really think that cunt would fight you man to man?”

Prior to the Second Battle of Winterfell (the eponymous “Battle of the Bastards”, as Jon and Ramsay are both Snows) there is a parlay. Jon suggests that they can save a lot of bloodshed if Ramsay just fights him man to man. Ramsay, of course knowing Jon’s reputation as a master swordsman, declines; he has an army twice the size of the assembled Stark forces.

Jon gets a mental game jab in — a kind of “you have the numbers but how hard will your men fight for you when they find out you wouldn’t fight for them” … But hey, math.

“Rickon is Ned Stark’s true born son, which makes him a greater threat to Ramsay than you, a bastard, or me, a girl.”

Right before Northmen, Wildlings, and Giants start swinging, Ramsay trots out young Rickon Stark. Remember, the heroes don’t necessarily know that Bran is still alive. To the best of their knowledge Rickon is likely the legitimate Warden of the North.

When Ramsay starts making threats about Rickon, Sansa immediately ends the parlay. As Ned’s trueborn son, Rickon is a clear and present threat to Ramsay’s claim on Winterfell. Jon and Sansa might have had a hard time rallying the houses of the North, but Jon is a bastard and Sansa isn’t just a girl — and girl she is — but twice married to her house’s greatest enemies… Lannister and traitorous Bolton. Rickon might be another story.

Ramsay sets Rickon free but tells him to run; run to his brother and the assembled loyal houses. Before he can get to Jon, Ramsay puts an arrow in Rickon’s back. It’s a devastating end to a Stark boy we haven’t seen for several seasons. It also puts Jon on complete tilt, and the charges six thousand men alone, losing even his horse to a Bolton arrow.

“Our fathers were evil men.”

If the Masters’ armada weren’t enough, Dany gets even more ships in “Battle of the Bastards”. Yara and Theon arrive in Meereen with the one hundred best ships of the Ironborn navy, offering them to Dany. They will help transport Dany’s enormous army of Dothraki Bloodriders, Unsullied, and Second Sons to Westeros… and for a less steep price than Uncle Euron would.

Yara and Theon will support Dany’s claim to the Seven Kingdoms, but in return would like the return of the Iron Islands (which it looks like she will oblige, despite Tyrion’s caution that “everyone” might start asking for sovereignty). They would also like Dany to help them murder “an uncle or two; who doesn’t think a woman is fit for the throne.”

Dany and Yara have a short moment; after all, Yara is “up for anything”.

But Dany’s price is steep: The Ironborn will cease reaving and raping, essentially giving up their entire way of life. Yara agrees.

All four of them — Dany, Tyrion, Yara, and Theon — had evil fathers. Tywin was a cruel, cruel man who tortured Tyrion; both the Greyjoy children and Dany had awful kings for dads, megalomaniacs or madmen. Rather than leave the world in a worse place, Dany pledges they will use their assembled power to improve it.

“We’ll just kill our own men! Stand down.”

So horses are smashing into each other. Jon Snow is alone in the center of the battlefield, ready to start swinging his Valyrian Steel sword. Bodies are colliding, both human and equine; there is violence and velocity in every direction, with mud flying and bodies piling up. Ramsay, with superior numbers, just has his archers launching at the scrum of bodies. Who knows who will be hitting what? Davos, from the other side of the field, realizes his men will not be able to aim particularly well, and is much more pragmatic.

“Your words will disappear, your house will disappear, your name will disappear; all memory of you will disappear.”

The Knights of the Vale charge in, essentially worldlessly. We just get an overhead shot of their cavalry effortlessly destroying the Bolton shield wall, Sansa next to Littlefinger.

Ramsay — his army eradicated — retreats to Winterfell, but is pursued by Jon, Tormund, and Wun Wun. Wun Wun gives his life bashing down Winterfell’s front door, finally dying to an arrow in the eye by Ramsay himself. But it’s all over. Jon beats Ramsay unconscious with his fists, and leaves little sister to a last conversation with her doomed husband.

Sansa makes a point throughout that to Jon, Ramsay is just a man, and nowhere near as dangerous an opponent as he has faced in the Night King and his wights. But to her Ramsay was so much more… and none of it good. You have to wonder, though, what the motivation of a man like him is. He’s already Warden of the North; he’s got Winterfell; he had — at various times — “the girl” and the heir to the Salt Throne under his power. Why destroy everyone?

Sansa correctly identified that Ramsay is primarily motivated by a sense of significance. He plays with his food. To him, the thing is never just the thing. Sansa’s words are horrifying to a nobleman. He will not only die, but everything about him — including the name he murdered into — will disappear. He threatens that Sansa will never forget him — can’t ever forget him — but it really looks like he’s going to be proven wrong.

“My hounds will never harm me.”



[For Silicon Valley “Daily Active Users” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Daily Active Users. Richard attempts to bridge the gap between Pied Piper and its users; Jared takes drastic measures.

The episode opens with a commercial for Pied Piper, a ridiculous foray into “connections and sharing” that perfectly illustrates the crux of the company’s challenge – nobody gets it. Laurie shows the mightily expensive and equally overwrought, enigmatic ad at her home where she’s gathered Pied Piper employees for a party to celebrate the high number of installs. At the “celebration” Monica apologizes to Richard about “not getting Pied Piper and being wrong,” but then Richard replies that maybe she wasn’t. Turns out installs aren’t really a crucial measure for success. What matters more? “Daily Active Users,” in other words, people who revisit the site. It’s a wretched number and far below what Monica deemed “disappointing” at one hundred thousand. In fact, only nineteen thousand users revisit Pie Piper daily. Jared and Richard were the only employees aware of it thus far… and now Monica too.

Meanwhile Gilfoyle somehow knows Jared’s keeping a secret and makes him squirm in a hilarious deconstruction of Judeo-Christian values at their most virulent. Monica recommends a focus group to Richard to help understand this lack of interest retention in Pied Piper. In the focus group all the users are “freaked out” by the platform. They don’t understand where the downloads go or how it works. They are regular people, not engineers. Interetingly, Monica – who didn’t get it – was the only regular person to check out the PP Beta Test. A light goes on in the room but Richard has trouble accepting it and instead crashes the focus group to “explain” his precious compression platform. At first he’s too much of an engineer and the focus group seems terrified of the implications. They reference Terminator and can’t get into it until after Richard orders in pizzas and settles into an infinite explanation. Although it works, it’s more than any TV spot can cover. Richard tells his Pied Piper team the down and dirty situation then and all are appropriately bereft. It’s a hopeless fix. They’re nearly out of money from paying for the development of the platform and that heinous incomprehensible ad. So Pied Piper, successful only seconds before, is now nearly broke and terminally misunderstood.

At this moment, the luckiest loser in Silicon Valley, Gavin finds out the Pied Piper situation when a customer service rep (who left Pied Piper over this tailspin) goes to Hooli looking for a job. He brings this info to the Hooli board and pretends it was his knowledge all along and this was all part of his secret plan. Then Gavin brings Jack Barker in to introduce “The Box”. Pied Piper’s loss is Hooli’s gain. May the best product win. Thus, Gavin resets back into his old position as Hooli CEO. At that moment of victory he brings the Hooli board who betrayed him only a week before out on the roofdeck to look at an elephant, the ultimate symbol of never forgetting and assures them that “neither do I” and we know Gavin’s not exactly the forgiving kind.

Richard scrambles to get he word out about Pied Piper with media and seminars along wth conference outreach. It’s tanking quick and he ends up approaching the ad agency for another way to reach people. They dummy up a piper character who works like a pseudo Microsoft paperclip named Pipey. Instead of popping up to say, “It looks like you’re writing a letter,” Pipey teaches a platform user what Pied Piper does in the most inane way possible. As a result, we next find Richard curled up fetal position style inside Erlich’s moldy magenta bathtub. Jared tries to pep talk him out of career suicide but “it’s over” seems to be Richard’s only logical conclusion.

But in the sunny daylight of the next morning Richard awakens to find that suddenly Pied Piper had a giant burst of inexplicable new daily active users. Everybody is filled with glee. It turns out Jared bought them from a click farm in India and is going to keep filling the pipeline this way using the Indian click farm – perhaps even until they reach heir goal for the next funding cycle. Clearly, Jared slipped into survival mode. He’s lying without a blink or squirm and even fooling Gilfoyle at this point. Next week is the season finale and we can’t wait to see “The Box” battle it out with Pied Piper’s virtual version of success. Each is a mythical creature in a way. We know The Box is merely an “idea of storage” and that Pied Piper’s alleged users are merely meaningless clickers who don’t even really visit the site. Which house of cards will win the heart of Silicon Valley? Our hearts are happy in the certain knowledge that whatever happens, we’ll be laughing all the while.

–Katherine Recap

[For Penny Dreadful “Ebb Tide” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Showtime Summary:
Ebb Tide. Kaetenay has a vision of impending doom; Vanessa discovers an awful truth.

“Ebb Tide” feels the way it sounds, the show is pulling away from us even as we cling to it with a needy ferocity. Just like with a wave against the shore, we can’t make season three of Penny Dreadful last forever. This is one of those episodes where you’ll keep wondering what the hell these characters are doing. The questions Why? Why? Why? will race upon the hamster wheels of your grey matter. There is one bright star of hope, though, and it arises in the most unexpected place. Our beloved Creature finally finally gets a little love in his life at last and it almost makes up for all the rest of it… but not really. It’s par for the course with Penny, we suppose and the episode does grant us the favor of mucho information. Catriona provides an encyclopedic truckload of facts about Dracula, including that, in his human form, he can be killed like any other man. But it’s not that part which piques the interest of Vanessa. She realizes when Cat tells her Dracula is known for “dwelling in what’s called The House of Night Creatures,” that her beloved Dr. Sweet is the dragon Dracula. Only after this revelation does the part about being able to kill him in human form seem significant to her.

There’s a touching scene between Vanessa and The Creature, whom she knows as John Clare, where she tells him people are better than you think and he looks at her a bit sideways in reply asking, “Do you believe that?” to which Vanessa says, “Almost,” thus perfectly summing up their conundrum. All these two characters really want is to be loved. Thus they decide together to dare to believe they deserve love. Mainly they make this choice because, hey, can they be any lonelier than they already are? Unlikely. It works out for “Mr. Clare” at least. He goes to his wife, Margery and tells her his whole dang story for real – the truth. Funny thing about it is how he describes Dr. Frankenstein, making the mad scientist sound like the ultimate bad parent, “He created life but had no care for its nurturing,” which is both fitting and ironic. We all know such parents walk among us in everyday life but never would have thought to relate them to Victor Frankenstein before The Creature points out this apt similarity. In the end, our Creature finds warmth and welcome with Margery and his son, Jack. Finally, he’s home, accepted, and loved. We’re happy for him and would be satisfied with this as the end to his Penny Dreadful character arc. Please no more pain for our beloved Creature. Thank you.

It’s Dorian who mentions the “Ebb Tide” of the title within a shockingly unexpected scene. He’s just finished telling Lily how terrifically BORING he finds her army of prostitutes. They are such a clatter in his ears with all their cutting off bad men’s hands then clamoring and clawing at each other to mess up his grand estate. Oh dear, aren’t women with power so tiresome? Clearly they must be tamed – drugged even. So, that’s exactly what Dorian does. After his lecture series on how tedious he finds Lily’s vengeful revolution, that “owed” favor he warned Victor Frankenstein about springs into action. Right there on the moonlit cobblestone street, Frankenstein and Jekyll suddenly sweep Lily into a carriage headed straight for Bedlam. She’s to be drowned in “proper lady” drugs until she behaves her damn self. But we hope Lily escapes instead and then takes her dual betrayers down hardcore. Dorian and Victor deserve her vicious wrath. In fact, we hope Justine finds the way to finally kill Dorian and meows all the while, clawing his gorgeous movie star eyes out for good measure. Jekyll, on the other hand deserves more story. We hardly got to see him this season, so let him live… for now.

The episode opener for “Ebb Tide” gave us a glimpse into Brona’s past as she visits the grave of her daughter. So, now we know her agony runs deeper than just the “bad” men who abused and used her. She’s been broken a long long time. There at the gravesite, Brona makes a promise to another mother of a dead child. It sounds eerily similar to her rants and raves with the prostitute army and we realize that Brona has always been this way deep down, desperately seeking vengeance. It wasn’t her death that did it. Like Vanessa, Brona has a lengthy past of heartbreak and anguish.

Meanwhile Ethan, Kaetenay, and Malcolm head back to London as fast as they can on a mission to save Vanessa and thus the world from the End of Days that will follow if Vanessa succumbs to Dracula. Ethan’s doing it for love and Malcolm for the sake of duty. Kaetenay, though, has a vivid vision of the horror overtaking Vanessa and subsequently the world. He’s the real hero of this story; the world’s iconoclast and visionary. The one who sees it all but remains fearless and true.

In the final scene Vanessa confronts Dracula and he admits the truth. In fact Dracula claims he’s always told the truth and certainly, in his own eyes, that’s the case. She says he’s twisted and that she won’t serve him. Then Dracula calls her the Mother of Evil and says he wants to serve Vanessa, not the other way around. All he wants is her. In this world, they’re both different, ugly, exceptional creatures and will never be accepted and loved by others. Dracula says he doesn’t want to make Vanessa good or normal. He loves her for who she truly is. Now it’s time for her to stop trying to be what everybody else wants her to be, he says. Just be yourself and be with me. You will never be alone again, he says. Dracula asks if she accepts him and she says, “I accept myself,” so, then he bites her neck and the episode ends as Vanessa’s voiceover tells us about the end of days and the night creatures emerging, the air will be pestilence, such is our kingdom, etc. She’s succumbed, it seems. But there is the whole business Catriona brought up about Vanessa needing to be a spy. So, maybe she’s playing double agent. Vanessa has certainly played that game before. It’s a little telling that he asks if she accepts him and her only reply is about herself. Perhaps she is just spying… unless Vanessa really is the Mother of all Evil. That detail has always been up for debate.

Next Sunday night, June 19th, is the two hour finale and we’re set up for a radical showdown on all sides. Ethan, Kaetenay, and Malcolm will fight Dracula while Brona deals with her duo of betrayers. We have compiled a fetchland fantasy for the season three throw down that follows. First and foremost, Dorian reaps the mighty ass kicking that finally kills him doornail dead. It would be best if Justine dished it out. Secondly, we really must see Dr. Jekyll turn into Mr. Hyde. How have we sat through an entire season with this classic character and not witnessed this wonder yet? It’s an outrage. Lastly, please grant us a grandiose, macho, swordfight, beatdown between Ethan and Dracula over Vanessa’s heart. She’ll be devastated no matter who wins but we know at this point she’s still pissy with Ethan for abandoning her so will likely be rooting for Drac at least initially. The real riddle, though, remains who Vanessa kisses after the dust settles and if that’s the one she would have chosen to win. The coolest ending would leave the climactic death blow Vanessa’s choice. We’d like that best. Funny thing is, both guys are hellbent so she’s pretty screwed either way – typical Penny Dreadful style.

–Katherine Recap

The Possibilities

[For Preacher “The Possibilities” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
The Possibilities. Cassidy helps Jesse explore his newfound power and Tulip tries to convince him to seek revenge.

Three episodes into Preacher and I’m still getting most of what I liked about the pilot; great visual style and strong acting performance. However, episode 3 did get me a little concerned with how they’re pacing some of the storylines.

The primary arc was around Jesse continuing to understand the powers he discovered he had at the end of last week’s episode, and while he seemed to come to a conclusion towards the end of how he could use them, we really didn’t get there in a way that seemed organic. He spent most of the episode brooding, and when he finally revealed them to Cassidy, there wasn’t much time spent on what it meant, or how he should use them. There also wasn’t a great action sequence in this episode like we had in the prior two, so it would’ve been cool if maybe Jesse spent more time walking around town testing out his powers.

The second arc was around Tulip and followed up on the map she killed a man for in the pilot (he ended up with a stalk of corn in his skull, so it better have been worth it). Tulip is by far my favorite character on the show now (maybe on TV in general), so I’m glad they gave her a little extra screen time and went over her backstory a little. But the main problem for me so far is they keep introducing new characters and history without really giving us a sense for what drives these characters in the first place. Tulip basically risked her life getting a map just so she could trade it to a woman named Denise, who works for a man in a white suit who likes snuff films, for the location of a guy named Carlos who presumably screwed her and Jesse over years ago. Phew.

All of this just seemed a little rushed to me. I wish they spent this episode, and maybe the next, just focusing more on Tulip and Jesse’s relationship and helping us understand what they mean to each other and how their history is impacting each differently. Tulip appears to be driven by revenge, while Jesse wants redemption, but they barely spent any time helping us to understand why. I’m optimistic this will happen soon, and we won’t be left to guess why Jesse shot an armed guard (and had got rid of such a sweet mullet).

Overall the episode still kept me engaged and I’m glad that the show runners are starting to shed some light on a few things (i.e. the men who we Cassidy battled with a chainsaw last week appear to be employees of Heaven Inc. and are looking to return what’s in Jesse back to its rightful owner), I’m just hoping they figure out the pacing of the storylines for both Jesse and Tulip, because everything else really is window dressing.

A few thoughts:

  • We got to see two victims of Jesse’s violent streak (the pedophile bus driver and Donnie) continue to be impacted by Jesse, but this time by his newfound powers of persuasion.
  • Cassidy didn’t get to do much this episode but bury bodies, but we did get to see him make a deal with the Heaven’s gate agents, which will hopefully keep them off Jesse’s back for now
  • Quinn Quincannon made another appearance, and we learned that he loves the dulcet sounds of animals being slaughtered (and he doesn’t think much of Donnie)
  • The white suited man in Houston was clearly the red herring of the episode, but honestly, I just hope we see more snuff film festival posters
  • Cassidy finally addressed Emily’s clear infatuation with Jesse, which she skillfully dodged
  • W. Earl Brown (who I loved from Deadwood) got a chance to deliver a strong monologue at the onset of the episode, but didn’t do much after that

–Osyp Lebedowicz

How a Lyrical Fairy Goddess Revived a Dead Heart in Brooklyn

Ever felt like not feeling? Like numbness is the answer? Sometimes the world just blasts you with crazy cannons of hate, violence, and senseless mayhem. It seems at times like these that hearts were merely made for pumping blood to and fro. But then you find yourself in line with thousands of other dead-eyed, hopeless humans. It’s June 15, 2016 outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Murmurs fill the empty air around you, saying “I really need this tonight,” or “She just makes me feel better,” and, “Finally, finally I can just relax and have a good time,” and you realize it sounds like they’re talking about love. This gives you the tiniest thrill. You look up from your phone for a second and glimpse your reflection standing in line in the mirrored blackness of the Barclay Center’s glass doors. It looks as if you might need this too.

The empty stadium feels sterile and vast at first, like a gym before they put up prom decorations, but soon it’ll be teaming with dead-eyed fun-seekers like yourself. So, you take a place right up front by the stage. It was the smartest choice you made for this venture, buying a General Admission ticket. The best way to get the whole experience of the show is to dance among the people on the floor, not sit like a lump in stodgy seats above. Everybody around you appears paired off but for a needy third wheel in a threesome with two hot guys. No matter how many beers she trots up and down those cement stadium steps to fetch for them, the cute boys only whisper in each other’s ears. You wink at her and she half smiles back. It’s your first victory of the night. You can almost feel a pulse start humming at your wrist.


Funny thing is you actually came tonight for the opening act. She’s been hogging your playlist for months! Grimes, a ferocious pixie with mighty synthesizers, poetic lyrics, and savage music videos. A bit more avant garde than most, Grimes has such unique style because she completely controls her sound. She got her start fiddling around with GarageBand at home in her spare time, then found her way to MySpace and eventually put her sound out in the wide world while still somehow remaining an innocent, untouched, creative soul. She’s just a youngling with some synthesizers,  cool dancers, and a bone to pick with every damn thing. That’s what you love about her the most, she’s mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore, one song at a time. Even her happiest songs talk of death and apocalyptic events but perhaps this part is just a natural outcropping of anyone who reads the news these days. You’re not sure… but you love that Grimes isn’t numb to it like you are.

She’s got loads to say and owns the stage like a pro. Her dancers spin and float as the stadium pounds out the sound in throbbing waves that flow through the soles of your shoes and deep into your veins. Grimes belts out forty minutes of fire until you’re jumping and singing with her irresistible mixes, along with the hardcore light show. You’re smiling. You feel alive. That heart you’d been ignoring for so long is pumping like crazy. In the meantime, while Grimes tears the stadium walls down, the seats begin to fill with eager faces, many of them wearing flower crowns. Ordinarily you’d probably think these are a tad ridiculous. But now that Grimes has turned on your heartlight, they merely seem whimsical and fitting for the evening. The truth of how befitting they are resounds when Florence Welch takes the stage. She’s a flowy enchantress reminiscent of Stevie Nicks but somehow also completely of-the-moment.

Before tonight your only real experience of Florence and the Machine was limited to her two most popular songs — “Dogs Days are Over” and “Ship to Wreck” — which are lovely, but it’s already nine fifteen and you consider leaving. I mean, you’re not really the biggest fan and gotta get up early in the morning. But fact is, you’re already here and super close to the stage to boot. Why not just have some fun and see what happens? Some of the best nights of your life have followed that question. So, you stay. You take a look around the stadium and realize you’re surrounded by thousands of true believers. Magic is about to happen; that much is clear. Because it turns out Florence is a magician and everyone in the room already knows this. Everyone but you, grasshopper. But as soon as this goddess takes the stage you know it too. Florence masters the entire stadium when she floats out to grace you with her artistry. Nobody can look away. Immediately, she owns every ounce of your attention and, in a matter of moments, all your affection too.

Florence WelchHer songs reach deep inside you with such a rich, strong voice and lyrics that it feels like a haven; a place you’ve always belonged. These are your people. This is your home. You’re swept into the music and wish you knew all the lyrics to sing along with the thousands that surround you. In fact, many times you find yourself singing anyway, even though you’re obviously wrong about the words. You don’t care; it feels so right. A lot of the songs are about love and Florence talks about it too. She tells a story about writing the title song from her new album “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” while on a plane and falling in love. It was the kind of love, she explains, that makes you fall in love with everyone. Sometimes love can be so overwhelming it just bleeds into everything and suddenly because of the music and the thousands around, you know exactly what she means. In fact, this is how you feel right now. You’re enveloped by men and women who have their arms outstretched toward Florence and tears streaming down their cheeks. It’s a freaking lovefest in here and about to get even more so. You look away from the stage for a moment and see the audience feeling the affection. Then you notice the third wheel getting into it even though her hot guys are now full on making out, lost in their own world.

Florence and the Machine draw from all three albums with a range of passion and particulars so familiar and perfect you can’t help but dance. Thoughts play through your mind aroused by her moving and insightful lyrics so that you even fit in a bit of therapeutic success overcoming heartbreaks from the days of yore. But that momentarily selfish lapse passes quickly when Florence trails a rainbow flag back and forth while crossing the stage to sing “Spectrum” from her album Ceremonials. The song’s refrain says, As every color illuminates/We are shining/And we will never be afraid again, which creates a beautiful anthem for “Love is Love” which she chants right after the song, bringing you into an inspiring shared feeling of unity and community with the whole of Barclays. Florence reminds you that there’s only one way to overcome hatred and that’s to overwhelm it with love. “You all are capable of such giving,” she says and she knows this because of how she made you feel tonight. “Now you have to go out there into the world and outnumber the haters with your love”. The only way to do this is to love as much and as many as possible in order to save this world. You have to take all that love you’re holding inside and give it away one person at a time, creating a chain reaction.

“Let’s start right here and right now,” she adds. Then Florence directs everyone in the stadium to hug each other. “Every single one of us needs to share our love right now,” she declares. It’s an easy task for pretty much everybody in attendance, except of course, you and the third wheel. As everyone else pairs off with tight hugs throughout the stadium, you eye each other. Then you outstretch your arms and she does too. You come together for an embrace and while gently pulling apart, you both smile. It’s a miracle, really, what Florence did here. She created spontaneous affection between strangers. A true artist, songs aren’t her only form of magic at this enchanting show. Effortless Florence floated across the stage with a power that enraptured and inspired you all evening so that you left the Barclay Center overcome with emotion and admiration. Your heart has never felt so certain and strong. You walk to the train afterward and search Florence and The Machine on your phone’s iTunes app when you hear a tiny white-haired lady nearby also coming out of the concert. She links arms with her husband and sums up the night perfectly saying, “Florence sang the shit out that stadium tonight, honey”. It’s so true, you can’t wait to get home and blast your walls to bits with that very voice. First song on tap?

“Third Eye”


[For Silicon Valley “Bachman’s Earning’s Over Ride” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Bachman’s Earning’s Over Ride. Erlich struggles to come clean to Richard; Richard must make a difficult choice.

“Bachman’s Earning’s Over Ride” circles around confrontations and Erlich Bachman’s dignity. In fact, it’s a lot like a chain reaction with one character confronting another and then they confront another character and so forth all the way around until the issue gets resolved with closure in the end. This aspect of Silicon Valley gives it a refreshing stance in a world filled with cliffhanger TV. Each episode encapsulates a major challenge and then resolves it with little remainder and override. So, although the same Silicon Valley story keeps moving forward, it’s always fresh – which is more than one can say about the Vanity Fair Summit dinner salad Richard abandons in the episode.

We open on Erlich and Richard’s Bloomberg News interview about the Pied Piper launch. It’s taken off like a rocket with more than a hundred thousand installs in only the first ten days. Richard has trouble with the confrontational style of a public interview but the real confrontation is actually happening behind the scenes. It’s in the back of Bachman’s mind that he still hasn’t told Richard about his cashed-out shares and Monica calls to confront him about it. She insists Erlich tell Richard ASAP because she doesn’t want to be complicit in this lie. But Erlich’s all about attending the Vanity Fair Summit dinner that night. Funny thing is, Richard doesn’t care about the photo shoots and parties. He’d rather Erlich was the face of the company. So, this too is part of Bachman’s motivation to keeping the secret hidden.

Next Jared enters the incubator wearing a tailor-made Pied Piper varsity jacket. As Dinesh and Gilfoyle leave to get coffee they get Jared to give them the heinous jacket. Then at the coffee shop Gilfoyle wears it to embarrass Dinesh, saying he’s a suicide bomber of humiliation, happy to go down as long as Dinesh goes with him. It backfires, though when coffee shops peeps are impressed by his Pied Piper jacket. It’s the hot new company! Everybody’s talking about it! So, then Gilfoyle pivots to pretend he doesn’t know Dinesh, causing him further humiliation.

Next we see Jared and Richard interview a guy for the Pied Piper head of PR. He’s the confrontational one and asks if everything at the company is cool. He saw a paper on Laurie’s desk the day before that showed a big chunk of Pied Piper stock being sold. It made the potential PR guy wonder because an insider selling a load of stock right before the big launch is cause for alarm. Richard then assumes the seller was Monica because she was the only one who didn’t like the Beta test. He confronts her so she tells him the truth about Bachman’s selloff. So, In the BIG confrontation Richard confronts Erlich and says he’s going to have to issue a press release now because the ten percent sale sends a message to Silicon Valley that there’s something funky at Pied Piper. Bachman’s bummed because now nobody will ever take him seriously again. When Richard talks to Dinesh and Gilfoyle about it they, surprisingly, don’t a hundred percent agree with Richard. So, he writes the press release but says he won’t publish unless word gets out on the street about Bachman’s selloff.

Pissy Richard then confronts Erlich with a “last rent check” and says they’ll be moving out of the incubator. He also replaces Bachman’s board position, promoting Jared. This sends Jared into a tailspin of mixed emotion. He’s a salad spinner of sensitivity. Still, even with all this shaming… Richard lets Bachman attend the Vanity Fair Summit dinner later that night. When Richard’s checking in for it he finds out Erlich attempted to sell only half his shares but Laurie prevented this and, using Pied Piper contractual particulars, forced him to sell them all. Richard then sees Laurie at the Summit dinner and finds out she also fucked Bachman thanks to a detail in the contract that allowed her to set her own price for the shares. So, although Erlich was going to get five million for half the shares from the original buyer, Laurie found out exactly what Erlich owed for his debts and paid him only that much for all of his shares. Thus, Bachman’s completely broke now.

Meanwhile Erlich gets a voicemail from the tech blog he half owns saying they heard rumors about “serious ugliness” at Pied Piper. So, to protect the company he outs himself on the blog as the “dumbest guy in tech” and in the process doubles down on earning Richard’s empathy. So, in the end Richard gives Erlich the still-open job as head of PR. As his first order of business in PR, Bachman calls his tech blog to tell them Hooli’s now selling Pied Piper’s app in their online store, a big win for the company. But in the process Erlich finds out that the “rumors” about ugliness at Pied Piper were actually just about Jared’s jackets. He’d outed himself over nothing.

Bachman makes a circle from indignity to dignity and back again in this episode as a result of all the confrontations he’s forced to face for his legendary bad behavior. “Bachman’s Earning’s Over Ride” works like a cleansing ritual for his character and makes us wonder, is Erlich Bachman the Jamie Lannister of Silicon Valley? Nobody knows if he’s a villain or a hero but it certainly seems like at the very least he’s on the Hero’s Journey. Maybe he’s on a path from villain to hero, as many theorists suggest about Jamie’s narrative arc. Either way, he’s a helluva lotta fun to watch along the way.

–Katherine Recap