Does Biology Need to Be Destiny in the Work of Joss Whedon?
I disagree with much of Leah Schnelbach's review, but I'd like to make two points in particular. Avengers: Age of Ultron has two overarching themes. The first is, Who are the monsters? But the second is about parenthood and offspring, and the consequences inherent in both. Tony Stark is Ultron's parent (with Bruce Banner as midwife). Hydra raised Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Hawkeye has a secret family life, and the character closest to him, Black Widow, has been adopted into it. Against the backdrop of this theme, the scene in which Natasha and Bruce discuss the barriers to their relationship makes a lot of sense. And it's clear from that scene that they both wish they could have children, and know they can't. It's not a one-sided discussion of a woman's fertility, but two people admitting to each other that their individual damage makes it impossible to have something they both want. The second statement I take issue with is that Hawkeye infantilizes Scarlet Witch in the scene before she joins the fight on the side of the Avengers. His speech is the opposite of infantilizing. He doesn't say, "Stay hidden; you're not experienced enough to fight the bad guys." He explicitly gives her all the agency, all the choice for her own actions. He assumes she's able to judge the risk for herself, as he does for himself.
Sleeps With Monsters: So How About That For Boundary-Policing?
Huh--I loved that calendar. I'm a long-time fan of classic pin-up art, and I was delighted to see how well Lee Moyer understood the form and recreated it for a modern audience.
About Fairies
Pat Murphy's stories make me look at the world around me, blink, and look again. See what's there, they say. See what could be there. See what isn't there, but should be, what must never be there and is. And lo, she does it again.
#4 The other al, I don't think you're supposed to like it.
Stupid Things We Say
I cannot, cannot, cannot WAIT to read that novel of yours. And I can imagine at least a little how difficult and how exhilarating it's being. An analysis of class in steampunk would also be interesting. The industrial revolution created the working class, and workers simultaneously suffered and benefited from the technology steampunk celebrates. One of the things I'm intrigued by in Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is the way it sifts through class issues, over at the corner of the reader's eye: where the Boneshaker originated, who lives in the world it produced, how one person tries to impose an old hierarchy on the new environment. Also, Doselle is a freakin' national treasure. *g*
A girl and a house: the gothic novel
I'd disagree with categorizing The Secret Garden as a gothic novel with a child protagonist. It dresses up as a gothic initially; then expands and transforms as the protagonist grows and changes.
It tolls for thee
Agreed. They planted the information...but they never brought it forward and put it together. And they could have--they might have given a revised profile, or even said the realization out loud. Because what was going on was more complicated and twisted even than they originally believed, and I think the characters would have acknowledged that when they found out. I call it a mostly well-crafted episode with a large oozing gremlin in the middle. *g* But oh, Tim Matheson's direction was fabulous. I hope he comes back.
It tolls for thee
I wish there'd been an opportunity for the team to interview an actual Romani, which would have hit harder what I think they were trying to do: that this is an insular self-propagating cult based, not on being Romani, but on role-playing Romani culture. One of the things I like about Criminal Minds is that the profilers aren't always right. They circle in on the facts, correcting and improving their first deductions. They believed they were looking for an Eastern European family based on the Romanian endearment the kidnapped girl heard. It led them a little further into the investigation. But they were wrong; it was pretty clear the family wasn't Romanian. The person who used the Romanian word was the mother, a kidnap victim herself, who must have learned it as part of her absorption into the family. And the ultimate reveal tells us that this pattern, this self-isolating cult, appeared in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century. The UNSUBS may have taught some Romanian to their children, generation after generation, but after a hundred years in the United States, they're not Romanian immigrants. I'd say, far from talking about aliens among us, this episode comes back to one of CM's favorite topics: what happens when loyalty to family, to place, to the past, becomes ingrown and toxic?
Great Uncle George’s Will
Wonderful! Hen is a great character, and I'd love to see more of Mrs. Atkins, as well. Any chance of another adventure? (I was a big fan of Slow News Day, so I'm extra-pleased to see this goodie on my desk.)
The monster is your kid brother
Not to mention the continuation of what may be this season's thematic focus: romantic love, and how it goes right and wrong.
The Predictable Thing
Thank you for this! I take television storytelling seriously, and so do the Criminal Minds writers. Your always-smart analysis of this show is a great addition to

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