Archer has made quite a few enemies over the years. When you’re a selfish, alcoholic super-spy going around foiling everyone’s plans that’s bound to happen, and no one has had their plans (and their life) foiled more than Barry. Barry, the former ODIN and KGB agent, has been Archer’s main rival from the beginning. The two have constantly butted heads with Archer inexplicably gaining the upper hand time and time again. It is safe to say the two men have a burning hatred for each other which makes it all the more surprising to see Barry casually chatting with Archer’s friends. Apparently, Barry has turned over a new leaf in Archer’s absence and has become a valued member of the team. Archer is not buying it, repeating “double-cross” at every point of Barry’s explanation of the plan.
While Archer, Barry, Lana, and Cyril leave for the mission, Mallory is trying out new butlers for Archer, putting them through a ringer of mud masks and drink refreshments in order to test their subservience. Pam and Cheryl aren’t convinced it’s enough. Cheryl insists they take these candidates to their breaking points to test their mettle with a dark anecdote about her former servants going postal (due to mistreatment by a young Cheryl in a hilarious recurring gag involving darts) Frankly, it’s not the worst idea as any butler serving Archer can expect to be routinely humiliated.
The gang continues to bicker as they drop into the mission area. Cyril is frustrated that Archer and now Barry don’t take him seriously as a leader or a human and tries to complain to Lana but it falls on deaf ears. Cyril, like Archer, burned quite a few bridges himself but doesn’t have Archers charisma or record of success to command even begrudging respect out of his comrades. It’s very amusing how hard Cyril has worked to become an elite spy and how quickly his confidence has been shattered by Archer’s mere presence. You can’t really blame them for tagging on him, as he can’t even keep one guard from escaping.
Archer and Barry start to bond over insulting Cyril, flaunting their complete disregard over the Agency’s no-kill rules. Archer tries to torpedo any goodwill after chopping off one of Barry’s hands to prevent a classic “which one do I shoot?” moment with the other Barry bots. Barry manages to shrug this painful moment off and reveals he visited Archer eight times while he was in his coma. How very sweet of him.
Cyril finally snaps after his leadership credentials come into question one too many times. He breaks the neck of a guard and blasts a chainsaw-wielding Barry away. Of course, Archer and Barry don’t give him any credit, instead remarking that it’s in poor taste to kill an unarmed man and now four girls are without their father. Cyril can’t catch a break.
The gang fights through a seemingly endless army of Barry Bots while Lana uploads a virus to disable them. She’s successful but a killer robot breaks through the wall pinning them down. The big reveal is that it’s Lana, not Barry, who’s doing the double-crossing. She’s willing to sacrifice their new ally to save her own hide and Archer is not having any of it. It seems like an unlikely friendship has blossomed between Barry and himself and results in a poignant moment as Archer sings in Spanish to his remains. It turns out, however, that Barry can transfer his consciousness over to other Barry Bots, effectively making him immortal and ending the episode on a happy note, at least for now.
The new season finally appears to be hitting its stride and settling into a good comedic rhythm. Archer was actually sympathetic in this episode although he continues to throw his coma in everyone’s face. Barry and Archer have really fun chemistry together and while I assume they are setting him up to betray Archer, I hope they hold off as long as possible.
- “You know you got shot right?”
- “For your information, this is a prior wound.”
- “I hate him but he definitely got you. Lana, did you hear Barry get Cyril?”
- “Time for daddy to give baby a spanking…No I don’t stand by that.”
- Barry singing to an unconscious Archer and kissing him on the forehead is such a delightful throwaway gag. I really could see them being friends in a different life.
- Archer throwing Cyril a candy bar after every insult is top tier Pavlovian humor. Watching Cyril smash a candy machine while crying over the picture of the guard’s daughters is so laughably pathetic,
- It appears Mallory has found the perfect replacement for Woodhouse in Alister who is both expert sommelier and lemur rehabilitator.
Firefly Lane Season 2 Part 1 Review – We Finally Know Why Kate Is Mad at Tully
If you loved Firefly Lane Season 1, well, buckle up because Firefly Lane Season 2 Part 1 is better, funnier, and darker… and it ends on yet another cliffhanger!
Warning—spoilers ahead! If you haven’t watched the season and don’t want to know what happens–stop reading!
Since we’re already familiar with Kate (Sarah Chalke) and Tully (Katherine Heigl) and know what to expect from them, the series was able to dig deeper into their past and present to color in lines and spaces, which also included addressing the big elephant in the room: what led to their gigantic fallout.
There was a time in the ’70s when Kate and Tully pressed pause on their friendship, but it was only for a short while and never as dramatic as the feud that they are going through that’s made evident at Bud’s (Paul McGillion) funeral.
The series, naturally, kept viewers hanging in suspense for quite some time, pulling back the curtain on the big mystery inch by inch. However, it had to be something life-altering to end a decades-long friendship, especially since Tully and Kate have been through so much already and stuck by each other no matter what.
At first, we saw snippets of an accident involving one of the women, though it wasn’t clear which one. All we saw was the keychain from Germany that Tully bought them while they were visiting Johnny (Ben Lawson) in the hospital. With each passing episode, the picture became clearer, and eventually, we learned that it was Tully Hart in the driver’s seat of the red sports car she wanted to gift to her mom, Cloud (Beau Garrett), and then Kate, both of which turned it down. But the jaw-dropping plot twist came when it was revealed that Marah (Yael Yurman), Kate and Johnny’s daughter, was Tully’s passenger.
As I said, there’s not much that could cause a rift between Tully and Kate, but putting Marah in danger would definitely be at the top of the list. If it were a mere accident, I think Kate would have found it in her heart to forgive Tully, but there are a lot of factors at play that put them on the outs, including Tully’s drinking before getting in the car to pick up Marah and the fact that she let Marah go out when she was supposed to be grounded. Marah ended up at a frat party, which wasn’t entirely Tully’s fault, but it was her fault that she didn’t respect Kate’s parenting in the first place.
We got to explore Kate and Tully’s friendship on a more molecular level this time around, and there’s clearly a pattern of Tully leading and Kate following, oftentimes, with dire consequences like getting suspended for swimming in the school pool, going on a road trip without any money, or almost burning down the TV station after hours. And it’s clear that while Kate was lucky to have such a great best friend by her side during her formative years, Tully created problems. Tully dragged her into messes, which Kate then had to clean up while Tully never accepted any blame for them.
But this time, Tully crossed the line, and Kate had enough. All Kate saw was Tully being reckless, yet again, only this time, with the person that mattered most in the world to her. She thought she could trust her for one night, and when she got the call that every person dreads, the trust was broken.
The worst part for me was how Tully handled the situation in the aftermath, which made it hard to feel sorry for her. She thought she was owed something because of how close she was to Kate. When she finally got face to face with Kate, who didn’t even want to see her, the first words out of her mouth weren’t I’m so sorry, though they should have been, they were “what hurt you the most, I’ll explain that.” If Tully had just shown a shred of remorse and humanity, Kate might have been able to forgive her a lot quicker, but it was once again the Tully show. I also didn’t like how she tried to push Johnny out of the way because it was “between her and Kate” because, in this case, it went above and beyond their friendship. Marah is Johnny’s daughter, so it absolutely concerned him, and I was so happy to see him stand up to her and let her know. Johnny has always been so lax about how much Tully is involved in his life, but this is the one time he put his foot down and stood by his wife.
I had sympathy for Tully for a myriad of reasons this season, mostly her adolescent years being a parent to Cloud because, let’s be honest, that couldn’t have been easy and no one deserves it, but unfortunately, this was not one of her best moments. I don’t blame Kate for pushing her away, even if it was an accident and Tully was technically not responsible for the actual crash. Kate championed Tully in everything—she was always in her corner, and the one time she needed her, she let her down.
I also see the other side of it, where Kate should’ve probably cut Tully some slack knowing that she would never intentionally put Marah in danger. Tully acted on instinct because was personally triggered by Marah’s call as it reminded her of her own assault and she wanted to be there for her goddaughter in a way that no one was there for her. However, there were so many other ways she could’ve handled it given that she drank so much wine that evening. It was on Tully to be the adult and make the right call, and you can definitely say she paid the consequences for her actions. In addition to losing her best friend, her reputation was tainted and she lost any shot at her own talk show.
In a way, the accident was also a blessing in disguise because it forced Tully to take a break and reframe her life, helping her realize that the way she was living her life and shutting out everyone so that she couldn’t get hurt was reckless. She couldn’t play the victim anymore (or blame her present-day mistakes on the past) simply because life dealt her a bad hand.
In fact, the time that they both spent away from each other felt healthy and healing—it was necessary, almost like that break you take from a significant other before you come back stronger than ever. It was much like Kate’s break with Johnny back in the ’80s, when they took time apart to reevaluate things. I forced them to reassess what they wanted out of life. In the final episode of the season, Tully tells Kate that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and that couldn’t be more true.
It’s that very quote that caused Johnny to miss his shot with Kate, as she decided to take a leap of faith and follow her new boyfriend, Theo, to Europe. And to that, I say, hell yes, Kate. I know that her heart was still calling out for Johnny, but as Tully reminded her at the time, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No one was saying that Theo was her forever man, but as someone who has only ever been with Johnny, she deserved to see what else was out there.
The season dived deeply into Johnny and Kate’s relationship in the past, including the honeymoon phase of their new relationship and, more specifically, Johnny’s insistence that he didn’t want the traditional marriage and children, which led to their breakup.
The incredible thing about Firefly Lane and how it’s written is that even though we know how things are eventually going to turn out since we’re also following the storyline in the present, we remain totally invested in seeing it pan out in the past. We know Johnny eventually changes his mind and marries Kate and has a child with her, but I also want to see if Kate does follow through with Europe or if Johnny’s gesture with the glass wipes gave her a change of heart. His speech to her when he brought the wipes was honestly the cutest thing in the world. I’d argue that it may have been more important than the declaration of love, which came later, and a little too late as it seemed Kate opted to go on her trip, leaving behind the wipes on the counter in a move that possibly signaled she was doing her best to leave him in the past.
But will she make it for her flight? Will she get to the airport and realize she can’t get on the plane? Or will she enjoy her vacation and get some much-needed time in the sun before she returns and tells Johny it’s always been him? There are so ways this can go, and while we know how it ends, the journey is just as important, if not even more exciting.
In the present day, Johnny and Kate try to navigate co-parenting following their divorce, despite the fact that they both still have very strong feelings for each other.
I love that the series didn’t push them together immediately after his accident in Iraq because it was important for Johnny to work through his PTSD. Upon arriving back home, he wasn’t ready to be the man that Kate and Marah needed. He hadn’t worked through why he went on such a dangerous trip in the first place (which he later says was selfish and that he wanted to “prove” something to himself), nor did he work through the trauma of the accident and the darkness he saw while he was over there. It was crucial for Johnny’s personal and development to remain single until he arrived at a point where he sought out therapy, journaling, and other positive mental health habits. And though it was heartbreaking to watch him go through it, I’m glad the series showed the very real implications of war on anyone touched by it, including war correspondents and their families.
Kate was a rock through it all for Johnny, allowing him to stay at her house and even taking care of him. Of course, that also brought Charlie (India de Beaufort) into the fold, who was known as Lottie back in the day, the intern at the news station was in love with Johnny and didn’t care that he was taken. Charlie had a bit of a glow-up, and she was now a badass war correspondent who reconnected with Johnny in Iraq. And while there was evident chemistry between her and Johnny, she simply wasn’t Kate. That’s not to say that she didn’t cause her fair share of frustration though, because she definitely did, as Kate felt as though she could never measure up or be the “goddess.” Kate was forever the wallflower, but as Lottie once said, she was the patron saint of mousy wallflowers—and that’s an impressive feat!
It’s hard to say who was more vexing, Charlie or Lisa-Karen, the BFF that Kate tried to replace Tully with while they were “on a break” in high school. Lisa-Karen was infuriating because of how manipulative she was, which largely stemmed from her jealousy over Kate and Tully’s friendship. The plot also underscored how special it was to find a friend like Tully—your person, as Grey’s Anatomy fans would say. Their rift, in fact, emphasized the need for a best friend to go through life with—one that you can be yourself around and share anything and everything with. In the present, we saw Kate try to fill the Tully-sized void with another friend that she made in a college writing class, but that was proof that making genuine friends as an adult is extremely difficult. They were writing class friends, sure, but they weren’t “check out this rash on my boobs friends.” And Kate learned that the hard way. Neither of them had a person to share their accomplishments, fears, or big news with, though Kate definitely had a bigger support system than Tully, who only ever really had her best friend.
Kate felt Tully’s absence the most after she got re-engaged to Johnny, and then when she got her boob rash checked out and learned that it was stage 3 breast cancer. (I checked—it’s curable but there’s a huge chance the cancer will grow back after treatment). It was at that moment that Tully’s screw-up didn’t matter—she didn’t want to call Johnny, she needed her best friend to deal with this devastating diagnosis. Unfortunately, by the time she realized it, it was too late as Tully accepted an offer to do a docu-special and was on her way to spend half the year in Antarctica. In a movie cliche, Kate arrived at the penthouse right as Tully disappeared into the elevator to go on her trip. They missed each other by seconds, and it was truly heartbreaking to see Kate break down at the thought of dealing with this life-changing situation without her bestie by her side.
The whole cancer storyline in a show about best friends definitely gave me Dead to Me vibes (you can read that recap here), but it’s an important reminder to get checked out regularly and know the warning signs.
It’s hard to feel bad for Tully sometimes, but it’s also hard not to feel for her considering her tumultuous upbringing, which forced her to put up a shield as armor. Her bubbly, carefree attitude was simply a cover for all the pain and emotional trauma she endured when she was younger, a price she’s still paying for in the present. The second season puts a magnifying glass on her relationship with Cloud, but thankfully, not all the parts are bad. There’s a seemingly happy ending to this story that I don’t think many of us expected.
One scene stuck out to me in particular: After Tully and Kate go the extra mile to clean up the house and make sure everything is presentable for Cloud’s parole office, including hiding a man they assumed was dead of an overdose in the closet, Cloud showed barely any appreciation for the lengths her daughter continuously goes to in order to keep her from destroying her life. None of this should be normal to a young girl, and yet, it’s the only thing Tully has ever known—she’s constantly in survival mode, and thankfully has Kate to keep her sane. At that moment, she questions, “she’s never going to be my mom, is she?” and the scene is juxtaposed with the turning point in their relationship in the present, in which Cloud and Tully have a functioning mother-daughter relationship.
Cloud is present for many of Tully’s darkest days following the DUI and loss of Kate; she’s even the one that Tully calls when she’s lonely, and the person she spends the holidays with. It’s still very much a reversed relationship in which Tully takes care of her mother, but it’s nice that she’s around and that they were able to mend some of the cracks and find a way to exist in each other’s lives. Cloud even apologizes to Tully for not being the greatest mom, while Tully’s quest to find out more about her birth father reveals that Cloud never stood a chance. From the beginning, Cloud was set up to fail by the people that should have been there for her and protected her.
There are several moments in the season where we see Cloud try to be better, do better, and get out from under her demons to be the mother that she thinks Tully deserved, but it’s always short-lived. Both Tully and Cloud were hurt, and it all leads back to Benedict Binswanger (Greg Germann), who later becomes governor of Washington, and clashes with Tully in her reporter days as he’s a misogynistic ass that tries to reduce Tully to nothing more than a pretty face. When we first see him pop up on the screen, my mind immediately went to the thought that he was Tully’s father, but that was too obvious. It turns out, all this time, he was her uncle and he knew and still acted that way toward her.
Benedict kept Tully’s parents apart by paying off her family so that they would give her a letter informing her that he didn’t want to be part of the child’s life. He then gave his brother a letter saying that she was aborting the child. And since the internet and cell phones didn’t exist back then, there was nothing either of them could do.
Fast-forward to the present-day and Tully’s documentary uncovered that Benedict’s brother became estranged from his family, moved away, and became the owner of a restaurant outside of town that Tully once frequented. It was an entirely surprising turn of events, but it was necessary; not everything in Tully’s life had to be negative and depressing.
While the family’s meddling was to blame for Tully’s chaotic upbringing, thankfully, years later, she was able to channel all that pain into a high-profile career, which allowed her to get some closure not only for herself but also for her mother, who was cheated of her true love and the life she deserved.
Although she was too late to meet her father, the knowledge that they did meet once—and he gave her the aloe plant after she burned her hand—was a sweet consolation, as was his wife’s intel that once he realized the Tully Hart was his daughter, he couldn’t be prouder of her. Filling in the gap that weighed so heavily over her head finally gave Tully some kind of peace.
There were a handful of positive additions to the season, including Tully’s lawyer Justine (Jolene Purdy), who was a firecracker ready to go bat for her client, and Danny, the other anchor at the news station that Tully had a romantic yet competitive relationship with.
Oh wow, did Tully need a Danny (Ignacio Serricchio)! She’s dated so many guys, but we’ve never seen anyone who was her equal—who inspired, challenged, and championed her all in one.
Quite frankly, I hated Danny at the beginning of the season, as did Tully, but with time, he really grew on me. By the time he turned down the anchor position and jetted off to New York City, I was heartbroken—probably even more than Tully let on. He really seemed like the one that got away, but since the show has a way of working the past into the present, I figured that we’d hopefully see him down the line again. And we did!
As fate would have it, he ended up being Tully’s penthouse neighbor. What are the odds? From the moment they reconnected, their chemistry was instant, but unfortunately, Danny was already dating Celeste, a great woman, and most importantly, not jealous of Tully in the slightest. I usually hate jealous girlfriends, but in this instance, I think Celeste should have been because she was completely naive to the constant flirtation happening between these Danny and Tully. They weren’t just friends, and Danny made it clear when he said goodbye to Tully before she left for Antarctica. Unfortunately, emotional cheating is still cheating, so I hate that Danny did that, especially since it likely messed with Tully’s emotions when she was supposed to be focusing on her upcoming gig. However she’s not the type to let anything throw her off balance, so Danny’s repressed feelings will just have to wait till season 3.
What do you think will happen when Tully returns in several months? Will Danny still be around? Will Kate be far along in her breast cancer treatment?
There were so many important topics weaved into the season, and on top of Johnny’s accident and PTSD, Tully confronting her rape, the car accident, and Kate’s breast cancer diagnosis, there was also Sean’s (Jason McKinnon) coming out, which was a long time coming.
When his parents continued to press and question why he was living in Kate’s basement instead of returning home to his wife and family, Sean couldn’t pretend anymore. Keeping his sexuality a secret was like this dark cloud looming over his life. But when he finally laid it all out for his parents—I agree with Sean that his mother always knew and didn’t want to admit it—he was finally free. Feeling free and finding inner peace seemed to be the overall theme of the season.
Eventually, Sean’s parents fully embraced him as Margie (Chelah Horsdal) joined a group of LGBTQ+ parents to show her support, while Bud connected with Sean’s new boyfriend over sports.
And somehow, despite all those serious and difficult topics, the series somehow found a way to be absolutely hilarious at the same time. There were some incredibly fun moments throughout, with the episode where Johnny and Kate accidentally take ecstasy in the newsroom being one of the best of the season.
As for the best scene in the season? Tully telling Wilson King she can’t work for him anymore because the price is too high right after he tries to minimize her by calling her “kiddo.”
At the end of the day, Firefly Lane reminds us of the importance of having a true friend while giving us a whiplash of emotions, encompassing the true nature of the ups and downs of life.
What did you think of the season? Did you enjoy it better than Firefly Lane Season 1? And where do you think it will go from here?
The second part of season 2—episodes 10 through 16 will arrive sometime in 2023, so stay tuned.
Big Sky Review – Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire (309)
Big Sky is amping up the drama as the series barrels toward the winter finale.
On Big Sky Season 3 Episode 9, Cassie made huge strides in the cas as finally found the key piece of evidence to make sense of everything.
Cassie was always onto something when she thought Sunny and Buck Barnes were involved, but she didn’t have all the clues until Emily suggested combing through everything for something sentimental. I love that it was Emily with the save as she’s also been very invested in everything since day one and knew something was off despite multiple people telling her to just let it go. Isn’t that always what someone says when you’re too close to figuring out what they’re hiding?
Emily got more than she bargained for when it came to finding the perfect mystery for her podcast. Plus, she’d definitely be an asset to Dewell and Hoyt’s detective agency. She asks questions just like her mom, Carla, and pursues the truth just like her dad, Beau. Of all the newcomers, Emily has been the best addition to the series, and I hope when it’s all over, she sticks around Helena with her father.
Unfortunately, for now, Emily is still in a world of danger as the man looking for the $15 million that Paige and Luke stole is now threatening Avery and his family. I wasn’t entirely clear on Avery’s connection to this whole operation. Was he always involved? Is that why he came to Sunny Day Camp to try to find Paige and Luke? Was he hired just like Tonya and Donno? Or did someone get to him after they realized that he stole the drive with the money on it? The man in the suit called Avery an “old friend” and they seemed to have an established relationship when they met up at the bar, so my guess is that Avery’s been a lot sketchier than we ever thought possible this whole time. Beau was definitely right about him being a shady character. And he’s likely in a lot more “business trouble,” too.
I truly hope nothing bad happens to Carla and Emily because of him. He managed to unlock the seed phrases and gain access to the money, but from the promos for the upcoming episode, he still has a huge target on his back. Avery kind of strikes me as the guy who would try to steal the $15 million despite knowing how dangerous it is, so I won’t be surprised in the slightest if he ends up dead by the end of the season.
But back to Cassie, who was trying to find a connection between Toby (Walter) and backpacker Mark. When Jenny and Beau interrogated Toby, they didn’t get very far, but Cassie took a friendlier approach as someone that Toby could trust. They accused him of killing Luke and Mary, but he also confessed to Paige’s murder, which was odd since there was no body to corroborate his story. Of course, we know that he lied to protect Paige. Cassie found it strange that he made the little wooden doll for Mark, but not for his other victims, especially since he said the figurines were for “protection.”
Based on this, she figured that Toby was lying, but until they knew more about him, she couldn’t find a motive. However, once she found documents under his floorboards that revealed his true identity as Walter, the man who killed his family in a fire, and Sunny’s son, well, it changed everything.
Cassie always had a gut feeling about Sunny, and this revelation points the finger right back at her. Walter may be strange and a recluse, but I don’t think anyone believes he killed those campers.
Once they use his mom as leverage, who has always been there for him no matter what, I have a feeling he might crack in order to protect her.
We also made some headway about the Bleeding Heart Murderer, and I was just so thrilled to see that it was, in fact, Buck Barnes. The nerve of that man to judge and talk down to Walter all this time when he’s a deranged serial killer who remembers his victims by leaving bloody marks on the trees where they were killed. The one thing I can’t figure out is why Walter’s figurines have the bloody heart etched into them, but if I had to guess, it would be that he knows Buck’s secret and wants to show Buck’s victims some respect. I wouldn’t be surprised if Buck killed Luke.
Cormac pretty much figured out Walter’s identity on his own, and Sunny and Buck confirmed his worst fears—his whole life has been a lie. Sunny attempted to paint herself as a loving and caring mother, but Cormac proved to be the only sane one in the family when he suggested that their desire to keep this secret and give Walter a good life was the reason that so many people died. Remember—Cormac only knows half the truth, and he still believes Walter is the murderer rather than his own parents. The poor guy. I truly feel for him when he finally learns the whole truth.
Cormac’s date with Cassie was cute—and they danced!—but it was cut short when Cassie pushed a little too hard about trying to connect the dots when it came to his parents and the murders. Cormac shut down, understandably, as he was trying to process it all on his own, but I hope that he entrusts Cassie with all that he found out now instead of being tricked into staying loyal to his parents. It’s a tough spot for him to be in, but ultimately, I have faith that he’ll do the right thing. He’s a good apple among a tree of rotten ones.
In the final moments of the episode, Paige approached Sunny at the camp, revealing that she was, in fact, alive. Sunny went to see Tonya and Donno in order to find her, as it would give her insight as to what really happened and give her a shot at freeing Walter. The promo reveals that Paige and Sunny can now be of use to each other and will likely form an alliance, but honestly, I don’t see this ending very well for either of them.
The worst part of the episode was Jenny and Beau galivanting off to solve a crime about a dead smokejumper found in a tree. His chute was cut, which upgraded the case to murder, but honestly, it was hard to get invested in this storyline with everything else going on. The show succeeds when Jenny and Beau are making strides to solve the main mystery alongside Cassie. I know Jenny is helpful as a cop as she can do a lot more than Cassie and Denise, but sometimes, I wish she would just go back to the detective agency as it made for more compelling television. Jenny and Beau are a great team, but their cases tend to be a distraction.
What did you think of the Big Sky penultimate episode? Will Avery survive? Are Carla and Emily in danger? Will they reunite with Beau, or will Beau and Jenny finally admit their feelings for each other? Will Cassie finally figure it all out? And will the truth destroy her chances at happiness with Cormac? After all, it’s kind of hard to start a life with the woman who ruined your family, even if she was just doing her job.
The Santa Clauses Review – The Shoes Off the Bed Clause (104)
Now we’re getting into the action!
Two things became abundantly clear on The Santa Clauses Season 1 Episode 4: Scott Calvin was not meant for the real world, and Simon Choksi was absolutely never meant for the North Pole.
The North Pole is in turmoil as there are real and dire consequences to Simon’s actions. When the Santa Claus coat went missing from his room, it was a bad omen and sign of things to come, and you can’t exactly hold it against the elves for not accepting Simon as Santa when the coat never accepted him either.
While some of the elves were interested in his “Christmas Every Day” idea, the main elves that keep the North Pole running flawlessly knew immediately that it was a bad idea. What makes Christmas special is that it comes once a year—wanting to make every day “special” just makes it ordinary.
Simon, unfortunately, failed to realize this, and the moment he figured out that he could use the North Pole’s delivery system and pair it with the Everything Now algorithm, he became power-hungry.
The elves, and even Grace, called the look “crazy eyes.” Simon was not to be stopped, even when it was obvious that his new idea was siphoning Christmas magic and making the elves disappear. The longer this went on, the darker the snow globe got, and remember, once all the light is snuffed out, Christmas, and thus, the North Pole and all of its inhabitants, will cease to exist.
There was obviously a problem with Christmas when Santa Scott was still in the red suit, and a solution was necessary, but it wasn’t the one that Simon was providing.
His plan proved that he never truly understood what the holiday was actually about, so there’s no way he could be the Santa that the North Pole needs and the one to inspire and remind all of those that may have lost their belief and magic.
Betty was very lenient and lax when letting Santa Simon find his groove, but the moment she witnessed two of her best elves disappear while trying to point out the underlying issues plaguing the North Pole, she had to put her little elf foot down.
And that’s when Simon did the unthinkable—he fired her as Head Elf. How dare he?
Another issue, aside from his tunnel vision and a deep desire to be successful and dominate the delivery market, is that Simon doesn’t have any respect for the North Pole and how it’s run. He didn’t take the time to get to know the rules and protocols since he thought he knew better, and his ignorance, in turn, made it all worse.
Once Betty was let go, she turned to La Befana for help, which is where she found the Santa coat, hiding out safely until someone “fixed” the Simon problem. La Befana assumed she wanted to get in touch with Santa Scott, but Betty needed someone else to undo the mess…. and I’m guessing this is where our good friend and beloved OG elf Bernard comes into play.
In the final moments of the episode, Scott, who was just finding his way around the real world, er, Chicago, saw his family frozen right in front of him, a sure sign that something was awry. A hand reached out and grabbed him, which, again, is likely Bernard coming to deliver the news that I think Scott actually wants to hear: the North Pole needs him back ASAP.
We’re in the thick of the action on The Santa Clauses—if this was a movie, it would mark the halfway point—and the conflict is getting juicy.
I’m glad that despite the Calvins’ exit from the North Pole, we’re still seeing what’s going on over there because human life in Chicago is quite dull, as expected. It’s a lesson being hammered home for Scott, who is struggling to assimilate and find his purpose in the real world away from his role as Santa. In Chicago, he’s just a regular middle-aged dude, while his family is thriving–Carol in her new role at a charter school, Sandra with her new horse girlfriends (human girls who ride horses, just to be clear), and Calvin with Riley, the girl who he met on his first day of school and sparked a connection with. Scott, meanwhile, tried to be a delivery driver for EverythingNow and got fired from the gig.
It’s not surprising that Scott is struggling so much considering he was once the most beloved man in the world. He’s not used to being the man with all this time on his hands. He finally has time to spend with his family, but now, they all have responsibilities and things to do. The tables have been reversed, and now he’s feeling what his family felt all those years as they sacrificed their happiness and freedom for him.
He’s also now seeing what it must have felt like for Carol to give up her whole identity—it’s a struggle that he never understood until now.
But that’s also why it would be selfish of him to ask her to make the sacrifice again, so I don’t know how they are going to reverse this Simon mess. Maybe Santa Scott will be able to appeal to the part of Simon that arrived doe-eyed and enchanted by the North Pole at first? And maybe they can figure out a way to share the role? There’s no denying the North Pole could benefit from some modern-day changes, and maybe being Santa 24/7 isn’t healthy for anyone, but with a few tweaks that don’t come from a selfish and self-serving place, it could be the chocolate-oiled machine it once was when Christmas spirit was at an all-time high. Simon has a lot to add to the operation, but for now, he’s just coming at it too recklessly and thus, destroying Christmas in the process.
I also think that Grace is going to be the key to getting through to her father. Noel was onto something when he told Simon that there was a reason he pushed Grace to the side because she’d never allow her father to act this way. Betty needs to get Grace on Team Elves to save Christmas!
Other Sugary Thoughts
- That barista speaks for every coffee shop employer working during the holiday season. Scott–stop it.
- What’s going on with the timeline? When the Calvin family arrived in Chicago, the teens went to play in the snow, but all of a sudden, it was Memorial Day. Have they been there for several months already?
- Buddy Calvin had a point questioning why we have picnics for fallen soldiers.
- Sandra can still hear animals talk, including the horse who was running away from a bee. What’s the point of this subplot? Is she supposed to be Santa?
- Simon stooped to a new low when he threw out Noel’s letter to Betty. He’s such a grinch Christmas fun-sucker. Bah humbug.
What did you think of The Santa Clauses Season 1 Episode 4? Are you excited about Bernard’s arrival?
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