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    The West Wing, Veronica Mars, Friday Night Lights

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  1. S01.E03: Remember It Was Me

    What I think happened was Debra had probably paid the lawyer to do some digging and find out more information. Going to trial or doing anything further was going to require more money. When the lawyer saw what happened, she was completely out. I just wish she had given Debra some information on another lawyer who might be willing to take on the case. The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the abused person tries to leave. When a person is trying to leave, it is eight times more likely the abuser will either try to kill them or will succeed in it. An order of protection is a great idea in theory, but it is just a piece of paper. It is sometimes hard to even get the police to respond to calls when an order of protection has been violated. I've seen so many cops treat people horribly when they try to report someone for violating an order of protection. They'll threaten to arrest the person who took out the order of protection saying they probably invited their abuser there. Everything I saw from Debra in that moment was that she was so overwhelmed and didn't know what to do first. Leaving an abusive relationship is so much easier said than done. I think he mainly just used his wives as status symbols. A nurse is someone respectable and is someone he could use for easy access to drugs. From there, a doctor was someone he could exploit for money, especially one as accomplished as Maggie was. With Debra, she is a very wealthy businesswoman. All of these women were people he could easily prey upon. He knew exactly what he he was doing with all of them. It's definitely another way he could control Debra. He was probably already paranoid after he caught her reading his mail. One of the easiest ways abusers control their victims is by restricting their access to finances. He took her "safety money" and made sure she couldn't access it again without him knowing.
  2. S01.E02: Red Flags and Parades

    This story is such a great illustration of how domestic violence begins before the first punch is ever thrown. It really is like a frog in boiling water who doesn't realize they're even in a pot. Everything John is doing to seem romantic and doting (making her smoothies every morning, warming up the shower for her, putting toothpaste on her toothbrush, etc.) is just making her dependent on him. He's slowly isolating her from everyone. He got Veronica away from her as soon as he realized she was going to be an obstacle. He put a wedge in her relationship with Terra. Now, he's taking away Toby. The only family member she really has left is her mother, who will be on your team even if you kill her child. She hasn't been shown to really have any friends who are regularly around. He's gotten control of her finances (by having it as a "joint" account). He's even started trying to isolate her spiritually by trying to get out of going to church and taking that away from her. He has made himself her entire world. There's another podcast that discussed this story when the Dirty John podcast was originally airing. It's called Real Crime Profile. They had an episode of RCP for each episode of DJ and really delved into the aspects of coercive control displayed in the story. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about it and what to do if you suspect you are either in a relationship like this one or know someone who might be.
  3. S09.E05: Spice Week

    I didn't realize this was the first season they had done a spice week. That seems like such a basic theme week that they should have done before the 9th season.
  4. S09.E10: The Final

    This was possibly the most relaxed I've seen Rahul so far. There was a glimpse of a smile when he was talking about his donuts. Also, I don't know what Prue was talking about with saying one of Ruby's donuts could possibly be too sugary. There is no such thing when it comes to donuts. Granted these are the types of donuts my fat Midwestern ass is used to eating...and they are delicious. I felt for Rahul during the segment where they interviewed his friends. I figured there was no way Rahul applied on his own and was probably coaxed into it by a friend. His pictures from his childhood were very solitary. I think it was especially telling that he only talked to his mom at the end and his dad wasn't even mentioned. I really appreciated the thing at the end that said his parents had come to the UK and they were proud of him. That was really sweet. The technical was overly gimmicky. There was no reason why they needed to be out at a campfire, except that it would cause the bakers to panic. I was really glad they gave Rahul the 15 minutes back. It wasn't his fault that it was hot enough to shatter one of the storage jars. I was worried at first when they were like "Man, Rahul has got himself in a bit of a pickle." Of course! Because the sun literally exploded his station! I figured what happened was that the jar was in the path of the sun and combined with the heat, it caused the glass to shatter. I love that Sandi helped Kim-Joy find out how to write Atlantis in ancient Greek. I don't think Sandi and Neil have the same easy chemistry with each other Mel and Sue did, but they're delightful in their own way. I loved Rahul sticking his hands out during the hug with Ruby and Kim-Joy and apologizing because his hands were just covered in frosting. That was a pretty perfect picture of Rahul's interactions with the other contestants. I was thrilled for Rahul. I connected with him and his crippling anxiety. I would have been happy for any of them if they had won, though. This was a really solid final three. The best moment at the end was when Antony and Luke were lifting Rahul on their shoulders and he was just freaking out about it. I think he is probably really shy and was never really okay with the idea of being in front of all the cameras. He seems genuinely happy in those off moments when he can forget he's in front of the cameras.
  5. S09.E09: Semi-Final

    I definitely think Rahul would have gone home this week if it weren't for Briony's salt/sugar mix-up. The technical this week looked amazing and I would like it in my mouth right now, please.
  6. S09.E08: Danish Week

    I spent 6 weeks in college in Copenhagen for a short-term study abroad program, so I loved Danish week. It was giving me so many flashbacks to the amazing food I ate and had me going to Google to try to find a Danish bakery in my town. Unfortunately, all I could find were bakeries that serve Danishes. Coincidentally, when I just saw the title "Danish Week," I thought it was going to be about danishes and not Denmark. It was a very pleasant surprise. As far as them keeping Rahul over Manon, I was okay with it. Since this was the quarterfinals, now is the point where I'm okay with them taking past performance into consideration. There have been other weeks where I thought Manon should have been the one to go. This was the first week where I felt like Rahul was even close to the bottom. I think some of Rahul's grimacing and things like that could also be a cultural issue. When Noel was bringing up "Star Wars," Rahul seemed like he had genuinely never heard of it. Rahul seems like someone who has only ever been given criticism in a negative way, rather than constructive criticism. When you spend years being told all the things you have done wrong, it takes a lot more than 2 months to get past that. My dad criticized me all throughout elementary and middle school and into high school. My first panic attack was when I was 13. The vice principal had to calm me down. I got a B+ in AP Chem when I was a senior and came home in tears, profusely apologizing to my dad for disappointing him. That was the moment where he seemed to realize how much all the criticism had affected me and told me it was okay if I didn't get A's in everything. If Rahul's parents (I'm assuming it's a parent, based on how deep-rooted it appears) never had the same realization, they probably never let up on the criticism.
  7. S09.E07: Vegan Week

    I found this week really interesting. I have several friends who are either vegan or have Celiac disease. I've always been too intimidated to bake for them. I would love to try to make those pavlovas for our community group one week. Jon seemed determined that he was going to fail this week. I was sad to see him go because he's always been super pleasant. At this point, though, I'd be sad to see any of them go.
  8. S09.E06: Pastry Week

    I was okay with Dan leaving because he really effed up every challenge. Plus, I wasn't a huge fan of him to begin. I also would have been okay with Manon leaving. So happy to see Briony seemingly hitting her stride. She's been one of my faves from the beginning, so I was thrilled to see her getting star baker. Plus, that Alice in Wonderland showstopper looked amazing!
  9. S09.E04: Dessert Week

    I can't warm up to Dan for some reason. There's just something about him I don't like. Kim-Joy reminds me of my former best friend who was super into kawaii culture, so I have an irrational hatred of her. I loved her galaxy sphere concept and the turtles. I just don't like her and it's not even about her. I'm ready for Karen to leave. She's skating by each week and I don't like how she argues back with Paul and Prue every time. Agree that Prue's comment about the sphere to Ruby was unjustifiably bitchy. Rahul remains my favorite. I, too, am a ball of constant anxiety, so I can empathize with him. I also really like Briony, even though I'm expecting her to be gone soon.
  10. S09.E03: Bread Week

    I was so sad to see Antony go. His smile was infectious and he was just so hot. I could just watch him bake all day.
  11. Probably because it's not super compelling for us to watch someone searching for a job. That doesn't mean she isn't doing it. I think it's also highly likely that the writers have forgotten how old they previously said Tess was and just decided she's older because that's what they need her to be for this storyline.
  12. Not necessarily. Depending on what she needs to take, they may be 3 1-hour classes a week. If it's an extended block of time, she could talk to her teacher ahead of time, explain that she is in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy and would like to sit near the back of the class so she can get up every now and then to walk near the back without disturbing anyone. I don't know of any college professors I had who wouldn't have been okay with that. It's a legitimate health concern and no professor wants to be the person that caused her to lose a baby because she sat too long. The only thing I can think of is that Madison pulled strings and got the principal to meet with her before she had actually submitted an application. Like as a pre-interview of sorts. Also, depending on the state, you don't have to have a college degree to sub. In Missouri, you just have to have 60 credit hours in any subject area to be able to be certified to be a sub for anything. Looking for a full-time job is the absolute worst. It is emotionally draining and is full of nothing but rejection. In order to really make inroads and find something quickly, you have to spend 3-4 hours a day just filling out applications and then calling places to follow up and such. I have a friend who is a registered nurse with several years experience and it took her a couple months to find something because nowhere wanted to pay her a livable wage for someone with her experience. I can still see it being a final visit to someone with dementia or Alzheimer's. My grandmother passed away in February after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's. I avoided going to the nursing home a lot because I couldn't sit and listen to my grandma cry for hours on end, asking all of us why Grandpa (who died in 2007) hadn't come to pick her up from there and how he could just leave her there and didn't he still love her. Or she'd ask about her parents and why they just left her there. It's incredibly painful and the fact that I didn't go as often as I should have made me feel extremely guilty. I could see where Tess may have felt guilt over not going to visit Rebecca very often and fear over watching her grandmother die. I'm absolutely expecting Rebecca to have Alzheimer's. I also know that if they go that route, I can't watch anymore. Dude, kids can be monsters. I started one of those alternative teacher certification programs (similar to Teach for America, but not) where you do a super intensive year of student teaching and then they give you your own classroom in one of the highest-needs areas in the country. I routinely had a student who would yell at me and call me a "whiny, fat bitch." I had another student who drew pornographic pictures of me on his desk and labeled it "This is how Ms. AmandaPanda makes babies." And I taught 5th and 6th graders. The stress of everything, plus the principal being hella pissed that I didn't have control over my classroom, made me have a nervous breakdown and I quit at the end of the first quarter. Kate definitely couldn't handle that level of stress.
  13. Especially if she wants to be a teacher. Unless she had already been taking things like child psych and classes on curriculum development, she needs to take a ton of classes that she hasn't taken yet. Maybe if the school she wants to teach at is a charter school and they'd be able to let her teach with just a degree in music, it would still be possible to finish her degree this season.
  14. I can get why Kevin didn't think to check the Vietnam database for Nicky's name, but how on Earth did Zoe overlook that one?
  15. That's exactly why I thought they would do it. This is increasingly becoming a hate watch for me. When the writers are sure they're making the entire audience cry, I'm just rolling my eyes. Every storyline is basically Trope 101 and it's getting old. 100%. Then in the future, they have to sit around Rebecca's bedside telling her stories about her epic love story with Jack. Also, I have no doubt Randall and Beth are still together. Why on Earth would Beth be going to visit her ex-mother-in-law if she and Randall are divorced? This x 1000! Though all of Sol's snide comments should also have been cut off by the moderator. I don't think it's necessarily a matter of respect. It's that Randall explicitly promised if at any time she asked him to quit, he would do so. When it came time for that and she laid out the many (very good) reasons he should end the campaign, his response was essentially "I know I promised that...but I never really meant I would..." I would have made him sleep on the couch, too. And if Randall wins, that will be my breaking point. He has no business winning that campaign.