First set of replies (finally) for the top 5s meme which is still open (hint, hint). melliyna asked me for my top 5 moments from Life. Spoilers below the cut, and images, too. This format was shamelessly NICKED from razorxrosary.
This was so difficult, lols. In the end I went for the scenes that were more than just the ritual laughs (personal pineapple! The horse! Angel on the dashboard! FAB) although you should know, every time Dani puts on her "I am going to kick you!" face, I am filled with glee. I really like the Crews&Reese dynamic and the permutations of their working relationship; I'm also a big fan of Ted and Lt. Karen Davis, although she's not represented below. I'm also really into Charlie's story, but as that's basically the WHOLE SHOW, I didn't pick any relevant moments. If I could have chosen 6 moments, the final one would either have been the helicopter scene at the end of 1x09, Serious Control Issues, or Crews' showdown with Jack Reese. Alas, I didn't, so I picked the moments that I really remember.
I want you to give me your knife.
My knife... why?
Because I want to swear a blood oath with you and I need something to cut my pinky— give me your knife, or I burn you with IAD for not using your service weapon when you should have.
[Pause, in which Crews is defensive and remains unconvinced]
I need to know that my partner is a cop and not a con.
[Crews hands over the knife]
Anything else you're carrying from the old days... sharpened toothbrush, light bulb full of bleach?
[Enter CONNIE, lols]
Hahaha, a great scene! I love how the knife represents two boundaries: first, Charlie's past, and Dani's inability to trust him with it; and secondly, much later, Charlie's future, when Dani hands it back. I also love how there's a moment there where the bounds of this new-formed partnership are tested; Charlie deliberates over giving the knife, and then when he does the scene relaxes and Dani offers up humour in a move that shows some softening on her part. He gives, she gives. I fucking love that. I also love that immediately after the partnership is renewed, Constance turns up making everyone awkward (and kind of hott) at the same time. Fab!
As an addendum, the scene which leads to the confiscation (or rather, which is the reason for it) is fantastic. Really inventive use of soundtrack.
The direction in this show is pretty amazing, but I think this is probably my favourite directorial sequence. The cinematography at the start of 1x11, Fill it Up, is beautiful, but I think this scene bests it because it's stunning in an understated way. From Crews and Reese entering the room, to Lonnie's death and then to the famous shower scene, back-lighting is used wonderfully throughout. This is the scene in the pilot where Dani's Issues are revealed, which, okay, you knew that was coming, and there's some gratuitous use of Sarah Shahi's freakin' awesome body in the shower, but I like the balance to the partnership that's established so early on, and Crew's final words to Lonnie - "It's just a dream" - are haunting. (On a particularly fannish note, I love when Reese refuses to take Crew's hand on exiting the bathtub. lols.)
You want to 'know me'? You never shot up in a room where a guy blew his head off and you're thinking you're lucky because he didn't get his brains in your dope, or find yourself lying in a pool of puke and crap, only you didn't care whose crap it was because the whole time you're thinking you were so sick all you wanted was to get off and get well. You knew that about me? You think you hit bottom, Rick? You have no idea how far down this goes, do you? You think you're bad? You think you got a demon inside of you? You don't even know what that means.
I have this one noted down as "the entire penultimate act (aka Dani is bitchin')" because such is how my brain works. I was sceptical over whether or not Shahi could pull off Reese's speech, but seriously: she nailed it. I love that moment when she's downing the vodka and we cut to Rick who is finally seeing that Dani is not bullshitting; the fear on his face really plays up how being able to cut the alcohol actually works in Dani's favour.
One of the best parts of this sequence, though, is how everything comes together - Dani and Charlie's "I just need a moment"; Rick and Dani's showdown; Charlie and Bobby's "hail of bullets" - and how this sequence directly mirrors the opening sequence. I only noticed that the third time I watched the episode. (Um. Yes. I have watched these episodes a little too often, and yet I still can't accurately remember what happens in 1x02.)
What are you doing? What are you doing? I got right. You understand? After what happened, who I was? I got right. Fire found me, cleaned me out, I got right. I got right, made myself a new man, made myself a family, I got right - what are you doing? Tell me!
Crews is pretty intense in this episode, driving around with Hollis in the TRUNK of his CAR. All those scenes where Crews is going about talking to his ex-wife and Ted, every single one has the car in plain view in the background, reminding you that Crews is kind of coming off the rails. Intercut with that you have the snake plot line which is just plain comic relief, even if it does have Bobby and Dani trying to find a middle ground (lols, the WEED). But, yeah, Crews digging that hole in front of Hollis... what a scene, and that final shot of Crews looming above Hollis is fantastic.
You took it all?
I was looking for porn? Your lawyer called, said the cops were coming to serve a search warrant, if there wasn't anything you wouldn't want found...
How did you get in the door?
Charlie, you weren't the only one to spend time in prison. I learned some things in there too.
How did you know what was in there?
I didn't, exactly. But something else I learned in prison, Charlie - you had to have something hidden away.
Ted pulling through for Charlie is one of the strongest testaments to their friendship past the fact that, you know, Ted is living in Charlie's house. You're so frantic for Charlie and his Conspiracy Wall and then, bam! Not there. Why is it not there? SUPER TED. Ted seriously needs more scenes where he is doing stuff (like the baseball bat scene in 1x06, Powerless, zomg); he's a truly underused character. (By the by, Farthingale as a whole has many EXCELLENT scenes; it's one of my favourite wtf episodes of a procedural drama ever. And that's saying something.) But, anyway, back to Ted - there's this sense in which he knows, goddamn, he knows that Charlie is keeping something from him, but the scale of it kind of blows him away. To me it was a relief that Ted found out because then Charlie was in it with someone else; for Ted it's the moment he (ironically, considering hs later concerns) stops being the sidekick.
melliyna also asked me for five reasons why Mac and Stella work as a couple. I don't have any old school caps on my laptop right now, or I'd show you scene-by-scene. You'll just have to make do with some icons I made last year, and my being VERBOSE. As per always.
I'm going with a very, very broad definition of 'couple' because as much as they were once my ship-to-end-all-ships in this fandom, I adore their friendship, and I haven't read any plausible Mac/Stella fanfiction since season 2. Yeah. This is both because of canon and because there's a dearth of decent Mac/Stella fic in existence (also: I'm pan-ship in this fandom). Anyway, top 5 reasons why Mac and Stella work as a couple, mostly stemming from season 1.
05: because Mac needed a sense of humour. I think that was brutally obvious from the get-go. Sure, he's lightened up considerably since season 1 (sleeping with Peyton probably didn't hurt) but at the beginning there was this open sense of Stella's humour being a buoy. There was a fanon idea (backed by canon, I'm fairly sure) that Stella had really been there for Mac after Claire's death, and that for a long time she was the only one that could get through to him. But yeah: could you imagine how harsh Taylor would have been if it wasn't for Bonasera? Jeez.
04: because they were once the new CJ/Toby. Season 1 canon told us that Mac and Stella had known each other for quite some time and fanon decided that they really went back a long way. You've got fics where Claire is an obstacle (something I now regret, actually), fics where Stella was the tearaway that Mac helped out, fics where Mac and Stella road-tripped pre-Claire. All of these ideas stemmed from that connection the two of them displayed very early on - touching base when they're working different cases, Mac coming to help Stella in 1x02, the argument in Officer Blue and the dog show (!) later on. I was ready to ride this angst-boat, yo.
03: because they complement one another. They're both isolated in a way - Mac's the widowed Marine from Chicago; Stella's the orphaned, raised-by-nuns free-spirit. Mac keeps Stella honest; Stella keeps Mac going. If he's physics, she's chemistry; if he's solemnity and decorum, then she's levity and joy. Also, in compare to other ships featuring them during season 1 (Mac/Danny, Mac/Aiden, Stella/Danny), Mac and Stella are far more equal. He's still her boss, but he trusts her professionally and personally and in the earlier seasons she was probably the only one who could step up and talk back to Mac (see: Flack and Danny's respective failures in this arena pre-s2). So he keeps her in check when her temper flares, which it used to when she was the less diplomatic of the two (yeah, that turnaround made me scratch my head in s3), and she checks his balances, so to speak.
02: because they've got each other's backs. When Claire dies, Stella is there in the background. When Mac's about to go on his first date post-Claire, Stella is there (in a STUNNING dress). When Stella's been attacked in her apartment, Mac is the first to respond. When Stella's going through her HIV scare, when she's being 'stalked', it's Mac she turns to. When he's in trouble over Peyton, when he needs support, Mac has it unequivocally from Stella. She's the first one he tells about the 333 caller. She's the one who calls the team Mac's family in season 4. They always have each other, and as much as this is a proponent of their being team members, it runs through the professional and the personal.
01: because they're truly great friends. They go out together; they have each other's apartment keys; they confide in one another about their personal lives. They joke together, they support one another. They have a great partnership. AND NOW I WANT TO READ OLD-SCHOOL FIC DAMMIT.
I need to go and buy a train ticket back to Soton today. Aie. There's not a lot else going on right now. My gran is still here, I still have class work to get caught up on. I really need to buy Eugenide's Middlesex, too, so I can give T her copy back. Work, work, procrastination, work.
Watched NCIS yesterday - Gretchen Egolf guest starred, aw. I felt so good after I saw the episode. I'm glad it's back, even if we're only getting a handful of new episodes.