Another School Year Done

     So, this doesn’t really fit with the theme of my blog, but since three of my classmates nominated me for this, I figured I would give it a go.

     My awesome classmates make up the majority of my followers, so they know this already. But for those of you who don’t know, this blog was created as a project for one of my university classes.

     There were a few groans when it was assigned, but I think most of you agree with me when I say this has been one of the best assignments ever. Not only did I learn a lot, I also had the opportunity to write about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. For someone who loves to write, but struggles to find the time to write anything other than boring papers or other school assignments, that’s a big deal.

     So, first off I’d like to thank my lovely classmates Scott, Nikki, and Carmen, who nominated me for this challenge thinger. You guys are great. =]

     I’d also like to thank my professor, Roberta, for all of her guidance, and for assigning this awesome project, which has allowed me to flex my writing muscles on my own terms. I have every intention of posting on this blog as often as I can.

     Finally, I’d like to thank all of my other classmates in every course I’ve taken so far. Thank you for all of your help when I was confused, for sharing countless laughs and fun times, and for providing a much-needed opportunity for me to vent when I thought I was about to snap. It’s been another crazy year, and I couldn’t have gotten through if it weren’t for all of you.

     Here we go!

The official rules are:  

1) Thank the rockin’ blogger who nominated you.

2) Answer the 11 questions you were given.

3) Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 500 followers.

4) Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5) Tag your nominees and post a comment in their blog so they know they’ve been nominated.

Scott’s nominated me first, so I will answer his questions first?

1. What is your favorite and least favorite color?

Favourite = Yellow, Least Favourite = Orange

2. What do you notice first about the opposite gender?

If he can make me laugh, he instantly has my attention. My boyfriend makes me laugh alllll the time. =]

 3. What is your favorite movie and why? (I’m sure Devin will have fun with this one)

Just one? =[

I suppose if I had to choose it would be Garden State, because it is a totally underrated story about love, but isn’t mushy or lame. It’s actually really funny. And Natalie Portman is a total babe.

4. What upcoming or recently released movie do you most want to see?

I’m going to see Captain America this weekend and I’m super stoked.

5. If you could have any animal as a pet, and you didn’t have to worry about the cost or difficulty in taking care of it, what would you choose?

A wolf. Without question. Preferably a direwolf, but since those are pretty hard to come by, any wolf would do.

6. Which sport is your favourite to play? To watch?

Soccer is my favourite to play, but hockey is the most fun to watch?

7. Which website do you go on the most?

Pinterest. I’m an addict.

8. If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

Oh gosh, I don’t know. Probably Red Lobster. Seafood is my fave.

9. What is something about you that most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?

I’m sure most of my classmates think I’m really quiet, but once you get to know me, I’m anything but.

10. What is your biggest fear or the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

I have a terrible fear of losing everyone I love and being totally alone. Really depressing, I know.

11. What’s the funniest joke you can think of off the top of your head?

I heard a really good one the other day, but it was super long, and I’m far too lazy to write it all out. If you see me during finals, ask me and I’ll tell you.

Now Nikki’s 11 Questions

1. If you could live in any time era, which would you choose?

I’ve always had a love for all things 1920’s. I think I was a flapper girl in another life.

2. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they?

Yes, indeed. I have three stars on my collar bone, Alexisonfire lyrics on my calf, a heart shaped Celtic knot with a Gaelic phrase between my shoulders, a ladybug behind my ear, and a skeleton key with my families initials on my left forearm. My mom has the matching lock on her leg. =]

3. Do you prefer reading, or watching movies?

Impossible to choose. I love both, but it depends on my mood.

4. What is your favorite genre of music?

I love pretty much anything. Seriously, I listen to so much different genres of music. But the largest part of my collection is alternative rock.

5. Are you allergic to anything? 

Nope! Superior genes, right here.

6. Do you sing the car?

All the time. And very, very loudly.

7. Who would you like to see in concert?

Ohhh man. I could name a billion. Die Antwoord would be super cool, though.

8. Are you a righty or a lefty?

Normal ol’ righty.

9. Put your Itunes library on shuffle, what’s the first song that comes up?

“Dead Sea” by The Lumineers.

10. Can you speak another language?

A wee bit of French, but I can understand it a lot better than I can speak it.

11. Grab the nearest book to you, turn to page 27, what does line 5 say?

“They didn’t seem too surprised by my arrival, which made sense: The fact that Augustus made me feel special did not necessarily indicate that I was special.”

And, finally, Carmen’s questions.

1. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Too hot. I hate being cold.

2. What is your favourite genre of novel?

I love everything, but lately I’ve been reading a lot of historical novels.

3. If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Telekinesis.

4. Would you rather meet a ghost or an alien?

A ghost. Aliens terrify me.

5. Flowers or trees?

Both have their appeal, but I love having fresh flowers in my room.

6. What is your favourite animal?

I love giraffes.

7. What is one cause or organization that you support?

Equality of human rights. It is the most important thing in the world.

8. When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?

An “office lady,” as I called it. Thank God my priorities have changed.

9. Do you have a lucky number?

2!

10. What are you obsessed with?

So many things… But most people who know me relate me with Harry Potter.

11. And finally, what is your major life goal?

I would love to be able to write for Rolling Stone magazine one day, but the likelihood of that is slim. So, just to be happy no matter what I do.

I’m going to break the rules, and not make my own questions, or nominate anyone, since I think most of my followers have been nominated multiple times by now. I just thought this would be kind of fun (it was!) and a suitable farewell to my BCSC classmates. Until next year! ❤

To all my other followers, I will be back soon, once the stress of finals is over. =]

As always, thanks for reading. As your reward, please enjoy this picture of my cat when she was a kitten.

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Ten Movies That Make Me Feel Like A Kid Again

I’m sure that you have a list of movies that, as soon as they begin, will instantly transport you back to a better time. A time when life was simpler, when summer vacation seemed to last forever, and the most difficult decision you had to make was whether you wanted Fruit Loops, or Captain Crunch for breakfast.

No matter how old I get, no matter how cheesy these movies seem in comparison with recent ones, and no matter how bad of a mood I’m in, watching one of these will instantly make me nostalgic and euphoric — if only for an hour or two.

So, here it is — 10 movies that make me feel like a kid again.

10. Home Alone/Home Alone 2

Yes, I’m cheating by putting the original, and the sequel in the same number, but I don’t care. These movies are awesome, and they didn’t just appeal to kids. Up until 2009, Home Alone was the highest grossing comedy of all time. Like so many classic kid movies, the original plays a lot around Christmas, and I always make a point of tuning in. After all these years, it still inspires the same feelings in me — an uncontrollable urge to build elaborate traps and thwart the bad guy burglars. =]

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Image obtained from fanpop.com

9. Beetlejuice

It was hard to pick just one Burton movie to go on this list (even as a child, I was drawn to all things dark, and slightly morbid). But this honour has to go to Beetlejuice. I don’t even remember the first time I watched it. I must have been pretty young, though, because my mom loves this movie as much as I do. Watching Beetlejuice is my Halloween tradition, and even the terrible CGI seems whimsical to me. Oh, and can’t forget to mention the awesome Harry Belafonte dance sequences!

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GIF obtained from mrwgifs.com

8. Matilda

Growing up, I read every single one of Roald Dahl’s books, and Matilda was one of my absolute favourites. I assume that was because I had seen, and loved the movie before I had read the book. Yeah, parts of it are kind of creepy, (okay, forget creepy… Trunchbull and her Chokey are downright terrifying). But, like all the best kids’ movies, this one has a happy ending that makes up for it all. This movie is also likely the reason why I longed for super powers when I was really young. I don’t anymore though. That would just be dumb… Ha… haha…

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Image obtained from fanpop.com

7. Space Jam

When I think about the ‘90s, Space Jam instantly comes to mind. I don’t know how many times my best friend, and I watched it, but it was enough for us to learn every single line off by heart, and for her beat up VHS copy to eventually stop playing. I saw it in HMV for $5 a little while ago, so of course I bought it, and watched it that night. I was pleased to discover that I still knew a lot of those lines by heart. Oh, and side note: The Space Jam website has remained unchanged since it’s creation, and is now an awesome virtual time capsule full of bright colours, clipart, and other ‘90’s goodness.

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Image obtained from viewerscommentary.wordpress.com

6. My Girl

Yes, this movie is super sad (I still cry when I watch it), but I loved it so much as a kid that it will forever have a special place in my heart. I think I related to Vada a lot, because she was a weird kid, just like me, and we both love to write. This movie taught me about love, about friendship, and about loss. If I ever have a daughter, I will introduce her to this movie as soon as she’s old enough, and we will watch it together all the time. Hopefully she loves it as much as I do…

She better love it as much as I do…

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Image obtained from haemeandrobecca.blogspot.com

5. Gremlins

See, I told you I was kind of a morbid kid. As soon as I saw it, I thought Gremlins was one of the coolest movies ever! Yeah, the evil green Gremlins are pretty creepy, but it never fazed me. Besides, the funny, and really stupid things they do make them wayyy less horrific. And cute, fuzzy Gizmo helps alleviate the tension, too. I mean, just look at him!

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Image obtained from gremlins.wikia.com

4. Oliver and Company

I found it really difficult to only add two Disney movies to this list. I mean, if I had wanted to, I could have easily made this list entirely Disney movies (maybe another day). But I managed to control myself, and my number two “brings me back” Disney movie is Oliver and Company. Oliver was the reason I wanted my own cat so badly when I was really young (future crazy cat lady), and Dodger was like the embodiment of the coolest dog ever. Add to that a soundtrack that makes me dance and sing a the top of my lungs (yep, “Why Should I Worry” is in regular rotation on my iPod), and you have a winning combo.

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Image obtained from IMDB

3. Homeward Bound

This movie has a special place in my heart for a few reasons. For one, I’ve always been an animal lover, so movies starring cats and dogs were always my favourites. Second, Shadow always reminded me of my childhood dog, Sandy. And third, my younger brother loved this movie as much as I did when we were kids, so watching it reminds me of spending time with him, which we rarely do these days. Don’t tell him, but I just ordered a double feature of Homeward Bound 1 AND 2, and I plan to suck him into watching them with me. >=]

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Image obtained from IMDB

2. The Lion King

I was hard pressed to make a decision, but The Lion King has got to be my favourite Disney movie of all time. There’s a lot of reasons why I love it so much: It was the first movie I ever saw in theatres, it was one of the first I ever owned on VHS, the soundtrack is amazing (and yes, is also in rotation on my iPod), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (young Simba) was just so damn cute, and The Lion King 2 is one of the only Disney sequels that measures up to the original. I’m also not ashamed to say that Mufasa’s death scene makes me cry to this day.

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Image obtained from IMDB

1. Hook

The reason this movie is at the top of my list may have something to do with the fact that I watched it just a few days ago, but that’s only part of it. Hook is amazin, for a billion reasons. Obviously, there’s Robin Williams, who is incredible in everything he does. There’s Julia Roberts as Tink, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Maggie Smith as Wendy. There’s a bunch of super adorable lost boys, who inspire you to join them in their battle cry of “Banarang,” and there’s the infamous imaginary food fight scene. This movie is all around brilliant, and I will never stop loving it. I think it is entirely deserving of the number one spot in my list.

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Image obtained from IMDB

I’m sure I missed some gooders, so why don’t you guys fill me in? What are the movies that instantly transport you back to your childhood? Let me know!

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When The Movie Is (Almost) As Good As The Book

Recently, I FINALLY got around to reading my copy of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and I. Loved. It. Like, a lot. It’s easily become one of my top ten favourite books. The day I finished the book was, coincidentally, the day before its film adaption was released on DVD, so I eagerly made my way to the store, and snatched up my copy. I must have set my hopes too high, however, because although the movie would have been amazing if I hadn’t read the book beforehand, it just didn’t compare. (This is somewhat ironic, as it was watching the trailer for the film adaptation that made me pick up the novel.)

 

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Image obtained from IMDB

I need to clarify something here. I firmly believe in assessing film adaptations as an entirely separate entity from the book. Words are amazing things, which can create pictures in our heads that are just impossible to represent on film. I also know that time constraints are a serious issue, and it’s not realistic to expect every minor detail and character from a novel to be included in its film adaptation. Streamlining is necessary — to a point. So, I’m not one to dismiss a film adaptation because a few parts are missing, or altered slightly, as long as it’s all in the name of making the film stronger, or easier for those who have not read the book to follow.

BUT, such is the case with The Book Thief’s film adaptation, when significant parts are cut from the film (the books Max wrote for Liesel, or her encountering him in a “Jew Parade”), or major moments are altered for seemingly no reason at all (Liesel discovers Rudy alive instead of dead, and he clings to life long enough to choke out “I love y-“, before dying in her arms), it bothers me. After all, the movie is never as good as the book.

But, rather than write a ranting blog post about all of the sub-par film adaptations I’ve seen, I decided to go a more positive route. Here are my top five book-to-film adaptations. Keep in mind that, although I do mention a few significant differences in each film adaptation, I don’t have the time, or the energy, to name them all.

5. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Based on the very popular mystery thriller by Stieg Larsson, the (English) film adaptation had big shoes to fill, and in my opinion, it did so well. At 600+ pages, the novel was obviously too long to fit into a 2.5 hour-long movie. Luckily, the changes were fairly minor, and often served to make the film more powerful.

Some Significant Changes:

– More time was spent on the character of Lisbeth Salander in the film (some extra scenes with her are added), and less was spent on the character of Mikael Blomkvist. This is okay, in my opinion, because Salander was a very interesting character to watch.

– Martin Vanger is way less obvious of a suspect in the book, and numerous adults in the Vanger family have apparent motives in the book, but this isn’t the case in the movie.

– The ending is different in a few ways, including Martin’s death (Salander runs him off the road in the book, but he skids off in the movie), and the whereabouts of Harriet Vanger (in the book, she is living under her cousin Anita’s name in Australia, and Anita lives in London. In the film, Harriet is the one living in London.

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Image obtained from IMDB

4. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

In school, I was one of the nerdy kids who loved doing novel studies, and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird was one of my favourites (second only to George Orwell’s 1984). And the film adaptation was nearly as amazing.

Some Significant Changes:

– The major difference in the film adaptation was that many of Jem and Scout Finch’s adventures were cut out in order to place more emphasis on the Atticus Finch and the trial of Tom Robinson. This is okay, because these decisions serve to stress the main themes of the book (racism, equality, etc.), rather than take away from them.

– Jem and Scout are portrayed as typical, quarrelling siblings in the book, but their fight scenes aren’t included in the movie.

– The major quote — from which the novel took its title — was originally said by Atticus to Scout and Jem after they receive air rifles as gifts. In the film, however, Atticus says it during his lunch with Walter Cunningham.

“Shoot all the bluejays all you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

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Image obtained from IMDB

3. The Hunger Games (2012)

Given that this movie is a pretty recent one, and the final two films in the franchise have yet to be released, I expect it is the most controversial choice on my list. Although many fans of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games were entirely satisfied with the film adaptation, many weren’t (I say this because I work in a book store, and I’ve had some discussions with fans who were very adamant about how much they didn’t like the movie). However, I read all three of Collin’s books shortly before the first movie was released, so they were still fresh in my mind when I saw the first movie, and I left the theatre happy. And it managed to send a whole lot of people to their local book store in search of the novel, and that’s a great thing. There were a few changes I noticed, though, and some I definitely could have done without.

Some Significant Changes:

– The book is told in first person, from Katniss Everdeen’s point of view, but this is forgone in the film in order to cut out what I imagine would have been some very annoying voice-overs.

– President Snow has a much larger part in the book, and is hardly seen in the film.

– Caesar Flickerman serves as a Hunger Games commentator in the film, which doesn’t happen in the novel. This serves a purpose, however — in place of what would have been Katniss voice-overs, we have Caesar explaining important details, such as tracker jackers. Plus, I love Stanley Tucci, and he made the perfect Caesar. More screentime for him was a-okay with me!

– The District 11 riot is not mentioned until the beginning of the Catching Fire novel, and it didn’t happen as it did in the first film. In the book, it’s triggered when Katniss salutes District 11, after they send her a loaf of bread during the Games, which isn’t shown in the movie.

– The Seneca Crane VS. Poison Berry death scene doesn’t happen in the novel — it is suggested that Crane was hung.

– In the book, Katniss is given the Mockingjay pin by her sister, Prim. In the movie, she gets it from an old woman in the Hub. This was one of the more frustrating changes, as it didn’t do anything to make the film more streamlined or relatable, and it took away the meaning of the pin.

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Image obtained from IMDB

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

This was really hard for me, because I absolutely love anything to do with Harry Potter — including every single movie. This can be quite conflicting, because although a HP Movie Marathon is a regular occurrence in my life, I could also go on, and on, and ON about all of the differences in the films compared to the books. However, if I had to pick the one movie that was the most true to its novel counterpart, I would have to pick Prisoner of Azkaban. There were, of course, multiple differences, but since it’s one of the shorter books, the film adaption was more accurate than some of the longer books’ adaptations.

Some Significant Differences:

– Marge’s visit with the Dursleys is condensed from two weeks to just one day in the movie, and some events are condensed, or cut.

– In the book, Harry doesn’t hear Molly and Arthur Weasley talking about Sirius Black, but Arthur tells him right away.

– All the Potions lessons from the year are cut. (WTF?)

– So is the majority of the Quidditch season. (This one made me most angry.)

– In the movie, the Marauder’s aren’t fully explained, and Black’s history is significantly cut down.

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Image obtained from IMDB

1. Fight Club (1999)

Chuck Palahniuk is my favourite author, and I had seen (and loved) the Fight Club movie before I began reading his books (Fun Fact: It was his novel Invisible Monsters that made me fall in love with his gritty and gruesome writing style. Fight Club was the second of his books that I read). However, after multiple readings of the book Fight Club, and countless viewings of the film, I still think the differences were fairly miniscule, and the movie remains one of my all-time faves. After all, if it’s good enough for Chuck, it’s good enough for me.

Some Significant Differences:

– The Narrator and Tyler meet differently in the book (on a beach) than they do in the film (on a plane).

– In the book, The Narrator’s “I am Joe’s ___” stories are replaced with the name “Jack”, for whatever reason.

– In the novel, The Narrator receives a hole in his cheek during a fight, which he sports for the rest of the book.

– The Narrator is also quite willing to participate in all of Project Mayhem’s adventures in the book, but, in the film, grows significantly more reluctant as time goes on

–  In the book, The Narrator reveals his split personality to Marla, and asks for her help.

– The ending of the book compared the movie is probably the most major difference between the two. In the book, The Narrator wakes up in a mental institution. There, he runs into several members of Project Mayhem, who hint that they are still doing Tyler’s bidding. The movie ends before this point, with Marla and The Narrator holding hands, and watching the chaos caused by Project Mayhem.

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A FEW SIDE NOTES: Honourable mention for this list goes to:

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy: A LOT differences between the books and the films but, in my opinion, not a lot of significant ones. The books were once considered un-filmable, but the movies are masterpieces.

2. Game Of Thrones: The TV series stayed remarkably true to the book during season one, and only recently has begun to make more changes.

3. The Walking Dead: A lot of MAJOR differences between the graphic novels and the TV series, but seeing as the series keeps me hooked, and I’m not guaranteed to know anything more than any other fan does, I’m perfectly happy. I like the graphic novels, and the show for different reasons (seperate entities, as I said). Also, Robert Kirkman is really involved with the making of the show, and has even said that it includes some story lines he didn’t think of when writing the books. And I think that’s pretty cool.

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Image obtained from IMDB

ALSO: There are a lot of really great movies I’ve seen (The Shining, The Silence Of The Lambs, The Shawshank Redemption), which are based on books that I have yet to read. But they’re on my list, I swear!!

What about you guys? What are some of your favourite book to film adaptations? Let me know!

 

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Top 5 Heartwarming HIMYM Moments

How I Met Your Mother is quite good at giving it’s fans amazingly happy, and emotional moments that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and the last two episodes of season 9 were definitely not disappointing in this area.

In episode 20, which aired on March 10, Marshall learned of Lily’s second pregnancy, and quickly becomes frantic about the idea of everything they need to do before the baby is born — including researching schools in Italy. When Lily protests that they aren’t going to Italy, Marshall tells her otherwise in a typically “Aweee” fashion.

“Of course we are. Lily, we have to do this. You’re gonna live in Rome, and you’re gonna get your dream, because you’re giving me mine — again.”

At the end of the episode, we were offered a glimpse of Ted and the mother’s first date — and first kiss — and it made (most of) us so, so happy. It also got me thinking about all of the other HIMYM moments that put joy in my heart, and a big grin on my face. So I figured, with the end of the series fast approaching, what better way to commemorate one of my favourite shows than with a blog post.

So, here it is — my top 5 heartwarming HIMYM moments.

5. Mickey Comes Through — “Tailgate,” season 7, episode 13

Let’s be honest. Lily’s father, Mickey, is no one’s favourite character. And those feelings of dislike temporarily reached a peak when Lily reluctantly called Mickey to tell him she was pregnant, and his only response was a nonchalant “That’s great,” before he hangs up.

What we don’t know until the end of the episode is that, as soon as he heard the news, Mickey drove all the way to New York from a board game convention in Chicago to be with his daughter. He arrives at her doorstep, holding a giant teddy bear, and is rewarded by a hug from a teary-eyed Lily, and the regained respect of us — the audience.

(SIDE NOTE: This episode was also heart-warming because of the scenes featuring Marshall “tailgating” at his father’s grave, but since I’ve included another Marvin moment in my list, Mickey gets the #5 spot.)

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Image obtained from fanpop.com

4. Barney Goes to San Francisco — “Bachelor Party,” season 2, episode 19

We all know that Barney has a particular fondness for strippers, and he definitely believes that no bachelor party is complete without one. So, despite Marshall’s insistence that he doesn’t want a stripper at his bachelor party, Barney hires one anyways. The stripper breaks her ankle in the guys’ hotel room, and they are all eventually kicked out after Barney’s lit cigar starts a fire. Essentially, Barney’s stripper ruined the awesome bachelor party that was carefully planned by best man Ted.

After Lily’s bridal shower, her and Robin head to the bar, where they are surprised to run into Ted and Marshall. After telling them about the bachelor party fiasco, Marshall says that he is so upset with Barney that he is considering not even inviting him to the wedding. Lily won’t stand for this, and tells a story that reveals to us that she and Marshall may not even be having a wedding if it weren’t for Barney.

Barney, being unable to continue seeing Marshall so depressed over losing Lily, flew to San Francisco. There, he told Lily that she should come back to New York, because she and Marshall are meant to be together. And, because we all know Barney is sweet in his own special way, he also tells Lily that he can’t keep stealing girls from Marshall forever.

Marshall is so happy to discover how much Barney cares about him and Lily, he makes Barney his co-best man.

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Image obtained from tvguide.com

3. Barney Brings Canada to Robin — “The Rehearsal Dinner,” season 9, episode 12

I chose this moment as my third favourite, partly because it was just so adorable, and partly because, like Robin, I am just so proud to be Canadian. (My birthday is on July 1, after all.)

During the episode, it’s revealed to us that, although Robin hoped to get married in Canada, she compromised, and agreed to get married in New York instead. She tells Barney that, because she made this compromise, he must agree to have a “normal” rehearsal dinner. He agrees, but he has a trick up his sleeve.

For most of the episode, Barney plays it like he thinks Robin is going to surprise him with an awesome laser tag rehearsal dinner, but it’s actually him that has a surprise planned. He even makes an excuse to go to the laser tag arena, and Robin follows him there (where he has ended up in the security office.)

Barney tells Robin that he can’t promise he will never lie to her, if lying means preventing her from finding out about a surprise. On cue, snow begins to fall in the office. With the press of a button, the walls of the “office” raise to reveal an ice rink full of family, and friends, and decorated with red and white balloons, and streamers. Barney presents Robin with a signed picture of Wayne Gretzky as a wedding gift, and Ted falls on his face during an attempt to skate. It’s a winning combo in more ways than one.

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GIF obtained from rebloggy.com

2. “Symphony of Illumination” — season 7, episode 12

Robin and Ted have numerous heartwarming moments, but this one beats them all, because it focused on their friendship, and not a romance between them.

During this episode — which opens with Robin telling her kids how she met their father — my heart absolutely broke for Robin. Her period is a week late, and she assumes that she is pregnant (with Barney’s baby). She makes a doctors appointment to find out, and she and Barney are both relieved when the results are negative. Robin celebrates this fact, until she receives more news from her doctor — she us unable to have children. Ever.

Rather than tell her friends the news, Robin says she is disappointed because she has just found out she didn’t make the Canadian pole-vaulting team.

The gang notices Robin acting strangely, and when Ted presses her to tell him why, Robin snaps at him, telling him he shouldn’t feel responsible for cheering her up. Robin takes a walk in Central Park, and it is revealed that the kids she spoke to in the beginning of the episode never existed.

When Robin returns to her and Ted’s apartment, Robin discovers a very elaborate, very bright, and very AC/DC Christmas light display, which Ted has lovingly constructed. Ted tells her that she doesn’t have to tell him why she’s upset, but that he will never stop trying to cheer her up. Robin breaks down into tears, and the two friends hug.

Future Ted tells his kids that, although Robin never had children, she became a famous journalist, traveled the world, and even had a stint as a bullfighter. But there was one thing Ted said Robin never was …

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Gif obtained from wewatchfortheplot.wordpress.com

1. ‘I Love You Son’ — “Last Words,” season 6, episode 14

Marshall’s relationship with his dad, Marvin, was repeatedly a source of many chuckles throughout the series. Even “Bad News,” the episode in which Marvin dies, was humorous until near the end. This only served to make the news of Marvin’s death — and Marshall’s heartbreaking reaction to it — even more devastating. Thus far, that episode is the single saddest of the series. And, for the first while, it seemed like “Last Words” was heading in the same direction.

The episode takes place at Marvin’s funeral, in Marshall’s hometown of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Marshall’s high school bully, Trey, who is leading the service, tells Marshall and his family that Marvin’s last words to them should be a theme during the service.

Marshall’s mother and brothers discuss Marvin’s last words to them, and each story is more touching than the last. Marshall is hesitant to share the last conversation he had with his father, which was rather trivial, and neither touching, nor inspirational.

When Marshall charges his cellphone for the first time since before Marvin’s death, he discovers a voicemail from his father. Marshall initially decides not to listen to the message, but during the service, he heads outside to check it.

At first, the message is only static and scratching — the sounds of a pocket dial. Marshall is outraged, and begins a heartbreaking speech to his friends about how his father meant so much to him, and how unfair it is that Marvin’s last words to him were nothing but a pocket dial.Suddenly, Marvin’s voice begins speaking through the phone. He apologizes for the pocket dial, and tells Marshall that he loves him, and goodbye. (This is followed by Marvin asking Marshall for his foot cream, but the gang decides to ignore that — Marvin’s last words to Marshall were “I love you, son.”)

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Image obtained from couchtimewithjill.com

So, that’s my list. What about you guys? What are your favourite HIMYM moments? Let me know in the comments!

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True Detective Season Finale — Perfect Imperfection

Sunday night brought with it the season finale of what quickly became one of my most looked-forward to shows on television — True Detective. Since the first episode, which had Rustin “Rust” Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin “Marty” Hart (Woody Harrelson) discovering a horrifying, ritualistic crime scene, I was hooked. I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical upon learning that the season would consist of only eight episodes — How can they possibly tie it all up in just eight hours?! After watching Sunday’s finale — “Form and Void” — I came to a realization.

**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS**

The finale wasn’t perfectly tied up, and it didn’t end in a totally satisfactory way. But this isn’t any fault of the writers. In fact, I believe it was intentional. The perfectly imperfect ending was, in my opinion, the only way to end a show like True Detective, which spent so much time focusing on the imperfections, flaws, and downright fucked-up nature of mankind.

Let me explain.

The two main characters in True Detective were far from loveable. They weren’t even likeable a lot of the time. But that didn’t stop us from rooting for them, or occasionally sympathizing with them. They had their issues, (man, did they ever), their vices, their weaknesses, and their bad moments. In short, they were real. And it was refreshing. They weren’t superheroes, and this was a welcome change from the morally unshakable protagonists that are so common in TV, particularly in detective mysteries.

That’s why, despite some less-than-favourable reviews, I’m standing firm in my belief that True Detectives send-off was entertaining, suspenseful, satisfactory, and, most important, appropriate.

The main victory for Rust and Marty was that the duo, after 17 years, finally managed to nab their Spaghetti Monster — the lawnmower man, Errol Childress A.K.A The Yellow King — and what a monster he was.

To say Childress is the perfect villain is an understatement, and he can’t be defined as merely “the killer”. Some would say his defining characteristic was his redneck lifestyle, and that’s partly true (I mean, he “makes flowers” on his half-sister, which is absolutely as disgusting as it sounds — see ‘Exhibit A’ below).

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Image obtained from ign.com

And some, still, would define Childress by his absolute brokenness. It makes perfect sense that he ended up that way, given the abuse he endured throughout his entire childhood, which is likely how he received his scars. But Childress is more than a tortured child turned sadistic murderer, too.

What I think made Childress so terrifying was that he didn’t even seem to understand himself. He had multiple roles — polite, and dutiful maintenance man at the schools, lover (yuck), and breadwinner during his messed up home life, abused child in a man’s body, serial killer, cult-leader… the list goes on. But, during our glimpses of Childress in his home, we see him trying on several different fictional roles, and moving from voice-to-voice, and accent-to-accent, with no apparent effort involved.

If the stacks of books piled haphazardly around the house are any clue, Childress makes a habit of escaping into other worlds, and other personalities. Maybe this is by choice — a method of escaping from his less-than-ideal life. Or, maybe, Childress is just plain schizophrenic, which, admittedly, seems more likely. Either way, it’s clear that Childress is accustomed to putting on a mask. This is an attribute he clearly recognizes in Rust, as is evident by Childress’ screams he guts Rust inside Carcosa ­— his vast labyrinth, which has been the stage for multiple ritualistic murders.

By the end of the episode, we still have a lot of questions about Childress and what drove him, but one thing is irrefutable — he is a masterpiece of a monster, and, if I ever see him again, it will be too soon.

Despite the major injuries they both sustain in Carcosa, our duo manages to shoot, and kill Childress, and, after being rescued, they make a full recovery in hospital. As I’ve already mentioned, however, it was far from the perfect happy ending.

Sure, there are some “awe =] ” moments, most notably Marty apparently receiving forgiveness from Maggie and his daughters, and Marty presenting Rust with some Camel Cigarettes in a Tiffany blue gift box.

But there were also plenty of “awe =[“ moments. Despite the discovery of Childress and his atrocities, the Tuttle brothers manage to weasel their way out of any implications made against them.

There was also Rust’s break down. He describes the moment when, while in a coma, he felt the presences and immense love of his dead daughter and father, and let go with a resigned “Darkness, yeah!” (Hey man, your McConaughey is showing). Rust gave himself to the darkness, only awake alone in a cold, sterile hospital. The effect this had on Rust is evident; he repeatedly tells Marty “I’m not supposed to be here.”

The biggest “awe =]” moment, and the peak of the duo’s bromance, is also when Marty has what is his most redeeming moment — he comforts Rust and knowingly steers the conversation in a different direction. This prompts Rust’s last, and most powerful, monologue, which is a perfect analogy for premise of True Detective.

Marty reminds Rust of a time when, before he watched TV, he would look up at the stars and make up stories, which always had the same theme — light versus darkness. When Marty — once the less cynical of the two partners — looks up in the sky, he comes to the conclusion that darkness is winning.

Rust, however, disagrees.

“Once, there was only dark. If you ask me, the light is winning.”

Did you like the season finale of True Detective? Why or why not? Let me know!

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Image obtained from awardsdaily.com

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New GOT Season 4 Trailer

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more excited for the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, this trailer — titled “Secrets” — was released last night, before the True Detective season finale.

The trailer includes, amidst clips of battle scenes, and dragon fire, major themes of revenge, and justice (no surprise there). It opens with Sansa Stark talking to Tyrion Lannister about the deaths of her mother, and brother.

“I lie awake all night thinking about how they died.” 

Poor Sansa.

We are also offered a glimpse of a new character, Oberyn Martell, A.K.A The Red Viper. He makes it clear that he has vengeance on his mind during a walk with Cersei, when she asks him “What good is power if you cannot protect those you love?” His reply:

“We can avenge them.”

Across the Narrow Sea, Ser Jorah makes a cautious suggestion to Daenarys Targaryen —“Sometimes it is better to answer injustice with mercy.”

The Mother of Dragons will have none of that, however, as is made clear in her reply.

“I will answer injustice with justice.”

What did you think about the new GOT trailer? Let me know!

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Image obtained from winteriscoming.net

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I Cannot Wait To See This Movie

I’ve always been a wee bit on the morbid side. I’m not crazy or anything, (I swear), but I really enjoy true crime novels/TV, and reading about famous cult leaders, con artists, and — especially — serial killers.

I don’t know why I’ve always been so intrigued by those things. I guess we always try to decipher what we don’t understand, and because I could never understand the mind of a killer, it fascinates me.

That’s probably one of the reasons why Dexter was one of my favourite TV shows (for the first 4 seasons, at least). Itoffered a fresh, and interesting take on the portrayal of a serial murderer — a vigilante killer who we can’t help but love, and sympathize with. I just adored the idea (I even named my cat Dexter, after Michael C. Hall’s character).

So when I read about the upcoming comedy-thriller The Voices, I was instantly intrigued. Lionsgate recently picked up the North American distribution rights to the film, which was called “the ultimate WTF horror comedy” at Sundance 2014.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi, The Voice stars Ryan Reynolds as Jerry Hitfang, a “loveable but disturbed” factory worker who longs for the affection of a female co-worker. When his relationship with her takes a sudden turn, Hitfang stops taking his prescribed medication, and begins to hallucinate the voices of his pet cat and dog (both voiced by Reynolds).

The sadistic (and Scottish) cat, Mr. Whiskers,urges Hickfang to explore his murderous impulses. Because he’s a cat, and of course he does. Hickfang’s benevolent dog, Bosco, however, argues against the evil Mr. Whiskers’ advice. Because he’s a dog, and of course he does.

Hickfang becomes implicated in the suspicious death of a co-worker and, when he resumes taking his medication, realizes the depth of his violent nature. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience begins to realize why Hickfang is the way he is.

Odd, and darkly humorous movies are the norm for director Satrapi. Her animated film Persepolis, the story of a young girl who comes of age in the midst of the violent Iranian Revolution, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture in 2007 (but lost to Ratatouille). Satrapi has commented that she, “…know[s her] baby is in great hands,” at Lionsgate.

In a glowing review, Eric D. Snider of Film.com called Satrapi “a major directorial talent,” praised Reynolds as “genuinely great … he avoids both the campiness and the over-the-top evil that could have crept in.” Snider also calls the film itself is “a loopy, ghastly, funny, morbid, and unforgettable 100 minutes,” although he does caution it isn’t for everyone.

Although there is no official release date set for The Voices, which also stars Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, 50/50) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Perisa, Clash of the Titans), it will likely be during fall of this year. Does The Voices sound appealing to you? What other movies are you looking forward to during 2014? Let me know in the comments!

Image obtained from IMDB

Image obtained from IMDB

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Movie News Worth Knowing

Captain America: Winter Soldier

A new teaser trailer, which premiered during tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, depicts in explosive (pun definitely intended) detail, the massive destruction, and chaos that Cap’s one-time sidekick the Winter Soldier, a.k.a Buckey Barnes (Sebastian Stan), brings to Washington D.C. Obviously, this won’t work out well for Bucky, because D.C is a city that Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) are determined to protect.

The movie, which is the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, will no doubt be full of non-stop action, especially now that all the pesky (and sometimes boring) origin stories are out of the way. I’m sure that it will contain all of the car chases, stand-offs, and epic battles that I can handle.

The feelings of Steve Rogers, ever the patriot (of course), are summed up perfectly in the new TV spot.

“The price of freedom is high and it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

For the record, Cap, you can save me any day!

The movie hits theatres on April 4th, but in the mean time, you can watch the new trailer here. And check out this recently released poster, featuring a determined Captain America, who is as beautiful under fire as ever.

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Image obtained from ign.com

Girls’ Adam Driver In New Star Wars Movie?

Just to be clear, LucasFilm hasn’t confirmed this casting, but it’s been hinted that Driver will play a (possibly Darth Vador-esque) villain in the new sequel(s).

Anyone who has watched HBO’s Girls is familiar with the character of Adam Sackler — the dysfunctional, dark, hysterical, and, yet, somehow adorable boyfriend of Hannah (Lena Dunham). Driver absolutely nails this performance again, and again, and has the trademark mixture of disturbing, yet alluring, down pat.

Besides Girls, Driver has appeared in a few — mostly independent — films. Fans of the show, however, can attest to his acting prowess, and agree that Driver would make a great choice for an evil villain in a galaxy far, far away.

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Image obtained from IMDB

And Even More Villain News

Captain America: Winter Soldier is definitely not the only Marvel movie set to hit theatres this spring/summer. It will be joined by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony), X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox), and Guardians of the Galaxy, (which could possibly serve as a lead-in to the much-anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is set to be released in May 2015).

In Age of Ultron, James Spader will play the sadistic, and insane Ultron, a creation of mad scientist/genius Dr. Henry Pym. Ultron is hell-bent on exterminating/enslaving humanity, and eventually turns on his own creator.

It’s recently been confirmed that Thomas Kretschmann will play Baron von Strucker — a Nazi, and member of HYDRA — who dreams of world domination and, despite being previously killed off in the Marvel universe, returns and attempts to achieve his dreams of genocide again.

And Kretchmann’s appearance won’t be limited to just one movie, according to him.

” I have a multi-picture deal which means I will not only appear in the 2nd part [Avengers: Age of Ultron] but they’re planning with me for a longer period of time. But I don’t know details yet, they’re keeping their cards close to their chest – top secret!”

Read more about Kretchmann and his Marvel deal here.

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Image obtained from IMDB

As you can probably guess, I’m a Marvel fan, so I’m always eager to hear any info you may have about the upcoming releases. Let me know what you know in the comments!

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35 More Sleeps Until GOT Returns

Yes, I’m counting the days. And, in the meantime, I’m eating up every trailer, image, or piece of news that that has even the smallest bit of relevance to the upcoming premiere of Game of Thrones season four, including these character posters. I pre-ordered season three on DVD, and had a bit of a nerdgasm over the super cool dragon shadow packaging. So yes, I am excited, to say the very least.

One thing that sets Game of Thrones apart from other popular TV series today is that it’s based on books. Not graphic novels, or comic books, but George R.R Martin’s long, descriptive, and fantastical novels. Ten years ago, most people wouldn’t have thought it would be possible to turn those novels into a television show. But here we are, and Game of Thrones is unlike anything that has existed in the TV world before. It’s filmed in numerous locations — including Ireland, Scotland, Morocco, Croatia,and Iceland — has received widespread critical acclaim, and boasts multiple awards, and nominations. It has also managed to attract a huge, and very diverse, audience, which, because the series is based on such beloved novels, is basically split up into two groups — those who have read the books, and those who haven’t.

This isn’t entirely unheard of. Dexter, The Walking Dead, and True Blood are all based on books, but the divide between GOT fans is definitely more pronounced than any of it’s predecessors. Social media is a constant war zone while GOT airs, and the word “spoiler” has gained a whole new level of evil because of this show. As someone who has read (most) of the books in A Song of Fire and Ice (I’m currently on the fifth — A Dance With Dragons), I fall into the former group of “have reads,” and this makes following the TV series even more interesting for me.

For example, even during the months between seasons, I can still (kind of) get my GOT fix when the creators announce who will be playing some pretty important characters in season four. For someone who hasn’t read the books, “The Red Viper” may not mean anything, but for those of us who have, it brings a whole new level of drama, and intrigue to the upcoming season.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Game of Thrones always holds true to the books in A Song of Fire and Ice. For instance, although I knew the infamous Red Wedding was approaching in season three, there were definitely still a few surprising moments for me. The most significant of which was the death of Robb Stark’s queen, Jeyne Westerling. In the books, Jeyne doesn’t join Rob at the wedding, and thus, her life is spared. The series, however, has Jenye become pregnant with what she believes is a boy, one that she suggests her and Robb name Ned (*sniff*, *tear*). The young queen meets a horrific end — she is brutally stabbed in her pregnant belly, which earned an audible gasp from me. Seriously. It hurt.

Another moment that comes to mind is Arya witnessing her dead brother’s beheaded corpse being paraded around on a horse, with the severed head of his direwolf — Grey Wind — sewn onto his shoulders. In the books, this is merely speculation and gossip overhead by Arya, so the audience never really knows if it happened or not. Needless to say, it was horrifying to see it brought to life in the show.

Obviously, there will be more than a couple surprises in store for the “have-reads” in season four, which will be roughly based on the second half of the third book — A Storm of Swords. And you can bet that I am eagerly waiting to discuss them with you!

Which character are you most excited to see return in season four? Are you a member of the “have-reads” or the “have-not-reads?” What were the most shocking moments of season three for you? Let me know!

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Image obtained from IMDB

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True Detective = Truly Delightful

If any of you haven’t started watching True Detective yet, I highly recommend that you begin immediately. Amazing writing, incredible acting (Seriously, can you ask for a better duo than Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson?), great cinematography, and the perfect music — that’s a winning combination if I’ve ever seen one.

For those of you who have yet to tune in, I will explain the premise briefly, without giving anything away. And I promise to give fair warning before I dive into a quick recap of the most recent episode — “Haunted Houses.”

Set in the deep, dirty, religious south, True Detective, which was created by Nic Pizzolatto, is a crime series that follows two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives across seventeen years, and multiple timelines, as they attempt to catch a seriously creepy serial killer. The series, which has themes of religion and morality, is dark, addicting, sexy, and sometimes funny. The first episode — which introduces Rust (McConaughey) and Marty (Harrelson), as they discover a gruesome, eerie… okay, downright f*cked up, crime scene — will have you instantly hooked. At least, it had me instantly hooked!

The show was pitched as an anthology, which means that each season will feature different characters, a different cast, and a new story line. Lately, there has been talk that the second season could feature female detectives, but considering season two hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, that may or may not be true.

**IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE LATEST EPISODE OF TRUE DETECTIVE, READ NO FURTHER!**

For those of you who are newly True Detective faithful like I am, let’s talk about episode six — “Haunted Houses.”

Just when I thought I couldn’t dislike the character of Marty more… I do. Rust is portrayed as the “crazy” one in the show, but for awhile now, I’ve said that it’s the jealous, violent, abusive Marty that is the real nutcase. (I mean, really, Marty, if you’re going to be such a douche bag, at least be smart about it. READ: Coming home and washing the set of clothes you were wearing, and only those clothes, is pretty damn stupid). Maggie (Michelle Monaghan) immediately catches on, and, considering the drama that she endured the first time she caught Marty, opts for a different route — revenge.

Can I just say that I was cheering for Maggie at this point? Marty is such an asshole. He slaps his daughter across her face as punishment for her promiscuity, yet he repeatedly cheats on his wife WITH (A) GIRL(S) WHO IS/ARE THE SAME AGE AS HIS DAUGHTER. Come on, Marty, that’s really messed up.

My feelings instantly changed when I realized that Maggie planned to seduce Rust, although I had a feeling it would happen. From the beginning of the series, we have seen a friendly, and fairly intimate relationship between Maggie and Rust. He tells her about the death of his daughter, and the demise of his marriage, and she turns to him each time that she discovers her husband is cheating. It’s also pretty clear to us, based on Rust’s chastising, yet ambiguous, words to Marty about his unfaithfulness, that Rust has more than just friendly feelings for Maggie. This was apparent to Marty, based on the whole, and I’m definitely paraphrasing here, “You-cut-my-lawn-when-I’m-not-home-again-and-I’ll-fuck-you-up,” incident. Obviously, Rust’s feelings were clear to Maggie too. She seduces Rust into what was one of the most passionless, ugly sex scenes that I’ve ever seen, knowing that it is the one thing that will really hurt Marty. And, though I really wanted her to stick it to him, it’s hard to forgive her for manipulating Rust in that way. Maybe I just root for the underdog, or maybe I’m a bleeding heart, but Rust has been my favourite character since episode one.

In this episode, we also discovered, beyond a doubt, what most of us had probably been thinking for awhile — Rust believes that Reverend Tuttle is the serial killer responsible for the deaths of Dora Lange and multiple other women, and he is determined to prove it. The fact that Rust is investigating without the permission, or even the knowledge, of his department really doesn’t matter because, as we all know, he’s not the type to follow orders, or to stay within the line.

I speculated about the whole Tuttle thing earlier, but now that he has become the “obvious” culprit, I retract my prediction. It was  revealed that Tuttle died in 2010 under mysterious circumstances, so he very well could have had something to do with the murders, but I doubt that he was the mastermind. As any mystery fan knows, the obvious answer is never the right one. As far as what the solution is, however, I’m totally stumped. I refuse to believe that Rust is the killer (as the present day detectives seem to), but I don’t have any other theories to offer up. With only two episodes left, I better start guessing.

Do any of you watch True Detective? Do you have any predictions about who the serial killer is? Any inside scoops about a possible season two? Let me know!

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Image obtained from asset1.net

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