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Cora is one of my favorite characters. Nothing fazes her, or should I say, nothing throws her even if she is surprised. She's one of the most grounded, practical characters in a setting where she could be very removed and isolated given her position. IMO, Cora already ended things with Bricker in her mind. She really loves Robert and wouldn't do anything to intentional hurt him or make him jealous. That is not her style. She may be discreet about personal matters. But, she's not calculating or devious in that way. I also love how she can put Robert in his place in less than 10 words & still play the good hostess. That brings me to a character that I really dislike at the moment - Miss Bunting. It's one thing to have different opinions than one's host. But, Miss Bunting is just a bad guest - ALL the time. She knew that the Russians were expats driven away from their homeland. But, what kind of insensitive idiot would actually say something to make them feel MORE unwelcome, MORE homesick, and MORE out of place at an event that was supposed to give them comfort. Class differences aren't an excuse for that behavior as hospitality was practiced in all levels of society at that time. She knew what she was doing was just mean, and she didn't care about anything except her own POV. I REALLY hope she is not in Tom's future.

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If being ambitious was the worst thing Lucius did, no, he wouldn't be considered "horrible." But, he murdered the boys' uncle who basically raised them (and which actually explains a lot of the boys' shortcomings). I think cold-blooded murder definitely puts Lucius in the "Horrible Parent" category right now.

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I thought the whole Cookie vs. the world scene in the elevator was a sly reference to the Solange Knowles beat down of Jay Z last year.

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Really liked what I saw this week. My gosh, Taraji P. Henson's eyes convey so much. I think I could watch Cookie's expressions the entire hour with the sound off & still know what the episode was about. The way she looked at Lucius' house from the taxi said so much in 5 seconds. The depth of the characters is fantastic. Hakeem is such a little putz. But, he's made tolerable by his relationship with his brother, one of the best parts of the whole series. The way Lucius can hide his murderous nature is really chilling. The tears, the fake promise to his family to get justice for Bunkie - how cold & calculating. Probably wasn't the first time he did that either. In that light, I think his treatment of Cookie is pretty mild compared to what he's capable of. Frankly, I think part of him still loves her. It's evident that her opinion of him still matters. And, he knows no one else loves him like Cookie did. She believed in him when he was nobody & sacrificed herself for him & their sons. Would Anika ever do the same? HA! Fat chance! And, he knows it. As far as the music goes, it's OK. The best song this week IMO was Jamal's. But, the reason I keep coming back is the drama; not the music. I don't like the way the young men treat the women in this series. But, it is important to show that - to show what the lack of parents can do to a person no matter what their tax bracket.

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Thanks, Stacy!

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Last week, I made a comment on another board that AGENT CARTER is a nice contrast to AoS precisely because the era was characterized by an extreme reliance on secrets; especially in Great Britain. The U.S. did indeed have their fair share (Operation Paperclip). But, my impression is that the UK was much more strict & closed-off with their information than the U.S.; probably because of their proximity to the USSR & its looming threat. I'm glad it's part of the atmosphere of CARTER that we're seeing the creators of SHIELD literally dealing in secrets. On AoS, Coulson & Company are trying to uncover decades of them while staying barely one step ahead of Hydra. One part I didn't understand was what Peggy did to get her boss to verbally thrash her. That went completely over my head. How did she save Jarvis from being grilled?

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Like the show. Liked the episode. But, I wish the reviewer would use a different phrase when she writes about Stevie's POV. Stevie *feels* her mother lied to her out of choice. Elizabeth doesn't just "lie" because she's wanted to. Elizabeth is not allowed to tell anyone what she does as a CIA analyst. It's against the law. If she did, she could be charged with violating numerous national security laws, or even treason. I know someone who is also employed as a gov't analyst. They don't want to always be lying to their family. So they simply say, "I'm going to be working." Period. No explanation is given, and none is expected. The way Stevie is written is to play up the drama of an idealistic, immature young woman being slapped with a reality check. But, I did like how she admitted she had some growing up to do. 95% of kids in Stevie's position have parents who are gone repeatedly for business with little explanation. They know the score, and are more realistic & mature at age 13 than Stevie is being portrayed. With two parents as intelligent as the ones on screen, you'd think Stevie would be more thoughtful & circumspect than just jump to the judgmental position right away.

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Solid mid-season finale. I especially liked how an overconfident Rumple had his *ss handed to him by Belle, and Regina's willingness to do the right thing was rewarded with friendship & love. My goodness, Henry is growing up! He looks more mature with each passing episode. I have no idea who they have in mind for an author/sorcerer who is more powerful than Rumple. But, hopefully they can fulfill heightened expectations the longer this mystery continues. The one element that is disappointing is Will Scarlett's role. Why was he even brought on if he's just going to be wallpaper?

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Well, I'm a female. I don't like "shipping" characters without a good reason. And, I don't want Skye & Ward together because he's a murderous creep. He can go right ahead & sacrifice everything for her. She deserves it after what HYDRA did to her family. And after what Ward helped HYDRA do to SHIELD, he can grovel at Coulson & Company's feet for all I care. He. Will. Never. Redeem. Himself. That doesn't, however, mean he isn't good to look at while playing an obsessive SHIELD wannabee. In fact, that's really the ultimate punishment for him - to never again be a trusted "good guy" like he was for that brief, shining moment. To be on the outside looking in, never trusted, always doubted & scorned - it's the perfect purgatory for someone who had it all & threw it away for HYDRA, an organization he really didn't care about. What a waste!

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Liked the episode. But, was confused over Ingrid's sudden, "Oh, my sister DID love me!" conversion. When she touched the letter & remembered their childhood, it was like the audience was being told she had forgotten all of that when the trolls cast their amnesia spell on kingdom. But, since she clearly remembered that she had sisters, I didn't think the spell affected her memory. Did the troll spell really affect her that way? It's the only way I will accept her change of heart, which was just too quick & complete IMO for her self-sacrifice. After pursuing Emma & Elsa with dogged determination for decades & for most of the episode, it such a whiplash change that troll magic would explain a lot of the pain she caused.