How I got Out Of My Reading Slump

Ave, people!

How are you? (Yes, I’m really asking that)

Today, I’m gonna use the title of this this post as an excuse to talk about the last book I read  I‘m gonna tell you how I got out of a month-long reading slump. (Though tis’ true, I really couldn’t read anything lately… Just wasn’t in the mood, I guess).

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica day George

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3697927-princess-of-the-midnight-ball?from_search=true&search_version=service

As you can tell, this book is about a princess. 12 of them, actually.

Yep, it’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Brothers Grimm, and a good one too.

I’ve seen mixed reviews about it (as usual, there never is unanimous consent for anything these days, and rightly so, I might add) so I guess mine will fit in the positive-ones category.

See, as I’ve  already told you multiple times in this post, I wasn’t in the mood for anything lately, not just books: since I came back from Giffoni, I have tried many things, but none of them would catch my interest for more than a day.

I’ve marathoned the first season of White Collar (again), rewatched Kingsman, Magic in the Moonlight, Shutter Island (again), started like 7 books and left them there, rewatched Mulan (which usually isn’t my first choice when it comes to my Disney Movies Rewatch, though I enjoy it just fine), went to the cinema to finally see Ant-Man (I should totally write a review, but yep, I’m that lazy), went out with my friends a lot more than I usually do, and many, many other things…

At last, I was so demotivated (I’m having a rough time trying to figure out what to do next, now that I have my college degree) that I started (re)watching Barbie movies.

And guys, I swear, that did the trick.

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I’m not a snub when it comes to cartoons and such; infact, I love them. My bedroom bookshelves hold more than 500 mangas, I have original DVDs with episodes from Naruto, Mermaid Melody etc. and don’t get me started with Disney – see above – and Marvel (and DC, but mostly Marvel).

So it wasn’t a surprise that the “answer” came from that category. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t watch just anything, I am kinda picky in my own way; I just think that, if the story and the characters are good, you can work with that.

With Barbie movies you have to be a bit flexible, their target is indeed children (especially little girls) from what, 3 to 13? But that doesn’t mean they can’t be watched by anyone, or that the product can’t have any kind of potential for a good movie.

So, i started marathoning them, and watched like 15 movies in 3 days (still managing to go out and getting some decent sleep hours) and THAT got me in the mood for reading again.

The thing is, I love fairy tales and legends, and I love retellings. I must have read/seen hundreds of them.

So, I got on the internet and searched for books about the same source material as the Barbie movies I just saw, I found a goodreads list, picked one, and started reading it (hence Princess of the Midnight Ball).

And I liked it.

A light read, with not so bad characterization (for those who strongly disagree, just try yourself and give 12 princesses a different personality in a span of a few hundred pages to make them recognizable enough) and a convincing spin on the classic tale (!spoiler! – sort of – the princesses do not go dancing on their own will).

There are 3 books in this series (because it is a series): the first one revolves around all of them (as the title says), but Rose, the eldest sister, gets to be in the front line. The second one, Princess of Glass, is a Cinderella retelling with Poppy, one of the 12 sisters, as the main protagonist. The third one combines Robin Hood and Red Riding Hood’s stories, with Petunia, the youngest of the lot, taking the spotlight.

So far I’ve only read the first one, but I’m planning on reading the other two very soon.

Meanwhile, here’s my fancast for Galen and Rose

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Marshall Williams as Galen

Evan Rachel Wood as Rose

So, that’s how I got out of my most recent reading slump.

What about you? How do you deal with this kind of situations? And what kind of books do you recommend in these cases?

Let me know πŸ˜‰

Bye Bye, Apple Pies!

The Book Corner – The Lunar Chronicles

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Hello People!

Today I’m gonna annoy you with how much I loved Cress.

Yep.

When I first started this series, I wasn’t too impressed with it, to be honest.

Cinder wasn’t a heavy read by any means, but I didn’t find it exactly captivating either.

As a protagonist, I kinda liked her, but there wasn’t the emotional connection I thought there would be, and the same happened with Kai.

I went on reading though, and I’m glad I did, because with Scarlet things started to take a pleasant turn, mainly because of the switching pov thing (I mean, I cared more about Cinder in Scarlet, than in her own book).

And, let’s be honest: also because of Thorne.

See, not every book/saga has a character so remarkable that is able to make a real difference, but this one does.

Thorne is that guy that you either love or hate, but can’t argue that is good for the story.

And me… Well, I ❀ Thorne.

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Anyway, Scarlet was definitely more enjoyable than the first book, though it’s not perfect.

The major improvement comes with Cress.

Aaaaaahhhh, Cress.

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For someone who blindly loves Rapunzel (and sees Tangled as THE canon version of the story because.), it wasn’t easy to please me. I was expecting to be veeeeery critical and veeeeery judgy about it, but I couldnt.

I liked Cress. I liked Thorne. I liked them together. liked the context. I liked pretty much everything.

I was dreading a weak and remissive character, some unoriginal washed-up version of it, but luckily that was not the case.

Besides the fact that there was great chemistry between all the stories and the characters – and that you could finally see the puzzle pieces coming together – this book read so smoothly, I didn’t even realize I was halfway through it at some point.

I really hope they’re gonna turn it into a tv show or a movie series soon (I’ll do some reasearch and see if the rights have already been secured by some major like they did with other book series).

Now we’ll have to wait till November to read Winter (and I still have to read Fairest), but I’ll probably spend the next few months diving into Cresswell fanfictions (if you know some good ones, please share!) because CRESSWELL OTP.

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By the way, I have a habit of fancasting very book I read, so I’m just gonna leave you here my fancast for this series. Tell me if you could see it work πŸ˜‰

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Jamie Chung – Cinder

Rachel Hurd-Wood – Scarlet

Elizabeth Olsen – Cress

Sonequa Martin-Green – Winter

Godfrey Gao – Kai

Tyler Hoechlin – Wolf

Taron Edgerton – Thorne

Ryan Parrish – Jacin

OUAT 3×16: It’s not (that) easy being green

Like Kermit used to say, It’s not (that) easy being green, and Zelena knows it.

Hello everybody!

Welcome to our weekly rendez-vous with OUAT.

Luckily for me, this time we have a lot less tragic episode, which means I can be as snarky as I want.

First of all, allow me to introduce to you The Emerald City!

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Yes dearies, we finally have the chance to see the world of Oz!

And not only that: by the end of the show, we’ll even meet the Wizard himself! (Please, be prepared to be disappointed by this one)

So, let’s get this started, for there’s a lot to say!

Flashbacks

In the Land of Oz, a couple finds an abandoned baby on the yellow brick road.
The woman decides to adopt her on the spot, but the man seems reluctant: he sees the child using some sort of magic, and he doesn’t want anything to do with it.
It doesn’t matter though, because the woman has made up her mind, and starts walking towards the Emerald City with the baby.
They decide to call her Zelena.

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A few years later, the woman is now dead, and the man lives alone with the young, clueless witch.
In a moment of anger, he tells her that he’s not her real father, and the two have a row.
Zelena sets off to see the only person capable to tell her more about her true origins: The Wizard of Oz.

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Once she gets there, she finds out her real mother abandoned her for she would never be able to give her what she had always wanted: the ability to become royalty.
She also learns that she has a sister, Regina, who not only happens to be a Queen, but she’s also training to become a sorceress.
However, Regina doesn’t seem to be as powerful as her sibling.
So, Zelena asks for a way to get to that world, and the Wizard provides her with a pair of silver slippers: these shoes… Well, you know what they do.

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In return, he only asks her to bring him something belonging to someone we know very well.
Guess who?

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(If you said Rumple, then you guessed right. If you didn’t, it doesn’t matter, since I’ve just told you that anyway =P )

And off to the Enchanted Forest she goes.
There she meets Rumplestiltskin, and reveals herself to him.
After he makes sure she’s telling the truth by pulling a hair from her head and creating this sort of fairy tale version of a DNA test, he decides to train her.

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He wants to cast a curse, but the only one who can do that is Cora’s daughter, for he has foreseen it.
Of course, now that there’s two of them, the prediction gets tricky: who’s gonna be the one? Regina or Zelena?
So Rumple decides to put Zelena to the test, one that she fails because of her ever growing envy (which BTW starts to physically show in a very unpleasant way).

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He explains to her what we already knew, that is to say, casting the curse has a price: you have to sacrifice the thing you love the most.
To Zelena, that’d be Rumple, so obviously he can’t let that happen.
He chooses Regina, making Zelena furious.
When she tells him she could have taken him wherever he wanted thanks to her slippers – even to the land without magic he was so desperately trying to reach – Rumple tries to fix things, but she gets away.
Before she leaves, she makes him a promise: he’ll see her again, and…

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Once back to Oz, she asks the Wizard to take her back in time to change the past, but he tells her it’s impossible.
She gets angry, and she draws down the curtain.
The Wizard’s true identity is revealed: drum roll Walsh.

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Yeah, I know. Let me finish the recap and I’ll share my feelings about this with you.

So, he’s just a charlatan, a showman from Kansas, who happens to “peddle the truth”.
Because he may not have magic, but the things he collects do.
(Great, a panhandler!)
Anyway, since he’s useless to Zelena, “at least like this”, she turns him into a very obedient flying monkey.
In the last scene, she expresses all her envy and hate towards her sister, and turns completely green.

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Storybrooke

Meanwhile, in Maine, everyone is grieving Neal’s death: the whole city attends his funeral, and then goes to Granny for the wake.

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Hook and Emma talk about getting Henry to find out more about his father.
Hook offers to help, taking him out for a boat trip, while Emma gets the award for the most unfortunate answer ever:

Hook: “Perhaps I can talk to him.”
Emma: “About what, leather conditioner and eyeliner?”

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Ouch.

That wasn’t nice, girl.

Hook: “I knew Bae as a boy. Perhaps Henry would like to hear what his father was like when he was his age.”

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Now, feel free to sink in the depths of the Earth, savior!

At the diner counter, Tink and Regina talk about Robin ( ❀ ❀ ❀ ).
Regina introduces them to each other and, after a quick exchange with Robin, she goes back to talking with Tink, who basically tells her not to screw everything up, this time.

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The doors open, and Zelena comes in, with the Dark One’s dagger in her hand.
She does the classic big bad talk, threatens everyone, and then goes straight to Regina.
She tells her the truth about them being siblings, and then challenges her:

Zelena: “Meet me on main street tonight. Say… Sundown?”
Regina: “And then what?”
Zelena: “Then I’ll destroy you.”

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Regina is not impressed

After Zelena leaves, everyone gets together to talk about what just happened.
Later, digging into her mother’s stuff, Regina finds a letter that proves to her that Zelena is indeed her sister.
She runs away into the woods, where she meets… Come on, who do you think it is?
Robin, of course!

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Please, don’t.

Anyway, Outlaw Queen in action.
For the first time in forever – Anna from Frozen starts singing – she trusts someone enough to open up to him and, as we’ll find out later, to have him doing something of great importance.

While Hook is bonding with his future step-son (foreshadowing, here), Belle and the others try to break another bond, the one keeping Rumple under Zelena’s control.
Unfortunately, they fail: Zelena finds out about their plan, and they’re forced to run away, or she will use Rumple against them.

It’s showtime.
The Wicked vs. Evil match begins.

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Regina seems to be losing to her more powerful sister, and everyone is afraid for her safety.
But… Plot twist!
Zelena doesn’t want to kill her: she wants her heart.
But luckily for us, Mommy Dearest did give some good advice to her daughter, after all…
“Never bring your heart to a witch fight.”

A furious Zelena literally flies away, and the gang is left there to wonder about her intentions.

Later, Regina goes back to the woods, where an armed Robin was left to guard her heart.
Finally, Regina realizes it’s time move on and start loving again.
She asks Robin to keep her heart for a little longer, much to his surprise.

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Robin: “You’re really going to entrust something so valuable to a common thief like me?”

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Truer words were never spoken.

The last Storybrooke scenes for this week include:
-Hook talking some sense into Emma;
-Zelena revealing her plan to Rumple

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Zelena: “What I’m casting isn’t a curse. It’s a second chance.”


Random Comments


The Lovely Land Of Oz

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Emerald City looks glorious, and also like a mixture of Gotham City and Metropolis with an Arrowish touch.

Can’t wait to see the whole Dorothy story!

I’m very disappointed by the true identity of the Wizard.

Just for a moment, for a split-second, I thought/hoped it was going to be Jefferson (The Mad Hatter).

It was silly, I knew he wasn’t coming back, but I had the feeling it could be him.

But it wasn’t.

I have nothing against Christopher Gorham, but I hoped for a “bigger” character to play that role.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens next.

I loved the fact the slippers were silver, as they actually are in the book, instead of red.

I think it gives them more personality.

Zelena’s motives

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I’m torn about it.

On one side, I think it’s somewhat refreshing to see an evil, pardon, wicked, character act the way she does out of pure envy.

On the other, after all these complex villains we’ve had so far (Regina, Rumple, Cora, Peter Pan, Hook), she sure doesn’t look as deep of a character as they are.

Captain Swan

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The more we go on with the show, the less I can stand Emma.

I mean… How much of a b*tch can you be to that poor guy?

We all know you’re made for each other, and I agree that there has to be a slow build up before the romance reaches its apex.

But enough is enough.

At least try to be a little kinder to him, would you?

Outlaw Queen

CatturaLoro

In spoken Italian, when we’re talking about something that it’s so obviously good that there’s no need to make the concept any clearer, we say: “Ma che te lo dico a fare?!?”

That’s exactly the case.

“Ah regΓ , ma che ve lo dico a fa!”

These two.

The chemistry. The UST. The Love.

After the first episode back from the hiatus, it had already become one of my top OTPs.

Now it just keeps getting better and better.

Memorable quotes

Rumple (to Zelena) : “You might wanna get that thing checked out”


The Wizard: “When you click your heels together three times, those slippers will take you wherever you desire”


The Wizard: “It is one thing to wonder about your past, but another to become envious of things you cannot have”


Regina: “This isn’t the Wild West.”

Zelena: “No dear… It’s the Wicked West.”


David: “Are you sure Cora never said anything about her?”

Regina: “I think I would have remembered if my mother told me she had a love child with a scarecrow”


Tink: “You did managed to step on a lot of toes back in our land”

Regina: “Well, none of them were green”


Regina (to Granny): “Stick to the Lasagna, lady.”


Robin: “I think deep down you actually want to talk about what’s in that letter”
Regina: “What makes you think you know me so well?”
Robin: “Well, for one thing, I’d be charred to a crisp by now if you didn’t.”
Regina: “True.”


And that’s it.

For the Game of Thrones review, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the week-end… These days, I really need to focus more on my exams.

Have a good week, everyone!

πŸ™‚

OUAT 3×14 – The Tower – more like Every horror movie you’ve seen

Sorry if I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m busy with University.

There won’t be regular updates, but there will be updates. I promise.

So, let’s take advantage of the fact that I have a bad cold and I couldn’t go to class, and write a longer review of one of the few tv series I had time to watch.

This week’s ep of Nightmare Once Upon A Time opens up with Charming in the middle of a dream, one of those it-seemed-odd-then-good-then-everything-went-wrong dreams, to be exact.

Anyway, he soon wakes up, and here comes Snow, with a belly as big as an air ballon: “We’re pregnant”

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Shocker.

Charming: “You are? And I thought you got this fat just eating tons of berries… I know you missed Granny’s Lasagna.”

No, ok, I’m kidding.

But that would have been the logical answer.

However, the info we should treasure for later is that David is scared about having another child and not being able to be a good father to him, just like it happened with Emma.

We’ll, if we had to bet on your luck, Dave, we would probably agree with you.

But it doesn’t matter, because we love you.

Back in Storybrooke, the gang is on the Wicked Witch’s trail, who happens to share Snow’s passion for berries… Seriously, she left Berries all over Regina’s place.

I soooo wanted Regina to find that out (She was with Henry).

She would have gone all Bree Van de Kamp on her!

Even Hook seems to have noticed the comparison.

David: “You guys see anything?”

Hook: “Other than an austere sense of design, nothing”

Meanwhile, Zelena shares some life lessons with an apparently very-needy-of-a-shave Rumple, and gets some blood from him.

Long story short, she goes Eva Kent -but a lot less nice- and steals something from Rumple’s shop; something she’ll later put in David’s cup of tea.

Yeah, because Snow invited her for introductions, and of course, Tea.

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I’m seriously convinced Mary Margaret is Snow’s naΓ―ve side.

Girl, you’re like the Queen of Bad Luck, would you please be sure to check your new exploitable friends’s background?

And no, being told by her that she was friends with Joanna doesn’t count.

At least someone seems to have some brains here: David shares the same concerns, and basically tells Snow not to trust anyone she meets.

Then he drinks The Wicked Witch homemade special tea.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Robin tells a half-drunk Charming the legend of the Night Route, a mission that’ll allow him to overcome any fear.

On the way to the mission, which of course he happily sets out to do, David hears someone screaming for help: he climbs the tower in front of him, and finds none other than an insecure Rapunzel.

She tells him her story.

The dark force keeping her in the tower – who turns out to be herself, for her deepest fear is not being able to be a good ruler – attacks them.

I don’t know how, while hanging to her hair, Charming manages to give pep-talks to Rapunzel, and she understands she has to fight her demons.

All ends well, and he brings her back to the Enchanted Forest.

The same happens in Storybrooke: David fights himself and overcomes his own fears, not without leaving behind a little gift for Greenie (the Wicked Witch steals his sword, in which it appears to be symbolically transferred a bit of his courage).

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Regina, David, Hook and Emma find out Rumple is still alive, and that he was kept prisoner by The Wicked Witch (whose hideout has been discovered).

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Random comments

The night route

You know, I get this whole “overcome your fears” thing, and I get the fact that Zzzzzelena needed all these “totems” from our favorite fairy tale characters… But was it necessary to make it look like a cheap horror movie? I mean, the only thing missing was the mask from Scream.

We even had Samara Morgan all dressed-up and coiffed

BTW, that hair was just the quintessence of creepiness.
.

Robin ❀

I rrrrreally appreciate Robin being like parsley and showing up pretty much everywhere.

Me likey.

Now, if we could just put him and Regina in the same scene also in Storybrooke…

But maybe I'm asking for too much, too soon.

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What he’s thinking: “If i don’t come up with something right now, there won’t be any alcohol left for me…”

Memorable Quotes:

Hook: “There’s something wicked in your town. What do you say we go find it?”

—-

Rumple: “All the voices in my head will be quiet when I’m dead”

—-

Emma: “You look for any excuse to use that thing (the hook), do you?”

—-

Emma: “You’re glad to hear I had my heart broken?”

Hook: “If it can be broken, it means it still works.”

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Aaaaand… That’s all folks! πŸ˜‰

OUAT 3×13: Witch Hunt

wiev

Another great episode.

Maybe it’s early to say it, but this 3b season is really working.

The introduction of Oz and its full variety of characters certainly contributes to it – say 50% – but there’s more.

It might be because my favorite female character on the show (guess who?) is going to have the main focus in this major narrative arc, or because we finally get to see her in love – with a hoodied hottie, yeah! – but I’m positively thrilled about the upcoming episodes.

Of course, if you’re a fan of this series, you need no reminders of its quality.

Even though sometimes it might seem a bit predictable – especially if you have a good knowledge of fairy tales – it never ceases to amaze.

Yes, there are flaws. Yes, some of them are not that easy to overlook.

But at the end of the day, all that matters is that it still fuels your dreams, like any good story would do.

In this episode:

Present
Everyone’s back to Storybrooke, with no memories of the past year and angry at whoever cursed them for the second time.
Emma and Regina team up to find the culprit, meanwhile Zelena (The Wicked Witch) introduces her(fake)self to Mary Margaret.
Henry is still clueless.
People start to turn into flying monkeys.
The gang discovers the power of math: flying monkeys + green smoke = The Wicked Witch of the West.
We learn that Zelena has brought back Rumplestiltskin.

Past
Regina – and Belle. Because she’s read basically about everything your mind could think of – figures out who’s taken their castle: The Wicked Witch.
Flying monkeys attack the group; Regina saves Roland, who happens to be in the way.
She then decides to use tunnels to enter the castle from the underneath and take it back, but she doesn’t go alone: Robin follows her, much to every OUAT fan’s delight, but not hers.
Bonding between the two of them.
Once in her old room, Regina decides to literally go to sleep forever (sleeping curse) since, without Henry, she has nothing to live for.
Robin tries to stop her, but fails.
After she lifts the barrier preventing everyone from entering the castle, she tries to sting herself with a poisoned needle, but the Wicked Witch stops her.
Moment of truth: The Evil Queen and The Wicked Witch are half-sisters (Cora, you bad girl!) and they both were Rumple’s pupils.
Definitely not bonding.
Declaration of war between the two women.
Regina has now found a new purpose to her life.

Best Line of the Ep: “Bring it, Greenie!” – Regina (of course)

2nd place: Emma: “The Wicked Witch of the West? She’s real too?” Hook: “Says the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.”

So, now that we said what we had to, let me fangirl over my O(UA)TPs :3

Outlaw Queen

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Asdfghjjklqwertyuiipzxcvnm. You knew I was talking about them before πŸ˜‰

Captain Swan

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Not much happened between them in this ep, but the previous one (and everything before) gave us plenty of material to gloat on.