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[S2E8] Sweet Low Road

At the Inn at the Crossroads, the Brotherhood Without Banners decides to take Arya and Gendry with them as they transport the Hound to their hideout. However, they make a deal with the innkeeper to leave Hot Pie behind to work as a baker.

[S2E8] Sweet Low Road

In the Riverlands, Brienne and Pod spend a night at the Inn at the Crossroads, where they learn from Hot Pie that Arya is alive and traveling with the Hound. After Pod reasons that the Hound is probably planning to ransom Arya off to her Aunt Lysa, they decide to make their way to the Eyrie.

On the road north, the Brotherhood decides to take shelter in the home of a farmer who the Hound robbed while traveling with Arya. The group enters the cabin to find that the farmer killed both his daughter and himself to spare them from suffering once winter arrived.

At the Citadel, Sam is tasked with a daily regimen of less-than-glamorous chores rather than being allowed to do the research he needs to aid Jon in the war against the dead. So when Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) denies him access to the restricted section of the Citadel library, he decides to break in anyway. Later, as he studies the stolen books at home with Gilly, he learns that the dragonglass supply that Stannis said existed at Dragonstone is actually massive. Sam then sends a raven to Jon to share the good news.

Finally, Murphy convinces the zombie peanut gallery to sneak up on Dean and eat him alive, after which he passes out from weakness and has to be wheeled out of the zombie museum by 10K. As the team reassembles and prepares to get back on the road, Murphy makes Roberta promise that she won't leave him alone when they get to California.

Beth's condition creates concern, prompting Lori to send someone to search for Rick and Hershel. Daryl is the best choice, but he is still upset over the sacrifices he made in vain to collect Sophia, and refuses to search for them. Lori decides to look for Rick herself, but while driving down the road, she accidentally hits a walker, and crashes the car.

They are interrupted when the bar door opens and two strange men walk in, giving their names as Dave and Tony. Dave says that they've come from Philadelphia and had tried to seek refuge in Washington, D.C. but the roads were blocked, so they kept heading west. He also reveals that they encountered a soldier from Fort Benning, who told them the base was overrun. He mentions they may plan on heading to Nebraska due to its low populations and high gun rate. The five men converse cordially at first, but the strangers become increasingly impatient when Rick's group will not divulge information about the Greene farm. Tony begins barking threats, prompting Rick to jump to his feet with his hand on his gun; seeing this, Dave tries to calm things down by laying his own gun on the bar, and addressing Rick with a more reasonable tone. Dave tries to tell Rick he is desperate and needs a place to be safe, but Rick still refuses to divulge the farm's whereabouts, telling them it is full. He states that Nebraska is nice and they should go there instead.

In the previous episode of Poldark, Demelza briefly got her groove back, but then almost got raped (*sigh*). Will Demelza stumble upon a time machine with the ability to transport her to a time when women are truly equal and don't have to worry about that kind of stuff (not 2016, evidently)? Will Demelza finally get an annulment and go on a fun Thelma and Louise-style road trip with Verity, minus the explosive ending? Will some merciful disaster occur inside the mine so it can close forever, sparing us from more boring underground storylines? Only one way to find out! On with the show!

Over at Blondie's former home, Horace the Pug is nowhere to be found (*sob*). But Blondie's uncle is there, oversharing details about his "unusually sweet" urine with Doc. He apparently has "the sugar sickness," which is the karmic price you pay when you stand in the way of Horace's mom's marriage. Sorry not sorry.

We immediately open act two with a carriage plummeting down that same hill from earlier (who in the hell thought putting a road on a steep hill would be a good idea?). Dash tries to save the day, but is thwarted again by Mare Do Well. Later, a construction site collapses, and Dash tries again to be the hero. But yet again, Mare Do Well beats her to the punch. Dash even tries to stop a dam from breaking, only to cause it to collapse. But Mare Do Well, being a unicorn, manages to fix the dam. Dash also discovers that not only is Mare Do Well a unicorn, but she can also fly as well.

The death of Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) was not a surprise, per se, but sad all the same; luckily, Weiner and the show gave the character, and the actor who played him, a lovely send-off. Before Mad Men, Morse was best known for playing the conniving J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Cooper's exit was a nod to the actor's Broadway past. After his death is announced at SC&P's office, the late co-founder appears to Don in a dream-like sequence, singing the old standard with a chorus line of secretaries behind him. In an interview with Rolling Stone after the episode aired, Morse explained it this way: "It was Bert telling Don: What are you doing? All this shit that you're doing, cut it out. The best things in life are free." Whether Don get Bert's message from the beyond is harder to parse.

Here is an excerpt from a longer dialogue written by great music writer Stanley Booth, the dialogue that opens his wonderful book Rythm Oil where he imagines the crossroads conversation between Robert Johnson and the Devil (named Cyclone).

If today was Christmas eve, if today was Christmas eveAnd tomorrow was Christmas dayIf today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas dayAll I would need is my little sweet riderJust to pass the time away, to pass the time away

Also, I got a kick out of the ID that Dean used at the crossroads. Prince Animal. Will he ever find a Belle to take away the monster in him? I wonder if he was Robert Plant or Robert Johnson at the Animal Shelter.

After a mad-hat scheme in which Dwight and Pam team up to get Jim to say the new girl is hot, Dwight reminds his erstwhile-foes that they forgot a toothbrush for their daughter at the pharmacy. It's so damn sweet.

This episode gives us the "Everybody Dance Now" Michael GIF that has appeared in a trillion GIF searches. Meanwhile, Dwight sweetly bonds with Phyllis by tending to her back injury. Calling off their plan to elope, Jim and Pam hit the dance floor at Cafe Disco, the former home of The Michael Scott Paper Company. Jim does a little straight-arm jump-dance that is the definition of Bro Culture. Every former D3 lax player has done that move. It's just a joyous episode and an entirely fun rewatch, if you're ever in the need.

This is perhaps the closest Dunder Mifflin comes to truly shutting down. As a person in media well versed with layoffs and cataclysms, there's something truly sweet in Michael's instinct to distract the office from the looming end (that, of course, never comes). He sparks up a murder mystery game of Belles, Bourbon, and Bullets, which seems like a mashup of Clue and Dungeons & Dragons. Meanwhile Oscar steadily reports bad news for the company. Jim tries to stop the shenanigans but Michael rightly yells, "They need this game."

This whole episode just hits. It's a mix of lunacy and sweetness, which feels like The Office at it's finest. Michael funnels sugar into a diet coke. Dwight never gives up on Angela. Michael can't stop choking on tiramisu (that he rescued from the trash) while talking to David Wallace. Dwight tricks Angela into (not really but kind of really) marrying him.

There is far more in this episode than you might remember. The Office never missed a chance at making working life dark, and Michael is flush with cash because corporate threw him some extra money when he fired Devon. He soon ruins Secret Santa because he's pissed Phyllis gave him a knitted present (a type of gift, by the way, he's dying to have when he leaves in Season 7...growth!). Michael wants the attention of spending money on the iPod he got for Ryan, and flips the whole thing into a White Elephant nightmare in which Dwight ends up with Jim's sweet present (and love letter) intended for Pam. We never get to read that letter but it's the everything Pam will need to know when the marriage hits a rough patch seven seasons later. It's the goddamn symbol that becomes everything down the line and the little bit of love we, the audience, never get to see. It's so stupidly sweet it makes me happy writing about it.

Dwight gets everything he ever wanted on Christmas: weird foods, authority, the ability to slap his coworkers with a stick, attention. But then Jim has to go to Philly and both Dwight and Pam get sad. Because the family isn't all there. It's so sweet. Then Jim comes back.

It's a funny, sweet episode. All the goodbyes to Michael are touching, Dwight and Jim's especially. But I love the choice to have Michael's final goodbye (kind of) happen off-mic, in the airport with Pam. "He wasn't sad. He was full of hope," she tells the camera crew.

Questionable compost may contain weed seeds or, even worse, persistent herbicides that will kill or stunt the growth of broadleaf plants. This is a big problem stemming from grains and other grasses that are sprayed with herbicides and then fed to horses. The herbicides will remain for years even in composted manure from those horses.

Synopsis Lucy and Ethel are determined to win new furniture at the Home Show so they sit by the telephone until they get the call. Ricky and Fred come up with a plan to convince them they've won so they can go to a Broadway opening. The plan backfires when Lucy sells all their old furniture to make way for their winnings!

Ricky has gotten four seats to the opening night of a new Rodgers and Hammerstein (inset) musical, just one of many references to the legendary Broadway team on the series. In reality, no new Rodgers and Hammerstein show opened in New York City between the filming date (August 1952) and the air date (November 1952), although The King and I and South Pacific were still in their original runs. The next R&H musical to open will be Me and Juliet in May 1953, six months after this episode was broadcast. 041b061a72

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