TV Time: Broadchurch 2.03

Leah is back with her thoughts on the latest episode of Broadchurch!

Title Episode 3

Two-Sentence Summary Lee continues to cause trouble for Alec, and Ellie gets Claire to tell her what really happened the night the Sandbrook girls disappeared. Meanwhile, Beth gives birth to new baby Lizzie, and the trial continues with Ellie’s testimony.

Favorite Lines “I am sick to the back teeth of taking flack for stuff I haven’t done.” (Ellie)

“Ellie, listen. The world is screwing you over right now. You owe you something.” (Claire)

My Thoughts This episode seemed like one in which not much actually happened, but I was glad to get a bit more information on how all the characters are doing mentally and emotionally. I probably enjoyed this episode more for that reason, though I am still tired of Ellie being the show’s punching bag, and I hope this does not continue through the whole season.

One of the storylines I enjoyed most in this episode was the birth of baby Lizzie. I was glad Ellie stayed with Chloe while Beth was in labor, and their conversation on the stairs was one of my favorite moment, in which Chloe simply asks whether Ellie knew what Joe was doing instead of screaming at her like Beth has been doing. Meanwhile, Mark was absent for hours on end without being reachable on his phone. You would think with a wife who is ready to give birth any day that he’d answer his phone when it rings, but if he was spending time with Tom, then maybe he feels so guilty every time he’s there that he ignores all calls. The most emotional part of this for me was when Mark first held Lizzie. He broke my heart with his teary promises to take good care of her, as well his assurances that she was wanted and loved and that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes this time. Mark clearly still has a lot of guilt over feeling like they failed Danny as parents, and he wants to make sure they don’t fail Lizzie, too. I loved how realistic the emotions from Mark felt in that moment, because the show is showing us how losing your child in the way the Latimers did changes so much about your life, including how you feel about yourself as a parent.

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TV Time: Broadchurch 2.02

Today, the lovely Leah is back with her thoughts on the latest episode of Broadchurch

Title Episode 2

Two-Sentence Summary The preparation for and the beginning of the trial occur, which results in Joe’s confession being excluded from evidence. Alec and Ellie convince Claire to meet with Lee in the hopes that he’ll reveal something incriminating, but their plan goes awry when Beth unwittingly provides a distraction that lets Lee escape and take Claire with him.

Favorite Line “Because my life, my old life, is gone. And I made so many mistakes—some big ones. And I need to put something right. We could do it together.” (Ellie Miller)

My Thoughts I want to admit something, so you know where I’m coming from while I discuss certain parts of this episode: Personally, I am not a fan of shows that focus on courtroom scenes or the technicalities of the legal system. They usually infuriate or annoy me in some way—probably because of the way the victims or their families are often treated on the stand and because the audience usually has to spend a lot of time with the guilty party (or their lawyer) making smug faces. Thus, because of my bias against those types of scenes, I felt a fair dose of annoyance along with the enjoyment of other aspects of this episode.

Since I prefer to end things on a positive note, let’s start with the storyline that annoyed me more: the trial. A lot of this episode was spent in following the setup for and then the start of Joe Miler’s trial, and we got to see Jocelyn scolding a lot of people and the first witnesses giving their testimony. Most of the trial scenes were centered on one aspect of the case that the defense would attack heavily: the circumstances around the arrest of Joe Miller. Here is where my annoyance starts, and a lot of it is from what I touched on in my review last week. In going through this trial realistically, the show is asking me to apply reality (or at least some version of it) to the very emotional events of the Season One finale, which felt to me to have more impact because of the decisions made to not have it follow strictly realistic police procedure and instead let it play out in a more dramatic way.

When I look at Joe’s arrest from this new point of view, it’s no surprise to me that Joe’s confession was tossed out as evidence. Despite knowing that the confession was not coerced, I thought that Sharon provided a strong enough argument to create reasonable doubt that his confession was made freely. Unsurprisingly, this will make the case a lot harder to prosecute. It will be interesting to see what evidence Jocelyn focuses on in making the prosecution’s case, since I feel like, without Joe’s confession, most of the evidence that we know of is circumstantial.

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TV Time: Broadchurch 2.01

The lovely Leah is back today with the first of her Broadchurch episode reviews!

Title Episode 1

Two-Sentence Summary Joe Miller sets the whole town into chaos when he unexpectedly pleads not guilty at his hearing, and new characters are thrown into the mix as legal teams are hired and begin to prepare for the trial. Meanwhile, Alec’s past with Sandbrook is looming even larger than last season as Ellie discovers that not only has Alec been protecting a key witness from Sandbrook all this time, but the suspected Sandbrook killer himself is in Broadchurch as well.

Favorite Line “Knowing the truth and getting justice is not the same thing.” (Jocelyn Knight)

My Thoughts This episode did a good job of setting up the rest of the season with the introduction of new information and new characters, all without managing to lose the nuances in behavior and the emotional impact that make this show so good. Two main plotlines were introduced in this episode that will likely be our main arcs throughout Season Two: Joe Miller’s trial and the reemergence of the Sandbrook suspect.

The first major event of this episode was Joe Miller’s hearing. Joe’s plea appears to have broken the fragile, peaceful equilibrium of the town, and there is definitely some emotional fallout. Everyone was expecting to gain some closure that day only to have it unexpectedly denied, and Joe is inflicting another wound on the Latimers and this community by forcing them to go through a trial.

While time has passed, the main people affected by Danny’s death are still hurting. Ellie is seeing a psychiatrist and feels guilty over the whole mess—not to mention that her own son blames her so much that he’s not living with her and doesn’t even want to see her. While the Latimers have started to move forward with their lives and prepare for their new baby, Beth is still blaming Ellie and herself, and Mark is escaping from his family for hours at a time to play games with Tom. I feel like at some point this season the Latimers (or at least Mark) may collapse under the weight of the emotional strain. I can already see potential for a major outburst, especially in Mark’s reactions in the courthouse and at the graveyard. My heart breaks for them, especially because I don’t think they quite understand what this trial is going to bring about. As we see with the exhumation of Danny’s body at the end of the episode, this trial is going to hurt.

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On Grief and Knowledge: Thoughts About Broadchurch

Today at Nerdy Girl Notes, we have a little treat for Broadchurch fans: Leah is back with some thoughts about the show before the next season starts up! She’s also going to be posting reviews here after each episode, and I know she can’t wait to talk about the show with all of you!



I recently had the pleasure of binge-watching the BBC drama Broadchurch, and I promptly fell in love with it! The second season’s premiere airs on BBC America on March 4, and, after watching some of the sneak peaks, I am practically quivering with anticipation. In honor of Season Two premiering this week, I decided to write about my favorite aspects of Season One, as well as some reasons why I’m looking forward to Season Two.

Spoilers lie ahead, so if you haven’t watched Season One yet, read at your own risk. I have not named the killer or mentioned exactly what happened, but there are things that could point you toward the answer, so if you truly want to stay unspoiled, I would suggest avoiding reading this post until you are caught up.

For those of you who’ve watched Season One but need a quick recap, here is a short video recap from the BBC to refresh your memory.

Five Things I Loved About Broadchurch, Season One:

The Portrayal of Grief
One of the things I found so interesting and wonderful about Broadchurch was the way in which they portrayed the spectrum of grief in all its nuances. Though not the only ones shown grieving, the Latimer family was the main focus of most scenes involving mourning the loss of Danny, and each family member was allowed to grieve in different ways. We also saw through their eyes the way in which grief can permeate all the different areas of your life. I could write a whole post just on the way Broadchurch shows grief, and maybe someday I will. But for now, I will briefly talk about Beth as a great example of the complexity in this show’s portrayal of the grieving process.

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Grading the Series Finales: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

ouatiw finale

Today, Leah is back to share her thoughts on the finale of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and the series as whole.

Title And They Lived… (1.13)

Written By Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, and Zack Estrin

What Happened? Jafar and Amara finish casting the spell that breaks the laws of magic, which they then both use for various means. Cyrus and Amara head to the Well of Wonders to return the water, while Alice heads off with an army towards Jafar’s castle, prepared to strike. However, their plans are interrupted when Jafar’s new army captures Alice. Jafar threatens to use his magic to change Alice’s past in an attempt to get Alice to reveal Amara’s location, but before he has to use that plan, members of his army arrive with reports of seeing Amara and Cyrus by two red doors, which the love-curse-stricken Anastasia tells Jafar is the Well of Wonders.

While Jafar chases Amara, Will talks to Anastasia and makes her doubt the validity of her love for Jafar enough to get her close enough for him to reach out and kiss her. The kiss is true love’s kiss and thus breaks the spell Anastasia is under. Upon coming back to herself, she immediately helps Will and Alice out of their various confinements.

Jafar interrupts Cyrus and Amara’s attempt to give the water back to the Well of Wonders and kills Amara, which turns her back into the water that gave her life so many years ago. Alice appears—disrupting Jafar for a moment—but he freezes her with his magic before she can really do anything. As Cyrus attempts to put the water back into the well, Jafar takes it for himself, gaining the wrath of the well’s guardian, Nyx, and bringing about his own punishment as a genie. This undoes all of what Jafar’s magic had recently done, and it stopped the effects of Cyrus stealing the water so many years earlier, freeing Cyrus’s brothers and Will from being genies and undoing Jafar’s revival of Anastasia.

Alice and Cyrus arrive with water from Nyx to bring Anastasia back because it was not her time to die. Back in England, the Rabbit marries Alice and Cyrus ,with Alice’s family, Will, and Anastasia all present to witness their happy day. The last scene of the series shows us Alice telling her daughter the stories of Wonderland, while Cyrus brings them more treats for their teatime setup as the Rabbit looks on from afar.

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TV Time: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1.12

It’s time once again for Leah to take us into the world of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!


Title To Catch a Thief

Favorite Lines
Will: More like a jack-of-all trades, actually.
Alice: But, apparently, master of none.
Will: Watch your tongue, lass, else you’ll lose that as well as your head.
Alice: That’s a bit redundant, don’t you think?
Will: Depends which one you lose first.

“Nobody’s born a monster. We’re made.” (The Jabberwocky)

“I grew up with a very stubborn girl; always felt like they were the best kind.” (Will)

What Happened? Jafar sends Will to retrieve his staff by using possibility of bringing Anastasia back to life as motivation, which initially puts Will at odds with Alice and Cyrus. However, Will and Alice eventually come to an understanding: They can’t give Jafar his staff back, but they will try to find a way to get Anastasia back. The trio ends up with an unexpected ally in the Jabberwocky, who tells them about Amara’s ability to help bring Anastasia back in exchange for helping free her from Jafar. Meanwhile, we see in flashbacks how Will and Alice first met. The flashbacks include Alice stealing Will’s heart back from the Queen of Hearts, as well as Alice and Will’s capture of the Rabbit as proof of Wonderland, which takes place just moments before she discovers Cyrus’s bottle.

My Thoughts What I enjoyed the most about this episode was the way it brought us full circle in our story and the depth it added to Will and Alice’s friendship.

Will and Alice’s friendship has always been one of my favorite parts of the show, and I’m so glad that it is getting attention amidst all the action and romance. In this episode, we discovered how Alice and Will first met, and it was in a fashion that was truly fitting for their characters. Will had been sent by the Queen of Hearts to kill Alice, and they engaged in an entertaining bit of fighting and banter before Alice decided to go get Will’s heart back to end their conflict.

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TV Time: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1.11

Today the lovely Leah is back with her thoughts on the latest episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!


I sincerely apologize to everyone for this review being so late this week. I had a tough week between several character deaths occurring on the shows I’m watching, I had to make a tough decision to stop watching a show that I’ve loved, and it was a busy week for me in general, all of which postponed my writing.

Title Heart of the Matter

What Happened? In flashbacks, we see how Cora influenced a young Anastasia on the eve of her wedding and helped facilitate the events that lead to Will’s removal of his heart. She also taught Anastasia how to use magic, bringing Anastasia more fully under its corrupting power. In present-day, Will’s lack of a heart is getting in the way of Jafar’s spell, and Alice and Cyrus go to Storybrooke to get Will’s heart back before Jafar gets to it first. When Jafar takes the heart from Alice and Cyrus back in Wonderland, he loses his staff to Cyrus, and Cyrus realizes that the staff contains his mother. After putting Will’s heart back in, Jafar has no need of the Red Queen, so he kills her in front of Will after their reunion.

Favorite Lines “I’ll save you some time: water, hairy spiders, being stabbed in the head, and uh, raisins—grapes are fine, but raisins-” (Will)

“I believe he is as much my captive as I am his. We create our own prisons.” (The Sultan)

My Thoughts This episode continued to bring the intensity in our build up to the season finale, and it was full of new information for both the audience and the characters. As a general note, I am really enjoying the way that—since the show has returned—it has felt like they are playing out the final showdown, while also giving it room to breathe. Instead of packing all the most important events into the last episode and making it so fast-paced that there’s no time for more nuanced, quieter moments, we are getting one big event stretched out over a few episodes, and I really appreciate it.

The flashbacks in this episode were a major source of information, and personally I felt grateful that they showed Anastasia’s conflict. Since the midseason finale, I have fully believed that the Anastasia truly does love Will, regretted her past decisions, and wasn’t as cold-hearted as everyone thought she was. This episode showed us that she regretted her choices even before she married the king, and if it weren’t for Cora’s influence, she would likely have run away from the palace and gone back to Will. I love that this show has evolved the Red Queen from a somewhat one-note villain who was a cold, simpering, power-hungry queen into a complex woman who is ambitious, will fiercely stand up to anyone who tries to take her down, and is also able to be loving and compassionate. She is full of complexity, and I enjoy seeing female characters that are given so much depth.


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TV Time: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1.10

It’s time once again to travel down the rabbit hole, as the lovely Leah shares her thoughts on the latest episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!

ouatiw 1x10

Title Dirty Little Secrets

What Happened? Will and the Red Queen head off to attempt to build an army, and Alice and Cyrus go to find the Well of Wonders. Will and the Red Queen are captured by the Jabberwocky before they can achieve their goal and are brought to Jafar, where the Red Queen is forced by the Jabberwocky to use her three wishes. In flashbacks, we are shown how Cyrus and his brothers became genies when they stole magic water from the Well of Wonders to save their mother’s life.

Favorite Lines “Not me. That’s my house he’s holding now, and frankly I hate it. There’s not a lot of elbowroom, and you know what else there isn’t? A toilet!” (Will)

“You can dispense with the insufferable small talk Jafar, or is this your idea of torture?” (the Red Queen)

My Thoughts This week’s episode was interesting and a bit intense. There were a few things I really enjoyed as well as a few things that disappointed me; “Dirty Little Secrets” will not be my favorite episode of the season, but it also won’t be my least favorite.

In flashbacks we are shown how Cyrus’s actions brought about his and his brothers’ fates. As a quick note—I thought it was fun to see that he and his family had lived in Agrabah, and that they had taken magic from the Well of Wonders, which I’m assuming is a reference to the Disney film Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders, which was where Aladdin found the genie’s lamp. It was a fun way to connect the two genie origin stories for those familiar with the Disney tale.

In these flashbacks it was interesting to see a different side to Cyrus—we have already seen that Cyrus has a bit of a trickster side, but this younger Cyrus was one who was a bit dishonest, greedy, and reckless. He was less patient than the Cyrus in the show’s current timeline and less aware of how actions involving magic can have serious consequences. He did, however, still have that kind heart that we’ve seen at his core.

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TV Time: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1.09

Fear not, fellow Once Upon a Time in Wonderland fans—the lovely Leah is back with her thoughts on the start of the second half of this season! 


Title Nothing to Fear

What Happened? Lizard finds Will’s magic bottle in the river and ends up using some of her wishes to try to gain Will’s attention and affection with devastating consequence. The Red Queen, Cyrus, and Alice team up in their efforts to find Will, but are sidetracked when unhappy constituents who want revenge kidnap the Red Queen. Meanwhile Jafar, now the ruler of the land, seeks out the dangerous Jabberwocky as a tool in finding the genie.

Favorite Lines “The throne is made when the man who sits on it is worthy. Where you sit Jafar, is nothing more than a large chair.” (The Sultan)

“I’ve tried, but word’s gotten out; working for you tends to shorten one’s life expectancy.” (The Caterpillar)

My Thoughts This was a fairly strong returning episode for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, which was reassuring to see, as it suggests that the show will be able to keep up a high level of quality for its remaining four episodes. I feel like the show balanced each of the three different groups of characters well, cutting between them without making it feel like we were jumping all over the place and also not lingering too long on any one storyline.

We open the episode with Alice, Cyrus, and the Red Queen, who reluctantly team up together to try to find Will. I found it interesting that now that Will’s gone, Alice, who is normally the more optimistic and open-hearted of the group, plays the role of the cynic and constantly questions the Red Queen’s motivations. Cyrus, however, regards her with much more of an open mind. I don’t know if part of Alice’s mistrust is because she doesn’t remember the Red Queen’s confession of her love for Will, or if it’s merely that Alice will never completely trust the Red Queen after she was the one who Alice spent so long believing had killed Cyrus. Either way, I found the new dynamic interesting and a good way to endear us to Cyrus and give more depth to Alice. I’m really looking forward to seeing these three and Will work together over the rest of the season.

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Once Upon A Time in Wonderland: Where Did We Leave Off?

Today at NGN we’re celebrating the return of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland with the return of the lovely Leah and her OUaTiW posts! 

I want to offer you all an apology for abandoning my Once Upon a Time in Wonderland recaps over the past few months. Some things in my life made it so that I was behind on watching the episodes, and then I got so behind I wasn’t able to catch up. I’m back now, though, and plan to be around for recaps through the end of this season.

To prepare for the show’s return, I thought I’d pick three plot points that I feel will have the biggest impact on the second half of Season One and discuss them!

1. The Red Queen Is Anastasia
Possibly the biggest surprise of this season thus far has been the reveal that the Anastasia who broke Will’s heart is also the Red Queen who has been working against Alice all along. It was revealed that Anastasia and Will were once happily in love, dreaming of making a life together even if they had to steal to survive. Their lives were changed when Will and Anastasia snuck into a royal ball, where Anastasia became enamored by the glamorous world of the royalty and nobles. They were both thrown out of the ball when discovered, but not before Anastasia spotted the crown jewels and had an encounter with the king, who was very curious about her. She decided to steal the jewels but was caught in the act by the king, who had a proposal for her: become his queen. She accepted, and when she was presented to the kingdom as the new queen, Will was in the crowd, betrayed and heartbroken.

As we learned at the end of the midseason finale (“Home”), Anastasia’s love for Will has been the motivation for everything she’s done during the season. She has been trying to capture Cyrus and his wishes so that she can use his power to break the laws of magic and somehow get Will back.

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