SCANDAL Sneak Peek: Will Mellie & Susan Bow Down to a Political Powerhouse?

scandal

Fans will be meeting Governer Baker of Florida on this week’s SCANDAL and apparently she has the state “on lockdown”. This political powerhouse would be a very influential endorsement for one of the Republican candidates…but which one? Olivia and her team is encouraging Mellie to suck up to her, while Liz is encouraging Susan to do the same. Apparently the governor has invited Mellie, Susan and Hollis Doyle to a dinner as a sort of “contest” to convince her to endorse one of them. So Abby and Olivia are engaged in a spin war over that endorsement, but that could prove disastrous for both of their candidates.

Meanwhile, Cyrus will be faced with a big decision — one that could drastically alter his future.

Don’t miss an all new episode of SCANDAL tonight (April 28) at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

CASTLE Recap: The Luckiest Man Alive

castle

There were three deaths in this week’s hour of CASTLE, but only one victim. And that victim happened to be alive at the end of the episode. How? Well, Castle tries to argue immortality, but the doctors say it was just luck.

The victim, Allan Masters, drank poison first, and the NYPD was called in just like always. Lanie pronounced him dead and the team searches the apartment when, all of a sudden, Allan wakes up. Rightfully confused, they take him to the doctor, where Castle throws out superhero theories and ideas about super-cell regeneration, while Beckett and the team focus on who tried to kill him.

While Espo and Ryan track down a man Allan recently fired from the waste management plant where he worked, Castle brings Allan back home with a protective detail parked outside the door. However, that protective detail doesn’t stop the rigged electrocution trap on Allan’s bed. Lanie comes once again and this time pronounces him dead for real. Until, that is, Allan jumps up and asks if anyone has been cooking barbecue in his house.

The case continues to confound as the now seemingly immortal Allan tries to think of anyone who would want him dead. They interview another suspect who had access to the poison and two bags packed for Mexico, but it turns out he was worried that whoever was after Allan was after him as well. This man informs Beckett and the team that apparently the mob plays a role in this.  Allan doesn’t care, though, as he finally (with Castle persuading him) gets up the nerve to ask a girl he likes from work out on a date.

While at dinner, a man named Horatio who works for a company that Allan had recently investigated for a big chemical spill shows up. He is Allan’s arch-nemesis, as Castle claims. After vague threats, Horatio makes an offer to protect Allan from further attempts on his life, but Allan refuses, saying he won’t work with Horatio.

The team is finally able to identify two gangs, the triads, usually at war, who have signed a peace treaty for some reason. Allan seems to have stumbled into something he doesn’t quite understand. But, with Lanie’s help identifying a substance Castle recovers from one of the triads’ business fronts, they piece together the puzzle.

It turns out synthetic heroin was being made in the US. This drug is more addictive, has less painful side effects, and is domestically made, which all equals more money for the manufacturer. This is why the traids were at peace and this is why they were after Allan. The chemical plant where they make one of the elements of the drug had a spill and if Allan put together the chemical spill with the news reports of this new drug, they would be exposed.

With this new information, Allan is afraid that the girl he took on a date is in danger. He rushes out to save her, but when she pulls out a gun and reveals she is the head of the drug operation and, consequently, the one trying to murder him, things take a turn for the worse. She puts a bullet right through his forehead just as Castle and the police arrive.

But, because this is the luckiest man in the world, the bullet apparently didn’t puncture any brain tissue or skull fragments. After another visit to the hospital Allan is declared completely fine.

Whether it is believable or not, Allan Masters is one lucky character.

While the case is solved, Kate had her own personal case to deal with. Her IT man was able to ID someone working for Locksat, and this same man comes to visit Kate and threaten her life if she continues to persue this mystery. Kate fires back with a threat of her own, but also an offering of peace if this man will work with her. The final minutes of the episode have him meeting back up with Kate and Castle, handing over a phone with a time and place of where Locksat calls him every month.

This could be the big break that Kate needs to solve the mystery of who is behind Locksat. But, given actress Stana Katic’s recent firing from her role as Kate Beckett, this could spell out a dangerous and painful way to write Beckett out of the show. Here’s hoping Kate Beckett can survive through the rest of the season!

Catch an all new CASTLE on May 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC!

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Superhero Lazarus

castle

There’s an intriguing case for the team on this week’s CASTLE. When Castle interviews a man hospitalized after a presumed attack, he gets a bit overexcited about the possibility that the man in the hospital gown is a real life superhero. This fantasy is made even more believable for Castle when the man reveals there was a chemical spill that he was exposed to. Now, even though the chemical wasn’t toxic or dangerous to humans, Castle remains convinced he’s right.

There is also a possibility that this man is not only a superhero, but apparently immortal? The sneak peek below shows a scene where, after pronouncing the victim dead, Lanie shows Castle and Espo around the (now deceased) man’s room. That is, until he happens to stand up and ask them what they are doing. Castle talks to the now biblically-risen man about what he saw on the other side, but this particular Lazarus doesn’t have the answers Castle is looking for, claiming to remember trying to call the cable company and then waking up to find his house full of people.

Catch this all new episode of CASTLE tonight (April 25) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: Wicked Redeemed?

once upon a time

I have to say, I was entirely too surprised – and confused – by last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME. Just when I thought that Zelena could not be redeemed and would be wicked forever, they go and have her forgive her mother and go after her true love – encouraged by Regina, no less! I mean, what?

Not that it’s a bad thing per se, but it was certainly unexpected. “Sisters” revealed how Regina and Zelena once knew each other when they were kids, and even had a sisterly relationship for a little while. Once, as a child, Regina found her mother’s wand and started playing with it, as any kid would. But the powerful wand released magic she wasn’t prepared for, which put her into sleeping curse. The only way to reverse that would be to have someone blood related do the spell, but that person had to be someone who had never done any harm to Regina.

Cora was crossed off the list – which shows what a wonderful mother she was – but she knew she could always find the child she gave away, so off she went after Zelena. Now, little Zelena was as innocent as any child, and didn’t really know how to handle her magic. Her mother was gone and her father mistreated her, so when Cora showed up, saying she could use her magic to help someone and that she didn’t need to hide who she was, Zelena was more than happy to come along.

So when they get there and Zelena heals Regina, the two young girls immediately become best friends. One day, while they’re playing, they come across the box that holds Cora’s wand, but that can only be open by blood magic. Zelena touches it, the box pops open and both girls are excited that they could possibly be related – even sisters. But Cora, being her evil self, splits them up and makes them forget they had ever known each other.

Back to present day, in the Underworld, Regina is determined to stop Zelena from having any kind of relationship with Hades, so she goes to her mother for help. Cora tells her they can make Zelena forget she ever met the King of the Underworld and Regina is all for it. So they try to deceive Zelena, but the Wicked Witch is totally not buying Cora’s regretful mother’s act, and accuses her of trying to poison her.

Cora, then, tells them that she has used the memory erasing potion on them before and then proceeds to give them back their memories. They all kiss and make up, Cora moves on and now Zelena and Regina are totally sisters.

But of course, nothing could ever be this simple. When Zelena is on her way to meet Hades – encouraged by Regina. Again, whaaaat? - she runs into Rumplestiltskin, who cannot be redeemed. He has resorted to his evil father in order to get Belle back and they kidnap Zelena. So her happy ending was extremely short lived.

Meanwhile, Charming’s evil twin takes his place, tries to steal Robin’s baby, but then ends up in the ocean by Charming’s hand.

Next week, however, we get to see the Savior being her awesome self again, and not just tagging along, like she has been for so many episodes. Check out the promo below. A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs on May 1 at 8/7c on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME: Rebecca Mader Talks Zelena & Hades’ Romance and a Mother-Daughter Reunion

once upon a time

Zelena has had quite the adventure lately. After being accidentally brought to the Underworld, ONCE UPON A TIME revealed that she was the true love of Hades. And now it seems like the pair have decided to make a go of their somewhat twisted relationship. In the upcoming episode, Zelena will also be reunited with her mother, Cora, and her sister, Regina, in the Underworld as one of Cora’s secrets is revealed to her daughters.

Recently, we spoke to Rebecca Mader about Zelena and Hades’ relationship, the upcoming family reunion, and whether Zelena can ever find her happily ever after.

What Does Mader Think of the Zelena-Hades Pairing? “I did not see that coming at all. I was really, really, really surprised. I thought [it] was great. Because I knew when I got whisked away to Oz I was going to be away for a minute because the [producers] told me. [They told me] ‘we’re just going to let you know that you’re going to go off to Oz and then when you come back you’re going to come back in a really fun, exciting, wicked way’. But they didn’t tell me that I was going to be tied into this new villain and the Lord of Death. I was really shocked and I was like ‘yay, this is going to be fun to play because Zelena’s kind of been on her own the whole time so it’s fun to be able to sort of explore that aspect of her personality and her heart’.”

How Genuine is Their Love? “At this point where we are in the season, I can’t speak for him because there’s an aspect of her…but he is definitely believable to her. I think her resistance is more in terms of self-preservation. It’s like ‘I want to believe you, but everybody has disappointed me and hurt me and you’re probably going to do the same thing’. It’s like how many times can she keep resisting and resisting and resisting when he’s like ‘but I love you and my heart is pure and we can have this great life and I built a whole town for you. I rebuilt Storybrooke and I can get you your daughter back and we can have this whole thing’. He’s selling this wonderful new life and she’s saying ‘no, no, no, no’, but then [she's saying] ‘why not maybe try?’ It’s just been such an internal struggle for Zelena, this part of the season. For her to sort of say ‘I might have been a bit too harsh and maybe I’m willing to try’. It’s really hard for her to say, but how much can you say no? Are you going to live the rest of your life not knowing? I think she wants to believe that he’s genuine and I think it’s really difficult to understand that someone is attracted to her and love her. It’s really, really confusing because no one has ever loved her.”

Getting Back Her Daughter. Zelena has been trying to do the right thing to be reunited with her daughter, but is she willing to succumb to darkness to get her back? “She used to be green with envy because Regina had everything. But now being a mother has changed her whole intention. I think surrendering her daughter back to Robin and Regina was the ultimate sacrifice and that was coming from a place of her heart. Which she hasn’t used very much because it’s been shut down. So things are kind of opening up for her. So she wants to sort of believe that Hades loves her and she wants to be with her daughter, but not if it means she’s going to hurt her child.” In fact, we’ve seen Zelena do some noble things in the name of motherhood. Recently, she helped Belle, another woman in danger of losing her child. Mader explained that “In that moment in the story, Zelena’s incredibly despondent. And is sitting there drinking whiskey and [is sad about losing her child and not believing that Hades really loves her]. She’s thinking ‘what am I even doing here?’ Zelena’s trying to relate [to Belle] and saying ‘you’re a mother, you get it’. I think it’s more a case of throwing another mother a kind bone. That’s where I was coming from in that moment, rather than [trying to take down Rumple and Belle]. Now that I’m a mother, why would I want [Belle] to lose her child? Because I’ve just lost mine”.

Cora-Regina-Zelena Reunion. Are there any happy reunion feelings to come? “They are some of the best scenes I’ve ever shot in my entire career. Earlier someone asked ‘if you could sum it up in one word, what would you say?’ And I said ‘#monumental’. These scenes are so huge and you find out such amazing, crazy, bonkers things. The three of us together and the things we discover and the flashbacks…it’s a buckle up for safety, kind of epic ONCE UPON A TIME-feels. As the people say: ‘all the feels’. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it because it’s so good.”

Looking Ahead to the End of the Season. “There’s definitely some episodes that have been really fun for me in terms of my character development. I would say 5.16 was a really huge moment for me. Just to have all of those flashbacks and starting to develop the relationship with Hades and all of the stuff that went down with Dorothy. And I always love being in Oz. Then when you see [this week's] episode, with everything that’s then revealed between Regina and Zelena, that’s huge in terms of my storyline. Then 5.21 is also a really big episode. There’s these kind of milestones throughout the remainder of the season that are just this incredible arc, not just for the show, but selfishly, enjoyably for me.”

Can Zelena Ever Have a Happily Ever After? In the last episode we saw Zelena proclaim that she will never get a happy ending. But her sister used to believe the same thing and has thus been redeemed. Could the same ever happen for the Wicked Witch of Oz? “Yeah. I mean, Rumple got his so I always say that’s the thing with this show. The show is about hope and faith and hanging in there even when you’re stuck in another realm. I think, ultimately, anything can happen can happen on ONCE UPON A TIME. I’m lighting a candle that Zelena can get what she wants, for sure.”

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (April 24) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ABC Announces Summer Schedule: MISTRESSES, UNCLE BUCK and More

Uncle-Buck

ABC has announced a slate of originally programming for this summer, including the return of MISTRESSES and the premiere of the comedy series UNCLE BUCK. Game show 500 QUESTIONS is coming, as is the seven-part documentary OJ: MADE IN AMERICA.

Thursday, May 26
8:00–10:00 p.m. 500 QUESTIONS

Monday, May 30
10:00-11:00 p.m. MISTRESSES

Saturday, June 11
9:00–11:00 p.m. O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA – Part 1

Tuesday, June 14
8:00-9:00 p.m. TO TELL THE TRUTH(Sneak Peak)
9:00-9:30 p.m. UNCLE BUCK (New Series Premiere)
9:30-10:00 p.m. UNCLE BUCK
10:00–11:00 p.m. TO TELL THE TRUTH (New Series Premiere)

Thursday, June 23
8:00-10:00 p.m. BATTLEBOTS

Sunday, June 26
8:00-9:00 p.m. CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD
9:00-10:00 p.m. THE $100,000 PYRAMID (New Series Premiere)

Wednesday, July 13
8:00-11:00 p.m. THE 2016 ESPYS

Tuesday, August 2
8:00-10:00 p.m. BACHELOR IN PARADISE

Wednesday, August 3
8:00-11:00 p.m. CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL

Monday, August 8
8:00-10:00 p.m. BACHELOR IN PARADISE (Time Period Premiere)

Tuesday, August 9
8:00-9:00 p.m. BACHELOR IN PARADISE
9:00-10:00 p.m. BACHELOR IN PARADISE: AFTER PARADISE

CASTLE: A Tribute to Stana Katic and Kate Beckett

beckett series premiere

The news of Stana Katic’s dismissal hit the CASTLE fandom hard this week. It is no secret to anyone that the show has been struggling for the past couple of years — more so after creator Andrew Marlowe left his post as showrunner. So we knew things weren’t doing great lately. Most fans doubted that there was even going to be a season 9 after such a rocky season 8, but we never, ever, expected this to happen.

When Deadline first broke the news, the fandom immediately rebelled against it. Tamala Jones was going to be let go along with Katic – while all the male actors stayed – which seemingly reinforces a pro-male/anti-female mentality. We don’t even know if there is, in fact, going to be a season 9, but ABC has made a bad decision with these “firings”. After all, there is no show without Kate Beckett, as evidenced by the ratings this past season.

In the midst of our shock and anger over this entire situation, I got a couple of writers, who are also CASTLE fans and reviewers and we came to the conclusion that Stana Katic deserved so much better than this. So these are our thoughts over this unfortunate, heartbreaking news:

Luciana Mangas: I hadn’t been watching CASTLE in a while. Ever since the show changed showrunners and started going in a different direction (with that that Castle-as-a-PI storyline), I started to lose interest until, eventually, I stopped watching altogether. However, every time there was a rerun from earlier seasons, I would stop what I was doing and catch up on an episode, because that was where the magic was — Castle and Beckett verbally sparring and Beckett being her usual kickass self.

The main reason that I was drawn to CASTLE in the first place was that they had such an amazing female lead character. Katherine Beckett was this larger-than-life force of nature, exceptionally good at her job, respected by her fellow officers and peers, but she was also human. She had flaws; she had a hard time dealing with her emotions and sometimes that got her into some serious trouble; she was tenacious and loving and caring and she was such an amazing role model for women across the world.

I think that’s why the news of Stana Katic being let go hit me so hard. Because, even though I wasn’t really watching the show as consistently as I once had, I knew Kate Beckett was still there and there was always hope that some day they would fix the mess they had made of the past couple of seasons. But now she’s not going to be there anymore, no matter what they do. I don’t know how they are going to write her off, but whatever they do it will never do this fantastic character justice, because it will always be overshadowed by the way her dismissal was handled.

Budget cuts? Really? It is old news that female actors make a lot less than males, so this makes absolutely no sense at all. To simply dismiss a performer that was the shining star of the show and (in my opinion) a big reason the majority of the fans stuck around until now is just beyond preposterous.

Of course we don’t know the particulars of whatever happened behind-the-scenes, but no matter what, Stana Katic deserved better than this. Even though the show is called CASTLE, it was her character, Kate Beckett, that drove the show for the better part of these past eight seasons. Sure, we had supporting characters that did their part, but it was Beckett who pushed the show forward; it was the mystery of her mother’s murder that drove the show for several seasons and – most importantly – it was her character that was handled in a respectful and humane manner.

Richard Castle did his part as the narrator of the story. It was mostly his point of view that we were treated to, but it didn’t matter because he was always watching her. After all, the show started with him shadowing her for a new series of books, and he did fall in love with her in the process, so it was only natural that his entire focus would be on her. No matter what, Kate Beckett was the driving force of this show, with Stana Katic basically carrying seven seasons on her shoulders.

It seems like a lot saying that she carried the show, but it’s absolutely true and she did it on talent alone. Episodes like “Knockdown”, “Knockout”, “Veritas”, and “Kill Shot” – just to mention a few – were among some of her very best work and it is such a shame that she never got an Emmy nod for her performance. Katic dedicated so much to this show, influenced so many young lives with her performance as a kickass detective, that it is truly disheartening to see what is being done to her now, after all these years of hard work.

I can speak for myself when I say that she had a major impact on my life. It was because of her performance as Detective Beckett that I started writing again, that I met so many great people and had some great opportunities, so I will forever be grateful to her for that.

So, Stana, for all your hard work, your fantastic performance, your dedication to the show and the fans and for changing my life, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You can rest assured that wherever you go, we will follow. Anywhere.

continued on next page…

CASTLE Recap: Hayley’s Past Comes Back to Haunt Her

TOKS OLAGUNDOYE

For those viewers who love Hayley, this week’s CASTLE was a good one. Focusing on her past and the people she knew in her MI6 days, as well as exploring an intriguing mystery that puts Hayley on the FBI’s most wanted list, is a classic CASTLE episode.

The episode begins with Hayley doing a favor for an old spy buddy where she and a new spy break into an office to download some basic spy-wear to catch a cheating husband. While in the office, they see a businessman and a “lady friend” come up for some midnight fun. As soon as the software downloads, Hayley leaves the building, but the next day the police are called in to find the body of the spy that Hayley broke into the building with. At first Hayley hides her involvement in the case, pretending to contaminate evidence to ensure that there is an explanation for her fingerprints and taking calls from her spy friend in secret. Eventually, however, Alexis finds out something is wrong when she walks in on Hayley trying to leave town. Our favorite British spy then confesses everything about that night in the office building to Beckett.

It turns out that the thumb drive they downloaded was not basic spy-wear but a virus that took out half of Manchester’s power source. This is seen as an act of terror, and when Hayley’s long time friend who set up this operation is killed (with Hayley receiving $10,000 in her bank account) it is clear she is meant to be the fall-guy. The team tries to do some investigating while Hayley hides in Castle’s office from an FBI arrest warrant, and they interview the businessman and the woman he was with. It turns out they were hired and coerced to ensure that Hayley was set up.

This leads Hayley and the team to her ex-partner — one who died (apparently) a few years ago after a mission for MI6 went bad, and immediately after Hayley left the Queen’s service. However, he is not dead after all and after evading Alexis and Castle, Hayley goes to meet with him. He has been tortured and confesses to the murders of the two men Hayley broke into the energy office with. Not only that, but when Hayley refuses to jump into his plan of retiring on the money he gave her, he knocks her out and puts a knife to her throat, ready to kill her.

Enter Castle and the team as they tracked the two, knowing the warehouse was an old hideout for them back in the day. Hayley knows the shortcuts her ex-partner will take so she takes off after him with a gun. She catches up to him, they square off, and she pleads one last time for him to come in peacefully. He refuses and — lunging at her — she has no choice but to pull the trigger.

Although killing her partner was an emotional hit, the end of the episode provides hope as Hayley shares a drink with — as she described to her partner right before he tried to kill her — a “family”. Alexis and Castle have given Hayley a home and while Espo, Ryan and Beckett (who didn’t feature prominently in this episode at all) go out for beers, it looks like everyone is happy. This happiness is continued in the Castle home as Rick reveals a refurbished motorcycle he got for Kate, to assuage a misdeed he committed in a dream she had the night before. They exchange ideas about going on a cross-country bike trip and then retreat blissfully to the bedroom.

An all new CASTLE will air April 25 on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT!

CASTLE Sneak Peek: Hayley… A Suspect?

castle

CASTLE’s most beloved new character is in a suspicious situation. When an officer from MI6 comes to Castle’s office, Hayley and Alexis stay in the panic room as Rick converses with the British investigator. Apparently he is looking into Hayley for some sort of crime (even a conspiracy of several crimes) and it is at this point that the agent says Castle can’t trust Hayley because she isn’t who she seems to be.

Unfazed, Castle invites Hayley to a crime scene in the next clip below and the banter is back to normal with Star Wars references and jabs at Espo and Ryan’s crime-solving abilities. But, Hayley sees the body and seems to recognize it. And when she sees a pack of mints on the body, a flashback reveals her handing the mints to the now-deceased man. Knowing her fingerprints will be on the case, Hayley picks them up and “accidentally” mishandles the evidence to ensure there is a reasonable explanation for why her fingerprints are on the package.

Its looking like she may be guilty for more than just mishandling evidence. To see if she is innocent, watch an all-new CASTLE tonight (April 18) at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Sneak Peeks: Deep in the Woods of Oz

once upon a time

Our heroes found Ruby in the Underworld in last week’s ONCE UPON A TIME and this week we’ll get more backstory on the werewolf. Flashbacks to Oz will show Ruby and Mulan searching for a way back to the Enchanted Forrest. There, they stumble upon Dorothy and they also witness Zelena’s return to Oz. The trio team up to find a way to defeat her once and for all, but when Dorothy disappears, Ruby’s search for her new friend lands her in the Underworld. Now reunited with her Storybrooke friends, Ruby, Emma, Regina and Snow continue searching for Dorothy. Snow and David also struggle with being away from their son, Neal, and come up with a plan so that one of them can escape the Underworld and return home.

Meanwhile, Hades tells Zelena that Ruby is in the Underworld and Zelena is terrified that her sister will turn on her once she learns what Zelena did to Ruby. She’s determined to leave the Underworld but Hades tries to tempt her to stay, saying that if she leaves now she won’t be able to see her daughter again.

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (April 17) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).