How am I going to be an optimist about this: Sam Wilson as Captain America.

A few weeks ago, Marvel Comics announced that the comic book character Sam Wilson, otherwise known as the Falcon, would be taking over as the iconic superhero Captain America. This news has been making waves as the change would make Sam the first canon-official black Captain America.

For those like me who are constantly advocating for more diversity in comics, this seems like a major victory. And it is. Captain America is one of the most famous comic book heroes, and the character has been around for more than 50 years. Sam Wilson as a character hasn’t been around quite as long, but if anyone is deserving of the Captain America cowl and shield, it’s Sam.

I really do love Sam Wilson and the Falcon, and given my adoration of him, I should be the first in line to buy the first issue of Sam’s turn as Captain America. That, however, will not be happening. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this upcoming story arc, and it’s all because of the man writing it: Rick Remender.

Remender, who has been working on the current run of Captain America (of which Sam is apart), and who will write Sam-as-Cap’s story as well, has been making some waves of his own lately. Recently, he wrote a scene that implied Sam raped an underage girl. The panels in question showed Sam and the female character drinking wine together and then the morning after. That would be fine, except for most of the comic arc the female character, Jet, has been understood to be 14. Just prior to the scene in question she is said to have aged due to how time passes differently in the dimension they were in at the moment, but this fact was only mentioned in one (easily) overlooked panel.

Remender gave no explanation for this scene and attacked fans for making Sam into a rapist instead of acknowledging the scene might be questionable. Meanwhile, Remender’s editor at Marvel Comics, Tom Brevoort, accused fans of using rape to further an agenda and use a comic book scene to detract from the experience of actual rape victims.

Beyond the fiasco with Sam and Jet, Remender has done terrible things with story lines in not only Captain America, but also his run on the Uncanny Avengers. He unnecessarily killed Sharon Carter, Cap’s love interest at the time, and did the same to long-time characters Scarlet Witch and Rogue in the latter series. Moreover, in the Uncanny Avengers, he had a character eschew his minority status as a mutant — referring to it as the “m-word” — and when fans reacted poorly to the scene for what it represented, Remender told them to drown themselves in “hobo piss.”

This isn’t just a case of a few very vocal fans being oversensitive: sales on Remender’s run on Captain America suffered a quick and precipitous drop in just a few months after it came out. In fact, the numbers for Remender have been rather lackluster for a big-name hero like Captain America.

The point of all of this is that, frankly, I’m terrified of what Remender might do with Sam-as-Cap. I want to see Sam succeed as Captain America, but I’m not sure that Remender is up to the task. Moreover, it is possible that if Sam’s turn as Cap leads to poor sales, people are going to chalk it up to Captain America being black rather than Remender’s awful writing and characterization.

No, I will  not be first in line to buy the first issue of Sam Wilson’s turn as Captain America. My refusal to support Rick Remender outweighs my love for Sam, and that’s a damn shame.

Top image via marvel.com. 

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“Tooth and Claw” Chapter 5 Review

Wow, I had no idea how difficult making videos can be – I have new respect for vloggers and people who incorporate making videos into what they do online.  I kept losing my connection, and would have to start all over and read several section over again.  But no harm done – it’s all there, if you’re following along with the videos.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Felin Agornin and The Exalt

We’ve heard about Penn’s wife before, but now we finally get to meet her.  Remember that Penn wrote her a letter, telling her that he intended to take Amer into their household and hoping that it would escape the worst of Exalt Benandi’s disapproval.  In the letter, he had given Felin permission to side with the Exalt against him, in order to placate her, but we see here that Felin has her own way of doing things.  In fact, she knows the Exalt much more intimately than Penn does, for she and her mother were living on Exalted and Exalt Benandi’s generosity after Felin’s father died fighting alongside Exalted Marshal Benandi during a battle.  Because of this unique living situation, Felin grew up with the Exalt’s son Sher, and the two of them were mostly as brother and sister.  The Exalt would have taken a dislike to Felin if Sher had fallen in love with her, but because she saw that Felin was actively trying to prevent this from happening their relationship was preserved.  The Exalt instead basically dowered Felin, arranging her marriage to Sher’s friend Penn, and giving Penn the living that had recently become vacant at Benandi parsonage.

Felin does not expect to find Sher at Benandi, since he’s usually off amusing himself in Irieth at this time of year.  But Sher seems weary of the social life and wanted some time at home, although of course he gave no one any notice or time to prepare.  They go to see Sher’s mother together, so that Felin can inform her of Penn’s arrival, and of taking Amer into their household.  The Exalt isn’t pleased – she’s a busybody who likes to arrange things for other people, and hold them to her standard.  She makes sure everyone in the immediate vicinity of Benandi Place goes to church every week, and they all know they can expect a visit from her if they do not.  The Exalt believes (as does Felin) that Selendra has expectations of being waited on by Amer, the way a higher-class maiden would have such an attendant.  Felin eventually talks her around into accepting it, and promises that they will all dine at Benandi Place the day after Penn, Selendra and Amer arrive.

Sher’s Prospects

Exalt Benandi has recognized the signs in her son of wanting to settle down, and it fills her with almost equal parts of relief and anxiety.  Relief, because up until now Sher’s pastimes included gambling away money and hunting, which seem to be the pursuits of most well-born male dragons who aren’t interested in the church or politics.  As the text said, when your lifespan is going to include multiple centuries, planning for the future seems like an incredibly necessary thing to do.  The Exalt regrets not being able to make Sher learn that lesson effectively when he was younger and more under her control, but now that he might wish to settle down and marry, she has an opportunity to change things.

The downside to this is that the Exalt runs the risk of being turned out of her own home by whomever Sher ends up marrying, because Sher’s wife would take her place as keeper of the household and could basically do what she likes.  The Exalt can’t have Sher marrying a maiden with a title that outranks hers, but she also can’t have Sher marrying a “club entertainer” because that is clearly below his station.  Remember, even Felin was below his station, being the daughter of one of Exalted Marshal’s subordinates.  In the previous section, the Exalt even made a remark about how Felin’s father should have saved up for his family (I can’t tell if this is something that Felin is used to ignoring, but yikes!).

Come on.  Tell me this is not who you were thinking of when we met the Exalt Benandi.

Come on. Tell me this is not who you were thinking of when we met the Exalt Benandi.

So the Exalt has, for the last few years, paid special attention to the eligible maidens at the surrounding demenses, and has even gone to Irieth to see the maidens being presented to society.  The maiden at the top of her short list currently is from a branch of the Telstie family, well-dowered but not titled, and the daughter of one of her close friends.  Seems to be a perfect match, doesn’t it?

The Travelers Arrive

Selendra is starting to feel her freedom slip away from her, first on the train as she is prevented from flying above it to stretch her wings (no escort), again when Penn doesn’t let her fly from the train stop to the parsonage, and even again when Penn makes decisions about her hunting like she’s not even there.  She’s being torn from everything familiar, and she can’t even call Agornin her home anymore.  It’s good for both Felin and Selendra to start off on good terms, with Selendra’s admiration of her sister-in-law’s flying and her ready agreement in Amer’s duties, but Felin takes her wifely duties seriously and doesn’t seem to be an ally in influencing Penn to grant his sister permission to take part in a hunt.

Sher, we see, has very decided opinions on what female dragons are capable of doing, and that includes hunting even though they have no claws.  Of course, Sher is in a much more privileged position than most, and doesn’t face the same kind of social consequences for bending the rules of proper behavior when it comes to dive-racing and hunting.  He sure pays Selendra a pretty compliment, though she’s obviously uncomfortable with the attention – her only and most recent experience with this kind of attention ended in assault.  So where to from here?

Chapter 5, Video 1

Chapter 5, Video 2

Chapter 5, Video 3

“Tooth and Claw” Chapter 4 Review

I apologize for the quality of my reading in this week’s videos.  For some reason I was tripping over my words and my bangs were constantly in my face.  But hopefully you were able to get the gist.

There’s a lot to unpack in this chapter, so let’s do it section by section, shall we?

Penn’s Preparations for Departure

Last week Amer asked Penn directly about allowing her to come with Selendra to Benandi, hinting that she might be needed to see after Selendra’s color if something went wrong with the tea that restored it.  Also implicit, I think, is the barest hint of possible blackmail, because the herb that Selendra took to make her maiden’s gold come back was clearly not sanctioned by the church, and it would hurt Selendra’s chances of marrying at all if it were found out that she might have blushed before marriage.  Penn accepted, mostly out of concern for Selendra, but he also remembered that Amer had practically raised him as well.  But taking on another servant was never part of the arrangements that were made in preparing for Bon’s death, so Penn writes to his wife Felin about how to handle it.

Penn, as a parson, is dependent upon his patroness for the living he and his family enjoys.  Exalt Benandi, the mother of Penn’s friend Sher, oversees Benandi demense with an iron claw, and pays particular attention to making sure that people have only what they can afford.  Penn makes arrangements to be picked up from Benandi Halt by a carriage that can take himself, Selendra and Amer as a sign to Exalt Benandi that Penn’s living is secure enough to take another servant.  The Exalt would not generally approve of that either, however, so Penn is trying some pre-emptive damage control by asking Felin to explain things, and he gives his wife permission to side with the Exalt to soothe her feelings.

Penn and Selendra Leave

Understandably, Haner and Selendra are heartbroken and emotional on the day that they will be separated.  When Daverak arrives to start his business as lord of Agornin and to take Haner back with him, he brings some surprising news.  Berend is ready to lay her second clutch, just four years after the first.  If you remember, Amer said that a female dragon could reasonably be expected to live long enough to see grandchildren if they had understanding husbands and time to space out their clutches.  And Bon Agornin’s wife died after laying her third clutch.  Basically, reproduction is a matter of life and death for female dragons, and all of the Agornin siblings aren’t exactly pleased to hear that Daverak has already knocked Berend up again.  Selendra is verbal about her surprise, and of course Daverak looks down on her for it.

You're on the list, Daverak.  I've got my eye on you.

You’re on the list, Daverak. I’ve got my eye on you.

When Selendra and Haner go down to get all of Selendra’s gold together for the journey, Daverak makes an off-hand remark to Avan about how he had considered appointing him as bailiff for the Agornin demense, but then says that he offered it to a cousin instead.  Avan, thinking about it, thinks that Daverak should have mentioned this earlier – if Avan could be provided with some measure of security under the larger dragon’s protection, he would have taken it and dropped the idea of the lawsuit.  He could have provided a home for Selendra and Haner as well, but of course Daverak continues in his jerkitude and sticks with the cousin-as-bailiff plan.

Haner Leaves

Haner learns of this missed opportunity when she returns from seeing off Selendra and Penn at the train station, and is grateful to Avan for even considering it.  When he brings up the lawsuit again, Haner tells him that she can’t add her name to it, not if she’s to live under Daverak’s roof.  At first Avan doesn’t understand, but when Haner makes it clear that Daverak could make her life miserable, he even offers to take her to Irieth.  It wouldn’t be an ideal situation, as we’ll discover later, and Haner would need to work.  But it was nice of him to offer.  Haner declines, but is grateful to her brother yet again for thinking of her.

Sebeth

Among the complications that would be involved in bringing Haner to Irieth is Sebeth, Avan’s clerk and mistress.  Sebeth must work for a living, even though she was nobly born, because a dragon kidnapped her when she was young and demanded that her father pay ransom.  She endured what Selendra endured at the beginning of her captivity, being forced to blush in the presence of a male.  But Sebeth’s father didn’t pay.  He said he had “dragonets enough,” and basically wrote her off.  That’s when Sebeth’s captor raped her, and after he tired of her, he forced her into prostitution and took all of the gold that she earned for himself.

Sebeth bade her time, carefully keeping track of the amount of gold that she earned, and that her captor took.  She had been convinced that somehow, she owed this gold to him.  But once it was paid off, she killed him and set out on her own.  Being pink and yet unmarried, Sebeth could not ever be considered Respected, and therefore had to take what work she could find.  Avan met her in a gambling house and became one of her lovers, and eventually she became his clerk.

I love Sebeth’s story so much, because she has clearly taken control of her life after enduring awful circumstances, and she keeps the details to herself.  Avan doesn’t know the name of her true family, and she sees no reason to tell.  She’s full of colorful stories and she and Avan have an open relationship that allows her to own her sexuality, as she couldn’t while she was in forced prostitution.

Avan tells his lover about the planned lawsuit, and Sebeth expresses doubt about how effective or fair the courts could ever be.  Having been a sex worker, she probably understands that better than most.

Fire cannot kill a feminist dragon

The Perils of Consumption

Here is where this chapter gets even more depressing.  Haner doesn’t fit easily into life at Daverak, and she is greeted by the news that little green Lamerak was deemed a weakling, and then consumed.  The way that Daverak and Berend are acting is not exactly like grieving parents act, and Haner develops a suspicion (undoubtedly correct) that Daverak intended to impregnate Berend with her second clutch and merely prolonged Lamerak’s life to provide some nutrition for her.

Daverak and Berend’s other two dragonets are subdued and don’t understand what happened to their sibling, and Haner takes pity on them.  She tries to cheer them up while Daverak and Berend eat breakfast, and Daverak suggests a visit to a very old farming family in his demense.  Berend and Haner agree, and have a moment to talk before leaving.  Berend is determined to see Haner marry well, fully aware that she had the lion’s share of Bon Agornin’s gold for her dowry.  Haner, keeping the pledge she made to Selendra, claims sixteen thousand crowns for her dowry, and Berend promises that she will do what she can to get her some security.

The description of the beauty of the island farm as the three of them fly in to land is marred when Haner discovers the real reason Daverak wanted to visit.  It turns out that the Majes have had a new clutch of hatchlings, two of which were outside to greet Daverak.  The other two, as Haner sees, were hidden inside for fear that Daverak would spot them for weaklings.  He asserts his privilege of rank and size over the protests of the farmers, and actually enters their home to drag out the little hatchlings.  The Majes are distraught, and the mother of the dragonets keens her grief as Daverak casually kills and dismembers her children.  Berend complains about the lower classes making too much of a fuss over the tradition of culling, and eats the portion of the hatchlings that Daverak offers her.  Haner eats her small portion, too, uncomfortably aware of the farming family’s eyes on her.

Chapter 4, Video 1

Chapter 4, Video 2

Chapter 4, Video 3

SDCC: Cat’s Schedule

I’ve spent the weekend making my peace with the SDCC schedule. So, here is a bit of a glimpse of panels I am aiming to get into and, of course, report back on. As well as some of my off site/evening activities. I’m a tv geek, so my goal is to hit as many panels for my favorites and pilot screenings as I can.

Thursday: I’m spending the whole day in Ballroom 20 (one of the largest panel rooms.) The first few panels don’t hold much interest for me, but in order to be there for the ones I like, I gotta be in there first thing.  Panels I’ll be awake for:

  • Scorpion (pilot screening)
  • Community
  • Hannibal
  • Penny Dreadful

Offsite: We’ve got tickets to the San Diego Symphony doing “Video Games Live!”  This is an outdoor performance right behind the convention center.

Friday: *sigh* This day is paining me. I want to spend the morning in the exhibit hall so I will be skipping the iZombie screening and my precious Vikings. Instead I am aiming for at least a handful of the following:

  • Wayward Pines (pilot screening)
  • Assassins Creed Unity Demo/Q&A (I’m quite interested in how this Q&A will go.)
  • The 100
  • Sleeping Hollow
  • Intruders (pilot screening)

Offsite: I’ve got tickets to @midnight live Friday night! Chris Hardwick will host but I have no idea who the guests will be yet.

Saturday:  I’m going to hit as many off site experiences and do more exhibit hall wandering until the afternoon. Aiming for:

  • Ascension (pilot screening, might miss because of off site stuff)
  • Constantine (pilot screening)
  • American Horror Story: Coven

(Warner Brothers is doing a big DC Comics tv thing Saturday night but I’m going to pass. I think it will be easy to get into, but it runs to 11pm and I’d like to give myself some downtime. So, I won’t be reporting in on Arrow, Flash or Gotham most likely. But we’ll see how our energy is that evening!)

Sunday: The lack of Doctor Who has made this a pretty easy day. I’ll be hitting Supernatural first thing in the morning. We might not even need to camp out for this as we’ve done previously. I think I’ll just show up at 3 or 4am and see how it goes. There’s a panel for The Strain that afternoon that I might attempt, but I’m gonna relax and enjoy the Gaslamp district for a while.

But, I am going to hit the “Full time work on a part time schedule” panel around 4pm. Clearly, I need some help managing my blogging time.

There are several panels that are to focus on women in comics/stories/etc and, obviously, I’d love to go to them, but they’re all over the place time and space wise. I’m going to focus on what kind of representation is happening in current and upcoming tv shows. My expectations are low. Very low.

That’s it for official SDCC programs. There will be TONS of off site experiences brought by all the big studios. Assassin’s Creed obstacle course, Gotham zipline, Borderlands laser tag, Sleepy Hollow Oculus Rift thingie (idk), and much more!  I’m going to hit everything I possibly can get to without bending time and space! 

 

Snowpiercer: when class war goes off the rails

After a long and infamous delay due to studio infighting, Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic thinkpiece Snowpiercer is finally playing in American movie theaters. This is how the story goes: in the not so distant future, humanity accidentally causes a worldwide ice age in an attempt to slow down global warming. With life on Earth quickly dying out, the planet’s last survivors board a gargantuan train called Snowpiercer. On Snowpiercer, the rich live in luxury at the front of the train and the impoverished are relegated to the back of the train, also known as the Tail. That is, until the poor decide to revolt.

The poor rebel so as to take charge of the front of the train — whoever controls the engine essentially controls the world. The leader of the revolt is Curtis Everett, played by an unrecognizably scruffy Chris Evans. Everett is aided in his ploy by fellow Tail inhabitant Tanya, played by a criminally underused Octavia Spencer, plus security expert Nam and his flighty daughter Yona, played by Korean actors Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung, respectively.

Everett and company make their way through the train mostly thanks to the skills of Nam and Yona, both of whom Everett bribes with drugs. As they all progress car by car, the internal world of the train is slowly revealed until they reach their destination at the front of the train, where Everett has a final and surreal confrontation with Wilford (played by Ed Harris), the mysterious creator of Snowpiercer.

***

Snowpiercer is one of the most visually arresting movies I’ve ever seen to the point that I think it’s on par with Tarsem Singh’s masterpiece The Fall. I was not expecting this given that the setting of a train interior wouldn’t seem to lend itself to interesting sets, but I was proven quite wrong. Another surprising thing about Snowpiercer is how quiet of a movie it is in the sense that there is not a lot of dialogue between characters until the very end. As with many other aspects of the movie, this silence is rather jarring given that it takes place on a gargantuan locomotive and most scenes should be quite noisy as passenger trains are anything but quiet. All of that being said, Snowpiercer is quite visceral at times, almost physically so. I say this in reference to a final speech of sorts that Everett gives to Nam before he confronts Wilford. He reveals the gory truth about life in the Tail, at which point I practically fell out of my seat over the disgusting revelation.

From a sci-fi standpoint, the movie requires a certain amount of handwavium, more so than most sci-fi movies. Admittedly, just the idea of packing humanity’s last survivors into a giant train seems rather farcical, but to me that was part of the appeal. Nonetheless, there are some details that just have to be accepted, like the fantastical substance that inadvertently caused an ice age and how people in the train are able to apparently raise livestock. Moreover, the overall pacing of the movie seemed rather off in some scenes, especially toward the end after Everett reaches the front.

Overall, Snowpiercer is, in turns, dark, awful, funny, surreal and cruel, and I highly doubt I will see anything like it any time soon.

Top image via enzozid.com. 

 

“Tooth and Claw” Chapter 3 Review

Bet you guys never thought you could discuss rape/purity culture in the context of a story about dragons, did you?  And yet here we are, dealing with the fallout from Frelt’s rapey, selfish proposal to Selendra.  Let’s break this down section by section.

Selendra’s Coloring

I’d first like to point out how gracefully Walton introduces us to dragon culture a piece at a time, relying on the reader’s prior knowledge of similar novels about humans to help fill in the gaps.  Specifically, in dragon culture, color is everything.  We’ve already seen (or at least heard) of what happens to young dragons who are too green.  And now we come to realize how important color is to maiden dragons as well.  Maidens are varying shades of gold, but when they first become aroused by a potential mate, they turn pink.  After they lay their first clutch of eggs, they turn red.

When Selendra makes her way into the dining room, she is blushing pink.  We know, because we read about it last week, that Frelt deliberately leaned over her, pressing her physically even though it was clear that this was not polite dragon behavior, and especially poor behavior for a parson.  We know that from Frelt’s perspective, he had deluded himself into believing that this was all very romantic, and he was even considering carrying Selendra off to rape her until she reminded him that she is under her brothers’ protection.

Penn and Avan are rightfully angry on her behalf, but they take entirely the wrong approach to it.  Instead of comforting their sister, as Haner is doing, Penn frets about Selendra having to marry Frelt after all if her scales have turned color.  And Avan actually chides Selendra for going down to meet the parson alone.  Haner leaps to her sister’s defense, angrily pointing out that Frelt is a fucking parson, and if anyone should be “safe” to be around it should be dragons of that persuasion, especially because they are Immune.  She also points out that Selendra went down to greet him just to be polite, and that Avan knew she was, and if he had been so worried about it then he would have gone down with or instead of her.

Seriously, Avan?

Seriously, Avan?!

The brothers are hung up on this color thing, knowing more about the world than their sisters, who have spent their entire lives at the Agornin establishment.  Because female dragons have the most visible sign of lost “virtue,” if not virginity, they are shunned by good society and therefore easy prey (in multiple ways) for dragons who are so low as to take advantage of that fact.  Penn and Avan are worried about Selendra even being able to have a legitimate marriage, because a maiden’s worth is measured in gold – both the gold of her dowry, and the gold of her virgin scales.  The idea that Selendra would be forced to marry the very dragon who sexually assaulted her is very much related to various cultural practices that force a rape victim to be married to her rapist, and also the idea that a woman has somehow lost “value” for having been raped.

The Sisters’ Vow

Haner takes Selendra straight to Amer, having confidence that their old nursemaid would know what to do.  Amer asks Selendra specific questions about what happened in the corridor as she prepares herbs and sets a kettle on the fire to boil.  Selendra is understandably shaken, more so now that when she was actually in the moment (which is a common feeling for victims of assault).  She talks about how Frelt deliberately leaned on her and re-affirms her determination never to marry him.

As Amer prepares the special tea, she very seriously informs Selendra of the possible consequences of taking this medicine.  As she says, it’s not magic, but medicine, and some dragons react differently to it.  Either the tea will restore Selendra’s maiden color and she will live her life as she would have, or the tea will fail to restore her color in which case she’s no worse off, or the tea will work so well that when Selendra really does become attracted to a dragon and accepts his proposal, she will not be able to blush pink the way she should.  Selendra is taking a risk here, possibly giving up marriage and dragonets just to avoid having to marry Frelt, but she chooses to drink the tea, fully informed of the situation.

Haner takes Selendra down to their sleeping cave for her to rest and allow the tea to do its work, as Amer washes up and burns the herbs she used on the kitchen fire.  As Selendra lays down on her gold to sleep, she and Haner make a vow to each other not to marry unless the other approves the match, and can come live with the married couple to look after the dragonets.  They also promise to combine their dowries to put one of them at advantage, so they will each say they have sixteen thousand crowns, rather than eight.

Surprises for Penn

As much as I dislike the cultural influences that led Penn to consider forcing Selendra to marry Frelt, I do feel sorry for him during this section.  After all, he and his siblings have all suffered a significant loss, had contentious family issues about the inheritance, and had an obnoxious intrusion of privacy in the form of Frelt’s stupid proposal.  He prays to the gods for a solution – any solution – that would allow Selendra to have a proper marriage to a dragon she loves.

Avan, meanwhile, is coming up with solutions of his own, and he approaches Penn with his suggestion when the parson comes down from his perch on the mountain.  Avan has high-ranking connections in Irieth, and knows a good-natured Exalted couple who might be willing to take Selendra on as a consort.  She wouldn’t be officially married, but she would be in the care of dragons Avan counts as friends.  Penn is disgusted by this idea, even though the Church doesn’t explicitly forbid it, and says that Selendra would basically be at the mercy of anyone who took her as a consort, and that it would be beneath her.  Notice how the two of them are discussing this without even thinking about consulting Selendra about it.  They are the ranking Agornin males, and assume that they have control over the females.

To Penn’s surprise, he finds that Selendra has turned gold again, and is informed by Haner that all she needed was rest and some special tea from Amer.  Penn thinks he has a good idea of what Amer gave to Selendra to drink, and this is definitely a big Church no-no.

Of course it is.  Anything that allows females more control over their lives and bodies is going to be a church no-no.

Maximus is having exactly none of your sexist, religious bullshit.

Maximus is having exactly none of your sexist religious bullshit.

Penn confronts Amer in the kitchen, asking her explicitly what she gave Selendra, and Amer neatly side-stepping the question and turning the blame to Frelt, which is exactly where it should be.  She points out that Selendra was only alone with Frelt for a few minutes, which is far too short for Selendra to have lost her virginity, if not her color (go Amer!).  She also hints that she might need to stay with Selendra to make sure that she stays gold, and asks Penn to take her into his household’s service.  She plays every card she has, including the I-watched-over-you-when-you-were-little-and-don’t-you-forget-it card.

Penn agrees to allow Amer to come with Selendra to Benandi, though he’s not sure how he would explain this apparent extravagance to his wife.  Which is something we’ll find out about next week (I think).

Chapter 3, Video 1

Chapter 3, Video 2