Phoenix: Steven Brust

OK so I finished Phoenix and while I enjoyed Taltos enough to keep reading the next book in the omnibus, reading Phoenix has made me wild to find the other books. I REALLY enjoyed that one.

Incredibly scattered thoughts:

*I've clearly missed a ton about Cawti & Vlad's relationship and even so, that conversation at the end where they attempt to have a conversation again about the two of them was...well, I respected a lot out of Vlad (and honestly - Brust)

*If Kragar betrays Vlad in one of the books I'm gonna be so upset. Melestav :( Nooo

*The names of Vlad's various enforcers gives me great joy. Poor Sticks. Glowbug!

*I am so fond of Loiosh?? Not to mention, I want a dragon who can fly around and poison people and who I can psionically talk to! Life is so unfair. I don't want a pony. I want a dragon. (Dragons that can fly and carry me on their back also acceptable.)

"Two toughs in here waiting for you, boss. We're distracting them, but--yikes!"
"You all right, Loiosh?"
"Near miss, boss."
Why is Loiosh saying yikes adorable??? Also adorable - he called Vlad mama when he was a fledgling I guess but then substituted it for boss once Loiosh grew up.

*The fight scenes were awesome. So much fun. This is absolutely my jam.

*I don't think I ever want to call Vlad's bluff. He's pretty good at backing them up.
"Is there some reason I should answer you?"
"I'll kill you if you don't."
"You'd never make it out of here alive."
"I know."

*Aibynn made me laugh a lot. I love that Vlad honestly had no clue the entire book whether Aibynn was an amazingly good spy or literally just that obsessed with drums. Also Aibynn is obviously based off a real person (with exaggerations) but the combination of the always innocent demeanor, laid back attitude about everything from having to stay somewhere else because assassins are after his only friend in the country or being thrown into jail because a man fell out of a tree near him, and complete focus on drumming, it is so entertaining. Lmao at Sethra and the others examining gold Phoenix stone carefully and trying to figure out how it works and Aibynn answering Morrolan ("what do you call it?") with "In my land, we call it a rock". Probably an annoying character if he appears in every book but for this quantity, so much entertainment.

ANYWAY I have obtained Book of Jhereg, which is apparently Jhereg, Yendi, and Tekla so I'm reading those next!! I'm looking forward to finding out more about the world since I think these two books are further along in the series. I am damning next month's book club and have decided I'm not gonna even bother reading it - it's the Six of Crows book, there are eighty holds on fifty copies, and I haven't enjoyed a YA book (much less a YA book published in the last 10 years) in many years.

I'm mildly annoyed the library does not appear to have e-books of each of the books (how dare!) but I have to cross-reference a bit and check the other local library system. I'm pretty sure main library system has all the books, just some in physical copy. Looks like the e-books are available to buy if the library can't get them in electronic copy.

Taltos: Steven Brust

I finished the first half of Book of Taltos which (after some wikipedia-ing) I think was originally published as a novel, and I've got the omnibus, where Taltos is paired with Phoenix. Normally you can just tell from the whole outside packaging but when I read in ebook I have no idea how long anything is and I skip the frontismatter anyway :P

I enjoyed it a lot! It's about Vlad, an Easterner (human) who lives in Dragaera (elf city) and who gets roped into a very dangerous rescue mission with someone he's basically just met.

One thing I really enjoyed is the utter deadpan of the narration, which is first person from Vlad. Especially because he's an assassin. There's so much where Vlad is describing what's going on, and what he thinks is going to happen, it's a ridiculous situation and very dangerous, and then he just goes, "So then I just nailed [killed] him." Everything is so casual, even when it's clearly a ton of work to go about killing his target, or it's life-or-death. I really am into super competent characters, so this was Excellent. Vlad also has a way of understatement at all times, so it's fun to read between the lines and think about what he's actually saying. A lot of what he says isn't what he feels - either because he doesn't want to admit it or he just wants to tell you something entertaining, I suppose. The prose is otherwise pretty light on description and the writing is very transparent/modern - there's not a lot to look at there. The interest is mostly in what happens and how Vlad talks about it, and it was really entertaining.

The other interesting thing was the three storylines - past, present, future. Each chapter is fairly short and mostly has all three happening. It took me until awhile into the book to realize the 'past' parts were gonna show up in each chapter, and then near the end I realized how the 'future' sections linked in. Eventually the 'present' and 'future' sections joined up, and I really enjoyed that. It's gave the book a different dimension and I also think it was a great way to explain something (magic working) which is hard to explain without infodumping and not have it bog down the action, which is reaching a climax at that particular point. I also quite like the device generally - I think the last time I read it was Ancillary Justice (which is exceptional), but where the two lines of the story met was such a great moment, and you really understood what was going on.

Also for some reason I kept reading this at the very end of the day when I was almost asleep so I probably will find a lot more to enjoy in the re-reads. Now reading Phoenix!

NPR top 50 SF/F of last decade

NPR posted a Top 50 SF/F books list. Some discussion went round meme critical of the list, but I think it's a pretty decent list of the highlights. Yes, I think I've heard of either the authors or the works listed, but I like SF/F and I hang around people who like and talk about it! If I wanted to know of new books to check out, I wouldn't be going to NPR-writing-for-a-general-audience to ask for it. And thank goodness it's not yet another list where it's the Three Fathers of SF and Lord of the Rings taking up all the slots yet again.

Anyway please see my babbling about the books I have read of the below. Though wow when I actually go through these, I hated a whole bunch of them. I still think it's a good list!

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book in bed

The Age of the Cathedrals and three Ngaio Marsh books

I have fallen terribly down on reviewing books but one lesson I have finally learned is that it's better to still do stuff for partial credit than throw one's hands up and totally abandon it, so recent things I have read!

The Age of Cathedrals - Georges Duby
Published in 1981 by Duby, who is a famous French medievalist, the book covers 980-1420, so the period after which the Viking raids began to taper off up until the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy. I read this in translation.

I always find it tough to review non-fiction, since I usually rate fiction just based on enjoyment, but my interest in non-fiction is different. The book definitely reads very different from a book that might be published today, however. Some of the terminology reads very dated; at the beginning of the book Duby calls the society "primitive", which feels like terminology that we've moved away from. It's not wrong, exactly. Thinking about the agricultural infrastructure and technology, the paucity of written sources, etc, it's very different from later medieval periods.

I got quite bogged down in this also - there's an exhausting section in the middle about theology and I confess I have never cared about any theology. Reading about how much effort and medieval scholarship (as in scholarship during the middle ages) went into it just made me frustrated with how inadequately it was grappling with the problems it was trying to solve. It's not that I don't value things that are not rock-solid empirical research. But we're physical beings and many of our problems result from actual physical causes, it's frustrating to see the masters and students attempt to answer questions by trying to square their religious belief with the scraps of translated Classical knowledge - that is, mostly Aristotle. Instead of actually looking at the world around them and testing what they saw. Ahh, I know it's because I've received the legacy of the scientific method and it's much easier to see how valuable feedback can be employed once you can see the system, so I was taught the knowledge that many others had to put together and make coherent, but it's frustrating.

The book is also very French (and Paris) focused. It's hard to judge whether this is justifiable or not. I honestly think a lot of medieval scholarship is very English and French dominated, perhaps because I learned it in an Anglosphere context, or because of the patchiness of data that's available (the English manorial court rolls are especially useful and don't exist elsewhere). Sometimes when Duby kept going on about how Paris or Ile-de-France was so central to Gothic whatever, I wanted to roll my eyes, but OK. I'm sure English books are equally Anglo-centric. And to be fair to Duby, in later eras, as influential artistic things shift to the Italian peninsula, he does acknowledge that.

I did enjoy and find a lot of the book really illuminating though, in drawing conclusions about the way art was made, by whom, in whose interests and how it was guided by those who commissioned it, the way this changed, and so on. I liked that Duby also occasionally said that there were some questions we couldn't answer because there simply wasn't evidence - things like the beliefs of the Cathars/Albigensians are hard to interpret, because their writing was destroyed and of course, the reports of them are all from the orthodox Christianity.

I found this book quite difficult to read in general. I think I'm a very strong reader (lol) and I'm interested in medieval history and this was in English. I honestly think it's the translation from French and some of the dryness of how Duby treated the subject, and finally, some of my unfamiliarity. For example some of his citations were tough to read (I am complaining about French translations but Latin is definitely worse) and/or I had never read them, so the references to Dionysius the Aeropagite I just had to kind of mentally move past, because I've never actually read his writing. I eventually started a strategy of deciding to read X number of pages to make progress, something that I have never done - I usually just like reading, so it's not like an effort is really required.

Death at the Bar, Death in Ecstasy, Surfeit of Lampreys - Ngaio Marsh
Started a Ngaio Marsh kick and this Death at the Bar is my favourite of the three I've read so far. Marsh seems to go for very public murders in her novels - the others like Artists in Crime, Death in Ecstasy, Surfeit of Lampreys - all have their victims perish within actual eyewitness-view or in earshot. The victim in this one is murdered when playing a round of darts as the lights flicker in a storm, and succumbs to cyanide poisoning.

Honestly I'm not into mysteries for the mysteries. I don't really care and I'm usually reading too fast to think about it; I often read these in 1 or 2 sittings. I'm into the characters, the setting, and the prose . I've come to realize my favourite era of English prose is somewhere in the early 20th century. I'm not sure what it is - I enjoy Victorian prose, too, and I've read reams of modern stuff, of course, and liked a ton of that. But somehow the stylings of the 20th century really hit that sweet spot. This is a long way of just saying I really enjoy reading about Alleyn and Fox and the inter-war setting and all that. Death at the Bar has an amazing scene near the end where Fox is poisoned and Alleyn flips out and orders the roomful of suspects downstairs to stay there or be arrested for murder, and drags the pubmaster (where they're staying) upstairs to help save Fox. Look, I'm just very into competence, OK. Also Alleyn keeps calling Fox nicknames like Foxkin, and it's adorable. I enjoy the recurring characters very much.

I found Lampreys to be the weakest of the three, even though it's her tenth, and she definitely improved as she went along. I think it's maybe because I never quite liked any of the Lampreys, despite the POV character in the beginning being Roberta, who is enamoured of them. Also, I did say I don't care that much about the mystery, but I do feel it often chickens out if the murderer in a sea of gentry turns out to be a servant.

hawk dinner

I went birding today and saw a bunch of birds (I think about 15-20 species across 3 locations) but to cap everything off, while I was standing in this parking lot in the city center I saw this big red-tailed hawk. There was a ton of robins constantly calling and harassing it, which is what alerted me, so I went and watched it for a bit. Then while I was watching it sit in the tree, it suddenly swooped past me and caught a baby bunny as it tried to dive for cover.

The hawk didn't seem to care I was there, and brought it over to the fence real close to me, so I got a good shot.

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I feel a little bad for the bunny but mostly, admiration for the hawk. It was so fast, it was all over in a second. That's basically a bucket list item for me! I still want to see a hawk catch a bird on the wing, but this is already amazing.
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Rush (2013), Good Bye, Lenin! (2003)

Two really good films that I enjoyed hugely the past week - I did not expect this but I am facing facts and I am now a Daniel Brühl fan.

Rush (2013) dir. Ron Howard

Set during the 1976 Formula One season, the movie follows the rivalry between British driver James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda. As the season starts, the already existing rivalry is deepened as Lauda pulls ahead in the scores, and Hunt is disqualified for his car not meeting contest parameters. At the race at the German Grand Prix, which is raced despite the dangerous heavy rains, Lauda's car catches fire, and Lauda sustains third-degree burns and is rushed to the hospital. After six weeks, he returns to race in the Italian Grand Prix and comes fourth, while Hunt fails to finish. The championship comes down to the final race in Japan, where Hunt wins the championship over Lauda by a bare point.

Despite my complete disinterest in driving and racing, this was really engrossing. Hunt and Lauda are extremely different personalities - Hunt is brash, aggressive, and emotionally somewhat unstable, using his willingness to take deadly risks on the track to squeeze out victories; Lauda is technically focused and keeps a tight rein on his non-racing activities, and isn't as emotionally tied to the racing. But they're both two men who do, at the highest level, an extremely dangerous sport. At this point, out of the 25 drivers that enter the season, about two die every year.

They're both extremely good drivers and interestingly, their origin stories, defying their families, is very similar. The rivalry is really excellent, and really powers the film - they start off antagonistic and angry, well before they are Formula One, as the movie opens when they race in the lower divisions. I found Hemsworth to be OK - I've enjoyed him in other things like the MCU and the Men in Black reboot, even though that wasn't as well received - but he wasn't as compelling, maybe because in this film, Brühl's performance blew Hemsworth's out of the water. His character arc has so much good stuff in it, and Brühl plays it all so well. There's never any question of technical competence in driving for both of them, they're both exceptional drivers. Lauda defies his grandfather, who cuts him off after Lauda refuses to join the family business, and he buys his way onto a Formula One team. He immediately irritates some on the team by criticizing the car and proposing changes, which do in fact make the car a lot faster. Hunt tries to get at Lauda mentally, but Lauda doesn't care - he has pretty unshakable confidence in his skills as a driver and no amount of insults about his face is going to change that. Lauda has a very understated courtship and then marriage (in contrast to Hunt's very showy wedding, incidentally) and during his honeymoon, has a gorgeous vulnerable moment as he says to his new wife that happiness now gives him something to lose. Then the accident happens, and he's in so much pain with the burns, but he struggles and returns to the track pretty much as soon as he possibly could. The whole range was just so so well done, and I can't believe how much I cared! I could barely watch the hospital stuff, and the mix of determination, fear, etc as he returned to racing was hugely good and amazing to watch. I personally think there was a lot of meat to Hunt's story as well, and he's clearly meant to be top billing/the main - there is his hasty marriage to Miller, its subsequent ugly dissolution, the way Hunt is doing this insanely risky sport to prove a point and that he starts falling apart when he doesn't have a team to race with. Despite plenty of time and plenty of not-literal racy segments (we see his butt in the first 10 mins I think), it just can't hold a candle to Brühl. Just a phenomenal performance.

Specific scenes I loved:
*Lauda meeting Marlene (his wife). After being admittedly an asshole to a fellow driver, who had invited him to a party out of pity, the door is closed in his face and he asks Marlene, who is leaving, for a lift to the nearest train station. While she's driving them, he tells her all the ways her car needs fixing, she replies it's fine and just got a service, scene cuts to them standing on the roadway next to her broken-down car. They are picked up by a couple guys who recognize Lauda and are massively excited to have him drive their car. Marlene doesn't believe he's a F1 driver because he drives like an old man, but when she asks, he does indeed drive like a fiend. Oh, I'm explaining this badly. But here's a clip.

To say this scene hit my thing for competence + hidden competence is putting it extremely mildly. This is the good stuff. I loved it so much.

*After Lauda returns to racing after his accident, his burn scars/graft are very visible as they're all over his head. At the press conference, he deal with all the questions pretty directly (IRL Lauda was apparently famously very blunt), and one reporter decides to dig and asks him how Lauda's wife feels and if his marriage will survive. Lauda tells him off and ends the press conference; and Hunt, who was also at the table, later corners the reporter and punches him in the face a few times, and tells the reporter to ask his wife if he likes his new appearance. That rivalry with the respect and a dash of protectiveness, that's also some damn good stuff. Then Hunt quietly closes the door on the reporter and doesn't mention it to anyone. It's definitely partly coming from the feelings of guilt - at the German Grand Prix, as they meet about whether or not to race in the dangerous conditions, Lauda tries to get the racers to call off the race - he's willing to risk death every race, but only to a certain degree, and this exceeds it massively. But Hunt opposes him, and sways the room by calling Lauda (and by extension anyone who agrees with him) a coward, not a good driver, etc.

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) dir. Wolfgang Becker

Alex Kerner, a young man living in East Germany, sees his mother have a heart attack and go into a coma just as the Berlin Wall begins to fall. She is in a coma for eight months, and sleeps through a huge chunk of the reunification. When she awakes, the doctor warns Alex that any shock might cause another heart attack, potentially fatal. His mother was a very active member and supporter of the DDR, and Alex resolves to bring his mother home from the hospital and make sure she doesn't learn of the last eight months' changes - to create a world from her bedroom of a still-standing East Germany.

It's definitely a drama with some poignant, cute, funny moments, and it's the characters that again really carry the movie. First - Alex, dear god, I'm not sure he could be cuter. He tries his utmost to take care of his mother, and make sure that she doesn't know about the collapse of the communist regime, even though East Berlin is rapidly changing in every way. Since his mother is bedridden, it's theoretically possible. He retrieves the old furniture to transform the bedroom back to the way it was, tries to find the old foods (now no longer stocked - he resorts to buying jars of pickles that are being imported and dumping them into jars with old labels, or pouring coffee grounds into old foil packets), and with his friend Denis, films news segments that explain the inevitable slips that his mother sees, like gigantic banners of Coca-Cola being hung outside her window. For her birthday, he rounds up his some of his mother's old colleagues, some of whom are pretty depressed, as well as some young kids to perform as "Pioneers". He tries really, really hard. It's both extremely sweet and also sad/absurd, and the tension between the two, and the risk of a relapse hanging over the whole film, really give the film a good weight.

There is a great deal going on around this main narrative, too. His sister Ariane is more willing to move on, and thinks that they should tell their mother, though Alex convinces her to go along with the charade; she gets a job at Burger King, starts dating the manager there, starts dressing in western fashions and adjusting to the new life. And to be fair, Alex does, too; Alex starts dating the nurse who was helping his mother in the hospital, crosses the border to see what it's like on the other side, gets a new job setting up satellite dishes which can receive in other broadcasts, especially for national soccer. His girlfriend Lara feels uneasy about the whole thing and thinks that he should tell his mother the truth too.

One thing that I especially enjoyed about the movie is that despite the voiceover, which I thought was employed to great effect, and the narration being solidly Alex's point of view, the camera certainly filmed a more omniscient point of view. There's a lot that's just quietly shown and not said. Alex is so determined to protect his mother and make sure she doesn't come to harm - the scenes with him and his mother are done so well, and you can see how much he cares about her. But with the camera's ability to show what's going on, I think there's also a fair amount of underlying guilt that's driving Alex. Despite his mother's support for the communist regime, Alex is taking part in one of the demonstrations on the fateful night, and it's the sight of her son amongst the protestors that causes her to collapse. Not only that, but Alex sees her see him and then watches her crumple, and can't go and help her because he's being taken away forcibly by the police. Then the doctors tell him that CPR happened very late and that's why she's in a coma for so long and her prognosis is so bad. Alex never actually says anything about it, neither in the dialogue nor the narration, but the implication is pretty clear.

Then there is the plot about his father. The movie opens as Alex and Ariane are young kids. Their dad leaves, and both of them believe that he's left them for his West German girlfriend, and they never hear from him again; agents come to question his mother about his sympathies, connections, etc, and she explodes at them and then is taken ill for awhile. Much later in the movie she tells her children that it was a lie and that they originally planned in haste to leave, him first, she to follow, when a sudden opportunity came up, but that while he left, she was afraid that they would take both of her children away, and couldn't do it - and that she regrets the decision the most. She hid the letters that their father sent. Again there's the implication that her strong support for the regime was to counter the suspicion thrown on them by her husband leaving for West Germany, and to make sure that Alex and Ariane wouldn't be taken away from her, but it's never stated outright.

There are just so many good scenes. Personally, I actually cried a little at the scene when Alex, knowing his mother is dying, goes to find his father. He arrives at his father's house while a party is going on in the back. His father doesn't recognize him at first, sitting on the couch with his little step-siblings. The moment when Alex sees his father, a decade on, when his father realizes, there's very limited dialogue but the impact was so good and so painful. But truly, the whole film was so good, it's so hard to write this review because I just kind of want to go over the entire movie scene by scene and talk about what I liked about everything. I also really enjoyed the cinematography - some judicious sped up parts, many of the lovely shots like the one where Alex and Lara (his girlfriend) climb up the broken-up apartment building and sit with their legs hanging off the edge of the wall-less floor and look out over the city, the way the passage of time is depicted wordlessly sometimes (especially in the hospital at the end).

The movie closes with Alex reflecting that he doesn't regret doing it, that he is glad his mother never found out and was able to pass away without knowing the real way that the DDR fell (though he doesn't know about Lara trying to explain). During the last days of her illness, he concocts a story about how the wall falls, except in a way he calls a proper send off, instead of the ragged way it happened in real life; he realizes that his memories of the old regime are tinted with nostalgia and that they will forever be associated with his mother. It was a really poignant moment in a film full of really good emotional beats.

On a last note, this was also released in 2003, and I can't deal with how young Brühl looks. Genuinely occasionally so adorable I had to pause here and there to recover. I went trawling for some images/gifsets and sadly, because it came out a good decade before tumblr was a thing, there isn't a huge backlog of gifsets (wahh). However, I submit some photos for your consideration:

A gifset, for as long as it might last, since tumblr's links break so fast:

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (TV)

I'm watching a positive deluge of TV these days, compared to my usual baseline of zero - I started watching the BBC adaptation of Sayers' The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club with another friend. It came out in the 1970s and stars Ian Carmichael as Wimsey.

They appear to be just available on youtube so the barrier to entry is very low.

I absolutely love Sayers, the Wimsey novels, and her writing generally - pretty much every aspect of the books. I actually think at this point, Gaudy Night might be my favourite novel, and it's really rare for books to get that high up in my estimation anymore (I only read it a few years ago). Of all her books though, I think I like Bellona Club least, though. I know other people don't really like Five Red Herrings but I love the setting, the fishing/painting duality the characters have going on, and I've always skipped over the timetables and mystery solving of mystery novels anyway, so it made no difference that Red Herrings had too many train timetable foolings. Plus there's the most enjoyable reconstruction that Wimsey and the Fiscal do at the end! Honestly, I think I dislike Bellona Club because I really hate George. I understand, I do: he feels humiliated and inadequate, because he got gassed in the war, clearly has PTSD/shellshock, and can't stick the things that the post-war world is requiring, living off his wife's earned income is humiliating, he sees the world has changed hugely and can't cope, etc. I get it. But he's so relentlessly unpleasant to Sheila, and he recognizes he's being a beast, and he just keeps on doing it. It makes Wimsey, visiting them, acutely uncomfortable too. There's also not much of the novel I can point at and like in terms of set-up or setting. Books like Murder May Advertise have the absolutely amazingly-drawn ad agency and its little politics as a backdrop, or the Nine Tailors has a wonderful sense of quietness and vastness, almost, to go with the huge bell tones of the book. Ugh I never reviewed the books back when I read them the first time but I loved them so much I tried to stretch them out and not read them all at once.

Anyway, the TV show is all right. Since I know the plot, most of my interest and enjoyment is derived from the strengths of adaptation; for visual media like TV mostly I am looking for good acting and visuals, if possible. Ian Carmichael is a good person, acting-wise, to play Wimsey, but he really doesn't look right. He's way too broad shouldered and conventionally handsome - Wimsey calls himself "funny lookin'" and is slight, which cause his opponents to underestimate him - both in intelligence and in fights, I might add. I also think Carmichael looks a little too old, but that's more subjective, probably. Wimsey's born in 1890, I have always felt Bellona Club takes place only a few years after the Great War, so he's somewhere in his late 20s or early 30s. George, by contrast, looks very young indeed, and honestly the visual depiction of George in this version is making him a lot more sympathetic - he's going off the handle but he is really painfully quite young for this. Murbles is pretty much EXACTLY the way I pictured him, it is amazing. I also quite like Pemberthy. He's a little soft-faced and very self-assured and confident, which rings quite right - just doesn't have the capital he needs.

I don't know if it's the poor quality on youtube or what but there's so little colour or resolution in the adaptation. Whew, everyone and everything grey, beige, black, or maybe grey again. It's cool to see all the 1920s decor. One of the joys of Wimsey is that he's filthy rich, it's not just the reader indulging in the fantasy of just having the money to do whatever he likes and be comfortable, Sayers actually talks about this herself, writing in the luxuries she couldn't afford - and despite the graininess of the footage I'm
enjoying looking at the set dressing. There's actual smoking with actual smoke, wow. The other really weird thing is it's shot with pretty much no sound effects or music soundtrack backing it at all. The only music is the beginning and ending title sequences. It is absolutely dead silent otherwise, and that feels so alien. I'm so used to modern cinema subtly or unsubtly cueing my emotions - and frankly sometimes it's mostly the violins coming down on a big sweep that's doing most of the emotional heavy lifting.

Daniel Sousa's FACE

So I have apparently fallen fannishly for Agent Carter and subsequently have been rewatching (a lot). Maybe I'll recap the other episodes, since it provides nice structure. Anyway, a lot of the show watching for the first time was following the action, watching Peggy's face and her reactions, since the story is mostly told through and around her. On rewatches though I so enjoy watching all the other details, and right now, Daniel's reactions. I mean Gjokaj is ridiculously handsome anyway so it's also partly just watching his face, but he's also so incredibly expressive, so it's such a joy to watch the scenes again and see Daniel's reaction.

Please enjoy a gifset (I am sorry sholio I am stalking your tumblr for the pretty, pretty AC gifsets and meta)