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Epic Friendships


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ociety is confused on a lot of things, but the one thing it gets right is our need for friends. The adage that “no man‟s an island” rings true, not only in life but also in literature, television, and film. Frodo couldn‟t have made it to Mount Doom without Sam. Without Watson, we wouldn‟t know anything about Sherlock Holmes‟ crimesolving skills. Tough issues like growing up, growing apart, and even life-threatening cancer is seen through the eyes of the friends in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Even Jesus had friends on earth… his disciples, among them “his rock,” Peter. David‟s friendship with Jonathan was so bonding that he said it was the strongest emotion he ever felt on earth, beyond even his eros (sexual) love for his wife. Because of this, and because we live in a sexsaturated culture, many try to turn friendship into something it‟s not, to take brotherly (or sisterly) love and turn it into eros. A deep, mutual affection without sexual attachments is utterly unbelievable to modern

audiences, who fail to understand and see love on any other level than sexual attraction. Male characters suffer most from this affliction. If two men are friends, they must have romantic feelings for one another, in spite of their obvious interest in women. That misses the point, not only of the profoundness of human relationships, but also of friendship itself. Attraction doesn‟t have to be sexual, it can exist on a deeper plane of existence than that. It can merge in a “meeting of minds,” or more

accurately, as Anne Shirley puts it, “kindred spirits,” two distinct and different individuals who feel an inexplicable pull toward one another, a strengthening of focus that keeps them friends to the end of their lives. I met my best friend in a mutual appreciation of Sam and Frodo‟s bond, as someone who felt as I did, that many of the fans missed the point of their bond and mistook it for something Tolkien never intended it to be. How funny that our mutual defense of these characters‟ brotherly

love would lead us to our own friendship! She‟s as different from me as night and day (she‟s the day, all sunshine and joy, and I‟m the night, all melancholy and drama) but like so many of the fictional friends in these pages, we challenge each other, strengthen one another, occasionally argue on unimportant topics, even don‟t speak to each other for months at a time, yet always, as truly kindred spirits, we return to one another. Why? Because we‟re that most mysterious of all God‟s many gifts to us… true friends. ♥


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Sherlock & John Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Kirk & Spock Star Trek

8 Annie & Auggie Covert Affairs

10 Peter & James Peter Pan

11 Anne & Diana

Lucy Maud Montgomery

12 Legolas & Gimli

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J.R.R. Tolkien

14 Will & Diane

The Good Wife

16 Harry, Hermione & Ron J.K. Rowling

18 Finch & Reese Person of Interest

Happy Birthday! Aug 10: Lydia Jacobs

20 Ryan & Esposito Castle

22 Hugo & Isabelle Brian Selsnick

24 Tony & Ziva NCIS

26 Mattie & Cogburn True Grit

28 The Doctor & Donna Doctor Who

30 George & Orry North & South

32 Lewis & Hathaway Inspector Lewis

34 Neil & Peter White Collar

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“Upon my word, Watson!” said Holmes at last with an unsteady voice, “I owe you both my thanks and an apology. It was an unjustifiable experiment even for one‟s self, and doubly so for a friend. I am really very sorry.” “You know,” I answered with some emotion, for I had never seen so much of Holmes‟ heart before, “that it is my greatest joy and privilege to help you.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

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ou can count on one hand the number of times amateur detective Sherlock Holmes expresses verbal concern for his compatriot, Doctor John Watson. It‟s not so much that Holmes doesn‟t feel, for I believe he feels very deeply, but rather he can‟t function in his chosen mode of professionalism if he gives emotion a stronghold. Still, the façade is cracked, just a

little, every time he places Watson in serious danger, the type that could actually result in their deaths. It‟s the brief moments, such as the one from Devil’s Foot, that show Watson how much Holmes actually


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cares for him as a friend and a colleague. What defines friendship? Affection is crucial, even in a male friendship, but even more so is respect for one another. Readers never doubt how deeply Holmes respects Watson in Doyle‟s stories. He tests Watson, urges him to use his mind, seeks his company and his favor, and worries about his welfare. He keeps the man‟s wallet locked up to stop him from gambling, after all. This is Sherlock Holmes, a man who chooses his friends wisely but once he‟s picked them, they are valued. For a man of such keen intellect as him to offer respect and affection to an honorably discharged army doctor says a lot about, not only Holmes, but also Watson. I feel David Burke, who played Watson opposite Jeremy Brett for a season, displays all the qualities of a prime Watson. Holmes asks him to deduce from a scene what he can, a sign of respect, and Watson jumps right in with his observations. He may not be right in his guesses and usually he isn‟t but the excitement in his eyes and eagerness with which he responds to Holmes‟ query show how privileged he feels to be of assistance. Exactly as he said in the Devil’s Foot quote.

As much as I love Sherlock from the BBC, neither Martin Freeman nor Benedict Cumberbatch fills the mold Doyle developed. Ben‟s Sherlock is, in his own words, a “highfunctioning sociopath.” He eats people for lunch and spits them out, even John Watson. How is that a sign of respect? There are moments when Sherlock reveals glints of interest in his newfound companion, but his sociopathic attitude

and Jude Law are the inaccurate, unrealistic versions of the Holmes and Watson characters. This Holmes clings to his Watson out of… it could be any reason. His is a needy reaction instead of one of respect. He doesn‟t want what‟s best for Watson, only what‟s best for himself. In Doyle‟s original stories Watson married not just once, but twice, and never did Holmes make even an effort at

always takes over and John is made to feel not only idiotic, but little better than a manservant. This is a shame because the show, on the whole, is brilliant and entertaining. If only the writers had made Sherlock a little less psychotic as well as toned down the gay jokes their friendship might have had a chance to shine as Doyle intended.

standing in his way. Holmes wanted his friend to find happiness, not just with him, but in whatever way necessary to feel complete and secure.

Then there‟s Robert Downey Jr., the other popular, new incarnation of the great detective. He

Watson left Holmes for a time, finding his own way, serving the public as a doctor, being a husband, but there would come the moments when he‟d recall his old friend and pay Sherlock Holmes a visit. Holmes‟ eyes would light up at Watson‟s entrance and the two would attend the opera, dine at a fancy

restaurant and, of course, solve crime. The annoyance of Downey Jr.‟s Holmes is his inability to let go. Jude Law‟s Watson is desperate for freedom but has a manacle shackled to his ankle that Holmes has pounded into the floor. This is certainly no sign of respect or even affection, but rather an unhealthy obsession of which Doyle would never approve. The dedicated Sherlockian is left with the classic film interpretations and the original stories to decipher Doyle‟s intentions. His duo are best friends. Watson is the type of man who could have many friends but he always returns to Holmes for an adventure. Holmes can live without his Boswell, his biographer, but is always delighted to see him. They‟re not bereft when they are without one another, but still more complete together. More than any other male friendships, Holmes and Watson are two sides of the same coin. All interpretations hold some merit, if only for pure entertainment‟s sake, but to really get to the root of the characters, one must go to the source—that of the brilliant deductive reasoning of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his development of the finest detective who never lived and his faithful friend and dedicated biographer. ♥


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ife is all about relationships. We all want friends who will stand by us no matter what. If we‟re lucky we‟ll find one loyal, dedicated friend who will be with us our entire lives. Truly great friends bring out the best in each other and balance each other‟s weaknesses with their own strengths. One of the finest onscreen representations of this kind of friendship is in Star Trek, between Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock. Whether in the original series or the reboot, they constantly balance one another, challenge each other, and go to great lengths to support and understand each other, even though moments in their individual journeys (and even elements of their personalities) are reversed between the different incarnations of the characters.

Kirk and Spock couldn‟t be more different from one another, in whatever “universe” you find them in, but each story arc is fully built around their relationship, how they relate to one another, and how their friendship changes them both. Kirk


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is an emotionally-driven extrovert and Spock a logical introvert. In the original series, Kirk is empathetic, loyal and compassionate. He routinely breaks Starfleet rules to save others. He is amused by Spock and enjoys teasing him. His behavior eventually influences Spock, who learns to “bend the rules” and even disobey orders to save Kirk, an emotionbased decision in a mind fully motivated by logic! Kirk and Spock may be nothing alike in beliefs, personality, or thoughtprocess, but they figure out how to get along by accepting each other as equals. The Enterprise crew benefits from their relationship; it stabilizes both as individuals and offers a medium between cold logic and emotion. Another person intrudes on their delicate balance: Bones, the ship‟s doctor, who finds Spock “coldhearted.” Spock is all logic and reason; Bones is emotion and empathy. These two extremes meet in Kirk, who is logical and empathic. He sees both sides and referees between them. This dynamic is different in the rebooted franchise where Kirk is still likable and emotion-driven but less reliable and more hot-headed. He gets off on the wrong foot with Spock when he cheats on a test to prove a point. Spock despises him for

his rule-breaking; Kirk is irritated by Spock‟s total adherence to the rules. Their differences of opinion are so great that Kirk is shocked when Spock Prime (an original Spock from an alternate universe) tells him that in his world, the two of them are close friends and bring out the best in one another!

him to experience the emotions of death. Kirk‟s decision to give his life for his crew is a total reversal from his earlier behavior (instead of

human side, Spock cries. Each not only learns from the other but brings out the best in his friend. For a friendship that started with hatred, it‟s a powerful scene!

risking all their lives, he risks himself) and shows he‟s learned from Spock to take responsibility for his actions. Spock breaks down in tears because he can‟t help his friend by touching him and taking away his pain. Now that he knows the emotions of death, he understands Kirk‟s feelings of fear and confusion. In honor of a friend, who encouraged him to tap into his

Whichever incarnation of these characters you watch, the relationship remains the same. Star Trek in many ways is less an adventure into new worlds and more an indepth analysis of two completely different men who find in one another a beautiful symmetry that improves them as individuals and friends. That is what a true friendship is all about. ♥

Loss reveals the true nature of friendship, and in each film series one must watch the other die. Though the deaths are temporary the impact is the same. In the original series, Spock takes a fatal dose of radiation; in the reboot, it‟s Kirk. While both have impact, my favorite is the reboot, because it says so much about the journey these characters have gone through and their impact on one another. Kirk and Spock have a disagreement revolving around Spock reporting Kirk for disobeying the prime directive to save a life. An argument stems from Kirk‟s annoyance at Spock reporting him and Kirk‟s disinterest in taking responsibility for his actions (when asked what he‟s learned from this mishap, he retorts, “Never trust a Vulcan!”). Since Vulcans have no fear of death, in order to understand why Kirk was determined to save him at the cost of disobeying direct orders, when their commanding officer dies, Spock mind-melds with


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riends are the family we chose for ourselves. In fiction theyâ€&#x;re often opposites; two people who balance the idiosyncrasies of each other out. Many have rocky starts and eventually peel back layers of emotion to form into friendship, usually the results of which trend into the territory of a romantic liaison. Writers thrive on the will-they-or-wonâ€&#x;tthey tease, and it can only be abused so long before it no longer seems full of promise.


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The friendship of Annie and Auggie in Covert Affairs brims with unique quirks. Early on after the two are introduced it‟s obvious they‟re special—as individuals and eventually as pals. Anyone who hasn‟t met them is missing out. Instead of a relationship consisting of grabbing drinks at a local hangout or attending sporting events together, these two share a more adventurous friendship. Annie‟s phone calls to Auggie involve the coordinates to points of extraction from a foreign country or tech advice. His role is of listener, wanting to “fix” the emotional fallout of Annie‟s many complicated relationships. The least of their worries is finding the time to have heart-to-hearts, since both are spies! Annie is a girl-next-door which makes her a brilliant spy who is also sometimes goaded into things, led by emotion. Her sincere nature and deep emotional connections to her assets is a strength because she sees things others look at through impersonal lenses, but what is also her best quality somersaults into her greatest weakness. Then there‟s Auggie, the special ops soldier whose superiority as tech analyst and Annie‟s handler at Langley isn‟t hindered in the least by the disability of the blindness that ended his military career. He relies on his other senses and is a force to be reckoned with through his powers of observation. It adds a new component to

the relationship, one that sees the highs and lows between these two via one of the elements humans have elusively chased and wished for in all of their relationships: trust. Can many of us say that our friendships are at their best? Sometimes we don‟t talk enough with that person, which translates

into a lack of communication. One friend may accuse the other of something in love or anger, and that sets off a chain reaction when the person on the receiving end takes it personally and begins to pull away because they feel slighted, unloved, even invisible. Isn‟t it ironic in our hightech age that anyone feels

“alone”? We can “like,” “friend” or “follow” anyone with a public profile but do we really know or care about those people? Are they just a number count and avatar we use to make a statement in society, a conversation piece over the number of “friends” we have or do you think about their favorite things when you see their name? Sadly,

today, our “friends” are a number count, not a face with a personality who is a living human being. True Annie and Auggie are fictional people but they‟re “real” and share a special, profound relationship that is bonded together by an ingrained trust—Annie literally puts her life in Auggie‟s hands more than

once and he in turn will do anything to ensure Annie‟s safety (even if that means putting life on hold to fly to a foreign country). Of course, emotions shift between them. No longer are they merely supportive friends, now they‟re also in love with each other. It‟s a tricky business to change poignant friendships to would-be lovers. Time and again we‟ve seen work partners fall into romantic liaisons with one another. This situation inevitably turns messy and leaves the characters heartbroken. Hopefully, it won‟t happen with Annie and Auggie! Friendship should never be treated carelessly. It‟s a precious gift. There will always be good and bad days. Disagreements will creep into conversations, and distance may present challenges, but no matter what a true friend forgives, supports, respects, and goes the extra mile to just be there. This is how I see Annie and Auggie. I feel like theirs is a friendship that won‟t ever end— or it shouldn‟t. Four years ago they were the new kids on the block. Today they‟re still leaving an impression on fans. Even though it‟s a rapport experiencing rapid change, I look forward to seeing where their journey leads. After all, friendship is bound to experience ups and downs—and it‟s the reaction we have to change that determines the rest of the story. ♥


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hen first we meet Peter Pan, he is one of five orphans aboard a ship headed for a strange land, on their way to be slaves to a wicked and frightening king. Peter is their leader, not because he wants to be, but because the boys need one. The most fearful of the group, James, looks up to him, and Peter quickly takes charge. The first thing he tries to do is find food beyond the maggoty scraps given to them by the cook. The boys aren‟t on the ship for long when they find themselves in trouble bigger than not having enough food. There‟s a treasure aboard, worth more than gold or precious gems, and their ship is being tracked down by the fearsome Black

Stache (later known as Hook). At the beginning of their journey, Peter often leaves the boys to fend for themselves, but as time passes and he forms real friendships with them, James becomes the leader when Peter is gone. James is no longer a child plucking Peter‟s shirt in fear. He has become Peter‟s equal. And when the trunk is stolen by another pirate, James and Peter work together to wrestle the trunk away from the pirates.

following his friend and is captured by pirates. Just as James had to grow up in the first book, this is where Peter finally grows up. He admits he was selfish, then makes a plan with the Mollusks to save James, and when Peter has to leave the island to rescue a friend, he has no fear in leaving James in charge. Though a reluctant leader, James has learned from Peter how to take charge over the boys.

By the second book, Peter and the boys live on an island with the Mollusks, a tribe of natives, and the pirates led by Hook. Looking for excitement, Peter often goes off by himself, but this backfires when James insists on

The last book brings the greatest challenge. James and the other orphans are kidnapped and forced to be slaves by the same king they outran in the first book. When they escape back to their island, an enemy tribe, the

Scorpions, have taken it over from the peaceful Mollusks. Peter and James work together with their friends to take the island back from the Scorpions. But when peace is finally reestablished, James has outgrown Peter. Though they‟re still good friends, James leads the other boys back to England. It‟s time to grow up and move on with life. Peter, the boy who can fly and who will never grow up, is left behind. Left in the place of James and the other boys are six more orphans. James, the weakest and most scared boy in the beginning, has learned from Peter how to lead. And Peter has learned how to love. ♥


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f all the acronyms that have become popular over the last couple of years, one of the most overused, at least in my opinion, is BFF (Best Friends Forever). Do we even know what it means anymore? Sure, we know what it stands for but do we understand its significance? The first example that comes to my mind when I think of true best friends is Anne Shirley and Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables. While some best friends have a lot in common, many don’t. The cliché “opposites attract” is used

for a reason and it’s true of Anne and Diana. In fact, aside from both being girls and about the same age, I don’t think they share a single character trait. This is apparent even at the beginning of the book when they meet. As soon as Anne is introduced to Diana, she asks her to be her “bosom friend” and to swear she’ll always be her best friend. Diana responds by insisting that it’s wrong to swear. Right then and there, their roles are established. Diana is the pragmatist and Anne the romantic. Diana is fearful and Anne is

fearless. But as different as the two girls are, they never let their differences hinder their friendship. Instead, they use them to help each other.

from seeing each other after Anne accidentally got Diana drunk.) And when Matthew dies, Diana is there to comfort Anne even though it’s difficult.

Another thing that makes Anne and Diana’s friendship such a good example is they genuinely love each other and often demonstrate this through their actions. When Diana’s little sister is sick with the croup and Mr. and Mrs. Barry are away, Anne comes over to help even though she knows she could get in trouble for doing so. (Diana’s mother forbid Anne and Diana

If Anne and Diana were real girls who were alive today, they would most definitely be considered BFFs, but I really don’t think they would refer to themselves as such. They wouldn’t have to, because people would be able to tell just by watching them that they were best friends and always would be. ♥


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plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!” This is one of the first statements by Legolas Greenleaf the Elf about Gimli son of Glóin the Dwarf we read about in The Lord of the Rings. In the history of J.R.R. Tolkien‟s world, Elves and Dwarves had always had a complicated relationship. On some occasions they were close friends, as when Celebrimbor the Elf helped his friend Narvi the Dwarf create the doors of Moria. On other occasions, they turned against each other with vicious malice. Most animosity between them was caused by the love of

gold and other precious things and by treachery caused by that love, on the sides of both Elves and Dwarves. Over time, mutual injustices have built up to the extent that friendships between members of the two races are decidedly improbable. More recently, Legolas and Gimli have personal reasons for animosity. Legolas grew up in the Woodland Realm (later Mirkwood) under an Elven King for a father who was present thousands of years before when many of the worst problems between Elves and Dwarves began. In The Hobbit, King Thranduil demonstrated his prejudice against Dwarves with a callous, lighthearted cruelty, an attitude Legolas must have imbibed to a certain extent in his life in Mirkwood. Among the Dwarves mistreated by Thranduil was Glóin, Gimli‟s father. So when the Fellowship of the Ring sets out on its

journey from Rivendell to Mordor, the two members appointed to represent the Elves and the Dwarves have nearly as much reason to hate each other as they do to hate Sauron. Tolkien didn‟t write an allegory in The Lord of the


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Rings (he famously “cordially disliked” them) but his Christian worldview comes through in nearly every word he wrote. Major among the tenets of Christian faith is there‟s no hatred that can‟t be overcome, no racial prejudice that can‟t be healed, no history of violence that can‟t be wiped clean, no two people groups who can‟t become brothers. Tolkien put two stiff-necked, prejudicial characters together on a quest and turned their story into one of the greatest tales of friendship in his mythology, perhaps in all British literature. At the beginning of the Quest to help Frodo get the Ring to Mordor, Legolas and Gimli have little to do with each other. They each perform their individual functions and their minor plotlines are centered around the journey and Frodo. It‟s not until after the death of Gandalf that their conflict begins, and thus their friendship. Legolas can‟t have liked the journey through the Dwarf mines of Moria, but Gimli shows even greater resistance to passing through the Elven realm of Lothlórien. He shows his ignorance and prejudice by dragging up ugly rumors about the greatest lady among Legolas‟ race as if he had experienced their truth for himself. And it is largely because of his presence among the Fellowship that the prince of another Elven kingdom

is not allowed to walk free in the legendary land of Lothlórien but must be blindfolded, like a common trespasser. Legolas helps worsen matters by his suggestion that only the Dwarf should be blindfolded, pointing his people out as the sole enemy among a company of five different races. They walk into Lothlórien with antagonism like a wall between them and walk out with the foundation laid for respect and deep friendship.

the same horse for a while, fight together in a battle while holding a friendly competition, venture places no one has dared in centuries, prepare to lay down their lives together at the Black Gate, celebrate the triumph of good over evil together, and finally, at long last, sail to the Undying Lands together. Gimli is the first and only Dwarf to go to Valinor, drawn by an unlikely friendship and an unlikely love, for an Elven prince and an Elven queen.

Gimli takes the first step, without knowing it. He looks on the Elf he had declared in ignorance to be an evil witch and finds in someone so utterly different from all he has ever known something to love, respect, and honor. His response of sheer devotion and gallantry to Galadriel starts to break down the wall he and Legolas built up between them, and Legolas rises to meet him. Recognizing a change of heart about the essential evilness of Elves, Legolas has a change of heart about the essential evilness of Dwarves and takes Gimli with him to see more of Galadriel‟s realm.

There‟s no unsavory sexual element to the relationship between Legolas and Gimli as written by Tolkien, despite the modern predilection for seeing sex in every close relationship. Tolkien understood the power of friendship, the “friend that sticks closer than a brother,” and of

From then on, they travel together wherever they go. After their first truce, they are bound together by a more personal quest than the one that sent them out from Rivendell, the quest to rescue the small beings who depended on them. They become legendary among the Rohirrim, ride

reconciliation between vastly different people with a long history of very good reasons to hate each other. The Elf Haldir says of the animosity between Legolas and Gimli, “In nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.” And perhaps in nothing is Tolkien‟s belief in the God who makes brothers out of enemies more clearly shown than in the friendship between Legolas and Gimli. ♥


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he competitive world of high end law firms in Chicago isn‟t an easy place for a friendship to thrive. Here, office politics are ruthless and backstabbing is an everyday occurrence. Still, Will Gardner and Diane Lockhart, senior partners of the law firm central to The Good Wife, manage to stay in a respectful and stable friendship in this crazy environment. It‟s never easy going, as the Lockhart/Gardner firm goes through many trials and tribulations in the four years we‟ve seen their exploits. At the start of the series, Will and Diane share their law firm with a third partner, the increasingly absent and unreliable Jonas Stern. Afraid of his position, Stern tries to drive a wedge between Will and Diane so they‟ll be unable to oust him from the firm. As Stern was Diane‟s mentor and the one who

made her a senior partner, this might just work. But Diane finds out Stern is playing a game and has no choice but to let him leave. From that moment on, it‟s Will and Diane against the world! In the ensuing seasons of The Good Wife, they battle bankruptcy,


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hostile take-over plans, warring employees and clients who turn against the firm, while remaining loyal to each other. More than once, their friendship is dangerously close to breaking. In the second season, Will brings in an old friend, Derrick Bond, as a new partner. But the plans Bond has with Lockhart/Gardner are far reaching, to say the least. Diane is led to believe Bond and Will are plotting against her, but a heart-to-heart with Will leads her to reconsider. Will and Diane carry out a complicated (and slightly devious!) plan to save their law firm from Bond and succeed. As they celebrate with a bottle of champagne, Diane says jokingly, “We‟re the perfect couple!” And they are! Another severe test for their friendship arrives when Will is accused of bribing a judge and faces a six month suspension from practicing law. It would have been easy for Diane, and most likely good for the law firm, to name one or two new senior partners and let Will fend for himself. Instead, Diane tells Will there will always be a place for him at the firm and has to fight off the other partners trying to replace him. When Will goes back to the firm after his suspension, a new problem already awaits him and Diane: the firm‟s financial state and imminent bankruptcy. The firm is assigned a

financial trustee, who tries to unearth the politics within Lockhart/Gardner. He can‟t believe Will and Diane really have equal power, but everyone in the firm only confirms what he sees: Diane and Will are in this together, for better or worse! Together, they manage, through hard work (and a little bit of manipulation) to get their firm back from the abyss.

goes for Will. Diane and Will also don‟t spare each other and never hesitate to speak out about habits or relationships that might endanger their career. Friendship doesn‟t always mean you have to stand by and let the other person do whatever they want, sometimes you need to jolt your friends, something Diane and Will have often done. But besides and above all this,

Their teamwork in all circumstances, their sparring over complex legal problems, the fact they only need half a word or a funny look to understand each other, it has all become a fixed part of The Good Wife and a proof that when trust is there, friendship can thrive in even the most stressful of environments.

What is it that makes Will and Diane such good friends and the best of partners in law? In managing their firm, they can be quite different: Diane is always on the lookout for things which could be a scandal or hurt their firm; Will is more willing to take risks. But in many more respects, Will and Diane are similar. Most importantly, they both live for their job. Lockhart/Gardner is Diane‟s life and the same

they once upon a time decided to trust each other. Trust is a valuable currency in the legal world full of aggressive competition but an absolute necessity for a friendship to work.

season, a new obstacle for their cooperation arose with the possibility of Diane getting a position as a judge. Keeping in mind what Will and Diane have already been through, I‟m convinced this new challenge will not damage their friendship, and that the followers of The Good Wife can look forward to many new adventures of this legal duo. ♥

Many an episode ends with this duo discussing their latest legal crises or celebrating a victory over a drink. After the aversion of some major disasters they even had a go at a little dance in the office!

At the end of the last


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riendship is a conspicuous element of a lot of childrenâ€&#x;s and young adult literature. Given the fact that social development is an important part of maturing into an adult, this is hardly surprising. If readers are lucky, they'll get entertaining and realistic portraits of friendships. One particular pop culture-changing book series goes further than that, though. The Harry Potter series uses the bond between


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the three lead characters as one of the major illustrations of a central theme of the story: that love is a powerful force and can be actively used against evil. The audience obviously follows title character Harry Potter who finds out he is a hereditary wizard at age 11 and heads off to learn at the prestigious boarding school of magic, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. On his way there, though, he meets two students who will become his best friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry meets Ron in a compartment on the train to Hogwarts. It‟s Ron who becomes his best friend. Ron‟s humor is a defining trait and a good foil for the serious nature of what Harry will endure. Ron comes from a large, cashstrapped family, so after Harry buys them the entire contents of the train snack trolley, the two become almost inseparable. Harry is swiftly ingratiated into the warmth of the entire Weasley family. The boys‟ interaction is excellently developed by J.K. Rowling over the seven book series. Through physically grueling adventures, they stay beside one another. In the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, when they are 14, Ron and Harry have a fight typical of what teenage boys would do in a magicheightened world. Ron reaches his breaking point with Harry being the focus

of all the excitement. They do repair their friendship fairly quickly and their loyalty remains to the end. Even when Harry is attracted to Ginny, Ron‟s sister, in Half-Blood Prince and his trepidation about Ron‟s reaction is at it‟s highest, there‟s never any real danger that the boys‟ connection will be irreparably harmed. The closest they come to truly losing their relationship is during Deathly Hallows, the final book, when the negative influence of one of Voldemort‟s Horcruxes causes Ron to turn his back on the trio‟s quest to defeat Voldemort for good. Ron eventually returns, and the audience can feel just how completely these two will be friends their entire lives. Hermione Granger is also introduced on Harry‟s first train ride to Hogwarts. She immediately establishes the intellectual role she‟ll play in his life. As Harry‟s best female friend, she often gives him advice on personal matters, aside from being his fierce supporter in all the conflict that comes his way. She has a maturity the boys must catch up to, so she never really falls out with Harry in the way Ron does. There is a period in the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban, when her strict adherence to the rules gets Harry and Ron angry at her, but they realize their error later, and it‟s Harry who makes up with her first. There‟s also various moments throughout the

story when Hermione‟s pragmatism butts heads with Harry‟s tendency to act the hero first and ask questions later, but they are never fractious enough to endanger their bond. By the final book, Harry says Hermione is “like my sister” and we have no doubt that she‟ll be Harry‟s closest female confidante (well, aside from his future wife) for the rest of his life. Interestingly, as the screenwriter for the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, Steve Kloves, has pointed out, Harry is Hermione‟s best friend but she isn‟t Harry‟s best friend. There‟s another angle to the interactions between these three that makes up for that, though. Ron and Hermione have a different relationship from what exists between Harry and Ron or Hermione and Harry. Though Hermione and Ron are friends with each other after Harry and Ron save Hermione from a troll during their first year at Hogwarts, the pair soon exhibits the classic signs of a couple fighting to cover up their attraction to each other. Hermione was by herself crying after one of Ron‟s insults when she got cornered by the troll and that dynamic between them never changes. Bickering continues between them steadily as they grow into teenagers, and the audience can tell what the outcome of this subplot will be long before hormones even enter the picture. Jealousy at interest from other people,

beginning (spectacularly) in Goblet of Fire and most evident in Half-Blood Prince, adds to their differences in personality to create a rocky road for them. They fight much more with each other than Harry does with either of them. Rowling brilliantly progresses their growing connection from 11 to 17 years old, so that the longawaited first kiss between them in Deathly Hallows is one of the highlights of the entire story. These three people grow up and go through so much together that the exciting plot would be enough for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to be forever linked in the annals of literature as the Golden Trio of friendship. But there is so much more than that. During an early skirmish with Voldemort in the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, Harry is briefly inhabited by the Dark Lord‟s spirit. He is able to cast Voldemort out of him by filling himself with an emotion that is alien and distasteful to that most evil wizard: love. Aside from the memory of his parents, Harry‟s bond with Ron and Hermione is the biggest component of happy emotion for him at that point in his life. This is so emotionally affective and thematically enriching that readers of the Harry Potter series today know without a doubt that future audiences will also come to think of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the same breath. ♥


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ake two men who have lived through some of life‟s greatest catastrophes, and been left with deep emotional scars. One is paranoid and withdrawn; the other spends most of his time drinking. Throw them together for an incredibly secretive and dangerous mission, with the stakes enormously high and the tension ratcheted up to breaking point. Make sure the reckless one loves to poke his nose into the paranoid one‟s private life. Oh, and while you‟re at it, make sure the reckless one is crazy about guns and the paranoid one is terrified of them. It doesn‟t exactly sound like a recipe for a great friendship, does it? Yet, a great friendship is exactly what has developed over the past two seasons of Person of Interest. Between the paranoid, prickly Harold Finch and the reckless John Reese, a deep level of trust and loyalty has been achieved. But as you might expect, given the factors I listed above, it didn‟t spring up overnight. It took a long, bumpy road to get them where they are today. Even for viewers who were rooting all along for them to be friends, it‟s understandable that the process was so delicate and difficult. For one thing, it‟s hard to blame Finch for being a confirmed recluse. When one is a billionaire


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genius inventor of a powerful machine that people will kill to control, one does not tend to court society. Finch‟s difficulty is he wants to try to use the information provided by his machine to save lives, so he can‟t drop out of the world entirely. Yet with his timid nature and disability caused by a murderous attack, he can‟t carry out this self-appointed mission on his own. That‟s where Reese, with his training in espionage and fighting, comes in. Unfortunately for Finch (at least, it seems unfortunate at first), it‟s impossible to hire an ex-CIA agent and expect him to stay out of your business. So their relationship started out as something of a tug of war. Finch made an early attempt to establish his boundaries, as follows: “I recognize, Mr. Reese, that there‟s a disparity between how much I know about you and how much you know about me. I know you'll be trying to close that gap as quickly as possible. But I should tell you, I‟m a really private person.” Reese, however, simply took this as a challenge, plowing over every boundary his boss could construct with a cheerful nonchalance. Of course, one could very easily argue that Finch had it coming— he does, after all, spend his life spying on other people. He does it with the best of motives, admittedly, but it‟s still spying. And yet, a

viewer could never quite help feeling sorry for the poor man, with his pained expression, as his associate kept digging up layer after layer of his deeply buried life. Finch is very good at keeping secrets, but Reese is very good at digging. The turning point came when Reese was shot during a mission by a couple of rogue CIA operatives from his past. Ignoring the danger, and deaf to Reese‟s warnings to stay away, Finch showed up on the scene and got his wounded associate to safety. There was a shift in the dynamic from that moment—a realization that, for all the surface tension, a bond had been created. This was as momentous for Reese as for Finch. For a long time, Reese‟s philosophy could be summed up in the words he once said to his former girlfriend, the last time he saw her: “We‟re all alone, and no one‟s coming to save you.” By the time he regretted those words, and came back to save her from an abusive husband, it was too late. He can never forget or undo his mistake, but with the help of this unlikeliest of new friends, he does start to learn that he was wrong about

one thing: He doesn‟t have to be alone. What really solidified the bond between the two men was the moment, near the end of season one, when Reese‟s incessant snooping turned up the love of Finch‟s life, an artist named Grace. With one of his deepest secrets discovered, Finch didn‟t get angry—which showed just how far the two had already come—but simply explained to Reese that he had been forced to fake his death and go into hiding, to protect Grace from the danger that threatened him. The realization that each of them had known a similar loss brought Reese a new understanding of the odd, secretive little

man he‟d been spending so much time and effort trying to figure out. Since then, a lot of things have remained the same. From both sides, there‟s been teasing and snooping and the occasional heroic rescue of each other. Finch still insists on addressing his associate as “Mr. Reese” most of the time, and Reese still messes with his boss‟s head every chance he gets. But, also on both sides, there‟s a genuine respect and affection. Nowhere was this clearer than in the season finale, when a shady character told Reese a very plausible lie that made Finch look like a traitor. I was on tenterhooks waiting for the blowup… which never came. Reese simply refused to believe it for a single second. His unshakable trust in his friend made the episode one of the most touching I‟ve ever seen, in any show. The paranoid recluse and the reckless ex-agent may have gotten off to an extremely rocky start, but as it turned out, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. ♥


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hat are the most important aspects of friendship? Love, loyalty, honesty, integrity‌ and the ability to do the right thing no matter the consequences. Such is the case with Detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito from Castle. This pair of quick-witted cops isnâ€&#x;t the main focus of the show but they feature heavily and their antics, intelligence, relationships and friendship are important facets.


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Ryan and Esposito are two of their precincts‟ finest and work closely with Kate Beckett and Richard Castle but Castle and Beckett, as the leading characters and head detectives, call the shots and leave most of the research, paperwork and office duties to the often disregarded duo. In the midst of the hubbub and murder solving, secrets and intrigue, intensity and drama, you can count on the overlooked but quickwitted duo for a quip, joke, wisecrack or one-liner to ease the tension and lighten the mood. In spite of this, Ryan and Esposito aren‟t merely the comic relief. Both come with complex personalities and background stories. Esposito used to work in the military, had sniper training, and worked with several partners before teaming up with Ryan several years before Castle got involved with the New York police force. Ryan‟s past is as an undercover detective, once using a false name and covertly investigating an Irish mob while pretending to be one of them. These pieces of the past are windows into Ryan and Esposito‟s personalities and motivations. Esposito isn‟t against breaking the rules if necessary while Ryan‟s “by the book” demeanor and conscience prevents him from doing so. Esposito‟s military past helps him to identify with

Beckett after her nearly fatal encounter with a sniper. Ryan‟s straight laced “no nonsense” attitude about solving cases keeps his partners on track and his sense of duty to the rules saves their lives on several occasions. Despite these differences, Ryan and Esposito work together for the good of their comrades and for the good of their partnership. No matter what happens, they have each other‟s backs though thick and thin. Another differing aspect between them is their love lives. Esposito is a ladies man and much is made of his wandering eye. His longest relationship is a “secret” affair with morgue co-worker and dead body expert Lanie Parish (while their dating was supposed to be a covert affair, their closest comrades knew the entire time). Ryan, on the other hand, is the opposite of his partner. On-screen he only romances one girl, his future wife Jenny. Their courtship, engagement, marriage and forthcoming parenthood are a recurring storyline on the show and factors that keep Ryan grounded. While Castle and Beckett take center stage with their romantic tension and casesolving antics, Ryan and Esposito are constants in the background, always there when needed. They research people, places and weapons on a frequent

basis and are ready with an observation or insight even if the situation doesn‟t call for it. They‟re also ready to fight when needed, leaving behind their desks and taking up arms to help further the investigation. Men of action as well as intelligence, Ryan and Esposito are gun wielding, vest wearing cops who break down doors, chase down criminals and stake out a place for hours, as the investigation demands. Together, they are a lethal force to be reckoned with when they‟re on the case. “Together” is a key word regarding this particular team. Ryan and Esposito have worked separately on several occasions and are effective detectives in their own right, but things are always better when they work as a united force, as the finale for season four proves. In that episode, Esposito supported and aided Beckett‟s venture to take down a criminal on her own, a secret case the police chief didn‟t know about. Ryan didn‟t approve of his actions, believing it would have disastrous results. In the end, Ryan decided to do the right thing and told the precinct captain everything. This decision saved Beckett and Esposito‟s lives, but came at a great cost. Beckett resigned, Esposito was suspended and Ryan was left to deal with the broken friendships that became a consequence of his actions. Even when Beckett

returned to the force and Esposito was reinstated, the wounds caused by that event took a long time to heal. Ryan‟s decision cost him dearly, and his friendship with Esposito was the greatest sacrifice. Esposito‟s pride was hurt and his heart hardened against his partner when he perceived a breach of trust in their relationship. When they were reteamed after Esposito‟s return to the precinct, tension was high and forgiveness far from Esposito‟s mind. But true to form, Ryan didn't abandon his partner and defended him during a violent confrontation with a suspect. Esposito later recognized Ryan‟s loyalty and selflessness when seeing a video of Ryan taking a punch for him. Forgiveness and reconciliation were able to happen as Ryan and Esposito finally moved past the break in their relationship back into a warm friendship. With this in mind, it will be interesting for viewers of Castle to see how Ryan and Esposito‟s relationship plays out during the rest of the show. This friendship is a uniting force that lends heartwarming and humorous scenes to each episode. It‟s refreshing to see a glimpse of realistic comradeship, complete with its ups and downs, onscreen alongside the drama, romance and action of this weekly primetime TV treat. ♥


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lick, click, whir…” Take a moment to stop and listen. Can you hear it? Maybe this noise comes from your wrist, perhaps from your wall, it is the sound of intricate parts moving harmoniously within a clockwork. What happens when you remove a gear from a clock? It stops. This is how a little boy by the name of Hugo Cabret feels in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a children‟s book by stellar artist and master storyteller Brian Selznick. Hugo is not an ordinary boy living in 1931 France. He doesn‟t go to school bright and early, wearing warm wool socks knitted by his mother and eating a lunch packed by his father. He doesn‟t have a playroom filled with glorious mechanical toys nor any friends to come over and play-act stories with him. Hugo is alone, you see. And being alone when you are a child is like removing the most important central gear from a clock: it breaks your heart. Now envision a grand train station full of steam and the hustle and bustle of hundreds of passengers, all within the trappings of the 1930s. There‟s a book shop, a café, a florist, a toymaker… and clocks running along the maze of walls, many clocks needed to tell passengers when to


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get on or when to catch a taxi home. This is an era before the battery clock, so who runs them? Hugo does, running through a maze of tunnels within the walls of the station, oiling, tightening bolts, and cranking gears. Alone. Hugo‟s father died in a fire at the museum where he was employed. Hugo‟s uncle, who is the drunken caretaker of the train station‟s clocks, adopts him as his apprentice, removes him from school, and keeps him busy inside the walls. Then Hugo‟s uncle disappears. The twelve year old is left in the drafty, forgotten apartments deep in the walls tending to the clocks and working on a project left behind by his father: an automaton. The little mechanical man was at the museum, rusted and left to fall apart in the attic, but as a clockmaker Hugo‟s father intended to fix it. He wrote notes on the clock works, detailing what goes where and showed his son how to clean the rust and care for the metal man. This is all Hugo has left of the father who loved him. He feels compelled to fix it but has neither gears nor money to buy them with, so he steals from the toymaker‟s booth. Day after day an old man sits in the booth, working on mechanical toys and listening to the click-clack of shoes on tile. He‟s often visited by a girl, around twelve years old, who has a love of reading and the

cinema. Hugo believes he can get away with his crimes but doesn‟t know the man is watching, slyly, waiting for the thief. He is caught, his father‟s notebook taken away from him along with everything he stole, and his life collides with a girl‟s named Isabelle. The old man is her godfather, Papa Georges, a kind but gruff man with deeply hidden sorrows. He is distressed by Hugo‟s notebook and seemingly angry with the world, much like Hugo feels over his father‟s death and Uncle‟s abandonment. Isabelle agrees to help him get his notebook back which in turn leads the pair to many adventures. Eventually, Hugo finds an element that was missing from his life: friendship. Through this friendship the duo realizes how life can be like a giant clock: there are many parts involved that don‟t always directly touch one another yet they are all essential to the function. Hugo has an automaton in his possession that was given

to the museum and abandoned in an attic and has no maker‟s mark on it. Isabelle has a unique heart -shaped key that she wears on a chain around her neck that fits the heart-shaped lock on the back of the clockwork man perfectly. The two children who are in no way related begin to unravel a mystery spanning decades that involves magicians, early filmmakers, daydreams, clocks, real and supposed deaths and broken hearts. To experience this friendship firsthand, one only has to open the pages of the book or look to Hugo, a charming film adaptation of the awardwinning novel. It‟s very well made and realistically depicts the harshness of being alone as a child in 1931. Yet, a film is only as good as its source material and the book is beyond outstanding. You open the first black paper page and find yourself pondering a drawing of a planet. Then

you turn the page, then another, and you discover a world half drawn and half written out by Brian Selznick. It‟s an engulfing story, for you truly see the characters, not just in the mind‟s eye but there living on the page. You know precisely how Hugo and Isabelle look and how their friendship develops through a series of drawings and words combined. “Click, click, whir…” The year is 1931 and the story is set in France. Outside a door, wearing a smart tuxedo suit with a scrubbed face and new haircut waits a boy named Hugo. A girl appears, wearing a white dress and heart-shaped key around her neck. Her name is Isabelle. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the story of how they got to this point and how Hugo found the missing piece to his clockwork heart through Isabelle‟s perseverance and belief in him. ♥


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ome of the most beautiful things in life are born out of tragedies.

In 2005 the NCIS team lost one of their own. Terrorist Ari Haswari targeted this team and fatally shot Kaitlin Todd. Todd‟s coworkers, which were more like family, were out for blood. Ari‟s Mossad control officer Ziva David traveled from Israel to convince them that Ari wasn‟t Kate‟s murderer. Her first encounter was with Tony DiNozzo. He was visualizing his recently deceased partner in an old Catholic schoolgirl uniform when Ziva interrupted him and was able to outwit him. That day, Tony DiNozzo met his match. On orders from Gibbs, Tony followed Ziva, knowing there was something “hinky” about this Mossad officer. When Ziva was forced to kill Ari, she reveals to Gibbs that he was actually her brother. Months pass. The NCIS team is still in mourning when Ziva shows up one day to start work. Under the sanction of the new director, and after Gibbs‟ initial reluctance, she becomes a liaison officer

to the team, representing Israel. It takes a little while, but she soon makes herself at home at NCIS and in America. Tony and Ziva come from very different worlds, New York and Israel respectively, but they have much in common. He‟s likely a lapsed Catholic and she‟s a non-practicing Jew. They both had troubled childhoods; their fathers were absentee at best and married to their work. Their mothers died young, leaving a void in them. They more or less had to raise themselves and learn on their own what was right and what was wrong. Through a series of events, Tony chose law enforcement which led him to NCIS and Ziva chose to serve her country by joining Mossad. They soon became workaholics at the expense of personal relationships. Though they reconciled to some extent with their fathers, neither Tony nor Ziva have had balanced romantic relationships. While undercover, Tony had to engage a young woman‟s affections while pursuing her criminal father. Ziva used love and sex to seduce a fellow Mossad officer, in order to eventually

eliminate him. Neither admits when they are jealous of a prospective rival but they do become increasingly protective. While envious of the woman Tony pursued, Ziva repeatedly offered him sound advice on how to handle the relationship, and even encouraged him to apologize for misleading the young woman. Tony has never been overtly supportive of Ziva‟s own romantic entanglements, mostly due to the fact that the men she chose weren‟t good. The one time she did make a good connection with a guy, he was dying. While Tony cautioned her, he also enabled her to say her goodbyes to the man. Over the years, Ziva has been mistreated by her father, the director of Mossad, to the point where her own life was at stake. Not only did Tony confront Eli David when Ziva was missing and presumed dead, he also convinced the rest of the NCIS team to search for her. When she returned home, the breech that had formed between them was healed. Tony and Ziva‟s healthiest relationship is with each other. They

tease, banter, argue and fight, but they always have each other‟s backs. They're like a brother and sister, surrounded by an adoptive family. Yet there is something more between them: an underlying sense of true love. Fans call them “Tiva,” a coupling of their names, with hope that they will become a couple. Over the years, the writers and producers of NCIS have teased us with bittersweet moments. Just when we think Tony and Ziva will end up together, something always separates them. It has recently been announced that Cote de Pablo (the actress who portrays Ziva) will be leaving the show later this year. What does that mean for Tony and Ziva? Will Ziva return to her homeland of Israel and rejoin Mossad? Will Tony remain at NCIS, or if she leaves America, will he go after her? Whatever romance that may transpire between Tony and Ziva, their strong friendship is the basis of their relationship and that‟s the most important factor for any relationship. ♥


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S

ometimes two people who interact only fleetingly have a more lasting impact on each other‟s lives than those with whom they associate regularly. Happenstance may yield unexpectedly significant interactions. In True Grit, the story of Mattie Ross seeking to avenge her father‟s murder hinges on just such happenstance. When fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross comes to town to settle her father‟s affairs after his murder, she comes not only to resell his newly-purchased horses but also to seek the revenge she considers her mother too weak and her siblings too young to pursue. As an idealist who drives a hard bargain, she settles her father‟s affairs in her financial favor and seeks out U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn after the local sheriff informs her that Cogburn is the “meanest” of her three choices of marshal to help her track Tom Chaney, her father‟s murderer, in the Choctaw Nation. To that end, Mattie offers Cogburn a significant reward for his aid even as she notes he will likely


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agree to help her only to keep himself in whiskey. After much convincing, he agrees to help her and, after he leaves without her and she pursues him into the Choctaw Nation, he lets her accompany him on the journey. Together with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who has his own reward waiting if he brings in Chaney, Cogburn and Mattie work to bring Chaney to justice. Throughout the movie, the development of Mattie‟s relationship with Cogburn proves a relationship‟s impact may be defined by circumstance, not by affinity. Initially, Mattie and Cogburn dislike each other intensely. Necessity, not affection, form the basis of their relationship. Cogburn considers Mattie a pest; Mattie considers him a necessary evil. Where Mattie is young, inexperienced, and idealistically naïve, Cogburn is, in his own words, “old and fat,” has killed more men than he ought to have, even as a marshal, and has no delusions about the harsh realities of frontier life. Mattie‟s motivation stems largely from familial ties— she wishes to avenge her father in her mother and siblings‟ stead—but Cogburn spends a good portion of their time on the trail together telling tales of how his dissolute lifestyle drove his family away. Despite these personality differences and their initial dislike for each other, Mattie and Cogburn

work well as a team due to their stubbornness and motivation to achieve a mutual goal. Mattie keeps Cogburn focused and he keeps Mattie alive. Even though the world would never predict a friendship could blossom between them, one eventually does. The obstacles they deal with together bind them even though their lives prior to and following their adventure keeps them apart. As their relationship matures on their journey, their story shows that action, not inclination, proves friendship. With such divergent interests, Mattie and Cogburn spend a good deal of their time bickering and likely would not have chosen to spend any time together if circumstances had given them an other choice. After a particularly harsh parting, Mattie declares, “He is not my friend. He has abandoned me to a congress of louts.” Shortly following this declaration, as well as throughout the movie, Cogburn proves his loyalty and continues to aid Mattie on her mission. Although Mattie doesn‟t permanently alter his reprobate character, she draws on his better instincts in their time together. By accentuating each other‟s strengths, Mattie accomplishes her goal while Cogburn proves to himself and to LaBoeuf that he hasn‟t completely lost his efficacy as a marshal. Their ability to help each other finish their

mission successfully is more important than the peaceful maintenance of their relationship. Most importantly, Mattie‟s relationship with Cogburn shows that a friendship‟s significance, not its endurance, determines its worth. They interact for a very short portion of both of their lives, but the time they share impacts them greatly. When they first meet, Mattie is a grieving girl with little means to achieve her goal while Cogburn is under scrutiny for his violent techniques even as alcohol abuse and age are catching up with him. Mattie needs peace for her soul and Cogburn needs validation that he is not beyond repair. Mattie never loses her idealism but with his help, she matures and learns more about the realities of human nature. She faces abandonment by those who have agreed to help her, she watches Cogburn kill several men in cold blood, she is taken captive, and, ultimately, she kills Chaney when the opportunity arises. She achieves her vengeance and, thus, she can move on with her life. Cogburn, too, doesn‟t change so much as revive. His interactions with Mattie don‟t make him any less of a killer or a drunkard, but, along with those qualities, he also exhibits the compassion and self-sacrifice that were missing from his life in any

great quantity before. Ultimately, he saves Mattie after a rattlesnake bite and then leaves before she wakes up, thereby refusing the remaining half of the reward she owes him, which was, originally, his sole reason for helping her. A relationship that began as strictly begrudging business has morphed into an unlikely friendship. Once their contract expires and Chaney is dead, Cogburn leaves Mattie at a trading post while she recovers her health and the pair never meets again. Both go their separate ways—Cogburn to a Wild West show and Mattie back home to live with her family. But in the course of their friendship, both find something they need. Mattie finds closure and a new father figure: the movie begins with her shipping her father‟s coffin home and ends with her shipping Cogburn‟s home after his death. Cogburn finds the protective spirit he failed to exercise with his own family and, after looking to Mattie‟s safety, forgoes his all-important payment in the service of a friend. The pair travels together for only a brief time, but the impact lasts for the rest of their lives. Speaking with Cogburn‟s Wild West show companions before arranging for his final resting place, Mattie answers their tales of Cogburn‟s exploits by saying simply, “I knew the marshal long ago. We, too, had lively times.” ♥


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I

just want a mate.” “You just want to mate?” “I just want a mate!” “You‟re not mating with me, sunshine!” “A mate! I want a mate!” “Well, just as well, „cos I‟m not having any of that nonsense!” With conversations like these, there‟s no doubt the Doctor and Donna‟s journey on the TARDIS was an interesting and crazy one. What began as an accidental meeting became one of the Doctor‟s strongest friendships. He first meets Donna after saying a heartbreaking goodbye to his tenth regeneration‟s companion, Rose, who was stuck in an alternate universe. Donna is transported onto the TARDIS on her way to her wedding and is none too pleased with the situation, taking out her confusion and frustration on the bereaved Doctor. That incident and a later encounter with her shows how unique she is: not

only does he meet her on two separate occasions but she‟s also louder and more stubborn than his other girls and doesn‟t put up with any nonsense. Unlike Rose or Martha, she‟s in a different stage in her life with no idea of what to do. The opportunity to travel


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with the Doctor comes at a time in her life when she needs and craves change. Donna and the Doctor‟s friendship is a defining feature of series four and the Tenth Doctor‟s later adventures. Their pairing resembles a buddy-cop dynamic with teasing and sharp dialogue. Whether they‟re investigating a strange pharmaceutical company or facing a Sontaran invasion, their respective character strengths and teamwork help solve mysteries and save the world. They get to be good friends through their travels and can rely on each other when the situation is tough but at the same time aren‟t wholly dependent on each other. Donna can defend herself and uncover clues without the Doctor: she navigates her way through a virtual reality she gets stranded on in “Forests of the Dead” and fights a killer wasp in “The Unicorn and the Wasp.” Adventuring aside, Donna is a good influence on the Doctor. Like many of his companions before her, she‟s capable of grounding him from some of his more excessive tendencies and temperaments. She‟s able to get through to him and calm him down during “The Runaway Bride” when he faces the Empress of the Racnoss. Sometimes curbing his temperaments means putting her foot down; Donna doesn‟t put up with any nonsense from the Doctor and will tell

him bluntly if there‟s a problem or if she doesn‟t want to do something. Her arguments can make her boisterous and seemingly pushy but they reflect her determination not to be ignored or trampled over. Donna also brings out the compassionate side of the Doctor not only though her challenges to his views and decisions but her own deep sense of consideration for other people. Donna‟s humanity, sense of feeling, and larger understanding counters the Doctor‟s cold and alien perspective that emerges time and again. Despite what happens to Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupts she pleads with him to save at least one person from the disaster. She also shows compassion toward the Ood who are enslaved by an industrial company. She argues with him about how important Jenny is in “The Doctor‟s Daughter” and how he no longer has to feel alone as last of the time lords. Her humanity and her unique perspective balances and influences the Doctor‟s decisions during their travels. What‟s also interesting and reflects the overarching

theme of series four, is how the Doctor is able to open up to Donna and talk more freely about being a time lord and how lonely he is being the last one left in the universe. He spoke about it before to Rose and Martha Jones but Donna sees how that loneliness haunts him more times than the others. She also

and her friendship are to the Doctor. Donna comes to know a different part of her, one not considered to be useless or flippant. The Doctor initially dismissed her as “nothing special” but soon found otherwise. Even when she fails to see it in herself the Doctor knows (and repeats to her) that she‟s brilliant and

saw him lose Jenny and River Song, two people who touched the time lord part of him. Donna may seem loud and pushy to a casual bystander but her deep understanding of the Doctor makes her a true friend.

important in the universe.

At the same time, Donna is open and eager to explore all of time and space. This excitement and keenness for having fun is what the Doctor greatly needs at this point in his life. Even Donna‟s grandfather Wilf knows how important she

The Doctor and Donna‟s relationship is one of the most dynamic portrayed in “new” Who. There‟s an ease to their friendship that not only makes their adventures really fun to watch but also compels them to do better and be better people. While their journey has a bittersweet ending, the Doctor and the universe he travels in is forever changed thanks to Donna Noble and their surprising friendship. ♥


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G

eorge Hazard watched the departing train head South. The last thing he wanted to do was let it out of his sight. It signified that events were truly transpiring, events he didn‟t want to face, but he couldn‟t do anything except acknowledge them. The South had fired on Fort Sumter; President Lincoln had called for Northern troops. It meant George would be on the opposing side as his friend, Orry Main. When they first crossed paths in 1842, George and Orry were two young men headed for West Point. Orry was a South Carolina plantation owner‟s son. George‟s family owned an iron mill in Pennsylvania. Both were idealistic, filled with dreams of the future. Tensions might already be running high with the rest of the world over slavery and state rights, but for George and Orry, that didn‟t matter. What began defending each other in a fist fight soon became a beautiful friendship. George sighed, reflecting on all of the situations he and Orry had gone through together. Where would he start? Where would he end? Every single memory involved Orry in some way. There were thoughts of West Point and of the man who had it out for them: Elkanah Bent. Ever since they stepped foot in the military academy, they‟d had an instant enemy.

Bent put them on “report” together. Bent sent them into an ambush in Mexico together. Both George and Orry didn‟t like the guy; maybe they‟d manage to not cross paths with him anymore. For some reason, though, that didn‟t seem likely. Bent always found a way to rear his ugly head in their lives; George knew it was only be a matter of time before it happened again. George glanced towards his horse. He really should head home and let his beloved Constance know he was safe. Constance— the gorgeous Irish girl he had married. He‟d met her in Mexico, the daughter of a doctor who saved Orry‟s life. Once he set eyes on her, George knew she was the woman for him. He felt the way about Constance that Orry felt for Madeline. George stopped, pausing to remember. Orry was head over heels in love with Madeline, but people conspired against the two of them. Madeline was married, and was currently married to, Justin LeMont. LeMont was an abuser, both of his wife and of his slaves; Madeline deserved better. Maybe there would be a way, someday, that Madeline and Orry would find their way to each other but today wasn‟t that day. Still, it made him be thankful that no matter what, he‟d always have his wife and daughter, Hope, to hold close at night. Slowly George made his


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way back to Belvedere, his family home. He wasn‟t in any hurry to get back especially with his sister, Virgilia, being there. There was a part of George that wanted to blame Orry‟s departure on her. After all, it was Virgilia‟s doing that brought an angry mob to their door, an angry mob that wanted to lynch the Southerner, Orry. It hadn‟t been the first time Virgilia had done something extreme to express her staunch Abolitionist views. She‟d been the one to marry Grady, a black man—and one of the Main family‟s escaped slaves. She lauded the works of John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe. There was no reasoning with Virgilia, no convincing her that not all Southerners condoned slavery. George knew Orry didn‟t desire brutality; in fact, Orry would have been fine with the removal of the institution. But George also knew that for Orry, it was the South‟s way of doing things. He wanted time honored traditions, the Southern lifestyle, to continue. It was a big reason why they agreed never to talk about the war or slavery—or any of those hot button issues. Friends don‟t always see eye to eye, George knew that. He still didn‟t completely understand why Orry waited so long to allow his sister, Brett, to marry George‟s brother, Billy. Sure, it made sense: a Southern girl marrying a Northern boy during such

divisive times. No one wanted it, but Orry still made a stink about it. There were other little exasperations over the years but in the end, they didn‟t matter. Time and distance managed to not matter in their brotherly relationship.

would always be the person he roomed with, his best man, his business partner. Just because one was to wear blue and the other gray didn‟t mean all the memories would cease to exist. In fact, George prayed for a speedy conclusion to the war so he could see his friend again.

This “fanfic” was inspired by the 1985 and 1987 miniseries, North and South. With an all-star cast of both classic and current actors, this is truly a wonderful serial to watch. Content, though, can be problematic for some, so if you decide to watch it (and call it a

“Take care of yourself, Orry,” George whispered into the April night. One single tear cascaded down his cheek. “And may we live to reunite once more.”

guilty pleasure as I do) use your own judgment. Romance, action, adventure, heart… this has it all! ♥

Orry‟s train was out of sight now; George couldn‟t even see a tiny speck in the distance. Who knew when, if ever, they would see each other again? Would they meet on the battlefield? Would they die in battle? Would their friendship ever be the same? And then, that is when his eyes fell on it once more: half of a ten dollar note. That monetary note was a symbol of their friendship. On an occasion where Orry was bemoaning the fact he might not pass West Point, George bet him ten bucks that he would—and to make Orry more inclined to repay his friend (chalk it up to gentlemanly honor), George split the note in half. The note had been put together once before, but just a little while ago, they had split it up again. “Maybe it would bring them some luck and they would put it together when the war is over.” That‟s what George had said, and he‟d meant it with all his heart. The war would divide brother against brother. But George wasn‟t going to let that happen with Orry. His friend, his brother,


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T

he hallowed halls of Oxford may seem more suited to the rigors of academia than murder, but for over two decades that renowned institution has served as the backdrop for murders foul, mysterious, and strange. The perpetrators have been pursued by those practicing an illustrious tradition of investigative prowess with the fictional Oxford City

Police, a tradition begun with Inspector Morse and continued under the auspices of Robbie Lewis and the enigmatic James Hathaway. Over the course of seven years and twentyfive episodes, Lewis and Hathaway developed into one of the most rewarding partnerships on television. This summer saw the duo take their final bow (only temporarily, one hopes!) in the Inspector Lewis finale,


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the successful culmination of this investigative odd couple‟s friendship that will live on in memory as a sterling example of the enduring popularity of mysteries, particularly among those who prefer their investigations with a distinctly intellectual bent. The Morse television series is based on the novels of Colin Dexter. Morse is brilliant but often surly, a likeable curmudgeon with the soul of a romantic and a passion for ale, opera, classic cars, and crossword puzzles. A senior Detective Inspector, Morse‟s partner on the force is the affable Detective Sergeant Robbie Lewis. For thirteen years, Lewis served as the antithesis of his roughedged boss—where Morse feels deeply but is often incapable of showing it, Lewis is a softening, more social influence. A dedicated family man, Lewis relishes time with his wife and children, able to set aside the pressures and horrors of the job by seeking refuge with his family, a solace his solitary mentor is denied. But their partnership is undeniably brilliant. It‟s heartwarming to see how they become more than partners, but also friends. Lewis is the heir apparent to Morse‟s treasure trove of knowledge and experience. Following Morse‟s death in the series finale, Oxford received a seven-year reprieve from crime until the reintroduction of Lewis with a self-titled pilot film.

Lewis‟s life and demeanor has suffered drastic change since he bid farewell to Morse; his world was shattered when his wife was killed by a hit-and-run driver, an accident that has remained an unresolved and open wound in his life. After returning from an overseas assignment Lewis is shocked to discover that not only does his new boss have him marked for desk duty, but for the duration of the current murder investigation he‟s been paired with a mercurial, soft-spoken intellectual, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway. Those familiar with his origins will immediately recognize the set-up—after his loss, Lewis becomes more like his mentor while Hathaway is Morse reborn. There‟s immediate tension, and for much of the first three seasons one has good cause to wonder if Lewis and Hathaway even like each other. Theirs is a slow -developing friendship and from the moment at the end of the pilot episode when the newly reinstated Lewis is told Hathaway requested to work with him, we know (even if they don‟t) that they have much to learn from each other. A recurring theme in the first ten episodes of Lewis involves the torture he suffers not knowing who is responsible for his wife‟s death. The anchor that grounded him throughout the Morse years is stripped away and set adrift Robbie is in danger of emulating

Morse in ways he‟d never dreamed—living and dying by his profession alone. Hathaway suffers from his own brand of angst in the series, as he is never fully able to accept the evil he encounters in his work, torn between the spiritual life he strives for and the grittier realities of the police work he now lives. Though each would never admit it, Lewis and Hathaway need each other to balance the extremes inherent in their individual natures. Arguably “The Quality of Mercy,” when Hathaway is instrumental in identifying the man responsible for Lewis‟s wife‟s death, is a turning point for them; the pair move from tolerating and annoying each other to a warm respect and genuine friendship. Hathaway takes a proprietary interest in doing his best to ensure that his boss continues to recover and heal from his earlier loss—never missing an opportunity to slyly suggest the lovely medical examiner, Laura Hobson, might be amenable to a date. For his part, as Hathaway helps steer Lewis toward reclaiming a personal life, Lewis takes a father-like interest in his sergeant. Lewis adopts Hathaway, providing the loner with a much-needed parental figure and the advice that accompanies such a role, whether wanted or not—but always well-intentioned. While I‟ve read rumors that Lewis may return for

the occasional special, for all intents and purposes this summer‟s finale gave the duo a fitting swan song. Finally able to lay his personal demons to rest, Lewis takes a leap of faith and begins a romance with Laura. In tandem with this long-awaited decision, he realizes that his work no longer needs to define his worth—if he retires, he can do so assured of a vibrant, meaningful life thanks to Laura and his desire to reconnect with his adult children. But leaving Hathaway on the force is a dream unfulfilled, as despite the younger man‟s gift for police work, the reality of the profession has become increasingly untenable for him to cope with. Whereas one time Hathaway‟s departure from the force might have been a crushing blow to their oft-tested friendship, here Lewis is able to give Hathaway one final gift— of unconditional and understanding support, and a sense of family and belonging the sergeant has too long been denied. Lewis and Hathaway‟s relationship is a study in how to build a meaningful, multi-layered friendship on TV, unforgettably grounded in respect, warmth, and humor. The series is a classic that bears constant revisiting, and if you‟ve yet to meet Lewis and Hathaway you‟re in for a treat—enjoy! ♥


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W

hen I watch White Collar I‟m reminded of the favorite facets of my relationship with my best friends: the easy banter, knowing glances, excitement at the other‟s triumphs, the ability to finish each other‟s sentences, the realization that we‟re born into a family but our choice of friends proves an extension of our independence— what we crave in other people— what we like our perfect interpersonal world to be. The closest friendships all have hiccups, quarrels, peeves and frustrations. What would annoy you only slightly with a


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passing acquaintance may flourish out into a contentious bane when evoked by your closest friends. There are ups and downs, moments of wary trust, jealousy, anger, quibbles, fights over the silliest things… and the best memories of your life. True friends see you with your guard down, can read your body language, your fears, your thoughts and are silently and presently there; when you feel you need them, when you are sure that you don‟t. When FBI agent Peter Burke catches runaway renaissance art thief and bond forger Neal Caffrey for the second time, he knows pretty much everything about his transient law-breaking nemesis. In turn, Neal knows everything about Peter, since this White Collar agent has been on his trail for years. Indeed, in the first episode, we learn while Neal sent Peter cookies and birthday cards, Peter knows minute details about every aspect of Neal‟s life, down to his shoe size. The next stage of their journey requires them to work together as partners, capitalizing on the fact that they know each other exceedingly well (I‟d argue more than they know anyone else in the world, including their significant others) and

yet maintain trust issues. They‟re never sure where the other stands and both are challenged outside of their comfort zones by their need to rely on the other and trust them completely. This is often embodied in Neal‟s anklet: a device mandated by the FBI to keep track of him at all times inside a designated radius. As a partnership and relationship between them progresses, it‟s emblemized in the wearing of and removing of the anklet—sometimes by Peter, who has ultimate control of Neal‟s whereabouts as his diligent handler, and sometimes by Neal, who though greatly in love with his new life and responsibilities, experiences temptation to fly free again far from the boundaries of the FBI‟s laws. What adds to the complexity of Peter and Neal‟s partnership and friendship is their need to trust and believe in each other even when conditioned to fall prey to their inherent distrust of the other‟s intentions and motives. What results is an exercise in trust and hope that they can fall securely into the web of the other‟s good intentions. Over the four seasons of their journey thus far, we find them in a middling ground: Neal straight

laced (most often to aid Peter) and Peter willing to cross the line if Neal‟s interests are at stake. Neal, who isn‟t without a symbolic nod or two to the legend of King Midas (he of the golden touch) often finds his world collapsing only to have to rely on Peter to pick up the pieces. In turn, the most recent season finale, found the table turned and Peter far too far on the other side of the law for comfort, with Neal realizing that trust in Peter might be the only lifeline he has. By the end of the fourth season, we realize Peter and Neal are far closer than friends, even closer than family; they‟re two sides of the same coin, a deficit in one is made up for in the other, and their reliance and dependence on each other is so interchangeable you can‟t imagine one alone. Though this frustrates Neal and grieves Peter, this is the best type of human relationship: one strengthened by responsibility for the other, that puts another‟s interests above one‟s own, and shrouded in faith—that what each once saw as a threat or hindrance can now give way to moments of surprising integrity, courage and honesty. Neal‟s life-long reliance on stretching the truth is entirely relinquished in his inability to tell Peter

a lie and Peter, so long fettered by the rules and regulations of the White Collar division, stretches the rule book to breaking point to help Neal. Sure, the television series is formulaic and more than a few cliché-ridden “stock episodes” appear in each season but I dare you to find someone who watches this show for the plot (it‟s about two men so completely different) yet so intrinsically the same that their natural rhythm (coupled with their innate chemistry) projects a whirlwind of finishing each other‟s sentences, finding ways out of impossible situations, and putting faith, trust, and all of those other virtues so completely foreign to an almost-reformed conman at forefront. “There's a right way to do things and a wrong way,” Peter often tells Neal. He believes in doing what‟s right and letting the pieces fall into place. The result (and ultimately the reward) of Neal‟s slow but sure journey toward reformation is a new life, new purpose and new family—three things replete in his previous life and worth far more than the weight of plundered Nazi gold. ♥


Literary Villains Coming October 1st

Femnista July August 2013  

Includes: Sherlock & John, Kirk & Spock, Annie & Auggie, Peter & James, Anne & Diana, Legolas & Gimli, Will & Diane, Harry, Hermione & Ron,...

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