Marill Re-Reads "Bittersweet"
in advance to see if it needs an urgent reboot to achieve its true greatness

Ahem, as the title says. I've been good so far this season, going in order and everything. However I've been thinking about this episode quite a bit lately. Like The Games Matrix, I've been thinking about rebooting it in (far) advance for many years because I have a bizarre love/hate relationship with it. Unlike Games Matrix though, there's a lot to like about Bittersweet. I love the story, character development and its one of the few old school band episodes/scenes that I actually like (with 1 exception*), usually it would be a firm contender for best episode of the season. However I can't really assume that, as it houses some of the cringiest moments of the season like 16 year old me misinterpreting the lyrics to *Too Weak To Resist at the worst possible OOC time, actually that whole part of the story tbh, and some unforgivable child abuse via one of the mc's... at least I think that's in this one, which makes me wonder how the hell the character managed to remain the apple of my eye afterwards.

I'm dreading this one, so so much. I'm scared that I'll begin to hate it after so many years thinking it's up there with Resistance. Doing this early should make my mind up once and for all though. If Too Weak To Resist's scenes are really the only thing truly awful about it, then I might be able to let it go and wait until Bittersweet is due its reboot likely in 2019. If it has more moments like it, I'll likely reboot it and release in advance (though that's risky since it will have massive spoilers for readers who are new to the series and reading only reboots, eek) since it is fully plotted out already.

For anyone curious. I had gotten up to Kiss of Death with my re-reads, which ended up halfway through when I decided I needed to stop and do some actual work. Today, I'm not well, barely starting The Love Spell's reboot, and in dire need of cheering up. THIS WILL END WELL... LET'S DO THIS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bittersweet opens harmlessly enough as Voyager enters orbit around some planet we have no context on, other than...

The viewscreen changed it's view to show a beautiful green and blue planet. The light from a nearby star was reflecting off the northern atmosphere.

"What a beautiful place to spend Christmas. Nothing could possibly go wrong this year," Kathryn said.

Everyone glanced at each other nervously.

And here I run into a problem with skipping ahead already, when I second guess myself. Previous episode/s$$$fest An Apple A Day was based during the Christmas period as well. I check the stats at the top of the episode, I see this one really is. So An Apple A Day is an imposter as well as an edgelord even Season Three is ashamed of... again this "joke" is a problem with skipping ahead. I'll explain later. I also learn;

Written
22nd, 29th December 2001 & 26th January 2002

That's pretty extensive for a Season Two entry, THREE DAYS WHUT but that's not the reason I bring this up. I wondered sometime back in the Precise Timings reread I believe, which episode had the unfortunate luck of being written during the Steps split crisis. Cos you know that's important, where have you been? Since Bittersweet's won that raffle, you know the pop episode with at least two Steps tracks used in its narrative, one of which the episode's named after, this might come up in some way.

Looking at it again, I'm baffled that I took a month off before I finished it. I imagine some other drama must've put me off, since er... 2002 was the beginning of the rough era. hmm

"But Kathryn, something's bound to happen. Something's happened in the last six Christmases, and they didn't even happen in an episode," Chakotay said.

"I'm pretty sure Year 2's was in Before Fifth Voyager," Kathryn muttered.

"Captain, that hasn't even started yet," Tom pointed out.

I wonder when I started calling it B4FV/B4 Fifth Voyager? It's just so weird looking at it like this.

And I'm with Tom on this one, I don't remember any Christmas prequel episodes.

Christmas 2376, before 'Disconnected':
Everyone on the Bridge were incredibly drunk. The ship was flying side to side as Tom was flying it with a bottle of vodka in his hand.

YES DRUNK SCENES WITH TOM, BITTERSWEET IS #1

"Hey guys, look at this!" Harry yelled in a slurry voice. He activated the viewscreen, it showed a huge green nebula. "If you tilt your head a bit, it looks like a Christmas tree."

Everyone turned their heads. A few people, including Lena, fell over.

WHO'S LENA

Doh, another issue of skipping ahead right there. I should've warned sooner. Spoiler Alert: If you're reading this before you're about 13 episodes into Season Two, original or reboot, then this re-read's gonna spoil you BIG TIME. Though I question why anyone would be reading re-reads for episodes they haven't read. coughstill

but anyway, lawl. I could see this happening

"Lets have a look inside the Christmas tree," Tom said in a slurry voice.

The ship suddenly flew forward, and it headed toward the nebula.

"Oh s**t!" nearly everyone screamed.

The ship flew back out, followed by hundreds of Tolg ships.

pffthaha

nice try Bittersweet with your Tolg incident pre-Disconnected.

WHO

"Right guys, I've informed the guys in charge of this planet, we've got a week," Lilly said.

"We're planning on leaving on Boxing Day though," Kathryn said.

"Well, we've got an extra day, I'd suggest staying here until our time runs out," Lilly said.

"What's so good about this planet anyway?" Tom asked.

"It's thee holiday spot. Ligers travel from all over the galaxy to spend their holidays here," Johnstone replied.

I dunno, I wouldn't trust a Johnstone recommendation anymore than I'd throw a (lego)brick at him. Lemme guess, this planet is secretly a Sixes stronghold and they're hoping the drunken louts of Voyager will trash the place.

"You see lots of alien species are allowed to stay here, also I suggested this place cos it's been celebrating Christmas for four years now," Lilly said.

"It's probably the only place in the Quadrant that does," Harry muttered.

Wait, whut? ha!

You're trying to convince me that the Ligers brought Christmas to Party Planet? A supposedly different species in a different dimension who evolved on Earth but avoided Humans. OKAY

Though reading that and typing the above has poked a memory back into place, and now I don't remember the lyrics to Too Weak To Resist OHNOES. Is it a literal song about being weak, oh yeah what else? PHEW. Anyway didn't the Ligers have their own kind of Christmas, celebrated in the spring/summer? Come on Marill, only you know this.

No time for that now cos it's partay time

"Janeway to all hands, shore leave has officially begun," Kathryn said.

Original Voyager: Cool, okay. Going to pack

Fifth Voyager: *already passed out drunk*

PS this is the last time, we're going to spoiler town. Don't forget your Season Two coat.

Later than afternoon
The planet:
Lena and Kiara were heading towards a small cafe in the middle of a town. It was summer at this part of the planet, so the sun was shining brightly and people were walking around with light clothes on.

"I still don't see why I have to put up with you," Lena said.

"Don't you ever stop complaining, geez," Kiara muttered.

I don't get it Lena, the text isn't describing one of the writers scribbling on a notepad, forcing you to hang out with Kiara. I'm on Kiara's side here... and speaking of which, this episode calls for a little "game" which I might start doing for all post True Q episodes. Lena Versus Kiara, who is "right" and who is out of line? Or something like that and here:

Lena 0, Kiara 1

Now I know cos duh I wrote it, that the subject matter on these two is delicate to say the least. I have a feeling Lena will "lose" this game, but out of the two here, she's affected the most. I can't imagine many would cope well with finding out that their childhood memories were a lie, AND that they're fabricated versions of a relative, who you also found out is not really a kid version of you but your daughter, who you only have because an all powerful being fancied you and wished her into existence. That s$$$ sucks royally. However it doesn't excuse her behaviour, it explains it. She's still 17 or so in this season.

Then there's Kiara, who while looks like a teen, is about 4 years old. Poor Lena doesn't stand a chance here, Kiara's got the high ground, she's untouchable. However I tended to write Kiara as a pre-teen, older than she is but still younger than she looks, so ... I dunno, Bittersweet's my first re-read after the revelation. I have a feeling Kiara will still win this.

Let's continue and hope I can stop rambling for at least a couple of scenes

Lena stopped and she looked at a poster on the cafe window. Kiara stopped too, and she headed back the way she came.

"Looks like the Popstars craze is everywhere," Kiara said as she looked at the poster.

"This one's a little fairer though, the winner gets to perform at this mini concert on a live TV show. The two runners up perform one song live on the same show," Lena said.

Hey neat, I'd forgotten that this storyline actually starts with a reality tv style show. I always thought the band just decide to start releasing singles. Spoilers for reboot; that makes the reboot so much easier.

"What would be the point of me ignoring something like this. I think Virus should enter," Lena said.

"But you guys are already a band in a way, it's suppose to be bands to be," Kiara said.

Ah Kiara, if only you knew how these shows go now. Lena and Virus will fit right in.

And Popstars? Oh my. Dated much? The show that inspired FV's most beloved characters; Myleene, Johnny, Johnny Junior, Sandi and Kevin. I almost included Yasmin and Gareth but that was Pop Idol, I always thought it was the same series...it's not?

"Fine, if you're entering your band into the contest, then I'm entering mine," Kiara said.

"That's a funny one, you guys will get creamed. According to Lilly, Ligers' music is all loud rock," Lena said.

HANG ON, (two) question(s)!

1) I hadn't forgotten Kiara had a band at all. I thought Bittersweet is where they start it, because of this competitive music episode. If it isn't Bittersweet, which episode was it?

2) Is this planet populated by Ligers? SINCE BLOODY WHEN

oh and I kinda lied, thought of a third question

3) LOL MARILL, LIGERS LIKE LOUD MUSIC SINCE WHEN? DON'T LIE, the Kidz Trek version of the band debuted with Pokémon soundtracks, then "branched out" with Steps discography, then Aqua's... you know, just like Virus did. HAHA SINCE WHEN

Two's the question I really want answering. The opening scene made me think this planet was just somewhere the Ligers get drunk on and the natives begrudgingly put up with it since they're a tourist trap, and that's why they've only had Christmas for four years, cos the Ligers introduced them to it. If it's actually a Liger planet, why is Christmas a recent holiday when Humans have only just shown up?

I'M SO CONFUSED AND I BADLY WANTED TO AVOID HEFTY PARAGRAPHS FOR AT LEAST A FEW SCENES, I DIDN'T EVEN FINISH THIS ONE HALP

AND I ALSO DON'T KNOW WHAT LENA'S ARGUMENT IS. HER ROCKIEST SONG AT THE MOMENT IS HALLOWEEN

"Being different will give us the advantage, besides you guys don't do rock either," Kiara said.

"I suppose that being different thing will work for my band, but boring ballads are a long way from loud rock," Lena said.

GIRLS, if the Ligers are in the rebellious teen/20's phase of listening to rock and pretending they never liked that crappy pop music anyway, don't lie, then you'll both have the "different" advantage. Or disadvantage.

At least here we learn that Kiara's band is lumped with the ballads past-Marill probably doesn't like, much, cos she prefers Virus dancing around with her made up dance routines. And I laugh cos the only two songs I remember Virus actually using in this episode (there's a third but I don't know if they get to use it) are ballads. Bittersweet is a sodding ballad. lol

"No, Virus will. You little brats suck!" Lena yelled.

"The people in your band belong in a circus, not in a band!" Kiara yelled.

"Your band belongs in a Pre-school!" Lena yelled.

This would be pretty funny if you didn't know the context. Anyone passing this won't know either. This is a mum and daughter arguing, it tickles me more knowing that but I'm weird that way.

Lena's not wrong though. Kiara's band is her, Bryan and Naomi. Okay she's 2/3's right. Naomi's legitimately a teenager. As for Kiara, what, I remember Virus ripping off Aqua music videos. What you trying to say, huhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?

"Will not!" Kiara yelled.

"Will to!" Lena yelled.

A waiter from the cafe came up to them.

"Would you like a menu?" he asked the two girls. They stared at him.

HAHA genuine lol

but then I read ahead and it's ruined

"Yeah," Lena replied. She took the menu off the waiter, and she hit Kiara across the head with it. She handed it back to the waiter.

:(

Okay, lets imagine this in the perspective of the maybe alien or Liger waiter. Two teenaged girls are hanging out outside the cafe arguing and you bravely decide to step in to offer a menu. Only for the oldest by what looks like I dunno, a year or two, snatches one and wallops the other across the side of her head. What would you think? Pretty mean, childish and over the top etc...

So yeah, it's still a bit iffy in a "normal" circumstance. But not only is this actually a mother doing this to her daughter over a stupid popstars competition, but the mother has superhuman strength. AND (yes I'm not done), the daughter isn't even as old as she looks. SHE'S FOUR YEARS OLD

Forget the game above. Lena's getting another counter.

Lena (Child)Abuses Her Power: 1

I hate to do it, cos again I must stress this; Lena's extremely messed up right now, suffering from an extreme identity crisis in a nutshell. I didn't write her doing this because I thought Kiara deserved it and Lena should be cheered on. God no. I do remember Bittersweet deals with this storyline quite a bit and it doesn't pull any punches. My only beef with this storyline, other than at times it's excessive^^, is I don't think James ever pulls her to one side and tells her to cut that s$$$ out, cos he's been in Kiara's place. They remain friends through this. It's offputting. Now I know Lena and Peter aren't in the same ballpark but it had to be triggering for James to see a close friend of his treat her kid like his dad treat him.

"Are you sure you're not the reincarnation of James' dad? I remember James telling me that his dad used to beat him," Kiara muttered as she rubbed her head.

As if on cue. NICE KIARA

That's another point. Out of the two Slayers, James is called out on a lot for being a violent asshat/monster all throughout the series, while Lena is beloved and perfectly innocent. Yet Lena's the one who slaps her kid, while James can barely raise his voice to his without feeling bad. Lena can be equally violent, while James can be nice and thoughtful, and tends to think before he does. He regrets his actions but Lena tends to not, until much later anyway. But "who cares, James has killed and Lena hasn't (which is a lie/OMGre-readspoilers), therefore he's bad and she's not."

At first this was cos Lena was always the apple of my eye, the reason FV exists etc... while James more or less came from nowhere and shot up the ranks to challenge her. But it's something I've stuck with purposefully since, I believe Season Four as I found it quite interesting to work with. I actually took advantage of this mindset in Reboot Games Matrix's finale, and I'm really proud of how well it went.

anyways, Kiara's remark leaves me thinking why is James telling a four year old about his abuse? Seems a touch out of character for him. Lena's response is ??? not defensive as normal, but so reflective it makes her OMG I DIDN'T PLAYFIGHT YOU BUT DID TANI COS YOU FANCY JESSIE argument make sense.

"Oh, I can easily beat his dad, just give me some heavy objects and something made of glass," Lena said.

Whut?

Kiara basically said, "you are just like James's dad, who beat him[James] when he was little... just like you're doing to me." And your response is to bump your chest and yell, "me strong, I can beat James' dad. come at me bro. but bring your heavy glass tables first cos lawl."

????

No part of that made sense.

"Is that a threat?" Kiara said questioningly.

WAIT NO, WAIT, FORGET WHAT I SAID. I LIKE NONSENSE. I'M MARILL AFTER ALL

"You bet it is," Lena said.

NO

LENA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, STOP

Lena (Child)Abuses Her Power: 2

Now it's debatable if I'm keeping the menu slap, but that exchange is going in the crapper to be flushed and then bleached a few times to make sure it's really gone.

This isn't some grossly bad writing of me going OTT (as usual) with the "Lena blames Kiara so lashes out but cos she's been through crap you can still empathise with her" arc. Kiara brings up James' dad as a comparison, so I'm well f$$$$$ aware of what I'm doing here. Again I repeat the question I said at the top of the page

HOW THE HELL DID LENA REMAIN THE APPLE OF MY EYE AFTER THIS?

Though it does explain James' rapidly increasing popularity with me at this point in the series. And as a countermeasure to keep Lena in the topspot for me and the reader(s), his occasional OOC craphead moments and his early Season Three story.

I remember Bittersweet had some uncomfortable Lena moments. That's the point of the episode. She goes too far and there are consequences, it's the epiphany moment episode I believe, and she should start to calm down slowly from here. Still, ouch my heart.

"What do I care," Lena muttered to herself. She turned to face the waiter. "Can I have a menu now?" she asked.

The waited looked at the menu Lena had used before. It had a huge dent in it. "I'll give you a different one," he replied. He pulled a menu out from behind the other one.

WHAT

pleasebeonlyapapermenu...........PLEASE be only a paper menu

what a detail you had to include. I really wanted people to know how truly sh$$$ Lena was being to her four year old ex-sister-now-daughter.

"Are you sure you're not just using this contest to beat Kiara?" Jessie asked.

Oh Jessie, course not. She doesn't need a contest to do that :( *bitter(sweet) laugh*

"No of course not. If I wanted to beat Kiara, I'd just smash her head against the wall," Lena replied as she continued to work at the console.

OOOPS PRESSED THE DELETE KEY, OOPSIEDAISY THAT WAS TOTALLY ACCIDENTAL, I WILL FIX IT *control S*

Lena (Child)Abuses Her Power: 3

This is the part where James either walks the f$$$ out, or smashes HER head against the wall. GOD DAMN IT

"Why do you hate her so much?" Craig asked.

Lena stopped what she was doing, and she turned around.

"Am I allowed to say? True Q still hasn't been uploaded," Lena replied.

This was a mistake, it's nothing but trash

Don't get me started on True Q. Especially when True Q's reread will have the rant anyway. It's definitely the biggest FV related blunder I've made, even worse than Dimension Jump's fiasco. That's saying a lot, yes.

This was for nothing cos Lena spoils the episode that's seven slots ago anyway

"All right, fine, if you really want to know why I hate her, I'll tell you. When that stupid Q told me that she was really my kid, I knew at that point that my life was ruined," Lena said in a huffy manner. She folded her arms tightly.

Mmmhmm.

"Somehow, I don't think that it was Kiara's fault," Jessie muttered.

Jessie's Sin Points: -1

James is being oddly quiet. Did he walk out like I advised?

"What are you talking about? Of course it was her fault, when she found out herself she didn't care about how I felt. It was all her. Even the entire crew were on her side. Nobody cared about how I felt," Lena said.

Okay I don't agree with her one bit, however this right here, says quite a lot.

Kiara and her band walk in and it gets a bit awkward. Naomi suggests practicing later but Kiara disagrees.

"Maybe we could share the holodeck," Craig said. Lena and Kiara glared at him in true Janeway style. He cowered.

"Listen titch, we got here first, so you and your fellow pre-schoolers can go and play somewhere else," Lena said.

Pre-schoolers again? Lame.

"Can I suggest something without being glared at?" Craig asked. The two girls looked in his direction. "For the contest we only need to perform one song. We could practise for about ten minutes, then Pulse can practise for ten minutes."

Good guy Craig with the good idea.

I'm still thrown that James hasn't said or done anything. I like to imagine he's quietly seething about the threats to Kiara.

"So I have to watch my tart of a mother," Kiara muttered.

"Who are you calling a tart?" Lena growled.

OMG IT'S NOT "SLUT", A CHRISTMAS AT EASTER MIRACLE

Normally I'd mark this as sexist, but I remember from True Q why Kiara calls her this. I'm not sure when she knows the truth, or if she does already *shrug*

Craig, Jessie & James went over to the corner so the two arguing girls wouldn't hear them.

Well he's still there, so...

"If this keeps going on, none of us will have time to practise," Jessie said. The three stood in mid thought for a few seconds.

"I've got an idea," James said suddenly.

LOL even the narration realised James was forgotten about.

And I hope that idea involves a menu being slapped in Lena's face

"That figures," Craig muttered.

"What do you mean?" Jessie asked.

"Never mind," Craig replied.

Oh Craig, gone from good guy trying to help to bitter jealous guy in a space of a few seconds. Like it.

"Well I thought there is a way both bands can practise in here, without having to be in the same room," James replied.

SLAP LENA IN THE FACE WITH A MENU AND TELL HER TO QUIT BLAMING THE KID AND BLAME Q YOU NINNY, I CALLED IT

"We just program two separate places for us," Jessie said.

"Why didn't I think of that, it's so simple," Craig said questioningly. Everyone else came over to the group.

I er... what, James never said what his idea was. We'll never know now :(

Though Jessie's is pretty clever.

I assume Holodeck 1 is occupied by Tom making his new upgraded courtroom drama Worst Caste Scenario 3

Anyway cue more arguments

"Shouldn't somebody get programming," Naomi said.

"I'll do it," James said, and he walked away from the others.

Yeah, maybe James does have a problem with this Kiara/Lena thing, but is torn cos Lena's his friend, hence his erm silence on this whole subject. I'm not sure if his contribution to this episode before s$$$ hits the fan revolves around this. I vaguely recall something.

"Slut, slut, slut," Kiara continued to chant.

"Look, Jessie's more of a slut than me!" Lena yelled. Kiara stopped chanting, and James stopped working. Everyone looked Lena's way.

Sexist Crap Count: 4, 1 for each slut

Class act Lena, bring Jessie into this. It's bad enough that Lena, who's squeamish about kiss scenes despite her abundance of kiss scenes, is being labelled as one by her own kid.

"Don't take it that way, Jess. I'm just comparing," Lena said.

"And that's suppose to make me feel better?" Jessie asked.

HUUUUUUUH?

That's not what I'd say Jessie. Cos what?

If I understand correctly, Lena means that she meant to say "hey, if I'm a slut then Jessie must be one cos she's done the nasty with one guy while I haven't?" or am I giving her too much credit here? If that's her meaning, no just, no. Neither are sluts, so stop with this.

"Oh for god's sake it wasn't meant to be an insult. I didn't mean that you are a slut, I was just saying that you have a bigger chance of being a slut than I do," Lena replied.

Yep I gave her enough credit, I was right.

Sexist Crap Count: 5

Why the extra? Well, James is in the room as well. He was the one Jessie had sex with, so he's equally "slutty" and yet, he isn't branded a slut at any point in this. Only the woman is. Yup, stay classy past Marill.

"I'm not a slut! I was bloody drunk and under a love spell!" Jessie yelled.

pfftsnigger

hang on

Sexist Crap Count: 6

May I remind everybody of three things.

1) James is in the room, maybe slightly out of the way trying desperately to program a couple of soundproof rooms with a metal menu to hit Lena with.

2) James and Jessie have been a couple since the end of Resurrection, so not including that it's been nine episodes, ten once this one is over. It's been roughly four months in FV time.

Now you can argue with point two that James/Jessie might be taking it slow and haven't done anything yet, fair enough. However

3) While True Q hadn't been released yet, it had been written up until the last scene or two. That episode didn't just have the Lena/Kiara twist. It introduced somebody named Michael, a friend of Lena's from the previous dimension. He was revealed to be James and Jessie's son. Kiara's Q daddy decided this dimension around that Jessie would be his baby mummy and so Michael was offed for being in the way of that dream. Jessie confronts the Q and the reader finds out this contributed to the prequels breakup, which contradicts her story in Interactions and at the same time explains her apprehension in having Duncan. And who can blame her, especially in hindsight when she almost died.

SO.....

Jessie really gotta lay off the deny everything prude juice. She's been with James more than once, and I really doubt there was ever a prequel episode called The Love Spell 0, so it must've been something they both did on their own free will. Season One I let her off cos of past issues, but now, what is she ashamed of? If I were James, I'd be pretty damn offended at this point. Calm down woman.

"I know that! That's my point! I only had Kiara because that Q clicked his fingers and made it happen!" Lena yelled back.

Yes, and while that's a good comeback for somebody calling you a slut, cos you're absolutely right. Pointing at Jessie, who was the Q's second choice and almost had to endure the same fate may I remind you, and saying "well if I am, Jessie is more so cos she's done it, gasp" isn't. It doesn't prove anything. If you were the definition of a slut, this argument still wouldn't prove anything, plus it'd be more wrong.

Sigh, Season Two... While Season One was the whacked out crazy season and Season Three is the Edgelord, I'm torn as to whether or not Season Two should take Three's title, or simply go with Season OMG SLUT.

"I don't get why they're arguing," Bryan muttered.

"Get used to it Bryan, I've never understood girls," Craig said.

oh Craig, we know that. People who don't know you, know that

Anyway the Jessie versus Lena slutmatch Round 2 is still going on...

"Look at it this way. I'm a virgin. Virgins cannot be sluts," Lena said.

"What's that got to do with me!" Jessie yelled.

SHE GOT IT LENA, SHE GOT IT. WHAT SHE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IS... PRETTY MUCH WHAT SHE JUST YELLED ACTUALLY. SHE'S NOT INVOLVED IN THIS, STOP INSULTING HER.

Lena groaned. "I just said you are more of a slut than I am. I didn't say you were one at all," she said in a near calm way.

HAHAHAHA YES YOU DID, LET ME PROVE IT

"Look, Jessie's more of a slut than me!" Lena yelled. Kiara stopped chanting, and James stopped working. Everyone looked Lena's way.

Oh a detail about this quote I didn't notice the first time. We, the reader know this insult was out of line because everyone stops what they're doing and stare at, not Jessie, but Lena. I do also like how James is the only other name than Kiara mentioned outside of "everyone". It's like WTF, really, why bring Jessie into this?

Everyone else groaned. James came over to the others. "The, er, program's ready," he said.

Yes everyone, I feel the same. James though. I dunno. Jessie can take care of herself, we all know this. James usually sticks up for her though regardless. Normally I'd complain that he hasn't, but I've gotten this vibe through the whole scene; Lena's being pretty s$$$y but he's close with her now and isn't keen on calling her out, at least not yet until it goes too far.

"Both are the same, so there's nothing more to fight about."

"Don't look at me, I never start the fights.. she does," Kiara said. Lena stopped arguing with Jessie and she turned to look at Kiara.

"I start the fights, do I?" Lena said.

GROAN, YES! "FUNNILY" ENOUGH THERE'S YOUR PROOF

"Erm, can I just butt in. If we don't start practising, neither band has a chance at winning this competition," Craig said.

Lena looked at Kiara, then at Jessie, and she nodded her head. Jessie and Kiara agreed.

"Ok, we're getting this stage," Kiara said.

"No, we were here first. It's not far to the other stage!" Lena yelled.

You know, I like it when Craig does stuff like this. Jessie, James and Lena are all hotheads, prone to shouting and/or violence, but Craig's really not. At times he can be a bit when he's bitter and jealous of James, but when it matters, he's the level headed one that calms s$$$ down.

As evidenced;

"So, now can we get on with practise?" James asked.

Lena and Jessie glanced at each other, and then they quickly looked away.

"Yeah we can. We can all just forget about that silly argument, right girls?" Craig said questioningly.

Both of the girls shrugged their shoulders.

"Great, this is not going to be easy," Craig muttered.

lol James' meek last second involvement solved nothing, but Craig swooped in and made them shrug. what a guy. see now Craigy, you don't have to be super strong and the champ of off screenness to be a hero.

A lot of Ligers, and several Voyager crewmembers were in this large club. A Liger man walked up onto the stage.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please," the man said.

Okay, I think we're going with this is a Liger planet. Sigh. I honestly did not remember this. The Ligers may as well have territory borders at this point, they have planets dotted all over.

This effects the reboot quite a bit, but no matter, I already know how to fix it.

"We've hit a new record this year, folks. This year we have five competitive bands instead of three," the man said.

bwahahahahaha, good, the Ligers are still lame.

Some people notice the little fact that Lena's hair is now dyed red.

I can't adequately express how I feel at knowing this. Pictures to the rescue

Just in time too, as it's now time for the largest not a re-read paragraph NOT consisting of Lena dialogue, courtesy of the host introducing the alien/Liger bands and explaining the rules. It's as thrilling as I make it sound, but there's some info we gotta know in it.

"And also welcome our home bands, LG, 54x, and The Party Crashers!"

Why do I get the feeling that during my band name brainstorm I decided to have a break and grab my massive CD collection so I could pick out the songs I didn't like for the Liger groups, read the cd-rom for a few seconds and muttered "eureka!". Party Crashers probably came later after a few too many orange juices.

Oh I hope LG are the first to go, I'm still bitter my blu-ray player isn't region free. I wanna watch ReBoot damn it!

And remember, don't vote just because the band is from where you're from

Oh hoho, I'm sure this won't be important later

Anyway, the band with the most votes will perform a mini concert for RTV tomorrow night! The two runners up will perform one song on RTV

Place your bets. Virus wins, Pulse and the Crashers for the losers ball.

Tom was one of the audience members and he yelled, "the two losers better not be you guys! Do Voyager proud!"

Has Tom forgotten Why oh Why happened already? Hmm. Something tells me I'm betting against Tom and his betting mates here, uhoh.

The first band up is the read speed of my ancient CD-Rom from 2001 I wouldn't be surprised I still have in the house, somewhere, lead by Damien at first glance but is actually Darien. He professes his love for his mates, who also don't have very Englis...*cough*Liger names. No Bob's and Bill's there.

The other guy started playing on the guitar, and Darien started dancing really oddly. He started singing, really badly.

Yep knew it, Party Crashers clearly had the most effort put into their names.

Some Voyager crewmembers were also enjoying it, and they were dancing.

Hey, only Lena and Annika are allowed to get drunk before Tom. I DEMAND DRUNK TOM

First though, it's Kiara's turn to try and one up her mum............

"I don't see why you get to sing all the time," Naomi whispered.

"I can sing better than you," Kiara said.

"No you can't!" Naomi yelled.

Bryan looked uneasy, everyone in the audience were watching them.

You didn't really think I meant with singing, did you? HA! Enjoy the forced drama, or possibly sabotage

"That's it, I'm going to join a band that'll let me do something instead of standing around looking pretty," Naomi said.

"You can't even do that," Kiara said.

"You cow!" Naomi screeched and she stormed off the stage.

And there you go, further proof that everytime Lena did something that would tarnish her OMGSOAWESOME better than Seven reputation, I (un)consciously sabotaged another character, usually the one on the receiving end of Lena's bitchiness, to either say "see, deserved" or even the playing field. Usually it's James on the receiving end of this, and since this is Kiara I'm a lot less pleased about it this time

"Pulse will perform last, after Virus," he said.

"What the hell for?" Kiara asked angrily.

Um, one of the band members pretty much quit on stage and they're still letting them take part? Ligers sure are desperate for some new music. Though with Virus and Pulse, they're still not gonna get it

"Now, lets welcome The Party Crashers!" the announcer guy yelled.

Quite a lot of the audience left for a 'toilet break' as soon as the band started singing.

OMG WHUT, I'm so going to lose my own bet

The song Roses Are Red started playing. After Lena sang her first part, the machines at the side of the stage started blowing rose petals onto the stage.

And there it is folks. The reason why Bittersweet isn't "good" in spite of the band stuff, but it's "good" because the band scenes aren't half bad and since it's an actual band episode, not a filler scene, that's an absolute must. I mean sure there's still needless detail about who stands where and Lena's hair colour, and there's still some inappropriate lyrics thrown in later (I think!), but I'm not quoting every line of the song and there's details that make the performances readable.

Usually I quickly scan the lyrics or even skip band scenes all together, but Bittersweet I like reading them. Lets continue.

Lena sang the first verse as she wandered around the front of the stage, singing into her microphone Craig went up to the front of the stage, which caused a few Liger girls to scream, not in fear either. Voyager crewmembers looked oddly at them.

Hahahahahahaha.........ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhsnap

That's a sick burn, how mean

but I'm laughing

What's next, people throwing up at the sight of James and not because they're s$$$$ themselves in off screen fear?

The chorus ended, and the main music came on. The band just started catching all of the rose petals that were blown at them, and they threw them at the audience.

I never said the descriptions were perfect

Just A Little Bit More: 1

Interesting thing to do between the chorus and second verse. How many people were KO'd by the few rose petals James tossed "off screen", I wonder. That boy is a walking hazard

Jessie went up to the front of the stage and she started singing her verse. After she sang the 'show me with a kiss' bit, James came up to her, and he kissed her on the cheek,

Woah nelly, some unexpected PDA. Forget the crowd, Jessie's been KO'd. I'm surprised the next lyrics out of her mouth weren't "he's drunk and love spelled, didn't happen pervs!"

Tom's in the audience too. Lets hope he's too DRUNK TOM WOOHOO to care

The Liger girls did the same to him, as they did to Craig. He then started singing his part of the verse.

Lol unlike Craig, James doesn't react to women screaming lustfully at him. He's used to this s$$$ now. It's a pointless little detail to mention tbh. You may as well describe him brushing his teeth or going to the crapper.... STEADY ON LADIES

"Yeah, but they have a dancey song. Why don't we do a dancey song?" Bryan asked.

"Lena knows our style, if we suddenly change it she'll think that I'm copying off her," Kiara replied.

Whut? Oh Kiara, Lena didn't invent pop music, she's not really Aqua. Do whatever music you think you're good at. But then again, it's a little late to change the song now

"Wow, that was sure different wasn't it folks. Well now we have our final band, Pulse!" the announcer yelled. Virus left the stage as Pulse came on.

Wait, have I missed the probably only good Liger band LG?

Oh s$$$ I did. Way back, just before Naomi and Kiara had a random fight on stage:

After LG performed really well, Pulse were up next.

pfft, 52x and even Party Crashers got some detail on them sucking. LG though, literally blinked and missed their 1337 awesomeness.

The song Turn Back Time started playing. Kiara started singing the first verse as she slowly made her way around the stage. Some of the Ligers looked a little surprised at the change of music. The Voyager crewmembers started swaying their arms back and forth to the music. The Ligers soon copied.

Ligers listen to same old s$$$ confirmed. Two different bands do pop music from the same band, only one is a slower tempo and IT BLOWS THEIR FREAKING MINDS

I do like that the Voyager crew seem to be helping by telling the poor ickle Liger sheep what to do when a complicated ballad comes on.

More paragraphs as the very talkative (so probably me) host recaps the contestants before the votes start, and the people rush to poll houses to cast their important ballot and pop em in the box. No I'm not entirely kidding...

Everyone wasted no time voting in the temporary cubicles.

The Ligers, so much more advanced than Humans but are still Human everyone! Votes for their favourite pop idol in a reality show via a folded piece of paper in a box.

Though half n hour the results are announced. That's some quick counting, maybe the Ligers are smart after all *snicker*

The results are ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING

5th: The Party Crashers
4th: 52x
3rd: Pulse
2nd: LG
1st: Virus

Apart from guessing which of the Ligers bands didn't suck and would be Virus' competition for the episode wrong, my bet was spot on. Where's my 50p!?

Most shocking is Lena is very dignified in victory

"I beat ya Kiara, neer neer," she said towards offstage. Kiara just sulked.

What? I'm not joking, that is dignified for her

Just A Little Bit More: 2

"Lena, do I have to remind you of your age again?" Craig asked.

"Nah," Lena said.

PFFTLOL

"Ok, the winners will perform a different song. Take it away guys!" the announcer yelled. He ran off the stage. Lena quickly ran off stage, and she came back in with a CD Player.

FIX FIX FIX

Look at that, how blatant can you get!

Though I'm confused. They're at a reality show with a stage, and I assume a live band or the studio plays the instrumentals for them. Why the hell is Lena lugging a probably tiny CD player around and just for this song, and not Roses Are Red? See, the band stuff can still suck!

And don't tell me the point of that was to show Lena didn't expect to win and so was unprepared. BAH. Lena thinks she's the bees knees of the pop and music world. Believe me, she was prepared.

Nah, that annoyed me. It's gone. Look at it again, the red text can be deleted and you'd lose literally nothing, and I don't like to use the word literally so sparingly.

"Ok, the winners will perform a different song. Take it away guys!" the announcer yelled. He ran off the stage. Lena quickly ran off stage, and she came back in with a CD Player. She switched it on, and she put the track called Didn't I Instrumental on.

The song Didn't I started. The band stood in formation as they sang the beginning of the song.

Gee, is the song Didn't I?

I'm curious as to why I chose this song. Don't get me wrong, I like it but I always accused it of being Roses Are Red Mark 2, and Roses was the song Virus did. Aqua's versatile enough to use another song and no dumbass Liger would know it's stolen from the same group. Pulse's performance is proof enough. I know Halloween is brought up later, but that still leaves plenty of other tracks I liked (which was most, only ok'd a couple) like Freaky Friday or Lollipop.

Which reminds me, where's the Steps action??????????? Too Weak To Resist and the titular song is it, isn't it? sigh, I guess 1/2 goodies ain't bad in a band episode.

ANYWAY because of Virus' totally shocking victory, they and second placers have been invited to perform on RTV Live (yes I know, it wasn't worth commentating on sigh). So of course it's time for Virus to steal another Aqua classic

"Hello, and welcome to RTV. Tonight this year's Rockstars winners will be performing, plus we'll be able to see a newcomer bands' video called Doctor Jones, and we'll repeat last Friday's top ten! But right now, it's newcomers... Virus!" the announcer said.

ok, two Aqua classics.

And before I can recover, I am forced to eat my earlier words about Bittersweet changing the band formula for the only band episode, and so the band episode is shockingly half decent instead of World Domination-esque terrible.

"My oh my do you wanna say goodbye. To have their kingdom baby, tell me why. My oh my do you wanna say goodbye. To rule a country baby, you and I. If you are my king," Lena sang, while still in the circle.

sigh

the only other detail is their video for this song is playing on the screen behind them. Without reading ahead I'll "guess" what the video is like. Lena and/or Jessie is kidnapped by James and Craig looking pirates, only they're terrible she/they break out immediately, Lena kicks their asses and becomes their pirate leader. They hunt treasure, find it as well as Craig's long lost daddy, who is really just him in old makeup and wigs. James and Jessie break their denial programming for the band since someone has to almost kiss at the end, and Lena aint doing that s$$$.

Okay. back to the performancezzzzzzzzz

The four went into a straight line, with their backs still to the audience. Suddenly they turned around as the main music started. They started doing a new dance routine to the chorus.

SUDDENLY, they faced the audience GASP

Wait a "new" routine? As opposed to what? Have Virus done My Oh My before in an episode I haven't read yet? Which again makes me wonder, when the hell am I getting Freaky Friday and how come it took sooooo long to do all time favourite Halloween, only for that thing to happen which hasn't yet and I should shut up?

Lena and James sang the first verse as they wandered around the stage. They joined the others just in time for the chorus. Suddenly the music started changing into Barbie Girl.

Ohno

I do hope they spruced up their I hate Seven lyrics.

The Voyager crewmembers laughed when they saw the girls come back to the main part of the stage. They had long blonde wigs on.

I'm amazed Jessie was okay with this

I'm more amazed Lena didn't dye her hair actually

Pfft this is lame, the boys are blonde, do the old switcheroo. That'd be more fun.

Jessie sang the first part of the Barbie Girl verse. "I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees," she sang as she knelt down near the front of the stage.

WHAT? I thought for a second that the reason we're doing the lyrics now was because Barbie Girl was parodied in Kiss of Death. But no, this is the original.

And even more annoying, where's Danny laughing her ass off in the audience?

James came up behind her and he started singing his part. While he did that Jessie took the wig off her head and she threw it into the audience. She stood back up while James still was quite close behind her.

Omg it's like pr0n *wafts face* that's hawt

I'm joking but this probably is quite risque, again, for the deny duo J/J to do on stage. They'll argue it's a stage persona, and tbh I'd buy it! Though on second read it's just James again. By the end of the episode he'll be grabbing her ass and proposing marriage during the encore of Too Weak To Resist.

The girls started to sing to the chorus. When the line ' you can brush my hair' was sung for the last time, Lena threw off her wig to reveal her bright glittery red hair. As soon as the song finished everyone cheered loudly.

Wait, she put the wig on during the performance. Nobody noticed the sparkles till now? pickpick

The announcer was still on the other stage as the camera came back to her. "And that remix is available on their debut single, My oh My/Barbie Girl. And now, we have a video of the same bands' second single Doctor Jones/An Apple A Day!" the announcer yelled.

Gawd, I've joked about Bittersweet's rapid Rihanna-esque single releases in my usual overexaggerating style, but sheesh. It's worse! They've only just released single 1 and they're advertising the second not even a minute later.

And Apple A Day paired with Dr J... oh... I see what you did there. groan.

Fifty minutes later:

We are pleased to announce Virus' fifth single; Chain Reaction/Bumble Bees.

Okay not seriously, but if they keep up the pace they'll be out of Aqua songs by the end of the day. And that's if we count post comeback material too, not in 2001 when there were only 2 albums. OH that's why Steps is used later

Also we're getting another performance from Virus, and we've also got a mini concert brought to us by the one and only Jailbreaker! Anyway, with their latest single... it's Virus!" the announcer said.

Hey, I remember the prize was to perform ONCE on this stupid show. But Virus have managed at least two, and a video (technically 2). Who is Craig threatening to sleep with?

Sexist Crap Count: 1

tuttutMarill

Not far behind her was the main stage. Virus started performing Roses Are Red.

Oh, you can't run out of Aqua songs if you repeat yourself

"Hey Harry, did you see the Doctor Jones vid?" Tom asked.

"Yeah, I liked it," Harry replied.

"You know I'm starting to think that I was right," Tom said.

That Marill had no idea that the song Dr Jones and its video was a parody of Indiana Jones, and continues to think Aqua invented everything.

Yeah you are

"Well in the My oh My video, James and Jessie nearly kissed. What happened in Doctor Jones?" Tom said.

OOOH OOOH MEE, I KNOW, SIR SIR, TEACH, LOOK AT ME, I KNOW

"Oh, right about you're theory of them being a couple," Harry said.

Tom is a theory? That's a sorta weird plot twist

but seriously, you guys sleep through their performances?

"I don't think so Tom, it's only a music video. If they were a couple they'd be more careful about stuff like that, either that or they'd actually show the kiss. There's no point in showing it if they haven't done it, if you know what I mean," Harry said.

Hmm torn. He raises a good point, sorta. I mean he's wrong but he's got me thinking. I mean obviously they, or really just James as far as I've seen, feels at ease being flirty on stage cos they can argue it's an act. I mean it works, it gets the crowd going and the Ligers can gossip/ship them. Also it could keep the screaming fangirls away from James if he's taken (I'd say what a clever boy but he should know better than that lol).

Although I like that it's just James, that Jessie hasn't done anything (the videos are only mentioned so *shrug*), it's still a bit of a kick in the teeth to their characterisation right now. They've put up with Tom like taunts for years and now they're/he's openly flirting for others entertainment. Fine, own it later when they're out and more comfortable... which isn't Bittersweet. Only a few scenes ago Jessie was screaming that she only slept with James when she was love spelled, so still a ways to go yet.

"Well I don't think it's our business whether they are going out or not," Harry said.

Respect points here, Harry. Nice.

"Yeah, you'd be right about that if they were normal crewmembers. But they're popstars now, their business is our business," Tom said.

And what about all the time they weren't popstars, ey Tom?

AND AGAIN, HAVE WE FORGOT WHY OH WHY? Shouldn't Tom still hate them, or at least feel less eager about them getting together, as since in his POV the last time it happened, Duncan happened. hmmmmmmmmmm?

Virus were in the Mess Hall. A couple of interview people walked away from them talking about some old rubbish.

lol

What constitutes rubbish in the eyes of 16 year old Marill? Talking about Lena's red hair, Kiara and Naomi randomly falling out for no reason, Tom gossiping about two people who tricked him into raising their son possibly dating? What millions of Aqua songs Virus are performing. Nope. Those reporters probably had the meaning of life pegged, which we'll never know cos it was deemed rubbish

"Well Lil said that music is the thing with the Ligers. They can't live without their music, I suppose popstars are just as important to them as something like alcohol is to us," Lena said.

o_0

I... suppose the Ligers and music bit is true. Kinda. The band crap wouldn't be in FV if I didn't mess about with the idea in KT, since I was incapable of listening to music without doing anything or thinking about stupid stuff (unfortunately that's still true). I didn't chuck it into the plans for the series though, it was sorta unmentioned and (not in the slightest) important world building.

As for the alcohol part, I'm getting worried about Lena again. I remember when the running gag drink was Cherry Coke. good times

"Don't you think we should put RTV on, they're showing the top twenty list soon, there's a small chance one of our singles are in that," James said.

lol small chance. OH YOU, you and your sarcasm

i hope

How many singles are in there, I wonder.

They released 21, so its quite tense right now as you can imagine.

PLOT TWIST, the TV in the Mess Hall is broken so fingernails start to be trimmed, its sooooooooooo stressful, what if they miss it?

"Somebody heard one of those really dodgy bands on it, and they threw a bottle at it," Lena replied.

"Oh, I can understand that," Craig said.

"I hope it wasn't us they thought was terrible," Jessie said.

Aaaw bless Jessie. Remember back in Season One when she thought she was this super awesome perfect specimen? Ancient history folks

Jessie's Sin Points: -1

"Yey, I fixed it," Neelix said.

"Gee, that's convenient. It's time for the Top twenty," James said

PHEW

AND SHHH YOU, that's a big word and I don't like it

Just in case you missed it

Neelix switched the TV on, and the Top Twenty just started.

The TV was fixed just in time for the Top Twenty to start. Aren't you glad FV is nice enough to repeat itself sometimes so you don't fall asleep and miss important information

"Number 14: Virus with My oh My/Barbie Girl," the TV person said.

Virus jumped up from their seats and they started screaming. They started hugging each other.

I bitched about it in VTV Live and I'll bitch here; stop with "Virus scratched their arse", "Pokéball picks their nose". It's annoying. It's even more annoying here than in VTV Live where I guess it's okay for the entire band to look where directed, but when it comes to screaming like teenage girls who've spotted Craig over scoring a number 14 hit on a music obsessed planet, I don't flipping buy it. Lena might do this, but I don't see Craig, James or Jessie doing it, or hugging each other. Maybe James would but he's unusually affectionate today.

And I stress, they charted at 14 with their first single despite their popularity. What's to celebrate?

"Wow, that's quite good for a single that's four weeks old," Lilly muttered

Have I missed something? SERIOUSLY

Bittersweet's been very particular about labelling scenes with times. They've only been here a day, at most.

Did they release My Oh My/Barbie Girl to Voyager four weeks ago? I'd say that was the only reasonable explanation but I'd be fricking lying. Why would that matter in the Ligers charts, its new to them.

I'm a tad tickled though that Lilly is the expert on the Liger's music scene. Yes she's Liger. And yes, no one wants to remember World Domination, or Dimension Jump for that matter. But the fact that Lilly skipped over 3/400 years of stasis by dimension hopping to Earth hasn't been retconned. She's pretty much missing at least 300 years of Liger history. Even in the reboot era that's still sorta canon. So yeah, this is so so dumb.

"That's a cover, it's an awful song. Jailbreaker aren't going to do very well with that new song," Lilly muttered.

"Number 12: Virus with Doctor Jones/An Apple A Day."

More screaming and hugging took place.

Hahaha, oh wow. The first single released today and performed on the popular show, that's at the same time four weeks old, is the lowest charted. The second released a few minutes later sold better.

It gets better

"Ohno, where's Roses Are Red? That's our most recent single," Lena said.

"It might of flunked straight to the top thirty's, unless it's in the top five," Lilly said.

Yep, you thought I was messing about? Virus have unleashed three singles onto the Liger charts. Not only that, they've had the audacity to have at least two of them as double a-sides. For all you young un's in the audience, when singles were in the format of cd's, tapes or those big honking vinyls (and no, they're not a new thing), double a-sides are two singles released at the same time. Usually there'd be a main one, which'd get the video (then there was Steps, who had Here & Now/You'll Be Sorry videos connected together). Knowing Virus they probably have a video for both. But anyway, the point is Virus have at least five songs in the Liger charts.

And they're surprised two of them have charted in the 20's, and yet worried about one of them not.

But we know it'll probably be number 1 for six months. This tension is for nothing

"No chance of that. It's a pop song, it won't be that popular," Jessie said.

"Number 4: Virus with Roses Are Red."

I was close. If Weak To Resist is number 1, I'm never doing one of these again.

And lol, Jessie is such a pessimist.

"Oh my god!" Lena yelled at the top of her voice. She went to hug the nearest to her which was Neelix.

See, Lena's the screaming hug machine. Stop pretending it was Virus doing all that s$$$

"Wow, that's a new record," Lilly said.

"What do you mean?" Craig asked.

"Well this is your first Top Twenty, you've got three singles in it

Nah, I'm going to have to skip this crap. It's stressing me out further, and I don't need no more stress, let me tell you. It's just more Virus ass kissing and Lena hugging people to death

"We have to beat Virus at their own game," Kiara said.

Bryan swallowed the food in his mouth. "But that means we'll have to get a single to Number Three first time, that's going to be impossible to do."

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Let me tell you what I remembered of Bittersweet's storyline. Band stuff. Lena being a bitch. The being a bitch backfires, BAD. Drama! James sings a cheater song for some reason instead of doing anything James like. Drama! Lena learns a lesson. Bittersweet, memories etc... The End.

Not this. I mean yeah sure, Lena being a bitch involves Kiara since the drama with her is the source of her bitterness and her need to prove herself, which she unfortunately chose the band for. I barely remember Kiara's band making a dent in this story, and I'm extremely sure has nothing to do with the DRAMA above and so has no effect on Lena's calming down. Kiara's involvement is only just starting.

meh. lets continue to see how much wrong I am

"Well you knew what I meant. I know you're only in this to beat your mother, but I'm in this to have some fun and that's it," Bryan said.

"Yeah right, you can have fun singing to yourself and doing a concert in your own bedroom. If you don't get serious about this I'm going solo," Kiara said.

"Ok, fine. I'll try. But can I say, rivaling with your mother isn't exactly what I call serious," Bryan said.

Ok fine, I begrudgingly must say something good about this. I didn't realise it was planned this early on, but here we are; Kiara feels inadequate next to her "superhero" mother, and the Captain and Commander grandparents, and does try too hard sometimes to prove she's as good as them. huzzah for character development that's not later forgotten/retconned

Two days skip over and Lena has some of the plot I mentioned related news, I hope

"Well, we've been invited to this big charity event thing. Only the most popular bands are asked to come to one of these things," Lena said.

yep things are going to happen

I've been wrong a lot before though

Anyway Jessie's worried, as she has been all episode and now I'm worried, especially when I think of what the episode has in store for her. this episode's so mean

"Do we have to perform, answer questions, go into an interview or photo shoot," Jessie asked.

"Oh right, as far as I know the Liger press goes to these things. I have a feeling that we're going to have a lot of questions thrown at us," Lena replied.

So, no performances. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"I don't know, but we'd better be prepared. Sometimes bands have to perform at these things," Lena replied.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

That was my own fault, raising my hopes stupidly

It's okay, they've been okay so far. Hopefully there is still only the one I remember that's pretty cringe.

There were about ten different bands inside already. There were about fifty other guests. A classical type band where playing on a corner stage.

Yes, Virus fit well here lawl

"Well that's the playing band. I doubt we'd look as graceful as they do," Lena said, and she laughed slightly.

Wow, yeah. That's actually pretty um... too self aware for Lena at this point in her story

"I don't think I'd want to, if you know what I mean," Craig said.

That you don't want to look as graceful as a classical music orchestra? Or you don't want Lena to? Eeew, I think

"So Lena, where did you get your invitation from, a Christmas Cracker?" Kiara asked.

"Damn you! That's what I was going to say!" Lena said angrily.

The battle of the ohsnaps between mum and daughter round 3 begins

You know, I can handle Kiara and Lena if it's more this and less being slapped with a menu and threats of violence via a Slayer

"Erm, girls this is a charity event. You shouldn't get into a fight," Craig said.

"Ok, I respect that," Lena said.

"You would, wouldn't you," Kiara muttered.

1) Craig as peacekeeper again. Kudos.

2) What is up with Lena in this scene? Is she trying to prove my memories of this episode wrong? Why is she being so god damn reasonable? It's going to make later scenes so jarring

3) I assume this is the sabotage to big up Lena routine again, why else is Kiara being the one to keep poking. Now that I think about it, Kiara's been awfully bitter since the Holodeck practice scenes, while Lena's being pretty happy with her band crap. Hmm.

"Uhoh, here comes the cavalry," James muttered. The rest of the band looked the way he was looking. Sure enough about six press people were heading over.

No paragraph no, I was promised the cavalry. If you say sure enough, I'd expect people riding horses to charge into this charity ball, likely to ask Lena for her autograph or something

"Ok guys, do you have any awful secrets?" Lena asked.

This'll end well.

"A few," Jessie replied.

"Same here," James said.

"I'm clean," Craig said.

If it wasn't true, I'd be complaining about James' "omg me too" as I always do......... good thing that counter's gone. I'm more amused with Craig's answer. Yes Craig, I'm sure the press wouldn't be able to make a story out of your makes notes on every girl PADD days, or the time you fancied an underage girl. Nah. You'll be fine.

"What are we suppose to do?" James asked.

"Just stand around and erm, look pretty or whatever," Lena replied.

"Pretty?" James said questioningly.

Ah "said questioningly", when I tired of using asked, replaced it completely with questioned and found that overused too, never considered using a mix of both, or any other word... but still used muttered every other line.

Back to the plot, and yes it's getting there I promise. Lena's plan is for Virus to get out of this charity ball scandal free, and she lets Craig do the talking with her, while James and Jessie stand silently. The girl's not too bright

Bittersweet's not the best example, but out of the four, who would you think would be best to carry a conversation with the nosey press. Though now that I write this, the press might be like Tom on acid, so maybe Lena's onto something with the silencing of James and Jessie. She might need to tie them up too.

and Bittersweet this time proves me right...

"Those two are being really quiet," reporter 1 said.

"Well we're more talkative than they are," Lena said.

"Well I have a question for the two of them," reporter 2 said.

Ohnoes, I wonder what it'll be

"We've heard everywhere that you two are a couple, is it true?" reporter 2 asked.

Jessie and James went bright red at the same time, they looked at each other nervously.

Damn it James. Next time keep your peck on the cheeks and standing closely in your pants.

"No, they're not," Lena said.

"Erm, I was asking them," reporter 2 said.

Gee, who saw this coming

"But what about those videos," reporter 2 said.

"Well erm," Jessie muttered, she looked at James.

HAHAHA I knew the music videos would be his fault too, I knew it. I bet the look she's giving him is the look of murder

"They were going out when the My oh My video was filmed. Doctor Jones was made to look like they were going to, but they didn't," Lena said.

OBJECTION: why?

And I mean that in more ways than one

Why lie about one song and not the other? Why if that were true, would you make an ex couple do that? Why would they agree to it? Why do you think this is a better answer than the truth or a flat out "no they aren't, they're acting" lie?

WHYYYYYYYYY

OHWHY

BITTERSWEET MEMORIES, THAT'S ALL I'LL...OK I'LL STOP

"Ok, Doctor Jones and a My oh My were just the near thing," Lena said.

???

"I've got a question for the whole band. What is your opinion of the other bands, you do have different styles to them," reporter 3 said.

*cracks knuckles*

here we go. I wanna see how much wrong I am with this

"Yeah, they're good. I hate to say it but their style of music isn't one of my favourites," Lena said.

Yep

"I like the Jailbreaker," Craig added.

Mmmhmm

"I heard that their songs are just covers," Jessie said.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Cancel the Interactions or whatever reboot. Bittersweet's coming home early

"What like ours are," Lena said.

"Yeah, and they've only had two singles released," Jessie said.

"That's nice," Lena muttered quietly.

"Don't, they've been around for three months, it doesn't matter that they've only got two singles," Lena said.

"I go for quality, not quantity myself. Quite a lot of people do," Craig said.

So, I was thinking. Maybe I should move on to my books. I should be getting to a point in the series where there's less wrong, some minor crap I can live with.

it is getting better.

"Yeah, a lot of people don't like Jailbreaker's new single," James said.

"I'd say what's your point but I shouldn't ask," Lena muttered.

hnnnngh

What was I saying, oh yeah. By the time I reach Season Three it might be okay, I can allow FV to rest as it is. I can move on at last. It should be fine.

"It seems that the two aren't quite as untalkative as you think," reporter 4 said.

"Sorry, we shouldn't of said anything," James said.

"So you should be," Lena muttered, and she looked at Jessie.

Nuh uh. Nope. I'm done.

Rebooting old FV episodes so I'm not as ashamed of them is a fine idea. It got me back into FV when I was stuck, but lets be fair; it'll never end. I thought Season Two wouldn't be as much of a job as Season One, but here I am, only into The Love Spell and I'm really rethinking everything.

I was wrong about Bittersweet and I was wrong with thinking Season Two would be a safe place to veer off to the novel side of things. Looking at this episode, I'm angry. So angry that I'm not even close.

Let me tell you in more detail what I thought Bittersweet was all about. If you're reading this re-read before the actual episode, I dunno what to tell you, other than SPOILERS and please tell me why a re-read is your first choice? If the answer is what I'm thinking; old FV really is that bad, this way is better, then I get it. So yeah anyway, I'll tell it in a certain way and you decide for yourself which is flipping better and/or makes more sense.

1) Bitter and angry after the revelation in True Q about Kiara and her entire memories being a lie, Lena throws herself into the band. Something not too complicated that she enjoys which really has no meaning to it other than fun. The competition allows her competitive side to escalate, the fame starts to get to her head.

During an interview with the press, the subject of other bands is brought up. Lena, as well as Craig, give their opinion fairly and harmlessly. Jessie points out the band Craig named also does covers, like them, but has 1 less single than they do. Despite repeated hints to shut up, Jessie continues to dig hypocritically. James chimes in negatively too. The press leak the interview, as per their job, and the Ligers aren't impressed at the dissing of their beloved group.

2) Bitter and angry after the revelation in True Q about Kiara and her entire memories being a lie, Lena throws herself into the band. Something not too complicated that she enjoys which really has no meaning to it other than fun. The competition allows her competitive side to escalate, the fame starts to get to her head.

During an interview with the press, the subject of other bands is brought up. Lena at first says one band isn't to her taste. Craig is positive and names a band he likes. Lena doubles down and is critical, blind off her own success. The group try to get her to stop, but she's on edge, and until now the group's been her comfort and now it's getting tense. The press leak the interview, as per their job, and the Ligers aren't impressed at the dissing of their beloved group.

Both versions then bring us to James and Jessie being confronted by an angry crowd. Music being so important some fans of the dissed group take the insult personally. The pair are chased and attacked. Grossly outnumbered James is badly hurt while Jessie goes missing.

I'll not mention the other parts of the story, cos *shudder* I'm mad enough. What basically follows (that I remember but god knows, I'm likely extremely wrong there too) is the attack brought things into perspective for Lena, but only after she lashes out at James who's still struggling with his injury, she realises she's f$$$$d up and starts to go on the mend and I believe reaches out to ex best friend Tani to rebuild the bridges she's lopped down over the season. Her relationship with Kiara is still strained but that's for another episode/many seasons.

Sooooooooo, which version of the above do you think fits with the opening paragraph, the paragraphs afterwards, as well as what you've mostly read (excluding the charity ball scene). Version 1 is clearly Bittersweet, I can't argue my way out of it, you saw it. While Version 2 is my deluded memory of it.

I'd be interested to know what anyone else thinks. I can imagine though that version 1 won't get a look in. It makes no %^$^*%( sense, while version 2 IMO does, which is probably why I thought Bittersweet was it. Completely forgetting that Bittersweet was stupid enough to use Too Weak To Resist as a sad "sorry I couldn't fight a mob off and stop you from getting beaten up/kidnapped" song. That should've been a clue that version 1 was the truth.

All throughout I was pointing out that Jessie was being pessimistic, and self deprecating. James has been a bit, lifeless apart from his on stage flirting... almost like he's distracted, I dunno can't describe it, he just feels extremely off. Though the scene is more about Jessie than him, so I can't explain version 1 away. I don't get why she of all four of the characters goes off on a tirade about this other band. It's like I knew she needed to get the s$$$ beaten out of her, and I figured she had to deserve it, even though the episode had been building up Lena as the passionate self absorbed band member who thinks Virus is the next coming of Jesus. Did Jessie do this instead of Lena to spare her from further damage to her rep?

No, I'm sure the Halloween scene happens as I remember??

Also, like me saying "oh look Jessie's putting herself/the band down again", I also pointed out Lena was being strangely calm and reasonable during the ball. Both contradict my memory of the press scene, but contradict each other. Both characters from these scenes wouldn't have ranted about the other band. Craig's been the peacekeeper all throughout so he wouldn't. James is left, but despite his big mouth sometimes, I just don't see it. He's usually intelligent and points out people saying dumb contradictory s$$$ like Jessie did.

The complaints about the other band came out of nowhere. It wasn't even the LG group from earlier either, another wrong thing, just some group called Jailbreaker? Sigh.

You might be thinking that I'm only mad cos my precious James and Jessie caused the drama that leads to their attack, that they deserved what happens to them. You're half right, I am mad but only cos this way around ruins what could've been an awesome character arc for Lena (which was being setup before this) and ruins the episode.

This is why I did the re-read, I had a funny feeling this is what happened. I shook it off thinking "nah, even 2001 me wasn't that stupid. It makes no sense, I remember Lena fighting with Kiara, I remember her screaming at James for daring to be hurt during Halloween rehearsal, I remember the Bittersweet finale with either Tani or Kiara. It makes no sense for it to be Jessie or James' doing, Lena's the one who's angry, who's competitive and who's identity is revolved around the band. Despite the attack involving them, it's not Jessie or James' episode, they don't do anything. It's Lena's episode." I still had the feeling in the back of my mind though, and now I know why. My feeling was flaming right :(

God damn I'm so mad. I'll be moving the rest of the review to part 2, which'll probably be done at the right time, after An Apple A Day's is done. Before I go, I'm scanning the rest to see if I was right or wrong about the other things I've mentioned. I'm not confident. I bet I'm wrong about Weak To Resist, it's likely worse than what I envisioned. I don't intend to go that far though.

I've set out what I wanted to do with this early re-read; prove if Bittersweet needed an urgent reboot. The answer is HELL YES. Bittersweet can be a great, maybe best episode of the season. If I was wrong about my feeling, it would've survived with a couple temporary edits. I would have let go the minor niggles I had with it, I've seen 100x worse. Not this though, it ruins the whole feel of the episode. Fortunately though, Reboot Bittersweet has its plot laid out and ready to go.

Before I move on, my scan of the rest of the episode reveals another massive I'm wrong moment. Jessie and James are both merely injured and found, James is in a worse state than her (another wrong), after either Tuvok or Chakotay reveals the good news of Pulse releasing a single. Yeah, that's more important than two crewmembers being beaten by a mob. F$$$ my life. Jessie goes missing for no reason later, and I'm absolutely done with this version of Bittersweet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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