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Starting with our second Snark Week, I’ve picked a shitty frock flick to recap, because I love sharing the blow-by-blows with you. This year, I asked you to choose what film/series I should recap, and the clear winner was North & South: Book II (1986), the sequel to the be-mulletted and peach-acetate-satin-ified Civil War epic North & South (1985).
In series one, which I recapped a few Snark Weeks ago, we established many of our key characters as the story wended its way to the outbreak of the Civil War. This time, war has broken out! And in case you care, note that I refuse to recap any of the war/battle shit.
Here’s a reminder of our key characters:
The Southern Clan
The Northern Clan
Let’s get to it!
Southern Blonde is trying to find her Northern soldier husband Billy in Washington, D.C. Northern troops are mean to her because she is a Southerner. All the “military encampment” scenes are basically lots of oom-pa-pa music.
Southern Blonde finds her husband, Billy, who has been recast from the previous season, which always upsets me. He’s been assigned to a group of sharp shooters, and she’s upset.
We’re only 10 minutes in and I’m cackling because of this back shot of Tits Out and Southern Mom:
Up north, the Northern Clan is throwing an evening party for George’s farewell as he’s off to war too. He’s uncomfortable with all the praise, given he hasn’t actually done anything yet.
George’s brother, Number One (Jonathan Frakes), continues to want to take control of the family business. His schemey wife, Plastic Cameo, has also been recast; she’s even more hilarious now. She continues to whisper schemey things in his ear about getting what he’s due etc.
Tits Out has run away from her abusive husband, David Carradine, who is seething about it. In the meantime, he’s put in charge of a local militia/troop/whatever and is mean to them.
Both Patrick Swazye and George Hazard are somehow KEY to their sides’ political leadership, and are called on by Jefferson Davis/Abraham Lincoln to participate in important conversations.
Southern clan’s Cousin
Billy CHARLES [sorry, I keep confusing names!] (who annoys me, he’s a galump and reminds me too much of Andrew Shue of Melrose Place) is out soldier-ing. He meets a woman dressed as a man and shooting it out with Northern troops, who I shall call Spunky Filly. She’s played by Kate McNeil of As the World Turns. They engage in a ridiculous shooting match where the Northernerns run away for no reason. It turns out Spunky Filly is smuggling medicine to Southern troops, although she doesn’t SUPPORT secession. Billy CHARLES escorts her home, where he discovers she’s a widow and waggles his eyebrows at her. He also declares that he’s not in support of SLAVERY, of course not, he just feels he must fight for “the Southern way of life.” Which, is slavery.
Virgilia wants to become a nurse, because “apparently that’s the only way a woman can participate in the war” — I guess this is the first she’s hearing of patriarchy? The nurses don’t want her because They Know about Her Past. Virgilia is convinced it’s because she was married to a Black man.
The Northern boys (George and younger brother Billy) are having a fancy farewell dinner with their wives (Northern Blonde and Southern Blonde). At the same restaurant, Virgilia is having dinner with her Senator? friend in order to ask him to intervene in her nursing exclusion, while he clearly wants to get lecherous.
Slutty Brunette hauls her Secessionist Husband to a party where various Confederate leaders are at, and is pushing him to ingratiate himself with them. He fails because of some principles, I’ve already forgotten. Villain Bent is there. He tries to get Secessionist Husband to join his get-rich-quick scheme to get ships through the blockade of Southern ports. Secessionist Husband says no way, but Slutty Brunette is on board.
Back at the Southern plantation, Tits Out is bonding with Southern Mom. She confesses that she’s worried she’ll bring shame to the Southern Clan because she has partial African American ancestry. Southern Mom is totes cool, says she already knows.
David Carradine sets fire to some important outbuildings as a ruse to kidnap Tits Out, who he wants back. Southern Mom is wounded fighting the fire.
Slutty Brunette goes to Bent’s house to talk blockade running/money making schemes. She throws herself at him, then pulls back. Somehow Tits Out comes up in conversation, and Bent alludes to knowing about her mixed ethnicity.
Southern Blonde wants to get back to the South. She tells enslaved woman Semiramis that they will find a way!
George, his wife Northern Blonde, and a Northern general and HIS wife head out to see the first big battle of the Civil War. All kinds of locals are out watching, acting like this is Such Fun (although George and Northern Blonde KNOW that war is hell). Of course, the battle (which I refuse to recap) doesn’t go well, and everyone runs in terror.
Stay tuned for episode 2 tomorrow! Enjoy my suffering!