I have a metric fuckton to say about the LF/Sansa scenes.
Skipping LF's capacity to teleport (why bother? It doesn't seem to bother any critics, so why should it bother me? Anyone can get anywhere in any amount of time now, because that's good storytelling) we start with Sansa explaining to LF how she suffered at the hands of Ramsay. I was puzzled as to why we were doing this until I later realized that Ramsay wasn't in this episode, which might mean that some viewers forget how evil he is. Well avoided D and D! And despite the subject matter I found myself laughing incredible hard when Sansa said "You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family, and you gave me to other monsters who murdered my family." There it is in black and white. We've been saying it for over a year and now the characters are finally realizing it. But you don't get any points back from your stupid plot last year by pointing out how stupid it was this year.
Interestingly, and in keeping with how the show has been trying to push the "girl power" narrative, Sansa's attitude in this scene moves away from the "hardened woman making a choice" comments made by the writers last year and dumps blame squarely on LF's head. I'm not trying to victim blame, but I will say that Sansa did go to Winterfell at LF's instruction. The abuse was no ones fault but Ramsays - but Sansa still passively accepted the plan outlined in s5 ep3 by LF and now mocked here by Sansa. Pointing out how stupid it all was after the fact makes her at best an idiot and at worst a hypocrite. One of the main reasons why I always scoffed at those critics using historical context to make sense of Sansa's marriage or say that it started a "debate" about sexual violence is that Sansa went to marry her enemies voluntarily thanks to a half baked and nonsensical effort to get revenge; a decision which no sane person in the history of woman kind has ever made. So how useful is it in discussing anything if it has no bearing in reality? For the creators to try and step back from what they presented last year is cowardly in the extreme.
LF explains that the vale Lords have occupied Moat Cailen, a piece of exposition so ridiculous it takes my breath away. In order for this to make sense, one of these must be true:
1. Ramsay was not defending Moat Cailen, the fortress which guards the entrance to his realm, in spite of the fact that he is an enemy of the state now and has just executed a member of house Frey - geographically the closet neighbor he has. This indicates gross incompetence.
2. Ramsay allowed a foreign army to occupy his own territory based on the dodgy alliance his father (who he has subsequently murdered) made with LF, the shiftiest man in the seven kingdoms who gave them Sansa stark out of the kindness of his heart and who has now mustered an army to help Ramsay without even being asked. This indicates a child-like gullibility.
3. The Vale Knights have outright conquered a northern castle without repercussions and in astonishing little time. This indicates that the Castle fell without the need for ladders, rams or siege towers - perhaps LF teleported them inside.
But Sansa is having none of it. She is pissed at LF (who can blame her) and wants nothing more to do with him... or the massive army that is already encamped on foreign soil for her. This raises two more points.
1. Sansa is refusing the aid of the Vale because she dislikes LF, which is an emotional response worthy of her season 1 self.
2. Sansa (and the show itself) is assuming without evidence that LF and the Vale Knights are synonymous; a single political entity. Instead of rounding up the Northern lords, Sansa should instead make her case directly to Robin Arryn and Lord Royce, with the knowledge that LF is Lysa Arryn's killer as her ace in the hole. She is a blood relative of Robin and has been treated very well by Royce. These two make for natural allies against both the boltons and LF if she so chose. The show will inevitably team LF up with Sansa again, but separating him from Robin will never be considered in the show because we need the Vale Knights to save the day at the last minute and not a moment before. Apparently D and D are fans of Return of the King.
Once again, LF need only flash sansa a cheeky hint of his quasi irish accent and she's powerless before his machinations. We've had three episodes of happiness from Jon and Sansa, but because LF points out "heeeesssshhhh yer hurf breeeettthhhheeerrr" she starts lying to him and politically posturing. Consistency, thy name is GOT.
And the nail in the coffin; LF announces that Blackfish has taken Riverrun. Sansa seizes on the idea that a man surrounded by enemies on all sides is the perfect bloke to start sending her troops, but this idiocy isn't the hateful part. The worst part is that immediately after a conversation in which Sansa repudiates LF, says she hates and doesn't trust him, she starts acting upon unverified information that only he has told her. It was probably just a cheap way to get exposition across, but the show ignored the internal consistency of a single scene! How can anyone applaud the show when the characterization is sacrificed in an instant for the convieniance of the plot?
But who am I kidding? Sansa is a walking plot convenience, devoid of personality or character beyond experiencing misery. The first episode needed Theon to look brave, so Sansa was made afraid of icy water. The third episode needed Jon pushed out of his funk, so Sansa became a badass determined to get him back in the ring. The fifth episode needed LF to be chewed out but not actually effected politically, so Sansa shouts at him, then leaves him alone until ep 9 or whenever he returns with the Vale Knights et al. Whatever role the episode needs Sansa to play, she can play it, be it spoilt child, sex abuse victim or political schemer. But even I admit how rare it is to see her being all three in the same episode.
Just call me "The Dead Sea" because I'm salty as fuck.