Watch Hell on Wheels – Immortal Mathematics Online S01E02

Immortal Mathematics

Hell on Wheels - Immortal MathematicsChristopher Heyerdahl makes his first appearance as the Swede in Hell on Wheels 1×02, “Immoral Mathematics,” which airs tonight at 10 pm on AMC. He’s been getting great reviews for the show (see here), so see the episode if you get a chance. Here is another one, from The Boston Globe: Indeed, once a character known as the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) shows up in episode 2, with his silent-picture expressiveness and the kind of threatening presence usually found in Coen Brothers movies, I was fully invested in the show and looking forward to seeing the rest of the 10-episode season. The Swede is just the kind of twisted psycho creep you want to watch closely, the showiest bad guy in the “Hell on Wheels’’ stampede of antiheroes led by financier, swindler, and railroad builder Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney).

Set in the 1860s at the beginning of reconstruction, the series follows Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier, who is determined to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who murdered his wife.
His quest for vengeanace sends him westward to Nebraska’s “Hell on Wheels,” the lawless towns that move with the construction of the transcontinental railroad. However, things get complicated when a Cheyenne tribe attacks the construction of the railroad, determined to destroy the project because it is being built through their lands.

We’ve got two versions of Hell on Wheels here: there’s the version that’s interesting and cool and the version that wants to be cool and isn’t. “Immoral Mathematics” is caught in between.

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Watch Merlin – The Secret Sharer Online S04E07

The Secret Sharer

Merlin - The Secret SharerReturning to Camelot, Agravaine once again seeks to bend Arthur’s ear and questions Gaius’s loyalty. He reminds Arthur that the old physician was once involved in the dark arts, adding, “Somebody is plotting against you and it is my duty to investigate every possibility!”

Meanwhile, Morgana pays a visit to the warrior priest Alator – he agrees to abduct Gaius in exchange for a special healing bracelet, forged on the Isle of the Blessed. Agravaine’s plot gathers pace as Gaius is brought before the King…

It was a rather straightforward episode, but this is often the way with a show like Merlin. Simplicity is often for the best because plotting has never been the show’s strong suit, so uncomplicated stories can be bolstered by good performances and character moments. I’m really enjoying slimy Agravaine (Nathaniel Parker) this series, and seeing him interrogate Gaius about his feelings towards sorcery, as a means to have Arthur doubt his physician’s lifelong loyalty, was a terrific moment. Richard Wilson gets increasingly little to do (no doubt partly because of his age), and I’m still rarely interested in Gaius as a character, but occasionally he gets an episode that uses him quite well… and this was one.

Back at Camelot, Agravaine is superb as the slightly ineffectual but still sinister bully. It feels like more could be done with Agravaine’s questioning of Gaius about his knowledge of sorcery – the McCarthy-style witchhunt tactics are chilling and hark back to the era of persecution we know Uther instituted – and it would be nice to see more of Gaius being quizzed (even if Richard Wilson seems capable of just one expression). The direction here is wonderful; as Agravaine walks out Arthur is alone at the head of the table, emphasising how he’s being isolated from his friends.

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Watch Boss – Slip Online S01E04

Slip

Boss - SlipBOSS Season 1 Episode 4 – There were few long monologues this week though the language was no less force-poetic, and Kelsey Grammar did a much better job of chewing the scenery, but this episode felt like two different shows clashing against each other. One show is the exploration of power and corruption and the underground politics which mar a city as culturally diverse as Chicago. The other is a show about a man with an illness who wants to repair his relationship with his daughter and finish off a legacy before his illness renders him totally incompetent.

Issues between his wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen) and her business partner organization, Scientia, arise as a result of Kane’s past cronyism with Frank Kohler (Christian Stolte) and the symptoms of the disease he suffers manifest. Kane’s choice to support for Governor, State Tresurer Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner), faces hostility as he campaigns in southern Illinois and Governor McCall Cullen’s (Francis Guinan) tries to interfere by instilling doubts about Kane’s motivations for supporting him. Chicago Sentinel reporter Sam Miller (Troy Garity) continues to dig dirt on Kane. As these events unfold, the list of people that could blindside Kane grows just as he’s reminded how the documentation of events could have beneficial and damaging repercussions.

In “Swallow”, things took an almost Cinemax-like turn, with the sex, nudity and monologues at a series high. This week, things seem to settle down as our main character begin to realize that the walls are either already crumbling down around them, our will no doubt begin to do so in the near future.

Fast-forward to Kane’s office, where he begins to set up a computer and webcam in order to monitor what he’s doing and saying, as he continues to have lapses. As it turns out it comes in handy pretty quickly, as Kane accidentally promises a contract for delivering meals to schoolchildren to the wrong person. This is rendered worse by the fact that the other company involved, Scientia, is a client of his wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen), who wastes no time chewing Kane out for his mistake, not to mention for throwing the former mayor and her father under the bus for a whole toxic water deal (more on that later), conveniently while Kane wears one of his father-in-law’s ties.

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Watch Sanctuary – Homecoming Online S04E06

Homecoming

Sanctuary - HomecomingWill is in Monrovia to help the local Sanctuary financially. However, Will’s plan is complicated by the local unrest due to the upcoming elections. While walking in the street, Will is momentarily distracted by motorists in need. He is hit in the head and knocked out. He loses consciousness as his attackers rob him. When Will regains consciousness, his eyes are red. He can’t see. The leader of the local Sanctuary helps Will and takes Will to his cousin’s home.

Back at the Sanctuary, Henry and Bigfoot debate what a good gift would be to give Will. Will’s birthday is a couple of days away. An alarm interrupts their debate. Helen, Henry, and Bigfoot go to the roof, ready to defend the Sanctuary from intruders. Are they under attack? No. Two flying Abnormals land. Helen recognizes them. Bruno and Shelia have made an unannounced visit. Bruno apologizes for not calling first, but insists his actions are warranted because Sheila is injured. Helen welcomes the bickering pair to the Sanctuary.

Can we call this the schizophrenic episode?

Let’s start with the “B” story first –
We’ve got Will being mugged & knocked out, then we discover that because of the trauma, he’s temporary blinded and has to lie still on a bed. This allows him to bring back memories of his estrangement with his father following the death of his mother.

It’s actually a sweet & touching story (if a bit boring since it’s Will we’re talking about). But when you pair a sweet, touching (and boring) Will & Daddy story with the wonderfully funny, witty, and sarcastic Helen/Henry/Birds story… Will/Daddy is going to feel really out of place.

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Watch Chuck – Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips Online S05E03

Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips

Chuck - Chuck Versus the Frosted Tips Online S05E03Remember last week when I said “Chuck vs. the Frosted Tips” was going to bring you back on board with one hell of a great episode? Did I lie? No, I did not. What last week lacked in memorable moments with the Spy More crew this week more than made up for. An obnoxious and cocky Morgan Grimes has signed on with Gertrude Verbanski, taking the intersect and the flash drive with the mission details with him. Casey, fighting feelings of interest in his nemesis Gertrude, and Chuck, fighting feelings of betrayal from Morgan, vow to get the mission information back by infiltrating Verbanski Corporation’s futuristic headquarters. Sarah tags along, constantly reminding the others that “this isn’t Morgan. Morgan needs help.”

Despite everything else that goes on in “Frosted Tips”; Awesome being at home with the baby, Casey stalking Gertrude, and Jeff sleeping in his van; the emotional core was the lifelong friendship between Morgan and Chuck. They’ve been together for so long and we’ve watched them be the best of friends since day one. Because they work so well together it became all the more painful to watch Morgan devolve into Intersect Morgan. Every trace of the little bearded man we’ve been endeared to is almost completely erased by the Intersect, and it was a no brainer Chuck had to remind him of their shared past. Speaking of that shared past, Morgan apparently could grow a full mustache in seventh grade. Kudos Morgan. I still can’t grow a full mustache.

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Watch Supernatural – Time for a Wedding Online S07E08 2011

Time for a Wedding

Supernatural - Time for a Wedding“Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” In this episode, the boys are in the midst of a little R&R when something goes very, very wrong. Dean is enjoying Vegas Week at a strip club (if you call worrying about your brother “enjoying”) when he gets an urgent text from Sam and is ordered to show up in his Fed suit.

But it’s not a monster that awaits Dean when he gets there…oh wait, scratch that, it’s TOTALLY a monster. Creepily annoying Becky has gone from pesky and over- zealous fangirl to downright scary as she gives Sam a love potion and makes him marry her. Dean of course assumes that something is wrong but (drugged) Sam just gets mad and when a case comes up, works it with his new wife. This leaves Dean with a new partner for the week, a scrawny guy named Garth (played awesomely by the wonderful DJ Qualls).

Dean’s main problem, coaxed out of him by the waitress (stripper?), is actually pretty great. His brother is batshit nuts, but the shit’s not hitting the fan. He’s all reasonable and stuff, though he’s worried about Sam being out camping by himself. She says “we all need to face ourselves sometime,” not referring to Sam, and when we get to the end of the episode, that idea is revisited. Nice circle there. But I’ll come back to that.

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Watch Grimm – Beeware Online S01E03

Beeware

Grimm - Beeware
What brings me to Grimm? I’ve been impressed by the depth of storytelling that makes this more than a supernatural monster of the week series. I was expecting weird and creepy, and it’s certainly that. I was expecting a “Law and Order” kind of component, and it’s got that, too.  Merging these two components is still a work in progress for Grimm, although after three episodes they are making progress in establishing these two very different worlds. I had placed this series firmly in the “dark but amusing entertainment” category, and so far it’s held up well.After “BeeWare,” I have a sneaking suspicion I may have underestimated this series.  This dark “Criminal Minds meets fairy tale” premise may actually be a disguise for something far more devious: a show that makes you think.

A pretty young woman gets on a bus. A flashmob erupts, dancing to “YMCA” of all things. The mob gets off at the next stop… and the woman is dead. She appears to have died from severe anaphylaxis: her head is grotesquely swollen and eyes bulgy. Coroner confirms the death, but it is definitely a homicide. There is an enormous puncture wound behind her ear, and she has at least 50mg of apitoxin (bee venom) in her system. A typical bee sting carries less than .1mg.

Nick (David Giuntoli) had to make a decision about whether he was a Grimm first, or a police officer first, in life. He decided to go with what was safe, and he made what was obviously not the best decision in killing off the person trying to help save his life. Oopsies. Evil Adalind was saved, and not without a smirk, either!

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Watch Greys Anatomy – Dark Was the Night Online S08E09 2011

Dark Was the Night

Greys Anatomy - Dark Was the Night We begin with Teddy and Henry, who you’ll remember is coughing up blood. Teddy’s ushered him to the hospital, and the doctors buzz about trying to treat him as Teddy sobs. When Webber arrives, he decides they have to go up to CT, despite Teddy’s suggestions. But she agrees that Webber knows best, and asks to accompany him to the scan.

Elsewhere, a boy’s about to come in with half his face torn off by a dog (we get a shot of that later in the OR, and it’s not a pretty sight). But that’s not all – a baby born at a nearby tiny hospital is having trouble breathing, and she needs to be picked up.

The Teddy/Henry story turned out to be especially gripping, not simply because Henry’s life is on the line, but also due to the rather unusual circumstances under which his surgery has to be performed – with Cristina unknowingly holding the reigns. Predictably, this transforms Teddy into a big ball of nerves, but a surgical slip up on Avery’s part offers her a significant distraction through the majority of her husband’s surgery, which turns out to be a lot more severe than everyone originally thought.

After several weeks of waiting, Meredith and Derek finally get word about Zola, and sadly, it looks like the results are not in their favor. However, this story line is completely overshadowed by all the heartbreaking events that lead to more than one surprising death. It’s a tear-jerking, emotional roller coaster of an episode that left me at the edge of my seat. Were you along for the ride? Let’s break it down!
Season 8 of Grey’s Anatomy has been consistent in delivering their standard, solid episodes thus far, but there hasn’t necessarily been that massive drama that never fails to suck you right back into your ‘I heart Grey’s’ t-shirt. As promised, this episode more than delivered – and they weren’t kidding about the need for tissues.

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Watch Big Bang Theory – The Ornithophobia Diffusion Online S05E09

The Ornithophobia Diffusion

Big Bang Theory - The Ornithophobia DiffusionEpisodes like “The Ornithophobia Diffusion” feel like tests. In the case of this week’s episode, the writers are testing the boundaries of how antagonistic Penny and Leonard can be with each other and how nonsensical, illogical, and silly Sheldon can be. If you usually like these things, then the episode was probably fine. If not, the episode is painful. Their non-date was comedic gold because the little things they secretly did while dating came out and were discussed. the biggest of which was Leonard’s submissiveness to Penny. He would do whatever she wanted in order to make sure he got sex.

When you think about The Big Bang Theory, you rarely think of romance – especially when you think of the socially awkward Sheldon. But in reality, this comedy formed around Leonard’s (hilarious) romantic pursuit of Penny. Although they currently reside in the friend zone, I often wonder whether this is a Ross and Rachel scenario, together in the end, or a situation like Ted and Robbin, better off as friends. This episode gave some more incite into what could happen with the beauty and the geek.

It’s a Friday night and Leonard plans on spending date night watching Star Wars with Sheldon. Hot stuff, right? Penny refuses to let Leonard spend the evening watching this movie for the millionth time, and asks him to come to the movie with her . . . as friends. A plan that always works out well. Leonard happily accepts after seeing Sheldon obsessing over a bird on their balcony. O, did I forget to mention that in addition to all his other adorkable qualities Sheldon is scared of birds. Looks like Sheldon will spend the night scaring away a bird: comedy gold!

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Watch Criminal Minds – There’s No Place Like Home Online [S07E07] Megavideo

There’s No Place Like Home

There's No Place Like HomeOn Wednesday night’s Criminal Minds (“There’s No Place Like Home”), the BAU was called to Kansas where the dismembered bodies of two troubled boys were found after tornados touched down.

JJ struggled with the decision of staying home with her son, Henry, who happened to be ill, or joining her team in Kansas. Ultimately she went to work, a decision she came to regret when her son had seizures and she could not get a flight home due to the weather. She has officially become the second member of this team who has come to sacrifice her home and family life for her job.

Rossi’s shows up for the case and thanks Hotch for the team’s donation for ALS. Garcia gives them a quick rundown of the case: two victims, with COD blunt force trauma to the head. Both have limbs missing, but it’s uncertain yet if that’s the unsub or the storm. They’re in rough weather, and the unsub’s excited to hear an alert issued.

Reid’s uncanny knowledge of storm facts was an invaluable tool, as were Garcia’s research skills, thanks to her “binary machines that don’t say gross things.” After a lull last week, she was on fire with the one-liners this time. Her “jazz hands at the ready” was classic Garcia, as was the disclaimer that folks shouldn’t let her PG initials be misleading. They really do write her dialogue well. At least Morgan has started warning Garcia when she’s on speaker, even though that’s half the fun.

My favourite moment of the episode was when the BAU was on the plane going to Kansas and they hit a patch of turbulence, at which point Reid noticed that Rossi was uncomfortable. Being his wonderful self, Reid attempted to comfort Rossi by telling him that turbulence rarely ever causes plane crashes, but then proposed an alternate and much more likely way the plane could go down.

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