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Jax is getting a little too cocky and Clay is getting a little too comfortable. And that’s “Crucifixed” in a nutshell.
This was one of the show’s annual epic installments, running a full 90 minutes on FX including commercials. And while there was plenty of action, when all is said and done it still feels like we’re in a bit of a holding pattern, or maybe just setting the table for the season finale.
The most memorable event in “Crucifixed” was its namesake incident: Otto’s brutal murder-by-crucifix of poor Nurse Pam. And it’s possible that the fallout from those bloody few seconds will be one of the biggest turning points of the season. I think we can debate the wisdom of Tara sneaking in anything sharp for Otto to handle — no matter how much the two have bonded and no matter how vaguely connected the item is to LuAnn, this was a stupid move — but she did it, so the really important stuff will be what happens next.
Whether or not Tara winds up in jail as an accessory to murder, I’d like to believe that her thoughts about the club and Jax will never be quite the same. When Jax tries to reassure her — “We’re gonna get through this, like we do everything else” — Tara’s response is telling: “That’s what scares me the most.” After all the crazy crap she’s been through, it should.
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For the penultimate episode of “Family Guy” before next week’s benchmark 200th episode hour-long extravaganza MacFarlane and Co. coasted a bit, but it was still a mildly enjoyable show. In the cheekily-titled “The Old Man and the Big C,” Brain and Stewie stumble across what they think is a big secret: that Lois’ father, the insanely-monikered Mr. Pewterschmidt (is that an in-joke reference I’m not getting?) is dying of cancer. This turns out to be the half of it, as not only does he have cancer, but the cure as well, which Mr. P. has opted to keep to himself instead of sharing with the world at large.
Eventually, Lois catches wind of it and makes him promise to reveal it to the world, but he ultimately doesn’t, coasting by on his rascally charm. Or, as Peter puts it: “He’ll just do a magazine cover with a wink to who he is and all will be forgiven.” Cut to: a magazine cover, with an impish Mr. P. and the headline “Oh, Carter, you Devil!” Cue the wah-wah tuba- which they actually did with a tuba at one point earlier, over on “The Cleveland Show.” Since “Family Guy” airs later than that, it would have been cute for this show to end with a call-back from that show, but whatevs.
Meanwhile, Quagmire got exposed as…having worn a toupee all this time. Amusingly, after he was found out, he stopped wearing it and immediately degenerated into a cross between the current “Get off my lawn!” incarnation of Clint Eastwood and a doddering old mental patient- oh wait, that might be the same thing.
Spending his time shouting at passers-by things like “Drive like Hell, you’ll get there!” the guys are more than a little worried about Mr. Giggety. Although, as Peter noted, “I guess all this time Quagmire should have been saying “Wiggety.” Wah-wah.
Say My Name (FKA Everybody Wins)
As “Breaking Bad” has chugged along this summer and Walt has had an answer to every new obstacle surrounding his business, it had started to seem like the show would go out with a whimper more than a bang at the end of these eight episodes. After “Say My Name,” that’s not an issue.
Matt makes the best damned meth in Albuquerque, and he has the purity rating and the cash flow projections to prove it. I know that I’m hard on Walt. He pushes my buttons like no other TV character (except maybe some of the reality competition egotards I’ve loved to hate). At this point, my desire to see Walt get his comeuppance is mostly about needing to see his monstrous ego get slapped down and only a tiny bit about wanting him to pay for all the bodies he’s dropped and all the souls he’s destroyed with his meth.
“Say My Name” was direct and in-your-face, matching the hubris of Heisenberg, rather than calculated and careful like that wimp Walter White. The episode had to be more brash not only to keep up with Walter’s bravado, but because Breaking Bad is feeling the crunch of an 8-episode mini-season, and that means a lot of the drawn-out subtlety was lost.
Mike left the game. He ditched his guns and got rid of his bugging computer. He made Hank look really bad when Hank got a search warrant and everything to tear apart his house. He really was done. His undoing was, hilariously, that he didn’t hire Saul. LOL.
Mike may not deserve a happy ending in a just universe. He’s a bad guy, a trained killer, and a man who helped spread crystal meth all across the South West. Who knows how many people died at Mike’s hands, directly or indirectly? As Walt tells Jesse in his latest botched attempt at manipulation, they’ve each almost certainly reserved spots in hell at this point.
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Oh, my poor Matty/Jake loving heart! This episode of AWKWARD certainly delivered in terms of keeping the intensity of the past two episodes. The truth about all things love triangle is out for public consumption and the sh*t has more than definitely hit the fan. Unfortunately for Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) things have gone from bad to worse.
Ultimately, I knew when Jake found out about Jenna and Matty’s past that would be when everything kicked up a gear, I merely did not expect the payoff to be this good. So there was Jake, at the worst possible time finally unable to be the perfect and understanding guy he had always been. Then we have Matty, a kid trying to make amends for his assholish ways last season by stepping up and forcing himself to be the mature. Finally there was Jenna, a girl not simply losing her boyfriend, but somebody that has watched her world crumble around her so many times in such short order. Every time things look up for her they ultimately come crashing down, and there is no way to not feel for her. Exasperating the situation was the very public nature that everything has taken.
The relationship gap isn’t all about Jenna. Lacey and Kevin have yet to get over their own relationship gap, and, as revealed last week, Kevin has been the one to walk out on Lacey many times before. So now they are both in this gap that was similar to what Jenna was going through with a whole lot of half stories and broken hearts, but no one wanting to make the jump.
Big points actually go out to Jake for not taking the picture public because I was really afraid he was going to sink to that depth after last week. Granted he still forced their relationship out into the open in other ways thanks to that special Wheel of Pep. I don’t really know what else is on that wheel, but I really want to know what exactly brings about school spirit in the topic “Come Clean or Play Dirty.” Based on this episode’s example of how landing on this goes, I’m assuming it doesn’t cause a whole lot of pep (unless you’re Sadie).
I love White Collar. I think each season gets better and better. Season 4 has been practically flawless…until now. Tonight’s episode, “Identity Crisis” was clearly a filler episode, a standalone that did nothing to further the story other than to say that Neal might have found a way to communicate with Ellen’s friend Sam through some mysterious email address.
There is so much to love about this episode. Yes, it plays fast and loose with the historical Culper spy network, Washington, and the battle flags of the Revolution. (I blame that famous but crazily inaccurate picture of Washington crossing the Delaware, which we see in the background at one point.) But who cares? All is forgiven, thanks to the brilliant dialogue, the unbroken bromance, and a puppet show that will leave you teary-eyed.
Before we get to main storyline, Neal tells Peter that he didn’t find much about Ellen’s murderer or Sam on the thumb drive, but did find someone tracking/checking an email account. Is it Sam? We’ll have to wait and see until next week.
After some initial digging, it’s discovered that Robert Townsend was part of the Culper Spy ring which was created by George Washington. Neal gathers information out of a book written by a professor who wound up losing a lot over his theories including his tenure. They figure out that the flag in question is priceless, it is the very one that Washington carried across the Delaware and gave to the Culpers; it is definitely worth killing over.
The second episode of Grimm‘s sophomore season proves to be significantly more satisfying compared to last week’s ho-hum premiere. Plus death and naked flesh! The Kiss is much more representative of what Grimm is capable of. Although it still acts as the continuation of the story that began last week, this second episode feels better paced, has some standout sequences, big reveals and ends with a lovely (albeit, incredibly predictable) cliffhanger. All in all, it’s a very pleasant way to spend 42 minutes.
Renard needed to be weaved into the main story a little more, having been the electron in the Grimm nucleus all season, and tying him to Juliette will make him closer to Nick, upping the danger of Nick being targeted by the royalty and bringing even more tension to his interactions with the Captain. The overt fairy tale reference may not have been totally unexpected, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t offer a lot of cool stuff, particularly with the complication to Nick’s already complicated life and the torment that it caused Renard. The latter had the normally unflappable officer rather unsure of what his next move might be, having to deal with a frustrated royal family and failing to control the creature within in a powerful transformation scene.
From there, things actually got a bit Dexter-y, as the FBI began to sniff around the scene of their two dead agents and Nick wound up having to cover up his own dead monster crime scene. But Nick is no Dexter, so the feds wound up handcuffing fairly quickly. Nothing came of it except that it left the door open for Hank to be let in Nick’s secret.
Nick makes it to the hospital where Monroe and Rosealee are waiting nervously for him to arrive to put “6 drops. No more, no less” of the potion into Juliet’s eyes. Rosealee explains that while it won’t wake up Juliet, it will stop her from suffering from memory loss, so there’s a plus for when she decides to wake up from her cat scratch fever.
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At the top of the season, Suits’ promos centered on the idea of civil war coming to Pearson Hardman. While that is certainly been the focus of the major plot this season so far, I should have known the show would have taken it a step further. In essence, civil war is merely internal strife resulting from two conflicting sides that cannot be rectified. In a lot of ways, that is exactly what every main character has been experiencing this season.
Harvey is still psuedo-stalking Donna, this time allegedly to bring her a bonus check that she doesn’t want. She’s still angry with him, especially when he gives her the mother of all puppy dog faces. “I am not in love with you, Harvey. I love you like a brother or a cousin,” she tells him. “I told her I can’t be me without you,” he retorts, which A) is a lie and B) would be an awesome line in a romantic comedy. An amused Donna agrees to come back under two conditions, the first of which is a replacement for the bonus check she just ripped up, and the second which isn’t yet revealed to the audience.
Donna makes her triumphant return to the firm and promptly fires her replacement, which is revealed as the second condition of her comeback. When Louis makes an attempt to apologize to her for how he treated her during the mock trial, Donna realizes from his wardrobe what’s happened, and she tells Jessica, who realizes that Hardman has bought Louis’ deciding vote and calls Hardman out on it. Not that Hardman cares.
Donna immediately goes to Jessica and tells her Louis was made Senior Partner. Donna is just that good – all from Louis’ suit. As per Norma, the suit was bought five years ago to be worn when Louis becomes Senior Partner. Daniel Hardman made Louis a Senior Partner so when the voting commenced, Hardman would edge out Jessica.
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Time After Time
The majority of the time spent during “Time After Time” focused on the fallout of last week’s revelation that Jenna was Matty’s first, and the rest was wasted on mostly unfunny wedding shenanigans. To say that I was torn after watching this episode would be an understatement.
And, once again, I’m a mixed bag of emotions as there are pros and cons to both sides. I can understand the pain and hurt Jenna was feeling, and the sudden confusion of her emotions, but, at the same time, I mean she couldn’t wait at least a few hours before getting back with Matty’s tongue?
Jake calls Matty up to let him know that he broke up with Jenna and to try to get Matty to tell him the truth, but Matty doesn’t budge. Jake meanwhile won’t tell Jenna or Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) what happened to cause the breakup. He ultimately leaves Jenna at the wedding and Jenna is left to sulk and think about what she did wrong with Tamara.
And same question when he talked to Matty on the phone. Instead of hinting around trying to get a confession from Matty, again just confront the other person. Yes they probably should have told Jake that they were in a relationship of sorts and Jenna may still have feelings for Matty, but he’s just playing games by doing this, then throwing the white flag out and pushing her towards the other guy by acting the way he did. It was really weak, and that is not an attractive quality on anyone.
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Viva La Mexico
It’s not hard to like the idea of AMC’s western series, Hell on Wheels. The show has a lot going for it: unrepentant, lone wolf in search of those who killed his wife and child, set against the magnificent backdrop of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, where freed slaves, immigrant workers and former Confederate soldiers all convene. It is the kind of milieu fans of multiple genres can find a heaping helping of what they’re looking for. The trouble is, during season 1, the series often came across unsure about just what it wanted to serve.
Two black-clad men at a grave, seen from a ground-level angle. Hell on Wheels is most remarkable for its imagery. In Viva la Mexico, the Season 2 premiere, those images are most striking from the point of view of the observer.
The best news about this episode, particularly for those wary of giving Hell On Wheels another chance, is probably how much ground it puts between the end of the first season—which, while I certainly didn’t hate it, never really rose above the level of C-grade television—and where our characters are now. To be sure, the fallout of last season still affects the characters, but the ensuing time (I’d guess two or three months, but I don’t think it’s stated explicitly) has forced everyone to start moving on. Bohannon briefly returned to Meridian and fell in with a bunch of hotheaded bandits, and he’s now hoping for a new life in the Confederate colonies in Mexico. Elam is firmly ensconced in Durant’s inner circle, as is Lily, although exactly where Durant and Lily stand is left a bit uncertain here.
Ruth (Kasha Kropinski) visits Sean and tells him that the church can not pay its rent because her father, Reverend Cole (Tom Noonan) is too ill to preach. Sean tries to imply his romantic interest in Ruth, but she quickly shoots him down. Later, Nell (April Telek) discovers that one of her prostitutes has been brutally murdered. The residents of Hell on Wheels watch in stunned silence as The Swede removes her body. But Sean and Mickey take the tragedy as an opportunity as well. Durant tells Lily about the murdered woman and she insists that the killer be found and punished. But she is taken aback by Durant’s attitude that the woman was worth less than a horse.
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Another One Bites the Dust
“To be continued…” ending!? That’s right, this episode surrounding Ally’s wedding is so chalk full of Awkward. drama that it had to carry into a second episode. One you will not want to miss come next week.
Like I mentioned before, Aunt Ally’s wedding was the setting for the episode, and we got all of the usual clichés that are associated with nuptials like bridezillas, nothing going right and reconnections with old lovers. As Ally terrorized those around her, including the wedding planner whose assistant quit but Tamara stepped in, Jenna spent most of her time trying to remind her mother that she’s still married to her dad and shouldn’t be looking at starting anything with her former beau who would be attending the wedding. As if there weren’t enough knot-tying hi-jinks, Sadie was one of her new aunt’s bridesmaids. Of course she had to stir the pot by making out with Ricky in front of Tamara, but her pièce de résistance was her filling Jake in on Jenna’s past with Matty just as our heroine left him a voicemail declaring her love for him. Oh, and we got some good Jenna/Matty moments as well as a mediocre but non-offensive appearance from Valerie.
I get that Jenna would feel nervous about a handsome, tacky-in-a-con-artist-kinda-way guy stepping in on her absent dad’s territory, but her approach is beyond juvenile. Thankfully we have a nearly identical ‘teen girl’ reaction from Lacey, which reminds us just how similar both mother and daughter are (unfortunately the collective IQ of the audience also drops).
In other news, Sadie continues to prove she is still the H.B.I.C. Yeah her thing with Rickey has softened her a little, or as soft as Sadie can go, but it is still unwise to back her into a corner. Girl does not have claws, she has razors and will cut a bitch. Terrifying, just like the hairstyles she and the other girls had to sport. :Shudder: I think her situation with Rickey and Tamara is the most accurate portrayal of high school maybe ever? Who has not seen that scenario play out numerous times, dramatics and bitchiness included?