Posts tagged S01E06
The Ark characters all sat this one out (even the flashbacks on the Ark didn’t contain Jaha, Abby or Kane), but given the weight of what happened up there last week, it felt appropriate to, well, give them some time ? even as we ponder what they’re doing about those flares sent by the kids on the Earth.
To be honest, after Octavia was kidnapped last week, I thought we were going to spend more time with the Grounders and discover more about their primitive society, but most of Octavia’s scenes in “His Sister’s Keeper” featured her climbing through tight spaces while wielding antlers as a weapon.
A young Octavia sacrifices a lot in the name of survival, too-namely her freedom. She has never ventured outside their cramped quarters, and must hide beneath the floor during random room searches. It’s no way to live, but it’s all the Blakes know. That is, until Bellamy becomes a cadet Guardsmen, made possible by one of their mother’s less desirable sacrifices. Bellamy is able to smuggle a masked Octavia out of the room so she can not only view her first-ever moonrise, but attend a dance as well. Finally, Octavia is able to interact with people her own age, and to truly feel free.
Octavia blamed Bellamy for Finn’s condition, her mother’s death, and her situation. And, he threw it all back at her with the most hateful thing he could say, “My life ended the day that you were born.” Ouch! The truth hurts. He was no longer the happy brother who named his sister, Octavia.
After the nightmare inducing episode last week, Diabolic provides a much calmer, and simpler story. This is great for viewers who believed that the series was overloading them, but a disappointment for those who wish to be scared.
Only the two main stories were focused on this week, leaving most of the original cast nowhere to be found. We are just left with Gavin, Olivia, Henry and Jane. Sure some of the smaller roles have returned, but only to support these main stories.
The two big reveals were that Jane and Henry are reaching the tipping point of their relationship, and Jane is related to the little girl. Both of these I expected, but I am surprised they have happened so quickly. For the sake of keeping the story interesting, it would probably be a good idea for the writers to have them split up in the next episode or two. They already have potential interests for both of them, so why not go all the way, even if it is just a couple of episodes.
The only unexpected part of their story was the introduction a new police officer, who may have just stumbled upon the dark secret of the Drake. Will he help Jane uncover the truth, or will he just become another thorn in Gavin’s paw?
This week’s holiday themed episode of The Mindy Project, “Thanksgiving” took our characters out of the doctor’s office, but kept them lumped together in groups as they split off for their own Thanksgiving celebrations.
Once again, the Josh and Mindy opening was clever and cute. I hope there will be a true Mindy and Josh centered episode in the future of The Mindy Project because I think I’d enjoy just watching the two of them banter as they roamed around the city aimlessly.
I was a little disappointed that Josh was initially a commitment-phobe because I didn’t want another reason to think he was being sleazy or using Mindy when he had seemed so genuinely interested in her previously. His personality was already a hurdle to overcome, so if he didn’t end up calling Mindy to reconsider the exclusivity agreement, it would have meant the end of my growing fondness for Josh’s obnoxious character.
Before Josh and Mindy made up though, Mindy did a great job of making Thanksgiving at Gwen’s house super awkward. I loved Mindy’s reaction to meeting Dennis’ younger, hotter, and equally intelligent, Indian girlfriend, Gita.
Part of the fun of crime fiction is in learning outr? little details of how criminals operate. For instance, when you?re looking to get into the casino chip-forging business, you?re going to want to get your hands on some dental cement. One of the most important characters on tonight?s episode, albeit one with very few lines, is a dentist named Dr. Saffron, who may have been good at his trade but was also a degenerate gambler. Early on, a showgirl visits Dr. Saffron?s office because she needs some emergency work done, and he smiles and sits her in the chair and puts her under anesthesia, and when she woozily regains consciousness some time later, I first thought this was a story about a pervert dentist who rendered his sexy patients null and void and then had his way with them. But then the showgirl staggers out of the room and finds the dentist sprawled dead on the floor. A license to obtain dental cement: Who knew it was the first rung on the ladder to hell?
If adding goodies like this to your personal storehouse of trivia isn?t reason enough to follow a TV show, there are other reasons to continue to hold out hope for Vegas. Dennis Quaid does seem to be getting a handle on how to play his character. In the first several episodes, Quaid seemed determined to resurrect the spirit of late-period John Wayne. Ralph Lamb was a crusty old sourpuss with a century oak up his butt, a charmless crank who was meant to be accepted as the hero, and a fount of cracker barrel wisdom as well, just because he was so darned right. Quaid has been scaling him back so that, if he?s still not the most scintillating protagonist on TV now, at least he seems halfway human. In the opening scene, Lamb lets some petty miscreants go, so long as they stay the hell out of his jurisdiction. ?It?s easier to scare ?em than jail ?em,? he tells his son. ?Sometimes, there?s a difference between the law and justice.? Vegas has shown Ralph making that kind of distinction again and again, but this may be the first time he?s done so in the name of simple, practical convenience, instead of as some Solomon-like act of deep wisdom.
Ralph is also learning to work with Vincent when necessary. That the two could work together seemed essential to the show from the start, but it didn?t seem likely to ever happen, because Ralph didn?t seem able to share a scene with Vincent, or be on his home turf, without appearing to be fighting a losing battle with his own gag reflex. Naturally, it?s Vincent?s casino that is the target of the phony chips that the late Dr. Saffron was minting, and the problem doesn?t end with the dentist?s untimely passing; whoever killed him clearly has something big planned, now that the middleman is out of the way. The underlying idea behind Vegas is that keeping the peace in a city where professional dealers in vice are gaining a foothold and on their way to respectability is like patrolling a war zone, but the stubborn, unbending moral rectitude Ralph demonstrated early in the series would get him eaten alive in Iraq or Afghanistan. When Vincent agrees to help Ralph with his investigation by letting him talk to a man who?s being tortured in the back room, and Ralph says nothing more provocative about the situation than to tell the man that he might be able to help him get out of this fix if he can make a convincing case for his own innocence, it?s a major leap forward in dramatic plausibility.
Perception continues with episode 6, “Lovesick.” Daniel asks his class if free will exists. Neuroscientific data suggests it’s an illusion. As his class leaves, Haley finds Daniel to make sure he’s attending a gala because the widow of someone who verbally promised funding will be there and is a fan of Daniel’s. He refuses.
Like anyone that has suffered from depression (or known someone that has), obviously four hours and a day in the hospital are not enough to treat this major disease, and the kid ends up committing suicide. His doctor is found days later shot in the head. Is it a murder of revenge? It’s up to Moretti to find out!
It’s funny because for the first half of this episode, the case seemed pretty cookie cutter in development. Somebody killed the therapist out of revenge or anger, etc. and Pierce would simply have to figure out who. Sure, there was the ploy of “staying inside the circle” with respect to the insurance company and bonus money the therapist received, but there’s no way either Pierce or Moretti could pass up actually solving a case. They just love it too much.
After being authorized to “go outside the circle” based on Pierce’s findings in Dr. Corvis’ medicaljournals, Moretti and Pierce question several of the good doctor’s other patients, mainly those that were diagnosed with “transferential dopamine deficiency” which isn’t actually something a person can be diagnosed with because it’s not actually a real thing. However, Corvis was treating patients with a new drug that wasn’t released on the market yet for said issues.
In “The Return” we went back to East Lansing, Michigan with Hannah and watched her grapple with big city girl returns to the suburbs situation. Removing some of the annoying drama between characters like Marnie and Charlie (or Jessa and the father of the kids she nannies) and taking Hannah out of NYC was just what Girls needed after losing traction in the last couple episodes, putting all the extraneous noise in the margins to focus on this extended vignette into East Lansing.
“The Return” was written by Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow, who pick up the clichés that surround “home” and see what icky bugs run out from underneath by sending Hannah to her parents’ house in Michigan for the weekend, for their thirtieth anniversary. The episode defines and redefines “home” as it applies to Hannah: as an oblivious twentysomething, as a New Yorker, and as an adult only child. And it starts with the “oblivious” part when Hannah’s heading to the airport. Marnie—Hannah’s mother hen by proxy—leans out the window to remind Hannah that rent is due next week, and admonishes her to “be nice to your parents. Okay?” “I’m the nicest!” Hannah chirps.
I don’t mean to trivialize the rest of “The Return”. My initial distaste for Girls has obviously receded, and this episode maintains the steady run the show’s been on since the third episode. We understand Hannah enough now that it’s not even that annoying tonight when she slips into her worst and most selfish behavior since the pilot.
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Pride, Pomp and Circumstance
Last week we saw Cullen vs. Elam in a knock down dragged out brawl. There was blood, sweat, tears and abs. This week we have an Indian on a horse vs. a train in a 100 meter dash. There was… a train… and an Indian… on a horse. I guess I don’t have to tell you all that this episode was not one for the ages. It did, however, build a concrete foundation for exciting episodes to come. Within the hour the show basically stated, “Shit may not be going down right now, but the future shit… now that’s a different story”.
Tonight also brings some lovely, funny little moments. In one, the camp band turns out to welcome the arrival of Sen. Jordan Crane (James T. Hopkin). The band consists of three members, one of whom is a whore with a tuba. That was a delightful touch.
The other is a bit between Bohannon (Anson Mount) and the annoying villain, Mr. Toole (Duncan Ollerenshaw), who’s trying to rouse his crew to some trouble in the camp bar. Bohannon warns them to back down.
After Bohannon has made it clear that he doesn’t want the men under his watch stirring up angry feelings against the Indians that might lead to violence, Common has a private moment with our hero in which he rubs salt in the wound, telling him that, “after that ass-whuppin’ I laid on you,” he’s not surprised that the doesn’t want seconds. Bohannon pleasantly informs him that the fight was rigged, though he doesn’t betray any feelings about it one way or another, aside from conceding that it was “pretty slick.”
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Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) sits like a spider at the center of Chicago’s web of power; a web built on a covenant with the people. They want to be led, they want disputes settled, jobs dispensed, and loyalties rewarded. If he achieves through deception and troubling morality, so be it. As long as he gets the job done, they look the other way.
Yet despite being the most effective mayor in recent history, a degenerative brain disorder is ripping everything away from him. He can’t trust his memory, his closest allies, or even himself.
I noticed a lot of resonance tonight, Kane’s actions serving as parallel commentary on others. The best example of this was Kane’s monologue to a former police detective, now a bartender, who is also probably Meredith’s brother. On a walk through a park, he all-too-easily recounts a story that quickly moves into sinister territory, with Kane describing how he burned down another corrupt official’s house and his future brother-in-law looked the other way in the investigation. That was Kane’s first “necessary act of evil,” but now after many years in office, he can’t tell whether his acts of corruption are necessary or merely “expedient.” It’s a nice moment of clarity for Kane, but one that doesn’t prevent him from asking his brother-in-law for a favor – shaking down Dr. Reyes, the woman who redacted the names of hazardous chemicals in the report that made things worse for Kane last week, and using her mentally ill criminal brother as a bargaining chip to get her to recant her previous statement. She did what she had to do to protect her brother, but lets Kane know what she really feels behind the scenes, with the action that lends the episode its title.
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“New Girl” is in this interesting position where it’s still evolving. It’s still trying to figure out exactly what level of quirk and naivete works for Jess, still working out exactly how douchey and/or self-aware Schmidt is, still trying to give Winston any kind of discernible characterization other than “not Coach.” Nick is more or less a constant, and Cece got successfully brought into the fold with last week’s episode, but the other three are in flux. Tonight is Thanksgiving on New Girl and when Jess (Zooey Deschanel) decides that she will be cooking a big traditional dinner things go a bit haywire. This situation is further complicated by the presence of Jess’ colleague and crush Paul (guest star Justin Long) who she invites the day before the holiday, giving less than no time to prepare.
The guys seem unenthusiastic about the event and want to spend the day watching football and drinking beer, this enthusiasm plummets further when they find out that Jess has invited a date. This is also bound to be a chaotic episode as Jess reveals that she really has no idea how to cook a big Thanksgiving meal. The turkey in the tumble dryer in one of the sneak peeks below really gives this away. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) steps up to help and this is unlikely to end well as he reveals his control freak side in the kitchen to Cece (Hannah Simone), whilst still trying to hit on her calling her a “beautiful savage.” Will Schmidt bring up their hand holding from last week?
Cece didn’t help matters by neglecting to wash her hands before preparing the walnuts. (Seriously… eww.) And of course, Schmidt would be the designated germaphobe to combat Cece on her hygienic misgivings. It was fun to see this twisted romance blossom a little more, doubly so after hearing Cece confess her interest in Schmidt. Hopefully we’ll get more from this pairing in the future. Cece’s toying with Schmidt was pretty humorous, and Schmidt’s culinary attention to detail was priceless. As an expert chef might put it, “I can blanch or I can talk, but I can’t do both!”
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“Piggy Piggy” was the name of an urban legend that left guest star Eric Stonestreet, as Derek, deeply and emotionally paralyzed. Naming any urban legend filled him with such fear that he was unable to function. Goody for him, he chose the good Doctor Ben to treat him.This week though, Ben actually confronted his patient, Derek, about his fear of various urban legends, and while it may have seemed like decent advice, perhaps it was given too early and/or irresponsibly pushed on Derek because Ben was dealing with his own issues involving security guard Luke cozying up to his wife.
Both parts of “Halloween” were particularly strong because they felt cohesive, like all of the various story threads actually fit together to propel one whole narrative. “Piggy Piggy” on the other hand, suffered from seeming like it was just four or five plots thrown together, since everyone needed something to do. If I had to come up with some connection, I might say facing your fears was an overarching theme, but it didn’t really resonate, nor did the episode have enough other crazy stuff happening to keep that from being an issue.
Mom’s nowhere to be found, but fortunately good old Constance from next door is there, and she’s got a friend named Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson), a psychic medium with a knowledge of ghosts. Billie Dean explains that some ghosts are vengeful and some ghosts just don’t know they’re dead. I’m beginning to think that Ben is a pretty sucky psychiatrist as he just hugs his daughter when she says “The darkness has me.” Then he makes Derek call the piggy man in the bathroom. It all just seems needlessly melodramatic. Oh- sorry- for a second there I forgot this was American Horror Story.
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