Posts tagged s1e8
No Good Deed
Dallas ‘No Good Deed’ was amazing tonight. J.R. remained in the shadows, but Bobby, Christopher and Sue Ellen each individually made an amazing bargain with the devil in some sort in order to bring John Ross home to Southfork safe and without a murder rap hanging over his head. Josh Henderson, Patrick Duffy, Jesse Metcalfe and Linda Gray were sensational tonight, each one topping their performance last week. But the real shocker came at the end of the episode when we learned that Tommy is not Rebecca’s brother, but her former lover. And he’s blackmailing her to steal Christopher’s newest invention, which Christopher also used to gain evidence in order to free John Ross.
Sue Ellen tells a prison jumpsuit-clad John Ross she’ll get him a lawyer, and protect him. He admits he had an affair with Marta, but doesn’t mention telling Vincente about where Marta was. Sue Ellen told Elena to pick a side. J.R. discovered news about Cliff’s driver, Frank. After Veronica (fake Marta ) becomes an increasing threat, John Ross sells her out to Vincente, she is later found dead resulting in her death. He is later arrested for murder.
Christopher asked the sheriff to run a background check on Rebecca, who came up squeaky clean. So, with the babies en route, and some guilt tripping from Rebecca evoking his own broken home childhood, he’s clearly starting to work on forgiving her. But Tommy is still sniffing around, causing his sis copious amounts of angst. Anne offers Tommy a job out of town, but he makes it clear to Rebecca that he’s still after the big bucks tied to Chris’s methane project. And then he plants a forceful kiss on her, wondering if she’s in so deeply that she really believes they’re related. And with that… the story takes a turn for the soapy predictable, but still leaves us with an air of mystery.
While Rebecca’s relationship with Christopher is still on the rocks, she continued to make amends with his mother Annie. Annie even extended her kindness to Rebecca’s conniving brother Tommy. She offered to help him get a job at her sister’s ranch in Oklahoma so he could get a fresh start. He accepted but seemed to still be up to no good. Tommy reappeared and wouldn’t accept the fact that Rebecca is done with their deal. The Dallas TV Show threw another twist when Tommy kissed Rebecca. They are not really brother and sister and Tommy threatened to reveal the complete truth to Christopher, even though she just told Christopher there were no more secrets.
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Armando Iannucci made it clear with last week’s episode that “Veep” will be steering away from anything resembling real issues. While a pregnant Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) at the end of “Baseball” opened the door to a potentially inspired direction for the show, one episode later it was explained away by Meyer having a miscarriage, as the veep and her team moved on to the next issue that was plaguing their office. The show’s established theme is that the office of the veep is essentially powerless and even meaningless, and as a result it doesn’t have much to say about the political climate in Washington except for how it operates on the most superficial level. The recurring theme is that those in Washington who wield power and influence are stupid, assholes, self-involved or all three at once. Listen, we get it, but we hope as “Veep” moves into season two it has a bit more to say as they are running out of non-issues to try and mine for laughs.
The waterworks proved beneficial for Selina as she went from a toxic asset to the President whose endorsement a low-level congressman didn’t even want, to a DC power broker who was suddenly the most popular woman in Washington.
This is another example of Veep’s obsession with how appearance, in politics, outweighs any actual politics. But the real star of this episode was not any member of the regular cast. Instead it was a newcomer, Congressman Roger Furlong. Played by the excellent Dan Bakkedahl, Furlong is a foul-mouthed volcano who is a gift to the “Best Lines of the Night” section below.
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Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too
We have to congratulate Girls on surprising us this week (Season 1, Episode 8: “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too”). We thought we knew Adam, but our eyes opened just as wide as Hannah’s did last week when his character opened up. And Hannah still has that look of amazement in her eyes whenever she looks at her new boyfriend. We, too, have been turned into Adam fans. Just when we think we know everything, we realize we never will — another important life lesson gleaned from this show, and life in your 20s.
In this case it was Jessa (the free-spirited British one) asking Marnie, (the uptight one) about Adam. We’ve come to know Adam in episodes 1 through 7 as the perverted large-eared love interest of our self-absorbed protagonist Hannah Horvath. So far, we’ve seen him texting a picture of his genitalia intended for someone else to Hannah, playing with Hannah’s fat while in bed, lying about getting an STD test, lying about using condoms, etc, etc, etc.
I also liked that the episode gave us more of a look at Jessa, who’s the kind of girl who can make it seem like she’s making fun of someone even when she’s complimenting them. (I have this affliction as well, and when Jessa started outlining how she really admired Marnie’s commitment to good hygiene, it was hilarious.) In past weeks, I haven’t been able to really embrace Jessa’s aloof cool, the way that she always seems to be slightly detached from everybody and everything. In the show’s world, Hannah’s the writer, but Jessa’s often the one who seems to be outside of herself, watching her and her friends go through the motions of one story or another. In this episode, though, Jessa’s nature is exactly what’s needed when she and Marnie need an exit from the venture capitalist’s apartment. She’s the friend who always seems to be separate from everybody else, but that comes in handy when all of her friends need a lifeline to carry them back above the surface. Jessa’s cool, yes, but it feels more and more like that coolness has an origin story we’ll get at some point (probably further down the line than this season). It’s not simply a fact of life.
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Who is Rubber Man? Well we finally got our answer in the latest installment of the Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk creepfest. The man in the rubber fetish suit is…Tate (Evan Peters)! Yes the ghostly son of Jessica Lange’s Constance and the boyfriend of Violet (Taissa Farmiga) is the fella who impregnated Violet’s mom, Vivien (Connie Britton), with twins. I’m fairly certain that a ghost/human spawn can’t bring anything but trouble. From the episode, viewers learned that Tate did the deed in order to grant original owner Nora (Lily Rabe) some peace after her own baby was dismembered and then transformed into the “infantata.” It’s safe to say that only AHS fans will appreciate or even understand the last couple sentences I’ve written. While EW normally chats with co-creator Ryan Murphy post-airing, this week we chatted Rubber Man himself, Evan Peters, on the totally twisted development.
And the episode opens right where they left us off, with Rubber Man sauntering down the hall. We go back to six months ago when Chad and Patrick (Teddy Sears) are moving in. Nora (Lily Rabe) is wandering around and checking out all of their new furniture. She is not amused. A man puts his hand on her shoulder and asks if he can comfort her; Nora asks where her baby is. Flashback to the first time Rubber Man and Vivien (Connie Britton) have sex. Viv may have thought it was her husband Ben (Dylan McDermott) but we clearly see Ben walking up the stairs in a stupor. In one of the creepiest scenes so far, Rubber Man walks right by him and Ben doesn’t seem to notice. Seconds later, Rubber Man reveals himself to be Tate (Evan Peters). This is really going to fuck up his relationship with Violet (Taissa Farmiga).
Six months ago, our mysterious Rubber Man walks down the house’s hallways as Marcy (Christine Estabrook) oversees the movers bringing in the Harmons’ furniture outside. The ghost of Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe) cries about all the renovations and new furniture, noting how she no longer recognizes anything, and a hand reaches out to her shoulder offering comfort, but she only asks for her missing baby. The figure rushes outside, and grabs the discarded Rubber Man suit from the trash as we flash back to the scene from the pilot of Rubber Man and Vivien having sex, while Ben looks on downstairs in a daze. After their encounter, Rubber Man retreats to the bathroom wherein he removes his mask to reveal…Tate Langdon!
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“Thanksgiving” was one of the strongest post-pilot episodes of the series for a few reasons. First, its central conflict was about the George/Tessa relationship, which has been the heart of the show and the one thing that hasn’t stopped working. I thought George was overdoing the whole “we can’t go into the city ever, ever again” thing, but the episode was largely about him recognizing this and belatedly bringing Tessa (and naked Lisa) into Manhattan(*) to enjoy at least part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition.
You could argue that the Dallas/Tessa plot was sort of an inside out version of Suburgatory, since Dallas was the fish out of water in Tessa’s Manhattan stomping grounds, a move that will certainly bond them even more and allow Ms. Royce to understand where Tessa’s coming from more often. The show has made a point to bring out Dallas’s maternal instincts with Tessa and this could be a way to cement their respect for one another, since one of the best ways to really get inside someone’s head and learn about them is to visit the town they grew up in. Dallas and Tessa are also my favorite combination of Suburgatory players, for both personality juxtaposition and the necessity of their bond to one another (Dallas doesn’t really mother Dalia, Tessa doesn’t have a mother).
Tessa is shocked and betrayed. Dallas is indignant, which is a good indication that her marriage is rocky as it seems, given her husband’s constant absence and weird dictatorship when he is around. I see a divorce in Dallas’s future, which would actually be just fine. Dalia could go off and live with her daddy, and Dallas could be Tessa’s crazy stepmother. Things always work out like that in my head; I expect it won’t be that easy on the show.
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It’s nice to be fooled—as we were by the suggestion last week that Brody, though close to Abu Nasir, had never actually been a part of his terrorism plans. But it’s also nice to have some base level of reality that we can rely on to always be present. Last week, with a series of terrific reversals, it seemed like we’d finally gotten to a status quo that would hold for at least a few episodes. But this week, with the events of the final scene, the show has pulled the rug out from under us again. And while it’s often a thrill to feel like you don’t know what you think you know, there also comes a point where those reversals have diminishing returns.
Much of the power of last week’s closing moments came from what we assumed to be an honest conversation between Carrie and Brody about what happened to him during his captivity and what he was up to back here. Obviously, we had to take his word for it, because we’re almost as in the dark about his time as a POW as Carrie is, but it seemed fair to assume that the show was committing to Brody being candid, and not at all the terrorist we took him for. Then came the closing moments of “Achilles Heel” which was mainly a reminder that when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
There are so many questions to ask about Tom Walker. Where do we even start? Hopefully the series plans to show, not tell, what happened to him. Brody was told Walker was dead, but that never happened. Instead, he is alive and homeless. Oh, and definitely a turned pow. His Achilles heel is his family. And it looks like Helen Walker wasn’t properly groomed to turn against her husband. Because, just hearing Tom say her first name made her break down and reveal that the call was being traced so he could flee. Damn. Now he has a gun and a fire under his feet.
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Terra Nova started up “Proof” by showing Jim and Taylor partaking in Taylor’s favorite hobby: Fishing for incredibly fake looking dino fish! Jim and Commander Taylor engage in an impromptu fishing trip, one of which nearly pulls Jim into the ocean (in what had to be some of the worst effects the show has offered to date) as Taylor reminisces about fishing in the early days of Terra Nova, having brought his son there in the past. Unfortunately , talking about his son isn’t Taylor’s favorite topic.
Oddly enough, this episode did an adequate job of redeeming his character. Giving us a chance to see what he’s fighting for through a brief conversation with Kara gave much needed meaning to his cause. He’s obviously making a wrong and stupid choice but at least we can see who he’s fighting for. Having her remove the gas mask before she spoke is a reminder of how bad the conditions are in 2149. I don’t like what he’s doing, but I get it.
One of the major stories this week is a famous geologists returning to Terra Nova, which gets Maddy all excited because she’s a big fan of his. Before I get into the weird story line that took place here, I have to wonder how many of these random reappearances we’re going to get. We’ve been told before that the only time we’re going to get new people at Terra Nova is if they show up on a pilgrimage, but now this big geology expedition is returning and introduces a new character out of the blue. It’s only the eighth episode and we’re already throwing new characters into the mix, and there’s an eleventh pilgrimage coming up as well!
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