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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mid Season: Mad Love Premiere Moved Up A Week

Mad Love was supposed to premiere Monday February 21st at 8:30pm on CBS following How I Met Your Mother.   The date has been moved up a week to Monday February 14th..Valentines Day!

Mad Love has an awesome cast….Sarah Chalke, Judy Greer, Jason Biggs, and Tyler Labine.   The quick summary is two people meet on the top of the Empire State Building and start to date.  However their friends, once they meet, don’t seem to get along too well.  Considering who is in this show, I can’t wait for it and I’m really looking forward to the premiere.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in CBS, Mid Season, New Shows

 

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REVIEW: Nikita S1 E1-11

I love a good spy show.  Ask anyone who knows me about my favorite all time shows (list will be coming in the summer time) and you will be sure to hear “Alias” in my top 10 (maybe even top 5.)  “Alias” was perfect.   The ultimate protagonist….the intelligent, hot, ass-kicking, sensitive, loyal Sydney Bristow played by the awesome Jennifer Garner; the no-nonsense, hard-assed, don’t want to mess with double agent (who also happens to be Sydney’s father) Jack Bristow played by one of my favorite all time actors, Victor Garber;  the handsome, smart, by-the-book handler/love interest Michael Vaughn played by Michael Vartan; the quirky but funny and lovable tech geek, Marshall Finkman played by Kevin Weisman, the partner who is the veteran and pseudo big brother/protector of Sydney, Marcus Dixon played by Carl Lumbly; the best friends with whom Sydney could not survive without, who are also civilians that have no idea Sydney is a spy, Francie and Will, played by Merrin Dungy and Bradley Cooper, and the evil leader of SD-6 who the CIA is trying to bring down who is crafty and funny (a likable bad guy) Arvin Slone, played by Ron Rifkin.   Look at that cast!!!   Are you kidding me?  Alias was an intelligent, action packed, fast-moving show that sometime got a little too intense and congested with too much happening at once that would confuse the casual viewer.  When it went off the air, it was time, but I still felt like I was losing a member of my family when Sydney and crew were no longer on my TV.

When I heard about another reboot of La Femme Nikita, I rolled my eyes.     My first thought was that this was going to be a show that was going to feature an attractive Nikita and be more about a titillating experience on TV rather than hard-core spy drama.   I’m very happy to say, I was completely wrong!   At first, I thought Nikita was really sloooow.  But thankfully, the last few episodes have started to pick up.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I have learned more about the characters and are a little more invested in them.  There are still some issues with the show (Jaden needs to go and suspension of disbelief only goes so far) but overall it is enjoyable.

For those of you who haven’t checked out Nikita yet and are considering but don’t what’s going on or have been watching and maybe just need a little review, let’s break it down character by character:

Nikita (played by Maggie Q)

As a young girl, Nikita was on death row and ended up being recruited by an US government agency called Division.  Division brought her in and trained her as a spy and an assassin.  Nikita was led to believe that the people she was eliminating were dangerous people or companies who threatened the safety of Americans.  She trusted Division but they ended up betraying her trust.   They killed her fiance and she found out that they had become corrupt and went rogue from the CIA.  She has managed to escape Division and now she is on her own but she certainly isn’t safe.   She is trying to bring Division down for what they did to her and what they are doing to many innocent people.  But Division knows that Nikita knows their secrets and they are determined to bring her down before she brings them down first.  Maggie Q does a wonderful job with Nikita.  She is smart, intelligent, tough, resilient, sexy, and broken.  But even with this hardened exterior, she is heartbroken on many levels and a really good person who wants to do the right thing.   Can one woman bring down an entire rogue CIA branch with lots of power and money behind it?  I don’t think so.  She needs help.  Luckily she has Alex.

Alex (played by Lindsay Fonseca)

Alex is a troubled young girl who was arrested after a robbery gone bad.  Like Nikita, Division recruited Alex right out of prison, staged her “death” and brought her on board for training.  What Division doesn’t know is that Alex is a mole planted inside Division by Nikita to help take them down from the inside.   Alex’s parents were killed by Division and Nikita took Alex under wing after that.  Alex is strong, feisty, and has good instincts but still lacks Nikita’s worldliness and knowledge.  Her emotions can get the better of her sometimes but Nikita is there to give her guidance and direction and calm her when needed.   But as she grows and becomes more confident and has more experience, she will no doubt be someone you don’t want to mess with.  They have a security code they use to communicate through a sort of instant messaging program and they are able to let each other know what is going on.  Nikita is able to let Alex know what the behind the scenes meanings are for the tasks Division is asking her to do…because Nikita has gone through them herself.  And Alex is able to give Nikita advanced knowledge on any missions Division is planning on executing.  Alex has advanced quickly through Division’s training program so far…maybe a little too fast.   The last episode before hiatus, Alex was promoted to field agent and will be living on her own instead of inside Division.  This may be bad for her and Nikita and time will tell.  But Nikita isn’t the only one who has her best interest in mind.  Michael seems to have her back as well.

Michael (played by Shane West)

Michael is very complex.   I think Michael is a good guy that unfortunately has gotten caught up with the wrong people.  He is fiercely loyal and it’s this loyalty that is aligning him with the corrupt members of Division.  Michael was recruited to Division many years ago after his wife and daughter were killed by a man he trusted.  He was promised to get his revenge for their death.  He came on board and now he is in charge of recruitment and training and was Nikita’s handler.  They had a very close friendship but now that friendship is strained due to them being on opposites sides.  But are they?   As I mentioned, Michael is very loyal and the people in Division became like a family to him for a long time.  Lately though, he has seen certain sides to the people and directives within Division that make him question what is right and what is good.  In the field, he and Nikita have come face to face many times with guns aimed at each other.  At first, they seem to be enemies.  But you soon learn that they are still “friends” and have a mutual respect for why they are doing what they are doing.  They can’t always trust one another but they watch out for each other as much as they can without Michael setting off any red flags.  Michael has also taken a special interest in Alex because he sees a younger version of Nikita in her.  He has no idea she is Nikita’s mole.   There are some people who sense a romantic element between Alex and Michael but I don’t.  I see this as a big brother/little sister type relationship forming.  And I think he wants to protect her from the corruption as best he can but wants her to be the best agent for them at the same time.   Because even thought Michael has his doubts, he still believes, maybe naively, that Division does some good things and is necessary for the safety of Americans.  At least that’s the bill of goods Percy keeps selling him.

Percy (played by Xander Berkley)

Percy is the head of Division and the man who recruited Michael many years ago.  Percy started Division on request from the CIA but has since become obsessed with power and greed and his turned Division from an upstanding branch of the CIA to a rogue mockery of justice.  Division is hired by many high-ranking officials, businesses, and government agencies and politicians, who pay them to take out anyone who stands in their way.  It is usually framed to their agents that the people they are taking out, are dangerous to our country.   So the agents have no idea that they are killing innocent people.  How has the CIA not shut this down?    Right now that’s not 100% clear.  What we do know is that Percy has these black boxes hidden in various locations around the world that houses secrets and information that he uses to blackmail people into leaving him and his Division alone.  We don’t know what this information is, but it must be powerful because Division is still going strong.  Percy is not a good person and only cares about himself and his ambitions.  And other than power and money, his only other goal…destroy and kill Nikita.

Thom and Jaden (played by Ashton Holmes and Tiffany Hines)

Fellow recruits at Division.   Thom came in a couple of years after Nikita left and a year before Alex.   Jaden was brought in a few months before Alex.  These characters are ok.  Thom and Alex have become friends (Thom even has a crush on Alex that isn’t reciprocated) and Jaden and Alex hate each other.  About halfway through the season, Thom is promoted to full agent while Jaden and Alex are still grunts.  Neither one of these characters do much for me and I wouldn’t be unhappy if they went away.   SPOILER ALERT….Thom is accidentally killed by Alex at the end of episode 11 so at least Thom is gone.  Now if we can only get rid of Jaden (who I dislike even more than Thom) I would be a happy camper……END OF SPOILER. Thom and Alex do have a sweet friendship and it is nice for her to have someone on the inside she can trust.  Jaden is Jaden.   She’s a pain in Alex’s ass and mine.

Birkhoff (played by Aaron Stanford)

Birkhoff is the tech geek guy inside Division.  He’s absolutely brilliant but he’s a jerk and an asshole.  I have no sympathy or care for this character so I don’t really have much more to say on him.

Amanda (played by the wonderful Melinda Clarke)

Amanda is Melinda Clarke at her best.  MC is the queen of being able to play a character so even-tempered and dare I say monotone that you never know if she’s good, bad, loving, or a psychopath.   Amanda is like Hannibal Lector without the cannibalism.  She’s Division’s psychologist and Sayid Jarrah.  She is beautiful, sophisticated, brilliant, and charming. But she is sinister, calculating and manipulative.  She is there to “assist” the recruits but also to give Percy status updates on what is going on and deal with difficult people Percy needs information from.  I would like more of her back story to know why she is there and how she came to Division.

Owen (played by Devon Sawa)

Finally we have Owen.  Owen is also another former Division agent who is out on his own.  Nikita finds Owen through Percy because Owen has one of the black boxes she is looking for.  At first they don’t trust each other (shocking) but they eventually bond when Owen’s girlfriend Emily is killed and he wants to seek revenge on Division.  While at Nikita’s he tells which part of Division he was in. Owen was part of a nasty team at Division called the “Cancellation Team.”   Their main job was to go after agents and anyone who was close to them and kill them.  Nikita finds out that Owen is the one who killed her fiance, Daniel.  Not the best way to start a partnership.  He tells her that Division betrayed him, specifically Percy, and he wants his revenge, especially now that they killed Emily.  Nikita promises to help them, but he leaves before they can pinky swear their allegiance to each other.  They meet back up in episode 10 when he asks for Nikita’s help with a plan he has to locate more black boxes.  They work together and slowly a trust is forming.

Those are pretty much all the main players and what is going on up to date.  I was planning on doing this post for a while but it kept getting pushed to the back burner.  But with Nikita returning this Thursday January 27th on the CW at 9pm, I thought now was as good a time as any to finally get this finished!   I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with Nikita but it has gotten really good and became one of my favorite new shows of the season.  Again, check it out, on demand it if you have to, but this is some quality TV you must watch!

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Cape “Kozmo” & “Scales” S1 E3-4

This will be very quick and short since I really need to get to my real job!!   I am still enjoying the Cape the very much.  But, as predicted, the ratings aren’t very good.  The Cape is losing viewers each week so that doesn’t bode well for the show.  It’s really a shame that these out-of-the-box thinking shows can’t make it on network TV.  I don’t know why but I guess if you aren’t a reality show or CSI 20: Helsinki, you don’t make it.

I like all the characters (except for Marty you Benedict Arnold) and I think the show is doing a job of creating the good (The Cape), the bad (Chess, Cain, Scales, Marty) and the questionable (Max and his crew and Orwell.)  I put Orwell in the questionable because even though she wants to help Vince take down ARC and Chess (aka Peter Flemming) I’m not sure what her motives are.   It looks as if she may be Chess’ daughter so there has to be some juicy back story to what happened there.  But she has been to prison and she isn’t being very forth coming with Vince.  I think she’s good but I want a little more proof before I make a full determination.  I hope Gregor the Great also comes back into the fold because he was a good bad guy!

I like how they keep incorporating Dana and Tripp into this and not forgetting about them.   But seriously, how many of you were screaming at your TV set when she started to tell Marty about the vagrant around the train tracks that saw what happened to Vince that night?  I know I shouted a few times because you knew he was going to tell Fleming about that and get rid of all those people.   But she did get the pictures Orwell and Vince took so hopefully her suspicions will stay heightened.  I think they are building some good tension there because when Dana does find out (and she will) that Marty betrayed her and Vince, she will completely crushed and will want revenge!!!!   I kind of like the idea of possibly seeing a bad ass Dana.  Also, what do you guys think of her boss at the law firm?   I don’t know about him yet and I don’t like him trying to insert himself into her life so quickly.    Back off four eyes!!!!   I’m sorry that was mean.    But it broke my heart watching Vince watch her from a distance, when they were in the garage, and not be able to talk to her.

Do I think the show can be a little cheesy at times….yes.  But watching the Cape is supposed to be like reading a comic book of his life so it should be slightly cartoony.  Ultimately though, this is about Vince and his quest for all that is right and getting back to his family.  And if I have to put up with some fluff, so be it.  I just hope Marty gets his.

If you haven’t checked out the Cape yet, catch up On Demand, and start watching Mondays at 9pm on NBC.  It really is an entertaining show and we need to get some more people watching!!!

 

 

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REVIEW: Harry’s Law “Heat of Passion” S1 E2

Heat of Passion was a liiiiittle bit better than last week with the over-the-top political agenda.  It was still there but was incorporated in a more believable fashion…but still annoying.   But what’s even more annoying, winning cases you have no business of winning.  Let’s look at each case.

Gun Toting Granny

Are you kidding me with this one?   An 87-year-old woman holds up a liquor store at gun point in order to steal money for groceries and she gets a not guilty verdict.  What?   Don’t get me wrong, I am not a heartless shrew.  Do I think there are some terrible situations out there when it comes to poverty in this country….you bet.   Can I understand that people will sometimes do things they wouldn’t normally do because they are desperate and starving…absolutely.   Do I think something needs to drastically change….of course.   But having said all that, this is a woman who brandished a loaded weapon and threatened to kill a liquor store clerk in order to rob him.  And according to Harry, Ohio gun laws are some of the strictest in the country.  I guess they aren’t that strict because a woman can rob a store at gun point and walk away.   This is the type of thing that fuels my fire.  Kelley believes that because the poor are in a terrible situation, that he believes the government put them, they should be able to do whatever they want because being poor isn’t their fault.   In some cases, he’s right.  But in other cases, he isn’t.  And no matter how bad the situation, it doesn’t give people the right to threaten innocent people and rob them at gun point.  Here’s another question I wish was raised…if she was so poor, how could she afford to get a gun and legally register it?   It also kept being brought up that she is 87.  So her going to jail is a life sentence, even for 3 years.   Well she should have thought about that before sticking a gun in someone’s face and threatening to blow it off!

I thought the prosecutor had a terrific closing argument.  He agreed with the compassion people want to feel towards an 87-year-old woman who has had to sink so low that she had to rob someone to get money to get food on her table.  But that doesn’t excuse what she did.   And let’s not forget the innocent liquor store owner who feared for his life because there was a gun in his face.  Harry’s closing argument wasn’t very good because she knew she didn’t have a case.   But this is where the political agenda creeps in and I’m ok with that to a point.  I’d rather have it interjected here, where it makes sense, then in the middle of cross-examination like last week.  Ultimately it didn’t matter because Harry won.  Even she thought the verdict was preposterous.  We all did Harry.     Ugh.

Chinese Law in the USA

The other case, while also outrageous, was much more interesting.  An American woman was working at an American business run by Chinese immigrants.  She was fired because she was pregnant.  He fired her because she already has one child and she is having another one.   Again, WHAT???   I think this is absolutely 100% WRONG on sooooo many levels.   However, it raises an interesting discussion point that my husband and I debated last night.   Is it acceptable for a private business to invoke any rules and regulations they want for their own business regardless of how ridiculous you may think it is?  Let’s think about that for a minute.  It sounds crazy but where do you draw the line?  In the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office (I have a friend who worked there) women and men must wear suits everyday but women are not allowed to wear pants suits, it must be skirt suits.  A little archaic don’t you think?  But that’s the rule if you want to work there.  Some business say you must have college degree to work for them otherwise, you can’t.  Is that ok?  Some businesses don’t want their employees to have visual tattoos or piercings unless in your ear only for the piercings.  Is that ok?  I think it’s a fascinating discussion point.  There are 2 areas where I have a problem with this case…1. The owner is trying to force something on his employee that is law in HIS country, not hers and not the one he has his business in.  2. Was she made aware of that rule BEFORE she was hired?   If Mr Lao didn’t make his employee aware of his rule before she was hired, I don’t think he can enforce.  Plus, in America, it’s illegal to fire a woman because she is pregnant.   Just like it’s illegal to fire someone with an addiction problem.  You need to offer them treatment not termination.  But, if Mr Lao told this woman he doesn’t want anyone working here who will have more than one child, and she took the job anyway and got pregnant a second time, that’s on her (seriously as soon as that rule was said to me, I wouldn’t work for him out of principle.)  In that instance, she knew the rules of her boss and broke them anyway.  It’s a VERY fine line but what is that line?   This is a case I can get behind.

Adam was a little more toned down this week and tolerable.  So I warmed up to him a bit more.   And Christopher MacDonald was fantastic!!!  I hope we see Tommy Jefferson a lot on this show because he was a fun breath of fresh air.

I am going to keep watching, especially since I want to see what happens with the pregnancy case.   But since the soap box material was toned a little bit and interjected in a more appropriate fashion, I am going to hang with Harry a little longer.  The funny thing is, since my husband only watched this episode and not the pilot he thought this was very in-your-face political slant.  I told him it was toned down from last week.   He shouts “this is toned down!   You’re lucky I didn’t see last week then because I wouldn’t watch it again.”   Well sweetie, you aren’t the only who feels that way.

 
 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Castle “Knockdown” S3 E13

“There’s nothing more dangerous detective, than a killer with a badge.”  Ain’t that the truth.  But in this case, I don’t think the Big Bad behind Joanna Beckett’s murder is a cop.   But we will get to that later.   I had high expectations for this episode and it not only met them but exceeded them.   What I love about Castle is that as quirky and silly as the show can be, it can pull out an episode like this or 3XK and be cerebral and poignant without being out-of-place.  While the writing is terrific, the main reason they can pull off silly and serious is the cast and everyone was on their game last night.  Get ready, this is a long one!  Not that I ever want someone to not take in every word of this post like it’s the finest piece of writing you will ever see…BUT….if you saw the episode and don’t need  a full play-by-play and just want the comments part, scroll to the end.

We start with a different opening to Castle.  We get a recap of Kate’s story regarding her mother’s murder and the main pieces up till now that have brought us to this episode.  And as a side note, I like Stana Katic so much better with the long hair than the short choppy hair.  I just thought I’d put that out there because I know you all couldn’t sleep without knowing which hair style I liked best.  We see a man with a gun and lots of bullets and it appears as if he is ready to say goodbye to life.   Just then, Beckett gets a call from Det Raglin (while doing chin ups in jeans?)   Det Raglin is our gun guy and he is also the guy who investigated her mother’s death 12 years ago.  Apparently before meeting St. Peter, there are a few things the detective would like to get off his chest and tell Beckett but he doesn’t want anyone else but her….no cops.  Immediately Beckett goes to Castle and he can tell something is wrong when she asks to talk to him about something.  I love that of all the people should could have gone to, she went to Castle.  They go to see Raglin in the coffee shop and when he scolds Beckett on bringing a cop she tells him “he isn’t a cop, just someone I can trust.”  Raglin tells Kate he only has 6 months to live.  He also starts to talk about how Jacoby Marley used to scare him to death (he creeped me out too.)  “I wear the chains I forged in life.  I made it link by link.”  I think we are about to hear how Raglin was not such a nice guy or good cop.  He starts telling her about hiding sins behind his badge, like hiding the fact that her mother’s death wasn’t a robbery gone bad or gang violence but something more sinister.   He tells her he did what he was told to do and that he was scared.  When she killed Dick Coonan at the police station last year, certain people noticed.   When she asked who hired Dick Coonan to kill her mother, he tells her she needs context first.    It actually started 19 years ago (her mother was killed 12 yrs ago) when Raglin made a bad choice that started a domino effect and one of those dominos was her mom.   Then BANG!  His coffee cup explodes and Raglin is on the ground while panic ensues and Beckett tries to control the situation.  Raglin is dead and Beckett tells the dispatcher they have a homicide on their hands.

Roy is now on the scene along with Ryan and Esposito and Roy doesn’t want Beckett involved in the case.  She tells him how no one knows the case better than her and he agrees she can stay on but she needs to follow the evidence to the killer and not go off on a personal mission.  She agrees.  She gives the boys their duties with them looking into the building across the street where the shot came from, while Castle comes out from the bathroom after cleaning himself up.  He is visibly shaken.  Beckett thinks it’s because Raglin was killed in front of them but it’s because Castle thought she was the one that was shot.  After the awkward pause, they decide to go back to the 12th.

Back at the 12th, Ryan tells Beckett he talked to some of Raglin’s neighbors but the only friend or family that they ever see at this place is another retired detective named McAllister.  Beckett wants to see him immediately.  McAllister comes in and Beckett starts asking about 19 yrs ago and what he was into.  McAllister thinks she is asking to tarnish his memory but she tells him she is just trying to get to his killer.  McAllister tells him that he got involved with a guy named Vulcan Simmons, who runs most of the drug trade in NYC.  Raglin was a gambler and was broke so he started working for Simmons as a drug carrier to make extra money.  The investigation shifts to Simmons and we learn that he has a pretty long rap sheet but it’s been cold for a while.  Ryan makes the comment about coming along way since Washington Heights and Beckett wants to know what he means.  Simmons used to run the drug traffic in WH.  Beckett’s mom, who was a Civil Rights Attorney, got a bunch of her colleagues together and started a campaign called “Take Back the Streets.”   Where did this take place?   You got it…Washington Heights.  And a connection forms.  So they bring in Simmons.

Vulcan Simmons is a lovely individual (insert sarcasm here.)   He is slimy and smug and creepy.  He gets smart with Beckett and Castle tells him to back off at which point Simmons tells Beckett that he is “sweet on her.”  She starts to interrogate him about Raglin and their connection.  Simmons who, for all his thuggery, seems to be a very smart guy, starts a play-by-play on police interrogation of suspects much to Beckett’s displeasure.  She brings up her mother’s murder and lays out a scenario in which Simmons is responsible.  “Tell me you don’t remember her” Beckett asks as she lays a copy of her mother’s crime scene in front of him.  He says he does remember her and stars to castigate Beckett’s mom.  After hearing enough, Beckett snaps and throws him into the glass divider and threatens to bring him down.  He simply laughs at her while the boys come in to pull her off him.  Castle stars him down and Simmons asks if he wants a piece of him as well.  When Castle moves towards him the boys back him off and Simmons bursts out into a cackle again.  Captain is pretty pissed at this point and scolds Beckett for acting like a rookie in allowing a suspect to get under her skin.  He promptly pulls her off the case and tells her to go home.  She storms out of the 12th.  Castle calls after her and the captain sends him home as well.  “I don’t need you playing Nancy Drew on this.”  Ouch.  He could have a least called him one of the Hardy Boys’ names.  He goes to Ryan and Esposito and tells them they are running point.  They don’t want to be insubordinate to Beckett so they respectfully decline.   Roy tells them that the best way to help her and have her back is to find Raglin’s killer and they are ordered to do so or lose their detective shields.  They agree.

My first tearful moment of the episode happens between 2 characters that is usually a source of levity and humor….Castle and his mom.  She is really happy he is alright and warns him that this is not one of his books and that he doesn’t know how it will end.  He was very lucky yesterday.  He starts to chuckle and asks where this is coming from.  She is furious at him and says to him “How the hell can you ask me something like that?  Think about how much you love Alexis, that is exactly how much I love you and don’t you dare question where this is coming from.  You have gotten through life on your wit and your charm and no small amount of talent.  But that is the real world out there and you can’t charm your way out of a bullet.”  Susan Sullivan was sensational.  And the look on Rick’s face was heartbreaking.  It finally dawned on him that when he goes out on these cases that he isn’t professionally trained to handle, his family fears for him.  Rick asks his mom if he should quit and she tells him that he should ask himself why he is really doing this.  “You’ve written 22 novels before you met her and you didn’t need to spend every day in a police station in order to finish them.”   He finally admits what we have all been thinking….it’s not about the books anymore.

Back at the 12th, the boys are looking over surveillance video of the building where the shot came from.  It’s a secure building and everyone needs a key card to get in.  They a guy take down a woman and snag her key card.  They decide to track down who she is since he grabbed her with his bare hand and maybe they can get a print.  Seems a stretch to me but I’ll go with it.  They do find the girl and are able to get a print off her arm.  The print matches up to Hal Lockwood but his record is clean and only goes back 2 years.  Something tells him Hal isn’t really Hal.   They check his credit card and he used it at hotel suite in midtown.  And apparently he’s a dumb criminal.  They bust into the room and find drugs, weapons, and pictures of Beckett.  He has been following her.  Meanwhile Castle goes to see Beckett and brings her flowers to cheer her up.   I love him!  She invites him in and he starts telling her about all the great detectives had plucky side kicks and did their best work after being booted off a case.  Captain told them they couldn’t investigate Raglin’s murder but not her mother’s case.   Crafty!  His plan is to sneak back into the 12th at 15 after the hour when Roy always takes his coffee break and wear a hat and quiet soft soled shoes (ha!) and steal her mother’s case file.   Beckett, grinning like the Cheshire Cat at the idea, shows him her homemade “white board” of her mother’s case.  “I sometimes forget that you live with this every day” he tells her.  He asks if Josh knows about this and she tells him no.  Castle gets a slight smile at the fact that she hasn’t shared this with her boyfriend but she has with him.  I LOVE IT!!!  They start going over the facts and decide to revisit Joanna’s personal papers thinking there may have been something they missed.    Castle finds some pictures of Kate and her mom while they are about to go ice skating and he is disappointed there aren’t any of her actually skiing.  He grabs the negatives to see if he can find action shots but he finds something else instead.   4 negatives show pictures her mom took of the alley, 3 weeks before she was killed in the exact same spot.

Roy gets the information about Hal and brings it to Beckett.  He tells her that this guy has been watching her and he isn’t a rookie, he’s an experienced killer.  Her first instinct is to tell Castle and Roy tells her that he already told him…when he caught him in the men’s room looking through case files.  I can just imagine how that went down!!!  Beckett begs to be brought back into the case and Roy tells her no.  Back at the 12th, the boys analyze the drugs they found at Hal’s suite and think they are connected to Simmons.  But, apparently, each drug ring has their own logo they brand on the pills and the brand isn’t Simmons but some kid named Chad from SoHo.  How marketing savvy of the drug lords!!!!   They bring snot nosed Chad in and find out that he doesn’t know Hal but that he did sell the drugs to a blond-haired girl named Jolene who lives in Brooklyn and that’s all he knows.  Castle goes to see Beckett again at her place and she asks him to go home and walk away from the case.  He declines.  “Fear does not exist in this dojo.”  Love the Karate Kid reference!!!  She tells him that she has the badge so she signed up for this, he didn’t.  “It’s not your fight” she tells him.  “The hell it isn’t” he responds.  The second tear-jerker moment coming up!!!  He tells her that he doesn’t ride along with her to annoy her or go to scenes in the middle of the night to get his jollies off.  “Then why do you keep coming back Rick?”  Ooooh she called him Rick!!  Again awkward pause due to the fact that they love each other and won’t admit it.   There.  I said it.  But the way they are looking at one another in this scene, they know and don’t have to say it.  Castle then finally says that he may not have a badge (other than the chocolate one Alexis gave him for his birthday…ha) but he is her plucky side kick.  “Plucky side kicks always get killed” she says.  “Partner then” he replies.  They get to work.  Castle tells her he found something.  19 yrs ago, another murder was committed in that same alley where he mother was killed.  The alley had a back door entrance to a club run by the mafia.  An undercover FBI agent named Bob Armond was killed there.  He was working undercover to take down the mafia from the inside.  A man by the name of Joseph Pulgatti was arrested for the murder.   He was a mob enforcer back in the day and he pled guilty to the crime.  Guess who the arresting officer was?   John Raglin.  C&B go to see Pulgatti in prison.

Pulgatti says he didn’t kill Bobby.  When Castle asked why he confessed, he admits because he didn’t want to be executed.  So they ask if another family may have done this and Pulgatti tells them no.  Pulgatti explains to him that back at that time, there was a truce between the heads of the 5 families because there were ghost kidnappings happening that were targeting all 5 families.  Joe and Bobby were in the alley that night when a van with 3 ski-masked guys pull up and attempt to take Joe away.  Bobby tried to grab one of the guns and ended up getting shot and Joe was framed for the crime.  Joe admits to being in the alley but no one else could have known that because it was a blind alley.  So the only people who knew who was there, were Bobby, Joe, and the 3 kidnappers.  So Raglin, was one of the kidnappers.  Beckett starts to ask him about her mom and he tells her how much she looks like her.  He says that he sent letters to every lawyer he could find and her mom was the only one who responded.  She didn’t care that he was a thug, all she wanted was the truth.  She promised to look into Pulgatti’s case and then she was killed.  Pulgatti tells Beckett not to get herself killed over this.

Back at the 12th, Roy isn’t pleased about C&B investigating her mother’s murder but is interested in the information they collect.  They tell him everything they learned from Pulgatti and her mother’s papers.  They inform him that Raglin was one of the kidnappers and when he realized he was dying, went to Beckett to tell her what happened (they had the lawyers, including her mother, killed because they were looking into the case) and he was killed because of it.  There are still 2 other conspirators out there.  Ryan says that one of them is McAllister and they know that because they pulled the dispatch logs and the only person backing up Raglin on the night of the arrest of Pulgatti was McAllister.  Roy wants to see him now.    C&B question McAllister and he doesn’t deny his involvement in the kidnappings.  He said the mafia families back then ran everything and you couldn’t touch them because they paid everyone to leave them alone.  Raglin and McAllister were frustrated because the mafia were bad people who shouldn’t get away with their crimes and started with the kidnapping spree to collect money from the families and try to bankrupt them.  When Beckett accuses him of hiring Coonan to kill her mom when she figured out the truth, he tells her that it wasn’t him.  It was someone else.  Someone she could never touch.  Then he tells her “You don’t understand Detective.  You woke the Dragon.  And this is so much bigger than you realize.”  WOW.  At that point he shuts up and asks for a lawyer.  He’s afraid of someone and it isn’t a cop.  Who the hell could it be?  The boys find a lead on the shooter.  They tracked down Jolene from Brooklyn as 2 possible suspects.   They split up and the boys go to one apartment while C&B go to the other.  The place C&B show up at, is the right location because she has been killed.  When she radios to the boys about their discovery, they go to leave the stairwell of the other Jolene’s apartment but a stink bomb goes off and they are kidnapped by Hal and his people.

Hal dumped the cell phones of the boys and Jolene so C&B look to find a cell phone bill where they can track Hal and hopefully find where he has the boys.  Hal has them in some sort of warehouse and tells them that their investigation has gone further than he expected and so he can finish his job, he needs to know exactly what they have on him and his employer.   Option 1, tell him what he needs to know and he kills them with a shot to the head.  Option 2, if they jerk him around, he will torture them until they finally tell him.   They go with Option 2, jerking him around.  Love them!  The torture begins but luckily C&B have found the warehouse through Jolene’s cell phone bill.  C&B are at the warehouse and there is a guard outside the door.  Beckett is out of ideas that won’t kill the boys and Castle comes up with a brilliant one.  Here comes the moment C&B fans have been waiting for!!!!  They pretend to be a drunk couple to lure the guard away from the door, get him to lower his guard, and take him down but Beckett says he isn’t buying it.   Just when she goes to grab her gun, Castle grabs her, turns her towards him and kisses her!!!!  She pulls away and then sideways glances at the guard and starts kissing him again.  It gets pretty hot and heavy (yeah it does!!!) and just when the guard smiles and turns to walk away, she Chuck Norris kicks him and he goes down.   Castle says “That was amazing!!”  Beckett gives him a look and he fumbles to say, the way you took him down was amazing.   AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!   That was fantastic!!!!   Inside they are still torturing Ryan and Esposito tells them to stop.  Ryan tells him not to say anything but he can’t watch it anymore.  He has to tell Hal everything he knows….about him and his mom.  The boys burst out laughing and Hal tells one his cronies to shoot Ryan in the knee cap.  Esposito freaks out and just as Ryan is about to be shot, Beckett kills him.  A shoot out begins and Beckett takes out everyone in Hal’s crew but Hal.  When she goes to reload, Hal has her in his sights and Castle sees this.  When he goes to shoot, Castle jumps him and knocks him out.  He actually beats him in the face several times with the passion of a man who was about to witness the love of his life being gunned down.  This doesn’t go unnoticed by Beckett!!

Hal is taken into custody and Castle is having his hand tended to by the paramedic.  It’s uncomfortable so he unwraps it and guess who comes to gently fix it for him?  Roy.  I’m kidding.  Kate does.   The boys are ok and Hal is going to prison.  She thanks Castle for having her back and he responds “always.”  Later she goes to see Hal in prison and asks who his employer is.  He doesn’t answer.  Kate has something he needs to know:

“I’ve put a lot of people in this place.  Some of them want to kill me.  Others have never been treated so fairly in their lives.  So they form this attachment to me, it’s like I’m their favorite school teacher.  Some of those people might visit you while you’re in here.  Like the ghosts who visit Scrooge.  And after some time with them you might find yourself a changed man.  So I will be back here week after week to ask you who hired you till that miracle occurs.”

COMMENTS

She was so good in this episode.  If Stana Katic doesn’t receive an Emmy for her performance, something is seriously wrong.  She was outstanding.  As I mentioned before, everyone was on their game during “Knockdown.”  I can’t even give you stand outs because EVERYONE was awesome.  But I do want to make a small shout out to Susan Sullivan for making her 5-7 minutes of air time so poignant and impactful.  She was remarkable.  You forget sometimes (at least I do) that Castle is simply a writer shadowing a detective for a book series.  He isn’t a cop or detective.  And he is put in dangerous situations all the time and has no training for it. It’s no wonder his family gets so concerned for his well-being.  But we all know why he does it.  As Martha said, he finished plenty of books before he met Kate so is 2 years of shadowing her plus the continuation of it, really necessary anymore?   Well yeah because we want the show on the air 10 more years!!!  But besides that, even though her point is valid, this is his life and he is researching for his book.  On top of it, because of his intelligence, he has been able to help them as sort of a consultant.  A Patrick Jane if you will….but more charming and handsome.  The handsome part is debatable, oh Lord I’m digressing here.   There is one other thing I want to point out from an acting standpoint in regards to Nathan Fillion.  He is perfect at being able to interject buoyancy into a serious episode without it coming across as stupid or completely out of context or ruining the mood.  He is a genius at the subtle delivery of lines and facial expressions that exude just the appropriate amount of humor in an otherwise austere scene or episode.  And I just had to give him credit for that.  He’s another one that deserves an Emmy.

I think this episode also really spoke to the relationships that have been forged over the last 3 seasons, and not just Castle and Beckett.  You really see Ryan and Esposito’s connection and loyalty to Beckett in the way they handled being handed her case.  You see the strong bond between Ryan and Esposito when they are being tortured and both are more concerned about each other than themselves.  We talked about Martha’s relationship with Castle showing a more emotional and touching side.  You see Roy and Beckett’s mutual respect and genuine admiration as they discuss her mom’s case and her involvement.  Castle and the boys already had a tight bond, but I’m sure it grew tighter when they saw just what Castle would do to protect Beckett.  And finally, Castle and Beckett. We all know they love each other even though they can’t admit it right now.  But it’s more than that.  There is a bond between them so unbreakable that they do things out of character for one another that neither would do for anyone else.  It is so powerful to watch on TV and it couldn’t be pulled off without the acting chops of Fillion and Katic.   Yes the kiss scene was what we all wanted to see.  But you could argue that the scenes in her apartment, the scene at the warehouse taking down Hal, and the final scene between them in the ambulance were even more critical to where their relationship has come over the years.

What does all this mean?  Who is the Big Bad behind this whole thing?  Who is the Dragon that has arisen?  Who is so big, Beckett can’t touch them?  Is it someone we have already met?  Is someone we have yet to meet?  Or is it someone who has been talked about but not seen or heard from yet?  The last question is directly related to one person…her father.  What do we know about James Beckett?  I don’t think we know what he did for a living but we do know their family had money.  Joanna was civil rights lawyer but that could mean a modest living or a lucrative one.  We know her father was an alcoholic and that Kate was overseas in Russia for a while immediately after her mother’s death.   Which is why she feels guilty about her father’s alcoholism.  Could it be that her father has something to do with this?  I don’t know.  If it’s someone she can’t touch, it would have to be either someone high in political office or a wealthy business person or a high-end criminal (like Vulcan Simmons.)  Either way, this has been a great running storyline since Season 1 and I can’t wait to watch Beckett take down the bastard that did this to her and her mom.   I also like how close it has brought Castle and her together.

So let’s talk about the kiss.  What did you think?  I thought it was perfect!!!!  It was real, first of all, even if it was because of a cover.  Anyone who has eyes and a heart knows that kiss was real and passionate between them regardless of why it happened.  I think it was a clever way to give the viewers something they have been wanting to see for 3 years but yet still not disrupt the sexual chemistry and tension between the two.  There are two other shows out there currently (that I watch) where the leads have this sexual tension and one show has gone there and one still hasn’t….Chuck and Bones.  Now I don’t watch House so all you House and Cuddy fans don’t throw things at me.  Bones still has Booth and Brennan apart but is it getting to the point where it is bothersome?  Not yet for me (but I am still on Season 5) and I still like how much their “will they or won’t they” bring to the show.  Chuck decided to put their leads together and it hasn’t effected the chemistry or heat between Chuck and Sarah at all.  I mean did you see her in the cat suit get up last night and Chuck’s reaction?   Hello!!!!    I think if it’s done right and you have the right storyline and cast to pull it off, you can get them together and still work.  I think they can do it on Castle.  Maybe next season will be the time.   But I want to know what you guys think.

Sorry for the length but this episode was a biggie and deserved this type of focus and attention.  This truly was a perfect episode and one of the finest hours of TV I have seen in a long time.  Sound off below on what you thought about “Knockdown” and who the Big Bad is and our favorite crusaders finally playing some tonsil hockey.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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Castle “Knockdown” Sneak Peaks

Just to get us excited for tonight’s big Castle titled “Knockdown,”  here are a few preview clips.  The last one really makes me tear up!!  I am getting so excited!!!!  This episode is going to be fantastic!!!!

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in ABC

 

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The Closer Not Closed After All?

The King of Scoop, Michael Ausiello is reporting that talks are in place to keep the Closer going even if Kyra Sedgwick steps down from her Emmy winning role of Brenda Leigh Johnson.

Sounds like there are a few ways the series could go.    They could add some more episodes to Season 7 (going from 15-21) or running the Closer without Kyra and possibly a new lead (some people have suggested Mary McDonnell’s Captain Rader) or possibly launching a spinoff with many of the current characters.  Either way, unless some miracle happens, Kyra Sedgwick will not be part of the Closer after Season 7, which producers have already announced will be her last.

I completely understand TNT wanting to do everything they can to keep the highest rated cable show on the air as long as they can.  I just don’t see how you have “The Closer” without Kyra Sedgwick.  You can’t have the Closer with Captain Rader.  She’s IA, that’s not her job.  Brenda was brought in to the LAPD from Atlanta (and the show was created) because she was the best cop around who could “close the deal” and get the confession when many other people couldn’t.  So now a cop from IA is going to be able to do just what she could?  I don’t think so.  It belittles the whole premise of the show and Brenda’s character.

Luckily, as much as Kyra/Brenda is the show, the other characters have become very beloved and are incredibly likable, that they can do a “spinoff” with the cast.  It would be tough to do the whole cast because you can call the show whatever you want…”Major Crimes” “The Crew” or whatever, but you will still see the show as the Closer without Brenda.  I would watch a spinoff of Provenza and Flynn.   And hopefully they would have Sgt Gabriel and Det Sanchez go with them.   Maybe Lt Tao.  However, if you are going to keep the whole cast, I could see a new cast member coming in as the chief of Major Crimes and keeping the Closer as is with a new lead.  I would like to see Captain Rader stay, because I love Mary McDonnell and her character but she couldn’t lead Major Crimes.  She would never get the team’s support because there is too much bad blood there.  They have to bring in someone new.  I just don’t know how that would fly because they would have HUGE shoes to fill.

I’m torn about how I feel about this.  Part of me is thrilled because I love this show.   But, I big reason why I love this show is Brenda and relationships with her division and her chemistry with the cast.  Will the Closer be the Closer without Brenda?  I don’t think so.  So the other part of me says, let the Closer go with Kyra leaving, and end the show while it is on top.   As for spinning off, I’m torn about that as well.  As much as I love Flynn and Provenza, I don’t know if I can watch a whole show with them as the leads.  I probably could because they are awesome but can they carry their own show?  I don’t know.   I’m still praying for a miracle and hope that they can somehow convince Kyra Sedgwick to keep going with the series, but that is highly unlikely.

So what do you think?  Are you happy to see the Closer possibly returning?  Would you watch the Closer without Brenda?  Would you watch a spinoff?  Sound off below!

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Canceled Shows, Spoilers and Scoop, TNT

 

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