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Monthly Archives: February 2013

RECAP & REVIEW: Castle “Target” & “Hunt” S5 E 15 & 16

WOW.   Just….wow.  Easily the two best episodes Castle has ever done.  It was very reminiscent of the two parter they did a few seasons ago (Tick, Tick, Tick & Boom) where I was on the edge of my seat dying to know what was going to happen next.  But what put this twofer (a little 30 Rock reference) ahead of the others was the emotional tug on your heart-strings from so many angles in addition to the action packed portions of the episodes.

Believe it or not, I’m going to start with the 3 negatives so I can get them out-of-the-way and because they were so minor.  First, I thought Dylan Walsh was woefully underused as a guest start.   In these twofers, Castle has always had really strong guest stars from Adrian Pasdar to Dana Delaney who have been excellent in their roles and really added a strong character base to such a plot driven series of episodes.  I was really excited to see Walsh as a guest star because I’ve always been a fan of his.   But because this was so Castle focused, Walsh really wasn’t needed.  I think we only saw him for about 5 minutes in “Hunt” so for me, you could have cast any actor to play that part because he wasn’t as integral to the story and didn’t seem to enhance it at all.  Second, the lack of Beckett and Castle working together on this.  Now I know they did, but not in their usual way.  Again, this is minor because I liked the way she was more Kate the girlfriend than Beckett the cop in these episodes.  She was there as the woman who loves him and is broken over seeing this happen to Alexis and to him.  I was hoping to see them go off to Paris together to get Alexis back but I applaud Marlowe for taking the daring risk of not doing that because it honestly made better sense for the story.  Rick would leave Kate behind because he couldn’t risk her doing the things he needed to do to get Alexis back because she is an officer of the law.  He, on the other hand, is a desperate father frantically trying to save his little girl.  Therefore, he can use his contacts, however shady they are, to get the information he needs and not put Beckett in a difficult situation.  And even though it was the right call and I agreed with it 100%, there was a part of me, who so loves seeing them work together, sad that the one time you really need Beckett’s skills to team up with him, is the one time we can’t see it.   Finally, the CGI of Paris was horrible.  Wow, it couldn’t have looked any worse.   But that’s all for the negative.   See I told you it was minor!

I’ve read many articles over the years where the cast of Castle doesn’t get their due credit for being “serious” actors.  Because this show has many episodes where the goofiness and silliness is played up, the serious tones don’t seem to carry as much weight.  After watch “Target” and “Hunt” I would defy anyone to tell me these people aren’t serious actors.  I’ve always said that Stana Katic is painfully underrated for her acting skills.  She’s one of best on TV in my opinion who can really hit certain notes from a comedic side as well as a serious side.   She has the chops for both.  And over the years, she has gotten stronger and stronger.  Her best scene of the twofers was when she was questioning Hanson’s girlfriend and that girl gave her nothing but attitude and disrespect.  The next thing you know, Beckett kicks her chair so hard that chick goes flying off her chair into a wall and Beckett gets in her face screaming about how she’s in her way of finding a missing girl.  Holy. Shit!  I’ve seen Beckett get fired up before but this was something different.  She would have been last person on earth (well maybe second after Castle) that I would have ever messed with at that point.  She was brilliant!   This was a combination of cop being agitated at a person blocking her investigation and a girlfriend so angry that this bitch would block her ability to find her boyfriend’s missing daughter.  Not a good combination for little miss sassy pants!

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Alexis character.  I certainly don’t dislike her but I always thought she was written a little too perfectly.  And I know I’m being a hypocrite because I’m always the first one to defend the Reagan family on Blue Bloods and they (except for Danny at times) are written the same way.   But it’s one thing for adults who have been around a long time and who are bound by the law, to be so black and white, good vs bad in their convictions.  It’s a whole other thing for it to be a young girl in high school to be so righteous.  See how I justify that?   But seriously, Alexis seemed way too mature for her age.  Now is there something wrong with showing a responsible, respectful, good person?  Absolutely not.  In fact, I wish we saw more of that.  But no one is THAT perfect.  I mean this girl never made a mistake.  EVER.  And making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human.  So that’s always been my gripe with Alexis.  But I have to admit, there was no one rooting for her to be saved more than me.  And Molly Quinn was sensational.  True to Alexis’ character, she played her as calm and cerebral during the early parts of the situation always looking out for her friend.  It wasn’t until she was able to Skype her dad and see him that she lost it a bit.   And I would be the same way.  If I saw my dad, I would lose it.  It wasn’t until later when she realizes that not only is she not in NYC but she’s in Paris, did she really get scared.   And later when we saw her in that cage not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing where her friend was, not knowing if she was going to live, did we see her eyes swollen and red with fear.  I’m glad she played it that way and they wrote it that way because as strong and as smart as Alexis is, she’s still a 19-year-old person with no training or experience in these situations.  You bet she’d be scared out of her mind.   My only gripe is at the end when she is rescued and Castle brings her back home, when she’s walking up to her front door, all she says very cavalierly is “wow I’m so glad to be home” like she had a really bad flight back from spring break instead being held hostage for days by crazy people.   Maybe it’s me, but I would still be a little more shaken up and she seemed like she was ready to just get back to normal.  Even with that, Molly Quinn, you were outstanding!!

So 1,200 words in, let’s get to our main man and all that went down for him.   Because not only did he have to save his daughter’s life, but in the middle of all this mayhem, he meets, for the first (really second) time in his life, his father!   Nathan Fillion was BRILLIANT in these episodes.  He didn’t just knock it out of the park, he drilled it to the moon!  The first scene we really see a whole new Castle is from last week’s “Target” when he asks Beckett to have a moment alone with the man who drove the van with the girls in it.  I know there has been much discussion over this scene and my opinion is that I have no problem with it.   He’s a father desperate to find his daughter and this man is his only lead.  You do what you have to do to find her.  No issues at all with that.  Extenuating circumstances cause people to do extraordinary things they wouldn’t normally do or condone.  And I think it was even better that we didn’t see it!

So Castle has left everyone behind and has headed to Paris to find Alexis.  Her friend Sara was released but Alexis was not.  Fearing she’s not collateral damage, he high tails it to Paris to use his contacts there to track Alexis down.   One of Castle’s old connections, that he used to help him with some of his books, introduces him to man named Jacque who will help him find Alexis.  Jacque is able to help and tells Castle the kidnappers want 3 million in Euro in exchange for Alexis.  When they go to the drop point, in a move I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t see coming, Jacque turns the tables on Castle and puts a gun to his head and takes his money.   Just as Rick is about to meet his maker, bullets start flying from an unknown location and all the baddies (including Jacque) are taken out.  Castle turns around to see Mr. Barbra Streisand standing there telling him that he’s the good guy and that he should come with him immediately.  When back at his place, Castle sees all the pictures of Alexis on the wall and Jackson Hunt (that’s the name he gave to Castle) explains to him that this whole situation is his fault.   That Alexis was kidnapped because of him as a payback for killing a former KGB member’s wife and child years ago.  Castle is understandably confused and asks how this could have anything to do with Alexis and that’s when Hunt tells him that they went after her because he was careless and slipped.  They went after her, because she is his granddaughter.  “Rick, I’m your father.”  As if this man doesn’t have enough to deal with….WOW!!!!!  Now that’s how you introduce a long-lost father into the fold!

My fear with this storyline is that I really thought Brolin was going to end up being a bad guy.   Turns out, he’s nothing of the sort.  He’s actually a hero in many ways.   We learn that he had a wonderful night with Martha but being a spy, was called away on an assignment, he couldn’t disclose that to her, so he left.  A year later he learns about Castle.  Then Castle learns that his father has been keeping track of him all these years and that they even met once.  Curious, Castle asks when.  He tells about the time they were in a book store and Castle was looking for something to read and his dad recommended Casino Royale.  “That was you?” Rick asks him and he confirms it.  Castle tells him that’s the book that made him want to become a writer.  Aw.  Then Hunt tells him the words every kids wants to hear from their father “Son, I’m really proud of you.”  The look (and the tears) in Castle’s eyes were indescribable.  It was beautiful.  I loved the way the writers and the actors handled this moment and this whole encounter.   It could have been really cheesy or really cliché.  Instead, it was so perfectly handled.  Brolin played it so well.  He was very matter-of-fact about his life without seeming cold and distant.  He also told Castle how he followed his life and career, as any proud parent would, without being creepy.  It was perfection.  And Rick, well talk about bad timing.  Your whole life this enigma finally comes back and instead of having a Walton’s type reunion, you have to pull all that aside because your daughter’s life is at risk.  And to top it off, once his plan to rescue her is enacted, they just have to run and not look back.  He won’t know if his father made it out or not and that’s the way it has to be.   So no steak dinner reunion for these men.  It’s hi, nice to meet you, love you, now let’s go bomb these KGB freaks ok?

His plan works like a charm and Alexis is rescued by her dad and pop-pop.  When they get home, Martha and Kate are both there so excited to see them and hugs and kisses are flowing everywhere.  Castle walks into the kitchen where a package arrived for him.  He opens it up and inside is a copy of Casino Royale.  Dad is ok!!!!  He then looks at Martha with a huge smile on his face and says “mom, there’s something I have to tell you.”  Face to black.

What an amazing set of episodes from Castle.  I really have to say that I am so impressed with how Andrew Marlowe has handled this season.  He finally puts his leads together, Beckett’s mother’s storyline is no longer a who done it but a how are we going to catch him direction, Alexis is kidnapped, and Rick meets his father.  And the fans were worried Season 5 might suck with Caskett together.  Please!!!!  This show is better than ever!!!

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 36 Covers Suits, Scandal, Pretty Little Liars, Nashville, The Amercians, The Following and More!

Episode 36 is now available.  Please click here to access the podcast or simply download from iTunes.   This episode covers:

  1. TV News
  2. Suits
  3. Scandal
  4. Pretty LIttle Liars
  5. Nashville
  6. The Americans
  7. The Following

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Podcast

 

TV News Update!

Renewed:

Banshee
Shameless
House of Lies
Californication
Ripper Street
NCIS

Canceled:

Do No Harm (that didn’t last long!)

Casting:

Christina Applegate is leaving Up All Night after this season

The cancelation of Do No Harm, is no surprise.  It premiered to the worst numbers in the history of TV’s big four (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX.)  With that benchmark, there was no where for it to go but canceled.  So I guess I can removed that from my DVR.

I’ve made this argument before.  I think shows that premiere in February and beyond for “mid-season” are too late.  Mid season should have a premiere week like the fall season.  Maybe you have a few new shows air early, but for the most part, everything premieres at one time and nothing new really premieres too much after that.  The reason being, everyone is set in their TV viewing habits, for the season, by Feb.  Also, when you stagger all these premiere dates out between Jan-May, people forget what is premiering and when.  I forgot about shows like Do No Harm and Monday Mornings.  I have no idea when Zero Hour premieres off the top of my head.  If I have to remember all these dates, screw it.  I can’t be bothered.  I have more important things to do.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t be interested in those shows, I just can’t be bothered to remember when everything new is premiering.  It’s insane.  Not to mention, I already have my DVRs packed with shows.  You have to be something really great (like The Following) to make it into my DVR for mid season.  Or, promote it really heavily (like Smash did last year) to make sure I know when your show is on.  But even then, it’s a crap shoot with me.

Networks are doing mid season shows a disservice to premiere them so late and so staggered.  In my opinion, don’t even bother airing it because more than likely, it’s going to fail.  You have the rare gem (The Following, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy) that premiere mid season and became big successes.  Although the jury is still out on the Following but the early numbers are very impressive.  But many times, your stuck with a Work It, Alcatraz, Don’t Trust the B, The Cape, or Eli Stone (which still bugs me that it was canceled.)  And in some instances, these aren’t bad shows.  Eli Stone, Alcatraz, The Chicago Code, Bent…these were good shows.  But no one cared because they premiered too late.    As long as networks continue to keep premiering mid season shows this way, this is what is going to happen…many more failures than successes.

Christina Applegate is leaving Up All Night.  I stopped watching that after four episodes last year and never came back.  I loved Applegate and Will Arnet but I couldn’t stand Maya Rudolph’s character.  I love Rudolph, but her character was beyond annoying.  She detracted from the show for me.  So I stopped watching.  I heard they re-tooled the show but I was already onto other shows at that point.  And now the rumor is that they are re-tooling the re-tooled show.  What is going on?  If you need to re-tool your show that many times, you should just wave the white flag because your show must not be that good and you obviously don’t know what you want.  I give shows credit that when they see something wrong, they try to correct it.  Although there are some shows that still don’t care, but for the ones that do, I applaud them.  Changing or adjusting a few things here or there is one thing.  Completely re-doing your show twice in less than a year?  Then there’s a bigger problem.  The series creator has left the show.  The original show runner left the show.  Now one of the stars is leaving the show.  Ok NBC, enough is enough.  Pull the show.  If the people behind the show don’t even believe in their show, why should I or any viewer?   Pull the plug.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in TV News

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Scandal “Nobody Like Babies” S2 E13

Was that the season finale?   Because it sure felt like a season finale.   Scandal has always been a show with a fast pace…both speaking and storytelling.  I love that about the show.  There aren’t filler episodes like many shows have or episodes that don’t mean anything or episodes where your heart can take a break.  You are on the edge of your seat with every episode.  And tonight was no different.  Some MAJOR things happened so let’s start going through all this.

The big question that got answered was that we finally learned who shot Fitz.  And it turned out, it was Verna.  I was going with Hollis, until last week.  After last week happened, I had no idea who it was going to be.  I really didn’t think it was Sally Langston and I was petrified it was going to turn out to be Mellie.  But Verna was a good solution.  I’m not going to lie, I was a bit surprised, but not nearly as surprised as how the episode ended!!!  More on that later.   Olivia has a showdown with Verna in the hospital about what Verna attempted to do and Verna called Olivia out.  Basically Verna told her that if she is going to call Verna a coward, she should look in the mirror.  And she’s right, although Olivia is no killer.  Bad person?   Yes.  Killer?  No.   But Olivia’s attack on her certainly got through to her because she picked up the phone and called David Rosen right away.  When Rosen arrives to talk to Verna, he’s denied entrance because of security.  We learn the security is there because the POTUS is there and needs to speak with Verna.  Unfortunately, Verna passes away before she has a chance to confess her sins to Rosen.

Another big payoff, which disappointed me, was Abby finally learning that Olivia and Harrison lied to her and set David Rosen up as an abuser.  While Abby was upset, I thought she would be even more pissed off.  I know I would.  But what really bothered me was Harrison’s reaction to her.  We’ve seen him be torn up about what he had to do to her and how much it bothered him.  So for him to be so cold and robotic and go into that God awful gladiator speech again, was unnerving.  And it goes to back to what my #1 issue is with this show.  Why can’t we get SOME explanation as to why these people will so blindly follow Olivia Pope into the darkness and off a cliff?  For once, Quindsay gave me a reason to root for her when last week, she started demanding answers to the same question many of us viewers have…why do you all do what Olivia says, no questions asked?  I really thought, FINALLY, we’re going to get somewhere with this.  Nope.  Shut down.  I hate it.  Harrison, Huck, even Abby…I am no longer buying the “she saved my life” speech as to why they do anything she says regardless of the consequences.  For me, I need more than that and if Shonda Rhimes is going to ask me to buy into that, she owes me an explanation.  Because it’s getting absurd.   For Harrison to tell Abby to suck it up, it’s the job, after what Olivia has done for them she needs to understand the rules or get out, was awful.  If that blind loyalty is supposed to earn my respect as a viewer, it hasn’t.  In fact, it knocked him down a few more pegs (and he was already pretty low.)  I can’t understand Harrison’s POV if I don’t have any idea what she did for him.  I can’t buy into this loyalty without a reason anymore.  In the beginning, I could let it go.  But we’ve been through enough episodes where I need at least one back story to shed some light.  Otherwise, how could I feel bad for Abby after betraying David and stealing that flash drive and therefore destroying his career?  Better to save Olivia Pope, one of the bad guys, than to save the man you love, who just so happens to be one of the good guys?  I know Olivia saved her from an abusive husband and if I were in Abby’s shoes, I would be eternally grateful.  But at some point, especially after what Olivia did to her with using that abuse as a way to get what she wanted, Abby has the right to call Olivia out and say “if you saving my life comes with the price tag of using my past to throw in my face when you need something to go your way, then I’m out and you’re scum.”  Saving their lives is one thing.  Using that against them later for your own benefit, is just sleazy.

So speaking of David, he subpoena’s James to testify about Defiance and the voter fraud.  As a result, James and Cyrus have this fantastic moment in their bedroom where Cyrus doesn’t trust James and James doesn’t trust Cyrus and they both make the other strip to prove neither is wearing a wire.  It was beautiful and sad at the same time.  While they do love each other, they have a terrible marriage!!  After what they each put the other through, I don’t know how they’re still together.  Hell Cyrus even hired Charlie to kill James!!!  Now he eventually told him to stop but only with 1 second to spare.  He’s insane!!!  Those two need some serious counseling.

The final big reveal is that Fitz finds out…about everything!  And his reaction was not what you expected (even though I called it right away!)  I’ve never been shy about saying the unpopular opinion that I hate Olivia and Fitz together.  Can I deny the chemistry between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn?   Hell no.  It’s palpable.  But do I like it?  No.  He’s the POTUS and he’s married.  I think it’s disgusting how they not only have the affair but how they have flaunted it and been so careless with it.  Where they’ve had sex, they couldn’t care less if Mellie or someone else saw.  They have been incredibly disrespectful.  Not that affairs are the most classy or most respectful actions a man and woman enact.  But come on.  Do you have to be so blatant about it?  Sheesh.  So I don’t find Olivia and Fitz romantic or destined to be together.  Nope.  Not even a little.  So I did jump with joy when I saw that he ended up choosing to be with Mellie after all.

In the beginning, Fitz told Olivia not to marry Edison and to wait for him because he was divorcing Mellie and he didn’t care what that did to his political career.  He talks about how Mellie induced labor to try to keep Fitz at her side and he couldn’t be with someone like that.  Olivia couldn’t give him an answer.  When she sees Edison later she gives him back his grandmother’s ring and tells him that she can’t marry him.  When he asks why she tells him that she wants a painful, devastating, passionate love and that he should want that too.  Edison correctly informs Olivia that love shouldn’t be painful or devastating.  It should be fun and joyful and wonderful. The look on her face was priceless because she looked at him like she didn’t know there was any other kind of love.

At Verna’s funeral, she goes up to Fitz and accepts his offer and agrees to wait for him.  Fitz coldly tells her that she should marry Edison and that he made a mistake telling her to wait for him and that she should go away and move on with her life.  And while the President is giving Verna’s eulogy, we flash to her time in the hospital with him where she not only admits that she was the one behind the shooting, but that she and her team of misfits fixed the election so he would win.  He starts to guess the names of the people involved and when he gets to Olivia, he is absolutely crushed.  Then Verna sticks the knife in even further by telling Fitz he should have never been the POTUS but she only did so because of his charm and because that’s what his father wanted.  Ouch.  She had to bring up daddy.  Fitz then calmly tells Verna that her legacy won’t be tarnished and neither will his and he gently lifted her oxygen mask off her face and held down her hands so she couldn’t grab the mask or call for help and then she died.   FITZ KILLED VERNA!!!

After all this, Mellie goes to visit Fitz in the office and he asks her if she loves him.  She responds that of course she does and that she will always stand beside him and always be by his side.  He tells her that of everyone he knows, she’s the only one he can trust because she’s the only one who’s been completely honest with him the whole time.  And he asks if she will continue to be honest and stand by him.  She says that while he’s wavered on her, she’s never wavered on him and will never.  They seal their agreement with a kiss and the First Family is back together.

I’m sure there are many people who will be upset thinking “why did Mellie get off the hook about the election rigging and not Olivia?”  Here’s why.  Mellie has never hidden who she is…ambitious, ruthless, and cunning.  She doesn’t hide it, she doesn’t apologize for it.  It’s like McDonald’s vs. Subway.  McDonald’s doesn’t pretend it’s healthy, therefore you can’t be mad at it when you eat there and your jeans feel tight.  But Subway promotes itself has “healthy eating” yet has a million ways to sneak in the bad stuff that you had no idea was in there so that when your jeans get tight, you blame yourself instead of them.  Mellie is McDonald’s and Olivia is Subway.  Fitz wasn’t pissed at Mellie because he wouldn’t expect anything less from her.  But Olivia?  He held Olivia to higher standard and she crushed that when she aligned herself with the group to fix the election.  In that moment, she was no different from his father who said he couldn’t win on his own.  In Fitz’s mind, she didn’t believe in him.  She betrayed him.  And because of his love for her and because of the elevated opinion he had of her in regards to her integrity and loyalty, it hurt much more and cut more deeply than he ever thought possible.   That’s why Mellie gets the free pass and Olivia is left sitting in a church, alone, and crying.

What an amazing episode.  I’m wondering, now that it appears, aside from the David Rosen angle, that this main story is wrapped up, if we go back to the case-of-the-week scenario which started the series.  I hope so.  While all this has been fantastic, I kind of miss those cases.  So hopefully, we can get a little bit of each.  But with so much story to tell with the main arc, I can understand completely why the side cases were put on hold.

What did you all think of the episode?   Would love to hear your thoughts!!

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Castle “Recoil” S5 E13

Castle has always done a fantastic job with any episodes involving Johanna Beckett’s murder.  Last night revisited that story line and honestly, this was a weaker episode.  It’s hard to compare it to some of the other nail-biting, edge of your seat episodes they’ve had in the past, but since it’s not really about who anymore but when, it didn’t seem to pack as much punch.  Having said that, there were parts of the episode that were really fantastic.

Jack Coleman plays a great baddie.  Senator Bracken sure fits that bill. As we learn, not only does Beckett have a major beef with the Senator, but apparently so do a lot of other people who claim that he is responsible for their love one’s death.  In this case, a woman is murdered and she has ties to Senator Bracken so immediately Beckett and the boys think he’s guilty.  But as evidence is revealed to them, it turns out that Bracken was not the perp, but the victim.  Someone is planning to take out the Senator, this young woman found out and was killed.

The investigation leads to a man named Robert McManus, who we learn his son was murdered and he blames Bracken.  In their hunt for McManus, they find his apartment and Beckett, finds him.  She sees that he is a broken man and let’s him escape by “missing” when she shoots at him.  This really messes with Beckett especially when she finds out that he has C4 he is planning to use to attack Bracken.   Now innocent lives, not just Bracken’s, are at risk and this crushes Kate.  They track down the vest loaded with C4 and other evidence linking McManus to the crime and they arrest him.   None of this sits well with Beckett.  The vest was too complex for McManus to have rigged and there were too many pieces of the puzzle that didn’t fit.   Eventually, she comes to the conclusion that the bomber is going after Bracken where he is giving a speech on energy conservation.  She orders the evacuation of the building and after a quick sweep, nothing was found.  The Senator is furious for her blowing his big campaign speech and threatens to take her down.  Just when this is looking really bad for Beckett, she starts hearing a pinging sound.   It’s the same sound she heard on the cell phone recording the night the young woman was shot.  She realizes the bomb is in the car and runs to the Senator to keep from getting into the limo.  Just then, the detonator is activated and bomb explodes.  Castle tracks down the bomber (who was Bracken’s limo driver for years) and the Senator thanks Beckett for saving his life.   The real bomber is captured and McManus was just the man the bomber was framing do deflect attention away from himself.

I loved seeing how this affected Kate.  She’s always been a no-nonsense cop.  Things are very black and white with her when it comes to the law.  In “Recoil” we saw that line blur for the first time in her career.   We all know why Kate hates Bracken and that she’s just waiting for the chance to take him down.  And we learn in this episode that his criminal acts aren’t limited to just the Johanna Beckett case.  Turns out, if the claims against him are true, this man is pretty evil.  I give Kate so much credit because, like Castle said, if it were me and this is the bastard that had my mother killed, I’m not sure I would have saved his life.  And she did it twice.  The first time, she let McManus go because this is a man who is planning on killing the person responsible for her mother’s death.  It would certainly keep the blood off her hands and rid the world of an awful human being.  So would it really be so bad if she let him go and enact his plan?   She realizes that yes it would.  Especially when she finds out that this went from a sniper rifle attack, where just Bracken would be killed, to a bombing attack where innocent people would be killed.   She could never live with herself if she thought she let a killer go who was now going to destroy innocent people’s lives.  So she find McManus and stops him.   Only that’s not the right guy.   The second time is when she hears the clicking of the cigarette lighter and sees that the bomb is in the Senator’s limo and therefore, she runs to block him from entering the car.  So she saves him, twice.  Ok technically, McManus wasn’t a killer but in her mind, she wasn’t sure so she just went on the information she had.  So from a decision standpoint, where she could choose to let it happen or stop it, twice she chose to stop it.

I think the best part of this episode is seeing Kate struggle so much with this.  And it’s completely understandable.  The daughter in her wants her mom’s killer to pay for what he did no matter how that happens.  But the cop in her says it has been done through the right channels and the right way.  She doesn’t have the luxury of allowing someone to commit murder.  Well, really no one does, cop or no cop, but the dilemma is slightly stronger when you are an office of the law and you have sworn to always uphold it.  Kate’s integrity is a huge part of her makeup.  She is incredibly ethical and the lines of right and wrong are always very clear to her.  That’s why to see her start to blur that line was really eye-opening from her character’s perspective because she’d never done that before.  She would never even think of doing something like that.  But cops are not machines and I can’t blame them when a case is personal, that emotions, at times, can cloud their judgement. But Kate stays true to her character and eventually choose the right path.  In the end, while watching Bracken on the news with Castle, she tells Castle that eventually he’s slip up and that when he does, she’ll be there to make sure justice is served.  I, for one, am really looking forward to watching Kate bring him down.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Pretty Little Liars “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno” S3 E17

Poor Spencer.  That girl is going right off the deep end.  She just walked around this episode with all kinds of crazy in her eyes.   But can you blame her?   Spencer, for all her faults, has really been the brains behind tracking down who “A” is and how to stop him/her/them.  I’ve given her grief over the seasons because for being the smart one, she sure handled many issues very stupidly.  But her passion for wanting to protect the people she cares about was never a question.  And in my opinion, she’s been the most driven about taking this enemy down.  It’s just her personality.  She doesn’t do things half way.  She jumps in the deep end with both feet, legs, arms, head, everything.  She’s like that with school, family, friends, and her love life.  When Spencer wants something or someone, she’s all in and that’s how she was with Toby.  So you can imagine her devastation to learn that the person she has grown to love and give herself completely to, is none other than a member of the “A” team.  Between this episode and the last one, Troian Bellisario has done a fantastic job at showing her range of emotions.  From shock to disbelief.  From sadness to anger.  From utter betrayal to determination.  She has run the gamut in basically 24 hours.  The scene where she’s in her car about to meet someone and she’s trying like hell to pull herself together, perfectly sums up all her feelings.  She knows she needs to be strong, to get past this, and to get back to her end game of taking down “A.”  But she now realizes that in doing that, it also means, taking down the man she loves.  I have to say, I’m looking forward to that showdown!

Ezra finally learns the truth.  After going round and round of “I’ll tell him, I can’t tell him” the obvious happens…Ezra finds out from someone else.  Knowing Spencer’s in a fragile state, “Aria” sends a text to Spencer saying that she told Ezra and that he broke up with her and to come and see her in the park.  Spencer goes right over and sees Ezra in the park.   Seeing how she’s in a really pissy mode these days, she rips Ezra a new one about breaking up with Aria (that whole jumping in with both feet rears its ugly head again.)  Ezra has no idea what she’s talking about.  And even though I knew it was coming, I knew she was going to spill the beans, when it happened, I still gasped out loud.   I was heartbroken for Spencer when she realized what just happened.  I mean really, how much more pain can this girl take?  She runs off and Ezra immediately goes to Aria at school to confront her.  I found it funny that Ezra wanted to have this public discussion in front of everyone, yet it was Aria that asked them to be mature walk somewhere privately to talk.  After Ezra gives Aria  a verbal beat down, he takes off and Aria gets a text from “A” saying she needed a jump-start.

Later, they meet up and Ezra is packing his car.  He’s off to meet his son.  He tells Aria that he spoke with Maggie and she explained that she asked Aria to keep this secret putting her in an unfair position.   And even though Ezra forgave her, you could tell he was still bothered by what happened.  When he goes to leave Aria asks when he’ll be back and if she can call him.  His back is to her and he starts to cry.  He abruptly turns around, kisses her on the head and says he’ll be in touch.   Did, he just break up with her?  I think Aria is wondering the same thing as well.  Maybe Ezra finally realized that dating someone in high school while you’re a grown adult, and now a father, isn’t appropriate and it’s time to grow up, get a real relationship, one that doesn’t break the law, and move on.   Maybe he realized that by having a child now, put his 17-year-old girlfriend in a position she’s just too young to have to deal with.  Not to mention his kid is 7-8 years old.  Hell in 15 years, Aria could date the kid.   In all seriousness, it’s unfair to Aria.  She’s 17.  She does need to be dealing with a boyfriend who has a child with his ex.  SHE’S 17!!!!!!!  I say, let Ezra go be a dad, get a job, and start a new life and let Aria start hers again…with someone more age appropriate.

Aria goes to see Spencer and Aria handles herself like a real pro.  She would have every right to lay into Spencer but she didn’t.  One, because she knew it wasn’t her fault and that she was set up and two, because she knows something is going on with her right now.  While Aria wants to give her friend some space and let her work through whatever she’s dealing with, she was pretty perturbed that Spencer didn’t at least ask how she was doing.   I don’t blame her.  Being supportive of your friend when they are obviously going through something is one thing and letting her deal with it in her own way is fine.  But seeing that you are responsible for destroying your BFF’s relationship, couldn’t you put aside your demons for one second and be there for her?  I know it wasn’t really Spencer’s fault because she was set up, but ultimately, it was still her that let the cat out of the bag.  So for 5 minutes, show a little remorse and compassion to your friend who is also going through something pretty upsetting for her.

There was another big reveal in that we learned Allison may have been pregnant when she was killed.  Now there’s something I didn’t see coming but should have.  So now the question is, who’s the “hottie at the beach,” did that person impregnate Allison, and was she killed because of it by this person?  We know this all happened down in Cape May because of the picture Emily found.  Ironically, later in the police station where Emily is visiting her mom and Hanna is there for underage drinking, they see a picture of the creepy detective, with friends of his, down in Cape May.   Now I know this is a TV show.  I get it.  And connections need to be made. But really?  If you’re from the Philadelphia area, chances are you spend all if not some part of your summer down the Jersey Shore.  There are 5-6 million people in the Philadelphia area.  I would venture to say that at least 1-2 million head to the shore every summer.   A fair amount of those people, head to Cape May.  Not to mention all the people outside the Philly area that flock to Cape May every year.   So it could be anyone.  Because I would guess, and I’m going out on a limb here, that there are many “hotties at the beach” in the summer time.   I’m just saying.  But PLL is very good at bringing people back into the picture and making you question them.  But what is it with the writers putting adult men with high school girls?   ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

I wonder when Spencer is going to tell the girls about Toby.  How long will she hang onto that juicy detail.  If “A” is as dangerous as we’re all led to believe, then she owes it to her friends to tell them soon, especially Emily who’s still pretty good friends with Toby.  But she’s hired, what I assume is a private detective to do some digging around.  So I think it’s just a matter of time at this point.  Hell, it’s still only been 24 hours since this all came to light so I’m willing to cut her a break.  But at some point, she’s got to let them know.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in ABC Family, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SERIES FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: 30 Rock “Hogcock” & “Last Lunch”

Series finales are always tricky.  You invest so much time into the characters and their stories that when it’s going to be the last time you ever see them all together, you want something amazing.  You want something special.  You want something that make sense.  You want something that stays true to the characters.  You want closure.   You’ve all heard the shows people list as the biggest disappointments, in terms of series finales…St. Elsewhere, The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Lost, Chuck, The X-Files, Roseanne, Life on Mars.  Most of the time, your feelings on the finales are subjective.  Depending on what you wanted to get out the finale, you may have loved it while others hated it and vice versa.  However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard one person out there say the St. Elsewhere finale was wonderful.  Universally, it was hated.  But you have very divided camps over the Lost finale.  So you never know.  And depending on the type of show, you may be looking for resolutions to storylines and mysteries while on other shows, you may be looking for a sentimental farewell.  I would say that 30 Rock falls into the latter category and in terms of last night’s finale, it hit some home runs and in other areas, it struck out completely.

I always felt that this was a cast that truly loved working with one another.  Yes there were some things that happened with some of the actors off the screen during its run but all that insanity aside, the 30 Rock team was a family.  I loved reading all the articles leading up to the finale where you heard how hard it was for some of them to say good-bye and how emotional the final episode was from the table read to the final airing.  The cast also agreed to get together and watch the finale together.  They loved what they produced just as much as we loved watching it.

I didn’t watch 30 Rock right out of the gate.  In fact, I hated the show.  Not because I had ever seen it, but because it was the Modern Family of the Emmys back in its prime.  It won all the awards, it got all the great reviews, everyone buzzed about how this is the greatest comedy since Seinfeld.  I don’t know if it was because I felt like I was left out of the club or it was just over exposed, but every time I heard about 30 Rock, I would cringe with disgust.  But then, about 3 years ago, I took a trip to Italy.  Anyone who has ever traveled a significant distance knows that in addition to movies on the plane, there are now episodes of TV shows that you can watch.  On my flight to and from Rome, the NBC comedies were playing.  I was already over in Italy for business when my husband flew over to meet me.  All he talked about the whole time was this episode of 30 Rock that he watched and that we have to start watching this show.  He was laughing so hard, he could barely tell me why it was so funny.  When we get on the plane to come home, he was giddy with joy that the same episode is airing on the way back and tells me we have to watch it.  I begrudgingly agree.  The episode was from Season 2, Episode 5: Greenzo.  For you die hards, you know this one immediately.  This is the episode where so many hysterical things are happening, you lose count.  First you have David Schwimmer playing Greenzo, this energy conscious, superhero that teaches kids and adults how to be more green (complete Jack Donaghy idea).  I’ve never been a huge fan of Schwimmer’s but he is fabulous in this episode.  Then you have Pete and his wife Paula who are sneaking around having sex in Liz’s apartment.  And to top it off, you have Kenneth throwing, what will come to be, his very last party.  That scene is Jack’s office, the day after the party. maybe one of the funniest things I’ve seen on TV.  Basically, Kenneth throws the worst parties and the only person who ever had the stomach to go, is Liz.  But all of a sudden this huge rumor starts floating around about who will be there (from rappers to foxy boxing) and it gets out hand.  It gets to the point that the people who started the rumors (I think it was Grizz and Dot Com) start believing it’s true when they hear how it has spun.  It’s insane!!!!  And after watching that, I was hooked.   My husband and I put it on the Netflix season pass, or whatever you call it, and watched it from beginning to end.  It became our Scrubs.  So when we’d have a bad day or just are exhausted from everything, we’d pop in some 30 Rock, and all would be right with the world.

I’m a huge Tina Fey fan.  And no, it’s not just because she’s a local Philly girl who grew up 10 minute from me, and constantly put Philly sports teams in her episodes.  Ok, so that’s part of it.  But it’s because she’s so smart, witty, funny, and fearless.  She created and performed one of the most layered and interesting characters of all time.  Liz Lemon is a mess but yet so together at the same time.  While her love life was a disaster and she always had some sort of food in her hair, she was anything but a ditz.  It would be so easy to set up the funny for the ditzy leading lady who can’t get out of her own way.  Instead, you have a woman who’s very good at her job, incredibly talented, and in many ways, so incredibly sure of herself, and she can’t get out of her own way.  When you really break down Liz, she’s someone who knew exactly what she was good at and what she wanted to do and therefore made herself a very successful career.  She was a loyal friend to a fault (which I always admire in a person.)  She wasn’t afraid to be the geek that she was.  She never tried to hide it or apologize for it.  It’s why her relationship with Jack worked so well.  It’s why her friendship with Jenna lasted as long as it has.  It’s why she could handle that crazy group of misfits she called a writing staff.   Liz was very well aware of who she was.  And even though there were times where certain parts of her life confused and scared her, at her core, she was still the sharp and sassy girl who just really loved Cheesy Blasters.   I’ll really miss seeing her on my screen.  Liz Lemon showed that even though you’re the tops in your field, you don’t always have it together and it’s good to have people you can count on to get you through those tough times.

Speaking of layered characters, one of my husband’s all time favorites in history is Jack Donaghy.  When we first meet him, you think he’s going to be one thing.  But over the course of the series you realize he’s not just the stiff, one-dimensional, pompous ass you expected.  Like Liz, he’s very layered with his own demons that he fights, just like everyone else.   And the more you learn about Jack and the more he opens up to us, the more you completely get him and is some ways, admire him.  Talk about fierce and determined.  But when it came down to it, in many ways, he was just like Liz…a strong, smart, successful career man, who’s strong in his convictions,  with a screwed up love life/personal life.   But how he handled it and approached it was so different from Liz.  And it was this approach to life that made his business and personal relationship with Liz so amazing and wonderful to watch.   Plus, he had the best lines on the show.

If I go through every character on this show, I’ll be here until Community premieres next week (side note….yeah!!)  So I’m not going to do that but I had to talk about Liz and Jack. As for the episode itself, as I mentioned in the beginning, it had some good moments and some not so good moments. The fact that The Rural Juror was brought back into the mix, was fantastic. And not only did Jenna get to sing one more time, but she did a song about the Rural Juror that no one could understand. It was awesome!!!! And by the way, you could tell that Jane Krakowski was crying during that entire episode. Even in the scenes where she wasn’t actually crying, you could see that her eyes were completely bloodshot and puffy. Don’t get me wrong. She still looked amazing. You could just tell this was really emotional for her. Especially in the scene where they take her mirror away from her. Classic Jenna! And the small montage of Jenna through the years looking at herself in that mirror was a fitting recap for her character. I like that they got to do one more show of TGS before shutting everything down, to keep Tracy from getting $30 million dollars. The best part was at the end of the show (meaning TGS) all the people who worked on the show, were brought out on stage for the curtain call. I can only assume that was all the crew for 30 Rock. While I haven’t been on board with Criss as Liz’s man, the best part of the whole storyline was when the newly adopted kids arrived and they were basically a mini Jenna and mini Tracy. How perfect was that!! Probably one of my favorite moments was Liz’s scene with Tracy (which had come full circle back to where it all started with them…the strip club.) Liz gives Tracy the “hardcore truth good-bye.” She tells him what most people don’t have the guts to say. That they were only friends because they worked together and that they probably won’t stay in touch. That she won’t call on his birthday and he’ll invite her over but not really mean it. But the best line was when Liz said to Tra “because the human heart is not properly connected to the human brain, I love you and I’m going to miss you. But tonight might be it.” That one line perfectly sums up what this series was about. People who would NEVER be friends outside of the environment they were forced to be connected by, grew to love and care about one another. I loved it and it was a fantastic moment for those two characters. And I just have to say, I love that they poked fun at the worst series finale in TV history (that just so happened to be on NBC) when the last scene was Kenneth with the snow globe making it seem like it was all in his head (or the head of the writer sitting in front of him.) Please look up St. Elsewhere finale to get the reference.

While there were those moments I loved, a few things bothered me. First, I hated the way they used Salma Hayek and Julianne Moore. What a waste of returning characters. I read they weren’t going to do much of that because they wanted to keep it about the core cast, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to bring someone back, I would much rather have seen Dennis Duffy or Devon Banks. But Moore and Hayek were not used well at all. Also, I hated the “Kenneth is President of NBC” story. I know that was really from the previous episode but it certainly carried over and it’s absurd. I would rather have seen Kenneth being a NBC page forever, because that’s what he loved to do. Finally, I hated Jack leaving NBC, once he finally gotten what he had always wanted, to be CEO, because he wasn’t happy and he needed to find his bliss. What? The man who has been nothing but ambitious and ruthless about getting to the top now doesn’t want it? What? This seemed so out of character. I hated it. However there were two saving graces. One, that he discovered the idea for the clear dishwasher and promptly turned his boat right back around. And two, his moment with Liz. He was trying so hard to find the words to let her know how he felt about her and used so many ancient anecdotes that she finally cut him off and said “I love you too Jack.” And he smiled that awesome Donaghy smile at her. It’s just a shame they wasted the entire finale episode having Jack Donaghy not be Jack Donaghy.

In the end, I liked the finale and thought it was a great sendoff for what was, in its prime, the best comedy on TV. It was certainly time for 30 Rock to go. It just hasn’t been the same the last season and a half. But I’m glad, like Liz Lemon, it went out on its own terms.

 
 
 
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