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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Madam Secretary “Pilot” S1 E1

CBS’s opening night of the new TV season kicked off with a bang with the series premiere of Madam Secretary (MS) and the return of The Good Wife (TGW.)    I’m just going to throw this out as a suggestion CBS.   Instead of saying Madam Secretary starts at 8pm and TGW starts at 9pm and then the DVR sets it up for 8:30 and 9:30 and then CBS puts up the ticker at the bottom saying they are starting at 9:04 and 10:04 respectively, how about we do this instead.  When the NFL games on CBS are over, run a quick post game show on CBS.   Run it until 8pm.   Maybe it’s 45 minutes, maybe it’s 15 minutes.   Just run it and then start 60 minutes at 8pm, MS at 9pm, and TGW at 10pm.   It’s pretty simple.  That way, you aren’t messing with people’s shows or DVRs.   I’m just suggesting…and I think it’s a good one.   But even though I had to wait over an hour for the premiere of MS, it was well worth the wait.

Madam Secretary showcases the return of Tea Leoni to TV as Dr. Elizabeth (Bess) McCord, a former CIA analyst and current professor at the University of Virginia.  When the current Secretary of State’s plane goes down and is killed, McCord’s former boss at the CIA (and current President of the United States, played by Keith Carradine) visits her at her home and offers her the position.   POTUS trusts McCord because he hired her and trained her so he knows how she thinks and she won’t be anchored down by the politics of Washington.   She has no political aspirations so she’ll just come in and do the job while bringing a different viewpoint to attack situations.   Hence we get our first ridiculously cheesy line of the series….”You don’t just think outside the box.   You don’t even know there is a box.”   Oh boy.  Alright I can forgive that one.   But let’s keep the eye rolling clichés to a minimum ok?

Two months later, the McCord family, including husband and fellow university professor Henry (Tim Daly) and her two children (there is a 3rd in college who we’ll see in episode 2) move to D.C. and McCord works to insert her “non political” self into a very political world.    Many current White House personnel aren’t so happy to see her including White House Chief of Staff Russell Jackson (the ubiquitous Zeljko Ivanek) and McCord’s Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (the brilliant Bebe Neuwirth.)   Not sure why there is tension between Tolliver and McCord out of the gate but I guess we’ll learn more about that later.   It appears though, the real tension over the course of the series will be between Jackson and McCord.  He’s obviously the Chief of Staff because he’s good at his job and there is a trust factor with the POTUS.  Or, maybe there is something more sinister there, a little Frank Underwood/Doug Stamper-ish.    But more on that later.   In addition to Tolliver, McCord has her personal aide Blake (Erich Bergen) and communications team Matt (Geoffrey Arned), Daisy (Patina Miller), and Jay (Sebastian Arcelus.)

Her first major crisis is the rescue mission of two teenaged boys who accidentally crossed over from Turkey into Syria and are about to be executed by the Syrian government.  Already you see McCord wanting to handle the situation one way with Jackson wanting to handle another.   I’m not sure if it’s because he believes his way is the right way to handle or because he wants to send a message to the SoS that he’s the final decision maker in these matters, not her.   Based on a conversation that happens later in the episode in the oval office, I wouldn’t put it pass Jackson to have some collateral damage as a result of making his point to McCord and sleeping just fine about it.  Until we learn more about him, it’s too soon to prognosticate.   They go with Jackson’s idea and it fails.   So McCord enlists a gentlemen she has connections with to go in through back channels to get the kids out.  It works and the kids are brought home safe and sound.   Before she pulls this trigger, she goes around Jackson right to the President to lay out her plan (only giving him as much information as he needs to give the go ahead) and he tells her that she better be right or she’ll be fired.   At the end of the episode, she receives a visit from Jackson obviously aware she went around him to secure the rescue of the kids and he isn’t happy.   He “forgives” her but he warns her that he only forgives once and that he isn’t the type of enemy she wants to make.   “I make a better ally than opponent” he warns her.  “Same here” she suggests right back.

As McCord is getting up and running, one of her former CIA colleagues comes to her house to discuss what happened to the former Secretary of State, Vincent Marsh.   George finds out Marsh was laundering drug money in off shore accounts and was by all accounts a pretty shady, bad guy.   However, what scares George is that the plane crash was an orchestrated attack on Marsh, not an accident and that the directive came from inside the White House.   McCord isn’t sure what to make of this little revelation and George leaves.    It’s almost a forgotten about conversation until after the King of Swaziland dinner, McCord goes back to her office to find Henry there.  He informs her that George was killed in a one car wreck where his car ran into a tree.   Immediately, Elizabeth knows this isn’t an accident and I think she’ll start taking what George said more to heart.   What does all this mean?   Someone inside the White House isn’t playing nicely with others.

The reason why this show works for me right away, is that this isn’t a “case/disaster of the week” show.  Sure there are going to be situations McCord and her team will be dealing with, otherwise what’s the point.   But it works because this show highlights a strong, intelligent woman who is managing an intense department in a highly political environment while she, herself, is the furthest person from rank and file.   You also get to see the self-conscious side of McCord where she questions if she’s doing right by the people in her life, both professionally and personally.   So many times in shows like this, the strong, sharp woman is a bitch on wheels with no care for anyone or anything.  But not McCord (or her Sunday night partner Alicia Florrick.)   McCord is very respectful of her husband’s career and her children’s well-being.   She realizes the sacrifices they are making for her to take on this responsibility.  I respect that.   It would be very easy to highlight McCord’s “fierceness” by blowing off her family’s concerns and basically rank her situation ahead of theirs.  But she never does that.  The writers and Leoni do an excellent job of showing how tough McCord can be without making her unreasonable or cold.   You also see this in her work life where she needs to stand up to people in a much higher rank than her and she’s trying very hard to be respectful of those circumstances yet convey her beliefs in a firm and unyielding manner.  I like that while there is no doubt of McCord’s intelligence and self-confidence, she also is apprehensive and vigilant at times when she isn’t quite sure when to hold back and when to push.    It shows a vulnerability that many women like McCord face.    Just because you’re the best at your job or you excel at each responsibility you undertake, doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you don’t question yourself and your decisions.   Especially when making life and death decisions!   The interesting part for me is how long McCord will be able to hold onto her morals and her vision on how the position should run in an environment where so many things are out of her control and there could possibly be people specifically plotting against her demise.   Speaking of which….

Conspiracy time!!!   Let’s start with a baby conspiracy item first.  I don’t think Henry is the loving husband we are being led to believe.   Do I believe he loves his wife and family?  Yes.   Do I think he maybe doing something (or someone ) else on the side?  Yes.   I think the scene where Elizabeth goes to see him in the library talking to a bunch of students is very telling.   Henry is holding court and one of the female students is taking special exception to Mr. McCord…in the creepy context of a jealous girlfriend when his wife shows up.   Why show what should be a pretty innocuous scene?   Because I think this is going to lay the ground work of McCord being so wrapped up in her work that she isn’t seeing what right in front of her and that is her husband’s affair.   And maybe it’s not one affair but many.    Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I don’t think you show the jealous student for no reason.   The second, more larger conspiracy…I think POTUS will end up being the Frank Underwood of the show.    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was behind the murder of Marsh and puts McCord in the role because he thinks he can control her and because of her lack of political ambitions.  The only reason why I can’t call this a stone cold lead pipe lock is because POTUS knows how smart McCord is.   He also knows that because of her lack of political ambition, there is nothing to hold over her should she start figuring things out.   So why would he put someone as sharp as she is, who could potentially figure out what’s going on, in this role?   It could backfire hugely for him.    So I haven’t quite figured that out yet.   Right now, we’re being led to believe Jackson is the man we have to watch out for.   And you know what, I felt that way about Cyrus Beene and it turns out that yes, in fact, he is a monster.    But I’m not sure Jackson will be the boil on the butt of the White House.  I think it’s too obvious.  He could be the red herring with POTUS being the “Keyser Soze.”

What did you think?   Are you all in on Madam Secretary?  I am.   This cast is stellar, the story has promise and has tons of room to go in many directions, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to The Good Wife on Sundays.   Because the story can go in many directions, I hope it doesn’t spiral out of control.  But since this is from Barbara Hall, who is the same person who brought us the amazing Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, I am willing to be patient and see where this goes.  Will you continue watching with me?

DVRS: 5

 
 

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2014 Fall Preview: CBS

RETURNING SHOWS:

Survivor: Blood vs. Water (9/24)
2 Broke Girls (10/27)
Mom (9/29)
The Millers (10/30)
Hawaii 5-0 (9/26)
NCIS (9/23)
NCIS: LA (9/29)
Criminal Minds (10/1)
CSI (9/28)
The Big Bang Theory (9/22)
Two and a Half Men (10/30)
Person of Interest (9/23)
Elementary (10/30)
Blue Bloods (9/26)
48 Hours Mystery (9/27)
60 Minutes (9/21)
The Amazing Race (9/26)
The Good Wife (9/21)

NEW SHOWS:

Madam Secretary (9/21)
Scorpion (9/22)
NCIS: New Orleans (9/23)
Stalker (10/1)
The McCarthy’s (10/30)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:

The Good Wife: When have I not been looking forward to TGW?   Diane joins Florrick/Agos.  Eli wants Alicia to run for State’s Attorney.  Where is Lockhart Gardner now that both Lockhart and Gardner are gone?  (RIP Will.)
Stalker: I loved Maggie Q on Nikita and I’m always a Dylan McDermott fan.  This is the type of show CBS does well so I envision this show succeeding but you never know.   But I will be watching.
Mom: I loved this show.  I’m curious to see how it performs in its 2nd year and how the ratings are.  Last year ratings weren’t great but luckily other comedies fared worse than this show.   But with the buzz about the show and Allison Janney winning her Emmy for the role, I’m hoping people are checking it out.
Madam Secretary: I’ve never been the biggest Tea Leoni fan but she looks fantastic in this role.  It’s a very strong cast and I love the premise (I can never walk away from a political show.)   So as of right now, I’m all in on this show.
Person of Interest: Where do we go now with the team fractured and splinted apart?
The McCarthy’s: looks to be one of the best new comedies of the season.   Only bummer is that it’s premiering very late but I will be tuning in.
Blue Bloods: I just love this show.   I know the Reagans always do the right thing and it’s a little too cream cheesy for people but I can use more cream cheese in my life so it doesn’t bother me at all.

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:

Elementary: I have to be honest, I already started fading on this show last season so it isn’t looking good for me to keep up with it last year.

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:

All the NCIS
CSI
Hawaii 5-0
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Is CBS getting too stale.   CBS has been the dominate network for a long time.  A great sign for CBS is that they were actually #1 in the coveted 18-49 demo for the first time since the 1991-1992 season.  And because of that dominance there wasn’t a lot of changes in the schedule.   But look at the length of time for some of these shows….60 Minutes (46 years), 48 Hours (26 years), CSI (14 years), Survivor (14 years), Big Brother (14 years), The Amazing Race (13 years), NCIS (11 years), Two and Half Men (11 years), Criminal Minds (9 years), The Big Bang Theory (7 years), The Mentalist (6 years), NCIS: LA (5 years), and The Good Wife (5 years.)   Plus you had CSI Miami and CSI NY that were on for about 7-8 years each before they were canceled last year.   What they are doing is working.   But when will they hit the wall?    At some point they have to.  And look at the new shows coming out…another NCIS, Stalker (which is another “how do I solve a crime” show, Madam Secretary which is a political family drama (like The Good Wife is a legal family drama and Blue Bloods is a law enforcement family drama.)  Scorpion is really the only “outside the CBS formula” show.    Does the CBS magic run out?  There’s something to be said for “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”   But you do have to wonder if the magic formula that has carried them to so many season ending wins in viewership, will fizzle out if something doesn’t change or get freshened up.
Will Sundays be tough for Madam Secretary to find an audience.  I love football.  I LOVE football.  I especially love NFL football….Go Eagles!!!!   But you know what I don’t love…how my Sunday night shows (and DVR taping) get screwed up because when there is a 4pm game, it always runs long and it always pushes shows back and starting a wacky times.  It’s why I haven’t watched The Mentalist in 2 years (and after all these years still don’t know who Red John was…and don’t tell me.)   I think it’s really tough for a new show to get an audience on a Sunday night on CBS when the show could be delayed up to 40 minutes.  I know how much it frustrates viewers because I’ve had talks about it in regards to The Good Wife.  But since TGW is so amazing and already had an audience, it didn’t matter.  People will find ways to watch that show.  But a new show like Madam Secretary?   I think that’s going to be tough.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:

CBS doesn’t have a ton of new shows because their schedule is already so strong. Only five shows! My top three are Madam Secretary, Stalker, and The McCarthy’s.   Madam Secretary follows Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst turned history professor, who is asked by the President to become the new Secretary of State when the current Secretary dies in a plane accident.  Elizabeth learns to battle the politics of a high-ranking position in the White House while balancing a very busy home life.   The cast is amazing: Tea Leoni, Keith Carradine, Zeljko Ivanek, Tim Daly, Patina Miller, Geoffrey Arned, and Erich Bergen.  It appears well written, acted, and directed and I can always use another political drama to keep me going (since House of Cards isn’t back until February.)  Stalker stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as lieutenants for the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit that investigate, you guessed it, stalking incidents.  It’s your typical CBS procedural crime drama looking at a different type of crime and who are the people who solve them.   And I will be watching.  Lastly, The McCarthy’s.   Another great cast headlined by Laurie Metcalf and Jack McGee.  It follows the McCarthy family, a tight-knit family from Boston who loves their sports and The Good Wife.   Ronny (Tyler Ritter…son of John Ritter) is looking to move away from his crazy family until is father (McGee) offers him the assistant coaching job at his high school.   Ronny is neither athletic nor likes basketball so it’s really curious to his two brothers and sister how Ronny was the man picked for the job.   I’m always impressed when an ensemble comedy gels right off the bat (like Brooklyn Nine-Nine did last year) and this is another comedy who has their act together right out of the gate.  CBS isn’t normally known for their comedies the way they are their dramas, but I think this one is a winner for them.

As for NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion, I will definitely pass and probably pass. I don’t watch the other NCIS shows so I have no interest in this new one.   Scorpion looks to have an interesting premise but to be honest, I can’t stand Katharine McPhee’s acting.  She’s horrible.   It’s so bad, she takes away anything that’s good from the show when she’s on-screen.  And this one won’t have opportunities for her to sing to make up for the lack of acting.  But since she’s only one character in an ensemble show, I will check it out and see how much she ruins it.   If she’s relegated to the background and the rest of the show is good, I’ll power through.   If she’s front and center and the show is mediocre, I’m out.

 

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SERIES FINALE: How I Met Your Mother “Last Forever” S9 E22

So that’s how it ends.   The story of these 5 friends we have been following for 9 years has reached it’s conclusion and in some ways it’s exactly what I thought and in other ways, it’s nothing like I thought would happen.   One thing is for certain, people will be talking (and screaming) about this finale for days to come.   It was that kind of ending.  I imagine most people loved it or hated it.   Judging by the early comments, people LOATHED it.  However I am not one of them.    Was it my favorite finale ever?   Not even close.   Was it as bad as Dexter’s finale?   Not even close.   But enough with the broad strokes.  Let’s dive into this and if you haven’t seen tonight’s finale, stop reading now and come back when you have.

I have mixed feelings on this finale.  There were parts I loved and parts I didn’t and parts I was indifferent about.   But since this was a very polarizing finale, I can see how people would lean one way or the other.   I mean come on.  We just spent THE ENTIRE SEASON on the weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding only to have them be divorced 20 minutes into the finale.   Hence one of the parts I didn’t like.   If you were just going to break them up, couldn’t we have spent, maybe, oh I don’t know, 6-8 episodes on the wedding weekend and the remaining 14-16 episodes on the aftermath and subsequent years and maybe a little more on Ted and Tracy (Question #1 answered….Mother’s name is Tracy.)  In some ways I feel like I wasted 20+ episodes this season by having this build to a wedding that ultimately didn’t matter.  I would have rather spent more time getting know Tracy a little bit more since technically the show is about her.    It would have also made the scene where we learn that our fears raised in “Vesuvius” came to fruition…Tracy gets sick and passes away…much more powerful because we have been closer to her.    Not to mention, since Ted has been searching for this woman for as long as we’ve known him, it would have been nice to see Ted grieve the loss of his wife instead of it being mentioned as an after thought.    But it just goes to show you how awesome Cristin Miloti is.   I fell in love with her the minute I saw her.  She was perfect for Ted.   We got to see some snippets of that over this season, but not enough for my liking.   But in the brief time we did get her, she made the most of it and made the audience fall completely for her the way Ted did.   And maybe that was exactly the point.   It’s pretty obvious this was the plan from the beginning.   Penny and Luke (Question #2 answered….the names of Ted’s kids) who were played by Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, had to film those scenes at the end of Season 1 because if the show lasted a long time (which it did), they couldn’t show them aged on the couch 9 years later since this is supposed to be a story told in one sitting.   So if that is what they filmed 9 years ago, this was always the plan.  It explains why Tracy didn’t show up until this season.  It explains why even when she was here, we only got bits and pieces of her.  Because even thought the show was called How I Met Your Mother, it was never about the mother.    This was the story of Ted and Robin.    The mom was the red herring the whole time. You can look at that one of two ways.    You can love the story told in a way that we didn’t see coming (although my husband called it last week) or you can feel completely betrayed by the absolute misrepresentation of the series.  Either way, you’d be correct in your feelings.   But were the writers correct in staying the course?

There is something to be said for laying out a series game plan and sticking with it because that’s your vision and that’s the story you want to tell.   But then I think you need to define how long that story lasts because to me, you can’t have it both ways.    You can’t have a series go on and on and have the story and audience reaction to characters take you down a path you didn’t expect only to rip their hearts out later because it didn’t fit your original plan.   If you have a plan, make a 5-6 year plan.   But if you’re willing to let the story go where characters, actors, and/or fans take you, then you need to be flexible.   Even though you filmed those scenes with Fonseca and Henrie way back when, you didn’t have to use them.  It could have been something for the box set of DVDs “see what the writers originally planned to do!!!”    That’s good marketing people!   I guess that’s why I’m so curious about not just the finale but the whole final season.   If this was the plan you were sticking to, which I don’t mind as much as other people do, then WHY do an entire season on the wedding of a couple destined to fail?   Why try to cram the next 15+ years of stories and bombshells into 60 minutes?   The wedding could have been done in 6-7 episodes and then we could have had another 14-15 episodes to learn more about the mother, their relationship, her impending demise and Ted’s grief over that and how it impacted him.    Because that is something I would have wanted to see.  This is a man who has been searching for love his whole life.   Since we’ve known Ted, he’s a romantic and he loves being in love.   So to lose the “love of his life” (which now is up for debate) and not see anything from the character on how that impacted him, I think strays from the true character of Ted.    We were there when Marshall and Lily broke up and then got back together.   We were there when Marshall and Lily got married.  We were there when they debated about having children and then watched them bring Marvin, Daisy, and #3 into the picture.  We were there when Barney met his birth father.  We were there when Robin found out she couldn’t have children.  We were there when Ted was left at the altar by Stella.  We were there when Marshall’s dad passed away.  So how in the world can we not be there when Ted loses Tracy?   I feel so robbed as a fan.   That’s what upsets me the most.   There were so many moments in the finale where we could have had more and the writers had the time to do it with this final season and chose not to.   Instead we got Billy Zabka (although that doesn’t bother me as much because I love me some Billy Zabka), Daphne, Gary Blauman, Cassie, and other pointless characters when we could have spent more time on our Fab 5 and Tracy since this will be the last time we see them.   That’s what I’m most disappointed in.

As for the ending and the writers choosing to have Ted and Robin be together at last, that didn’t bother me as much as other people.  After all, the show is “How I Met Your Mother” not “How I Spend The Rest of my Life With Your Mother.”   Because for a long time, I really liked Ted and Robin together and was secretly hoping she was mother somehow and someway.   But I also thought she was great with Barney in a lot of ways.   Hats off to Cobie Smulders because that woman had chemistry with everyone!  And I’m ok with the show runners giggling to themselves to have this be the rug the pull out from under us.  As a fan of TV, I like when a show surprises me and throws a fun twist (as long as it makes sense….yes I’m looking at you St Elsewhere.)  I mean, I was one of those people who would scream when they would revisit the Ted/Robin pairing over the course of the series because ultimately we know they don’t end up together.   So what was the point right?    Well, now we know.  Now we know why after determining they aren’t right together, bad timing, hook ups, break ups, dating, not dating, longing looks…..it was all because they were meant to be together.   And while I’m ok with that, I still have to raise my eyebrows at a few things.   First, why have that ceremonial moment on the beach with Robin and Ted where Ted finally let’s Robin go?  Because if you’re still going to have a thing for her after all this time, then you haven’t let her go.  It also made me think, if you’re really over her, then why are you moving to Chicago?   And since the writers knew this was the path, why have that scene?  Second, why did Robin need to be with Barney?   I mean she married one of his best friends.   Couldn’t she have just been the career person now and that’s why she couldn’t be with Ted as well as Ted meeting Tracy?   If the answer is because they needed a wedding to get Ted to meet Tracy and to show with Barney’s character that being married really isn’t for him….fine.  He could have married the stripper girl he was engaged to.  He didn’t have to marry Robin.   I’m not sure why the writers would get many fans invested in Robin and Barney only to have it crash and burn.  Barney and the stripper could have crashed and burned with the same results.   So why get the audience invested in Robin and Barney only to know that the end game is Robin and Ted?   Robin could have been with someone else or alone with her career.  She didn’t have to be with Barney if the end game was Ted.  Finally, when Ted is in MacLaren’s on the phone with Tracy and Marshall is pissed because here’s Ted falling for another girl and going too fast, Lily is sitting there with a huge smile on her face and tells Marshall…this time it’s different.  After Victoria, Stella, and yes, even Robin, Tracy invoked a reaction out of Ted that was unlike any other woman ever has indicating to me, that she was his soul mate and one true love.  Again, why have that line and that moment if ROBIN is really his one true love?    Maybe I’m missing the point.  Maybe the point isn’t that Tracy or Robin are his soul mate but that they both are.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.  Because if it’s just Robin, then the other parts about Ted and Tracy don’t make sense.  And if it’s just Tracy, then the end of the story doesn’t make sense.    So I guess the only thing that does is that BOTH women are Ted’s true loves.    That while Ted has been searching and searching and fearing that he’ll never meet anyone he can share his life with, he was blessed (or cursed) to have two women he could love completely and spend his days with.   It certainly is a more real world scenario.  But is that what the audience wants?   Judging by initial reactions, I don’t think so.

Ultimately I wanted closure for my Fab 5.   And whether you liked it or not, that’s exactly what you got.  Marshall and Lily are back in NYC with baby #3 and Marshall finally got to be a judge after giving it up for Lily in 2014.  I had no doubt Marshmallow and Lily Pad would have a solid, happy ending because they have been solid since the pilot.  Even with all their ups and downs, NO ONE ever doubted that these two would be together forever.  In my mind, they were the heart and soul of the show, especially Lily.  As for Barney, he went back to being single and finally told his friends what I thought he should have said years ago….that basically he’s not the settling down type of guy.    He likes having throngs of women coming in and out of his life with no commitment.  It’s who he is and he’s very happy like that so as his friends they should accept him for who he is and be happy for him.    And they were.   But after the perfect month (LOL) Barney finds out he got Day 31 pregnant.   Actually I’m surprised this never happened before with all the girls he’s slept with over the years.  While in typical Barney fashion, we don’t know the mother’s name and he really wants no part of this, he gets introduced to his new baby….a girl…Ellie.   Turns out Barney is a one woman guy.   It just so happens that the woman in his life, the love of his life, is his baby girl.   And the always amazing Neil Patrick Harris just completely blows this scene away and gives us one of the most beautiful moments on the show when he tells his daughter the following:

You are the love of my life.   Everything I have and everything I am, is yours.  Forever.

I mean come on.  If you are crying after that you have to be a little dead inside.   It was such a beautiful moment.   The other fantastically beautiful moment in the episode was when Ted and Tracy met for the first time on the Farhampton train tracks.   Talk about a meet cute!!!   It was so sweet and a great nod to many of the clues dropped over the years…the mom being in the Econ 305 class Ted accidentally thought was his Architecture 101 class, her being Cindy’s roommate, losing the yellow umbrella on St Patrick’s Day….it was perfect.   Then the reveal of her name, Tracy McConnell, because the initials T.M were on the umbrella and Ted and Tracy “fought” over whose initials they really were.   I loved it.   It was everything I could have imagined for their first meeting and more.    And I did like the ending.    Since they decided to stay the course and put Robin and Ted together in the end, I think they wrapped it up well with Robin being in her apartment with the same breed of dogs, Ted being downstairs, Robin opening up her window to see him (with the dogs peeking out) and Ted shows her the Blue French Horn.  Again, a great nod to the pilot to have everything come full circle.

Look, I know many people are disappointed in how this turned out.   No one wanted to see Tracy die and Robin be back in the fold, except for the die-hard Ted and Robin shippers.  I think a lot of people feel duped.  And that’s why the finale is a hard one to wrap my head around because you can look at it a few ways.  You can look at it and say that if that was the plan all along, ok.  I applaud the writers sticking to their guns and telling the story they wanted to tell.    There are many people out there with an early idea of a show but then let it just roll and see where it goes with no real end game.  Not these guys.  So I respect that.   There  are still lots of things I would have done differently but overall, I can’t be unhappy with how everything resolved itself.  Especially since this is something that happens in the real world….people fall in love with multiple people all the time.  People lose their spouse and reconnect with old flames…it happens.  In the end, Ted got what he always wanted and I think people want to see that for his character.    OR…you can look at it and say, WHAT THE HELL WERE THESE GUYS THINKING?    Once the show went longer than expected, once you see how the actors (Smulders and Radnor & Smulders and Harris) played off of one another and their chemistry, once you see the audience’s reaction to story lines….change it!!!   You don’t have to stay the course if another one, a better one (matter of opinion) presents itself.   Maybe they felt backed into a corner with the “and that’s how I met your Aunt Robin” line.    Maybe because the kids reaction was filmed 9 years ago, they felt they had no other choice but to end the story this way.  But these guys were creative and smart and I think could have figured out a way around it.   Hell, they could have put an aged Fonseca and Henrie on the couch and said “Jesus dad.  That story took so long, we aged 20 years!”    Maybe they didn’t want to.   Ultimately, I hope the 60 minutes of last night (and even this last season) doesn’t put too much of a damper on what was truly a great series with an amazing cast and creative team.   I spent 9 years with this crew…many of whom are my age.   All I wanted to see was them happy and together.   While most of the episode last night showed them fractured, in the end, the gang was back together, as they should be, and in the end, we know they all ended up happy.   Whether or not it was a viewers definition of happy is another story, but the writers showed us a group of friends who loved each other and supported each other and were there for each other, altogether and happy…and that’s how a series like this should wrap up.

So what did you think?  Did you love it?    Hate it?    Confused by it?   Content with it?   I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

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Mid Season Premiere Dates – UPDATED

Make sure you check out the main page for an update on the 2014 Mid Season Premiere Dates.  Game of Thrones, Mad Men, About A Boy, Believe, Survivor, the Amazing Race, and more have all been added.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in AMC, CBS, HBO, Mid Season, NBC, Premiere Dates

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor “Rustle Feathers” S27 E12

I’ve missed you guys.  But they haven’t invented a word for how busy I’ve been so I haven’t been watching TV let alone writing about it.    But I finally got to catch up and wow did I pick a week to get caught up….especially on Survivor!!!!

Luckily for me with not being able to watch too much TV lately, is that I completely missed the alleged spoilery preview CBS had out there this week.   And people were PISSED.   I don’t blame them.   I don’t know what CBS was thinking by previewing that rocks would be drawn this week (and the minor spoiler of showing Caleb on the jury confirming that he lost to Tina and Laura on RI.)   What is the point of that?   If they wanted to talk about how something major happens or something we haven’t seen in a long time happens, that’s fine.  But from what I hear they say that this only happened once before and they show Jeff Probst asking for people to open their hands.   Easy conclusion…rocks are drawn so someone flipped.   Can you say epic FAIL CBS?   Having watched last night’s episode I can say right now that I would have been LIVID if I knew what was coming.   The tension and back and forth with Ciera was incredible.  You Hayden really pushing her to understand her place in the 4 person alliance and Gervase and Tyson trying to convince her that she’s fine and not to listen to “liars.”   She kept turning her head back to listen to them and every time she faced front she looked more and more distraught.   I really had no idea what she was going to do.   And if I had seen that preview, it would have been ruined because I would have known rocks were coming.  I feel awful for the people who couldn’t experience that situation raw last night because let me tell you….it was fabulous!!!

So while I enjoyed that moment so much last night, it also pissed me off at the same time.   You know why?   Because Ciera did this a week too late.  Remember when Hayden was pitching her to blindside Tyson (again) on the hammock and she said she wouldn’t do it because it’s not the majority and she wants to be with majority?   Well dumb ass, if you did it last week, you would have been in the majority with a much stronger chance to win!   If you aligned with Hayden, Caleb, and Katie, you could have taken out Tyson, Monica, or Gervase and run the table.  And the way Laura and Tina are working together on RI, one of them is coming back in the game.  Which means if you align with Katie (since Hayden and Caleb were tight), either her mom or yours hops on your alliance and BOOM, final 3.   I applaud that Ciera is working hard to keep herself in this game and get far but that’s the problem…she playing to get further in the game but not to win the game.   And it’s probably lack of experience that’s hurting her right now because she can’t see the forest through the trees.   And when she finally did, it was too late (at least I think it is.)    Next week should be really interesting because they took a big gamble and it partially paid off because Hayden got Ciera to switch.   But then Katie pulled a white rock (she can’t even do that right) and they still have 2 people vs. the 3 man alliance.  Their only hope (not knowing when the RI person is coming back in) is to get Monica to flip.

Let’s dive into this more.   Where does Monica fit in all this?  She’s probably one of the nicest Survivor players ever, I mean the woman doesn’t have a mean bone in her incredibly fit body.   But it appears as though she has annoyed some people around camp…but maybe not the jury members.   She has been a challenge fiend lately winning a bunch of individual immunity challenges (and almost winning last night’s and had she thrown her bags a bit faster she might have won again.)  I think if Monica gets to the end, she has a real chance to win this thing.  The question is, who does she have the best chance to beat?   If she stays with Tyson and Gervase, I think she beats Gervase.   Unfortunately for my Philly guy, he’s been a little too cocky and really has no self-awareness, at all, to understand where he truly falls in the game.  So I don’t think he has a chance to win this game.  Can she beat Tyson?  I don’t know.  She might.  Monica hasn’t lied or really pissed anyone off.  She’s been very loyal and like I said, has been incredibly strong in challenges.   I know people really like to reward the strategy part of the game over everything else, but people think that always has to be big moves to be rewarded.  Sometimes it’s not always the big move, but the smart move.  Monica hasn’t made a big move but she’s made a dumb one either.  Socially she’s strong, physically she’s strong.  And there is something to be said for letting someone else, be the bad guy.  I personally don’t think that’s a bad way to go…I just wish more people owned up to it and celebrated it at the final tribal.    Will Tyson and his arrogance have rubbed enough people the wrong way that Monica would beat him?   It’s possible.   If we look at Hayden and Ciera, I think she definitely beats Ciera.  Hayden, I don’t know.  He’s a very likable guy as well.  He’s been trying to make some moves and make things happen (last night was a HUGE move) he just hasn’t had the people on his side to make it happen.  But he got Ciera to flip.  If he can get Monica, that’s two massive moves that would be really hard to overlook.  He hasn’t been as good in the challenges as I would have thought he’d be and that could be a bit of a knock on him.  But if he gets to the end, he would be tough to beat.  The one thing he has that could hurt him unfairly is that he won Big Brother.  So the jury could look at him and say he’s won before, he doesn’t need to win again.  I would hope that wouldn’t happen but you never know.  Also by Monica flipping to Hayden and Ciera, she would lose Tyson and Gervase votes.  I think Caleb would vote for Hayden.  So the question is, can she get the votes from Tina, Laura, Katie, Aras, and Vytas to win the game?  The big wild card for Monica is who re-enters from RI.  If it’s Tina, she beats Tina.  If it’s Laura, I don’t think she beats Laura.  I think anyone would have a tough time beating Laura.  She would have been voted out….twice…and still get to the final 3 by being a challenge beast.  That would be majorly impressive.   So maybe in the end, Monica is better staying with Gervase and Tyson and taking her chances.

What did you all think of last night’s episode?   And who do you think is the front-runner to win it all?  I think it’s still Tyson’s game to lose at this point but watch out for Laura if she gets back in this game.   And Monica could be someone who surprises a lot of people.  She can still win this thing if she plays it right and Tyson is, well, Tyson.  I can’t wait for the last three episodes!!!

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: The Good Wife “Hitting the Fan” S5 E5

You know when you’re waiting for an episode of a TV show to air, especially if it’s one of your favorite shows, and there has been all this hype around it…even promotion from the network about how big it is?  You start thinking about how awesome it’s going to be.  To tell all your friends not to talk to you or call you.  You threaten you spouse with something you know they hate if they try to talk to you during the episode.  It’s either going to be truly amazing and meet your wild expectations or it’s going to completely flop and absolutely devastate you.  Ok maybe devastate is a bit strong but you will really be pissed if this episode sucks.  That’s how I felt going into tonight’s much-anticipated (since the season finale of last year) “Hitting the Fan” episode.   So.  Did it live up to the hype or did it crash and burn like Goose from Top Gun?   IT TOTALLY ROCKED!!!!  It completely blew me away.

You know an episode is so well done when you know what’s coming (for the most part) yet it still keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.   That’s what tonight was like.  I knew Will and Diane would be pissed and hurt at the same time.  I knew David Lee would be out for blood.  I knew Cary and Alicia would be scrambling (as did LG) to keep their clients on board.  I knew there would be screaming, yelling, blame, tears, accusations,  papers flying off desks, security guards…the whole nine yards.   But to know it’s coming vs. actually watching it unfold in front of you and see the performances the actors gave, it was breath-taking.   I knew the two hardest scenes would be Will an Alicia and Cary and Diane.  Cary and Diane had a special bond and Will and Alicia, well, we know how special their bond was at times.  But beyond the personal connections, there were professional mentorships there between them that really punch them in the gut.  It would be one thing if either Cary OR Alicia were leaving.   But to have it be both and together?  Wow.  No wonder it got ugly as quickly as it did.   There were a few surprises (Peter’s involvement and the turncoat Beth) and there was one person I was unsure how this was going to play out for them even though I had an idea but you still never know and that’s Kalinda.   Let’s break it down.

Will/Alicia

You knew this was going to be the tough one.  Especially if you were a Will/Alicia fan (which I was not.)  But even being a Team Peter person, it was still hard to watch Will walk down that hallway to Alicia’s office with visions of them sleeping together and laughing during happier times.   He just can’t believe she would do this to him.   When he gets to her office he starts off calm but then when she apologies and tells him it’s time for her to try something new, he snaps.  He pushes everything off her desk and lays into her.  “I took you in.  No one wanted you.  I hired you.  I pushed for you.  You were poison.  This firm got you back on your feet.”  Well when you put it that way she does seem out of line for leaving.   You can hear the pain in his voice.  This isn’t just “a business decision” as Alicia put it.  This was personal.  They were friends from college.   And he’s right, when she and Peter were disgraced, LG helped her.  When Diane had an eyebrow raised in her direction, Will always had her back.  He gave her the good cases.  He trained her.  He mentored her.  He fell in love with her.  This was absolutely personal to him.  With Alicia it couldn’t not be personal.  Anyone else, it’s business.  Not with her.  Maybe that isn’t fair, but it’s the truth.

He fires her on the spot and asks her to leave.   She immediately tells him that he can’t and that he ask to get the equity and other partners gathered to take a vote to get her out since she’s a partner.   It buys her some time to try to get files and the word out.  Neither are going very well because Will shut down all access to files for everyone and slowly but surely the 4th years leaving were getting found out and fired one by one.  Later, after the partner votes have been taken to oust Alicia, Will returns with 4 security guards to escort Alicia to the elevator.  She once again tells Will it wasn’t meant to be personal and he tells her he doesn’t care, as coldly as he can.  Which leaves Alicia breaking down in the elevator once the doors have closed.

But the sadness and hurt quickly go away when the claws come out and it’s a race to see who can get to the clients first.   I think my favorite exchange of the night came when one of Alicia’s clients called her and when Will caught them on the phone, he asks for the phone from the client and begins having it out with Alicia.  They start exchanging nasty grams back and forth until the finally tell each other to go to hell.  But before Will hangs up, he tells her that Grace called and needs Alicia to call her school to give permission for her class trip.   Both tones change back to friends for half a second when she asked how long ago it was when she called and he tells her about 40 minutes.  “Ok thank you.”  “You’re welcome.”   It was hilarious!  It showed me that even when the dust settles, which won’t be for a reeeeeeeeally long time, those two will be friends again someday.  They may never get back to what they were, but they will move past this…in about 15 years.

Cary/Diane

This was another one of the many relationships I loved over the years.  So it didn’t surprise me to see Diane in Cary’s office when he got into the office that morning.   She has already taken his computer and immediately laid into him about his decision to leave.  Diane also has the same “I was your mentor, I stuck out my neck for you” speech although hers lacked the violent thrusting of phones and papers all over the place.  Cary reminded her that they did fire him all those years ago and where was having his back then.  She then reminded him why that happened and as soon as they could get him back, they did because she made it happen.   Cary wasn’t struggling with this as much as Alicia so he wasn’t really buying what Diane was selling and I don’t think Diane was as hurt as Will so I’m sure she really cared all that much if Cary believed her.

Eventually, before she left his office, she fired him but not before he STUPIDLY let it slip about Chum Hum being unhappy with them and giving her the inside scoop that LG’s biggest client (outside of Lamond Bishop) is planning to go with Florrick & Agos.   Cary, Cary, Cary.  How dumb can you be!!!???  It was a huge slip that had a great payout at the end of the episode.   But just like Will and Alicia, eventually these two will get over it and be civil with one another.  Although they shouldn’t take the same 15 years.

Lockhart Gardner vs. Florrick & Agos

The gloves are off.   The lines in the sand have been drawn.  People with this much raw emotion are bound to rip each other to shreds and that’s exactly what starts happening.  Although I have to say, if I needed to get down and dirty, I’d want David Lee on my team.  Advantage: LG.  Lee and the other partners, including Will, start calling clients and insinuating that Alicia and Cary were not on the up and up and didn’t represent the best interest of the client and therefore were removed from their positions.  Meantime, F&A are trying to call the same clients but with less man power they keep getting to each person just slightly behind LG.   So they are quickly starting to lose clients.  Thank God they have Chum Hum right?   Right?  Hello, is this mic on?  WE HAVE CHUM HUM RIGHT?   Not so fast.

Cary doesn’t want to waste any time and wants to meet with Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey) as fast as they can.  As soon as they start walking up the steps, boom, injunction filed by LG is served to them barring them from speaking with Chum Hum.  Gross tells them to call him when they sort it out.  They go to court it’s Alicia, Cary, and Carey on one side with Will, David, and Diane on the other.  It’s nasty, it’s caddy, and it’s brilliant.  The judge upholds the injunction and F&A are forced to find another way.  Alicia comes up with an idea for an injunction of their own.  When Will and David go to meet with Chum Hum, boom, they get served with the same injunction from F&A.  “Call me when you get this sorted out” Gross says now to LG.  So each side has an injunction against them barring them from speaking with Chum Hum.  I don’t know why Chum Hum doesn’t just drop them both and find a new firm at this point.

Later, Diane goes to Alicia’s home to offer a truce.  Each party drops the injunction and they each get 1 hour with Chum Hum to pitch.  At first Diane says that F&A presents first and LG is after them.   Dumb Carey insists they switch and Diane is amenable to that request.  After LG presents and is leaving, David tells F&A, you never want to go second.   They barely get up the steps when Neil tells them he’s staying with LG.   So the firm of F&A is sunk before it leaves the dock.  Or is it?

Governor Florrick to the rescue with a plan to ensure Chum Hum goes with the new F&A (see plan below) and it works.   By the end, they are all toasting the landing of a $35 million client and how they are in desperate need of stationary and laptops.   F&A is not dead yet!!  But this means Will and LG have declared war on them and everyone else in Chicago.

Alicia/Peter

Wow did I love them in this episode.  First, I love Peter having Alicia’s back.  I mean of course he would, he’s her husband.   But he was fierce in his loyalty of her.  And since Will Gardner slept with his wife, it finally gives him the ammunition to destroy him.  He’s never been able to truly go after Will because he runs his wife’s firm. If it hurts LG, it hurts Alicia by extension.  Now, with Alicia gone, it is open season on Will for Peter.

Now I have to imagine, the comment he made at the press conference would have never happened in real life.  Because I have to imagine that would come back to bite him.  Especially once everyone learned that the biggest internet provider, Chum Hum, went with Florrick & Agos and thereby Peter’s idea for taxing said companies goes away.   He smartly protected himself by saying that he could be persuaded to think another way and change his mind thus leaving the door open to him changing his mind.   And as a result, instead of Chum Hum staying with LG, they made the switch to F&A to the tune of $35 million a year!!!  I bet Melissa George’s character will have something to say about that when she gets wind of what Peter did.  While I love it as him being her husband, it was a horrible move as Governor.  Really man, what were you thinking!

Enough about that.   Let’s talk about sex baby.  Let’s talk about you and me.   Ok not you and me I just couldn’t get Salt and Pepa out of my mind.   WOW.  What a scene.  So she gets fired, is trying to start a new firm, moves said firm into her house for the night, is trying to land clients, and STILL has time for a quickie with her husband.  As I said on Twitter earlier….my hero!!!!

In the end, Peter asks to see Eli and tells him, he’d like a new list of name for the Supreme Court.  He’s looking to replace Diane and Eli looks legitimately stunned.   “Are you sure” he asks?    “Yes” Peter says very matter-of-factly.  So much for not letting personal matters interfere with business decisions.  I guess Diane’s hand will be forced in regards to LG.  I thought she would choose to go back to LG to help Will in the fight to save the firm.  But now that the judgeship will soon be off the table, looks like she won’t have a choice.

Kalinda

Last but never least….Kalinda.  How hurt do you think Kalinda was that Alicia didn’t want her to join her firm?  I mean Cary asked but never Alicia.  Partly because, she didn’t know Alicia was in on the new firm.  She never told her.  Now with all this going on, Will asked her to make a choice because he’s gunning for everyone, especially F&A, in Chicago.  It will get dirty, nasty and vicious.  He asks Kalinda if she can do that knowing that she’s friends with those guys.  She says she can.  Time will tell.   I think the tough one for her will be Cary.   But I think Kalinda had to say that to Will because 1.) she feels guilty she knew about Cary leaving for 3 months and 2.) she knows that eventually Will will cool off and the tension won’t be too bad.  But I do think she has his and LG’s back.

The breakup of the friendship between Kalinda and Alicia was brutal.  It’s a hard one to recover from.  I know there are some people who think Alicia overreacted to Kalinda because she didn’t know her at the time and there are other people who think she’s completely justified because she is someone who slept with a married man.  I can see both sides but I side with the faction of people who thought Alicia was justified.   Not to mention, I don’t know if I could continue a friendship with someone knowing she slept with my husband when I was married to him.  That’s a little creepy.  I think it’s been pretty clear for a few years now that that friendship is pretty much dead in Alicia’s eyes.  They have been cordial and even shared the rare tequila shot together but it wasn’t the same.  It never could be.   But I guess Kalinda wasn’t sure and maybe even thought they had moved past it.  Well this should be the ultimate sign that they aren’t close and therefore, she really no longer has an allegiance towards Alicia.

With this new revelation, it made the decision pretty easy for Kalinda…stay with LG until the dust settles (if it ever does) and whatever happens, happens.  Kalinda is not an overly sentiment or emotional person so this should be easy for her.  In theory, that’s true.  In actuality, let’s see what happens and how it plays out.

WHEW!  I’m exhausted after that!  I’m really excited because this was a true game changing episode.  Writers and show runners throw that term out way too loosely these days in regards to their shows.  But if you needed to know what a bona-fide game changing episode looks like, watch “Hitting the Fan.”  Also check out Lost S3 E22 “Through the Looking Glass.”

The look of this show will never be the same.  It was always about LG with a little politics thrown in.  Now, it’s LG and F&A and how the new “relationship” (for lack of a better word) between these two firms evolves.  These were teammates.  Now, they’re enemies.  The connections and bonds formed between all parties, will never be the same.  We will be following Will and Diane and the new Will and Diane.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see where this take us this season and moving forward.   CBS, you better not cancel this show!!!!

What did you think?   Did this episode meet your expectations?  Did it exceed them?  Did it fall flat?   And what do you think will happen down the road?

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor Blood vs. Water “One Man Wrecking Ball” S27 E6

I am loving this season.   Even though I hate Redemption Island, it doesn’t bother me as much because I think the impact it has on the strategy of the game with other loved ones left behind (if they still have them) is great. And that point was magnified this week with Laura M going to RI.  Last week, they were going to vote out Laura B.   But to Aras’ credit, he realized that the better play would be Laura M because she is better at puzzle challenges and would be the best person to eliminate Brad so that Monica would be more loyal to them.  This is why Aras is a former winner (and my pick to win this year) because he’s thinking a few steps ahead without being too over the top.   And that’s exactly what happened.  Laura smokes the puzzle, John comes in second and Brad is gone.  Strategy worked.  And think about it…Aras would have never voted out Laura (I don’t think) if this wasn’t a Blood vs. Water scenario.  Laura was obviously someone Aras could have in his back pocket should he need her later on.   She was completely loyal to him.  I think in a regular setting, she would still be on her tribe.   She could have been Aras’ eyes and ears if someone was planning coup.  She was another loyal vote.  But this season, she was someone to take out the loved one of someone in his alliance to make that alliance member more loyal to Aras and crew.  Seriously, Laura cannot catch a break!  First she’s stuck with God awful Shambo then she’s collateral damage because of one specific move another player wants to make.  Probst, if you’re reading this, and I know you are, have Laura Morett come back again!

I think Brad’s problem is he went balls to the walls massive of the strategy out of the gate.  He didn’t need to be that bold that soon.  I love the fact that he was playing hard (I’ll take that over people like Natalie and Ashley from the original RI season that just did whatever Rob told them to do and didn’t actually play the game.)   But Brad played too hard, too early and that was his downfall.  Aras is the opposite where he’s leading but he’s very self-aware and wants to make sure that he’s not “leading” too much or else it will get him voted out.   And that’s exactly what Judas, I mean Tyson, is looking to do.

The coconut bandits (Tyson and Gervase…the alliance within the alliance) are already taking about taking out “King Aras.”  They think he’ll be dangerous come merge time with Vytas still in the game.  He’s too popular, too strong, too likable, and too smart to keep around.  So Tyson thinks it’s time for him to go.   And he isn’t wrong.  Gervase doesn’t want to be looked at as someone not playing the game, so he’s willing to go along with it.  Dumb and dumber.  I like how Tyson later calls the newbies stupid when every time Tyson has been on this show, he’s made historically stupid moves.  Pot meet kettle.  I could never understand why people want to break up their alliance so early in the game.  You have your alliance, trust it…for now.  Just ask Kat how smart it is to panic and turn on your alliance early.  I can see why Tyson and Gervase would panic because Rachel and Marissa are gone.  Now so is Brad at Aras’ hands.  But Katie and Vytas are still around and make Tina and Aras very dangerous.  I get that.   But I still think it’s too soon.  I think even at the merge, you have enough people nervous about Aras that you can get him out right at the merge.   Let’s look at who’s left:

  • Tina
  • Katie
  • Monica
  • Gervase
  • Tyson
  • Aras
  • Vytas
  • Caleb
  • Ciera
  • Hayden
  • Kat
  • Laura B

I think Tina and Monica are pretty tight and Tina will pull Katie in.  Tina seems to be tight with Aras and then by extension Vytas.  So there’s five.  Kat, Laura B, and Ciera would just be happy it’s not them.  Hayden and Caleb would be on board with getting such a big threat out.  So you have Kat, Laura, Ciera, Hayden, Caleb, Gervase, and Tyson all willing to vote Aras.  That’s 7 vs. 5.   You have the numbers.   Now it’s soooooo easy for me to sit here and think this without really knowing the relationships on the island.   But I think with that scenario, you could get Aras after the merge.  Now with Kat gone, you would have to make sure one of your other “vote Aras out” people wouldn’t go with the best scenario being the Vytas is the next to go.   Again, very easy for me to say…I know that.   But I think Tyson is jumping the gun just a bit and putting a huge target on his back.  And what he doesn’t realize is that Monica and Tina don’t like flip floppers.  Based on what happened at their camp, they’ve made it perfectly clear that if they can’t trust you, you’re gone.  If Tyson flips on Aras, he’s sealed his fate with them.   And even though Caleb, Hayden, and Ciera might stick with him for now, they already know he’s a turn coat and know they can’t trust him so he’ll have to go.  So while it’s a bold move, as usual for Tyson, it’s a stupid one.   Not to mention, now with this tribe shake up, he is on a team with Gervase, Aras, Hayden, Caleb, and Ciera.  I have a feeling Hayden, Caleb, and Ciera will stick together.  So if Tyson gets Aras out and a merge doesn’t happen, he’s put himself and Gervase is a VERY weak position with being down in numbers in his new tribe.  I’ll say it again…dumb.   It’s why a guy like Tyson will never win Survivor.  He’s too tunnel visioned.   He doesn’t see the big picture or a few moves ahead.  He gets an idea and there is no changing it.   That’s why I would NEVER have an alliance with that man if I played with him.

Speaking of dumb, let’s talk about Kat!  Kat’s annoyed at Monica.   Why?   Because she talks and strategizes too much.   It’s all too much for Kat.  So because of that, she has to go.  The problem for Kat is, she on the outside looking in on an alliance and she has no idea.  Please like Kat annoy me.  Meaning, people who think they are so good at playing Survivor but really aren’t very good at all.   She seems like a very nice person but the arrogance combined with cluelessness bug me.  So she wants Monica gone and she goes right to Tina…her alliance member.  Tina promptly tells Monica because she doesn’t like having wishy-washy alliance members around.  They are dangerous and if she’s turning on Monica because she talks too much, what other reasons could she concoct to vote some one out later?  So for Monica, Kat had to go.   What I didn’t understand was Monica confronting her about this.  What point does that serve other than to dime out Tina?  Kat’s not going to tell you the truth.  So why bother?   I guess it would make sense if you didn’t believe the person who told you in the first place.  But it came from Tina and they’re tight so in my opinion there was no need for her to go to Kat.  I thought Kat was going to be the smoke screen  until they got to tribal when it was pretty clear it was going to be her.   Vytas had infiltrated their hearts and in a very short time proved more trustworthy than Kat.  He’s also the only muscle they have so they should really keep him around for challenges.  But it’s still dangerous.  Aras is a very powerful player.  I think Vytas was the best from his tribe.   When they get together, I don’t think there is any way Aras or Vytas don’t win this game.  And I think if it’s between Aras and Vytas, Vytas wins.  One because he’s not a prior winner and two, there has been quite a bit of foreshadowing with Vytas making lots of claims of being inferior to Aras.  What better way to beat him than on Survivor?   That is not a spoiler (I LOATHE Survivor spoilers) it’s just a gut feeling.   So while I understand them being pissed at Kat and wanting her gone it still doesn’t make sense because she was never really in your alliance to begin with.  Granted she didn’t know that but you did.  And Vytas is still a wild card with a very powerful ally on the other side.   If you have read many of the recaps out there that talk about Tina, Aras, and Gervase having a pre-show alliance, then it would make sense for Vytas to stay and Tina to protect him.  I think luckily for Tina, Kat made a very easy scapegoat and way to protect Vytas without showing her hand…if that’s indeed what’s going on.    See this is why I love Survivor!!!  I have no idea who’s really aligned with whom and I love it!!!!

One last thing before I go, Holy Major Faux Pas on the challenge!   From what I understand, after Probst does the TV explanation of the challenge, the cameras then have to move into position to film the challenge.  While that’s happening, Probst and the Challenge Manager go over the challenge in detail with each tribe again.  He answers questions and reviews all the steps and even in some cases will show pictures of certain stages so they know what to look for.   So it’s pretty clear what they have to do.  For Tina and Laura to not come back with the cage, is unacceptable.   It was unacceptable before I knew that bit of intel (thank you Dalton Ross from ew.com!) and now it’s even MORE preposterous after hearing that!!!   The only way you could miss that is if you aren’t paying attention and that’s just wrong on so many levels.   And they went out as a twosome.  So not only did one person not pay attention, but BOTH didn’t!    I would have kicked them off the tribe just for that.   You have a 1 in 12 shot of winning a million dollars (not counting the yuck butts on RI.)  How do you not pay attention to a challenge?  It’s one thing when it’s individual immunity but it’s even worse when it’s a team challenge.   No excuse at all.

In my first post I picked Aras as my winner with an honorable mention to brother Vytas.  I would have picked Vytas outright but since a newbie has never won Survivor when there are veterans out there, I couldn’t pick Vytas.  But so far, so good in my early prediction.   Sorry guys if I just Jim Nantzed you.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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