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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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RECAP & REVIEW: The Blacklist “The Courier” S1 E5

It’s a toss-up for me for favorite new show of the season with Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist.    Both shows are very different and both fabulous in their own right.   Overall there isn’t a lot I don’t like about Sleepy Hollow. However, there are some parts of The Blacklist that make me raise my eyebrows.   Such as, don’t you find it interesting that all this elusive, dangerous, highly sought after criminal just make it so easy for the FBI by always having business in DC?   They never have to go anywhere!  Also, why is everyone so angry all the time?   I get why Lizzy might be on edge, what with her husband being, whatever dangerous entity he is.   But why is Ressler and Malik always in a bad mood?   Seriously these people always look like they are ready to rip each other’s heads off.   But finally we got a smidge more insight into Ressler that might explain that a bit.

Every single episode has been really interesting and I love the different types of madmen and women they have been coming up with.   That must be a fun time in the writers’ room….sitting around thinking “what can we have this person be that’s just really sick and twisted.  I KNOW!   Let’s have this middleman be the human version of a woman’s handbag!!  He’ll feel no pain and have everything from keys to flash drives to Burt’s Bees lip gloss in there!”   Seriously though coming up with these criminals has to be awesome.   And so far, they have been doing a tremendous job.    Between last week’s The Stewmaker (and knowing what he did, that name is beyond disturbing) and this week’s The Courier, these criminals have been down right creepy, scary, and very dangerous.

The Case revolved around The Courier who is a middleman hired by two parties to complete high-end or dangerous transactions.   The Courier’s insurance, if anything goes wrong, on either end, he kills both parties.  So you take a huge risk using him but you know the job will be completed to 100% satisfaction with no worries of him coming back later.   Since Red knows he’s in town to do another job (kidnap a NSA agent for an ex-French intelligence agent) you know the exchange won’t go smoothly.  And it doesn’t.  Now it’s a race to find Seth (the NSA agent buried alive by The Courier) before he dies.  Since the one party is dead and The Courier isn’t talking, their only option is the French agent turned club owner.  Ressler goes undercover as The Courier to get the location of Seth’s body.  She wants proof he’s who he says he is so he slashes his arm with cut glass (which looked really painful) with wincing once.  But it’s not enough.   She knows the deal with the Courier and if he was really him, she would be dead already.  His cover is blown and a shoot out ensues with Ressler getting away.   Eventually, Superman, I mean Red, goes to the club and gets the info Ressler couldn’t in exchange for saving her life and getting her away.  In the end, they are able to save Seth’s life, the Courier is killed, and another name is checked off the list.

Let’s talk about Tom.  I have no idea where this is going…and I love that.   I see this thing with Tom going one of two ways, which means I’ll completely wrong about both.   Option 1: Tom is being set up.   All evidence points to Tom being a bad guy or at the very least a big fat liar.  Lizzy found the box containing the gun used in the murder in Boston, money, and about 10 different Passport IDs.   The more she uncovers about the case, the more she turns skeptical of Tom and who he really is.  The last thing we see “linking” Tom to the crime is a surveillance picture of him leaving the scene of the crime and him being listed as the potential killer in the report Red was able to get for her.  Usually when things are that obvious they scream that it’s too obvious therefore it can’t be true.  Plus, when he found the box, his first call was a panicked phone call to Lizzy wanting to talk to her.  He called her over and over again and then waited for her at home with the box laid out.  Why do that if you’re guilty?   Wouldn’t you run?   Or kill her?   He appeared freaked out by what he saw so that indicates he didn’t know anything about this.   How does this relate to the surveillance team, who could be the people setting Tom up.  Who they are and why they are doing it is still a massive mystery.  Could they be part of Red’s team?  Could they have something to do with Lizzy’s father?   Could they be government agents?   I have no idea at this point.  Option 2: Tom is a deadly bad guy.  Sometimes we have a tendency to over think what is clearly right in front of us.   And right in front of us is a lot of evidence showing that Tom isn’t who he says he is and might be a little bit scary.  I think this could be all part of his act to make Lizzy think he has no idea what the box is and to put her mind at rest that he isn’t this double agent she might be starting to think he is.  Why would he do that and not run?   Maybe because his assignment is not complete.   Maybe he’s being blackmailed into doing whatever he’s doing.  It make sense why the surveillance team is there.  They are watching him to make sure he holds up his end of the bargain or to make sure he’s doing his job.   The flip side of that argument though is that they just put the equipment up recently.  Wouldn’t it have been up the whole time?   Unless something changes recently causing the surveillance to be necessary.   I’m hoping it’s option 2 because I think it would be a lot more interesting if he’s duplicitous vs. the good husband being set up.   And if he is a double agent or something else entirely, who is he?   Who is he working for?  How does Red know so much about him?   Remember when he asked Lizzy what she knew about her husband in exchange for more information about the Courier?  He thanked her for telling him the truth.  How would he know that?   He would know because he already knows who her husband is and the whole story behind him.   Could he be #1 on Red’s Blacklist?  Is that why he’s so obsessed with Lizzy?   So many questions!!!   And I’m ready for them to be answered slowly.  I like that each week we get more and more layers of the onion peeled back.  I just hope it doesn’t go too quickly.  Quite frankly, I’m surprised the box reveal happened this soon.

One crazy projection I have and I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it….Keane and Ressler will fall in love.  They hate each other right now.  They don’t trust each other right now.  She’s married to someone who could be on Red’s list.  It’s a perfect romantic story!!!   I’m telling you, you heard it here first.  At someone point in the series, those two will get it on and be in love.

How are you enjoying The Blacklist?  The ratings are strong, the writing is strong.  The acting could be a teeny bit better but with James Spader stealing every scene he’s in every week, it really doesn’t matter.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: The Blacklist “The Freelancer” S1 E2

I didn’t get a chance to blog about the premiere yet and unfortunately, episode was here before I had a chance to talk about it.  There are three shows so far this season that I have fallen in love with…Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, and this show, The Blacklist.    I’ve never been the biggest James Spader fan but this show looks right up his alley and mine.   But how would the rest of the cast be able to hold up to Spader.   Time would tell but so far most people are holding their own.  Some could use some work but I’m not sure if that’s acting related or writing related, yet.   But overall, I love the premise of this show and the mysteries surrounding its top cast members.

Last week we were introduced to Raymond “Redd” Reddington.  A former government agent turned traitor, criminal, and FBI most wanted.  So right off the bat I want to know what happened their.   Redd is a genius and doesn’t seem to hate the USA….just maybe some of the bureaucrats in Washington…so what is his side of the story?  He has turned himself in to help the FBI bring down some of the worlds biggest criminals that the US Government isn’t even aware they exist.  His catch, he will only speak to rookie profiler Elizabeth “Lizzy” Keene.  The easy assumption…she’s his daughter.  But I don’t think the show will go quite that simple.  There has to be a bigger story here.  Keene is married to Tom who is attacked by one of the men she is hunting and is almost killed.   While in the hospital she goes to Redd furious about how her husband was attacked and Redd tells her that her husband isn’t what/who he appears to be.   Later she finds a box hidden in their floor boards that contains money, guns, and more passports than the entire House of Representatives.   So who is Tom Keene?

Last night’s episode revolved around an assassin called The Freelancer, whose crimes are set up to look like accidents.  The assassin’s next target was a humanitarian, Floriana Campo (guest star Isabella Rossalini), and the FBI is working with Redd to save her life.   This is the part that drives me crazy about casting departments.   As soon as you cast a guest star that big and everyone else is no names, you know that person ends up being the Big Bad.  Otherwise, why cast them?  So as soon as I see Rossalini on-screen, I knew she was the baddie.  I wasn’t sure how because she couldn’t be the Freelancer but I knew she couldn’t be good.  Especially once Lizzy started talking about how she was so inspired by her and wrote her thesis on her works….yep, baddie.   So while Redd made the FBI think this was all about getting the Freelancer who, in his own right, is also a pretty dangerous criminal, this was about getting Campo.  Campo hides her criminal activities in plain sight.  She is a human trafficker who’s charitable works involve freeing enslaved children.  The same children she brutalizes….nice lady.   Redd hates Campo and sets her up to admit to her involvement in the sex trafficking of young girls and she proceeds to die from a poison Redd gave her, however it’s set up to look like a suicide in the press.

So right now, here are the overall questions I have:

  1. Who is Raymond Reddington?   What’s his history?
  2. Why is Redd doing all this?   Sheer revenge?  Trying to make amends?   Does he have a terminal illness and this is his swan song?
  3. What is Redd’s connection with Elizabeth Keene?   Why is he so “obsessed” with her?  Is this more about his past with Tom than with her?   Is there a family/friend connection?
  4. What is the deal with Tom?   Bad guy?    Good guy?   Does he have any ties with Redd?  Is he Redd’s end game?
  5. What is Lizzy’s history?   What happened with her family?   The fire?

So many questions!!!  I love it.   I am so enjoying this show right now.   I think Spader is spectacular at being sinister and creepy yet warm and engaging.  He’s not scary in the way that someone like Hannibal Lecter or Jigsaw would scare me.  I don’t think he’s going to eat someone’s face or lock me in a room with someone who I either have to kill or will kill me.   But his intelligence his scary.  He’s very hard to read and it’s hard to get inside his mind to see what make him tick.  He’s always 10 steps ahead of everyone else and you have no idea what his motive or end game is.   But because he’s charming and slightly aloof, he can be very disarming which can be one of the scariest things about him because you can let your guard down.  Characters like his fascinate me.

What are your thoughts on The Blacklist?  Do you love it?   Hate it?   What are some of your questions and what do you think is Redd’s end game?   I’d love to hear what you think!

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in NBC, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Sleepy Hollow “Pilot” S1 E1

This was one of the shows I couldn’t wait to premiere.   I have always love Washington Irving’s story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I loved the movie with Johnny Depp (my husband and I watch it every Halloween.)  So when I found out it was going to be a TV show, I was thrilled yet skeptical at the same time.   How are they going to pull this off for a TV series?   It’s a pretty simple short story so how do you stretch it out over 22 episodes a season for potentially 5-6 seasons?   You put a spin on the original story…that’s how!  Are they going to be able to pull it off?   Time will tell but for now, I’m in 100%.

We start off in the 1700s during the Revolutionary War where a British Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison) is fighting for General Washington and the Americans against the British.  Huh?  We learn he defected to our side and became a spy for Washington.  Anywho, here comes the Hessian with his broad axe and super creepy mask to fight Crane.  They duke it out colonial style and the Hessian gashes Crane across the chest while Crane chops his head off.  He is rushed to the infirmary where his wife Katrina is there trying to nurse him back to health.  He blacks out.  Next thing we see, he waking up in a cave 250 years later.   He’s walking around surprisingly well for a man who was frozen in a cave for 250 years.   But he does almost get run over by a tractor-trailer because he’s admiring this amazing material he’s noticed on the ground….asphalt.   Suddenly, Crane realizes he isn’t in Kansas anymore and runs to town.

Meanwhile, we meet Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) who is having dinner with her partner talking about how she’s heading off to Quantico.  Let’s pause for a minute.   I’m not sure why shows do this.  We learn that Abbie has been accepted to the FBI and there are only a handful of these positions available and she’s received one of them.  It’s obvious this is something she wants and is a huge deal.  But you know what’s going to happen already…she’ll meet Crane, she’ll get wrapped up in this case and she’ll blow off Quantico.  Now, I’m not an expert in the area of law enforcement but I do know that if I received an offer to go to the FBI, our nation’s top law enforcement agency, meanwhile a revolutionary war solider and a murderer with no head is running around my town, I’m out of there as fast as you can say Quantico.  I’m not sure why this needs to be interjected in because in my opinion, it knocks her decision-making prowess down a few notches in my eyes.  Just let her be the detective in Sleepy Hollow when this all goes down.  Sheesh.  Ok, back to the story.   She and her partner get a call about wild horses at a property not to far away and they go check it out.  The wind picks up and the thunder and lightning start…..you know that’s never a good sign….and when they get there, the owner has been decapitated and the partner and Abbie meet the not so dead Hessian sans head.  Promptly the partner loses his and Abbie watches the Hessian ride off into the moonlight.   Why didn’t the Hessian go after Abbie?

Crane, who almost gets hit by a police car, get arrested for the murder because, I’m not really sure why.  Abbie comes into the station with her Capitan, Frank Irving (played by Orlando Jones) and when telling him the story of who she saw, Crane completes the description for her.  I thought one of the most well constructed parts of the show happens here when Crane asks if Abbie’s been emancipated and Abbie calmly tells him that yes she is a female detective to boot.  He’s thrilled because slavery always bothered him.   This was very well done because it nodded to the audience that they know we aren’t stupid and that logically, Crane being from the 1700s, would have a much different opinion on a black woman interacting with him.  So they address it with humor and dignity at the same time.  It was great.  Irving wants Crane in an asylum but Abbie thinks he can help her figure out what’s going on.  So she goes against her Captain’s orders and takes Crane to his “cave dwelling” to get some more answers.  While taking him there, he passes a priest whom he recognizes from his time in the infirmary.  Strange.  Is everyone in this town over 200 years old and looking fabulous?   Unfortunately, Crane never gets to chat up the padre because the Hessian has found him and lopped off his head while the priest tells him “I’ll never tell you where it is.”  Where what is?   I realize how dumb this question in later on.

As the rest of the episode unfolds, we learn Abbie has a sister and when they were young, were in the woods when they came across four strange white trees.  They also claim to have seen some sort of object around the trees.   They weren’t sure if it was a person or an animal of some sort, but when no one believed them, Abbie’s sister went insane.  We learn Ichabod’s background when he’s strapped to a polygraph (another great scene.)  We also meet Katrina.   Now I’m not sure where Katrina is.  She’s in some land where she’s trapped and she’d really like to get out but only Ichabod can help her.   She tells him that the Hessian is actually one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (yes you read that right and no this didn’t turn into a Supernatural review) and that if he finds his head (which is buried in her grave) it will awaken the other Horseman and bring them to their land which would cause a cataclysmic problem.  She tells him that the Hessian was buried under water and Crane was buried to protect himself because on the battlefield, their blood mixed and now Crane and Hessian are forever linked…which is why they arose at the same time.   Utterly confused and scared, Crane urges for more information but Katrina forces him to wake up and he and Abbie start working together to figure out what the hell is going on.   Abbie goes to her partner’s office and learns that he has been investigating these strange phenomenons for quite some time.  He even knew the story of her and her sister.  When she tells Crane what she found, she realizes she needs to complete the work of her partner and help Crane in stopping this Apocalypse from happening.   Um, this would be a great time for her to call the Winchester Boys for help…just a suggestion.

Wow, so a lot happened in that episode.  As pilots go, I thought it was VERY well done.  I like the idea of putting a twist on story we’ve all come to know.  Actually, the writers didn’t have a choice if they want this to last a few seasons.  I think the chemistry between Mison and Beharie is fantastic and they play off each other very well.  Especially their timing comedically.  Their banter is very natural and when you’re taking a heavy topic and putting a comedic spin on it, you need actors who call pull it off and they do.  I’ve always loved Orlando Jones (although he’ll always be Clifford Franklin from the Replacements for me.)  But I wonder if he knows more than he lets on.  Maybe it’s unfair because Captain Renard from Grimm was part of the scheme that now I think every police Captain is in on it, but when Abbie was leaving her partner’s office, Irving had a look on his face that said “boy I hope she didn’t find the secret stash of information I know about in here.”   Because it’s clear there are some town folk who know what’s going on.  John Cho’s unfortunately short-lived performance cleared that up.   Usually if a headless solider from the Revolutionary War shows up in your apartment, chances are you’re slightly freaked out and running for your life.  But Cho’s character simply told him “I know where it is.”  The “it” Cho was referring to was of course the horseman’s head.   So it’s clear there are some people around town who know what’s going on and many who don’t.  I’m sure over the course of the season and series, we’ll be introduced to many towns people who may or may not know or who may have a connection or rooting interest in seeing these Four Horsemen come to life.  And I think the big question for me right now is what does Abbie have to do with all of this?  She and her sister saw the trees and the creature all those years ago, she’s the only one willing to give Crane the benefit of the doubt, she saw said creature again at the end of the episode (which nearly made me jump out of my skin), and the Hessian didn’t kill her when he had the chance.  Why?  I can’t wait to find out!!!   Finally, how is it that some people have made the journey 250 years and look exactly the same?   How did that happen?   Are there more people from that era walking around we haven’t seen yet?   And where the hell is Katrina?   So many questions.

One day into the new season and already I’m bursting with excitement for the new TV season.  This was great start.  I didn’t get to see Bones yet but I heard the premiere was pretty strong.    And I have a good feeling this one might stick around because the critics were mostly positive on this show going into the premiere and I hope the ratings were solid.  They should be because there is no competition right now so it was smart of FOX to start the week early.  But what did you think of Sleepy Hollow and are you as hooked as I am?

DVR RATING: 5

 

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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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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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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: The Following “Pilot” S1 E1

I read all the advanced reviews, listened to all the podcasts, saw the “Inside the Following” trailer.  This show was awesome!!!  It was so gripping and thrilling.  I haven’t been on the edge of my seat that much watching a TV show in a very long time.  Many people from the writers, to the actors, to the critics can really blow up a show’s premise, for both the good and the bad, and sometimes it can be to the extreme of what we’re really watching.  I’ve seen interviews where cast members say they are doing a show that’s really groundbreaking and thought-provoking.  Turns out the show is dull and boring.  I’ve seen show runners say shows are intelligent and  cerebral with intense twist and turns.  Then they turn out shows like The Killing, which was none of those things.    But in all the build up to The Following, I can honestly say, not one report was blown out of proportion.  The show was scary, thrilling, mysterious, creepy, gross, edgy, smart, and sadistic.  And I can’t wait until next week.

The show follows Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who is a former FBI agent responsible for capturing the world’s most notorious serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy.)  Hardy has left the bureau under, not so clear circumstances, but apparently has perfected his ability to imbibe copious amounts of vodka out of Poland Springs bottles.  It appears, at least today, that due to being stabbed in the heart by Carroll and not playing well with others, that Hardy was out.  It also might have something to do with his relationship with Claire but I’m not 100% sure if that’s accurate.  But Hardy is recruited back once Carroll escapes from prison.  From there, things happen very quickly and what we learn in the 42 minutes of air time is not what we (I should say I) was expecting.

First there is Carroll himself, the former college professor with an obsession over Edgar Allan Poe, turned collegiate serial killer.  I always complain that shows/movies give away too much of what’s going on in previews these days, but with The Following, nothing I saw in the preview really clued me into the bigger picture.   Probably because I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I went in expecting to see one thing and now it’s something completely different.  I thought this was going to be about Carroll escaping and starting his rampage all over with Hardy and crew trying to capture him.  I also thought, that’s going to make the series awfully challenging for many seasons to come if they are only ever chasing Carroll.  What we eventually learn is that his escape (and eventual immediate capture) is just the foundation for a much larger, more sinister plot than anyone could have imagined.    We also learn that you can trust no one.  You can’t take one character on this show at face value or else you could get Survivor blind sided.  It makes watching the show so much more enjoyable when you just don’t know who to trust.

Then there is the romantic triangle that is so bizarre when you think about it.  Carroll was married to another college professor, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea) who eventually falls in love with her husband’s captor, Hardy.  There are SOOO many questions here.  First, when did Claire and Hardy fall in love?  The one time line we were privy to this evening was in 2002 when Carroll comes home and throws his wife on their bed and she tells him the news that she’s pregnant.  They seem quite happy and in love at this point.  Did Claire already know Hardy at this point?  Was she already having an affair with him?  My guess is that she didn’t know about her husband’s extra curricular activities at that time, so when did she learn?  See I think, she and Hardy didn’t get together until later but my husband has a different theory.  He thinks Joey, Claire’s son, is actually Hardy’s and not Carroll’s.  Remember the scene where she hands the letter to Hardy and she says that “he knows” and Hardy tells her that he’s bluffing and he’s just pretending?   My husband thinks that in the letter Carroll tells Claire he knows Joey is Hardy’s kid.  That means one of two things.  One, that Hardy and Claire’s affair was happening back in 2002 and therefore she was pregnant with Hardy’s kid or two, that she was pregnant at that time but something happened and she lost the baby and got pregnant later with Hardy’s kid.  The former is more plausible because if Carroll is captured in 2003 (and not knowing months at this point) that could be a tight timeline for a second pregnancy.

Finally there is the cult angle.   Like I said earlier, I was expecting this show to be about re-capturing Carroll once he escapes prison and starts his murdering ways again.  But that isn’t the case at all.  This isn’t about Carroll anymore.   I mean it is because it’s his plan, but it isn’t JUST about Carroll because there are so many people involved that it’s bigger than we even realize at this point.  It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Charles Manson!!  I’m not a huge “cult” person because I find them amazingly creepy, and not in a fascinating way.  But this I do find incredibly interesting because I want to know how someone like Joe Carroll is able to get so many people to do what he wishes.   Why would they do this?   How does he get in touch with them?  How does he develop these relationships to the point where people would spend years of their lives following his lead?  Does he have a main point of contact on the outside helping him?   It’s unreal!!   And on a side note, I find it a little disturbing that I was more upset and cringing over the scene where we saw all the puppies who had been slaughtered than I was seeing 4 police officers brutally murdered in the prison.  When I saw that video with the cop with the puppy, I had to cover my eyes because if he hurt that dog and I had to see it, I may have been done with the show.   How wrong is that?

Ok I’m going to go out on a crazy wild limb and say that Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) is one of the followers.  I know I know, I’m nuts and it’s only the first episode so why do I want to make a crazy prediction so early.   Because it’s fun!!  This show has already proven that you can’t trust anyone.  Look at Maggie Grace’s adorable gay neighbors who loved her and were there to protect her.  Not so adorable and lovable now are they? Although I said to my husband when the second guy showed up that I didn’t trust him and that I thought he was in on it.  Then there’s Joey’s nanny who’s obviously been with Joey and Claire a long time.   Yep, she’s one of them too.  And Carroll has already gotten one law enforcement officer on his side so I wouldn’t put it past him to reach higher.  He obviously has the intelligence, the charisma, and the arrogance to pull it off.  I wouldn’t put it past him to have a FBI agent in his pocket.  Weston seems the perfect choice at this point.  He’s young, he’s smart, he has a man crush on Hardy and his work, he appears to want to get to know him better and learn from him, he knows the case backwards and forwards, and no one would suspect him.  So I’m all in on Weston being part of the cult.

The big question is why?  Why is Carroll doing this?  Is it because Hardy and his wife had an affair and he wants to get back at both of them?  Is it because he can and he wants to see how far he can take this?  Is it because he’s bored and Angry Birds just isn’t cutting it any more (pardon the pun.)  I have to believe he has a master plan that has levels we haven’t even begun to think of yet.  But I can’t wait to see where this show takes us.

One of the reasons why I think this show works so well is the chemistry between Bacon and Purefoy.  Is it Hopkins/Foster worthy?   Not quite, but it’s pretty damn good.  The scene where Carroll has been recaptured and he explains to Hardy his plan is so chilling, Purefoy knocks it out of the park.  Bacon also does a masterful job of showing his intense anger and disgust while keeping his composure.  You can see the wheels spinning in his head as Carroll unloads all this new information onto him.  It should set up a beautiful, sinister dance between the two of them for the rest of the series.  But I will say one thing.  Agent Hardy, the next time you get a hunch, please please please, bring back up with you!  Why you would go to the Lighthouse by yourself, is beyond me.  And while we’re on that, I’m heartbroken Maggie Grace was killed.  To survive an attack by a serial killer only to learn that the people you trusted for three years, worked for him and led you right back to him only so he could finish the job?  And to expose what happened to her to Hardy the way he did?  Just, evil!

I want to take one brief moment to comment on the violence of the show.  There have been many people commenting on it and since I have a forum to put in my two cents, I’m going to.  I think we live in a society today where violence is all too present.  With technology advancing, it’s easier for people to find more ways to be destructive and deadly and it’s incredibly scary.  There was no worse display of that than what happened in Newtown, CT just last month.  It’s raised many topics about gun laws and gun control.  It has also resurfaced the discussion on violence in video games, movies, and TV.   And I can understand it.  Tragedies like this hit everyone hard.  And even when there isn’t a tragedy current in our heads, many people find it unnecessary to show the levels of violence that many games, movies, and TV shows so graphically display.   But I also understand that we live in a society where people have the creative rights to depict and tell stories as they choose.  Storytellers have the right to broadcast and film their stories as they feel is necessary to tell the best story or get their message across.  And just as they have the right to do it, people who don’t agree with it have the right to not support it by not purchasing those video games, not buying tickets to those movies, or simply changing the channel on their TVs.

This show won’t be for everyone.  It’s dark, it’s gruesome.  And while I’m someone who abhors violence, especially against children and animals, I can also put shows like this in their proper context.  Because for me, I find shows like this compelling.   I want to know how the FBI would attack a situation like this.  I want to see how they profile a twisted individual.  I want to see how they learn and adapt to get smarter and better so that they continue to get evil like that off the streets.  I want to see if I can figure this out right along with them.  Now is this a documentary on the BAU of the FBI?  Of course not.  It’s a TV show for entertainment, not a History Channel expose.  But shows like this don’t happen in a vacuum.  They do research and have consultants that aid with adding realism into a fictional show.  Now scenes and situations will be dramatized for effect but there are storytellers who like to have as much realism as possible when telling a story like this.   And what it all comes down to is that this is fiction, not reality.  If people want to watch a show like this (that is brilliant right off the bat), I think it’s absolutely ok.   If other people want to crucify it for its violent nature, that’s absolutely ok too.  The beauty of this age of TV is that there are hundreds of channels for you to pick from on Monday nights at 9pm.  If The Following isn’t your bag, it’s a shame but I get it.  And I respect your right to watch something else.    Just respect my right to want to watch it.

What did you all think?  Did you like The Following?  Are you as hooked as I am?  Or were you just too creeped out by people stabbing themselves in the eye to come back?   Let me know!

 

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