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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: True Detective “Form and Void” S1 E8

WOW.   What a season.    This show brought story telling and acting to a whole new level and the finale certainly didn’t disappoint.   I know there were so many wild and crazy theories out there about how this was all going to go down.   Ultimately, I didn’t care.   And I don’t say that in a dismissive sense.  I say it in a respectful sense.   Nic Pizzolatto has told such a glorious story from start to finish that I wasn’t concerned with where it was going because I trusted that it would end as it should….and it did.

With so many people speculating as to who the Yellow King was and how all this tied together, it’s easy to get caught up in the prognosticating.  But in my humble opinion, the point of the narrative is lost if people only focus on the “who done it.”   This show is not Criminal Minds or CSI or even Castle.  It’s not about solving who’s the killer at the end of the arc.  It’s not about trying to put the pieces together to figure it out.    It’s about the story of these two dark, broken men who are solving this crime and how this case has impacted their lives and their journey together as partners and eventually, friends.   Now don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to know who the damn Yellow King was and why/how this all happened.   But I wasn’t as curious about that as I was to see how the resolution impacted Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey.)   I wanted, more than anything, for this story line to come to a resolution for their characters.   To wrap up their characters’ arcs.    See, when you look at this show, they could have been anything….truck drivers, CPAs, tennis pros, salesmen…it didn’t matter.  Whatever their profession, the story revolved around how these two men came to be both as individuals and as partners.   It just so happened that they were detectives solving a crime that personally connected with both of them (for different reasons) and that was the catalyst to help them work through their inner demons and move away from the darkness and towards the light.   And they needed each other to do it.

Marty’s biggest issue was trying to be, in the most benign of descriptions, “the man.”  Both at work and at home, Marty wanted to be everything to everyone.   Master of his domain.    And the harder he tried, the more he went in the opposite direction…whether by his own doing or as the result of someone else’s decisions.   At work, he was the guy everyone liked, but maybe not always respected.   When he partnered with Cohle he wasn’t happy about it but to appease him, he was told he was the lead, the point man for all cases.   Eventually, after several years, that really just became a title with no meaning behind it because everyone knew that Cohle was the one solving the crimes, getting the confections, making the arrests.   Marty was just the paperwork pusher.  Instead of being the lead dog, he was the ultimate  lap dog.  Reduced to nothing more than administrative assistant to Cohle.   At home, his daughters couldn’t stand him and didn’t want to be around him and his wife (because of her own frustrations at being married to a man with such little inner strength) could be quite the ball crusher when she saw Marty asking and speaking in ways that were less than authoritative.   He could be meek and timid and that frustrated her.   Marty’s solution?    Start banging all these younger versions of his wife to make himself feel like a man again.   In the end, albeit way too late, Marty realized that he pushed away the one woman he really loved, destroyed his relationship with his daughters, and is now left with nothing.   Or is he?

Rust is the complete opposite of Marty.   He never cared about being “the man.”    All he cared about was justice.  No one liked Rust.  No one understood Rust (no one cared to.)  And Rust didn’t care.  He was on a mission…to seek justice for Dora Lange and the other young children who were kidnapped, raped, and murdered.   And he could go after these thugs with reckless abandon because he doesn’t care if he loses his life in the battle for truth.   It was that way when he was undercover (and probably why he stayed as long as he did), it was that way when he went undercover again with the Iron Crusaders, and it was that way last night when he went after Eroll Childress.   Why did he value his life so little?   Because that meant he would be closer to his daughter.   If he dies, he’s back where he belongs…with her.   I think that’s why Rust was moving around like a breathing corpse because nothing mattered without his little girl and her mom.  His soul and spirit died the same day his daughter did.  And even though it’s pretty much assumed that’s why Rust is the way he is, you never really understand his level of grief and pain until last night when the walls come down and the vulnerability shines through and we get our first look at the real Rust Cohle.

The best part of watching this season, was watching the partnership/relationship of Marty and Rust evolve into what it became…friendship.   These were two men who really didn’t like each other.   Actually, I would say Marty didn’t like Rust.   Rust’s feelings were buried so deep I don’t think he felt anything.   I think it would be fair to say that these were two men who didn’t understand one another.   But over the course of the season, as each man grew to know the other better (whether they wanted to or not), an understanding developed.   Eventually, that understanding grew to kinship.  Because at the end of the day, all they have is each other.   They came to learn that the only people who really understood them, were each other.   These were two dark, broken men.   Whether they were broken at someone else’s hand or their own, their inner selves were destroyed in such a way, it was no wonder they couldn’t have a normal life.   Marty and Rust both suffered losses.   Rust lost his daughter to God and his wife to grief while Marty lost his daughters and wife due to negligence and self loathing.    Either way, their families were gone.    What was left?   A lot of shattered pieces to be picked up and put back together and inadvertently and painfully, that what Rust and Marty did for each other.  Now they needed to shatter those pieces just a little bit more (with Rust sleeping with Maggie) and those pieces were left there for a long time before someone picked them up.  But this case brought them back together and as mad as Marty was and as guilt ridden as Rust was, they teamed up to finished what they started.   Years later, even when Marty was forgiving Rust, in his own way, Rust wouldn’t have it.  He would let Marty let him off the hook.   Hell we knew Rust hadn’t let himself off the hook because he never fixed his tail light that broke when they fought in the parking lot.  It was his reminder of his weakness and betrayal.  And I think that’s how Marty was able to start to forgive him.   But once they had their man and they went after him to finally get the justice those victims deserved, you really see how these men grew to trust, respect, and care for each other.    When Cohle was being gutted by Childress, Marty came in to stop it and save him.  Then when he turned his attention to Marty (after throwing an ax into his chest) Cohle mustered up all his strength to kill Childress.   Then Marty crawls over to Rust and holds him in his lap until help arrives.  He never leaves his partner’s side.    Even in the hospital after he wakes up and Rust is banged up but ok, Marty is still by his side.   And even though Rust doesn’t show it to Marty, after he kicks him out with his one finger salute asking him to never change, a smile comes over his face.  The kind of smile you get when your friend has made you laugh over something that should be painful.  That comfortable acknowledgement that no matter what, they are there for you.   That satisfying feeling that you have someone in your corner.   It’s confirmed even more so at the end of the show when both men are outside and Marty gives Cohle a present (his Camels) and then rolls him away to enjoy them.   We see Rust, not just break down his wall, but throw grenades and set off bombs to bring it down.  After everything they’ve been through, he lets Marty inside.  He beautifully and tearfully gives Marty what Marty has wanted since the day he met Cohle…and understanding behind the psyche of a disturbed man.  And boy does he paint a clear picture.  You see it in Marty’s face as he watches him explain how he never felt like he should be here because with each dangerous scenario he put himself in, it was one step closer to reuniting with his little girl.  Because at the end of the day, Rust wants happiness and peace.  And in his mind, for the longest time, only death could bring that because he would be with his daughter again.   But as Marty explains to him that while there is much darkness out there, there is also great light, he lets Rust know that he can find the inner peace he so desperately seeks if he focuses more on the light than the dark.   For the first time, since probably his daughter passed away, Rust believes him.    As such, he makes Marty take him away and arm and arm they go off into the darkness to seek their light….with one another.

What did you think of last night’s finale and the season overall?    Will you be back next year because I sure will!   And who would you like to see as the two main leads next year?    Let me hear from you!

 

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SERIES FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Dexter “Remember the Monsters?” S8 E12

Wow.  Ok.  So that was the end of Dexter.   Hmmm.   It’s so hard to begin this because I really don’t know where to start.   I guess I’ll start with the obligatory if you haven’t watched the series finale of Dexter, please don’t read below.   That’s a good idea.

You know what’s weird?   I re-listed to Episode 40 of the For the Love of TV Podcast to hear what my thoughts were on the season premiere of Dexter and what I would and wouldn’t be ok with as a wrap up for him.  What’s absolutely creepy is that one of the scenarios I laid out was this idea of Dexter riding off into the sunset (or dreary Northwest) and being alone with no one in his life as kind of a life lesson that he can’t really be connected to anyone because of who he is because as much as he’d like to try, he is who he is…a killer.   But after watching how it played out, I’m not so sure if I’m ok with it.   And that most likely has to do with the fact that I wasn’t crazy about this season overall.

I was hoping this swan song for Dexter would be more about him and the characters we’ve come to know.   Each season we’ve had our Big Bad…and we’ve had some excellent ones.   I thought the Big Bad of this season should have been Dexter.   I think it would have been fascinating to see what happens when Dexter’s double life finally crumbles around him and how that impacts him, Debra, and the other people who were duped by him over eight seasons.  I don’t think there was any need for Vogel (and re-writing the history of the code), the brain surgeon, the kid who wanted to learn to be a killer like Dexter, Masuka’s daughter, I would even throw bringing Hannah back wasn’t necessary (although I didn’t hate her character the way other people did.)   I would rather have seen Dexter lose it due to his putting Deb in a position to have to kill LaGuerta.  And as a result Dexter would get sloppy and Miami Metro would start to come around to who he really is.  Then the race would be on…would they finally figure it out and can Dexter continue (or would he care to continue) to try to hide who he really is.   The end result would be that he couldn’t.   So he would either have to escape by either faking his death or somehow getting away (kind like what happened in the series finale) or someone would have to kill him.  I think that would have been so much more fascinating than what actually happened.   Instead Deb dies as a result of her wounds suffered at the hands of Saxon (yes I know Dexter pulled the plug but Saxon really killed her), no one at Miami Metro has a clue still, Hannah is left to raise Harrison in Argentina, and Dexter fakes his death to become a lumberjack in Seattle or Vancouver or where ever the hell he went.   And to top it all off, we don’t even get the benefit of seeing the Dexter kill room one more.   No, he tricks Saxon into stabbing him with a pen in his holding cell so Dexter can then stab him in the neck and make it look like self-defense.  Seriously?   After all the precision and kill rooms over the years, the last two kills we see from Dexter involve turning a switch and stabbing someone with a pen.   Let me just say….MAJOR FAIL.

I talked about this before, series finales are hard.  It’s so hard because fans of the show have such HUGE expectations since this will be last time they ever see their favorites characters altogether.   Unless of course kickstarter gets involved and a movie gets made but that’s another story.  And fans have their lists of the best and worst ever.   So these writers and show runners have a very tricky task in front of them.   Even if creators and show runners know their end game at the beginning of the series or a few seasons in, knowing what you want to do and being able to pull it off to satisfy the story, the characters, and the fans are two completely different scenarios.  Unfortunately, I think Dexter will go down as probably one of the worst finales ever and I think a lot of that will also have to do with the fact that the season overall was very poor.   If they wanted Dexter to have a self-imposed exile, I would be ok with that in theory.   But it’s the way he got to that exile that has me scratching my head.   I hate to say it but a lot of it felt…lazy.  For example, Dexter was so worried about getting Hannah out of the country because everyone was looking for her.   Then here’s an idea, how about cut your hair, dye your hair, wear glasses, buy colored contacts, where different clothes….SOMETHING!   Why was Hannah walking around looking like Hannah?   She goes to take Harrison to the hospital and doesn’t think to at least wear a hat and sunglasses?   The show runners fluffed this question off by saying the FBI and cops are always looking for people and we don’t know what they look like.  Plus she was a “not a high priority criminal” because she was never convicted of a crime.   WHAT?  Her face was all over the news as a person of interest in her husband’s disappearance and she was connected to several other deaths.  That seems ridiculous to me.  Then you add in, Masuka’s daughter story line (what was the point), Quinn going for sergeant only to lose to his partner that we never saw again after she got her promotion (who cares), and Quinn and Jamie’s relationship that had to fail so he could be with Deb only to have Deb die (I don’t even know what to say about that.)   It was bad.   And they didn’t want to go down the road of the Miami Metro crew finding out because they thought it would be too much with everything else going on.   How about get rid of all that other crap no one cared about and put in stories we would.  I don’t understand that!   The writers really thought we’d be more interested in Masuka’s daughter, Hannah, and Saxon but not how the people we have known since season 1 would react to finding out who Dexter really was?  That absolutely befuddles me.

I think it was time to say good-bye to Dexter.   I think the show had run its course so I think it was time to hang up the blades and the cling wrap.   I just wish we could have returned to the glory days of Dexter and kept it simple and focused and about Dexter and how he tries to fit his dark passenger life into his “fake” life and whether or not he could keep it going without them finding out.  Alas, we watched something much different from that and I think the characters, cast, and fans deserved better.

 

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SUMMER FINALE REVIEW: Pretty Little Liars “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” S4, E12

Another summer finale and another big WOW moment.   And while in the moment I was wowed, I’m now skeptical.   Because the last big reveal of who “A” was, or at least who was part of the “A” team, turned out to be a fraud.   When Toby was revealed to be part of team “A” and working with Mona, the show completely back peddled on that and made Toby working undercover to bring “A” down.    Since the back peddle, I wasn’t buying it.    I think it was the writers reacting to their audience and the outcry that one of their favorite characters being written as a bad guy.    Now, maybe that’s not the case.    Maybe that was the plan all along. But like I said, I wasn’t buying it…..until this episode.   If it truly was the plan all along to make Toby work undercover and pull a fast one on us, it makes perfect sense since their plan was to reveal an even BIGGER jaw dropper of either who “A” is or who is on the “A” team…..Ezra Fitz!!!!   Now fair warning PLL writers, if you back peddle on this one too, I’m done watching your show, and I think you’ll risk losing many viewers because I think your fans are starting to lose some patience.

I’ve been frustrated with PLL lately.   I feel like we’ve been watching this show for 3 and 1/2 seasons and we’ve gotten absolutely nowhere.   We are no closer to finding out who “A” really is and why.   The girls keep having all these horrible things happen to them while never, ever wanting to get some help.  Their parents are never around (except for Hanna’s) and when they are around, they are completely clueless as to what is happening with their daughters.   I mean I know teenage girls can be moody and difficult (I used to be one of them) but what has been happening to these girls and the way they always walk around without any sense of happiness in their lives (see Emily) how do none of their parents ever think to push the issue and ask them what is going on?   And we’ve never really been let in on the secret as to WHY “A” is doing this to these girls.   What could they have done to this person to warrant this type of torture and torment?    That’s why we really need more answers than questions sooner than later.

So there were two big reveals in this episode…Ezra is “A”, or at least part of the team, and Allison is alive.   I’ve said since the first season that I think Allison is alive.   Whether or not that’s really true, I guess the show will confirm in the Halloween episode on Oct 22nd.   But I’ve always thought she was alive.  Although her being buried alive and reaching her hand out and the sorority lady just happens to be there and see it….yeah, I don’t know about that.

I know there are a lot of theories going around about both of these reveals.    And I’m going to go out on a crazy limb based on every episode I’ve watched, everything I’ve read and seen and say that not only is Ezra “A” but so is Aria.   I’ll let that one sink in for a minute.   If I remember correctly, the first episode of the series shows that Aria spent a year oversees.   So we have no idea what Aria was doing while she was away.   The reason we were given that she was away was because of finding out about her father cheating on her mother.  And maybe that’s true.   But if she was an angry Aria at that time, could she have met Ezra at that point?    If Ezra’s motive for being “A” is because he had a relationship with Ali, could Aria have known about it and therefore knew about Ezra or even knew him sooner?   Could they be working together this whole time?    If Ezria is the endgame (according to one of the writers) then it would make sense that they would be working together.   That way the relationship really was never fake, the way fans fear, because they’re working together.  I’ve always thought that one of the Liars was really “A” or part of the “A” team, I just wasn’t sure who.  I’ve had my suspicions about Aria before but now with this Ezra reveal (if it sticks) I’m thinking even more strongly that she’s part of the whole thing and has been from the beginning.   I told you it was crazy!

While the show has been frustrating me lately, I will give them this, they sure know how to do a finale.   However, if this was another red herring and there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for what we saw, I’m done.  I really am.  Because I’m tired of the false leads.   Do it once (with Toby), ok fine.   I don’t like it, but I can deal with it.   You do it again, with Ezra, I’m done.    Because nothing else you do moving forward will carry any weight.  I won’t trust you as a show or writing team.  I’m ok with mystery and storylines that keep me on my toes and guessing as to what is going to happen and who’s behind it.   But when it keeps happening in the realm of “ha ha, gotcha…it wasn’t what we led you to believe” then I’m bored.  I think you keep your audience engaged by at least answering SOME questions or by giving some sense of direction.   If it’s always questions and more questions and more misdirection, then you lose.   At least, you lose me.

So what do you think?   Is Ezra “A”?    Is Allison really alive?   Are you as frustrated as me or are you completely fine with the direction of the show?

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEWS of Scandal, Grey’s, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, and Elementary Coming Soon

Heading out for the weekend so I will recap these shows Sunday and Monday.   Lots to talk about!   Here’s a quick preview:

Castle: Rick proposed to Kate!!!!   Rick proposed to Kate!!!!  But what does this mean for them going forward and is this really a good thing?  I’ll discuss.

Grey’s: Callie and Arizona had quite the blow up.   Who’s side am I on?   Come back to find out.   Plus, Richard better not be dead!!

Scandal: Enough already.  Ok enough!   Either keep Olivia and Fitz together or break them up but ENOUGH with Olivia running around saying “we can’t do this.”  I’m so done with that.   Did you know David was wearing the white hat all along?   Did I?  And what about Quinn becoming baby Huck and Huck’s reaction to it.

How I Met Your Mother: FINALLY!!!   We got to meet her.   Now we just need Ted to meet her.   But when Carter Bays says this will be the longest wedding in the history of TV, does her really mean that next season will cover the span of only 56 hours?  I don’t know how I feel about that…or maybe I do!

Elementary: haven’t watched it yet but I will by Sunday, so don’t spoil me!

Have a good weekend peeps!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in ABC, CBS, Season Finales

 

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SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Because You’re My Sister” S4 E15

I hate that it’s Jan 25th and Parenthood is over for the season.  But I’ve said it before, I’d rather have a 15 episode season of Parenthood, than no season at all.  So if 15 is all I get and it keeps Parenthood on the air, so be it.  But I’d still rather have the full 22…it has to be said!

Adam and Kristina

It’s been a pretty emotional season.  Kristina’s cancer storyline has really dominated the tear factor, with a handful of other stories vying for their Kleenex moment, so you knew there was going to be a decision at the end of the season…was Kristina going to be in remission or was she going to die?   I’m not going to lie.  I was worried Katims was going to kill Kristina off.  Because the storytelling that would happen in the build up to her death and in the preceding episodes dealing with her passing would be so incredibly powerful and interesting, I thought Katims might go that route.  At this point, luckily, he has decided not to go in that direction.  Although I fear seeing her friend Gwen might have been a foreshadowing of things to come.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am by no means wishing for this to happen.  NO.  WAY.  I’m just putting on my forecasting hat and, as usual, reading too much into everything.

Kristina had one more scan to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread because something looked off in her test.  But the doctor was just being cautious thinking it was probably just her body reacting to all the treatment.  Turns out that exactly what it was!    Yeah!!!  Now he did warn her that she can’t use the “C” word (cured) for 5 years but at this point, she is cancer free!!!

I’m so happy for her and for Adam.  This whole storyline was told so beautifully.  It showed how scary and lonely it can be for a cancer patient.  But it also showed how difficult it is on the spouse.  And it showed that both sides can be flawed in their actions.  There were times Adam was trying to be supportive but in his quest to support (like with bought Kristina the trip to Hawaii to celebrate her clean health), it pushed negative buttons in Kristina.  Likewise, when Adam was doing his best to be supportive (like when he bought Kristina the wig) Kristina really overreacted to what her husband’s intentions were.  Showing the side of the cancer patient in a supportive light is a dangerous and tricky storyline to go down.  You never want to show a patient unfavorably because of what they are going through but if you are going to show this as real as possible, then you have to cross that line.  But Katims did it so well that it was never disrespectful or insensitive.   But it was a perfect ending to a very well told story from start to finish.

Joel and Julia

Speaking of a well told story, this story had some mixed emotions over the course of the season.  I didn’t have as much of a problem as some people did…until the last two episodes.   Now I am going to chalk up the fast turn around to only have 15 episodes to work with and wanting to wrap this story up on a happy note this season and not drag it out into the next one.  But is that the fastest turn around you have ever seen in a kid?  He went from being really nasty and mean to Julia and Sydney to now begging Julia to adopt him and asking Sydney to show up at his adoption ceremony because she’s his sister.  This from the kid that just 2/3 weeks earlier was saying Julia wasn’t his real mother.  It didn’t make sense to me.  And there seemed to be no explanation as to what caused him to have this major change of heart.  That’s the only part that really disappointed me.  But my assumption is that Katims really wanted the adoption to happen in the finale and there was only so much time between certain episodes to make that happen.

Other than that, the adoption was wonderful and classic Braverman.  Of course the ENTIRE family would be there to support J&J.   And I LOVED how each one of them stepped up to say how they now related to Victor and how there certain areas in life where he should reach out to them for advise.  (Oh and really Sarah, YOU’RE going to suggest relationships for your area of expertise.   Ugh.)   But the best part was at the end of the scene when they were running out and Victor said to Julia “Mom can we get ice cream?”   The look on her face when he called her mom was priceless.  I love it.

Crosby & Jasmine

I still don’t agree with Jasmine on how her mom should have been handled.  Are there some sensitivities to the situation that should be respected because of who Renee is and what she has been to Jabbar?  Absolutely.  Does that give her the right to tell Crosby and Jasmine how to parent their son?  No.  And Crosby had every right to be upset with Renee interfering with their way of raising Jabbar.  Renee wasn’t happy with their routine (Crosby getting in late and having dinner as a family when he got home.)  so she just changed it.  That isn’t right and Jasmine should have put her foot down more.  She was just as much to blame in this for putting Crosby in the position of having to be the heavy and that’s why it became worse than it needed to be…because she didn’t have his back, even though she agreed with him.  Ironically, I think Renee was right that Jabbar shouldn’t be eating dinner at 8:00pm during the week.  That should be closer to a bedtime than mealtime.  But you know what, it doesn’t matter what I think or she thinks.  The only thing that matters is what his parents think because it’s their decision.  And quite frankly, I think it’s nice that they try to do what they can to have dinner as a family, no matter what time it is.   But because Jasmine didn’t have the guts to have an honest, but respectful conversation with her mother, the situation and the tension built up and exploded when it didn’t need to and Renee’s feelings were hurt.  And somehow Crosby had to apologize, which was wrong.  If anything, Jasmine should be apologizing to Crosby and her mother, because this whole thing is her fault.

I forgave Jasmine very quickly though because I LOVE the way she told Crosby she was pregnant.  Even more, I love the fact that they went to see Renee and let her be the first one they told.  And the way Crosby told her was so sweet and adorable, it just melted my heart.  So it looks like all if forgiven and another happy ending for another Braverman sibling.

Sarah/Hank/Mark

Thankfully, this storyline is over.  Sarah finally made up her mind and decided to give it a go with Hank only to have her heart-broken by him when he told her he was closing the shop and moving to Minnesota to be with his daughter.  I have to say, I can’t blame him.  But he did tell Sarah that he loved her and wants her to move with him to snowy, icy, Minneapolis.  I say, go.  I’ve said this before, I love Lauren Graham, I don’t like her character.  Sarah isn’t bringing a whole lot to the table and her stories, quite frankly, haven’t been that interesting.  So I wouldn’t mind seeing her haul off and follow Hank to Minnesota.  But that won’t happen because LG isn’t going anywhere.  I also had a MAJOR problem with how she told Mark.  Are you kidding me? You walk into his classroom and stiffer than a board, tell him you’re going to make a go of it with Hank and good-bye.  Could she have been more cold?  For God sake he was her fiance.  Didn’t he deserve a little more warmth and respect than what she gave him?   Take him for coffee, take him for a beer.  But don’t do it at work and don’t be so cold and unfeeling that we’re wondering how you two were ever together in the first place.  I assume  she was trying to play it as awkward, which I’m sure it was.  But it came off as bitter and rude, than awkward.

Amber/Drew

A quick note on these two.  I’m glad Drew got to wrap up his story with Amy and we got to see her one more time and they were able to resolve their break up in a satisfying way.  What they went through was so hard and difficult for teenagers.  For anyone really but especially teenagers.   I’m also thrilled to see his moment of joy learning he got into Berkley, after all the sadness he’s had the last few weeks.  The only thing that was disappointing is that there is still no fallout from his moment with Sarah when he fell into her arms crying after it happened.  Does she know?  Did he tell her?   We still don’t know.  My assumption is that he did because when she was congratulating him on getting into Berkley, she told him “I told you everything would be ok.”  Now was that the gentle nod to let us know that she knew?  I’m still not 100% sure.   Either way, I’m happy for Drew and I’m very excited for him.   I’m going to say something cooky, crazy now.   Is it possible Amy didn’t go through with it and is still pregnant and that we’ll see her two seasons from now where Drew bumps into her with a kid in a stroller?   I’m just, throwing it out there.  My guess is no, but you know how my mind works!

Amber and Ryan are back together…yeah!!  As they should be.  I love this relationship and it’s so nice to see how far Amber has come from when we first met her and how mature she is being.  She is getting her life together and she is being very responsible and respectful to herself and Ryan in regards to making this relationship work the right way.  The chemistry between Whitman and Lauria is incredible so I hope Ryan will be a permanent fixture on the show moving forward.

So that’s season 4 of Parenthood.  Did you love this season?  Are you sad it’s over so soon?  I hope NBC does the right thing and brings it back.  I think they will.

 
 

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SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Homeland “The Choice” S2 E12

The Choice.  What a perfect title for the finale.  So many choices had to be made in this episode.   Do you do the right thing or the wrong?  Do you follow your head or your heart?   Do you stay or do you go?  Do you kill or be killed?   All of these conundrums were up for grabs in the season finale of Homeland.

Let’s start with an easy one…Brody and Jess.  The writing has been on the wall for a while with these two.  You could argue ever since Brody came back they were doomed to fail.  But I give them both credit for trying.  After betrayals on both sides and two annoying kids, Brody and Jess gave it the best they could, but it wasn’t enough.  They weren’t enough for each other any more.  So they officially ended their relationship and decided to part ways.  Jess gave Brody her blessing to be with Carrie, and Brody did the same for her and Mike.  Brody even went as far as to go have a beer with Mike and tell him to go be with Jess and the kids.  I thought it was fascinating to see, and I thought the show did a very good job of showing how hard it is for soldiers when they come back from war, to go back to their old lives.  On the flip side, you also see how hard it is on the family they are coming home to.  And even though what happened was no one’s fault and they did still love one another, it just wasn’t the same.  That has to be what makes it even harder.  They didn’t hate one another or become intentionally disrespectful towards one another.  They just couldn’t take a tragic situation, that changes everyone to the point they couldn’t go back, and make it work.  It’s really sad to see and I’m sure happens more often than it doesn’t.

Then you have David Estes.  He made a deal with Quinn to have him kill Brody as soon as Brody was finished helping them get Abu Nazir.  So once Nazir was gone, Quinn had to assassinate Brody.  He followed Brody and Carrie to her family’s cabin and watched and waited for his opportunity.  When it finally came, he couldn’t pull the trigger.  Later he shows up at Estes house, in his room, with a gun.  He tells Estes that his job his to kill bad guys and in his estimation, Brody isn’t a bad guy.  Quinn confronts Estes telling him that the real reason he wants Brody dead is because Brody knows Estes was linked to the Drone attack and therefore only wants Brody dead to protect himself.  I’m not so sure that’s true otherwise Brody would also be going after Estes as well as Walden but I could be wrong.  Now that I think about it, I’m sure he didn’t know but that’s probably why Estes wants him gone.  If he does find out, he’ll go after him.   But Quinn tells him again, he only kills bad guys and if Brody ends up dead, he’ll be back in Estes room.  Wow has Quinn made a 180.  I hated him at first and now, I wouldn’t hate it if he were back next season.   As a result of this conversation, Estes releases Saul from custody and tells him the hit on Brody is off and Saul can go back to work.   I wonder if Saul will ever learn the reasoning behind his release.

Next we have Brody and Carrie and Saul and Carrie but before we jump into their choices, we have to discuss what happened to alter original decisions and what changed their courses significantly from the middle of the episode to the end.

Everyone gathers for the VP’s memorial.  I did find it odd that Jess and the kids weren’t there considering how close their families had become but whatever.  These are also the same people who had Nazir and Brody skyping without tracking so I can overlook the Brody family not being in attendance.  Estes is at the podium paying his respects to Walden and his time not only as the VP but as the head of the CIA.  Brody and Carrie can’t take their eyes off each other and Carrie motions to Brody to leave the room.   They go to another wing of the CIA offices and She announces to him that she’s decided to leave the CIA and start a life with him.  They are about to get down and dirty in someone’s office to celebrate when Brody notices his car in front of the room where the memorial is taking place and mentioning to Carrie that he never parked his car there.  She drops the F bomb and the next thing you know an enormous bomb explodes taking everyone in the memorial with it, including Estes, the VP’s wife and son and many ranking members of the CIA.

Again I know I have to suspend my disbelief but really?   You are having a memorial for the Vice President of the United States at the offices of the Central Intelligence Agency where not only the head of the CIA but many high-ranking members of the agency are in attendance…and there’s no security outside?  No one notices a car parked in a no parking zone, completely out-of-place, right next to the room where the memorial for the VPOTUS is being held?  Seriously?  That’s another tough one to swallow.

I think one thing the writers of Homeland have always done a fantastic job with is making you doubt Brody…is he a good guy or a bad guy?   I was watching the finale waiting for the bomb to drop.  Not literally of course the way that it did, but because of the false security that I and Carrie had been led into thinking Brody was a good guy under the manipulation of a horrible terrorist, only to find out that Brody was on the dark side the whole time.  I was so waiting for that to happen and then the bomb went off.   For a split second, like Carrie, I thought “damn it, he is a bad egg after all!”   But, again like Carrie, I realized that wasn’t the case.  I think the show, while playing with our emotions towards Brody during the first season, made a decision that Brody was going to be a good guy and stuck with that through the end of this season.  Ever since Brody had that vest on and decided not to blow up a bunch of innocent people, the show really did make it clear which side Brody was on.  And we saw all throughout this season with his conversations with Roya, Carrie, Quinn, Nazir, and others, that he wasn’t on the terrorists’ side.  Did he want Walden dead?  Absolutely.  But did he want to destroy the lives of innocent Americans?  Absolutely not.   Brody wanted a normal life.  And he wanted it with the woman he loved.  And Carrie, who was very torn on what to do, made the decision to leave her job at the CIA and live a peaceful life with Brody.  And then the bomb went off.

As to be expected, all breaks loose.  Saul comes rushing back (he was on a naval ship overseeing the burial of Abu Nazir at sea) only to find out he is now the highest ranking CIA agent.   He’s trying to find out of Carrie is alive and since they hadn’t found her body, she was presumed dead…as was Nicholas Brody.  Once Saul heard Brody was also unaccounted for, he knew she was alive.  Well, his gut was telling him she was alive but he couldn’t be 100% sure.  Brody and Carrie are on the run and she gets him a new passport, ID, money and tells him of a contingency plan she had set up for her in case she ever needed it and now he is going to use it.  While this is all happening, the national news releases a very interesting video.  It was the video Brody made when he was planning to blow up the VP last season.  Somehow, someone got their hands on it and released it to the press and now Brody looks like the terrorist he was feared to be and he is being set up.  Only problem is, his family is seeing this video and in order to protect himself and them, he can’t contact them to let them know that he’s being set up.   So Brody is on the run.  Of course he wants Carrie to go with him but she can’t.  She needs to stay behind and not only find out who’s responsible but to clear his name.  He understands completely and they have a heartwarming and tearful “see you later” instead of good-bye and we watch Brody take off into the darkness to his new life without Carrie.   I’m glad it ended that way instead of having Brody killed (which I would have bet my right arm was going to happen.)  Now we can have Brody return to the fold, if it makes sense, or he can stay off the canvas and in his new world.   Smart choice by the writers.  Carrie goes back to the scene of the crime and sees Saul praying over the victims.  She calls his name and he tearfully turns to her with a smile on his face as we fade to black.

So early when I brought up the choices for Brody and Carrie and Saul and Carrie, there really weren’t choices at all for the men….just Carrie.  Brody was clear he wanted to give their relationship a chance and Saul was clear she was a lunatic if she decided to leave a job she loves and is good at to go make babies with a known terrorist.  “He’s a man who put on a suicide vest Carrie.  That’s who he is, that’s who he’ll always be”  warns Saul to Carrie.  He also states one of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard in the history of TV “You are the smartest and the dumbest fucking person I’ve ever known.”   No truer words have ever been said about Carrie Matheson.  In Saul’s mind, there is not choice.  He knows Carrie so well that he knows she can never be with a man like Brody.   But you know how women can be!  Sometime it takes a national disaster to change our minds.  And that’s what happened for Carrie.  She was ready to leave her CIA world behind.  But then two things happened, a new threat emerged and her man was being framed for it.   She’s not going anywhere!  In fact, she probably prime for a huge promotion since half of the CIA was wiped out.

I like the fact that we have wrapped up the Abu Nazir/Brody storyline and are moving on to another phase of the show.  The tough part about a show like Homeland (similar to 24) is that it can get very stale very quickly.  But keeping it fresh with new faces and stories, while still maintaining a strong core, should be the key to longer term success.  I still don’t see Homeland as a 10 season show…more like 5 or 6…but since I’m always wrong, it will probably run longer than Law & Order!

What did you think of the Homeland finale and of Season 2 as a whole?  Are you on board for next season or are you out?  Let me know what you think!

 

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Recaps Coming Soon….Season Finale of Homeland and Winter Finale of Scandal

Sorry guys but I have been beyond busy with work and on the road for the last two weeks!  I swear I need some down time!

I have seen the season and winter finales of Homeland and Scandal and I promise I will post my thoughts this week.   Just make sure you check back.

I should have Homeland up tomorrow and Scandal soon after that.  In the meantime, post your thoughts in the comments sections or read up on some of my posts leading up to those finales!

 

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