Friday, March 30, 2007


Beach Story: Sawyer and Hurley are playing pingpong with Nikki appears out of the woods. I'm glad they showed her right away because I honestly don't know who the hell she is. She collapses and doesn't look too healthy. In fact, she's dead. Sawyer asks who the hell Nikki is, which makes me feel better about asking the exact same question a couple of sentences ago, there. Of course I know you all will tell me when she's been on the show, and then I'll go D'oh and smack my forehead and remember, so that's all good.

Charlie and the others play forensic pathologist trying to find out what killed Nikki. Hurley says Nikki's last words were "Paolo lies." Backtracking Nikki's path, they find Paolo dead in the jungle. There's no immediate indication how he died, either, but his pants are undone and his shoe is in a tree. Sawyer thinks they were poisoned, but Jin thinks it was the monster. Going through Nikki's things, Hurley finds a script for Expose, and also a walkie talkie indicating they had had contact with the Others. Tension rises at Sun mentions her near-kidnapping by the "Others." Charlie and Sawyer get all shifty-eyed.

Desmond tells Hurley Nikki was with Sawyer that morning, yelling at him, although Sawyer has claimed he didn't know her. Charlie confesses to Sun that he was the one who kidnapped her, in cahoots with Sawyer, when he stole the guns. Sun is not impressed. Hurley confronts Sawyer about his fight with Nikki. Nikki was trying to get a gun from him. They had both been digging, hiding the diamonds.

Sawyer digs a grave in the sand. Sun confronts him about the kidnapping. Of course she waits until he has his shirt off so the scenery will be more enjoyable. At the funeral, Hurley speculates that Nikki and Paolo killed each other over the diamonds. Sawyer buries the diamonds with them.

And what really happened was this:

Backstory: We open with Nikki "dying" on a TV show called Exposé. She's meant to leave Sydney afterwards, but she's in love with the director, Howie, who's old enough to be her grampa, and doesn't want to leave. 84 days ago, they were having dinner. Paolo is Nikki's boyfriend's chef. Now Paolo I remember. Howie has a heart attack at the table after giving Nikki a diamond bracelet. Maggie Grace and Ian Somerhalder show up in the credits, and yes, that was Billy Dee Williams. He only had one quick scene--kind of a bummer, that.

Anyway, Nikkie and Paolo are running a scam, and they poisoned the poor old dude to get into his safe, which holds only a Rusian nested doll. Waiting for the plane, they encounter Shannon and Boone, who are having a tiff in the middle of the airport. On another note, were half the people on this damn plane running cons?

Next we revisit the plane crash from Nikki's POV. She and Paolo are searching the wreckage for Nikki's bag. They run into Ethan and Artz, and they also apparently find the plane in the tree and the hatch before the rest of the castaways, but don't act on the discoveries, all in the course of looking for Nikki's bag, which apparently is worth $8 million.

Paolo finds the bag in the spring where the guns were hidden, but doesn't tell Nikki. He instead goes into the hatch and hides the doll in the toilet tank. He also has a near-encounter with Juliet and Ben, who are spying on Jack, trying to figure out how to coerce him into doing Ben's surgery. Their chat partially explains what's happened with Michael. I'm not completely sure of the timeframe here, but I'm guessing this was the motivation behind Walt's kidnapping. Now this is a good reveal.

Jumping forward to 12 hours before their deaths, Nikkie and Paolo are canoodling a bit, while Paolo reflects that losing the bag might have been a good thing. But he drops his Nicorette, cluing Nikki in that he's found the bag. She goes to demand a gun from Sawyer, who refuses. Nikki pulls a con on Paolo to get him to admit he has the diamonds. She flings a poisonous spider on him, that she got from Artz. The spider paralyzes rather than killing. So Paolo's probably not actually dead. And then the spider bites her, too. So, hey, she's not dead, either. This could be a problem.

And back on the beach Sawyer continues to bury them. Her last words were actually, "Paralyzed." Nikki's eyes open just as Sawyer dumps a pile of sand on her face. No last-minute reprieves here--Nikki and Paolo are buried alive.

I liked this episode quite a lot. The quick re-run of the past 84 days on the island from a slightly outside POV was very well-done, as well as revealing. I liked that they answered some questions without making a big deal about it. Also, even though the episode was from an outsider POV, it still included many of the major players that we haven't seen over the past few weeks while the story has concentrated on Jack, Kate and Sayid. And the ending was nicely creepy. I'm glad they didn't cop out there.

Jericho—Winter's End

Hawkins tries to clean up the mess left from killing Sarah, both literally and figuratively. Although he may never sort things out with Darcy now. My suspicion was confirmed that Allison did, indeed, kill Sarah. Yes, I know the camera shot was blatantly obvious, but I rewound a couple of times and never actually heard a gunshot. It was like Allison pointed the gun but didn't pull the trigger. So I was confused about that. I'm easily confused when things aren't, you know, blatantly obvious to the most casual observer. Anyway, Sheriff Jimmy gets all nosy about what's going on. I'd really like to see Sheriff Jimmy bumble about, then all of a sudden call Hawkins on something major. The bumbling sheriff thing is kind of tiresome and it'd be fun if they'd turn it right on its head.

April collapses at work and goes into premature labor. She's suffering from placenta previa, and both she and the baby will die without surgery. Tenchy is fetched, but he's still all ptsd and boozy and refuses to operate because he's tired of people dying when he tries to help them. Finally they convince him to try, but things are bad with April and he walks out in the middle of the surgery. Jake talks him back into the OR, where they have limited supplies, crappy tools, and are operating under lantern light. Jake's acknowledgement that Tenchy probably can't save April seems to give Tenchy an entirely different outlook on the situation--as if he just needed somebody to admit that he's only human, he can't work miracles, and that death under these horrific circumstances isn't his fault. And April does die, sadly, and so does her unborn baby. This sequence walked that line where it seemed to want to dive into unbearably melodramatic waters, but somehow it never quite did. While it would be unrealistic for mom and baby to have survived this ordeal, I expected one of them to make it out alive. In fact, I was expecting April to survive, leading to another painfully torturous subplot with her and Eric getting back together because he realized how much he loved her when she was on her deathbed. But they've eliminated that as a possibility. There'll probably be a painfully torturous subplot with Eric and Mary, but killing April and the baby seemed like a brave move on the part of the writers to me.

The windmill arrives from Newburn. Mayor Gray finds himself in a bad position when he asks what it would take to have more built, and the Newburn folks demand 500 (later 700) pounds of salt and ten percent of the spring harvest. Jericho needs the food, but they also need power. In the end, a deal is struck, but it involves ten men from Jericho, including Eric and Stanley, heading off to Newburn. I wonder if the show will follow their parallel story in future episodes. If so, maybe we'll find out what's up with Heather. Jake is concerned about her, to the point of leveling threats. So am I. Well, except for the leveling threats part. This is obviously setting us up for some more Tension with the Outside World, which makes sense. Jericho can't remain a haven forever.

Tonight's Music:

David Gray--Hold on to Nothing (played during the operating room scene)
David Gray - Sell, Sell, Sell - Hold On to Nothing

Coldplay--Til Kingdom Come (played at the end)
Coldplay - X & Y - Till Kingdom Come

(Music info thanks to the CBS Jericho forums cause Google refused to google.)

Jericho at iTunes:
Jericho - Jericho, Season 1

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bones—The Priest in the Churchyard

A water main break forces numerous bodies out of the ground in a parish churchyard, leaving Brennan to work out who's who. Brennan, of course, finds bones that indicate a murder. Her flip attitude about things religious causes immediate friction between her and Booth, not to mention her and and the parish priest, Father Donlin. And there's already friction between the parish priest and the new, younger priest, Father Matt, who wants to bring a more modern feel to the church. Suspicion falls on Father Donlin, who doesn't seem happy with the younger priests he's had to work with, then on a parish youth who was robbing graves to pay for his drug habit, but the truth is a bit less obvious.

In the meantime, Booth, frustrated by the friction between himself and Brennan, suggests they go see Dr. Wyatt together to help them work out their issues. Elsewhere in the Jeffersonian, Jack asks Angela to move in with him.

First, a complaint. The cliche that intelligent, scientific people can't believe in God is unbelievably tiresome and I'm frankly disappointed they keep going there with this show. While Brennan's abrasiveness is often mildly annoying to me, usually it's just amusing, but this was the first time I really disliked her. Pet peeve, I suppose. Anyway, with that rant out of the way there was plenty to like. Booth's man-crush on Dr. Wyatt cracks me up, and although the sessions with the doctor seemed rather contrived, they were nicely scripted and fun to watch. I especially liked his solution to Angela's dilemma.

Everyone in this episode seemed to be making assumptions--jumping to conclusions, projecting their own issues onto other people, etc. This theme played into the solution of the case as well as the character bits going on all around it. The Jack and Angela developments were fun, too. I mean, what good is it to work in the Jeffersonian if you can't get busy in Cleopatra's bed once in a while? I was also relieved that, although the issue of pedophilia in the Catholic church was a major part of the plot, it wasn't the solution to the crime. That would have been tiresome, as well. Instead, they went in a less obvious direction, that worked with the show's theme and wasn't immediately obvious.

Bones at iTunes:
Bones - Bones, Season 2

Tonight's Music:
The Time Comes--Nina Gordon
Nina Gordon - Bleeding Heart Graffiti - The Time Comes

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blood Ties—Gifted

Vicki runs into Henry at the comic book store while she's checking out his graphic novels, which, interestingly enough, have the same titles as the Tanya Huff books this show is based on. In the books I think he writes romance novels. Anyway.

Cut to a bratty little girl, Sarah, who appears to have some kind of poletergeisty powers, which is a bad combo with bratty child parent hatred.

In the meantime, Colleen has placed an ad in the paper for Vicki's agency, saying they specialize in paranormal cases, which of course Vicki isn't too thrilled about. And I think Vicki is wearing different glasses. They seem less obtrusive than the other ones. In any case, the case for the evening is the death of poltergeisty-kid's mom. Suspicion has fallen on the missing father, so the focus becomes finding him. Also, Mike is digging up info on Henry. Jealous much?

Since this is Blood Ties and not Law and Order, the estranged father is far too simple an explanation. The next likely suspect appears to be Sarah's stuffed Elmo. (Okay, it wasn't Elmo--his name was Buttercup, but he looked kind of like Elmo on steroids.) Before her death, the mother had been planning to move away, and Sarah had been drawing pictures of Buttercup wreaking bloody mayhem, as well as other violent pictures. Apparently Cobb, the headmaster of Sarah's private school, has been encouraging Sarah in her murderous paranormal talents, and Vicki must find a way to free her from his influence.

I like that this show can put together a solid paranormal story without a lot of flashy effects. Tonight's episode did have some fun CGI stuff going on, but only enough to tell the story. Of course, being on Lifetime they probably have a limited budget, but they've proven they don't need the effects to tell a good story. A lot of bigscreen producers could learn something here. I also like the way the show is developing overall. I'm liking the characters more and more each week, with the possible exception of Mike, who's still kind of annoying, and it's growing into a nicely entertaining hour of TV. The ending of this episode seemed a bit too abrupt, with Sarah's sudden epiphany exhibiting thinking that seemed too mature for a girl her age, but overall a good story.

Blood Ties on iTunes:
Blood Ties - Blood Ties, Season 1

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Dresden Files—The Other Dick

Kind of an abbreviated post, as my spring break company is keeping me busy. :-)

Harry has to apply for a PI license. He's doing well, but Liz, a gum-chewing, American-accented Claudia Black throws him out for non-payment. Murphy offers to help, but only partially. When he goes back to talk to Brennan, the PI who runs the class, Dresden finds him dead and is nearly electrocuted trying to work out what killed him. Liz walks in on them and of course assumes Dresden killed Brennan. Dresden, however, is certain Brennan died of supernatural causes. He and Liz form an uneasy alliance to find the killer. Their investigation leads them to a fertility clinic, where mystical forces are being employed as "alternative therapy." It proves to be a haven for an Incubus, who's using the fertility clinic to incubate its own offspring.

Claudia Black was great, as usual, and the interaction between her and Harry made me wish she could be a Dresden Files regular. Chris Owens also makes an appearance in this episode. I haven't seen him since he played Jeffrey Spender, aka the Cigarette Smoking Man's kid and possibly Mulder's half-brother, back in the X-Files days. Overall, an enjoyable episode with a not-so-predictable premise.

Dresden Files on iTunes:
The Dresden Files - The Dresden Files, Season 1

Sunday, March 25, 2007

This Week's Reviews

This week's reviews will likely be late, and I might end up skipping a show or two. Things will be back to normal next week, after spring break.

I'll still be posting, though, so watch this space! :-)

In the meantime, check out the new official site for Drive.