Saturday, April 7, 2007

Robin Hood—The Tax Man Cometh

An abbess collapses outside Nottingham and asks for protection from the sheriff. Their pilgrimage has been waylaid by outlaws. Guy promises her protection, obviously thinking Robin and his cohorts are the culprits. The sheriff comes on to her. He's a skeez, seriously.

In the meantime, Robin and gang waylay a tax collector--oops, my bad--tax inspector--in the forest. Robin questions him about the code in his ledgers. The tax man states it's 1192. Cool. I think I asked about that last week, so I'm glad somebody was listening. Robin asks the tax inspector about the state secrets encoded in his books. All the taxes from the north are held in Nottingham Castle. Robin thinks maybe they should break into the vault to redistribute the money, and he thinks maybe the tax inspector can help out. As often as Robin breaks into that castle, you'd think they'd put in a Robin Hood detector or something.

At Knighton Hall, Maid Marian does Tai Chi. My suspension of disbelief crashes into the ground, catches on fire, and explodes in a giant fireball. Oh, and she wears pants the entire episode, and nobody around her seems to find this odd. It's 1192, people! The tax inspector said so!


Guy comes to see Marian, trying to make amends. He brings her a present, which she refuses. He tells her she needs a husband because it's not safe for her to be alone. I think Marian could take Guy, especially with him stuck in that constricting leather. Marian's dad says she could do worse than to marry Guy, and that she's forbidden to do the Night Watchman gig. There's a confrontation and he tells her she has to leave the house. Marian calls dad's bluff by saying she's going to become a nun. Guy suggests there are other ways to learn obedience. Hm. Probably involving leather and um... Okay, never mind.

Robin and co. run into a snag--the tax inspector has tricked them and locks them in the dungeon. Of course they escape, with much flashy swordfighting. In the end, it turns out the "tax inspector" and the "abbess" were in cahoots in a scheme to steal all the tax money, which the sheriff had hidden in the chapel for safekeeping. Woops.

Shallow Observation:
Either the sheriff is really short, or Guy is really tall. It looks like Guy's really tall. Hmmm. That's hot.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Jericho—One Man's Terrorist

Still facing the problem of short rations, Mayor Gray decides to banish the refugees to a nearby FEMA camp. A riot ensues. The refugees barricade themselves inside the church. Sheriff Bill and the mayor decide to use tear gas, against the protests of Johnston and the reverend. The tear gas causes the refugees stampeded out of the church, trampling one of their own in the process. A confrontation between Roger and Gray leads to Roger's accidentally shooting Gray. Desperate, Roger uses Gray's life as a bargaining chip. In the end, Gail intercedes with a last-minute compromise involving the entire town, but Roger's actions have doomed him to banishment.

Dale and Skylar continue to steal his promised share of the crops from the farmers who have refused to hand it over. The farmers aren't happy about it, and show up in town to reclaim their gas. Dale, however, has enlisted some new employees from among the refugees.

Hawkins continues to communicate with Sarah's contact via her communications device. He sets up a meeting and uses his sneaky-tude to bug the truck that meets him. He goes back and uses his sneaky-tude to see Alison. Back at home, he's collecting all his information on a corkboard, trying to put together the pieces to find out who Sarah was affiliated with. Through the computer, he hooks into a satellite feed to spy on them, then accesses another satellite to spy on his family. Which was much more touching than creepy.

With the refugee situation settled, the town listens to news on the radio in the bar. Jimmy grows a brain cell when he hears about the terrorists using fake FBI badges, and appears to make the connection to Hawkins.

The ending to this ep seemed a bit too easy to me. Regardless of Gail's compromise, there's still not enough food in Jericho to feed everybody, so I doubt that issue will go away any time soon. Her response was poignant, though, especially when she decided to donate April's things to the refugees. I expected everything to blow up at the end, though, with Bill taking the shot at Roger when Roger let Jake go, but he didn't.

Dale's crusade to keep the store running is heroic and understandable, but I can't help thinking it'll get him killed just like Gracie. And I think Hawkins is about to get busted.

Jericho on iTunes:
Jericho - Jericho, Season 1

Gary Jules with Michael Andrews--Mad World. This is apparently a cover of a song originally by Tears for Fears. Unless somebody else did it before they did...
Gary Jules with Michael Andrews - Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets - Mad World

Weeds Season Two Now Available at iTunes

Season Two of Weeds is now available at
Weeds - Weeds, Season 2

I enjoyed Season One, and am looking forward to watching Season Two now that it's available. Unfortunately, I don't think the delectable Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be showing up this time. This makes me sad.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Lost—Left Behind

Beth Broderick, who plays Kate's mom, and Fredric Lehne (Lane), who plays the Federal Marshal, have both appeared on Supernatural.

Front Story: Kate, still being held prisoner, is abandoned when the Others put on gas masks and skedaddle, after throwing a gas cartridge into Kate's house. She awakens in the jungle, handcuffed to Juliet. Juliet is surprised by Kate's news that the Others packed up and moved. Kate insists they need to go back to the Others' settlement and drags Juliet along with her. Literally. Fisticuffs ensue when Juliet throws Jack in Kate's face. Not literally. Kate inadvertently dislocates Juliet's shoulder because of the handcuffs. And then there's a big scary noise in the jungle. They run and hide as the noise continues--it's the black smoke monster. Juliet is assaulted with flashes of bright light, then the monster retreats. Juliet tells Kate the truth about Jack seeing her with Sawyer to get her mad enough to fix her shoulder. The monster pursues them again, maneuvering them into some gratuitous mud wrestling. They're near the pylons. Juliet unlocks the cuffs and turns the pylons on. The monster hits the field produced by the pylons and retreats. Kate confronts Juliet--obviously she knows more than she's telling. She says they know about the monster, but not what it is. She's bitter about being abandoned, and is afraid Kate will abandon her, too. They continue back to the Others' settlement to retrieve Sayid and Jack. The four of them prepare to return to the beach, but Sayid isn't happy about Juliet's coming with them.

Beach Story: Hurley has a chat with Sawyer. The Islanders are going to have a vote whether to banish Sawyer to another area of the beach. Hurley suggests he might want to make amends, but Sawyer's not keen on that idea. He sets about learning to procure his own food. Gutting a fish proves his undoing, and he goes to Hurley to find out how Hurley thinks he can make amends. Hurley coaches Sawyer on making nice and kissing babies. Literally. Sawyer discovers there was never going to be a vote, and that Hurley just tricked him into being nice because he's determined Sawyer is the de facto leader now. Actually I think refinnej was right in her comments to last week's review, and Hurley is now the de facto leader, just nobody realizes it. Not even Hurley.

Back Story: In Iowa looking for her mother, Kate crosses paths with Sawyer's ex-girlfriend Cassidy. They bond. Kate tells her about killing her stepfather, and Cassidy agrees to help Kate connect with her mom. Kate goes to see her mother and is immediately accosted by the Yellow Eyed Demon. I mean the Federal Marshal. But it's not really Kate--it's Cassidy in a Kate-wig, to throw him off the trail. Cassidy and Kate pull a quick scam so Kate can talk with her mother at the diner where she works. Wait, I figured this out. Kate's mom had a kid who had psychic powers (Max from "Nightmare"), and that's why the Yellow Eyed Demon is after Kate. Okay, never mind. These fandom collisions really confuse me. Anyway, Kate gives it her best shot, but is unable to connect with Mom. Kate offers to help Cassidy find the guy who ripped her off, who of course is Sawyer. Cassidy's pregnant with Sawyer's baby. Cassidy declines, and they separate.

An interesting episode. We didn't learn much, but the story had good momentum and was fairly involving. I liked the tangential connection between Kate and Sawyer. A direct connection would have been too much (like Jack's dad being Claire's dad--I'm still not sure that wasn't pushing my suspension of disbelief too hard), but having Kate and Cassidy team up worked well. I wonder when all these connections will start coming out on the island. And Hurley's maneuvering of Sawyer was masterful. Hurley's definitely falling into a place of strength among the castaways. I wonder if he'll ever figure that out?

Favorite quote:
Kate: "Welcome to the wonderful world of not knowing what the hell's going on." Was this a nod by the writers to complainy viewers? One must wonder.

Lost at iTunes:
Lost - Lost, Season 3

Patsy Cline, Walkin' After Midnight
Patsy Cline - Best of Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Of Interest to Bones/Boreanaz Fans

David Boreanaz is apparently writing a blog on the NHL site about the Buffalo Sabres. Which I find odd because I really thought he'd said multiple times that he was a Flyers fan. Either team makes sense though, given his background. Anyway, the link is here:

Also, as advertised during Bones tonight, Fox is doing an online mystery thing in conjunction with the May 9th episode. Info on that can be found here:

I haven't looked yet other than to grab the link. Honestly, it looks like something I could get all obsessy with and then I wouldn't get enough sleep and I'd be all cranky...


Bones—The Killer in the Concrete

Ryan O'Neal returns as a guest star tonight, as Brennan's estranged criminal father, last seen in "Judas on a Pole."

Booth and Brennan are called in on a case where a body has been found encased in concrete. And Booth has a toothache so he's cranky, but he doesn't want to go to the dentist.

Angela goes with Brennan to Christine Brennan's grave to mark the anniversary of her burial. Her father arrives. Brennan refuses to speak to him and instead calls the cops. Later he breaks into her house to see her, and remains persistent, trying to reconnect with her.

The concrete body, aka Cement Head per Booth, turns out to be a known criminal with a long and heinous rap sheet. Booth makes up fun names for the folks involved in the case. The body is Cement Head (although it's really concrete), and the suspected killer is Ice Pick. Their boss, though, is just Gallagher, as Booth doesn't seem to see the point in a nickname there. Ice Pick died in a car accident, but Booth wants some evidence from that case re-examined--namely Ice Pick's severed leg from the car accident. Booth interrogates the bounty hunter who saw Ice Pick burn in the crash. She comes on to him, then scats when Brennan calls to report evidence the bounty hunter was involved in a cover-up regarding Ice Pick's death. For the record, Booth seems to have a thing for sassy women of color. And blondes. He's a man of varied tastes. I wonder if he likes short brunettes? Ahem.

Ice Pick apparently amputated his own leg and killed somebody else in the car crash to throw the cops off, and has been retired and playing with model airplanes ever since. Booth tracks him down, but is outwitted, tied up, and smacked around. By a guy with one leg. I think the toothache has put Booth off his game. Gallagher then arrives, dragging Booth off to torture him for information about Ice Pick. He also does Booth the favor of knocking out his infected tooth. Of course Brennan, Brennan and Co. come through to rescue him, but not until he's been through rather a hard time.

The case this week was pretty straightforward, with few surprises, but there was a lot of good character interaction to balance it out. Brennan's gradual acceptance of her persistent father was nicely done. I like Booth's attitude toward Max Keenan--"In the Old West, they would have called him a hero." This is consistent with his comments from "Judas on a Pole," when he said he'd rather deal with a straight criminal than a crooked cop. At the same time, he's perfectly willing to arrest the man, and acts a bit miffed when Brennan lets Max go. Booth had some great comedic moments tonight, too. I loved the scene where Brennan was looking at his tooth. Once again, David Boreanaz is fearless when it comes to looking like an idiot on camera, to hysterical effect. And on the other side of the acting equation came the torture scene, also very well played. It reminded me a lot of the torture scene from "In the Dark," when Spike's torturer-for-hire pokes Angel through with hot pokers. It also reminded me a bit of the torture scene from Casino Royale, though Boreanaz was, unfortunately, not nearly as naked as Daniel Craig was.

One quibble--while the repetition of the Poco song made for a nice bonding bit between Brennan and her father, and later Brennan and Booth, I don't think it worked very well as a backdrop for the scene where it was used. It seemed a bit too perky to accompany Booth being stabbed with hot screwdrivers.

Bones on iTunes:
Bones - Bones, Season 2

Keep on Tryin'--Poco
Poco - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Poco - Keep on Trying

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Wear Clark Kent's Clothes

Special for UFR:

No guarantee Tom Welling has actually worn them, though. :-)

Blood Ties—Deadly Departed

A man is plagued by a strange figure appearing on all the computers in the office, saying, "You failed me, you're dead," and additional creepy dead guy stuff. So of course with all the electronics running amock, he gets on the elevator, where strange electronic vision man kills him by shoving his hands through his chest. The dead guy is a defense attorney. Official cause of death is a heart attack, but his wife thinks he was killed by a criminal he unsuccessfully defended. But the criminal committed suicide a week ago. Mike thinks that makes him not a possible suspect. Obviously he hasn't been watching this show.

Creepy Dead Guy was Magnus O'Connor, a criminal who was put in jail in spite of some inadvertent evidence tampering that technically invalidated the case. Now he seems to be taking posthumous revenge on the people who finagled him into a jail sentence. Or is he? As my son would say... Dum dum DUMMMM!

In the meantime, Mike continues to fuss at Vicki about her sudden interest in the paranormal and vampires, especially the hot one who helps her with her cases. Henry continues to assist in her investigation, managing to get tangled up with an old girlfriend, Sinead (I mention her name because I'm betting she'll be back), who's been a dabbler in the dark arts. Vicki's mystical tattoos, from the tangle with the demon in the pilot, seem to be manifesting some strange powers. But are they for good or for evil? Dum dum DUMMMMM!

Still enjoying this show a lot. It seems to be hitting a bit of a stride, and the twist at the end of this episode was a nice one. Vicki and Henry don't seem that couply, though. She and Mike do, although, dude, that boy is just annoying lately. Which is too bad, because I like the character. He just seems to fall into the unfortunate position of being the Big Skeptic, without anything additional to define him in the storylines. I'd like to see him take a different role that would highlight him a bit better.

Blood Ties on iTunes:

Blood Ties - Blood Ties, Season 1

Monday, April 2, 2007

Buy Sam and Dean's Clothes

Dude, this is so cool.

At the CW store, you can buy clothes that are the same brands and styles Sam and Dean wore in different Supernatural episodes. Unfortunately I can't wear men's jeans. I can so wear men's shirts, though... Off to check the credit card balance...

News From Fox TV

In their infinite wisdom, Fox has decided to air the first six episodes of Drive in a block, then the next 7 at some undetermined later date. Wow. That's a really good way to build a show's audience and get it lots of good ratings. Tim Minear must be thrilled!!

In another odd move, they're moving Bones to Fridays for the summer reruns. It's beign paired with Standoff, which has struggled in the ratings when it's been on, so I'm hoping this is a vote of confidence for Bones, with the idea that its strong audience will pull in viewers for Standoff. But if they leave it on Fridays for Season 3, I can't see how that'll help Bones much. It's been pulling great ratings in the Wednesday night slot. A word to Fox--if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Dresden Files—What About Bob

This week we're treated to lots of flashbacks, fleshing out the story of Harry's past--his father's death, his uncle's murder. We even get to see Harry meet Bob for the first time, and some scenes of Harry's early magical training, under Bob's tutelage. Murdering his uncle with black magic was what got Harry into hot water with the High Council, and now we get to find out why. It's a nice addition to our hero's semi-tortured backstory. I like that Harry's kinda dark. Cause it makes him that much hotter.

In any case, our present day story starts with Harry in bed with some slinky brunette woman we don't know. Her name's Tara and she wears teeny black underpants. And she steals Bob's skull. We don't like her. But honestly we don't like anybody who wears teeny black underpants, even if they don't steal Bob.

Elsewhere, Murphy is brought in on a case--Justin Morningway, Harry's uncle. An anonymous caller has accused Harry of his murder. In the meantime, Murphy's suffering from headaches brought on by her possession.

Tara is in cahoots with Harry's Uncle Justin. Except isn't Uncle Justin dead? Cause he's awfully lively for a dead guy. But wait--he's a copy of Uncle Justin, created as a falesafe to bring him back from the dead. He's the anonymous caller, and is using Murphy to get Morningway's body exhumed so his body can be magically reanimated. He also has control of Bob, and offers Bob his mortality back in exchange for assistance with the resurrection. Of course, Harry has to die to make it work, but that's the way it goes.

I liked this episode quite a lot. It's good to see repercussions from earlier episodes--namely Murphy's possession in "The Boone Identity". Her flashbacks and nightmares from the incident lead to a well-played confrontation between her and Harry, in which Harry is willing to tell her the truth but she is unwilling to accept it. I liked the explanation of Justin's "murder"--Harry used black magic, and did things he shouldn't have, but in the end the actual murder wasn't entirely on purpose. I also liked that Bob is just edgy enough that I believed his acceptance of Morningway's deal, and wasn't entirely sure he was going to come through in the end, but of course he did, sacrificing his newfound mortality to save Harry.

Dresden on iTunes:

The Dresden Files - The Dresden Files, Season 1

Robin Hood—Turk 'Flu

An accident in the mines kills a number of villagers. One of the villagers declares they're on strike. Hm. I don't think they had strikes in medieval England. Anachronistic terminology alert! Gisborne doesn't like that idea and, prompted by the sheriff, kills the man who suggested it. Help! We're being repressed!

In Sherwood, Robin practices for an archery competition, though he claims he's not. Guy confronts the Night Watchman on the road. She totally pwns him. I love her. Can we just make this the Maid Marian show? The Sherwood gang runs across a wagon full of slaves being brought in to take over the mine. Robin comes up with a plan to shut the mines down for good. He's going to undermine the sheriff. UnderMINE. Get it?

Guy shows up at Marian's house to ask her to the sheriff's fair. He's all mumbly and unclear like he's twelve. Aw. So cute. Well, until he gets all worked up when she says no. He's stammery, then he's affronted. He really is twelve. With stubble and leather pants.

Marian's injury from Guy's confrontation clues her dad in that she's the Night Watchman. He's not too happy about that. Guy, fortunately, is a bit too dense--or hormone-addled--to quite figure it out. Or so it seems at this juncture.

"Jack," one of the slaves, who's really a girl, joins the Sherwood gang after saving Little John's life. And dude, they must be blind cause I saw her boobs a mile away. And what is it with girls-pretending-to-be-boys calling themselves Jack? Wasn't that the name of the GPTBaB in Pitch Black?

The son of the man Gisborne killed decides to take revenge on him by killing Marian. She suggests winning the silver arrow might be a better idea, and tells Robin to be sure it happens. And of course he does. Cause this is totally the Maid Marian show.

It seems like we saw less of Robin this week, but I didn't really mind. I'm really getting into the Maid Marian/Night Watchman subplot. I was afraid they might have it be a one-shot, but they didn't, and I'm happy about that. I also like the bits they've worked in about the Saracens, and Robin's accepting them as people. Political commentary? Maybe, but not heavy-handed, and very much a logical extension of the story.