Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Night Lights—Backfire

Road trip! Tim and Jason are bound for Mexico. Well, okay, actually they're IN Mexico now, in pursuit of experimental surgery for Jason, but their plans go awry when Tim's natural charm gets him arrested. But he schedules the treatment, and their journey continues with drunken karaoke. Afraid for Jason's life if he goes through with the treatment, Tim calls Lyla and asks her to come to Mexico to help him change Jason's mind.

On the football field, the Panthers continue to struggle as the "throw the ball to Smash all the time" strategy doesn't work so well. Garrity fires MacGregor, who doesn't take it well. Neither does Taylor's boss, when he quits the TMU job. And then he returns to Dillon to discover he doesn't quite have his old job yet, because MacGregor's being obstreperous. MacGregor's finally ousted, and confronts Taylor on the way out of town.

Lyla goes to witness--poorly--at a juvenile prison, and gets too personally involved with one of the young men when he's released. Buddy sticks his nose in and interviews the kid for a job.

Julie continues to act like a horrific brat. I have no sympathy for her at all at this point, and her squeaking selfishness is really getting on my nerves. But when the Swede finally shows his true colors, she at least makes the right decision, so maybe things will smooth out with her soon. On the other hand, Tyra and Landry's over-the-top subplot continues to be over-the-top and also annoying. It's unrealistic and the whole plotline feels like it's patched into this show from some other show that I don't want to watch.

Supernatural—Sin City

I'm under the weather and not really up to doing the kind of review this episode deserves, so I'll do a quick drive-by. Hopefully I'll have something to say about Friday Night Lights later tonight.

I love the work Bob Singer did in this episode, laying down storylines that'll undoubtedly drive at least the rest of the first half of this season, if not the rest of the year. Sam's refusal to become the Yellow-Eyed Demon's right-hand man, not to mention killing the demon, has thrown the demon world into a chaos possibly worse for mankind that what might have played out if Sam had just stepped up to his demonic destiny. And now we know he was Azazel, not just any ordinary demon, and after the havoc that boy wreaked on Hex I'd keep an eye out for him, boys. Now the demons are all jockeying for power, as well as trying to set up shop in human bodies Earthside. What is Ruby's role in this? She helped Bobby set the Colt to rights, and has promised to help Sam save Dean from Hell. But what will she demand of Sam along the way? All signs point to bad.

Run Through the Jungle—Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits - Run Through the Jungle

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bones—The Secret in the Soil

We begin with Bones and Brennan attending therapy with Dr. Lance Sweets. Which is kind of a dorky name. And neither of them is happy with the situation, but the FBI is demanding their partnership be evaluated. On their way home from therapy, they're called to go check out a dead body. Mmmm, greasy bones. Cam and Brennan examine the body while Booth reminisces over old romantic conquests. Nice timing there, Seeley. The body temperature is abnormally high--the body was cooked before it was dumped. Okay, um... ew. I wonder if this is going to tie in to the cannibal dude from the season premiere?

Jack has the same thought I did. Which means either I'm really smart or I'm a freaky conspiracy theorist type. Considering I watched The X-Files all the way through to the series finale (every single freakin' episode, people), I'll go for the latter. The victim is a Franklin Curtis, an organic grocery mogul. Mr. Organic's body is covered in pesticides. Denise Crosby plays his wife. Hm... where did I see her last? X-Files? Seems like she popped up somewhere else since she was Scully's gynecologist. Ah, it was Dexter. Thank God for imdb. Apparently Curtis was a bit heavy-handed in his pursuit of organic farming, thus giving us a potentially huge list of suspects, since he drove other farmers out of business. Brennan comes up with an argument in favor of organic farming that seems to affect Booth--pesticides can make your genitals shrink. The interaction here is priceless.

The first suspect, Andy, is a tobacco farmer--they think Curtis might have been cooked in the tobacco curing barn, but apparently somebody else was cooked along with him. Gracie from Jericho is the suspect's wife. Curtis made passes at her, apparently, trying to get his hands on Andy's farm. Curtis seems to have been a bit of a horndog.

While they're investigating the next suspect, another organic farmer growing pineapples in a hothouse, a waft from the compost compound nearby initiates an amusing "Who farted?" exchange between Booth and Brennan. The compost smell, though, constitutes another clue. They go to search the compost facility for more dead bodies. Of course they find one--a female body that's been dead about the same amount of time as Curtis. The assumption is that they're lovers, but later evidence shows they're father and daughter.

The case this week had some nice twists, with the final reveal both logical and emotionally fraught. The environmentalist theme seemed like it was going to be heavy-handed at first, but after the first act or so it began to fade more into the storyline, as it should be. While there wasn't a great deal of screentime for the Squint Squad, everybody had at least one good moment. Jack's enthusiasm over bugs and compost, Angela's observations regarding Booth and Brennan's bickering, Zack's observation that he's occasionally wrong--all these were welcome, enjoyable, and spot-on moments for them.

I've been hearing about the "couples counselling" plotline for a while, and had my doubts about it. Seeing it play out, though, I think the writers have found a sneaky way to explore the depths and breadths of Booth and Brennan's relationship without tossing them into bed. If they do this right, it could verge on genius in that respect, and so far so good. The moments toward the end with the two of them in Sweets' office were very revealing without being treacly or corny or treading too close to that deadly romance line. My only disappointment is that they have a new doctor, rather than Gordon Gordon, but the dynamic would have been vastly different with him, and possibly not as revealing as it's been with the considerably younger and less dominant Sweets. Kudos so far for this twist--I'm looking forward to seeing more of this plotline.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Heroes—Fight or Flight

Molly is still unconscious, with her two daddies tending to her. Matt departs to go find his father. His first stop is Angela Petrelli. Nathan isn't happy about Matt questioning his mom. They end up going to Philly together to hunt down Matt's dad. Nathan isn't pleased with Matt's suggestion that they fly there together. Nathan is all scruffy. This is infinitely better than the beard. They find Matt's dad and discover, predictably, that he's also received a photographic death token. Matt tries unsuccessfully to read his dad's mind, and Dad promises to tell him "everything." Matt's dad double-crosses him with a door that takes Matt to prison and Nathan to nuclear holocaust New York. He must have that key from The Lost Room. Or maybe just some mind manipulating abilities. Either way I think Matt and Nathan are in some serious trouble. In the apocalypse-world, Nathan faces his own burn-scarred self, while Matt finds himself imprisoned with his ex-wife and her baby. So they're both facing some kind of inner struggle with conscience thing in a dreamscape. And everybody knows inner conscience-struggles are never complete without a little headbutting. Matt manages to break them out of the dream, in which they've actually been headbutting each other. They discover Bob's death token--looks like he's next.

Mohinder calls Bennet. He's planning to take Molly in to the Company to get her some help. Mohinder takes Molly to the Company. Mohinder, sweetie, why are you being so dumb? His Company boss, Bob, sends him out into the field with a taser to bring in someone else. Jessica shows up and beats the hell out of everybody until Mohinder tasers her. Mohinder tries to rescue her once she switches back to Niki and discovers she's there of her own volition, looking for a cure.

Monica tells the cops about what happened at the restaurant. This show has a preponderance of characters with names that start with M. Matt, Mohinder, Molly, Monica, Maya, Micah, Mr. Muggles... Mr. Bennet, except I guess that doesn't count because his name's really Noah. But I digress. Monica has the usual I don't know what's happening, nothing makes sense anymore, blah blah reaction to her new powers. Yawn. Pardon my boredom with the new characters, but jeez, they have enough regulars in this cast to populate a small country. Micah plays the piano. That reminds me of when Noah Gray-Cabey used to be the obnoxious piano-playing kid on My Wife and Kids. Monica can mimic his playing just by watching. Micah puts the pieces together and tells Monica about his powers to get her to open up to him. He gives her a 9th Wonders comic about a Copycat talent to help explain. She begins to experiment with her powers. And then Mohinder shows up at her door. Hm. It's like when Xavier shows up at your door to invite you to X-Men school.

In Ireland, Peter and Caitlin make with the smoochies in the bar. Have I mentioned I like Peter's new haircut? Caitlin encourages Peter to see what's in the Mysterious Box O' Doom. Peter decides he'd rather take her to his room for tea and crackers. Elsewhere in Ireland, Veronica Mars shows up looking for Peter. She was a pretty good private detective for about a season and a half there--Peter might be in trouble. And now she can make lightning. I wonder if that's how Peter picked up that skill? He didn't have that before. So maybe they ran into each other before Peter got his brain wiped clean. Caitlin's brother offers to take care of Veronica Mars while Peter hides with Caitlin. At Caitlin's flat, Peter admires her paintings, and finally decides to open the box. He confesses his devotion to Caitlin first--we know that won't end well. The box doesnt' really have anything all that interesting in it. So much for that buildup. Peter has a precognitive flash and uses Caitlins painting supplies to use his Isaac-powers. Veronica Mars continues to be obnoxious. I'm really not liking her character much so far, which is probably why I can't seem to be bothered to look up the character's name on imdb. Anyway, she zaps Caitlin's brother. That's just rude. Her daddy, who she's reporting to, isn't too happy about it, either, and she's ordered home. I hope you get all your allowance cut off, Veronica. Peter and Caitlin try to interpret the painting he just created, and Caitlin gets news of her brother's death. Peter determines to find the bad guys.

Ando takes his teeny scrolls to an expert to have them analyzed and repaired so he can continue reading them. The expert says they're genuine, and repairs them so we can head into another flashback with Hiro and Kensei and Yaeko. They're off to defeat White Beard, and Kensei and Yaeko seem to be getting along swimmingly. But it looks like the three of them are facing off against an entire army, and after that the scrolls are too damaged to read further. Yeah, Ando, I hate those cliffhanger endings, too.

Tonight's episode felt disjointed to me, as if they were trying to cram too much into a small space. Which, point of fact, they were, and are, and sort of always have. It just seemed a little more like that tonight than usual. I'm sure they're doing setup that'll play out later on down the line, but I still wish they'd streamlined the show a bit more rather than making it more complicated. I know I keep harping on that, but I really think it's made this show harder to watch.

Chuck, Burn Notice

I still enjoy Chuck. I think it's fun and quirky, but for some reason I have almost no ability to pay attention to it while it's on. Weird quirk of the brain, I guess. Anyway, have they always done that random freeze-frame thing, a la Burn Notice, and I've just missed it, or is that new?

Speaking of Burn Notice, I finished watching the full season over the weekend. Again, a fun and quirky show that I have a hard time fully focusing on. I really have to recommend it, though. Not only is it quirky and fun and has Bruce Campbell in it, but you can learn how to make listening devices and fake plastic explosives if you pay attention. And, seriously, how can you not love a show where they use a vibrator to counteract the bad guys' attempts at surveillance?