Thursday, December 29, 2011

Person of Interest 1.08: "Foe"

“I was you, Kohl. Revenge won’t help.”
- Reese

This week finds us in a train station with an older man (played by LOST’s Alan Dale), looking around nervously. He spots a younger man who keeps glancing up from a photo and manages to get away. At HQ, Reese has arrived with coffee and tea for Finch and learns they have a new number. It belongs to Wallace Negel, a German national who came to the US in 1980. But Reese picks up on all the oddities in Negel’s background. He’s a spy. On the street, we see Negel pull a piece of the handle off of his suitcase and disappear out of view. Reese also noticed that there weren’t any electronic transactions in Negel’s name after 1987. It turns out around that time; he bought a cemetery plot which is still there. So while Reese goes to check that out, Finch pays a visit to a guy who sells German books (and other things like submarine schematics illegally). Reese finds the cemetery plot dug up. Negel stashed a kit there. So Negel The Spy is back.

Mr. Bookseller reveals he knows things about the East German intelligence community from back during the Cold War. Negel’s real name is Ulrich Kohl and he was party of a team that went around “neutralizing” East German defectors in Europe and the US. He fled in 1989 when East Germany collapsed with his wife, Anja, but she was killed in a car accident. Since then Kohl went underground. Kohl (in present day) shows up at an old man’s apartment, shows his wife’s picture and shoots the occupant.

We’re in for another Reese flashback this week. We find Reese in what looks like maybe Paris in 2006. He’s meeting a woman named Stanton and it turns out this is right after he saw his ex-girlfriend in the airport. He tries to introduce himself but Stanton says his alias didn’t pass muster so he’s no one and she’s going to decide what name he gets. Honestly, that’s a little disturbing to me. Plus she’s kind of pushy.

Finch is examining the coin Reese found in the cemetery and discovers it is East German currency but has been out of circulation for years. And Kohl just sold an entire collection of them to a rare coin dealer, used the phone and left. Finch sends Reese to the address and we find the old man, dead in a chair with lots of needle pricks in his neck. After a little digging, Reese figures out the old man was the case managers from Kohl’s 4-man team. Too bad the young guy from the train station shows up. Reese deals with him easily enough and makes a call to Lionel. He tells Lionel that there’s been a homicide and he thinks the killer will do it again and fires his gun so that the cops will get called.

Reese and Finch figure out that Kohl is going after the forger, Wernnick next. He finds Wernnick in a cafĂ© and doses him with some kind of poison. Kohl explains he got captured in 1987 and put in a hole for years. He didn’t have the luxury of forgetting what happened to his wife. It seems her accident is what is motivating his vendetta. But Reese is sure it was a staged accident. He gets to the restaurant in time commandeer the ambulance with Wernnick in it. Reese keeps Wernnick alive long enough to learn the team sold Kohl out and were responsible for his wife’s accident (or so they think). There’s still one more member of the team left for Kohl to kill.

Over at Police HQ, Lionel and Carter are leaning on our German intelligence guy that Reese knocked out at the first crime scene. He gives us a nice little info dump about Kohl being a killer and how he’s not supposed to exist. But before they can get much further, a guy from the German Consulate shows up with orders from the State Department to extradite him back to Germany. So much for that lead.

So Kohl has found the fourth member of his team. Finch found him too, through a German heritage organization. In an attempt to keep Kohl from killing him, the fourth member reveals that Anja is actually alive. She was terrified of her husband and that’s why she ran. Unfortunately for member #4, he gets tossed off a ledge. It looks like Kohl is going to find Anja and add her to his list of betrayals that need to be taken care of. Reese and Finch are on the hunt for her too, to try and keep her safe. Lionel texts Reese the make and model of the diplomat’s car and in a rather impressive shot, he takes the hood off the car with a sniper rifle. The diplomat passes Reese Anja’s alias (Anna Klein) and they’re off to find her.

Kohl shows up at Anna’s place to find Reese waiting for him. Reese acts like his typical bad-ass self until Kohl grabs him by the throat and incapacitates him. Kohl thinks he can torture Anja’s location out of Reese. Yeah, that’s not happening dude. Reese slips back into the flashback from before and we see two guys who are CIA that likely got paid off by a terrorist to slip out of the country unnoticed. Stanton kills both of them. Meanwhile, Finch is trying to get Anja into police custody but she insists she has an important phone call to make first. And Carter’s just gotten the call about Reese shooting the diplomat’s car off the road. Finch calls up Lionel to tell him to do something since he hasn’t heard from Reese. Lionel really isn’t happy about them calling him at the station.

At Anja’s place, Kohl and Reese have a little heart to heart about the nature of killing. It is always a little creepy when Reese can identify with the bad guys. But I guess he did what he had to. And Ulrich is back to torturing Reese. In the car, Anja explains that she knew her husband was a spy but not that he was a killer, until the Americans grabbed her as she was escaping to the Soviet Union and showed her pictures. Unfortunately, Ulrich has now figured out he has a daughter and he’s going to find her. He is about to shoot Reese when Lionel shows up. Time for the big showdown.

He grabs his daughter at school and demands that Anja meet him in Central Park, alone. As he and Marie (his daughter) are waiting for Anja to show up, she tells him that her father had been a war hero and died getting her mother to freedom. The cops are in the park too thanks to an anonymous tip (from Lionel) and are searching for both Ulrich and Reese. Anja begs Ulrich to forgive her for what she did and as he raises his gun, Reese shoots him. Ulrich’s gun was empty. He was prepared and ready to die. The cops finally find him but Reese is gone.

We finish up our flashback with Stanton telling Reese to clean up the two dead bodies and get rid of the gun. She also tells him that what he’s doing is right and that his country needs him (the same thing the East German government told Kohl). Back in the present, we find Reese at Ulrich’s burial plot. He and Finch muse about whether people will know and care about who they are when they’re dead.

New Girl 2.06: "Thanksgiving"

“And the turkey is named Hank. Hank Sgiving. And we are going to eat him.”

I would say that “Thanksgiving” and “Wedding” pretty much tie for my favorite episode of “New Girl” thus far this season. The episode has its sweet moments, but it also has some macabre humor. The comic sensibility of the climax of the episode kind of reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of the classic British sitcom “Fawlty Towers” called “The Kipper and the Corpse.” People acting stupid around dead bodies in a clearly fictional context is always funny in my book. Maybe that’s why I like Bryan Fuller shows so much. I think he really shines as a writer when he goes to that macabre sense of humor he does so well. Liz Merriweather and crew manage to achieve much the same thing here as Bryan Fuller did in “Dead Like Me” and “Pushing Daisies.” Somehow, even with a dead body thrown in, I still definitely felt the holiday warm fuzzies from this episode. It takes real talent to cover the macabre with a sweet candy coating like this episode does.

We begin the episode at the school where Jess teaches. It’s Thanksgiving Pageant day, and Jess is helping her friend and coworker Paul (played by Justin Long) with the big production. It quickly becomes apparent that Paul is in every way as quirky and musical as Jess. He mentions that he usually spends Thanksgiving with his grandmother, but she recently passed away. Jess ends up inviting Paul to Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment, much to the chagrin of the guys. The guys had just been planning to spend thanksgiving watching football and drinking beer, then heading out to the Black Friday sales. Schmidt, of course, calls it “Dudesgiving.” When Jess comes home with a turkey and announces that they’re having a real Thanksgiving and she’s invited Paul, there’s more than a little chaos among the roommates. The tide starts to turn in Jess’ favor when Schmidt, who is apparently quite the chef, gets tempted into cooking the meal. He says he’ll cook the turkey and all the sides if Jess promises to pretty much just stay out of the kitchen.

The next day, which happens to be Thanksgiving, there’s just one tiny problem. The turkey (named Hank Sgiving) is still frozen. And good old Hank doesn’t quite fit in the oven either. Schmidt makes a comment about that aspect of the problem that results in his having to pay the Douchebag Jar. I was so glad to finally see a return of the Jar! Schmidt is much easier to take when his friends constantly call him on his douchiness. Jess has decided to defrost Hank by laying on him (body heat, you know) when Cece arrives. She thinks Jess is being stupid, but the new solution to the turkey problem isn’t much better. Next we see Hank, he’s tumbling around in the dryer. Paul arrives early, while Jess is still all disheveled, but it doesn’t really matter. They sing a quirky Thanksgiving song together, and Nick is shocked as he exclaims that there’s “two of them.”

Like all proper holidays, the awkwardness starts quite soon after things get rolling. First, Jess takes Nick aside and asks him to be nice to Paul. She wants him to keep the Grumpy Old Man act and the “turtle face” to a minimum. Meanwhile, Winston decides to play a word association game with Paul using words like “boundaries.” He basically wants to know if Paul would be okay as a de facto fifth roommate. The two guys end up bonding a bit over their grandparents. Winston’s got a bunch of really funny pictures of his late grandfather on his cell phone. The shenanigans briefly pause for yet another “Jess is actually kinda hot” moment when she steps out in the living room finally dressed in her Thanksgiving outfit.

One of the more fun plots in this episode is the flirting that’s going on between Schmidt and Cece. Cece decides to help Schmidt in the kitchen, and he gets really upset when she touches the bowl of walnuts before washing her hands. According to Schmidt, this compromises the entire bowl of walnuts, and Nick and Paul get sent to buy more. Predictably, that car ride is plenty awkward. Nick’s doing his best to be nice to Paul, but it’s kind of difficult when Paul decides to pass the time by pointing out the chain store where he gets copies made. Back at the apartment, Cece continues her torture of Schmidt by putting mashed potatoes on his nose. Of course, Schmidt completely freaks out about that, too. Just as Paul and Nick return from their walnut adventure (and Paul tells Jess he doesn’t think Nick likes him), there’s a huge explosion from the laundry room. The turkey is in jeopardy! Schmidt rips off his shirt and rushes into the laundry room to rescue the turkey. When he emerges from the smoke with the turkey, he gets Douchebag Jar’d again. Which was awesome.

The guys want to give up on Thanksgiving dinner, but Paul really wants to eat the food Schmidt has been slaving over, and he rallies Schmidt to keep cooking. Jess says they can use the apartment next door to continue the party, because the tenant, Mrs. Beverly, is out of town and gave Jess a spare key. Everyone starts to pile into Mrs. Beverly’s apartment, but Jess pulls Nick aside in the hallway to yell at him about Paul. Everyone inside the apartment hears the argument, which involves Jess saying how much she’d like to have sex with Paul. Can we say it again? Awkward! Winston pokes his head out into the hallway to let Jess know that everyone can hear her, and she tries to play it off like she and Nick were rehearsing a play called “Big Time” (which is how Jess described how much she wants to have sex with Paul). Of course nobody actually believes that, but they kind of pretend for Jess’ sake.

The gang quickly settles in at Mrs. Beverly’s apartment, and the Thanksgiving preparations continue. Cece tells Jess that she’s kind of into Schmidt now that he’s actually showing some backbone (yelling at her about being messy and such), and she most definitely keeps up the torture. This time, she sticks her hand in a bowl of putting, which Schmidt finds disgusting. Meanwhile, Paul asks Jess if anything ever happened between her and Nick, and Jess denies it. Paul says that’s a good thing because he definitely wants to see her again. Over on the couch, Winston explains to Nick why he likes Paul. Unlike Nick, Paul actually bothered to ask about Winston’s grandpa’s name.

It’s finally time for dinner, and after a request for a song to open the festivities, Paul and Jess decide to perform the duet from their Thanksgiving pageant. Paul decides to make a big entrance, so he goes into the other room while Jess begins to recite the introduction. Instead of Paul chiming in with the song, though, he screams. Apparently Mrs. Beverly never made it out of town for Thanksgiving. The rest of the group runs to see the body, and they’re pretty horrified too, although not quite as freaked out as Paul. Then the episode goes a bit “The Kipper and the Corpse.” Paul decides to go home because of the trauma, but he winds up stick in the apartment building elevator with the coroners and Mrs. Beverlys body.

We next see the gang, minus Paul, waiting in the Black Friday line outside of Best Buy. They’re sniping at each other a little bit, but all of a sudden, they hear violin music. It’s Paul, who has apparently recovered somewhat from his trauma. And he comes bearing turkey hoagies (I’m Philadelphian…I refuse to call a hoagie a sub), which certainly endears him to the guys. The rest of the mob in line starts to get a little unruly about Paul cutting in line, so Nick offers to go to the back of the line to calm them. Jess is touched by the gesture, and the rest of the group decides to join Nick at the back of the line, too. Jess and Paul dance off into the sunset as Paul plays his violin. And the sweetness is cut by a perfectly grumpy Nick yelling “Where the hell are they going?”

Monday, December 26, 2011

Body of Proof 2.08: "Love Bites"

“Oh don’t you worry. Lacey is never going to feel the way about me that I feel about you.”
- Megan

This week we find ourselves with a young man who appears to be drowning. He reaches out to a woman only to realize she’s dead. Meanwhile, Megan is at home trying to pick a color to paint the room Lacey will be staying in. Megan’s mom stops by and seems a little skeptical of Megan insisting on spending more time with Lacey. Lucky for Megan, she’s saved by the crime scene. She runs into Dani (the new morgue driver) and introduces her to Peter. Peter seems kind of sweet on her, or at least a little defensive of her name to Bud. Th victim doesn’t appear to have any obvious causes of death, though she does have a broken arm, complete with bone stick through the skin. Peter collects some river water samples to check to see where she went into the water and if she drowned. Back at the lab, Kate arrives, even though it is her day off. By the look of things, she and Todd aren’t doing so well (though he’s not going to California anymore). She and Megan have words but Bud and Sam insist on getting on with the case. Their victim’s name is Amy Green and she was a pharmaceutical representative (her prints were in the FBI database).

Ethan is trying to get a blood sample from Amy’s ephemeral arteries but there is no blood in her body. He has a cute little conversation with Dani about maybe Amy being a vampire. But Peter shows up with diatom analysis of the river water. Ethan pulled some diatoms from Amy’s bone marrow. They don’t match. He calculates that she drowned in the Gulf of Maine. That night, Sam and Bud are checking the address the drug company had on file for Amy. There’s a huge party going on and Bud and Sam quickly learn that a bunch of reps were sharing the apartment. Two of the women explain that Amy flew out to Denver two days ago for a conference. When Sam mentions she was in Maine, the two other reps mention she had been seeing a guy but they thought she broke it off.

Back at the lab, Megan discovers that Amy didn’t drown. All the other signs aren’t there. And Curtis has the answer to how the diatoms got in her bone marrow. She ate a rare kind of oyster. And he knows a guy who flies them in fresh. Turns out this guy is at the airport. Bud and Sam get the security footage from two days earlier and see Amy’s assistant, Beth, (one of the women they talked to already) pulling her away from the bar. Meanwhile, Megan and Kate are talking to Amy’s mom. She says her daughter was a nice person and that she hadn’t wanted Amy to take the rep job.

The next morning, Megan has Lacey over before school to show her what she’s doing with the bedroom. Lacey said it was fine the way it was and there’s a little tension as to whether Lacey wants to spend more time at Megan’s place. Over at the precinct, Beth explains that she took Amy to a big wig cardiologist to try and get his account for the company. Beth kept quiet about it since it was a very competitive account. Over at the lab, Kate shows up to share the x-ray information. There were a bunch of hairline fractures to various parts of Amy’s body before she died, but the broken arm was done postmortem. Still not explanation for the blood loss. Based on Megan’s examination of some of the organ tissue, it is possible Amy had a reaction to a drug. So Bud, Sam and Peter head over to the cardiologist to have a chat and run in to the other woman they talked to at the apartment. The doctor said he went with Molly’s company instead of Amy’s because Molly’s was bigger. Peter sweet talks to receptionist in to telling him that the reps often left food. The doctor confirms that Amy brought oysters every time they met.

We’re back to the oyster guy. He was Amy’s boyfriend but they broke up a month ago. He denies he had anything to do with her death. Megan says she might have been given a drug and asks if she had any she had to be careful with. Bud escorts her out of interrogation, mainly because she was giving the suspect information. He also was annoyed she was on her phone. But it was about Lacey so as we know, Megan kind of gets tunnel vision. She gets back to the lab and Ethan tries to give her an update on the case but she blows him of. Her mom and Lacey are waiting in her office. And Kate gets dragged in. The little family meeting doesn’t go far as Kate ushers Ethan off for the update and Megan sort of blows her mom off. But they have a breakthrough in the case. Still not cause of death but possibly a location. The trace found under Amy’s fingernails is likely from old wallpaper. The gang finds an old house thanks to the forensics team and it appears they have found here Amy died. And with some serious luminal spraying, they find where all of Amy’s blood went.

At this point Bud is kind of freaking out with how much blood there was. Megan explains that they didn’t is anything in autopsy and it is possible she bled out from every pore in her body. A horribly painful way to go. She tasks Peter with rushing blood samples to the lab and leaves him to photograph the room. Kate tells Curtis to put a rush on the drug samples Amy left at the cardiologist’s office for anticoagulants. Meanwhile, she’s dodging all of Todd’s calls. While photographing the room where Amy died, Peter finds the impression of the flowers that get sent to the cardiologist’s office every day. And the gang goes to confront him about the fact he had a party at the old house the night Amy died. Megan accuses him of having access to drugs that would cause Amy to bleed out. He admits he was there but that he went to make a call to his wife (he and Amy were having a fling) and when he got back she was already dead. He took her to the river and cleaned up the scene. Megan calls Peter to tell him to check for all the anticoagulants that the cardiologist used and he delivers the news that interior designer her mother insist she hired has been fired. So Megan goes to her mom’s chambers and rips her a new one. They really have a bad relationship.

Peter can’t get a list of the anticoagulants from the cardiologist’s office but Ethan say none of the drugs currently approved by the FDA would cause Amy’s systems. So we get a funny scene with Peter using his actual Aussie accent and it pays off. The rival drug company was about to roll out a new anticoagulant. Bud, Sam and Megan track the rep down but she doesn’t have any of the drugs on her and she says she didn’t kill Amy. And she denies knowing anything about Amy’s affair with the doctor. At this point, I’m not even sure who the killer is. While all that is going on, Kate finally takes Todd’s call and breaks up with him. Good move if you ask me. I find Todd annoying and it was tiresome with the Megan/Kate drama.

Back at the lab, Megan and Peter run into the drug rep. She’s decided to be helpful and gives them the specs on the new drug. She also says that Amy was in love with the cardiologist. Unfortunately, the drug reactions listed on the spec sheet don’t match Amy’s symptoms. So Megan suggests they bring the doctor in again and he says she found Amy on the ground in the fetal position, holding herself. Megan angrily tells Bud to get the doctor out of autopsy and she finds fang marks in the vein in her left arm. Megan find out it was a snake bite. She ends Ethan and Curtis to find the snake at the house and we get some great physical comedy from the pair of them when they spot the snake. It’s only a baby, but apparently that is when this type of snake is most deadly. And we’re back to the bartender/oyster guy. He admits to putting the snake in Amy’s bag as a joke because he was jealous she was seeing the cardiologist.

Later, Amy’s mom comes to take Amy home and shares some choice words of wisdom with Megan. You can’t hold on to your kid too tight or else they just start slipping away. And Kate shares the news about her break up with Todd. So things are looking good on the Megan front, especially when she shows Lacey the bedroom is empty and blank, ready for Lacey to do with it what she wants.

Ringer 1.09: "Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna"

“Oh My God! I’m falling in love with Andrew.”
- Bridget

We begin this week with a bit of a new scenario. It’s obvious Bridget is starting to really like playing wife. She and Andrew are having a little make out session in the closet and he tells her that they should take a vacation after everything they’ve been through and promises to book something that morning. And he’s gotten “Siobhan’s” wedding dress back from the cleaners. In a funny line, Andrew tells her if she wants to take out a little revenge on Juliet, he’ll turn a blind eye. But she stops him when he tries to put it away. The gun is still hiding on the top shelf. And as she picks it up (once Andrew’s out of the room), we get a flashback to before she went to New York.

It’s dark in Bridget’s hotel room and she cold cocks Jimmy, the Fed who is staying with her for the night. She thought he was an intruder. Things go sideways fast when he tells her that she’s not safe and that half the FBI is on the Botoway’s payroll. He tells her to run to Siobhan and tries to force his gun on her for “protection”. We jump back to the present with Bridget calling Charlie for help in disposing of the gun. He offers to take care of it for her as he makes a bologna sandwich. It’s unclear at first where he is. He tells Bridget he’s at the public library looking at Gemma’s phone records but he’s really in a house with Gemma tied up in the basement. The bologna sandwich is for her. He is a really despicable human being.

We find Malcolm at NA and he seems to be doing a lot better than the last time we saw him. He’s thankful for Charlie opening up his home and offering his help. Without it, Malcolm probably wouldn’t have been clean the past week. Bridget shows up and hands the gun off to Charlie, telling him that she just wants it out of the house. We get a quick flashback that shows up Jimmy hid the gun in Bridget’s bag. I really don’t trust that guy. Over at Martin-Charles, Andrew has asked Henry to sign a few forms. We also learn Henry’s father-in-law (the client that Olivia really wants the firm to sign) isn’t doing well health-wise.

After NA, Malcolm and Bridget are having coffee. Apparently coffee is Malcolm’s recovery substance. Better than heroin. He doesn’t think it was such a good idea to give away the gun, even though it would lead back to Bridget (and therefore, “Siobhan”). He also doesn’t like it that Bridget is starting to get used to being with Andrew, playing house. But Bridget is adamant about not leaving until she knows who was after Siobhan. So she goes on a hunt through her room and finds a prescription bottle with the name Dr. Anabel Morris as the prescribing doctor. So she makes an appointment.

The therapist seems nice enough but freaks Bridget out a little when she asks why she (Bridget) called herself Siobhan Martin. It turns out she always booked under the alias of Cora Ferrell. And that clicks with the Tyler meeting. She tells Dr. Morris that things are better with Andrew, she broke things off with Henry and Juliet doesn’t hate her anymore. Dr. Morris is impressed that she made such huge strides outside of treatment. She prompts “Siobhan” as to why after all that success, she’s back. As Bridget thinks it over, she realizes she’s falling in love with Andrew. I don’t know why it took her so long. The man’s gorgeous!

Back at Martin-Charles, Andrew is trying to book something for he and Siobhan to get a way when Olivia steps in and insists that if they don’t sign Gemma’s father, the company is going to collapse. And she’s disappointed with how soft Andrew’s become. Bridget is just getting started about how great things are with Andrew when Dr. Morris says their session is over. Bridget does a little fishing for information and learns that the anti-depressant meds she found weren’t for depression. Of course she has to steal the notes from Dr. Morris’ notebook to find out that Siobhan was paranoid. She also gets caught by Dr. Morris and their relationship sort of ends. Malcolm is starting to suspect bad things about Charlie. He looked around the apartment but didn’t find anything incriminating, except that Charlie only has 4 pairs of clothes. And the batteries in the TV remote haven’t been used.

Olivia is still trying to twist Andrew’s arm about using Henry to get his father-in-law as an investor. And Andrew’s still avoiding it. She questions where he’s going in such a hurry when “Siobhan” shows up for lunch. It is a really touching scene and I can see just how much Bridget cares for Andrew. He asks her, hypothetically, if they lost everything, would she stay with him? She says she would and the look on his face is so happy. She asks how he’d feel if she said she was going to spend the afternoon in church. He doesn’t believe it. She brushes it off as just a hypothetical. But she’s really going. That’s where Dr. Morris’ notes indicate Siobhan found her answers.

Charlie gets home to his apartment and Malcolm confronts him. But it’s not as obvious as it looks. He tells Charlie he wants to apologize for the morning when he complained about the mouth wash in the bathroom (it had alcohol in it). Charlie tells him not to worry about it and heads for a shower. Malcolm finds a PO Box key and finds mail for a John Delario. Meanwhile, Bridget heads to church. It’s kind of a secret bar and she finds Charlie (aka John) at the bar. She freaks out and gets sort of caught by a bouncer. She pays him off and finds out that Charlie is there a lot drinking and on his cell. Probably where he’s talking to the real Siobhan. Bridget ducks out and calls Malcolm, telling him to meet her at the apartment ASAP, just as the real Siobhan calls Charlie/John. Apparently he hired Jimmy to give the gun to Bridget. The conspiracy just keeps getting more twisted and complicated.

Andrew’s made his decision about Henry’s father-in-law. He’s not pursuing it. He actually doesn’t care if the company goes under, now that he knows Siobhan will stand by him. Olivia is rather disgusted and in a somewhat HG Wells-esque move, she rips up the statement Henry signed that morning. She’s going to do things her own way. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Bridget are trying to figure out the deal about John. Malcolm found a second address and is going to check it out. Olivia ends up at Henry’s place and tells him that he missed a page in signing it. She’s probably changed all the language. Henry goes to get them a drink and she checks his phone and finds a picture of him and Siobhan. She puts two and two together.

Bridget is keeping Charlie/John busy while Malcolm does a little breaking and entering. Bridget left a voicemail that was urgent just to get him to the coffee shop. She says she’ trying to figure out why Charlie’s been so helpful. He says he’s just a good guy. Unfortunately, things start to slip. She asks for the gun back and he freaks a little, telling her that he doesn’t have it and he gave it to a guy to get the serial number filed off. Malcolm finds a key ring and after some searching finds the locked door to the basement. Gemma hears his footsteps but being tied to a chair and blindfolded, can’t do much. She topples over as he tries as many keys as he can to fit the padlock on the door. But Bridget texts him that Charlie is taking off. Charlie makes a call to Siobhan telling her that Bridget suspects him.

HIMYM 7.10: "Tick, Tick, Tick"

“I'm such a mess. Why do you even like me?”
“I guess ‘cause you're almost as messed up as I am.”
-Robin and Barney

“Tick, Tick, Tick” was a generally funny, but also quite bittersweet episode of HIMYM. The plot involving Ted and Barney was especially funny, but the same joke repeated so many times that it kind of got tiring. I liked that more attention was paid to Robin and Barney, but the way that played out was kind of devastating. I wasn’t quite in tears at the ending like a lot of online commenters were because it was kind of clichĂ©, but I’m always kind of a sucker for Barney in pain. I guess I just like when the writers remember that he’s supposed to be a human being, not a cartoon. Poor Barney really went through the wringer in this one. I hope that when the whole series eventually plays out in a couple years his journey will have all been worth it and he and Robin will be an awesome, unconventional globetrotting committee couple who still find the time to return to New York once in a while to catch up with their friends. See! It is possible to write Barney and Robin together in an interesting way!

Anyway, the episode opens with Barney and Robin indeed together. Their make out session in the cab turned into stumbling into Barney’s apartment and having very ill-advised sex. It’s now the morning after, and they’re trying to deal with the fact that they each just cheated on their significant others. Robin seems a bit more freaked out about this than Barney is, harping on the fact that Kevin is such a “nice guy” and doesn’t deserve to be hurt. To make matters worse, the company where Robin and Nora work is hosting a booze cruise that evening, and Robin, Kevin, Nora, and Barney are all supposed to be there. It promises to be quite the awkward event given what just happened. Robin just wants to pretend that her an Barney’s night together never happened because she really wants to avoid hurting Kevin. While Barney doesn’t seem entirely happy about this idea, he goes with it.

Meanwhile, Ted has scored tickets to “Groovapalooza” for himself, Lily, and Marshall. This event is a concert featuring all the gang’s favorite smug 90s bands. Sounds like the type of thing Ted’s subversive college radio DC alter ego “Dr. X” would love. I do love pretentious college Ted. To complete the college throwback theme of the evening, Ted has also managed to score some “sandwiches.” Regular HIMYM viewers know that “sandwich” is a code word Ted uses when telling pot-related stories to his kids. Although they’re teenagers, so they probably see right through it. Anyway, Lily is up for the concert, but not the sandwiches. She thinks that she and Marshall shouldn’t have any, considering they’re going to be parents soon and all.

Barney and Robin meet up at the cruise before their dates arrive. The cruise is hosted by Robin’s boss, Sandy Rivers (played by Alison Hanigan’s real life husband, Alexis Denisof), mostly so he has a setting conducive to banging interns. Barney sort of implies that he’d like to run away with Robin rather than face this evening with Nora. Robin seems kind of surprised and asks Barney if he’s saying he wants to get back together. It’s sort of hard to tell what Robin thinks of the idea. Robin doesn’t get an answer because Nora and Kevin appear. Barney, who had been convinced he was going to act cool for the evening, kind of freaks out. He acts like a complete fool while they’re all eating dinner, accidentally slipping cheating-related words into the conversation. Luckily, Kevin just writes it off as Barney being nervous about meeting Nora’s parents the next day.

At Groovapalooza, Ted breaks out a “sandwich” and tells Marshall that he’s not getting the $60 he contributed towards his purchase back, whether he smokes it or not. Even though he’s sure Lily will be furious, Marshall takes a hit. When we next see the guys, they’re both pretty high, and Marshall is acting paranoid. First, he’s worried that the “sandwich” was laced with something stronger. Then he’s worried that Lily will know he’s high and be upset. When Lily joins them, she hears Marshall tell Ted that he’s high. Surprisingly, she isn’t all that angry. She just asks that if she has to spend the concert sober, the guys get her some nachos. So Ted and Marshall head out to the arena concourse, ready to go on their quest.

On the cruise, Barney and Robin are dancing with Nora and Kevin respectively. The band leader starts to sing this really hilarious song about how Barney and Robin are both scum and should tell the truth right away. After the song, they mutually decide that they are indeed going to tell the truth right then and there. Their resolve doesn’t last long, though, and neither ends up coming clean. Before Robin could tell Kevin, Kevin accidentally had a drink thrown in his face. The drink was thrown by a female intern, and it was actually meant for Sandy. After falling in surprise, though, Kevin hit his head and may have a concussion. Robin didn’t feel like that was the right time to tell him about her cheating. Barney tries to come up with an excuse, too, although his isn’t as good. Nora got a small wine stain on the sleeve of her blouse. Barney makes it clear he wants to be with Robin, though. He has a cute little speech about how maybe their cheating wasn’t a mistake but the story of how they got back together. He suggests that after the cruise docks, they each do what they have to do, then meet at MacLaren’s at midnight. Robin wants to know why Barney wants to be with her, and Barney says it’s because she’s almost as messed up as he is. Score points for honesty at least, right?

Ted and Marshall have quite the nacho-retrieval adventure. They accidentally wait in the ladies’ room line instead of the food line, then they appear to walk around the entire arena. And they still can’t find the nachos. Marshall worries that Lily won’t think he’s a fit parent if he can’t find nachos, and he imagines her making out with the creepy guy with nachos who made Lily crave the food in the first place. The same stoned concert antics continue throughout the episode. Ted and Marshall appear to do more laps around the stadium and wait in the ladies’ room line a few more times before all is said and done. That’s when the joke started to get a little old. Eventually, Ted gets nachos from a creepy guitar-playing guy, and Marshall sees the guitar-playing guy have a heart attack. Both guys realize they still need to lean on each other as friends, but they also realized that they’ve missed the entire concert.

Meanwhile, both Robin and Barney continue to find it more difficult to tell their significant others about the cheating than they thought it would be, even once they’re off the boat. At the emergency room (because of the possible concussion), Kevin tells Robin he loves her. When Barney and Nora arrive at Nora’s apartment, they find that Nora’s parents have arrived early. Nora’s dad goes on about what it’s like to find true love and be with your soulmate, and Barney (in a really sweet montage) can only think of Robin. He knows he needs to tell Nora the truth because Robin is actually his soulmate. I thought this bit was kind of sweet. When Nora’s parents go into the other room, Barney does indeed tell Nora the truth. She doesn’t fly off the handle right away, but she does ask if Barney can tell her that it meant nothing. He says he can’t, and Nora leaves the room.

Back at Groovapalooza, Lily finds Ted and Marshall sitting out in the hallway. It turns out they were only gone for about two minutes, and we see a funny CCTV version of their adventures. They kept walking from one side of the hallway to the other, the creepy guitar guy was actually a cardboard cutout, and Ted got nachos out of a trash can. They end up leaving the concert early, and they arrive at MacLaren’s to find Barney already there. Barney says he and Nora broke up, but he thinks the worst part is over. Robin then walks into MacLaren’s too, followed by Kevin. It’s quickly apparent that everything is not going to be okay. Barney gives Robin a questioning look, and she quietly nods “no.” It turns out that at the emergency room, Kevin had this whole long, elaborate answer when Robin asked why he liked her, so she’s staying with him. Barney is devastated and leaves the bar as quickly as possible. Ted turns out to not be as sober as he thought he was, so he decides to go up to bed to sleep it off. In the apartment, he sees Barney cleaning up rose petals and candles he had left in Robin’s room.

Fringe 4.06: "And Those We Left Behind"

“I was important to you, wasn't I? I mean, the other version of me? Because I see the way you look at me when you think I'm not aware.”

While “And Those We Left Behind” wasn’t an especially stand-out episode of “Fringe,” I did appreciate that it seemed to signal where the rest of the season is going. It’s pretty clear that Peter needs to go back to his (adopted) universe. There isn’t going to be a place for him long-term in the amber universe. And I think that’s for the best. “Fringe” became what it was because of the relationships between the three main characters. In the early days of the series which were filled with questionable Monster of the Week stories, Walter and Peter’s relationship in particular gave the show depth and an aspect that was worth watching. Last season, I appreciated the many creative risks the writing team decided to take. Some of them were a home run, and others struck out, but I applauded the moxie all the same. Peter’s disappearance and reappearance in the wrong universe without any way to check back on the characters we got to know for three years is just one twist too far. The case of the week in this episode could have been emotionally affecting, but it was just overpowered by the wrongness of not having seen two-thirds of the main characters of the series all season.

The episode opens with an idyllic scene of Peter and Olivia having the “perfect day.” They’re outside in a grassy area, and the colors are all saturated. Because this is actually a happy scene, it’s obvious that it’s a dream. It turns out to be Peter’s dream, and we see him wake up in his FBI holding cell. Soon enough, the “real” (Amber universe) Olivia appears at the doorway. The Fringe team has a case that Olivia thinks might be related to Peter’s appearance in the Amber universe. It involves time distortions. We then get our introduction to the actual case of the week. A mom and daughter are having some bonding time in an apartment kitchen while the mom washes up dishes. All of a sudden, the building looks burned out and the daughter is suddenly one year old. The mom, clearly confused, rushes her daughter out of the building. As soon as they’re safely outside, the daughter looks five years old again.

On the way to the burned out building, Olivia and Peter talk a bit, but Olivia is going out of her way to be cold and professional. At the scene of the incident, Astrid runs a test with a very strange device and confirms that there has been no bleed-through from the Other Side at this location. So this isn’t related to Walternate and his minions. It turns out that there was a fire in this particular building four years ago, and the team thinks that the building may have temporarily flashed back to that time. Walter wants nothing to do with this investigation because Peter is involved (and he’s still refusing to talk to Peter), but Broyles orders him to help out anyway. A surly Walter is certainly not going to be a fun Walter to work with, that’s for sure.

A surly Walter is also not a very effective scientist. He does an extremely quick and cursory exam of Peter because he really doesn’t want to spend a second more with Peter than he has to. Peter, who thinks there may be something to the theory that his reappearance is connected to the case, is pretty incredulous that Walter didn’t do a more thorough job. Peter therefore decides to start working the case on his own, breaking out Walter’s clear markerboard to start running some equations. He thinks his appearance may have caused time displacements to start happening, and he also thinks the problem is going to get much worse very quickly. As if on cue, a group of hipster teens almost run into a train that magically appears across a road on their way to a concert.

Olivia and Peter bond a bit while investigating the burned out building, but Walter is still being incredibly stubborn about not wanting to help with the case. Lincoln interrupts all this with the news of the train incident. I was kind of enjoying Lincoln in the early episodes this season when Peter was missing, but now that Peter is back, I see how superfluous Lincoln is and how his chemistry with Olivia doesn’t hold a candle to Peter’s. Anyway, things start to go wonky time-wise when the team starts to investigate the train. Peter is gathering stuff at the lab to help with the investigation, when all of a sudden, he skips ahead in time and is at the train site. His investigation of the scene is all out of order because he keeps slipping around in time, and it’s really starting to worry him. Peter does manage to detect a type of radiation that can only be man-made, though, which means that there must be an actual person behind what is going on.

We soon get an idea of just who this person behind the time distortion might be. A woman, Kate, is sitting in her living room furiously scribbling equations while her husband, Raymond looks on. Raymond seems to bending over backwards to help Kate with her work. He also has a watch that is counting down, and when the countdown ends, there is a time jump. All of a sudden, Kate is sitting in a different chair by the window. She seems sick, and she doesn’t recognize Raymond anymore. At Walter’s lab, the team is looking at a map of where the last two time events took place. Lincoln gets a call about two more events and adds them to the map. This leads Walter to finally jump in with a theory. He thinks the time events are patterned in a Fibbonanci’s Golden Spiral, and the center of the spiral is Brookline. Raymond and Kate’s house just happens to be in Brookline. Just to make them seem even more suspicious, we see that Raymond has some complicated machinery set up in his basement. The machine seems to allow Raymond to turn back time to a specific day so Kate can keep working on her equations before getting sick.

Raymond notices the abundance of police and FBI vehicles that have turned up in his neighborhood, and he knows it’s time for some drastic action. He finally shows Kate the basement and tells her the truth about the machine and her future condition. She has early onset Alzheimers. He needs her help in finishing the equations and making the machine more stable. As it is, it can only turn back time in short bursts, and Raymond essentially wants to live in Kate’s last healthy days forever. Outside the house a police officer accidentally walks through the time bubble surrounding Raymond and Kate’s house, and the Fringe team notices a snapping sound when this happens. All of a sudden, the police officer screams and disintegrates. Walter says this happened because you can’t just walk through a time bubble. Before he can finish his explanation, Peter jumps in to say they need a Faraday Cage. Walter begrudgingly agrees to build one.

When Walter’s “Walter Bishop Faraday Harness” arrives at the scene, both Peter and Olivia volunteer to be the one to wear it into Kate and Raymond’s house. Peter wins that argument, because he has a better chance of knowing how to shut down Raymond’s machine. Just as Kate is telling Raymond that she solved the equations to fix the time machine (but she conveniently hasn’t written down the solution yet), Kate and Raymond hear Peter enter the house. Peter decides to venture down into the basement, and once he does, Raymond knocks him out. Things are looking pretty dire for the Fringe team. Lincoln is on site at a tunnel that is predicted to be the next time distortion site. The tunnel is less than four years old, so if time is turned back, the tunnel will collapse, killing all passengers left inside. Way to add a ticking countdown clock, guys. Lincoln is trying to clear people out of the tunnel before it disappears, but it appears to be too late. A distortion has already started.

Peter regains consciousness in Kate and Raymond’s basement, and he explains what’s going on with the other distortion sites. Kate explains that the machine can be shut down, but it has to be done in a specific way to avoid mass destruction. She’ll only agree to do it if Raymond won’t be prosecuted. While Peter is outside trying to negotiate immunity for Raymond, Kate appears to finish writing down her equation. Raymond says he’s going to use it to rebuild the machine elsewhere and bring Kate back for good. When Peter gets back with assurances that Raymond won’t be prosecuted, Raymond turns off the machine. The water pouring into the tunnel where Lincoln is suddenly stops. As the FBI is taking the time machine equipment from the house, Raymond opens Kate’s notebook and sees that she crossed out all of the equations in it. She also wrote a note telling Raymond to go on with his life. He won’t be building that second machine after all.

Back at the FBI, Broyles congratulates Peter for a job well done. As a reward, Peter isn’t going to have to live in a holding cell anymore. Broyles discovers Walter has access to Harvard campus housing, and Broyles gives Peter that house. As Olivia shows Peter his new abode, we see that it’s the same house Peter and Walter lived in back in the Original Recipe blue universe. Olivia seems to have newfound respect for Peter following this mission. She tells him that she knows “his” Olivia must have been very special to him, because she’s noticed how he looks at her when he thinks she’s not paying attention. She says she hopes Peter finds “his” Olivia again. Even better, she’s going to try to convince Walter to finally help set things right. Maybe we’ll actually get back to the blue universe before this show is cancelled after all!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday "Classic" Recap: Community: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"

“The meaning of Christmas is that we give it meaning. To me, it used to mean being with my mom. Now, I guess it means being with you guys. Thanks, ‘Lost.’”

It’s been a while since I covered the clever sitcom that is “Community” here at MTVP, so for Christmas, I thought I’d to a write-up of last season’s holiday episode, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” The episode is memorable because the whole thing is stop-motion animated, in the tradition of classic Christmas specials like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” What makes this even more clever is that there’s actually an explanation within the episode’s plot for why everything looks this way. Of course, since it’s “Community,” the reason behind the strangeness is Abed. The stop-motion-ness of everything is actually inside his head. And for Abed, who will commit to a fantasy like nobody’s business, this makes perfect sense. Besides having a clever plot, the episode has plenty of the warm fuzzies that should come with any good holiday episode of television. The warm fuzzies are also well-distributed amongst lots of the pop-culture realted allusions and jokes for which “Community” is known.

The episode is stop-motion animated fright from the beginning. The study group is sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch and discussing winter break plans when Abed suddenly mentions that he’s been seeing everything in stop-motion since that morning. The group is a little worried because, even for Abed, this is strange. Even Abed himself admits to being a little worried. Abed decides to sing a song to stick with the stop-motion theme. This seemed like a good idea, and singing a Christmas version of the “Community” theme song while jumping across cars was cool, but in “real” life, Abed gets tasered by campus police and winds up in Professor Duncan’s office for a therapy session. Duncan mentions wanting to get at the real meaning behind Abed’s delusion, and for some reason, this makes Abed think that if he can somehow find the real meaning of Christmas, everything will go back to “normal.”

We next see Abed making a snowman, which actually turns out to be Chang (how creepy and gross is that!). Britta tells Abed he’s needed in the study room. The gathering in the study room turns out to be a group therapy session, led by Professor Duncan. I’m wondering why Duncan hasn’t really been on the show that much this past season. I’m a big fan of John Oliver, so his absence makes me sad. Duncan wants to do hypnosis on Abed (mostly because he thinks he could publish a journal article about it), so he says he’s the “Christmas Wizard,” and he’s going to take Abed and the rest of the study group to Winter Wonderland to find the true meaning of Christmas. The group goes with it, I guess because they don’t want to see Abed get expelled from school (and Pierce wants the cookies that are in the study room). When they “arrive” on Planet Abed (aka the most Christmassy planet), everyone but Abed transforms into Christmas toy versions of themselves. For instance, Britta is a robot, and Annie is a wind-up ballerina. Duncan wants to go to the “Cave of Frozen Memories,” and Abed agrees as long as it’s just a stop on the way to the North Pole.

As they walk, things start getting very “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Abed warns the group that the journey will test their commitment to Christmas. Shirley gets too sanctimonious about being the only one to know the “true” meaning of Christmas (because she’s the only devout Christian in the group) and says they’re actually in a therapy session, so Abed ejects her from Winter Wonderland. He also sings her out, Oompa-Loompa style. Next on their journey, the gang encounters a swarm of “humbugs.” Jeff is eaten by them for being too sarcastic (they’re attracted by sarcasm), and Annie takes care of his Oompa-Loompa sing-out.

The remaining members of the group arrive at the Cave of Frozen Memories, and Duncan attempts to demonstrate how to access a frozen memory. It’s a memory of his tenth Christmas, his last in England before he had to move to the United States. He gets a little too emotional and leaves out of embarrassment. Abed sets the Cave to self-destruct, and he says that to actually find the meaning of Christmas, the gang needs to catch a train to the North Pole. He lets everyone left join him except for Britta. He ejects her from Winter Wonderland for tricking him into therapy. Abed thinks Britta should have more faith in herself and her friends. Normally, I’d think he has a good point, but I think Britta had the more defensible position here. She didn’t want Abed to get expelled, and he’s freaking seeing everything in stop-motion!

On the train to the North Pole, Pierce decides to leave because the cookies are gone. Annie starts talking about how before her parents divorced, the holiday season was a “minefield of rituals” because her mom is Jewish and her dad is Episcopalian. Abed mentions that his family was similar before his parents divorced, because his dad is Muslim and his mom is Polish. He and his mom have a tradition of watching “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” together every December 9. Annie points out that today is December 9, but Abed says that since his mom isn’t there, it can’t be. It must be December 8. Duncan reappears, informing the group that he’s been to Abed’s doom room and has figured out what happened. Abed is pissed about this and calls Duncan a “Christmas Warlock.” Then Abed climbs out the train window and on to the roof of the train (I can only imagine what this must have looked like to the rest of the study group). Abed starts jumping along the train to the first car. Annie unhitches the first car from the rest of the train while Troy holds Duncan back. Abed isn’t going to be alone for the rest of his journey, though. Pierce returns because it was too depressing to go home.

Pierce and Abed arrive at Santa’s Workshop, and it looks abandoned. Then Pierce points out a sparkly box with a tag that says “Meaning of Christmas.” Abed excitedly opens the box, but it just turns out to be “Lost” season 1 on DVD. Abed says this is a “metaphor for lack of payoff,” which cracked me up, even though I didn’t think the “Lost” series finale was all that bad. Professor Duncan reappears, and he reads from a Christmas card Abed received from his mom that morning. The card says that she has a new family now and won’t be seeing Abed for Christmas this year. Suddenly, Abed is frozen. The rest of the gang then reappears, and they shoot Duncan with Christmas weapons (like Nerf guns and such, I presume), while singing about the meaning of Christmas. As they sing, Abed starts to thaw. After Duncan is vanquished, Abed says that he realizes now that Christmas can mean whatever you want. He used to think it meant being with his mom, but now it means being with his friends. Abed is better now, but the group decides to keep the stop-motion thing going through Christmas just for fun. They all cozy up together and watch “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Happy holidays everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ringer 1.08: "Maybe We Could Get a Dog Instead?"

“And just so you know, I want this marriage to work. Baby or no baby.”

We begin this week back where we ended last week. Bridget is in the hospital after seeing Malcolm at Gemma’s opening and fainting. The doctor is going to do an ultrasound to check on the baby. And since Bridget isn’t actually pregnant, the doctor doesn’t find an embryo. So she’s lost the pregnancy. The doctor says it was likely an ectopic pregnancy, which is rarely viable anyway. Andrew is devastated. Even Juliet is nice and sympathetic to “Siobhan”. As soon as Andrew and Juliet leave Bridget to get some rest, she gets a voicemail from Malcolm telling her where he is staying and that he needs to see her. So she sneaks out of the house and shows up on his doormat.

Bridget’s pretty happy to see Malcolm, though he’s clearly a little out of it. He tells her that Botaway grabbed him and tried to get her location out of him, but he never gave her up. He leaves out the part about being hooked on drugs again. He tells her that he led them to think she was in Seattle before he managed to come to New York. He refuses Bridget’s offer to move to a nicer hotel, but he accepts the wad of cash she gives him. In return, he hands over her six-month chip. She gets home and we see a flashback of her first NA meeting. She’s not very talkative.

Bridget tells Andrew she has a follow-up doctor’s appointment but that she wants to go alone. He’s not too happy because he took the day off to be with her, but doesn’t fight it. At school, Juliet still has problems with Tessa, and she begs Mr. Carpenter to do something about it. He says he will handle it. She dumps her problems on him, expecting to have a willing listener, but he is clearly not interested. And I really hope they don’t go down the teacher/student romance road. It’s just creepy.

Since “Siobhan” gave him the brush of, Andrew has gone in to work, and he is a little fired up and pissed off. He fired the head of European operations because a bunch of files went missing. He doesn’t know it, but he has his wife to thank for that. Olivia isn’t entirely hip to the idea, but she does pick up on his sour mood. He tells her about the miscarriage and how “Siobhan” doesn’t want him around. Even though he had been set on not having children, he’d been warming up to the idea. The poor guy is just so heartbroken. We get a quick scene of Malcolm coming back to his hotel room and shooting up and Henry catching Juliet when he calls the apartment. She tells him about the baby.

Meanwhile, Bridget is in fact meeting Charlie for some support and an update on the search for Gemma. She zones out again, remembering the end of her first meeting where Malcolm offers to be her sponsor. Charlie snaps her out of it, and she admits that Malcolm is back in town and it is throwing her off a bit. She assures Charlie that she still wants him to be her sponsor and rushes off. Charlie makes a call to Siobhan in Paris, telling her about Malcolm’s sudden presence. She tells him to take care of Malcolm, she doesn’t care how. She hangs up on her end and we see she is still shacking up with Tyler. He’s flying off to Rome for business and asks her go with him, but she declines. That evening, as he is on his way to the airport, Andrew calls and asks him to change his flight to New York. He wants to make Tyler the the new head of European operations.

Back in New York, Henry shows up at the apartment and runs into “Siobhan”. He’s not happy that he heard about the miscarriage secondhand. He had hoped that when “Siobhan” had the baby, she would realize she wanted to be with him but now that isn’t going to happen. I really don’t get what Siobhan saw in Henry. He’s annoying and needy and not nearly as pretty as Andrew. Across town, Malcolm is watching infomercials when the cops show up and haul him in to the station for a chat with Victor. Nothing really earth shattering is revealed, but Victor wants to let Malcolm go so he can lead them to Bridget.

“Siobhan” and Juliet are having a little bonding time while watching TV, and Juliet says she was starting to like the idea of having a little sibling. “Siobhan” says she doesn’t’ think they’ll try again and she just wants things to go back to how they were. Juliet suggests they get a dog (I guess they needed something for the episode title). “Siobhan” doesn’t know that Andrew is listening in on the conversation. He is just getting emotionally trounced on in this episode. The next morning, he is pretty frigid with her. He shouts at her that he overheard her conversation with Juliet and he doesn’t know where they stand. He leaves in a huff just as she gets a call from Malcolm. She’s going to meet him at a coffee shop, but on her way out of the building she gets ambushed by Victor. He tells her he wants her to wear a wire when she sees Malcolm and threatens a little blackmail about her and Henry if she doesn’t help.

So she goes in wired, and Malcolm is more than a little confused when she acts like they’ve never met before. She takes off for a minute after dumping coffee on her blouse but returns, a waiter hot on her heels. He offers a menu to Malcolm with a note inside telling him that Bridget is wearing a wire. Their conversation turns up nothing useful for Victor, and “Siobhan” storms into the van, furious that he didn’t tell her Malcolm was a drug addict. Guess she figured out he was using. She catches up with him on the street and they have a big argument about how Malcolm wants to beat using again. But, he doesn’t want Bridget’s help.

Juliet is furious with Mr. Carpenter for how he handled the Tessa situation. He transferred Juliet out of his class. He says he does like her, but not the way she wants and his decision is for the best. That night things appear to be going well at Andrew’s business dinner with Tyler and Olivia. Until “Siobhan” shows up. Tyler is obviously thrown for a loop to see the woman he thinks is Cora sitting down and referring to Andrew as her husband. And she spends the entire dinner acting like she doesn’t know him (because she doesn’t!). We also get a brief moment of Malcolm stealing some money from an outdoor restaurant. He really needs help.

Andrew and “Siobhan” have a sweet bonding moment on the drive back from the dinner. She wants to stop playing games and not go back to the old Andrew and “Siobhan”. And she wants their marriage to work. I think Andrew needed that. He’s been so down the rest of the episode. When they get back to the apartment, Malcolm is waiting for them. He admits he needs help and “Siobhan” immediately agrees to let him stay in the apartment overnight. She takes him to see Charlie the next day.

Tyler is understandably pissed, and he calls Siobhan to rant at her or not telling him she was Andrew’s wife. She tries to deny it but obviously she can’t. He’s not interested in excuses or apologies. He doesn’t want to see her again and she needs to get out of the hotel because Martin-Charles isn’t covering the tab anymore. It looks like her little plan is starting to unravel.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Girl 1.05: "Cece Crashes"

“You tell anyone we held hands, I have 2 people in my phone who will kill you.”

While I don’t think I’ll ever consider “Cece Crashes” a classic episode of “New Girl” like “Wedding” was and the Thanksgiving episode I haven’t written up yet was, it was still mostly entertaining and enjoyable. I liked that we got some exploration of Jess and Nick’s relationship and significant character development for Schmidt and Cece. In this episode, I started to see that Cece might actually have a place on the show. Up until this point, she would just show up for an obligatory scene or two and be fairly inconsequential. In this episode, however, she’s important to the plot, and it’s a lot of fun to see her interact with the other characters on a more sustained basis. I think it’s important that the show finally started trying to work out how Cece’s interactions with the other characters will work on a regular basis. We saw some evidence of why she and Jess are friends despite their very different personalities (they’ve been friends since childhood and have a deep shared history). We also saw a foundation for a potential relationship with Schmidt that could be quite sweet. Additionally, it was made clear that despite her physical beauty, Cece isn’t perfect. She’s generally a good person at heart, but sometimes she takes advantage of her looks a bit too much to manipulate guys. But hey, at least she’s aware of it.

The episode opens with Jess walking into a club while still dressed in her pajamas. She’s rescuing Cece from her tool of a boyfriend who is a DJ and has face tattoos. Since she and the boyfriend are now pretty much broken up, Cece asks if she can stay with Jess and the guys for a few days. The boyfriend has been staying at her apartment, and she doesn’t especially want to see him. Jess isn’t sure if this is okay, because the guys might have big plans for the weekend. We then cut to the apartment, where Winston and Nick are just chilling on the couch, and Nick is playing an old school video game, complete with 8-bit music. Guess they don’t have such big plans after all. Schmidt wants them to have plans, though. He’s gotten a friend to invite them all to a party, but Winston and Nick don’t seem especially interested. They’re getting into a really silly fight over the ridiculous kimono Schmidt is wearing when Cece arrives. Of course, when the model walks into the room, the guys all have to act chill. Soon enough, Schmidt has given the apartment a club vibe, and he and Winston are dancing with Cece. He’s then all excited when he successfully directs Cece to sleep in his bed. Which is kind of creepy.

When Cece wakes up, Schmidt is all oiled up (more creepiness) and strapped into this ab crunch thing that is attached to the doorway. Later, the guys are all in the bathroom waiting to watch Cece get out of the shower. They really aren’t making a good impression at all. Jess is a little pissed at Nick for being involved in this, even though he kind of just walked into it inadvertently. After they eat breakfast, Cece tells Jess that she thinks Nick is into her. For some reason, Cece is super set on getting Jess a new boyfriend. Jess tries to brush it off, but Cece mentions that guys point their feet towards something they want, and Nick’s feet tend to point towards Jess. Nick interrupts to ask if Jess needs anything from the drug store, and Cece pushes Jess to go along with him.

Jess and Nick’s trip to the drug store is super awkward. Nick is trying to be serious in telling Jess that she doesn’t always need to take care of people, but Jess is too busy trying to make Nick not attracted to her. Specifically, she tells him she doesn’t use toilet paper, which was just strange. She also tries to keep moving whenever she sees Nick’s feet pointing at her. Then he grabs her arm while trying to make a point, and that just makes her freak out more. The final straw happens when Jess and Nick are stuck in heavy traffic on the way home from the store. An enterprising vendor is selling roses by the street, and when Nick buys two for Jess, she freaks out so badly that she boltss out of the car and runs away, leaving Nick sitting in the car, kind of dumbfounded. I’ll admit I’ve used “the runaway” before (albeit not from a car), quite possibly circa 2009. I don’t recommend it.

Back at the apartment, Schmidt braves an encounter with the cat on the roof (I guess he’s afraid of cats or something) to try and flirt with Cece while she’s sunbathing. His plain is foiled by Winston, however, who calls Schmidt’s phone to throw Schmidt of his game. I did love the picture of Winston that showed up on Schmidt’s phone when Winston called, though. It was grumpy and hilarious. Cece has quite a lot of fun ordering the boys around. When they’re all back downstairs in the apartment, she orders Schmidt (who is now sunburnt, poor thing) back up to the roof, and she orders Winston to make her a sandwich. She’s completely lost control of herself.

Jess arrives back at the apartment, closely followed by Nick. Nick is really upset, because he was very worried about Jess and where she might have gone. Cece tries once again to get things going between Nick and Jess, but Jess physically grabs hold of Cece and stops her. Finally, Jess and Cece reach an understanding, and Cece realizes that she’s been obnoxious while staying with Jess. Then poor Schmidt screams from up on the roof. The cat is on one of the lounge chairs. Jess goes up and gets Schmidt off the roof, and she encourages him to stand up to Cece. Because he’s in pain, Schmidt really wants his bed back (he had been sleeping on the couch), and he and Cece both end up sleeping in his bed while holding hands. And of course Schmidt has to ruin the cuteness to call Winston to brag about “closing”…sort of. Jess and Nick sort of reach an understanding, too, while they brush their teeth. Jess apologizes for acting so strange, and Nick’s feet no longer point towards her. Guess this “will they, won’t they” is going to go on for a while longer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HIMYM 7.09: "Disaster Averted"

“I think I need to go home and reevaluate how I make life decisions.”

“Disaster Averted” was a fun little episode of HIMYM that showed how the gang weathered Hurricane Irene. I personally spent that hurricane cooped up in my apartment watching the Pepco outage map on my computer and waiting for the power to go out (which, amazingly, it never did). This story was a bit more interesting, thankfully. It also marked a turn in Robin and Barney’s relationship, which I approved of. I’m a sucker for anything Robin and Barney, really, as long as Barney is acting like a human being and not a cartoon. Barney act in a rather idiotic and mean-spirited way at one point during the episode, but he apologized by the end, so it’s all good in my opinion. I liked that, in the tradition of New York-based sitcoms like “Seinfeld,” this particular episode put the gang in a fairly run of the mill situation (waiting out a bad storm) and took advantage of the little stories that arose from character interactions.

The episode opens with a fantastical, almost Indiana Jones-like scene of Barney being heroic in the streets of New York. Barney ends up using his Ducky Tie to rescue a kid who is hanging off the side of a building. It turns out, of course, that this story is meant to be an elaborate lie Barney told to explain why he isn’t wearing the Ducky Tie despite his bet with Lily and Marshall. The lie is quickly proven false, however, as Lily found the tie in the trash outside MacLaren’s. Kevin has joined the group for the evening, and he asks why there’s a “No Boogie Boarding” sign in front of MacLaren’s. This serves as the framing device for the episode, which, as I mentioned, takes us back to August for Hurricane Irene.

Ted, of course, was in Boy Scount mode, and he was super-prepared for the storm. He had an emergency kit and pink rubber rain boots, and he wanted to take the rest of the gang to his house in Westchester to ride out the storm. Instead, the gang ends up at Barney’s apartment. Marshall is especially freaked out because his health insurance from his old job has just expired and he can’t be added to Lily’s plan for two more weeks. Marshall wants Lily to personally protect him from harm until he’s insured again, which is kind of bizarre. He doesn’t want to leave Lily’s side at all. The one good thing about this particular plot line is that all of Marshall’s paranoid fantasies of injury involve him being attacked by a guy in a bear suit. That was pretty darn hilarious.

The gang sees a rather dire news report showing Irene touching down in North Carolina, and they decide that maybe it’s a good idea to leave New York City after all. The plan to leave for Ted’s house gets delayed because Ted goes out into the hall to take a phone call from his mom. Robin is kind of upset that everyone’s parents, even Barney’s until recently estranged dad, is calling to make sure their children are okay. Except for Robin’s dad. When Ted comes back into the apartment, he said that Barney can’t come in his car to Westchester. It turns out Ted picked up a hot chick out in the hallway, and she’s going to be taking Barney’s seat in the car. Lily offers to stay instead because she desperately needs some alone time. Marshall has been really super clingy, after all. Just as the situation descends into complete chaos and Ted is about to leave with nobody, Mayor Bloomberg appears on the television and says that the time for evacuation is over. Thanks to the shelter in place order, the gang is stuck at Barney’s apartment. Then, to make things worse, the power goes out.

Throughout the episode, we flash forward to the present day, where Barney is still trying to get out of having to wear the Ducky Tie. He says that the tie has hurt his quest to be taken seriously at work. Marshall reveals that he may be willing to make a deal with Barney if the deal involves slaps, but he doesn’t want to use up his final original Slap Bet (circa season 2) slap. Kevin, however, realizes what’s actually going on. It turns out Barney is supposed to meet Nora’s parents in two days, and he wants to make a good impression. A good impression doesn’t involve wearing a Ducky Tie, apparently.

Back in August, the gang makes the best of being stranded. Marshall draws Lily a bath in Barney’s bathroom as an apology for being so clingy. Lily appreciates the gesture, and it turns out that is where their baby was conceived. This, of course, leads Ted to suggest that “Hurricane Eriksen” would be an awesome name for the baby Marshall approves, but Lily doesn’t, which I found amusing. The next morning, when the worst of the hurricane has passed, the gang stands in front of MacLaren’s. The bar is closed, but Ted has beer, so it’s all good. Everyone starts goofing off in the rain, and Marshall decides to boogie board on a trashcan lid in spite of having no health insurance. He eventually crashes through the MacLaren’s window, hence the “No Boogie Boarding” sign.

In the present, Marshall offers Barney a chance to rid himself of the Ducky Tie in exchange for three additional slaps. Barney quickly agrees, and almost as quickly, Marshall uses up two of those slaps. This means that Marshall has two total slaps remaining. I guess this was a move by the writers to accommodate the show going on longer than they originally planned. I’d bet they have the final slap planned for the final episode, which doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon. Robin gets into a cab with a kind of dazed Barney, and they reminisce about how they almost kissed after the hurricane when Barney apologized for calling Robin and pretending to be her dad. Then, they start actually kissing. And the Robin and Barney shipper in me rejoiced, even if I’d really rather they didn’t get back together by cheating.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fringe 4.05: "Novation"

“I can't explain it Walter. I don't know why he's here, or where he's come from. But, maybe, you've just been given a second chance.”

“Novation” explored the implications of Peter suddenly blinking back into existence after the machine that joined the two universes erased him. The Fringe team doesn’t quite know what to make of him, and Peter doesn’t quite know what to make of his situation, either. He is surrounded by all these people who look like people he knew and loved, but they all act completely differently. In that sense, it’s appropriate that the mystery of the week (sort-of…this was a more mythology-based episode than stand-alone) involved the shapeshifters. These aren’t run-of-the-mill shapeshifters, though. They’re the shapeshifter-human hybrids we saw earlier this season. One of them is still running around and causing all kinds of trouble for our Fringe team.

The episode opens with Peter being taken to an FBI holding facility. He knows way too much classified information to be allowed out in the wild. Peter demands to speak with Walter, and Olivia goes back to the lab to try and make that happen. She finds Walter in a rather scary situation. He is hooked up to a machine that is pumping him full of powerful barbiturates. Walter is hoping it will allow him to sleep. Olivia puts a stop to it and tells Walter he has to get ready to go to the FBI holding facility. Peter has said that Walter is the only person he will talk to, and they need Walter to try and interrogate Peter.

Meanwhile, we get our first glimpse of the case of the week. A shapeshifter is causing quite a bit of havoc in a Vermont home. This particular shapeshifter is disguised as a man’s wife, and when the man comes home, she gets violent and demands that he tell her where he hid certain files that she has been unable to find. The place has been torn apart from her search. The man has no clue what she’s talking about, and it’s pretty clear that the shapeshifter is not going to take no for an answer.

Once he gets himself together, Walter is brought to the FBI holding facility, and despite being given a list of questions from Broyles, the “interrogation” does go well at all. Peter does more questioning than Walter. Peter has figured out that he was supposed to be deleted after he activated the machine, and he desperately wants Walter’s help in figuring out why he’s back. Walter just gets freaked out, though, and he runs out of the room. I guess being freaked out is understandable considering his son, who he lost twice, seems to be back yet again. Before the scene sends, there are some significant glances between Peter and Olivia, which made me happy, of course.

Lincoln calls Olivia to the scene of the shapeshifter incident from the beginning of the episode. It turs out that the shapeshifter killed both the woman she was impersonating and her boyfriend. The shapeshifter had been targeting the woman’s estranged husband, a former Massive Dynamic employee, but screwed up. The Fringe team begins a race to find the husband, Dr. Truss, but the shapeshifter gets to him first. He lives in rural Vermont, and the shapeshifter convinces him to come with her by saying that his cellular replication research has been used to cure her cancer. The treatment isn’t quite holding, and she says she needs his help.

Olivia and Lincoln pay a visit to Nina. In this universe, Nina apparently acted as Olivia’s mom once Olivia’s mom passed away. I thought that was a kind of interesting tiny change, although I’m not sure what larger implications it might have. Nina tells Olivia and Lincoln about Truss’ cellular replication research, and she says that William Bell ended up personally shutting it down. Back at Fringe HQ, Olivia hypothesizes that the shapeshifters want cellular regeneration technology because they were flawed and need to be repaired. Peter has messed with the intercom in his cell (which was a very “Lost” circa season 3 Hydra Island arc moment), so he has heard everything Olivia said. He uses the intercom to tell the Fringe folks that he knows about shapeshifter memory disks. He offers to help the team in exchange for a second meeting with Walter.

Meanwhile, the shapeshifter and Dr. Truss need to stop at a gas station. Dr. Truss tries to have a heart to heart with the shapeshifter about the fact that they both have children, but the shapeshifter is not feeling it at all. While Dr. Truss is inside the convenience store paying for gas, a state trooper pulls up and recognizes the license plate on the car. He calls for backup, but before help arrives, the shapeshifter kills him. Dr. Truss exits the convenience store and returns to his car, unaware of the violence that has taken place in his absence.

Olivia and Lincoln are having a bit of a heart to heart about Peter (Olivia is kind of thrown by the fact that this man from her dreams has suddenly appeared for real) when they get word about the sighting of Dr. Truss’ vehicle at the Vermont gas station/convenience store. Using the same kind of magical rapid transportation that allows the Fringe team to travel back and forth between Boston and New York on a whim several times in one episode, Olivia and Lincoln immediately appear at the Vermont convenience store in the next scene. They are watching the CCTV footage of Dr. Truss paying for gas in the store. They realize that Dr. Truss looks like a willing accomplice and probably doesn’t realize he’s with a dangerous shapeshifter. Meanwhile, the shapeshifter shows Dr. Truss the lab where he’s going to work. After a little investigation, Dr. Truss thinks he can solve the shapeshifter’s problem. Her genome is currently not propagating fully in the artificial tissue. Whatever that means.

In Boston, Nina pays Walter a visit at the lab. Apparently, in this universe, they don’t get along nearly as well as they did in the Original Recipe universe. Walter kind of blamed Nina for Peter’s death for a while, then when he started blaming himself, he got buried in a whole heap of self-loathing. Now Walter doesn’t think he deserves to be reunited with our Peter. Nina tries to change his mind about that. What’s interesting is that despite all the paranoia the FBI-affiliated characters are exhibiting, Walter has no doubt that the person he met is actually Peter from some universe or another. He sees it in his eyes. Which I guess is supposed to make us think about how Peter couldn’t recognize that Alt-livia wasn’t his Olivia, even when he looked in her eyes.

At Fringe HQ, Peter gives Broyles an update on his research. These new shapeshifters store the information of everyone they have been. They can shift back to any form they have taken in the past. This leads Peter to warn that pretty much anyone can be a shapeshifter now. That observation struck me as a big, honing Chekhov’s gun. Speaking of shapeshifters taking past forms, over at Dr. Truss’ new lab, he gives the shapeshifter an injection, but instead of feeling better, she turns into the form of Dr. Truss’ estranged wife (the woman from the beginning of the episode). Dr. Truss understandably freaks out about this, and the shapeshifter’s response is to attack him.

Meanwhile, Peter has discovered that he’s going to need a bigger computer to properly study the memory chips from the new shapeshifters. He figures out that the memory chips are broadcasting something, and when he gets that bigger computer, he discovers that the “something” is essentially shapeshifter Lojack. The signal can tell him where the shapeshifter is located. Before the powers that be can discover he’s broken in, he finds the location of the shapeshifter we’ve been following in this episode at Truss’ lab. At the lab, Truss is still really freaked out. He tries to inject the shapeshifter with something that will destroy her, but she recognizes what it is and stops him. The FBI raids the lab, but the shapeshifter manages to get away by disguising herself as one of the agents who participated in the raid. So I guess she’s still at large and will most definitely be back in a future episode.

After all the excitement has died down, Walter pays another visit to Peter. He tells Peter that he’s not going to help Peter get back to his proper universe. He feels like he’s meddled with the universes quite enough for one lifetime, and he paid for that dearly. Meanwhile the shapeshifter gets a hold of a typewriter. She sends word back to the Other Side that Truss fixed the cellular replication problem. More shapeshifters are going to be sent between the universes as soon as possible.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Person of Interest 1.07: "Witness"

Hey everyone, it's Sarah. Jen has given me the privilege of posting directly to More TV, Please! So from now on, I'll be posting my Body of Proof and Person of Interest recaps, along with a few Ringer or New Girl come January while Jen is out of the country (lucky girl). So here's episode 7 of Person of Interest. Enjoy.


“The machine found the man who was targeted for death. We just didn’t know he was also a killer. John we have limited information. We knew when we began this that we might make mistakes.”
- Finch

This week we begin with a phone call where two guys, one sounds Eastern European, set up a hit on an unnamed target. Through surveillance footage we see a guy get shot twice in the chest at close range in a convenience store. Carter and Lionel are on the scene and it turns out the victim was Benny Degastino, a member of the Italian mob. There’s a gang war going on between them and the Russians and this murder was likely payback for a slew of murders a few weeks earlier. And it turns out our mysterious Elias is the head of the Italian crew. But, the cops think they’ve gotten lucky. There is a witness. Meanwhile, Reese is busy snapping photos of Charlie Burton, a high school history teacher living in Brighton Beach (Russian mob territory) (played by the wonderful Enrico Colantoni of Veronica Mars fame). Just as Finch relays that there’s nothing really special bout Charlie, Lionel calls tell Reese about the missing witness. Turns out the witness and Charlie are one in the same. And a Russian hit team has just showed up at Charlie’s apartment to finish what they started. Reese has no choice but to go in.

In typical Reese fashion, he just appears in Charlie’s living room. I have to admit I would be a little freaked out too. But he gets Charlie to go with him. They get out of the building without being spotted and Reese takes out one of the guards but his phone gets smashed in the process. So he and Charlie are on their own. Reese steals a car to try and get Charlie back to Manhattan to tell the cops what he knows but the Russians shoot up the car and one of the bullets hits Charlie. Another exciting casting choice about this episode is that one of the Russian is played by Enver Gjokaj (Victor/Anthony from Dollhouse). And his character kind of reminded me a little of some of the imprints he had as a doll. Anyway, Reese and Charlie head in to the Double Bs, an apartment complex run by a Bulgarian drug lord. Even the Russians are scared to go in.

They wander through the building, spotting some drug dealers, before finding an empty apartment that is pretty disgusting. But it will work. Reese gets Charlie’s story and it seems credible. He was grading papers late and went to get something from the store when the Russians showed up. He claims Benny had a message for Elias that Vinnie would finish the job. But Charlie says he doesn’t know anyone named Elias. Reese inquires as to why he didn’t’ call the cops and Charlie says that the Russians own the neighborhood and you never know which side they are on. Back across the river, Lionel, Carter and their gang task force buddy are talking to Benny’s wife. She tells them that it doesn’t matter if they find the Russians that killed her husband because Elias will and he’ll kill them all. She says that Elias is on the war path and is going to reunite the five families and wipe the Russians out.

Near Charlie’s apartment, we see Finch fiddling with an ATM camera, likely to hide the footage from the shooting so that they can’t find Reese or Charlie. But a bystander caught some of it on her phone and they find out one of the guys that were after Charlie is the son of the head of the Russian mob. Apparently, Finch didn’t wipe the ATM footage; he just made it so he could remote access it from HQ. He’s checking the footage and finds a silver SUV pulling up in front of Charlie’s building and a cop getting in. He calls Lionel to have him the license plate and says the Russians might not be the only ones looking for Charlie. Speaking of the Russians, Lazlo (Enver) wants to bust in to the Double Bs and hunt down Reese and Charlie. But his brother, Peter, tells him they have to respect the agreement with the Bulgarians. They will cover all the exits so that Reese and Charlie can’t get out.

Inside, Reese is trying to bond a little with Charlie, asking how he got involved with teaching. It’s not nearly as complicated as his own change in career. Charlie is trying to help his students, many of whom are descendants of Russian mob members, to get out of the life. It doesn’t always work. Reese outs down to the guys we saw earlier to get some drugs to help Charlie with the pain. It wouldn’t be an episode of Person of Interest if he didn’t get to beat some people up while spewing witty banter. Meanwhile, Finch pays a visit to Lionel and tells him to report the car (which could belong to Elias) stolen and to send the report to an email address.

At police HQ, things are starting to fall into place. Carter makes the connection that Elias’ father last ran Brighton Beach before he got locked up. So junior is trying to clean it up and claim what is his. Reese returns to their crappy hiding place with the drugs (cocaine) and some crazy glue to numb the pain and seal the wound. Unfortunately, the Russians and the Bulgarians are going to hunt them down together since Reese beat the Bulgarian boys up and stole their drugs. Reese goes all MacGyver and finds a still-working landline to call Finch. He explains the situation and tells Finch to get a message to Lionel that they will be on the East River ferry to Pier 11 at 7am. And Finch finds them an escape route. Unfortunately, they don’t get to use it. But one of Charlie’s students, Will, let’s them hide out in his apartment. He’s even tough enough to make the Russians go away.

Finch gets the vehicle report from Lionel and calls Vehicle Recovery to get the GPS locator and microphone in the car turned on. He’s going to do a little surveillance of his own. He tracks the car to a parking garage and snaps a bunch of photos of the cop he saw before. He speeds off pretty quick when he gives a report that the Russian have Charlie trapped in the Double Bs. Finch thinks this cop could be Elias. Reese and Charlie are still hiding out in Will’s apartment when he tells them they should use the old entrance to the building. So, they head back the way they came and end up having to hide out in the same apartment to keep from being spotted. And they manage to snag Lazlo as a sort of hostage.

Back in the city proper, Carter and her gang buddy are paying a visit to Peter’s dad, the head of the Russian mob. He denies knowing anything about the convenience store shooting and alibis his son a being in the house all day. He also says that he didn’t start the war. Elias did by coming into the Russians’ territory and making trouble. Back in the Double Bs, Reese gets a message to Finch to let Carter know where the Russians and reminds him to let Lionel know where to meet them. Things are starting to look up when Finch overhears a conversation in the silver SUV in which someone says they got a tip that Charlie and company would be a pier 11. Finch thinks Lionel is the leak. Unfortunately for Lionel, the other cop shows up and knocks him out when he’s on the phone with Finch. We see the cop take Lionel’s gun as the ferry is approaching.

On the ferry, Reese is trying to get Charlie to agree to testify but things take a turn for the weird. We get intercut between the ferry and the interrogation room with Carter and Peter and we learn that Charlie is Elias. I have to say I thought Elias would be younger. And I’m not sure I like that it was sort of wrapped up in this episode as to his identity and what he wanted. But, he makes Reese flex cuff himself to the railing and he shoots Lazlo in the leg. Elias tells Reese that if they stay out of each other’s way, they won’t have any problems. Elias gets away clean and Reese is not happy that because they saved this one man, more number could come up. We see the cop shooting the Russian mob boss in his office before meeting up with Elias on the pier and walking away.

Ringer 1.07: "Oh Gawd, There's Two of Them?"

“I had two beers. It’s not like I was doing coke.”

This episode of “Ringer” was a little plodding at first, but boy did it bring the cliffhangers and shocking twists by the end. It was so twisty and shocking that it took all my willpower to switch over to Word and start writing this instead of just diving right into the next episode. These twists made me so sad for Bridget, because it looks like the little life she’s built for herself is going to come crashing down around her very soon. I guess I shouldn’t feel too sad because she basically stole that life from her (seriously evil) twin sister, but Bridget seems to genuinely care about the people in Siobhan’s life and wants to take care of them as best she can. Certainly beats her sister, who only seems interested in murdering all of them. Speaking of, we need some more real Siobhan character development post haste. She’s way to moustache-twirling and pure evil at the moment. There must have been something to turn her to the dark side (most likely involving the little kid from the photograph in the pilot), but without knowing that, her trying to kill multiple people back in NYC just seems silly.

The episode opens showing the crazy media frenzy that has taken place over Gemma’s disappearance. Henry’s being mobbed by photographers and reporters as he tries to get into a car. Over at the Martin apartment, Bridget has been watching the craziness on television. Before Bridget and Andrew can have much of a conversation about it, police arrive at the apartment with Juliet in tow. Juliet’s not in trouble, though. The police want to talk to “Siobhan.” Bridget goes into her dressing room, presumably to collect herself, but she actually makes a phone call from her old cellphone to Siobhan’s cell phone saying she thinks she really messed up. By the time she emerges from the dressing room, the police are saying they want to talk to Andrew too, because Gemma’s last phone call was from him. While this is going on, Juliet is also campaigning to be allowed to stay with a friend in Connecticut for a weekend. Andrew eventually relents.

At the local police precinct, Henry, Andrew, and Bridget are all being questioned about Gemma’s disappearance. Cops show both Henry and Andrew Bridget’s mug shot and ask them to identify the woman in the photo. Surprisingly, both correctly identify her as Bridget Kelly. This was quite the WTF moment, as up until now, we were lead to believe that nobody in Siobhan’s life knew anything about Bridget’s existence. After the opening credits, we get an explanation for this in the form of flashbacks to “Siobhan” (really Bridget) telling both of the guys about Bridget. Between this and the phone message se left herself, it’s obvious that she has some sort of longer game in mind with regards to keeping her new friends and family from being implicated in Gemma’s disappearance. Bridget seems to have all the pieces in place until Victor tells her that Malcolm is missing. This news makes her crack just a little.

Speaking of Malcolm, the crime lord and his minions have him hooded and in a van, presumably somewhere in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming. Malcolm manages to escape from the van by making his captors think he’s more high than he really is. They let their guard down and leave him alone in the van, and he escapes. We see him grab something from a house (presumably his own house in Wyoming), and then we see him at a truck stop. In the truck stop rest room, Malcolm recognizes a pair of boots that he can glimpse from below the stall. The boots belong to one of the crime lord’s minions. The minion tries to attack Malcolm and warns Malcolm that they’re going to keep following him, but Malcolm knocks the minion out and runs off.

Back in New York, Bridget is flashing back to the day she was three months sober. Bridget and Malcolm are celebrating with cake, and things go way too far. As in making out and sex too far. Apparently it’s taboo for NA folks to have romantic relationships with their sponsors. Which makes sense, really. Malcolm says he doesn’t regret it, but it absolutely cannot happen again. He assures her that while they can’t have romantic relationship, he’ll still be there for her whenever she needs him. Pulled back into the present day, Bridget has to listen to Andrew complaining about how she didn’t tell him the truth about having a twin sister sooner. Andrew is really, really pissed about this and believes that the omission could have put the whole family in danger. If only he knew who the really dangerous sister was…

Not feeling like she can really trust anybody else, Bridget meets up with Charlie at the coffee shop. She wants him to use his former cop skills to investigate Gemma’s disappearance more. She tells him that she’s certain the police have the wrong suspect. Charlie agrees to help only after Bridget tells him her “name” (she gives Siobhan’s name). After some digging, Charlie reports back that he hasn’t really been able to find out anything new. He thinks, however, that Gemma’s car might hold clues, and Bridget tells him the car’s location- JFK long term parking. She doesn’t tell him, however, why it’s there. This plot had quite the crazy ending. At the end of the episode, we see Charlie checking out Gemma’s car. He sees some blood inside it, and he makes a phone call. The phone call is to the real Siobhan! We see through a flashback that Charlie attacked Gemma on Siobhan’s orders. How twisted can this show get?

Backtracking a bit, instead of being in Connecticut, Juliet is at a party. Her friend Monica is really drunk, and Juliet is actually being responsible and trying to figure out the safest way to get her home. Juliet is going to hire a car to take them home (the best option, really), but Monica is really freaking out about how her parents will react if she doesn’t bring her car home. Meanwhile, back at home, Bridget and Andrew are having a heart-to-heart about all the lies they’ve told. Andrew is finally starting to get over not knowing Siobhan had a twin. Andrew also admits that at first he wasn’t happy to hear Siobhan was pregnant, but now he’s really happy. They’re in a much better place now, and they start making out when Andrew’s phone rings. It’s Mr. Carpenter (aka Logan from “Veronica Mars”) saying Juliet has been in a car accident. I was wondering what the heck he was doing there. It seemed kind of inappropriate to me. Andrew arrives on the scene and finds out that Juliet tried to drive Monica’s car so the car would be home and Monica wouldn’t get in trouble. Andrew has had it with Juliet’s antics and completely cuts her off from her trust fund. Needless to say, Juliet is pissed at Monica.

Over at the FBI, Victor gets some pretty major information. There has been ATM activity on Malcolm’s debit card, and there is video of him withdrawing cash from an NYC ATM. According to Victor, this means Bridget is probably still in NYC, instead of in Europe like the fake voicemail had said. Elsewhere in NYC, there’s a big swanky party to celebrate the opening of an art pavilion Gemma designed. Bridget and Henry are there and talking. Henry’s not doing well because he’s so upset about Gemma, and he wants to go home, so Bridget puts him in a cab. She turns around from the cab and sees Malcolm. This is such a shock that she faints. She wakes up in the hospital thanks to Malcolm calling an ambulance. Andrew is there, and he is insistent that Bridget have an ultrasound to check on the baby. This can’t possibly end well.