Saturday, November 26, 2011

Person of Interest 1.05: "Judgment"

Now that you've all hopefully recovered from your post-Thanksgiving turkey comas, here is another "Person of Interest" write-up courtesy of Sarah.


“Finch, I think I found a way to hurt these guys.”
- Reese

During our usual jumble of surveillance video that serves as transition, we see a man run over by a white car in a parking garage and a phone call between two men stating they have a problem. Then we find Finch in a diner, and Reese shows up, asking what’s good. Finch is paranoid that Reese is trying to find out where he lives by determining if he’s come to the diner often. Really, Reese just wants to know what’s good. It doesn’t appear he’s got much time for breakfast, though, because the machine has spit out another number. This week’s person of interest is Samuel Gates, widower with a young son who happens to be a judge in the criminal court, and he’s hearing the case of the driver who hit the man with the white car. So clearly he’s not going to be on the perpetrating end of the spectrum this week. While court is in session (yay for following proper admissibility rules. My evidence professor would be pleased), Reese infiltrates Gates’ chambers looking for anything that might lead to why someone is after the judge. He finds a bunch of hate mail and sends it to Finch for analysis. While the judge finishes up lunch, Reese follows him and some shady looking white guys with crew cuts and manages to recover a phone. It looks like these guys are going after Sam Gates, Jr. Reese gets to the house as the perps are kidnapping the boy and he takes a couple of them down, but Reese gets shot and they get away with the boy.

Reese grumbles about how he can’t be there in time if he has bad information, but Finch assures him the machine spit out dad’s number not the son’s. Before Finch can say much, Reese heads out, gun in hand. He’s not a happy guy (then again, is he ever?). Court is out, and Judge Gates is heading out of the courthouse when the kidnappers call. They say he can’t go to the cops or the feds or else his son will die. He hastily calls his son’s cell phone, his nanny, and a family friend, but no dice. Just as he sinks to the steps, Reese appears (reminds me of Parker from “Leverage”) and tells the judge they’re going to get his son back. They head back to the judge’s house, and Reese taps the phone and sets up a camera to cover the street outside the house. Finch hasn’t had much luck with the burner phone Reese recovered, and the cell phone company firewall is giving him trouble. Reese tells him to hurry up anyway, as the nanny is dead.

Over at police HQ Lionel is going through Carter’s desk. It looks like he sees a photo from when Reese was still a bum, but he scurries back to his own desk before Carter gets back. Before they have much time for Carter to question about why Lionel was transferred, Reese texts. He needs to see Lionel. In the coffee line, Reese hands over the bullet that killed the nanny, leaving Lionel to talk to himself in line. Meanwhile, Finch finally cracked the cell company’s firewall and gives Reese an address. The kidnappers need to sleep somewhere, and Reese manages to knock out one off the guys. He figures out very quickly they are an Eastern European gang. Definitely bad news. The cops have found the nanny’s body and are looking into questioning her clients. Carter’s on the scene because she got a call that the super at the building spotted Reese. Later that night, an officer shows up at Gates’ house to deliver the news. He feeds the officer a convincing story about the nanny not being home when his son got there, so he (the Judge) came home early to be there. The office leaves and we pan back inside to see Reese hidden just out of view. Reese assures the judge that he will find Sam Jr. And he can do that better than the cops or the FBI because he can be invisible. Well not if the super at the nanny’s building spotted him!

Judge Gates starts to say he should call the cops back and hand Reese over when the phone rings. It’s the kidnappers. It’s not your typical kidnap-ransom. They Eastern Europeans want the judge to throw the hit-and-run case in exchange for his son’s return. So now Reese and Finch need to figure out why the defendant (Angela) is so important. Turns out Angela is an account executive, and the man she mowed down was a CPA. Reese tells the judge to stall to give him more time to figure out what’s really going on. Finch has found more information on the gang. They’re not so much a bunch of thugs as a multi-national organization in over eighteen countries. While Finch digs more into Angela, Reese is going to try and wring some information out of the gang member locked in his trunk. No dice, though. Back at police HQ, Lionel spots Carter looking at the nanny crime scene photos. At about the same time, he gets a call from Reese asking about the ballistics report. The gun that fired the bullet didn’t have any matches in the system. Reese tries to the end call by saying he’ll be in touch but Lionel insists he can help. All Reese wants from him is to keep Carter out of the way.

In court, Finch clones Angela’s phone and keeps an eye on the judge. He reverses himself on the admissibility issue and continuously sustains defense objections during the prosecutor’s witnesses. He calls a recess until the next morning, but whoever has eyes in the court room for the gang calls and tells the judge to stop stalling. Reese drives around a bumpy, muddy parking lot to try to loosen the gang member’s tongue. Eventually, he gives Reese the address where he went to get paid. He also explains that they work in cells of four people. Finch is still at the courthouse as Reese heads for the address. He overhears a conversation between Angela and the head kidnapper. Whatever’s going on, it’s bad for the kidnapper’s business. But good for our dynamic duo. At the address, Reese finds another of the kidnappers and a whole lot of fake money.

We now have the real link between the gang and Angela. She installs software that detects money laundering. And she installed it at one bank, and if she still has access, she can turn it off with the click of a mouse, allowing the gang to clean their dirty money. Reese pays another visit to his two gang members in the trunk and uncuffs one to get the name of their boss out of the other. Meanwhile, Lionel did some more work and found the long-haired guy getting into a car. He ran the license plate and found it connected to a company Coldfield Holdings. Reese gives Finch the boss’s name and gets a text from Lionel about the company. We have a winner. It also seems the gang is laundering money for other people. Lots and lots of people. Finch sends Reese an address that’s only ten blocks from the judge’s house. Worth a shot, but Reese needs to hurry. The jury in Angela’s case is back with a verdict. The judge’s throwing the case worked because the jury finds her not guilty.

Finch calls Reese with the bad news, but Reese is already on it. He snags Angela at the courthouse as the judge goes off to meet the kidnappers. It isn’t looking good for the judge and his son until Reese shows up. He tells the leader that he’s transferred all the funds in his clients’ accounts to an offshore account. If the kidnappers don’t let Sam and the judge go, the clients will be notified of the missing money. Reese gets to be the hero and wound all the baddies and dump them at the house where he found the money. On cue, the cops show up and arrest everyone. The next day, Reese pops in for a final visit to the judge while he plays soccer with his son. The judge thanks Reese for his help but says he won’t be able to protect Reese in the future when the cops find out who he is. We end back at the diner. Finch asks what the judge said, and when Reese says he knows he judge will help them in the future, Finch says he was listening. Reese explains he was reading between the lines. Finch leaves, but not before giving a breakfast recommendation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving "Classic" Recap: How I Met Your Mother: "Slapsgiving"

“Relapse five! That’s where we high five, then it’s awkward for a little bit, and then we high five again!”

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving here at MTVP with one of my very favorite episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” In fact, it’s such a favorite that it made the 15 Most Legendary Episodes series that I did way back in the first months of this blog (those crazy days when I was unemployed and had time to write over twenty posts a month…let’s hope that doesn’t become the case again after I graduate this May). I love this episode because it’s genuinely funny throughout, and the found family friendship of the gang gives me the Thanksgiving warm fuzzies. I love my family’s Thanksgiving that is often so Norman Rockwell it shocks people, but gatherings like the one in this episode are lovely, too. At my undergrad, we’d have a Thanksgiving dinner served by faculty, and it was wonderful to gather with my very close group of friends (I always say that if we all lived in the same city after graduation, we would have been like the HIMYM crew) to celebrate. I think part of why I love this episode is because it reminds me of my friends and those special times we’ve had.

The episode opens on a rather awkward note for Ted and Robin. They’ve been kind of just going along with the gang’s usual activities since their break-up six months ago, but things are seriously awkward under the surface. They used to have a joke where they would salute every time somebody said a word that doubles as a military rank (like major or general), but they don’t do it anymore. They also take great pains not to be alone together. They don’t have to be alone at the beginning of the episode, because the gang is all at MacLaren’s discussing the upcoming Thanksgiving. It’s going to be the first Thanksgiving the group is planning to celebrate together and the first time Marshall and Lily get to break out the good wedding china and entertain. Robin’s planning to bring her new, significantly older boyfriend Bob because he has nowhere else to go for the holiday. This kind of irks Lily, who thinks Bob will seem out of place when they look back on their first Thanksgiving as a group. Lily’s going to have bigger problems than that, though. Marshall has started calling the holiday “Slapsgiving,” which makes Barney nervous, because Marshall still gets three more slaps from their slap bet. Marshall’s gone all out for this one, even creating a website called

The gang is supposed to meet up at Robin’s to bake pies on the night before Thanksgiving (Marshall can’t be trusted not to eat them ahead of time if they’re in his apartment), but only Ted shows up. This means it’s more awkward Robin and Ted alone time. Ted tries to call Barney to get him to help, but he’s in the middle of hitting on a woman at MacLaren’s, and he just turns the call into part of his game by pretending it’s the President calling to give him a commendation. At Thanksgiving the next day, we find out what happened when Ted and Robin are left alone. Ted tells the story to Marshall and Barney, and Robin tells the story to Lily. There was awkward pie baking for a while with Robin dishing out fun facts and Ted saying awkward things about their past relationship. Then they start fighting over Bob. Ted thinks Bob is a loser, obviously. This of course results in sex, which the rest of the group, when they hear about it, thinks was a very bad idea.

Robin wants to talk about what happened, but Ted doesn’t. This results in them fighting again, and Lily throws them both in Ted’s bedroom to work it out. They have a rather sad discussion about how since the break-up, they’ve really just been pretending to be friends, and they can’t do that anymore. The result seems to be that after Thanksgiving dinner, they are going to break all ties. Which seems like it would be kind of difficult to do considering they have all the same friends, but whatever. It’s interesting to compare this to what’s happening on the show now, with both Ted and Barney being Robin’s exes and Robin and Barney’s recent relapse. Victoria warning Ted that the three of them continuing to hang out constantly like nothing ever happened wasn’t going to work long-term. I think we’re seeing the very beginnings of that here, and it’s kind of surprising that the group has been able to function for all these years since Robin and Ted’s break-up. I guess that’s because it’s television!

While Ted and Robin are hashing things out, Barney is out in the living room begging Marshall not to slap him. Marshall refuses to give in, though. When the countdown ends, there’s going to be a slap. Barney is so upset that he even tries to leave the apartment, but Lily puts a stop to it. She changes her mind and declares as Slap Bet Commissioner that there will be no slaps on Thanksgiving. It’s understandable that she wouldn’t want her first time hosting Thanksgiving to fall apart because of the slap bet.

So everybody sits down around the table to eat, and they’re all kind of pissed off for different reasons. Lily doesn’t even want to give a toast, declaring that the day sucks and everyone should just eat up and go home. Marshall, as usual, takes a more thoughtful approach, though. He gives a nice toast about friendship and thanks Lily for beginning this tradition of the group celebrating Thanksgiving together. Bob remarks that this is really nice compared to his family Thanksgivings, and it prompts Ted and Robin to sort of reconcile their friendship. As the countdown clock winds down, Barney gets really obnoxious about taunting Marshall’s lack of permission to slap, and at the last minute, Lily gets so fed up with Barney that she gives Marshall permission to deliver the slap after all. Slap three is an awesome slapstick performance by Neil Patrick Harris where he falls on and breaks an end table, and it’s followed up by the legendary song Marshall had prepared, called “You Just Got Slapped.” The group happily enjoys the song, with Barney’s pained groans serving as backing vocals.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ringer 1.06: "The Poor Kids Do It Every Day"

"You asked for a warrant? Here it is. Spelled your name right and everything."

I’ll just come out and say it. This episode of “Ringer” was kind of slow. After all the drama that went down in the last episode, I guess everyone needed time to react to those events. One bright spot of the episode, however, was the introduction of Jason Dohring (Logan from “Veronica Mars”) as a high school English teacher who has the misfortune of teaching Juliet now that she’s transferred to public school. I’m a huge “Veronica Mars” fan, and it’s always nice to see the very talented cast getting work. The episode has me really, really curious about just what happened to Gemma, because in this episode alone, the tables were turned multiple ties and new twists were added. By the end of the episode, we think we know who is responsible for Gemma’s disappearance, but we don’t know for sure if all is as it seems, and we also don’t know Gemma’s current status. I thought she was supposed to be a major character in the show, so I’m rather curious to see where this plot goes.

This episode has a lot of scenes of Bridget just looking broody in general, and the first is right at the beginning of the episode, with Bridget checking on Juliet and sort of tucking her in for the night. Bridget runs into Andrew in the hallway, and Andrew tells her about the call he received from Gemma and how Henry acted really strange when he stopped by their house to check on Gemma. We then go to a quick cut of Henry cleaning up the blood from the wall of his house. We later see Henry leave a car in long term parking at JFK, which makes him look even shadier. Cue What Happened to Gemma Theory 1 of the episode.

Bridget leaves a voice mail for Gemma while Andrew fights with Juliet over what Juliet is going to wear for her first day at public school. He thinks the shorts and tank top she’s wearing are kind of skanky, and Bridget agrees. As do I. Juliet takes Bridget’s advice about making a good first impression to heart and goes to change her clothes. Before she leaves for school, she also gives Bridget the last of her stash of drugs. This triggers another bout of Bridget broodiness, as she struggles to actually dispose of the drugs instead of using them. She shoves the bad in her dresser and calls Charlie for some pseudo-sponsor help. When she hangs up the phone, she gets a call from the doorman that someone from Gemma’s office wants to see her. Gemma’s minion wants to return the keys to the loft since Gemma’s company won’t be working on it anymore. She also mentions that Gemma hasn’t shown up at the office. The minion is not especially concerned, because she might be on site somewhere, but Bridget is concerned.

We then transition to Juliet’s first class at her new school with Logan (I’m just going to keep calling Jason Dohring’s character Logan here until I bother to learn his actual name). Juliet is polite to him when entering class, but things quickly go downhill when another student named Tessa starts harassing Juliet, calling her “Rich Girl” and asking her for $5. Juliet gives Tessa the money, but she gets the upper hand by telling Tessa that the money will probably be able to pay for her family to eat all week. The conflict escalates after class to a major fight out in the hallway. Tessa shoves Juliet into a locker, and Juliet fights back until Logan and some school police officers break it up. Juliet lands in the principal’s office, and thanks to her lengthy disciplinary record from her former school, the principal doesn’t believe her when she says Tessa started the fight. It doesn’t help that Tessa has her classmates under her control, and they all say that Juliet started the fight. The principal has called in Andrew to discuss the matter, and he doesn’t seem to believe Juliet, either. Logan ends up saving the day by telling the principal what actually happened (even though he wasn’t really an eyewitness to the beginning of the fight), and he tells Juliet that she deserves a second chance. Something tells me this won’t end well.

Bridget goes to Henry and Gemma’s house to try and locate Gemma, but only Henry is there, and he’s really upset. He accuses “Siobhan” of being behind Gemma’s disappearance. Apparently, way back when, the real Siobhan had “joked” about having Gemma and Andrew killed so she and Henry could be together. Henry gets a little scary, continually demanding to know what “Siobhan” has done with Gemma. Bridget continues to deny knowing anything about the disappearance, and she is eventually able to leave the house, obviously convinced that Henry is to blame. It doesn’t help that he told her all about the blood on the wall, tossing the cleaning rags in a restaurant dumpster, and leaving Gemma’s car in long term parking. He claims he did it all to protect Siobhan (because he thinks she’s responsible), but it’s not very convincing to Bridget.

Meanwhile, out in Wyoming, Victor has found Malcolm’s car, still abandoned in the parking garage. Still in captivity, Malcolm looks to be about to break. He’s been re-addicted to heroin, and the thugs have denied him the drugs for long enough that he’s experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Victor shows up at the crime lord’s strip club (where Malcolm is being held in the basement), but the thugs won’t let him search there for Malcolm without a warrant. DNA from a cigarette in the parking garage is traced to one of the crime lord’s minions, though, so Victor is able to get his warrant and access to the club. By the time this is accomplished, though, Malcolm is long gone.

Henry shows up at the Martin house in his usual creepy way. He claims he now believes that Bridget isn’t connected to Gemma’s disappearance, but Bridget kicks him out anyway and goes to the coffee shop to meet up with Charlie. Charlie manages to throw out Juliet’s drugs for her. When he tries to connect with Bridget any further, though, Bridget runs off. She calls Henry and says she needs to make sure the police don’t connect Gemma’s disappearance to her in any way. Bridget follows that up by going to the dumpster with the cleaning rags, opening it up to verify the contents, and calling the police tip line. Thanks to Bridget’s tip, Henry is taken in by police for questioning. All of a sudden, though, the police let Henry go free. It’s quickly apparent why. We see Victor get a call from New York, where police have found Bridget’s fingerprints at the dumpster while investigating Gemma’s disappearance.

When Bridget gets home, Andrew sits her down to give her the news about Gemma’s disappearance and how the police now suspect foul play. Bridget manages to fake being surprised and upset pretty well. Soon after that conversation, she gets a phone call from Victor. He wants to know from “Siobhan” why Bridget’s fingerprints are at the crime scene. It turns out Bridget left the fingerprints purposely. I guess she figured that by implicating “Bridget” in Gemma’s disappearance, he would be safe from the police as long as she was “Siobhan.” Bridget isn’t the only sister acting nefariously, though. We quick move to Paris where Siobhan (the real Siobhan) gets a call informing her that the Bridget problem has been “taken care of.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Body of Proof 2.05: "Point of Origin"

For your reading pleasure, here's another "Body of Proof" write-up courtesy of Sarah.


“I know what it’s like to wonder about your birth parents because I wondered about mine for years.”
- Peter

Peter is driving along late at night when he stops to see a house on fire. After making a 911 call, he barges in to try and be a hero. He manages to save a woman (though she’s in critical condition), but her husband wasn’t so lucky. Megan gets to scene to find out that the couple (the Applebees) had some domestic dispute trouble a week earlier. Bud and Sam tell Megan that the arson investigators are handling the scene, and she doesn’t seem too thrilled. It becomes clear very quickly why Megan isn’t happy about working with the arson boys, led by Ray Easton. They won’t release the body to her until they’re done, and it took them three hours. Ray thinks someone poured accelerant on the husband’s body, but Megan can’t confirm until after she examines it. They also have an argument over Peter breaking in to save the wife. Ray thinks he should have waited for the fire department and both of them could have lived. Megan’s not so sure.

When she finally gets the body back to the lab, Megan determines that it was lighter fluid in the husband’s pocket that caused the fourth degree burns to his leg and pelvis. And she’s called in Kate to help with bone fragments. Things go from bad to weird when Ethan arrives with the Mike Applebee’s dental records. He also brings news that Peter is fine except for a bruised shoulder. Megan wants Peter to stay at the hospital to collect the wife’s clothes, and she tries to get Bud to nudge Ray along on what started the fire. Ethan thinks he knows what subdued the couple (cyanide), but Megan reminds him that when a fire burns it releases toxins into the air. And the weirdest thing of all is the crispy body in autopsy is not in fact Mike Applebee. He had all his wisdom teeth removed, but the body in the morgue still has all of his.

Megan is examining the John Doe when Curtis walks in. He tells her that most of the time he sides with Kate when it comes to issues with Megan, but on the Todd front, he’s Team Megan all the way. I really thought they’d put their drama behind them from last week. Guess not. Anyway, Megan keeps trying to cut into the victim’s skull to see if he suffered head trauma but keeps getting interrupted. Ethan shows up to tell her the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. Not surprising given he was in a fire. Over at the hospital, Peter is checking up on Jenna, the wife. She’s unconscious and still being treated for carbon monoxide and cyanide toxicity when Ray Easton’s lackey shows up. He says he wants Jenna’s clothes, but Megan got to them first. He also tells Peter about the John Doe. Peter is clearly distraught over not knowing there was a second person in the house.

Meanwhile, Bud and Sam have tracked down the real Mike Applebee in some run down motel. He claims he wouldn’t hurt Jenna and that the last few months had been difficult with him being out of work and her working more often. He called her out on why she wasn’t coming home and she threw him out. He denies being anywhere near the house when the fire started. He was in his motel room reading The Girl Who Played with Fire. Back at the lab, Megan is examining John Doe’s brain. She discovers that someone hit John Doe over the head while he was still alive. She heads back to the scene to try and look for a murder weapon and finds that the arson investigators haven’t even left the kitchen yet. They’ve been on scene ten hours and have made very little progress, though they claim an old fridge was the cause of the fire. Megan doesn’t think so.

Bud and Peter show up bearing Jenna’s clothes and a possible murder weapon from Mike Applebee’s motel room. Down in the lab, Kate is still working on her bone fragment analysis while Ethan examines what he can out of John Doe’s wallet. He finds a picture and a card indentation in the leather. It turns out to be an organization that works to reunite adopted children with their birth parents. John Doe is now identified as Ben. Jenna was a client of the organization, and they helped find her birth father, Daniel Robinson. But it seems he wasn’t interested in seeing his daughter because he closed his door on Ben’s hand. Guess that’s where the hand fracture came from. Back at the lab, Megan, Peter and Kate have a little pow-wow which is rudely interrupted by Peter getting a call that Mike Applebee was arrested.

Peter is really pissed that they arrested Mike without even looking into Jenna’s biological father. Bud claims they didn’t have any reason to look at him, especially since Ray says the vodka bottle found on top of the old fridge with Mike’s prints on it was the accelerant. Peter finally reveals that when he went into the house, Jenna called him dad. Would have been useful to know beforehand, Peter. The car ride to the Robinson house is quiet and we finally get a little Peter back story. He was adopted, and when his dad died, Peter got a sealed envelope with information about his birth parents. But he buried the information with his father because he didn’t think he wanted to know. Looks like he and Megan have something in common. They meet Daniel Robinson, and he says that Jenna showed up the night of the fire despite his wishes not to see her and he turned her away. But he says he never went to her house and didn’t know anything about the fire.

Curtis is examining Jenna’s clothes, and he’s using her shoes to chart her movements the day of the fire. There’s trace of floor cleaner from where she worked and a pebble to corroborate she visited Daniel’s house. And she stepped in wet paint. Just then, Peter shows up with the news that Jenna is dead. Megan tells Peter that she can handle the autopsy on her own and lets him go home. He’s still pretty upset over the whole thing. Megan begins to look over Jenna’s body and discovers there’s far more cyanide in her body than here should be, given the treatment she was on had been working. So someone poisoned her. At the police station, Bud is releasing Mike and Peter stays to look through hospital security footage. Megan continues the autopsy and finds blunt force trauma to Jenna’s head made by a different weapon than the one used on Ben. We get a very brief exchange between Megan and Kate regarding Todd. I really thought they’d gotten over this whole issue.

Peter is still going through the security footage when Ray’s lackey shows up to help. We learn that Peter was a cop, but he got shot and decided he liked medicine. Ray’s lackey said that Ray took him under his wing. Peter fast forwards through some more footage and finds Daniel Robinson’s daughter, Emily on the tape. Emily claims she was only there to try and give Jenna some peace. Her dad didn’t know she was home when Jenna was there. Peter runs into Daniel waiting for Emily and demands to know why Daniel gave up Jenna. It turns out Daniel was only seventeen when Jenna was born. He left her in a police station with a t-shirt and a stuffed turtle. The same turtle Jenna was holding when Peter rescued her (that got lost in the fire). Bud is out checking to see if there’s any footage of Jenna at the nearest train station while Megan and Sam check the park (which Emily said she saw Jenna head towards the night of the fire). It leads them to a toy store fire where Megan finds a spent canon fuse. She thinks that Ray has been setting the toy store fires.

Kate is arguing her case to Bud (he’s rather defensive about the accusations) and Megan backs her up. She’s found leather fibers in Jenna’s head wound and Bud makes the connection of a sap (a leather thing passed down in families of cops). Megan borrows Bud’s to test against the wounds while Peter goes with Ray’s lackey to the toy store. Things get out of hand pretty quickly. Ray shows up in autopsy all creepy-like and denies setting the fires. He says he gave his sap to Skip (his lackey). So Ray isn’t the arsonist, Skip is. Peter puts it together pretty quickly and Bud and Sam show up just in time to nab Skip. The next morning, Peter goes to tell Ben’s biological mother they caught the killer and to ask for her help in finding his birth parents. At the lab, Megan and Kate are actually civil to each other about the whole Todd situation. Megan even gives Kate tips on where to go on their next date. Things are definitely getting interesting.

HIMYM 7.06: "Mystery vs. History"

“Oh my God. They’re six minutes into the date. Ted’s probably already told her that he loves her. We’ve gotta get down there!”

“Mystery vs. History” was a rather sweet, although not especially memorable, episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” It had some good funny moments, although I wouldn’t put it in the pantheon of best episodes, either. As the title pretty easily points out, the theme of the episode is whether or not it’s better to go into a situation completely prepared and knowing everything, or if a little mystery makes life more exciting and fulfilling. Personally, I think I’m somewhat in the middle on this debate. On the rare occasions where I do allow myself to be surprised (a few rare unspoiled episodes of “Lost” come to mind), I find the surprise to be a whole lot of fun. Most of the time, though, I have no willpower, and as several of the characters say in this episode, “I gots ta know!” I’m really enjoying much of the Marshall and Lily baby storyline right now, because it’s speaking directly to my life, and that’s when HIMYM works the best for me. My college roommate/best friend and her husband are having a boy in February, and while I haven’t been able to be a part of it as much as Ted has been a part of Marshall and Lily’s pregnancy due to the fact that we live about three hours apart, I still see elements of these episodes that are very true to my own experience thus far.

The article opens with a Saget!Ted monologue about how thanks to the Internet and smart phones, nothing is a mystery anymore. Peoples’ life history is just all out there for you to find easily. We flash back to 2005 (Was it really that different a world then? Please tell me it wasn’t so I don’t feel so old) where the gang is at MacLaren’s having what seems to be a fairly routine for them argument over trivia. They’re trying to determine the most popular food in the United States. Flash forward to today, and the group is sitting silently, all checking their smart phones. Somebody morosely drones that hey, it turns out that the most popular food in the United States is bread.

At MacLaren’s the group is having a (not capable of being resolved by internet searching) debate over whether or not Marshall and Lily should find out the sex of their baby. Doctor Sonya wrote it out on a card and put it in an envelope, but Marshall and Lily haven’t looked at it yet. Nevermind that couples can’t usually find this out until about 20 weeks (have I mentioned that beyond by college roommate I have two other friends who are due all within about a month of each other early next year?), and Marshall and Lily aren’t even half way to that point at the time of this episode. Barney, of course, thinks that Marshall and Lily should read the card immediately. Lily is hesitant, though. She thinks that by giving birth without knowing the sex of the baby, it will help her and Marshall not limit the baby with gender expectations. Robin chimes in (since her dad always treated her like a boy and all) with a rather hilarious flashback to her fourteenth birthday. Her dad dropped her out of a helicopter for a three day survival trek while he went to the Caribbean.

Ted goes to the bar for a drink and meets Janet, who is played by the same actress who played Ashleigh on “Greek.” They make a date, and Barney and Robin immediately want to start internet researching her to find out what’s wrong with her. This is apparently a regular occurrence. This time, though, Ted stops them. He goes back over to Janet and asks her to make a deal. They are not going to research each other prior to their date so that they can have the fun of discovering each other in person. This sounds rather creepy, but since Ted delivers the speech is his usual sappy, earnest way, Janet eats it up and agrees.

The next day, after Ted leaves for his date, Barney and Robin start their researching. Kevin desperately tries to get them to stop and go help Marshall and Lily paint the nursery instead. They go to Marshall and Lily’s alright, but they keep researching as Kevin does all the painting prep. Then Lily unveils the nursery paint color, which can really only be described as baby poo yellow. Lovely, right? Barney puts together a really hilarious presentation (complete with photos projected up on the wall) about the awesome gifts the baby will get if everyone knows the gender, as opposed to the androgynous burlap sack he/she will receive if Lily and Marshall keep it a secret. It seemed like Neil Patrick Harris was channeling The Price is Right a little bit, which makes sense, considering Barney’s former obsession with Bob Barker being his dad.

Still furiously researching wile Kevin paints, Robin yells out that she thinks Janet’s been widowed three times (the implication being she’s a murderer). Barney panics and says they need to go rescue Ted right away, and this makes Kevin lose it. He starts ranting about how the gang is the most controlling, codependent, incestuous group of people he’s ever known. He says that the only problem behavior he hasn’t seen from the gang is physical violence. Which is followed up by an awesome montage of past physical violence set to “Murder Train” of course. It’s little callbacks like that which make HIMYM great and rewarding for long-time viewers. Rather than facing up to the truth of that, the rest of the gang gets really pissed off until Kevin offers to paint the rest of the room by himself as an apology.

Ted and Janet’s date is not going well at all because neither of them have anything to talk about. I guess they were both so used to planning out conversation topics ahead of time based on their internet research that without the research, they were crippled. It gets to the point where Ted is so desperate for conversation topics that he starts talking about the font of the restaurant menu. I was wondering why they weren’t using this opportunity to ask questions about each other. Seems like a pretty obvious way to proceed to me. Meanwhile, Barney finds some real information about Janet and quickly shares it with Robin. They both do a synchronized spit take when they read about Janet’s background, and Barney texts Ted with a link to a story about Janet.

Ted finally figures out what I already had (that they should ask each other questions), and he and Janet start getting along well after he asks if she likes “Annie Hall” (she does). Janet gets up to use the rest room, and Ted is really tempted to look at the link Barney texted him. The suspense builds over at Dowisetrepla. Barney and Robin get to see the card with the baby’s gender, and they tease Marshall and Lily about it so Marshall and Lily really want to know too. It turns out, though that Barney has ripped the card in half, and he’ll only let them see it if they look at the Janet link. Marshall and Lily’s reaction is just as shocked as Barney and Robin’s was, although Kevin provides the spit take this time. Marshall ends up throwing the gender card out the window without reading it, and surprisingly, Lily is okay with that.

Ted plays through several scenarios of Janet’s big secret, which encompass everything from Janet actually being a dude to Janet not liking “Annie Hall.” Ted can’t take it anymore, and he finally looks at the link. It turns out that Janet is pretty much the perfect person. She’s a kidney-donating prodigy who really loves Annie Hall. When Janet reappears, Ted becomes a blubbering idiot in front of her, much to Janet’s chagrin. Ted just can’t take feeling so inferior to her, and he can’t even string a sentence together. Janet is disgusted by this, because this is how all guys act around her once they know about her background. Needless to say, the date’s over. Ted makes his way over to Dowisetrepla, and the gender card sticks to his shoe. Lily and Marshall see it and find out that they’re having a boy. They’re really thrilled, which was sweet. And Kevin leaves to go buy blue paint.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fringe 4.04: "Subject 9"

“I suppose I’ve learned that crazy is a lot more complicated than people think.”

“Suspect 9” marked the final, sort-of long awaited return of Peter to the narrative, but really not in any way that he (or viewers) would have expected. All is not going to be back to “normal” any time soon. We’re still very much in the amber opening credits universe. And I wonder where we go from here. Clearly Peter is going to have to adjust to breaking out of nothingness only to find that the world he knew is gone because of his absence. I’m not sure if that’s compelling, or if I’d rather just have everybody back to the original recipe blue universe to finish out what is likely the last season of the show. I invested a lot in the original versions of these characters, you know? I think once Peter starts really reacting to nobody knowing who he is I’m going to be wishing for the old timeline even more. The centerpiece of “Fringe” is the relationship between Peter and Walter. They’re dynamic has been what has seen the show through the times when some of the writers’ more creative decisions haven’t quite panned out. To give that up for too long would be a serious mistake.

The episode opens with Olivia asleep in her apartment. An energy ball of sorts appears, and it seriously made me think of the kind of lame 1960’s special effects aliens that would show up in Star Trek (the original series). Olivia wakes up as the energy ball is hovering in her bedroom, and when she sees it, she completely freaks out. Meanwhile, Walter is at the lab trying to photograph the apparition he’s being seeing in reflective surfaces. Olivia stops by the lab and tells him what happened in her apartment. When Olivia leaves him alone to tend to some other business, Walter notices an envelope in her coat pocket, and notices the St. Claire’s logo on it. He decides to open the envelope, which is of course a rather bad idea. It’s a form from his St. Claire’s therapist recommending he return there for long-term treatment. Olivia still hasn’t signed off on his opinion yet.

Olivia and Astrid start an investigation at Olivia’s apartment, and the energy ball apparition appears yet again. Walter sees the whole thing go down on his monitor about 30 seconds before it actually happens, which was quite odd. Walter says that the whole thing reminds him of one of the other Cortexaphan trial kids known as Subject 9. Subject 9 could do astral projection, and the side effect was attracting metal objects like this energy ball seems to be doing. To get more information on this, Olivia and Astrid pay a visit to none other than Nina. She’s giving a speech on nanotechnology (at Massive Dynamic headquarters, I guess) when they find her. She lets Olivia and Astrid look at the files from the Cortexaphan trial, and they do indeed find Subject 9. His name is Cameron. In an effort to show that his mental health is sufficiently stable, Walter offers to go with Olivia to New York to find Cameron.

Olivia and Walter head to a New York City apartment building, but they find out from a neighbor that the person they’re looking for isn’t going to be home until the next day because he’s a truck driver. Olivia and Walter then get set up at a hotel for the night. The hotel room gives Walter a serious attack of germophobia, but instead of getting freaked out by Walter’s freak out, Olivia takes him for a root beer float. This is quite the bonding experience for Olivia and Walter, which is really kind of adorable. The adorable-ness doesn’t last for long, though, as Walter seizes the opportunity to ask Olivia about the St. Claire’s letter. Olivia kind of hedges when asked what her recommendation will be, but she doesn’t have too much time to talk about it before the kind of lame energy ball appears again. Olivia jumps out the restaurant window in an effort to get away from it, and she almost gets hit by a car.

Olivia and Walter head for Cameron’s apartment again, and this time, he’s home. He gets freaked out by Olivia’s questioning, and he tries to run away, knocking Walter down in the process. Seeing Walter makes him even more freaked out, which is understandable considering Walter conducted experiments on him when he was a child. Cameron reveals that he hasn’t been able to astral project for years, but he still has all the negative side effects (the attracting metal and such). The energy ball makes yet another appearance, but this time, Cameron is somehow able to stop it.

After seeing what Cameron can do and remembering how he saw the second attack in Olivia’s apartment before it even happened, Walter thinks that the energy ball is a sort of time distortion. Now that he has a theory, it’s time for a new experiment. Olivia, Walter, and Cameron head to what looks like an electrical substation. Walter thinks Olivia will attract the energy ball again, and this time, Cameron is going to try to disburse that energy through the wires. It definitely starts to work, but then Olivia sees Peter’s image in the energy ball and makes Cameron stop what he’s doing. All the way in Reiden Lake, a flesh-and-blood Peter surfaces from the water. Two fisherman in a boat on the lake pick him up.

Following the incident at the power substation, Olivia gets a call from Broyles about a man who suddenly appeared at Reiden Lake and knows a disturbing amount of classified information about Fringe Division. The man (Peter, obviously) is in the hospital, and Olivia, Walter, and Broyles go there to see him. Olivia sees Peter first, and although he expresses relief to see her, Olivia has no clue who he is. While Olivia’s visiting with Peter, Walter takes another peek at the St. Claire’s letter. Olivia has recommended that Walter not be hospitalized.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Person of Interest 1.04: "Cura Te Ipsum"

Enjoy Sarah's take on episode 4 of "Person of Interest."


“I know that you spent years of your life healing people, and I know if you do this, if you murder this man in cold blood, it will kill you. I know what happens when you take a life. You lose a part of yourself. Not everything, just the part that matters the most.”
- Reese

We begin this week with a somewhat disturbing voiceover by an unseen woman. She’s talking about how when she closes her eyes, she still sees “him” and she wonders if she’s already dead. It doesn’t make a lot of sense now, but it will in time. Next, we find ourselves meeting this week’s number, Doctor Megan Tillman. She walks into a curtained off waiting area to see a patient whose been there two or three hours. Lo and behold it’s Mr. Finch. He’s complaining of back pain. He gets Megan to write him a prescription (and clones her pager). I’m pretty sure he isn’t faking the pain.

Reese follows her out to a food truck on her lunch break where he sees a well-dressed yet creepy guy watching Megan. Reese follows her that night as she goes home (telling her colleagues she needs to sleep since she works 80 hours a week). She’s not home long though. She heads out to a club. Reese sidelines a guy he thinks has a gun (it’s just a cell phone) and then spots the creepy well-dressed guy from the food truck. Enter Andrew Benton. It seems someone else is following Megan.

The next morning, Reese goes to scope out Benton’s apartment since not only is he creepy, he was carrying date rape drugs at the club. And he’s got various other drugs in his apartment. There’s also some concern since Megan’s been at the club every night that week. Much like the pilot, it appears we have a damsel in distress. And we also have our B plot of the episode. Detective Carter is going to talk to Finch about the robbery at the evidence locker since it appears he talked to the robber (aka Reese) from the surveillance video. That’s not going to end well.

Reese is a little annoyed that there is no apparent connection between Benton and Megan. He hasn’t done any sort of online checking up on that would indicate she was his next target. He and Finch do find an old college police report and Reese is off to talk to Lionel to get it. We find him playing hockey with his son when a group of drug dealers (the ones who lost product when the other corrupt cops got busted) shows up and threatens to kill Lionel if he doesn’t get them $1 million dollars in 2 days.

Another night means Reese is back at the club watching Megan. And this time Benton makes contact as the bar. They leave quickly and Benton tries to entice Megan back to his place but she declines. He really is creepy. But that’s not the worst of it. In continuing to follow Megan, Reese discovers that she’s the one doing the stalking. She stands in a parking garage across the street from Benton’s place and videos him entering the security code to get in. Honestly, I’m not that surprised. We can’t always have victims.

Reese pops up (quite literally) behind Lionel to pick up the police report (and a medical examiner’s report as well) and Lionel complains that if he’s going to keep helping Reese, he (Lionel) needs protection. He wants Reese to get rid of the cartel. But Reese isn’t interested. He proclaims he can find another dirty cop just as useful and without the baggage. Back at HQ, Reese and Finch learn why Megan is stalking Benton. In the 90s when she was in college, he supposedly raped a freshman girl at a frat party. That girl was Benton’s sister, Gabrielle. He was never arrested because she waited 2 days to report it and the physical evidence (rape kit and toxicology) were inconclusive. However, a year later, she OD’d on anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Megan’s after the man who caused her sister’s death. Not a good combination.

Detective Carter is heading to do her interview with Finch (whom she believes is a paralegal). Being the smart man that he is, he doesn’t let anything slip. She didn’t really think it would be that easy, did she? She thinks he slips up when she asks if any of the robbers said anything to him and he says ‘no’. He coves well. Later that night, Reese does a little surveillance on another cop meeting with a hooker to use for leverage. It’s also going to help with the Detective Carter prying.

Reese follows Megan (who is going by the name Kate) to a rape victim support group. Luckily, he manages to talk to Megan alone and sort of connects with her by saying he lost someone very close to him. It makes me wonder what happened to Jessica. Anyway, Megan says she’d gotten past what happened to Gabrielle until a month ago when she saw Benton and her world just crumbled. The following morning, Reese heads out to a beach house that was rented under Megan’s alias. And she’s got enough lye to dissolve a body in a few hours. Reese decides he’s not going to give Megan the chance to ruin her life by killing Benton. He’s going to do it for her.

But first he has to take care of Lionel’s drug cartel problem. He beats the crap out of the guys (but doesn’t kill them much to Lionel’s dismay) and steals some of their drugs. He pays a visit to Benton and knocks him out and sets him up to get arrested with said drugs in the front seat of his car. Unfortunately, he’s a team of expensive lawyers to bail him out. That makes Reese rather unhappy. And what’s more, Megan’s on the move. It turns out the voiceover from the beginning of the episode was Gabrielle’s last phone message to her sister. Megan’s getting ready to take out Benton. He’s on his way when he gets knocked out by the cartel, leaving Megan to taser Benton and abduct him.

Reese takes a beating from the drug cartel boys but obviously fights back. He uses his time down in Mexico doing whatever sort of CIA spook stuff he was doing to kick off some inter-gang hostilities to escape. He’s really not happy to have been derailed. But he catches up with Megan at a diner. He talks her out of killing Benton by telling her that she doesn’t want to kill him because it will ruin her and take away the best parts of her. She finally hands over the keys to the van and we end with Reese and Benton at the beach house. Benton claims he can change but Reese isn’t sure. We end with a fade-to-black as Reese places his hands on either side of the gun, deciding whether or not to kill Benton.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ringer 1.05: "A Whole New Kind of Bitch"

“Dad, she held my hair back while I was puking. We’re hardly besties.”

The fifth episode of “Ringer” is where the drama really seems to take off. More secrets are revealed, and some crazy, crazy (well, more crazy than usual) stuff starts to go down. I’d kind of like for the show to pause from the drama and develop these characters a little more, but I know this isn’t that kind of show, so I try to not let it get in the way of my enjoyment too much. What we do learn about the characters doesn’t come from their natural interactions so much as the well-timed shocking reveal designed to be shocking. The twists and turns of the plot are fun enough to make “Ringer,” including this episode, good entertainment if you don’t think about it too much. This episode was more fun than some have been because there was some serious plot movement, and with some of the twists that happened, I’m really not at all sure where they’re going to go from here.

The episode picks up pretty soon after the last one left off. Bridget, Andrew, and Henry are all driving home from the Hamptons, and nobody knows where Gemma has gone. It turns out that when Bridget revealed to Gemma that she’s not actually Siobhan, Gemma didn’t take it so well. She doesn’t believe Bridget, and she thinks she’s still standing in front of Siobhan, who has pretty much been the worst friend ever. Bridget and Andrew arrive home to find that the word “whore” has been written in big red letters on the big picture of Siobhan in the front hallway. We’re probably supposed to think that Gemma stopped by and ransacked the place, but it was actually Juliet who was responsible for the vandalism. She’s been having a little drugged-out party with a couple friends, and even though “Siobhan” helped her out the last time she was wasted, Juliet still hates her.

Henry arrives home and sees Gemma there. Gemma has been watching a video of a party with herself, Henry, Siobhan, and Andrew on her computer. She flat out refuses to talk to Henry, even though he really wants to know what has her so upset. As she continues to watch the video on her computer, Gemma notices a prominent scar on Siobhan’s wrist. Meanwhile, over at the Martin household, Bridget starts dealing with Andrew a bit more forcefully about Juliet’s drug use. Andrew has no idea she’s speaking from experience, so he’s kind of confused about how she all of a sudden is full of advice on how to handle a drug addict. He is, however, pretty impressed that she seems to finally be taking an interest in Juliet’s welfare. Sioban never did, apparently.

The next day, Gemma finds Bridget and demands to see her arm. Not surprisingly, there is no scar. Now Gemma finally believes Bridget. Siobhan got her scar from a cooking class, and Gemma seems to have known all about it. Gemma finally believes Bridget, but she’s not at all sympathetic. She thinks what Bridget has done to Siobhan by taking over her life is horrible. She also makes it clear that her first loyalty is to Siobhan, because Siobhan was her friend. I still think she was the worst friend ever, but I guess that must count for something in Gemma’s world.

Back at the Martin home, Juliet sees that her stuff has been rummaged through (thanks to Bridget, who hd earlier been bent on proving to Andrew the severity of what his daughter has been going through). She figures “Siobhan” is the culprit, and she thinks she has the perfect way to get revenge. She starts pulling fancy clothes out of Siobhan’s closet and destroying them. As Juliet starts pulling stuff of the top shelf of the closet (barely missing Bridget’s gun, of course), a pamphlet for Narcotics Anonymous falls to the ground. This leads Juliet to follow Bridget to a meeting. She spies from the doorway as Bridget has a post-meeting chat with a man named Charlie. At dinner that night, Juliet blabs to Andrew that she saw “Siobhan” at NA. She thinks “Siobhan” went to the meeting to check it out as an option for her, and she’s pissed at “Siobhan” interfering so much in her life.

Gemma bizarrely just waltzes in during dinner and says she has something to tell “Siobhan” and Andrew. Of course we’re supposed to think she’s about to dish about the affair and Bridget’s true identity to Andrew. Bridget begs her not to, and it turns out that all Gemma wanted to say was that she can’t work on the loft renovation anymore. Once Andrew leaves the room, Gemma says Bridget owes her a favor in return for her not blabbing. She wants Bridget to sleep with Henry so she has good evidence for the divorce she’s planning. She wants to make use of the infidelity clause in their pre-nup so Henry can’t get any of her money. Gemma gives Bridget an ultimatum; if Bridget doesn’t do as Gemma asks, Gemma will out her true identity to Andrew.

Being asked to sleep with Henry throws Bridget into a pretty serious crisis. We see her all weepy in front of her bedroom mirror, and she comes very, very close to owning a handful of pills. She tries to call Malcolm, but he still won’t pick up (because he’s still being tortured and suffocated by the crime lord, of course). Since she doesn’t really have anywhere else to turn, Bridget ends up meeting with Charlie at a diner. He helps her realize that her sobriety is the most important thing and she shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize it. Something as guilt-inducing as sleeping with Henry would certainly jeopardize Bridget’s sobriety. Charlie also offers to be Bridget’s new sponsor, and since Malcolm has been MIA for so long, Bridget takes him up on the offer. She also takes Charlie’s advice to heart by trying to get Gemma to back down from her ultimatum. Gemma doesn’t budge, though. Not only is she going to tell Andrew the truth, she’s going to tell Victor as well.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Juliet are having a major argument. Andrew wants to send Juliet to public school to get her away from her bad influence friends (isn’t it usually the other way around?). In retaliation, Juliet yells about how Siobhan cheated with a married man. We’re supposed to think this means she knows about Siobhan and Henry’s affair, but again, it’s a fake-out. We’ll see how in just a minute. While Andrew and Juliet are fighting, Bridget meets with Henry at the bar. Henry thinks he’s finally going to be getting lucky again, but instead, Bridget tells him about Gemma’s threat (well, the taking Henry to the cleaners in the divorce part, not the revealing real identities part). She begs Henry to make things right with Gemma so she’ll call off this ridiculous ultimatum. Finding out about the threat just makes Henry pissed, and he wants a confrontation.

A dejected Bridget arrives back at “home,” and Andrew tells her that Juliet “knows.” What she knows, however, is that Siobhan and Andrew’s relationship began as an affair. Andrew was still married to Juliet’s mother when he started seeing Siobhan. This is why Juliet is so bitter towards her. Juliet has snuck out yet again, but thanks to a matchbook from a club (really, do places still give out matchbooks these days?) that she found in Juliet’s room, Bridget thinks she knows where Juliet is. She gives Andrew the matchbook so he can find her and try to talk her down first. Right after Andrew leaves, Gemma shows up to carry out her threat. Somehow Bridget manages to finally talk her down and promises to be a friend, and Gemma starts to feel awful about what she was going to do. It doesn’t seem like the warm fuzzies are going to last for long, though. On Gemma’s cab ride home, Henry calls and starts ranting about what Bridget told him. Oops.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Bridget do indeed find Juliet at the club from the matchbook. Bridget apologizes for Siobhan breaking up Juliet’s family, and Juliet seems to actually appreciate that. At Andrew’s suggestion, she agrees to go home with “Siobhan” in a cab. Once home, she helps wipe the “whore” graffiti off the big photo of Siobhan. Before he can go home himself, Andrew gets a call from Gemma. She says she needs to meet with him right away, and it’s an emergency. When Andrew arrives at Gemma and Henry’s house, however, Henry answers the door and turns Andrew away. As the episode ends, we see Henry close the door and walk through a very blood-spattered room. Clearly something very bad has happened to Gemma.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Body of Proof 2.04: "Lazarus Man"

Here's Sarah with her take on another episode of "Body of Proof." Enjoy!


“Maybe it’s our new thing.”
“So you’re admitting we have a thing?”
“We’ve always had a thing.”
- Megan and Peter

We begin with a guy running through the woods at night, and he looks pretty freaked out. He runs into a chain link fence and falls over, dead. Next we find ourselves in what appears to be a van as a somewhat crazy driver speeds through a parking garage. Turns out the driver, a pretty brunette named Dani, is the new driver for the ME’s office. Megan lets Ethan handle the body Dani’s brought in, and Ethan is quite impressed she knows what she’s doing. Turns out the guy, Alex Grant, was found ice cold. Paramedics thought he was a druggie. There are marks on his arm that might support that theory. With that, Dani heads out and leaves Ethan to do his autopsy. He begins to undress the body when he discovers a gunshot wound to the upper abdomen. Ethan races to tell Megan and interrupts her and Peter having a little light-hearted argument about how they never talk about Peter’s personal life, but always delve into Megan’s. She and Kate seemed almost friendly the night before. Guess Megan’s over her boss dating her ex. Anyway (and given the episode title), Ethan explains about the gunshot wound, and Peter goes to call Bud and Sam. Megan and Ethan head back to autopsy to find the body has disappeared. They get everyone, including Kate, in on the search until Megan finds Alex sitting at a table. And he’s not looking good.

Bud and Sam arrive and Megan assures them that it wasn’t her team that messed up. It was the paramedics at the scene. Bud is a little cranky that if Alex dies, he’ll have a murder but no crime scene. As the paramedics wheel Alex out, Sam gets him to tell them that his roommate Paul shot him. So the cops head to the apartment (Bud kicks down the door), but Paul’s not there. Sam thinks they have a lead because the crime scene techs got a GPS lock on his phone. But, after a rather disappointing chase scene, they find Paul’s cell phone along with his rather dead body in the back of a trash truck.

Paul was definitely shot in the chest, but it was a through and through so no bullet for Bud and Sam. Apparently Paul worked on a campaign for a local Councilwoman. He’s the complete opposite of junkie Alex. Peter makes a comment about how he won’t tell Megan about some of the guys he roomed with in college and she snarks back at him that of course he wouldn’t tell her. Later, Sam and Kate meet with Ms. Bennett (the Councilwoman), and she says that Paul didn’t have any enemies and that anything they need that she can give them by leveraging her political power, she’ll do. Ethan is trying to figure out what the trace is that Megan pulled from Paul’s body when Dani shows up. She thinks she’s in trouble for bringing in the still living, and she’s partly right. But Curtis also tells her that her outfit (kind of biker chick-esque) isn’t appropriate work attire.

Bud and Sam are going over Alex and Paul’s apartment, and Bud thinks that whatever happened to them came from Alex’s world. Sam’s not so sure when she finds a gun in Paul’s desk. The plot thickens. Megan is a little cranky that Peter hasn’t gotten Paul’s medical records yet, but pre-Katrina records are hard to come by (Paul’s originally from New Orleans). Megan rambles on about all the strange thing she’s encountered while doing Paul’s autopsy when Peter’s sisters show up. Megan is going to have a field day with this. Apparently Peter’s been avoiding his sisters by not answering their phone calls or emails, and they’ve showed up to stage an intervention. His “great love” is in town. Peter’s clearly mortified at them just showing up and dropping this on him, especially with Megan giggling away beside him. Ethan appears (as he always does) with news about the trace. It’s from Astroturf. Peter drove the garbage truck route to see if it would provide any clues as to where Paul might have been killed and remembers seeing a school being built. The gang heads over and Peter finds blood on a dumpster and Megan finds a sign with Councilwoman Bennett’s face on it.

Kate, Bud and Sam head over to Councilwoman Bennett’s office to have a chat. The Councilwoman says she didn’t want to think about Paul being at the school and that’s why she didn’t tell Sam about it previously. Conveniently, Bennett gets a call from the Mayor, leaving her chief of staff to handle their visitors. They’ve got some surveillance video of a known loan shark harassing Paul. Supposedly it had something to do with Alex. Ethan’s managed to type the blood found at the school and it’s a match for Paul, but they’re still running DNA. He and Megan dig into a Peter a bit, telling him to call Lizzie (his “great love”). Luckily, he’s saved by the phone. Alex is out of surgery. Megan, Bud and Sam head over to question him, but things don’t get far. Bud and Sam push Alex too hard in trying to get information and his heart rate spikes. Megan manages to get them to leave before too much damage is done. And it also looks like Paul didn’t shoot Alex. The bullet the doctor’s pulled was .25 caliber while Paul’s gun was a .22.

Sam and Bud head out to Sam’s old neighborhood looking for the loan shark, Mike. They find his mother, but no Mike. And mom isn’t too keen on giving her boy up, either. She remembers Sam and asks about her brother, but Sam just tells her to let Mike know they’re looking for him. Megan walks into the break room to find Peter still there. He says he’s waiting on the DNA results from the lab. As Megan wonders why Paul and Alex stayed roommates for so long, Ethan materializes with the results. The blood on the dumpster was Paul’s. But there was a second sample that belonged to Alex.

Bud and Sam go back to the hospital and cuff Alex to the bed. They tell him they know he killed Paul and that the DNA proves it. They aren’t the only ones getting antsy to close the case. Councilwoman Bennett is giving a press conference, and Kate is pissed off. First the Councilwoman says she doesn’t want press, and then she mentions DNA evidence and an arrest, even though Alex hasn’t been formally charged yet. Her chief of staff says it’s just politics, but Kate’s not buying it. Back at the lab, Peter shows up to find Megan’s big breakthrough. She’s finally figured out where all the problems in Paul’s body are coming from. He had a bone marrow transplant and his body was rejecting it.

At the hospital, Megan and Peter let Alex go (well they uncuff him anyway). He didn’t know Paul before the marrow transplant and afterwards, Paul acted like he owed Alex. So Alex used that connection to his advantage. He still feels responsible for Paul’s death. And the reason Alex’s DNA was at the school was because of the transplant. That night, Bud and Sam are staking out Mike’s mom’s store, and Sam explains that her brother never made it out of the neighborhood. He was gunned down in a drive by shooting. This episode seems to be all about family. Bud and Sam chase Mike down, and he claims the night that Paul was shot, he was playing cards.

Back at the lab, Ethan is busy cleaning up Paul’s body to be released when Dani stops by. I really like their banter/flirting. It’s cute. Ethan lets Dani help, but the spray bottle she’s got won’t work until Ethan fixes it. Unfortunately, some of the solution gets on Paul’s hand. Curtis walks in and after scolding Dani for being there, tells Ethan to get a sectioning kit because there is something on Paul’s hand (that turns green and luminescent). At Paul and Alex’s apartment, Peter and Megan are trying to figure out what happened. Alex says he wasn’t supposed to be there. He’d been out of town but came back early. He does recall that Paul had a secret hiding place that Alex wasn’t supposed to know about. Peter finds two environment survey reports with the exact same numbers. One was for a building site and one was for the school. They get back to the lab to find Curtis and Ethan examining the substance on Paul’s hand. It comes from a testing kit to test for soil contamination. Kate, Megan and Peter head to the school and test the soil. Turns out, Paul was right and it was contaminated. I knew the Councilwoman was sketchy.

Bud and Sam are grilling Councilwoman Bennett in interrogation while Megan, Kate and Bennett’s chief of staff watch. Things go downhill quickly, though. The chemicals that Paul was working on transferred to his killer and Megan can smell them right now on the chief of staff’s coat. She admits to it, saying she was just trying to protect Bennett’s career and her own. Big mistake, lady. That night, Alex asks to see Paul’s body. He claims he’s going to use his second chance for good, in honor of Paul. Megan ends up at a bar, and after shooing away a somewhat good looking guy, Peter saunters over. He’s just finished dinner with Lizzie. They had a good time, but the chemistry just wasn’t what it used to be. Megan asks if there are any other great loves in his life. He says maybe but he’s not sure he likes having Megan dig into his life. They’re so adorable!

HIMYM 7.05: "Field Trip"

“It’s like watching ‘The Breakfast Club’ on TBS.”

“Field Trip” was a rather middling (although not horrible) episode of HIMYM. I prefer the episodes that really speak to life events, and this wasn’t one of them. My roommate said that Marshall’s plot made her sad (she’s an environmental policy student), but overall, there wasn’t big stuff going on in this one. Some reasonably funny stuff, for sure, but noting big. I guess my favorite bit of the episode, even though it was awfully shallow and cartoonish, was Barney stressing because Nora said she hated Ewoks. Mostly because I loved Barney’s very long PowerPoint all about Ewoks. That was genius. Ted’s plot had some potential, because the idea of him dragging his class around to all the important locations in his life had potential, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. It was funny, but it didn’t really get into Ted’s character enough for me. Ted being so desperate for one of his students to want to be an architect just didn’t work for me. Yeah, it fit with Ted’s character, but it was kind of pathetic. I suppose it just goes to show how low of a place Ted is in right now.

Anyway, the episode opens with Robin in therapy with Kevin. They’re working through her abandonment issues when all of a sudden Kevin drops Robin as a client. He says he’s moving to Alaska, but then he turns up at the diner while Robin is eating breakfast. Kevin admits that the real reason he dropped Robin was because he was attracted to her and didn’t want to cross any ethical lines. Robin invites him to eat breakfast with her in as non-date like a way as she can muster (sitting side by side, technically alone, looking at the coffee maker). After this goes on for about a week and Robin walks forty blocks in the rain to make it to breakfast, they decide to finally start dating for real. I found that to be just plain gross. And thankfully, the rest of the characters all pretty much agreed with me. I like Kal Penn and the character of Kevin, but the fact that he was Robin’s therapist is just something I’ll never be able to get over. Squickiness to the extreme.

The gang is at MacLaren’s, as they often are, and Marshall starts venting some frustrations about work. He’s concerned that the great Garrison Kootz isn’t really as much of an environmental defender as he seems. He seems to have become jaded about the environmental law game. Somehow the conversation turns to Ewoks, and Nora arrives in the middle of it. She says that she doesn’t like Ewoks, and this makes Barney really upset. So upset that the thinks he wants to break up with her. Even though I am firmly pro-Ewok like Barney (and no, I think I was older than ten when I first saw the Star Wars movies, so that kind of destroys Barney’s theory I’ll be writing about it a bit). It just amuses me that underneath the kind of gross ladies’ man exterior, Barney is a massive Star Wars fan.

In other news, Ted has been planning a big field trip for his Inro to Architecture class. He’s going to take them to the new GNB tower construction site in the hopes that it will expire one of them to decide on architecture as a career. This plan backfires, however, when a construction worker tells Ted and his students (about the 1/3 of the class that actually showed up) that it’s a closed construction site and they can’t go in. Which makes sense, really, and Ted should have realized. Construction sites are dangerous places. So Ted takes his students to see Barney, with the thought that Barney could teach them about the financial side of constructing a building. Instead, however, Barney gives an awesomely hilarious lecture about the “Ewok Line.” Basically, according to Barney’s theory, anyone who hates Ewoks is in their late 30’s, not 29 like Nora claims to be, because only people who were little kids when Return of the Jedi was released actually like Ewoks. The theory is funny enough on its own, but what really made the joke was that Barney had to flip through a ton of slides about the details of Ewok physiology and culture before he got to the “Ewok Line” slides.

Meanwhile, there’s a big party going on at Marshall’s office because of a $24,000 settlement offer from a big pharmaceutical company that Garrison seems ready to accept. There’s cake and champagne and all the trimmings. This really pisses Marshall off, because this company did major damage to a waterway, and there’s no way $24,000 will fix it. Eventually, Marshall just can’t take it and has a major outburst. Garrison pulls Marshall into his office (which has creepy green lighting for this scene for some reason), and he goes on a tirade about how the environmental movement has lost and the world is going to end in ten years. Garrison has just been putting on a happy face for his staff with the cake and champagne so they can be comfortable while they wait for Armageddon. The next day, they talk again (in much less threatening office lighting), and Marshall explains why he still has to have hope- his unborn child. He shows Garrison a video of Lily’s latest ultrasound. There’s also some hilarious conversation about how Garrison has a bunker set up that is stocked with all five seasons of Friday Night Lights, but Marshall warns him that season 2 isn’t worth watching. So true, so true. Garrison ends up turning down the settlement offer and “going to war.” Saget!Ted tells us that Garrison and Marshall would eventually save the planet.

The next stop on Ted’s field trip (with Barney now tagging along) is his and Robin’s apartment. Robin and Kevin are there on the couch, and Robin’s kind of annoyed because she was just about to make a move. There’s a really funny sequence where Ted and Barney give Kevin a hard time (sometimes in unison) because they (rightfully) think that a therapist dating a former patient is super creepy. They decide to poll Ted’s students, and the vast majority of them think it’s creepy, too. Outside the apartment building, Ted and Barney realize they have collected the perfect focus group, so they start polling the students on all sorts of things, such as whether macaroni salad is really a salad (the answer is “no”). Then the questions start to get into Barney’s situation with Nora. Ted and Barney keep changing the story to try to win the students to their side (Ted thinks it would be shallow for Barney to dump Nora over being old, and Barney obviously disagrees). Meanwhile, now that they have the apartment back to themselves, Robin and Kevin try to make out, but they finally realize it’s too creepy. Robin fixes the situation by acting as Kevin’s therapist for a couple hours to even the score. Which I don’t think is really good enough to erase the squick, but whatever.

Ted’s field trip ends up at MacLaren’s. One student finally says he might be interested in being an architect, mostly because since Ted can meet up with his friends at the bar at 4 PM, the hours must be good. He says he’ll look into it if being a DJ doesn’t work out, but Saget!Ted tells us that he did indeed become a DJ. Ted finally lets the class go home. Nora meets up with the gang, and Barney confronts her with his belief that she’s about nine years older than she says she is. It turns out that Nora had only just seen the Star Wars movies a year ago, so she had indeed been older than ten when she first saw the Ewoks. But she’s most definitely still 29. Barney is happy with this answer, and I’m annoyed that Nora is still sticking around.