Monday, January 30, 2012

Person of Interest 1.09: "Get Carter"

“We got into this to stop bad things from happening to good people. Carter’s been doing that her whole life. She’s not just another number, Finch. Some people the world can’t afford to lose.”
- Reese

We find ourselves back in time in 2004 in the Middle East in an underground bunker. It turns out the US military has captured a man named Yusef whom they believe to be helping Al Qaeda. He claims to only sell fruits and vegetables but the soldier talking to him isn’t buying it. He tells Yusef he’s going to have to talk to his boss. And in walks Detective Carter. I guess she was military before she was police. Back in 2011, we have a voice over of Elias saying that Carter needs to go. At the precinct, Carter gets in to find a chronic battered wife, Mrs. Kovach, there to bail out her abusive husband. Carter tries to impress upon the wife that she needs to stop making up excuses for the injuries but it doesn’t seem to help. Mr. Kovach does take Carter’s card. Just as she and her husband are leaving, Lionel shows up. It looks like Elias himself tried to take out Carter at the shooting a few episodes ago. So she pays his father a visit in prison. It goes nowhere fast and as she’s leaving, Elias’s father says that from the looks of things, Elias is going after her. Not the other way around.

Later that night, both Carter and Lionel show up at the homicide of a young man, Ronny Middleton. He was shot in what appeared to be a drive-by. And he was a witness against a local thug, Hector Alvarez, in a shooting but recanted and the DA dropped charges. Carter is out for blood now. She isn’t going to let the thug get away. Lionel starts shouting to get people’s attention for potential witnesses but runs into Reese. He can be a little creepy sometimes. Meanwhile, Carter tries to get information out of Mr. Castillo, a bodega owner where Ronny bought a Mexican soda before he was shot. Reese has finished talking to Lionel when Finch gets in touch. They’ve got a new number; Detective Carter.

The next morning Carter is having breakfast at a diner with her son, Taylor. Reese is a little surprised that she has a son but he’s been checking into her and knows the dad has been out of the picture for a while. Finch is installing a camera and GPS tracker in Carter’s car and almost gets caught. Reese tails her on a motorcycle (he gets to not wear his usual suit for this episode. He looks kind of good in leather.) to Alvarez’s auto shop where she confronts Alvarez and promises she’s going to get him for Ronny’s murder. Back at HQ, Finch is inserting a camera into a police bobblehead that Reese is going to give to Lionel to keep an eye on Carter at the precinct. We also learn a few interesting things about Carter; she was an army interrogator (which we saw at the start of the episode), she went to law school and passed the New York bar in 2004 but went back to the police force. And she has 3 major threats that could be trying to take her out; Elias, Alvarez and Mr. Kovach. So Reese has his work cut out for him. He knows he can’t get too close or else he risks getting caught but he can’t let her catch a bullet either.

At the precinct, Lionel has gotten the bobblehead and after a little funny scene where Reese tells him to turn to face Carter’s desk,. Reese also tells Lionel to get in touch with some of his corrupt cop buddies to see what they know about wanting to take Carter out. When Carter finds out the bodega owner never showed, she heads off to have another chat. Reese follows her and she hauls some guy into her car. Turns out the guy (Bottlecap) is one of her CIs. She asks him to check around about Elias and Hector. She gives him a small wad of bills for his time and the really heads out to see Mr. Castillo. Meanwhile, Lionel meets up with the Captain on a roof to inquire about getting rid of Carter. The Captain says that Elias runs a tight ship but it’s organized and low profile. And getting rid of Carter has gone all the way up the chain of command and has been approved. The Captain also tells Lionel to keep his distance.

At the bodega, Carter questions Mr. Castillo again. He says he didn’t see Alvarez’s car that night but he’d been in to buy condoms and beer before. But he refuses to give a statement otherwise. Carter walks outside and Hector rolls up in his purple car. She tells him to get lost and before he drives off, he makes a gun with his hand and points it at Mr. Castillo. Not good. Reese follows Carter to a bar where she confronts Mr. Kovach and he promises that if she goes after him, he’ll exercise his Second Amendment rights. She really needs to stop antagonizing these guys.

Back in 2004, Carter is interrogating Yusef and she’s much calmer and more compassionate than the guy who started the interrogation. Despite her compassion, she doesn’t get very far. Yusef pretty much tells her he’d rather die than help because Al Qaeda would murder his wife and son. Back in the present, Carter is back at the precinct looking at Ronny Middleton’s phone. She and Lionel have a little brainstorming session about why Hector would go downtown for condoms and booze when Lionel says Hector probably has a girl on the side. So Carter is going to make some calls and Reese calls Lionel to put him on Carter watch. Reese is going to have a little word with Hector and his boys. He also promises that if anything happens to Carter, Reese is going for Lionel next. Reese blows the door to the auto shop open with some kind of incendiary device, shoots the workers and makes off with the guns they were running and jacks Hector’s car.

We jump back to 2004 where Carter promises to protect Yusef and his family if he helps them. Carter rattles off a lot of personal information about Yusef and his family to show she’s not just in it to negotiate to get rid of dangerous explosives. She convinces Yusef to help, for the sake of their children, and he helps. But when the team gets back, she learns that they killed Yusef. She’s really pissed but she finds the men in her unit don’t care less.

Carter and Lionel head to meet up with her CI about Hector’s other girl. She promises to take her CI to his favorite place for dinner if the lead pans out. She certainly makes a lot of promises to people. At the precinct, in a rather amusing scene, she and Lionel introduce Hector’s two girlfriends to each other. Carter promptly locks them in a room with Lionel to sort it out. She also gets the news about Reese shooting up Hector’s shop. Reese feels confident that Hector is out of the picture as he’s on the run. Finch isn’t so sure. And Reese agrees when he mentions Hector is heavily armed.

At the precinct, Hector’s girlfriends give him up. Downtown Girl says he changed his shirt after coming back from the market empty handed and Uptown Girl tells them he has a warehouse in Queens he goes when he’s expecting a shipment. Just as Carter and Lionel are about to head out there, Carter gets a call from Mr. Kovach. She’s panicked and says her husband has a gun. When Carter and Lionel get there they find Mr. Kovach dangling from the rafters by his wrists and Mrs. Kovach hiding in the bathroom. The phone rings and she hands it to Carter. Reese warns her that someone wants her dead and that Alvarez is heavily armed. He hangs up and ducks out before she can ask any more questions. Carter gets back to the precinct to find they have a warrant for Hector’s warehouse and sympathy flowers waiting on her desk (which Elias just delivered). It’s clear he’s out for her.

The cops raid Hector’s warehouse and Reese is there undercover as a member of ESU. While there’s a big gunfight going on inside, Hector sneaks out in his truck around back and Carter manages to take him down without getting shot herself. So two of the three threats are taken care of. Unfortunately, she goes to meet her CI and he shoots her, claiming Elias gave him the choice of his life or Carter’s. But Reese has found her and shoot the CI before he can deliver the final shot. We then see that Carter was wearing a bullet proof vest (thanks to Reese’s hint about someone wanting her dead). Reese leans over just out of sight in the shadows and tells her that he knows she’ll still come after him but that she’s not alone. And he uses her name, Joss. The next morning, Reese manages to get back the surveillance equipment as Carter has breakfast with her son and grills him about the dance he went to. Just as Reese slips out of Carter’s car, he sees a picture of a soldier, clearly Carter’s husband. Guess he died in the line of duty.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Girl 2.08: "Bad in Bed"

“I'm not going to a black barbershop, Winston. I've seen the movies. I know how fast they talk. I don't need to seem any less cool than I already do.”

While I wouldn’t call “Bad in Bed” one of my favorite episodes of “New Girl,” I would definitely say that it was superior to “Naked,” which dealt with similar themes. I appreciated that there seemed to be real reasons behind Jess’ sexual hang-ups in this episode beyond her innate quirkiness. It was a much more well-rounded take on the theme. There were also mildly amusing subplots involving the guys in the apartment, but neither of those subplots were at all thematically tied to what Jess was going through. They were more funny vignettes, especially Nick and Winston’s plot. The vignettes kind of relied a bit too much on race and gender stereotype-based humor for my taste as well. Somehow, though, I’ll manage to power through this blog post so we can get to superior episodes of “New Girl” like “The 23rd” and “The Story of the 50.”

The episode opens with Jess and Paul returning from what must have been a pretty good date, because they’re tearing each other’s clothes off as they try to make their way to Jess’ bedroom. Poor Nick just looks on bewildered, as the commotion woke him up from dozing on the couch. Things slow down a bit, and Jess has to take a moment to look at herself in the bathroom mirror and get psyched before actually entering the bedroom with Paul. Things don’t go well at all, and Jess and Paul decide they’re going to try again tomorrow after going out for a nice dinner. The next morning, Jess announces to the guys that she and Paul are going to have sex that night. From her tone of voice (and the fact that she is announcing this at all), they correctly surmise that she is freaking out about this, although they aren’t quite sure why. We find out in a later conversation between Jess and Cece that Jess is freaking out because she feels she’s out of practice and wasn’t that experienced in the first place. She explains to Cece that pretty much everything she learned about sex was from her ex-boyfriend Spencer or the Clinton impeachment trial. We were treated to a hilarious flashback of young Jess feeling guilty for listening to NPR, which greatly amused me.

Since this subplot started around the time that Jess was making her announcement to the boys, now would be a good time to get the subplot about Nick’s hair troubles out of the way in one paragraph. Basically Nick’s hair has gotten really long (something I noticed when I first watched this episode but didn’t realize would figure into the plot). Nick doesn’t want to go get a haircut, though, because he dreads the thought of having to make small talk with a stylist for an hour. Nick dreads this so much that he even tries to cut his hair himself, although that plan ends when the demonstrator in the YouTube video he’s watching cuts himself severely and starts bleeding all over the place. Winston finally convinces Nick to go to his barbershop. Nick loves the place, but he ends up with a ridiculous hi-top haircut, and nobody takes him seriously for the rest of the episode.

The other small subplot of the episode involves Schmidt’s work situation. He works in an office of all female coworkers, and his supervisor, Gina, is pregnant. Schmidt is in a sort of war with his co-worker Beth over who is going to get the nice corner cubicle that recently opened up, and Schmidt manages to get himself invited to Gina’s baby shower. The plan is to schmooze his way to the corner cubicle at the party. The baby shower itself is a quite impressive, unruly pool party, and Schmidt is most definitely the life of the party. Beth says Schmidt doesn’t understand women, and she keeps trying to one-up him, but Schmidt eventually prevails. He ends up pushing Gina into the pool, and for a moment, it looks like she might be in trouble, but she comes up for air and loves it.

Anyway, back in Jess World, Jess borrows Schmidt’s computer to look up the restaurant where she and Paul are going, and she stumbles upon Schmidt’s porn collection. Five-and-a-half hours later, she’s pretty freaked out, and she asks the guys for help. She wants to know how much of what she saw in the poor guys actually expect women to do. The guys don’t have much time to offer advice before Paul arrives, but they do get into a little competition about who is the best at sex. The general consensus is that Nick is the worst, although Nick, of course, disagrees. At dinner, Jess asks Paul if he likes porn, and she pretends that she loves porn. Understandably, Paul gets a little freaked out. Their later attempt at sex is similarly a disaster. Jess uses stupid voices (old timey newscaster and a lumber jack), and Paul has trouble untying the ridiculous starfish lingerie Jess bought with Cece. Paul really freaks out, so much that he runs out of the apartment, when Jess tries lightly choking him.

The next morning, Jess throws a fit in the kitchen, so Winston and Nick immediately set about finding out what is wrong. They advise Jess that in the future, when it comes to sex, she should just be herself instead of trying to be into things that she really doesn’t like. Jess says she’ll only listen to Winston, though. She can’t take Nick seriously because of his terrible hair. Paul stops by the apartment to apologize to Jess, and Jess apologizes too. She explains that she really isn’t into all the stuff she tried the night before, she just thought she needed to be more exciting. Paul makes it clear that he likes her just the way she is. Jess offers to walk Paul back downstairs, and now that the pressure is off, they end up having sex in the elevator.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Body of Proof 2.10: "Your Number's Up

“What do you do when there are no answers? What do you tell people then?”
“Sometimes even the answers don’t help. Ultimately, it’s about giving comfort to the living any way we can.”
- Lacey and Megan.

We start this week with a group of kids playing touch football in the street when suddenly it’s raining money. Not surprisingly, everyone goes for the dough and a kid grabs a handful and finds a bloody bill. Across town, Lacey is chatting with her friends via webcam about the new hat she just bought. Megan walks in and promptly finds out it cost $300 and Lacey used Megan’s credit card to buy it. So on her way to the crime scene, Megan has to return it. And apparently while returning the hat, she got some new shoes. They head up to the apartment where the money fell from ($50,000) to find Walter, the tenant laying dead on the floor with a wound in his gut and defensive mark son his arms.

Back at the lab, Dani is helping Ethan studying for his pathology boards. Which seem to go fine until Kate shows up to drill him and starts with information he didn’t think was important. The woman he was discussing was young and aside from a burst appendix, had been relatively healthy. But obviously that didn’t last long since she’s lying on a slab in autopsy. Meanwhile, Megan and Curtis are examining the wounds on Walter’s body. Curtis is being helpful and Megan is being unusually quiet until Peter shows up and announces to the room about Lacey snagging Megan’s credit card. But Peter’s having trouble finding out anything about Walter. His fingerprints weren’t in the system and the name is too common to find accurate work records. But as they do the external physical exam it becomes clear that things don’t add up. He’s had elective surgeries, a deep tan and trip to the tropics. But his hands are callused and burned so he’s done hard labor. Eventually, Megan notices a coal tattoo (when coal seeps into an open cut) on his face and we learn that Walter used to work at a coal plant but left when he won $50 million in the lottery.

Walter’s former co-workers have mostly nice things to say about him. After he won the lottery, he lived a fast, lavish life but tried to help people and make them happy. His cousin was a little resentful because he always played the lotto and the one day he missed was the day Walter played. He also mentions that once Walter won, a whole slew of unknown cousins climbed out of the woodwork looking for handouts. Back at the lab, Megan is putting Lacey to work to pay off the hat. Lacey complains quite a bit but Megan snaps that she doesn’t like it either. It is now time for Ethan to talk to the dead girl’s family and he fails. The father is furious that Ethan can’t give them answers. Luckily he’s saved by Kate.

Walter’s internal exam turns up some strange things. His liver was enlarged from drinking and his heart was bigger than average, too. He had signs of anxiety and ulcers, even though he seemed to be living it up. And all the blood on the money tossed out the window was his. Bud and Sam are having some luck too. They found a mansion Walter rented for charity events and had a cooking lesson scheduled so they’re going to check it out. Meanwhile, Ethan is continued to exam his dead woman and finds some strange findings in her lungs. So he and Kate are going to investigate at the hospital in the morning. Turns out Bud takes Peter with him to the mansion and they find a big party ins wing for an Italian cooking lesson. Bud volunteers and flashes his badge once he finds a match to the knife that killed Walter.

Bud takes the chef down to the station for questioning and he explains that he does a knife trick where he tosses it in the air and when Walter tried it, he cut himself. That’s where the cut on his arm came from. He also says that the day before, Walter had been very angry and upset about a party crasher. The next morning, Peter drops by Megan’s office with invoices and mail for Walter for the past month. Everyone seemed to be hitting him up for money. Curtis has some new information, too. The bruises on his chest had traces of chemicals found at the place where Walter used to work. Plenty of suspects to go around.

We get a brief scene where Lacey tries to comfort the sister of Ethan’s dead girl. Things aren’t going especially well for Ethan. He’s kind of interrogating the doctor at the hospital and Kate tells him to head back to the lab. Honestly, Ethan cares about this girl; he just doesn’t know how to express it. Megan and Sam pay a visit to one of the coal miner guys because of the trace found on Walter’s chest. We get some more information about Walter’s behavior from his old friend. He was manic and impulsive after winning the lottery and pretty much stopped talking to his friends. Walter’s friend admits to confronting him the day before at the party and he says he didn’t think money could change someone so completely. Megan seems to be worrying about that with Lacey. It turns out Walter didn’t change because of the money. He had a tumor on his adrenal gland that was making things wonky. Meanwhile, Sam gets to do an exciting chase scene on a motorcycle and catches a young woman on it (it was Walter’s).

She claims she met Walter when he opened a nursing home and she was doing an article on it. They’d been together ever since. She says his moods were because he was so dedicated to his charity work. Yeah, not likely, sweetie. Over at the lab, Curtis and Ethan kidnap Lacey to the break room for a much needed donut break. Curtis gets called away, leaving Ethan and lacey to sort of bond over the case he’s been working. She gives him some encouragement as he gets a page from Dani. She has another body and it’s got similar symptoms to his first case. She runs off for a quick make out sessions with Peter, leaving Ethan to examine the body alone. We get a small tie in back a few episodes. He’s got the names of his birth parents but he’s afraid to open it.

Meanwhile, Megan has found something odd in Walter’s leg x-ray and she swings by her office to tell Lacey it’s going to be ten more minutes. Lacey asks what happens when there are no answers and Megan says they just do the best they can. Ethan brings his findings to Kate and they realize that there’s an infection in the OR at the hospital where both of their bodies were treated and race off to try and do something. They manage to find out the problem. Air bags used in the ER had been contaminated with mold. Good catch Ethan!

Back at the lab, Megan keeps poking Curtis with a plastic knife, trying to figure out the force used to imbed the tip of the knife in the spine. Curtis, in-between pokes, reveals there was glue on the knife point and Megan and Bud head back to Walter’s friend from the coal plant. They find him at work since his family has been low on cash and arrest him. He admits to going to Walter’s old place after the party to find Walter in a rage. He was cutting open stacks of money and tossing it out the window. He says stabbing Walter was an accident. Megan interrupts just as Bud is about to slap the cuffs on and says Walter was an accomplice when she touches the guy’s neck and he flinches. Megan shows that he has muscle atrophy that meant he couldn’t have stabbed Walter. He says that Walter lunged and they fell. He’s got a corresponding bruise to prove it. Ethan manages to bolster enough courage to talk to the dead girl’s family and lacey, after getting her first paycheck, goes and buys a locket for the girl’s sister. Bud wins $20 on a scratch lotto ticket (gotta put it away to pay for baby Bud’s future) and Peter finally opens to letter about his birth parents.

HIMYM 7.12: "Symphony of Illumination"

“Mr. E. Looks like some little scamp just earned the right to put the Vikings helmet on Baby Jesus!”

“Symphony of Illumination” was a rather somber episode of HIMYM, especially for a fall season finale. I’m really not sure if I liked that. The episode dealt with the aftermath of Robin telling Barney she’s pregnant, and it also had some holiday storylines thrown in, too. I know the gimmick that was used in this episode caused quite a bit of uproar when it was first broadcast. Even now, I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I guess I’m used to Carter and Craig and the rest of the HIMYM staff teasing us and saving stories for later, so I don’t really get offended by twists like the one that ended this episode. I kind of expected something like that twist would happen, honestly, because Barney and Robin are most likely endgame, and something that would tie them together so fully as Robin being pregnant can’t happen just yet.

While we do get some minimal Saget!Ted narration in this episode, the bulk of the episode is framed by Robin telling the story to her “kids.” They’re sitting on the couch just like Ted’s kids usually are, and Robin says she’s going to start the story about their father by telling them his reaction when she told him she was pregnant. The resulting scene is pretty funny in what is overall a rather serious episode. Barney keeps saying accidentally insulting things like “I just thought you were getting fat,” and Robin keeps punching him out. Neil Patrick Harris taking a punch or slap, whether it’s from Robin, Marshall, or Captain Hammer, is never not funny. He’s just so good at it. When Barney is finally conscious enough to get a few more words out, he says he thinks it’s wonderful that Robin’s pregnant and he’s going to be a dad. Robin is the one to faint this time. Oh, and in other important news, Robin and Kevin haven’t had sex, so if she’s pregnant, the baby is definitely Barney’s.

We then move to MacLaren’s to introduce the other plot of the episode. Marshall announces that he wants to create a more impressive Christmas light display than one of his new neighbors out on Long Island. He’s going out to the new house for the weekend to accomplish this. Lily’s kind of upset because it means that she’ll be registering for baby products on her own. Barney volunteers himself and Robin to accompany her instead. Barney tells Robin this is to show her that kids aren’t so scary after all, but Robin doesn’t really seem to appreciate the gesture. She gets freaked out by the stuff she sees Lily buying, such as nipple butter and vaginal numbing spray. Barney gets quite freaked out himself. He sees his former best friend (before he met the current gang), Insane Dwayne, who now has a wife and kids and is no longer so insane. Now, neither Barney nor Robin want a baby anymore.

I’m just going to run through Marshall’s plot right here in a paragraph because it was kind of stupid. At the house, Marshall is met by a neighbor teenager named Scott. Scott is super-flattering and calls Marshall “Mr. E,” so Marshall is only too happy to let Scott help with the Christmas lights. Then Scott strands Marshall on the roof by taking away the ladder, and Marshall can see him “eating a sandwich” inside the house. To make things even worse, Scott invites a bunch of other teens over for a party. He puts a picture of his junk on Marsall’s cell phone to use as blackmail in case Marshall ever tells the police about what’s happening. Lily eventually goes out to Long Island too, and she meets Scott in the front yard. She gives him money for helping Marshall, but then she goes inside to find that the house is a wreck and Marshall is still on the roof.

Getting back to the main plot of the episode, Robin and Barney pay a visit to Dr. Sonya, and she tells Robin that she’s not pregnant. Robin and Barney do a really hilarious sort of victory dance. Later, however, when she is totally enjoying not being pregnant by drinking and watching Teen Mom, Robin is called back into Dr. Sonya’s office. Dr. Sonya tells Robin that she can’t have a baby. The definitiveness of this doesn’t really make sense considering Robin’s only gone through one round of testing and hasn’t even really tried to get pregnant yet, but the news really throws Robin. She didn’t realize that she might actually want kids some day until the option was taken away from her. Dr. Sonya suggests Robin talk to a friend about her feelings, and a really funny montage explains just why she can’t do that. My favorite is the explanation of why she can’t tell Marshall. She thinks he asks too many really detailed questions in response to problems, and I love this response because it’s a quintessential lawyer response to something.

At MacLaren’s Robin is clearly not herself, and when Ted asks what’s wrong, Robin decides to lie and say she can’t be an Olympic pole vaulter because she’s too tall. The rest of the gang (even Marshall, via phone) have the expected reactions, but presumably not as intensely as if Robin had told them she couldn’t have children. Later, the gang (minus Marshall, who is still on the roof) is back at the baby store, and since they aren’t having one, Robin and Barney both start thinking kids are cute again. Ted finds a maple leaf onesie, and Robin completely loses it, running out of the store. Back at MacLarens Ted and Lily try to figure out why Robin is so upset, and Barney is just worried that they’re going to figure out that he and Robin slept together. Luckily for Barney, Ted decides that the explanation is Robin being upset that she’s not going home for Christmas.

Ted buys a plane ticket for Robin to come home to Cleveland with him for Christmas, but Robin is not appreciative. She says it’s not Ted’s job to cheer her up. Plus she likes New York at Christmas because it’s peaceful. We next see her sitting on a park bench, and it turns out that the “kids” she’s been speaking to all episode were actually in her imagination. She goes home, still feeling down, and when she tries to turn on the lights, she discovers Ted has put together a rather spectacular Christmas light indoor display set to AC/DC. Shes incredibly touched by the gesture, and she cries on Ted’s shoulder. Saget!Ted informs us that Robin would never be a “pole vaulter,” but she would also never be alone.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Girl 1.07: "Bells"

“And my bar mitzvah was an amazing event! The theme was ‘Sports Jams!’”

“Bells” was a pleasant enough stand-alone episode of “New Girl,” and surprisingly, it is one of the few episodes thus far that doesn’t deal with the gang’s romantic entanglements. Instead, we get some development of Winston as a character (we see and get a bit of an explanation for his hyper-competitiveness), and we get a funny B plot involving a fight between Schmidt and Nick. The B plot reveals character too, especially about Nick. We see that he isn’t really comfortable with being poor and sort of a “loser” after dropping out of law school. All of this is wrapped around a rather silly main plot involving Jess wanting to teach handbells to delinquents. I found this amusingly absurd, but I’m still kind of bitter over a handbell-related experience in middle school (yes, I hold a grudge for a very long time), so I kind of wish she had chosen different instruments

The episode begins with the guys bro-ing out on the apartment couch. Schmidt’s chowing down on a whole tray of sushi, and he’s trying to get Winston and Nick to eat some of it. They’re skeptical, to say the least. Schmidt tells Winston that now he has a job, he’s got to learn to like pretentious stuff like sushi. Winston reminds Schmidt that it’s just a temp job, and we see in a flashback what a boring job it is- pretty much just envelope stuffing. Winston has even tried to make a game out of how fast he can stuff envelopes, but it doesn’t do much good. Jess interrupts this conversation by bringing a bunch of students into the apartment. They look like middle or high school students, which doesn’t make much sense considering I thought Jess was an elementary school teacher, but I guess we’re supposed to just go with it. These kids have agreed to be part of a handbell choir to avoid early morning detention, and because they lost their space at the community center, Jess wants to rehearse them at the loft. She lays down the law with the guys (which was surprising), and they really don’t have a choice but to allow it.

The bell rehearsal is rather rough, to put it kindly, but the ever-optimistic Jess tells the kids they are great and gives them a “texting break” as a reward. While on a break, one of the students has trouble with the toilet (it won’t stop flushing), and Jess calls Nick into fix it. It turns out he has some MacGuyver-ed system to keep the toilet running properly which involves a plastic bottle in a hole in the wall. Schmidt is sick of the toilet not working properly want wants Nick to “fancy fix” it (aka fix it properly). This conversation is interrupted by actually really good handbell playing coming from the living room. It turns out it’s Winston. He’s got several bells in each hand and is really going to town. Jess wants Winston to help out with the group just until their next concert because she thinks he can be a good role model and inspiration, and he agrees.

Meanwhile, Schmidt is getting really impatient waiting for Nick to finish fixing the toilet, and he wants to call a plumber. Nick says a plumber is too expensive- he wants to finish the repair himself. While Nick is out of the apartment for a little while, Schmidt does indeed call the plumber. When Nick gets home to see Schmidt paying that plumber, he is really pissed off and says he won’t use the toilet. Schmidt reminds Nick of other stuff in the apartment he’s paid for, like the couch and the rug, and Nick says he’s not going to use those, either. Then he pulls the TV cable out of the wall because he’s the one who “stole the cable.” Now that I think about it, even though I really enjoyed watching it, this plot doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. One of the advantages of renting as opposed to being a homeowner is that you have a landlord to do repairs for you for free. Nick (or a contractor paid by the gang) shouldn’t have to be doing repairs at all. Ah well.

Winston participates in the next bell choir rehearsal, and he says he wants to “win” the concert by having the group play “Eye of The Tiger.” As a native Philadelphian, I approve of that idea. Jess doesn’t like it, though, I think because she doesn’t believe the group has time to rehearse something new. She’s also feeling kind of threatened by Winston. Jess tells the kids that she can do fancy tricks with handbells too, but what she does ends up looking more like a cheerleading routine with bells replacing pom poms. The kids like Winston’s idea, and Winston suggests they skip class to practice the song. That doesn’t really meet with Jess approval, either. It turns out that it’s a bad idea for Winston, too. He gets fired from his temp job for trying to work out the notes to “Eye of the Tiger” instead of doing his work. He also gets really frustrated when the kids don’t play the song well at the next rehearsal. He goes on a huge rant and insults them, and Jess kicks Winston out of the group.

Jess is talking to Nick about the Winston situation as Nick is working on the basketball hoop in the living room. Schmidt gets home, Nick tosses him the basketball, and then it quickly apparent that Nick “unfixed” the hoop. The next morning, Nick wakes up with all of his frozen food in his bed because Schmidt was the one who purchased their apartment’s freezer. The fight only escalates from there. Nick puts all of Schmidt’s stuff (including the couch) in Schmidt’s room, then Schmidt gets really pissed about Nick using his conditioner. Schmidt says he wants to fight Nick, and Nick takes him up on it. As Nick approaches him, Schmidt starts running. They chase each other around the kitchen a bit, which was pretty darn hilarious. The fight takes a more serious turn, however, when Schmidt calls Nick a loser. Nick sulks off to his room.

The roommates clearly all have a lot of issues to work out. Jess and Winston stat by having a heart to heart about the bell choir situation. Jess tells Winston that the reason she got upset was because those kids don’t need one more person telling them they’re worthless. They seem to reach an understanding.
Then on the rooftop, Nick and Winston have a conversation about how they both seem to have reached low points in their lives. They both thought they would have accomplished much more by now than they have. They decide to go to the bell choir concert to support Jess, at least. Schmidt comes along too, but he has to get his cardigan first, of course. When the boys arrive at the concert, Jess calls Winston up to the stage and lets him participate. As they watch the concert, Schmidt and Nick make up too (and Nick insults Schmidt’s cardigan, as he should).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Body of Proof 2.09: "Gross Anatomy"

“You’re committed. You have a good heart. You want to know how things work from the inside out. And I see the same things in Lacey.”
- Joan Hunt

We begin this week with what looks at first glance like a funeral. It turns out it is the close of the semester and an anatomy class is saying goodbye to their cadavers before cremating them. One girls opens up her body bag to say goodbye and instead of the guy she was expecting, finds a young woman. Over at the Hunt apartment, Megan finds Lacey ready for school and talking with a friend. But Megan’s got it a little wrong. Lacey has a club that meets at 7:05 and Megan’s not dressed yet.

We are back at the med school and the professor is insisting it was just a mix up and not a murder. Megan disagrees with him vehemently and finally gets custody of the body. She also brings the class with her back to the office so they can observe a real autopsy. The student who found the Jane Doe, Dora, is excited to go because she’s in awe of Megan.

At the autopsy, Curtis makes all the students stand on stools so they can’t touch anything and has them sign waivers and confidentiality agreements. Megan begins her assessment and when one of the guys makes a snarky comment she orders him to tell her what color the girl’s hair is. It appears blond but apparently, based on the roots, she’d dyed it red and brown previously. And when Megan asks what color Jane Doe’s eyes are, the guy (and the one standing next to him) immediately answer green. After going through some medical jargon, Megan agrees they were green the day before and wants to know they knew that.

Bud and Sam get their crack at the guys. The first one denies knowing the girl and he says he didn’t kill her. Bud makes the comment to Megan that if he ever got shot and jerk #1 was his doctor, to let him bleed out. Megan agrees. Bud takes a whack at jerk #2 and he admits to knowing the girl, but only because they met her at a bar once off campus. He and his buddy hit on her but she turned them down. Bud and Sam make the trip to the bar and after Sam gets in the bartender’s face about how Jane Doe changed her hair color a lot and had a really impressive full back tattoo of a dragon fly, they learn her name was Jackie and she worked for the limo service across the street.

Megan’s finding it harder than she expected having Lacey stay at her place more often. Lacey doesn’t like what Megan cooks and she is spending all her time on the computer video chatting with her friends. That night, Megan gets a call from Dora, thanking her for the experience. Megan invites her to observe the internal exam in the morning. Back at the office, Dani is trying to hit on Peter but he turns her down. Kate overhears and says he did the right thing. In autopsy, Megan finds an infection in Jackie’s body and siphons out some blood so Ethan can do blood work. She also observes that Jackie’s uterus is enlarged and lumpy. She has Kate take over the autopsy when Sam shows up. She and Bud hit up the limo service and found out that Jackie wasn’t the girl’s real name. Her identity is still unknown. The company had been paying her under the table. So now they’re off to check out the address they found. It’s a dump of a place but they find blood on the wall and the sheets.

Kate pays the professor a visit (she’s a former pupil). She wants to know if he killed the body on her table since she was his type. He denies it and says he was at a conference during the time of death presenting a new theory. Kate looks really annoyed by that. At the victim’s place, they find that she moved in after she quit her job at the limo service. Peter says he found some hairs in the kitchen and Megan hands off a bottle of generic pills for him to take back to the lab. Speaking of the lab, Dani is prying over Ethan’s shoulder as he’s doing the blood work and Dora appears, worried that Megan forgot about her. She’s still not supposed to touch anything and Megan is ripping mad when she gets back to find her and Ethan examining the body. But what they’ve found proves to be useful. Her lymph node is green with tattoo ink and with the ALS light, Megan finds a Celtic knot tattoo in green in with the name Ronan under her big dragonfly tattoo.

Bud and Sam pay Ronan a visit (and can I just say the accent and the look made me swoon a little). He says Jackie’s last name was O’Shea. They’d been childhood sweethearts but since he had kind of a bad time and quite the lengthy rap sheet, she up and left. He tried to find her once he’d cleaned up his act but it didn’t work. Sam believes him (as far as loving Jackie). She also sympathizes with him about his tough time. Meanwhile, Megan interrupts Lacey’s latest video chat to force her to have family time the next day. Meanwhile, Peter runs into Dani in the elevator and we get a little of her backstory. Her dad left when she was five and now he’s trying to get back in her life after finding God. She’s not pleased.

At the lab, Kate finds Megan sans protégée. Megan says she kicked her out for breaking the rules. Thanks to a little 4-person pow-wow of lab crew, we discover that Jackie had been pregnant and could have delivered 5-6 weeks ago. So now it’s a hunt for the baby. Bud can’t believe the medical team missed that Jackie had given birth. But he seems to forgive the oversight when they realize she probably had a home birth with a midwife. Soon enough, Peter tracked down the one Jackie used and we not only see a picture of Jackie and her baby, but find out she was going to give the baby up for adoption but had been having second thoughts.

Sam has called all the adoption agencies in the area but none of them had contact with Jackie. Just as Bud starts unloading the possible murder weapons he had collected around Jackie’s place, Curtis calls with a description. Luckily, Bud had a black baseball bat. Ethan is waiting for the results at the crime lab when Megan gets home to find her mother over. She’s not happy about Lacey inviting grandma for family dinner. Especially Joan is telling stories about what Megan was like as a teenager. But Dora calls and gets Megan over to school. Dora found her original cadaver and she figured out that someone had messed with the body. The knots on the Y incision were done with a sailor’s knot. Just like the one Jerk #1 uses. So Bud and Sam haul him in for questioning again and he denies sleeping with Jackie or getting her pregnant. He alibis out (he was at the library). Sam is digging into his buddy when Bud gets another call from Curtis. They found blood on the bat. It seems Jackie’s killer and the father of her baby were the same person, her ex Ronan.

The interrogation doesn’t go as hoped. Ronan says he gave Jackie the bat ages ago and didn’t know she was pregnant. He’s really worried about his baby. Bud believes and after a little arm twisting and digging, Sam does too. They both interrupt as Megan’s mom tries to apologize about the night before. Jerk #1 worked at the limo service and Megan figures out the guy that’s been there the longest is Jerk #1’s brother. He starts to run but Sam takes him down in an awesome running tackle. As soon as Megan gets in the interrogation room with him, he spills everything. He set up the adoption between Jackie and an older couple he drove for. But he freaked out when she said she wanted to keep the baby because it meant he wouldn’t get paid. He hadn’t meant to kill her. Bud and Sam find the baby and Bud manages to calm her down. And the look on Ronan’s face when he shows up with the baby is priceless. I have to say I’m glad he was innocent.

Peter runs into Dani again in the elevator and this time they don’t keep things professional. I’m not sure I like them hooking up but I suppose Peter needs some lovin’ too. When Megan gets home, she finds Lacey waiting, cell phone and webcam free with popcorn. They’re going to spend the night watching Twilight movies (and they are apparently Team Edward).

Ringer 1.10: "That's What You Get For Trying To Kill Me"

“Besides, you said so yourself. You need me.”
“I don’t. You’re a glorified babysitter who got way too expensive.”
- John and Siobhan

Welcome to the mid-season finale and the episode of 4 storylines. It felt a little cluttered but for the most part everything worked really well and we leave with a really intense bow out until January. We pick pretty much right where we left off. Bridget calls Malcolm to make sure he’s okay. He’s fine and he grabbed Charlie’s cell phone but it’s dead. He’ll pick up a charger in the morning and they can meet to talk about it. When Bridget gets home, she finds white rose pedals strewn all over the floor and dozens more in vases surrounding Andrew in the living room. It is a really sweet gesture for their sixth anniversary the next day. They exchange “I love you”s for the first time in probably forever and proceed to have sex. I gotta say I was not complaining there at all. Ioan Gruffudd is a very beautiful man. The next morning Malcolm drops by for that previously mentioned visit and reveals the phone is not Charlie’s. It’s Gemma’s.

We hop over to Paris where the real Siobhan has tracked down Tyler at a bar. She tries to explain things to him (in an obvious lie). She says Andrew found her and so she went back to try and work things out. She claims she had no idea Tyler would be there. Then she pulls off her sunglasses to reveal a rather painful looking black eye (which she did with a bathroom mirror) and says things didn’t exactly work out between her and Andrew. She paints him as a really powerful and not nice man and says she used Tyler at first because he had insider information.

Back in New York, Bridget and Malcolm are trying to figure out why Charlie would take Gemma. They ultimately decide to call the police and tell them just enough of the truth to make them suspicious enough to check out Charlie’s place. The cops do show up but Charlie’s not stupid. He sweet talks them with being a former cop and casts doubt on Malcolm (being a drug addict who has only been clean 6 days). He lets them search the place and obviously Gemma’s not there. Malcolm is not happy when the cops relay this information. They’re still checking prints on Gemma’s phone but at the moment they have no real proof. They take Malcolm down to the station for some questions, leaving “Siobhan” scrambling.

Meanwhile, Charlie is on the phone with the real Siobhan and he is flipping out. He wants to kill Gemma because she knows too much. Siobhan says no and offers to pay him (he wants double) but he decides since she can’t come up with the money right away, he’s doing it his way and she no longer has a say in what happens. He’s going off the rails and that is not going to end well (or pretty). In the third storyline of the episode, we’re back in Wyoming with Victor and he’s found a dead stripper, Mary Curtis (played by Buffy alum Amber Benson). We get some flashback of her and Victor talking about Botaway and his dirty cop. He’s called Matador but that’s all Mary knows. She always is worried about Bridget. Our pal Jimmy is at the crime scene and is not happy to find out just now that Mary was Victor’s CI. Victor wants Jimmy to look into “the Matador:” That won’t be hard. Just look in a mirror!

And we’re back in New York and Henry is spiraling out of control a bit. He doesn’t understand why everyone around “Siobhan” keeps turning up missing or becomes a bad guy. He wants “Siobhan” to back off and let the police handle things. But I can’t see her doing that. For one thing the show would be really boring if she did. We now have the worst storyline in the entire episode so I’m going to cover it in as little space as possible. Juliet is helping Mr. Carpenter out after school clean up trash with a bunch of other kids. She tries to put the moves on him once they’re done and he shuts her down (with good reason). His good judgment ends there when he tells Juliet’s friend to leave the room so he can talk to Juliet. The next morning she’s talking to her friend and Juliet cries rape.

Back in the land of not-awful plots, “Siobhan” comes home to find Charlie and Andrew talking. Not a good sign. Andrew leaves to run some errands and Charlie blackmails her into agreeing to pay $250,000 to let Gemma go. I guess if he can’t squeeze the cash out of one sister, eh might as well try the other one. Despicable human being! He leaves the building just as Henry walks in and as soon as Henry realizes Charlie just left the Martins he chases after him but loses him in the crowd.

In Wyoming, Victor gets a call from Jimmy about a lead he has on “Matador”. He wants to meet with Victor that night. Thankfully Victor isn’t as clueless as he looks. He has two uniforms tail her the entire day, including when he meets up with Jimmy. They get to a very isolated part of the shipping yard when Victor recalls a story about this big guy Jimmy took down called “The Bull”. So at least Victor’s got his dirty cop and escaped unscathed.

Things aren’t going well in New York. Andrew finds “Siobhan” scrambling to count cash and when she finally fills him in on what’s happening, he shows her the real present he got her: a really beautiful diamond ring. He was going to propose again (can this guy be any sweeter? I swear if Siobhan doesn’t want him, I’ll take him!). More importantly, the ring is worth over $200,000 so they can pawn it for the rest of the ransom money. They get to Penn Station and wait for nearly half an hour before Charlie calls. He thinks “Siobhan” called the cops because one of the detectives is sitting outside so he’s not going to show. He’s in what looks like a parking garage or something and he shoots Gemma. The detective and Henry show up inside and things just start moving really fast. Bridget hands over the bill for a storage unit that Malcolm found in John’s mailbox as a place he could have taken Gemma. It also turns out John’s prints were on Gemma’s phone (duh). We hop over to the storage unit and John goes to get Gemma’s body out of the trunk but it’s gone. He’s apparently a bad shot. She almost reaches the keys in the car when he rounds on her and kills her. He’s got her body halfway into the unit when Siobhan shows up. She is furious that John killed Gemma and shoots him in the head with the same gun he used to kill Gemma to make it look like a murder-suicide. Malcolm, Andrew and “Siobhan” are all together at the loft when Andrew gets the call. And thus ends the first portion of Ringer’s freshman run.

HIMYM 7.11: "The Rebound Girl"

“Why wouldn’t I be alright? Barney’s single again. It’s what America’s been clamoring for!”

So I’m back in my own country’s capital now (instead of Morocco’s), and it’s high time I finish wrapping up MTVP’s coverage of the fall TV season. We begin with HIMYM’s penultimate fall season episode, “The Rebound Girl.” When I first watched it, I found the ending quite shocking, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It certainly seemed to take Barney and Robin in an entirely new direction. Even though all is not as it seems, I have to believe that the twist at the end of the episode will have some sort of repercussions going forward. It’s patently obvious that Barney and Robin are endgame now, nd it only remains to be seen how they finally, ultimately get back together for good. I only hope that the rode there isn’t too unbearably tedious. As for other events in this episode, I still find Marshall and Lily’s desire to move to Long Island improbable. Well, maybe for Marshall it’s believable. He’s a country boy at heart. But Lily is most definitely not, and I didn’t really see a baby changing that. I did like that we got a brief appearance from Wayne Brady as Barney’s brother James in this episode, along with Jai Rodriguez as James’ husband.

The major plot for this episode is that Lily and Marshall’s Realtor has finished staging the Long Island house Lily’s grandparents gave them, so Lily and Marshall want to take a trip out to see it. When they get home, Dowisetrepla seems quite small and cramped in comparison. This leads Marshall and Lily to think they might really want to move to Long Island after all. When they tell Robin this news, she is not at all pleased. Marshall offers a compromise. He and Lily will let the universe decide whether or not they should move. To Robin’s chagrin, that sign comes quickly. A rich neighbor shows up at Dowisetrepla wanting to buy Lily and Marshall’s apartment so he can turn his own into a duplex. It looks like the Eriksens are moving to Long Island.

Meanwhile, Barney and Ted are both in a rather bad place relationship-wise, which leads them to make a rather rash decision. At the beginning of the episode, they’re commiserating at MacLaren’s about how they’re done with women. They have a hilarious conversation about how it would be awesome to be gay, and they’re both kind of sad to confirm when a really hot chick walks by that they are definitely straight. The conversation evolves into talking about how awesome it would be to co-parent with your best bro instead of a woman, and of course this leads to Ted and Barney thinking it might be a good idea to adopt a kid together. They realize that they’re drunk, so they decide to sleep on the idea and it still sounds great the next day. Ted and Barney then go on an adoption website and start filling out an application. This leads to the first airing of differences between the two. They work out some things fairly easily, like where they’re going to live (in NYC during the week and Ted’s Westchester house on the weekends), but then Barney mentions that he thought Ted would quit his job once they adopted the baby. I know this was supposed to be like a parody of a bitter married couple, but it was too much and didn’t work for me.

Ted and Barney do end up getting past that first fight (they would get two nannies, and Barney would get to have sex with both), but then Barney starts really going off the deep end talking about pet cobras and week-long parties and ninja stars and swords lying about the house. Ted finally realizes that co-parenting a child with Barney would be a really, really bad idea, and he calls of the plan. Barney isn’t one to take no” for an answer, though, so later he shows up at Ted’s apartment with a baby strapped to him. When Ted asks where the little girl came from, Barney just gives his trademark “Please” in response. Barney takes the baby (named Hurricane) outside and places her in a stroller. Ted is amazed at how much of a chick magnet a baby can be. He and Barney are swarmed by adoring women.

Meanwhile, Robin is kind of desperately trying to convince Marshall and Lily to stay in Manhattan. She rattles off a whole list of things she can only get in New York City (and brings examples along too). There’s also a funny sequence about the last time Marshall wanted a sign from the universe, and the sign told him he should be a Ghostbuster. There was even an Ernie Hudson cameo, which was pretty great. Later, Marshall, Lily, and Robin all arrive on Long Island to prep for Thanksgiving, which is to be held at Marshall and Lily’s new house. Robin completely can’t deal with the fact that her friends are probably going to be moving, and she locks herself in the bathroom. She says she won’t come out until Marshall and Lily say they won’t move to Long Island.

Barney and Ted (and the baby) show up at the Long Island house, but it isn’t long before Hurricane needs a diaper change. There are no diapers at the house, so Barney goes off in search of some. While Barney is out, Ted tells Marshall and Lily the whole story about why they have a baby, and just as he’s wrapping that up, James and his husband arrive. It turns out that Hurricane is actually their daughter, whose real name is Sadie. The fact that the mystery baby was his niece makes Barney’s behavior somewhat less disturbing. James tells Ted that he once thought about having a child with his best friend too, but hes glad he waited and so is she. Just as James is finishing up this speech, Barney comes back. He ended up getting products for Sadie from a pet store. It’s probably a good thing Barney doesn’t actually have children yet. Barney and Ted agree that they aren’t going to adopt a baby after all. Barney is kind of upset about this, and he goes to talk to Robin about it. He has to climb in the bathroom window to get to her. Much to his surprise, Robin says she’s pregnant.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fringe 4.07: "Wallflower"

“No, it’s okay. The Olivia you’re talking about? That’s not my Olivia.”

So I’m coming to you all the way from North Africa! I’m in Morocco on a short-term winter study abroad course with my graduate school program. I have a little down time here and there, so I figured I’d get a write-up done when I could. So let’s get on with it! “Wallflower,” while a kind of forgettable episode of “Fringe” overall, did some good work in deepening the Amber universe characters (not that I could really care less about them, though). We got the most character development for Amber Olivia, although I’m pretty sure I don’t like the direction that character is going. I did appreciate Peter’s commitment to Blue Olivia, though. After all the Olivia/Alt-livia craziness last season, I’m glad to see that Peter seems to have learned some lessons about people not being the same in multiple universes. This seems to be paving the way for an Amber Olivia and Amber Lincoln relationship, although I’m not really sure how I feel about that, either. They don’t really have very good chemistry. I found Alt-livia and Alt-Lincoln to be a more satisfactory pairing. But you probably don’t want to hear me drone on and on about my shipping preferences for a thousand words.

The episode opens with Olivia awake in the middle of the night. She doesn’t look good, and she heads to her dresser to get some pills, only to find out that she is out of them. So it looks like Amber Olivia is a bit of a junkie. Her lack of pills leads to a late night trek to the pharmacy, where the pharmacist tells her she is on her last refill. As Olivia seems to down a handful of the pills. Typical TV pill junkie behavior, really, and I honestly expect more from “Fringe.” On her way home (at about 3 AM), she passes by a diner and sees Lincoln through the window sitting at a table. She goes inside to talk. It turns out that all the Fringe stuff has actually freaked him out, and he hasn’t slept in days. Olivia starts wondering if it’s weird that Fringe stuff doesn’t freak her out. Memo to Olivia: if you’ve become a pill junkie, it’s probably because you’ve freaked out.

Elsewhere in the city, a man is also walking home at night. Using his cell phone, he tells his wife that he thinks he’s being followed. He thinks he’s safe when he gets home, but some unseen force pulls him inside the house. Police later find him dead and drained of all color. It appears he has been killed by some sort of invisible person. We next get a bit of an update on what’s going on with Peter. An FBI handler is taking him shopping, and it’s extremely obvious that Peter is not at all happy with his lack of freedom. He wants to get back to the Blue Universe as soon as possible, and that’s pretty difficult when a handler is following his every step.

At Fringe headquarters, Broyles briefs Olivia and Lincoln on the invisible man case. They then interview the cop who responded to the scene. He is very reluctant to say anything because the situation was so weird. I guess he doesn’t want to be branded as crazy in his department. After he is assured multiple times that the Fringe team doesn’t find much of anything to be completely crazy, the police officer kind of implies that he felt more than saw an intruder in the victim’s house. Sort of like a ghost. Walter takes a look at the victim’s body, and he thinks that the victim might have been scared to death. To make things even more complicated, Lincoln finds blood at the scene. So definitely not a ghost. Meanwhile, a strange guy wakes up in what looks like a bathtub of cloudy water. We next see this mystery man wearing a suit in an elevator. Curiously, the other elevator passengers don’t seem to notice him. We’ve found our invisible man.

The Fringe team learns that there were three other deaths similar to the one they’ve been investigating, but those deaths hadn’t been reported to Fringe because the police just thought the victims were all albinos and nothing was strange about their deaths. Walter finds strange residue on the victim’s body. The residue turns out to be cells that can move pigment around to change color- the type of cells a chameleon has. Astrid analyzes a blood sample from the scene, and somehow she is able to determine that the DNA matches a baby who supposedly died four days after birth.

With Astrid’s information, Olivia and Lincoln review the medical history of the person to whom the blood belongs, and they also talk to a nurse who attended his birth. She says that when the body was taken away after the baby “died,” she could have sworn she still heard the baby cry. It turns out that the organization which took the baby to “do an autopsy” was a Massive Dynamic subsidiary. This, naturally, leads to a patented “Fringe” insta-trip to New York so Lincoln and Olivia can talk to Nina about this development. Nina says that yes, Massive Dynamic did give this person the chameleon-like cells, which offset a life-threatening condition he was born with. There was a big fire at the lab where he was kept, and everyone at Massive Dynamic assumed the boy, who was called Eugene, died. Obviously, he didn’t.

Back at the apartment building with the elevator we visited earlier, a woman enters her apartment and begins her routine for winding down after a long day. Eugene is in the apartment, which is more than a little creepy. The woman goes into her bedroom and sees leaves all over the bed. She is shocked, and Eugene leaves the apartment without being seen. In other sort-of romantic tension news, Lincoln stops by Peter’s house to drop off the plans for the universe bridge machine. Peter is still hoping to figure out a way to get back to the Blue Universe. Of course, the guys have to talk about Olivia. Lincoln makes it clear that he’s figured out Peter and Olivia are an item in the Blue Universe, and Peter makes it clear that Lincoln is free and clear to pursue Olivia in the Amber Universe (here’s hoping he has better luck than Red Universe Lincoln). Amber Olivia is not “Peter’s” Olivia, and he wants to get back home to her, not start something with another Olivia. He learned his lesson from the Alt-livia debacle for sure.

Back at the lab, Walter shows Lincoln and Olivia his new pet octopus. Apparently it uses the chameleon-like cells too. While they’re looking at the creature, Olivia has a bit of an epiphany and asks Walter if Eugene might be stealing pigment from his victims. Walter thinks that’s probably the case. We then quick cut to Eugene killing his next victim in a parking garage. This makes things a bit more urgent. At the lab, we see Walter running a mouse through a maze, and he talks about how Eugene is committing suicide. The scene, thanks to the mouse, maze, and dire predictions, kind of reminds me of my favorite episode of television, “Lost’s” “The Constant.” Both “Lost” and “Fringe” are produced by Bad Robot (J.J. Abrams’ production company), so the similarity is probably not consequential. Anyway, Walter reveals that there’s a second mouse in the maze that can be seen by UV light. This gives the team a way to find Eugene. They head to the parking garage, and Eugene is potentially still there.

The team (with lots of backup) searches the parking structure with dogs and UV lights. While searching, Olivia falls through the floor, and Eugene helps her get out of her predicament. Olivia offers to take Eugene to Walter to see if Walter can help him, but Eugene is not interested. He’s done with labs, even if it means he’s going to die. He gets away from Olivia, and the team can’t find him. The team, does, however, find Eugene’s lab in the basement. It becomes apparent that he really, really wanted to be seen. Mostly because he wanted to experience romantic love and human contact. When we next see Eugene, he gets in the elevator and talks to the girl from earlier in the episode. Her name is Julie. They introduce themselves to each other, and then Eugene dies.

At the end of the episode, Nina and Olivia have yet another chat. I’m not sure what I this newfound closeness between Amber Universe Olivia and Nina. It provides almost too convenient a platform for exposition. Olivia tells Nina that she’s worried the Cortexiphan has stunted her emotions, but Nina assures her she’s just fine. Lincoln and Peter are also having a little heart-to-heart. Peter got Lincoln a pair of glasses he thinks will make Lincoln more attractive to Olivia. Olivia and Lincoln make plans to meet at the diner at 3 AM again, and Olivia is getting ready for the “date” when all of a sudden, gas comes flooding into her apartment. Then a menacing-looking guy gives her some sort of injections as Nina watches. I guess Nina didn’t think Olivia was so okay after all.