Friday, March 30, 2012

Alcatraz - Post Mortem

There has been a plethora of JJ Abrams/Bad Robot shows this season and Alcatraz was the latest addition. It aired its two-hour finale on Monday (the 26th). In true Abrams fashion it was a mythology based drama with a slow burn to that mythology. I think of all the Abrams-related projects (including the Kitsis/Horowitz “Once Upon A Time”) Alcatraz was the most LOST-like. I mean come on, you have a mysterious island where people disappear and reappear. And Hurley’s there! So anyway, I thought I’d give a little post-mortem of the show. Beware of SPOILERS!

The Premise

Alcatraz’s basic premise revolved around SFPD Officer Rebecca Madsen. After her partner is killed while pursuing a suspect, Rebecca gets scooped up by FBI Agent Emerson Hauser. He’s got a secret little taskforce hunting down the prisoners and guards from Alcatraz. Except everyone thinks they were transferred off the island in 1963. But they weren’t. They all mysteriously disappeared and one by one are reappearing in2 012 to do horrible criminal things. Rebecca’s sleuthing partner is Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto who wrote a book on Alcatraz (and got it all wrong). Throughout the season the team hunts down the ‘63s all while trying to figure out how and why they are returning.

The Finale

So the finale was a 2-hour affair in which we do get some answers to some questions. We learn that Rebecca’s grandfather (Tommy Madsen who was an inmate) made an agreement with the Warden to be his muscle. And for some reason, Tommy is out to get Rebecca. We learn that he gave custody of his son to his brother (the guy who raised Rebecca). We also learn that the Warden was behind the mystery on Alcatraz, as well as putting the silver in some of the inmates’ blood to track them. It’s kind of really creepy. As Rebecca fights for her life after being stabbed by Tommy, Hauser finds the man responsible for the blood experiments. It looks like he’s just jumped in time, too.

The Weaknesses

While I enjoyed Alcatraz overall, I think the biggest issue for me was that the show’s mythology was too slow a burn. With only 13 episodes we really should have had some of the mythology answers around the halfway point. I think if they were going with a 22-episode season, the pace they were at would have worked just fine. But given that they had less time to work with, I think they really spent too much time meandering towards answers. While we knew some of the answers (that one of the characters, Lucy, was actually a ’63 herself long before Rebecca and Doc did), it took the characters too long to find out.

The Prospects

So I’m not really confident Alcatraz will get a sophomore run. The ratings were never that great to begin with and they continued to drop throughout the season. I think the finale only garnered maybe 4 million viewers. For Fox on a Monday night that’s not all that good. However, if the network is kind and gives it a second season, I think the writers and Executive Producers need to rework the mythology to deliver the answers faster. It isn’t LOST. They don’t have the luxury of drawing things out for six seasons.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ringer 1.15: "P.S. You're An Idiot"

“I’m not the same person who married Andrew six years ago. If I’m going to marry him again, he needs to know that.”
- Bridget

I have to say when I first saw the preview for “P.S. You’re an Idiot” I got all giddy. Anything involving Andrew and Bridget getting closer is fine by me. We start in Paris with Siobhan at the OBGYN. She gets two pretty big surprises; she’s having twins and the conception date is earlier than she thought. There is the possibility that Andrew might actually be the father of her babies. Back in Manhattan, Andrew and Bridget get back from a wine tasting and things start to get romantic. Andrew’s planned a little movie night with “Siobhan’s” favorite movie: Summer Camp Slasher. Andrew says he remembered her telling him a few months earlier about the time she snuck into the movies with a boy and he gave her a candy ring. Obviously it was Bridget’s story but as Siobhan she has to sort of lie and say it was Bridget’s story (I know, a little confusing). In the sweetest gesture ever, Andrew takes the candy ring and proposes again to Siobhan. Well really he’s proposing for the first time to Bridget. Either way, it is simply adorable and Bridget quite happily says yes.

The next morning, Andrew and Bridget are all kinds of cuddly at the breakfast table and Juliet is kind of partly disgusted and amused. She thinks they’re weird but cute and agrees to be Bridget’s maid of honor. It appears they’re making up for the first wedding which Juliet didn’t attend. In the middle of the conversation, Juliet gets a call from Mr. Carpenter. He says the cops talked to him about Tessa’s beating and he makes a not-so-veiled threat to Juliet about accusing him in the future. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I know that Jason Dohring can play the sort of bad boy (hello Logan Eckles) but this is just ridiculous. Meanwhile, Malcolm is looking over Henry’s computer (he’s there to try and find the key that Henry stole). He doesn’t find the key but he does see that Henry paid to have everything removed from Siobhan’s office. He imparts this information to Bridget while she’s trying on wedding gowns. She ends the call somewhat abruptly, though she promises to call him back in like ten minutes. She’s not fond of the gown and she doesn’t want to have the same hairdo as the first wedding. She wants to show Andrew that she’s a different person.

Over at Martin/Charles, Olivia is congratulating Andrew on the proposal though it’s obvious she’s not overly thrilled by the news. She gets a text and scurries off. Someone tipped her off to a mole in the company. Claudine finds Malcolm working on Olivia’s computer. He’s been looking for something (he doesn’t want Olivia to know so he clears the recent file access history). It seems as if Olivia is going to be out for blood now. “Siobhan” shows up at Henry’s place demanding to know where her things are from the office. Henry is having way too much fun screwing with Bridget’s head. He tells her it was his office before they started sharing it. When she mentions the key, he holds it up and claims they both had a copy. Scheming prick.

Juliet and her mom are out to lunch and Juliet is freaking about Mr. Carpenter. Her mom promises she’s going to talk to him and get him to back off. Juliet warns that he’s dangerous. But she says they can’t just leave town, not with the vow renewal coming up. Catherine doesn’t seem that surprised. We see her storming to his apartment and after yelling at Mr. Carpenter for a few seconds, she gives him a saucy smile and they start making out. I have to say I wasn’t expecting that.

At the apartment, Bridget gets home to find Malcolm waiting for her. He tells her that she can’t marry Andrew. Bridget starts on about how she knew he wouldn’t agree with it but that she loves Andrew and is going to find a way to tell him the truth. Malcolm interrupts and says she can’t marry Andrew because he’s a crook. That line threw me on first viewing. Bridget doesn’t want to believe Malcolm’s accusation and goes to far as to say that Malcolm has no proof. Just a hunch from talking to one investor, some off-hand comments by Henry and something shady he might have found on Olivia’s computer. Malcolm leaves in a huff and we cut to Siobhan and Henry talking. She reveals that she’s having twins and Henry seems quite pleased by this news. We cut to a brief scene between Catherine and Mr. Carpenter in bed and Catherine seems pretty confident she can make Juliet do what she wants. That night, Andrew gets home and Bridget asks him about work and specifically if they ever got Gemma’s father as an investor. He says yes and that it was all Olivia’s doing. Things are starting to look like it might be Olivia that is the crook. That honestly wouldn’t surprise me.

Malcolm’s gone back to Martin/Charles to get proof from Olivia’s computer. He promises Claudine dinner and movie to following week for letting him in after hours. He manages to get whatever he was looking for and copies it to a flash drive just in time to hide it before Olivia and some security guys show up to escort him from the building. The next morning Malcolm shows Bridget what he found on Olivia’s comput4r. It’s an algorithm to hide phony data. It was only Olivia’s computer but they need proof. Meanwhile, Henry texts Siobhan in Paris about the renewal situation. We get a flashback to her and Andrew’s wedding night where they argued about having children. She says there’s a change of plan when she calls Henry. She wants him to give Bridget the box of Martin/Charles documents she had at the office.

Bridget stops by Martin/Charles and gets Olivia’s schedule. She says it’s for the wedding but she wants to know where Olivia is going to get the proof she needs. Andrew is at home later that day looking over real estate papers. He’s planning to sell the loft. Juliet is starting to freak out about everything and texts her mom that she’s going to tell Andrew everything. Catherine shows up at Mr. Carpenter’s place also in a panic. Carpenter has a plan. He and Catherine are going to run. They make it to a motel a few hours away from New York and Carpenter takes a quick shower. Well it’s long enough for Catherine to steal the money and leave him a nasty note. If he ever goes near Juliet again, she’ll release the video she has of him, Juliet and Tessa celebrating after the settlement. Catherine stops by to tell Juliet that Carpenter won’t be a problem anymore. Juliet hasn’t told Andrew anything but is still worried about Andrew and the money situation.

Malcolm is left to tail Olivia during her day’s appointments once Bridget gets ambushed with wedding planning. She gets a message from Malcolm that Olivia didn’t go to a spa appointment but to Wesson Accounting Partners and ducks out to send him a text. Andrew follows her and she says she’s just overwhelmed and things are moving really fast. She promises that her anxieties and doubts aren’t about him. That makes Andrew nervous. He sends the wedding planner away and Bridget takes off. She runs into Henry and he’s got the box of documents Siobhan told him to hand over. Malcolm does a little more digging (including checking out the building once Olivia leaves). It appears they’ve uncovered a Ponzi scheme. Olivia gets a text from her source that says the mole is in Paris. That doesn’t bode well for Tyler. Bridget tells Andrew that she knows about the shadiness going on at Martin/Charles and that Olivia has been engaged in a Ponzi scheme. In one of the biggest twists of the season, Andrew admits that the Ponzi scheme was his idea.

Body of Proof 2.16: "Home Invasion"

“How often do you think you’ve that excuse to push people away? What are you so scared of?”
- Aiden

We start this week out with a group of kids coming out of a movie. They’re going to hang out longer but one of the guys, Greg, needs to check with his parents. But he doesn’t want to wake them so he checks in via a security camera app on his phone and finds his father tied, gagged and dead. Peter calls Megan (interrupting things as they are getting pretty hot and heavy with cutie Aiden) and drags her to the crime scene. Curtis shows up at the scene as well (it’s how the new Chief rolls) and after getting yelled at for not wearing gloves in a room that hasn’t’ been dusted yet, he sort of backs off. The father owned a high end jewelry store but so far no one’s shown up there. They find the wife dead upstairs after Greg keeps calling her phone but doesn’t answer. Poor kid.

Things aren’t looking too good for Megan. She picks up Lacey (who was getting a ride from a 16-year-old boy) and Megan is running late. She gets to work and Curtis is ranting about the staff’s overuse of gloves and other office supplies. And he’s started Kate on the autopsies. The autopsies are actually pretty quick. The husband’s killer was right handed and possibly hesitated before slitting his throat. And the wife had an allergic reaction to something and suffocated. Back at the scene, Bud and Sam are interviewing a family friend and the husband’s business partner. Unfortunately, Greg shows up wanting to get some of his things but Bud makes him leave. But Bud doesn’t have long to be morose about the kid’s situation because he spots a lead. The family (along with 2 others nearby who had been robbed) had work done by a plumbing company. So Bud brings the plumber in for questioning. The plumber, Lee, still denies he had anything to do with the home invasions or the murders. Over at the lab, Megan is examining the bodies side by side on a screen and notices the differences between the restraint marks. Not only did the wife likely know her killer, but he (or she) cared about the wife. The mystery deepens.

Curtis is really not having a very good time of being in charge, especially when he gets a package filled with blown up gloves. Kate and Ethan find it humorous. I did, too. Curtis needs to be less serious. Megan has her own drama going on. Aiden shows up at work to try and whisk her off to lunch but she declines. A lot. Come on, he’s cute and sweet. Stop running, woman. But she gets pulled away by work because the rash on the wife’s cheek came from materials used to clean high end jewelry. Bud and Sam bring in the husband’s business partner and he admits to being in love with the wife but he says he didn’t kill her. Megan swings by the apartment to apologize for the way she left things with Lacey. Things don’t all that well because Lacey sort of freaks about getting “the talk” when Megan tries to warn her off older boys. Megan gets to work and Peter says they got DNA results on the duct tape on the wife’s mouth. It was a 50% match to the wife and 50% to the husband but it didn’t match Greg’s DNA. They’ve got another child.

Bud and Curtis head over to chat with Greg and they learn that he has an older brother, Aaron who left four years earlier. He was something of a screw up and so his dad erased him from their lives. It was really hard on their mother. Guess that explains the violence against the dad. Curtis promises to help Greg out so he doesn’t get dumped in foster care. Megan and Todd show up to get Lacey to head to their parent/teacher meeting to find her listening to Tyler’s band. She’s pretty enamored with the kid and luckily (or maybe not) she doesn’t see him kiss another girl. Over at the precinct, Bud and Sam get a call that Aaron just showed up at a pawn shop with the mother’s jewelry and they manage to nab him as he’s leaving.

Aaron says he hated his father because his father beat him. But he stayed in contact with his mom and she gave him the jewelry he was pawning. He denies killing his father and says his only regret was not saving his brother from the abuse. Meanwhile, Ethan is trying to figure out what the trace substance was in the father’s wounds. He’s not having much luck and Curtis kind of loses it when he finds his office full of blown up gloves. He threatens that heads are going to roll just as Greg shows up and he’s angry. Child Services showed up to take him away. Curtis says he’s going to help and he and Kate discover that Greg’s dad was indeed abusing him, too. They’re documenting the injuries and Curtis says he’s going to get Greg a lawyer. Just as Curtis is leading Greg out, he spots and Aaron and flips out. Cops have to drag them apart and they haul them off in different directions.

Megan is looking at the photos of Greg’s injuries and she figures out that Greg was in contact with the killer. It turns out his friend Travis was the one who killed Greg’s dad. Travis was bused too and he wanted to save Greg. Greg and Aaron reconnect and have each other to lean on now. Kate comes clean to Curtis about being the practical joker. Curtis is actually pretty good natured about it. Megan shows up at Aiden’s job to tell him she wants to try a relationship. I‘m glad she’s going for it. He’s too cute to pass up. She heads home to find Lacey curled up on her bed in tears. Obviously she found out about Tyler. We end with Megan comforting Lacey. She really has come a long way in the mom department.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

HIMYM 7.18: "Karma"

“Who says any place is better for the baby if you two are unhappy in it?”

“Karma” was a somewhat disappointing episode of HIMYM. It just wasn’t really all that funny. The best episodes of HIMYM have both laughs and heart, and this episode was kind of lacking in both. The last scene had heart, but that was about it. There were jokes, but they were kind of cheap jokes- not jokes which left me laughing hysterically. And I really, really don’t like Quinn. I know it’s supposed to be all “Barney has finally met his match,” but she’s really a horrible human being. She’s not horrible because she’s a stripper, she’s horrible because of the tricks she uses to extort money out of men, including Barney. Barney’s certainly been a despicable human being too, but he’s made strides towards being a better person, and he just doesn’t deserve what Quinn does to him. The Marshall and Lily plot was kind-of out of nowhere. They had shown no sign of being so fundamentally unhappy on Long Island before, although I did appreciate the message that you don’t need to give your kid a stereotypical suburban upbringing to be a good parent. And all the crazy hobbies Ted tried to pick up to fill the void? Left me about as empty as Robin’s room. There just wasn’t enough substance to be funny. The sight gag got old after one scene. But Ted had to have two more hobbies after the first.

The episode opens with Ted and Barney at the Lusty Leopard. They seem to be going here a lot since the rest of their friends have left the city. They’re talking about Robin and Quinn over lap dances. Barney hasn’t been able to find or contact Quinn since their night together, but he still thinks about her. All of a sudden, he looks up and there she is. Working the pole as a stripper named Karma. Meanwhile, on the subject of Barney’s actual soulmate, Robin is staying with Marshall and Lily out in East Medow. She’s kind of neutral about the location, but Marshall and Lily are enthusiastically trying to convince her that there are tons of fun things to do in East Meadow. There’s the miniature museum. With painted thimbles! And a bowling team. That Marshall and Lily started! Lily also gives Robin a journal, because Lily thinks writing is a good way to work out complicated emotions. This sets the stage for really the one funny running bit in this episode.

Back at the apartment, Ted is feeling the emptiness of Robin’s old room and doesn’t quite know what to do with it. His first choice is to try barbecuing. While I love me some barbecue, all that smoke in an unventilated room just doesn’t seem healthy to me at all. It was a little funny, but then I was just overcome by the grossness. Barney interrupts the barbecue when he stops by to gripe about Quinn. Ted manages to convince Barney that maybe Quinn working at the strip club Barney frequents is destiny. Barney has to act like he came up with the idea on his own, of course. Barney goes back to the Lusty Leopard to try and ask Quinn out. Quinn keeps making the excuse that her manager is watching, and Barney keeps paying for lap dances to continue their conversation. He’s trying to convince Quinn that they should date.

Out on Long Island, we start to get the payoff to Lily giving Robin the journal. Robin starts writing in the journal, anthropologist-style, about the bizarre new suburban culture she has discovered on Long Island. Robin can’t take much more of this, so she tells Marshall and Lily that her co-worker has offered her a place to stay in Manhattan. Marshall and Lily, however, keep making excuses about why Robin can’t leave. Lily even spills stuff on Robin’s clothes so they need to be washed. Then, of course, Lily delays washing them. Eventually, she says she just took all of Robin’s clothes to Goodwill, which was kind of bizarre. As time goes by, Robin starts to feel herself morphing into a Long Islander, complete with a fondness for Snuggies and a desire to eat ice cream by the pint. Robin tries to escape while Lily and Marshall are at Bingo Night, but her plan is thwarted when Bingo Night is cancelled and Lily and Marshall catch her at the back door. Lily and Marshall finally admit that they hate East Meadow, too, but they want to tough it out because they think the suburbs are the best for the baby. Robin tries to make them rethink that, wisely pointing out that the baby isn’t going to be happy if they’re not happy.

Back in Manhattan, Ted has started in on another new hobby. This time it’s making furniture, and it’s not going especially well. The furniture keeps breaking. Again, Barney interrupts to talk about his latest trip to the Lusty Leopard. Quinn keeps dragging out her decision about whether or not to go on a date with Barney so that she can get more money out of Barney. This makes me rather angry at her. Or as angry as I can get at a fictional television character. Barney, however, fails to see how heinous Quinn is and thinks he’s in love. Ted has finally realized what is going on and thinks that Barney is being played. To make matters worse, Barney and Quinn’s first date is going to be at the Lusty Leopard. This proves that Quinn’s only in it for the money. If that wasn’t enough to prove it, Quinn manages to move the “date” to the Champagne Room at the Lusty Leopard, which costs Barney even more money.

Barney returns to the Lusty Leopard to see Quinn yet again, and he sees her using the same schtick on another guy about how she’s going to “break her rule” about dating clients just this once. Barney almost gets conned again, but he finally sees what’s going on, gives Quinn the what-for, and leaves. That’s not the end of Quinn, though, unfortunately. Barney happens to run into her yet again, this time at a coffee shop (the same coffee shop that called him “Swarley,” by any chance?). Finally, Quinn seems to give in to Barney’s charms. She buys him a coffee and actually agrees to sit with him to drink it. That seems to have turned Barney around on Quinn, but it certainly hasn’t convinced me of anything.

Robin finally escapes from Long Island, and the first thing she does is go back to the apartment to pick up the rest of her stuff. She interrupts Ted trying yet another new hobby. This time it’s pottery. Their conversation is a little awkward, but Robin does tell Ted about Lily and Marshall actually hating Long Island. They also talk about their new living situation, and they decide that it’s definitely for the best that Robin moved out, because Ted needs to close the door on their relationship once and for all. After Robin leaves, Ted calls Marshall and Lily and tells them to come to the city. They’re so bored that they jump at the chance. When they get to the apartment, they find it completely cleared out except for a crib in Robin’s old room. There’s a note from Ted saying that he never took their names off the lease (holy crap would that have pissed me off…talk about liability for landlord-tenant actions that you wouldn’t even know about to defend), so the apartment is theirs if they want it, because Ted has moved out too. Marshall and Lily decide to take the offer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fringe 4.14: "The End of All Things

“I suppose I have no reason to doubt myself.”

“The End of All Things,” Fringe’s winter finale before a bit of a post-sweeps hiatus, was rather underwhelming. It was all mythology and no creepy/gross case of the week. There was a lot of rather unnecessary personal drama between Olivia and Peter. I’m really just ready for everything to be right between them again. To say Peter is wishy-washy would be quite the understatement. He is rally the king of the wishy-washy. I guess what I’m really saying is that we need to know the truth of what is going on with the Amber Universe and how it relates to the Blue Universe as soon as possible. Otherwise, if I see no hope of things going back to normal, I’m going to lose interest. One thing that I did truly appreciate about this episode was that we got quite a lot of information about the Observers and September in particular. We know know what exactly the Observers are, and it’s definitely an explanation I wasn’t expecting.

The episode opens in the aftermath of Olivia’s kidnapping at the gas station. Peter and Lincoln are frantically combing Olivia’s apartment for clues. Lincoln, obviously worried about Olivia, is getting bitchy about Peter’s influence on her. Like Walter, incoln seems to believe that Peter somehow drove Olivia to start acting like Blue Olivia. In between fending off verbal barbs from Lincoln, Peter makes a small breakthrough. He finds a camera hidden in a smoke detector. It’s a camera that stores footage on what looks kind of like an SD card. The card can only hold 60 minutes of footage, though, so it records on a loop, with each hour erasing the last. Peter thinks that he and Walter can get some information from past hours off the card, though, so he’s going to work on that while Lincoln tries to interrogate Nina. The Cortexaphan disappeared on her watch, so they’re pretty convinced she’s involved, and they also know that it’s going to be almost impossible to get her to talk.

We then see Olivia and the other Nina (we’ll just call her Other Nina because we don’t know the universe affiliation of the two Ninas currently in play) talk in their holding cell. Other Nina explains that she was abducted several weeks ago by someone who looks just like her. The Nina Olivia spoke to recently was not her. David Robert Jones interrupts the conversation by entering the cell. He admits that he’s been dosing Olivia with Cortexaphan recently, which is why she’s been having migraines. He wants to activate her abilities, just like he did to Olivia in the Blue Universe way back when. He thinks he might be able to do this by torturing Nina. Since Nina raised Amber Olivia, it should provide the emotional spark needed. One thing I just can’t stand to watch on television is torture, so if it wasn’t for you (one, maybe two) readers of MTVP, I would have just checked out of the episode right here. But I kept watching to bring you this recap!

Before we go back to the hunt for Olivia, we get to see a rather mysterious meet-up of a bunch of Observers. They’re trying to find September, who has disappeared. They’re upset that he didn’t successfully erase all traces of Peter from the universe like he was instructed to, and they’re wondering if he’s responsible for Peter’s return. If they find him, they say that September is going to have to suffer consequences for what he has done.

At an FBI building, Broyles and Nina try to interrogate Nina, and it’s just as difficult as Peter said it would be. Lincoln has records showing Nina’s biometric ID accessed the storage facility where the Cortexaphan was stored twice in the past month. This contradicts Nina’s claim that she hasn’t been there for a year. Lincoln also has signed affidavits from security personnel swearing they saw Nina enter the storage facility. Nina’s not ready to confess, though. She speculates that a shapeshifter might be responsible, but Lincoln darkly tells her that if it had been a shape shifter, she’d be dead. Nina ends up lawyering up, so the interrogation is over before it can really begin.

At the lab, Walter, Peter, and Astrid are furiously working. Peter is using a special machine to try to look at echoes of past footage from the camera chip. Walter is Exeter extremely pissed at Peter , although I really can’t see how any of this is Peter’s fault. Walter thinks he could have keep Olivia safe if he could have kept her at the lab. Which I guess is the real explanation. Walter is mad at himself and wants to save himself and everyone he loves from the dangers of the outside world. Peter finally makes some progress with the machine and finds a face in the footage. Astrid is going to send it over to the FBI so the facial recognition specialists can work on it. Peter says that David Robert Brown is the only one who has tried to dose and activate Olivia before, so he suspects he’s at it again, but Peter doesn’t know why Jones wants to activate Olivia, in either the Amber universe or the Blue. September, looking quite worse for wear, appears out of nowhere and confirms that yes, Jones is responsible. September has been shot, and he’s quickly bleeding out. Before he passes out, September tells Peter that Olivia needs him.

At the holding facility, Jones takes Other Nina into a room that adjoins Olivias. A window separates the two rooms. Nina is strapped to a metal rac. It made me think of those medieval torture stretching racks. He wants Olivia to turn on lights with her mind, a task she did complete as Blue Olivia. Amber Olivia, since she has Blue Olivia’s memories, tells Jones that she has already done this trick for him. This just agitates Jones further. He tries electrocuting Nina to give Olivia some motivation, but even though she was certain she could do it, Olivia can’t make any of the lights turn on. Jones gives Olivia one hour to rest before he wants to try it all again.

Walter needs to operate on September if September is going to have any chance of surviving and telling the Fringe crew where to find Olivia. After the surgery is over, Broyles and Lincoln join Walter, Peter, and Olivia at the lab. Broyles tells everyone about September’s visit to Olivia where he told her he had seen all possible futures, and in all of them, she had to die. This makes Peter and Lincoln both quite upset. Walter says September has going into septic shock and is dying. If they’re going to get any information out of him, it has to be soon. Astrid interrupts with news from HQ. The image from the security footage was of a man named Spivey who died several years ago. This leads everyone to wonder if David Robert Jones is bringing over other doppelgangers. Feeling the urgency of the situation, Peter wants to go into September’s mind before he dies and try to find out what September knows about Olivia’s location. Walter very reluctantly agrees to do the procedure.

At the holding facility, Olivia and Other Nina are talking post-torture session. Olivia wants Other Nina to help her remember Amber Olivia’s childhood. An emotional connection is needed for Olivia’s Cortexaphan abilities to work, and since she took on Blue Olivia’s memories, she doesn’t have that connection to Nina anymore. She wants Other Nina to tell her the story of when she and her sister Rachel first came to live with her. Even after Other Nina tells this story, it still doesn’t help. Olivia said that activating her powers only ever worked with Peter. Other Nina seems very surprised by this, then she starts clutching at her stomach and acting like she’s in pain. Olivia manages to call for medical attention. When Other Nina is wheeled out of the room, however, she jumps up and tells Jones that they need to get Peter if they’re going to activate Olivia.

Peter does indeed merge his consciousness with September’s (with some chemical help from Walter), and it’s quite trippy, as we expect from these sorts of sequences on “Fringe.” He’s in a metal, very “Star Trek” looking room, and he watches the universe begins. September enters and starts explaining things to Peter. He doesn’t say where Olivia is, because he has bigger fish to fry. He tells Peter about his interference in Walternate failing to find a cure for Peter’s medical condition, and he shows Peter an image of Henry. Apparently Henry is the reason September had to erase Peter. Henry was born to the wrong Olivia and never should have existed. Peter’s reaction to finding out he had a son was kind of sweet, but I don’t think he was nearly upset enough at finding out that Henry has been erased. The scene outside the metal room starts to get stormy, and everything starts shaking. September says “they’re coming” and that Peter needs to “go home.” Peter gets yanked out of September’s consciousness, and seconds later, September completely blinks out of existence.

Peter thinks “go home” might have been literal, and when he gets to his house, several of Jones’ minions are waiting for him. He’s abducted by the minions and dragged to the holding facility where Olivia is being kept. Peter is brought into the room that Other Nina once occupied, and a minion holds a knife to his throat. Olivia turns on all the lights on Jones’ board and then some. Electricity is arcing everywhere. She says that the woman in the next room is not Nina. She got the story about Olivia’s first day wrong. Nina never said Olivia could call her anything but Ms. Sharp until she graduated high school, but Other Nina said Olivia called her that on day one. Some of the minions get electrocuted, but David Robert Jones and Other Nina both escape.

Olivia gets into the next room and rescues Peter, but as they’re trying to make their way out of the holding facility Olivia starts having a seizure. Before he can help, though, Peter has to fight off a security guard who is armed with a gun. By the time the fight’s over, Olivia is shaky but stable, and they resume trying to escape. They come upon Other Nina and David Robert Jones going through a portal back to Red Universe, and Olivia tries to shoot Jones as he goes to the portal. Apparently being reconstructed on the atomic level makes him impervious to bullets, because he keeps walking through the portal, completely unscathed. Once they’re outside, Peter calls for medical assistance, then he starts becoming a wishy-washy ass. He basically says he made a mistake trying to start something with this Olivia. September made it clear that he needs to get back to “his” Olivia. He leaves Olivia to the medical crew, and he goes home alone.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Person of Interest 1.16: "Risk"

“Banking is looking clever and wearing the right clothes. And we’ve managed the second part.”
- Finch

I have to say this was not one of my favorite episodes of the show. Hence why it’s taken me a while to get this recap done and posted. But I managed to get through the rewatch so here we go. In what is probably one of the most amusing openers so far, we find Reese and Finch in the library and Finch is playing tailor. Reese is going undercover in a Wall Street firm to keep an eye on this week’s POI, Adam Saunders. Reese (being a gun guy) has no clue about banking or Wall Street but Finch says it’s all about looking good. Hence the new suit. It looks like Adam has been in hot water before. He was questioned in a previous SEC investigation.

Reese shows up at Baylor Zimm (Adam’s company) as an asset manager. He claims he’s testing Adam out for his boss. Which I guess is sort of true. We get a nice bit of continuity as everyone takes a breath to watch as the former CEO of the pharmaceutical company (which Reese dealt with when he first met Zoe) is found guilty of murder. Apparently Adam did something that made the bank a lot of money (I really don’t understand the finance stuff. That’s my boyfriend’s side of things). Even with the good news, his boss, Sidney, threatens to fire him and boot down to the Occupy movement. Adam invites Reese out for drinks and can’t clone his phone. I guess someone else is jacking Adam’s phone.

I have to say I would not get in a car with Adam. He drives like a maniac. Though Reese seems just fine. And Adam admits he read all the financial documents on the company to know he should do what he did. While Reese and company are out for drinks, Finch breaks in to Adam’s apartment. He doesn’t find much except a box of cash in the closet. Things devolve quickly at the bar as some of the other bankers are pretty drunk and one of them (Victor) starts a fight. Reese discovers that Adam is sleeping with Sidney when he follows Adam from the bar.

And it’s time to get Carter involved. She gets a delivery at the precinct of a man’s suit with an address on it. She climbs into a cab only to find Finch waiting. It was very Ben-like, I must say. He wants her to go to the SEC regional office and find out what she can about the investigation into Adam. Oh and he ran the meter so he wants payment. Reese catches Adam leaving the building and manages to clone his phone (Finch managed to get rid of whoever was blocking it first). And Reese witnesses one of the SEC investigators harassing Adam. I knew I didn’t like or trust the SEC guy the minute he showed up. He’s too focused on Adam. Carter’s gotten her hands on the SEC files and it looks like upper management was targeted and Adam was a subpoenaed witness. Reese tails him out to a food truck. His uncle (and legal guardian after his mom died) owns it and he asks about a Master Limited Partnership called Tritak that he’s invested in. Apparently MLPs are supposed to be safe but Adam is a little concerned. He goes to a colleague to ask about the company and share his concern with how many of their clients and the firm itself is invested in the company. He pretty much gets blown off.

Adam and Reese end up at a driving range to decompress. I have to admit I never thought I would see John Reese golfing. It’s a little disturbing to be completely honest. But it’s not really useful. Reese brings up Adam’s uncle and Adam gets all defensive. He’s driving Reese back to Baylor Zimm headquarters when they’re funneled by fake construction. Reese grabs the wheel and narrowly avoids getting Adam killed. Carter’s at the scene the next morning looking into the equipment. Meanwhile, Finch pays Adam’s uncle a visit and we learn Adam’s backstory. His dad left after his mom died and every month for years, he’d send $200 in cash to Adam. Adam used it to put himself through school. Adam is once again cornered by Mr. SEC. Adam admits to having run numbers and is going to his office to get his laptop when he gets a text from his boss. He’s on his way to the roof when Finch sees the texts. Reese gets there just in time to avert a second attempt on Adam’s life. As they’re anxiously waiting for the elevator, Adam explains that he told Sidney about his concerns. Things don’t bode well for the boss.

Reese and Adam show up at Sidney’s apartment to find her dead and the murder weapon is a planted champagne bottle with Adam’s prints all over it. Carter figures that out, too when she gets to the scene. The construction equipment was stolen. Reese needs to stash Adam somewhere safe and so he takes him to the homeless camp he slept in for the four months preceding Finch hiring him. I like that we got to see a little bit into Reese’s past that isn’t so distant (i.e. no flashback needed). Things aren’t looking good on the money front either. Tritak is involved in a natural gas line up to the North East. But a bill just passed to fracture shale in New York. So Tritak won’t be necessary anymore. All the people who invested are going to be out millions of dollars. Reese goes to see Victor as everyone is scrambling to try to sell Tritak shares. Adam tells Reese to look around and see who already sold their shares. Finch doe a little hacking and discovers that Paul (Adam’s friend) is the likely culprit. And he’s working with Mr. SEC. Back at the camp, Adam makes a call to his uncle despite Reese told him not to use it. The bad guys have likely found Adam. Adam also gets a little bonding time with Joan (Reese’s homeless friend).

Reese is understandably upset that Adam disobeyed orders and a bunch of thugs hit the camp. Not surprisingly, Reese manages to handle the situation. And things wrap up pretty quickly from here. Adam buys up all the Tritak stock (I’m assuming with Finch’s money) and Paul and Mr. SEC get arrested. Adam gets his uncle’s money back and they buy the building where the homeless camp is set up (and bring some food along). So things for Joan and company are looking up. Carter’s down at the precinct staring at Paul in interrogation and is really confused when she asks where the SEC guy is. He apparently killed himself at home. Carter’s rewatching the arrest footage and sees a familiar face caught on camera dumping a phone in the trash. She meets with Reese and gives him the phone. He hits speed dial and who should answer on the other end but Elias.

Ringer 1.14: "Whores Don't Make That Much"

“But she said it, Bridget, because she saw you in pain, and she wanted to help. Have you ever tried to forgive yourself?”

“Whores Don’t Make That Much” had a few twists and turns, as all episodes of “Ringer” do, but it didn’t really have that on-the-edge-of-your-seat quality that the past few episodes have had. I did appreciate that we finally learned what came between Siobhan and Bridget (although Siobhan always seemed more cold than Bridget, even before this particular incident). The big scam/conspiracy involving Juliet also gets a lot deeper and more complicated, and can I say that I kind of hate Juliet’s mom, Catherine, now, even more than I did in previous episodes when she was just horribly bitchy to her daughter? So yeah, I appreciated learning all this information, but a big information-dump episode isn’t really exciting, and Ringer has to be exciting to be watchable. Well, okay, this was watchable, but it wasn’t really their best effort.

The episode opens with Bridget and Malcolm at Siobhan’s fancy office. The place has been completely cleaned out. Guess Siobhan or Henry (or both) got to it before Bridget an Malcolm could. Bridget explains what I didn’t really understand when she was talking about it in the last episode. Now that she knows Charlie/John was Siobhan’s friend, she has realized that somebody else must want to kill Siobhan. Somebody else must be behind the “you’ve got the wrong girl!” attack from the pilot. Malcolm is concerned, and he installs a tracking app on both their cell phones so they can’t lose track of each other again. Holy Chekhov’s gun, Batman!

Caroline pays Andrew a not-very-nice (big surprise) visit at the Martin-Charles offices. She wants to take Juliet back to Miami with her. She thinks Juliet could use a real fresh start after everything that has happened. Andrew has full custody of Juliet, though, because of Catherine’s history of alcoholism, and he’s ot enthusiastic about the idea. Catherine assures Andrew that she hasn’t had a sip of alcohol “in a few days” (big whoop), but that (rightfully) doesn’t really seem to impress Andrew. Later, Andrew talks to Bridget about the Juliet situation. His lawyer told him that they could have a real fight on their hands if Catherine decides to sue for custody, especially considering all the trouble Juliet has gotten into in New York. Bridget tries to give Andrew a bit of a pep talk, assuring him that he’s an “amazing” father and that Juliet belongs with them.

We next see Andrew and Malcolm at Martin-Charles. Malcolm has tweaked the computer program he’s been working on, and Andrew wants to check it out. He doesn’t have a chance to do so, though, because Henry is in his office. Malcolm leaves the room so Andrew and Henry can talk, but he keeps listening outside the door. Henry says he wants to take all of his money out of Martin-Charles because he’s been told by a “mutual friend” that Andrew is a crook. He challenges Andrew by saying that he’s been told that a crook won’t give him his money back. Andrew isn’t pleased, but he starts the process of getting Henry’s money. We later see Henry and Siobhan texting about this little incident. Siobhan is really concerned that Malcolm is now working for Martin-Charles, and she tells Henry to keep an eye on him. Taking Siobhan’s advice, Henry stops by Martin-Charles again and asks Malcolm if he’d be willing to do some work for him on his home computer. Malcolm is very reluctant at first, but when he sees Henry plunk down some items from his pocket, including the missing safe deposit box key Bridget told him about, Malcolm agrees. Good opportunity to do a little investigation, right?

Bridget gets a rather strange phone call from a flower shop about a standing order Siobhan had placed for flowers to be delivered each year on this particular day. The address for the delivery matches an address written on a post-it that Bridget saw in Siobhan’s office, so Bridget gets really curious. She watches from the street as the flowers are delivered, and then she walks up to the house. The woman who lives there is warm and welcoming, but then, thanks to a photograph on the mantle, Bridget realizes who she is. She’s the grandmother of Bridget’s nephew, Sean, who is Siobhan’s son. Clearly something horrible and awkward happened within the family, because as soon as Bridget realizes this, she hightails it out of that house as fast as she can. We see a flashback to seven years ago, when Bridget was watching Sean as Siobhan had a terrible argument with Sean’s father, Dylan. Siobhan wants to completely cut Dylan out of her and Sean’s lives, but Bridget seems to have some sympathy for Dylan.

Dinner at the Martin house that night is rather frosty. Looking at Juliet understandably makes Bridget think about Sean and how she apparently failed him. We get another seven years ago flashback, and this time Dylan comes over while Bridget is babysitting. He wants to take Sean to the county fair (Bridget can come too). Bridget reluctantly agrees, even though Siobhan had told her to call the police if Dylan ever showed up again. Back in the present, Juliet is freaked out by Bridget’s staring and asks to be excused. After she leaves, Bridget tells Andrew that she thinks maybe letting Juliet go to Miami isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Juliet and Mr. Carpenter meet up out on the street and Juliet tells him some troubling news. Tessa is flaunting the money she “earned” from the scam. She rolled up to school the other day in a brand new, expensive SUV. Mr. Carpenter is not happy about this at all, and he promises Juliet that he’ll “take care of it.” The next day, Juliet arrives at school to find all the students are very somber. Apparently Tessa was beaten badly in an attempted burglary. She’s in a medically induced coma. Juliet goes to see Tessa in the hospital, and Tessa’s foster mom says that the whole thing looks like a drug deal gone wrong. There was no other good explanation for why Tessa could suddenly afford a fancy car, and all the “burglar” took was something that was hidden under Tessa’s mattress. Juliet knows that’s where Tessa was (rather stupidly) keeping all of her scam money.

Dylan drops by the Martin apartment to tell “Siobhan” to stay away from his mother. Apparently she was really upset by their encounter the day before. “Siobhan” is furious, because she blames Dylan for “costing her everything,” and she kicks him out of the house. We then get another flashback, this time to Bridget, Dylan, and Sean presumably driving home from the county fair on a rainy night. Dylan asks Bridget if she would be willing to testify on his behalf at a custody hearing. Before he can really make his pitch, another car slams into the side of their car, causing a horrible crash. I guess we now know why Siobhan hates Bridget. We next see Bridget at Dylan’s house, looking at him and his new family (including a small daughter) through the front window. Bridget bends down to pick up a brick, presumably to throw it through the window, but Malcolm stops her. At a restaurant, Bridget tells Malcolm the whole story, and we get yet another flashback, this time of Siobhan slapping Bridget for showing up at Sean’s funeral. Malcolm tells Bridget that she really needs to forgive herself.

Juliet’s reading a story online about how there are no leads in Tessa’s case, and she’s really upset about it. Andrew pops his head in to try and offer some comfort. While he’s there, he asks Juliet if she, hypothetically, would be at all interested in moving to Miami. Juliet says yes. We next see Juliet walking down the street, where she’s pulled aside by Mr. Carpenter. He swears up and down that he didn’t hurt Tessa, and he seems surprised when Juliet says that Tessa’s share of the money is gone. Juliet threatens to scream and runs off, and then we see her get on her cell phone and tell someone that their plan has gotten out of control. We learn who this mysterious mastermind is at the end of the episode when Juliet is on a park bench talking to the mastermind about how out of control the scheme has gotten and how she thought Mr. Carpenter was going to kill her. The mastermind is Catherine, of course.

Bridget goes to visit Dylan, and they actually have a nice heart-to-heart. As “Siobhan” she tells him that she realizes now that what happened was an accident, and she forgives him. Back at the apartment, Andrew tells Bridget that he does actually think Juliet might need a fresh start, but he doesn’t think it should be with Catherine in Miami. I guess he wants the Martin family to move? Bridget assures Andrew that she’s behind him 100% no matter what he decides to do. Then she goes into another room and makes a phone call to Malcolm. She says she wishes she could be Bridget again. She wishes she could have given her own forgiveness to Dylan, and she wishes she could be Andrew’s wife and Juliet’s mother as herself instead of “Siobhan.” She says she hopes she can come clean someday, but she doesn’t know how to without losing all of the new people she loves and cares about.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Girl 1.14: "Bully"

“Your daughter sucks. Okay, she is a demon seed. She is the spawn of Satan. And I do believe I speak for the entire human race when I say that people like her? Should not be building robots.”

“Bully” was by no means one of my favorite episodes of “New Girl,” but it still made me laugh a whole lot. Like I’ve said before with other episodes that fell around the same place on my “New Girl” continuum, the fact that even the episodes I don’t love make me laugh and smile like an idiot means that “New Girl” is a show that has staying power for me. I’m going to be a fan for life. Sure, some of the scenarios presented in the episode were ridiculous (like Jess bringing Winston and Nick to the school science fair), but there was enough fun and humor in the episode overall that I could look past the flaws for the most part. I’m loving how Schmidt and Cece are evolving, and I also love that this episode gave Jake Johnson a chance to really showcase his comedic chops. Nick getting all bent out of shape over Julia was hilarious and pathetic at the same time, and that can be a difficult balance to strike, for me at least.

The episode opens with Schmidt and Cece post-coital. Apparently they’ve had sex multiple times since their initial Valentine’s Day encounter, but they’re still keeping their relationship, whatever it is, on the down-low. Cece’s enjoying herself, but she’s also loathing herself for it plenty too. Schmidt manages to successfully sneak Cece out of the apartment, but Jess sees him close the door behind her. Jess makes a big deal out of figuring out that Schmidt has just slept with the same girl twice (although she still doesn’t know that woman is Cece). She announces it to Nick and Winston, who are equally surprised. The three of them keep carrying on about it.

We next see Jess at school, where her class is presenting their science projects. Brianna, the class prodigy (and bully extraordinaire) has made a robotic arm for her project, so of course’s she’s a shoo-in for winning the school science fair. At the other end of the spectrum of students is Nathaniel, whose project is a playground ball duct taped to a flash light. Poor kid. As all the other kids leave for lunch, Nathaniel reveals to Jess that he’s being bullied. Back at the loft, Nick is freaking out. Julia went to China on a business trip and sent him a cactus. Nick thinks this means she’s going to break up with him, because it shows she doesn’t think he can take care of a “real” plant (which he can’t, as established by flashback). Nick proceeds to prove that he can’t take care of a cactus, either, by overwatering it and dropping it. He is determined not to give up on either the cactus or Julia, though. Jess arrives home and tells the guys about the bullying situation. She tells them she successfully delivered a lesson on bullying to her class by singing a song to them about it. It turns out that the class bully made a not-so-flattering video of the song, however, and posted it on Youtube. Jess wants to “open up a dialogue” with the bully about this, but Winston says that won’t work. He knows because he used to be a bully. And “Brown Lighting” was his catchphrase. The flashback to little Winston tormenting little Nick was hilarious!

While all this is going down, Schmidt sneaks out of the loft to go talk to Cece. She’s still seriously embarrassed by Schmidt, so she just wants to do it right there in the car instead of going to either of their apartments. Or a nearby Starbucks bathroom would work too. Okay, Vermont Ave. Starbucks, you’re off my list of places to patronize when I have time between work and a happy hour! Schmidt shoots the car idea down because he can’t use his best moves in a car. He comes up with a better idea- a little deception. Schmidt calls Jess and tells her to look out the window because there’s a crescent moon outside. Jess, Nick, and Winston follow the recommendation, and Schmidt sneaks Cece in during the few seconds everyone is gazing out the window before realizing they have no interest in a crescent moon. We next see Schmidt and Cece post-coital again, and Cece wants to leave, but Schmidt says she can’t miss the “cheese course.” He starts naming cheeses, and somehow this turns Cece on. The fact that Jess was sitting out in the living room on the phone asking someone how to “get something removed from the Internet” could have played a role in getting her to stay in Schmidt’s room, too.

After a little research, Jess figures out that it was Brianna (of course) who posted the mean vid of Jess singing. Jess tries talking to Brianna the next day in class, but Brianna just makes hurtful comments about Jess’ love life in response. She wants to know why Jess is single and why Paul dumped her (since he’s a teacher at the school, too, Brianna is in on the gossip). Brianna leaves the room, and in frustration, Jess breaks the robot arm Brianna created for her science project.

Meanwhile back at the loft, we’re treated to a montage of Nick leaving crazier and crazier voicemails for Julia about the cactus before he realizes that she isn’t picking up because of the time difference. This was when Jake Johnson got to really shine in this particular episode. When Julia gets back from Beijing, Nick pays her a visit. She says she wants to break up. She hadn’t been thinking of breaking up when she sent Nick the cactus, but his series of seven crazy voicemails made her realize the symbolism of the gift. So we’re done with Lizzy Caplan on “New Girl,” unfortunately. I’m a definite Nick/Jess shipper, but Lizzy Caplan is one of my favorite actresses, so I’m sad to see her go. So after the break-up happens, Jess calls Winston, who is outside Julia’s building (he drove Nick there). Jess needs robot help. In the background, Nick is starting to go a little crazy. He’s got a six-pack of beer and wants to go see the sunset on the beach.

Elsewhere in the city, Cece and Schmidt pull up to a club. Cece is going to go into a party for 20 minutes then come back out to the car and have sex with Schmidt. Schmidt, after a little hesitation, agrees to this as long as Cece promises to have breakfast with him in public the next morning. Cece leaves Schmidt in the car looking like a dog, head poking out of the cracked window and everything. It was a pretty funny choice on the part of Max Greenfield. Cece and Schmidt do indeed end up going to breakfast together, although the restaurant Cece chooses is quite far away from LA. Because it’s so far away from anybody they know, Cece allows Schmidt to announce their relationship to their fellow diners. Schmidt happily does this with gusto, including both parkour and push-ups in his excitement.

We’re next at the Science Fair. Jess seems to be overseeing it, and Winston and Nick are there, too. Winston is there to help with the robot (he brought his “good scissors” instead of the tools Jess asked for), and Nick is there because Winston is afraid to leave him alone this soon post-break-up. Brianna and her moms show up, and it’s time for Brianna to present her project. She turns on her robot arm, and it kind of goes up in flames. Brianna’s moms are all set to blame Nathaniel when Jess steps in and tells the truth about how she ruined the project. The moms start ranting about how Jess needs to be punished as Nick starts completely breaking down in the background. Jess really ought to be disciplined for bringing Winston and Nick to the event let alone what she did to Brianna’s robot! Tonya the Assistant Principal tells Jess to be at her office at 9 AM the next day.

The next day, Jess goes to Tonya’s office, where Tonya does not actually discipline her. Instead, Tonya congratulates Jess for finally joining the true teacher tribe and becoming a “kid hater.” I thought being a kid hater disqualified one from teaching, but maybe that’s just me. With her job secure, Jess comes up with a fitting punishment for Brianna. She makes Brianna sing a duet with her called “Let Me Lift You Up with my Robot Arm,” and she makes sure the video goes up on Youtube. And writes a bunch of comments on it, too. Self-flattering comments, of course! Finishing off her teaching for the day, Jess stops by Nick’s room, where he’s still moping about the break-up. Jess gives Nick a plant and tells him that she knows he’s going to kill it, but that’s okay. It’s okay to be weird.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Body of Proof 2.15: "Occupational Hazards"

“The longer I can tap dance without missing a step, the longer this office can act with autonomy.”
- Kate

We start this episode off with a young couple on their honeymoon. They’re in a cab and just as the cabbie is giving them a rundown all the places they should go, he loses consciousness and crashes into several cars. Meanwhile, Megan returns home from a bagel run to find her mother at the apartment with Lacey. Lacey is introducing Grandma to social media. The Hunt women are going to NY for a little family trip until Megan gets called to the scene of the cab. Turns out the crash uncovered a dead body in the trunk of a guy visiting from Baltimore. Mr. Baltimore denies killing the guy in the trunk. He was trying to drum up business for his restaurant supply business but it didn’t work. Sam tells him to write down every place he parked his car. Over at the lab, Megan learns that the dead body’s name is Kyle and he’s identified by his (pregnant) wife. She says he was an architect and that she got a voicemail from hi the previous day around noon saying he was leaving work early. Bud doesn’t have much luck with the guy’s boss seeing as Kyle had been laid off a year ago. Megan, Ethan and Peter discover a lifting injury as well as a cut on his arm. They figure out that he must have been up against something hard based on the exit wound and the bullet reentered the body.

Kyle’s wife clearly didn’t know that her husband was out of work. She said that when they got pregnant she stopped working but bills always got paid. She doesn’t know about any of the injuries. Back at the lab, Curtis is prepping Gabriella Diaz for autopsy when Kate shows up and boots him from the case. The dead girl is the daughter of a close friend of the Health Commissioner (aka the woman who appointed Kate). Curtis is not happy to be kicked off the case. Megan is also in a bad mood as the cops still haven’t found the crime scene. But Ethan has found yellow reflective paint on the pebble imbedded in the bullet so maybe Kyle was lying on the road. We jump back to the Hunt apartment to find Lacey and Joan discovering Megan’s online profile and they friend a rather cute guy named Aiden and Joan starts chatting with him. I’m not really sure where this is going.

Bud gets back to police HQ and joins the grumpy train (especially since Megan keeps texting him about the primary crime scene). Still nothing on that front but he did find out that a police report was filed with Kyle involved a few days earlier against a guy named Sal (he had priors for drunken disorderly and assault). Bud brings Sal in and we learn what Kyle was doing to make his money. He was part of a moving company that moved people’s stuff out when they were evicted. Sal had been stealing a few things and Kyle called him on it. They fought and Kyle got cut with Sal’s box cutter. Meanwhile, Kate is meeting with Gabriella’s parents. She promises discretion in the case. I’m not really sure why we need this second case but I guess we need to give Kate something to do. Joan is clearly a devious woman (and one who doesn’t think her daughter can get a date on her own) and Aiden shows up at Megan’s office. And he’s got an adorable accent to go with his adorable face and name. At first Megan denies having talked (and makes a veiled threat against whoever was chatting with him) but then relents and agrees to go to dinner. Peter catches the tail end of their conversation and after making a little jibe at her, says that the smudge they found on Kyle’s pants was decomposed human fat. He’d come into contact with a dead body (gross).

Kate is continuing the autopsy on Gabriella when Curtis shows up with the toxic ology report. She did indeed die of an overdose of cocaine. But Megan finds lesions on her skin. Looks like the coke Gabriella used was cut with a veterinary medication that can lead to death in humans. And it’s probably all over the city. Kate is concerned about how many other people could die. Megan pays Bud a visit and Bud says he thinks that Kyle may have gone over to the dark side. He also found that there was no record of him working for a moving company. He’d been collecting unemployment and the checks were being sent to a woman named Vanessa Winters. Bud swings by her place and learns she was Kyle’s ex from college. She let him use her house as an office when he wasn’t doing jobs for quick cash. He was trying to find another architect position. And he was sending his unemployment to her because he was too proud to let his wife know about the lay-off. The next morning Megan gets to the office and Peter nags her about her impending dinner with Aiden. She says he better have news on the case. Nothing yet on the crime scene but they did identify the substance found in Kyle’s teeth; a leaf from a $700 cigar. They head out into the center of the lab to find Kate giving a health advisory about the cocaine. She declines to comment on whether that was what killed Gabriella. That’s not going to bode well for Kate.

Bud and company head out to a pool side where they find a guy who apparently had some dealings with Kyle. Kyle built the guy’s guest house recently. And they smoked cigars. He takes them into his cigar room and Megan quickly picks up on the decomposition smell. Peter takes a sledgehammer to the wall and they discover a skeleton. The guy is pretty wishy-washy on whether he knew the body was in there. He says Kyle wanted to go in to see how the room turned out. Kate gets into the office to find the Health Commissioner sitting at her desk. This is not good at all. She ends up demoting Kate for pausing before declining comment about Gabriella. How stupid is that? She didn’t reveal anything about the investigation. I really don’t like this Commissioner. And she pretty much appoints Curtis as the new Chief of the ME’s office. Kate dives in to Megan’s case (she has a background in forensic facial reconstruction). Sadly, Megan has to find out about the change up in the office when Curtis bursts in telling Kate he didn’t even want the job. Kate doesn’t want to talk about it. She just wants to focus on the case. And she pretty much orders Megan to go on her date with Aiden. Turns out the restaurant he picked is a diner kind of place with really awful burgers. She throws in a story about a gross case but he takes it in stride. We learn that he put in her and Todd’s pool shortly before they divorced. Aiden likes that Megan takes chances and he kisses her. She kisses him back. They’re kind of cute together. Kate is at the lab late into the night reconstructing the corpse’s face. Gotta say, she’s good.

Megan gets in the next morning and Kate is a little snippy with her. But Megan has a flash of brilliance and looks up their current suspect online and they find the woman who was buried in the wall. Her name is Lisa. Their suspect denies killing her. He says last year with all the remodeling of the house and Lisa’s drama, he took off for a while to Vegas and when he came back, Lisa was gone. Curtis is rather cranky his first day as Chief and he wants his first two cases to be closed pronto (and steals Ethan’s hot dog). Things switch up pretty quick when the lab discovers Sal’s print on the sheet wrapped around Lisa’s body. He denies involvement (though he did remember her from the job) and lawyers up. Megan shows up to let Bud and Sam know she found the crime scene.

They go mural hunting because the paint they found on the pebble was both yellow spray paint and a layer of protective coating. They eventually find the right one and the lab pulls prints off the shell casing at the scene. It turns out that Kyle’s boss was responsible for both Lisa’s murder and Kyle’s. Have to say I should have seen it coming but I didn’t. Megan drops by to see Kyle’s widow and delivers a letter that Kyle wrote to her (explaining everything about his job). And she manages to get a rise out of both her mom and Lacey by feeding them a fake story about Aiden to ferret out which of them was responsible. But she was pretty happy about the whole thing. I do hope we see more of him.

HIMYM 7.17: "No Pressure"

“Barney, that was my VCR!”
“Ted. It was a VCR.”
-Ted and Barney

While “No Pressure” did nothing to advance Barney and Robin’s relationship (in fact, it set it back significantly) I really liked it. There were some hilarious moments, and many things that needed to be discussed and said were finally, at long last, discussed and said. We got a greater degree of closure to Ted and Robin’s relationship (although the very last scene makes me think we still have just a bit further to travel on that journey before all is said and done). Ted and Barney now both know about each other’s most recent romantic encounters with Robin. Robin and Ted finally acknowledge that they can’t remain friends and still live together, because their romantic past will always be there. Lots of heavy stuff going down in this episode. The best episodes of HIMYM mix the heart with the comedy, though, and “No Pressure” achieved that. The idea of Lily and Marshall making “long term bets” their couples hobby was funny, and Barney’s enthusiasm for finding their potential sex tape was even funnier. I’m never going to say no to an opportunity to see Neil Patrick Harris do physical comedy.

This episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Ted making his big declaration of love to Robin. It’s obvious from the start that this can’t end well, but Ted isn’t willing to see that yet. He makes his big speech, then he kind of freaks out about what he just did and scrambles back down the ladder to the apartment. Ted lies on his bed and starts trying to come up with excuses to Robin for why he did what he did, but his thoughts are interrupted by Robin knocking on his door. When Ted opens the door, Robin kisses him, but before they really have a chance to figure things out, one of Robin’s co-workers arrives at the apartment. Robin’s coworker says they need to leave for Russia immediately (Robin had misread the time of the flight). Robin gives Ted another quick kiss, then rushes out the door before anything can be really resolved.

Ted calls Marshall, who agrees to meet him at MacLaren’s immediately, even though it’s 7 AM. Before he gets out of bed, though, Marshall and Lily make the unfortunate discovery that Barney is in their bed as well. He took the Drunk Train the night before and got stuck on Long Island. I thought Barney’s random appearance was pretty hilarious. Marshall goes into the city to see Ted, and Lily leaves too, after telling Barney not to not to go snooping around, because Lily and Marshall have not made a sex tape. Of course all Barney hears is “sex tape,” and he’s instantly on the phone with his housekeeper. He needs the housekeeper and her staff to clean up Marshall and Lily’s house after he ransacks it looking for the sex tape, of course. In the process of ransacking, Barney doesn’t find a sex tape, but he does find something else quite interesting. It’s a box with “Long Term Bets” written on it. Inside are bets Lily and Marshall have placed on the lives of their friends. One of them is a bet that Ted and Robin won’t get back together (Marshall thinks they will and Lily thinks they won’t).

At MacLaren’s, Marshall and Lily are giving Ted conflicting advice about the Robin situation. Saget!Ted says the conflicting advice was because of the bet, and that makes me a little sad. I can’t really believe that Marshall and Lily would let a bet affect their advice to one of their closest friends. But they sort-of do. Lily starts suggesting that Ted go to Russia and make some big, romantic gesture to Robin. Because we all know how much Robin loves Ted’s big, romantic gestures. Marshall suggests taking things slow, but Lily is especially persistent. Thankfully, Barney arrives with the Long Term Bets box just as Ted is about to go book himself a flight to Russia. Barney tells Ted about the bet, and we see a flashback to when Marshall and Lily first started the Long Term Bets game. They were really bored and building model airplanes one day, and they bet each other on whether or not Ted would break his leg on a ski trip. It turns out he broke both his arms instead. We also learn through one of the bets in the box that Marshall and Lily did actually make a sex tape. This leads Barney to hilariously run out of MacLaren’s to go looking for it again. Lily tries to explain that she’s not really rooting against Ted and Robin as a couple, but there must be some reason why they didn’t get back together for five years.

Barney’s housekeeper does indeed fid the sex tape during ransacking Marshall and Lily’s house round two. Barney rushes to Ted’s apartment to watch it because Ted is the one person he knows who still has a VCR. Ted informs Barney that Robin and Kevin broke up, and then Ted realizes why Robin might have been kind of luke warm after his big speech. He thinks she’s still in love with Barney. He finally puts two and two together about something happening recently between Robin and Barney and Barney cleaning up the rose petals and candles from Robin’s room. Barney and Ted have a much-needed heart-to-heart about the issue. Barney is fine with Ted potentially dating Robin again, because he wants her to be happy, and whatever he thought they had, she clearly didn’t agree because she chose Kevin. Marshall and Lily rush into the apartment, too, because they have discovered their tape is missing. Marshall is trying to stop the tape viewing and Lily is trying to encourage it, and they’re both doing this by trying to describe the contents of the tape. It’s pretty funny. Barney can’t take the back-and-forth, and he ends up smashing Ted’s VCR. I guess there might have been a little Robin angst behind that VCR smash, too.

When the trip to Russia is over, Ted picks Robin up from the airport and they have a nice dinner at the restaurant with the infamous blue French horn. Back at the apartment, they finally talk about their relationship and how it isn’t really going to happen. Ted wants to end the “we’ll get married if we’re still single at forty” pact because he thinks it’s holding him back from seriously trying other relationships. He also gets Robin to admit that she doesn’t really love him. Although he knew it in his heart, hearing it hits Ted pretty hard, and he calls for Marshall to meet him at MacLaren’s again. After their conversation, Marshall is a good best friend to Ted and tells Robin she needs to move out. Robin already knew that, and she does indeed agree to move. Saget!Ted tells us he was happy to be truly free from the baggage of his relationship with Robin, and we see Ted walk outside into a sea of people carrying yellow umbrellas. Back on Long Island, Lily asks Marshall to finally pay up on their Ted and Robin bet, and Marshall says “not yet.” I really hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fringe 4.13: "A Better Human Being"

“I'm afraid because I've made this mistake before. I betrayed the Olivia that I love. But what I'm really afraid of is that when I look into your eyes, I know it's you.”

I’ll just be straight with you. I didn’t really like “A Better Human Being.” The creepy/strange/gross happening of the week was pretty much second fiddle to Peter and Olivia drama and crazy conspiracy mythology stuff. Normally I love me some Peter and Olivia romance, but as long as the title sequence is still amber, this feels wrong. As Peter himself basically says in this episode, we’ve been down this road before. I could maybe forgive him for getting together with one wrong Olivia, but two? If Peter ever does get back to Blue Olivia, I’d think this would be absolutely unforgivable. What is also unforgivable is that by this point in the season, it looks like we will be spending an entire season without two of the show’s main characters: Original Recipe Walter and Olivia. This plotline (or at least the aspect of it that involves the Amber universe) should have wrapped up after just a few episodes, like the Red and Blue Olivia switch arc in season 3. The continuation of this insult to the fans is tainting my love for the show overall. That being said, I guess I’d better get the recap part of these proceedings over with.

We pick up in this episode pretty soon after we left off with the last one. Peter and Olivia just kissed, and now things are all kinds of awkward between them. Olivia thinks it’s residual effects from being in Westfield, and she wants Peter to leave so she can get herself back together. As soon as he does leave, she has a strange sort of flash to her Blue universe life. She sees it play out before her kind of like a grainy movie. Meanwhile, our introduction to the case of the week begins with a guy in a mental institution named Sean. He has a psychic connection with a home invasion and murder that three guys are committing in a completely different town. His handlers at the institution see how agitated he is becoming, and they are quick to restrain and sedate him.

A guy seeing a murder happen in another town is strange Fringe Division territory for sure, so Olivia, Lincoln, and Walter are on the case. They start by talking to Sean, who has a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. He says he hears voice talking, but never directly to him. This leads Walter to believe that the Schizophrenia diagnosis is incorrect. He asks Sean if he’d be willing to go off his meds temporarily so he can hear the voices again and relay more information to the team. Sean agrees, and Olivia has a heck of a time explaining the situation to Sean’s nurse. As she works and walks through the institution, she keeps seeing the sort-of grainy images of Peter following her. I think it was supposed to be a recreation of when Olivia and Peter went to get Walter out of St. Claire’s back in the series pilot. After work, Olivia shows up at Peter’s house. She starts telling him all the things she remembers about Blue Olivia’s life, including how they got together after the events in “6B.” Peter is more than a little freaked out about this. I guess there’s part of him that hoping his Olivia might actually be back, but another part of him realizes that this means something is very wrong with Amber Olivia.

Peter brings Olivia to the lab, and Walter starts running some tests. She can recall Blue Olivia’s memories of events clearly (she tells the whole story of fetching Walter from St. Claire’s for instance), but her own, Amber Olivia memories are hazy. Walter hypothesizes that this is because Olivia is very empathetic. He thinks she has latched on to the fact that Peter desperately wants his Olivia back, and she’s trying to give him what he wants. Lincoln interrupts this conversation with DNA test results from a bloody towel Sean told them would be at the crime scene. Walter can see that the killer and Sean are half-brothers, and he suspects the other men who partook in the home invasion were half-brothers too. They have an unusual spur on one of their chromosomes, and Walter thinks all of this could explain the telepathy. Olivia and Lincoln head out to talk to Sean’s mother, and Walter decides to have a serious chat with Peter. Walter blames Peter for what is happening to Olivia. He thinks Peter is projecting memories of his Olivia onto Amber Olivia, and he thinks it’s a horribly wrong thing to do.

Olivia and Lincoln have a very productive chat with Sean’s mom. They ask if it’s possible he could have any half-siblings, and she says that it definitely is. She got pregnant via IVF, and his dad was a sperm donor. The doctor who performed the procedure was Dr. Frank, and he was known for his unusually good pregnancy results. She tells Lincoln and Olivia that the murder victim was a journalist who was trying to do a story on IVF. She has medical files from the procedure, so she’s going to provide those to the team. Elsewhere at an assisted living facility, an older man who used to be a doctor (Dr. Frank, obviously) watches a television news story about the death of the journalist and looks kind of sad about it. Meanwhile, at the mental institution, Astrid and Sean are eating a meal when Sean starts to hear the voices again. This time, however, there are too many of them speaking at once for him to understand what they’re saying.

Back at the lab, Walter is making himself a cup of tea (with a Bunsen burner, of course), and pouring honey into the tea gives him an idea about the case. He interrupts Peter and Olivia having a bit of a moment (of which he clearly disapproves) to share his newest theory. He thinks the brothers are like bees, using some sort of non-verbal communication with each other. Bees use pheromones to communicate, but Walter thinks the brothers could be using one of many different methods. Olivia gets a call that Dr. Frank has been found at his assisted living facility, so she has to go talk to him. Peter tags along as Walter looks on disapprovingly. Dr. Frank tells Peter and Olivia that this wasn’t the first murder related to his work. An author he hired to write about his work was killed as well. It turns out he wasn’t just a fertility doctor- Dr. Frank experimented on embryos, too. He tried to reintroduce traits from other species, and he did this for 200 embryos total. And, to make it even more skeevy, he was the sperm donor. Dr. Frank tells Olivia and Peter where to find his files.

At the lab, Walter prints out some test results about Olivia, and he gets very upset. He tells Lincoln that he needs to see Nina right away. In typical Fringe fashion, they are able to travel from Boston to New York faster than the speed of light. Walter’s upset because he has discovered that Olivia has been dosed with Cortexaphan recently and often, and in the big confrontation with Nina, Lincoln is rather badass. It was kind of nice to see Blue Lincoln stand up for himself a bit. Nina agrees to take Walter and Lincoln to the vault where the Cortexaphan samples Walter and William Bell had left over are being stored.

Meanwhile, Peter and Olivia are at the storage facility where Dr. Frank’s files are being kept. Olivia is really frustrated with Peter for not treating her like Blue Olivia. Peter’s opinion of Olivia starts to change a bit when Olivia starts talking about how the storage unit door from the original case in the pilot episode was rigged with a particular type of explosive. This is something Peter never knew before, so it can’t be Peter projecting his memories that is causing Olivia’s transformation. This moment is interrupted, though, because Sean tells Astrid that the killers are after Olivia next. Astrid warns Peter and Olivia just in time, and they are able to fight back and take out some of the killers. Two of the other bee guys go to the assisted living facility, however, and they suffocate Dr. Frank. Boston PD officers find him dead, sitting in his chair.

After everything is over, Sean is very agitated because he can’t hear the voices anymore. I guess Dr. Frank was the link that allowed all his kids to talk to each other. Astrid gives Sean a really sweet pep talk, though, all about how now Sean can hear himself think, and he has great thoughts. Elsewhere, Olivia and Peter stop at a gas station and talk about how the case wrapped up. Then the conversation turns to their relationship. Olivia says she knows what they would usually do next in the Blue Universe (go to one of their houses), but it’s still all awkward because she knows she isn’t actually Blue Olivia. Peter (rightfully) says he’s scared because he has betrayed Olivia before, but when he looks in Olivia’s eyes, he knows it’s his Olivia. They briefly make out, but then Olivia says she has to pee and runs off. It was abrupt and rather odd.

Walter, Lincoln, and Nina go to the vault where the Cortexaphan is stored. The vials all seem to be in place, but then Walter tastes one (who does he think he is, the Tenth Doctor?) and announces that the Cortexaphan has been replaced with another chemical. At the gas station, Peter goes looking for Olivia, and he can’t find her. We soon find out that she’s been abducted. She’s tied up in a cell of some sort, and she seems really out of it. The big shocker, though, is that Nina is tied up in that room too. So the question now is whether or not the Nina who was with Walter and Lincoln was the real Nina. All these multiple universes are getting to be too much for my brain!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Person of Interest 1.15: "Blue Code"

“Your version of a lucky day is being shot and lit on fire?”
- Carter

This week we dive right into the action. The person of interest of the week is a guy named Mike Cahill who at first blush looks to be an upstanding buy but is really part of a smuggling ring run by a guy named Vargas. Somehow, Reese manages to get in as the driver of an ambulance to pick up the latest thing they’re smuggling (diamonds in with a guy supposedly having a heart transplant. They manage to get away without a hitch (save a busted tail light on the ambulance) and make delivery to their boss. Cahill roughs up one of the younger guys in the crew for getting twitchy and then takes off. Naturally, Reese follows him despite the fact it’s 3am and finds out that Cahill is actually an undercover cop.

It’s been a few episodes since we had flashbacks and so now we get some. We jump to 2008 in some likely Eastern European country (it doesn’t say) where we find Reese obsessively cleaning his gun. He’s with his partner (the one the CIA claims he killed) and they are waiting on orders for what to do with the package they have. Agent Snow shows up and tells them they don’t ask questions or care where they’re dropping the package (turns out to be a government official who tried to sell American tech to the Chinese) or who he is. Reese gets booted for some R&R and he ends up outside staring at the cityscape.

Back in 2012, Reese is still following Cahill (aka Tully). Reese follows him to a meet up with his handler. They’re a day away from taking down Vargas’ higher up (a guy named L.O.S.). Cahill seems pretty confident that L.O.S. will be there at the next shipment. Finch is concerned that the reason the Machine gave them Cahill’s number is because someone has discovered or will soon discover he’s an undercover cop. So he pays Carter a visit (after she runs into Agent Snow) to ask about the system for keeping records on undercovers. The files are only hardcopy and only the handler has access to them in safes kept in a locked room at IAB. So now Finch is going to have to figure a way to get in there and get rid of the file without getting caught. Reese sends Lionel to chat up some of his dirty narcotics cop buddies to see what they know.

Meanwhile, Reese joins the smuggling crew on another pick up but things go south. The guy they’re taking the product from has back up in the way of machine guns. And before the crew heads in, Vargas gets a call and he’s not happy with the news he’s receiving. They manage to get away and hole up in a warehouse. But he orders everyone hand over their weapons and destroy their phones. Obviously Cahill’s handler and Finch aren’t too happy about that, having lost a way to track the deal and to keep tabs on Reese. We jump back to 2008 for a tick where it’s obviously early enough in the year for the bar to be playing Obama’s acceptance speech. Reese orders a beer and sits down next to a guy. They chat a little and Reese tells the guy he’s originally from Washington. The guy goes off to call his wife (also from Washington) and Reese’s partner shows up. She told him to get a drink and he apparently managed to pick the one guy married to his ex.

Back in 2012, Reese convinces the rest of the crew to let him make a tourniquet for the wounded guy (mainly to shut him up). Cahill steals the wounded guy’s phone and lets his handler know that his cover might be blown and where they are. Meanwhile, Lionel meets with an old corrupt cop buddy and says he wants to shake down Vargas. But he’s told he has to go through proper channels. A call from Finch interrupts the meeting and it looks like Lionel is going to have to break into 1PP. Yeah, don’t think he’s going to like that much. We get a little bit of a funny scene where Finch has to juggle both Carter and Lionel on the coms (well only Lionel is on coms) as the two run into each other at 1PP. Lionel almost gets away with destroying Cahill’s file but he gets caught by Vargas’ informant. Back in the warehouse, Reese accuses Cahill of making a call and tackles him to steal the phone to keep the guy’s cover. Reese gets knocked out with a crow bar for his troubles.

Reese gets hit a bunch of times before Cahill talks Vargas into letting him interrogate Reese. Reese reveals what he knows about Cahill and says he can get them both out. Cahill says he can’t go back to his family with L.O.S. still at large but he tells Reese where the shipment is going down. He then shoots Reese. We get another flashback to 2008 where Reese’s partner basically tells him he can’t see his ex and that no one would really understand what he’s done or who he’s become. They leave before Jessica’s new hubby can introduce them. I mean it’s got to be hard on Reese. He loved Jessica but he kind of is stuck in the CIA still.

Things aren’t going much better in 2012 either. Reese gets locked in the trunk of a car and set on fire. Luckily Cahill left him a knife to get free and Carter’s waiting on the outside to give him a lift. They have to race against time to save both Cahill and Lionel. The meet is about to go to hell when Carter and Reese show up guns literally a blazing and take pretty much everybody down. L.O.S. is CIA and Reese knows charges won’t stick. But Cahill wants to arrest him anyway. Reese shows up just in time to Lionel’s life but things aren’t going to be any fun for Lionel for a while. He has to go back to being dirty to be useful to Reese. Agent Snow bails L.O.S. out and then has him taken out in a car while Reese keeps an eye on Cahill to make sure nothing happens to him or his family.

Ringer 1.13: "It's Easy to Cry, When This Much Cash is Involved"

“I took this ride to get answers, but all I got was more questions.”

“It’s Easy to Cry, When This Much Cash is Involved” was certainly full of twists and turns, although I suppose that could be said for most episodes of “Ringer.” Although the biggest surprise to me didn’t come from the main Bridget/Siobhan conspiracy plot. It was the side plot involving Juliet. That little story had quite a payoff, although I’m not really sure how it’s tied into everything else the show is trying to do. Just more soapy drama, I suppose. It was a little frustrating watching Bridget go on a long Town Car ride in this episode just to really discover nothing other than the connection between Siobhan and John/Charlie. We’ve known about that connection for so long, even if Bridget didn’t, that it feels like old news. It was interesting, however, to watch Siobhan effortlessly play both Henry and Tyler. I’m not quite sure why they both so easily believe every lie she concocts. Overall, this is definitely one of the more engaging episodes “Ringer” has aired thus far, mostly because of the twists.

The episode opens with Bridget in the hired town car again. She starts asking the driver all sorts of questions, and when he thinks that’s strange, considering “Siobhan” should remember things that only happened a few months ago, Bridget says she’s newly sober and doesn’t remember much of her life from when she was using. She offers the driver double his going rate to help her find answers, and that’s good enough for him. Bridget has the driver retrace the route from the last time he drove Siobhan (the day before Siobhan faked her death), and the first stop is an office building in Harlem. It turns out Siobhan has a secret, fancy office there, and Bridget gets the security guard to let her in. Bridget starts snooping around, and she finds a post-it with an address and a mysterious key. Unbeknownst to Bridget, Siobhan is hiding in the office closet, and she has a gun. On her way out of the office, Bridget just misses seeing Siobhan in the closet (which was kind of stupid, really), and she goes back out to the Town Car. She and the driver are going to continue the route.

Meanwhile, we also see the fall-out of Henry discovering that Bridget is actually the person living with Andrew at the moment. The ever-poisonous Siobhan tries to make it sound like the identity switch was Bridget’s idea, using the excuse that she needed to hide from Bodaway. Even worse, Siobhan also tries to make it sound like Charlie/John conspired with Bridget to kidnap Gemma. This was just a step way too far for me and has cemented the idea that there is nothing to Siobhan at all redeeming. The upshot of this conversation is that Siobhan claims to have a way that she and Henry can be together with Andrew’s money despite Siobhan and Andrew’s pre-nup. She just needs the key that Bridget took to make this happen. Siobhan isn’t the only one demanding things from Henry. Olivia shows up at his house, too. Of course she wants a meet with Mr. Arbogast, his father-in-law. Henry refuses, as he should, since Olivia is a snake, but then Olivia plays the blackmail card. She has a photo on her cell phone of Henry and Siobhan in bed. Henry swallows his pride and meets Mr. Arbogast at a bar to talk about the future of his finances. It’s hella awkward. Mr. Arbogast does end up investing some money with Martin/Charles, only asking Henry to assure him multiple times that the firm is legit.

The third storyline at play in this episode is the Juliette/Mr. Carpenter possible statutory rape situation. Juliet, Andrew, and Catherine are all at the lawyer’s office practicing Juliet’s testimony for Mr. Carpenter’s trial. And all I could think was that was one damn speedy trial date. How much time has passed between this episode and the last? Catherine, naturally, is being an uber-critical bitch and setting Juliet up to fail. Andrew threatens to fly Catherine back to Mimi, which Catherine says is fine as long as it’s first class. Juliet yells at both of them to stop fighting, which quells things temporarily. Catherine continues to be bitchy to Juliet for the rest of the day, assuring Juliet that she’s going to screw up at the trial, and it takes a pep talk from Bridget (which was really rather sweet) to get Juliet’s head back in the game.

Bridget continues her “Siobhan’s Memory” tour at a combo book store/coffee shop, where apparently Siobhan liked to play chess. The chess tables all have slots in them, and one of the baristas tells Bridget that it’s an establishment tradition to write a wish and put it in the slot. Bridget tries to use the key on the lock of her chess table, and when that fails, she picks the lock. Inside, she finds a wish from Siobhan that says “I wish I could forgive my sister.” Since this was written on the same day Siobhan told Bridget she was forgiven for whatever happened between them, this is devastating to Bridget. It means Siobhan lied. The next stop on the tour is a shooting range. She finds out that Siobhan used to be a regular there, and she starts trying the key in all the lockers. Then Bridget looks up and sees Charlie/John’s picture up on the wall as “Marksman of the Month.” I had completely forgotten that Bridget didn’t know that Siobhan knew him, because Victor definitely knew. The Town Car driver confirms that Siobhan and Charlie/John were friends. This leads Bridget to think that someone else was trying to kill her, and she ends up hiring her driver as her bodyguard.

When we next see Henry and Siobhan, they’re post-coital at Siobhan’s Harlem office. Siobhan gets up to get a shower, and once she has left the room, Tyler starts trying to Skype Siobhan’s computer. Once it rings a second time, Henry decides to answer. Needless to say, both Tyler and Henry are rather surprised to see each other. Awkward! After Tyler hangs up and Siobhan returns to the room, Siobhan assures Henry that she’s just keeping Tyler around to get incriminating information about Martin/Charles. Later, Siobhan Skypes Tyler and tells him that Henry is her brother. The ease with which she comes up with these lies astounds me. Tyler’s getting jumpy about continuing to access information for Siobhan, because one of the IT guys has noticed and is starting to ask questions. By the end of the episode, Tyler ends up calling the SEC to report what he has found, which I’m sure will make Bridget very unhappy. If it’s already reported, it loses is blackmail potential, after all.

Mr. Carpenter’s trial is one of the other major centerpieces of the episode. Juliet’s testimony goes okay, but then while they’re in the ladies’ room, Tessa (Juliet’s frienmy) tells Juliet that she wasn’t actually assaulted by Mr. Carpenter. Tessa claims that she just made up her story that corroborated Juliet’s because she wanted to get back at Mr. Carpenter. She feels like she used to be Mr. Carpenter’s favorite and was usurped by Juliet. Another friend of Juliet’s hears this conversation from a bathroom stall, and she clearly runs and squeals right away. Next thing we know, the lawyer is telling the Martins that the charges are going to have to be dropped. To make matters worse, Mr. Carpenter is suing the Martins for defamation. Catherine wants to settle the defamation case and just make it all go away for Juliet. Later, Bridget tells Andrew she agrees with this. Juliet comes home after this conversation super happy, and she says it’s because she actually had a nice day out with Catherine (which was Bridget’s suggestion).

At the Martin house, we see one of the twins rooting around in a desk. It turns out to be Siobhan, of course. Andrew comes home and catches her, but he doesn’t know who she actually is. He’s surprised when she’s a cold bitch to him and seems to recoil when kissing. Then to seem even more shady, Siobhan runs out. Later, Bridget is searching for the key in her desk, and she obviously can’t find it. Andrew asks if she’s okay, because obviously Siobhan wasn’t acting like Bridget. Bridget says it’s been a long day, but she’s okay now. She doesn’t quite figure out that Siobhan has been in the house. Later she and her new bodyguard comb through Siobhan’s office some more, and the bodyguard notices Siobhan’s footprints in the closet. Meanwhile, Siobhan gets a safe deposit box that goes with the key, and she and Henry are going to open it together. She says that after they open the box, she needs to go back to Paris for a little while. Inside the box is an audio recording. We don’t know what’s on it yet, but when Henry hears it, he’s pretty shocked.

The biggest shocker of the episode, to me at least, involved Juliet. We see Juliet and Tessa in a hotel room, pouring some celebratory drinks. Presumably, they’re celebrating being past the trial. Then there’s a knock on the door, and it’s none other than Mr. Carpenter with a big sleazy smile on his face. It turns out that the whole sequence of events beginning with Juliet telling her friend she was raped was orchestrated by Juliet, Tessa, and Mr. Carpenter to get money out of Andrew. The justification was that it would be getting Juliet her trust fund back (and Mr. Carpenter and Tessa would make some coin as well). This turn of events was just beyond shocking and horrible, really. I have issues with false rape claim storylines in general (they make it more difficult for actually raped women to feel they can come forward), and less seriously, it completely destroyed all of Juliet’s character development from the last few episodes. I have no clue where they’re going to take this particular storyline next, but it can’t be anywhere good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Girl 1.13: "Valentine's Day"

“I got the dirty twirls, Schmidty. Watch out, because you’re about to get laid…world.”

TV shows don’t do episodes for smaller holidays (holidays other than Christmas and Thanksgiving) often enough for my taste. Mostly because I’d like to have standing holiday classic recaps at times of the year other than October through December. So it was a lot of fun that “New Girl” decided to do a Valentine’s Day episode. It was even better that this was one of the show’s better episodes. I liked how a number of seemingly separate plots all came together for the most part by the end, and I liked how each of those plots was a sort-of different take on Valentine’s Day. Jess wants a one-night stand, Schmidt wants to avoid hooking up, Nick wants a traditional Valentine’s Day with Julia, and Winston winds up at a girl’s night. None of these plots were a traditional take on the Valentine’s Day television episode, full of, as Jaye from “Wonderfalls” would say, “relentless, treacly romance.” Instead there was a lot of really sharp humor. Oh and there was a heck of a twist at the end, too. Albeit the timing of this twist makes me wonder how long this plot development will last, which is a shame, because it’s rather awesome.

The episode opens with breakfast at the loft. Nick and Julia are being cutesy and planning their romantic Valentine’s Day, and this majorly irritates Jess (well, as irritated as Jess is ever capable of being). She tells Schmidt that since this is her first Valentine’s Day as a single woman in six years, she really needs to go out to the club and experience a random hook-up. Schmidt says he doesn’t usually go out on Valentine’s Day, because you can smell the desperation, and it’s just way too easy, but he agrees to take Jess out to trawl for man meat anyway. Later, Cece helps Jess get ready for her big night. Jess is packing an elaborate overnight bag because she wants a one-night stand, and Cece wonders if Jess is even capable of having a one-night stand. She forms emotional attachments to both people and objects easily, and she’s even been known to get upset over seeing a single shoe by the side of the road.

Meanwhile, Nick heads over to Julia’s office to pick her up for their Valentine’s Day outing. He really wants to do Valentine’s Day right with Julia, because last year, he was fighting with Caroline instead of having a nice, romantic day. Nick meets Julia’s intern, Cliff, played by the awesome Clark Duke of “Greek” fame. Between Clark Duke and Lizzy Caplan, this episode was a veritable buffet of awesome comedy guest stars. Anyway, Cliff makes some suggestive remarks about Julia, and the look on his face when he realizes Nick is Julia’s boyfriend is pretty darn priceless. Julia has stocked up on cheesy Valentine’s day merchandise like heart boxers for Nick and light-up heat antennae for herself. I wonder if this is her attempt to be more quirky and whimsical like Jess in an attempt to feel more secure with Nick. Unfortunately, for Julia, however, she also needs to do about another hour of work before she can go out with Nick.

Winston is planning to spend Valentine’s Day with Shelby, a woman he used to hook up with off and on pre-Latvia. He arrives at Shelby’s apartment to find that Shelby is throwing a full-on girl’s night mani/pedi party. Winston decides that the way back to Shelby’s heart probably lies in being nice to her friends, so he becomes the life of the party. He serves sangria made from a special family recipe and dispenses relationship advice to the friends who need it. Shelby appreciates Winston’s efforts, but before she can really accept him again, she has to make sure he understands what an ass he was before he went to Latvia. For instance, she spent the entirety of Valentine’s Day 2008 waiting for Winston to call. Winston says he doesn’t deserve a second chance, but Shelby gives him one anyway.

At a club, Cece and Schmidt watch as Jess hits on a guy. She’s all excited because he’s from Oregon and she’s from Oregon. Cece and Schmidt quick call Jess over and tell her to find another guy because she’s already getting emotionally attached. In trying to give Jess advice, Schmidt and Cece bond a little over their love for one of my own favorite books from when I was a tween, The Phantom Tollbooth. The fact that this book got such a random shout-out just reinforces for me why “New Girl” is one of my favorite shows on television right now. Anyway, Jess goes over to the bar and asks a guy for the cherry from his drink. She ends up choking on the cherry, and when she recovers, she looks up I the other direction and sees none other than Ryan Kwanten, aka Jason Stackhouse from “True Blood.” In this instance, he’s playing a really boring, kind of dumb surfer named Oliver. I guess it’s in the same family of character as Jason, although Jason is more interesting. Oliver is so boring that his favorite topic of conversation is what he ate for lunch (usually tacos).

Due to the fact that Oliver is boring and they have nothing in common, Jess thinks he’s a perfect candidate for her Valentine’s Day one-night stand, and Schmidt and Cece agree. Cece’s boyfriend Kyle shows up high from schrooms, so she leaves with him before he can create a handsy, racist scene. Jess doesn’t have a car, so she has Schmidt (under protest) drive herself and Oliver to Oliver’s place for the one-night stand. Schmidt stays at Oliver’s place to watch a movie, and Jess has to enlist Cece’s help to get him to leave. Cece tells Schmidt to leave his car for Jess to use to get home (he doesn’t want Jess taking a cab because of the dangerous “youths” in the neighborhood), and she will come pick him up. Schmidt walks outside to find that the “street youths” have stolen the tires from his car.

Meanwhile, over at Julia’s office, Nick and Cliff bond while drinking champagne and waiting for Julia to finish work. Julia is making some rather hateful and racist comments over the phone to her subordinate Ming, which I wasn’t too thrilled about. I think “New Girl” can be better than that. It was really the only downside to this episode. Anyway, Nick tells Cliff about how he hit rock bottom and quit law school. Actual rock bottom involved entering himself in a cock fight in Mexico, and the little flashback we get of that situation was rather hilarious. Cliff realizes that he doesn’t want to be a lawyer any more than Nick did, and he up and quits his internship right then and there. Julia is extremely pissed, and she tells Nick to leave so she can finish her work, and she’ll call him tomorrow. Nick ends up trying to do Cliff’s work (mostly copying) for Julia as a peace offering. She appreciates the gesture, and they make out a little, but then she has to do more work. Guess there will be no traditional Valentine’s Day for Nick this year.

Things get even crazier over at Oliver’s house when Oliver’s ex-girlfriend shows up. It turns out she and Oliver only broke up a week ago, and she still lives with him because she doesn’t have a job. She is extremely pissed to find Oliver making out with Jess. Then, to make things worse, Cece, Schmidt, and Kyle all barge into the house. Poor Jess really can’t get her groove on! Oliver’s ex is so pissed that she kisses Kyle to get back at Oliver. This in turn pisses off Cece (considering Kyle is her boyfriend and all), and she starts a full-on cat fight. Schmidt ends up stopping the fight by literally carrying Cece out of the house. Then Jess throws a glow stick out into the yard for Kyle to follow. Jess and Oliver resume making out while Oliver’s ex noisily munches on tacos (of course). Jess can’t take it anymore, and being the bright ray of sunshine she is, makes Oliver realize that he really wants his ex back.

Jess goes back to the loft one-night stand-less, and she runs into Schmidt, who tries to give her some advice. He tells her that a one-night stand should be with someone she knows, but someone who won’t make a big deal about it. And be sure to get out of the house in the morning without having to stay for brunch. Schmidt goes into his room, and the wheels start turning in Jess’ brain. Schmidt just happens to fulfill the criteria in his own advice. She grabs the massive box of condoms she purchased for the occasion and heads towards Schmidt’s door. Just as she’s about to knock, Nick gets home and stops her. Like Schmidt earlier in the episode, he literally carries Jess away from Schmidt’s room. Inside Schmidt’s room, shocker of all shockers, Schmidt and Cece are having sex. The next morning, Jess calls Cece to tell her she almost slept with Schmidt, and speaking from Schmidt’s bed, Cece can only offer a noncommittal response. I love that Schmidt and Cece are sort of together now, because I think they’re an interesting pair, and inside the douchebag exterior, Schmidt has a good heart. I just worry that because they got together so early, we’re going to have to go through several break-ups and make-ups with them, Rachel and Ross style. Here’s hoping for a more interesting (and less frustrating) ride than that!