Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fringe 4.16: "Nothing As It Seems"

“Here we are. Beer. For when you turned twenty-one . . . I probably wouldn’t drink that.”

“Nothing As It Seems” had an extremely interesting premise, but I’m not quite sure if there was sufficient payoff. The premise is that we would revisit an old “Fringe” case that we remember from the Blue Universe, but this time with a bit of an Amber twist. The problem was that the case itself wasn’t especially compelling. Okay, I guess people turning into large mutant animal creatures could be kind of intriguing if this was a Syfy Saturday night creature feature, but this is “Fringe.” The best episodes of “Fringe” take the time to develop the guest characters as well as our main Fringe Division crews (of both universes). I didn’t really feel anything for the mutants the team was chasing in this episode. We didn’t know enough about their motivations, other than one woman expressing a desire to be the next Eve. The end of the episode suggests that this particular case was more than anything else moving the chess pieces in place for the season’s end game. Somehow the mutants figure into David Robert Jones’ nefarious plan, and that’s supposed to be enough.

As I already mentioned, this episode was a repeat of an old case with a twist. The old case was from the late season 1 episode “The Transformation,” and was the second time a “Fringe” case involved a long distance jet flight. In this episode, we once again see a guy on the plane furiously writing something down. He gets a bloody nose and rushes to the lav to do a quick test of some sort. The test results aren’t good, and he rushes to tell the flight attendant that he needs all the sedatives he can get or there are going to be big problems. The flight attendant is skeptical about this, naturally, so when the guy goes back to the lav again, she involves an Air Marshal. The Air Marshall tells the guy (who also happens to be named Marshall) to get out of the lav. The door opens, and we think a big mutant is going to burst out, but Marshall didn’t change after all. I was wondering at the time if he was suddenly replaced by a shapeshifter, but I don’t think that’s the case. Instead of changing into a mutant on the plane like in the original episode, Marshall changes as the TSA are rummaging through his luggage. The poor TSA agents don’t stand a chance against a giant mutant porcupine!

We next see Olivia having a chat with an FBI shrink. Apparently the FBI isn’t as keen on Olivia completing her transformation to Blue Olivia as Olivia herself is. After the psych visit, Olivia has a meeting with Broyles. She hasn’t been cleared for duty because 40% of what she told the shrink about her past was “wrong” (she was giving details about Blue Olivia’s past, not Amber Olivia’s). Because of this, the FBI higher ups think that Olivia is “not the agent they licensed.” Olivia is feeling a bit down when she heads home, but Peter is there to cheer her up with wine and talk of a vacation to Vermont (where all they need is a “rug and a fireplace” . . . that Olivia sure is a lucky woman). The vacation is postponed, though, when Peter gets a phone call from Lincoln. He’s been asked to help on their new case, and with Olivia’s go-ahead, he agrees.

When he gets to the lab, Peter is greeted by Walter and a big stack of gifts. Apparently Walter chose and saved a gift for Peter each year since he died. Although this Peter isn’t Walter’s original Peter, Walter figures it’s the best he’ll get, so he wants to give Peter all the gifts. There’s a bottle of stale beer for Peter’s 21st birthday and a porn magazine for his 16th birthday, among many other gifts. It’s quite hilarious and sweet. After he’s finally briefed on the case, Peter says he remembers the case from the old timeline, only in that scenario, the plane crashed, frying the porcupine mutant to a crisp. The mutant, Marshall, had been injecting himself with a sort of designer virus. Peter goes to interview Marshall’s sister to see if she knows anything about the letter Marshall was writing on the plane. She doesn’t. Peter mentions to Lincoln that he doesn’t remember the name of Marshall’s partner who was also turning into a porcupine, but Olivia would remember. Lincoln says Peter should give Olivia a call.

It turns out that the partner’s name was Daniel, and as they drive to his house, Peter and Lincoln have a rather awkward conversation about Olivia. Lincoln basically concedes to Peter in their little romantic competition. When they arrive at Daniel’s house, Olivia is there. She just couldn’t resist being part of the case. Lincoln rolls his eyes and lets her stay. It’s rather amusing how she has both her boys wrapped around her finger. Go Olivia! As the trio investigate Daniel’s house, Olivia mentions that things look a little different from what she “remembers.” At that moment, Lincoln is attacked by a porcupine monster which then proceeds to crash through the window. Back at the lab, as Walter works on stitching up Lincoln, the team talks about how the case is slightly different from the original, Blue Universe version. Conrad Moreau, the man behind the distribution of the virus in Blue Universe, died five years ago. Peter notices an unusual tattoo on Marshall’s body. He and Olivia are going to go to their old book shop to see if the shopkeeper can decipher the tattoo’s meaning.

At the bookstore, Peter and Olivia try to butter up the shopkeeper by asking him questions about some obscure Sci-fi. Then they ask him to interpret the tattoo. He takes a quick look at it and immediately asks “are you one of them?” Peter and Olivia clearly aren’t “them,” so the shopkeeper has to give them a bit more of an explanation. They symbol from Marshall’s tattoo is connected to a cult that focused on the “guided evolution of Man” and “mutation by design.” Sounds like just the sort of group that would create an army of scary mutant animals. We then see a woman taking care of an injecting Daniel. She’s much more excited about the prospect of mutation than he is. She says that they’re going to be like Adam and Eve.

Back at the lab, Walter tells Lincoln that he might have the mutant virus because he was scratched in the attack. Walter can’t do anything while the virus is dormant, but he thinks there’s an 80% chance he can cure it when it enters its final stage. When Peter and Olivia return, Walter enjoys watching the whole team work. He says it’s like having family, which for some reason makes Lincoln a little grumpy. I guess it has something to do with no longer having a shot with Olivia. The team finds a number palindrome in their research, and Walter says that’s how he and William Bell used to number their files at Massive Dynamic. This, of course, leads to yet another insta-trip to New York City where they pay Nina a visit. Nina says the project that matches the file number they found had been overseen by David Robert Jones.

At the lab, Lincoln is chowing down on some bacon Walter fried up, even though he says he doesn’t usually like pork. He’s also craving other fatty stuff. Walter deduces that lipids are needed for the porcupine transformation to happen, and he holds up a bag of liposuction fat. Apparently surgery centers had been robbed for the stuff. The team is going to investigate exactly which plastic surgery clinics had missing medical waste recently. Walter creates a really gross looking smoothie to mimic the injections and try to control Lincoln’s mutations. Apparently the injections made the transition more controlled. Peter sees wings on the computer model of the mutant Lincoln is predicted to come, and that leads the team to look into surgery centers in high rise buildings. There is only one that meets the criteria. Lincoln finally starts thinking it might be smart to call for FBI back-up, but it turns out Olivia has already done that, even though it’s sure to get her in big trouble with Broyles.

The FBI, including Lincoln and Peter, raid the surgery center in the high rise building. As this is going down, Olivia realizes that porcupines are nocturnal. She calls Peter and tells him to turn on the lights to draw the mutant out of hiding. Peter does and the creature attacks Lincoln. Lincoln shoots Daniel, but then his wife/girlfriend/prospective Eve attacks. Peter appears just in time to shoot her. Poor Lincoln. He’s just the team’s punching bag in this episode. Both “Eve” and Lincoln wind up in the hospital, but according to the post-case wrap-up, they’ll be fine. The team suspects that David Robert Jones might have been distributing the mutation serum, but they aren’t quite sure why. Their best theory is that he wanted to play God. At the end of the episode, we see another couple injecting themselves. Then the shot pans out to see a jailkeeper and what appears to be a rather horrific version of Noah’s Arc with mutants of all types.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Person of Interest 1.18: "Identity Crisis"

“Look, I know you’ve got no reason to trust me. But I know exactly how you feel. Everyone’s got you wrong. Everyone thinks you’re something that you’re not and you’ve got no way to change their mind.’ You help me catch this guy and I’ll see about getting you out of here.”
- Lionel

This week begins with Reese bringing Finch some coffee and donuts. They have a new number (obviously) but it’s going to be more difficult than normal to find the POI. Whoever belongs to the social security number the Machine spit out has an almost nonexistent digital footprint. Finch can’t even verify gender. He did run a credit check which reveals the person they’re looking for (Jordan Hester) has two of everything. It appears he or she is leading a double life. Reese tries calling Carter to see about criminal history but she’s at the scene of a teen stabbing (I don’t even know why it’s been put in the episode since it’s not really all that important to the plot). Anyway, she doesn’t answer. I guess she’s still mad about the Elias issue from the last episode. Reese and Finch split the work and each go to one of Jordan’s apartments. Reese finds a receipt for a bar nearby with an employee discount and discovers Jordan is a guy working as a bar back. Finch, however, finds out that Jordan is a woman. So they don’t have one person leading two lives, they’ve got two people potentially leading one life!

Apparently, Reese had to set off the automatic sprinkler system in the female Jordan’s building so Finch could get out of the closet he was hiding in. It is just not going to be a good day for Finch, I can tell. We learn a little tidbit about the numbers the Machine churns out in that usually there’s a 24-48 hour window before whatever is going to happen, happens. Since they still don’t know who the real Jordan is, they’re going to need to keep tailing both. And Reese enlists Lionel in helping with the background and criminal history. He’s looking at the cases when Carter comes back from her scene. She’s still kind of bummed when a Fed from a couple episodes back shows up. He read Carter’s early reports about Reese and thinks he’s responsible for deaths going back years. He wants to meet with Carter to “show her” something.

Meanwhile, Finch finds out from a closer look at the credit report he ran that there’s a third apartment in Jordan’s name. Reese goes to check it out since his Jordan is still in the middle of a shift and won’t be going anywhere soon. Finch has been following his Jordan around doing errands all day. Reese gets to the third apartment to find it’s an ecstasy lab. Reese knocks out the guy who is at the lab and plants a camera to see what’s going on. The guy wakes up and argues with his partner. And they aren’t too happy that after four years, their boss wants to meet. Finch has managed to lose his Jordan in a bookstore. Or so he thinks. He’s looking at a rare book and she just walks up to him. Reese has to call Finch’s phone to chide him for engaging with her. Of course, Finch turned around and Jordan’s gone. He races out to find her being tailed by two guys. Meanwhile, Reese has followed his Jordan from work to the meeting with the two cooks. It looks like he’s the fake. Finch manages to get Jordan away from the guys following her and into a cab.

Reese is busy watching his Jordan meet with the cooks when Lionel calls to say that Jordan’s name came up in a bust for cooking and selling ecstasy. The distributor got arrested but they had to turn Jordan loose because the cops couldn’t get an ID. A little later, Lionel meets with an ID Theft cop and finds a second case of theft. The guy who claimed he was innocent is now in prison. Meanwhile, Finch gets to know his Jordan. She’s an antiques dealer. Finch is just eating it up. Reese is starting to suspect something is off when he finds nothing suspicious on his Jordan’s laptop and how-to videos on how to load and fire a gun.

Finch really shouldn’t let Jordan talk to him. She’s convinced him to go back to her apartment with him so she can pack a bag before they head to a safe location. Reese is watching the drug cooks and his Jordan. He still has a bad feeling. While he’s keeping an eye on the ecstasy, Lionel is meeting with the other ID theft victim, Kyle Morrison. Lionel really does want to be a good cop I think. He promises that if Kyle helps in the investigation, Lionel will see about getting him released and back to his family. As they’re going to the female Jordan’s bank accounts and statements, Kyle kind of freaks a little. He sees her picture and says her name is Mary and she was the receptionist at his accountant’s office. Things are starting to unravel with both Jordans. The cooks realize that the Jordan they're with isn’t a dealer and Finch realizes (too late) that his Jordan is in fact the ID thief and has drugged him.

Reese manages to save the real Jordan from the cooks and they decide to use the rest of the supplies to lure the fake Jordan in. Unfortunately, Finch is in the throes of ecstasy high. I have to say I never realized how funny Michael Emerson could be. Finch is trying to reason with his brain all muddled and it’s just hilarious. Reese tells him over coms that he and the real Jordan are planning a party for their “mutual friend”. That was totally a LOST Desmond/Ben shout out. Thank you writers! Anyway, the fake Jordan combines a bunch of chemicals in tin foil and pops it in the microwave. I’m not sure if that was supposed to kill Finch or just distract him long enough so she could get away. In the background, Finch is just kind of stumbling and dancing around. I really want more Funny!Finch. Reese sends Lionel to get Finch while and the real Jordan wait to spring their trap.

We’re back to Carter for a few brief moments when she meets with the FBI and finds out they think the CIA has been conducting domestic operations (which is not what they’re supposed to do). In short, the FBI agent plans to offer Carter help in catching Reese. She doesn’t look too sure she wants their help or that she actually wants to catch Reese. Lionel manages to get Finch out of the apartment just as the fake Jordan shows up with her goons to try and take out Reese and the real Jordan. You really shouldn’t leave armed men in a room with Reese and walk away. The results are usually never in your favor. The fake Jordan gets to a meeting with the accountant she works for (he’s the one supplying her with identities) and the ID theft cops bust in. Looks like both Jordan and Kyle are getting their lives back. Reese gets Finch back to the library and promptly declines when Finch says they should talk (he’s still loopy from the drugs). Reese bids him goodnight and in a little odd moment, Finch says “Goodnight, Nathan.” I guess his addled brain forgot Nathan was dead.

New Girl 1.18: "Fancyman (Part 2)"

“No, he’s not a lawyer, but he does have a law degree, a business degree, and a Masters in agriculture. He’s kind of like a degree collector.”

“Fancyman (Part 2)” wasn’t quite as good as the previous week’s part 1, but it was still most definitely a quality episode of television. Mostly I think it didn’t quite rise to the level of the previous episode because there wasn’t quite as much of Nick yelling random stuff. Which is always funny. I guess if they went to that well all the time, though, it wouldn’t be quite so hilarious. But I think I’ll always laugh at Jake Johnson yelling random funny things. He’s so good at it. Despite not quite being up to the standards of part 1, there were still plenty of really funny moments, and I laughed a lot. And really that’s what I ask of an episode of New Girl. This show is so plugged into my brain that it’s really hard for me to not laugh multiple times per episode. It’s gotten to the point where I just enjoy hanging out with these crazy folks for half an hour every Tuesday night. I think this is the one show I’m really going to miss over the summer.

While this episode is billed as a “part 2,” there are definitely some elements that distinguish it as its own, distinct episode. One of those elements is Dirk, Nick’s friend who is working on his PhD in poetry. He’s played by Martin Starr, aka Roman on the short-lived Starz sitcom Party Down. The PhD in poetry is Roman’s third advanced degree, and the roommates all think he’s rather obnoxious. They don’t like him. The episode itself begins at the loft, where Jess is telling the guys (and Dirk) about her rather disastrous first date with Russell. Well, maybe it wasn’t quite a disaster, but it was certainly awkward. In a flashback we see her telling Russell about how all guys her own age are really after is “her gold.” Russell gives her a hug and pats her on the back. See? Awkward! Winston asks Schmidt if he can borrow Schmidt’s car (aka “the Manbulance”) to take Shelby to the airport. She’s going to a bachelorette party. Winston already had a second set of keys to the car, but he gets Schmidt’s permission to use it by wondering aloud if it could hold all of Shelby’s luggage.

Much of this episode is about the characters ironing out issues with their romantic relationships. When Cece arrives, Dirk hypothesizes that she’s the boss in her relationship and her boyfriend (whomever he may be) is her “sexcratery.” Naturally, this makes Schmidt very unhappy. He retreats to his room to do “work” for much of the rest of the episode. That work just happens to be fitting the names of his coworkers into the lyrics of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” for an upcoming staff retreat, but it’s work nonetheless. Cece really wants sex, but Schmidt keeps blowing her off, trying to assert some control in the relationship. Meanwhile, when seeing Shelby off at the airport, Winston makes the mistake of saying that some “space” will be good for them while Shelby is away. He thought he was saying this to make Shelby happy, but it actually pisses her off.

Jess tells Cece about her bad first date with Russell, and Cece advises Jess to call Russell to ask for another date. Cece thinks Russell wants a grown woman who knows what she wants because he’s a man, not a boy (like Schmidt, Winston, and Nick). The second date, however, isn’t any better than the first. Jess and Russell are at a nice restaurant for dinner. Jess is trying to act extra mature by talking about the Beatles and doctor’s appointments, but it just gets awkward. Then, all of a sudden, Russell gets a phone call. He rushes off, leaving Jess at the restaurant with way more cash than she needs for the cab fare home. I guess he felt a bit guilty for leaving her there.

Nick and Winston decide to go to Dirk’s poetry lecture at a nearby university. After the lecture, college girls are fawning all over Dirk, and Dirk tries to convince Nick that he should give college girls a try. Nick seems a little skeptical. Dirk also convinces Winston that Shelby is going to use her newfound “space” to have sex with other people while she’s at the bachelorette party in Mexico. Worried that Shelby is going to cheat, Winston runs off to call her. This is quite funny, as Winston yells “get out of my way, bookworms!” while barreling through a crowd of college students. Meanwhile, back at the loft, Cece appears in Schmidt’s room yet again, this time dressed in a secretary outfit. The outfit does nothing to turn Schmidt on, but he does agree to sex if it can happen in “fantasy location number three.” Meanwhile, Winston is leaving a message for Shelby, sees there are no immediate flights to Mexico, and pretends to ask Schmidt’s permission to borrow the car. As Winston hops in the Manbulance, we learn that it just happens to be fantasy location number three. Winston doesn’t know that, though. Yet.

We next see an afterparty for Dirk’s lecture at the loft. No school I’ve attended has ever had lecture afterparties quite like this but whatever. Dirk thinks Nick should try to date college girls just like he does. He tries to help Nick find his “hook” to make the college girls interested. The hook turns out to be that he can get the kiddies drunk “professionally” (because he’s a bartender). Two college girls in particular are especially impressed by this. Jess arrives home to see the party still hopping. She’s still pissed about what happened with Russell, so she goes a little off the deep end. She sort of vacillates between acting like a college kid (by smashing a beer cup on Nick’s forehead, for instance) and just being angry at Russell. Russell eventually shows up at the loft too, and he sees Jess partying. Jess is embarrassed, so she runs into a closet to hide.

Russell says he wants to talk to Jess alone, but he ends up in a car with Jess, Nick, Dirk, and two college girls Dirk and Nick picked up. Nick tells Russell that Jess is one of the good ones, then he runs off to puke. Jess and Russell do finally have their talk. It turns out Russell was nervous because he hadn’t dated in a long time, and the phone call was about his daughter having an asthma attack. Jess says Nick was right and wise when he said she should give Russell a chance. Of course she says this as Nick is outside screaming about puking. Seriously, just have Jake Johnson yell random stuff, and you’ve got comedy gold. Jess and Russell start making out as Nick starts yelling some more because he can’t find the car (he’s facing the wrong direction).

On his way to Mexico, Winston is totally rocking out to “Defying Gravity.” It never ceases to amaze me just how plugged in “New Girl” is to my brain. I definitely like to belt some tunes, sometimes musicals, while driving, and “Defying Gravity” is definitely a song I love. It’s even more hilarious when Lamorne Morris tries to sing it, though. Shelby calls Winston as he’s driving. She missed him so she went back to the loft. Winston turns around (after singing some “Popular”). At the border, a border security agent finds Schmidt and Cece in the back of the car. Winston’s face at this moment is hilarious, and when the officer asks him to explain the naked people in the trunk of his car, he simply says, “No one can explain that!” Cece and Schmidt want Winston to keep their secret, but Winston is too shocked to commit to secrecy just yet. This revelation has thrown off his perspective to such an extent that he thinks “stop” signs must now mean “go.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Body of Proof 2.18: "Going Viral Part 1"

“That is exactly what is wrong with you. Nothing is personal. It’s all error rates and body counts.”
- Megan

We find Dani out at a club waiting for Peter. Marcel, the guy sitting next to her at the bar hits on her and offers a drink. She tries to show him she’s not interested but he’s a persistent creep. She takes a couple sips of the beer he gives her and it’s obvious something is wrong. She’s sweating and off balance. Things unfortunately go from bad to worse as she stumbles outside and is hit by a car She has a seizure and Peter ties to perform CPR but it’s not use. She’s dead. I have to say I wasn’t expecting that at all. Megan is performing the external exam and finds a rash on Dani’s stomach. Whatever drug the guy gave her was attacking her. Bud and Sam bring Marcel in for questioning but don’t get far before Peter bursts in and tries to rough Marcel up. Marcel starts foaming at the mouth and seizing, just like Dani. They manage to get him to the hospital but he’s now comatose. Megan checks his blood work and finds that the symptoms aren’t you typical date rape drug. Megan thinks maybe it’s an infection and Dani could have gotten it from Marcel. And then a whole bunch of people are rushed into the hospital with similar symptoms. They’ve got what appears to be an outbreak on their hands.

Back at the morgue, the team is going over the four bodies they have, including Dani. They’re trying to figure out what connected all of the victims and what their last hours of life entailed. They don’t get far because the CDC, led by Dr. Stafford, come barging in to take over the investigation. Megan is none too pleased to see them and it’s clear she and Stafford are going to come to blows. Kate called them in because she thought they could help. Everyone at the lab (and a chunk of the police department including Bud and Sam) have to go through decontamination before they can go home. Megan is still pretty surly about the whole thing and tells Stafford that he needs their help. He seems to at least be open to the idea when she walks away with a smug little look on her face.

Peter is having a really hard time dealing. He calls Dani’s mom and has to leave a voice mail, hoping she’ll call back. Ethan tries to offer help but Peter shoos him away. Megan gets back to lab in her scrubs and finds that Stafford has reset their timeline. She rearranges things to show the mistakes he’s already made and after snarking at him over Dani, he agrees to let her bring the rest of her team in. The body count is still rising. Twenty six people have died now and pretty soon the news is going to get out. One of their victims, John Kim, appears to have all kinds of symptoms including sepsis. That’s not all they have to worry about. Bud waves Megan and Stafford into a meeting to show them a video YouTube forwarded to them. A masked man is ranting about overpopulation and how he’s going to kill a lot of people to fix the problem. Looks like they’ve got a domestic terrorist on their hands.

There’s a rather large pow wow happening (thanks to the CDC guys being present) and they’re trying to figure out what the next step should be. Megan thinks the first question that needs answering is how the victims are getting infected. A rather pompous Fed storms in and takes over the meeting. He doesn’t give a crap about introductions to the ME crew (which really sets Peter off when Agent Johnson picks Dani as person to point out on the map). Bud and Sam end up interviewing the families of some of the victims but it doesn’t seem to be all that helpful. Bud finally manages to get a little information out of Marcel (he’s no longer in a coma) just as the news plays and suggests that the outbreak is the work of a possible terrorist. Ethan freaks out when some of the tape he has on his hazmat suit rips. But he shouldn’t be worried. He’s okay. Meanwhile, there’s more drama between him and Peter. Peter managed to find out Dani’s schedule for a couple of days during the week before she died but still doesn’t know what happened the rest of the time. He’s clearly frustrated that he didn’t know her as well as he thought. Peter storms off and Ethan notices that in one patient that have meningitis. So Agent Johnson is going to tell the public that’s what’s wrong. Megan is furious that he’s lying and gets into an argument with Kate while Kate is stitching up a body. Kate gets distracted and stabs herself with a needle (through two layers of glove). That clearly doesn’t bode well for Kate.

Bud and Sam have a lead on someone who fits their domestic terrorist profile and take a team of FBI guys with them. It turns out the terrorist is a 17-year-old kid (I’m pretty sure he was in an episode of Law & Order: SVU). At the same time, Agent Johnson goes with the meningitis theory and uses Peter and Dani as the “face” of the epidemic. This infuriates both Megan and Kate, especially since they haven’t even been able to read Dani’s family yet. Later, Megan is talking to Lacey via their phones and is instructing her on how to properly wear a mask to cover her mouth. Lacey starts to freak out and when she says that her mom works for the ME a bunch of kids crowd around trying to ask questions. Megan unfortunately has to end the conversation. She schools Agent Johnson during the interrogation of the kid. I have to say I wanted smack the kid. He was so arrogant and rude. But he did help Megan prove a point about how if Johnson can’t even fool a kid, how does he expect to fool the entire city. Back in the lab, Megan makes a convincing argument that the disease isn’t airborne and that the only mode of transmission is by blood contact.

They’re now up to 50 dead and they are still no closer to finding answers. Megan really wants Peter’s picture off the news but Johnson says it’s creating trust with the public. He makes some digs at Peter, saying he’s the last person to give up any useful information. Stafford tries to defend Peter by saying it’s hard sometimes with medical histories. Meanwhile, Peter meets with a girl that Dani was sort of a Big Sister to. Just one more part of Dani’s life Peter didn’t know about. Bud has a little argument with Jeannie about getting her out of town but eventually she agrees. Sam is rewatching the video from the terrorist and spots that there’s some gang graffiti on the wall behind the guy and the lack of ambient noise means it’s a quiet location. They take a team and find the place and a bunch of dead bodies with syringes all over the place. Agent Johnson is being his usual arrogant self and saying that since there were needle marks on some of the victims (Megan points out it was only 3) that the terrorist must be going around sticking people with needles. He really doesn’t have a clue as to what’s going on. Megan and Peter point out that the terrorist has jaundiced and bloodshot eyes. He’s patient zero.

Things are starting to look up a little bit. The patients who aren’t dead seem to be stabilizing and responding to the antibiotics. And Johnson wants to put a new face on the issue; Kate. Unfortunately, Kate is starting to display symptoms of the disease. She’s not really happy with what she has to say at the press conference since it’s largely not the truth. Megan gets a call from Ethan that the patients didn’t actually respond to the drugs. They’re all dead. And just as Kate tries to tell the truth about what’s happening, she collapses.

Ringer 1.19: "Let's Kill Bridget"

“This isn’t about me. This is about the mess my sister made. If you want to blame anyone, you blame Bridget”
- “Siobhan”

I have to say Ringer has really stepped up the plot pace in the final group of episodes. It really makes me hope we get a second season (although it is a cautious hope). This week begins with a bit of a weird in media res flash between three characters. First we see Henry at the police station saying he didn’t do “it”. Next we flash to Catherine making out with Andrew and finally we see Bridget in a really seedy place and a sniper is watching her. The gun goes off and right before the credits roll, we see her lying dead on a mattress. We pick up with Victor talking to “Siobhan” and Andrew about the guy who shot Andrew. His name was Daniel Eckneth and he was one of Bodaway’s men. Obviously Bridget told Andrew about the guy who tried to kill her a few months ago because he blows up at Victor, saying it wasn’t until he started messing around in people’s lives that things happened. Victor’s response is to calmly tell the couple he’s assigned cops to sit outside the apartment and Martin/Charles. Bridget tries to talk Andrew down, saying that it couldn’t have been Bodaway before since Eckneth wasn’t even in the city but he’s still grumpy.

Henry is still being a gullible idiot when it comes to Siobhan. He really needs to stop trusting her and just cut ties all together. But he’s in love and thinks she’s having his babies so that’s not likely to happen. Anyway, he still can’t get in touch with his father-in-law. Siobhan suggests using the boys as bait but Henry shoots that down (and rightfully so). Siobhan admits that she’s been syphoning money from Martin/Charles to live off of. Henry tells her whatever she has will have to suffice and that if they’re going to start a life together, they need to try it, regardless of whether Andrew tries to off Bridget or not. The Martins are trying to enjoy breakfast as a family but Andrew keeps getting calls from investors about Olivia’s departure and his shooting. He heads off, saying he’ll meet Juliet in the car and we see that Juliet is going to meet Catherine that afternoon. Bridget doesn’t think it’s a great idea but will let her go. And she stresses that they can still tell Andrew about the fake assault scheme. But Juliet wants to be the perfect daughter in the wake of Andrew’s shooting. Bridget is clearly unsure of what’s going on and she tries to call Jimmy Kemper. She digs around and finds out he’s in prison and confessed to Mary and Shaylene’s murders. She thinks maybe she trusted the wrong guy when Solomon says he dug into Machado and found he’s not dirty, just a bit obsessed with Bodaway. Bridget resolves to fix her mistakes and testify against Bodaway.

We get a flashback to when Bridget was first picked up by Victor. She’s strung out and just a huge mess. Victor’s trying to convince her to help him and testify against Bodaway. Unfortunately, she says the magic word (lawyer) and he just keeps on going. She does eventually agree to testify but really, he just violated her Miranda rights and screwed the pooch. Back in the present, Solomon says he can’t help her if she’s going to testify but she knows someone who can. We cut to Victor watching the dry cleaning place and he ends up going all ape shit on a guy when he refuses to tell Victor what’s going on. Not one of his finer moments I must say.

As usual, “Ringer” isn’t complete without even more jumping around so we end up at Catherine’s hotel with Juliet saying Andrew told her she had to make an in-person apology for running off. And Juliet has some demands. She says that Andrew is having all kinds of money issues and that he’ll have to sell the property in Florida. Catherine doesn’t seem all that concerned but Juliet presses the issue. They spent a lot of time there when she was growing up. And she wants her mom to buy the property to keep it in the family and buoy Andrew’s finances. Meanwhile, Henry finally tracks down his father-in-law and feeds him a line about sneaking on to Andrew’s computer to get the proof. Tim says he’ll handle it and Henry thinks everything is in the clear. Yeah, like I said earlier, Henry’s an idiot. And Victor is getting his ass handed to him by the new taskforce leader. We learn that Eckneth wasn’t in New York on Bodaway’s orders. They’d cut ties months ago. Victor and the other guy get into a shouting match which ends in Victor’s suspension from the FBI.

Catherine is obviously going along with Juliet’s plan. She meets with the person inquiring about the land in Florida and she reveals she knows he wants to land to build a wind turbine farm. It looks like they’re going to make a deal. Meanwhile, Bridget meets with Victor in a bar. He tells her about his suspension and she tells him that she wants to testify. I had to laugh when he says that her testifying as Bridget is illegal given how he convinced Bridget to testify in the first place. Bridget realizes (through a couple flashbacks) that Victor and Shaylene were an item. But Victor still isn’t comfortable with the idea of “Siobhan” putting herself in Bodaway’s crosshairs. He has too much blood on his hands to begin with.

Catherine shows up at the apartment and tries to seduce Andrew into selling her the land in Florida. She charms him with altruistic motives of making Juliet happy and reminiscing over old times. She even goes so far as to kiss him. He tells that if she makes him a fair offer, he’ll sell her the property. Victor has an idea that they can work out. They can fake Bridget’s death. They’ll shoot video and post it online. Siobhan is watching them through the window of the bar and we get a little fantasy montage of her confronting Bridget and then killing her to move on. The next morning, Catherine has wired $10 million into Andrew’s account. She plans to get way more than that from the wind turbine guy. Unfortunately he and Andrew were in it together and totally screwed Catherine. Juliet confessed to Andrew about the fake assault scheme and it turned into a family effort to screw Catherine back. We’re at the seedy flophouse with Victor and “Siobhan” and they’re setting up to kill Bridget. Unbeknownst to them the sniper is setting up on the roof across the way.

We cut very quickly to where we found Henry at the start of the episode. And Tim screwed him over, too. He tipped the cops off. Back at the flophouse, the sniper loses his shot and has to go in with a handgun. Victor receives a call that says Eckneth had been dead two weeks (before Andrew was shot). So whoever tried to kill “Siobhan” wasn’t after Bridget. The gunman tries to take out “Siobhan” and he thinks he’s done it (we get to the scene where she’s lying on the mattress with blood on her shirt) but she blinks. Luckily, Victor takes him out from across the room. And “Siobhan” isn’t really dead. It was the fake blood Victor gave her. The episode ends with “Siobhan” identifying the guy as the one who tried to kill her (not Bridget) a few months ago. Victor demands she tell him everything and before she can say anything, the dead gunman’s phone rings. Victor picks up and the audience gets the reveal of who is after Siobhan. It’s Catherine.

Fringe 4.15: "A Short Story About Love"

“She had let go of the possibility of being in love, of finding love. And I could see myself in her, and I didn't like who I was.”

“A Short Story About Love,” was, as you would expect from the title, a rather sweet, romantic (in a kind of macabre way) episode of “Fringe.” It featured some welcome forward movement on the Peter/Olivia reunion front, and it was very much in the tradition of “Brown Betty” and “6B.” Suffice it to say, I liked it quite a bit. The case of the week itself sort of took a back seat to the greater implications of the case for our main characters. Like many cases have lately, this one reflected where several of the characters are right now from an emotional standpoint, especially Olivia. She’s certainly been through the romantic wringer lately, what with Peter flip-flopping over whether or not she’s “his” Olivia. At least by the end of the episode, that particular dilemma is resolved. Peter gets a very definitive answer about the nature of the Olivia he’s been interacting with this season. It’s about time- the flip-flopping was getting quite frustrating. It’s time to move on to other plots.

The episode opens with Olivia sitting at a café table looking wistful. There’s a lot of people looking wistful in this episode in general, really. It’s that kind of episode. Nina meets Olivia at the café for breakfast. Olivia talks to her about Peter- she’s pretty sure she loves him. Olivia thanks Nina for meeting with her so she can vent about her romantic problems. Nina is very surprised by this, because meeting for breakfast is something they do every Saturday. This scares Nina a little, because it means that Blue Olivia’s memories are completely taking over. I guess it scared Olivia a bit too, and figuring out which Olivia she wants to be is something she will sruggle with for much of this episode.

Meanwhile, we get an introduction to the creepy/gross case of the week. This one is really strange. I’m not quite sure I entirely understand it, actually. We see a rather upset-looking woman arrive at her home. She listens to a voice mail expressing condolences. It appears that her husband has recently died. While she listens to the voice mail, there’s a mysterious man hiding in the shadows, and he’s carrying some sort of green vial. The woman turns the lights on, and a very disfigured man appears out of the shadows. At first it looks like he’s going to attack her, but then they kiss. Since this is “Fringe,” I immediately wondered if this was her dead husband reanimated. Also because this is “Fringe,” the real answer is much more complicated. After the kiss, the man becomes threatening again. He ends up killing the woman by wrapping Saran wrap around her head. After she has suffocated, he uses a cotton swab to take a “sample” from her hands. The whole thing is very bizarre.

Olivia pays a visit to Walter because she wants to talk to him about the memory loss issue. Walter is all excited because he has a nanny cam Teddy bear that happened to record September disappearing after his deathbed conversation with Peter. He thinks he can see some extra, really fast movement happening. Conveniently, Astrid brings in a big machine that apparently can drastically slow down video. Before she can see what the machine does, hoever, Olivia gets a call about the case of the week. It turns out that the woman we just saw killed was actually the second victim of killings of that nature. Both victims had just buried their husbands, and both husbands had been found randomly in the middle of a field, completely dehydrated. Both women also have a bit of their husband’s DNA on their necks, which just seems kind of gross.

While all this is going on, Peter is trying to get out of town. He’s in a cab on the way to the bus station. Walter calls him, and even though he’s impressed Peter has taken his advice to heart, he tells Peter that he needs to get back to the lab right away. When Peter does return to the lab, he shows him the slow-motion video of September’s disappearance. Before he disappeared, September put something in Peter’s eye. As Walter’s looking at Peter’s eye, he says that Peter is a better man than himself for being willing to leave town. This has significance because Peter’s mom used to always tell him “be a better man than your father.” Walter does eventually take something out of Peter’s eye, and it has writing on it. Specifically, it’s an address- 22 ½ Morrow Street.

Peter goes to investigate the address, and Olivia and Lincoln bring the bodies of the most recently killed couple to the lab. Walter thinks the killer is making a perfume of sorts out of the husband’s pheromones to lure the wife. This makes Olivia and Lincoln a little uncomfortable given the love triangle drama that’s going on at the moment. Walter wants to examine the bodies of the first couple killed, so Olivia and Lincoln have to go retrieve them. On their way out, Walter mentions that Peter is back. It turns out Olivia didn’t realize that Peter left, but she’s very happy to hear the news. She sounds hopeful. I must have misinterpreted this, though, because not long after this, Olivia tells Walter that her old memories are slipping. She didn’t care about that when she had Peter, but now she wants Walter to try and reverse the memory loss.

Our killer, meanwhile, is trawling for his next victims. He’s in a park looking for happy couples. He finds one especially happy-looking couple, and he offers to take their picture. When he sees that they have a young son, however, he backs off. I guess he has some scruples, however small. As he’s walking away he hones in on another, slightly older couple to target instead. Again, he asks to take their picture. We later see a really disturbing montage of the husband from this couple in some sort of heat chamber. I guess that’s how the killer dehydrates his victims. The husband eventually dies. As the husband is overheating and screaming, we see the killer look wistfully at the photo of a woman (see what I meant about lots of people giving wistful looks in this episode?). I guess he lost love and is trying to recreate it through scent. Weirdo.

Back at the lab, Walter has astrid smelling beaver secretions through some strange device, which is just gross. Astrid thinks it’s pretty gross too. In the next room, Lincoln is giving Olivia the whole “If you need anything” speech. I guess he thinks he still has a chance with her by being the nice guy who picks up the pieces. Astrid interrupts to ask for another smelling volunteer. Walter says that he found the one rancid note that was mixed into this particular “perfume” (every perfume has one). This particular substance is very rare, so they’re able to narrow down purchasers to five perfumeries in the area. Astrid is quickly able to narrow it down further. She finds a record of a disgruntled employee being fired from one particular perfumery for theft. He’s pretty obviously the suspect they’re looking for. Olivia and Lincoln go after him, but they arrive at his lair too late to save the dehydrating husband. At least by finding the husband, however, they think they know who the next victim will be (the wife).

Olivia and Lincoln have the unenviable job of informing the wife of the latest victim about her husband’s death. She’s upset, but she takes it somewhat better than you might expect. She says that her husband was the one who was always picking up the pieces when she dated jerks in college (Olivia and Lincoln exchange a knowing look here, of course). Her husband couldn’t see the difference between loving someone and being in love with them. Olivia realizes that this couple didn’t have the happy marriage that the other four victims had, so maybe the killer isn’t after her after all. Olivia then has the foresight to ask if her husband was having an affair. Wouldn’t you know, he was indeed, and Olivia and Lincoln rescue the mistress just as she’s about to be murdered. Later, Olivia meets with Nina and says that she’s going to let the memory replacement run its course. This case has taught her that she wants a chance at love, and having Blue Olivia’s memories could give her that chance.

Peter has been spending the whole episode investigating September’s disappearance. The house at the address that was in his eye looks like Observer central. There’s a whole closet of Observer hats, and it’s really quite amusing. In the house, Peter also finds a case of what appears to be spy tech. One of the gadgets has a blinking dot on the screen, and Peter starts following it. As he walks through a park following the dot of the gadget, what appears to be a weapon drills up out of the ground. I know they had a case with something like that back in season 2. It turns out that the metal tube that drills out of the ground is September’s prison, and Peter frees September. September tells Peter that he actually is in the right universe, and the Olivia he has been interacting with is indeed “his” Olivia. This leads Peter to rush over to Olivia’s apartment, and when she pulls up outside, they see each other and have a lovely rom com-ish reunion. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ringer 1.18: "That Woman's Never Been a Victim Her Entire Life"

“You know what, you’re right. They are in love. Because it seems like without you, your family is tighter than ever.”

This particular episode of “Ringer” wasn’t really anything special. There was no major suspense, and what suspense there was resolved itself pretty quickly. This episode was more about characters reevaluating their priorities and alliances in the wake of Andrew’s shooting. We also learn the answers to some of the mysteries that were introduced in previous episodes, primarily how Tyler died and who was responsible (although that answer was rather disappointing). I also found it surprising how many people are missing or go missing in this episode. Malcolm’s been missing for a couple episodes now, and Olivia’s been missing ever since realizing that Martin/Charles was about to come crashing down. And now Juliet temporarily goes missing in this episode. At least Juliet had a really good reason to try to disappear. She was trying to get away from her horrible, horrible mother.

The episode begins where the last left off. It’s the aftermath of Andrew getting shot by the mysterious gunman because he jumped in front of a bullet meant for “Siobhan” (or possibly Bridget). Victor, who arrived on the scene just as the shooting was going down, runs after the shooter. The shooter is just a bit faster than Victor, though, and Victor is never quite able to catch up. The shooter is quite crafty, too. He or she manages to take advantage of a crowd of people leaving a nearby building to disappear and create an obstacle for Victor. The final blow to Victor, however, comes when the shooter kicks him as he’s trying to jump over a fence. Victor is completely knocked out. When he comes to, however, he picks up a tarot card that fell out of the shooter’s pocket during the escape.

We then switch over to the aftermath from other perspectives. We see a tender Juliet and Bridget moment as they wait at the hospital for news from the surgeon working on Andrew. We also see Henry and Siobhan, who are in bed at Henry’s house. Henry gets a phone call, and it’s from Juliet. She wants Henry to bring some things over to the hospital from the apartment. Siobhan seems extremely confused by the news that Andrew has been shot by a hit man intended for Bridget/ “Siobhan.” Henry quickly arrives at the hospital, and we learn that Andrew has been in surgery for two hours because a fragment of the bullet was close to his spine. The surgeon finally comes out to tell Bridget and Juliet that Andrew is fine, and they share a very tearful hug. Henry watches this with a very confused and impressed look on his face. Kristoffer Polaha does excellent work here as we can see Henry trying to reconciles what he thinks he knows about Bridget with what he’s seeing. He realizes that Bridget and Andrew are truly in love. When Henry tells Siobhan the latest scoop, she says Andrew must have changed his mind at the last minute and decided he didn’t want to kill “Siobhan” after all. Henry thinks that Siobhan is the one who ordered the hit, and he kicks her out of his house. I was very happy to see Henry finally start to see through all of Siobhan’s manipulation.

Victor is at the NYC FBI office talking over the case with his contact there. Apparently the SEC is backing off Martin/Charles because with Tyler dead, they don’t have the additional evidence they thought they would have. Victor gives his NYC contact the job of looking into the tarot card he found. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Andrew wakes up and he and Bridget have a long talk. They each come clean about (some of) their deceptions to each other. Andrew said he visited Malcolm to try and bribe him. Bridget, for her part, tells Andrew about the original attack she experienced and how she killed the hit man. She even throws in the fact that unfortunately, the body disappeared before she really had the chance to investigate. She leaves out one major, obvious deception, though. You know, the fact that she isn’t actually Siobhan. After this exchange of information, Andrew and Bridget come to the conclusion that Olivia is the mastermind behind the hits on “Siobhan.”

Victor also pays Andrew a visit at the hospital. He wants to know why Andrew said he never saw Malcolm after Malcolm was fired, yet Victor knows he asked Malcolm’s hotel about surveillance footage. For just regaining consciousness after major surgery, Andrew thinks pretty quickly and comes up with a plausible excuse that doesn’t involve him trying to destroy evidence of visiting Malcolm. Instead, he says he was conducting his own investigation into Malcolm’s disappearance. Victor insinuates that Olivia could be the next victim, but Andrew and Bridget think that’s ridiculous. Olivia is way too in control of everything in her life to ever be a victim. Bridget sends Solomon to Olivia’s apartment to investigate. The only useful thing Solomon is able to find is a series of letters and numbers that were written on a notepad. Solomon manages to escape the apartment just as Victor and his team arrives.

Andrew, Bridget, and Catherine decide that Juliet should go to Miami to live with Catherine for a little while until the random hit man (probably from Olivia) danger has passed. Juliet is not at all happy to hear this news. Since finding out that her mother was behind the attack on Tessa, Juliet wants absolutely nothing to do with Catherine. Catherine tells Juliet that she doesn’t have a choice. She says that after the scam they ran and its aftermath, they’re bonded for life. As she’s packing up and leaving for Miami, Juliet is extremely pissed at Bridget for allowing this to happen. She really, really does not want to go with Catherine. Juliet asks to stop by school before they leave, and Catherine agrees. As Juliet and Catherine get into an SUV to head over to Juliet’s school, we can see that someone is photographing them.

When we next see the real Siobhan, she’s in a taxi, and she’s on her phone leaving a voicemail for Henry. She’s going to the hospital to tell Andrew the truth about everything. Siobhan does make it all the way to Andrew’s hospital room, and Henry arrives and fights his way past the guards just in time to stop her from spilling everything. They leave the room just as Andrew takes a call. Bridget shows up at the hospital, so Henry and Siobhan skedaddle out of there as quickly as they can. Bridget enters the hospital room, and Andrew tells her that according to the phone call he just got, Juliet is missing. Bridget realizes that the letters and numbers Solomon found in Olivia’s apartment match the name and address of Juliet’s school. This, of course, leads them to believe that Olivia has taken Juliet.

Later, Siobhan and Henry are making out (guess he stupidly decided to start trusting her again thanks to her “I’ll tell Andrew everything if it means we can stay together” stunt), and Henry randomly says he has a confession to make. We get a flashback that explains what happened to Tyler. Tyler and Henry were in Tyler’s hotel room, fighting over both Siobhan and the infamous flash drive. This was a knock-down-drag-out fight. Tyler hits his head on a glass table and dies. I call this the typical television “we were fighting and he hit his head” cop-out death. It’s such a cliché. Who does Henry think he is? Desmond from “Lost?” Before he left the hotel room, Henry switched the flash drives (which explains why Olivia thought there was nothing useful on the flash drive she was examining in the last episode). Henry tells Siobhan that he gave his father-in-law the flash drive as proof that he should pull his investment from Martin/Charles. Tim Arbogast is still like family to Henry, and he suddenly thinks family is important.

Victor’s investigation takes him to a dry cleaner’s that bought tarot cards like the card he found while chasing down Andrew’s shooter. The clerk at the dry cleaner’s says the owner of the store isn’t around, but the tarot cards were part of an old promotion that has been discontinued. Victor doesn’t buy the story, but he leaves his business card with the clerk in case her boss wants to disclose more information. As soon as Victor leaves, the clerk calls someone mysterious (her boss, presumably) to let him or her know that the tarot card has been returned by an FBI agent. Later, Victor gets a call from local police. Malcolm’s ID and other belongings have been found near a shallow grave, although the grave has not been excavated yet.

Bridget remembers that when Juliet was packing for Miami, she packed some winter things like a hat and scarf an gloves. The scarf could be explained away as fashion, but there’s no way Juliet would have needed all that winter get-up in Miami. Bridget starts to think that Juliet actually ran away. Also remembering that Juliet had asked if they could take a little getaway to the beach house, Bridget finds Juliet out at the Hamptons. Juliet tells Bridget the whole truth about the scheme she and Catherine pulled on Andrew. Bridget drags Juliet back to Manhattan to tell Andrew the truth about the settlement he paid, but the big reveal is delayed by Victor showing up. The shallow grave turned out to belong to one of Bodaways lieutenants. Victor seems to think Malcolm is probably dead as well. He thinks the lieutenant is the hit man, though, and that he probably tried to kill “Siobhan” thinking she was Bridget.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Girl 1.17: "Fancyman (Part 1)"

“You were denied a cell phone because you have the credit score of a homeless ghost.”

“Fancyman (Part 1)” was one of the better “New Girl” episodes this season almost entirely due to a stellar comedic performance by Jake Johnson as Nick. Between Johnson and Max Greenfield as Schmidt, “New Girl” is really consistent with the comedy. The tag with Johnson having fun with Nick feeling important when sitting at Russell’s desk was every bit as inspired as Greenfield’s douchebag jar montage in the tag of “The Story of the 50.” It’s sort of interesting to observe how long it takes the zeitgeist to make it into television, and this episode was a great example of that. This was the first that I had really seen the Occupy movement in scripted television. There’s a hilarious scene where Nick keeps saying over and over “We are the 99%!” This episode made especially good use of Nick’s financial predicament. His loser-ness was played for laughs expertly. Overall, the episode was a lot of fun, and I think it was a sign that the series as a whole is really firing on all cylinders now.

The episode opens with Jess and Nick in a phone store. Nick broke his cell phone and needs a new one, but his credit score is an abysmally low 250. The salesperson who had been helping Nick finds this so hilarious that he calls over all the other salespeople to hear about it and they all have a good laugh. On the way home to the loft, Jess tries to cheer Nick up about the whole no phone situation. She thinks Nick should make “guy with no phone” his thing. It could be badass. It just sounds kind of pathetic to me, really, but what do I know. It’s also going to make things rather inconvenient for Nick throughout the rest of the episode. He likes to pretend that writing letters and having to give his friends’ phone numbers to his mom in case of emergency is fun and cool, but it’s really getting him down.

There’s a very small Schmidt, Winston, and Shelby subplot running through the episode. The three go to a bar trivia night, and Schmidt turns out to be a trivia genius. Shelby is very impressed by this, which of course makes Winston jealous and brings out his super-competitive streak. Winston and Schmidt end up having quite an argument over it, where Schmidt basically just says he’s smarter than Winston and that’s okay. Winston ends up working with the kid he nannies (a nice bit of continuity from “The 23rd”) to try and memorize the answers to all the potential trivia questions. That particular scene was rather adorable. The actual trivia night is kind of a disaster because Winston keeps mixing up all of his memorized answers. Shelby assures Winston that she likes him just the way he is, and they end up making out to awkward commentary by Schmidt. They also make their relationship official. I liked tis little subplot because of the continuity, mostly- I always appreciate continuity.

The main plot of the episode involves Jess and Russell, the father of one of her students. He stops by the school because his daughter has created some rather macabre art, and Jess needs to talk to him about it. It involves bloody doll heads and is just plain creepy. Jess says that the artwork was created during “dream” time when she just lets her students be creative. Russell doesn’t like the sound of this, and he says that from now on, his daughter will be spending that time with a private math tutor. Jess protests because she thinks creativity is important too. The assistant principal is upset that Jess talked back to Russell because Russell is very wealthy and a major donor to the school. This made me wonder if Jess works at a private school, because no self-respecting person as rich as Russell would send his child to public school (speaking as a product of a very good public school myself). The assistant principal wants Jess to grovel. Later, at the apartment, Jess tells the guys that she really doesn’t want to grovel. Schmidt tells her groveling makes the world go ‘round, but Nick’s in Occupy mode and is all “fight the power.” Winston, always the centrist, thinks Jess should “apologize like a human.” I personally agree with Winston, but Jess decides to go with Nick’s advice.

We next see Jess driving to Russell’s office. She’s on the phone with Nick, and she tells him she has prepared an elaborate lecture about the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons (haven’t we really returned to that era?), and she’s going to finish up the confrontation with a bluegrass version of “Fight the Power.” On the way to confront Russell, however, Jess’ beat-up old car breaks down. Russell happens to be driving by, and he stops to help. He calls a tow truck and lets Jess borrow his rather sweet car. It’s hilarious watching Nick and Schmidt listen to this on speaker phone. Nick just keeps repeating “We are the 99%!” Jess protests at first, but she does eventually take the help and the car. Russell wants Jess to return the car by attending a cookout he’s throwing at his mansion that weekend.

Jess and Cece discuss the Russell situation, and Cece thinks that Russell intimidates Jess. Jess is used to being the caregiver in a relationship, not the person who is taken care of. Cece thinks Russell would be good for Jess because Jess needs to grow up. That’s really the theme of the series overall, I think. Late 20-early 30 –somethings who need to grow up. Since I fit that description, I identify with and love this show quite a lot. For some reason I don’t quite understand, other than perhaps the desire to take his fight directly to the one percent, Nick accompanies Jess to the cookout. They’re having a lot of fun insulting the fanciness of Russell’s mansion until they get to the study. Nick is overcome with a love for the leather and manliness of the place. It’s quite an awesome performance by Jake Johnson.

Jess does try to go confront Russell, but he gets pulled away by another guest to tell a story about how he once delivered twins. After he tells the story, Russell finds Nick still in the study. Nick is wearing one of Russell’s sweaters too, although he claims that since he found it on the desk chair, he thought it was a “chair sweater.” Russell lets Nick keep the sweater, and he also gives Nick a new cell phone. He likes Nick because he was once like him. But then he grew up. Again with the growing up arc- it’s good stuff. Speaking of needing to grow up, Jess goes to use the rest room and has trouble using Russell’s fancy Japanese bidet. It ends up spraying water all over her before Russell runs in and fixes it. Jess is extremely embarrassed and runs outside. Nick finds her there and tells Jess she should grow up and try dating Russell because it would be good for her.

Jess goes over to apologize to Russell, and he ends up asking her to dinner. Jess accepts, but moments later, she falls into Russell’s koi pond. Nick sees this happen, and he comes running to try to save Jess. Before he can dive into the pond, though, he has to fold his new sweater just like Russell told him to. And Russell can’t see that Nick and Jess belong together why? The episode ends with a wonderfully hilarious montage of Nick having fun with Russell’s desk. My personal favorite is when he’s “President Miller of Earth” calling some aliens about money. As I mentioned in the intro to this post, it’s just as good as Max Greenfield’s douchebag jar moments montage from “The Story of the 50.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HIMYM 7.19: "The Broath"

“Fine, I'll fill her in, and I am so angry I am not even going to make a joke about filling her in. Which I did three times last night. Self-five!”

So I didn’t love this episode of HIMYM. I know I’ve been saying that about a lot of shows lately. It’s not just me being contrary, I promise! When I finally get around to blogging the “Game of Thrones” season premiere, there will be raves on this blog. Raves, I tell you! Part of the problem with this episode in particular is that I really don’t like Quinn at all. I dislike her for different reasons than I dislike Nora. Nora was kind of a non-entity- the poor man’s Robin, really, with the laser-tagging and all. Quinn is pure evil. She brings out the worst in Barney and erases all the growth he has made over the years, especially last year in the arc where he met his father. Marshall and Lily were rather intolerable in this episode as well. They spent most of it preoccupied with the fact that Marshall can’t tell “sex stories” because everyone knows he’s only ever been with Lily. The only redeeming aspect to this episode at all really was Ted and Robin having some genuine conversation and trying to deal what they’ve recently been through.

At the beginning of the episode, Saget!Ted tells us that Barney had been off the grid for a few weeks, likely all caught up in Quinn Land, the scammiest place on Earth. Then, out of the blue, Barney text Ted. Ted goes to Barney’s apartment, where Barney greets him dressed in a toga. He wants Ted to swear a “Broath” on the Bro Code that he will not tell the rest of the gang that Quinn is a stripper. He wants them to meet her with an open mind and get to know her before they find out what she does for a living. I do have to admit that the trappings of the “Broath” were pretty funny. Barney even got some monks to record themselves chanting “Bro” over and over. Ted swears the Broath not to tell the gang about Quinn, then he immediately runs to MacLaren’s and tells everyone that Quinn is a scammy stripper.

The gang agrees to meet Quinn anyway, and they do their best to keep an open mind, but it doesn’t go well at all. Quinn comes off as ridiculously controlling, even telling Barney when he can and can’t go use the rest room. Nobody likes her, and I don’t blame them. She does mention, however, that she’s moving from her apartment soon because she and Barney are going to move in together. This starts a bit of a competition between Ted and Robin, because they are both in need of some new housing. Since they both moved out of the apartment and gave it to Lily and Marshall, Ted has been living in university housing, and Robin has been living with her kind of annoying coworker, Patrice. They are both rather desperate for a place of their own, even though the college Ted, Lily, and Marshall clones that Ted encounters in university housing are pretty hilarious. Marshall 2.0 is even eating a sandwich, of course. Also while the gang is at Quinn’s apartment, Lily finds evidence that Barney and Quinn are taking a trip to Hawaii. They figure it’s yet another expensive gift Quinn swindled out of Barney.

Not liking what they’ve seen on Quinn at all, the gang hauls out the trusty old intervention banner. Marshall decides it needs a little upgrade to say “Quinntervention,” which I thought was kind of stupid, especially when Marshall started insisting they put “Quinn” in front of all manner of words. When Barney is confronted with the Quinntervention, he is mostly upset because this means that Ted blabbed to the rest of the gang and broke the sacred Broath. Barney warns that the breaking of a Broath can have dire consequences, and we get a funny fake history flashback to “Broman” times to illustrate. One of Caesar’s bros tells him that there is no conspiracy to kill him, then ninjas suddenly appear. Caesar kicks ass and defeats the ninjas, and the disloyal bro gets a throwing star to the head. The gang realizes they’ve put their collective foot in their mouths when Barney says he knows nothing about the trip to Hawaii. Quinn then appears in the doorway and says that she bought the trip for Barney. Quinn is pissed when she finds out Barney asked Ted not to tell the others about Quinn’s job, because she thinks it means Barney is ashamed of her. Barney says that if Quinn leaves, it proves that the gang was right about her. Quinn slaps Barney and storms out, leaving the gang feeling pretty sheepish.

Despite having a lesson in treating other people decently, Robin and Ted continue to squabble over who should sublease Quinn’s apartment. They eventually take the conversation out into the hall. Robin reveals that she thinks she’s going to lose her job. She’s been very distracted what with the broken short-lived engagement to Kevin and Ted professing his love and having to move and all, and a meeting has been called for Friday afternoon, which is otherwise known as “Fire O’Clock” at World Wide News. She desperately wants things to go back to normal with Ted because she needs her best friend to vent about stuff like this. Ted says he can’t do that. Later, Robin and Ted meet again at MacLaren’s. It turns out that Robin didn’t lose her job after all. She got a promotion, and she is now Sandy’s co-host. She also has gotten herself a nice new apartment in Central Park West. Ted will now be able to take Quinn’s apartment. Robin and Ted decide to go back to “normal,” but Saget!Ted tells us that he didn’t see Robin for a while after that conversation.

The gang all goes over to Barney’s apartment to apologize for breaking him and Quinn up. He makes them all swear a Broath to never interfere in his personal life again. Everyone swears the Broath, complete with a Robin/Lilly kiss where Lily is way more into it than Robin, and then Quinn appears. It turns out that this whole turn of events, from the original Broath on, was an evil plot hatched by Barney and Quinn because Quinn “loves chaos.” She’s just generally evil. But the gang all thinks they’re perfect together. Obviously, I don’t. Quinn brings out the worst in Barney and erases all the character development that has happened for the past few seasons. Barney and Quinn announce that they’ve decided to move in together for real. At the end of the episode, when Barney and Quinn are alone again, we see them talking about if Quinn would ever stop stripping (Barney’s a little jealous). She says she might if she ever got married. That bride we’ve been teased about for the past few seasons had better be Robin. That’s all I’m saying.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ringer 1.17: "What We Have is Worth the Pain"

“Never send a love-sick school boy to do a man’s job.”

Lots of crazy things definitely happened in this episode of “Ringer.” I would say that the plot deepened more than it moved forward, though. Things got much, much more twisted in every sense. We know more about what Catherine has done and what Andrew has done. Oh and Bridget’s new bodyguard knows her true identity too. Henry and Siobhan are still scheming, this time with the explicit goal of killing Bridget. Just plain craziness. I’m glad, however, that it seems like the events of this episode will finally clear the air between Andrew and Bridget. Or at least the air will be cleared as much as it can be while Andrew still doesn’t know Bridget’s true identity. At least we aren’t wondering if Andrew wants to kill “Siobhan” anymore. His actions at the end of the episode make that pretty clear, I think. Unless they want to pull another crazy twist on us at the end of the season, which is entirely possible with this show.

The episode opens with another Siobhan and Henry phone call. Henry is giving Siobhan the news that Tyler is dead. He claims he followed Bridget when she returned to the SoHo Diamond and saw the dead body. Siobhan is convinced that Andrew and Olivia are behind the murder. We see a flashback which might explain why Siobhan is so suspicious and so hateful towards Andrew. The flashback is to Siobhan revealing to Andrew that she knows about the Ponzi scheme. Andrew threatens to kill Siobhan if she tells anyone. It turns out that the threat is what Henry heard on the recording from the safe deposit box. Siobhan explains that after she was threatened, she started seeing a hit man following her. She’s pretty sure it was Andrew trying to kill her. So it makes sense that when it appears “Siobhan” is pressing the Ponzi scheme issue again, he’d be ready to kill again.

Andrew and Olivia are at the office discussing the information leak situation, and Olivia is taking a look at the infamous flash drive. It turns out that the flash drive she recovered was a fake. It is completely useless. Andrew wonders if Malcolm might have the real flash drive, but Olivia says he didn’t go into the right files to access the information they are trying to recover. Plus he didn’t know about Tyler. Then Olivia does realize how Malcolm might have found out about Tyler. Through “Siobhan.” They think Malcolm and “Siobhan” may have been working together to compromise Martin/Charles. Olivia tells Andrew that he needs to deal with “Siobhan” “severely.” Back at the apartment, Andrew confronts Bridget about her potential attempts to bring down Martin/Charles, but she manages to push her way out of the apartment. Back at her hotel, she tells her bodyguard, Solomon, that she’s afraid Andrew will send the hit man after her again. Andrew and Olivia later have a fight over the situation. Olivia doesn’t think Andrew was tough enough on “Siobhan.” As Olivia leaves, Juliet appears. Juliet begs Andrew to fix things with Siobhan. She thinks they need Siobhan to be better people and a functional family again.

Out in Wyoming, Victor stops by Bodaway’s club to gloat about finally having a case against him again. Victor is about to fly to New York City to pick up Malcolm, who is supposed to be under the protection of other FBI agents. I know Bodaway killed Victor’s stripper with a heart of gold girlfriend and everything, but taunting Bodaway seems like a terribly bad idea. Clearly Bodaway was tipped off that there was a major breakthrough in the case and perhaps a new witness. Once he gets to New York, Victor finds out that Malcolm is missing, and he and the New York FBI folks start trying to investigate the disappearance. They don’t find much of anything useful, but they do find that Malcolm’s latest employer was Martin/Charles. This leads Victor to pay a visit to Andrew and Olivia. Andrew lies to Victor and says that the last time he saw Malcolm was when Malcolm was fired from Martin/Charles. We know better that Andrew was just visiting Malcolm at his hotel not long before the disappearance.

Meanwhile, Bridget and Solomon are on their own “Let’s Find Malcolm” hunt. Bridget remembers the tracking app Malcolm gave her, and she tries to use that to locate his phone, and hopefully him. Bridget and Solomon follow the signal from Malcolm’s phone to an area of what look like really bombed out houses. It’s very seedy- a crack den basically. After some harrowing encounters with the locals, Bridget and Solomon do find Malcolm’s phone. But it’s not with Malcolm. It’s with a guy who says he found the phone in a dumpster. Next stop on the tour is Malcolm’s hotel. Bridget and Solomon use a distraction to find the discs on which the hotel’s security footage is stored. They want to watch the footage to see who was in Malcolm’s room at the time of the disappearance. Bridget is understandably very upset when she watches the footage and sees Andrew on it at just about the right time.

Juliet goes to visit Catherine at Catherine’s hotel (are all these people staying at the same hotel, or just indistinguishable different swanky Manhattan hotels?), and as she’s waiting for the elevator, she meets a kind of gross guy named Cash. Juliet thinks he’s ridiculously hot, though, of course. He thinks she’s “awesome.” This romance clearly seems to have a future. Cash has an odd tattoo on one of his forearms that seems to use a lot of Masonic symbolism. He also has skinned knuckles on one of his hands. He claims that happened when his boss pissed him off and he punched a wall. Juliet goes up to Catherine’s hotel room completely smitten. Catherine herself is quite pleased to hear about Andrew and “Siobhan’s” marital troubles. Because she’s an evil ice queen.

Victor goes to Malcolm’s hotel and requests the surveillance footage from the front desk clerk. The clerk says that the footage went missing. Victor asks if anyone else had stopped by asking for surveillance footage, and the clerk confirms that yes, someone did stop by. And he was British. The clerk was obviously referring to Andrew, and Victor knows that. I guess Andrew freaked out at the possibility that his lies might be revealed to Victor. At her own hotel, Bridget is still reeling from seeing Andrew on the surveillance video. And Solomon chooses that moment to reveal that he has figured out her true identity. It started when he saw Bridget reading something on her phone while in the car, because the real Siobhan gets car sick easily. That made him suspicious enough that he ran “Siobhan’s” fingerprints and discovered she was actually Bridget.

Henry gets a knock on his door, and it’s a surprise visit from Siobhan. For someone whose assets have been frozen, Siobhan certainly jets back and forth between Paris and New York quite a bit. Henry is tired of being kept in the dark, and he demands that Siobhan tell him the whole truth. First he wants to know if she slept with Tyler, and Siobhan admits that yes, she did. She quickly follows it up with talking about how she really needed the information about Martin/Charles that Tyler had access to. Then Henry wants to know why Siobhan is so intent on killing Bridget. Siobhan then tells him about how Bridget “killed” her son. We know from the last episode that isn’t quite true. She begs Henry to let her go ahead with her plan to kill Bridget because her life has been so miserable and she “deserves” happiness.

Bridget and Solomon come to an understanding. Solomon isn’t going to reveal Bridget’s identity because right now he’s getting paid quite well, and without a “Siobhan” around, he doesn’t get paid. Bridget almost immediately gets what appears to be a text from Henry. It says that Henry wants to meet her about Tyler. This leads Bridget and Solomon to wait around at the apartment for a while, thinking Henry is going to show up. Siobhan takes advantage of this to try to blow up Bridget and Andrew’s relationship. She approaches Andrew and screams at him about how he’s a criminal and she wants nothing to do with him. Olivia hears this from the next room, and she ends up skipping town before things completely implode at Martin/Charles.

Meanwhile, Juliet meets up with Tessa, who is now out of the hospital, at a coffee shop. Juliet is chatting with Cash online and giggling quite a bit, so of course Tessa wants to know about Juliet’s new boy. Juliet pulls up a picture of Cash, and Tessa completely freaks out. It turns out that Cash was her attacker. Tessa runs off, still really upset about what she saw. Juliet decides to run to Catherine with this new huge problem. While explaining what happened, though, she notices a hole in the hotel room wall and remembers Cash talking about punching a hole in his boss’ wall. She realizes that it wasn’t Mr. Carpenter who ordered the hit on Tessa. It was her own mother. Catherine desperately tries to get Juliet to stay with her by saying Cash is a threat and he’s after the rest of the money, but Juliet leaves anyway, saying, for good measure, that she wishes Siobhan was her mom.

Siobhan returns to Henry, and poor clueless Bridget is still waiting around for Henry. Then Bridget gets a text from Malcolm saying to meet him at the loft. For some reason Bridget decides to believe this text too. Before she can leave, though, she runs into Juliet. Juliet is really upset, but she says that “Siobhan” should go help Malcolm. They agree to have a girls’ weekend at a beach house once things calm down a bit. At the loft, Solomon goes up some stairs to check that the roof access is secure, and while Bridget is waiting, Andrew appears. He tells “Siobhan” he wants her back, and she’s beginning to give in when an unidentified person fires a gun. Victor arrives at the loft just as this is going down. He rushes to the scene where he encounters Solomon, who claims somebody knocked him out. I’m not sure whether we should believe him or not. When Victor gets into the room where the shooting happened, Andrew is on the ground. He was shot when he jumped in front of the bullet that was meant for Bridget.

Body of Proof 2.17: "Identity"

“For thirty-six hours the Whirleys thought their daughter was dead. And for thirty-six hours you cared for Donna as your own. Out of this tragedy, one girl has survived and she has all four of you to thank for the love and support she’s gotten.”
- Kate

We start this week with two sets of EMTs coming in with car crash victims. Both are in pretty bad shape but the passenger doesn’t make it. The driver is in the ICU. Megan arrives solo to inspect the passenger, Donna Whirley. After looking at the body, Megan heads out towards the garage to let Dani know she can pick up the body when Megan runs into both sets of parents. Donna’s dad asks if Carrie (the driver still in ICU) was drunk. This sets Carrie’s dad off and Megan has to break up a fight (by dumping a vase of water on their heads). It turns out Megan showed up with Aiden from a date. Poor guy is always having his time with her interrupted by work. But he’s not too upset about it as he drives her back to the lab.

Megan, Peter and Ethan start the external exam and find some interesting things. Peter learned at the evidence garage that Donna’s seatbelt was working fine and that there was a bottle of beer in the driver side door pocket next to Carrie. Ethan notes a scar on Donna’s foot and Peter found a white chalky substance on her pants. Megan rolls Donna to see if something would have inhibited her range of motion and finds a bullet hole. Meanwhile, Curtis, Bud and Sam are trying to explain things to Donna’s parents and Donna’s mother starts yelling at Bud and Sam about why they haven’t arrested Carrie yet. Okay, I get that she’s upset that she just lost her daughter but Carrie’s in a coma. She can’t exactly be read her rights. Anyway, Curtis spots Kate walking purposely down the hall and we see her going to tell Megan some interesting new. Megan, of course, beats her to the punch. It looks like it wasn’t a traffic fatality after all. It’s murder.

The doctor who is treating Carrie is trying to explain to Bud and Sam about the bullet lodged in Carrie’s heart. Megan has to translate. They can’t have the bullet for a few days. Carrie’s dad overhears the conversation and tells them they can’t take the bullet. Bud and Sam get called away to the evidence garage while Megan tries to sympathize with the Greysons. They let her see Carrie and Megan gets their permission to examine her clothes from the night of the accident. Over at the garage, Bud and Sam learn that Carrie’s car side swiped another car and the techs found a gun with one empty chamber under the driver seat of the second car. Meanwhile, we get some drama with Dani and Peter (they’re staying at each other’s places a lot but Peter’s not ready to commit to moving in together. Dani’s kind of bummed). Ethan is being Ethan with a little added weirdness. He’s trying to impress Dani by learning Spanish. She doesn’t speak it. Kate and Peter arrive down in autopsy to find Megan waiting for them. They do a little reenactment to find out that both girls were turned away from the shooter when the bullet was fired. Peter is tasked with finding out how high off the ground the window of Carrie’s car is to see if the bullet could have been shot through an open window.

Bud and Sam go pay the second driver a visit but he denies shooting them. He has a gun because he’s a process server and sometimes has to go into shady neighborhoods and confront less-than happy people. Megan stops by to fill Curtis in on the latest developments and they come to the conclusion that it’s possible one of the girls was the target of the shooting and the other was just collateral damage. Down in the lab, Ethan’s discovered that the white chalky residue on Donna’s pants was the closest thing to kryptonite as you could get. Donna was a geology major working at the college museum and they’d just gotten a sample of the substance. So Bud and Sam head over to talk to the other interns. One of the girls said that Carrie and Donna must have gotten their wires crossed because Donna left saying she was late to meet Carrie and then Carrie showed up looking for Donna. We get our next possible suspect in Suzie Foster. She and Donna were up for the same scholarship which Donna won.

We have a nice little bit which introduces the C storyline of the episode. Lacey stops by the office to give Megan a picture she drew and Curtis stops in to tell Megan he nominated her for a Medical Association award and she won. But Megan doesn’t have much time to gripe about it because Bud and Sam are questioning Suzie. Suzie says she walks to and from the museum and that she didn’t shoot Donna. She also shares that Donna had Lupus. This leads to the big “oh shit” moment as Megan is reexamining the body in the morgue. The body has no signs of Lupus but the inflamed heart of the girl still in the hospital is a symptom. The paramedics got it wrong. Carrie’s the one that’s dead and Donna is the one still fighting for her life in the ICU.

Understandably, Carrie’s dad is furious and he threatens to sue the department and everyone involved in the whole mess. Ethan discovers (having gotten the real Donna’s clothes from the hospital) that it was saturated in photo developing chemicals. Bud, Sam and Peter head over to Carrie’s apartment and find that she was obviously scared of someone. She had four locks on her door, pepper spray and bars on her window. Turns out she did have a stalker and reported it to the campus police. Peter relays all this information while Megan is getting ready for the awards dinner. She ends up bringing Aiden but they slip away before Megan accepts the award and we get our B storyline. Joan is babysitting Lacey and finds her passed out on the floor.

Megan flips out at the hospital, yelling a nurse to get the attending doctor. Guess Aiden’s seen her “true colors” now in Mama Bear mode. It just so happens to attending is the same doctor Megan’s been dealing with on the case. Lacey has Type 1 diabetes. Once Lacey is settled in her room, Megan and Joan settle in. Sort of. Megan keeps pacing until Joan tells her to get some rest and that Lacey will be okay. The previous night Donna’s heart started bleeding so Bud and Sam get their bullet. But it’s not a match to Mr. Process Server. Megan starts to leave when she sees Donna’s mother. Megan shares the news that Carrie had a stalker and things begin to click into place. Donna had a box of Carrie’s keepsakes in her bedroom. They look through it and Megan finds a strip of something in a little envelope. Ethan and Peter are looking at the intern photo from the college when Ethan says the stalker has to be the only guy in the photo because he’s wearing a shirt for an artist commune where they develop their pictures manually
Bud, Sam and Peter head over to the commune and find all kinds of photos of Carrie and some of Donna in the hospital. Obviously the stalker doesn’t know that it’s not Carrie in the hospital. They race off to the hospital because they think the stalker is going to try and kill Donna. Megan (somehow changing into scrubs) is using a microscope to examine the stuff from the envelope. It’s fungus. She makes it to Donna’s private room just as Suzie shows up. Megan confronts her and it turns out she thought she was Carrie’s best friend and was jealous of Donna. Suzie tries to kill Donna with a syringe full of nasty chemicals but Megan tackles her. Bud and company burst just in time to pull Suzie off Megan before she unleashes the nastiness. At the lab, Kate is meeting with the Greysons and tells them they aren’t going to sue anyone. She convinces them not to do this by having the Whirleys come in with Carrie’s keepsake box. They eventually make amends and agree to be there for Donna. Because of all the drama that surrounded the case, the Chief has demoted Curtis and put Kate back in her rightful place. Curtis seems kind of happy about that and doesn’t mind leaving Kate to clean up Megan’s shenanigans of leaving the awards dinner early. Meanwhile, Megan is at the hospital with Lacey. Lacey is obviously scared but Megan promises they’ll get through it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Girl 1.16: "Control"

“It’s like you’re ripping the side block out of my mental Jenga.”

When I first watched “Control,” I thought it was one of those middle-of-the –road episodes of New Girl that I call out so often here on the blog. You know, even though it’s not a favorite, it was still fun and that means the show is awesome? I ended up enjoying it a lot more when rewatching it to write this. It’s still not in the very upper pantheon of “New Girl” episodes, but I laughed a whole lot. And I’ve come to the conclusion that my own apartment really needs a Schmidt. Maybe then we’d clean the kitchen more than once every few months! This really was a great episode for Schmidt overall. We got to see why the rest of the roommates tolerate having him around despite his intrinsic doucheyness. We also saw why getting Schmidt to lighten up a little is a very, very bad idea if you ever want to have a clean apartment or snarky, on-point fashion advice. Schmidt embracing his (very deep) inner drum circle hippie provided a great showcase for Max Greenfield to show off his comedic chops, and Greenfield certainly rose to the occasion. Schmidt really is the role of a lifetime for him.

The episode opens with Cece and Schmidt in a car. They’ve had their tryst for the evening, and Cece is trying to drop Schmidt off about a mile away from the loft. Her reluctance to be seen with Schmidt is kind of starting to border on the ridiculous here. I mean, yeah, he’s a douchebag, but he’s a self-aware douchebag, and he treats Cece well. Anyway, Schmidt is seriously stressing out, because Cece just summons him for sex whenever she wants, and he feels like she has all the control in the relationship. Schmidt is the epitome of a control freak, so this is not working for him at all. He takes out his frustration on Jess when he finally gets home. She found a pine hutch she liked out on the street and brought it into the apartment. This isn’t okay with Schmidt because 1.) it’s not furniture he picked out; 2.) pine is for outhouses; and 3.) street furniture could be germy. He threatens Jess that he’ll reinstitute his “ban on high-waisted shorts” if she doesn’t get rid of the hutch.

Meanwhile, Nick and Winston are in the bathroom. Nick has random stuff written all over himself in marker, and we soon find out that the boys got rather wasted at a poker game the night before. The upshot is that Nick owes Winston $480. And we all know how rolling in cash Nick is. Jess interrupts by bursting into the bathroom to complain about Schmidt, and she leaves with a newfound determination to stand up to Schmidt in the apartment wars. Schmidt comes home to find that Jess has changed even more things in the loft since the last time he came home. There’s a lamp and afghan Jess found while dumpster diving. To really twist the knife, Jess has also put some of Schmidt’s stuff in the hutch. Schmidt wants the hutch gone more than ever. He tries acting like he’s had a change of heart, and he apologizes to Jess, but when she walks away satisfied, he knocks the hutch over and breaks it. This is the big realization that Schmidt has gone to far with his control freak/compulsive tendencies.

Instead of getting mad, because she’s Jess after all, Jess decides to take Schmidt to Venice Beach to see if she can get him to lighten up a bit. Instead of enjoying the ocean and the quirky people, though, all Schmidt can see is a dead bird and syringes on the beach. He’s not having fun at all. Jess tells Schmidt that he needs to learn to be a bit spontaneous. At the perfect moment, Schmidt notices a drum circle. A woman motions for him to join, and it looks like Schmidt is actually going to take her up on the offer. Very un-Schmidt-like.

Sitting on a park bench, Winston tries once again to get his poker money from Nick. He’s got a prepared written-out speech and everything. It’s kind of adorable. There’s even a pre-written response for when Nick tells Winston to “relax.” Winston offers to call it even at $200, but even that isn’t good enough for Nick. He starts listing stuff he’s paid for recently that Winston has also used, and he tries to subtract it all from the $200 balance. Back at the apartment, Winston retaliates by giving Nick a bunch of receipts for stuff he’s bought, and they keep sniping about what they owe each other. The capper is Winston seeing Nick’s mom naked in 8th grade. Nick’s reaction to this part of the conversation is pretty hilarious. Jess and Schmidt arrive at home, and Jess starts enjoying showing off the new Schmidt. He’s super chill and doesn’t even get upset when Nick spittakes beer all over the table. Winston and Nick both warn Jess that she has upset the fragile ecosystem of the loft.

Sure enough, without Schmidt keeping things obsessively in order, the apartment quickly devolves into chaos. Schmidt is just drumming all day, and the place is a serious mess. Jess offers to do the cleaning if Nick and Winston go grocery shopping. Nick and Winston hem and haw about having to do a chore until Schmidt waltzes in and tries to give them necklaces that he made. Then they’re only too happy to go. And let me tell you, Nick and Winston trying to grocery shop is pretty priceless. They put way too many groceries in the cart for the $100 they have to spend. They have to realize that they don’t actually need multiple bottles of catsup. This, of course, makes them start talking about the money again. Winston smirks that they’re even because he’s seen Nick’s mom’s boobs. This devolves into a slap fight, which is never not funny.

Jess, realizing the error of her ways, goes to the beach to try and get Schmidt back, but he’s not interested. He doesn’t want to leave the drum circle. Back at the loft, Nick and Winston make up over sharing a frozen bagel as an ice pack to recover from their fight. Jess comes home very upset, and she admits that she did indeed upset the ecosystem. She just wants to be part of the loft “family.” Nick kind of adorably assures Jess that yes, she is part of the family now. Schmidt arrives home from his day of drumming, and it’s time for the roommates to stage an intervention. Nick offers to let Schmidt clean his room, which Schmidt calls the “White Whale.” Jess gives Schmidt a brand new pair of Calvin Klein trousers. The leave the room, and the Calvin Klein does its work well. Soon enough, Schmidt is back to obsessively cleaning and unintentionally insulting his friends.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Person of Interest 1.17: "Baby Blue"

"I’m teaching her to go undercover. She’s a natural.”
- Reese

Unlike the previous episode, “Baby Blue” is highly entertaining. I watched the commercials for it multiple times because it made me laugh so much. We have two plots this week, the first being that Elias’s father, Gianni Moretti, is being released from prison. Carter and Reese are there to meet him and Carter tries to offer Moretti protection but he declines. Reese is there because it looks like the Machine gave them Moretti’s number. Finch however, is on his own at the moment as he’s gotten the number of one Lela Smith. Her social security number was only issued two months ago. He goes to the only address he has (a hospital) and finds out she’s a patient…and a 6-month old baby girl who was left at the hospital under New York’s Safe Haven law. Let me tell you, she is the cutest little thing! Not long after Finch shows up, two guys show up claiming they have to transfer Lela. Finch notes their boots (it’s always the shoes that give away the bad guys in scrubs) and does something rash. He kidnaps Lela while Reese and Carter have a shootout with some of Elias’s people. Looks like Moretti is getting that protective custody after all.

Reese gets back to HQ to find Lela in a makeshift playpen (made of books) playing with one of Finch’s ties. It’s adorable. They don’t know who Lela’s parents are but the clinic where she was dropped off received $50,000 around the time she was born and $10,000 each month after. Likely, the goons that showed up were going to smuggle her out of the country and dump her in some third world orphanage. Finch goes to have a little rendezvous with Carter (and pick up some diapers and bottles) while Reese has some quality time with the baby. I have to admit, John Reese and baby do not go together in my head. Nor does it make any kind of sense to Carter. She feels like her hands are tied because other than not arresting Finch (which she says several times), she can’t do much. Finch tells her to look into the clinic. Meanwhile, back at the precinct, one of the corrupt cops strong arms Lionel into following Carter to see where she’s stashed Moretti. He clearly doesn’t look too happy about it. At least he’s trying to be a better cop and human being.

Carter does pay a visit to the clinic but she get5s sidelined by the director. He insists they don’t’ know anything about Lela’s parents. But Mary (the nurse) seems a little more knowledgeable so Carter leaves a card (and says she’s with SVU no homicide). Over at HQ, Reese and Finch have discovered that the donor of the $50,000 is Patrocian Construction. In a rather hilarious bit, Reese is holding Lela while looking at a picture of the Patrocian family and he points to the two men in the picture and asks “Dada?” He got a funny look from Finch and a giggle out of me. Reese heads out to do a little surveillance on the Patrocian clan while Finch tries to get Lela to drink a bottle (again more giggling on my part). It appears that the parents might be covering for the son. Carter gets a call from Mary and learns that Lela came in with a silver bracelet with the initials C.C. carved on it. Finch does a little digging and they come up with Claudia Cruz, a receptionist who left the company eight months ago (the timing a bit off and honestly, the baby playing Lela is NOT 6 months old). Anyway, Carter finds a report that Claudia died in a fire four days earlier. Thinks are looking pretty hinky.

Carter, Finch and Reese have a little meeting in public and Carter chides John for bringing Lela along. He explains he’s teaching her to go undercover. Okay, how cute is that? Carter is going to go over the autopsy and case report with a mentor from the fire department and look at the scene. Going over the scene, Carter is convinced that it was not an accident. She was hit with something (a pipe) and the smoke detector was compromised. Finch goes to talks to Claudia’s parents. It becomes clear fairly quickly that Claudia was pregnant. Her mother shows Finch a photo of Claudia and Brad (the son) so Reese follows him. But Brad’s not Lela’s father. He’s gay. So it’s time to look at Papa Patrocian. Reese is about to head off when he asks about Lela. Finch turns around to see her gone.

IN what is probably one of my favorite scenes of the episode, Reese and Finch are looking for Lela and they find her with a tear gas grenade. Apparently Reese was supposed to move his arsenal. They are arguing like a married couple and it just cracks me up. Finch is going to take Lela to her grandparents so she’ll be safe (he’s put them in a safe house) but things don’t go well. The house wasn’t very safe and thugs end up making off with Lela. Meanwhile, Carter gets back to the precinct and gets a call from the other cop babysitting Moretti. She lies to Lionel about why he called and rushes off, leaving Lionel to take the evidence from Claudia’s apartment down to the lab.

Reese is on the war path now. He goes to the Patrocian home and starts wailing on the dad, only to get a text from Carter saying it was the wife who killed Claudia. She swears she can’t get in touch with the people she hired because the number has been disconnected. So he heads to a bar and knocks some heads together but still doesn’t get what he wants. So he makes a really tough call, he goes to see Elias for help. Elias gets him an address and Reese almost intercepts the kidnappers but Elias shows up again. He wants Moretti’s location (which we know John knows) and he locks Reese and Lela in a freezer truck (with the air turned on) with a baby monitor. Reese can save Lela if he just tells Elias where Moretti is. Reese rights it for as long as he can (he even manages to break free of the bar he’s been handcuffed to and curls up around Lela to try and keep her warm. He finally gives in and tells Elias where Moretti is stashed. Guess Lionel doesn’t have to rat out Carter. He followed her and saw where Moretti was but lies to the corrupt cop about what he saw. Elias’s people shoot the other cop watching Moretti and nab him, dragging him out to the same spot where Reese went to ask for help. Carter is so upset with all that’s happened, especially since Reese was the one who gave up the location, that she says she’s done. The only good thing in all of this is that Reese and Finch manage to unite Lela safely with her grandparents.