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Last Week in TV - Week of Jan. 18 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Hi and welcome back to Last Week in TV. I apologize for not responding to comments last time. Real life and all these double episodes have been kicking my butt. Hopefully things will slow down soon. As such, I was also not able to watch the nominated episode this week, which is a huge shame because it comes from one of my favorite series, Burn Notice. I will try hard to review it this week. Speaking of, if you have a show you'd like me to watch, please fill out the short 2-question form below. I work from the same list throughout the summer so if your nomination hasn't been randomly selected yet, please keep looking out for it.

In other news I wanted to say that although I am no longer reviewing Sleepy Hollow here, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked last week's episode. It was a refreshing change to have an entire episode where Katrina and Ichabod spend time together and it's not one long fight. With the exception of 2 Abbie scenes in which she trash talks/side eyes Katrina AGAIN, I thought the whole episode was one of the best this season. I truly hope Irving is not evil. You can catch all my thoughts in the Southgate Media Group podcast. Here's hoping I will want to review this show again instead of it being just a fluke.

As always, I would love to hear how your TV week went, so sound off in the comments below. Until next week, happy TV viewing.

Show of the Week:

State of Affairs - 1.09 - Cry Havoc

Despite a very shaky pilot, State of Affairs has turned into an intense spy thriller where all alliances must be questioned and enemies might just be the one thing that can save the nation. This episode begins with an All-American sorority girl going all suicide bomber at the Director of the FBI's house and rarely loses tension throughout. Not only did we make huge gains in the biggest stories, but we put some annoying subplots to bed as well. The mysterious texter is revealed, although sadly without an appearance by Syd, who was the only thing that made that hunt worthwhile. I am however really glad that it is over, even if it puts one of my favorite characters on the wrong side of the story. I also cheered at the demise of Senator Green, who had because a thorn to the story not to mention PotUS. If we have also seen the last of Marshall's quest to find his son's killer, then I will even more ecstatic because he is the reason the episode was docked a bit in the grade. Every time he was on, it stalled the momentum with the exception of when David didn't sugarcoat things for the President. Nothing could ruin that powerful scene. Probably the best thing about this episode though was finally getting to Fattah. I know Nick now trusts him but my skepticism is showing. What if Fattah is using the CIA to take out Hakam and drive himself into power on the wake of a massive terrorist uprising? I thought this series only had 10 episodes, but now it looks like there's 13 so it would be far too easy if everything as it appears. This show must have a few big shocks and twists left and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - all the twists and fantastic pacing
Best Reason to Fast Forward - everything with Marshall
Best Scene - David tells PotUS that the country needs the soldier not compassion
The "What the Heck?" Award - Did that sorority girl just suicide bomb herself in the cold open? Say what? Totally did not expect that.
Best "Well Hello…." - and we have Fattah, finally
Biggest Say What? - Lucas is the one who sent Charlie the photos / Fattah killed someone in front of Nick
Biggest Confessional - Lucas seems to think the lie detector test is mass and confesses all his sins straight up
Best Way to Get Rid of an Annoyance - they blew up Senator Green
Most Creepy - the kid whose eyes light up at the idea of getting to be a suicide bomber
Biggest Snake in the Grass - Victor Gantry…maybe?
Best Quotes -
1. Navarro: "Oh lies are the base currency of both our worlds, senator. The difference though is that I use them to protect this country and you use yours to politicize it."
2. PotUS: "Everyone lies, Charleston. It's always those closest to us whose betrayal we can't see."
3. David: "I think that this presidency was built on a promise that's not being delivered. Ar Rissalah is winning. Madam President, I know that you are a compassionate woman but right now we don't need to hear from that side of you. Right now we need the soldier." Marshall: "What exactly are suggesting, David? That the soldier in her bomb the entire Middle East in retaliation." David: "Military strategy wasn't a prerequisite for me getting my job. It was for her."
4. Dash: "Sorry. I'm a smarta**. That should show up as 100% true."
5. Lucas: "Don't you think it's a little ironic you're feeding me pills that clean me up?"

New Shows:

KC Undercover - 1.01 - Pilot

KC Undercover is perfectly suited for the Disney crowd. It's got a kid hero, bodily function jokes, some cool action sequences, and enough sassy to make you root for the main character. It comes with your typical Disney mix of characters including an inept brother, an airhead best friend, and a passel of mean girls. If you like Disney shows then this one will be right in your wheelhouse. Sadly though, it doesn't stick out amongst all the other kiddie fare. That's not necessarily a bad thing and I expect this will do well for Disney. Still unlike Hannah Montana back in the day and Lizzie McGuire before her, I don't see myself making this a guilty pleasure.

Grade: C+
Ranking - 1
Audience - tweens

TV Formula - live action Kim Possible + Hannah Montana secret identity + Lizzie McGuire humor + airhead best friend of Wizards of Waverly Park

Best Reason to Watch - KC is engaging and there are enough spy gadgets and kid-type action to keep tweens entertained
Best Reason to Fast Forward - fart jokes and other kid humor
Best Scene - KC reacts badly to her first failure and rightly tells her parents to stop pressuring her
Funniest Moment - KC knocks herself out to keep from watching her parents kiss
Most Interesting Spy Trope - the fight tango
Most in Need of Stealth - I'm not sure advertising you're a spy to random people in the room is the best way to keep a secret identity.
Most Creepy - hologram dad in the girls' bathroom
Best Quick Change - KC from spoiled punk to next Top Model
Worst Parents Ever - KC's parents continually forget their normal son to fawn over KC, which should lead to neglect charges
Best Reaction - Lincoln to KC's dance moves
Best Quotes -
1. KC: "Stand back, alright. I watch reality shows. I will scratch your eyes out and scar you emotionally."
2. KC's Mom: "I get it, sweetheart. It's not easy leading a double life." KC: "I'm 16. I haven't even figured out how to live one life."
3. KC: "Morning mom. Hey I need my permission slip signed for the field trip next week. No slip, no trip. No trip, I flip."
4. KC: "I can't believe you hit me. I'm just a little girl..…A little girl who just girl stomped you, son."

Backstrom - 1.01 - Pilot

I tend to prejudge shows and then hope they are better than I expect. In this case ultra low expectations worked well for Backstrom. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate douchey characters like House and Jayne from The Mentalist and let's face it, all the promos were building up what a douche Backstrom would be. And he is. Don't get me wrong. He's equal opportunity offensive. I just never thought I would laugh throughout either. That could change rapidly but for right now the show is not taking itself seriously so I can treat Backstrom as the caricature he is. More enjoyable is that all the other characters are zany caricatures too. You have the over-earnest idealist newbie. There's the lunkhead officer who is often the butt of jokes. Add in the gay roommate, nerdy forensics guys, and feisty foreigner for a complete set. Oh yes, and an older black cop who is a preacher on the weekends. That's not one I typically see but I liked that character best. It could have something to do with the actor I'll admit. Overall this cast of misfits in a new special division that can't stand each other and yet still mesh well were highly entertaining and that's the bottom line for me when it comes to TV shows.

Grade: B
Ranking - 4 (a full 3-episode trial for sure)
Audience - those who are not easily offended and like quirky characters

TV Formula - Dr. House + (Monk humor, procedural elements, and social graces) + a comedy of quirky supporting characters destined to outshine the lead

Best Reason to Watch - it's funnier than it has any right to be
Best Character - Almond
Best Character Interaction - Backstrom and his doctor
Best Hangover Remedy - Nadia smacks Backstrom to snap him out of it
Biggest Shock - I actually liked this pilot / instant back story on why Backstrom is such a douche
Biggest Ouch - Backstrom is all about "tell it like it is," so much so that I'm surprised he hasn't been shot
The "Welcome Back" Award - Woo hoo! Samantha Ferris is in this episode. She will forever be the kick butt awesome Ellen from Supernatural to me. / Dennis Haysbert of 24 President and insurance hawking fame / Brett Dier, currently Michael on Jane the Virgin / Jarod Joseph currently Miller on The 100
Best Quotes -
1. Gravely: "Falsify evidence. Who are you? Satan?"
2. Archie: "Post-Traumatic Stress is a real thing." Almond: "For soldiers in Afghanistan, son. Not soccer players in Oregon."
3. Doctor: "This is my prescription." Backstrom: "Make a friend? What am I? Six?" Doctor: "You have one week to fill that prescription or back you go to traffic."
4. Backstrom: "We're not sleeping together. She's some kind of genius." Doctor: "The first statement proves the second."
5. Backstrom: "I don't see the worst in everyone. I see the everyone in everyone."

Weekly Shows:

The Librarians - 1.09 / 1.10 - And the City of Light / And the Loom of Fate

I am sorry to see The Librarians go so soon. It feels like the show just debuted and now the first season is done. I'm also a little worried because TNT is going in a different direction overall and double booking episodes is generally a burn off move. Still here's hoping for season 2. As for these two episodes, I enjoyed the twists in both of them but the pacing seemed a little off. In 1.09, there wasn't a lot of action but there was great character development of Jake. I think he's been most shafted this season so that's nice to see. I also loved the premise of Tesla's town. Add in Teen Wolf's Haley Webb and it made for a fun standalone episode. The only big problems were the bummer of an ending and the hint of Cassandra jealousy that was very much unnecessary. The season 1 finale worked well for me although it seemed a little too rushed. I would have liked to have spent more time in each of the alternate worlds, getting to know how similar and different the alternate Librarians are to the people we know now. In fact, it would have been fun to spend an entire episode with each of them. Still the snippets gave us a taste, which I hope fan fic writers are jumping on. Mostly though I adored getting answers about Jenkins and I hope that if the series continues we get more back story on him. I'd love to know how the most noble knight in all of the Round Table became a grouchy, snarky archivist. Also kudos must be given to the ending. It's poised so that the show could continue on without any difficulty, but it also answered all the main points and gave a great ending to each of the characters if it is cancelled. No cliffhangers abound and it could easily have another season or jumpstart some movies. All in all, it has been a very fun show.

Grade: B+ / B+

Best Reason to Watch - Jake back story / Jenkins and Dulaque back story
Best Continuity - all the magical items they collected work together to help / each of the alternate universes deals with an item from before
Best Scene - Baird body snatches Ezekiel so he can fight / Flynn saves Baird
Best Action - mummy fight / Eve vs. Lamia in the dragon world
Biggest Surprise - Ezekiel is all into aliens / Mabel has rod in her neck / Dulaque skewers Lamia
Most Fun without Words - Ezekiel and Baird talk in hand signals in which she basically tells him that he'll be dead if he doesn't do what she says
Best Awww Moment - the 3 LiTs voluntarily share a case together at the end
Creepiest Opening - Baird smiling at the blood on her hand
Best Reaction - Eve to Jake kissing her in the first alternate timeline / Flynn to seeing dragons
Most Blundering - the team trying to talk their way out of GhostBaird appearing before Mabel
Most Nostalgic - Jake and Mabel talking small town life reminds me of my grandparents giving directions. Everything was "go south past where the old Williams barn burned down and take a right at the oak tree."
Least Stealthy - Mabel, who would make a horrible spy
Most Fun Alternate - Professor Flynn, who is a whole lot more fun as he learns about magic
The "Say What?" Award - Since when does Ezekiel have a conscience and is bothered by questionable moral choices?
The "Welcome Back" Award - Haley Webb, last seen dying by Peter's hands on Teen Wolf. Such a waste. / Jerry O'Connell from one of my favorite sci fi shows, Sliders, and who just happens to be Rebecca Romijn's husband
The "I'm with You" Award - Have to agree with Ezekiel here. I have no idea why hiking is popular either.
Most Interesting - Tesla built a town based on a circuit
Least Patient - Cassandra with Jake's French
The "Oh Poor Baby" Award - Mabel, who does the right thing but never sees the world she dreamed of
Biggest Huh? - Why aren't the townspeople wondering why Mabel hasn't aged? If they only snatch people for a few hours at a time and they have no memory of it, why wouldn't the mysteriously non-aging archivist be big news?
Best Quotes - 1.09 -
1. Baird: "You are planning on selling out the human race, aren't you?" Ezekiel: "I will absolutely sell out the human race to our new alien overlords. Don't fight them. They know what's best for us."
2. Baird: "I'll tell you what, we'll just fill in the crack you're about to make about us and intelligent life. Just skip right to the job." Jenkins: "Are you sure? It was quite cutting." Baird: "I promise to be properly offended. I mean I probably wouldn't even have understood it at first but I'll be offended later." Jenkins: "Where's the fun in that?"
3. Jenkins: "Only you people could lose a guardian. Librarians, yes, we go through them like tissue paper, but a guardian?"
4. Jake: "Last in, first out, huh?" Jenkins: "Oh yes, without a doubt. Well assuming that Ms. Killian and I have successfully implemented the theoretical scribblings of a mad genius using abandoned equipment that's been in water for 100 years." Jake: "Good pep talk."
Best Quotes - 1.10 -
1. Flynn: "Jenkins, you're a genius." Jenkins: "One is aware, sir."
2. Ezekiel: "He's not taking this very well. Who is he?" Baird: "The Librarian." Ezekiel: "The way my year's been going, he's welcome to the job."
3. Baird: "I'll assume you have a degree in ancient weaving." Flynn: "Well it's folded into a doctorate on medieval…" Baird: "Shut up and weave."
4. Baird: "Next time, mummy memo."

Galavant - 1.05 / 1.06 - Completely Mad…Alena / Dungeons and Dragon Lady

After a slower set last week, these episodes put the plot into full gear again. I loved most of the songs and the guest stars were perfect. There is a shortage of quality Weird Al roles these days. Just saying. I really like how Isabella's treachery comes out and is dealt with in the very next episode instead of dragging it out and King Richard gets a starring role again in the humor. Surprising how last week's Comedy Gold wasn't near as much fun as this trip to Xanax. Add in the plot twist about Richard's older brother and it looks like we are headed for a strong ending. While I know the ratings are not being set afire with Galavant, I do love that ABC took a risk here and ended up with one of the most purely entertaining shows of the season for me. It makes me laugh and the songs stick in my head for days. In fact, I bought the sound track so I'll have all that delicious snark well after the show ends.

Grade: B / B+

Best Reason to Watch - all secrets are on the table and we go ahead full force into the finale
Best Scene - Galavant thanks Isabella for returning his perspective while her conscience pricks her for betraying him / Gareth muses about who to follow while in the dungeon
Best Song - Hey, Hey, We're the Monks / If I Could Share My Life with You / Love is Strange
Best Character - Gareth
Best Guest Star - Weird Al / Ricky Gervais
Most Funny - Madalena admits she wants Galavant as her boy toy and then sighs at him breaking into song
Best Recurring Joke - all the fancy ways to say 9 pm
Most Disgusting - Xanax's potion
Biggest Forward Thinker - Sid thinking up the zipper
Worst Prank - Richard has the King and Queen of Valencia pretend to be beheaded
Best Reference - Madalena uses the FedEx slogan for the carrier pigeon guy / the monks' song
Least Kingly Hobby - decoupage footstools
The "Have to Agree" Award - I may not agree with Madalena's ruthlessness, but Galavant's cottage dream sounds hideous to me too
Best Quotes - 1.05 -
1. Monks: "We'll fetch the holy water / And holy soap as well / Cuz holy guacamole / That one reeks to holy hell."
2. King: "She's going to be so surprised." Gareth: "No she's not, because you keep doing that stupid evil king whisper thing that everyone can hear."
3. Monk: "My child, if you argue I'm never going to make it back in time for the big finish."
4. Galavant: "But what? You didn’t have time? Not in the hundreds of miles we traveled, all the meals we shared." Sid: "In retrospect, the trip through the Forest of Honesty would've seemed like an appropriate time."
Best Quotes - 1.06
1. Jester: "Oh please, just stop the torture and kill me already." Gareth: "I haven't started yet." Jester: "What? He's not part of it."
2. Isabella: "Well how's that for timing? Our stars are finally aligning on the same day I'm going to die." Galavant: "No, no you're not going to die today. And you're not going to die today. And you're not going to die today. You might already be dead."
3. Richard: "I know you're not a hugger but if you were I would wrap myself around you like a leather jacket made of love." Gareth: "Hmm, Xanax?" Chef: "So much Xanax."
4. Madalena: "Did you miss me, Gal?" Galavant: "Madalena, I've traveled a thousand miles to see you. I've fought pirates. I stared death in the face a dozen times and I did all that to be with a woman who chose a fierce and cruel man over my unconditional love." Madalena: "So." Galavant: "You crossed my mind, yes."

Scorpion - 1.14/1.15 - Charades / Forget Me Nots

It was a double header for Scorpion this week as CBS capitalized on its post-AFC championship slot to promote its freshman hit this Sunday. Sadly, I think it chose one of the weakest episodes to do it. Episode 1.14 was high on romantic tension and low on logic. Still it did have a beautiful spy and almost a plane collision so hopefully it caught the attention of the football crowd. Not that it needs to worry about ratings. In the end, I loved the pacing and character dynamics like usual. I could lose the petty Drew and Walter sniping scenes though. I abhor love triangles and this one is somehow worse considering Paige has 2 manchildren to deal with. Frankly I think she's much better off telling them both to go dunk their heads in cold water. Other than that unnecessary drama, I love how Happy was able to save the day in the latter episode and it feels like they are trying to expand Toby's role as well. I like that while we still get far too much Walter, everyone gets their scenes to shine here.

Grade: C / B+

Best Reason to Watch - Happy gets to save the day instead of Walter for once
Best Scene - Paige calls Happy on their tendency to use data to avoid uncomfortable conversations / Walter tells Cabe that all he did was in his own power, not the juicing
Best Awww Moment - Cabe found Bruce's lady love / Walter says he would miss Ralph if he moved
Best Reaction - Sylvester to Paige teaching Walter how to flirt
Most Tiresome - the passive aggressive fighting of Paige's two manchildren, Drew and Walter, who are equally irksome
Best Side Effect of Working with Geniuses - Cabe gets a jolt to the brain and is suddenly acting 20 years younger
Worst Timing - Toby's phone goes off right as they are descending on the terrorist's home
Worst Flirt - Walter
Best Call - Cabe puts Happy on Bruce detail because she's the toughest
Most Fun - human skateboard scooter bowling
The "Welcome Back" Award - David James Elliott, formerly Harm on JAG
Most Bizarre - Homeland Security demanding you hold someone's hand
Biggest Idiot - love struck CIA analyst who obviously never watched TV or read a book / super smart terrorist who leaves a conscious Walter near the chemicals she's stealing to go chat with the pilot
Biggest Huh - Besides Ye Olde Plot Twist, I have no idea how Toby could be given even a prototype of secret CIA equipment. That sounds like treason as well. / Since when does being smart have anything to do with coordination? Cabe catching the soda shouldn't be the litmus test here. Sylvester are explained why a few episodes back.
Most Likely to Die - anyone riding in the car with Happy
The "Thank You" Award - Paige asks what the football is so I don't have to
Biggest Heart Attack - Happy hanging from the building with one hand
Most Pointless - trying to hide anything from this team
The "Say What?" Award - Did no one call Homeland when Walter got clocked? How exactly did that women get a knocked out Walter out of the hotel and on a plane before anyone could arrive for help?
Most Ridiculous - everything about the plane / all the shenanigans they go through to find the phone number when they could have looked at phone records instead
Best Advice - Toby: "Take care of your most important thing."
Best Vocabulary - Toby says shenanigans AND tomfoolery in the same sentence. Score!
Best Music - Under the Milky Way by the church
Best Quotes - 1.14
1. Sylvester: "Are we sure this is a good idea?" Toby: "You got a better one?" Sylvester: "Better than handing over latent chemical weapons to an anti-American agent? Give me a minute."
2. Happy: "I'm sorry. Am I not scaling the building by hand fast enough for you?"
3. Paige: "Any vacation days, especially Fridays and Mondays?" Walter: "What would that indicate?" Paige: "Romantic 3-day weekends. You ever had one?" Walter: "Kind of, yeah. She left after one day."
4. Toby: "It's natural to be scared." Happy: "You should be scared. You're the one who gave me these gloves."
Best Quotes - 1.15
1. Cabe: "Is that a car battery?" Happy: "It's AAA approved so if we kill you, you get a free tow to the morgue."
2. Paige: "Somebody should be saying, 'This is crazy,' right? Because it is."
3. Merrick: "How do you stand working with them?" Cabe: "They're an acquired taste."
4. Merrick: "That's need to know." Toby: "I need to know why you're being so jerky."

Eye Candy - 1.02 - BRB

The thing I loved best about the Eye Candy pilot was the pacing. It was non-stop action, racing from one high point to another with little time for exposition. This episode puts on the brakes a bit and delves into that back story exposition. Picking up roughly 2 weeks after Ben's death, Lindy has been a very busy woman. Not only does she decide to date both Reese and Jake to determine which of them killed Ben, but she also hacked into their phones and is stalking them. It's a very risky strategy that Sophia and Tommy rightly call her on. It also leads to some logic issues because anyone as smart with technology as this killer obviously is should know when he's being cyberstalked too. On the plus side, the slow down does allow viewers to get to know the secondary characters better and led me to my second guess at who the killer is. On the negative side, the episode drags a bit in the middle, but the beginning and ending are another thing all together. The cold open was just nasty with that poor women getting her face chemically burned off while the cliffhanger ending had me on the edge of my seat again. You have to hand it to any show that realistically puts people's lives in immediate danger at the end of every episode. It's a great way to get people to come back.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the ending…again
Best Scene - Jake cooks Lindy dinner and the camera/Lindy keep focusing on the knife he's using
Best Action - The serial killer hacks the car with Lindy inside and tries to kill Tommy…maybe. I'm still skeptical.
Best Save - Sophia and Connor walk in on Lindy's dinner date
Weirdest TV Trend - I know nowadays every crime show and its cousin has a CI partner with the lead detective, but it's starting to go so overboard that I won't be very surprised if the next one partners with a plumber. I'm with Tommy here about keeping crime fighting professional. Sadly in TV land, crime can't be solved without writers, con artists, forensic scientists, and now hackers hijacking investigations.
Most Creepy - a serial killer making a doll out of pictures he's taken of you
The "Not Cool" Award - Jake shows up at Lindy's place to cook her dinner, which in another time might have seemed sweet but nowadays is completely creepy, especially since she never told him where she lives
Lowest Expectations - apparently in New York City, a person not killing you is considered a good date
Worst Plan - dating people who you know may be a serial killer
Worst Way to Go - having your face chemically burned off by a serial killer
Most Handy - George, who quite frankly Lindy could not work without
Best Reason to Drive a Classic Car - besides looking awesome, it cannot be hacked
Most Interesting Date - junkyard isn't the first place I would think of
Best Improvement - Connor, who is growing on me with his snarkiness
Best Introduction - Sergeant of Cyber Crimes
Best Back Story - Sophia and Lindy meeting
Biggest Huh? - Why is Tommy the only person tailing the car of the potential killer? Shouldn't at least his partner be there along with some other police officers? Does this department only employ 3 people? Even still Michael, Fiona, and Sam of Burn Notice made it work.
Most Surprising - Reese is shockingly philosophical about cars
Best Quotes:
1. Lindy: "Okay I had plans to meet him at a restaurant and he just showed up with groceries. I couldn't exactly tell him to leave." Sophia: "Yes, you could. Who just shows up with groceries? That is definitely weird. I need you to be straight up with me. Is there a serial killer in my house right now?"
2. Sergeant: "Murderer, maybe. Husband material, not so much."
3. Connor: "Look I get it. This beautiful man might be hiding something. He might not be who he says he is. He could totally mess with your life. It sounds a lot like dating in New York."
4. Sophia: "I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that romancing a murderer is not exactly a good idea." Lindy: "Well it's the only idea I have."
5. Connor: "Is there a past life thing between us too?" Sophia: "Oh sweetie, you're plenty to handle in the day to day."

Supernatural - 10.10 - The Hunter Games

IntenseDean. That's really all I need to say. For me it was all about freaking IntenseDean, which means that part was fantastic. Sam was a shining ray of light as well. I can't believe this is the same Sam that Jeremy Carver threw under the bus in season 8. I think the only reason I am still watching this show on a weekly basis is the return of Brother Sam. It's a refreshing change. The rest of the episode was so-so. If it wasn't such fun to watch Rowena and Crowley, it would be way past time for Mommy Dearest to go. I do need Crowley to be highly skeptical of his mother though. The King of Hell should never be taken as a fool, especially one with so much fantastic snark. Megatron is a totally different situation. He just needs to die, and not Supernatural die. I mean never to be on the screen again. I still have no idea why anyone thinks keeping him in jail is a good idea instead of dispatching of him once and for all. The only plus to him is that he was in the room during some of the best Dean moments. The same can't be said for Cas' family drama. I didn't care before. I care even less now. Here's hoping Claire stays gone.

Grade: A+ for IntenseDean and BrotherSam / C+ for everything else

Best Reason to Watch - Intense Dean of the Mark
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Cas' regret and Claire woes / every time Megatron opened his mouth
Best Character Interaction - Crowley and Rowena
Best Brother - I just can't get over how much I love Sam this season. It's the only thing Jeremy Carver has done right in years.
The "Say What?" Award - Claire just tells random strangers the sob story of her life. What kind of runaway is she?
Best New Character - Guthrie, so of course he dies
Biggest Idiots - Who plans an attack on someone in broad daylight? When people are walking by? Ugh!
Best Reaction - Crowley to the idea of getting the First Blade back from where he hid it
Least Likely to be Missed - Claire, who I hope stays gone
Most Intense - Dean when he first sees Megatron
Most in Need of a Clue - Crowley. I don't like to see him played by anyone, even dear old mom.
Worst Plan - Castiel brings Megatron back to earth
Worst Mother Ever - Rowena, who is causing her own son nightmares via hex bag
Best Continuity - Crowley calls Dean, "Squirrel."
Best Song to Scene - Long Black Road by ELO
Best Quotes -
1. Megatron: "What are you doing there, slugger?" Dean: "I'm settling a score that's taken way too long to settle. Oh and while I do that, I'm going to get some information and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it because you're going to tell me everything, all of it, and it ain't going to cost me a damn dime, slugger."
2. Rowena: "I will not apologize for being a career woman."
3. Cas: "The First Blade is back in play and Crowley is the one getting it? I don't mean to be an alarmist but you…" Dean: "Yeah well you know us. When we screw ourselves, we like to go whole hog."
4. Sam: "Buddy, I don't care what happens to you. You killed my brother."
5. Crowley: "You don't cook. I don't eat. It's a perfect arrangement."

The Flash - 1.10 - Revenge of the Rogues

The Flash continues to amuse and entertain, even though the villains ought to come with handlebar mustaches to twirl. The over-the-top villains are once again my biggest complaint with the episode, but for the most part I loved it all. Moving Barry in with Joe is a spark of genius because it should now give us more scenes with the two of them, which is usually my favorite part. I also love the camaraderie of the last scene as it shows again how much they mean to each other. As usual, they have the best character interaction. However I really enjoyed Joe confronting Wells about corrupting Barry too. Joe isn't just trying to keep Barry alive but he wants to make sure Barry's soul is still intact at the end of this too. Another plus was that Cisco finally got a chance to show his genius and be recognized for his good work. I love when the police captain shakes his hand in a symbol of solidarity. Slowly but surely, Star Labs is regaining trust. Well at least until the truth about Wells comes out, whatever that is. I was less than thrilled about making Caitlin the damsel in distress, but she too had a great moment when she talked about how getting out of her comfort zone enhanced her life.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - everything about Barry is appealing, including the way that he accepts responsibility for his own choices instead of blaming others
Best Scene - Caitlin talks to Barry about Iris / Joe confronts Wells over Barry's change in attitude
Biggest Awww Scene - Joe and Iris talk about her moving and they all reminisce about the past
Biggest Hero - Eddie, who saves The Flash
Best Speech - Cisco when he answers why the police should trust Star Labs
Biggest Switch - the opening monologue now says Barry is NOT the fastest man alive - how sad
Biggest Twist - Cold's criminal enterprise is a family affair
Most Over the Top - Heat Wave even out hams Captain Cold and that's a real achievement
Best Reaction - Joe to Eddie saying to call before he comes over
The "Thanks" Award - Thank you, Joe, for always asking Barry what the heck he's talking about. It keeps me from having to research it.
Biggest Huh? - Dear Captain Crazy, why don't you just take your weapons and go somewhere The Flash isn't? Then you can still have your crime wave without all this fuss. Just saying.
The "Poor Baby" Award - it seems like Barry has to do everyone's job these days because of his superspeed
Biggest Eye Roll - Caitlin Snow is too smart to waste precious seconds trying to get into a door that is frozen shut. I'm shocked she didn't run around the car.
The "Close Encounter" Award - Wells almost lets the others know he can walk as he starts to stand during Barry's training
Most Persistent - Cisco's insistence on giving all the villains nicknames is finally paying off since even Wells is using them
The "Hard to Argue with That" Award - I like art but I'm with Heat Wave. $25 million is an awful lot for any artwork.
Most Likely to be Fired - Seriously, Joe was able to just push Caitlin out of the way of the bomb? Someone needs to go to the Fiona Glenanne School of Explosives.
The "Safety First" Award - got to love a criminal that makes sure everyone is wearing their seatbelts
Prison Break Reunion - Dominic Purcell (Heat Wave) and Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold) played brothers on the show
Best Reference - Ghostbusters
Best Quotes -
1. Heat: "That's worth money?" Cold: "It's called Fire & Ice, an abstract modern day masterpiece said to represent the dichotomy of being." Heat: "It represents to me that people with lots of money buy dumb stuff."
2. Caitlin: "That was too close." Cisco: "He told me to make it hard." Caitlin: "I'm pretty sure he didn't tell you to make him dead."
3. Caitlin: "My dead fiancé can fly. I haven't broke that to my parents yet."
4. Joe: "You know what makes Barry so special? He wants to help everyone he can however he can, always has. Until now." Wells: "I guess it's just a question of priorities then." Joe: "You know Barry said the exact same thing to me and I thought it didn't sound like him. I guess because it sounds like you."
5. Wells: "So potentially these 2 guns could cancel each other out." Cisco: "Yeah but to do that you'd have make them cross streams." Barry: "You mean like Ghostbusters?" Cisco: "That film is surprisingly scientifically accurate." Wells: "And really quite funny."

The 100 - 2.09 - Remember Me

The 100 picked up right where it ended before the hiatus and that was a smart decision. I'm glad we got to see Clarke break down in the cold open and even more so to see Abby comfort her. To watch Clarke turn from grieving lover to competent leader in mere seconds was a bonus. Eliza Taylor is a tour de force this episode. While I still wish they had never gone this route with Finn and I will miss season 1 him terribly, this is allowing for a powerful transformation in Clarke. I don't mind that she grows measurably harder in this episode alone, although I don't think it will last for very long. Seeing her tell Ghost Finn that love is a weakness was hard, but a defining moment. Even better were the moments between Lexa and Clarke. I love how the Ark leaders aren't even pretending anymore. Clarke has become the de facto leader and having two teen female leaders struggling to do what is best for their people among the confinements of tradition is fascinating. It is what sets The 100 apart from anything else on TV right now. They allow them to have doubts, to make impossible decisions, and then deal with the fallout. I have a feeling that Lexa will soon be fighting to keep her people's loyalty after all the changes she has made. In fact, I hope we have an episode that focuses on her and the grounders and allows us to see more of their power structure and past. Lexa is a fascinating character, like Anya before her, so they better not kill her off in the fight against the Mountain Men. She has much to offer to the story and the dynamics between Clarke and her are the most impressive of the entire cast.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - anytime Lexa and Clarke are on screen
Best Moment - Ghost Finn helps Clarke set his body on fire and she gives the traditional grounder tribute
Most Missed - real, peace-loving Finn
Most Intense - Lexa kills Gustus / Clarke tells Ghost Finn that love is weakness so he disappears
Least Surprising - Gustus tries to break up the alliance / Raven punches Clarke
Best Reaction - the grounders to Lexa telling Clarke to light the funeral pyre / Raven to seeing Gustus die like Finn would have
Smartest - both Lexa and Clarke know that alliance is worth fighting for even over their people's objections
The "Poor Baby" Award - Clarke desperately tries to wipe Finn's blood off her hands as Abby comforts her
Biggest Ouch - Clarke tells Abby that her decision to kill Finn is nothing like Abby turning in her husband
Funniest Moment - Gustus disarms Raven, who is fully packing
Best Revelation - the 48 finally know the Mountain Men crashed the exodus ship
Best Character Interaction - Lexa and Clarke
Best Plan - Clarke tells Bellamy to infiltrate the Mountain
Worst Plan - Monty sneaks into the command center
The "Go To Diversion Tactic" Award - Does everyone everywhere use kissing to divert people's attention?
Most Creepy - when they lift up Finn's body and his eyes stare right at Clarke
Best Quotes -
1. Abby: "She's a child. They're being led by a child." Kane: "So are we."
2. Lexa: "I thought I'd never get over the pain, but I did." Clarke: "How?" Lexa: "By recognizing it for what it is…weakness." Clarke: "What is? Love? So you just stopped caring about everyone? I could never do that." Lexa: "Then you put the people you care about in danger and the pain will never go away. The dead are gone, Clarke. The living are hungry."
3. Maya: "5 seconds." Monty: "What happens in 5 seconds?" Jasper: "Miller realizes what a d** he is."
4. Abby: "Clarke, you don't have to do this." Clarke: "Yes, I do. If this truce doesn't hold, I killed Finn for nothing."
5. Lincoln: "Indra, wait. Let me speak for them." Indra: "You are them."

Empire - 1.03 - The Devil Quotes Scripture

At the beginning of this episode, I was planning on marathoning Empire in the summer. I just have too much on my plate right now. Then came the ending. This show does a great job of hooking you at the end and leaving you wanting more. I have to admit that I am dying to see what Jamal's next move is going to be. I don't much care for the Cookie spy subplot or business mafia wars, but the characters are growing on me even as I despise them more and more. In many ways this show reminds me of Gang Related, which I watched until the bitter end. It's like the plot sucks you in whether you want to go there or not until you just have to see how it all plays out.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - flashbacks to a better, but more drug-riddled time / Jamal
Best Scene - Jamal tells Lucious how it is
Best Manipulator - Andre pushes all of Hakeem's buttons to fuel the rivalry
Best Character Interaction - Jamal vs. Lucious
Best Dig - Cookie has Jamal sing one of Lucious' rival's songs
Best Turnaround - Lucious decides to give the song to John Legend to sing
The "Welcome Back" Award - Cuba Gooding Jr, it is good to see you again, sir
Most Creepy - Hakeem and his other woman
Best Quotes -
1. Carter: "Is there a bathroom around here?" Cookie: "Yeah, straight down the hall to the right and then jump out the window and straight down." Lucious: "It's down the hall to the right."
2. Cookie: "You need to watch your back." Anika: "Cookie, my father's a doctor and my mother is a debutante and so was I. Now I know you've been in jail for a minute but do you even know what a debutante is?" Cookie: "A boozy ho with a lot of money." Anika: "A ho who can slice your throat without even disturbing her pearls."
3. Jamal: "You don't have to understand me. You don't have to understand me or have anything to do with me. I'm a man…a man. So you can keep that stupid a** song and your money and whatever else that Lucious Lyon thinks that he owns. My obedience is no longer for sale."
4. Jamal: "Why you here?" Lucious: "I don't know. I wanted to see you." Jamal: "You saw me tonight. I sang a song for you. I arranged that song for you because I love you and you spit in my face."

Stalker - 1.13 - The News

Never underestimate the determination of a stalker. That's what I have learned from Stalker. It's also what creeps me the heck out about this show. Again, I cannot watch this alone at night. It's creepy enough in the middle of the day. While the intensity of the serial elements keep escalating, they actually weren't my main focus although Maggie Q's reactions were stunning. Perhaps it is because I don't know Ray well enough yet and we've had so little time to explore Beth's past, but he's more like a theoretical threat to me right now. Perry's just a punk, who should be grounded from his trust fund and spanked. Until Ray kills Perry (and boy do I hope he does) or he gets in close proximity to Beth, it's going to be the weekly stalkers who wig me out. Let's just say that I was ready for someone to jump out behind the news guy so the drive-by shooting caught me unaware. I thought it was a cool twist that the stalker was willing to kill in order to get her obsession the job he wanted. Sadly, the notoriety will probably help his career aspirations. Such is the world we live in. Overall this was a typical episode of Stalker with the added advantage that now the entire team knows what is going on with Beth, which should lead to some great teamwork and butt kicking in the future.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Maggie Q's acting
Best Awww Scene - Beth's co-workers show up at her house to keep her company
Best Reason to Not Watch Alone - it is creepy enough to warrant a "lights on while watching" policy
Biggest "What the Heck?" - Exactly how can someone just walk in, say someone is no longer crazy, and have them released when they committed homicidal arson? I am NOT buying this at all. This sounds like TV shenanigans to me.
Best Reaction - Ben to Beth just bluntly asking the husband if he knew about his wife's affair
Biggest Shock - the stalkee gets shot via drive by
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - The guy was already stalked before and he doesn't have a peephole in his door? He doesn't even look out the window to see who's standing there? Egads! I'm also surprised he doesn't already have security cameras installed.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Kerr Smith from Dawson's Creek and Charmed / Todd Giebenhain from Raising Hope
Dumbest Producer - What kind of an idiot starts rolling when their lead is obviously freaking out? Shouldn't they have some kind of emergency plan for you know, emergencies?
Most Creepy - Beth's two stalkers discussing her / the ending music
Best Quotes -
1. Janice: "I was going to come alone but they wouldn't take no for an answer." Beth: "What are you…" Janice: "Slumber party, game night, movie…it's whatever you want it to be."
2. Jack: "You asked for our help. This is help." Beth: "In the form of beer and pizza." Jack: "It's not all about you."
3. Adele: "I appealed to John's puritanical, monogamous sensibilities to get in his pants, but it soon became very clear that he was not going to be a good fit for Matt and I."

Elementary - 3.11 - The Illustrious Client

I like Kitty. I think she is exactly what Elementary needed to rejuvenate it and this episode benefits by the intensity Ophelia Lovibond brings to the character. I never expected to have Kitty's story completed so quickly and frankly it has me worried. I don't want Kitty to leave unless Moriarty comes back on a more permanent basis. Going back to just Watson and Sherlock feels like a wrong move since their talks tend to be the worst part of an episode these days. Without Kitty as a buffer, their partnership may be more painful than enjoyable.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Kitty back story / Ophelia Lovibond's acting
Best Scene - Kitty tells Sherlock that their experiences were not the same
Best Awww Moment - Sherlock tells Kitty that he's worried about her
The "I'm with You" Award - Kitty has a right to be in on the investigation if she chooses to. She's the one who was tortured.
Best Reason to NOT Invite Strangers into Your Home - Kitty attacks the rapist's sister to get answers
Worst at Breaking Bad News - Sherlock is too blunt for breaking bad news. He actually makes things worse.
Biggest Uh - Oh - When you walk in to both Watson and Sherlock wanting to talk to you, you know it's not good news. Don't take those earphones out, Kitty.
Best Manipulator - Sherlock gets Watson to pull strings at her new job
Best Quotes -
1. Kitty: "Someone hurt me, Sherlock. You hurt yourself. You don't know anything about how I am feeling."
2. Sherlock: "Given the narcissism that consumes the modern epoch, a solitary selfie is a minor miracle."
3. Sherlock: "Perhaps we should go to a meeting." Kitty: "Mine or yours?" Sherlock: "Yours." Kitty: "That's a fine idea. Not like there's a homicidal rapist about. Perhaps we could take in a show too."
4. Watson: "That sounds more like she was roofied." Bartender: "I don't know. Our clientele is pretty upscale." Watson: "Right, because rape is only committed by poor people."
5. Sherlock: "I was not consulted on her decision to venture out unchaperoned." Watson: "Well maybe she didn't want to come home and see all this. Can you imagine how she feels when she looks at it?" Sherlock: "I have done, repeatedly. My name is Sherlock and I have allowed empathetic thoughts to clutter my mind and reduce the clarity of my perception."

Grimm - 4.10 - Tribunal

I had a hard time grading this episode because some parts were fantastic but the middle dragged on for an eternity . Let's just say it had pacing problems due mostly to all the setup for the big battle. I thought we had gotten done with most of that in the episode before, but apparently Wesen tribunals take the whole day. So does running down evidence so all the finding someone who knew someone who might know something caused the plot to flat line several times. Realistically Monroe was never going to die and that took some tension out of the story as well. However, the good parts were phenomenal. I wish they had lightened up the battle scenes and extended them because they were the best part of the episode. I especially like how they each were able to have their own spotlight in battle. Wu gets his first Wesen kill. Juliette hexenbiests out and kills with the power of her mind. In other words, she's finally not useless. Renard apparently pops a guy's head right off, while Rosalee and Monroe prove that the couple that kills their enemies together stays together. I'm sure it will make a charming antidote someday. Even the ending sparkled. I love how Nick and Hank insist on making sure Monroe and Rosalee get on their flight for their honeymoon and Juliette showing Renard her inner hexenbiest was fantastic. Good thing she has monster killer on her resume now because it looks like Wu is taking over her Research Woman job.

Grade: B (would have been an A without the pacing problems)

Best Reason to Watch - everyone brought their best kick butt action to the table
Best Visual - Team Grimm marches out of the precinct as a unified group to battle music
Best Speech - Monroe in defending himself to the tribunal, although it was more of a moral victory than making a compelling case
Best Reactions - Wu, always but especially to the woge and Monroe's dead eyed stare in the tribunal
Best Character - This is a hard one tonight, but I am going with Bud. I love the way he stood up for Monroe and Nick even if it meant that he would die himself.
Biggest Ewww - blood in a skull is always a bad thing
Most Interminable - the tribunal, which lasts the entire freaking day
Most Funny - Bud's babble
Biggest Missed Opportunity - Wu still doesn't sock both Nick and Hank for being complete douches to him
Best Quotes -
1. Prosecutor: "Do you deny that you yourself have helped the Grimm?" Bud: "Have I helped the Grimm? Well, let me think. Yeah, I have." Prosecutor: "And you have no regrets for doing so?" Bud: "The only regret I have is that I can't help him now because boy would he have a field day here."
2. Hank: "Damn."
3. Riken: "You should have killed me when you had the chance. I'm going to kill you now." Rosalee: "Like hell you are."
4. Renard: "Oh I see what the problem is. You still think we're playing by the rules."
5. Wu: "I don't know what you are, but you're no Aswang."
6. Monroe: "You call this a tribunal. Well I have a problem with that because a tribunal implies that you have the authority to judge and in order to judge, you have to know the difference between right and wrong and you don't because this is wrong, and whatever you do to any of us will never make it right and it will not change anything. What is right is my love for my wife and her love for me. That you will never be able to destroy."

Helix - 2.02 - Reunion

Egads, if this is going to be a whole season of Sarah and Alan emoangsting, I am out. They were by far the two worst things about season 1. Julia ended up being better by the end but even the brief moments with her can't undo the utter annoyance of the Whiny Ones. Other than hating every minute their mouths were open, I did like the continuing mystery. I have no idea what these people are hiding but it feels sufficiently creepy. It surprises me how completely different the setting is this year, yet I still feel the same darkened mood as last season. It may not be as claustrophobic but it doesn't feel free either, no matter how many apple orchards there are.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - the mystery
The "Oh For the Love of My Sanity" Award - bring back Hatake NOW!
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Sarah and Peter fighting or just Sarah in general. She hasn't gotten any better in the time jump. She might actually be more annoying although that is pretty inconceivable. Tell me again why Helix only kept the irksome characters for season 2. I don't get it.
Worst Surprise - Sarah's pregnancy is still a storyline
Best Dichotomy - Alan killing all the immortals (?) spliced in with his peaceful routine at the compound
Best Reason to NOT Have Kids - they get sick and attack you
The "Say What?" Award - I don't know what you are smoking, honey, but I remember Alan the dictator team leader. He didn't welcome other people's suggestions any more than Peter.
Best Bone Whisperer - Julia, who might have a job at the Jeffersonian when she stops being a mutant
Most Suspicious - Caleb, who runs just as soon as he says he doesn't recognize the carving etched into someone's hip bone / Soren's mom keeps echoing Anne
The "Slow Your Roll" Award - sexual freedom takes a huge leap forward here
Best Advice - If there is an infected mutant on the loose with neck spores, you may want to work in groups. More importantly if you hear what might be the infected while you are alone, try to get someone before investigating? In other words watch a horror movie and learn from it, people!
Weirdest Music - Is this kick butt background music supposed to make me think Sarah is a bada** for removing her gloves while she works with a new disease? Because I already know all these CDC personnel are terrible at their jobs. Like The Following level of incompetence.
Best Save - Kyle, who takes down the infected before he can get to a paralyzed Peter
Biggest Huh? - Why is Peter so freaked out about Alan being there?
Best Quotes -
1. Caleb: "The dead should rest." Julia: "He's rested enough. It's time for him to get back to work."
2. Alan: "I've done terrible things, taken lives. My choices for self-discovery were limited."
3. Peter: "Why would Illyria be interested in some crackpot isolationist cult and why would my brother be investigating them?" Sarah: "Well I'd be surprised if he's here for the food."
4. Caleb: "How long do you have?" Julia: "I don't know. Days maybe." Caleb: "Then why bother?" Julia: "Because the other choice is doing nothing and that's unacceptable."

12 Monkeys - 1.02 - Mentally Divergent

This is not a show you can watch halfheartedly while folding the laundry. It's intricate and one thing builds upon the other, which makes me very nervous. It's a house of cards that won't pay off until the end, if at all. I did like the introduction of Jennifer here but I'm not so enthralled with the murderer. I'm not sure why he is introduced so soon after killing off Goines. Instead I would have liked to explore more about Jennifer before having her kidnapped and leaving us with precious little more information than we started with. Similar with how they should have questioned Goines in the pilot instead of rushing to kill him. It doesn't feel like they have a strategy but more a hit or miss guessing game, which is bound to lead to more dead ends than actual answers. On a positive note though, right now the time jumps are connecting together much better than your typical time travel show. I think it's still too soon to tell with 12 Monkeys because this could end up a tightly spun thriller or devolve into a mess of overlapping time with no vision to guide it.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the mystery
Best Introduction - Jennifer
Biggest "What the Heck?" - That cartoon would be enough to make anyone nuts so why are they showing it in a mental facility?
Biggest Oops - North Korea, 2006 is definitely not Philadelphia, 2015
The "Poor Baby" Award - Jennifer….maybe…if her story is true
Biggest Question - What is the story behind the Night Room and why would a scientist keep a virus that could destroy the world?
Biggest Duh? - Of course she's talking about a scientist getting away. Who else would it be?
The "Not Again" Award - this diagnosis of I.E.D. is triggering my post-Liam stress disorder from Teen Wolf
Best Quotes -
1. Jones: "Time is cruel, Mr. Cole. We are risking everything by toying with it, taunting it. Believe me I've learned enough about time to fear it…and so should you."
2. Railly: "Who are you trying to kill this time?"
3. Ramse: "Do you guys have any idea what you're doing?" Jones: "Mr. Ramse, listen to me. Mr. Cole's name was on the recording made 30 years ago. Fate gave your friend this mission. You, Mr. Ramse, are only here because he insists on it. You understand the difference? Your future is not preordained."
4. Ramse: "Let me ask you. Are you my father?"
5. Ramse: "I want you to have fun back there this time, okay? I don't want you to get shot. I want you to get laid, okay?"

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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