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Last Week in TV - Week of March 8 - Reviews and Episode Awards

17 Mar 2015

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Welcome back to Last Week in TV. I don't know if I was extraordinarily grumpy this week or if TV just wasn't that good but my TV week was mostly disappointing. 12 Monkeys was so irritating I decided not to review it until the Ramse focus in 2 episodes. For all the raving The 100's finale got, the two words that best described it for me were anticlimactic and stupid. I'm not even excited about the cliffhanger since it revolves around 2 characters I'd rather have off my screen. Even The Big Bang Theory's tribute to Howard's mom came off as less than stellar and that should have been a slam dunk. Eye Candy chose the least impactful character of all to be the killer. Most other shows were meh to underperforming. I do not think I have facepalmed more in one week of TV in my life. Let's just say that if I were still doing TV Trend of the Week in this column, this week would be all about character stupidity with Ben from Secrets & Lies leading the charge. That man is begging to be arrested with the choices he's making. Only Battle Creek was a bright spot for me and that's because I laughed the whole way through. Basically it becomes show of the week by default and that fantastic maple syrup as drugs metaphor.

The nominated episode was The Shield and I can see why it has such a following. The acting is topnotch but until the last 5 minutes, which were straight up shocking, it felt a little underwhelming. I'm not sure what I expected from the show but it was less intense, for lack of a better word, than I thought it would be. For most of the time, it was a typical crime procedural where the bad cop was a complete douche. I'm guessing the serialized elements are what sells the series but that wasn't set up until the last 5 minutes of the pilot. I am intrigued but I'm simply not a fan of antihero shows. Next week's nomination is Scrubs, episode 1.04. I was a casual viewer of Scrubs back in the day so it should be interesting to see the cast again at the beginning. If you'd like to nominate an episode, checkout the nomination form below. Until next week, happy TV viewing. I hope it is a good one. As for me, my hopes are pinned on iZombie to cure my TV funk. Fingers crossed that the undead will ease my reviewing blues.

Show of the Week:

Battle Creek - 1.02 - Syruptitious

They sure do take their maple syrup seriously in Battle Creek, Michigan and it makes for a great premise and some witty scenes. I love that they have a maple syrup cartel complete with head mobster and thugs. The way they played off the syrup murder like a drug hit made me chortle the whole way through the episode. Then to have it NOT be the mobster in the end was a good twist. I'm still not sure why it is better to have the dad in jail than the wife though. She will have a much better chance of getting off than he does if the whole thing goes to trial. Self-defense can be a powerful motive. Other than that, Milton is still too good to be true and Russ is still a complete douche to him. That unbalance needs to be corrected on both sides but I was honestly laughing too hard to care most of the time. I wasn't as enamored with the pot dealer subplot but he was more aware of the law than most TV stoners. Still he shouldn't have tried to rip off a cop. I don't need to see him ever again. Teddy the Snitch, on the other hand, I demand to see more of and soon.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - it's really funny
Most Fun - syrup as a drug farce
The "Say What?" Award - Drowned in maple syrup? Did I hear that right? Maple syrup cartel? Bwah!
Best Plan - hitting the patsy in the girlfriend even if it didn't work
Most Sad - if a high CI can eke out a criminal's plan before you, you may want to rethink the detective gig
Smartest if Douchiest Character - fake pot seller
The "Your Tax Dollars at Work" Award - Exactly how big of a budget does the FBI have? I'm guessing syrup making equipment isn't cheap. If they shell out like this for every dead body, we're being overtaxed.
Best Reward for a Job Well Done - syrup shots
The "It's Getting Old Already" Award - If we have to sit through Russ trying to ditch Milt each episode and Milt finding him anyway, I'm making it part of the drinking game. Not because it is funny, but because it's going to be the only way to get through such scenes.
Most Insightful - Holly suggests role playing telling a wife her husband is dead because Russ is not good with people
The "I Think You're Typecast" Award - Stoney Westmoreland was just on Rizzoli & Isles killing someone too
Most Considerate - Milt when offering to take Fontanelle's place since he has a migraine
The "Welcome Back" Award - Meredith Eaton from NCIS / Peter Onorati from basically everything including Kate & Allie back in the day
Best Quotes -
1. Fontanelle: "What are you? The sommelier of pot."
2. Russ: "Look at that. Milt gets original art and we get counterfeit water."
3. Guz: "So you want to arrest someone for NOT selling drugs." Fontanelle: "Yes, prescription drugs. This is no different than if somebody needed heart medication and the pharmacist gave then sugar pills or if…uh, a diabetic was given water instead of insulin." Guz: "Yep, I get it. You need your pot."
4. Fontanelle: "What are you doing? Guz said get Milt's help." Russ: "No, she said to see if he was busy. Look at him. That Minecraft world is not gonna build itself.
5. Russ: "We need evidence. I'm going to go see what I can see." Milt: "You better see what you can see from this side of the fence or anything you see won't be admissible." Russ: "I'm going to go where I have to to see it and then I'll figure out how to see it from back here."

Nominated Show:

The Shield - 1.01 - Pilot

The Shield is a high pedigree show. It features topnotch acting, morally ambivalent characters, and stories ripped straight from the headlines. It's designed for water cooler edginess but also deep conversation about whether the ends justify the means. It's also deadly slow in this pilot. No lie. Every 5 minutes felt like 15. I once thought the episode must surely be over but there were 18 minutes left. Perhaps it is the way the pilot was structured. Obviously they want us to know how morally corrupt Mackey is by providing Wagenbach and Acevada as foils. Too bad the interrogation scenes were simply not interesting. Neither were some of the scenes designed to shock like the cold open. Perhaps that is a product of its time as well. Antihero TV shows came into their own a decade ago when The Shield premiered, but now TV is overrun with them so it feels more commonplace. Killing Crowley however was inspired mostly because it was shocking, not so much because Mackey killed a fellow cop but because of the timing. I expected this to be a season long sting with the reveal in the season 1 finale. In fact I half expected Crowley to be playing double agent for Mackey, given how that man has his fingers in everything. The real question comes with whether Mackey knew Crowley was a plant all along and planned this or if he needed Crowley as a scapegoat for killing the suspect. I'm guessing the latter but I will never understand why Mackey didn't have gloves on when he picked up the gun. That seems extraordinarily stupid. I guess it will be revealed in the second episode. Whether I will be watching said episode is a time issue. I rarely like to judge a show by its pilot so I feel obligated to watch the next 2 episodes just to see what everyone raved about with this series. Still since I am NOT a fan of antihero shows, of which this is the poster child, I have a feeling The Shield is going to spend years in limbo for me. After all one excellent twist does not an episode make.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 2+
Audience - those who love shows where everyone lives in shades of grey

Best Reason to Watch - the ending and if you like antiheroes, Mackey is one for the books
Best Character - Wyms by half a hemisphere
Best Scene - Mackey vs. Acevada to determine pecking order in the precinct
Biggest Shock - Mackey kills Crowley with a suspect's gun
Most Disgusting - Lonnie sells his daughter for $200
Best Reaction - Wyms to Wagenbach saying he wants to date Soufer
Least Likely to Get Employee of the Year - Mackey, who pretty much tells his boss and everyone else to screw themselves if they don't like his methods
The "Is This Where They Got It?" Award - Wagenbach calls the killer "the unsub" like they do in Criminal Minds. It took me forever on CM to figure out what they meant. Should have watched this pilot sooner.
Most Ridiculous Argument - case of the missing Ding Dongs
Least Surprising - Crowley is working for Captain in a sting to prove Mackey is corrupt
Most Surprising - a cop meeting a blind date at her house (after of course the ending)
Best Plan - Acevada puts aside his feelings and has Mac interrogate a pedophile who's holding a missing girl
Worst Plan - having kids playing in your crack den
The "Welcome Back?" Award - CCH Pounder of Warehouse 13 / Benito Martinez of Supernatural / Walton Groggins of Justified / Michael Chiklis of No Ordinary Family / Catherine Dent from Gang Related / Jay Karnes from Burn Notice / Reed Diamond lately of SHIELD / Max Perlich from Buffy / Page Kennedy, currently Moto on Backstrom / Jim Ortlieb from Roswell
Best Quotes -
1. Grady: "Your turn to play bad cop?" Mackey: "Naw, good cop and bad cop left for the day. I'm a different kind of cop."
2. Acevada: "I just want a dirty cop off the street." Crowley: "You want to be mayor someday, you better learn how to lie a hell of a lot better than that."
3. Mackey: "Hey uh, I've got to go run an errand but I was thinking you and I should hook up for a drink later on tonight." Sofer: "Oh yeah. Your wife coming?" Mackey: "Damn, she can't make it." Sofer: "Damn, neither can I." Mackey: "Hey, since when did you get morals?" Sofer: "Always had them. Sometimes I just lose track."
4. Wyms: "You want to start dating again, fine, but why chase after a unicop in our own station. That's just lazy, son."
5. Wyms: "Cause that's the God's truth, son. You can't lie to God." Wagenbach: "Or the crime lab. Her blood's all over your shirt."

New Show:

The Returned - 1.01 - Pilot

Let's face it. This may be based off the French show Les Revenants but I was totally thinking Resurrection the entire time. In fact I still don't know why we need two shows about dead people returning to a small town and the aftermath chaos. So far, they are the same show except The Returned has far better pacing and Resurrection has better character interaction. Perhaps that's because The Returned dumped 384 characters on us, half of which are interchangeable and a third of which were never named. You try reviewing that. Still I liked this show far better than I expected because of the pacing. I might not know who half these people are but at least the time flew by. We even got a random murder that I'm sure will be important in another couple episodes. Psychic Fraud needed to go so at least they tossed off someone who annoyed me instead of characters I like - another plus. If only my other shows would emulate this. (cough The 100 cough) I would say Creepster Kid can go next but he seems to be the main mystery. As long as they keep this pace and don't drag the mystery out too long (cough Resurrection cough), then I'm game to try at least the first 3 episodes and see just how similar these shows really are. Fun Fact - This is the first show in ages where I had no quotes written down after the first watch. Then I realize that people didn't say much in this episode. They mostly just looked shocked.

Grade: B
Ranking - 4
Audience - any who watched Resurrection and thought, "Man, the premise is interesting but this glacial pace has to go."

Best Reason to Watch - seeing the varied reactions to dead people popping up again
Biggest Twist - Psychic Fraud is murdered
The "Say What?" Award - What the heck was Camille freaking out on the bus for and why is Victor standing in the middle of the road? Is he the spawn of Satan?
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - What kind of doctor takes a stray kid into her home and doesn't call the police or social services? She could be cited for kidnapping. His parents could be looking for him. The kid could kill her in her sleep. Hey, Supernatural fans know to be wary of creepy kids. Just saying.
Biggest Hmm - Why is the returned woman not freaking out that her husband has aged so much? There is something completely shifty going on here.
Biggest WTH - A woman claims she communes with the dead through sex. In what way does this make any sense at all? In what universe does any man believe this?
Deadliest Cold Open - an entire school bus goes off a cliff so casualties aplenty
Most Creepy - the mute kid that seems to be following the doctor around
Best Reaction - Claire and Jack to seeing their dead daughter back
Worst Reaction - a man's dead wife returns and he jumps off a bridge
Most Realistic Reaction - Rowan thinks she's nuts when she sees a dead Simon returned
The "Welcome Back" Award - Mark Pellegrino of Supernatural and The Tomorrow People / Sophia Lowe of OUaT Wonderland / Kevin Alejandro of Arrow / Jeremy Sisto of Kidnapped and Law & Order / Keenan Tracey from The 100

Weekly Shows:

Allegiance - 1.06 - Liars and Thieves

I have no idea if this episode actually aired on TV or not. It wasn't in the listings I check but it showed up on my On Demand station so I decided to review it anyway. If it did not air on TV, I apologize. Here there be spoilers, including a major one. Proceed at your own risk. Although this one dragged a tiny bit in the middle, I thought it was great for plot progression. Adding Victor into the loop was a fantastic idea and I hope it leads to more great scenes between Katya and him. Provided he doesn't turn on them, this can only make their job easier. They have someone who can cover for them with the SVR and still have resources they didn't have without him. We've got 4 more episodes (which will hopefully still air) to close the Black Dagger mystery so they need him. Plus I like Victor so the more screen time the better.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the cat and mouse game of the O'Connor family trying to beat the CIA each time
Best Scene - Katya confronts Victor over bugging her house and he confronts her on not knowing Sarah
Best Alliance - Victor joins the operation
Best Reunion - Natalie comes home alive to mom and dad
Biggest Shock - Victor shoots Scott coming out of the elevator
Best Reaction - Alex, who looks progressively more dumbfounded the longer the episode goes on
Best Business Man - Jerry, who holds out for a much bigger bribe to keep quiet
Worst Plan - bringing Alex to an operation
Least Likely to Make it as a Spy - Scott, who closes the door when he hears someone coming, alerting the guard to their presence
The "Okay, Hunh?" Award - I have no idea why Sam decided to entertain Alex with stories of his friend, the King of Spain. Actually I have no idea what Sam is babbling about at the club at all.
Most Creepy - Natalie gives Scott the douche wink and talks about chasing tail
Most Handy - rooms for rent right above the counterfeiting ring
Best Banter - Brock and Alex talk baseball records
The "Poor Baby" Award - Alex has had a rough week. I think he deserves his freak out. Plus, he almost got shot by an assassin and added a new career as a kidnapper. It would too much for anyone.
Best Quotes -
1. Victor: "You killed me. You put a bullet in my head." Natalie: "Just let me explain." Victor: "Do you have any idea how much I've done for you? For your family? The risks I took. And all the time you were lying to me. In my bed and lying to me."
2. Scott: "Am I bleeding?" Katya: "No Scott, you're sweating. If this ends up with you bleeding, trust me you'll know the difference."
3. Brock: "Nothing is more depressing than a club with the music turned off." Michelle: "I can think of a few things." Brock: "That's because you're a dark, twisted soul, Prado." Michelle: "No, it's because I worked vice."
4. Victor: "And your hollow threats to kill me, they make you sound weak." Katya: "Just try me."
5. Scott: "You guys are going to kill me, aren't you? Once you get what you want. Do it now then. Get it over with." Katya: "Shut up and listen to me carefully. As long as you do what we tell you to do, no one gets hurt but let me be clear. If you touch my daughter again, I will definitely kill you, okay?"
6. Alex: "You keep saying everything's going to be fine but everything keeps getting worse."

Secrets and Lies - 1.03 - The Affair

You know when you're watching a TV show and the character does something incredibly stupid and you're facepalming and talking to the TV about how stupid that was. That was Secrets And Lies for me this week throughout the entire episode, and yet it was still better than the first two. Ben is just asking to get arrested with the dumb stuff he keeps pulling. First he gift wraps a murder weapon? In no court of law does that look okay. That may very well be the dumbest thing any character has done on TV this entire season and that's saying A LOT. Then he tells his drunk freeloader of a friend about it. Channel your best Hermoine and say it with me. "What an idiot!" Like that isn't going to backfire. Losing his temper right and left isn't helping anything either. Like I said, the man is begging for incarceration. Unless it turns out that Ben really did do it (and that would be one heck of a twist), he's got to be the dumbest innocent person on the planet. Big kudos to Christy though because she bears the longsuffering wife role well. She's shockingly supportive this episode and seems to be eager to make it through with her family intact. Of course she could turn out to be the murderer as well. In fact, it looks like we are finally going to be widening the suspect pool next week but in this show it’s the prime suspect initiating it instead of the police. That's still the most interesting thing about the series.

Grade: B-

Biggest Ouch - Natalie asks Ben if he's going to kill her too in front of the entire party
Biggest Moron - no teen should ever confront a girl's father when he shows up at a party to take her home
Biggest WTH - Did Ben just wrap the murder weapon up like a Christmas present and put it under the tree? That's nuts!
Most Sympathetic - Christy, unless she ends up being the killer
Best Flashback - Ben tells Tom he's brave enough to get over his fear of Santa
The "I'll Make an Exception For You" Award - In general, I am pro-cop. However Cornell, maybe Ben wouldn't need to inject himself into the investigation if you weren't pigeon-holing him as the only suspect.
Best Friends - the neighbors who invite Ben and Christy to join them even amidst hostile eyes
Worst Plan - Ben cleaning off the flashlight like he's guilty. This will not end well at all.
The "Framed or Crazy" Award - Ben is one or the other. Right now I am going with Dave is framing Ben because he has a thing for Natalie. That being said, I am going to be really unhappy if it's true.
The "Oh Yes, You Did" Award - Oh please, neighbor guy. Everyone knows your kid heard you call Ben a baby killer so of course that's why he said it. Don't even bother.
Most Organized - the Crawford family for keeping all their receipts
Most Suspicious - a researcher hires Ben and then talks about the murder, almost like he's freelancing for a magazine or newspaper
Most in Need of Controlling His Temper - Ben because he already looks suspicious enough
Biggest Hypocrite - Ben cannot get angry with Christy about a potential affair given the circumstances
Best Quotes -
1. Christy: "Ben, there was nothing you could do." Ben: "I didn't protect him." Christy: "You didn't know it was your job."
2. Christy (to Dave): "You can parent your teenagers when they find you."
3. Dave: "Do you even know if the flashlight is the murder weapon?" Ben: "It is." Dave: "Uhn hnh, okay. You didn't touch it did you?" Ben: "I'm not stupid. I wiped it off." Dave: "Einstein, it's called tampering, okay? It's a felony."
4. Ben: "I'm taking my daughter home." Natalie: "I hate you." Ben: "I'll get used to it."
5. Cornell: "I'm guessing you didn't notice the 50 teenagers filming you. It's unfortunate you picked that moment to assault and threaten to kill your daughter's boyfriend."
6. Dave: "I'm not one to offer up unsolicited advice but since you asked, I do not think that Christy is cheating on you." Ben: "Thanks." Dave: "Okay I'm just saying I don't think it's her test, brother." Ben: "Then whose is it?" Dave: "Okay Sherlock, process of elimination. It's not mine, it's not yours, it's not Abbie's, it ain't Christy's…Okay, alright. Breathe it out. Breathe it out, brother."

Scorpion - 1.18 - Once Bitten, Twice Die

This is the episode of Paige. I like that she got to be the expert and saved the day more than once. While Paige never gets shafted like I feared in the pilot, she also doesn't get to outshine the geniuses in an intellectual capacity either. For her to be the customs expert made sense as none of the geniuses would find that an important area of study, but it still made a strong case for her expertise. I really like that she is going back to school as well. It seems that Scorpion is rubbing off on her as much as she is on them. It was fun to see different aspects of Cabe too. I loved his cowboy movie enthusiasm and even more so, Happy calling him out about it. Still it was his unwavering trust in Paige and all of the team that really stood out. In a pinch, he has their backs and trusts them to make the right call. I'm not so crazy about the hints Merrick was dropping though. I hope neither Walter not the viewing audience ever knows the secret, largely because it sounds like contrived drama at its most emoangsty and I like this team working together. Another issue was the logic fails. For a smart guy, Walter sure can be stupid. He had zero reason to have the snake bite him except to please the shippers and to add tension. Scorpion has a bad habit of ratcheting tension by going for the most complicated, illogical plan available just to show how smart it is when there's a perfectly reasonable and easier plan a 10 year old could develop. In this case, they should have captured both snakes. Sylvester obviously has access to the internet so he could Google it while the trio drove back. If for some strange reason Google let them down, Walter could have gone with his plan in the presence of the doctor. Just dumb. Plus they have a whole kitchen of supplies and you're telling me they couldn't find anything to put the ferret in? I call shenanicanon.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Paige shines
Best Moment - Gallo steps on the syringe of adrenaline and says he trusts Paige and the team
MVP - Paige and her report no one bothered reading
Least Surprising - Walter falls in the snake pit
Biggest Snob - Walter thinking only science and math are worthwhile pursuits
Most in Need of Self-Defense Classes - In this episode, Sylvester and Toby. I don't think it would be amiss for all of them but Cabe though.
The "I May Have to Forfeit My Title" Award - I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Anti-Shipping, but even I have no problem with Happy kissing Toby. It made me laugh and thus far they are one of only a few couples on TV that haven't completely ruined one or more characters in the process of hooking them up.
The "It Pays to be a Fanboy" Award - Cabe knows a way to sneak off the grounds based on watching his cowboy movie so much
The "Oh Yeah Right" Award - Paige and Toby have time to calm down an angry mob before the doctor gets his adrenaline. Did they store it at the pharmacy 2 towns over? Also why does the doctor for a major peace talk meeting have such shoddy resources at hand? Only one syringe of adrenaline?
Most Cathartic - Happy punches Walter in the nose. I've wanted to do that many times.
Best History - Franz Ferdinand's death causing World War I
Best Visual - Sylvester popping up from hiding behind a chair to confirm Walter's numbers
Best Plan - Paige plays a lullaby to cool down tensions
Worst Plan (and by Worst, I Mean Dumbest) - Walter purposely gets bit by the snake
Best Psych Out - Toby, Happy, Sylvester, and Paige make fake news footage to scare the leaders into a peace treaty
The "Good for You" Award - Paige goes back to college
Best Pun - Ferret Bueller
Best Quotes -
1. Toby: "Forget Homeland. He should work for Treasury the way he passes the buck."
2. Happy: "Hey Hopalong, we're about to hop along so why don't you stop watching that movie for the 12th time." Cabe: "This movie was filmed on the senator's compound where the summit's taking place. I'm studying the layout of the grounds cause some of the sets are still standing on the property." Happy: "You already walked the ground with Homeland. You're a fanboy."
3. Toby: "You're not taking a million to one shot with my friend's life. Do you understand me? If you come near him with that ferret, I'm gonna cram that furry little dude up in a place it can never run away from. You follow?"
4. Munoz: "I want her off the grounds. Now." Cabe: "Like hell. She just did your job for you."
5. Cabe: "It pays to be a fanboy."

Eye Candy - 1.09 - FYEO

I have to admit I'm disappointed in who the killer is. He's completely disposable on the show and as such there are no real consequences for his arrest and/or death in the finale. I guess he could escape to stalk another day but that's a little "second verse same as the first" for me. We already have the entire core cast alive to see the second season barring any major twists in the finale and provided there is a second season. Therefore he must die and allow the show to take on a new Big Bad next season. I vote for Hamish who is so scuzzy he practically begs to be insane. Bubonic is the most logical choice though. As for this episode, the pace was pretty slow with significant downtime. The only major reveal was Walker's connection to Sarah's possible kidnapping although no way the corpse ends up being her. None. That's the series-long mystery. All I ask is that Eye Candy doesn't end on a cliffhanger. If the killer is still alive and Lindy still in danger at the end, I'm going to do some serious eye rolling.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the killer's revealed and the search for Lindy is on
Biggest Hmm - Shouldn't Tommy need a warrant to tap Hamish's servers? This looks very shady and it's not going to be him anyway.
Best Horror Story Plot - car breaks down right outside an old bed and breakfast while a killer's on the loose
The "Say What?" Award - Why did it take Tommy and Connor so long to plug that flash drive in to find the killer? It's pitch dark outside when they leave but they don't get to Cyber Crimes until it is full daylight. Did you stop for waffles and coffee? Maybe enjoy a nightcap?
Worst Deal - Reece was only worth $10,000. That seems very cheap for the going rate of murder.
Best Plan - Hamish, who is still a disgusting human being, will trade a clue about the Flirtual Killer and shutting down the Babylon Portal for Tommy destroying all evidence that he was in charge of Babylon
The "No, That's Not the Least Suspicious" Award - Jake suggests grave robbing and happens to know how much they'd be fined
The "Best Reason Not to Call" Award - being dead pretty much lets Oliver off the hook for not getting back to Connor
The "Bye, Won't Miss Ya" Award - Tessa
Best Twist - Walker's niece was abducted and Sarah may have been in the cell next to her
Most in Need of a Dating Timeout - Lindy's ex was a cop who arrested her and then she hops into bed with the guy who killed her ex. She has the worst taste in men.
Most Depressing - the convict talking about baby corpses and all the things they never grew up to be
Worst TV Trend - What is up with all these people with vital information getting hit by moving vehicles?
The "Oh Poor Baby" Award - Mary lived through being kidnapped but suffers from guilt for escaping while Sarah was dying
Least Surprising - there's no photo of the kidnapped person who died so Lindy can't tell if it is her sister
Most Interesting Conversation - Lindy and Jake chat with a former Riker's Island inmate about grave robbing
The "Welcome Back" Award - Thomas Kopache from TURN
Best Quotes -
1. Tommy: "How much do you know about the Babylon portal?" Connor: "Enough to know that it's the definition of human depravity and desperation."
2. Sophia: "I snoop because I love you."
3. Lindy: "They say not knowing is the worst part, but this feels worse."
4. Tessa: "The doctors found this thing inside my head, said they couldn't take it out, and I just decided not to tell anyone. I mean what do you even say? Do you post it on social media?" Sophia: "You can't keep that from the people that love you. That is not fair." Tessa: "I can do whatever the hell I want. If I wanted you to know, I would have told you."

Fresh Off the Boat - 1.08 - Phillip Goldstein

Two of my favorite cancelled comedies last year were the supremely awesome Enlisted and fun Trophy Wife. To have guest stars from both of them at one time made the episode for me. While it is hard for me to separate Parker Young from Randy Hill, I enjoyed watching him play the perfect cowboy. I wish they had not fired his character because I need more Parker time. Here's hoping he stars in a new show in 2015-2016. It was also fun seeing Former Bert again. Like on Trophy Wife, Albert Tsai stole many of the scenes he was in. Still the real prize was seeing Eddie and Jessica reach an understanding. They tend to have a confrontational relationship so it was good to see them on the same side for once. I liked them working together and loved Jessica standing up for Eddie with Phillip. Here's hoping that we can end the Asian kid vs. black kid shtick though. I'd love for Walter and Eddie to become friends.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - guest stars
Best Character Interaction - Jessica and Eddie
Best Aww Scene - Jessica rails on Phillip for leaving Eddie behind and then takes Eddie to the concert
Best Negotiator - Phillip, who gets Eddie to Les Mis by threatening the Beastie Boys concert
Biggest Manipulator - Eddie, who gets Jessica to agree to let him go to the Beastie Boys concert by playing the Phillip card
Biggest Yikes - What school matches kids up by their race? I thought the 90's were more PC then that.
Biggest Twist - Phillip takes his culture more seriously than his parents
Biggest Hmm - Wouldn't therestaurant need at least 2 hosts anyway? Surely Mitch doesn't work 7 days a week and from the time the restaurant opens until it closes. That's just crazy.
Worst Plan - outshining your boss, even if you are awesome
Most Talented - Wyatt's lasso tricks
The "Welcome Back" Award - Albert Tsai formerly stealing the show on Trophy Wife / Parker Young from the sadly dead Enlisted
Best Quotes -
1. Phillip: "Then I realized it was nightfall. Shabbat was over." Jessica: "I thought that ended at midnight." Phillip: "I'm a devout Jew, not Cinderella."
2. Eddie: "That's called being a G, mom." Jessica: "Why do you want to be a letter that's only worth 2 points in Scrabble? Q is better."
3. Jessica: "Okay we just have to tell the Goldsteins the truth and so you know, I'm going to put most of the blame on you. Not because I want to but for legal purposes."
4. Walter: "Looks like somebody's got a twin." Eddie: "Looks like somebody's outnumbered."
5. Louis: "Things have been a little too perfect around here. It's almost annoying."

Rizzoli & Isles - 5.16 - In Plain View

I think I'm crime-d out. Last week did me in. While Rizzoli & Isles always does character banter and interaction well, this case was beyond lame. I mean really, really, really lame. The fact that the guy killed someone who picked on him at camp 25 years earlier was bad enough. To set a fire in the trashcan made him the only suspect and we weren't even that far into the episode. Although I loved Angela's pep talk to Maura, the identity theft subplot fell flat too. The only new theme that did work for me was Korsak trying to expand his vocabulary and that tragically ended too soon. I love Jane getting in on the action and it would be fun to see them try to one up each other. As always, the character interactions were fun and Jane telling Guthrie to shoot Slowey was refreshing even if it was a ploy. Mostly though, this episode was just meh.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - character interactions
Biggest WTH - the cop repressed camp bullying for 25 years and is now going after kids who teased him
Biggest Awww Scene - Jane comforts the kid and refers to Frost. I sniffle a bit.
Best Subplot - Korsak and his big words
Best Reaction - Jane to Angela making kissing noises
The "Say What?" Award - Since when does shop class teach you how to fix a complicated electronics system like your car, buddy? We learned how to make shaped cutting boards.
The "Listen to Susie" Award / Biggest Facepalm - Maura, you are too smart to allow someone to continue stealing from you so that you can delve into the psychology of identity theft. Gibbs' slap to you.
The "Um, Maine isn't that Desolate" Award - The detective has evidence in a Mason jar. What?
Worst Plan - letting credit card fraud go undetected
Best Pep Talk - Angela to Maura
Lesson Learned from 1,000 Crime Episodes - it's never the loan shark
The "Welcome Back" Award - Niall Matter from Primeval: New World, another show cut down in its prime (bad pun) / Robert Blanche from Grimm
Best Quotes -
1. Maura: "She's living my life better than I am." Angela: "Maura, she's a paper doll. She hung a beautiful dress on herself, she added a fabulous pair of shoes, but none of that makes her you. She's not smarter or better than you, Maura. You've earned the respect and the love from all the people in your life. What's better than that?"
2. Jane: "Some random side of the road nutbag would really slow down our investigation." Korsak: "If you use the thesaurus, you could come up with a nicer word than nutbag."
3. Maura: "I just knew that you would not approve of my field trip." Jane: "I do not approve and not just because I'm a cop. Because I'm your friend. What you did could have been dangerous." Maura: "I took your mother." Jane: "Which is dangerous in its own way. Did you get a look at this fake Dr. Isles?" Maura: "No, I was too busy being the real Dr. Isles."
4. Jane: "It's like you said. It's hard to hide anything in this electronic day and age…like maybe someone who was incarcerated in a penal colony for usury."
5. Susie: "Well I think you should cancel your credit cards and report this to the police, which should be easy given this place is full of them."

Perception - 3.14 - Romeo

I haven't seen the previews for the finale but I'm laying bets that Kate just got kidnapped by Tasha, who really, really wants to be with Donnie. If it doesn't end up that way, I'll be shocked and tossing all the socks in the world at the screen because they made Kate so out-of-character. Still I am very happy that Daniel chose to "forever hold his peace" instead of ruining the show for me. It actually bumped the grade up a bit. I'll be even happier if the show does something truly twisty like make Kate the hallucination and Daniel has created this whole show in a psychotic break. Better yet, make him really married to Natalie or have DJ be the true character hallucinating an older version of himself.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Daniel did not tell Kate that he loves her
Best Reaction - Paul to Daniel accusing him of sleeping with Lilly
Most Surprising - the motorcycle in the classroom was NOT a hallucination
Least Surprising - Kate's wedding planner is a hallucination. Did anyone not know that besides Daniel? I can't see Kate having a wedding planner at all.
Weirdest Cold Open - Generally Daniel lectures and we all get smarter. This time a kid interrupts on a motorcycle and the girl who turns him down gets smarter. Well for turning him down. After the cold open, not so much.
Best Reference - Miami Vice
The "Welcome Back" award (character) - Natalie / DJ Pierce / Kate's dad
The "Welcome Back" Award (acting) - Deniz Akdeniz from Graceland / David Chisum, the only bright spot in the Black Box premiere
Best Quotes -
1. Daniel: "Wow, you have a lot of interesting administrative challenges that have nothing to do with me."
2. Daniel: "Sometimes what we think is love is really just an unhealthy fixation."
3. Max: "Alright, I'm on it. I'm the Tubbs to your Crockett."
4. Donnie: "Hey, what's the big ruckus with campus security?" Daniel: "Just a sophomore being sophomoric."
5. Paul: "You know for a minute there I thought maybe you were going to apologize for calling me a philandering murderer."
6. Donnie: "Well that was awkward." Daniel: "She's a psychologically fragile woman who experienced a major trauma. You put her attacker away. It's not surprising that she'd mistake her gratitude for romantic attraction." Kate: "You sure it's not just his devastating good looks." Daniel: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure."

The 100 - 2.16 - Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)

First off I know I am going to get a lot of flak for both the review and the grade here. For me this finale is in a 3-way race for worst episode of season 2. It's competing with the episode they threw Finn under a bus and the great ape escape. So I was shocked to see just how much people loved this episode. In all honesty I figured the Bellamy and Clarke shippers would be ecstatic but everyone else would feel a little let down. I guess I came in with way too high expectations here, but this felt more like a whimper than a bang. The penultimate episode was far more thrilling and a much better cliffhanger, making this feel anticlimactic. We spend the entire season gearing up to fight the big, bad Mountain and 5 seconds and one lever pull is all it takes to wipe them out. It feels like the writers had no clue where to go with this foe (or needed to trim the budget) so they hit the easy button. Yes, I know the psychological fallout of Clarke and Bellamy committing genocide is huge but pacing wise, it sucked. For a finale, people sure talked a lot….endlessly even.

Still the major problem is how utterly stupid the whole Mountain Men plot was to begin with and the zero payoff it left. Nothing about it makes the least sense to me. The Mountain Men needed bone marrow, but they acted like they had nothing to trade for it. That's simply not true. The Mountain provided protection from the 100's biggest enemy. The grounders, who had come to slaughter them, were a significant threat. They also had supplies that were in short supply for the 100. Lest we forget, Jasper told us they had chocolate cake about 348 times. To say the 48 were vulnerable is an understatement. I have no idea why the Mountain leadership didn't simply trade - safety for bone marrow. They should have at least offered it. Sure some like Clarke would never go for it but it's a pretty good bet that some of the others would take it, especially since they obviously had the medical capability to make it far less painful than they did when they used them as lab rats. After all, the 100 were facing eradication by the grounders. The only thing that makes even less sense to me is why Tsing would kill the 100 anyway. Medically and scientifically that is beyond stupid. Bone marrow fully regenerates in the human body within a few weeks. Instead of killing off people, she could have had an ever ready supply of the #1 commodity her people needed. That's like setting fire to an oil field after extracting a single gallon of gasoline. It's a huge waste. Plus she has results for at most a couple of weeks. How could she be sure the change was permanent? What if it was a temporary fix? What if by not making sure the marrow was a match, the body of the person receiving it rejected it? There are far too many questions about the viability of the marrow for Dr. Tsing to recklessly throw it away like that. The Mountain citizens were portrayed as highly educated with advanced technology and scientific capabilities. No way they throw away their one shot like this. We already know they had patience so why get idiotically impatient here?

To add to the farce, the characters turned off their brains in this episode too. Clarke executes the only person on the show capable of seeing more than 3 minutes into the future. She does realize that she could have shot but not killed Dante without Cage ever knowing, right? Worse they stick their best warrior on babysitting duty and the most incompetent one gets assassination detail. Why didn't they have Octavia take out the guards as she went if for no other reason than to cause a distraction? At least have her follow Jasper down to the operating room as back up for when he inevitably screwed everything to hell like usual. And exactly why does Maya know hidey holes in every other place on the mountain but couldn't figure out how to hide on level 5? The majority of the people were in the mess hall for goodness sakes. As for Abby, she's a doctor. Why wouldn't she explain that they don't have to kill people to get their bone marrow? I won't even get started about Cage. Who leaves the command center of their entire existence abandoned? Then when an enemy takes over that command center (by walking right in), why is Emerson the only guard who goes after them? Clarke threatened to irradiate them. Shouldn't they at least be getting their hazard suits on and fighting for their own survival? Bah! Just bah! Finally at the end, they all head back to Camp Jaha. Why? Seriously, why? The Mountain is the safest place on earth for them. Hauling the bodies out would granted be hard but they have supplies, technology, an impenetrable fortress for security, and a whole host of weapons at their disposal if they stay. If Clarke is to be believed (and that's a big question these days), then Raven and Wick didn't even do much damage to the power generator. They should be sending a party to Camp Jaha so they can start packing to move in too. Why abandon the most strategic place in the region when who knows what enemy might take residence in it next?

This episode and the entire Mountain Men plot ended up being nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It was about putting Clarke in the darkest place possible but without common sense to lead them there. For me that lessens the impact of the drama they sacrificed logic for. While it makes for instant gratification and emoangsting, it dilutes the whole season's story structure and in the long-term makes the show weaker for me. I left this episode unsatisfied and after 2 more rewatches, I still could not shake the disappointment.

Grade: B- (average after 3 watches)

Best Reason to Watch - the acting
Best Action - Octavia's hallway fight
Best Scene - Indra leaves a knife for Lincoln and tells him to make a choice
Best Reaction - Kane to seeing the scientists drilling into the kids
Most Deluded - Clarke for ever thinking they were the good guys. They are survivors and that's it. Plus, why is she so against Dante when she has to know he helped them? I mean he's been imprisoned for NOT allowing his people to take bone marrow from the 100.
Most Surprising - no one of any importance at all died in the finale
Best Michael Jackson Accessory - What is up with Clarke's bedazzled gloves?
Biggest Douche - Jaha, who killed 2 kids to reach his dream
Best Death - Lincoln kills Cage (I hope) and slays his demons
Biggest Body Count - Clarke now has a body count to her name that rivals that of a military coup dictator. She even commits genocide. Forget good guys and bad guys. Clarke is headed for the Post-Apocalypse Killer Hall of Fame.
Worst Plan - Let's face it. This episode was one long bad decision compiled by another. In the never-ending ocean of terrible decisions, the idea to sideline their best warrior (Octavia) was the most brainless.
Most Futile but Still Awesome Plan - Raven bites the guy trying to extract bone marrow from her
Best Reunion - Octavia and Bellamy
Biggest Question - exactly how similar is The 100's apocalypse story going to be to Terminator's
Biggest Lie - Dante: "None of us have a choice here, Clarke." You can say that kind of fatalistic nonsense all you want, writers. Doesn't make it true. How about have Monty use his skills to turn the lights off where they're drilling for starters? How about Cage use some common sense? They had choices up until they had a mountain full of bodies.
Best Dichotomy - Jaha is all about sacrificing the few to save the many while Clarke is all about sacrificing the many to save the few
The "Welcome Back" Award - Erica Cerra from Eureka
Best Quotes -
1. Clarke: "I tried. I tried to be the good guy." Abby: "Baby, there are no good guys."
2. Lincoln: "I can't just let her die." Indra: "Under the terms of the truce, the lands surrounding the mountain are forbidden. If you violate this, Lexa will never take you back. Octavia made her choice. Now you make yours."
3. Murphy: "Your promised land sucks."
4. Maya: "Long way from the Ark, huh?" Octavia: "Not my Ark. I didn't have a view either."
5. Jaha: "Curiouser and curiouser."

CSI: Cyber - 1.02 - CMND:/Crash

CSI: Cyber is reminding me a lot of Scorpion minus the family vibe. They both have tech geniuses solve puzzles and they both have action sequences that are fun, exciting, and completely ludicrous. In this case it is Agent Mundo hanging off the edge of a speeding subway trying to hook a piece of delicate software with his daughter's friendship bracelet like some demented version of Operation. Ha! Absolutely ridiculous but it made for a high adrenaline scene. Much of the rest of the episode though was a more sedate paint by numbers as they used cyber clues to track down the suspect. The high tech gadgetry is fun but there was a lot of straight up speechifying in this one that made the pace slower than the pilot. I really did not need a 5-minute PSA on how gore porn is bad and deviants flock together on the internet. Kind of knew all that. Here's hoping the next episode is a bit more lively and that Krumitz will stop being a douche for no reason.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - Mundo plays MacGyver and there's a whole new thing to be paranoid over
Best Awww Moment - Mundo's daughter says she'll make him a new bracelet
The "Say What?" Award - For it being primetime in Boston there sure isn't much traffic, as evidenced by the way Ryan can weave back and forth to get around people. Also do Bostonians NOT have to pull over when emergency vehicles flash their lights and put on their sirens?
Most Scary - anyone can tamper with a rollercoaster or subway with $50 of equipment if this show is to be believed
Biggest Douche - Krumitz, who needs to get over whatever he has against Nelson already
Most Ludicrous but Still Fun - Mundo stopping the subway with a coat hanger and his daughter's bracelet
Worst Obsession - gore porn
Biggest PSA - Ryan and Sifter talk in depth about deviant groups and the deep web
Best Quotes -
1. Nelson: "I never said that. Black people do not use the word pal. You ever heard the word pal in a rap song?"
2. Ryan: "You do realize that keeping your fingers crossed is rarely, if ever, effective in fighting crime."
3. Mundo: "You ever see a pitbull with a chew toy? You're already in her jaws. No getting out now. Spill."
4. Ryan: "Fight it all you want, Krumitz. Nelson's not going anywhere. This will become a bromance."
5. Ryan: "Should I take a seat for this?" Krumitz: "No. I'll be brief…and riveting."

Empire - 1.10 - Sins of the Father

Empire just keeps raising the crazy. Lucious is Lola's father? Bwah! Cookie and Malcolm are screwing? Go figure. A crazy gunman holds them hostage in their living room? Ooookay. This show has nothing on its daytime counterparts. I'm still rooting for the downfall of this empire. I mean Lucious is as much a douche as ever, so I hope he falls hard. It would be funny if Cookie and her sons allied against him once the stock goes public. Not that Cookie is less bigoted than Lucious in her own way, but at least she isn’t forever thinking only of herself. Only half the time. Again it is Jamal and Hakeem who steal the show and when they sing Lola to sleep together, it is a magical moment. It may be my new favorite brother scene on the show. Andre isn't faring so well. I thought he might be the holdout and keep the IPO from happening due to how obnoxious Lucious has been to him. I still think that would be an interesting turnabout. Let Andre be as smart and manipulative as he appeared in the pilot. After all this show is bound to go off on a huge, melodramatic cliffhanger and we only have 2 more episodes to do so.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the soap opera flag flies high tonight
Best Character Interaction - Rhonda and Lucious / Camille and Lucious
Biggest Awww Scene - Lola says goodbye to everyone
Biggest Laugh - Lucious is Lola's father. That's about par for the course on this soap opera.
Most Intense - Reg pulls a gun on Jamal
Biggest Train Wreck - the signing over the shares party
Sweetest Moment - Jamal and Hakeem sing Lola to sleep
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Cookie calls bipolar disorder a "white people" disease
Biggest Douche - Lucious as always
Biggest Oversell - Too many people are telling Andre that he is the reason the company is going public. It's true, but it feels like they are trying to get something from him.
Best Psych Out - when it looks like Michelle is going to screw Andre, she asks him to pray instead
Worst Plan - Cookie tries to wrestle the gun from Reg and ends up a hostage herself / Malcolm getting involved with anyone in this crazy family
Best Guest Star - Jennifer Hudson
Best Quotes -
1. Hakeem: "She said we like the new Antony and Cleopatra." Cookie: "Child." Jamal: "You all know that's a tragedy where they end up dying at the end, right? Just saying."
2. Lucious: "I'm not signing over Andre's stock to some little country club queen just because his feelings are hurt. Look, you want to raise your family's fortunes Rhonda, you gonna have to work for that." Rhonda: "I've been with your son for 10 years and you don't know a damn thing about me but just to clarify, I came from nothing and I worked my a** off to put myself through Penn. Nothing has ever been handed to me and I have never expected anything to be either."
3. Camille: "You are a disgusting, despicable human being and I wish you a miserable death when you go to hell."
4. Cookie: "Lucious, you don't care about nothing but yourself. Everything you touch, you destroy. Look at what you did to my sons."
5. Cookie: "It's alright. You left your baby to save her. There's nothing harder than that."

Dig - 1.02 - Catch You Later

Dig keeps its approximately 37 storylines, none of which connect yet. Therefore nothing about the story makes sense and it is still painfully, excruciatingly slow. It has one more episode and then I'm tossing it in the pile with shows I'm only watching if people I trust say it gets better and there are no more new TV episodes on earth for a year. Even then it's iffy. So far the plot is deliberately vague in a way that always makes me question whether the writers know where it's going. (Thanks Chris Carter.) The only character we know even a little bit about are the nutters in the American compound and they've create the next David Koresh. The stone storyline catches my attention but if we don't know what they are about by the next episode, I will be out of patience. This show feels like a marathon, not a sprint, but I'm not sure if there is a finish line up ahead or not. They've now wasted 2 out of 10 episodes going nowhere so 1/5 of the season is already over. It's time to start clearing things up instead of adding even more vague mysteries until the whole mythos falls under its own weight.

Grade: C-

Best Reason to Watch - surely one of 37 plot lines will strike your fancy
Best Action - Connelly chases after Khalid
Biggest Cliffhanger - Ambassador Ridell meets with the supposed terrorist during a state meeting to get one of the stones from him
The "This isn't America" Award - Cohen picks up his kid with a handcuffed guy in the backseat and talks about the case in front of him
Biggest Psycho of the Night - Billingham, who obviously sanctioned killing the kid and makes the other kid slaughter a calf
Worst Plan - Connelly withholding that he knows the girl / bleeding guy having the kid who has never driven before drive them
The "Welcome Back" Award - Regina Taylor from I'll Fly Away and The Unit
Best Quotes -
1. Cohen: "Luck is overrated. You want to catch a killer, you've got to be smarter than they are. Fortunately, most of them are idiots."
2. Monahan: "You've taken it too far, Peter. I'm sorry to tell you but sometimes bad things do happen to good people. As your friend, I am asking you and begging you to snap the hell out of it."
3. Billingham (on the kid killing the cow): "The first one is the hardest. It gets easier."

Elementary - 3.17 - T-Bone and the Iceman

Not much to say about this episode, except that it was fairly standard. There was more focus on Watson's family life than the rather ho-hum case, which was a good call. The character interactions were good and I love this new and improved, more sensitive Sherlock, but still the hour dragged on. They need to either get Kitty back or find a multi-episode killer to jazz things up. At the very least, they need to make something here personal. On the plus side though, Sherlock's snark and ability to turn a phrase were on their A game tonight.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - more background into Watson's family / Sherlock snark
Best Twist - the so-called killer was an actor in the worst movie ever made
Best Character Interaction - Joan and her mom
Biggest Shock - warehouse full of refrigerated bodies
Most Supportive - Sherlock and he has been all season long
Least Fun - Watson and Sherlock already know that refrigerant is the culprit and take away the ME's big moment
Best PSA - Don't be a moron and drive.
Worst PSA - early stages of Alzheimer's or other cognitive diseases
Biggest Passer of the Buck - Mary Watson, who tells Joan to talk to her brother about his affair
Best Excuse - having to wait for the cable guy is about as valid an excuse as any
Best Continuity - Sherlock and his phantom babies
The "Welcome Back" Award - Patrick Breen from Royal Pains and Madam Secretary
Best Quotes -
1. Sherlock: "Respectfully, whether you're scoring on novelty or complexity, this crime scene doesn't really rate, does it?"
2. Sherlock: "We're not here about R-22 or the improper storage of dead nutters."
3. Sherlock: "It's a mature choice for a man of such juvenile aesthetics, but it's difficult to match your look when you shop at a dead man's wardrobe."
4. Sherlock: "Corpsicles having so little resale value, it seems an unlikely coincidence that the only homicide victim in Cyro NYC's cold storage was the target of our thief."
5. Sherlock: "He was unable to catch up with the culprit, who fled on foot." Watson: "Oh, maybe because Wyatt Earp got back into his time machine and vanished."

TBBT - 8.18 - The Leftover Thermalization

This is one of those times when I wish The Big Bang Theory only followed one plot. Having Sheldon and Leonard bickering throughout detracted from what could have been a funny, sweet, and satisfying half hour meal. I was hoping we'd get back story on the characters in this one, focusing around their memories of Howard's mom. They wouldn't have had to show her at all and kept with how they've done it in the past. They missed a golden opportunity to remind us of how far the characters have come and to give us a deeper look at characters we've known for years.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - having a dinner party to celebrate Howard's mom's life is perfect
Best Character Interaction - Howard and Bernadette
Best Reaction - everyone's meh about Physics Today mentioning Leonard's name but they cheer in earnest over Bernadette finding more Tums
Biggest Shock - the vanity card at the end said nothing about Carol Ann Susi's death
Best Moment - Bernadette yells at Sheldon and Leonard for being selfish and sounds like Howard's mother
Best Interpretation - Sheldon explains salons to Penny and Amy explains The View to him
The "Oh Poor Baby" Award - I feel for Howard. I can't imagine saying goodbye to either of my parents.
Weirdest Sight - Sheldon trying to break news to Leonard gently and then giving him a back massage
Best Quotes -
1. Penny: "Ugh, I don't think I've eaten that much in my entire life." Howard: "That's why my people wandered the desert for 40 years. It took that long to walk it off."
2. Sheldon: "And that, little lady, is pi to a thousand places." Amy: "I'd say, 'I'm sorry I asked,' except I didn't."
3. Penny: "Guys, if I wanted to hear people be b**, I would have gone to my real salon."
4. Bernadette: "We just want to have the kind of dinner we've all had here so many times before." Howard: "Good food, good friends, and sometime around midnight heartburn that makes you pray for death."
5. Sheldon: "If you cry when you drop your churro, you do not have what it takes to rule England."

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 The 100, 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."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)


  1. Let teh tomato throwing commence but last week in TV for me sucked. I truly hope you had a more favorable experience. What were your highlights?

  2. So I understand your criticisms for the 100 but to me the finale was more about emotion than action& maybe even logic. I personally found it evident that the Mt.Men would die by the finale so in a way I guess it was anti climatic but I think thats the point. Despite the attempted alliance every group has a 'you vs them' mentality. There would be no negotiations & one group wasn't going to make it out alive. I see how some would find the entire season being a wash (alliance broken&mt weather population dead at the hands of Clarke which just as easily could have happened in the s2 premiere) but I also think that is the point. At the root of this show it is a story of survival.. and the sky people did just that. The writers have the ability to make things interesting along the way but the fact that the alliance broke & Cage was not willingly to negotiate. Clarke maybe would have been against negotiations. And in the end Mt.Weather was decimated. I mean thats survival in the world that they have created. It really isn't anything new than what we've already seen. It's dark and harsh and brutal but just the way it is. There are no 'wins' and there are no 'good guys'.. As far as the science goes... it is called science 'fiction' so I personally don't get too caught up into that logic. The AI though has left me very skeptical. It has the potential most definitely but I do not think Jaha & Murphy can hold that storyline much longer. Especially if it is suppose to be the Mt.Weather of season 3. I'm hoping Clarke can organically be brought into that storyline now that she is off in the wilderness while the rest of the characters in Camp Jaha can take on the grounder broken alliance storyline. Many want to see the Clarke/Lexa/Tondc consequences but how interesting would it be that everyone has to deal with the fallout of Clarke's actions since she up & left. Make for some dramatic storytelling. But I mean eventually everything needs to tie into the AI and personally sooner rather than later. Unlike most I enjoy both Jaha & Murphy's characters.. But I do think they have been so disconnected from everything for quite sometime that for this AI to be really successful.. the bigger picture needs to be revealed & other characters need to be included early on.

  3. Thanks so much for commenting. I agree the finale was strong on emotions and fatalism, but for me that has to have a rooting in logic for me to truly appreciate it. Without it, it feels more contrived than I would like, basically that they were trying to work to an endgame of Clarke doing someting truly descpicable in the name of saving her people to break her and it didn't matter how they got there. That lessens the story for me although I know that it doesn't bother most viewers. This is why I prefer Spacewalker to this episode. While Finn going off the deep end and killing everyone was completely out of character and nonsensical (which still annoys me), at least the consequences that followed made sense. Therefore the emotional component felt more...hmm, I guess real and earned to me. This doesn't feel earned at all to me because the groundwork for it doesn't make sense. To me that makes it cheaper drama. Lexa's betrayal also makes sense in the context of logic at least in the short term and so that was more powerful too. The finale feels more like a means to an end, almost viewer manipulation to me.

    You hit the nail on the head as far as why the finale felt anticlimactic to me. For the most part except for Clarke being more battered, Olivia better trained, the Ark and 100 reuniting, and Finn dead, nothing in season 2 changed anything from where we were in the penultimate episode of season 1. It's like the Mountain didn't matter at all for all the hype it got. The were the Big Bad of the season and yet they went out with a whimper. Lexa breaking the alliance was a much bigger deal and thus a bigger shock for me. I actually wish that had been the season finale because I would be looking more forward to season 3 if it were. Not to say that I'm not looking forward to season 3 now because I am. It's just a bit of my enthusiasm from last week is tempered.

    I completely agree that Jaha and Murphy cannot carry the focus of The 100 on their own. The storyline has to converge pretty quickly. My guess is that Jaha gets a message out to Murphy somehow and Murphy has to go back to warn the others. I expect Jaha will be a prisoner for a good part of the season, but that may just be my wishful thinking. In my head, Clarke and Murphy meet up pretty quickly and then journey back to Camp Jaha together. Hence the reason why they needed to make the actor who plays Murphy a regular character again. Clarke won't stay separated from the others for long, although I wish she would. She is the best chance we've got for exploring the greater world of the grounders now that Lincoln is persona non grata and Octavia is booted from training. I would love to see more of the different clans and maybe get some history of life for them after the fallout. My biggest concern is that with our new AI friend, the grounders will be sidelined and not be in the story much next season. I think that would be a mistake but they have set up the framework to make it so. I doubt Clarke meets up with Lexa anytime soon given the actress has her own show now.

  4. I'm a Bellarke Shipper and I loved the finale not because of the last moment but because with this show they always do the unexpected. I loved both storylines with Mount Weather and City of Light but the only thing is that it is hard to connect to a story line if the story gets interrupted. I still think that it all made logic sense to me but I like seeing your point of view :) for next season I am very interested in seeing how the world "ended" and what will happened to the sky people. Even if I am not a fan of Lexa, I am very interested about all the consequences that will come with betraying the Legend of Clarke. I do hope Raven and Bellamy get more taken seriously by the adults because even tho Clarke is the leader, she couldn't have done it without them (even tho a shit load of people died like 1200 in two seasons?). I was unsure about the cliffhanger as well but that's the same thing I thought about the season 1 cliffhanger so I just have to put my faith in the writers who have yet to disappoint me :) I can't wait 7 months for season 3 :D thanks for this article :)

  5. I loved Empire this week :) I love Hakeem and Jamal being friendly again and when they sang to Lola was so sweet and Hakeem starting of with Drip Drop was such a face palm moment haha and the goodbye was so sweet as well :) even tho I'm happy Cookie gets some action, I still don't trust Malcolm haha I loved seeing Cookie breaking down in front of Andre and researching bipolar because she doesn't understand it. I also have to say that in this episode I really liked Rhonda. The interaction in the house was just perfect, she is smart and stood up for herself and the others :) can't wait for the 2 HOUR SEASON FINALE!!! :)

  6. Where is Agents of Shield?

  7. I agree with you that last week's episode of Rizzoli & Isles was not exactly one of the best.. But yay because Niall Matter (LOVED him on Eureka) and yay at your Gibbs-slap-reference!

  8. With the exception of a handful of scenes from The 100, everything Justified and Tom Pelphrey on Banshee, last week sucked for me too. I'm almost glad summer hiatus is coming because I'm feeling a little burned out and let down with my shows lately. I found a 6 episode show on Netflix that gave me more excitement than all of my shows last week.
    Good news is Bloodline starts this week. I just hope Kyle Chandler can breathe new life into my blah TV viewing.

    I agree with you on everything about The 100. Especially on side-lining Octavia and the resources left behind on the Mountain. Clean it up, clean it out and make a home. I have more to say, I just can't find the energy to want to write about it.
    Here's to a new week and new hope!

  9. Zdeněk Prášil17 March 2015 at 10:34

    I am sorry, I can not disagree more. If you rewatch the episodes leading to "Spacewalker", you fully see the logic of Finns breakdown, including shooting the Grounder civillians. His whole world crumbled, he had to kill a man with stone (the Reaper), attempts to escape to the sea were unsuccessfull, he had to fight and kill. He was left to die in the rocket blast and when he survived, he was captured by Tristan, had to see his commrade killed in cold blood... When saved, his friends were missing and he had every reason to think they were taken by Grounders. Then he found a grounder with Clarkes watch, been told his friends are in that village - and he even found their clothes there... And in the absolute stress he was operating in, the prisoners suddenly started to run and he was loosing control. So he snapped and started shooting... Seems unrealistic? Just skip to the News and watch many real soldiers in real wars getting there... And the reaction of his peers? Absolutely realistic! Or you think that e.g. US troops in Afghanistan would hand over one of their own to Talliban for doing justice? This "us vs. them" logic is real, not something The 100 writers invented...
    The same is true for Clarke in the end. She was out of options. For every negotiation you have to have two sides - and Cage was not up to this "hostage standoff". That irradiating level 5 was only option how to stop marrow extraction killing Sky People became obvious. Killing Cage would not work. Other MM knew they had a chance to free themselves... And even if they let their prisoners go it would be only a matter of time before they "reprogram" Reapers to harvest strey Arkes... My only hope was that Abby could know how to genetically modify MM to make them imune. The fact that Arkers were modified was stated. But that was probably done by the first-generation Arkers, Abby probably knows it was done, but does know how. This would be only bargening chip Arkers could have - short of possibility to kill everyone of MM. So I think the finale was realy good...
    I have doubts about the AI storyline. It seems cheap to explain end of world by rouge AI and not by its most probable source - greed, shortsightness and stupidity of ruling class...

  10. I did have a more favorable experience but it was an average week for me overall.

    Not all of my shows are back yet from break, and some of my favorites are on that list. I'm not sure I like where Agents of Shield is going with the team arguing and Mack and Bobbi up to something and there were other little things in other shows that bugged me. Elementary is getting really boring.

    The most interesting show for me this week was 12 Monkeys, even now, despite the fight at the end (that's a big despite - no don't destroy the brotherhood! Ack!) I love this show. But we have different favorite characters (though I also love Ramse), love different aspects of the show (I'm liking Cole/Cassie - can't resist), and have different views on what went down so it's expected (but no, I don't trust or like Jones either - she went way too far).

  11. Glad I'm not the only one with The 100. I really was shocked when I started checking out fan reaction and everyone was raving. I didn't expect people to be as disappointed as I was but I did think the usual raves would be muted a liittle. I like how you put it. The episode did feel empty to me, like the big event happened last week and this was the epilogue tying up the loose ends. Perhaps that's why they spent the entire time talking instead of doing anything. Even the genocide lost impact, since it felt like just another way to break Clarke instead of the focal point of the episode. The whole thing was a letdown.

    I'm no fan of Jasper either, from even befoe Anya, and less idea of why they keep handing him a gun and decision-making power. It never works with him in the lead. Jaha straight up needs to go and I am all for him taking Murphy with him. I can't imagine season 3 being based around those two so I'm not worried about that but any increase in screen time for either is a time I am not watching Octavia be awesome. That is not an acceptable trade-off for me. I'm not sure what my least favorite part of the season is but the City of Light is definitely high on the list.

    I think sending Clarke off alone was the very best thing that happened in this episode. Not only does Clarke need some time to get away so her body count counter can take a well-deserved rest, but it should allow us to see more of the outside world and hopefully introduce a few new characters. Bonus is that the further away Clarke and Bellamy are from each other, the better Bellamy is as a character. I'm not sure I even remember anything Bellamy did this season before going into the Mountain solo. I think this will be a good time for him to explore his own leadership capabilities and maybe even work with Kane a little closer. I think their interactions could be mesmerizing.

    TBBT - Thanks for letting my know about the vanithy card. I will go back and look at them. I didn't remember seeing it before but things are starting to get hazy on the TV front these days. Everything's running together.

    SHIELD - I didn't even know Sif was coming back. Is there another movie that needs to be promoted?

  12. I was a big fan of Niall Matter in Primeval. That show ended way too soon but at least I got one of my favorite background songs out of it, Hiding Place. I'm also a big fan of the Gibbs' slap and routinely prescribe it to characters on all shows who are trying my patience.

  13. Blue Star is right. Once most of my shows go on hiatus, I will start marathoning the shows I have dropped from weekly viewing. The Blacklist will be the first, then Arrow, and then probably SHIELD. I'll have a special place slotted in this column for marathoned shows over the summer until I get caught up (ha!) or I get overwhelmed by summer's offerings (more likely). Either way, expect SHIELD to be reviewed again in May/early June.

  14. Thanks for commenting. It's good to have a variety of opinions. I think the most interesting thing about the ending is the ability to explore how they all got in this mess to begin with too. I hope we get some actual footage of the early days of the grounders surviving, although I doubt it. Stories about it will be interesting too. I'm not sure what role if any the grounders will play in season 3 but I don't think there will be a lot of fallout from Lexa's betrayal. She did exactly what was right for her people so I expect she will be held in even greater esteem among the tribes of the grounders. I would love to see Raven and Bellamy both mentored and offered a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making, but mostly I would love to see them encourage Octavia to be a leader. She makes the best decisions out of them all and I think she and Kane could make for a powerful alliance - the peacemaker and the warrior.

  15. Hakeem starting with Drip Drop while Jamal side eyed him was hilarious. Hakeem may be the most improved character of the TV season at this point. In just a couple of episodes, he's turned himself around to be a fun brother and loyal son. He's going to get screwed for it but I love the direction his character is going in. Rhonda was a favorite for me here too and I think she started to earn Cookie's respect by standing up to Lucious. It would be nice if those two were on the same side and could help Andre together.

  16. Okay....but considering that you are still behind with Vikings, too, I guess I should resign to no more AoS from you....

  17. I understand where you're coming from but for me the complete 180 of Finn as the greatest peacemaker of the 100 into assassin in 5 episodes (less than 5 weeks I believe in this show's pacing) will never make any sense. In my view it was the biggest example of fan pandering in recent history. The most vocal fans hated Finn. Many certainly did not want him with Clarke. Plus the writers needed to make the midseason finale spectacular. All it took was one massively out-of-character spin into darkness and viola, they accomplished all their goals. Fans were happy to break up a couple permanently, those who hated Finn were appeased, and they got the most emotionally resonate and intense episode of the season out of throwing a hated character under the bus.

    I think this Mountain Men irradiation was much of the same, the quickest way to accomplish their end goals, common sense be damned. I'm not sure I agree about killing Cage either. My guess is that if the rest of the mountain dwellers knew their choice was to set the Ark free or be eradicated, they would choose option #1. If Clarke had put an open call out to the people, like Cage did the week before, then his own people could have turned on him. It would not have cost her anything to try. I'm not saying that there would be long-term trust between them but that would open the possibility of communication once Cage was out of the picture.

    I am pretty sure that they stated the reason the Ark was genetically different was their exposure to natural space radiation that helped them build up a tolerance to any radiation on earth. I don't think anything was done to their bodies to make them that way. However with the supplies both sides have and by sharing medical knowledge, they could have found a way to extract bone marrow more humanely or looked for other alternatives.

  18. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the brotherhood is irervocably broken. Shattered to pieces in fact. Besides that, my biggest issue is how they are trying to make me believe that Jones has the only viable solution but I don't buy it. She's just as fanatical as Foster with about as much proof that she's accomplishing anything.

  19. I've found myself counting down the episodes to hiatus for several shows myself. It's unusual and I'm not sure if I'm just burned out on TV as a whole or if my shows are indeed getting worse. I can't even imagine having time to add Netflix shows too but I'm glad you are finding nirvana there. Was the show
    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt by any chance? I've heard decent things about it. Also if anyone can breathe new life into an old TV schedule, it's Kyle Chandler. Let me know how it goes.

    As for The 100, if the Ark residents aren't living in the mountain when we come back, then it will be sock-tossing time. That is too smart a defense point to leave to others. Here's hoping your TV week and mine goes better this time.

  20. I'm more invested in SHIELD but there is a chance that I will drop it completely. If I'm not happy with the marathon, it will become the new Arrow for me. I only watch Arrow in the summer these days because it tends to tick me off royally week to week. Even more focus of Skye will do it.

  21. Zdeněk Prášil17 March 2015 at 22:47

    So we have to agree we disagree...
    Only two points:
    1) Abby analysed Emersons blood and sais that she could detect genetic modification from Arker blood in his system - so they know the 48 are being used for bleeding. She speaks of "genetic modification". I am not English, but I infer from this there was conscious genetic modification that made Arker blood and bone marrow more efficient in dealing with radiation, than the Grounders, who evolved by natural selection...
    2) Read about real world masacres in real wars. The Finn story is not enforced, such things simply happen! I do not believe this was caused by bending to "shippers", signs of his change can be seen deep in season 1.

  22. It is my understanding that she was talking about Emerson's blood being genetically modified, not those from the Ark. At the beginning Tsing talks about how space naturally allowed the Ark members to have a unique tolerance for radiation due to the radiation that occurs in space. By adding Ark bone marrow to their non-radiated blood, the Mountain Men essentially modified their own blood to be more like the Ark's. Using bone marrow allowed their bodies to start generating that which already protected the Ark.

    I have read about masacres throughout the world, but the sheer reversal of Finn's general personality so quickly makes it wholly unbelievable to me.

  23. Zdeněk Prášil17 March 2015 at 23:07

    OK, I would just repeat my original points showing the roots of this change. Only one more point - his insistence he did it "for Clarke" is typical post fact racionalisation of his deed. From the scenes it is clear he basically panicked under extreme stress, feeling he is loosing controll - when the terrified grounders started to run for their lifes. This is what makes his deeds realistic - and it does not depend if you otherwise try to find peacefull solutions, or accept violence. Soldiers comitting such crimes usually are no violent monsters, but young people under extreme stress

  24. Yeah, sometimes I am a little surprised by people's reactions too when a episode left me uneasy or laughing at loud and was supposed to be dramatic like the episode of OUAT you reviewed, After I watched the episode I checked fan reactions expecting people to feel at least a little like I did, I was more than shocked to see that people liked it sooo much. I am less surprised these days though.

    That might be the worse thing about the episode, that even though they committed a genocide the episode still felt utterly empty.
    The show could have been called "A 100 ways to break Clarke Griffin". Would have worked as well.

    I agree on Bellamy and Clarke, the further apart they are better it is. For the show and for my sake. The bonus is rather that as long as they are apart no risk of romances.
    You are right, they should definitely triy new paring (not romantic ones of course). I would like to see a little more of Octavia and Clarke in the futur. Now she is better off on her own but eventually. And I want to see Abby and Raven working together again. Octavia and Bellamy too. Octavia is what I like best about Bellamy. I am relieved I am not the only one who can't remenber what Bellamy did this season... It could be interesting to see him working with Kane, indeed.

    More screentime for Jaha? And Murphy ? Double ugh!

    TBBT : I remember seeing one, I hope I didn't hallucinate.

    SHIELD : Isn't there always a movie to promote ?

  25. Yep. Saw 1x11 photos. No more buddies. Gah. This show will kill me.

  26. Time travel bugs me as you know so now I'm just counting how many times they think they've changed the future just to find themselves stuck in the same crummy present.

  27. Bwah! Yes, there is always a movie to promote.

    For me I usually know that I am going to react differently than others because I hate emoangst, shipping, and contrived drama while they are the bread and butter of a large percentage of TV viewers. This one caught me by surprised though. I do love that we both tend to laugh at things that many take very seriously. It makes me feel less alone in this cheestastic TV world.

    Genocide should never leave people feeling ho hum, what's next. I guess that's why I need Clarke to leave. I will feel no sympathy or joy for her and my guess is that Camp Jaha is going to see her as a hero. I'm glad we won't be seeing her congratulated, lauded, or feeling sorry for herself. Well maybe the latter. I pin my hopes on the leadership vaccuum and transtional regrouping that will occur in her absence. I expect that Abby and Kane will find it even harder to enforce the same absolute power structure of the Ark and that could make for good drama. I think varying the character interactions lends itself to their uncertain future and will hopefully provide for better character development and an interesting take on creating a new world. There may come a time of peace with outside forces, which generally means more tension within. Here's hoping they can avoid that and create a habitable living environment for their people before all hell breaks loose again.

  28. About the 100, the Whole Mountain Men plot felt like it had holes to me too. But the fact is. their first mistake was to lie to the 48 about the survivers from the Ark. The minute they did that, they set themselves up for failure. The moment Clarke escaped, they were at risk of being attacked by the parents of the kids they had captured. That means, they were running out of time. No time to be patient. And experience probably thought them that people don't look favorably upon kidnapping and experimentation. If they had asked at the beggining, for help from the Arkers, everything would have ended differently. Weeks of being chased and hunted through the Woods would have made everyone ready to ally themselves to the technologically advanced enemies to the grounders. But they didn't ASK. Instead they LIED.

  29. The Whole blood thing confused me too because, like you said, Dr. Tsing made it sound like a natural evolutionary step. A way for human bodies to adapt to their new environnement in space. But when Abby found out about the traces of Ark blood in Emerson's system, Clarke said : "WE were genetically ingeneered. NOT them!". That sounds more like it was an experiment the population went through to survive those conditions.

  30. Yes I agree. With this show it is good that they have so many opportunities to explore the areas and the other grounder clans. I would've loved for them to explore the amusement park that was near them. How amazing would that have been haha :D I totally support Lexa's decision but she agreed to the deal and thought that the sky people will die, but they survived and the people they made a deal with did not. Like Lincoln said, she betrayed their allie, and I think there will be a fallout with the other clans because how can they trust her if she would betray them at anytime who would want her as an allie :) I am not sure if they will explore this storyline but I would hope they would :) I have to disagree on that tho, I don't think Octavia would be a good leader. I would like her to stand in front of one of the hard decisions Bellamy and Clarke had to face, but hasn't yet. I feel like she is still quiet naive in that way, that there is always an option to save everyone but there isn't always that solution :/ but yeah I would love to see her face those kinda decisions but I can't see her take over the sky people :)

  31. Zdeněk Prášil18 March 2015 at 13:07

    I think the reason for Bellamy to succseed was that MM never considered an inside threat as possible. Till then they faced only Grounders, who could never merge into population and sabotage their technology. They simply were not prepared for this...
    Underestimating his oponents was the root of Cages demise - and he brought everyone else with him. Dante would probably try to negotiate with Clarke, even if only to stall and get chance to eliminate her...


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