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Last Week in TV - Week of May 1 - Reviews and Episode Awards

11 May 2016

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Hello and welcome back to the very shortest edition of Last Week in TV in the column's history. This week's column is brought to you by the guest reviewers because they have watched more TV than I have in the last 2 weeks. The only thing I watched last week is Elementary, which would have made episode of the week even if I had been caught up, so I am behind on everything else. This week is my last busy one at work though so I should be back in top form with an extra stuffed column for you in 2 weeks. I did watch the nominated episode from last week, but I don't think The Originals is for me. I really, really hate Klaus. Next week's nomination will be Constantine, 1.05. That's exactly where I stopped watching I think so it will be interesting to see if I stopped too soon or if I made the right call. If you would like to nominate an episode, it's not too late. Just fill out the quick 2-question form below. All episodes reviewed are picked by a random number generator.

In TV news, this week is all about which shows are going to be renewed and which will be cancelled. With upfronts fast approaching, the remaining bubble shows should know their status by Friday night. Are there any shows you are particularly worried about? I've already lost Agent X and Second Chance sadly and I'm betting that the following shows will be leaving me too: Agent Carter, Galavant, The Catch, Rush Hour, CSI: Cyber, and Heartbeat. Verdict's still out on Code Black and Crowded as well. Of these, I am resigned about Agent Carter and Galavant since I never expected a second season for either so this year was a gift. CSI: Cyber was slowly dying anyway so this will put it out of its misery. I will however really miss Rush Hour and The Catch. They are two of my favorite new shows even if they never caught on. Rush Hour is the year's Battle Creek for me - a funny buddy show with a fast pace and great characters that no one gave a chance. The Catch is unlike most shows I watch and reminds me a little of a serialized version of Leverage. I'm surprised by how much I'm liking it…not so by how much I still miss Leverage though. Here's hoping your favorites have a happy renewal week and that you won't be too devastated by what has to leave to make room for new shows. As always, feel free to celebrate renewal successes or commiserate with cancellations. I'm sure you'll find a willing ear for both here. Don't forget to add your episode awards and reviews of the week too. Until next week, happy TV viewing!

Episode of the Week

Elementary - 4.22 / 4.23 - Turn It Upside Down / The Invisible Hand

4.22 - I literally woo hoo-ed at the mere mention of Moriarty's name. I am so excited to even have the prospect of her returning on the show. She is my favorite character although she's only been seen in 4 episodes. I would pay good money to see Moriarty and Morland in a scene together, preferably talking about Sherlock and scheming and generally being brilliant. Now I know that just mentioning her does not in any way mean that she will be back but I'm hanging on to it. So much so that it raises the grade of the episode for me. So does everything Morland to be honest, especially the scene between Gregson and him. I love that Gregson was partially driven by the need to protect Joan and Sherlock in case Sherlock's fears were true, which I am very glad they were not. I need Morland to stay morally gray and mysterious. I need Moriarty to return.

4.23 - Once the initial disappointment wore off when I became sure that I wasn't getting even a glimpse of Moriarty in this episode, I really liked the setup. First off, Vikner is a decent addition to the storyline. He's smart and uniquely tied to Moriarty in a way that may shed some more light on her in the future. More importantly, he doesn't play the typical amnesia games. You know, the ones where the criminal denies knowing anything about anything and it takes forever to get over that hurdle. He flat out admits he's running a criminal syndicate and that he tried to have Morland killed. It's refreshing that we don't have to wait until next year for that conversation. I don't think Vikner will stay around for long but I do hope getting Krasnov arrested was part of the plan. If not, I'm losing faith in Moriarty's job recruitment skills. Still, Vikner is compelling not only as a mastermind but also because he brings Sherlock and Morland on screen together in ever more intense scenes. There's absolutely no downside to that.

Grade: B+ / A-

Best Reason to Watch - Morland and the mention of Moriarty / Vikner
Best Scene - Gregson vs. Morland / anytime Morland and Sherlock are on screen again
Best Thing Ever - Moriarty is involved in this. Please, please, please tell me this means we get to see her again. That's exactly what Elementary needs right now. I would pay money to get Morland and Moriarty in a scene together.
Best Cliffhanger - Not at all is it the bomb in the brownstone. It's the idea that there will be no peace between Morland and Vikner until one of them is dead with Sherlock in the middle vying for prison terms (likely for both).
Best Addition - Vikner, who should be fun to play with for another couple of episodes…but not near as much fun as Moriarty, which leads to…
Biggest Disappointment - While they said Moriarty's name a lot, are you telling me that Sherlock isn't going to question her too? It seems logical if only because she's such a fan favorite that she might raise ratings all on her own.
Least Surprising - Krasnov is dead before the episode is out
Most Emotional Scene - Sherlock tells Joan that his mother was an addict
Most Surprising Music - Turn the Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson
Most Ingenious Recruiting Tool - The psycho survey is used to discover psychos. Go figure.
Biggest Huh? - People can be allergic to mountain lions? Who knew? / Why do they think Morland is behind Krasnov's death when logically it would seem that Vikner is the more likely candidate?
Biggest Question - What really motivated the death of Sabine? There has to be a far larger story here.
Biggest Plea (Aside from Moriarty Coming Back) - Please do not kill off Morland. He's been a boon to the whole series.
The "Say What?" Award - Who put the bomb in the brownstone? I thought we determined that Sherlock is untouchable so could it be Vikner as a warning, knowing that Sherlock would figure it out in enough time for everyone to get out? (Don't forget the neighbor, Joan.) Did Krasnov find out that Sherlock was hunting for him and plant it before he got caught? Are the neighbors just fed up with the funky smells emanating from the place and the likely drain on resale value Sherlock adds to the neighborhood? I mean, it is NOT Morland and no other scenario really works for me.

Best Quotes -
1. Gregson: "I know I couldn't keep you in town even if I wanted to, but you're right about Sherlock. He has some strong opinions about you, about what you are and if he's right, I gotta wonder if he and Joan are safe. If anything happens to them, the next time you see me, I won't be a cop."
2. Joan: "I didn't realize your father used our house for storage." Sherlock: "Yes, he has on occasion when he wants to keep something out of sight and mind. Me, for example."
3. Sherlock: "Since I doubt even a man as Machiavellian as you would have lured Kurtz into spying on him only to kill him later, it would appear to support your innocence." Morland: "You seem displeased." Sherlock: "With myself. I often say detection should be an exact science. It should be cold, unclouded by emotion. Otherwise one tends to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Morland: "That sounds like an apology. You like to see me as a villain." Sherlock: "You did not commit these murders. Your general nature is not in dispute."
4. Gregson: "You really think he might have arranged a triple murder just to get rid of a spy in his office? He never heard of just firing the guy?"
5. Sherlock: "How could you be so reckless? Were you under the impression you were dealing with a nice man?" Joan: "No, I…" Sherlock: "Perhaps I underplayed the danger. Perhaps my consistently referring to my father as the devil incarnate wasn't clear. He has armies on his payroll. He has mercenaries on speed dial. There are countries that you learned the name of as a child that no longer exist because of him."

1. Vikner: "Are you familiar with the invisible hand?" Sherlock: "It's a metaphor used by Adam Smith to describe social benefits arising from individual actions. Are you suggesting that you're an invisible hand because if you can explain to me how blowing up buildings and turning psychopaths into assassins is benefitting society, I might register for one of your classes."
2. Morland: "You talk all the time about the blood on my hands, but how about the blood on yours?"
3. Vikner: "You're untouchable." Watson: "What does that mean?" Vikner: "Well years ago, Jamie made it clear that you were not to be harmed - ever. The same courtesy has been extended to you, though I'm not entirely sure why." Sherlock: "We are responsible for her incarceration." Vikner: "Do you think that makes you less fascinating to her?"
4. Sherlock: "I've seen subtler displays of insensitivity. Do you attend the wakes of all of your victims?"
5. Vikner: "If you really are committed to helping your father, well, I may have to sue for peace. I can't fight both Holmes men. I mean I could but I would win the battle and lose the war."

Nominated Episode

The Originals - 1.09 - Reigning Pain in New Orleans

I've only seen 2 episodes of The Originals but I think it's fair to say this show is not for me. I spend the entire time rooting for Klaus' death and knowing that he sticks around for 4 seasons is beyond my infinitesimal patience. I'm not sure if there is another main character on TV that I loathed so instantly. Maybe if I had watched him on The Vampire Diaries I would have felt differently but as it is, he is a deal breaker. I'm not so keen on Rebekah either. She is far too whiny for me. Still she has her kick butt moments and can give good snark so she has potential. Of the main characters, the only ones I found myself really rooting for were Marcel, Cami (before she turned wimpy), and Elijah. They at least speak common sense. The mytharc was also a plus. Although I'm not sure what's going on in it, the episode did a fair job of adding in flashbacks and little twists to keep the plot moving forward. There's also more backbiting and intrigue than a daytime soap. Alliances quickly shift and no one is exactly sure who to trust. If you like your supernatural with a fair amount of emoangsting, shifting politics, and the inevitable love geometry, this one is for you. I'm going to pass.

Grade: C-
Ranking: 2-
Audience - those who like romance in their supernatural and complicated antihero characters

Best Reason to Watch - the delightfully formal dialogue of the Mikaelsons
Best Scene - Klaus and Marcel take out the equally horrible human leadership
Best Offer - Klaus invites Marcel to rule as equal with him
Most Annoying by an Eternity - Klaus, who is just another egomaniacal, bratty, blowhard villain that I don't respect or like and cannot root for
Most Human - Josh, even though he's a vampire
Least Likely to Perform a Random Act of Kindness - Rebekah, who complains for hours about helping the werewolves
Biggest Plot Device - Davina
Biggest Morons - the humans, who even I know shouldn't go after Klaus this way and I've seen one episode
Smartest Cookie - Cami, who tape records the conversation with Klaus, right until she turns into….
Biggest Trashy Romance Novel Character - Seriously? One memory and suddenly she's all gooey eyed for a self-proclaimed monster? Argh! Cami, you're too cool of a character to be swamped by your inner Harlequin.
The "Only Mikaelson Who Isn't a Selfish Brat" Award - Elijah, at least in this episode. I don't know about the other ones.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Todd Stashwick, who is currently on 12 Monkeys and Teen Wolf but will forever be to me, ShifterDrac from Supernatural. "Is there garlic on this pizza?" "I have a coupon." Bwaaahhh!!!

Best Quotes -
1. Marcel: "You compelled her to go out with me, didn't you? And I thought you really liked me." Cami: "So did I." Klaus: "Well, I mean to be clear, I only compelled you to give him a chance. Anything you felt for him was quite real. And for the record, the level of awkwardness we're all currently experiencing is entirely genuine."
2. Elijah: "Perhaps I'm not making myself clear here. This is a threat. In precisely 3 minutes time, your little hunting party will become the prey. Now based on your recent failure to subdue my baby brother, Niklaus -this despite a better than 100 to 1 advantage - I recommend you heed my warning."
3. Elijah: "You don't make it easy to love you, brother." Klaus: "And yet you're obstinate in your desire to do so."
4. Marcel: "Cami, what are you doing here?" Cami: "My question exactly." Klaus: "Oh it's quite alright, She knows." Marcel: "She does?" Cami: "That you're vampires. Don't worry. He's compelled me to forget everything as soon as I leave. That way I'm too busy agonizing over whether or not I'm losing my damn mind to realize I'm playing spy for an immortal egomaniac."
5. Father: "I am saying prayers for the dead. I request a moratorium on favors for the king." Klaus: "Well you'll like this one. It involves helping people who need protection." Father: "And whom may I ask do they need protection from?" Klaus: "Me."
6. Elijah: "Darling, we're going to have to stop meeting like this. This is how rumors begin."
7. Klaus: "Even if this is what you say it is, I've had enough of family to last me a lifetime. Why would I possibly want any more?"
8. Marcel: "When I picked up that coin I swore loyalty, not friendship. Alright, I'm holding up my end. The other one has to be earned."

Guest Reviews

12 Monkeys - 2.03 - One Hundred Years
BY BlueStar 

Well, this episode didn’t end on a cliffhanger at all. Anyway, this time Cole and Cassie spent most of the episode in 1944 trying to stop the female messenger from killing a man named Crawford. When they fail and the messenger does not get her desired effect on time by killing him, they realize it is his son that they are all looking for. Turns out Thomas Crawford, or “Tommy”, is primary, like Jennifer, and that they are both connected to time in the same way somehow. Cole and Cassie try to prevent the female messenger from killing him, but the plan goes awry, and Tommy ends up dead at the hand of the messenger by his own sternum bone from the future, causing a paradox. Cole and Cassie are knocked unconscious by the blast, while the female messenger dies. In the future, the paradox causes Jones and her scientists lose the machine’s tether to Cole and Cassie, leaving them stuck in 1944. A storm is brewing, and the forest begins to turn red as the witness planned, killing anyone caught in the changes. And Ramse, who was about to be killed by Deacon, barely escapes the forest with him in tow.

Grade: B+

Best Reason To Watch – We learn a bit more about what being primary means, and a major paradox occurs that could change everything
Best Scene – The paradox and its effects on the future
Best “Bro” Moment – Ramse coaching/cheering Cole on while he fights Deacon after finding him interrogating Ramse again
Greatest Callback Moment – Tommy tells Cole that “the only failure is giving up”, the exact same thing his father used to always tell him as a child.
Least Surprising – Part of Cassie’s frustration with Cole (and anger) over his refusal to kill now is that he let Aaron die when he was just trying to protect her.
Most Interesting – Tommy explaining what he and Jennifer mean to “it”. What exactly is this “it”?
Strangest Decision – Why did Ramse save Deacon? I’m not sure that was the best move.

Best Quotes:
1. Tommy: “The witness has spoken. I can hear him. I die today, and his world of chaos and his forest of red will come to be. The messengers need me dead.” Cassie: “Why?” Tommy: “Because of what’s in here. (Points to temple) I help it think, just like your friend Jennifer. Poor Jennifer. We keep the lines straight, the circles circling. We’re the synapses in its noggin, its mind, interconnecting.”
2. Jones: “I’ve loved very few in my life…my father, a husband briefly, and my daughter. All 3 murdered by a disease in which you had a part. Why? To save the life of your child whom you barely knew?” Ramse: “You created time travel. To save your daughter. You of all people should understand.” Jones: “Understanding does not lessen my contempt for you. My selfishness was in line with saving billions of lives. Yours was bent to destroy them.”
3. Agent #1: “You do realize how bad this is for us if we don’t find these two?” Agent #2: “Really bad?”

Agents of SHIELD - 3.19 - Failed Experiments
BY Swanpride 

I am really torn on this one. On the one hand, I like it when a TV show does something unexpected, subverts overdone tropes left and right and allows characters to fail. I also love it when something which happens in the first season of a TV show is still relevant and has consequences in the third. On the other hand, though, I felt that the Kree didn't really add anything at this stage of the narrative other than a "see, we are the cool show which has aliens" money shot for the advertising. In addition, the show was unusually clumsy in its tie in, name dropping Civil War in a very forced manner. All in all, I had some trouble getting invested in what unfolded on screen, but I thoroughly enjoyed some of the character work. Lincoln has become more and more a fully fledged character with relatable flaws instead of the nice boring love interest, and while I admit I kind of enjoyed seeing him suffering for his actions, I also feel for him now more than beforehand. May really shines doing some undercover work and Mack offers the feels this time around. Also, Hellfire is so enjoyable brash, I hope that he will survive this and be part of the Secret Warriors next season.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - It's a great antitoxin against boredom.
Best Scene - May expertly playing James
Best Character - May
Best Team-Up - Fitzsimmons, who manoeuvre expertly through their relationship.
Best Effects - The effects of the experiment are all really gruesome.
Most Missed - Did Hive lose an Inhuman along the way?
Best Action - Mack vs Daisy, for the emotional aspect.
Slowest Death - Alisha, who has been taken down clone by clone this season.
Most Likely to Die Soon - Hello group of redshirts who came from nowhere. One or two of you might even make it.
Most Random Observation - Daisy really doesn't need to use all these kicks with all the power she has.
My Prediction of the Week - There is no way that nobody notices that something is afoot, now that even aliens landed on earth.

Best Quote:
1. Jemma: "I had to shoot him three times just to shut him up."
2. May: "Why is everyone making this about themselves?"
3. Jemma: "Until you are fully recovered, you are a prisoner. You are my prisoner."

Criminal Minds – 11.22 – The Storm (Season Finale)
BY Emma

First off, yahoo!! We got renewed and it seems we will be keeping the main cast intact! When Criminal Minds wasn’t renewed with the other veteran shows, I knew it was because CBS wanted to cut costs and I had real fear that we’d be losing another of the main cast. Seems CBS learned from their S6 mistakes and the whole gang will be back to catch the thirteen serial killers that escaped in this season’s finale. This finale was one of the best in recent years – tons of call backs, cameos, team moments and a fantastic set up for next season. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited for a new season! The idea of the team chasing the escaped serial killers not only gives us the opportunity to revisit some of the show’s best unsubs but it also lends a serialized storyline to what has been largely a procedural show for the last eleven seasons. Overall, solid season, best finale in years and I’m very excited for next season!

Grade: A

Best Reason to Watch – prison break / cameos and call backs / set up for next season
Best Scene – Reid doing magic tricks for the kids and Garcia
Second Best Scene – Hotch and JJ chat about what happened, their sons and being their heroes
Best Character Interaction – JJ and Antonia / Hotch and smug DOJ guy
Best First Impression – Lewis’ flawless French makes her Hayden’s favorite, so far
Worst Accent – Garcia’s British accent (it would make The Doctor sad, Penelope)
Worst Plan (good guys) – arresting Hotch
Worst Plan (bad guys) – swatting an FBI agent
Best Plan (good guys) – releasing Hotch to bring in the Calvary (sadly, I don’t mean Agent May)
Best Plan (bad guys) – multiple prison breaks at the same time
The “Worst Day at the Office” Award – Hotch, getting arrested in front of his son
The “Best Son” Award – Reid, for planning a trip with his mom now that she’s feeling better
The “Cutest Couple” Award – Rossi and Hayden
The “You’re Totally Busted” Award – yeah, Rossi and Hayden, Joy totally knows
The “Welcome Back” Award (Character) – Jack (Hotch’s son) / Henry (JJ’s son) / William (JJ’s hubby)
The “Welcome Back” Award (UnSub) – Antonia Slade / Peter Lewis aka Mr. Scratch / Leonard Ennis
Best Character Callbacks – faking Emily’s death / Haley’s murder / Gideon’s murder / Elle’s resignation
Biggest Wishes for Next Season – MGG directs multiple episodes (especially any that are Mr. Scratch heavy), Jane Lynch reprises her role as Diana Reid, and if they replace Derek, they do so with Kate (or Blake, or even Seaver) instead of a new character.

Best Quotes:
1. Lewis: “Have you ever been to London before?” Garcia: “Yes, one time, four years ago. It was work/play. This is going to be all play. I am leaving all my phones at home.” Reid: *skeptical look* Garcia: “You’re right, that’s not true. I am going to bring them all but I’ll put them on airplane mode, most of the time.” Lewis: “Baby steps.”
2. Antonia: “I want him taken into custody, alive.” JJ: “Of course you do, what mother wouldn’t? Truth is, I can’t really promise what’ll happen if he’s caught.” Antonia: “You won’t let him get killed. I know you, you took an oath; you’re too goody two shoes to break it.” JJ: “Yeah, yesterday, yesterday I wouldn’t have. But that was before your son had armed men point guns in the same room as my son.”
3. Hayden: “The job will always be the same.” Rossi: “Yes, but I’m different. Do me just one favor. Before you make any decision, meet my team. They are the only family I have outside of you and Joy. I walked away 30 years ago; I’m not walking away this time. Please, stay.”

Jane the Virgin – 2.20 – Chapter Forty-Two
BY Emma 

Previously on Jane the Virgin, Michael was fired by the police department but hired by Rogelio to be his body guard, Anezka set Jane up by placing a fake ad in the paper, and Rafael spent the money he gained from unintentional insider trading to make a business purchase. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse, right? Well, this is a telenovela so naturally, the bad plans keep coming, so many that even Scott and his pack would be impressed. (editor's note - Bwaaahhh!!! That is bad. ~Dahne) Jane figures out pretty quickly who set her up but lacks the means to prove it, at least until a confrontation between her and Petra causes Anezka to have a seizure. Anezka recovers and feels bad for all the fighting and confesses that she placed the ad. That’s good, right? You’d think, but no. Petra had been lying to Jane because she thought Jane thought she wasn’t a good mother (confused yet?). Now Petra has lost all the trust she had been building with Jane and they are back to square one. Michael got carried away with his promotion to body guard/technical advisor, too bad it didn’t come with a new uniform (it is really white, but the lavender patch and belt are a nice touch). Rafael is blackmailed by his brother, who is in cahoots with their evil mother, but this leads to a bonding moment between Petra and Rafael. Seriously, no one does shady better than Petra, except for maybe her twin sister (leaping lizards!). This, ladies and gentlemen, was Mother’s Day for the Villanueva & Solano families. No wonder the narrator made a drinking game out of it. Too bad the season will wrap before we get to Father’s Day!

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch – awkward Mother’s Day brunch turned drinking game
Best Scene – everyone watching the video Rogelio made of why Jane’s such a great mom
Best Mother’s Day Tradition – telenovelas and ice cream
Best Reference – Jane’s “Jessica Jones” investigative skills
Best Use of Power – the Narrator decides to fast forward thru Jane’s explanation to catch Petra up
Biggest Surprise – Jane’s advisor is on her side
Least Surprising – Derek is in cahoots with Mutter
Most Enthusiastic – Michael, to his new job as technical advisor
Best Advice – when in doubt, smile and nod
Best Skills – Rogelio’s under-the-table-one-handed texting
Biggest Autocorrect Fail – Nazi instead of NATO
Best Movie References – Roxanne and The Parent Trap
Best Sound Effects – Mateo’s effective use of animal sounds during Petra and Jane’s argument
Worst Plan – consolidated Mother’s Day brunch
2nd Worst Plan – Xo sleeping with Esteban
3rd Worst Plan – lying to someone you are trying to become friends with
4th, 5th and 6th Worst Plans – Rogelio bringing Jane to his new girlfriend’s birthday party (4th) to feed him info via text (5th) so he can sound smart and impress her friends (6th)
The “What Are You Up To?” Award – Anezka, why are you posing as Petra to the nannies?
The “Can’t Argue with that Logic” Award – well, if Shakira says so…
The “Welcome Back” Award (character) – Esteban, Rogelio’s arch enemy / Mutter, Rafael’s evil mother

Best Quotes:
1. Esteban: “Yes Rogelio, let’s not turn this into a p*** contest.” Rogelio: “I understand why you’d be intimidated. I have a very propulsive stream.”
2. Rafael: “Petra, what’s this?” Petra: “Why does everyone keep asking that? Read the invitation. That’s the whole point of an invitation.”
3. Jane: “I actually wanted to talk about Anezka.” Petra: “I’ve shown her how to use deodorant.”
4. Rogelio: “She just stares at people for hours at a time? That’s not art, that’s just bad manners.”
5. Rogelio: “Historical accuracy is also semi-important.”

Nashville - 4.18 - The Trouble With The Truth
BY Jessica VanWinkle 

This was one of the worst episodes, if not the worst, of Nashville ever. I think I’ve covered how much I despise Cash and Maddie, but I’m adding Frankie to the list of people I want to punch in the face. The things that Frankie used against Deacon were confidential. Frankie was Deacon’s AA sponsor, and you would think he would take AA more seriously since he just had a relapse. Not to mention that Deacon was the one who helped get Frankie sober again. I also can’t believe that Maddie talked about Deacon tearing his house apart. His sister had just died, and she knew that. I hope Maddie is very happy that she’s emancipated, and I hope she completely falls apart. She deserves it. I’m also really irritated with Scarlett and Gunnar. They just got back together, and now they’ve broken up again. I do blame Scarlett more than Gunnar. Maybe that’s not fair, but he’s usually more rational than she is and he’s always seemed more invested in their relationship, at least to me. The only thing I remotely liked about this week was Juliette. I’m so glad she told Layla the truth about Jeff, and hopefully she can move on. I really enjoy the friendship that Juliette and Luke have developed. I think he’s a good mentor for her. Other than that, I feel like I need therapy after watching this show.

Grade: D

Best Reason to Watch: Um…. The music? The Exes song was good despite their personal issues, and I loved Luke and Juliette’s song at the end.
Best Scene: Luke and Juliette’s duet.
Best Actress: Hayden Panettiere
Character Who Deserves Better: Rayna. Her daughter treats her like garbage and her husband is in jail. Can she just be happy?
Best Relationship: Juliette and Luke. It’s pretty much the only friendship/relationship that hasn’t fallen apart.
Worst Friend Ever: Frankie

Outlander - 2.03 - Useful Occupations and Deceptions
BY Swanpride 

This episode was quite a let-down for me and again, I blame partly the book. I remember Claire's and Jamie's time in Paris being quite adventurous and fun, involving attempts on both of their lives as well as Jamie fleeing through the streets of Paris from a group of murderers into a brothel with a giant salami in his hand. But then it is always dangerous to look forward to a specific scene in an adaptation, so I don't hold this against the show. What I do hold against it, though, is the contrived drama it added instead, as well as a complete lack of understanding why certain elements were in the original story. See, the main reason why Claire decided to try changing history was that she assumed she had already done so when her actions lead to the pre-timely dead of Jack Randal. Now that he turns out to be alive, it not only means that Frank still exists somewhere, but also that her attempt to do so might not be possible in the first place. This is actually the conflict which I consider interesting to explore. But instead the show delivers an unnecessary sex-scene, the old "someone keeps something from someone else and we all know it will blow up in her face" as well as marriage problems, which would work so much better if the characters involved were acting like adults about it. You know, like Jamie actually telling Claire that he is worried about hurting the baby during sex or Claire actually talking to Jamie about her plans before vanishing for a whole day. I hate it when TV shows do this, and it is even worse this time around because I know that the source material sidestepped those trite tropes expertly (at least this time, I am not claiming that it is perfect). What rescues the episode is the second half, when it stays closer to the source material, as well as the way it handles the scheming Jamie is involved in.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - The colourful characters elevate even a wonky episode
Best Scene - The decoding of the music. It is nice to see Jamie and Claire in sync again
Best Character - Mother Hildegard
Best Costume - Lots of bold colours all around, but I go for Claire's "look after the sick" dress. She just looks at home in it.
Most Silly - Claire and Jamie keep talking about their plans in front of servants
Best Music - A great nod to Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music was meant to last after all
Most Promising New Arrival - Fergus
Most Prominent Location - The show really likes to show off the oddities in the brothel

Best Quote:
1. Claire: "Well, I am an unusual lady."
2. Claire: "Jamie spend his time with Prince Charles, who continued to be long on rhetoric but short on specifics."

Outlander - 2.04 - La Dame Blanche
BY Swanpride 

The stupid contrived drama was still hanging over the episode, but thankfully it is now out of the way and the audience finally got Jamie and Claire being happy together again - for a few moments. It doesn't take long for the show to address aspects which should have been dealt with one week ago, but have been delayed for cheap drama and are now dredged up again. The result is an up and down in the relationship which borders on annoying. But it is also very refreshing that the show takes the time to discuss the options of a woman of this time who finds herself with the child of a lover. Usually the audience is more prone to getting the perspective of the betrayed husband. Though I was confused when I realized that Claire doesn't know yet who the lover is. In the book (I have the feeling that I will use those three words quite often in the upcoming reviews...I apologize in advance) the main reason she befriends Louise is because she is an excellent source for information about Charles. But I guess the oddest change is the portrayal of the attack. As usual the show portrays Claire as more foolish than she actually is, but letting those events playing out parallel to the party instead of beforehand result in a terrible shift of tones which is quite grating. It feels like a disservice towards poor Mary. All in all I liked what was in the episode, but not the way it was structured.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - It's a great discussion of the expectation placed on women during that era.
Best Scene - Jamie's reaction to the news that Jack Randall is still alive
Most Missing the Point - Louise. It is fascinating how she can be that realistic about her situation and still have such a screwed world view.
Biggest Smartass - Fergus, who is excellently casted.
Best Costume - Time for a nod to Count St Germaine. He really knows how to dress to impress.
Best Prop - The Clock is a nice little touch.
Most Random Observation - I know that one can hide a lot under those dresses, but it is still odd how Claire's baby belly seems to have a different size depending on the situation.

Best Quote:
1. Jamie: "Don't you see, Sassenach, this has plagued me for month, thinking that Black Jack Randall died and I have missed it."
2. Murtagh: "Jamie is in a cheery mood." Claire: "Yes, I told him that Black Jack Randall is still alive. Don't know what you were so worried about."
3. Louise: "He could even have me arrested for adultery or even worse, banish me to a convent."
4. Louise: "You mean sleep with my husband? But my lover will be furious."

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/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted", 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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