Monday, July 27, 2015

Teen Wolf - 5.06 - Bingo Card

It's Teen Wolf time so that means Teen Wolf Bingo cards.  I tweaked some spaces last week and took out Greenberg and Douche Dad.  Jeep woes, secrets, and Mason lust replaced them.  That should make it a little easier.  As always, if you have a suggestion for the Bingo card either tweet me it @Dahne1 or put it in the comments below.   If you are live tweeting tonight's episode, also let me know so I can add you to the Tweetfeed list.

Bingo Card Links:


Set of 8

Make Your Own


Teen Wolf Bingo - 5.05
Someone liesA party breaks outKeeping a secret backfiresMalia makes inapropos commentMason has dating / lust issues
Kira uses her sword beltStiles makes a funny faceDeath in school, woods, or hospitalSomeone's eyes glowMalia looks confused and/or kick butt
Someone plays lacrosseLydia finds something horribleAnyone says "true alpha"Someone growlsMusic played way too loud
Someone in school when shouldn't beLydia stares blankly into spaceA formerly "dead" person appearsSomeone is thrown against a wallBig plot twist
Awkward talk in locker roomScott/Stiles bromance momentA parent is helpfulRecurring character bleedsDeaton is no help at all

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."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Teen Wolf - 5.05 - A Novel Approach - Recap

Previously - AP Biology was renamed Plot Device, chimeras were defined…twice, Kira almost beheaded Scorpio, Theo set Psycho on Stiles, who used his palm mouth to bite him

Picking up exactly where last week left off (as last week should have), Stiles screams in pain as Psycho uses his palm mouth to bite Stiles' shoulder. He then tries to choke Stiles but Stiles head butts him and hits him with the wrench. With Psycho momentarily down, Stiles races into the school and heads back to the library while Psycho's weird mouth thing moves to his neck. Apparently the library has no security worries since anyone with a school id can get in even in the middle of the night. Oh Beacon Hills High. Stiles tries to calm himself down as Psycho enters with a Beacon Hills High id too. Um, didn't you tell me a couple weeks ago that he was an adult. There's also a weird pan in to tracks on the floor going both ways; I don't understand but will probably be important later. Stiles hides in the stacks, gripping his wrench tight, but Psycho has his phone. Not good. Psycho babbles on about his personal trauma. In summation, he blames Sheriff for his dad being wheelchair bound because they were partners the night his dad was shot. It would all be more tragic if Psycho lost his affinity for limited cursing or I cared about him. Instead I've already decided there is more to this story and still don't care. Save Stiles! Stiles, however, gets increasingly distressed by Psycho's rantings but keeps it together until Psycho pulls him through the bookshelves. Stiles drops the wrench but elbows Psycho in the nose before trying to climb the scaffolding the shady workmen left behind. Psycho screams in rage and grabs Stiles' leg. Psycho doesn't plan on killing him, just having a little Stiles' flavored legs for dinner. Um, no thank you. Seeing the pin that holds the top half of the scaffolding together, Stiles reaches desperately for it. After several tries, he gets it and a pile of steel beams fall down on Psycho, one impaling him in the chest. Stiles sees a still alive Psycho and at first plans to take the bar out…because no one in Beacon Hills has the foggiest notion about emergency training, still. He hesitates when Psycho growls at him and then dies, silver liquid pooling from his body like with Tracey. I cannot stress how awesome a job Dylan O'Brien does reacting here in a brilliant sequence in which he has no dialogue.

Panicked, Stiles calls 911 but can't speak from the shock so the operator thinks it is a crank call. They send a cop to the high school and instead of calling his dad with the phone his fingerprints are already on, Stiles flees. He looks over at Psycho's dead body and heads for the door, putting a book in it so the body will be found. He's about out when his phone, still in Psycho's pocket, goes off. So not good. He rifles through Psycho's pocket to grab it but instead of letting Malia know what happened, he turns his phone off. Secrets are season 5's answer to money woes and have gotten old just as fast. Hightailing it to his Jeep, Stiles fixes it but instead of driving he breaks down. He is at the onset of a panic attack with shaking hands and deep breathing until the sirens snap him out of it. Shifting in gear, he turns off his headlights, backs up out of the light, and cuts the engine. Smart. Anyone fleeing would be automatically suspicious. The cop literally spends 33 seconds checking the school out . Who can blame him? It's Beacon Hills High at night and cops there don't even have good medical insurance. Meanwhile Stiles can't even look at himself in the rear view mirror. He hangs his head in shame as my heart breaks for him. It was self-defense. He freaks out even more when the cop calls it a prank call on the police scanner, giving him no choice but to head back to the library. Um, where's the body? Where's the blood? Where's the big mess that was this crime scene? Got to hand it to Parrish. When he snatches a body he does some freakishly good, quick housekeeping. Quit the police force, Parrish. You'd make a fortune in janitorial services. Again Stiles reacts in shock but as if to prove he's not going crazy, a spot of blood smears the bar now stacked neatly against the scaffolding. At this point, it will not surprise me if they are all in a lucid dreaming state instead of really living any of this. Regardless, that was some of the finest acting on Teen Wolf since 3B. Kudos, Mr. O'Brien!

Back at Scott's Den of Sin, Kira slept over. Yeah, not buying it. Mama Fox is far more aware than this. Just like there's no way MIA Tate wouldn't have Malia, who was missing for years, locked in each night. This plot device uses no common sense. Anyway Kira mutters in Japanese and wakens Scott, but the new nifty alarm app on his product placed AT&T phone informs him of a break-in at the clinic. Perhaps someone on Teen Wolf should get one….you know, for their OWN HOUSE, since the supernatural traipses all over their stuff on a regular basis. They head to the clinic only to find Tracey's body gone as is Scorpio's from the hospital. Meanwhile Stiles adds Psycho's death to his supernatural crime spree board. He comes up with 2 options: Psycho walked out or someone took the body. Since the steampunk scientists' weird buzz is in the background, I'd go with the "forget it and run" option. That noise seriously creeps me out here even if it's hidden by Dylan's brilliant silent acting again. He stares at the board, breaking down in little details before frantically erasing his guilt. As he grabs his shoulder where he was bitten, his phone suddenly buzzes and we both jump. It's Scott to talk vanishing bodies and Stiles speaks for the first time tonight. I wish Stiles would share his own body snatcher story, but nope. Season 5 = secrets. We do get the mandatory Parrish appearance, albeit actually clothed today, as he takes Psycho to the nematon. Awesome! I'm all for cremating this evidence. Um, provided it means Psycho does NOT come back in some rebirth ritual. He must stay dead.

The next day Malia shares the Dread Doctors book with Lydia while Kira violates a zillion copyright laws and depletes the library toner copying it for everyone. Lydia reads the synopsis, confirming Liam's hole theory. Bonus points for zero Liam, Mason, or holes this episode. I call shenanicanon though when the book says the teens are buried for days. No way Tracey's albeit sometimes clueless dad was so absentminded he didn't notice she was missing. Malia continues, insuring I'll never read The Dread Doctors since there is no ending. Malia: "I think we're living volume 2." Lydia: "Then maybe the real question is, is this a novel or someone's prediction." I still say it's fanfic. Scott has his own doubts the whole thing. "I don't think the Dread Doctors are the ones who are stealing the bodies." He logics it out with his AP Biology studying brain since the steampunk scientists keep leaving the bodies lying around for others to deal with. Kira: "Are we really calling them that?" Why no, Kira, this part of "we" will not because it is lame. Scott rattles about the dead being failures in case some tuned out last week's unending exposition and to set up the punch line. Kira: "So if the chimeras are all failures, what's a success gonna be?" Scott: "Bad. Probably really bad." Thanks, Deaton. Since I have not facepalmed one time so far this episode, Scott dramatically turns around now to say he smells blood. Argh! In a library full of teens. You don't say. I'd expect Scott to smell blood a lot. Does no one knick themselves shaving in Beacon Hills? Has no one scraped a knee? Dramatic pause is just so dramatic. Oh Teen Wolf. Scott pow wows with Theo about the book, who points out the dedication to Triclops at the same time Lydia sees it with Malia. Theo then heads to the steampunk scientists to say their evil plan to get Scott's pack to Eichen House worked. Mwwaaahhh haaa haaa! Triclops either knows the plan too or he's just feeling the 70's sweatband trend.

Back at the Stilinski residence, Stiles is frustrated. There's no way he's letting Lydia go back to Eichen House without him. Lydia protests because he said he was sick and exposits that Malia's nixing the crazy too. Or as Stiles puts it: "Malia's not going because she knows that that place is a nightmare asylum of insanity and death, okay?" Smart girl. It's also fan pandering to shippers (sigh) so moving right along. Lydia sees Stiles wince as he puts his jacket on so I now worry about just how bad that bite is. Let's get some Mama McCall here stat. I miss her awesome. Stiles brushes it off. "What was what?" Lydia: "You winced." Stiles: "I have a bad elbow." Really, Stiles? Lydia: "It was your shoulder." Stiles: "Pain radiates. It does that. You are not going without me. You remember what happened to Deaton when he talked to Valack?" Lydia: "Scott and Kira are going to be there." Stiles: "Okay, I'm not letting you go to a place where one of the orderlies almost killed you." Lydia: "He almost killed you too." Stiles: "And we're both still alive. See. Teamwork." Awww, I like this friendship a lot and how they take care of each other. They need more scenes together. They are definitely more appealing than the Scott and Kira missing belt drama. Kira, either join Malia and be awesome together or shut up with the passive aggressive behavior over Scott's "I love you." Even Scott picks up on it but instead of hashing it out so it can be done, Kira asks Scott to wolf out and see if she's glowing. That's one huge YES to that. Kira is so full on flaming fox warrior that it freaks Scott out. So of course…he lies about it because that's just what we do in season 5 even if it makes zero sense. Scott: "I found your belt. Everything else is fine." Uh huh. Okay. I'm not even going to ask why they were looking in the laundry hamper for it instead of under the bed in the first place.

Thank goodness it's off to Eichen House. While Lydia rings the bell with Kira, it's discussion time for Scott and Stiles. Maybe a little truth. Yeah, no. Psych! It starts with Stiles wearing his guilty face before he can blink it away. Scott: "You gonna be okay in there?" I love them asking if the other's okay. It happens so often it's a Bingo square but it still gets me every time. Scott realizes his best friend is off but Stiles, of course lies…because it's season 5 and everyone's stupid. This is the same guy who counseled Liam to tell Mason the truth because not doing so is always worse. You remember that Stiles/writers, because I do. Stiles says they're all a little off and clues in on Scott's anxiety over Kira, which triggers instant best friend mode in Stiles. It's a totally different body language. Scott tells him about Kira channeling her inner Matrix-style Rosetta Stone download, but Stiles isn't all that concerned. Scott: "She doesn't know any Japanese." Stiles: "It's still not terrible." Scott: "I also think I might have stopped her from killing Lucas." Perfect time to bring up Psycho. Stiles: "Okay, wasn't he trying to kill you though? I mean it sounds like self-defense." He rubs his shoulder. Scott: "It was more than that. I mean she nearly took off his head." Stiles: "Maybe she had no choice. There's got to be a point where self-defense is justified. Tracey killed her own father and Lucas would have killed you." Scott: "They're not the bad guys. They're the victims. We shouldn't be killing the people we're trying to save." While I love the bromance moments that are too few these days, this one hurts my heart and neither are to blame. They just don't understand where the other is coming from and another huge wedge comes between them. The people of Eichen House must be pro-Scott-Stiles rift because they finally open the gates, leading to an ominous overhead shot. As the gates clang shut, they all look back at the camera, assuring it's really, really going to suck to be them.

Oh joy, it's Creeper, the premiere orderly with the needle. He demands they empty their pockets and Scott give Stiles the silent eyebrow before they all comply. Creeper also demands Kira's nifty sword belt, all the while staring at Lydia. She's rattled and Stiles gives the dude serious side eye before getting sidetracked by the scaffolding pin he pulled out to kill Psycho, which somehow suddenly appears. I begin to think it's a Stargate/X-Files hive mind and they're actually all imprisoned at Eichen House under Triclops' control. Too much crazy going on. Eichen House Head (EHH) escorts them against his better judgment as favor for Deaton. Hmm, so he's more useful when he's away. Good to know. Stiles: "Hey, what's the etiquette for…uh, talking to this guy? I mean do you ever look at the other eye?" Ha! Ann Landers doesn't cover this situation. EHH suggests not looking at any one or anything so that's not ominous at all. Still Malia (or I) get the worse deal because Theo decides they should be study buddies. Oh great. A while later Malia packs to go and Theo offers her a ride, which she declines. Smart. Theo: "Haven't I seen you coming out of Drivers' Ed?" Malia: "I hope not." Theo: "I'm pretty sure I saw you destroy a couple traffic cones the other day and nearly take out a sophomore." Malia: "The sophomore shouldn't have been standing there." Oh Malia, you make me smile. Don't ever change. Theo offers to help her practice and she agrees. Good. Maybe Malia's driving can kill Theo and 2 annoyances can go in 1 episode. One can always hope.

Back at Eichen House, the first setback comes early in the form of…mountain ash. Not again. What wonky canon-crazy shenanigans do we get this time? Apparently the basement's laced with it so Scott and Kira can't see Triclops. Lydia has no trouble though. Hmmm? If nothing supernatural can cross it and Lydia is a banshee and banshees are supernatural, then 1 + 1 + 1 = 92. I know Lydia doesn't have the same powers as werewolves and kitsunes, but she is supernatural so either Deaton should clarify mountain ash "rules" or Jeff Davis threw canon out the window to please shippers. Just saying. Scott encourages Lydia and Stiles, who proceed down Eichen House's creepiest hallway and that's saying a lot. Stiles walks slightly ahead of Lydia as they pass No Mouth's female cousin and…Psycho? Huh? Ah it's the fan-created monster, basically a scarier boggart that changes into the people haunting your conscience. Triclops calls Stiles on seeing someone because he's the biggest psychic on the block or he reads body language. Stiles is obviously shaken by the encounter and calls everyone a lost soul in this basement. I agree. Triclops does not. "Don't give up on us yet. We're all works in progress." Ha!  Nice reference to Peter Hale there.  Lydia discovers Triclops is the author and he says the book is a conduit to help people remember previous encounters with the steampunk scientists. He exposits that they were scientists obsessed with the paranormal, who used energy, frequency, and vibration through electromagnetism to live longer and become powerful. Lydia asks what they want. Triclops: "A good question, Lydia. Everybody wants something, don't they?" Stiles: "Okay, so what do you want?" Answer - a recording of Lydia's banshee scream. Stiles and I vehemently protest. Stiles: "No way. Not happening. Sorry." Lydia: "He's the only one that knows anything." Stiles: "The guy is a nutjob who drilled a hole into his head." Yep, plus Trust Stiles is the real motto this season.

Meanwhile the mountain ash drugs Scott and Kira, who's about to pass out. Kira: "This was a bad idea, wasn't it?" For once I disagree. Coming was vital even if it played right into the steampunk scientists' hands. However what is a bad idea is Kira remaining down there instead of going back upstairs. She's obviously not doing anyone any good here so she might as well conserve her strength. She won't help in a fight without it. Scott: "No, they'll be okay without us. Those two, they're pretty good together." Agreed. In fact no need to push so hard, Jeff Davis. We all know they make a good, smart team. That does NOT mean they have to be a couple, by the way. I love them as good friends. I love Scott acknowledging them even more. "No super strength or samurai swords, but they stay alive." Kira screws up the Lydia and Stiles admiration fest by turning it to shipping, while I groan and wonder why the middle of Teen Wolf always drags. That's not how it used to be. Blah, blah, blah. Stiles and Lydia both grew into awesome characters. Lydia is better when she doesn't hide her brains. Things were good in season 2. Stiles is observant. Agreed. Move on. I have absolutely zero interest in a Teen Wolf love triangle if that's where this is heading. I prefer to think of them as 2 friends who care about each other because of their shared past. They almost died together and are good friends. Of course they care. Luckily we're saved from the rest of this conversation by flickering lights. Time to call the Winchesters and grab some salt. Kira does her best bug zapper impression. Scott: "Kira, whatever you're doing, please stop." Kira: "I'm not doing anything. It's just happening." That's never a good sign. You should probably…I don't know, get out now while you can!!! Nope. They stare at each other until Kira faints and when Scott goes to check on her, he gets zapped into the gate.

With Kira down for the count, things pick up with Triclops. He regains Lydia and Stiles' attention, claiming the steampunk scientists went on a killing spree before. Strengthening the nematon in season 3 allowed them to come back to Beacon Hills. Darn nematon keeps screwing with them. With a flair for the dramatic, Triclops rips off his 70's workout sweatband and reveals his third eye, which a foolish Lydia looks into. No matter though because Triclops freaks when he realizes a kitsune is in Eichen House. Lydia and Stiles freak when the light explodes. Apparently Eichen House is built upon telluric currents (see Danny's term paper in season 3) and uses them for supernatural defense. Kira unwittingly takes down the defenses so the steampunk scientists can enter the building. Triclops: "They knew you were coming. They're here and you unlocked the door for them." Since the exposition's lessening in favor of some action, this is a perfect time to…return to Theo and Malia's driving lesson? Ugh! I need Theo dead. Observing Malia's death grip on his steering wheel, he flirts by repositioning her hands and tells her to break the speed limit. You're totally going to regret that. Personally I would worry more about the fact that she's driving on the wrong side of the road than her steering wheel grip but that's just me. Still Malia is relieved to NOT have to follow the rules with this bad boy and relaxes, right until she's hit by a flashback to the car crash that killed her family. She picks up speed until even laissez faire Theo is nervous. He grabs the wheel (facepalm) but that only makes them swerve. Malia finally stops, gets out of the car, and perches coyote style in the middle of the road. She doesn't hear Theo calling her name as she's too busy watching the Desert Wolf shoot up the family car. What? They noticed coyote scratches on the car in season 3, but no one saw the bullet holes? I call shenanicanon! Bah! Theo pulls Malia away before a car hits her and she tells him that the Desert Wolf killed her family.

Back at Eichen House, Triclops flips out about the banshee scream recording and Stiles knows they have him on the ropes. Triclops: "Hit record. Do it now. It costs you nothing." Stiles: "But it's worth something to you so you're not getting it for free." Lydia: "What does the book do?" Triclops exposits AGAIN that it unblocks their memories and a recapitation of Lydia seeing steampunk scientists in the hospital flashes. Triclops hoped it would bring others who had seen them to him but it never worked since people weren't interested in his cheesy novel. The end all of this lengthy interview is that they need to read the book and remember. Thanks Triclops. Lydia is good with that explanation. Stiles and I are not. Still he hands over the tape recorder when she gestures for it. I'd say more info is definitely needed given that no one seems capable of asking the right questions. Seriously, how hard is it to ask about how to stop the villains before giving Triclops what he wants? Very frustrating! Lydia screams but it's way too late. Since the steampunk scientists are much more impressive than 4 high school kids, Creeper does not demand their hardware as they enter the facility. They head straight to the basement but Eichen House Head beats them down there. He asks Scott what's going on but flees when he sees the steampunk scientists. Survival instinct is strong in this one. Can't blame him. It is Beacon Hills. Desperate, Scott lifts Kira even though she keeps zapping him and struggles to get them both outside. It obviously takes a lot out of Scott as his burned body practically passes out on the steps, unable to go back in for Stiles and Lydia. He does have enough strength to tell Kira he remembers saying, "I love you," and to confirm that he meant it though. She in return summons enough strength to lie down on top of him and grab his hand. Priorities and all.

Meanwhile Lydia gives Triclops the banshee scream recording and THEN asks questions. Facepalm. She wants to know what the steampunk scientists' goal is but Stiles is more concerned about the blaring alarm now going off. "Lydia, I think we need to get out of here." Since all Triclops says over and over again is to read the book, I agree. He's as unhelpful as Deaton and they're still not one jot closer to what's going on than they were before they entered Eichen House to listen to his lengthy exposition on nothing. Stiles pulls Lydia away to hide in an empty room (hmm). Triclops instead makes his move by standing tall and glaring at the approaching steampunk scientists. I thought he wanted the banshee scream to protect himself, but nope. The pesky supernatural proof wall is no match for steampunk scientists though. They hand wave their way in and over his protests, suck out Triclops' third eye. Blech, blech, and triple blech. Triclops' scream rivals Lydia's. It also means the steampunk scientists were afraid of Triclops' psychic ability, which begs the question - why didn't they kill him too? They had zero problems killing teens so why leave a potential enemy alive? Or maybe it really was about the eye itself? Lydia and Stiles however have much more pressing concerns than my litany of questions, like blaming themselves for every single horror that has ever happened in Beacon Hills. After Scott's similar guilt fest last episode, this might be another theme this season. Lydia: "I think we're okay. Stiles?" Stiles: "No, it's not okay. All of this, it's on us. Everything that's happened, everything that's gonna happen, it's our fault." Lydia: "It's our responsibility." Yeah, no. It's not. It's those darn telluric currents and nematon. What is your fault though is that Former Triclops uses that banshee scream to crack his cell open. I knew that was a bad idea. Now you've got another foe on the loose and you still have no more useful intel than when you started. Great!

While the middle of this episode did slow down a lot for exposition as season 5 is wont to do, the real discussion of this episodes lies solely in Dylan O'Brien's ability to encompass all of Stiles fear and guilt. Having rewatched season 1 and 2 about a month ago, it is amazing to see how much he has grown as an actor. By letting him do the first 3 scenes without dialogue, the writers and Jeff showed how much confidence they had in that acting and it paid off big time. My particular favorite moment came when Stiles caught his reflection in the rearview mirror. He stares for a second and then slides his eyes away in guilt only to flash back to the mirror and then look away guiltily. Instead of a monologue, the anguish he feels flits across his face. It's there as he taps nervously with his hands and runs his fingers through his hair. It's there in the pause before he frantically wipes away what he's done from his murder board. It's there in the stifled scream before Scott calls and refocuses him. Everything about Stiles is spot on in this episode and it almost makes up for the lack of Stiles time we got last episode. I also thought the conversation between Scott and Stiles about self-defense, while being way too on the nose, hammered the key differences between them out. It is these differences and all the secrets that will drive a wedge between them, not Theo. In this, Theo was a complete success by sending Psycho after Stiles. In the end, the first 13 minutes well make up for the drawn out interview with Triclops and even the missing Team Parent. This was Teen Wolf at its best acting since Dark Stiles of 3B.

Grade: B+  (A+ for first 10 minutes)

Episode Awards:

Best Reason to Watch - Dylan O'Brien
Best Scene - Stiles breaks down in the Jeep
Biggest Hero - Scott gets Kira out
Best Character Interaction - Stiles and Lydia
Most Missed - Team Parent
Least Missed - Liam and Mason
Most in Need of a Thesaurus - Psycho
The "Say What?" Award - the library has instant access anytime of night as long as you have a student ID card?  How does that make sense?
The "I Don't Think So" Award - No way Mama Fox lets Kira spend the night at Scott's
The BeeGees Award - Triclops' Dance Fever head bandage
Biggest Blech - Triclops' third eye is sucked out
Most Memorable Moment - Stiles looks in the rearview mirror and can't look at himself

Worst Trend - keeping secrets / blaming themselves for everything

Best Quotes - 
1.  Stiles:  "You are not going without me.  You remember what happened to Deaton when he talked to Valack?"  Lydia:  "Scott and Kira are going to be there."  Stiles:  "Okay, I'm not letting you go to a place where one of the orderlies almost killed you."  Lydia:  "He almost killed you too."  Stiles:  "And we're both still alive.  See.  Teamwork."
2.  Scott:  "I don't think the Dread Doctors are the ones who are stealing the bodies."  Kira:  "Are we really calling them that?"
3.Scott:  "I also think I might have stopped her from killing Lucas."  Stiles:  "Okay, wasn't he trying to kill you though?  I mean it sounds like self-defense."  Scott:  "It was more than that.  I mean she nearly took off his head."  Stiles:  "Maybe she had no choice.  There's got to be a point where self-defense is justified.  Tracey killed her own father and Lucas would have killed you."  Scott:  "They're not the bad guys.  They're the victims.  We shouldn't be killing the people we're trying to save."
4.  Theo:  "Haven't I seen you coming out of Drivers' Ed?"  Malia:  "I hope not."  Theo:  "I'm pretty sure I saw you destroy a couple traffic cones the other day and nearly take out a sophomore."  Malia:  "The sophomore shouldn't have been standing there."
5.  Kira:  "So if the chimeras are all failures, what's a success gonna be?"  Scott:  "Bad.  Probably really bad."

6.  Stiles:  "Malia's not going because she knows that that place is a nightmare asylum of insanity and death, okay?  Let's go."  

Screencaps by Really Late Reviews,  TV Equals, Televixen, Instagram, TV Line, Teen Wolf Brazil, Pinterest, and DrunkenThieves.

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."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 Character Cup - Wrap-Up and Final Stats



It's been 63 polls (plus extras), but we finally have a winner. Congratulations to Samantha "Root" Groves of Person of Interest, who also got the most votes of any contestant and was the only contestant to receive over 2,000 votes in each round. This makes Root the first female to ever win the Character Cup. She joins Jack from LOST and Dean and Castiel from Supernatural in our Hall of Retired Winners. Congratulations to Person of Interest fans, Shameless fans, and all other fandoms for supporting their favorites and helping to make this a record-breaking Character Cup.  I hope you join us for the Favorite Show Contest that starts Monday.

Congratulations also go to Senko, for winning our prediction contest with 40 out of 63 correct predictions. You rock! All bragging rights go to you! Other top predictors were LOST Rocks Forever and ASN1. Great job. It's been fun comparing how different the contest turned out and where people thought it would go.

In our Vehicle Contest, the winners were the Impala from Supernatural in the Continuing Shows division and the Enterprise from Star Trek from the Ended Shows division. Thanks so much to everyone who participated either through voting, predicting, or commenting. Your voting broke records (see below) while the discussions were excellent, still my favorite part of the contest. I appreciate everyone who participated in the TV Talk Topics for making my hiatus go by a little faster. It was awesome talking TV with all of you. Special thanks also goes out to those who submitted pictures for the polls. Without you we would never have been able to change pictures for each poll. You guys rock!  Finally thanks as always to Andy, without whom there would be no SpoilerTV, the best TV website I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.

Thanks again for joining us and don't forget the Favorite Show Contest coming in August. Nominations start Monday and I know it will be an exciting race too. Check back at Spoiler TV to submit your nominees and of course to discuss your favorite shows. There's lots more good TV Talk to be had.

Nominations for the Favorite Show Contest start Monday!!!

Since I am a trivia fan and because I was asked to last year, I've gathered some general facts about the contest below along with the original and final rankings.


Characters with Biggest Improvement between Initial Rankings and Final Rankings: Mickey Milkovich (started at #55 and moved up to #2 - largest jump in contest history at 53 places) / Buffy Summers (38 places) / Spencer Reid (28 places)

Total Page Views: This year = 420,000 / Last year = around 115,000

Total Votes Cast (minus pre-contest and TV Vehicle):
This year = over 250,000 / Last year = 86,366
Total votes in Vehicle Contest = 35,840

Total Number of Comments
This Year = 3170 over 11 days = 288.18 average / day
Last Year = 2782 over 17 days = 163.65 average / day

Closest Polls: Oliver Queen vs. Helena (7 votes) / Clarke Griffin vs. Daryl Dixon (38 votes) / Daryl Dixon vs. Vincent Keller (55 votes)

Total Nominations:

This Year - 915
Total shows nominated: 242
Total show represented: 64
Total characters nominated: 610

Last Year - 708
Total shows nominated: 170
Total shows represented: 64
Total characters nominated: 458

Gender Breakdown:

This Year - 33 males and 31 females
After the first round, there were 19 males and 13 females.
After the second round, 8 males and 8 females.
After the third round, 5 males and 3 females.
After the fourth round, 1 males and 3 female.
After the fifth round, 1 male and 1 female.

Last Year - 31 males and 33 females
After the first round, there were 19 males and 13 females.
After the second round, 9 males and 7 females.
After the third round, 5 males and 3 females.
After the fourth round, 3 males and 1 female.
After the fifth round, 1 male and 1 female.

Network Breakdown:

This Year = 35 network, 10 basic cable, 5 premium cable, 1 streaming, 6 international, 7 ended shows
First Round = 13 network, 3 basic cable, 4 premium cable, 1 streaming, 5 international, 6 ended shows
Second Round = 7 network, 1 basic cable, 3 premium cable, 1 streaming, 2 international, 2 ended shows
Third Round = 3 network, 1 basic cable, 2 premium cable, 2 ended shows
Fourth Round = 2 network, 1 premium cable, 1 ended show
Fifth Round = 1 network, 1 premium cable

Last Year = 31 network, 14 basic cable, 7 premium cable, 3 BBC, and 9 ended shows
First round = 19 network, 6 basic cable, 1 premium cable, 1 BBC, and 5 ended shows
Second Round = 11 network, 1 basic cable, 1 premium cable, and 3 ended shows
Third Round = 6 network, 1 premium cable, and 1 ended show
Fourth Round = 4 network shows
Fifth Round = 2 network shows

Final Rankings:

1. Samantha "Root" Groves
2. Mickey Milkovich
3. Peggy Carter
4. Dana Scully
5. Jamie Fraser
6. Kate Beckett
7. Daryl Dixon
8. Buffy Summers
9. Sam Winchester
10. Emma Swan
11. Spencer Reid
12. Tyrion Lannister
13. Helena
14. The Doctor
15. Matt Murdock
16. Leslie Knope
17. Hannibal Lecter
18. Oliver Queen
19. Gregory House
20. Veronica Mars
21. Kieren Walker
22. Vanessa Ives
23. Sharon Raydor
24. Clarke Griffin
25. Patrick Jane
26. Sherlock Holmes of Sherlock
27. Damon Salvatore
28. Ben Linus
29. Athos
30. Stiles Stilinski
31. Derek Shepherd
32. Olivia Dunham
33. Barry Allen
34. Skye Johnson
35. Olivia Benson
36. Sherlock Holmes of Elementary
37. Ichabod Crane
38. Emily Thorne
39. Cookie Lyon
40. Vincent Keller
41. Red Reddington
42. Olivia Pope
43. Sheldon Cooper
44. Klaus Mikaelson
45. Sydney Bristow
46. Jethro Gibbs
47. Donna Paulsen
48. Jane Rizzoli
49. Temperance Brennan
50. Henry Morgan
51. Liv Moore
52. Annalise Keating
53. Lorne Malvo
54. Elizabeth McCord
55. Hanna Marin
56. Elizabeth Jennings
57. Catherine de Medici
58. Norma Bates
59. Marty Deeks
60. April Carver
61. Sean Renard
62. Ross Poldark
63. Jessica Huang
64. Job

Original Rankings:

1. Root Groves (Person of Interest)
2. Jamie Fraser (Outlander)
3. Oliver Queen (Arrow)
4. Clarke Griffin (The 100)
5. Stiles Silinski (Teen Wolf)
6. Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)
7. Kieren Walker (In the Flesh)
8. Athos (The Musketeers)
9. Kate Beckett (Castle)
10. Barry Allen (The Flash)
11. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
12. Patrick Jane (The Mentalist)
13. Sam Winchester (Supernatural)
14. Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)
15. Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time)
16. Matt Murdock (Daredevil)
17. Cookie Lyon (Empire)
18. Vanessa Ives (Penny Dreadful)
19. Annaliese Keating (How to Get Away with Murder)
20. Ben Linus (LOST)
21. Dana Scully (The X-Files)
22. Sean Renard (Grimm)
23. Red Reddington (The Blacklist)
24. Donna Paulsen (Suits)
25. Norma Bates (Bates Motel)
26. Emily Thorne (Revenge)
27. Sharon Raydor (Major Crimes)
28. Elizabeth Jennings (The Americans)
29. Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)
30. Helena (Orphan Black)
31. Skye Johnson (Agents of SHIELD)
32. Olivia Dunham (Fringe)
33. Liv Moore (iZombie)
34. Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal)
35. Job (Banshee)
36. Vincent Keller (Beauty and the Beast)
37. Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)
38. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory)
39. Spencer Reid (Criminal Minds)
40. The Doctor (Doctor Who)
41. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock)
42. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
43. Gregory House (House MD)
44. Henry Morgan (Forever)
45. Hanna Marin (Pretty Little Liars)
46. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
47. Lorne Malvo (Fargo)
48. Derek Sheperd (Grey's Anatomy)
49. Klaus Mikaelson (The Originals)
50. Sherlock Holmes (Elementary)
51. Elizabeth McCord (Madam Secretary)
52. Catherine de Medici (Reign)
53. Marty Deeks (NCIS: LA)
54. Temperance Brennan (Bones)
55. Mickey Milkovich (Shameless)
56. Jane Rizzoli (Rizzoli & Isles)
57. Olivia Pope (Scandal)
58. Olivia Benson (SVU)
59. Jessica Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
60. April Carver (Chasing Life)
61. Jethro Gibbs (NCIS)
62. Ross Poldark (Poldark)
63. Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow)
64. Sydney Bristow (Alias)

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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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Leverage - 3.03 - The Inside Job

Throwback Thursday, a weekly article in which we look back at our favorite TV episodes from over the years.

I am a TV addict. I watch way too much TV but every once in a while a show sticks out among the masses that I never expected to strike me. It can become a new TV obsession for a show that's still airing, an ended gem I catch later, or a show I liked while on but came to miss even more after it ended. Leverage is one of those shows. I loved the show while it was airing but in the years since its cancellation, my love for it has only grown and that has everything to do with three characters: Parker, Eliot, and Hardison. There have been other great TV trios but these are among the best. Parker is a professional thief, Eliot is the enforcer, and Hardison, the computer genius. These three along with Nate, the coordinator, and Sophie, the con artist, play Robin Hood to people who have been unfairly taken advantage of by the most elite people and corporations around. In short, it is a crooks gone good tale that includes the intricate planning of an Ocean's 11 type conning. For all the fun of the con's twists and turns, the show still rests on the characters. At first I planned to cheat a bit and focus on all three characters I love by highlighting their best episodes but in the end I decided to showcase Parker. Parker is not my favorite female character. That distinction goes to Fiona Glenanne from Burn Notice. However Parker has the single best character development I have ever seen. She starts as an antisocial, secretive, awkward, selfish, money-grabbing thief who does not play well with others. At all. She has no awareness of social cues and is often far too blunt for polite society. Over time, as in episodes like The Juror #6 Job, Parker is trained in reading people and getting along in society until she can play a con like Sophie and plan a job that requires intricate teamwork like Nate. Along the way she learns about family, friends, and even love too. Plus, she does it all while still jumping off buildings, using gymnastics to get around lasers, and generally being more awesome than anyone else on the planet. So while I adore Eliot and Hardison too, this Throwback Thursday is all about episode 3.03, The Inside Job. I chose it out of all the other great Parker episodes because it is here that we learn a bit about Parker's past and where she takes a stand for the person she is becoming. It is also here that the others show how much they are willing to risk to keep Parker safe, even if they do grumble about it.

Leverage - 3.03 - The Inside Job - Recap:

At 7:00 am, Parker breaks into the Wakefield Agricultural Corporation and is followed by high tech security guys. Meanwhile Nate makes breakfast and flirts with Sophie. Sophie: "Kiss? I don't remember a kiss. I remember a slap. You're still working off the slap." Ha! They are interrupted by a phone call from a mysterious older gentleman. Nate: "This had better be good." He warns Nate that Parker is up against a Steranko security system, the best available, as proven by how much running Parker has to do just to keep 10 steps ahead of security. Nate calls an emergency meeting at Parker's place. Well one of them. She has 6 that he knows about. Luckily Sophie knows Parker well enough to guess the code and in they go. Let's just say Parker isn't a believer in furniture, or decorations, or well, anything home. Instead it's a work space with a bed and all the best tools for the aspiring thief on the move. Hardison and Eliot join momentarily, having gone to the wrong house first. They're a little shaken having being greeted there by a bearded man in a Sailor Moon costume. Hardison, taking in Parker's abode: "Okay, this is a little freaky." Eliot: "Really? This is exactly what I expected." Ha! I agree. Sophie focuses everyone by admiring the precise planning Parker did. It sets up the show handing the reigns over from Nate to Parker in the proposed 6th season, which sadly never happened. It's still not too late to change your mind TNT. Just saying. Sophie: "Wow, this is so well-organized. She's got everything laid out just so. This is as clean as one of your plans." Eliot: "Yeah maybe you're rubbing off on her Nate." Nate disagrees because no way he'd try to beat a Steranko. Hardison: "On her own? Has she lost her mind?" Thankfully Sophie asks for the audience and Eliot is flabbergasted she's never heard of it. Sophie: "I am a grifter. If I'm doing my job right, the mark just (click) turns off the alarm for me." Ha!

End result: Steranko is impenetrable. Hardison needs time to even attempt to conquer it and he has to be in the building when he does. Nate clarifies: "For Parker, can you crack it?" That's a different story. Nate: "So let's go steal a Parker." Ha! The target, Wakefield, is big in the agribusiness department, which reminds me of when they steal the potato in 4.05. That one's still bizarre to me. Hardison spouts all its impressive handlings, but Sophie summarizes, "So it's a grocery store." Bwah! Hardison: "Yeah if Godzilla's a gecko. They do $200 million a year in biotech research and third world infrastructure." Sophie: "Alright so it's a massive grocery store." Eliot joins them with more bad news. Everything's locked up tight except for the lobby. He's not keen on doing a job with no plan, which rubs Hardison the wrong way. "You just want to throw Parker under the bus?" That's not what he said, Hardison. They argue but Nate refocuses their attention on the details. Parker scouted everything from the same building and he surmises that the caller is there too so he wants to go with Eliot to find him. Nate: "Sophie walk Hardison into Wakefield so you can get your hands on the Steranko." Sophie: "That's the plan?" Nate: "It's all I've got." Hmm. Not exactly inspiring, there. Even Hardison gives up protesting in frustration, but Sophie remains positive. They'll save Parker. They just need a way to get in. Hardison thinks thief but Sophie knows this is a grifter's world. Sophie: "Thieves find entrances but grifters, uhn un. We make them." Being a grifter is much more fun too. As the bigwigs freak out with the head of security about the breach, Sophie and Hardison pose as company auditors. Sophie: "We're here to see who gets fired today." That'll get their attention.

Meanwhile on a random rooftop, Eliot and Nate meet up with Archie Leach. Having once worked in Majorca, presumably on opposite sides, Nate declares Archie, "the world's greatest thief." That is high praise indeed considering how many thieves Nate has known. Their reminiscing is rudely cut short by two gun-wielding goons just aching for Eliot to take them down, which he does in record time with an assist by Archie's cane. It's all delightfully Leverage until Archie drops the bomb. He's being held captive while Parker attempts to rescue him by stealing something from the Wakefield Building. When Eliot asks why she would bother, Archie replies, "Because I'm her father." Say what? Are you kidding me? The shock I felt when first hearing that mimicked Eliot's open-mouthed gesticulating. Father?!?! Archie clarifies that he's not Parker's biological father but more like her thief mentor starting 12 years prior when she tried to lift his wallet. Archie: "When I first met her, she was wild, dangerous to herself and others, but she had the gift. I made her, honed her, my perfect thief." He taught her everything she knows, including some spectacular ice cream gymnastics apparently. No wonder she goes through laser beams like a pro. Archie beams at the thought of making her his legacy but Nate takes exception to the fact that he left her as broken as he found her instead of making her one of his family. I understand where he's coming from but Archie has a point too and I smell the faint whiff of hypocrisy floating off Nate. Archie explains that his family, including his grandchildren, have no idea of his former employment. Archie: "You know Parker. You know she wouldn't fit in. She doesn't fit in anywhere." Ouch! Eliot: "Yeah but she was good enough to send into a death trap, huh?" Double ouch! Archie vehemently protests. He only asked Parker to help plan with the blueprints his blackmailer gave him, but she went in without his knowledge to help him save his grandkids.

Dropping her own bombshell, Sophie runs roughshod over the company bigwigs demanding that everyone gather in the boardroom while Hardison sets up shop elsewhere. To distract them, she tells them they are all fired. The only one who doesn't panic is Dr. Hannity who was with the head of security earlier. That makes her suspect #1 in something shady. Chaos resumes though when Sophie says that anyone who can convince her that they are indispensible will be rehired. At the same time, Hardison hooks into a cable to hack the Wakefield system and give Nate the bad news. As long as Parker stays in the building, she's cool. As soon as she tries to escape though, the nets will tighten and there's no way out. Eliot calls it a lobster trap and adds his own bad news. The perimeter is locked down too so he asks Hardison to find an empty office. Now all they need is Parker but they have no clue where she is. Hardison: "Nate, you do realize the entire building's looking for Parker. I mean the actual physical building is looking for her." If they try to use the cameras and sensors to find her, they will lead security right to her too. Nate asks what the play is then. Hardison: "What's my play? Nate, I'm hacking a security system that the Pentagon calls overkill with a laptop I found in the back of my car." Bwah! That's some advanced security. "Look, the honest answer - we can't find Parker. We just have to wait for her to send up a signal and hopefully we get to her first." Parker isn't haven't a very good day either. Crawling through the ventilation shaft she discovers laser trip wires that even her ice cream-eating kid body couldn't fit through. Plan B. Donning a lab coat and stealing a security badge. Luckily she also calls Hardison who tells her the Calvary is there.

Back on the rooftop, Archie and Nate notice the blueprints Archie was given are company originals and Sophie confirms Hannity as a main suspect. Short Google trip later and Hardison exposits that she's the head of biotech. And that's the kicker. An inside job means no loose ends. Archie: "If they find Parker, they're not going to arrest her. They'll kill her." With stakes even higher, Archie tries to storm the castle but Hardison already interoffice mailed her an ear piece. No need to go in too. As Parker goes live, Archie calls her kiddo to Nate's astonishment and my delight. He then proceeds to scold her until Parker interrupts. "They would have caught you, Archie. They would have hurt you or your family, your real family." Ouch! That's a kick to the gut. Parker couldn't let anything happen to him so she went in herself, but couldn't get to the canister Archie is supposed to steal. Nate's knocked for a loop again when Parker calls Archie, "Sir," and actually listens to his orders without question. Not only do we get delicious back story on the world's most mysterious character, but we see a different side of her as she teams up with her mentor. Since Parker is one of my favorite female characters of all time, it's intriguing. Archie basically takes over the con from Nate while Parker gets stopped by an office sexting nerd lothario and swept away to a goodbye party. I think she'd rather be trawling the ventilation shaft again. Good thing Hardison found the CEO's office empty and devoid of all cameras, putting Eliot on point. Eliot: "Wait a second. You want me to climb a 40-story building in broad daylight." Nate: "Yes, and I want you to do it now. We're up against the clock." No pressure or anything. Thankfully the window washers pull up. Game on.

Still using his Google-fu, Hardison figures out that Hannity's department lost $60 million last year on a super wheat project, which should make her ripe for the cutting block. Nate tells Sophie to let everyone else go but to push Hannity over her limits. Hannity of course all but villain monologues her evil scheme to release a blight on the country's wheat supply, causing worldwide famine. Then she'll swoop down with her resilient super wheat and the whole world will pay. Hannity: "Whoever comes up with a solution…" Sophie: "Will save lives." Hannity: "Will increase market share." Yep, she's a greedy capitalist specializing in crazy. Archie thinks Nate's lost it too. He plans to get the blight while Archie focuses on getting Parker to safety. See how the tables have turned. Archie: "You've got 3 people trapped in there. An outside man who can't get in. So what now?" Nate doesn't have an actual plan but he does have a mission. Archie: "While you're dreaming up your comic book fantasies, Parker's in there waiting for a bullet in the head." Nate: "Yeah, you put her in there." Archie: "And I'm gonna get her out." He orders Parker to run straight out the front door, promising to get her home. Nate counters the order and tells her to get to Eliot at the CEO's window. Which she does and then proceeds to NOT follow the exit strategy. Eliot: "This is no time for crazy, alright. We've got to get the hell out of here." But Parker's adamant. Unless she steals the blight, Hannity wins and Parker's not about to let that happen. Archie: "We do not get involved. We get out." Parker protests. Archie: "This is not what we do." Parker: "No, this is not what you do. Okay, Hannity's bad. She's gonna hurt people, a lot of people. You taught me a lot of things Archie, but this is what we do." It's a powerful moment as Parker, the last to fully get on board with teamwork, nails their mission. In one revelation, she encompasses the entire show and I have never loved this character more.

Sophie agrees. Hardison is more pragmatic. "Well somebody better decide something because Steranko is whooping my a**." Nate remains silent, I think astounded by Parker's declaration, but Archie goes mental. He wants his kid out and I don't blame him. Trouble is Parker isn't a little girl anymore and she's competent at her job. Nate questions her first pass at the vault but Parker says she's learned from her mistakes and besides, she has the team with her this time. Nate agrees and says it's her show. Eliot meanwhile is fit to be tied, hanging outside a 40-story building with a crowbar in his hand. He really does have the best facial expressions of the night. Archie is not so easily swayed though. "What you do…you've killed her. That's what you've bloody done. You've killed her." His anguish is palpable and I totally feel sorry for him. He may have kept her separate and she may not feel like she's his real kid, but she is definitely a daughter to him. Plus it looks like he's right because not 15 seconds into the new mission, Parker encounters a security guard who pulls a gun on her. Not surprisingly, Eliot's there to take him out. Perhaps the real difference is that Archie never had a team willing to go the distance for him. She has a new family here. One in which she not only belongs, but she's crucial. Parker and Eliot head to the vault with help on high from Hardison. As they bicker about who has the worst job, Eliot takes out more guards and Hardison tries to keep the system from locking him out. Hardison: "Oh look, I am not trying to rush y'all but y'all need to put some pep in your step." Bwah! Parker zip lines down to the biotech level while Eliot grabs a scanner and takes the stairs. Time's up as Hardison and Sophie get out.

Just when they're about to reach the biotech lab, Parker's sexter nerd shows up again. Unluckily for him, Eliot grabs him by the throat until Parker tells him to let go. She does breaks Nerd's heart though when she claims Eliot as her boyfriend. As Parker and Eliot run for the door, she asks him what sexting is. Eliot: "I'm not having this conversation with you, Parker." Smart man. Very smart man. They get in the vault by using the retinal scanner and Parker beats the code, holding the blight and beaming over her success to Eliot who is less impressed but super snarky. Eliot: "That's great. You’re awesome. Let's go!" BWAAAAHHHH!!!! I totally want a gif of that. Sadly once the canister is removed the Steranko goes to level four as fire engines and news reporters surround the building. Okay. I see where this is headed. Sadly Archie does not as he pulls a gun on Nate. (I've felt that way many times too, Archie.) Archie: "She was perfect. You ruined her. If you'd left her alone…" Nate: "I didn't put her in there, Leach." So you keep saying but it's not like you haven't put her in harm's way plenty of other times, Nate. Stop acting so innocent. Archie: "She stayed up there to service you and your pathetic Robin Hood fantasy. I made her unique. What is she now?" And now you've crossed the line. Parker is Parker, pure and simple, and Parker is awesome! Nate: "I have no idea what Parker is. I doubt she knows." Good point. He adds that both of them would die to protect her and that I do believe. They are both her family. Nate tells Archie to either shoot him or let him get Parker out. Archie: "You're going in after her?" Nate: "Always was Leach. Always was." Yeah, I believe that too. That's why I love Leverage. They don't leave a man behind, not family.

In classic Leverage style, the ending twists. Hannity and Muscle see Parker and Eliot put on hazmat suits and take the elevator. They realize it's their one shot to get the blight and kill the witnesses so they meet the elevator at the bottom. Gun in hand they take the now 4 people in the elevator to an empty floor where Archie tries to renegotiate their deal and Hannity full out villain monologues. She couldn't smirk harder nor be more gleeful about killing everyone, which of course is the cue for the reporter and camera crew to take off their hazmat suits and tell Hannity they are on live TV. Can't get a more of public confession than that. Nate recaps the plan for Hardison to fake a toxin spill while he got the reporter into gear with talk of a Pulitzer, leaving our brilliant team to hitch a ride down via the window washer while enjoying Hannity's downfall. It's a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the con and yet not to the story, because this is really about Parker and her relationships more than the job. Particularly the two men in her life, Archie and Nate. As Archie goes to take his leave, he backhand compliments Nate on a job well done while Nate looks down his nose at Archie. "No love lost here, huh?" That's an understatement. Still there is plenty of love between Parker and Archie. "You have a top flight crew." Parker: "They're good, a little undisciplined." Archie: "Well you can work with that." Ha! I bet they say the same about her. Archie tells Parker that he wishes he had taken her home to the rest of his family all those years ago but she cuts him off with an uncharacteristic display of affection. He's startled by the hug but I'm too busy sniffling at the awww of it. Parker: "It's okay. I wouldn't have fit in with the real family." Ouch! Archie: "You didn't need it anyhow. You went out and made your own." Awww, that she did. She also took off with his wallet, but he already knew that. As Parker walks away , Nate asks if she's okay. "What did he talk to you about?" Parker: "Oh you know, thief stuff."

And thus ends one of my favorite episodes of Leverage. I adore how the spotlight is on Parker, who still remains the most mysterious of them all. From seeing her home to learning about her past with Archie, we get more background on Parker in one episode than in 3 seasons. I love the action and the mouse trap feel and there are plenty of Leverage twists. It's fun and claustrophobic, giving each cast member their moment to shine. Still the success of the episode lies in Parker's growth as a character for me. It's in the way she takes charge of who she wants to be in the midst of conflicting advice. It's in how she acknowledges that together they work better than doing it by herself. It's in the hug she gives Archie at the end, although she is not prone to physical interaction. I often wish we had seen more of Archie because he brought out a different side of Parker and opened her up as a character even more. Mostly though I miss this show. Often times when one show ends for me, I miss it but another show comes along and fills that void. We're almost at three years since Leverage was cancelled and I still haven't found a Leverage-shaped show to satisfy that craving. It was smart but it didn't take itself seriously. It was fun but it had a lot of heart too. Mostly it showed how a group of loners with different skills and approaches could grow to be a strong family that always had each other's backs and never gave up on each other. They bickered and made up like a real family and I wish we could taste a bit more of that awesomeness. I will never give up on a Leverage spin-off with Parker, Eliot, and Hardison. I will never give up on a Leverage TV movie. These characters captured my imagination and captivated my heart, and I am grateful for the 77 episodes I had with them.

You can find all 5 seasons of Leverage on Netflix.

Screencaps by Pinterest, Fandomania, Arghink, Fanpop, Beth Riesgraf Online, and Midnight Road.

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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